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Meet Ebola: Obama Brings a Top National Security Threat Stateside

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Jennifer Hanin

So when did it become a US priority to fly in deadly airborne diseases from Ebola-stricken countries? Answer: now. President Obama and his Administration have yet to bar flights from Ebola-ravaged as Britain and some countries in Europe have. And who exactly is this helping. Answer: No one. Yet maybe our enemies across the globe who would love to see America and its terrorist enemies like ISIS who would pay to see Americans and our White House tango with a world-scale health epidemic.

Can you (open your piehole) and say Ahh?

So what measures are Obama, the world health organization (WHO) and Homeland Security taking to keep infected passengers from bringing what could be another AIDS outbreak (yet worse) stateside? Besides lectures? Not much. Unless of course you take stock in taking temperature of some already identified South African passengers. Stepped up screening passengers on flights to and from Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leon, but that’s not enough to keep the virus from spreading. And who’s to say they will take the temperatures of the right passengers?

We live in a global society where people hop planes to business meetings on a regular basis. In one week, I can name five people I know who are either in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan or Cairo. And I’ve been to Tunisia, Yugoslavia (when it was a country), Europe, Hondurus, and lots of islands in the Caribbean. I’ve even seen a package in Tahiti with the word: ECOLI on it. I have friends who are flight attendants who are taking teaching and department store jobs just to stay out of airports. Remember the air quality in planes isn’t always the best. It’s exactly why over-the-counter homeopathic remedies like Airborne and Purell are so popular.  Airborne to boost your immune system in the hopes of staving off colds, and Purell in the hopes of sanitizing you from germs you come in contact with from rails, doorknobs, arm rests and the like.

Stateside cases are real

Texas already showed us this with the first ever case of the disease transmitted via a nurse caring for a patient. And what happened to the patient. Oh not much. He died. But other than that try your best not to worry the next time you board an airplane, a bus, a subway or virtually any type of mass transit. And for that matter, don’t worry much when you enter a ballpark, a zoo, a concert, a ski resort or an amusement park or public restroom. Chances are slim you will happen to be near anyone’s sweat, breath, urine, blood, or feces. But if you’re a flight attendant, concert promoter, airport employee, mass transit worker or the like, wear a mask, a hazamat suit, a helmet, a bunch of foil or some type of protective gear, as you’re gonna need it.

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Priebus Calls Ad Blaming Ebola on GOP Cuts ‘Desperation’ from ‘Idiotic Group’

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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The chairman of the Republican National Committee called a new ad blaming the spread of Ebola on GOP budget cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “desperation” as midterms near.

The minute-long ad comes from the Agenda Project, which in 2011 released an ad showing a grandma being pushed off a cliff in response to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Path to Prosperity.

“It was the president that actually has been telling the CDC, get this, to work on bike paths and get some of the walkways under control. I don’t know how that all relates to the CDC, but this is what the president’s directive was to the CDC, was to work on bike paths, while their budget was going up,” Chairman Reince Priebus told Fox this morning.

“So obviously, this is just desperation on the part of this idiotic group that also, as you — as you note, did the ad of Paul Ryan throwing granny off the cliff. I mean, it is a — an earned media-type hit.”

Priebus said the group is “obviously they’re walking this dangerous path of trying to point out blame on Ebola when, in fact, if you look at the president’s record on anything, as you know, from ISIS to the Secret Service, to the CDC, to Syria, to the border, I mean, you name it, for whatever reason, every single thing the administration, as well as these Democrats running for office touches, you know, it’s not turning to gold, I can tell you that.”

“It’s turning to something else,” he added.

Agenda Project spokeswoman Erica Payne told Talking Points Memo that the ad would first air in a “low six-figure buy in Kentucky,” where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is in a battle with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“The others states are being decided now,” Payne said.

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Turkey Joins the War! Wait…Against Its Own People?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Turkey chose a side in the ISIS-Kurd-Syria-Iraq war today.

It bombed its own people — Kurds who live inside Turkey’s borders but are independence-minded.

(Reuters) – War against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraqthreatened on Tuesday to unravel the delicate peace in neighbouring Turkey after the Turkish air force bombed Kurdish fighters furious over Ankara’s refusal to help protect their kin in Syria.

Turkey’s banned PKK Kurdish militant group accused Ankara of violating a two-year-old cease-fire with the air strikes, on the eve of a deadline set by the group’s jailed leader to salvage a peace process aimed at halting a three-decades-long insurgency.

The Kurds represent the only credible and legitimately non-Islamist anti-ISIS fighting force on the ground in Syria and Iraq. They have not folded in the face of fights, as the Iraqi military has repeatedly. They also have not aligned or made any peace with ISIS, as various flavors of the Syrian rebellion have.

Kurds also live in Turkey, where they are largely oppressed and their political groups are considered terrorists. Building up the Kurds to fight against ISIS right up to the Syria-Turkey border therefore creates another challenge to fighting ISIS coalition-style. Turkey wants no part of any moves that strengthen the Kurds anywhere. America wants a strong Kurdish force to fight ISIS. Turkey disagrees. That’s a fundamental problem for the United States.

Turkey is there in the region, while America so far just drops bomb while flying over it.

kurdistan-regions

Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran may not agree on much, but they all agree that they don’t want Kurdistan to become a country.

Kurdistan as seen in the map above very roughly overlays the territory now occupied by the Islamic State.

isis-map-iraq

As you can see in the second map, Kurdistan or ISIS could become a key energy power if either were to become a bonafide state. Both would have to accomplish that by dismembering Iraq and Syria, along with some of Turkey’s present territory, at least. Neither would have much of a problem with that. Iraqi Kurds at least pay lip service to Baghdad, but Syria’s and especially Turkey’s Kurds want their independence. Iraq’s Kurds would likely join them if either were able to carve out Kurdistan as a country.

While ISIS does not yet threaten the increasingly Islamist Turkey, dreams of Kurdistan as a nation-state for the Kurdish people definitely do, at least in Ankara’s point of view. And in Tehran’s.

So, with ISIS threatening to take control of Kobane on the Syria-Turkey border, but with Kurds fighting heroically to keep that city out of ISIS hands, Turkey elects to bomb the Kurds living within Turkey, not ISIS over on the Syrian side of the border.

At the same time, Turkey is destroying what’s left of the tattered credibility of one Susan Rice, national security adviser to the President of the United States.

Ankara might, at some point, allow US use of our bases within Turkey to battle ISIS. But that’s only likely once Turkey is assured that Kurdistan will not grow into a country by battling ISIS on its own. Who is in a position to give Turkey such assurances — President Nine Iron, the champion of hot air who heroically battles climate change between Hollywood fundraisers?

Bottom line: The Islamic State is here to stay.

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UN, Human Rights Groups Criticize Afghanistan for Executing Gang of Rapists

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Amnesty International accused Afghanistan last week of “treating rape in a flawed way” in its trial and execution of a gang of five men in a case that stoked national outrage.

In late August, a group of men stopped a family convoy of four cars at night on Qargha-Paghman road, returning from a wedding in Paghman district. They beat the men and kidnapped four women, whom they repeatedly raped.

Both male and female protesters in Kabul cried out for the death penalty, hoping that handing down the ultimate sentence would discourage other criminals from committing such heinous acts. Last Wednesday, five men were hanged. Two other assailants received 20 years in prison, and three suspects are at large; Kabul police said one fled the country.

The women took the stand to testify against their attackers in a televised trial that gripped the nation.

President Hamid Karzai signed the death warrants of the convicted men before leaving office, and new President Ashraf Ghani let the death warrant stand.

Human-rights groups and the United Nations jumped on Afghanistan.

David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director, said in a statement that there’s “no question that this was an appalling crime and the outcry and anger this case has caused is of course understandable.”

“But the death penalty is not justice – it only amounts to short-term revenge,” Griffiths said. “The death penalty is an abhorrent form of punishment and should never be used under any circumstances. The many fair trial concerns in this case only make these executions more unjust. It’s deeply disappointing that new President Ashraf Ghani has allowed the executions to go ahead.”

The men were charged under zina — the Islamic law against unlawful sexual intercourse, often applied to adultery. They were also convicted of robbery.

“President Ghani was placed in an unenviable position by the actions of his predecessor in this case, but regrettably failed his first test on upholding human rights and the rule of law,” Griffiths said. “These deaths cannot be undone now, but President Ghani must order an immediate moratorium on all executions as a first step towards total abolition or the death penalty.”

At the UN, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein wrote to Ghani to ask him to cancel the executions. The UN press release said Ghani was asked “to commute the death sentences to a suitable term of imprisonment” for the “five Afghans accused of armed robbery and gang rape.”

Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine said the “horrendous due process violations in the Paghman trial have only worsened the injustices of this terrible crime.”

Kine called the executions ”a grave miscarriage of justice.”

This week, Afghanistan is back to the business of building a state, with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah calling his first meeting of economic ministers today.

“The issue of the economy is important to the people of the nation — after security,” Abdullah said, according to Tolo News.

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Ayatollah Decries ‘Dark Points’ in American History for Columbus Day

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sure, he’s a day late, but Ayatollah Khamenei figured he’d get his digs in for Columbus Day:

 

 

The Ayatollah went on a tear against the U.S. back when the Ferguson protests started, saying people are “unsecure for having dark skins” in the U.S.

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‘That is so ridiculous!’ — MSNBC Mocks Democrat Who Keeps Refusing to Say that She Voted for Obama

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Kentucky Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes has refused, again, to answer a simple question: Did she vote for Barack Obama for president?

When everyone knows that she did.

Grimes has been asked by media, by an opposition tracker, and now in a debate whether she voted for Obama. Obama is waging war on coal, a key Kentucky industry, and overall he is very unpopular there.

That last asking happened Monday night in a debate, and Grimes claimed some constitutional principle to try bullying her way out of answering.

It didn’t work. Even MSNBC isn’t buying it. Take a look.

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They Refuse to Wake Up

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave a speech Monday.

The secretary was in Peru, where in a few weeks there will be a United Nations conclave on “climate change.” The data says that global temperatures actually have not risen in the past 15 years or so. The arctic ice that Al Gore predicted would have melted by now is growing. The climate doomsayers’ predictions have not come to pass, so much so that they have had to change their language. Out with “global warming,” in with the more generic, and harder to track scientifically, “climate change.”

The climate always changes. Always has, always will. No matter what humans do or don’t do.

But you’re dreaming if you think that the Obama administration or anyone who works for it will ever acknowledge any of that.

The region is, we are told by Hagel’s boss, in sufficient turmoil that thousands of migrants have made the choice to leave their homes in Central America and make the hazardous journey north to enter the United States illegally.

The world is certainly in sufficient turmoil that it ought to have Hagel’s full attention. Russian troops continue their proxy war in Ukraine. Ukraine is a non-NATO country, but it is an American ally. Our military conducts war exercises with theirs.

The Middle East and Africa might also have Hagel’s attention. At this moment, the United States has deployed roughly equal numbers of troops to fight against the Islamic State in what were Syria and Iraq, and to fight Ebola in western Africa.

The Islamic State threat rose for many reasons. Among them is the rapidity with which President Obama withdrew forces from Iraq, and the stupidity with which he consistently sides with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Throw in the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues while we’re at it. The world is a dangerous place, with many security threats requiring the Defense secretary’s full focus.

But Hagel revealed in that Peru speech that he is focused on “climate change.”

The Defense secretary addressed the issue during a speech in Peru, as the Pentagon released a comprehensive report on the “national security” challenges posed by rising global temperatures and “extreme weather events.”

Hagel described climate change as a “threat multiplier,” saying it “has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today — from infectious disease to armed insurgencies — and to produce new challenges in the future.”

The Pentagon’s new report maps out four areas of climate change deemed the most threatening to the U.S. military — rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. And it warns about the impact they could have on food and water supplies, the environment and American security itself.

“Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed,” Hagel said, addressing a conference of military leaders.

“Could be”? Our military’s readiness is being tested right now, by the threats noted above. Hagel himself has presided not over an increase in readiness, but in a dramatic decrease in the number of troops who wear the American uniform.

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British MPs Vote to Recognize Palestine

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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BBC News reports:

The House of Commons backed the move “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution” – although less than half of MPs took part in the vote.

The result, 274 to 12, is symbolic but could have international implications.

Ministers abstained on the vote, on a motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris and amended by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

…The full motion stated: “That this House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

Explaining Labour’s support, shadow foreign minister Ian Lucas said it would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence”.

“This is not an alternative to negotiations. It is a bridge for beginning them,” he said.

Conservative Nicholas Soames said: “I’m convinced that to recognise Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest.”

Another former foreign secretary, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said he too wanted to see a two-state solution but added: “Symbolism sometimes has a purpose. It sometimes has a role. But I have to say you do not recognise a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it’s going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature.”

Britain is now one of over 100 countries who have cast a symbolic vote to recognize the State of Palestine. While the vote carries no real power over foreign policy, it is an undeniable push for a two-state solution in the face of what many see to be a failed peace process on the part of America and Israel.

“That awkward moment when Palestinians praise the old colonialist empire for giving it recognition,” noted Zionist Chloe Valdary commented via social media.

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Do Religious Rights Require Religious Laws?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

Addressing the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, called for government to include “a faith perspective” in policy deliberations. From The Blaze:

What Williams advocated was for a middle group approach between a perspective that wants religion to be the basis of all laws and one in which faith isn’t addressed at all outside of church doors.

The government’s role in this case, then, is to facilitate discussions that ensure that minority views on controversial issues — or any issue at all for that matter — are considered in the wider discussion. Rather than winning the debate, per se, religious views help round it out, he argued.

Williams presents a spectrum of authoritarianism, with hardcore theocrats on the one end and religious suppressors on the other. What does “a middle group” on that axis look like? Would they advocate for religious-based laws half the time and suppress religious rights the other half?

How about this. Instead of giving religion a place at government’s table, let’s limit government’s role to protecting the rights of each individual, whether they harbor faith or not. The best way to protect minority views is to empower the greatest minority, the individual. If government remains barred from interfering in an individual’s private judgment, then religious rights will stand unmolested.

The vague alternative which Williams suggests would only place more cooks in the statist kitchen. This idea that every different perspective must have special representation in government, whether religious or racial or any other variety, assumes that such inclusion will produce better policy. But the quality of policy depends upon its effect on individual liberty, not the diversity of its authors. A diverse body of dictators proves no more sufferable than a homogenous one.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 9:33 minutes long; 9.23 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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CDC Director on Lack of Travel Ban: ‘The Bottom Line Is Reducing Risk to Americans’

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama added an afternoon Ebola meeting to his otherwise open Columbus Day schedule after a nurse was confirmed to have contracted the virus from a now-deceased Liberian patient in Dallas.

The Oval Office meeting was small, including Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden joined via phone.

The White House said that the meeting was “to receive an update on the response to the diagnosis of a second Ebola case in Dallas, Texas.”

“The President was briefed on the status of the investigation into the apparent breach in infection control protocols at the Dallas hospital and remedial actions underway to mitigate similar breaches in the future,” the readout of the meeting continued. “Secretary Burwell and Dr. Frieden described the surge in personnel and other resources to Dallas to assist in the investigation as well as other measures to heighten awareness and increase training for healthcare workers throughout the country.”

“The President reinforced that this investigation should proceed as expeditiously as possible and that lessons learned should be integrated into future response plans and disseminated to hospitals and healthcare workers nationwide.”

Obama, who has a week of fundraising activities planned as the calendar closes in on midterms, told donors at a Democratic National Committee event in L.A. on Thursday that “the likelihood of any epidemic in the United States is extraordinarily small.”

The White House also released the details of call with French President Francois Hollande, who plans to build new Ebola treatment centers in Guinea.

“On the Ebola outbreak, the two leaders agreed that more must be done, and quickly, to establish treatment facilities in the affected African nations, and that all countries must play a role to stop the spread of this disease and to save the lives of those afflicted,” the administration said. “They also discussed additional measures that may be taken to stem the spread of Ebola outside the region already affected, including passenger screening upon departure and arrival.”

And Obama spoke with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the White House said, “to review the international response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the need for more robust commitments and rapid delivery of assistance by the international community.”

“Citing the threat the epidemic poses, the President stressed the need for all UN member states to support the UN appeal, and to provide the personnel, equipment, and supplies required to stop the epidemic at its source and halt the devastating impact of this crisis on the affected countries and their citizens,” said the readout from the call. “Both leaders agreed that, given the threat posed by Ebola, at this crucial juncture members of the international community must redouble their resolve and commitment to stay the course and decisively address the Ebola crisis.”

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled together his national security team on Sunday to discuss a game plan for stopping Ebola before it comes to their borders.

“The State of Israel is prepared in order to bar the possible entry of people with Ebola, as part of our effort to defend our borders against illegal migrants and terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “This is a global plague and we are cooperating with other countries in addition to guarding our borders; we are taking a series of steps to isolate those who are ill, if they arrive, and treat them, of course, in our healthcare system. We hope that this will not be necessary but we are prepared for any eventuality.”

The CDC director told reporters today that screening of passengers coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had begun at JFK airport in New York, with the intention of expanding the program to Hartsfield, O’Hare, Dulles and Newark. Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan passed through Dulles on his way to Dallas.

“On the issue of banning travel, I understand that there are calls to do this. I really tried to focus on the bottom line here. The bottom line here is reducing risk to Americans. The way we’re going to reduce risk to Americans is do the steps of protection I just went through and stop it at the source in Africa,” Frieden said.

“Today, CDC has 150 of our top disease detectives throughout the three countries and many of the counties, districts, and prefectures within the three countries helping to turn the outbreak around working along with the Department of Defense, with USAID, with the World Health Organization and with many other governments which are surging in to help stop it at the source,” he continued.

“If we do things that unintentionally make it harder to get that response in, to get supplies in, that make it harder for those governments to manage, to get everything from economic activity to travel going, it’s going to become much harder to stop the outbreak at the source. If that were to happen, it would spread for more months and potentially to other countries and that would increase rather than decrease the risk to Americans. Above all, do no harm. And that’s why we want to focus on stopping the outbreak at the source.”

The UN Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, told CNN International that he doesn’t think travel bans would be effective.

“People will travel, particularly if they are concerned about a disease like this. They’re frightened. They will cross road borders, they will get onto boats, they will get onto planes. And the real requirement is to test them very thoroughly before they get onto any form of transport,” Nabarro said.

Duncan was asymptomatic yet a carrier of the Ebola virus when he left Liberia, and didn’t register a temperature when screened at the airport. He also reportedly said he hadn’t had contact with Ebola patients.

“If you tried to have a blanket ban, our experience is it doesn’t work,” Nabarro continued. “All that happens is people try to get around it, they conceal their movements, they conceal their history and that can actually create a much greater likelihood of going underground. And diseases that go underground, they’re hard to control.”

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said the administration should stop flights from the affected countries “to give Dallas, Texas, and other communities a chance to catch up and work through this difficult problem.”

“They should isolate these areas,” the congressman told CNN. “It has grown the way it has because of people traveling. That is what we’re trying to deal with.”

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I Am Ashamed to Be a Vegetarian

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Zombie

I’m a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat in 20 years.

Up until this morning I was OK with my dietary choice.

But then I saw this video just uploaded by “Direct Action Everywhere,” a radical vegetarian activist gang, and now I am ashamed. Ashamed to be associated with them. Ashamed that everyone I meet must think I’m some sort of anti-meat revolutionary. Ashamed that mean-spirited lunatics have hijacked my personal food preference and turned it into rallyng cry for passive-aggressive bullying.

Watch and weep, as a contingent of vegetarian fascists burst into a random restaurant in San Francisco and try to pull some kind of creepy mind-game on the bewildered diners:

The SFGate blog posted about the incident and had this to say:

An animal activist stormed a San Francisco restaurant on Saturday, Sept. 27, and delivered a tearful speech about a pet chicken she rescued from death.

Standing in the middle of a downtown French brasserie called Bluestem, Kelly Atlas of Oakland spoke with emotion about her “little girl.”

“She was very abused for her entire life, Atlas says. “She was terrified.”

“She has a very determined look in her eyes wherever she goes. And she was hurt and abused her entire life because of this establishment and establishments like it.”

The little girl is a chicken named Snow.

The tears continuing to stream and the emotion heightening, Atlas goes on to tell restaurant patrons how she saved Snow’s life. “Someone was going to murder her,” she says. “I went in there with other humans and I took her out of there and if I hadn’t, she wouldn’t be with me right now. She would be gone, just like all of her sisters.”

Someone was going to murder her and I can see you smiling and I can see you laughing but to her this is not funny.”

At the end of her rant, Atlas cries out loudly urging diners to not eat Snow’s sisters.

This was no isolated incident. “Direct Action Everywhere” has employed this tactic (restaurant invasions, followed by tearful speeches and then silent robotic sign-holding) in cities across the country. Here they are at a fast food joint:

The difference between me and Direct Action Everywhere — which actually encapsulates the difference between my brand of “conservatarianism” and all types of progressivism — is that when I don’t eat meat, I don’t eat meat; but when a progressive doesn’t eat meat, she insists that nobody else eat meat either.

I don’t care what you do. But a progressive wants to boss you around.

It’s all very cutesy and pathetic when they employ juvenile attempts at emotional manipulation to get their way — but it quickly becomes brutal coercive totalitarianism when people like this get into positions of power.

To protest their protest, I may eat some chicken today. Just a nibble. To prove I’m not like the vegefascists.

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Texas Nurse Who Contracted Ebola ID’d

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The NY Post says that her name is Nina Pham. She is a 26-year-old graduate of Texas Christian University.

The Texas nurse who was infected with Ebola while caring for a patient who has since died has been identified as 26-year-old Nina Pham, according to reports Monday.

Pham’s family confirmed her identity and released a photo of her posing with her pet dog, according to USA Today.

USA Today has more, including an apology from the CDC director for saying that she got infected due to a “breach in protocol.”

Frieden also apologized to officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He said his comments Sunday that Pham’s infection was the result of a “breach of protocol” did not reflect on Pham or the hospital’s efforts.

“I apologize if people thought I was criticizing the hospital,” Frieden said at a press conference Monday. “And I feel awful that a health care worker became infected while helping an Ebola patient.”

It also came off as speaking too soon. The fact that Frieden could not identify the “breach” says that he does not actually know that one occurred.

The World Health Organization’s head is making a class warfare issue out of Ebola.

World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan issued a statement Monday at a conference in Manila calling the outbreak “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times.”

She said development of a vaccine or cure for Ebola has lagged because the virus is prevalent in such poor nations.

“The outbreak spotlights the dangers of the world’s growing social and economic inequalities,” Chan added. “The rich get the best care. The poor are left to die.”

So let’s equalize and give everyone the worst care?

Given that the nurse’s last name is Vietnamese, chances are she either came to the United States as a toddler while escaping the murderous Communists, or her parents escaped and came to the US before she was born — the terrible consequences of the war we lost. We’re losing another one now.

One photo shows her with her pet dog. If the US follows the same Ebola protocols that Spain does, that dog will have to be put down.

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Obligatory ‘Wendy Davis Staffer Handles Handicapped Man Awkwardly’ Post

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

At any other moment in the vast history of time, this video probably wouldn’t matter at all. Not a bit.

But since it comes on the heels of Wendy Davis and her slimy wheelchair ad, everyone is going to talk about it. So here’s the clip.

There is one good point to be made about this, and a whole lot of bad points. The one good point is that Davis’ ad has put her so far on the defensive that she may as well suit up for the New York Giants (who got whooped last night in Philly, in case you don’t follow football). Davis’ choice to produce and run that ad has made it so that everyone is watching her and everyone on her campaign for signs of insensitivity, which is a no good, terrible place to be. And it’s a place that she deserves to occupy after running that ad. You don’t really recover from that even if you’re in a favorable place and have lots of time. Davis is running as an Obama Democrat in Texas, with about three weeks to go. You can do the math.

There’s a secondary point that could be made, about disabilities and the late-term, unregulated abortion that Wendy Davis enthusiastically supports.

At any rate, here we have the defensive Davis campaign now having their candidate share the stage with some disabled Texans, and one who is not in a wheelchair gets moved off to the side in an awkward way. At any other moment, that would be fine. But in this moment, Wendy Davis appears to be using them clumsily as props to try to deflect everyone from the wheelchair ad. And that’s not fine. Not fine at all.

The “Look, I can find people who should be mad at me to pose with me!” trick never works. It just reminds everyone of the wheelchair ad again. Lots of writers will put this video in the same space with that ad, and bring the whole thing up for another round of criticism — justified, in the case of the ad, which is terrible.

Which is all very bad for Wendy Davis.

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Hagel Unveils Pentagon Global Warming Strategy, Warns Climate Change Is ‘Threat Multiplier’

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a new Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap at the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Peru today, saying the Pentagon has “nearly completed a baseline survey to assess the vulnerability” due to global warming of more than 7,000 bases, installations, and other facilities.

The 20-page document details three “broad adaptation goals”: “Identify and assess the effects of climate change on the Deparment,” “integrate climate change considerations across the Department and manage associated risks,” and “collaborate with internal and external stakeholders on climate change challenges.”

“Initial analysis indicates that four primary climate change phenomena are likely to affect the Department’s activities: Rising global temperature, changing precipitation pattern, increasing frequency or intensity of extreme weather events, rising sea levels and associated storm surge,” the report states. “…The changing climate will affect operating environments and may aggravate existing or trigger new risks to U.S. interests.”

The report complies with a 2013 executive order in which President Obama ordered agencies to prepare the U.S. “for the impacts of climate change.”

“Climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’…because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today from infectious disease to armed insurgencies and to produce new challenges in the future,” Hagel said in his remarks, which touched on organized crime and the illegal migration of minors yet focused on global warming.

“The loss of glaciers will strain water supplies in several areas of our hemisphere. Destruction and devastation from hurricanes can sow the seeds for instability. Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of mass migration,” he said. “We have already seen these events unfold in other regions of the world, and there are worrying signs that climate change will create serious risks to stability in our own hemisphere. Two of the worst droughts in the Americas have occurred in the past ten years…droughts that used to occur once a century.”

“In the Caribbean, sea level rise may claim 1,200 square miles of coastal land in the next 50 years, and some islands may have to be completely evacuated. According to some estimates, rising temperatures could melt entire glaciers in the Andes, which could have cascading economic and security consequences.”

Hagel argued that the climate trends “will clearly have implications for our militaries.”

“A higher tempo and intensity of natural disasters could demand more support for our civil authorities, and more humanitarian assistance and relief. Our coastal installations could be vulnerable to rising shorelines and flooding, and extreme weather could impair our training ranges, supply chains, and critical equipment,” he said. “Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed.”

The secretary said the Pentagon “takes these risks very seriously,” and new assessments will result in the integration of “climate change considerations into our planning, operations, and training.”

The roadmap follows Hagel’s Arctic strategy released last year.

“To address the risks posed by climate change, we will work with partner nations, bilaterally and through organizations such as the Inter-American Defense Board and the CDMA. We will share our findings, our tools for assessment, and our plans for resiliency. We will also seek to learn from partner nations’ experiences as well,” Hagel said, noting that the U.S. has already completed joint military assessments on climate change with Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, and Trinidad and Tobago.

“I recognize that our militaries play different roles and have different responsibilities in each of our nations. I also recognize that climate change will have different impacts in different parts of the hemisphere. But there are many opportunities to work together.”

Hagel encouraged defense ministers to take part in the UN climate change conference this December in Lima, Peru.

“We must be clear-eyed about the security threats presented by climate change, and we must be proactive in addressing them,” he said.

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CDC Director Says Ebola Protocol Was ‘Breached,’ But Doesn’t Know How

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Centers for Disease Control’s director, Dr. Tom Frieden, doesn’t know what happened in Dallas.

A Dallas nurse who provided care for Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan has contracted the virus. She reportedly followed all of the CDC’s protocols while caring for Duncan.

Dr. Frieden can’t explain that. He might as well be Insane Clown Posse postulating on how magnets work, in this clip from today’s CDC press conference.

Ok, maybe the clip below isn’t quite that bad. But it’s bad.

This is the Top. Man. who is defending us from Ebola.

Reporter Ariel Hart asks Frieden to clarify how the nurse breached protocol. Dr. Frieden doesn’t physically shrug, but he may as well have.

“We have not identified a specific problem that led to this infection,” Frieden said, but insisted that the CDC has come up with some new things that healthcare practitioners can do now the proverbial horse has fled the proverbial barn.

Which doesn’t really help that nurse in Dallas, and does mean that the CDC has not determined what happened.

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VIDEO — Democrat Senators Scurry Away from Obamacare Questions

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Health insurance premiums are going up under Obamacare for millions of Americans — those who still have health insurance. Obamacare has also cost millions of Americans the healthcare plans that President Obama and the Democrats promised them they could keep.

Jason Mattera, author of Crapitalism, recently caught up with two Democrat senators who voted for Obamacare. They are Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska and Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Watch them do everything they can to avoid answering questions about the law that they passed.

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At least there was no assault this time.

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Wendy Davis and Ferguson Agitators Sharing the Same Financial Backing

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Michelle Horstman

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We have explored many of the usual radical, Pro-Palestinian and union organizers behind the continued stoking of unrest in Ferguson, with this past weekend’s #FergusonOctober “Weekend of Resistance” as their latest effort. There is clearly a lot of money behind it, but curious to find that a big backer happens to also be a big backer of Texas candidate for Governor, Wendy Davis.

The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) is proud to thank PowerPAC Plus for their financial support and link to their promotional video here.

Here’s a video from PowerPAC, one of the organizers who gave a generous donation towards our call for a paid organizer to be on the ground in Ferguson.

PowerPAC Plus is a large and powerful PAC that claims to have been instrumental in the 2008 election of Barack Obama. Considering their claim below, it does appear they were certainly well rewarded for their efforts:

PowerPAC+ is a political action committee formed in 2012 to build the political power of America’s multiracial majority. It emerged from the groundbreaking work of Vote Hope in 2007-08. At that time, then-Senator Barack Obama was assembling his Presidential campaign and California’s primary moved from June to a more influential month, February. We created Vote Hope, the first super-PAC aimed at supporting Barack Obama’s bid for president. Vote Hope was the largest independent effort in the nation to increase voter turnout in communities of color. It drew in $10 million, and expanded to 18 states during the primary season.

After President Obama’s election, we set up a DC office and worked closely with the administration’s personnel staff to build a Diversity Talent Bank that the White House used to identify and hire more than 60 people including Associate Attorney General Tony West. [emphasis mine]

PowerPAC Plus currently backs a variety of November candidates, with one of their most promoted being Wendy Davis. Wendy has been one of their picks for quite awhile, as they also supported her during her campaign for Texas State Senate:

PowerPAC+ was proud to support her last year in her run for State Senate. Now Davis is running for Governor in 2014, and she is the leader best-positioned to translate the enthusiasm in Texas into real political power.

As Texas is one of their main target states, getting Wendy elected is a crucial part of that strategy. Focusing on the cities with the largest minority non-voting populations is another. They see the Latino vote as instrumental in pushing Wendy across the finish line, as outlined here.

In Final Weeks, Wendy Davis’ Campaign Hinges on Engaging Latinos

PowerPAC Plus believes in uniting various minority groups in an effort to become the majority as a whole, or as they put it, “PowerPAC+ builds the political power of the multiracial majority.” Apparently, they also feel pretty strongly about continuing to fan the flames in Ferguson, no matter the consequences. If it can get the end result they want, despite the destruction and violence it takes, it appears “the end justifies the means” once again. Their close ties to this administration are troubling. Their endorsement and financial support of Wendy Davis should set off alarm bells for Texas voters.

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Rice: ‘Informal Consultations’ with Iran on ‘Regional Issues,’ But No ISIS Coordination

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the U.S. has had “informal consultations” with Iran but is not “in coordination or direct consultation with the Iranians about any aspect of the fight against ISIL.”

“We are not coordinating — we are doing this very differently and independently. Our coalition is comprised of some 60 countries. All of our core allies in the Gulf region of the Arab world, most of our NATO partners, many of our traditional partners from outside, including Australia. It’s a very broad-based, very comprehensive coalition that has come together to deal with the threat from ISIL,” Rice told Meet the Press on Sunday.

“And it’s gratifying that countries from all over the world share the same perception of the threat that ISIL poses. Iran may or may not be among those but they are not a part of our coalition.”

Rice the U.S. is still “engaging Iran on the nuclear issue” and “have had informal consultations on the margins of the nuclear talks about certain regional issues.”

“There’s no coordination,” she said. “There’s no collaboration on the anti-ISIL campaign.”

Iran’s supreme leader came out today with a scathing rebuke of the U.S. effort against the Islamic State.

“If anyone fuels the fire in this regard, he or she will definitely be helping sinister America and Britain which are the creators of the ISIL and al-Qaeda,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to Iran’s Press TV, urging Muslims to not get involved in the coalition.

“Shias and Sunnis shouldn’t help the enemy by desecrating their sanctities and provoking one another’s sentiments,” he said, calling ISIS and al-Qaeda a plot created by the West to challenge Iran.

Iran has given safe haven to al-Qaeda leaders including Muhsin al-Fadhli, who moved to Syria and started the Khorasan office at the direction of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was asked at Friday’s press briefing if the P5+1 nuclear talks deadline — already extended once — would be moved past Nov. 24.

“We believe there is sufficient time in the time that remains, adequate, sufficient, enough time to work through the issues we have to arrive at a comprehensive agreement by November 24th. It’s in everyone’s interests to get to a comprehensive agreement that assures the international community that Iran’s program is entirely for peaceful purposes, that they cannot get a nuclear weapon,” Harf said.

“By the 24th — next week, we’ll be going — as you know, the secretary will have a trilateral meeting with Cathy Ashton and Foreign Minister Zarif. There’ll be a bilateral U.S.-Iran meeting the day before. There’s enough time. We know what the issues are. There’s a path forward here, but we all need to take it.”

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Texas’ Second Ebola Case Makes Mockery of Those Who Downplay Its Threat

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

A nurse who provided care to Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital has tested positive for the virus. The nurse, now identified as Nina Pham, 26, is reported to also be showing symptoms of the disease.

A Dallas neighborhood was greeted with the scary news over the weekend, with flyers and broadcast messages and a house-to-house search for anyone who may have come into contact with America’s second Ebola case, and the first reported transmission of the virus on U.S. soil.

By the nurse’s and the hospital’s accounts, all protocols were observed while Duncan was receiving care after he was admitted on September 28 and tested positive, on September 30. The Centers for Disease Control, though, claims that there was some breach of protocol, only, it doesn’t know what that breach may have been or when it may have happened. The CDC appears to be falling back on bureaucrat-speak to explain something that, so far, it cannot.

What if the protocols aren’t good enough?

The fact is, Duncan could have and may have transmitted the virus to others anytime after September 24-25, when he first went to the hospital with symptoms. The search for everyone who came into contact with him is always going to be incomplete. Memories fail and government is just not all that competent most of the time.

Had he not been in the United States at all, of course, he would not have brought it here. That nurse would not be infected, her neighborhood would not be on edge, and Dallas would not be the epicenter of what may be an outbreak.

For all that we know about the Ebola virus, which is quite a lot, the United States still has just four hospitals that are fully equipped to care for Ebola victims. Four. They are in Montana, Nebraska, Georgia and Maryland. Obviously, Texas Presbyterian is not in any of those states. The vast majority of the country has no hospitals that are Ebola-equipped. The Texas case, especially the early misdiagnosis and communication failure(s), indicates that we have multiple potential points of failure — the victims, the hospitals, etc.

Because flights continue from the Ebola-stricken countries to the United States, carrying an average of 150 passengers per day, the threat remains that there will be more carriers of the virus who get here and transmit it to others. On average, an Ebola victim transmits the virus to two other people.

The screening regime that the Obama administration has set up is clearly inadequate. Even if we could adjust Duncan’s timeline so that if he left Liberia today and entered the U.S. through JFK under the new screening procedures, the first airport to begin the new screening procedures, it would miss him again. He would defeat it by arriving ahead of showing any Ebola symptoms, and by lying on his Liberia exit form.

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Republican Gardner Buries the War on Women in Colorado Senate Race

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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GOP Rep. Cory Gardner is taking the lead over Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in a hot mid-term race in the purple state of Colorado. Ellen Carmichael explains what Republicans can learn from Gardner’s strategic campaign over at the Federalist. As it turns out, the lessons revolve around the Right’s tendency to play defense in the face of the Left’s only real weapon of choice, character assassination:

Udall’s fallacious accusations, misrepresentation of his record, or mischaracterization of his beliefs don’t shake Gardner. Instead, he redirects the debate to meatier issues, such as the economy and health care, without getting “in the weeds” on less pressing matters, like whether Julia’s birth-control pills should fall from the sky like Skittles. …Gardner’s consistency and restraint give Udall few openings for attack. When asked about his positions on birth control and abortion, Gardner responds clearly, calmly and with conviction. …We also know there’s no better way to frustrate a bully than to refuse to be bothered by him. Gardner’s disinterest in even entertaining Udall’s wild accusations demonstrate a political maturity. He knows he doesn’t have to fight every battle or feed a troll—even if that troll is a sitting U.S. senator.

Imagine, a politician that stays on point, refusing to waste voters’ time addressing baseless accusations. Could it be that, in the pot state of all places, electioneering hasn’t fallen to the level of a Real Housewives reunion?

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Poll: Republicans Hold Advantage Over Dems on Voter Trust to Handle Top Issues

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

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A new Gallup poll released today found that voters are indicating more trust for Republicans to handle the issues that they rank as most important.

Seventy-five percent of voters said equal pay for women is extremely or very important to their vote, and Dems have a strong advantage over the GOP on the issue. On climate change, though, where Dems have a 20-point advantage, only 40 percent of voters said it was important to their vote.

Republicans came out ahead not just on economic issues and immigration, but have a 19-point trust advantage when it comes to dealing with the ISIS threat.

The parties are essentially tied on Obamacare and jobs.

Gallup notes that the GOP has made gains on trust to handle the economy:

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Paul: If GOP Doesn’t ‘Compete’ for Minority Votes, ‘We Won’t Ever Win Again’

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called his Friday trip to Ferguson, Mo., to meet with the NAACP “a beginning of the conversation” about race and Republicans.

“And I think in the Republican Party, the biggest mistake we’ve made in the last several decades is we haven’t gone into the African American community, into the NAACP and say you know what, we are concerned about what’s going on in your cities and we have plans. They may be different than the Democrats, but we do have plans and we do want to help,” Paul told CNN on Friday.

“And I think beginning that conversation will change the country if those parties are competing for votes and both parties are bringing alternative ideas to the cities, then maybe some good will happen.”

Paul, who was out supporting Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) re-election effort Sunday in his home state, said Republicans “haven’t tried hard enough” to court black voters.

“I think frankly for me it’s pretty easy because I believe passionately that the war on drugs has had a racial outcome,” he said. “I don’t think it’s intentional, but I think we’ve locked up thousands and thousands of people of color who would be much more productive if we were giving them job training in prison and getting them back out of prison or maybe never getting them in prison to begin with.”

The senator said he does believe the Republican National Committee understands the importance of outreach, as chairman Reince Priebus was recently at the Urban League with Paul.

“I want to be part of trying to let people across the country know the Republican Party is interested in people who live in difficult circumstances,” Paul said.

If the GOP doesn’t start winning minority votes, the senator predicted, “we won’t ever win again.”

“We’re a very diverse country. But if Republicans don’t go out and compete for African-American votes, don’t go out and compete for Hispanic votes, Asian-American votes, we will not win again in our country because the country is a diverse country now. And we can’t have one party that monopolizes the various ethnic group votes,” Paul continued. “So we do have to compete and if I do it, I plan on competing for all votes.”

When asked if he was qualified to be president, the senator replied, “I think other people have to make that judgment.”

“But what I would say is that what we need is somebody who has wisdom, somebody who thinks about issues, who isn’t entirely beholden to partisanship on one — from one party or the other,” Paul said. “And we need somebody who ultimately, if they were in charge of our nuclear arsenal, would not be rash, reckless or eager for war.”

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New ISIS Magazine Issue Faults ‘Crusader Media’ for Making Lone Wolf Attacks ‘Appear to be Random Killings’

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The latest issue of an English-language magazine released by the Islamic State encourages “lone wolf” attackers in the United States while chiding “crusader media” for not linking attacks with Islamist terrorism.

“At this point of the crusade against the Islamic State, it is very important that attacks take place in every country that has entered into the alliance against the Islamic State, especially the US, UK, France, Australia, and Germany. Rather, the citizens of crusader nations should be targeted wherever they can be found,” an article in Dabiq states.

“Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader, and kill him. It is important that the killing becomes attributed to patrons of the Islamic State who have obeyed its leadership. This can easily be done with anonymity. Otherwise, crusader media makes such attacks appear to be random killings.”

The magazine didn’t reference specific attacks, but provided a few tips for keeping attacks simple and to the point.

“Secrecy should be followed when planning and executing any attack. The smaller the numbers of those involved and the less the discussion beforehand, the more likely it will be carried out without problems. One should not complicate the attacks by involving other parties, purchasing complex materials, or communicating with weak-hearted individuals. ‘Rely upon Allah and stab the crusader’ should be the battle cry for all Islamic State patrons,” an article states.

The magazine’s fourth issue, which features the ISIS flag photoshopped in the Vatican courtyard on the cover, features pictures of electricity maintenance and road cleanup in the Islamic State, along with an ISIS-run retirement home in Mosul. It contains a story of Ansar al-Islam in Iraq pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. It also contains lengthy essays that the IS claims were written by late American journalist Steven Sotloff and British hostage John Cantlie.

“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” a statement from the ISIS spokesman says. “You claimed to have withdrawn from Iraq – O Obama – four years ago. We said to you then that you were liars, that you had not withdrawn, and that if you had withdrawn that you would return, even if after some time, you would return. Here you are; you have not withdrawn. Rather you hid some of your forces behind your proxies and withdrew the rest. Your forces will return greater in number than they were before. You will return and your proxies will not avail you. And if you are not able to return, then we will come to your homeland by Allah’s permission.”

The magazine says that would-be jihadists shouldn’t think twice before killing citizens from “crusader” countries.

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.”

The Dabiq issue includes another article praising slavery and its “revival,” using the capture of Yazidis as an example.

It describes how Yazidi women and children were “divided according to the Sharī’ah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations” and analyzes how “one of the signs of the Hour is the increased conquests and bringing in of slaves from the lands of kufr.”

“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffār and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharī’ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’ān and the narrations of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and thereby apostatizing from Islam,” the article states.

“Finally, a number of contemporary scholars have mentioned that the desertion of slavery had led to an increase in fāhishah (adultery, fornication, etc.), because the shar’ī alternative to marriage is not available, so a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation towards sin. In addition, many Muslim families who have hired maids to work at their homes, face the fitnah of prohibited khalwah (seclusion) and resultant zinā occurring between the man and the maid, whereas if she were his concubine, this relationship would be legal.”

The Dabiq issue also featured testimony “in support of the crusade headed by Barack Obama” of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a section called “In the Words of the Enemy.”

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Even MSNBC Hates Wendy Davis’ Wheelchair Ad

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Texas Democrat governor nominee Wendy Davis’ wheelchair ad continues to destroy her campaign.

Davis, trailing badly in most polls, released this ad late last week.

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As Breitbart’s Sarah Rumpf reported, reaction to it has ranged from negative to really negative.

It’s that opening image of the empty wheelchair that is generating so much outrage. Republican nominee Greg Abbott was left paralyzed for life by an accident many years ago. There was no reason for the Davis campaign to go there, least of all for a campaign whose supporters have been caught on tape mocking Abbott’s disability in the past.

Add to that, the fact that the ad’s claims have been debunked in the past. It’s a dishonest, angrily negative ad that just seeks to tear Abbott down by any means necessary.

Outrage at the ad is bipartisan, with everyone from here to BuzzFeed to the Washington Post piling on.

This morning on MSNBC, Davis’ ad just keeps backfiring. Morning Joe discussed the ad on the “Lean Forward” network, and for many Americans, this was probably their first look at it. MJ played the entire ad. Professor Dorien Warren called it a “huge blunder” and predicted that it will depress turnout.

“This is not gonna motivate her voters to come out,” Warren said.

Host (and liberal) Mika Brzezinski admitted that she “cringed” watching the ad, and tried to distance Davis from the ad on Davis’ behalf. (For the record, Davis refuses to apologize for or take down the ad.)

“Yikes, I cringed watching that. Didn’t like it,” Brzezinski said.

John Heilemann wondered if the ad wouldn’t cause Davis to lose by even more than Democratic nominee Bill White lost to Rick Perry by in 2010.

“Wendy Davis was supposed to be the Democrat who turned Texas blue,” Heilemann said.  But because of this ad, “She’s gonna get creamed.”

Perry won the 2010 race, over the most credible nominee that the Texas Democrats had come up with in years, by 13 points.

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Yes, the GOP Does Have a Strong Agenda for the Country

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

From Wendy Davis’ ill-advised wheelchair ad to Alison Lundergan Grimes’ refusal to even tell Kentuckians whether she voted for Obama or not (spoiler: she did, twice), the Democrats are doing an excellent job of destroying themselves.

President Barack Obama isn’t helping their cause, when he abandons his job for fundraisers and says that he isn’t on the ballot but his very unpopular policies are. Spoiler: No kidding, champ. You’re the president. The world is spinning out of control, by your own vice president’s admission. Your policies are on the ballot.

Lost amid breaking news on Ebola, for which the president bears some blame for downplaying the threat and for not shutting off air travel from the three stricken countries, and the march of the Islamic State — for which Obama also bears quite a bit of blame — the Republican Party has unveiled a positive agenda for the country.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced the agenda in a speech earlier this month. It includes 11 principles that Republicans, independents and even millions of rank and file Democrats ought to have no trouble rallying around.

1.        CONSTITUTION: Our constitution should be preserved, valued and honored.

2.        ECONOMY: We need to start growing America’s economy instead of Washington’s economy so that working Americans see better wages and more opportunity.

3.        BUDGET/DEBT: We need to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, make government more efficient, and leave the next generation with opportunity, not debt.

4.        HEALTHCARE: We need to start over with real healthcare reform that puts patients and their doctors in charge, not unelected bureaucrats in Washington.

5.        VETERANS: Our veterans have earned our respect and gratitude, and no veteran should have to wait in line for months or years just to see a doctor.

6.        SECURITY: Keeping America safe and strong requires a strong military, growing the economy, energy independence, and secure borders.

7.        EDUCATION: Every child should have an equal opportunity to get a great education; no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing school.

8.        POVERTY: The best anti-poverty program is a strong family and a good job, so our focus should be on getting people out of poverty by lifting up all people and helping them find work.

9.        VALUES: Our country should value the traditions of family, life, religious liberty, and hard work.

10.    ENERGY: We should make America energy independent by encouraging investment in domestic energy, lowering prices, and creating jobs at home.

11.    IMMIGRATION: We need an immigration system that secures our borders, upholds the law, and boosts our economy.

Return to the Constitution with its checks on presidential power — check. Repeal Obamacare — check. Secure the borders — check. Grow the economy, strengthen our defenses, boost energy independence, strengthen the family and let the private sector create jobs — it’s all there.

The devil will be in the details as always, and Barack Obama will remain president and therefore an impediment to sensible policies for another couple of years. But the GOP cannot be accused of not having an agenda or just hoping that the Democrats keep on destroying themselves. The GOP does have an agenda, and it’s a good one.

What do you think?

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Should You Be Allowed to End Your Life?

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

Brittany Maynard suffers from an inoperable brain tumor which doctors expect to claim her life within months. In the face of a costly and painful defeat, Maynard has chosen to end her life. She moved to Oregon in order to legally seek physician assisted suicide.

Writing at The Blaze, Matt Walsh took issue with the praise and support which Maynard’s plan has garnered on social media. Specifically, he objected to the sentiment that we each own our lives and may therefore end them if we choose:

We are given life, we take part in life, we participate in life, but we do not own our lives. We can’t take possession of our lives like a two-year-old grabbing a toy from his friend and shouting ‘Mine!’ Our lives are bigger than that, thank God. Your life is not some incidental occurrence, or an accidental mutation, or a meaningless cause in a long string of meaningless effects.

Now, I admit, if we are nothing and we came from nothing and will return to nothing, then I suppose suicide makes some sort of sense. It returns the body to our natural state of nothingness. It brings us home into the abyss, where there is no self, no reason, no existence. But most people don’t think that. Most of us are not radical nihilists. Even Brittany Maynard is not, which is why she says she will die and go on to ‘whatever is next.’ She knows, deep down, that there is another dimension to this reality of ours, a deeper significance beneath the surface of everything. She knows, like I believe we all know, that we’re woven into the tapestry of creation — we play a role that we don’t fully understand, our decisions have ramifications that we can’t comprehend, and our lives have a meaning beyond whatever we find in it.

So if God reached out from the depths of eternity to hand us this life of ours, how can we think it acceptable — or worse, meritable — to throw it out before our time is finished?

Inevitably, that’s what this conversation comes down to. The old questions. The oldest questions. What is life? Why are we here? What’s the point of it all?

If you celebrate suicide, then you have answered these questions: life is nothingness, we are here for no reasons, and there is no point.

If you answer differently, then you must come to the conclusion that life has inherent value. That’s the concept that so many people struggle with nowadays. They scratch their heads and wonder why some of us kooky Christians get so upset about things like abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. For some reason they won’t listen when we try to tell them: life has value. It is a thing of value. It is worth something. It is worth something beyond our feelings about it, beyond circumstance, beyond context, beyond sickness, beyond development, beyond age. LIFE HAS VALUE.

This isn’t just a Christian concept. It is the concept on which western civilization rests. Every noble ideal — justice, fairness, equity, compassion, charity — all of it, all of it, is grounded in the notion that life, human life, has intrinsic value. Not value according to its usefulness, or value according to convenience, or value according to how enjoyable it is. Value. Life is valuable because it is life. If you deny this, then you deny everything. There is no reason for justice, fairness, equity, compassion, or charity if human life has no value, or merely a value contingent upon whatever parameters we’ve arbitrarily assigned. There can be no justification even for your ‘human rights’ if we are all commodities whose stocks fall or rise like something that can be bought, sold, and traded.

Walsh presents a compelling case. It’s also a dangerous one. He conflates two spheres of human concern, religion and public policy, which have no business interfering with each other.

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NIH Official: ‘The System Worked’ on Ebola

Sunday, October 12th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

I think it’s pretty obvious by now that everyone in the executive branch who is going to go before the media and talk about Ebola has been instructed to deliver nothing but happy-talk pronouncements and soothing bromides about how the government has everything under control.

The confidence may or may not be justified. But the infection of a second American in Texas wasn’t supposed to happen. The unidentified health care worker who was infected with the Ebola virus took every precaution a modern 21st century health care system could take. And yet the virus found a way.

So it is ridiculous for a representative of the National Institutes of Health to go on camera and say something silly like this:

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said on Sunday the system put into place to slow the spread of Ebola transmission in the United States was working.

“The system worked,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.”

On Sunday, officials in Texas announced that a second person in Dallas had tested positive for the deadly virus — a health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week.

“She was on voluntary self-monitoring,” he said about the latest victim. “She found she got infected, and she immediately did what she was supposed to have done.”

“So even in this troublesome situation, the system is working,” Fauci said.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Fauci argued against shutting down international travel from Africa, saying it could actually do more harm than good

First of all, if the system “worked,” we wouldn’t have another case of Ebola. The protocols set up to prevent transmission of the disease failed. “Failed” is not the same as working. In fact, outside of Washington, “failed” means “not working,” so who is this jamoke trying to kid?

Secondly, we don’t truly know if the system “worked” or not. How many others might the health care worker have infected? She thinks she exposed only one other person. That’s comforting, if true. But voluntary self-monitoring is fine — until the self-monitor is infected. Then what?

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Kobani Becomes ‘Must Win’ for Islamic State

Sunday, October 12th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

Islamic State forces have besieged the Kurdish border town of Kobani for nearly a month, but have yet to crack the stout defenses put up by the lightly armed Kurdish militia.

The Kurds have bent but not broke. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that ISIS controls about 40% of the town, including the militia’s headquarters. But a combination of US air strikes and intelligent defense by the Kurds have stymied the IS army, calling into question its “invincibility.”

Indeed, the propaganda importance of the town has now outstripped its strategic value. Islamic State has invested so much time and effort in trying to capture Kobani, that nothing short of total victory will allow it to maintain its reputation among jihadists. To that end, they are pouring reinforcements into the fight, hoping for a quick end to the campaign.

AFP:

The Islamic State group poured in reinforcements Sunday for its nearly month-long siege of Kobane as the Syrian town’s Kurdish defenders kept up their high-profile resistance.

IS has sustained serious losses in the battle for the town despite their superior armour, with at least 36 of its fighters killed on Saturday alone, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

With the world’s press massed just across the nearby border with Turkey, the fight for the town has become one the jihadists cannot afford to lose, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

“It’s a decisive battle for them,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

“If they don’t pull it off, it will damage their image among jihadists around the world.”

Abdel Rahman said that IS was sending additional fighters from other areas it controls in Syria, including its Euphrates Valley stronghold of Raqa, after its Friday capture of the Kurdish command headquarters in Kobane failed to deliver a decisive blow.

“They are sending fighters without much combat experience,” said Abdel Rahman, whose group has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

“They are attacking on multiple fronts but they keep being repulsed, then countering and being pushed back again.”

The Kurds doing the pushing are led by a woman fighter.

A Kurdish woman fighter is leading the battle against Islamic State jihadists in the Syrian battleground town of Kobane, a monitoring group and activists said Sunday.

“Mayssa Abdo, known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin, is commanding the YPG in Kobane along with Mahmud Barkhodan,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The secular and left-leaning Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) group has been defending Kobane, on the border with Turkey, since Islamic State (IS) fighters launched an assault on September 16.

The group, the de facto army of the Kurdish regions of north and northeast Syria, is the armed wing of the powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

As is the custom for Kurdish fighters, Mayssa, 40, uses a pseudonym, with hers coming from the Afrin region where she was born that is located like Kobane in Aleppo province.

“Those who know her say she is cultivated, intelligent and phlegmatic,” said Mustefa Ebdi, a Kurdish activist from Kobane.

“She cares for the mental state of the fighters and takes interest in their problems,” he said.

She must be doing something right given the heroic defense her people are conducting.

In Iraq, things aren’t going very well. The US air dropped tons of supplies to Iraqi army units protecting an oil refinery south of Mosul. IS forces have cut them off by taking the surrounding towns and villages, so at the request of the Iraqi government, the we air dropped food, water, and ammunition.

And the psychological war by ISIS continues as well. Car bombs targeting Kurds in the north killed 26 and the Anbar police chief was assassinated. IS is softening up the civilian population of Baghdad as they are within 8 miles of the Baghdad airport.

That IS continues to advance in Syria and Iraq shows that US policy is fraying. The fall of Kobani could unravel it entirely, exposing the futility of the administration’s plans.

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Second Ebola Case Confirmed in Texas

Sunday, October 12th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

A Texas health care worker who was part of the team that treated America’s first Ebola case has tested positive for the virus, a state health official said today.

Reuters:

A Texas health worker who provided care for the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has tested positive for the deadly virus in a preliminary examination, a state health official said on Sunday.

The health care worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital reported a low-grade fever Friday night and was isolated and referred for testing, the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement.

“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the health service.

The first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola, Liberia citizen Thomas Eric Duncan, died in an isolation ward of the Dallas hospital on Oct. 8, 11 days after being admitted.

The U.S. government has since ordered five airports to start screening passengers from West Africa for fever.

No word on how the worker contracted the virus, although it’s remarkable that with all the precautions, all the protective gear, the worker was still exposed.

AFP is reporting:

Health officials have interviewed the patient and are identifying any contacts or potential exposures. People who had contact with the health care worker after symptoms emerged will be monitored based on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.

Health care workers see a lot of patients every day so you would hope that part of the monitoring that went on following the death of Thomas Duncan was limiting the number of hospital patients seen by the people who treated him.

Dare we point out that this wasn’t supposed to happen? That we were told that all the protective clothing, isolation wards, and hi-tech care would make the spread of the disease unlikely?

It may be unlikely, but it’s happened.

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Michigan High School Cancels Remaining Football Games for ‘Safety Reasons’

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

Caro High School in Caro, Michigan, has cancelled the there remaining games on its schedule citing safety concerns for its players.

A school of only 524 students. the Caro team suffered numerous injuries over the course of the season, forcing the coach to promote junior varsity players to the varsity. Four players also quit over the last two weeks which meant the coach was faced with a decision on whether to play freshmen. The freshmen team had already had their season canceled due to lack of players, so rather than play undersized players against the varsity from other teams, the coach and school principle, after a vote from the players and school board, canceled the last 3 games.

New York Times:

“It’s a difficult decision because our players were out there battling hard, but we’re an educational institution, and with our students, safety comes first,” Joslyn said in a telephone interview Friday. “These kids have long lives ahead of them, and we need to keep the brains in their heads intact.”

At a vigil for Tom Cutinella on Thursday at Shoreham-Wading River High School, players from Mount Sinai High School paid their respects.

Caro’s decision followed a tumultuous two weeks for the sport nationally — at least three high school football players died, two after on-field collisions.

Joslyn said Caro’s roster was so depleted that eight sophomores had been called up from the junior varsity. Because so many freshmen had been moved up to the junior varsity, the freshman season had already been canceled. Todd Topham, the varsity coach, then began to worry that his players would be so overmatched by older players on opposing teams that the games could become more dangerous for them.

Caro, with an enrollment of 524 students, plays in the Class B Tri-Valley Conference East and had gone 4-29 in the past four seasons. It was 1-5 this season.

Joslyn, who played football at Caro High School and in college, said the reaction from the community was mixed.

“I would say the response has been about 50-50,” Joslyn said. “Half have thanked us for making a courageous decision. The other people say you don’t ever quit, that kids are soft these days and need to get out there and battle. I understand all of that, but our kids were out there battling. We made the best decision we could.”

Sports are important to kids. They build confidence, instill discipline, and teach kids about the importance of teamwork.

But they’re not worth their health. The alarming statistics about concussions in all sports, but especially football, are causing a re-evaluation of the rules, as well as a bigger emphasis on good health care at all levels of the sport.

Young, growing bodies, not fully developed, are far more prone to serious injuries than adults. While “playing hurt” is part of football, that shouldn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your future health for the team or the sport.

There’s a movement in Little League baseball to make it illegal for a kid to throw a breaking ball. The strain and stress on young arms and the pressure to succeed is so great, that kids as young as 10 are having “Tommy John surgery.” The idea to ban curves and sliders in Little League has several prominent proponents, including some Hall of Famers.

The drive to compete and succeed is what sports are all about. But the frightening consequences of playing the game to the long term health of children should be weighed against the benefits that team sports give them.

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Authorities in Sierra Leone Tell Families to Care For Ebola Patients at Home

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

They’re out of Ebola beds in Sierra Leone and it appears that the outbreak is about to get a lot worse.

Authorities are advising families to keep their loved ones who have contracted Ebola at home. About all they can do is give out painkillers, re-hydrating solution, and gloves.

No masks. No gowns. No faceguards. No isolation. The chances that thousands of family members will contract the disease are very high. But there’s nothing the government can do about it until more help arrives.

New York Times:

“It’s basically admitting defeat,” said Dr. Peter H. Kilmarx, the leader of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s team in Sierra Leone, adding that it was “now national policy that we should take care of these people at home.”

“For the clinicians it’s admitting failure, but we are responding to the need,” Dr. Kilmarx said. “There are hundreds of people with Ebola that we are not able to bring into a facility.”

The effort to prop up a family’s attempts to care for ailing relatives at home does not mean that officials have abandoned plans to increase the number of beds in hospitals and clinics. But before the beds can be added and doctors can be trained, experts warn, the epidemic will continue to grow.

C.D.C. officials acknowledged that the risks of dying from the disease and passing it to loved ones at home were serious under the new policy — “You push some Tylenol to them, and back away,” Dr. Kilmarx said, describing its obvious limits.

But many patients with Ebola are already dying slowly at home, untreated and with no place to go. There are 304 beds for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone now, but 1,148 are needed, the World Health Organization reported this week. So officials here said there was little choice but to try the new approach as well.

“For the first time, the nation is accepting the possibility of home care, out of necessity,” said Jonathan Mermin, another C.D.C. official and physician here. “It is a policy out of necessity.”

Faced with similar circumstances in neighboring Liberia, where even more people are dying from the disease, the American government said last month that it would ship 400,000 kits with gloves and disinfectant.

“The home kits are no substitute for getting people” to a treatment facility, said Sheldon Yett, the Unicef director for Liberia. “But the idea is to ensure that if somebody has to take care of somebody at home, they’re able to do so.”

The international response to this crisis has been pathetic. The US has stepped up and we will almost certainly continue to increase our efforts.

But other industrialized nations have failed in their responsibility. US Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for an astonishing 20-fold increase in assistance. Where is the rest of the world?

Africa’s biggest trading partner, China, has said it would provide $1 million in cash, $2 million in food and specialists each to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The Asian giant is also sending 170 medical workers to Liberia, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. Currently, 58 Chinese are staffing an Ebola-treatment ward and blood-testing lab off the side of a Chinese-built clinic. Of these, 35 are drivers, handymen and chefs, said Guo Tongshing, the clinic’s chief doctor.

India, with deep trade links and air connections to West Africa, recently pledged to contribute $12.5 million, but no medical personnel. Brazil, which has spent a decade wooing African nations across the Atlantic, has contributed about $413,000.

Russia, which has also sought to rekindle Cold War allies here, sent a team of eight virologists to Guinea, once a Soviet outpost, and protective clothing.

South Africa—a country eager to cement its leadership role on the continent—has sent a mobile lab to Sierra Leone. There is no record of any monetary contribution from the country.

African health workers are part of the crisis response, though. The African Union has sent about 75 medical workers, and Uganda, which has extensive experience with Ebola, has sent 15.

Meanwhile, Japan, the world’s third-richest economy after the U.S. and China, is sending $40 million to the cause, but no personnel. Toyota Motor Corp. plans to donate cars to help transport patients.

Even France, the European country with the most military bases in Africa, has been slow to send in army medics. The former colonial power will construct and operate a 50-bed clinic in Guinea, staffed with 15 French medics at a given time, in addition to Red Cross volunteers, the state agency managing medical reservists said.

In another three months, there may be more than a million cases of Ebola in West Africa. By that time, no amount of aid will make a difference. The disease will run its course and probably spill over borders to western Europe and the US.

Now is the time when a maximum effort might save thousands of lives — including citizens in the west. For surely, it is far better to fight it over there, than have to fight it over here.

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Michelle Obama Flubs Candidate’s Name and Fibs About His Background

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - by Jennifer Hanin

Bruce’s last name is not Bailey. But Michelle Obama said it was. Over and over again while speaking in Iowa. Bruce is not a Marine Corps veteran. But Michelle Obama said he was. In fact, Michelle Obama didn’t correct Bruce’s last name until well into her speech after an attendee in the audience corrected her by shouting it out. Then and only then did Michelle Obama restore his name.

Hint: Campaign Signs Prove It’s Not Bailey

Yet FLOTUS offered a backhanded apology that fell flat with most attendees, not to mention her critics, and resembles a larger Obama family trait aka “shifting the blame.” She didn’t exactly take personal responsibility for her on-camera bloopers, but instead blamed her errors on her dizzying travel schedule (which really boils down to her staffers). Really? How many political surrogates get their candidates’ names wrong? None. And what would traveling have to do with proper pronunciation and relaying one’s background accurately? Nothing. So in essence FLOTUS is not only blaming staffers she employs (your tax moolah at work), but is unprepared and inadequate to be a political surrogate. She proved she doesn’t have the backbone or finesse to apologize and own up to her own flubs. And lucky for us, this one was caught on camera.

He’s Not a Veteran (But His Opponent Is)

And Bruce? Well let’s just say he won’t be hiring FLOTUS to stump his campaign any time soon. After all, he wouldn’t want her to continue butchering “Braley” or pitch him as a reservist when he never served our country. His dad served at Iwo Jima but he’s not running.

And how did the competition deal with this? Very well, as you’ll see on the next page.

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How We’re Not Degrading and Destroying ISIS in One Chart

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

Despite weeks of air strikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist army continues to advance with little sign that they have been slowed down.

Fox News reports that ISIS is making steady progress in conquering Anbar province in Iraq — the same province America shed a lot of blood and treasure in pacifying during the Iraq War. There are reports that IS is closing in on Baghdad, as their forces are just a few miles from the airport.

And in Syria, the Kurdish border town of Kobani is being overrun, as defenders continue to issue pleas for assistance. Here, too, American air strikes have been ineffective in halting the IS advance.

Waves of U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State fighters appear to have done little to stem the terrorist army’s advance in Syria, and now the militants are close to overrunning key positions on the outskirts of Baghdad.

With the world’s eyes on the terrorist army’s siege of the Syrian border city of Kobani, where U.S.-led airstrikes are backing Kurdish fighters, some 500 miles southeast, Islamic State fighters are within eight miles of the Iraqi metropolis. The Islamic militants have reportedly infiltrated the Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib, not far from the runway perimeter of Baghdad’s international airport. The suburb is perhaps best known to the west as the site of an infamous prison operated by the U.S. military during the Iraq war.

“Daash is openly operating inside Abu Ghraib,” an Iraqi soldier told McClatchy news service, using a common Arabic term for the Islamic State. “I was at the 10th Division base there two days ago, and the soldiers cannot leave or patrol,” he said. “Daash controls the streets.”

Islamic State’s proximity to the airport is especially worrisome, because they are now armed with shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles with a 20-mile range, according to the Iraqi Defense Ministry. The weapons, which Islamic State has grabbed up along with tanks, helicopters and fighter planes as it has seized up vast territory in northern Syria and Iraq, could allow the militants to shut down the airport.

Baghdad is guarded by some 60,000 Iraqi soldiers, but the much smaller and extended Islamic State army has sent them scurrying in the past, raising questions about their discipline and U.S. training. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf expressed rare confidence in Iraq’s military on Friday, saying it is capable of defending Baghdad.

“There are places where [the Islamic State] continues to make gains in Iraq,” said Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, press secretary to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. “We talked about Hit. We talked about Ramadi. We talked about Fallujah, which is still in contention right now. That’s worrisome, because it’s close to Baghdad.”

The buffer zone that protects Baghdad for now includes much of Anbar province, a key region between Baghdad and Syria. But the Iraqi army’s performance under fire has done little to build confidence.

“The situation in Anbar is really critical,” Falih Al Essawi, deputy head of the Anbar provincial council told the Wall Street Journal, adding that Iraq’s military in Anbar is “continuously losing.”

It is believed (hoped?) that Baghdad itself is in little danger at the moment. Even if Iraq’s army collapses there are several hundred thousand Shia militiamen and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who would fight to the bitter end to save the Shia regime’s capital.

But it raises the question why air strikes are so ineffective? Maybe this chart from BBC compiled from CENTCOM daily reports will shed a little light on the matter:

0000000Two months of air strikes and this is all we have to show for it? Those “armed vehicles” include the ubiquitous “Technicals” — pick-up trucks with machine guns mounted in the truck bed. How smart is it to use a $3 million smart bomb to destroy a used Toyota Tacoma?

In fact, air force pilots are complaining that targets to shoot at are hard to come by:

Within the U.S. Air Force, there’s mounting frustration that the air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is moving far more slowly than expected. Instead of a fast-moving operation with hundreds of sorties flown in a single day—the kind favored by many in the air service—American warplanes are hitting small numbers of targets after a painstaking and cumbersome process.

The single biggest problem, current and former Air Force officers say, is the so-called kill-chain of properly identifying and making sure the right target is being attacked. At the moment, that process is very complicated and painfully slow.

“The kill-chain is very convoluted,” one combat-experienced Air Force A-10 Warthog pilot told The Daily Beast. “Nobody really has the control in the tactical environment.”

Does this sound like an Obama operation or what? No one in control, half measures, slow and deliberate when speed and overwhelming power is called for.

Sounds like the rollout of Obamacare.

Call it a “Sham War” or a “Phony War,” it’s not working. If we’re really set on degrading and destroying Islamic State, we’re going about it in a strange way.

 

 

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No Sign of Increased Turnout for Dems on Election Day

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

At the beginning of the summer, the White House and Democrats on the Hill promised to highlight issues that were near and dear to the hearts of their core constituencies of single women, minorities, and young people.

To that end, they launched a series of attacks on Republicans: “war on women,” income inequality, exploiting racial tensions in Ferguson, and a promise from the president to take executive action on immigration.

None of those issues have resonated with their targets. The needle has hardly moved and it appears that Senate Democratic incumbents, as well as other Democratic congressional candidates, are going to pay the price for this miscalculation.

Recent polling suggests that the turnout for traditional Democratic groups for midterms will be even lower than it was in 2010 — an ominous sign that the party will suffer another humiliating defeat.

The Hill:

If the numbers hold, it could mean a rout for Democrats similar to the 2010 “shellacking” — President Obama’s description — that swept away their House majority.

“We cannot have 2010 turnout. If we have 2010 turnout among our key constituencies, we’re going to have 2010 all over again. It’s math,” said Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher, who served as a pollster for President Obama’s election campaigns.

Overall voter participation in midterm elections has hovered around 40 percent in recent years, compared to a 56 percent average for presidential years. But turnout levels are more resilient among older, richer and white voters — all of which is good news for Republicans.

According to the nonpartisan Voter Participation Center, nearly 21 million fewer African Americans, Hispanics, unmarried women and young people voted in 2010 compared to 2008. That’s exactly the situation Democrats want to avoid this time around.

Some Democrats think the party hasn’t done enough to pep up the groups that form its main pillars of support. Veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told The Hill last week that Hispanic voters would largely be unmotivated to vote in this year’s elections due to President Obama’s decision to delay an executive action on immigration.

“I think if we’d done something, it would have energized the Latino vote and drawn a clear distinction with the Republicans,” Lake said.

Polling has further shown that young people are generally disengaged with this year’s elections. A Pew Research poll this month found that only five percent of adults ages 18-29 were following the 2014 midterms very closely.

That could spell disaster for Democrats. National exit polls from the last midterm elections in 2010 indicated that voters aged 18-29 favored Democratic candidates over Republicans by 55 percent to 42 percent. Those figures were roughly reversed among voters aged 65 and older, who voted Republican 59 percent to 38 percent.

Tellingly, those voters who were 65 and older accounted for 21 percent of the votes cast in 2010, while only about 12 percent of the total voters came from the 18-29 cohort.

Turnout should be higher in states with high-profile competitive races. Michael McDonald, an associate professor at the University of Florida who specializes in elections, said that turnout may be low nationally simply because most of the county’s largest states — such as California and Texas — don’t have major competitive races.

Driving the point home is the fact that Dems are pulling ads from races they originally targeted for takeover, and moving money into the campaigns of House incumbents who are looking shakier all the time.

As for the Republicans, they are pouring money into Senate races, looking to put their candidates over the top:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is increasing television ad buys by $7.4 million in six of the tightest races, raising efforts to regain Senate control in the final weeks before Election Day.

The GOP Senate campaign arm will up ad buys by $1.5 million in Colorado, $1.45 million in Georgia, 1.25 million in Iowa, $1.2 million in New Hampshire and $1.0 million in both South Dakota and Alaska.

“These additional investments are part of our overall strategy to win and build a new Senate Republican majority,”  Ron Bonjean, a consultant for the party’s finance arm, said in a statement.

The move comes as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced this week it will drop $1 million into the South Dakota Senate race.

With Senator Roberts looking a little better in Kansas, and other Republican challengers staying close or maintaining a lead, the stage is set for a blowout GOP win. But in addition to battling their opponents, Republicans are fighting complacency . So far, the enthusiasm — what little there is for this race — appears to be on the GOP’s side. That doesn’t always translate into higher turnout, but given the historical advantage Republican constituencies show over Democrats in off-year elections, GOP confidence should be growing just 3 weeks from election day.

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Start Your Weekend with a Video Montage of TV Talking Heads Complaining About Barack Obama

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

At this point, there is probably enough of this kind of material out there to fill a feature-length film.

Enjoy, everyone.

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