PJ Tatler

The PJ Tatler

British PM Cameron Vows to ‘Destroy’ Islamic State Caliphate

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

British Prime Minister David Cameron said today that he wants Great Britain to do more than just provide logistical support to the US in the fight against Islamic State. It was revealed last week that British pilots have flown missions in Syria using US warplanes — a revelation that didn’t sit well with opposition MP’s who accused Cameron of misleading parliament.

Cameron will also announce tonight a 5 year plan to combat Islamic extremism.

The Australian:

British Prime minister David Cameron is pledging a full-blown Royal Air Force offensive against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq to “destroy the caliphate in both countries”.

In his most explicit comments on the terrorist threat, the Prime Minister reveals he wants Britain to “do more” than just provide logistical support for US attacks.

In a speech tonight, Mr Cam­eron will launch a five-year plan to combat Islamist extremism, with a warning to young Muslims tempted to join Islamic State that they are “cannon fodder” who will be killed or raped if they do.

He will call on moderate Muslims, teachers, police and parents to face down the “bigotry, aggression and theocracy” of extremists who “brainwash” the young.

British pilots embedded with the US military have already taken part in air raids on Syria in Amer­ican warplanes — provoking claims that ministers have ­deceived the public. British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will be summoned to make a statement to MPs on the issue tonight.

But in an interview with NBC news in the US, to be broadcast overnight, Mr Cameron made clear he wants to go further. The Prime Minister accepted he would “have to take my parliament with me” but added: “We have to ­destroy this caliphate, whether it is in Iraq or in Syria. That is a key part of defeating this terrorist scourge that we face.”

Addressing a US audience, he said: “I want Britain to do more. Be in no doubt, we’re committed to working with you to destroy the caliphate in both countries.”

In his speech tonight, Mr Cameron will acknowledge that some young people find Islamic State “glamorous”. But he will issue a stark warning about the “sick and brutal reality” of joining the group. “Here’s my message to any young person here in Britain thinking of going out there: You won’t be some valued member of a movement,” he will say.

“You are cannon fodder for them. They will use you. If you are a boy, they will brainwash you, strap bombs to your body and blow you up. If you are a girl, they will enslave and abuse you.”

The Royal Air Force is a first class outfit and will be a valuable addition to the fight — if Cameron can convince parliament to authorize British combat operations. There is some residual distrust of the US because of the perception that George Bush sold Tony Blair a bill of goods on Iraq, but Cameron’s request should meet with parliament’s approval. That request probably won’t happen until September.

There will also be a rash of new laws to deal with home grown extremism:

In his speech Mr Cameron will set out new laws to rein in those who “quietly condone” Islamic State and defend bigoted attitudes as well as those who explicitly ­advocate violence against the West. He will announce the ­creation of a new legal definition of extremism encompassing opposition to democracy, the rule of law and religious tolerance.

New money will go to campaign groups who oppose extremism and rules will be tightened to prevent a repeat of the Trojan Horse affair, in which radicals ­infiltrated Birmingham schools.

And there will be new surveillance powers also. Taken all together, there doesn’t seem to be much substance to these proposals — window dressing to show the public he’s “doing something” about the problem. What needs to happen is a total change in attitude by the elites in Great Britain who tolerate Muslim “otherness” and the refusal of immigrant to adopt to living in a western democracy.

All the feel good measures in the world will do nothing unless a clear-eyed reappraisal of British attitudes and tolerance for the enemy in their midst takes place.

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Trump Refuses to Apologize for Insulting POWs

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Donald Trump was interviewed by ABC’s Martha Raddatz and, to absolutely no one’s surprise, refused to apologize for remarks he made the day before suggesting that POWs were not war heroes.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump, a Republican running for president, said of McCain. “I like people that weren’t captured. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Much to The Donald’s delight, I’m sure, other GOP candidates almost had apoplexy condemning him for his remarks and calling for him to leave the race. Rick Perry:

“His attack on veterans make him unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, and he should immediately withdraw from the race for President,” Perry said in a statement.

Marco Rubio said basically the same thing:

“He’s saying that somehow if you’re captured in battle you’re less worthy of honors,” Rubio said on CNN’s “State of the Union”. “It’s not just absurd, it’s offensive. It’s ridiculous. And I do think it’s a disqualifier as commander in chief.”

He also said as the campaign goes on and Trump commands attention, “it’s required people to be more forceful in some of these offensive things that he is saying.”

Rubio assumes that Trump will shoot off his mouth again at some point during the campaign. He’s absolutely right. In fact, Trump’s entire campaign is based on “commanding attention,” not necessarily winning the nomination.

Chris Cillizza:

Trump’s appeal in the 2016 race appears to be built on saying things and acting in ways that other politicians would never dream of doing. Trump, to his credit, appears to grasp that fact.

“I will say what I want to say, and maybe that’s why I’m leading in the polls because people are tired of hearing politicians and pollsters telling the politicians exactly what to say,” Trump told Raddatz.

The fact is that apologizing after a comment judged as ill-advised (at best) by most politicians is exact opposite of the Trump brand. The sort of people who misspeak and then try to clean up their messes are the very people that Trump derides — and that he believes the public can’t stand either.

He can get away with that as long as he’s bashing Mexicans. But insulting POWs? We’ll see.

The reaction of Pete Hegseth, the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, doesn’t bode well for Trump’s future prospects:

“What a dumb thing to say–to steal a favorite phrase from Mr. Trump. It’s certainly painfully ironic that a guy with four student deferments during Vietnam would say such outrageous things about a legitimate war hero. It boggles the mind and is the height of arrogance.

“Mr. Trump’s popularity has been tied to his ability to say what people are thinking and feeling; tapping into the near-universal concern about the direction of our country. In this case — he said the opposite of what people, especially conservatives, think. John McCain is a war hero, plain and simple. Moreover, he has taken the lead — for years — in trying to give veterans real health care choices and holding the VA accountability. Trump’s assertion that McCain has ‘done very little for veterans’ is patently false, ill-informed and unhelpful in every way.”

At a press conference after the event. Trump tried to convince people that he didn’t say what he actually said.

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Stunning Photo Taken During Battle Flag Protests at SC Statehouse

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The Klu Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party held separate protests for and against the Confederate battle flag at the South Carolina statehouse yesterday.

The two sides competed for the “Hate Group of the Year” title and from all reports, it looked to be a draw.

NBC News:

About 2,000 people were at the Statehouse at the peak of the two rallies, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. The department said five people had been arrested after the KKK members showed up for offenses including disorderly conduct, simple assault and breach of peace. Additional officers were on scene at that time.

No officers were injured, but there were 23 calls for emergency services and seven people were transported by medical personnel, according to the Department of Public Safety. The temperatures rose to the high nineties in Columbia Saturday afternoon.

The earlier rally, including members of Black Lawyers for Justice and Black Educators for Justice, a Florida organization with links to the New Black Panther Party, began with about 200 people gathered around a podium and responding to passionate speakers shouting, “Black power!”

 

The two sides hurled insults and racial epithets at each other for about an hour. And then, a state trooper was snapped assisting an elderly neo-Nazi wearing a shirt with a swastika on it, who was apparently overcome by the heat, up the stairs of the statehouse.

The trooper — Leroy Smith — is black.

kkk

What do you suppose those two men were thinking?

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Lilyhammer or Reality? You Be the Judge

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Norway’s a wonderful country with a population about the size of Brooklyn and Queens combined, filled with gorgeous landscapes and even more gorgeous women. But, seriously

Anders Behring Breivik, the convicted Norwegian killer, has been admitted to the University of Oslo’s political science program, the university’s rector said Friday. Breivik, 36, is a right-wing extremist serving 21 years in prison for killing 77 people in a politically motivated bomb-and-gun attacks in 2011. The sentence can be extended when it expires.

“All inmates in Norwegian prisons are entitled to higher education in Norway if they meet the admission requirements,” university rector Ole Petter Ottersen said Friday in an email to The Associated Press. Breivik’s application was rejected two years ago after the university said his qualifications were insufficient. That submission stirred a debate in Norway over whether someone convicted of such a horrific crime should be considered for higher education. Breivik will remain in his cell to study.

No, really –

Norway has a rehabilitation-focused justice system aimed at helping inmates prepare for life after they get out, which includes giving them the right to higher education. Prior to the 2011 massacres, Breivik attended high schools in Norway and took an online course in small business management. He didn’t complete secondary education, but has been working on it since his 2012 conviction.  ”He then didn’t meet the admission requirements. Now his grades live up to what is expected,” university spokeswoman Marina Tofting said.

As Norway’s ethnic composition changes, let’s see how long this sort of “rehabilitation” lasts.

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So, That Bosnian Thing Sure Worked Out Well for Christendom

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Anybody who knew anything about the Balkans knew that Bill Clinton’s extra-legal intervention on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims against the Orthodox Christian Serbs was a terrible idea; the area’s ancient, tripartite (the western Christian Croats are also part of the mix) religious divisions date back to the schism within Christianity and the invasion of large swaths of eastern and central Europe by Muslim Turks. The Turks were eventually thrown back and out of almost everywhere in Europe, with the exception of what became Albania and in Kosovo. To this day, Bulgarians, Romanians and Hungarians celebrate their deliverance from Islam — and know exactly why it must be resisited, tooth and nail. Allowing the Serbs to crush the Muslims of Yugoslavia — especially Muslims occupying one of Orthodox Christianity’s holiest sites — would have been merely the final touches on a long war against darkness and brutality. So, thanks, Bill Clinton, for leaving this dagger in the heart of Europe:

 Islamic State have established a stronghold in mainland Europe, a Sunday Mirror investigation reveals. Terrorists are secretly buying land in an isolated village, surrounded by deep woodland. Security services think the area in Bosnia is used for ISIS training camps and could be a base for devastating terror attacks on the West. Crucially, the location gives IS a key strategic position due to its proximity to the Mediterranean which is used by extremists from Syria, Iraq and North Africa.

At least 12 ISIS fighters trained in the village of Osve have left for Syria in recent months and five are reported to be dead. Terror expert Dzevad Galijasevic said: “From this village a large number of people went to Syria and are going constantly. It is understood that notorious ISIS supporter Harun Mehicevic is among fanatics who bought land in the area. He has purchased two hectares. Mehicevic fled Bosnia during the 1990s Balkan wars and settled in Melbourne, Australia, where he is considered one of the country’s most dangerous men.

In one ranting sermon, he reportedly told an audience of potential recruits: “Allah will help the mujahideen (holy warriors) establish an Islamic State where Muslims can live with dignity and honour.” Other known terrorists believed to have bought land in the village include Jasin Rizvic and Osman Kekic, who are both now fighting with ISIS in Syria.

Muslim leader Izet Hadzic – arrested by Bosnia’ and Herzegovina’s security service Sipa in a raid – is also understood to have property in the village, as have many others who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq. One villager told our investigators that locals fear the area is a “nest for terrorists”.

All utterly predictable.

UPDATE: a few commenters below seem to think I am “advocating genocide” by putting the Bosnia War into the historically complex context of the Balkans and the front-line battle that has been waged there — and is still being waged there — between the West and Islam.  I am not. You can read all about the 14th-century Battle of Kosovo here, which provides the background for what, believe it or not, happened half a millennium later. Memories are very long in the Balkans, tribal loyalty is fierce, and the borders keep shifting around.

My larger points are two 1) we should have stayed out of the conflict — as was official American policy for four years following the breakup of Yugoslavia —  just as we did in the horrific civil war in Rwanda, and 2) an Islamic terrorist enclave in the heart of Europe is not a good thing.

 

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Scott Walker: End the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Scott Walker, along with Ted Cruz and perhaps a handful of others on the Right, understands the pernicious nature of the kind of “bipartisanship” that has give us the likes of Poppy and W. Bush, and is currently exemplified in the current entitled scion, Jeb. It’s a terrible, undemocratic idea:

The town hall attendee asked for the microphone to pose this question to newly announced presidential candidate Scott Walker: Americans are fed up with the partisan gridlock in Washington, so what would he do as president to “end the partisanship and parochialism that is really stifling this great country”?

Walker is best-known for fighting Democrats, labor unions and liberal activists in Wisconsin, where he is the purple state’s polarizing governor. Many Democrats feel like Walker has bulldozed over them and ignored their concerns in pushing his conservative agenda. Many Democratic lawmakers in Madison are so angered by the governor that they have difficulty making it through a budget hearing, press conference or even a casual coffee without launching into a frustrated tirade about everything he has done wrong in their state. Walker’s announcement immediately prompted criticism from prominent Democrats, something he has bragged about on the campaign trail.

So here’s how Walker answered that town hall question: “As I talk to people across this country — not just the Republican caucus voters and primary voters but to people in general — what people are frustrated with more so than that, I think it’s elevated higher, is they’re frustrated particularly with Washington not being able to get anything done.”

Walker said his secret to winning three elections in four years, including a controversial recall election, is that he not only carried nearly all Republicans, but he also won over independent voters. Elsewhere, Walker has also said that he won over some “discerning Democrats.”

“What I think people are hungry for from their leaders in Washington — or the lack of leadership in Washington — is they want people who just tell them what they’re going to do and then they go off and do it,” Walker said.

The Trump boomlet (which eventually will peter out) speaks exactly to that sense of frustration, just as the Buchanan and Perot boomlets did before it. Still, every normal American feels these days like he is living in an insane asylum of shadow over substance; of words and gestures and “nuance,” in which just about every politician turns out to be a self-aggrandizing, lying weasel. And they’re right. Maybe Walker will turn out to be one as well. But up to this point, his track record speaks for itself. Which is more than can be said of just about every other candidate in the race so far.

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Some Helpful Clues for Tennessee Terror Attack Investigators and the Perplexed Media

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

While investigators still put the pieces together from Thursday’s terrorist attack in Chattanooga, there’s a lot more we already know about the attacker, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

And yet, officials investigating the attack are apparently having problems identifying motive, and some observers still questioning whether this was even a terror attack.

So in the spirit of cooperation, let me offer some direction to investigators based on what we already know from what’s been reported.

First comes the question of motive, which authorities appear to be baffled by.

An exclusive Reuters report gives us some fresh clues:

Hours before the Tennessee shooting that killed five U.S. servicemen, the suspected gunman texted his close friend a link to a long Islamic verse that included the line: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, then I have declared war against him.”

His friend thought nothing of it at the time, but now wonders if it was a clue to Thursday’s rampage in Chattanooga, which has re-ignited concerns about the radicalization of young Muslim men.

Hmmm… that might be pertinent to motive. The article also adds this:

Abdulazeez’s friends said he had returned from a trip to Jordan in 2014 concerned about conflicts in the Middle East and the reluctance of the United States and other countries to intervene.

He later purchased three assault rifles on an online marketplace and used them for target practice, the friends said.

“That trip was eye-opening for him. He learned a lot about the traditions and culture of the Middle East,” said the close friend who received the text message.

Abdulazeez was upset about the 2014 Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza and the civil war in Syria, he said. “He felt Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia were not doing enough to help, and that they were heavily influenced by the United States.”

Another friend said, “He had always talked about it, but I’d say his level of understanding and awareness really rose after he came back.”

Among those who knew Abdulazeez, this trip was apparently of some note for a change in his behavior:

And then there’s the issue of exactly where he visited:

The young American Muslim man who shot dead four US Marines in Chattanooga on Thursday visited Jordan and Yemen last year, Army Radio reported Friday.

According to the report, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez spent a month in Jordan in 2014, during which time he also visited Yemen.

Our own Bridget Johnson explores a possible angle to his trip to Yemen:

And the attack by Abdulazeez was a virtual copycat of the attack by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (aka Carlos Bledsoe) targeting a Little Rock recruiting center in 2009, which killed Army Pvt. Andy Long and wounded another soldier.

Where was Muhammad/Bledsoe radicalized? Yemen, where he spent 18 months before returning to the U.S. and conducting his attack.

But it’s not just his pre-attack text message and travel that should be of interest to investigators. There seems to be more direct evidence of his ideological motivation:

The killer of four U.S. Marines in Chattanooga maintained a short-lived blog that hinted at his religious inner life. Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s blog had only two posts, both published July 13 and written in a popular style of Islamic religious reasoning.

What did those blog posts divulge?

In the first, “A Prison Called Dunya,” Abdul­azeez described everyday life as a prison and the Koran as a means of transcending it. In Arabic, “Dunya” refers to earthly concerns as opposed to spiritual ones.

“This life we are living is nothing more than a test of our faith and patience,” he wrote. “It was designed to separate the inhabitants of Paradise from the inhabitants of Hellfire … Don’t let the society we live in deviate you from the task at hand.”

He added, “Brothers and sisters don’t be fooled by your desires, this life is short and bitter and the opportunity to submit to allah may pass you by.”

In his second posting, Abdul­azeez discussed the Sahaba — companions of the prophet Muhammad — and how they served their faith by bringing it to the world, sometimes through warfare.

“Every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah,” he wrote. “Every one of them had to make sacrifices in their lives. . . . After the prophets, they were the best human beings that ever lived.”

The complete blog posts by Abdulazeez can still be found online.

And the New York Times helpfully informs us that authorities are looking at his previous ties to “extremist groups”:

What extremist groups might Abdulazeez been involved with? The KKK? The Los Banditos motorcycle gang? The Tea Party? Southern gun culture?

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Off Duty Sheriff Deputies and Ordinary Citizens Guard Armed Forces Recruiting Centers in Ohio

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Sheriff deputies in Wayne County, Ohio, are standing guard at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Wooster to protect it from a possible terrorist attack. The deputies, guarding the center in their uniforms, are volunteering their time.

Captain Doug Hunter informed citizens about their efforts on the Wayne County Sheriff’s Facebook page. “We have been hearing about the possibility of ‘lone wolf’ attacks for the past few months and the massacre of five servicemen in Chattanooga Tennessee is an example of such attacks,” he wrote. “We suspect there will be more.”

Hunter said that criminals and radicals such as Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who attacked the military recruiting center in Chattanooga last week, are not deterred by gun free zones. Often, they are only stopped by deadly force. He lamented the fact that military policy prohibits most soldiers from protecting themselves on U.S. soil.

“We are happy to report that in Wayne County such radicals not only must consider encountering armed law enforcement, but armed citizens as well,” Hunter wrote.

Hunter told NewsNet5: “We’re here today on our own time–this is not something we’re being compensated for–simply as a way to show support for our servicemen.”

Members of Ohio Carry are also pitching in, calling for average gun owners to guard armed services recruiting centers across the state this week.

“We are asking that any person who can, please report to outside of your local recruiting station as often as you can between Monday and Friday and stand guard for our men and women in uniform,” the group wrote on their Facebook page. “STAND GUARD! Protect our troops! Be ready to prevent terrorism on U.S. Soil! If the government won’t do it WE WILL! We are armed Americans; we are Ohio Carry, and we will defend our own!”

They admonished participants to abide by all laws.

 

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Obama Administration’s Racial Database Contains Your Personal Information

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The New York Post is reporting on a little known effort by the Obama administration to mine massive amounts of personal information on American citizens by race. The ostensible reason for the collection of data is to address the problems of “racial and economic injustice.”

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.

This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online.

So civil-rights attorneys and urban activist groups will be able to exploit them to show patterns of “racial disparities” and “segregation,” even if no other evidence of discrimination exists.

The granddaddy of them all is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing database, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development rolled out earlier this month to racially balance the nation, ZIP code by ZIP code. It will map every US neighborhood by four racial groups — white, Asian, black or African-American, and Hispanic/Latino — and publish “geospatial data” pinpointing racial imbalances.

The agency proposes using nonwhite populations of 50% or higher as the threshold for classifying segregated areas.

Federally funded cities deemed overly segregated will be pressured to change their zoning laws to allow construction of more subsidized housing in affluent areas in the suburbs, and relocate inner-city minorities to those predominantly white areas. HUD’s maps, which use dots to show the racial distribution or density in residential areas, will be used to select affordable-housing sites.

HUD plans to drill down to an even more granular level, detailing the proximity of black residents to transportation sites, good schools, parks and even supermarkets. If the agency’s social engineers rule the distance between blacks and these suburban “amenities” is too far, municipalities must find ways to close the gap or forfeit federal grant money and face possible lawsuits for housing discrimination.

This is a social justice warrior’s wet dream. Imagine the suits that are going to be clogging the dockets of federal courts in the near future as the citizenry trembles in the shadow of a threatening government. This is the real “hope and change” — the true “transformation of America” that President Obama had in mind when he took office.

Armed with the “disparate impact” weapon recently granted by the Supreme Court, it won’t matter if a city is working to alleviate segregated neighborhoods. Intent doesn’t matter now — all that matters is results.

Besides the issues surrounding our privacy, what makes this database so insidious is what it represents: the notion that the content of someone’s character doesn’t matter as much as the color of their skin. There are other reasons for segregated cities than racial prejudice. How about awful government policies? Or inept policing that prevents businesses like grocery stores from operating in poor neighborhoods?

Moving people about as if they’re pawns on a racial chessboard to achieve some Utopian vision of “equality” is an extraordinarily bad idea. Not surprising it’s come from the “hope and change” crew.

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Just When You Thought Fox Couldn’t Get Any Worse…

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Ugh:

Meghan McCain, the political scion who has won public fame as a blogger, commentator and TV-show host, will join Fox News Channel as a contributor, Variety has learned. A spokesperson for the network confirmed the hire. McCain is expected to contribute to the network’s primetime and daytime programming.

McCain, the oldest daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain, a Republican, joins as Fox News Channel, like other news outlets, heads into a frenzied pre-season for the 2016 election for U.S. President. Already, more than a dozen different candidates for the Republican nomination have thrown their hat into the ring.

McCain, who has identified as a Republican in the past, could well offer the viewpoint of a different member of that political party: one hailing from the millennial generation. She has in the past championed gay rights and come out against anti-immigration legislation, and has publicly challenged commentators like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. She has in her writings expressed ambivalence about Sarah Palin, the former Fox News contributor who ran for U.S. Vice President alongside her father, and admiration for Hillary Clinton, who is now vying for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President.

McCain most recently was a host for “TakePart Live,” a talk-show on cable’s Pivot network that urged viewers to get involved with various social causes. She was also the focus of “Raising McCain,” a Pivot talk show that took her on the road. Both were cancelled.

Look for the “political scion” to meet the same fate on Fox, but enough with the nepotism, already. On both sides.

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Authorities Still Say It’s ‘Premature’ to Speculate About Chattanooga Shooter’s Motive

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

A Marine wounded during the terrorist attack on a recruiting center in Chattanooga has died, raising the death toll to 5.

I just referred to what happened on Thursday as a “terrorist attack.” No doubt, most of you would refer to it as a “terrorist attack” also.

In fact, I would guess that about 95% of Americans would refer to the incident as a “terrorist attack.”

The other 5% are liberals in denial, the FBI and Obama administration officials.

We know that Abdulazeez visited the Middle East a couple of times over the last few years. We know he was a devout Muslim. And we now know that he texted a friend just before the attack with a link to a verse from the Koran that suggested the motivation for his actions.

Reuters:

Hours before the Tennessee shooting that killed five U.S. servicemen, the suspected gunman texted his close friend a link to an Islamic verse that included the line: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, then I have declared war against him.”

The friend, who requested anonymity, showed the text message to Reuters on Saturday. He said he thought nothing of the text at the time, but now wonders if it was a hint at Thursday’s attack.

The suspect, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, was killed in the gunfight in Chattanooga on Thursday.

Abdulazeez’s friends said he returned from a trip to Jordan in 2014 concerned about conflicts in the Middle East and the reluctance of the United States and other countries to intervene. He purchased three assault rifles on an online marketplace that he used for target practice, the friends said.

“He expressed that he was upset about (the Middle East). But I can’t imagine it drove him to this,” said the friend who received the text message.

U.S. investigators are focusing on Abdulazeez’s travels to the Middle East. The FBI is investigating the Chattanooga shooting as an act of domestic terrorism, though law enforcement officials said it was premature to speculate on the gunman’s motive.

[...]

Abdulazeez’s friends, who asked not to be identified for fear of a backlash, said he was upset about the 2014 Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza and the deteriorating civil war in Syria.

“He felt Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia were not doing enough to help, and that they were heavily influenced by the United States,” said the friend who received the text message.

Another friend said, “He had always talked about it, but I’d say his level of understanding and awareness really rose after he came back.”

Abdulazeez, who was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, purchased three guns on armslist.com after returning from Jordan including an AK-74, an AR-15, and a Saiga 12, his friends said.

Over the past few months, Abdulazeez and his friends practiced shooting in the Prentice Cooper state forest near Chattanooga, sometimes two or three times a week.

It’s incredibly worrisome that Abdulazeez was not in any “terrorist database” according to the FBI. Breitbart reported yesterday that he failed a background check to work at a nuclear plant. Why did a private company realize the potential danger and not the FBI?

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In Going After Senator McCain, Trump Insults POWs

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Unlike many Republicans, I am quite at ease about the candidacy of Donald Trump. The guy may be a clown, but at least he’s entertaining. And as far as the chances of him winning the nomination, today’s insights into this blow-hard’s mind should knock a few points off his poll numbers.

In an effort to belittle Senator John McCain, The Donald ended up insulting POWs by saying he didn’t like them because they were captured.

Of course, Trump never served and, given his pampered lifestyle, would have been broken in the first five minutes of being interrogated if he had ever suffered the misfortune of being captured.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump, a Republican running for president, said of McCain. “I like people that weren’t captured. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

McCain, of course, was the Republican nominee for president in 2008.

In 1973, John McCain wrote a first-person account of being shot down over Vietnam and held in prison for over five years. You can read it here. Trump graduated from college in 1968, but avoided serving in Vietnam.

Because the easiest path to the nomination is to insult POWs.

So all you Trump-bots out there, keep on keeping on. Your boy is going to self destruct and be as entertaining going down as he has been going up.

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One Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Remind me again who’s winning the “War on Terror.”

The city attacked by Islam on 9/11/01 celebrates Islam on 7/17/15

The city attacked by Islam on 9/11/01 celebrates Islam on 7/17/15

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Another Stupid Idea Bites the Dust

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Did I miss something? Was the world clamoring for self-driving cars? Which moron thought this up?

Google revealed that one of its self-driving car prototypes was involved in an injury accident for the first time. In the collision, a Lexus sport utility vehicle that the tech giant outfitted with sensors and cameras was rear-ended in Google’s home city of Mountain View, where more than 20 prototypes have been self-maneuvering through traffic.

The three Google employees on board complained of minor whiplash, were checked out at a hospital and cleared to go back to work after the July 1 collision, Google said. The driver of the other car also complained of neck and back pain.

In California, a person must be behind the wheel of a self-driving car being tested on public roads to take control in an emergency. Google typically sends another employee in the front passenger seat to record details of the ride on a laptop. In this case, there was also a back seat passenger.

Google has invested heavily as a pioneer of self-driving cars, technology it believes will be safer and more efficient than human drivers.

What could possibly go wrong?

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In Defense of Dr. Mengele

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Somebody was bound to do it:

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What did Hannah Arendt say about “the banality of evil“?

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Eternal City May Not Be So Eternal After All

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

In a country where socialism has always been popular — hello, Mussolini! — and tax avoidance is a national sport, it’s hardly any wonder that Rome, like so much of Mediterranean Europe, is falling apart:

It may boast the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the glories that were ancient Rome, but the city is now in chronic decline, its business leaders and inhabitants have warned. The Eternal City is facing crisis, with its administration engulfed in corruption scandals and debt, its roads scarred by pot-holes, the main airport partially closed and a growing immigration crisis.

For generations, the Italian capital has rested on past glories rather than built on them but now its multiple problems have come to a head.

Drivers on the metro system are on a go-slow in a protest over pay and conditions, hundreds of flights into Fiumicino, the main airport, have been cancelled due to a fire that broke out in a terminal back in May, and temperatures have soared this week to over 100F (37.7C), making daily life even more hellish than normal. ”Rome is on the verge of collapse,” Giancarlo Cremonesi, the president of the Rome Chamber of Commerce, told Reuters. ”It is unacceptable that a major city which calls itself developed can find itself in such a state of decay.”

Rome’s problem, like so many other places in Europe, is that it has essentially become a theme park, heavily dependent on tourism but contributing next to nothing to the sum total of human knowledge or prosperity these days. Far too many Europeans are content to snooze the rest of their lives and cultures away; meanwhile, beasts like ISIS are licking their chops. Scenes from the ruins of Christian civilization:

A survey by the European Commission two years ago placed Rome last out of 28 EU capitals in a ranking for the efficiency of city services. Despite great food, superb coffee and an enviable climate, on an index of quality of life, the capital came second to last, with Athens at the bottom. Its Renaissance churches, cobbled streets and vibrant piazzas still wow tourists from around the world, but beyond the historic centre, the city is a mess and life is a struggle for locals.

Everything has been exacerbated by the effects of Italy’s longest recession since the Second World War, with homeless people on the street and youth unemployment over 40 per cent. Broken-down motor scooters and bicycles are dumped on pavements, kerbs are overgrown with grass and shrubs, and there is litter everywhere. Along the Tiber River, Romany gypsies have set up shanty villages, their shacks hidden from view by tall thickets of cane grass. A lack of bins mean that locals and visitors alike drop their rubbish on the ground, while a much-hyped bike sharing scheme which was launched a few years ago has broken down entirely, the bicycles either damaged or stolen.

“It has got a lot worse in the last few years,” Costanza Cagni, who has lived in the city since 2000, told The Telegraph. “Everybody moans but nobody offers any solutions. The quality of life has really gone down. I’m sorry to say it, but I just want to leave Rome and move somewhere else.”

And you-know-who will be happy to move into the space you just vacated.

More: So, That Bosnian Thing Sure Worked Out Well for Christendom

 

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Boo-Hoo: Imperial Capital’s Youth Boom May Be Over

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The Obama years have been very, very good to the Washington, D.C., area. Even as flyover country continues to resemble the Hunger Games, the imperial capital of the Democrat-Media Establishment has seen nothing but boom times. That, however, may be coming to an end:

For much of America, it was a long, slow crawl out of the Great Recession. Five years ago, auto and steel plants had shut their doors. Investments had collapsed. Foreclosures and unemployment were spiking. Yet in D.C., it was boom times.

From 2010 to 2011, the District gained about 1,300 residents a month, most of them young and well-educated. With a new mayor, a new president and an $800 billion national recovery act, the city and local developers had rolled out new bike lanes, dog parks, apartment buildings and dozens of new restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

College graduates poured into neighborhoods that had suffered from disinvestment: Shaw, Columbia Heights, NoMa and H Street NE. For a few years, this sleepy government town was brimming with reinvention. Now it seems the District’s millennial boom is grinding to a halt. Census data released last month indicates that the District’s incredible growth in young adults, ages 25 to 34, has stalled. After adding 10,430 people in that age bracket between 2010 and 2011, D.C. added a net of just 2,662 of them from 2013 to 2014. Surrounding counties, including Arlington, Montgomery and Fairfax, have become even less attractive. Each lost more millennials than they added from 2013 to 2014.

Yes, yes, I know: you’re all broke up about it. But read the whole thing; it’s sure to bring a smile to your lips and put a song in your heart.

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Anybody but Hillary!

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Yes, the sore loser of the 2000 election and the man whose father filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may just be the savior the elderly, extremely white Democrat Party upper tier is looking for. Salon, the voice of the lunatic Left,  writes:

The presidential election is still sixteen months away, but this much is clear: Hillary Clinton is a vulnerable candidate. Since announcing her candidacy in April, Clinton’s stature has steadily slipped. Things got even worse this week. We learned, first, that Bernie Sanders eclipsed Clinton in small, individual donations, which is an indicator of popular support among likely voters.

Second, and more problematic, the newest AP poll revealed significant weaknesses among Democrats on a host of issues, including trust, character, and compassion for average Americans. These numbers are alarming heading into the general election, especially for Democrats. Bernie Sanders is running an important campaign, but it’s very difficult to see the entire party rallying around him.

The only other credible candidate being mentioned is Joe Biden, but there’s no evidence that he wants to run. Besides, he’s failed twice already and is still grieving after the loss of his son, Beau Biden. Sure, the GOP field is studded with unserious candidates, but they still have a relatively deep bench of big-state governors and prominent senators. To win, therefore, the Democrats need a nationally viable candidate.

Enter Al Gore: the one person on the left, apart from Clinton and Biden, with the cachet to bridge the establishment and progressive wings of the party.

Wipe away those tears of laughter! Then read the Ten Reasons why Al Gore Is the Only Man Who Can Save America. No, seriously.

 

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7 Mexican Officials Charged with Aiding ‘El Chapo’ Escape

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The Mexican government has announced that 7 prison officials have been charged with aiding the escape of the notorious cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman from prison last wek.

The names of those charged have not been released, but how many of you believe that the ringleaders of this plot are among them?

CNN:

Seven people who worked in the maximum-security prison that held Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman have been charged in connection with his escape, Mexico’s attorney general said Friday in a statement.

The prison workers will be jailed in the state of Guanajuato and the investigation continues, the statement said.

On Thursday, Mexico’s interior minister said that on the night Guzman escaped, it took 18 minutes for guards to arrive at his cell after they lost sight of him on surveillance video.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the guards’ response time contributed to his July 11 escape from the facility west of Mexico City.

Gee…ya think? If they’re innocent, they are working at the absolute worst “Super Max” prison in the world.

Guzman’s cell was videotaped 24 hours a day. But the surveillance had two blind spots for privacy — the toilet and the shower.

Closed-circuit video from July 11 shows him going to the shower fully clothed twice and bending down behind a wall. After the second time, he never resurfaced in the cell.

It’s likely prison workers helped Guzman break out, the interior minister said this week. Osorio Chong said he has already fired the prison director and other prison officials.

Mexican authorities announced a $3.8 million reward for information leading to Guzman’s capture.

Yeah — not too suspicious, going into a shower fully clothed. Maybe he wanted to do some laundry?

And that reward is a joke. El Chapo could triple that amount and pay anyone who was going to rat him out. Or, more likely, they would end up with a bullet in the head buried in the desert if they tried to turn him in.

I would arrest the entire compliment of guards and staff at the prison. Are we to believe that no one — not one single prison employee – heard the construction of a mile long tunnel?

Maybe they thought it was prairie dogs.

Mexico isn’t necessarily losing the war against the cartels, but they aren’t winning it either. Until they find a way to get a handle on the massive corruption of law enforcement that allows the cartels to operate with impunity in many areas of the country, they run the risk of seeing their entire society descend into violent chaos.

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Sean Duffy Shreds ‘Disgusting’ Planned Parenthood for ‘Harvesting Human Organs For Profit’ (Video)

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Rep Sean Duffy (R-WI) was among the members of the House pro-life caucus who held a briefing today on Capitol Hill responding to the undercover video showing Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services casually discussing the harvesting and sale of aborted baby body parts. Duffy called the practice ”shockingly inhumane” and “disgusting,” and said that he would like to see some government agencies like the FBI and DOJ get involved in investigating Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue harvesting activities.

House Republicans sent a letter to Planned Parenthood Friday, asking them to make Dr. Deborah Nucatolato available to the Commerce Committee so that she can answer some questions. The GOP leaders also requested that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates “preserve and retain all documents relating or referring to the collection, sale, and/or donation of fetal tissue.”

Rep. Duffy, a father of seven, said that “any person who has had a child knows that time right after a baby is born when those baby lungs fill up with air and you hear their cry for the first time. It’s absolutely priceless. Now we know that Planned Parenthood has a price on those very same little lungs. They have a price on those little baby livers, those baby feet, on – those – heads. This revelation in this video is absolutely shockingly inhumane – frankly, it’s disgusting.”

“That you have Planned Parenthood – who is harvesting organs – for profit! Harvesting human organs for profit.”

The Wisconsin congressman referenced a pro-life bill that the House passed back in January limiting abortions after 20 weeks.

“We should limit the abortions of these babies,” he said. “Because these babies feel pain. These are babies that can survive outside the womb.”

Duffy noted that one of the biggest detractors of the bill was Planned Parenthood — for all the oft-repeated reasons: women’s health, women’s rights etc.

“The bottom line is today we see it’s not about health — it’s about money!” he exclaimed. “This is about profit. We know that they make money the longer the baby stays in the womb. They don’t want just 18, 19 weeks – if you get to 24 weeks you’ll have baby lungs that are more developed, and little feet that are more developed. This is unacceptable in 2015 in American society.”

He said, “This is an American issue to stand up for defenseless little babies that don’t have anyone….Those little lungs – though their worth money –  they can’t be used with those little voices quite yet. And it’s all of us who are going to stand up for those little babies and be their voice to make sure that they’re not used for profit in the harvesting of their lungs.”

Duffy also said he wants to see the FBI, DHS and DOJ get involved in investigating “this horror.”

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Al-Shabaab Eid Message: ‘Hasten Your Salvation from the Cruelty of the Evil Christians’

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Al-Shabaab vowed to punish the United States after the strikes that killed leader Ahmed Godane last Labor Day, and in an Eid message the Somali terror group vowed “the operations of the Mujahideen are on a steady increase both in quantity and diversity.”

The White House hailed Godane’s death as “a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest al-Qaeda affiliate in Africa.”

Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, aka Ahmed Diriye, a longtime senior adviser to Godane and former primary school Quran teacher, quickly stepped into the role of leading Al-Shabaab.

And it’s been a bloody year for the terror group, which stunned the globe with its 2013 Westgate mall attack in Nairobi.

In January, the FBI added Beltway cabbie Liban Haji Mohamed, an Al-Shabaab recruiter in the U.S., to its Most Wanted Terrorists list. In February, the Obama administration unveiled its “strategic patience” national security strategy only referred to “violent extremists fighting governments in Somalia, Nigeria, and across the Sahel.” Al-Shabaab then released a slick video threatening U.S. sites including the Mall of America.

In March, Boko Haram in Nigeria pledged allegiance to ISIS, but disagreements within Al-Shabaab about breaking with its al-Qaeda alliance have kept the Somali group from doing the same. After one Al-Shabaab cleric declared ISIS to be the legitimate caliphate, the State Department without explanation temporarily closed its Djibouti embassy.

In April, Al-Shabaab slaughtered 147 at Garissa University College in Kenya. In May, Secretary of State John Kerry became the first in his position to visit Somalia, but didn’t leave the airport. Al-Shabaab posted a June video showing white recruits conducting attacks in Kenya.

In his Eid message, Umar said his group’s “swords actively and effectively strike the necks of the disbelievers on a daily basis throughout the country and their raids remain constant.”

He told Muslims in Kenya “your brothers will not cease in assisting you Insha-Allaah nor will they delay in targeting anyone who violates your religion or your honour.”

“By the permission of Allaah, your brothers will continue their operations until your land in its entirety is liberated from the rule of the disbelievers. O’ Muslims of Kenya, know that there is no solution to the oppression and humiliation you are going through except Jihad in the path of Allaah, therefore, hasten and join the caravans of Jihad. Hurry and travel to the battlefields of Jihad and prepare yourselves so as to liberate your lands from the crusader forces. Aid the Mujahideen with all that your capable of so that Allaah may alleviate your suffering and burden.”

Kenya is more than 82 percent Christian, according to CIA statistics.

Umar congratulated all who conducted the “blessed” university attack. “Indeed, the age in which the disbelievers used to perpetrate their crimes without being held to account has passed,” he said. “…Keep up the good work and continue slaying the crusaders and purifying the Muslim lands from their filth… hasten your salvation from the cruelty of the evil Christians.”

“By the permission of Allaah, we will neither deviate nor change. We will continue to march forth governing with the Shari’ah of Allaah, fighting in the path of our Lord and defending our oppressed Muslim brothers until Allaah judges between us and the disbelievers.”

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FBI: No Indication Abdulazeez Was ‘Inspired Or Directed By Anyone Other Than Himself’

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

An FBI official said this afternoon that they so far have “no indication” that Chattanooga gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez was “inspired by or directed by anyone other than himself.”

Special agent in charge Ed Reinhold disputed an earlier assertion from House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) that ISIS is likely involved.

“My judgment and my experience is that it was an ISIS-inspired attack,” McCaul told reporters at a press conference at Florida’s MacDill Air Force Base. “The targets are identical to the targets called by ISIS to attack.”

Abdulazeez wrote two blog posts on July 13 in which he talked about “what role we need to play to establish Islam in the world.”

“We have not classified it as an act of terrorism,” Reinhold stressed, noting the FBI “will treat it as an act of terrorism until it’s determined one way or the other.”

“We do not believe there’s an imminent threat to anyone in the Chattanooga area,” he added, noting the ISIS connection remains a “possibility.”

There were also questions about how Abdulazeez managed to kill four Marines at the Naval Reserve center even though he already had police on his tail from the site of the first shooting, at a strip mall military recruitment office.

The four Marines killed were Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, N.C.; Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan of Hampden, Mass.;  Lance Cpl. Skip Wells of Cobb Ga.; and Sgt. Carson Holmquist of Polk, Wis.

Reinhold said they’re still studying the crime scenes to determine exactly what happened. “He was a moving target and he was obviously able to kill four Marines and wound the one sailor,” the agent said. “These officers were under a tremendous amount of gunfire from this individual.”

There’s “no indication” that Abdulazeez took his own life in the shootout, he confirmed.

Reinhold said Abdulazeez was wearing a load-bearing vest and carrying “at least two long guns — rifles or shotguns — and he did have one handgun that we’re aware of.”

“Some of the weapons were purchased legally and some may not have been,” he said.

Reinhold confirmed that investigators overseas are studying the gunman’s travel. Reuters reported that he may have stopped in Yemen last year when he went to visit family in Jordan.

Last week, the new leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Qasim al-Rimi, issued an audio message directing Muslims to “direct and gather your arrows and swords against” the United States.

ISIS published a new issue of its magazine Dabiq this week with a page dedicated to its “soldiers” in the West, what the U.S. government calls “lone wolves.” While the Islamic State’s members and online supporters have tweeted support for Abdulazeez, with many changing their Twitter avatars to his booking photo, there hasn’t been an official claim of responsibility from ISIS leadership.

Abdulazeez, who was born in Kuwait to Jordanian parents of Palestinian descent, had no prior encounters with law enforcement expect an April driving under the influence arrest, for which he was scheduled to appear in court at the end of this month.

His mother filed for divorce from his father in 2009, stating in court documents reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he beat their five children and inflicted physical, verbal and sexual abuse on her. He also told her he was going to take a second wife “as permitted under certain circumstances under Islamic law.”

Rasmia Abdulazeez withdrew the complaint against Youssuf Saed Abdulazeez, a soil engineering specialist for the Chattanooga Department of Public Works, 22 days later after he agreed to counseling and other terms.

Senate gun-control advocate Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said they need to study how they could have prevented Abdulazeez, an electrical engineering graduate employed in a supervisory role, from acquiring the guns.

“The despicable, devastating domestic terror attacks in Chattanooga show the urgent need for a comprehensive, overall review and revamping of security practices and policies at recruiting offices and reserve facilities,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “We need comprehensive‎ review – and reform – to assure sufficient security. These ‎brutal, brazen murders are a chilling reminder of the need to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and deranged shooters.”

Tennessee congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R) told CNN that the murders will move Islamic extremism to the front of Congress’ agenda.

“People are very concerned about homeland security. They’re concerned about what is happening on the security front in our world, whether it’s the Iran deal, dealing with ISIS, dealing with radical Islamic extremists,” Blackburn said. “What they want to know is that, in their homes, in their communities, they’re going to be safe, their children are going to be safe. So that issue will move more to the forefront, I think, as we move through the balance of this congressional session.”

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Andrea Mitchell Tries to Portray Abdulazeez as a Gun Nut

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Desperately looking for a way to avoid pegging the Chattanooga murderer Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez as anything but a terrorist, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked a childhood friend of the killer what he liked to do in “small town Tennessee”:

“Were guns a big part of activities—social or other activities?” Mitchell asked her interviewee abruptly.

“What?” her interviewee responded.

“Did he hunt, did he shoot?” Mitchell prodded. “Was that just part of small-town Tennessee activity?”

“Um, he actually wasn’t one of the guys I heard about going hunting,” Abdulazeez’s classmate responded. “He wasn’t really that kind of guy.”

Now if I were the reporter interviewing a classmate of a terrorist, those would be the last questions I would ask — if I asked them at all. There is no correlation at all between terrorism and being a gun enthusiast.

Abdulzaeez apparently owned some guns, but it is unknown whether he bought them after his return from the Middle East last year. For a terrorist, guns are a tool of the trade and not a means of self defense or anything to take pleasure from on a hunt. For Mitchell to try and equate terrorism with the gun culture instead of trying to get to the bottom of the shooter’s radicalization is horrible journalism.

About what we’ve come to expect from her.

 

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White House Paints Oddly Rosy Picture of Saudi Discussions About Iran Deal

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama welcomed Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to the White House today for a meeting behind closed doors — and offered a summary of the discussions that was probably much more rosy than what happened behind closed doors.

“They welcomed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between the P5+1, EU and Iran on July 14 which, once fully implemented, will effectively cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and verifiably ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful going forward,” the administration said in a readout of the meeting.

“Following on the Camp David meetings with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders, they discussed efforts underway to further enhance the close and long standing partnership between our two countries and build Saudi Arabia’s security capabilities, noting that Secretary of Defense Carter’s visit to Saudi Arabia next week will advance those discussions.”

The White House said Obama al-Jubeir, who is very familiar with all Beltway players as the longtime Saudi ambassador before his new post, “also reviewed efforts to jointly address and seek to resolve regional crises.”

“They discussed the urgency of stopping the fighting in Yemen and the importance of ensuring that assistance is reaching Yemenis in need through international humanitarian channels without any impediments or delays,” the readout continued. “They discussed cooperation to reach a genuine political solution in Syria. They also reaffirmed our mutual commitment to reinforce efforts to support Iraq and continue the coalition’s work in the counter-ISIL campaign. The President asked Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir to convey his best wishes to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.”

Yesterday outside a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, al-Jubeir said the Saudis “look forward to an agreement that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability, that has a robust and continuous inspections regime to make sure that Iran does not violate the terms of the agreement, and that has an effective and quick snapback provision that allows the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran should it violate the terms of that agreement.”

“We all support the continuation of the sanctions against Iran related to counterterrorism and related to its support for terrorism and other issues. And we hope that the Iranians, if a deal is implemented, that the Iranians will use this deal in order to improve the economic situation in Iran and to improve the lot of the Iranian people, and not use it for adventures in the region,” the foreign minister continued.

“And we are committed that if Iran should try to cause mischief in the region, we are committed to confront it resolutely. And so we are — we will — we’re looking at this agreement and we will be studying it, and we are discussing it with our friends in the United States. But the bottom line is everybody wants a good deal, and so we expect that with time we will be exchanging ideas with our friends in the U.S. and with the other P5+1 countries, and in order to get at questions — answers to some of the questions we may have.”

Kerry cut off the press availability after al-Jubeir’s comments.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said King Salman requested that Obama meet personally with al-Jubeir when the president phoned the monarch earlier in the week to break the news of the deal.

When pressed further by reporters on the contents of the conversations, Earnest stuck firmly to the readout talking points.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that the Saudis are expected to launch offensives in Yemen and Syria before Iran can start raking in its cash windfall from the deal.

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‘Path to Radicalization’? Start with His Name

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the Kuwaiti-born Muslim who murdered four Marines in the American heartland, apparently felt insouciant enough to travel back and forth to the Middle East on at least a couple of occasions. You read that right: the crack fondlers at the TSA harass little old ladies and children, but a member of the same ummah that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, is free to come and go as he pleases without setting off any politically incorrect alarm bells.

Authorities are investigating multiple trips the Chattanooga gunman took to the Middle East as they work to identify the motive behind Thursday’s shooting that killed four Marines. Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, a Kuwaiti-born Chattanooga resident who was killed by police during his shooting rampage Thursday, traveled to Jordan in 2014 and may have also visited Yemen, according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

Sources close to the investigation told the Journal authorities are trying to determine whether Abdulazeez had any contact with extremists during his seven-month stay in Jordan. Federal authorities were looking into the possibility the shooting was an act of terrorism, but say there is no evidence yet that anyone else was involved — or that the public is in any danger.

A federal law enforcement official said Friday that authorities were continuing a search of his computer, but had not found an extensive online presence and had not uncovered evidence suggesting he was directly inspired by the Islamic State.The FBI is investigating two blog posts written on Monday to determine if Abdulazeez was behind them, including one that proclaimed that life is “short and bitter” and urged readers to “submit to Allah.”

Political correctness will be the death of this country, which is exactly why it was invented in the first place. More willful stupidity:

Officials have not said what weapons he used, and even the exact spelling of his first name was not clear: Federal authorities and records gave at least four variations.

Well, gee, maybe that’s because “Muhammad” in all its variants is a transliteration from an alien language. Spoken by people from an alien culture that is by faith and custom hostile to the West, and which views the universal elevation of Islam as its prime directive. If you’re a devout Muslim, how much “radicalization” do you really need? The only question is whether the dar-al-Harb is conquered by persuasion or brute force, and they don’t much care which it is.

This is war, but only one side knows it.

 

 

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GAO Investigation Finds ObamaCare Subsidies Wide Open to Fraud

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

An undercover Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation revealed that there is no system in place to monitor the HealthCare.gov exchanges enrollment process, leaving it wide open to fraud.

In 2014, GAO began a “secret shopper” investigation designed to test whether or not the federal healthcare exchange (Marketplace) was able to detect and prevent falsified applications from being accepted. The results were glaring. Of the 12 fictitious identities that applied for taxpayer subsidies, 11 were approved, which is a 91 percent failure rate. Over the course of 2014, the government paid out $30,000 to these fake individuals. Investigators were able to obtain subsidies even though they provided false proof of income, documentation of citizenship, and Social Security numbers. The Marketplace made zero effort to validate any information.

Even after officials were tipped off that investigators had set up several bogus accounts, they failed to catch any of them.

This tragic comedy of errors went on for 16 months. For example, when the Healthcare.gov exchange later asked the undercover “enrollees” to submit supporting documents, they replied with counterfeits, if they replied at all. Yet none of them lost their coverage.

In one case, the investigator sent zero documents in response to that request, then called the exchange to ask about his status and was told, “Your application status is complete.”

The much-touted ObamaCare “data hub” that was allegedly completed right before ObamaCare’s launch should have caught at least some of the fake applicants.

The Washington Post reported in September of 2013:

Federal health officials said they have completed the “data hub,” a complex system that will verify people’s Social Security numbers, immigration status and other information when they log on to government Web sites to buy health plans and apply for government subsidies.

The milestone is a significant victory for the administration, which is battling growing skepticism that it will be ready Oct. 1, when people are supposed to be able to start signing up for health plans under the law, commonly called Obamacare. For months, officials have faced questions about whether the computer systems, which are exceedingly complex, would be up and running in time.

Nearly two years later and if there is a data hub up and running, it does not seem to be being used adequately.

“It confirmed what we feared,” the Ohio Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” program on Thursday.

“One thing they also found out is so many legitimate taxpayers are so confused they are ending up getting their refunds cut,” said Portman. “Two-thirds of the people getting the subsidies are experiencing this. The IRS says half of the people are having their tax bills coming to the door or getting the refunds cut. It’s really confusing to the taxpayers, and there is a lot of fraud.”

Johnson said there will be congressional hearings about the report at which lawmakers will try to figure out how the fraud happened and how to fix the problem.

“The American people are frustrated by Obamacare for a lot of reasons,” said Johnson, noting the exchanges are poorly administers.

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Given the importance of this story, you can bet the rest of the media was all over it,  right?

Not so much. CBS and NBC on Thursday skipped the story completely. ABC’s Good Morning America devoted all of 17 seconds to the topic.

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Navy to Ban Fried Food, Sailors Blame Michelle O

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by The Tatler

Michelle Obama is getting the blame for the Navy’s decision to ban fried foods from their culinary offerings.

According to Vocativ, “The First Lady doesn’t set nutrition policy for the nation’s fleets. But that hasn’t stopped more than two dozen critics—many of them current and former Navy personnel—from flooding a Navy Times Facebook thread to blame FLOTUS, who has made combating obesity and promoting healthy eating her signature issues.”

Some of the feedback includes, “Is Michelle Obama now playing big sister to the military hotline?” and “First the kids, now the troops.”

“Seriously. Sounds like MICHELLE OBAMA strikes again,” a said another.

The Navy Times reported that there will be no more fried chicken, french fries and shrimp. Instead these foods will be baked in “state of the art ovens.”

“Whole milk will be replaced by skim and soy; fruits and vegetables will be on prominent display,” the report noted. “The fast line will remain, but its offerings will be cut back.

“And this is just the beginning.”

Ugh.

The healthy “Go Green” campaign is set to become the standard for mess halls both on land and sea.

The new menu is set to take effect in 2017.

H/T: WFB

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Dowager Empress of Chappaqua’s Poll Numbers Tanking

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The doomed Hillary! “campaign” waddles onward and downward:

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s standing is falling among Democrats, and voters view her as less decisive and inspiring than when she launched her presidential campaign just three months ago, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. The survey offers a series of warning signs for the leading Democratic candidate. Most troubling, perhaps, for her prospects are questions about her compassion for average Americans, a quality that fueled President Barack Obama’s two White House victories.

Just 39 percent of all Americans have a favorable view of Clinton, compared to nearly half who say they have a negative opinion of her. That’s an eight-point increase in her unfavorable rating from an AP-GfK poll conducted at the end of April. The drop in Clinton’s numbers extends into the Democratic Party. Seven in 10 Democrats gave Clinton positive marks, an 11-point drop from the April survey. Nearly a quarter of Democrats now say they see Clinton in an unfavorable light.

“I used to like her, but I don’t trust her,” said Donald Walters of Louisville, Kentucky. “Ever since she’s announced her candidacy for the presidency I just haven’t liked the way she’s handled things. She doesn’t answer questions directly.”

Tough to win when half the country already despises you — and this is well before Mrs. Clinton is, so to speak, fully exposed to the American voting public as anything other than a second-hand celebrity.

Somewhere in Massachusetts, Fauxcahontas is licking her chops.

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Christie: If I Had It to Do All Over Again, I Wouldn’t Change a Minute of Obama Hug

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

If he had to do it all again, Chris Christie would still give a bear hug to President Obama.

The New Jersey governor was asked on CNN this morning about the infamous embrace after Hurricane Sandy and just before the 2012 presidential election. Considering the backlash he’s received since, would he do the same today?

“I absolutely would because it’s my job,” Christie replied. “It’s my job to protect and serve the people of the state of New Jersey who just suffered the most devastating natural disaster in our state’s history and the second most devastating natural disaster in the country’s history. So of course I would treat the president of the United States with respect when he came to visit, which is what I did.”

The governor was reminded that his approval rating was 77 percent back then. Last month, it had fallen to 30 percent.

“Listen, I shook his hand. I welcomed him and I thanked him for his help. I thought that’s what civilized human beings do with each other, whether you’re in the same party or in different parties. And if that’s where our politics has gotten to, then no one should wonder in this country why we are in the condition we are in, if we can’t even be civilized to each other anymore,” Christie said.

“That’s not the kind of politics I’ll bring to Washington, D.C. I’ll bring tough politics, but civilized politics to Washington. But most importantly, what I’ll bring is my heart and my mind to do my job that the people elect me to do.”

Christie said it’s “hard to tell” how Bridgegate might hurt him.

The U.S. Attorney did a 15-month investigation, he noted. “I used to do this for a living. If you didn’t find the evidence after the first 15 months, you’re not finding it. Because you know why? There isn’t any. I had nothing to do with it,” he said. “And so, you know, in the end, I don’t think the American people are going to make their decision based upon a traffic jam.”

“Seventy-seven percent is pretty high in a Democratic state for a Republican governor. If you look at my approval ratings from the day I came into office until now. They have gone up and down. The reason for that is because when I get political capital, I spend it. I take on teacher tenure reform, I take on pension reform and health benefit reform. We take on all the big issues that are going on in this state, and when you do that, you are going to anger some people and when you do, you’re going to lose their support. But then when those programs work, you gain their support back. I’m willing to bet you by this time next year, those numbers will be back up because people will see the things are working.”

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Surprise! Obamacare Exchanges Wide Open to Fraud

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

An uncharitably minded person might suggest there’s a link between the Obama administration’s drive to digitalize our medical records and its utter inability to protect the private data of millions and millions of American workers. So sure, go ahead — trust Obamacare:

Integrity: An undercover operation shows how ridiculously easy it is to defraud ObamaCare. Even after officials learned investigators had set up several bogus accounts in June of last year, they failed to catch any of them. The Government Accountability Office report reads like something out of the Onion — that comical fake news site. Except this isn’t funny.

A dozen undercover auditors tried to enroll in ObamaCare using fake Social Security numbers, phony IDs and bogus citizenship papers. The auditors should have been an easy catch, since ObamaCare had promised to build a “data hub” that would instantly check such information against records at the IRS, INS, Social Security and Homeland Security. Instead, 11 of the 12 got their coverage, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars in improper subsidies.

For Obama and his ilk, the government is not only the employer of last resort for those whom private industry deems essentially unemployable — that would be enough. But no, Obama’s contribution to the imbalance of the public-private sectors is to make, via taxation, massive amounts of private money available — whether by hook or by crook — to those who would rather not work, or steal.

 

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Concealed-Carry Permits for Women Up 270% since 2007

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

A study from the Crime Prevention Research Center has evidence that “legally-possessed handguns deter crime, rather than contribute to it.”  John Lott, president of the CPRC, said that the huge increase in the number of conceal permits shows that attitudes among Americans towards firearms are changing.

Yesterday, I shared a study that “debunks the myth of defensive gun use. ” That study is locked behind a paywall but was promoted by a media front for the gun-grabbers at  Everytown for Gun Safety. (I read that stuff so you don’t have to.)

On the other hand, Lott’s study shows that the number of permits has risen by 178% over the last eight years.

“Americans have increasing come to believe that guns make them safer,” Lott said, stressing that African-Americans are increasingly embracing their Second Amendment rights. “A number of surveys show increasing numbers of Americans believe that having more guns owned by their neighbors or in their homes make them safer.”

Now you see why the Everytown posse has to put out a “study” showing that guns don’t make people safer. Because people’s action speak louder than gun-grabber propaganda.

According to the study, concealed-carry permits have risen by 156% among men and a whopping 270% for women.  Lott also revealed that minority groups are acquiring concealed-carry permits faster than whites.

“Over the last couple of years, there has been a massive sea change among blacks’ views towards guns,” Lott said.

“The other part of the reason is that states that have had concealed handgun permits for a while have been lowering the cost of getting permits,” Lott said, referring to fees and the cost of mandatory training. ”As the study notes there is a huge difference across states in the cost of getting a permit. But not too surprisingly, lower costs appear to increase the rate that blacks get permits relative to whites.”

Also of note is the drop in crime: “Lott notes that the national murder rate fell to 4.2 people per 100,000 from 5.6 per 100,000 between 2007 and 2014. Overall, violent crime dropped 25 percent in the same period.”

So while the Everytown crew would like the public to believe that there is no efficiency to defensive gun use, there might well be less reason to use a gun defensively. Criminals tend to target the unarmed in areas with strict control rather than run the risk of having a gun pulled on them. The more places that allow conceal and carry, the greater the risk to the criminal.

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Dear Republican Candidates: Please Stop Attacking The Donald

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

One of the moderators in one of my favorite conservative communities on Google+ (yes, it still exists) recently published a post in which she praised Rick Perry’s response to Donald Trump’s statements on immigration and border security, while criticizing Ted Cruz for his. She’s not the only one who believes that Republicans have to distance themselves from the successful businessman, fearing they’ll alienate Hispanic voters if they don’t.

Moderator Leslie P. quotes from this article by Jon Gabriel:

Perry is setting himself up as the grown-up in the race. Along with his race speech a couple weeks back, it’s Perry, not Trump, who is the truth-teller of 2016.

Although it might seem wise to distance oneself from Trump because of the Hispanic vote, I believe Republican candidates are making a tragic mistake when they actually do so. I like to compare The Donald to Geert Wilders, who probably is the best known Dutch politician in the rest of the world, and especially in the United States.

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Haram or Halal? Turkish TV Clerics’ War of Words Over Oral Sex

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

After one Muslim televangelist in Turkey got mocked for saying masturbating hands will be pregnant in the afterlife, Islamic clerics in Turkey are getting into more sexytime debates:

A popular Muslim televangelist in Turkey has opposed a recent statement by a colleague, who had declared “advanced oral sex” to be forbidden by Islam.

“Do not invent a lie on behalf of Allah,” said Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü, popularly known as “Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca” (Robed Ahmet Hoca) among his followers, during his latest televised sermon.

Ünlü’s remarks were in response to Ali Rıza Demircan, a well-known expert on Islam, who claimed on Turkey’s state-run broadcaster TRT on July 10 that what he described as “advanced oral sex” was “haram” (forbidden) in Islam.

Contradicting Demircan, Ünlü said the Quran does not stipulate such a ban. “Brothers, let’s speak frankly: [Islam’s] Shafi’i sect allows this act, as it considers human semen a clean substance. On the other hand, the Hanafi sect considers semen as dirty, but adds that a dress can be cleaned by simply rubbing the semen off when it dries.”

Clinton references aside, Ünlü reassured Turks going into the weekend by noting “even clerics see oral sex as normal in Indonesia and Malaysia.”

Demircan’s “advanced oral sex” comments — he claimed it was a cause of divorce — provoked a great reaction from host Pelin Çift, seen in the video below. “Do you know what my problem is?” the cleric asked as she laughed. “For God’s sake… what’s your problem?” Çift answered.

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An Open Letter from a Military Wife to Obama About Military Property Security

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 - by Jamie Wilson

Dear Mr. Obama,

I have little hope that you’ll ever read this, but I have to get this off my chest. Since 1993, our military personnel, many of whom have had extensive weapons training including sidearms, have not been allowed to carry weapons openly or concealed on military properties. Yet on your watch the following incidents have occurred:

These incidents, which resulted in the deaths of 35 innocent people and serious injuries to 51 others, might all have been minimized or even prevented by trained, armed military members.

Why is it that these men and women, who carry firearms on our behalf, whom we entrust with the security and well-being of our nation, aren’t allowed to bear arms on military bases in order to defend themselves and others?

And, of course, these are only the incidents that result in deaths or injuries and thus cannot be hidden from the public. As a military wife, I recall more than one incident in which miscreants on base were stopped by MPs or other law enforcement personnel. In one case at Fort Gordon, a person who was later captured blew through the checkpoint without stopping. Similarly unaware gate security allowed the 2014 shooter at Norfolk Naval Base to get through. Why? Anyone who has sat in line to get through a military base checkpoint can figure this one out easily.

I don’t blame gate security for these incidents. I do blame misguided leadership that seems to believe that this one layer of security is adequate.

When these bad guys are on base, there is little or nothing our disarmed military members–people like my husband–can do save hide, call 9-1-1, and hope like hell the MPs hurry up. Isolated recruiting stations are in a worse position, open to the public and completely vulnerable.

With the recent threats by ISIS to target military personnel and their families, why are we pretending our military bases and stations are not military targets, ripe for exploitation by hidden terrorist assets or lone-wolf nut cases? For the love of God and country, allow our military members who pass standard background checks and have weapons training to carry personal sidearms in or out of uniform. The lives of military members and families alike–families just like mine–could depend on the courage of these armed and honorable individuals.

The lives of four military members could have been saved today in Chattanooga by such a change in policy. May God comfort their families. I doubt, Mr. Obama, that you will.

Sincerely,

A Military Wife

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Military Families’ Percentage of Income Spent on Housing More Than Double That of Civilians

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

All kinds of wrong.

A recent study by Zillow found that military families pay more income for housing, whether a mortgage or rent, than civilians.

New housing is a frequent concern for most military families. Buying a house may make more financial sense than renting, but when you factor in that most military families move every few years, it can quickly lose appeal. Most military families move every three years, which can take a frequent toll on families — and their finances.

The percentage of income that goes to a mortgage payment in the United States for most residents is 15.5 percent. For military families, the rate is more than double: 31.5 percent of income.

Remember the Occupy crowd and their cries for free everything? There’s a snapshot of what’s wrong with America. Not only is there a political class that’s devoted to finding new ways to have taxpayers fund slackers, those same politicos often ignore the myriad plights those who risk all for this country endure. From voting rights to health care to housing, the military is constantly treated like lower-tier citizens, when the very opposite should be the case.

This isn’t all the fault of politicians, as American society doesn’t hold the military in the esteem it once did. As always, most of the blame lies with almost everything about Vietnam. The government ran a lousy war that did little more than get our troops captured or killed, and the public expressed its frustration in a variety of ways. One tragic byproduct was that the war’s failure led to an undeserved lack of respect for our military.

In an increasingly dangerous world we shouldn’t be putting undo burdens on the very people who have to protect us from the danger.

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