Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

VIDEO: President Bush Predicted Exactly What We’re Seeing in Iraq

Friday, September 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Last night, Megyn Kelly aired this warning from President George W. Bush. He made the statement a few months after the surge in 2007, in response to critics such as then Sen. Barack Obama, who were demanding that US troops begin leaving Iraq immediately.

YouTube Preview Image

Bush warned what would happen. Specifically:

  1. Leaving too soon would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region, and for the United States.
  2. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda.
  3. We would risk mass killings on a horrific scale.
  4. It would allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq, to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan.
  5. Leaving too soon would make it more likely that American troops would have to return to Iraq, to face an even more dangerous enemy.

Did President Bush get any of that wrong? The Islamic State isn’t al Qaeda, so point two isn’t entirely accurate. But IS is arguably even worse than al Qaeda.

Read bullet |

Chicken Democrats Come Out to Oppose Obama’s Immigration Plan

Friday, September 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Politico has a fascinating story on Democrat nervousness over President Obama’s promise/threat to go around Congress and the law and grant unilateral action on about 5 million illegal aliens.

POLITICO sought comment in July from every Democratic senator facing reelection this fall, but only a handful took a position. In a follow-up survey this week of the full Democratic Caucus, more senators came out against the White House strategy.

“I have concerns about executive action,” said Franken, who had previously declined to comment, in a statement Thursday. “This is a job for Congress, and it’s time for the House to act.”

[Sen. Bill] Nelson said, through a spokesman, that Obama should use his executive authority to make fixes to the immigration system, but after the November elections.

What a profile in courage!

King urged Obama to reassess his decision to use his executive authority, saying “it would inflame the issue and I just think it would be a mistake.”

“I would oppose a unilateral action of a significant nature on immigration reform both on constitutional grounds and on policy grounds,” King said in an interview. “I hope the White House and the administration are reconsidering their statements on unilateral action.”

White House officials have privately expressed frustration with the timeline to decide by the end of summer, which was first suggested by Senate Democratic leaders back in February. As the chances for legislative action diminished, the leaders had demanded that Obama act on his own to fix the immigration system if Congress failed to pass a bill by August. After resisting the demands for months, Obama eventually agreed in June and announced the shift from a legislative strategy to an administrative one.

Angus King, the Independent, sounds like he has a principle or two left. None of the actual Democrats do.

Obama’s threat to go rogue before the end of summer was intended to put pressure on Republicans in the House to take up and pass the Senate’s bill. That didn’t work and was never likely to. House Republicans don’t take orders from Barack Obama.

Purely as political strategy, it was weak and is now backfiring. The hard left immigration groups are inflamed, the vulnerable Democrats are nervous, and the Republicans are poised to take the Senate.

The way to bet right now is that Obama makes more promises to placate the immigration groups, and delays moving until after the election, while he continues not securing the border. At that time, probably the day or two after the election, he hits with an even bigger power grab than he has threatened before. Or, he does nothing at all. It’s a go big or go home moment for him. Chances are, he goes big. The Republicans will have taken both houses of Congress, and Obama will want to get going on the constitutional crisis early.

 

Read bullet |

Benghazi: Security Officers Tell Fox that Yes, There Was a Stand-Down Order

Friday, September 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Fox’s Brett Baier interviewed three American security operators who were on the ground in Libya on the night of September 11, 2012. Terrorists linked to al Qaeda stormed the US facility in Benghazi, Libya that night and killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The three security specialists tell Baier that a top CIA officer delayed responding to the assault three times, costing them 30 minutes during the firefight.

The security contractors — Kris (“Tanto”) Paronto,  Mark (“Oz”) Geist, and John (“Tig”) Tiegen — spoke exclusively, and at length, to Fox News about what they saw and did that night. Baier, Fox News’ Chief Political Anchor, asked them about one of the most controversial questions arising from the events in Benghazi: Was help delayed?

Word of the attack on the diplomatic compound reached the CIA annex just after 9:30 p.m. Within five minutes, the security team at the annex was geared up for battle, and ready to move to the compound, a mile away.

“Five minutes, we’re ready,” said Paronto, a former Army Ranger. “It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.”

But the team was held back. According to the security operators, they were delayed from responding to the attack by the top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom they refer to only as “Bob.”

“It had probably been 15 minutes I think, and … I just said, ‘Hey, you know, we gotta– we need to get over there, we’re losing the initiative,’” said Tiegen. “And Bob just looks straight at me and said, ‘Stand down, you need to wait.’”

“We’re starting to get calls from the State Department guys saying, ‘Hey, we’re taking fire, we need you guys here, we need help,’” said Paronto.

After a delay of nearly 30 minutes, the security team headed to the besieged consulate without orders. They asked their CIA superiors to call for armed air support, which never came.

Now, looking back, the security team said they believed that if they had not been delayed for nearly half an hour, or if the air support had come, things might have turned out differently.

“Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said. Tiegen concurred.

“It happened on the ground– all I can talk about is what happened on that ground that night,” added Paronto. “To us. To myself, twice, and to– to Tig, once. It happened that night. We were told to wait, stand– and stand down.  We were delayed three times.”

Baier also asks the security officers whether the YouTube movie blamed by the Obama administration had anything to do with the attack. They say it had nothing to do with the attack at all.

The full interview airs tonight on Fox at 10 eastern.

Read bullet |

Homophobic NFL Called Up Several NFL Teams to See About Signing Michael Sam

Friday, September 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Nice catch by JWF.

According to NBC’s Peter King, NFL officials called teams around the league to gauge their interest in signing former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, to their practice squads.

The Cowboys signed Sam to their practice squad Wednesday. Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams but didn’t make the Rams’ 53-man roster.

King reported the news about Sam during the pre-game show before NBC’s coverage of  the NFL regular-season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.

“The Rams waived Michael Sam, the first openly gay player trying to make an NFL roster, he was unemployed for two days,” King said. “During that time a league official contacted multiple teams asking if they had evaluated Sam as a probable practice squad player.”

“Now Sam and the NFL avoided a nightmare situation when he signed with the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.”

What’s this “nightmare situation”? Every team cut a whole lot of players during pre-season. They do that every pre-season. Cutting players who aren’t good enough is one of the purposes of pre-season. After the Cowboys signed him, owner Jerry Jones admitted that Sam “is not ready to go at all.” Yet the NFL called around, and the Cowboys signed him.

Is it standard practice for the National Football League’s office to call up teams to get one player who hadn’t made the grade picked up by another team? The fact that King reported it suggests that it’s unusual.

Now why would the homophobic NFL make such an effort for one player and not the hundreds of other players who were cut during pre-season?

Update: Exit question — did the NFL shop around to find a home for Tim Tebow?

Read bullet |

Another ‘Smidgen of Corruption’ in the IRS Scandal

Friday, September 5th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

27f52a9

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder this week demanding that he hand over contact information for a former IRS attorney with ties to Lois Lerner.

Jordan, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, said in the letter he is requesting the contact information for former Department of Justice attorney Andrew Strelka. “The department’s efforts to prevent the committee from learning Mr. Strelka’s whereabouts suggest the department has cause for keeping him from speaking with the committee.”

Prior to joining DOJ, Strelka worked for former IRS executive Lois Lerner. He was the recipient of an email that directed him to “[b]e on the look out for a tea party case.” The email went on to say, “If you have received or do receive any case in the future involving an exemption for an organization having to do with tea party, let me know.”

While working at DOJ, Strelka represented the IRS in Z Street v. Koskinen, a civil suit related to the IRS targeting of conservative groups. He was suddenly removed from the case in July after reports surfaced about his time spent working for Lerner. Jordan says it was a “startling conflict of interest” for Strelka to represent the IRS in the case. Strelka maintained a relationship with Lerner following his departure from the IRS and, according to Jordan, “completed a detail in the White House before being mysteriously removed” from the Z Street case.

Strelka’s LinkedIn profile says that he is currently employed at Miller and Chevalier Chartered, a Washington, D.C., law firm. A spokesman for Congressman Jordan told the Columbus Dispatch that the committee tried to contact Strelka through information they found online, but “Mr. Strelka did not respond.”

According to Jordan’s letter, the Justice Department “interjected itself” into the committee’s efforts to contact Strelka and “even chided the Committee for attempting to contact Mr. Strelka directly.”

The Ohio Republican reminded Holder that obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime and “denying or interfering with a federal employee’s rights to furnish information to Congress is against the law.” However, Jordan said he is not surprised, given the Department of Justice’s history of obstruction and obfuscations.

Brian Fallon, a Justice Department spokesman, said in response to Jordan’s request, “As the Chairman’s staff is already aware, the committee’s request to speak with Mr. Strelka is being fielded by the department. The department will be responding to the committee’s request promptly.”

Rep. Jordan is demanding that Holder provide contact information by noon on Friday so the committee can schedule a transcribed interview “directly outside the prejudicial influence of the Justice Department.”

Read bullet |

Meet the Islamic State’s American Social Media Guru

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

There’s a reason that the Islamic State’s magazine looks so slick and reads like it was written for a young American audience. There’s a reason that IS’ social media appear to be designed to get their message out to the west, effectively.

The man behind the message is believed to be an American. And contrary to the left’s notions that poverty causes terrorism, he is not poor. He is also not uneducated.

A college educated American citizen with a knack for computers is believed to be one of the men running the brutally effective ISIS social media operation, which is helping to attract hundreds of fighters from across the world – including the U.S., Britain and Canada.

Ahmad Abousamra, 32, was born in France and raised in the upscale Boston suburb of Stoughton. His father is a prominent endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He attended the exclusive Xaverian Brothers Catholic high school and made the Dean’s List at Northeastern University. 

He graduated with a degree in a technology field then took a job at a telecommunications company. 

U.S. officials tell ABC News that he is now putting his skills to work for ISIS, the brutal terrorist organization that has been effectively using 21st century methods like Twitter memes, Facebook posts, selfies and YouTube videos to promote its radical 6th century Islamic ideals.

He originally left the U.S. to fight for al Qaeda in Iraq in 2004. He went into the media wing, returned to the U.S. in 2006, was questioned by the FBI, and then released again. Now he’s believed to be the man behind ISIS’ social media strategy.

Update: Some commenters have pointed out that this guy is far worse than Tokyo Rose. I’ve changed the headline.

Read bullet |

Healthcare.gov Hacked But They Swear It’s Totally No Big Deal

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The little website that couldn’t.

A hacker broke into part of the HealthCare.gov insurance portal this summer but federal authorities said the intruder did not seem to have taken consumer data. Millions of Americas registered on the site to purchase insurance.

“Today, we briefed key congressional staff about an intrusion on a test server that supports HealthCare.gov. Our review indicates that the server did not contain consumer personal information; data was not transmitted outside the agency, and the website was not specifically targeted. We have taken measures to further strengthen security,” a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services statement said.

The hacker appears to have accessed a server and uploaded harmful software, which can be used to launch other attacks, although a CMS spokesman said those attacks were not in fact carried out. Still, it is believed to be the first time a hacker has entered the federal health insurance website.

Hey, if the government says it’s ok, it’s ok, got it?

Now we can all just look forward to our incompetent, non-medical professional overlords making life or death decisions.

Read bullet |

Reuters Seems Stunned That Jerry Brown Is Participating In A Debate

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The headline:

Calif. Governor Jerry Brown to debate long-shot challenger Kashkari

Then:

California Governor Jerry Brown, a popular Democrat, will debate his long-shot Republican opponent Thursday night, kicking off the state’s election season early with anticipated scuffles over education, high-speed rail and the state’s economy.

Brown, who served two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983, returned to the state’s highest office four years ago, and now seeks his fourth term at the helm of the most populous U.S. state with high approval ratings and a rapidly recovering economy.

Get it kids? Kashkari’s a long-shot! They should say that a few more times to make it clear.

Forget the biased “rapidly recovering economy” nonsense-there are some unfunded pension liabilities looming on the horizon that could swallow this economy whole. To his credit, Brown has kinda/sorta tried to address them but the California legislature is comprised mostly of Titanic captains and nobody wants to see that iceberg.

What struck me here was the tone of the article, as if a candidate in a race who enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls shouldn’t deign to acknowledge his or her challenger.

If Kashkari does well in the debate and doesn’t implode before November, this could merely be a tune-up for a run in four years, when that iceberg is getting closer.

Read bullet |

Clinton-Appointed Judge Restores Ohio’s ‘Golden Week’ Voting Trickery

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Judges Gone Wild, Vol. 1 Zillion

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Ohio to restore a week to its early voting period before the November general election, ruling that a state law that cut the days violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

Ohio must reinstate a full 35 days of early in-person voting, which includes what is called a “golden week” where residents can register to vote and cast early ballots on the same day, U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus ruled.

Ohio established the early voting period in 2005 in response to lengthy waiting times at the polls during the 2004 general election, especially in urban areas. Ohio is expected to be a pivotal state again in the 2016 presidential election.

The Republican-controlled state legislature in February approved a law that truncated the period to 28 days from 35, eliminating the early part of the period that had allowed people to register and cast ballots the same day.

Note that Republicans didn’t seek to eliminate early voting, they didn’t even significantly reduce it. They just got rid of the sketchy “Register here and vote here…” week. Had they tried to eliminate it, the judge’s rationale would have made a bit more sense, but still would have been a stretch:

“African Americans in Ohio are more likely than other groups to utilize EIP voting in general and to rely on evening and Sunday voting hours,” Economus wrote.

As such, he found, plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong likelihood the legislation and directive from the secretary of state would “result in fewer opportunities for African Americans to participate in the electoral process.”

First, the fact that African Americans are “more likely” to take advantage of the law doesn’t completely presuppose that it is the only chance they have to vote. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that various leftist activist groups, as well as unions, exhorted people to get to the polls early, especially for “Register here and vote here…”

Even if that is not the case, then the judge’s logic only holds if African Americans overwhelmingly voted in the “Golden Week” and were largely absent from the other FULL MONTH that people were given to vote in person early.

So this really isn’t about the number of days. Four weeks is plenty of early voting time, even with the restrictions, and anyone claiming otherwise is insane. Anyone who absolutely, positively needs to vote early can.

This is really about the leftists’ overwhelming desire to make sure people can register late and vote the second they do.

With some…help, of course.

Read bullet |

Let’s Look at a Bunch of Polls!

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Republican Greg Abbott is killin’ it in the Texas governor race, according to an internal campaign poll.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott leads Democratic rival Wendy Davis by 18 percentage points in his campaign’s latest internal survey, the attorney general’s pollster told supporters Wednesday evening.

The poll, which was completed last week, shows Abbott beating Davis 53 to 35 percent, Chris Wilson of WPA Opinion Research said on a conference call for people who gave $25 or more to Abbott’s campaign. He did not disclose the survey’s methodology or margin of error.

Democrat Wendy Davis’ campaign didn’t really question the poll, other than to claim that their own poll has them “within striking distance.” No numbers were provided to back that up, though.

So that’s Texas. Louisiana is red but not as deep a shade as Texas. Incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, Democrat, is sinking as the election draws near, according to Rasmussen.

Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy has edged ahead of incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu in Louisiana’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race.

A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Louisiana Voters finds Cassidy with 44% of the vote and Landrieu with 41%. Nine percent (9%) like some other candidate in the race, while six percent (6%) are undecided.

That’s two Democrats not doing well. How about a third?

Gallup has President Barack Obama sinking to a new low in his approval rating, down to 38%. A solid majority of 54% disapprove. He is underwater on pretty much every issue — immigration, foreign policy, the economy, healthcare, you name it, he stinks at it.

I pretty much have nowhere else to post this next bit, because it’s totally unverified, yet it’s funny. This video — unverified — supposedly shows a bunch of captured Islamic State warriors blubbering and bawling, going sissy. It’s undated, and I don’t speak the lingo that those guys are speaking. But the wailing is obvious enough.

This video won’t help the IS brand. So verified or not, it deserves to be viewed by every person on earth.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Read bullet |

Forget ‘Rent Free’-Koch Brothers Now Building High Rise Condos In Harry Reid’s Head

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Enemies.”

Industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch and “their cronies” are “enemies of progress” in developing green energy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday at the start of his annual energy conference.

“We must repel the negative forces seeking to undermine support for clean energy,” said Reid, who has spent much of the past year denouncing the Kochs. “Huge amounts of money is being spent in misleading American consumers through a sophisticated and dishonest public relations campaign.”

He added: “These enemies of progress and their cronies are spending massive amounts of money to mislead every level of government.”

Reid didn’t refer to the Kochs by name but told the National Clean Energy Summit 7.0 audience, “I think each of you know who I’m talking about.”

That’s right, Reid is so pathetic with his Koch whining that he doesn’t even have to mention them. Everyone is well-aware of his almost pathological obsession at this point.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if Democrat leaders could be more willing to use the word “enemies” for, you know, our actual enemies, rather than Republicans?

They’d have to undergo a fundamental philosophical shift and actually see the threats from abroad more dangerous than political dissent at home and that’s just not the way the modern, progressive-dominated Democrats work.

Read bullet |

According to John Kerry, Christian America Must Protect Muslims from Global Warming

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Is America a theocracy? Secretary of State John Kerry seems to think so. He cites the Holy Bible to push Christians to take a particular policy action.

YouTube Preview Image

America’s chief diplomat is a secular officer in a secular government. Yet he calls the nations he is addressing in the clip “Muslim-majority,” identifying them not by their names or even their ethnicities, but by their dominant religion. Are they democracies, are they dictatorships, are they mullahcracies? It doesn’t matter. Kerry says that they’re all “Muslim” or “Muslim-majority,” and that’s what counts.

America is majority Christian, so according to Secretary of State John Kerry, we are a Christian nation. Therefore, according to  Kerry, we must govern according to what the Bible says.

In the clip Kerry calls on other countries, presumably ones in which majorities respect the Bible, to protect those Muslim countries from climate change. He starts to cite specific scriptures, which he says “clearly” call for Christian countries to protect Muslim countries from climate change, and then appears to change his mind and settle on “Genesis.”

Who knew that John Kerry is such a hard core theocrat?

Read bullet |

Should Your School District Pony Up to Hire a Super-Superintendent? New Study Says, ‘Meh.’

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

They make handsome salaries, make important-sounding speeches, and often make their Boards dance to their tune, but NPR reports that a new study says school superintendents have virtually no impact where it matters.

“We just don’t see a whole lot of difference in student achievement that correlates with who the superintendent happens to be,” says Matthew Chingos, a senior fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. He’s a co-author of what’s likely the first broad study to examine the link between superintendents and student achievement.

Chingos and his co-authors, Grover Whitehurst and Katharine Lindquist, analyzed student test score data from Florida and North Carolina over a 10-year period. His conclusion: Hiring a new superintendent made almost no difference in student success.

Chingos explains the findings this way: “What percentage of differences in student achievement is explained by superintendents? It’s very small, about 0.3 percent.”

Whether you hire a new one, or pay bonuses to keep the one you have, it won’t really matter to the bottom line.

In football, coaches cash in, but not for long if they can’t win.

But in this sport, where the average Superintendent makes $195,000 fully rolled up with bennies, there’s not only a lack of consequences for paltry student performance, there’s no explicit connection between the two.

O, sure, every superintendent talks about student achievement, but few would be willing to link their contract to it.

One exception is New Jersey, where in 2011, as part of a salary cap law, the state started paying Superintendents CEO bonuses – up to 15% of salary — based on metrics determined by the local school board. Of course, that happened thanks to Gov. Chris Christie. The unions fought him all the way and the accusations fly that districts play fast and loose with the benchmarks.

Having worked a few years in the admin building of a public school district, and read a number of books on education reform at that time, I can tell you that few people “in the industry” actually know how to increase student performance. 

I worked in the PR department, and sometimes we’d get a call from a parent thinking of moving into our district. They always asked about our state ratings, clearly concerned about their children’s future. Sometimes I wanted to ask “how much money do you make?” Because the only thing that seemed clear from our in-district stats was that schools in better neighborhoods, with higher incomes, registered higher average standardized test scores.

Of course, this new study will have little impact on contract negotiations, thanks to the magical thinking of school boards, which always see their district as an exception to the rule.

 

 

 

Read bullet |

State Dept Launches New Front Against O’Reilly: He’s a Sexist!

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

State Department New Media Field Marshal Marie Harf has opened up a new front in her war against Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly.

Harf launched her first attack on the cable titan earlier today, in a tweet that backed her colleague, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, after O’Reilly criticized Psaki’s response to a series of questions about President Obama’s confusing response to the Islamic State.

Harf was asked about her tweet at the State Department’s briefing today.

She ripped O’Reilly for using “sexist” language.

“I think that when the anchor of a leading cable news show uses––quite frankly––sexist, personally offensive language that I actually don’t think they would ever use about a man, against the person that shares this podium with me, I think I have an obligation and I think it’s important to step up and say that’s not okay.”

The language that O’Reilly used never mentioned gender at all. He said that Psaki is “out of her depth” and that she lacks the “gravitas” to be the leading voice of US foreign policy. Gender never came up, other than the use of the personal pronoun, “she.” If that’s out of bounds now…

Mediaite has video of Harf’s latest salvo launched, not at the Islamic State, but at the Fox News Channel — which is and will always be the Obama administration’s enemy number one.

Read bullet |

Former VA Gov. Bob McDonnell Convicted on Corruption Charges

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Washington Post reports that former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) has been found guilty on 11 charges. His wife, Maureen, has been convicted on 8 counts.

RICHMOND — A federal jury Thursday found former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of public corruption — sending a message that they believed the couple sold the office once occupied by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson to a free spending Richmond businessman for golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans.

After three days of deliberations, the seven men and five women who heard weeks of gripping testimony about the McDonnells’ alleged misdeeds acquitted the couple of several charges pending against them–but nevertheless found that they lent the prestige of the governor’s office to Jonnie R. Williams Sr. in a nefarious exchange for his largesse.

The verdict means that Robert McDonnell, who was already the first governor in Virginia history to be charged with a crime, now he holds an even more unwanted distinction: the first ever to be convicted of one. He and his wife face decades in federal prison, though their actual sentence will probably fall well short of that.

Sentencing is set for January 6.

 

 

Read bullet |

A True Comedy Pioneer Passes: Joan Rivers Is Dead At 81

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

RIP.

Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.

Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.

Joan Rivers carved a niche for herself in stand-up at a time when it wasn’t just difficult-it was unheard of. It was still pretty brutal for women in the business by the time I got to it decades later so I can’t even imagine what it was like when there weren’t any other women doing it.

I remember watching her guest-host on The Tonight Show back in the halcyon days before her legendary falling out with Johnny Carson. She was fearless on stage. In fact, were she starting out today doing the same kind of humor, being female wouldn’t be as much of an obstacle but the PC Speech Police would be apoplectic about her material (she frequently did “Liz Taylor is so fat…” jokes when subbing for Carson).

She had killer timing, which was still on display when doing her fashion critiques of red carpet celebs in recent years. While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the genre, I would still watch on occasion to hear the old girl being effortlessly, humorously and brilliantly caustic.

Some of my closest friends after thirty years in stand-up are female comics I’ve worked with. I know I would never had met them if it weren’t for Joan Rivers.

Rest in peace, dear lady.

And say hi to Liz Taylor.

Read bullet |

Has HuffPo Hired a 9-11 Truther to Cover National Security?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that the Huffington Post has hired former NFL receiver Donte Stallworth to cover national security issues.

That’s questionable enough on its own.

As recently as November 2013, Stallworth Truther-tweeted this:

 

Stallworth now says that he is not a Truther, and HuffPo is backing him up, claiming that his Truther views are from five years ago. Even though they’re clearly far more recent than that. What did HuffPo know about this, and when did they know it?

Let’s take Mr. Stallworth at his word. He is not a Truther, now. He was one within the past year. He was one for years, in fact. Let’s enter this quote into evidence.

“NO WAY 9/11 was carried out by ‘dying’ Bin Laden, 19 men who couldn’t fly a damn kite. STILL have NO EVIDENCE Osama was connected, like Iraq,” Stallworth tweeted in 2009. Stallworth also tweeted, “Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr @ ppl who actually believe a plane hit the pentagon on 9/11… hole woulda been ASTRONOMICALLY bigger, God bless lost lives.”

Did any of Stallworth’s Trutherism come up in the Huffington Post’s job interview with him? What in Stallworth’s career suggests that he is any way informed and responsible enough to cover foreign policy? Is it his NFL career? Is it the DUI manslaughter charge he pleaded guilty to in 2009, when he killed a 59-year-old man? Or his gullibility on the worst terrorist attack ever committed on American soil? How will a (former) Truther cover, say, the Islamic State now?

Just how does the talent search work at HuffPo? It’s hard to imagine that the actual journalists who work there are happy to have such a hire for the company.

Read bullet |

Holder Expanding Ferguson Investigation to Entire Police Department

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the Justice Department is significantly expanding its inquiry into the conduct of the Ferguson police after the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

Holder said the federal civil rights investigation into the shooting itself “remains open and remains very active,” and assured Americans that the probe is “fair, thorough and independent.”

When he was recently in Ferguson, though, the attorney general said he heard people “consistently” express “compelling” concern about law enforcement incidents and a “lack of diversity on the police force.”

In addition to collecting resident complaints, the Justice Department said it reviewed public records including “demographics” and “cases filed by private litigants” in its decision to open the investigation.

“As a result of this history,” Holder said, his department decided to launch an “extensive review of documented allegations” and open an investigation to determine if there is a pattern or practice of violations in Ferguson.

Holder said the review of “constitutional policing” practices would be undertaken by the Civil Rights Division.

The investigation will focus on all aspects of policing, he said, including force, the use of deadly force, stops, searches, arrest, detainment procedures and conditions, and any “discriminatory police techniques and tactics.”

Holder said they met with the mayor and police chief, who “welcomed this investigation” and pledged to cooperate with the DOJ.

He added that the investigation would go wherever it may lead, and could expand to neighboring jurisdictions. “We will not hesitate to do so,” he said.

Two days after Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown, Holder vowed that the DOJ would “supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities.”

On Aug. 20, Holder visited Ferguson to meet with local officials and the Brown family.

“As the brother of a retired police officer, I know firsthand that our men and women in uniform perform their duties in the face of tremendous threats and significant personal risk.  They put their lives on the line every day, and they often have to make split-second decisions,” Holder said after his trip.

“But in my conversations with dozens of people in Ferguson, it was clear that this shooting incident has brought to the surface underlying tensions that have existed for some time; tensions with a history that still simmers in communities across the country,” he added. “The national outcry we’ve seen speaks to the sense of mistrust and mutual suspicion that can sometimes take hold in the relationship between law enforcement officers and their constituents.”

Rep. Wm “Lacy ” Clay (R-Mo.), who represents the district where the Brown shooting occurred, said in a statement that he’s “very gratified that the Department of Justice has responded to my concerns and those of my constituents by launching this federal probe into possible civil rights violations that may have been committed by the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department.”

“I want to personally thank Attorney General Holder for responding to my request with such strength and speed,” Clay said.

Read bullet |

Obama Administration Signs Memo to Protect Illegal Alien Workers

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Among other reasons, this is why we must have voter ID. The Obama administration is doing its best to erase the US-Mexico border entirely.

(CNSNews.com) – At a signing ceremony on Friday, the U.S. government, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), entered into aMemorandum of Understanding(MOU) with the Mexican government to allow Mexican Nationals – regardless of immigration status – to “exercise their workplace rights.”

The MOU is consistent with the “core mission of this commission,” Mexican Ambassador to the United States Eduardo Medina Mora Icaza said, adding “that regardless of national origin or immigration status all workers have rights and there are processes to safeguard them.

Employers who hire illegal aliens are breaking the law, as are the aliens themselves.

“This is what makes this country so great,” the ambassador said.

No it isn’t. We were once a nation of laws and liberty. That was what made us great.

This memo favors illegal alien workers over citizens, because employers can pay them less than Americans. That depresses wages, especially at the lower end of the pay scale. Those fast-food workers who are demonstrating for a minimum wage hike should look over their shoulders. Cheaper illegal labor, and robotic labor, will replace them soon enough.

The memo also sets up the possibility that illegal aliens will sue their employers over numerous workplace and business regulations. The EEOC told CNSNews that it does not check for immigration status when a worker files a complaint.

That’s what the Obama administration is doing with one hand. With the other, it is hiding the inflow of illegal aliens from Central America from Congress and the public.

Exit question: Are they being sent to swing states?

Read bullet |

US State Department Declares WAR! On Bill O’Reilly…

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

During Wednesday’s State Department press briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki took a little dig at the Fox News Channel before going on to toss a word salad in defense of President Obama.

Obama had just used an appearance in Estonia to give three different takes on what to do about the IS threat, one of which was to “shrink” the Islamic State so that it becomes a “manageable problem.” His own vice president didn’t buy that, and contradicted it almost immediately.

Psaki’s dig itself was petty and inappropriate for a government spokeswoman to deliver in a discussion of a serious national security threat.

Wednesday night, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly hosted a discussion with reporter James Rosen. Rosen had quizzed Psaki about the president’s “manageable problem,” eliciting the jumble of nonsense that Psaki came up with.

During that discussion, O’Reilly stated the perfectly obvious — that Psaki is “out of her depth” and lacks the “gravitas for the job.”

O’Reilly is by no means the first to make that observation. Psaki moved to the State Department straight from the hyperpartisan Obama campaign. She has proven unable to drop her partisanship even in US diplomacy, as evidenced by her cheap shots at Fox.

Today, State’s deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf declared WAR! But not on the Islamic State.

On a fellow American.

Reaction to Harf has been justifiably unkind.

The State Department’s spokeschildren need a time-out.

Read bullet |

No Delete: Artist Plans to Use Life-Sized Leaked Nude Photos in Art Exhibit

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton have fired up their lawyers and managed to get most of their leaked nude photos off of the sites that were posting them. But E! reports that the photos will be coming back to public view anyway.

Los Angeles artist XVALA intends to create uncensored, life-sized versions of them, call them “art” and display them in a gallery in St. Petersburg, FL in October.

The exhibit’s publicist does what an amoral publicist does.

“XVALA appropriating celebrity compromised images and the overall ‘Fear Google’ campaign has helped strengthen the ongoing debate over privacy in the digital era,” said publicist Cory Allen. ”The commentary behind this show is a reflection of who we are today. We all become ‘users’ and in the end, we become ‘used.’”

In this case, used by the publicist and the artist he represents. Cha-ching!

XVALA has been gathering up leaked celebrity photos for seven years using Google, and intends to use that collection in his exhibit.

Being wary of Google and Facebook is wise. They are universal data-mining and privacy-deleting megacorporations.

But the “Fear Google” logic isn’t exactly sound in the recent leak case. The photos were posted on iCloud, which is Apple, and were posted on sites like 4chan after the hacker or hackers obtained them. Google was merely the means by which many Internet users found the photos once the media went into overdrive reporting on the leak.

Read bullet |

‘Decimated’ al-Qaeda Announces Big Expansion with New South Asia Chapter

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
YouTube Preview Image

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the formation of a new chapter —  the Al-Qaeda Jihad Organization in South Asia — intended to ”raise the flag of jihad” in India and beyond.

“This step is an effort for the ascendancy of Islam, re-establishment of Islamic government, and rule of Islamic sharia in the land of South Asia, which was once part of the world of Islam but infidels captured it and divided it into small pieces,” Zawahiri said, according to a MEMRI translation.

The terror leader said the formation of the new wing has been underway for “nearly two years” now. The expansion plans were being fomented at the same time as Zawahiri initiated another key cog in al-Qaeda expansion and rebranding — appointing young and ruthless al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi as the organization’s general manager.

Zawahiri says that existing jihadi leaders in South Asia were brought into the al-Qaeda fold to form the new branch.

Taliban leader Mullah Omar will oversee the new unit. ”In the entire word at this time, the message of jihad under the flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been spreading and expanding continuously,” Zawahiri said.

He said his confidence on Mullah Omar rests in part on the fact that U.S. troops are soon leaving Afghanistan, making the Taliban leader’s 2001 prediction of eventual victory correct.

“Therefore, O mujahid brothers, progress towards unity and fraternity! Hold tight Allah’s rope by leaving behind internal differences and discord, and stay away from groupism! This organization has been established so that, by uniting with our Muslim brothers in the entire world, to erase the borders which were drawn by the Britishers to divide the Muslims of South Asia,” he continued. “Therefore, the fundamental message of this organization for the inhabitants of South Asia is that they unite based on the Islamic monotheism and perform the duty of aiding Islam by walking on the path of dawah [invitation to Islam] and jihad adopted by prophets and pious persons of Allah.”

Zawahiri specifically noted Burma, Bangladesh, and India’s regions of Assam, Gujarat and Kashmir as regions where al-Qaeda cares and will offer “a cool breeze for the hapless and weak people.”

“Today, the core of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They have not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11,” President Obama declared in May 2013 at the National Defense University.

Last August, Obama told Marines at Camp Pendleton that “al-Qaeda’s top ranks have been hammered.”

“The core of al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is on the way to defeat,” he added.

Two days later, when questioned about this in a press conference at the White House, the president reiterated that “core al-Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated.”

“So it’s entirely consistent to say that this tightly organized and relatively centralized al-Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11 has been broken apart and is very weak and does not have a lot of operational capacity, and to say we still have these regional organizations like AQAP that can pose a threat, that can drive potentially a truck bomb into an embassy wall and can kill some people,” he maintained.

And while Obama admitted in his State of the Union address that the “threat has evolved” with the growth of affiliates, he maintained “we have put al-Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat.”

Read bullet |

Islamic State Brands Itself as a Unique Multi-Racial Melting Pot

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

On Friday before the Labor Day holiday, the third edition of the Islamic State’s glossy English-language magazine hit the Internet.

It’s called Dabiq, named after a small town in Syria where the Islamic State believes that the final battle for the world will begin. The third edition is titled A Call to Hijrah — “hijrah” means “the path to jihad.”

As we reported Friday, the magazine includes a lengthy statement said to be from James Foley, whom IS had beheaded in the days before A Call to Hijrah was released. It also calls President Barack Obama an “apostate,” which according to Islamic law marks him for death. IS may believe that Obama is a Muslim apostate because his father and grandfather were Muslims, or because he was educated in an Islamic school as a child in Indonesia, or both, and now states that he is a Christian.

In its opening chapters, Dabiq stakes the Islamic State’s claim that it is unique in all of history.

dabiq-1

dabiq-2

 

That is from page four, which includes an undated photo of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is probably the “unknown man” that the text above refers to, because until the rise of the Islamic State he has not been the worldwide known figure that Osama bin Laden was for al Qaeda until his death.

Dabiq states if one were to travel to the Islamic State’s units on the front-lines in Syria and Iraq, they would see that the “soldiers and commanders [are] of different colors, languages and lands: the Najdi, the Jordanian, the Tunisian, the Egyptian, the Somali, the Turk, the Albanian, the Chechen, the Indonesian, the Russian, the European, the American, and so on. They left their families and their lands to renew the state of the muwahhidin in Sham, and they had never known each other until they arrived in Sham!”

The author goes on to state: “I have no doubt that this state…has become the largest collection of muhajirin in the world, is a marvel of history that has only come about to pave the way for al-Malhamah al-Kubra (the grand battle prior to the Hour).”

Part 2 of Dabiq, which begins on page 6, continues in this vein, extolling its jihadists. It connects Ibn Masud, who lived in the time of Mohammed, to al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who also praised foreign fighters who joined the al Qaeda cause in Iraq. Part 2 endeavors to put the Islamic State squarely into Islamic history, in the mainstream, as inheritors of the mantle left by Mohammed himself and carried out by Zarqawi and now al-Baghdadi.

As a propaganda and recruitment tool, Dabiq is impressive. It is well-produced and takes the time to explain many Islamic concepts that even Muslims who grew up in the West might not be familiar with. The magazine’s characterization of the Islamic State as a multi-national and multi-ethnic melting pot, coupled with photos of smiling IS warriors, is an overt pitch to westerners who have been steeped in multiculturalism in schools and media for decades. IS is pitching itself as the joyous fulfillment of the West’s ideal to bring all races, nationalities and cultures together to live side-by-side in harmony.

The Islamic State’s harmony depends not on voluntary assimilation and tolerance, but on exterminating everyone and everything that it deems haram — sinful.

Dabiq: A Call to Hijrah is embedded  on the next page.

Read bullet |

Obama Adviser: ISIS Strategy ‘Going to Come Together in the Coming Weeks’

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken promised that President Obama’s strategy to destroy ISIS “is going to come together in the coming weeks.”

“As we speak, the president is deeply engaged with our partners in Wales at the NATO summit. In the days ahead, Secretary Kerry will be going out to the region. Secretary Hagel will be following suit. Lisa Monaco, our counterterrorism adviser, will also be heading out, all of this in an effort to put together a coalition of countries, each of whom have a lot at stake if ISIL is allowed to consolidate its place and to grow from where it ISIS,” Blinken told CNN last night.

He also maintained that Obama has been “entirely consistent” in messaging that has alternately advocated defeating ISIS and turning it into a “manageable problem.”

“What he said and what he said very clearly is this. This is going to be a long-term effort. In the near term, what we can begin to do is to disrupt ISIL. And, indeed, we have actually started to do that in Iraq with the strikes that we have taken,” Blinken said. “Second, we get to the point of disrupting them, really getting them off their toes, onto their heels. That’s the same thing as making the problem manageable. And then, over time with this coalition, we get them to the point of defeat.”

“But the president was clear and wanted to be clear with the American people and folks around the world that that’s something that’s going to take time. So, what he said was entirely consistent. There’s a continuum that goes from disrupting them to degrading them or managing them and ultimately to defeating them.”

Blinken acknowledged that ISIS can’t be destroyed by airstrikes alone, “which is exactly what the president is building and exactly why we’re being so deliberate about it.”

He said consultations with Congress should “intensify” when lawmakers return from summer recess next week.

“ISIS is focused on the region. It poses a clear and present danger to people in Iraq, to people in Syria, to people in the region, and indeed as we have seen tragically, to Americans in the region,” Blinken said. “It has aspirations to threaten the homeland. We don’t think it’s there yet, but, if it’s left unchecked, it could get there. And that’s what we’re determined to prevent.”

“…Weeks ago, the president gathered all of his national security advisers, homeland security advisers, in anticipation of the anniversary of 9/11, as we do every year, because that can be a time of heightened concern, to make sure that we were doing everything possible against all lines of effort to be vigilant and to prevent any threats. And I’m very confident we have done just that.”

Read bullet |

Muslims Sexually Enslaving Children: A Global Phenomenon

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

As shocking as the Muslim-run sex ring in Rotherham, England may seem to some—1,400 British children as young as 11 plied with drugs before being passed around and sexually abused in cabs and kabob shops—the fact is that this phenomenon is immensely widespread.  In the United Kingdom alone, it’s the fifth sex abuse ring led by Muslims to be uncovered.

Some years back in Australia, a group of “Lebanese Muslim youths” were responsible for a “series of brutal gang rapes” of “Anglo-Celtic teenage girls.” A few years later in the same country, four Muslim Pakistani brothers raped at least 18 Australian women, some as young as 13.  Even in the United States, a gang of Somalis—Somalia being a Muslim nation where non-Muslims, primarily Christians, are ruthlessly persecuted—was responsible for abducting, buying, selling, raping and torturing young American girls as young as 12.

The question begs itself: If Muslim minorities have no fear of exploiting “infidel” women and children in non-Muslim countries—that is, where Muslims themselves are potentially vulnerable minorities—how are Muslims throughout the Islamic world, where they are dominant, treating their vulnerable, non-Muslim minorities?

The answer is a centuries-longcontinents-wide account of nonstop sexual predation.  Boko Haram’s recent abduction and enslavement of nearly 300, mostly Christian, schoolgirls last April in Nigeria is but the tip of the iceberg.

The difference between what happens in Nigeria and what happens in Western nations is based on what I call “Islam’s Rule of Numbers.”  Wherever Muslims grow in numbers, Islamic phenomena intrinsic to the Muslim world—in this case, the sexual abuse of “infidel” children and teenagers—comes along with them.

Thus in the United Kingdom, where Muslims make for a sizeable—and notable—minority, the systematic rape of “subhuman infidels” naturally takes place.  But when caught, Muslim minorities, being under “infidel” authority, cry “Islamophobia” and feign innocence.

In Nigeria, however, which is roughly 50 percent Islamic, such “apologetics” are unnecessary.  After seizing the nearly 300 schoolgirls, the leader of Boko Haram appeared on videotape boasting that “I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah….  There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell.”

It’s the same in Pakistan—the nation where many of the United Kingdom’s Muslims, including the majority involved in the Rotherham sex ring, come from.  See this article for a long list of Christian children—as young as 2-years-old—who were targeted by Muslim men for abduction, enslavement, and rape.  In every single case, police do nothing except sometimes side with the Muslim rapists against their “infidel” victims.

For example, last Easter Sunday, four Muslim men gang-raped a 7-year-old Christian girl named Sara, leaving her in “critical condition.”  According to Asia News, “the police, instead of arresting the culprits, helped the local clan to kidnap the girl’s father… to ‘force the family not to report the story, to reach an agreement with the criminals and to avoid a dispute of a religious background.’”

As for systematic child grooming, in 2010, Kiran George, a Christian girl who was “enslaved by a woman, Sama, a dealer of youth to be sold as prostitutes or slaves to wealthy Muslim families,” was doused with gasoline by a police officer involved in the sex ring, set on fire, and burned to death… Keep reading

Read bullet |

Obama’s New Plan to ‘Manage’ IS: United Nations Travel Restrictions

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The United States under Barack Obama cannot manage its own southern border. But President Obama will host a meeting in New York later this month (feel the urgency!) that will center on a proposal to make it more difficult for radicalized Muslims to travel to Syria and Iraq from the West to join up with the Islamic State.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Obama is not exactly convening a new meeting. Obama will use the United Nations’ General Assembly Meeting later in September to pitch the plan. Ahead of that, the administration is sending Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East to drum up support.

The UN meeting is September 25, three weeks from now. The Islamic State is known to be holding a number of hostages, including a Briton that IS says will be the next beheading victim. IS has beheaded two American journalists in the past two weeks.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has already elevated the threat level in his country to “severe” because of the Islamic State’s rise. The Obama administration continues to dribble out happy talk that there is no credible evidence of a threat from IS on the American homeland, despite a report that they are operating in Mexico across the border from El Paso, Texas and are planning a strike.

The goal of the September 25 meeting for the Obama administration: a United Nations resolution on the subject of foreign fighters joining IS.

The travel of Americans and Europeans to join IS is undoubtedly a serious problem. An estimated 140 Americans are fighting for IS, and a few thousand Europeans are believed to have joined IS as well. But at this point, a resolution on foreign travel to join IS is a rearguard action. It is also unlikely to address the flow of fighters to IS from across the Middle East, Chechnya, and Africa — even if it is effective in stopping Americans and Europeans. Given the porous borders and the numerous dual citizens holding multiple passports in the United States and Europe, it’s difficult even to predict how effective any UN resolution can be.

 

Read bullet |

Paul: Obama ‘Policy of Dethroning Gadhafi’ Helped Create Jihadist Mess

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Trying to shake off the “isolationist” label he’s received on foreign policy matters, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) argued on Fox last night that ISIS has “absolutely” declared war on the United States.

“And I think what we should do is then come to the American people — a good leader — you know, if I had been president, I would have called a joint session of Congress this August, brought everybody back from recess and said, this is why ISIS is a threat to the country,” Paul said. “This is why I want to act, but I want to do it in a constitutional manner, and I want the entire American public to come together to galvanize support and say, you know what? This is something we can’t take. We’re not going to let our enemies behead our journalists We’re not going to let them become strong enough to attack our embassy.”

The senator said “you’d think people would kind of get” the fact that he doesn’t like being called an isolationist.

“I’ve been trying to say that for the last four years in public life, that I’m neither an isolationist nor an interventionist. I’m someone who believes in the Constitution and believes that America should have a strong national defense and believes that we should defend ourselves,” he said. “But when we do it, we should do it the way the Constitution intended. And that’s that the president should come before Congress and make the case for war.”

Paul showed shades of Campaign 2016, stressing that ”in the past, you know, Hillary Clinton has said ISIS is not a threat to the United States.”

Still, he said ”intervention isn’t always the answer.”

“I think in Libya, it’s made the world less safe. It’s made the jihadist groups more emboldened in Libya. I would say the same thing in Syria. I think that President Obama’s support for the Islamic rebels has allowed ISIS to grow stronger in Syria, and they never would have grown this strong without weapons from — or their allies getting weapons from both us, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar. So really, we have done a disservice and created chaos that’s allowed the jihadists to grow stronger,” the senator continued.

“…President Obama’s policy of dethroning Gadhafi, of going after Assad, has made the jihadists stronger. I don’t say we’re responsible. I don’t say America’s responsible. I say President Obama’s responsible.”

Read bullet |

You (Probably) Don’t Understand Ayn Rand Enough to Critique Her

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

It’s fair to bet that the contemporaries of Leonardo da Vinci had little sense of how enduring his life and work would become. Da Vinci’s friends, neighbors, colleagues, and critics may have recognized him as important in some regard. But how could they know the extent to which his name would resonate through the centuries? Surely there were many in his time thought to be more noteworthy. We tend to be nearsighted when it comes to our recognition of profound achievement.

In light of that, I believe that we today live too close to Ayn Rand to fully appreciate what she accomplished. Her ideas were so radical, so deviant from the widely accepted norm, that we cannot easily digest them without reassessing many of the premises we typically take for granted.

My first meaningful exposure to the philosophy of Ayn Rand, known as Objectivism, occurred in 2010 when I attend a lecture by Objective Standard editor Craig Biddle at the University of Minnesota. The talk was provocatively entitled “Capitalism: The Only Moral Social System.” It was meant primarily for students, but I attended out of piqued curiosity. As a professing conservative, I had always felt that my views were morally defensible despite mainstream assertions to the contrary, but lacked a firm grasp upon how to defend them.

Biddle’s presentation was brutal in its deconstruction of popular morality, and laid out an alternative based upon objective consideration of reality. Among the radical assertions was a case that altruism is wrong and selfishness is good. I stood flabbergasted, as you may now. Coupled with a rebuke of religion, these ideas were so far outside the scope of my accepted worldview that I rejected them outright. I even took to my blog at the time to refute Biddle’s claims.

In the years since, after taking the time to study and understand the philosophy which Biddle introduced me to, I have learned that my initial response was impotent. A prerequisite of disagreement is understanding, and I did not fully understand the philosophy of Ayn Rand after a forty minute lecture from Biddle.

PJTV contributors Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle proceed under the same handicap when they criticize Rand in their most recent episode of Klavan and Whittle, embedded above. It’s tough to blame them for a clumsy handling of her ideas, because I’ve been there. Indeed, it’s fair to expect that the vast majority of people stand largely unequipped to handle Rand’s philosophy. It is so radically different from anything else before or since, and has yet to be widely taught and understood.

Read bullet |

White House Calls on Stores to ‘Follow Example’ of CVS, Quit Selling Tobacco

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The White House issued special praise for drugstore chain CVS for its decision to stop selling tobacco products.

The chain announced the move in conjunction with changing its name to CVS Health. CVS had planned to stop selling tobacco Oct. 1, but bumped the day up to Wednesday.

“Along with the start of CVS Health, the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy ends today,” Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, said in a statement. “By eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement calling it “a powerful example that we hope others in the industry will follow.”

“CVS’s actions will not only help Americans across the country who are trying to quit smoking, it will also help ensure that when families go to their neighborhood pharmacy, they can get the information and support they need to live healthy lives, which can contribute to driving down health care costs,” Earnest said.

“The president has made creating a tobacco-free generation a top priority… And 50 years after the Surgeon General’s landmark Report on Smoking and Health, we have reduced smoking rates by half. However, our work is far from done, and today’s announcement by CVS Health is an important step forward in improving the health and lives of millions of Americans.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who called on other companies to follow CVS’ example when the corporation announced the Oct. 1 target date back in February, declared that the immediate halt of sales marked ”a major victory in the fight against tobacco, America’s leading killer.”

“We can debate the health benefits and dangers of many products, but tobacco kills consumers when used as intended,” Blumenthal said. “CVS rightly recognized the contradiction between keeping Americans healthy and selling tobacco products, and I commend them for taking these dangerous products off their shelves. I urge other pharmacies and businesses to follow CVS’s lead.”

Read bullet |

Why Politicians, Cops & Feminists Turn a Blind Eye to 1,400 Rape Victims

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

White, conservative male Rich Lowry provides further evidence for my argument that the East proves the West needs feminism. In his latest syndicated column, Lowry details the horror that has occurred in Rotherham, England, a small northern England town in which “more than 1,400 young girls have been raped and brutally exploited” for over 15 years.

England is the West, you may argue. And you’d be right. A Western nation that turned a blind eye to these vicious crimes against women because the perpetrators of said heinous offenses were Pakistani Muslims.

Lowry details:

… the local government tolerated sexual violence on a vast scale. Why? In part, because the criminals who committed these sickening acts were Muslims from the local Pakistani community, and noticing their depravity was considered insensitive at best, racist at worst.

The British home secretary says “institutionalized political correctness” contributed to the abandonment of hundreds of girls to their tormentors. Imagine something out of the nightmarish world of Stieg Larsson, brought to life and abetted by the muddle-headed cowardice of people who fear the disapproval of the diversity police.

In Rotherham, multiculturalism triumphed over not just feminism, but over the law, over basic human decency and over civilization itself.

According to an “independent investigation released last week”:

 ”It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”

Law enforcement, government-funded social workers, and elected officials were all well aware of the crimes being committed and, by and large, did nothing fearing Orwellian punishment for attempting to defend these women against a perceived protected minority.

Read bullet |

Former Muslim Tells Obama How It Really Is With Islam and ISIL

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

1966778_850986954918373_1736553213_n

You can’t say it much more clearly than this.

A former Muslim, the son of a Moroccan imam, posted a video this week called “A Message to President Obama From a Former Muslim,” in which he outlines both the dangers and motivations behind radical Islam.

“Brother Rachid,” as he calls himself, says sarcastically that he does not disclose his full name because Islam is “the religion of peace.”  He begins, “Dear Mr. President, with all due respect, sir, I must tell you that you are wrong about ISIL.” Rachid explains that his father is an Imam and he spent more than twenty years studying Islam. He said the president was wrong when he said that ISIL speaks for no religion. “I can tell you with confidence that ISIL speaks for Islam,” he said. “Allow me to correct you, Mr. President. ISIL is a Muslim organization.” He noted that even the name suggests ISIL is an Islamic movement.

Brother Rachid, who has said that he converted to Christianity after listening to Trans World Radio broadcasts into Morocco, now preaches Christianity via an Arabic satellite TV program, which is broadcast throughout the Middle East. He explained to President Obama in his video that ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, holds a PhD in Islamic studies.”I doubt you know Islam better than he does. He was a preacher and an Islamic leader in one of the local mosques in Baghdad. ISIL’s 10,000 members are all Muslims. None of them are from any other religion. They come from different countries and have one common denominator — Islam.”

He said ISIL members are following the prophet Muhammad’s teaching in every detail, imitating him by growing their beards, shaving their moustaches, and in the way they dress. “They implement Sharia in every piece of land they conquer. They pray five times a day. They have called for a Caliphate, which is a central doctrine in Sunni Islam and they are willing to die for their religion,” said Brother Rachid.

In his message to President Obama, Brother Rachid said, “You think ISIL does not speak for Islam because they beheaded an American and they kill those whom they consider infidels.” But he said, “In the same way, Islam’s prophet Muhammad beheaded — in one day — between 600 and 900 adult males in a Jewish tribe called  Bani QuraizaIn fact, beheading is commanded in the Koran, in Sura 47, 4th verse it says, ‘When you meet the unbelievers and fight, smite their necks.’” Killing prisoners is also an order from Allah to Muhammad and all Muslims, Brother Rachid said.

“Mr. President,” Brother Rachid continued, “I grew up in Morocco, supposedly a moderate country. Yet I still learned at a young age to hate the enemies of Allah, especially Jews and Christians. These are represented today by Israel and the West, especially the Great Satan, America.” He said, “We have been brainwashed to hate all of you in our sacred texts, in our prayers, in our Friday sermons, in our educational systems. We were ready to join any group that one day would fight you and destroy you and make Islam the religion of the whole world, as the Koran says.”

If Islam is not the problem, Brother Rachid asks, why aren’t Christians in the Middle East — many of whom live in terrible political and economic circumstances — blowing themselves up?  Why are Muslims in the West and new converts to Islam joining ISIL, he asks.

Brother Rachid said, “I ask you, Mr. President, to stop being politically correct — to call things by their names. ISIL, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Taliban and their sister brand names are all made in Islam.” He said that unless the Muslim world separates religion from state, the cycle will continue. He told Obama, “Until you deal with the root of the problem, you will be just dealing with the symptoms. ISIL is just one symptom. If it disappears, other ISILs will be born under different names.”

In a video talking about his faith earlier this year, Brother Rachid said that he loves Muslims, including his parents, who don’t share his faith. But, “Islam is an ideology. It’s a set of doctrines. So criticizing those doctrines doesn’t mean I hate them. So we are preaching, actually, the love of Christ for human beings, including Muslims because they need Jesus Christ and they are victims of an evil ideology — Islam.”

Brother Rachid told the president that terrorism must be cut off at the root. “How many Saudi sheiks are preaching hatred? How many Islamic channels are indoctrinating people and teaching them violence from the Koran and the Hadith? How many Friday sermons are made against the West and freedom and Democracy? How many Islamic schools are producing generations of teachers and students who believe in jihad and martyrdom and fighting the infidels? And finally, how many websites are funded by governments — your allies — that have sheiks that issue fatwas against basic human rights? If you want to fight terrorism, start from there,” he said.

Watch Brother Rachid tell President Obama the truth about Islam on the next page.

Read bullet |

On A Lighter Note: The View Just Got Worse

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

No, really.

The search is over. Final details are still being worked out but I’ve learned that actress Rosie Perez and political commentator Nicolle Wallace are expected to take the vacant seats on The View when the ABC daytime talk show returns for a new season September 15. They would join Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg. Perez and Wallace would succeed co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who exited last month.

It’s as if the producers got together and said, “Is there any way we can possibly make this show more shrill and irritating? Hey-ROSIE PEREZ!”

The real point I’m posting this at all though is the clever trickery of the Nicolle Wallace hire. The View has been forced in recent months to try out some real conservative women (Dana Loesch and Mary Katherine Ham, to name a couple) as guest hosts in what seemed like a sincere effort by producers to reach out to the political half of America usually ignored by television. They get some political cover by going to an old media playbook and hiring a useful idiot Republican who became popular as a pundit largely by bashing other Republicans. The press reports are all dutifully saying that Wallace is a “conservative” so the show’s higher-ups can say, “See, DIVERSITY!” She’s a conservative in the New York Times/Washington Post mold which, again, means being a Republican who will speak ill of other Republicans.

The upside to all of this is that as long as Wallace remains on TV she won’t be yet another losing consultant who is recycled by the party.

Read bullet |

France Goes Hardball With Russia Over Ukraine

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

France has delayed delivery of a pair of warships it was contracted to sell to Russia, citing the Ukraine crisis.

France has said conditions are “not right” for delivery of the first of two Mistral navy assault ships to Russia.

President Francois Hollande’s office blamed Moscow’s recent actions in Ukraine.

France had until now resisted pressure to halt the delivery, saying it had to respect an existing contract.

Mistral-class ships are France’s most up-to-date amphibious assault ships. They can also serve as electronic command ships.

Each ship has the payload capacity and versatility to carry up to 16 heavy helicopters and one-third of a mechanised regiment, plus two LCAC hovercraft or up to four landing craft.

The ship has the capacity to carry up to 16 medium or heavy helicopters below deck, for example the NH90, SA 330 Puma, AS 532 U2 Cougar or AS 665 Tiger helicopters. The flight deck has six landing spots and a 1,800m² hangar. The 5,000m² flight deck can accommodate up to six helicopter movements simultaneously.

They might prove useful should Russia decide to open up a third front on Ukraine by going around Crimea to strike Ukraine’s southeast. Russian forces are already engaged in Ukraine’s west, both in the north and the south. Russia could use the navy base at Sevastopol for such an amphibious move.

If it had the French ships.

mukraine

Read bullet |

Federal Judge Breaks the Streak: Upholds Right of the People to Define Marriage Under Law

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

A Federal Court in Louisiana this afternoon upheld the right of the people of the state to define marriage. [Read the ruling.]

Louisiana not only holds to a traditional, heterosexual, definition of marriage (the technical term for that is “marriage”), but it also does not recognize homosexual pairings performed in other states which have redefined marriage.

The ruling breaks a streak of 27 court decisions striking down traditional marriage laws passed by legislatures.

Of course, the wrath of the Left is about to fall on Judge Martin Feldman, a Reagan appointee, and on anyone who sides with him.

But for the moment, at least, vive la différence!

Read bullet |

State Dept Manages to Come Up With More of a Howler than Obama’s ‘Manageable Problem’ Line

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Earlier today, President Barack Obama said that America’s goal should be to “shrink” the Islamic State until it is a “manageable problem.”

His own vice president, Joe Biden, later contradicted him, saying that we will “follow ISIS to the gates of Hell, because Hell is where they will reside.”

This afternoon, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did a “what he really meant to say” routine.

Fox’s James Rosen noted the president’s own contradictory comments, which went from wanting to destroy ISIS, to wanting to roll it back, to wanting to leave it as a “manageable problem.” All of those iterations came in the president’s statement in Estonia today.

Psaki took a little dig at Fox before answering that “It’s important to look at the context of the remarks that the president made.”

The administration’s juvenile digs at a single network have no place in a serious foreign policy discussion about a threat to the whole nation, by the way. They’re petty.

“Certainly our objective here is to degrade and destroy ISIL,” Psaki said.

Rosen countered that “How can reducing something so that it is a manageable problem be consistent with ‘destroying it?’”

Psaki replied “Well I would have to look at the full context, James, but I think it’s understandable that the White House press corps and others are asking questions asked in many different ways. There are many questions to be answered and discussed on this particular issue.”

Then she touted the “effort to build an international coalition” against IS, which the president only mentioned as a possibility, not an actual effort.

From the looks of things today, Barack Obama cannot even manage to keep a consistent message coming from his own mouth over the course of one day. How can he turn IS into a “manageable problem?”

Read bullet |