PJ Tatler

The PJ Tatler

‘Disgusting and Foul’: Rep. Duncan Hunter Rips Army Brass for Axing Green Beret (Video)

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Hoping to get the attention of leaders in the Defense Department, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) appeared on Fox News with Megyn Kelly Monday to talk about the decorated Green Beret who is fighting to continue serving his country.

The Army is kicking out Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, who has had a sterling 11-year Special Forces career, for shoving an Afghan police commander accused of raping a young boy and beating up the child’s mother.

According to Cpt. Daniel Quinn (Ret.), a troop-mate of Martland’s who was there at the time and took part in the altercation, the boy was chained to a bed for a week to ten days and repeatedly raped by the sadistic Afghan police commander. He said the mother was beaten severely as well and when she and the boy showed up at their camp, “they showed obvious signs of abuse.” He added that the boy and his mother came to them because they didn’t trust the local Afghan government to help them.

Quinn said that when they brought the police commander to their camp, he quickly confessed to the assault. When the man shrugged his shoulders and laughed in their faces, they threw him to the ground. Like any decent, red-blooded American man would.

Quinn explained that their actions were meant to send a message to the Afghan police commander and to the other local policemen that sexual assaults would not be tolerated because this was the 4th sexual assault by an Afghan policemen.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)  wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter asking him to intervene on Martland’s behalf. He told Megyn Kelly that he believes Martland and Quinn showed amazing restraint by only pushing the child rapist to the ground.

“This is one of the most disgusting, foul things I’ve heard,” Hunter said. “We’ve got to let people know what the military’s doing, how the lawyers are running the show.”

“Martland’s got to stay in. These are the kind of people we want on the ground fighting for us. These are the kind of guys I want protecting me and my kids,” Hunter said. “Hopefully, Ash Carter and those in the Defense Department that aren’t just lawyers and bureaucrats in uniform, hopefully they’ll look at this and take a second glance at it and change their minds.”

YouTube Preview Image

Child rape in Afghanistan is a horrifically common occurrence, especially the organized sexual abuse of adolescent boys.

Read bullet | 20 Comments »

Are State GOP Leaders in NC and VA Conspiring to Keep Trump Off Their Primary Ballots?

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Jittery much?

Amid mounting concerns about Donald Trump’s candidacy from the GOP establishment, Republican leaders in at least two states have found a way to make life a lot harder for him.

The Virginia and North Carolina parties are in discussions about implementing a new requirement for candidates to qualify for their primary ballots: that they pledge to support the Republican presidential nominee — and not run as a third-party candidate — in the general election.

Virginia has apparently been discussing something along these lines for a couple of years now. Ken Cuccinelli, the state’s most recent monumental Republican electoral failure, is behind the idea, which should tell you everything you need to know about so many of the tired wheel-spinners running various state GOPs.

One of the dumbest trends in politics, and especially on the Republican side, is coercing candidates to sign pledges on issues in an effort to enforce some kind of purity in the party.

How’s that been working out for everyone?

People aren’t sick of what Republicans do while running for office, we’re sick of what they do once they win.

This iteration of the pledge dance is ridiculous. Any candidate should have the right to support or not support the eventual nominee. Leave the hive mind garbage to the Democrats.

A Thought Exercise on How President Trump’s Immigration Policy Might Work Out

Read bullet | 31 Comments »

U.S. Convenes First UN Security Council Meeting on Gay Rights

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
isisgaystoning

ISIS members prepare to stone a man accused of being gay in February

The Obama administration lauded as “historic” Monday’s first-of-its-kind meeting at the UN Security Council on gay rights, organized by the U.S. Missions at the UN and Chile.

Much of the meeting focused on the murder of homosexuals by ISIS, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and other groups in the region including the Al-Nusra Front, but UN Ambassador Samantha Power made clear that they want the agenda to be broader.

According to reports, Chad and Angola skipped the closed meeting.

Subhi Nahas escaped execution by fleeing to Lebanon after ISIS took his city, Idlib, Syria. “At the executions, hundreds of townspeople, including children, cheered jubilantly as at a wedding,” Nahas said. “If a victim did not die after being hurled off a building, the townspeople stoned him to death. This was to be my fate too.”

A representative of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said they’ve counted at least 30 murders by the Islamic State on the allegation of sodomy. Those accused of being gay are thrown off tall buildings, beheaded, stoned or shot.

After the meeting, Power told reporters that images of what ISIS does to gays were displayed “so, if ever anybody was tempted to drift away or have their attention go elsewhere, the graphic, gut-wrenching photos of what is being done and the very real threat posed – even as we sat in this meeting today – in territory where ISIL is dominant.”

“Yes, it is true that ISIL has made it common practice, it seems, to target LGBT persons, but that is true also around the world very far from where ISIL dominates. You have countries that have criminalized LGBT status; you have societies, of course, that are every bit as unwelcoming as they were 20, 30 years ago, communities in that regard. But today’s meeting is a sign that this issue is getting injected into the mainstream at the United Nations,” she said.

Power stressed it was the first Security Council meeting ever on LGBT issues — “a small but historic step.”

“We just have to continue to create dedicated spaces and venues for conversations like the one we just had, raising awareness, showing LGBT people, or those being persecuted, that the UN cares, that the Security Council cares, that the General Assembly cares, that the Human Rights Council cares, that the Member States of the United Nations care – that’s extremely important,” she said. “But also each of us, as governments, has a responsibility to inject the treatment of LGBT persons into our bilateral relationships as well.”

Power added that when the issue of “how LGBT persons are being treated in particular conflict areas” comes up in future meetings “it’s also imperative that in addition to talking about the threat that ISIL poses to Christians, to Yezidis, to Shia, to any Sunni or anybody who doesn’t share their warped ideology, to cultural artifacts of the kind that have been destroyed monstrously here in the last couple days.”

“Alongside that, it is essential that the fate of LGBT persons also be raised and discussed, and we will work with our Council partners and colleagues to ensure that it isn’t just the United States raising it.”

Power made no mention of Iran, which hangs gays.

The meetings comes as the administration is under pressure from lawmakers to deny visas to diplomats’ spouses if the envoys come from a country that doesn’t recognize same-sex spouses of State Department personnel.

“This historic event recognizes that the issue of LGBT rights has a place in the UN Security Council,” State Department press secretary John Kirby told reporters at the open of the daily briefing. “Around the world, the UN has documented thousands of cases of individuals killed or injured in brutal attacks simply because they are LGBT or perceived to be LGBT. This abhorrent practice is particularly widespread in ISIL-seized territory in Iraq and in Syria where these violent extremists proudly target and kill LGBT individuals or those accused of being so. No one should be harmed or have their basic human rights denied because of who they are or who they love.”

“We would like the thank Chile for co-sponsoring this event with us,” Kirby added. “The United States will continue to raise the plight of target LGBT individuals around the world and work to protect their basic human rights.”

The meeting even got a shout-out from the National Security Council, with spokesman Ned Price issuing a statement tonight on the meeting “of how better to protect the lives and dignity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) persons, who are frequently among the most vulnerable in conflict and post-conflict situations.”

“Today’s session focused on ISIL’s atrocities targeted against LGBT persons and those perceived to be LGBT in Syria and Iraq. In highlighting acts of horrific brutality that these individuals have endured, today’s discussion challenged the international community to develop better and more effective protections for LGBT persons,” Price said. “…Just as the United States will not relent in our efforts to defeat and ultimately destroy ISIL, we will continue striving for a world in which no one is subject to violence or persecution because of who they are or whom they love.

Read bullet | 31 Comments »

Banners Near College Frat House Elicit ‘Outrage’

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

It’s back-to-school time for America’s colleges, which means another tiresome year of enduring the howls of outrage and cries of despair when someone, somewhere, somehow does something that this aggrieved group or another finds fault with.

Like night follows day or fall follows summer or Laurel follows Hardy, The Ivory Tower Outrage Brigades are once again picking up the cudgel of political correctness and are salivating at the thought of beating some poor miscreant over the head with it.

In this case at Old Dominion College, the party started even before classes began. The Eta Chi chapter of the Sigma Nu fraternity decided to live up to the reputation of frat boys everywhere and hung some banners welcoming freshmen girls to the school.

“Rowdy and Fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time.”
“Freshman daughter drop off.”
“Go ahead and drop off mom too.”

These banners are no doubt in bad taste. And if I had a freshman daughter attending ODU, I might have seriously considered getting out of the car and tearing the banners down myself.

But observe the over-the-top, hysterical reaction.

Now the Sigma Nu Fraternity has suspended the Eta Chi Chapter at ODU pending an investigation into the banners.

Sigma Nu released a message stating their displeasure with the banners saying they condemn the “derogatory and demeaning language used on the banners.”

“Such language has no place in our Fraternity or within any caring community, such as that of ODU. Any Fraternity member found to be responsible for this reprehensible display will be held accountable by the Fraternity,” said Brad Beacham, Sigma Nu Fraternity’s Executive Director in a statement.

ODU officials say they believe the people who live at the private residents are students and say they are investigating. The University sent this statement in full:

“Messages like the ones displayed yesterday by a few students on the balcony of their private residence are not and will not be tolerated. The moment University staff became aware of these banners, they worked to have them removed. At ODU, we foster a community of respect and dignity and these messages sickened us. They are not representative of our 3,000 faculty and staff, 25,000 students and our 130,000 alumni.

Ours is a community that works actively to promote bystander intervention and takes a stand denouncing violence against women. The “It’s on Us” video is just one example of ODU students’ leadership on this topic.

In addition, the University ensures all students receive education on the prevention of sexual harassment and relationship violence.

Any student found to have violated the code of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action.”

Note first that the banners were hung in front of private residences where officials “believe” students live. And the Sigma Nu frat didn’t even wait to find out who was at fault. They pulled the plug on the chapter without even investigating.

The statement from the Student Government Association was even more bizarre:

“An incident occurred this weekend that does not reflect the University’s commitment to the prevention of Sexual Assault and Dating Violence. Not only do these actions taken by a few individuals undermine the countless efforts at Old Dominion University to prevent sexual assault, they are also unwelcoming, offensive, and unacceptable,” said Chris Ndiritu, President of the Student Government Association.

You have to be out of your mind to believe that the banner-hangers had sexual assault or dating violence in mind when they put them up. They may be insensitive louts, but why assume they’re criminals?

Read bullet | 35 Comments »

House Dem: Iran Deal ‘Makes War More Likely’

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Many of the Democrats who have come out against the Iran nuclear deal, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), are veteran lawmakers who have less to fear than young members in terms of repercussions from leadership or the administration for defying the president.

But a freshman Dem from Pennsylvania came out against the Iran deal Sunday in an op-ed declaring that the agreement Obama insists is an alternative to war will actually lead us to war.

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is the sixth Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to come out against the deal.

He wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer that, even after meeting with Obama in the White House Situation Room, he determined there were three reasons why he couldn’t support the deal.

“First, this agreement will inject at least $56 billion into the Iranian regime. This is a massive sum for a country with a gross domestic product of $400 billion,” Boyle wrote. “What does Iran currently spend its money on? It is the single largest funder of terrorism in the region. It funds Hezbollah in Lebanon, supplying it with more than 80,000 rockets, all located just over the Israeli border. It funds Hamas in Gaza. Remember those thousands of rockets that rained down on Israel last year? They too were courtesy of Iran. And Iran also funds the murderous Assad regime in Syria.”

“The administration’s response on this point is to claim that money shouldn’t be an issue when analyzing the nuclear agreement. But it is part of this agreement. It would be impossible to analyze this deal without weighing the inevitable impact these billions will have on the further funding of terrorism.”

Boyle also points to the lack of anytime, anywhere inspections and disputes the administration assertion that a 24-day notice is no big deal. “As a former top official at the International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed, 24 days is enough time for Iran to hide most weaponization activity,” the congressman wrote. “During a congressional hearing, I asked Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to dispute this fact. They did not.”

His third objection is that the deal does not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power but merely delays it.

“The argument that a vote against this deal is a vote for war is disingenuous. Actually, the opposite is true,” Boyle wrote. Releasing billions of dollars to Iran will result in more rockets in Lebanon and Gaza. These will be used against Israel, as similar weapons have been for the last seven years. With more cash for more rockets, these attacks will likely happen again, increasing the odds that Israel again will respond militarily. Only this time, the Israeli wars with Lebanon and Gaza will last longer, and there will be higher casualty numbers.”

“The nuclear agreement with Iran doesn’t make war less likely. It makes war more likely.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Joe Biden Meets with Liz Warren as Clinton Campaign Melts Down

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

As buzzards circled around Hillary Clinton’s dying campaign over the weekend, Vice President Joe Biden met with left-wing darling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (aka Fauxcahontas) in his residence at the Naval Observatory.

CNN reported that Warren and Biden “discussed economic policy during a meeting that lasted about two hours.”

A person familiar with the discussion told CNN that “the presidential campaign or Biden’s future” was not the focus of the discussion.

Uh-huh. He singled out Senator Warren to have a private meeting with him on economics — just out of the blue for no particular reason whatsoever.

Beloved by liberal Democrats, Warren decided to sit out a campaign of her own, but she has yet to formally endorse a candidate. In an interview on Friday, she told WBZ in Boston: “I don’t think anyone has been anointed.”

Well — no one has been anointed YET.

“I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of (Obama making) an endorsement during the Democratic primary,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a press briefing, adding that the President held Biden in very high regard.

Making Biden his running mate in 2008 “was the smartest decision (Obama) ever made in politics,” Earnest said, explaining that “there’s no one in American politics today who better understands” what it takes to run for the nation’s highest office.

Earnest, however, stopped short of indicating whom Obama would actually endorse as his successor: Biden — if he chose to run — or his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, the situation looks dire for Ma-Clinton, as every news cycle exposes more and more of her perfidy.

On Sunday, the embattled Clinton campaign trotted out former Democrat Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher to flack for Hillary on Fox News.  As Shannon Bream grilled Tauscher, the Democrat went from cocky, to nervous, to a near nervous breakdown.

Her arguments are not the story here. You’ve heard them before, and they are not convincing. The story here is the poor woman’s terrified FACE:

YouTube Preview Image

Ann Althouse posted a couple of screenshots of Tauscher’s expressive face during the interview and Legal Insurrection’s Amy Miller created the Clinton/Tauscher side-by-side photo seen below:

clinton-tauscher-side-by-side-620x407

 

Read bullet | 32 Comments »

There Are No ‘Secret Side Deals’ Between IAEA and Iran, Says Admin, Just ‘Confidential’ Deals

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Obama administration stressed today that there’s nothing secret about the pacts between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency — the documents that Congress isn’t allowed to view and the White House isn’t allowed to posses are simply confidential.

The Associated Press last week leaked text of one of the documents it was able to view and transcribe, called “separate arrangement II” and dealing with Iran’s self-inspections at the Parchin military complex. “Iran will provide to the Agency” photos, videos and “environmental samples taken from points inside one building already identified by the Agency and agreed by Iran, and 2 points outside of the Parchin complex which would be agreed between Iran and the Agency.”

“It is Secretary Kerry’s view that this is absolutely not a secret or side deal,” State Department press secretary John Kirby told reporters today, but are instead “confidential arrangements… the contents of which are confidential.”

“The fact that there is an arrangement between the IAEA and Iran is of course not secret or confidential. They do this typically around the world,” Kirby said. “So, it’s Secretary Kerry’s view that it’s neither secret, nor is it a side deal. It is — it is an appropriate arrangement between the IAEA and another nation to verify it.”

Still, Kirby said, he’s “not gonna comment on the veracity of leaked documents.”

At the White House, though, press secretary Josh Earnest seemed to vouch for the veracity.

“And now that we have seen what appears to be, or at least what the Associated Press has assessed to be, a near final document that’s been released, I think it’s hard for people to make the case that this is somehow a secret agreement,” Earnest declared.

The AP stressed that they did not see a “separate arrangement I.”

“It continues to be our view that this agreement is not a side agreement and it’s not a secret one primarily because this administration went to great lengths to brief every member of Congress about the contents of the agreement,” Earnest said. “…What is true is that typically agreements between the IAEA and countries around the world are held confidential. And the IAEA has agreements like this with hundreds of countries of hundreds around the world, in more than 100 countries around the world, including the United States.”

Earnest said he’s “confident” that the IAEA “will get access to all of the information they need and all of the access to the site that they need in order to conclude their report.”

“And there are some Republicans in Congress who have suggested that the IAEA will not get enough access to the site in order to write their report,” he added. “And that’s a pretty bold statement, considering that some of these same Republicans in Congress say that they don’t have enough scientific knowledge to determine whether or not climate change is actually occurring, but yet somehow they claim to have enough knowledge of nuclear physics to assess what kind of access the IAEA needs to Parchin.”

Kirby said “we are confident, remain confident that this deal in all its parameters will provide the IAEA the access it needs to do its job with the verifying.”

Read bullet | 9 Comments »

Hollande Bestows Legion of Honor on Train Heroes

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

franceheroes

French President Francois Hollande bestowed the Legion of Honor on three Americans and a British businessman who beat down a terrorist on a high-speed train.

The three Americans grew up together: Spc. Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman from Oregon who just wrapped up a deployment in Afghanistan; Anthony Sadler, a senior at California State University, Sacramento; and Airman First Class Spencer Stone, who serves at Lajes Air Base in the Azores. The Brit, Chris Norman, is a grandfather of three and IT consultant.

A French citizen and a French-American were also going to receive the Legion of Honor later for their roles in stopping the attack.

The gunman, 25-year-old Moroccan national Ayob El Khazzani, was on the radar of Spanish authorities for his pro-jihad speeches there. He spent time in France and Syria, and was living in Belgium when he got on the train.

Hollande told Skarlatos and Stone, “You behaved as soldiers but also as responsible men.”

“A terrorist decided to commit an act. He had enough weapons and ammunition to carry out a real carnage, and that’s what he would have done if you hadn’t tackled him at a risk to your own lives,” he told all of the heroes.

Sadler said of their actions, “Hiding or sitting back is not going to accomplish anything.”

Separately, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Le Journal du Dimanche that “the tragedy which was prevented underlines the need for determined, meticulous, unrelenting, implacable and internationally-coordinated action – in short, the program of action of the Interior Minister and his services.”

“But it also reminds us of the reality of the global threat and the magnificent virtue of bravery,” Fabius added.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter lauded his servicemen and the others “who stepped forward to prevent an even greater tragedy from taking place aboard that train.”

“Airman Stone and Specialist Alex Skarlatos are two reasons why – on duty and off – ours is the finest fighting force the world has ever known,” Carter said.

 

Read bullet | 15 Comments »

ISIS Destroys Temple at Syria’s Palmyra (Video)

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

baal shamin temple

ISIS assured the world last May that they would not destroy the ancient ruins in Palmyra, but according to activists in the region, the jihadi 7th century throwbacks just couldn’t help themselves.

Whether it happened, yesterday, or a month ago, the two human rights activists making the claim agree that an ancient temple has been destroyed.

Islamic State militants have destroyed a temple at Syria’s ancient ruins of Palmyra, activists said Sunday, realizing the worst fears archaeologists had for the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city after the extremists seized it and beheaded a local scholar.

Palmyra, one of the Middle East’s most spectacular archaeological sites and a UNESCO World Heritage site, sits near the modern Syrian city of the same name. Activists said the militants used explosives to blow up the Baalshamin Temple on its grounds, the blast so powerful it also damaged some of the Roman columns around it.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday night that the temple was blown up a month ago. Turkey-based activist Osama al-Khatib, who is originally from Palmyra, said the temple was blown up Sunday. Both said the extremists used a large amount of explosives to destroy it.

Both activists relied on information for those still in Palmyra and the discrepancy in their accounts could not be immediately reconciled, though such contradictory information is common in Syria’s long civil war.

News of the temple’s destruction follows the grisly beheading of Khaled al-Asaad, an 81-year-old antiquities scholar, last week, at the hands of the Islamic State.  Asaad had devoted his life to studying Palmyra, and had named his daughter after Zenobia,  a Palmyran queen from 1,700 years ago. His bloodied, headless body was reportedly hung on a pole.

YouTube Preview Image

Last spring, the Islamic State raised hopes that most —  if not all — of the magnificent ruins of Palmyra would be spared when they vowed to destroy only statues deemed polytheistic.

An 87-second video released by one of the militant group’s media arms on Wednesday shows parts of the ancient city’s ruins and colonnades – the Temple of Bel and the Roman theatre – apparently undamaged and empty.

“They haven’t been damaged and members of the organisation told residents that they will not damage the city’s antiquities, but will destroy the idols,” an activist with the anti-regime Local Coordination Committee for Tadmur, the modern name for Palmyra, said. “Perhaps it’s because the Palmyra antiquities are mostly columns and large buildings and not statues of people, which they consider idols that must be destroyed, and they have no problem with the other antiquities.”

It should be no surprise, however,  that savages who slaughter innocents for sport also have no problem destroying ancient ruins. It’s something they’ve been doing all along.

The head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said Friday that Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq are engaged in the “most brutal, systematic” destruction of ancient sites since World War II — a stark warning that came hours after militants demolished the St. Elian Monastery, which housed a fifth-century tomb and served as a major pilgrimage site. The monastery was in the town of Qaryatain in central Syria.

 

Read bullet | Comments »

Poll: Most Blacks Prefer ‘All Lives Matter’ to ‘Black Lives Matter’

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Democrats who allow themselves to be cowed by the “Black Lives Matter” movement do so at their own peril according to a Rasmussen poll released last Thursday. The group’s motto is not nearly as popular as they pretend it is.

Two out of three blacks prefer the term “all lives matter” to “black lives matter,” according to the poll.

Only 31 percent of black people surveyed said that the statement “black lives matter” most closely comports to their own beliefs, compared to 64 percent who chose “all lives matter.”

Overall, respondents overwhelmingly chose “all lives matter” over “black lives matter” — 78 percent to just 11 percent. Nine percent are lives-matter neutral, responding that neither statement reflects their point of view.

Despite their best efforts and with much of the media biased in their favor, the “Black Lives Matter” narrative has been utterly rejected by most Americans.  Eighty-one percent of white and 76 percent of minority respondents prefer “all lives matter.”

According to Newsbusters, the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have not done stories on this revealing poll.

 A Google News search on “Rasmussen black lives matter” (not in quotes, sorted by date) indicates that no one else in the establishment press is treating Rasmussen’s result as news.

 

Read bullet | 5 Comments »

State Dept.: It Could Have Made U.S. Hostages’ Situation ‘Worse’ if We Linked Them to Iran Deal

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The State Department’s spokesman told CNN this morning that one reason U.S. hostages weren’t included in the Iran nuclear deal is because it could have made their situation “worse.”

Retired FBI agent Bob Levinson went missing nearly eight years ago, likely taken by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. U.S. Marine veteran Amir Hekmati marks his fourth year behind bars this week. Idaho pastor Saeed Abedini marks his third year in Iranian custody next month. Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was seized more than a year ago and is awaiting a verdict from a closed-door espionage trial.

All have suffered mistreatment while in custody, including torture and new or worsening medical conditions.

Many lawmakers have argued that Iran needed to release the hostages before Washington even sat down at the negotiating table with Iran.

“We wanted to separate the condition of the Americans that are being detained with Iran,” State Department press secretary John Kirby told CNN this morning.

“They need to be home because they need to be home with their families,” Kirby added. “And linking them to the deal might have only made the situation worse for them. So we never missed an opportunity to talk to Iranian leaders about that.”

Hekmati has said he did not want to be included as a swap for concessions, fearing additional hostage-taking by Iran in response, but has criticized administration concessions as Tehran holds — and takes new — Americans.

In a recent letter to Congress, he wrote, “And in the midst of negotiation with Iran over its nuclear program, as Secretary Kerry sits politely with the Iranians, shaking hands and offering large economic concessions to save them from economic meltdown, Jason Rezaian was added to the growing list of American captives, undoubtedly in hopes of milking more concessions from the U.S. government.”

“While I am thankful that the State Department and the Obama administration has called for my release and that of my fellow Americans, there has been no serious response to this blatant and ongoing mistreatment of Americans by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and they continue on with impunity,” Hekmati continued in the letter dictated over the phone to his family from prison.

“As a war veteran who defended our nation in its time of need, I ask that you also work to defend my dignity and that of my fellow Americans by putting in place serious consequences for this serial hostage-taking and mistreatment of Americans by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence for clearly illegal purposes. This has been going on far too long.”

Read bullet | 20 Comments »

VIDEO: Veterans Note Iran Behind U.S. Deaths, But We’ll Totally Catch Nuke Deal Violations!

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
YouTube Preview Image

A think-tank and lobbying organization with Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on the board of directors is running an ad in support of the Iran deal featuring veterans who say their colleagues suffered at the hands of Tehran’s involvement with Iraq insurgents.

The Truman National Security Project is running the spots as a 501(c)(4) called Veterans Against the Deal continues its ad campaign.

In the Truman video, Butch Bracknell — a Marine veteran, attorney and member of the Defense Council at the Truman project,  says, “They’ve trained and supplied insurgents who’ve killed my brothers and sisters in Iraq.”

Yet, Bracknell and two others veterans in the ad — Terron Sims, a Democratic Party activist and co-director for Virginia Veterans for Obama, and Ashkan Bayatpour, a former partner at the Truman Project, argue, if Iran cheats on the nuclear deal, “We will catch them.”

The Truman Project quickly came out in support of the deal more than a month ago, arguing “this historic agreement demonstrates the power of strong, forceful diplomacy and, if it is implemented and enforced properly, will make America and our allies safer and stronger.”

“The agreement closes off all of Iran’s potential avenues to a nuclear weapon, gives us access to their entire nuclear supply chain, and imposes the strictest monitoring and verification regime ever negotiated in the history of non-proliferation. If Iran cheats, we will know in time to take decisive action – and all options will be on the table,” said the statement from Executive Director Michael Breen on July 14.

“Many of us witnessed firsthand the damage done by an unnecessary war fought in the Middle East in the name of nuclear non-proliferation. This time, through tough American-led diplomacy, we have closed off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon without risking American lives.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama Heading to Vegas to Talk Climate Change as Stock Market Plummets on #BlackMonday

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 1,000 points at the opening bell on Wall Street, extending “the losses of last week, already the worst for the stock market in four years.”  A small bounce has the market down 600 as of this writing.

The Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, has investors nervous after the Chinese currency was devalued a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, President Obama is heading to Vegas after his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

Here’s a photo of the first family returning. They don’t look happy.

Barack Obama and family return to the White House, Washington DC, America - 23 Aug 2015

This morning the president will meet with probable presidential candidate and handsy Veep Joe Biden and then this afternoon will fly out to Vegas to address pressing issues facing America like climate change.

“In the afternoon, Obama departs for Las Vegas and a speech to the National Clean Energy Summit. The president is expected to outline his climate change policy, a major theme for the administration in the months ahead.”

Also hanging out at the Clean Energy Summit is Senate Minority Leader and Nevada Senator Harry Reid. “It will be very educational for everyone,” Reid said in a phone interview. “Theses are issues that are important to the nation.” Just don’t look at your 401K.

And of course, no presidential trip would be complete without a fundraiser. Obama will attend a fundraiser for the Nevada State Democratic Party during his brief visit to the Silver State.

 

Read bullet | 13 Comments »

Congressmen Push for Food Freedom, Drink Unregulated Raw Milk

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

Congressmen Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Jared Polis (D-CO) have joined forces to remove some federal restrictions on America’s over-regulated food industry.

On Friday, the two food freedom fighters sat down to a meal of raw milk and meat at Jezebel’s restaurant in Denver, Colorado.  The duo are pushing legislation that will loosen the vice of government regulation on small farms and small farming businesses that sell items like raw milk, beef, kombucha and hemp.

“These are decisions — what do you put in your own body? What’s a more intimate decision than that? It really should be entirely up to people,” Rep. Polis said. “It should be up to the person. You shouldn’t have the federal government telling you what you can and can’t eat.”

Polis and Massie are promoting their PRIME Act bill which, according to USA Today “would allow states to let non-USDA beef slaughter houses sell beef within state lines directly to consumers, restaurants, hotels and grocery stores, without the beef ever being inspected by the USDA.”

Here’s a fun fact about USDA inspections: Did you know that facilities have to PAY to be inspected and provide the government inspector his own bathroom and office for the duration of the inspection? True story.  If you are a small farming business, imagine the burden.

Refreshing words coming from a Democrat:  “We think people should be able to go to a farmer’s market, and if a farmer there raised cattle and wants to sell it, they should be able to,” he said. “In a way, it’s restricting capitalism, restricting free enterprise, to say totally legal. You can give it to people, you can share it with people, but the minute there’s money involved, it’s a federal crime.

The other issue the food-freedom duo is promoting is the Milk Interstate Freedom Act, which would allow raw milk to be sold nationwide. Right now, you cannot bring raw milk across state lines. Some states do allow citizens to purchase raw milk within state boundaries, but the creamy goodness becomes contraband if you hop in your car and take a ride to a neighboring state. The government takes their raw milk laws very seriously.

“There was a rash of problems with milk, back before there was refrigeration. I mean, think about this: raw milk used to be delivered on a truck to your house. And that’s because people didn’t have refrigerators,” Rep. Massie said. “I mean, we have lots of technology that can allow us to consume, safely, the foods we’ve consumed for thousands of years.”

The CDC says that raw milk can contain dangerous bacteria like e. coli, listeria and salmonella.

However, we regularly hear about food getting recalled that passes government-approved inspection. Blue Bell Creamery had a very high-profile recall of their ice cream because it was contaminated with listeria.  Annie’s Kitchen had some products recalled on account of contaminated spinach. And there are many others.

I wish these two gentlemen freedom fighters all the luck in the world. It’s high time we extract the government from involvement in our food choices.

Read bullet | 13 Comments »

Black Lives Matter Announces Illegal Protest of Minnesota State Fair

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

Black Lives Matter takes pride in shutting things down. Last year, as the nation debated events in Ferguson, Missouri, the Twin Cities branch of the racial-agitation group illegally obstructed traffic on Interstate 35W. Instead of arresting the offenders, law enforcement officials provided them with an impromptu escort.

Later in the year, the group staged an unauthorized protest at the Mall of America with the express purpose of disrupting the busiest shopping day of the Christmas season. Arrests were sparse. The city of Bloomington, where the mall operates, eventually pursued charges against the protest’s organizers. However, the city attorney endured heavy criticism for upholding the law and protecting the rights of consumers and business owners.

Previous indulgence has invited fresh trespass. Black Lives Matter has most recently announced their intention to disrupt the Minnesota State Fair. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

The St. Paul-based group is planning a rally and march to protest St. Paul police shootings and alleged racial disparities at the fair. As of Friday evening, 285 people had accepted the group’s Facebook invitation to meet at Hamline Park at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug., 29, for a march down busy Snelling Avenue toward the fairgrounds, disrupting traffic along the way.

“The Minnesota State Fair profits millions of dollars every year, and every year continues to deny black and other minority business owners the opportunity of being a vendor at the fair,” the group said in a released statement Thursday.

Protest organizer and St. Paul resident Rashad Turner said Friday the goal of the disruption is to bring attention to the issues that continue to plague black communities, both in St. Paul and beyond.

It’s unclear how minority business owners have been “denied” opportunities at the fair. The complaint seems less an accusation of true discrimination and more an expectation of affirmative action. Also unclear is how keeping families from enjoying their time at the fair, standing between a kid and his corn dog, will engender sympathy or the kind of “awareness” Black Lives Matter seeks.

What is clear is the militant language employed by a protest organizer. In the above news clip, Rashad Turner expresses premeditated aggressive intent. “We’re gonna disrupt [the fair]. There’s nothing they’re gonna be able to do about it…. If we’re met with any resistance or threatened with any resistance, we’ll meet them with that same resistance.”

That’s what we used to call a threat, back when we had the intestinal fortitude to stand up to bullies regardless of their color.

Turner’s threat persists despite an offer from the fair’s general manager to consider an application for a Black Lives Matter booth. “I mean, if that’s in addition to shutting down the fair, no problem. We’ll be there.” How magnanimous of them.

 

Read bullet | 18 Comments »

Jewish Reggae Artist Defiant at Festival with Pro-Palestinian Crowd

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The Jewish rapper/reggae artist known as Matisyahu demonstrated an unusual degree of courage yesterday when he performed at a Spanish music festival in front of a sea of Palestinian flags and hecklers from the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Previously, Matisyahu had been disinvited to the festival because he refused to take part in a pro-Palestinian video and did not respond to questions about whether he believed in a Palestinian state. But the Spanish foreign minister along with the American and Israeli embassies lobbied the festival organizers and the artist was reinvited.

What happened when he mounted the stage should be made into a Hollywood movie:

Far from boycotting the reggae artist’s gig, the “hate Israel” crowd showed up en masse. And they came bearing flags, immense Palestinian flags, which they waved with gusto from every corner of the 20,000-strong crowd.

As Matisyahu took the mike and looked out to the audience, he was presented with an unmistakably hostile message. It was clear that those who sought to have him banished stood before him in protest. Then the catcalls started, with some chanting, “out, out.” It might easily have been unnerving, disorienting.

But then he began to sing about Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem, if I forget you, fire not gonna come from me tongue. Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.”

And then, as he bounced and twirled around the stage, the most defiant lyrics of all: “3, 000 years with no place to be, and they want me to give up my milk and honey.”

“Tonight was difficult but special,” he later posted on Facebook, along with a clip of the performance.

What courage. Not to be intimidated when the concert organizers demanded he pacify the BDSers, and then to return to the festival’s schedule in defiance of the opposition, and chant Jerusalem on stage with such gusto.

What courage.

Reggae is not my cup of tea but to sing this song with hecklers screaming at him and the flag of the enemy waving in his face is a special moment.

The video is of a live performance so I included the lyrics below:

Jerusalem, if I forget you,
fire not gonna come from me tongue.
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.

In the ancient days, we will return with no delay
Picking up the bounty and the spoils on our way
We’ve been traveling from state to state
And them don’t understand what they say
3,000 years with no place to be
And they want me to give up my milk and honey
Don’t you see, it’s not about the land or the sea
Not the country but the dwelling of his majesty

[chorus]

Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don’t you know that’s not the way to be

[chorus]

Caught up in these ways, and the worlds gone craze
Don’t you know it’s just a phase
Case of the Simon says
If I forget the truth then my words won’t penetrate
Babylon burning in the place, can’t see through the haze
Chop down all of them dirty ways,
That’s the price that you pay for selling lies to the youth
No way, not ok, oh no way, not ok, hey
Aint no one gonna break my stride
Aint no one gonna pull me down
Oh no, I got to keep on moving
Stay alive

[chorus]

Not all fighters for Israel wear the uniform of the IDF.

Read bullet | 25 Comments »

Terrorist Is ‘Dumbfounded’ That He’s Taken for a Terrorist

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The terrorist who was thwarted in carrying out an attack on a French train by three Americans told his lawyer that authorities have it all wrong. He’s not a terrorist at all, but was only hungry and wanted to rob passengers.

That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

Reuters:

A gunman who attacked passengers on a high-speed train in France two days ago is “dumbfounded” at having been taken for an Islamist militant and says he only intended to rob people on board because he was hungry, his lawyer said on Sunday.

As details emerged of the gunman’s early adult life in Spain, lawyer Sophie David said her client — now in detention near Paris — also looked ill and malnourished.

French and Spanish sources close to the case have identified him as a 26-year-old Moroccan named Ayoub el Khazzani who was known to European authorities as a suspected Islamist militant.

“(I saw) somebody who was very sick, somebody very weakened physically, as if he suffered from malnutrition, very, very thin and very haggard,” David told BFMTV.

“He is dumbfounded by the terrorist motives attributed to his action,” she added.

David said the man was barefoot and wore only a hospital shirt and boxer shorts for the police interrogation in Arras, northern France, where the train stopped after the incident.

The Moroccan told David he had found the Kalashnikov he had taken onto the train in a park near the Gare du Midi rail station in Brussels where he was in the habit of sleeping.

“A few days later he decided to get on a train that some other homeless people told him would be full of wealthy people traveling from Amsterdam to Paris and he hoped to feed himself by armed robbery,” David said.

The lawyer said the Moroccan had untreated wounds on his face when he spoke to her through an interpreter. He also told David he did not think he had fired any shots before his gun jammed.

Ah! A thousand pardons, Mr. Khazzani. Every thief walks around with an automatic weapon, 200 rounds of ammo, a pistol, and box cutters. Please accept our humble apologies for even thinking you were a terrorist.

Ms. David should be given credit for using a defense that’s never been tried before: the hungry jihadist who only wanted some rich people to spot him a meal. I must say, that kind of thinking takes some moxie for David to think she can pull off.

Khazzani apparently went to Syria last year — I’m sure it was to visit the Roman baths in Bosra.

Not to be outdone by David in absolving Khazzani of being a terrorist, the president of the Muslim community in the Spanish town where the terrorist had lived said, “He was an ordinary young man, he played football, went fishing, he worked to make a living.”

Just the jihadist next door.

This guy’s trial may bear watching if the lawyer and character witnesses are going to be this entertaining.

WATCH: Heroes of the French Train Terror Attack Tell Their Stories

Read bullet | 61 Comments »

Detroit Residents Answer Police Chief’s Call to Arm Themselves

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

In 2013, as Detroit sank into bankruptcy, Chief of Police James Craig made the controversial suggestion that, given shrinking police resources and a spike in violent crime, residents should take a hand in their own personal security by purchasing a firearm.

Since then, there has been a substantial increase in gun ownership in the city and there is some indication that this has led to a decrease in some categories of crime.

Fox News:

“When you look at the city of Detroit, we’re kind of leading the way in terms of urban areas with law-abiding citizens carrying guns,” Craig said recently.

The chief’s call to arms, which first came in December, 2013, has been answered by thousands of men and women tired of being victims and eager to reclaim their beleaguered city. In 2014, some new 1,169 handgun permits were issued, while 8,102 guns were registered with Detroit’s police department – many to prior permit holders who bought new firearms. So for in 2015, nearly 500 permits have issued by the department and more than 5,000 guns have been registered.

“There’s definitely been a “Chief Craig” effect,” Rick Ector, a firearms instructor who runs the blog Legally Armed in Detroit. “His support and endorsement has been helpful.”

Obtaining a concealed-carry permit in the state of Michigan is not difficult compared to states with stricter gun laws. Eligible citizens can meet the state’s training requirement in eight hours, and firearms academies and gun shops within the city offer one-day courses for as little as $99.

Ector said that he and other instructors have seen a steady rise in locals looking to get a permit, to protect themselves either on the street or in their homes. While data showing a relation between increased gun ownership and the crime rate is not available, Ector said legally armed residents are having an effect.

Home invasions have gone down,” he said. “A huge reason was that there was a huge spate of homeowners using their guns against intruders. More people have guns and it’s making burglars cautious.”

The firearms instructor said women are driving growth in his business.

“It used to be that we would only have one or two women in a class,” he said. “Now we are seeing much, much more. This past May, I held a class where we trained 300 ladies.”

Detroit is more than 80% black and there has been a remarkable change in the attitude of black people toward gun ownership:

With a population of about 680,000, some 83 percent of which is African-American, Detroit’s growing embrace of Second Amendment rights has a racial component that is not unique to the city. According to a recent survey from Pew Research Center, 54 percent of African-American residents nationwide now see legal gun ownership as more likely to protect people than to put their safety at risk. That figure was up from 29 percent two years ago.

“If anyone should have the right or need to carry a gun, it should be the African-American community,” Philip Smith, founder of the National African American Gun Association, told Reuters.

What’s changed in 2 years? There has been a spike in crime in big cities the last few years and blacks, like any Americans, see their personal safety in terms of what they can do for themselves. Relying on the police to come save you when someone is trying to break into your home is suicidal. Better to have protection at hand to deal with an intruder yourself.

Is this a trend? Zealous, anti-gun prosecutors will prosecute citizens who use their personal firearm for protection, but that doesn’t seem to deter people from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Restrictive gun laws aside, citizens will almost always choose being safe over getting in trouble with the law.

In Detroit, that appears to be a motto to live by.

Read bullet | Comments »

Judge Orders Swift Release of Illegal Alien Minors

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

A federal judge in California has confirmed a decision made last month that illegal alien children currently held in detention must be released.

The ruling is based on a 1997 settlement where the minors could not be held more than 72 hours unless they posed a flight risk or danger to the community.

Fox News:

Gee gave federal agencies until next Oct. 23 to comply with her order, though the government is expected to appeal the decision, according to the daily Los Angeles Times.

The judge’s ruling comes after an appeal filed weeks ago by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, which defended the policy of holding the families of undocumented immigrants in detention centers.

That appeal was in turn a response to a court order last July ordering the release of children in the detention centers of Karnes City and Dilley, both in the state of Texas, and which together have the capacity to hold 2,932 people.

The judge considered that the government had broken the extrajudicial Flores agreement of 1997, stipulating that children should live in the “least restrictive” conditions possible.

The government argued in its appeal that if such a judicial decision were executed, it would eliminate the government’s ability to deport families under any circumstances, which could cause another surge of parents crossing the border with their children. EFE

The difference in the numbers of illegal alien minors in 1997 and today is staggering. There are tens of thousands of children crossing into the country illegally compared to just a few hundred in 1997.

The government would prefer to release the kids to a relative in the US — probably here illegally also — but it is a time consuming process and the numbers of minors flooding over the border are increasing.

Ideally, immigration judges should be hearing these cases almost immediately and deportation should follow shortly thereafter. But the docket for all immigration judges is jammed up for years, making it more likely these kids will see the inside of Donald Trump’s mansion than their home country again.

I don’t know how much more incentive Central American parents need to send their kids here. We’ve already rolled out the red carpet and are placing tens of thousands of them in communities all across the country. We’re even flying them here so they don’t have to run the gauntlet of coyotes and human traffickers in Mexico.

Until an administration takes office that is serious about border security, the problem is only going to get worse.

Read bullet | Comments »

WATCH: Heroes of the French Train Terror Attack Tell Their Stories

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Debra Heine

parisshooting

From Left to right: Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Chris Norman show off their medals.

During a press conference Saturday, three of the heroes who thwarted yesterday’s terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train recounted the chaotic moments when they confronted the armed gunman.

According to Chris Norman, a 62-year-old British businessman who jumped into the fray, most of the credit goes to the three Americans who tackled the Moroccan gunman.

Fighting a terrorist was probably the last thing student Anthony Sadler; Air Force serviceman Spencer Stone; and Alek Skarlatos, a National Guard reservist had on their minds as they traveled through Europe.

 Norman described the terrifying moment he realized an armed gunman was on board the train.

Mr Norman told reporters in France: “I saw a guy carrying an AK-47, or at least I assumed it was some kind of machine gun, anyway.

“I ducked down in my seat, Alek looked at what was happening, Spencer looked at what was happening, and Alek said to Spencer, ‘Go get him’.

“Spencer jumped up and tackled him and actually started getting the terrorist under control.

The Brit told reporters that his “first reaction was to sit down and hide.”

Then I heard an American say ‘go get him’. I decided it was really the only chance was to act as a team and try to take down the assailant.

“My thought was I’m probably going to die anyway so let’s go. I’d rather die active trying to get him down than simply sit in the corner and be shot.”

The gunman, who  has been identified as Ayoub el-Qahzzani, was hog-tied on to the floor and  pummelled by brave US servicemen  Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos.

Anthony Sadler, an American who was traveling with the two servicemen, said, ”I’m just a college student. This is my last year in college. I came to see my friends on my first trip in Europe and we stopped a terrorist. It’s kind of crazy.”

Speaking of the dramatic moment, Alek Skarlatos said: “We didn’t know if the gun wasn’t working or anything like that. Spencer just ran anyway and if anyone had gotten shot, it would have been Spencer and we’re just very lucky that nobody got killed.

“He didn’t say anything. He was just telling us to give back his gun. ‘Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!’ But we just carried on beating him up and immobilised him and that was it.”

Spencer Stone, the Air Force man, got badly slashed by the terrorist’s knife or boxcutter, and his thumb was nearly cut off.

Despite the thumb injury, Stone managed to administer emergency aid to a passenger who had been slashed in the throat and was bleeding profusely.

Sadler said Stone’s actions likely saved the passenger’s life.

YouTube Preview Image

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama’s Legacy: An Old, Weak Democratic Party

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Jeff Greenfield has a thoughtful piece in Politico dealing with President Obama’s political legacy, and how the party he leads has gone precipitously downhill since he took office.

When you move from policy to politics, the task is a lot simpler—just measure the clout of the president’s party when he took office and when he left it. By that measure, Obama’s six years have been terrible.

Under Obama, the party started strong. “When Obama was elected in 2008, Democrats were at a high water mark,” says David Axelrod, who served as one of Obama’s top strategists. “Driven by antipathy to George W. Bush and then the Obama wave, Democrats had enjoyed two banner elections in ’06 and ’08. We won dozens of improbable congressional elections in states and districts that normally would tack Republican, and that effect trickled down to other offices. You add to that the fact that we would take office in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, and it was apparent, from Day One, that we had nowhere to go but down.”

The first signs of the slowly unfolding debacle that has meant the decimation of the Democratic Party nationally began early—with the special election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s empty Senate seat in Massachusetts. That early loss, even though the seat was won back eventually by Elizabeth Warren, presaged the 2010 midterms, which saw the loss of 63 House and six Senate seats. It was disaster that came as no surprise to the White House, but also proved a signal of what was to come.

The party’s record over the past six years has made clear that when Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017 the Democratic Party will have ceded vast sections of the country to Republicans, and will be left with a weak bench of high-level elected officials. It is, in fact, so bleak a record that even if the Democrats hold the White House and retake the Senate in 2016, the party’s wounds will remain deep and enduring, threatening the enactment of anything like a “progressive” agenda across much of the nation and eliminating nearly a decade’s worth of rising stars who might help strengthen the party in elections ahead.

While the Senate is definitely in play in 2016, the GOP has a virtual lock on the House at least until 2020 and perhaps beyond. The last round of redistricting was mostly favorable to Republicans and has given them an enormous advantage in state legislatures across the country. Republicans now control 70% of upper and lower chambers nationwide and 31 governorships.  Fully 24 states have a GOP governor, and Republican upper and lower houses.

One of the consequences of so few Democrats in state government is that the pool of promising candidates for federal office is vastly reduced. Hence, the Democratic Party has now become a party of candidates all eligible for Social Security:

Eight years later, when he leaves office in 2017 at 55, he’ll actually be one of the party’s only leaders not eligible for Social Security. Even as the party has recently captured more young voters at the ballot box in presidential elections, its leaders are increasingly of an entirely different generation; most of the party’s leaders will fade from the national scene in the years ahead. Its two leading presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are 67 and 73. The sitting vice president, Joe Biden, is 72. The Democratic House leader, Nancy Pelosi, is 75; House Whip Steny Hoyer is 76 and caucus Chair James Clyburn is 75, as is Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, who will retire next year. It’s a party that will be turning to a new generation of leaders in the coming years—and yet, there are precious few looking around the nation’s state houses, U.S. House or Senate seats.

In truth, President Obama did not pay particular attention to building the Democratic Party during his time in office. His own re-election took precedence in his first term, and legacy building has occupied his attention in his second. Then there is the fact that his approval in many congressional districts that aren’t deep, deep blue meant that he would have done more harm than good in appearing beside a candidate.

The Republicans are in much better shape generationally,but the civil war wracking the party now threatens to rend the GOP asunder. And it appears that no matter who is the nominee for president, a whole lot of people are going to be bitterly disappointed.

When Obama leaves office, it is possible that Republicans will be in no better shape than Democrats.

No More Politicians: The Presidency Is Trump’s to Lose

Read bullet | 77 Comments »

‘Please Tell Brussels We are Coming, No Matter What’

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

That quote is from a Syrian illegal alien squatting in a no man’s land near the Macedonian-Greece border. Today, thousands of illegals looking to make their way to western European countries, broke through a police barrier and began to stream northward — a human tide not to be denied that a growing number of countries are at a loss to figure out how to deal with.

Thousands of migrants stormed across Macedonia’s border on Saturday, overwhelming security forces who threw stun grenades and lashed out with batons in an increasingly futile bid to stem their flow through the Balkans to western Europe.

Some had spent days in the open with little or no access to food or water after Macedonia on Thursday declared a state of emergency and sealed its borders to migrants, many of them refugees from war in Syria and other conflicts in the Middle East.

Hundreds remained in a rain-soaked no-man’s land and authorities said they would continue to enforce a regime of rationed access despite the even greater pace of arrivals from the other side in Greece.

Migrants had been pouring across the border into Macedonia at a rate of some 2,000 per day, en route to Serbia then Hungary and Europe’s Schengen zone. Some 50,000 hit Greek shores in July alone by boat from Turkey.

“In this Europe, animals are sleeping in beds and we sleep in the rain,” said 23-year-old Syrian woman Fatima Hamido on entering Macedonia. “I was freezing for four days in the rain, with nothing to eat.”

Thirty-two-year-old Saeed from Syria said of the blocked border: “We know this was not Macedonia and the Macedonian police. This was the European Union. Please tell Brussels we are coming, no matter what.”

Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, Hungary — the numbers of illegal aliens are staggering. More than 50,000 illegals came through Greece just last month. Hungary is building a wall to keep them out while the EU bickers about how many illegals each country will take.

This latest wave of illegals comes mostly from the Middle East. There is also an exodus from Africa as tens of thousands of people from Libya and other countries make the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean looking to reach Italy. The EU began a fierce crackdown on human smugglers two months ago which seems to have reduced the flow somewhat, but the crisis refuses to go away.

About 107,500 migrants crossed the EU’s borders last month, with even more expected in August. The conditions that have led to this mass migration of people are, if anything, getting worse. War in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, the Congo, Nigeria — most of the poorest places on earth are emptying out, apparently believing that the European’s inexhaustible goodwill can feed, clothe, house, and employ all of them. The backlash by EU taxpayers has already begun as nativist parties in France and Hungary are making headway.

When will the limit of EU beneficence be reached? Probably when ordinary citizens put their foot down and say, “no more.”

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’Terrorism

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

Quick action by unarmed off-duty U.S. servicemen on a high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris narrowly averted tragedy yesterday as they subdued a terrorist gunman before he could begin his rampage. And according to multiple reports, the suspect in custody was known to multiple European intelligence agencies — yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” terrorism.

Since last year, I’ve noted here at PJ Media that virtually all of the terrorist incidents in the West have been conducted by subjects who were already known to law enforcement and national security agencies, refuting the “lone wolf” narrative floated by authorities and the establishment media that such terrorist activity is random and unpredictable.

And such appears to be the case yet again in the case of what happened on the Thalys train.

CNN reports:

The suspected gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the European counterterrorism official said.

A second security source told CNN the gunman was known by French intelligence. The official said it appeared the gunman was sympathetic to ISIS, but a full determination on his specific loyalties had yet to be reached.

Another report from The Telegraph indicates that the gunman was known to multiple European intelligence agencies:

The gunman who tried to bring carnage to a high-speed train is believed to have been an Islamist extremist who traveled to Syria last year.

The 26-year-old of Moroccan origin, named in the Spanish press as Ayoub El Qahzzani, is understood to have been on the watch lists of three European intelligence services.

The gunman was taken into custody at Arras station and the French authorities have not released his name. But if he was Qahzzani, he appears to have left Morocco in 2013 and moved to Spain, where he lived for about a year.

And Reuters indicates that Qahzzani was no “lone wolf”:

According to Le Voix du Nord, citing security sources, the suspected Islamist militant was seen on a plane to Turkey from Germany in May, and was thought to have visited Syria.

The French newspaper said he may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January.

One terrorism expert makes an important point:

An editor at the Jerusalem Post also asks another relevant question:

The case of yet another returned foreign fighter from Syria engaged in terrorism seems to refute the attempts by many counterterrorism researchers to say the threat is “exaggerated” and that terror returnees should be treated with a “hands-off” reintegration approach, most recently advocated by Charles Lister at Brookings Institution.

The “Known Wolf” terrorism phenomenon is something I have documented here at PJ Media going back to last year:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015:Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015:France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015:Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

This was also the subject of a Capitol Hill briefing I gave back in late January sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET):

YouTube Preview Image

So why is it that despite these repeated instances of “known wolf” terrorism, authorities have yet to even acknowledge the problem, let alone try to solve it?

Read bullet | 18 Comments »

Bobby Jindal: Planned Parenthood Protesters ‘Too Scared to Watch’ Videos He Had Played on His Front Lawn (Video)

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Debra Heine

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood held a lightly attended protest outside the Louisiana governor’s mansion because of Governor Jindal’s decision to cancel Louisiana’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.

Governor Jindal had a screen set up on his front lawn and had the disturbing Planned Parenthood videos played on a loop for the duration of the protest so the demonstrators could see why he made the decision he did.

As the governor noted in his statement prior to the protest, “many Planned Parenthood supporters, including President Obama and members of the White House, said they have not or will not view the horrific Planned Parenthood videos.”

Apparently, the Planned Parenthood supporters outside the governor’s mansion Thursday also refused to watch the horrific videos.

According to Jindal, they moved their protest further away from the governor’s mansion in order to avoid them.

“We can understand why they wouldn’t want to watch,” concluded the governor.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Read bullet | 13 Comments »

Parent’s Nightmare: Huggies Wipes Said to Contain ‘Glass Shards’

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The children’s care company Huggies is responding to some complaints by parents that their popular baby wipes contain shards of glass or fiberglass.

Within hours of the first complaints appearing on its Facebook page, the company issued a statement:

Hello Huggies Parents,

As some of you may have heard, a concern about our wipes was raised recently on Facebook. We take any concerns about our products very seriously and we are working directly with this parent to learn more about what happened and how we can help. Nothing is more important than the safety of the little ones who use our products.

Families put their trust in Huggies wipes every day, and all of our Huggies products have been thoroughly evaluated to ensure they are safe. In addition, we have stringent quality controls in place, and no glass is used during the manufacture of our wipes. As parents ourselves, we know you may have additional questions or concerns. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at http://bit.ly/8ZuAUH or by phone at 1-888-485-6839.

A mother in Guam was the first to report the problem and made a video that looks pretty convincing:

A mother in Denver also reported glass in her Huggies wipes.

Several other parents also reported the problem so it doesn’t seem to be an isolated incident:

The post was met with more complaints by parents questioning why their babies have rashes since using the wipes.

“We need to check Paisley’s wipes!!” one mother wrote. “That explains the little cuts we’ve been getting and the red rash she has in her diaper area!”

“I found them in my sons wipes as well!” wrote another. “I went to use one to take my makeup off and could feel it scratching my face. Threw the whole pack away.”

“No wonder why my son always crying and avoiding to change the diapers and the rash ….no more Huggies,” wrote another.

Without proof, it’s hard to discover if any of these parents’ claims are true. That last comment is especially dubious, given that babies cry for many reasons and just because the infant has diaper rash doesn’t mean he got it from Huggies wipes.

But there is enough smoke to guarantee a fire unless Huggies can be more convincing. Product tampering is a possibility, as is employee sabotage. There’s even a possibility of parents seeding the wipes with glass shards in order to get a big payday from Huggies.

As a lesson in crisis management, Huggies has so far acted responsibly. But this is the sort of thing that can snowball very quickly unless Huggies can convince parents of the safety of their products.

Read bullet | 10 Comments »

Unarmed U.S. Marines Foil Terrorist Attack on French Bullet Train

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Three unarmed U.S. Marines foiled a potentially serious terrorist attack on a bullet train between Amsterdam and Paris when they tackled a Moroccan gunmen armed with an AK-47 and at least 200 rounds of ammunition.

At least one of the Marines was shot and is in critical condition. Two others were also shot, including a Briton and a Frenchman.

Daily Mail:

The 26-year-old Moroccan national, who was known to security services, came out of the toilet brandishing the gun and opened fire. Fortunately, two US Marines were nearby and overpowered him before he could massacre passengers.

The suspected terrorist had at least nine full magazines of ammunition holding almost 200 rounds. He was also carrying a knife.

Unfortunately, one of the Marines was shot and is believed to be in a critical condition.  

Speaking in Arras, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve praised the Marines for their timely intervention.

He said: ‘Thanks to them we have averted a drama.

‘(The Americans were) particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances.’

The man was arrested by police near the town of Arras in northern France. 

Train company Thalys confirmed the incident happened. A spokesman said: ‘The situation is under control, the travellers are safe. The train stopped and the emergency services are on site.’

No one at the SNCF French railways was immediately available to comment on the report.

A report on Twitter said that three US Marines detained the gunman until emergency services arrived.

The incident happened at approximately 6pm local time. 

French newspaper Le Monde is reporting that one Briton may be among the injured.  

The motives behind the attack were not immediately known, although a spokesman for the interior minister said: ‘It is too early to speak of a terrorist link’.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has been active in Morocco in recent years, so you have to think authorities will be looking closely for any links to that terrorist group.

But this could have gotten extremely bloody without the intervention of the Marines. A moving train is a perfect place for a mass-casualty terrorist attack. Passengers are trapped in a narrow corridor with no place to hide. They can’t get off either. One could easily imagine dozens of dead and wounded passengers before the gunman would have run out of targets.

Kudos to our Marines who performed courageously under fire.

Update:

Well, they weren’t Marines — an airman and a national guardsman from Oregon — but their actions were certainly heroic enough.  This Wall Street Journal story has the details of their efforts to disarm the terrorist before he could get started.

Read bullet | 64 Comments »

CNN Working Hard to Replace the New York Times as the Official Media Wing of the Democratic Party

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

CNN wants to be clear that it doesn’t like any immigration policy that doesn’t conform to the Democrats’ vision of what immigration policy should be.

In the past twenty-four hours, they’ve made sure to hit both men leading the GOP polls.

First, they found a former Hillary Clinton aide to take a swing at Donald Trump on immigration.

Then, when Jeb Bush seemed to be drifting Trump’s way ever-so-slightly, they trotted out an MSNBC darling (yes, that’s how desperate CNN is) to go after him.

The network has been making its living off of Trump-bashing for a month now. The Donald is its new missing Malaysian Airlines flight — he’s practically all they cover. So it is no surprise that they’d go after him on any topic. The subtle bias comes in the form of the Hillary operative. She gets to drop the Clinton name in the post a couple of times, all the while implying that Hillary is more compassionate than Trump.

Hillary isn’t more compassionate than anyone.

Perhaps CNN is merely trying to capture the disgruntled leftists who have been fleeing the MSNBC brand recently. That would make some sense, if one assumes that demographic is actually looking for somewhere to go.

More plausibly, perhaps since it is a modern American, non-Fox News media entity, it reflexively belches Democrat talking points.

RIP Journalism.

Read bullet | 8 Comments »

Judge Issues Tentative Ruling Against StemExpress Attempt to Block Release of Planned Parenthood Videos

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

So, all the judges haven’t gone insane yet.

Free speech rights should allow an anti-abortion group to release videos of discussions with a California company that provides fetal tissue for research, even if they were illegally recorded, a judge said Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell issued a tentative ruling rejecting efforts by StemExpress to block the videos, though she said the company likely will prevail in its lawsuit claiming its privacy was violated by an anti-abortion activist posing as a biomedical company employee.

The case arose as the little-known Center for Medical Progress released videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing providing aborted fetal organs for research.

Abortion opponents said the video showed Planned Parenthood is illegally harvesting and selling the organs. Planned Parenthood said it did nothing wrong and the videos were deceptively edited to support extremists’ false claims.

Placerville-based StemExpress, which got some of its fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, realized the center also secretly record its chief executive and others. It sued to pre-emptively block those videos from being seen.

StemExpress won a temporary restraining order last month, but O’Donnell said the center’s First Amendment rights trumped the company’s right to privacy in what it believed were confidential conversations.

O’Donnell still has to affirm her ruling, and if she does StemExpress is going to hit up an appeals court. This is a start, however. It’s also a glimmer of hope that every extreme leftist pet issue doesn’t have all of the judges in America running activist interference for them.

Another plus is that the mere attempt to suppress the videos is pretty much an admission that something wrong is going on.

Read bullet | Comments »

Media Bias 101: Scott Walker/Black Lives Matter Edition

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Here is the headline:

Walker rejects meeting with Black Lives Matter leaders

Pretty harsh, huh? They offered to meet with him and he flat-out rejected them. At least that is what is clearly implied here.

Well…maybe that’s not exaclty how it went.

He was later asked if he would meet with representatives of Black Lives Matter, an activist group focusing on shootings by police of African-American citizens, Walker appeared to stumble, saying, “Who knows who that is? I meet with voters. Who knows who that is.” When reporters asked for elaboration, Walker said he would “talk to American voters.”

In reality he was hit with a hypothetical and never really said no to anything.

It’s ridiculous to expect presidential candidates to meet with self-appointed leaders of protest groups just because the Democrats love that kind of dog-and-pony show.

This headline is an intentional lie designed to make Scott Walker appear racist, pure and simple.

It’s also indicative about why so many of us are clamoring for Republican candidates who can man-handle the press.

Read bullet | 14 Comments »

Facebook Tells Monsignor to Drop Title or Lose Site (Video)

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Facebook is notoriously sensitive to a wide spectrum of “gender identities” and is eager to accommodate users wherever they see themselves on the spectrum.

Facebook now includes nearly 60 new custom options for genders, including: Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Intersex, Neither, Neutrois, Non-binary, Two-Spirit, and Other.

But Facebook is not sensitive to titles. Especially religious ones, as a Washington, D.C., area priest recently discovered.

Msgr. Charles Pope, a well-known blogger and writer in the Archdiocese of Washington, has been blocked from Facebook for using the title of monsignor on his personal-site profile.

Via Fox News:

Monsignor Charles Pope has held his title in the Catholic Church for 10 years.

“More people call me ‘Monsignor’ than call me ‘Charles,’” the soft-spoken Washington, D.C.-area priest told FoxNews.com on Thursday.

So Pope was perplexed earlier this week when Facebook informed him, after six years using the social-networking service, that they didn’t think he was using his real name.

“I thought it was a scam,” Pope said.

It wasn’t.

Facebook’s policy is to not allow titles on personal site profiles, a spokesman explained, something that goes for religious figures just as much as for politicians and celebrities. There is more flexibility for a Facebook “page.”

YouTube Preview Image

If  Facebook’s policy is to not allow titles, the company should enforce that rule evenly. It doesn’t. A quick Facebook search using the titles “Father,” “Monsignor,” “Reverend,” and “Rabbi” brings up scores of individuals with religious titles — many of whom have personal sites.

“I thought, this is a strange abuse of power – and why should they care?” said Pope, who is assigned to Holy Comforter St. Cyprian Parish. “‘Monsignor Charles Pope’ is the name I routinely go by. I’m a priest and I’m always called ‘Monsignor’ or ‘Father.’ This is the name I go by.”

Pope had been on the site with his title for a number of years, and said he sees other Christian, Jewish and Muslim figures use their titles on their personal profiles. While he said he doesn’t believe he’s being singled out for his religious beliefs, it does appear someone has personally flagged his profile. Facebook would only initiate a name change such as the one that happened to Pope if another user reported the breach of the site’s “community standards.”

“Facebook is entitled to do whatever they want,” Pope said. “I just think it’s incredibly foolish on their part to try and treat people this way. I can understand if people have something ugly or nefarious or scurrilous in their name.”

Deacon Greg Kandra, of the popular Catholic blog The Deacon’s Bench, said the same thing happened to him last February.

I tried to sign in again, again using my three-name ID—Deacon Greg Kandra—and again the little box popped up saying, in effect, “No. Change it.” The box offered an unhelpful link to the Facebook name policy page.

So I changed it. It seemed easier than fighting with Facebook about it. Which is why my FB friends will now see me as “Greg Kandra.”

A few weeks back, priests were fuming about this development and some online were hinting that some form of religious discrimination was at work.  (A petition was even launched to have the policy changed.)

In a post reacting to Facebook’s action against Monsignor Pope, Kandra said:

This issue has gotten considerable attention since it first surfaced several months ago, and various public complaints haven’t done much good. It’s Facebook’s candy store; they can run it however they wish. But it strikes me as bad business, and bad policy—engendering a lot of ill will and hostility, not to mention a fair amount of negative press.

Somehow, though, I don’t think the gurus running FB really care.

Indeed. When Fox News asked a Facebook spokesperson if their new “inclusive spirit” should be applied toward figures with religious titles, the answer was  ”the current policy stood and was not up for review.”

Monsignor Pope, meanwhile, has discovered a Catholic alternative to Facebook:

It’s good to know there’s an alternative to Facebook for the monsignor, but at a Catholic forum, he’ll be largely preaching to the choir.

If his objective was to reach out to non-Catholics, Facebook has denied him that opportunity.

Read bullet | 18 Comments »

Islamic War on Christianity Continues: ISIS Bulldozes Catholic Monastery in Syria

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

While most of the MSM was sleeping…

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants have destroyed a historic monastery seized in their latest advance across central Syria.

Photographs appeared online of fighters from Isil with bulldozers at the Mar Elian monastery in Al-Qaryatain, in Homs province.

The monitoring group Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said the Catholic monastery was then destroyed “on the pretext that it was used for worshipping others than God”.

Remember the rules we’re supposed to be playing by here, kids: you can’t mention that Islamic terrorists are waging wholesale war on Christians because it hurts the Islamic terrorists’ feelings.

It’s not just property they’re seizing:

Isil took Al-Qaryatain and the monastery on August 5, kidnapping an estimated 230 people, including Christians. Some of the older captives have been released, but at least 100 people have been taken as hostages to the de facto Isil capital of Raqqa further to the north.

The monastery and attached church of St Elian was named after a third century Christian from Homs who was killed by his father, a Roman officer, for refusing to renounce his faith.

It was renovated ten years ago under the direction of Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian priest who re-established the Mar Musa monastery near Damascus, and became known as an anti-Assad regime activist. He was later kidnapped, and is believed to have been killed, by Isil.

Mar Elian’s abbot, Fr Jacques Mourad, was kidnapped, presumably by Isil, in May, before the attack on the town.

There may have been a time in days past when the American media would be upset about Christians being targeted for kidnapping and execution anywhere in the world, but I haven’t been alive that long.

And I’m not the youngest kid on the block.

Read bullet | Comments »

Noose Tightening, Team Hillary Blames ‘Ridiculous’ Rules for Classified Material

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It has now become very clear that some of the emails Hillary Clinton sent and/or received on her private server are of the type that are classified from the beginning:

But the details included in those “Classified” stamps — which include a string of dates, letters and numbers describing the nature of the classification — appear to undermine this account, a Reuters examination of the emails and the relevant regulations has found.

The new stamps indicate that some of Clinton’s emails from her time as the nation’s most senior diplomat are filled with a type of information the U.S. government and the department’s own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go — regardless of whether it is already marked that way or not.

So there goes the last of her excuses. In classic criminal fashion, Grandma immediately found fault with the rules (her campaign got this tweet out bright and early in the AM — don’t tell me they’re not worried about this). Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Vast Right-Wing Classification Conspiracy:

 

Read bullet | 48 Comments »

Don’t Let Agenda-Driven Bureaucrats Set Policy on Guns and Mental Health

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

John Feinblatt, president and gun-grabbing propagandist extraordinaire for Everytown for Gun Safety, has published an adorable little fable in the The Hill about Senator Cornyn’s (R-TX) bill known as the “Mental Health and Safe Communities Act.” The op-ed is titled “Don’t let the NRA set policy on guns and mental health.”

Mr. Feinblatt opens with the question: “Do we really want to make it easier for people with dangerous mental illness to get guns?” He goes on to claim that the Cornyn bill “backed by the NRA” will do just that. (The bill is also backed by American Jail Association, Council of State Governments, Treatment Advocacy Center, National Association of Social Workers, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Police Organizations,  and American Correctional Association. )

Nonsense.

What Cornyn’s bill does, among other things,  is clarify certain issues of mental illness with regard to the NICS system, the criminal justice system and law enforcement. One important feature of the bill is to clarify the way in which the term “adjudicated as mentally defective” is used.  Right now, it’s ambiguous for the purposes of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Take, for example, the veterans who are targeted by the most recent gungrabbing efforts of the administration. The administration now wants to claim that any veteran who has a “representative payee” handle their finances is “mentally defective” and shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a firearm. These folks would be added to the NICS system and denied their Second Amendment right without any due process.

Feinblatt writes, “And if your loved one is a veteran with dangerous mental illness? Right now, he can be prohibited from buying and possessing guns, after V.A. proceedings in which he has a right to a hearing. The NRA’s bill changes current law – and allows tens of thousands of veterans with mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to get guns.”

No it does not.

Here is the relevant part of the bill, curiously omitted by Mr. Feinblatt:

the term ‘has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or has been committed to a psychiatric hospital’, with respect to a person—
“(i) means the person is the subject of an order or finding by a judicial officer, court, board, commission, or other adjudicative body—
“(I) that was issued after—
“(aa) a hearing—
“(AA) of which the person received actual notice; and
“(BB) at which the person had an opportunity to participate with counsel; or
“(bb) the person knowingly and intelligently waived the opportunity for a hearing—
“(AA) of which the person received actual notice; and
“(BB) at which the person would have had an opportunity to participate with counsel; and
“(II) that found that the person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, mental impairment, mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease—
“(aa) was a danger to himself or herself or to others;
“(bb) was guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case, in a jurisdiction that provides for such a verdict;
“(cc) was not guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity or mental disease or defect;
“(dd) was incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case;
“(ee) was not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility under section 850a of title 10 (article 50a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice);
“(ff) required involuntary inpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital for any reason, including substance abuse; or
“(gg) required involuntary outpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital based on a finding that the person is a danger to himself or herself or to others; and
“(ii) does not include—
“(I) an admission to a psychiatric hospital for observation; or
“(II) a voluntary admission to a psychiatric hospital.
“(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘order or finding’ does not include—
“(i) an order or finding that has expired or has been set aside or expunged;
“(ii) an order or finding that is no longer applicable because a judicial officer, court, board, commission, or other adjudicative body has found that the person who is the subject of the order or finding—
“(I) does not present a danger to himself or herself or to others;
“(II) has been restored to sanity or cured of mental disease or defect;
“(III) has been restored to competency; or
“(IV) no longer requires involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital; or
“(iii) an order or finding with respect to which the person who is subject to the order or finding has been granted relief from disabilities under section 925(c), under a program described in section 101(c)(2)(A) or 105 of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (18 U.S.C. 922 note), or under any other State-authorized relief from disabilities program of the State in which the original commitment or adjudication occurred.

So what we see above is that the bill removes the VA as an arbiter (or any government agency) and places the process in the adversarial court system.  Before you start having your rights stripped away by some agenda-driven bureaucrat, you get to have your day in court. That this is so controversial is beyond me.

Read bullet | 13 Comments »

Pro-Planned Parenthood Rally at Governor’s Mansion in Louisiana Draws Paltry Crowd

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Around two dozen pro-Planned Parenthood protesters stood outside the governor’s mansion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Thursday to protest Governor Bobby Jindal’s recent decision to have the abortion provider investigated and defunded.

When the Jindal administration caught wind of Planned Parenthood’s plan to hold a protest in the pro-life governor’s front yard,  they came up with a brilliant plan to counter them.

Jindal had a huge screen set up outside the governor’s mansion, and ran each of the seven disturbing expose videos of Planned Parenthood on a continuous loop for the duration of the protest.

The demonstration drew a paltry crowd of about 25 protesters (mostly women wearing pink), most of whom were carrying pink, pre-printed signs that read “Don’t Take Away Our Care” and “Stand With Planned Parenthood.” It’s not known how many of the protesters were actually Planned Parenthood employees.

Governor Jindal, who is also a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, missed all the excitement. He was in Spartanburg, South Carolina, participating in a town hall hosted by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).

The governor put out the following statement prior to the event.

“Many Planned Parenthood supporters, including President Obama and members of the White House, said they have not or will not view the horrific Planned Parenthood videos.

Planned Parenthood has a right to protest today, but Governor Jindal’s office will ensure that anyone who shows up will have to witness first-hand the offensive actions of the organization they are supporting.

We hope the protesters will take a minute to watch them so they’ll have an opportunity to see first-hand our concerns with Planned Parenthood’s practices.”

In the wake of the release of the Planned Parenthood videos, Governor Jindal cancelled Louisiana Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood and launched a state investigation into the organization’s operations.

Louisiana is one of more than a dozen states that have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood, and/or taken steps to de-fund the abortion business following the shocking videos.

Read bullet | 13 Comments »

Another Left-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

BuzzFeed is reporting that 130 radical, far-left organizations have sent a letter directly to President Obama asking him to reverse a Bush-era policy that granted religious organizations an exemption from non-discrimination laws when seeking federal grants

The policy is contained in a Justice Department memo signed in 2007 that concluded the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected religious groups from being forced to adhere to religious nondiscrimination laws in hiring.

The 130 organizations — including the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP, and Planned Parenthood — counter in their letter to Obama that the opinion “relies on flawed legal analysis” that RFRA “provides a blanket override of a statutory non-discrimination provision.” A copy of the letter was provided to BuzzFeed News.

Members of the group have been asking the Justice Department or White House to rescind the OLC Memo since Obama took office, but this is the first time that the letter has been sent directly to the president. Previous letters were sent to then-Attorney General Eric Holder, as in 2009 and 2014, as well as to the head of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2013.

In the new letter, the group tells Obama:

RFRA was intended to provide protection for free exercise rights, applying strict scrutiny, on a case-by-case basis, to federal laws that substantially burden religious exercise. RFRA was not intended to create blanket exemptions to laws that protect against discrimination.

Yet, in contrast to this, the OLC Memo relies on flawed legal analysis and wrongly asserts that RFRA is “reasonably construed to require” a federal agency to categorically exempt a religiously affiliated organization from a grant program’s explicit statutory non-discrimination provision, thus permitting the grantee to discriminate in hiring with taxpayer funds without regard to the government’s compelling interest in prohibiting such discrimination.

NRO’s David French explains what’s at stake:

In plain English, the letter — signed by the usual alphabet soup of leftist special interests – is asserting that the federal government has a “compelling interest” in prohibiting a religious organization from using religious criteria when hiring its employees, including key leaders of the organization. The Bush-era letter stood for the simple proposition that a religious grantee could only those people who affirm and practice the group’s faith. Unless one is consumed with malice for orthodox faith, this is one of the most common-sense principles imaginable. Precisely what real state interest — much less compelling interest – is preserved by forcing Jewish groups to hire Muslims, Christian groups to hire Hindus, or requiring Christian groups to retain employees who flout Christian doctrine and practice?

Religious charitable organizations tend to be the most effective organizations in the country in helping the poorest and most vulnerable citizens — and in helping those who struggle with drug addiction or are attempting to build new lives out of the ruin of a criminal past. They are effective precisely because of their faith, not in spite of it, and if the government undermines a group’s faith, it will also undermine its faith-based work. A government seeking to intelligently spend money on private grantees would do well to spend money where it will do the most good. But none of that matters to the Left, because somewhere a Christian group — for faith-based reasons – might be asking its employees to dissent from any given doctrine of the sexual revolution. And we can’t have that, because sex is god.

This is precisely the kind of oppression that universities try to impose on Christian student groups — slandering them as virtual segregationists for having the audacity to require Christian faith and practice from Christian leaders. It was sheer exclusionary bad faith when campuses started imposing this rule on Christian groups as early as 2000 — fifteen years ago. And it’s sheer exclusionary bad faith now. Intolerance in the name of tolerance and exclusion in the name of inclusion — the radical is now mainstream.

The left won’t consider the job done until all religious activity in the U.S. is overseen and regulated by the government. Faith of any kind is incompatible with the leftist worldview — except faith in their own moral superiority. Their objection to organized religion is that they view their independence of thought as apostasy.

It isn’t just a question of religious groups disagreeing with the left about some things; it’s that they don’t acknowledge liberals as the arbiters of moral behavior and beliefs.

For this, they must be forcibly brought to heel.

Read bullet | 16 Comments »