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Border Flood is Causing a ‘Medical Breakdown’

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Cloward and Piven couldn’t have planned it better themselves. According to ABC News, the federal government finds itself overwhelmed at the border and is not even medically screening all of the people who are illegally crossing in.

The director of refugee health in the federal Health and Human Services Department “has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility,” according to an internal Department of Defense memo reviewed by ABC News. The “breakdown” a systemic failure of the handoff of these children between CBP and HHS.

Inside the government, officials are sounding alarms, fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu.

Two unaccompanied children were flown from Nogales to California despite having 101-degree fevers and flu-like symptoms, according to the Department of Defense memo. Those children had to be hospitalized.

The memo said pointedly that officials in charge of moving the immigrants from Border Patrol processing centers to Health and Human Services facilities are “putting sick [fevers and coughing] unaccompanied children on airplanes inbound for [Naval Base Ventura County] in addition to the chicken pox and coxsackie virus cases.”

But, according to the memo ABC News reviewed, “Curi Kim [the HHS director of the Division of Refugee Health] has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility.  The  [unaccompanied children] were initially screened and cleared upon entry into that facility with no fever or significant symptoms.  They were not however re-screened and cleared for travel and placement at a temporary shelter.”

While confirming to ABC News the outbreak occurred, HHS would not respond to inquiries about the DOD memo showing sick children were knowingly sent to Naval Base Ventura prior to the outbreak.

While the border is being Cloward and Pivened, so is the constitutional order. So I’ll just leave this here. It’s from Megyn Kelly’s show last night. Her guest, liberal constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley. Turley is doing his best Paul Revere, warning America that the tyrant is coming — thanks to Barack Obama’s disregard for the Constitution and its system of checks and balances.

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Hispanic Caucus ‘Energized’ After Meeting with Obama, Ripping on Colleague Cuellar

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

One member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus emerged from yesterday’s closed-door meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden feeling “energized” about their conversation on pushing immigration reform through executive orders and the border crisis.

In a readout of the meeting, the White House said Obama “heard from members of the Caucus about ideas for actions to improve our immigration system.”

“The President reaffirmed that he is focused on fixing as much of our broken immigration system as he can within the confines of the law, and has asked Secretary Johnson and the Attorney General to conduct a thorough review that produces recommendations before the end of the summer,” the White House said. “The President made clear that regardless of the steps he takes through administrative action, nothing replaces the need for Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform, and he will continue to make the case for swift action by Congress on a comprehensive bill.”

Obama “also emphasized the urgency for Congress to approve supplemental funding to aid the government response to the influx of migrants at the Rio Grande Valley.”

“The situation in the Rio Grande Valley underscores how our immigration system is broken, and Republicans need to stop blocking comprehensive immigration reform so we can fix the system now. In the absence of Republican action, the President has mounted a significant effort to deal with this urgent humanitarian situation,” continued the readout. “The Administration is focused on addressing these immediate and pressing challenges to make sure we are responding in an efficient and timely way and confronting the root of the problem with top-level diplomatic efforts in Central America.”

Obama thanked the caucus members for “their leadership and major accomplishments for the Latino community, including improvements in education, access to health care, and economic growth.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said the caucus members told Obama they “will not support a supplemental budget request that undermines the legal protection for children” — going against the efforts of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) to reform parts of a 2008 law that provides extended amnesty proceedings for illegal immigrants from non-contiguous countries. “The CHC told the President we will fight for the rights of these children under the law and a lot of other Democrats will stand with us.”

“I saw a compassionate President who listened to our position on the deportation crisis that families and communities are facing in America.  We urged the President to be as broad and expansive in using prosecutorial discretion and executive action as the Republicans have been narrow and mean-spirited when it comes to immigrants and immigration,” Gutierrez said.

“I think the President, the Vice President and their administration get it on an emotional level – they get the pain that immigrant communities are suffering, the families being split apart, and they get the pain that children fleeing violence are suffering.”

Gutierrez added that “we would denounce any country overseas that attacks, protests, and turns back children fleeing violence and turmoil.”

“And as a great nation we must set an example for others when it comes to the rule of law and the generosity of our people.”

Cuellar told Fox that he didn’t get a word in edgewise at the meeting as “there was a brief determined number of people that were going to be speaking.”

“I’ve been working on this for many years. The border issues and this crisis. I understand how the process works. And again, no matter who you are, you should never box yourself in this situation,” Cuellar said. “We got to look at a policy change with due process for this kids. But at the same time, we’ve got to have those hearings. So the kids that need to be returned safely will have to be returned safely.”

CHC chairman Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) openly criticized his colleague. “He’s a Blue Dog. He comes to the meetings once in a long time. And what you are hearing now is a unanimous voice of those who have been participating in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,” Hinojosa said. “But to make it clear, Cuellar does not speak for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.”

Cuellar said it’s about doing the right thing.

“I’m Hispanic, I’m a Blue Dog, 80 percent of my population that I represent are Hispanic. I — as a member of Congress, I can make my proposal. I live on the border,” Cuellar said. “And by the way, it would have been nice if he would have spoken to me, asked me what my legislation does. He was just ignorant of the facts.”

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Liberty Island: Liberal’s Newest, Greatest Threat

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

libertyisland

Apparently, it takes the declaration of a culture war for most human beings to acknowledge how dreadfully sad liberalism truly is.

Not classical liberalism, of course. The political philosophy guiding America’s founding fathers espouses an incredibly positive attitude built on, above all things, faith in the success of the individual against all odds. The liberalism I am referring to is the darker ethos that currently masquerades as Liberal, despite the fact that it is anything but. One need look no further for proof of this truth than Adam Kirsch’s response to Adam Bellow‘s call for a counterculture conservative establishment via Liberty Island.

…why does Adam Bellow continue to believe that conservative writers are a persecuted minority? The reason may have something to do with the description of the kind of work he seeks at his Liberty Island website: “At Liberty Island, good still triumphs over evil, hope still overcomes despair, and America is still a noble experiment and a beacon to the rest of the world.” The problem is not that these are conservative ideas, but that they are simpleminded ideological dogmas, and so by their very nature hostile to literature, which lives or dies by its sense of reality. If you are not allowed to say that life in America can be bad, that Americans can be guilty as well as innocent, that good sometimes (most of the time?) loses out to evil—in short, that life in America is like human life in any other time or place—then you cannot be a literary writer, because you have censored your impressions of reality in advance.

In this one paragraph Kirsch clearly defines the Liberal view of reality. According to Kirsch, Liberals view America as a “bad” place where good is defeated ”most of the time” by evil. Bellow’s desire to publish positive, hopeful literature illustrates his biased impression of reality, an implied trait among conservatives. According to Kirsch, Bellow is both deficient and needy: “…he wants reassurance, the certainty that reality—of which literature is the perceiver and guardian—is always on the side of his political beliefs.” He accuses Bellow of seeking succor through “Tea Party”-esque revenge tactics.

These accusations stand in stark contradiction to Kirsch’s conclusion in which he blatantly accepts the fact that Liberals have abused the arts, turning what used to be pleasurable cultural outlets into forums for intense, almost religious levels of political brainwashing. According to Kirsch, true writers understand that politics “must be corrected by literature” and not vice-versa. Hence, so many writers are Liberals. Liberals who busy themselves using their screeds to “correct” the political landscape. Thus, is his own grand conclusion he ends up convicting Liberals for Bellow’s supposed crimes.

In creating Liberty Island, Adam Bellow did one better than scare the Liberal literary establishment: He annoyed them. In his conservative counterculture manifesto Bellow named the sins that have turned the world of American fiction into nothing more than a finely written dystopia. It is what Bellow proposes, marketing hope to the hopeless, that is the greatest cause for alarm. Kirsch and his ilk can attempt to disinform the public by accusing conservative writers of being “out of touch” with reality. This has and will only continue to act as a public airing of their own hopeless despair. When challenged with a positive alternative, Liberal literati will ultimately fail, because in a world rife with rockets and bomb shelters, riots and dictators, wars and rumors of wars, there is nothing the public craves more than a future and a hope.

 

 

 

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Detroit Police Chief Credits Armed Homeowners with Reducing Crime

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Detroit Police Chief James Craig doesn’t sound like most other big city police chiefs.

Most union-heavy police bosses tout gun control despite the fact that the cities with the strictest gun laws also tend to have the most gun-related crime. Chief Craig sees things very differently.

According to the Detroit News, the city has suffered 37% fewer robberies in 2014 versus 2013, 22% fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30% fewer carjackings. Chief Craig believes that armed citizens are at least part of the answer.

“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” Chief Craig told the News. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.

“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.

This is not the first time that Chief Craig has touted armed citizens as an answer to crime. Back in January Craig praised citizens who have concealed firearm carry permits help deter crime, based on his own professional experience.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at the time.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

 

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Price Gouging Would Solve California’s Water Crisis

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

The state of California has persisted under drought for several years. Now, regulators have taken drastic action to combat perceived water waste. From The Los Angeles Times:

Cities throughout California will have to impose mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering under an emergency state rule approved Tuesday.

Saying that it was time to increase conservation in the midst of one of the worst droughts in decades, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted drought regulations that give local agencies the authority to fine those who waste water up to $500 a day.

Many Southern California cities, including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Long Beach, already have mandatory restrictions in place.

But most communities across the state are still relying on voluntary conservation, and Californians in general have fallen far short of meeting Gov. Jerry Brown’s January call for a 20% cut in water use.

In fact, statewide urban water usage has increased by 1% over the past three years. Cities have made efforts at “voluntary conservation,” which probably amounts to telling people that there’s a drought. But that hasn’t proven terribly effective.

Madelyn Glickfeld, assistant outreach director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, told the board that despite the Southland’s conservation strides, residents “don’t get this drought.”

She cited lush lawns and freeway sprinklers spraying next to the electronic Caltrans signs urging water savings.

There’s a better way to handle the situation. Instead of siccing the water police on neighbors for washing their car, California could institute market-based reforms which would effectively ration water without any form of policing at all.

Residents of East Los Angeles can expect to pay between $3 and $4 per 100 cubic meters of water used. If those rates were allowed to reflect actual supply and demand, they would clearly be higher. And if the rates were higher, residents would begin to “get this drought” fairly quickly. Those lush lawns grow because their owners regard them as a higher value than the money paid for irrigation. Guaranteed, there’s a price point at which that priority would shift.

But such a market response would be considered “gouging,” something which pretty much everyone regards as wrong. Yet “gouging” would immediately solve California’s problem by incentivizing consumers to ration their water use. Higher prices would also incentivize entrepreneurs to develop new and better ways to deliver water to consumers. Instead of responding abruptly to arbitrary political mandates, individuals would respond fluidly to the price signals offered in the market. The result would be a nimble response propelled by the rational self-interest of California residents. The crisis, such as it is, would resolve sooner and cause less damage over its duration.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 16:19 minutes long; 15.74 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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NARAL Ad Gets Paltry YouTube Views Backing Bill That Fails to Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Scott Ott
NARAL attack ad against Sen. McConnell

As of 7:16 p.m. CDT, this NARAL attack ad against Sen. Mitch McConnell was starving for attention. The bill NARAL backed, to overturn the effects of the Hobby Lobby case, failed in the Senate hours earlier.
—–

The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) apparently punches below its weight these days, if the response to its new Mitch McConnell attack ad on YouTube, and the outcome of a Senate vote, are any indicators.

NARAL made the ad to push a bill aimed at reversing the effect of the Hobby Lobby abortifacent case, in which the Supreme Court freed closely-held corporations from a government mandate that violated the religious conscience of some.

The black-and-white :30 second spot with a sound-track reminiscent of the Halloween movies had attracted all of 1,009 views and four comments as of 7:16 CDT on Wednesday (7/16/14), hours after the Senate voted down the bill that NARAL favored.

The ad says, in part, that Sen. McConnell…

..supports the corporate bosses of Hobby Lobby who deny their workers insurance that covers birth control.

Of course, as everyone, including the lying Democrats know, the Hobby Lobby case had nothing to do with insurance coverage for ordinary contraceptives that stop Mr. Sperm from meeting Ms. Egg. Hobby Lobby employee insurance covers a variety of those. At issue were chemicals that destroy fertilized eggs, typically by expelling them from the womb.

NARAL repeats the demonstrably-false Democrat talking point. Or perhaps the Democrats have been repeating the NARAL-composed talking point. Nevertheless, the ad got no traction on YouTube, and the NARAL lobbyists failed on the Senate floor.

Perhaps some congressmen should rethink their strategy of cowering before the retail abortion industry. (BTW, at what what point in the gestation of a congressman does the spine develop?)

Do you want to appeal to women? Talk to the many millions who profoundly love their babies, especially to Moms of babies that Democrats most want to abort — special needs and poor children of color. Talk about their future, their opportunity, their safety in a dangerous world and a parent’s freedom to choose an excellent education.

Women deserve a right to choose a prosperous future for their children. Those kind of women far outnumber NARAL’s supporters.

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Archie Andrews of Archie Comics Shot Dead Saving Gay Gun-Control Friend!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

If political correctness was sugar this story would give all of Archie Comics’ readers diabetes.

Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie” tells the story of the icon’s final moments. Archie dies heroically taking a bullet meant for fictional Sen. Kevin Keller, the series’ first openly gay character. Keller is pushing for stricter gun control before the fatal shot is fired.

Why did a series that for so long revolved around malt shops and the virtues of blondes versus brunettes take such a dark and political turn? Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, told the Associated Press they “wanted to do something that was impactful” and that would “resonate with the world.”

“That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin,” Goldwater said. “He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”

He could have saved birth control! He could have raised the minimum wage!

Let’s take a poll.

What other politically correct death should Archie have suffered?

View Results

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Jihadi Rhetoric: Tiresome but Deadly

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

abu_bakr_albaghdadi.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox

I just spent the better part of the day reading and listening to sermons by the leaders and jihadis of the new “caliphate” in Mesopotamia, the Islamic State (formerly “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”).

I did so in the vain hopes of learning something “new.”

But it was absolute déjà vu—taking me back to a decade ago, when I was reading and translating the Arabic writings and speeches of al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, as collated inThe Al Qaeda Reader.

Now as then, it’s the same Koran verses; the same hadiths of Islamic prophet Muhammad waging and praising jihad; the same threats of hellfire for the munafiqun (hypocrites or lukewarm Muslims); the same carnal rewards in the now or hereafter for those who join the “caravan” of jihad.

Consider for instance the following opening words of a recently released short video from the Islamic State titled, “There is No Life Without Jihad”:

If you wish to know the way to glory and power, to goodness, security and joy, you must learn that there are no rights without jihad, no justice without jihad, no dignity without jihad, no security without jihad, no future without jihad, no life without jihad, no life without jihad.

After this rather hackneyed opening, one Abu Muthana, a jihadi from Britain, appears quoting some more of the usual Koran verses, hadiths, and ulema, in this case, Imam Qurtubi, who wrote that “jihad gives life.”  Finally he summarizes the goal of the jihad—in case anyone is still not sure—namely, to fight until “the law [Sharia] of Allah is implemented and the caliphate restored.”

To reiterate, there is little new or original in the videos and communiques from the Islamic State.   Just static Islamism.

If one turns to the speeches of other Islamic and jihadi groups around the world—from the African groups such as Boko Haram (Nigeria) and al-Shabaab (Somalia), to Asian groups such as Abu Sayyaf (Philippines) and the Islamic Movement (Uzbekistan)—it’s the same thing, same themes, same scriptures, same quotations, same exhortations, same condemnations.   Only their temporal circumstances and vicissitudes of victory or defeat differ.

While the Western mentality, so used to seeing and hearing about the “latest” or “newest” fad, may deem the Islamist approach as static or insipid, it is, quite the contrary, immensely effective for its purposes, and thus dangerous.

Consider: It’s the same exact message—of supremacism, hate, and violence, capped off with divine sanctioning—repeated over and over again, from a myriad of sources and organizations, all of which claim authority.

One can think of few better ways to brainwash and indoctrinate young and impressionable minds—to the point that they eagerly embrace death, including through suicide (AKA “martyrdom operations”).

Nor is this message of jihad, conquest, and death-to-the-infidel, limited to the verbiage that transpires among terrorist organizations; instead, this sort of rhetoric has spread far and wide, thanks to modern technology—including the Internet and social media—and the rich Gulf States, chief among them Saudi Arabia, which have seen to it that the jihadi books and passages being quoted are available to all and sundry.

Indeed, and has been demonstrated repeatedly, such jihadi rhetoric is regularly used in mosques all throughout Europe and America—explaining why an inordinate amount of jihadis in Syria and Iraq, such as Abu Muthana,  the aforementioned “Brit,” are in fact from the West.

If the West, in the name of “religious freedom,” is still too fretful to monitor and ban such sermons, in Egypt—a Muslim nation in the heart of the Islamic world—the post Muslim Brotherhood government has come to understand the necessity of outlawing “certain” kinds of sermons and preachers from the mosques, specifically, those about jihad against infidels and apostates.

Of course, such a move sounds extremely “anti-freedom” to the liberal mentality; the New York Times bemoaned it, without considering that such a clampdown on sermon topics actually combats terrorism and saves human lives.  For example, the overwhelming majority of attacks on Egypt’s Christian Copts occur on Friday—the one day of the week Muslims congregate in mosques to hear sermons.

Ultimately, however, such a move from Egypt—an Islamic nation—is an indicator of just how problematic unregulated (i.e., jihadi) sermons can be: if “moderate” Muslims are fearful from the repercussions of “radicalized” sermons, shouldn’t we “infidels” be even more wary of them?

In the end, there’s good news and bad news in all this: the good news is that one need not be familiar with the constant communiques, videos, and messages emanating from this or that jihadi group—for they are all recycled, all the same.  To hear one, is to  hear them all.

The bad news is that, due to the severe lack of common sense and censorship in the form of political correctness that plagues the West, the rhetoric of jihad and its unvarying message of hate remains wholly unintelligible.

If the jihadis, like parrots, are forever repeating each other—and luring other parrots to join them—Western leaders and politicians, like ostriches, are forever sticking their heads in the sand, lest they acknowledge the cacophony of hate surrounding them, and us.

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Former WH Lawyer: Obama Can Change Obamacare Because He Agrees With It

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Walter Dellinger was assistant attorney general during the Clinton administration. He’s billed as an authority on constitutional law.

Today, he testified before Congress on President Obama’s various delays of parts of Obamacare, delays that were not part of the original law and were not approved by Congress.

Under questioning from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) Dellinger came up with a novel way to explain why Barack Obama can change Obamacare but a hypothetical President Ted Cruz, who has said that he wants to repeal Obamacare, could not.

Take a look.

Burgess opens the segment explaining that President Cruz announces that he will suspend the individual mandate immediately after taking the oath of office. “Is it okay for him to do that, just as the president did?” Burgess asks.

“That’s actually a very good question,” Dellinger begins. “What should inform the judgement is is the president acting because he just disagrees as a matter of policy with the law the Congress enacted? And that should lead us to think that we should be wary about that kind of delaying capacity if it’s a policy disagreement. The president actually agrees with the act as a whole of course.” Dellinger goes on to say that Obama only enacted the delay to make it easier for businesses to apply it, which isn’t entirely true. Obama delayed it to push its impact past the presidential election.

Question for Mr. Dellinger: What to make of Obama’s scuttling of the Defense of Marriage Act? He clearly did not do that because he agreed with its ban on same-sex marriage. In fact, he declined to defend it in court expressly because he disagrees with it.

One could be forgiven for seeing in Mr. Dellinger’s answer on Obamacare no principle in play at all, save for the principle that whatever a Democrat does is fine with him.

No future Republicans president should feel themselves constrained by the opinion of a partisan former White House lawyer.

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Military Veteran Builds a Parade Float. Now the Department of Justice is Coming Down On Him.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

We had a good run, America. A good run indeed. But the constitutional order and the mutual respect for the freedoms of assembly, religion and speech is coming to a swift end.

This, my friends, is fundamental transformation.

The U.S. Department of Justice has joined the discussions over a controversial float in the Norfolk Independence Day parade.

The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. Also at the meeting were the NAACP, the Norfolk mayor and The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The Odd Fellows organized the parade. One of the floats included a zombie-like mannequin standing near an outhouse labeled “Obama Presidential Library.”

The float’s creator, Dale Remmich, has said the mannequin depicted himself, not President Barack Obama. He said he is upset with the president’s handling of the Veterans Affairs Department.

The float says, without words, that Obama treats veterans who need the Veterans Administration like excrement.

outhouse-float

AG Eric Holder has his troops looking into this obviously protected political speech, while he pointedly has them not looking into the IRS scandal or the Obama administration’s serial violations of the Hatch Act.

Those are at least possible crimes in play. Making a float to protest a scandal most definitely is not.

Or it wasn’t, until the thin-skinned Barack Obama and race-baiter Eric Holder came along.

h/t Hot Air

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There’s What the Media Say Happened, and Then There’s What Really Happened.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Sen. Harry Reid voted against the Senate Democrats’ contraception bill, which is nothing more than a ploy to use the Hobby Lobby decision as an electoral wedge issue. That bill won a majority vote, but did not get the 60 votes it would need to actually pass the Senate.

None of that really matters though, because even if it did pass the Senate, the House won’t take it up. It’s a dead letter.

The bill isn’t even intended to pass and become law. Its entire point is to use the Hobby Lobby decision as a wedge issue this fall. It’s not serious legislation. It’s legislative abuse.

If if did pass, the Supreme Court would probably strike it down, since they just ruled on the matter.

Here’s a sample of how the media are reporting this. Note that most people won’t drill down past the headline. The headlines themselves, therefore, are what most people are likely to base their opinion on.

ap-senate-bill-headlines

 

The “Senate GOP blocks” headline is a creature from the Associated Press’s Donna Cassata.

It’s a lie. The Senate GOP didn’t “block” anything. In fact, three of the GOP’s senators are such weak-minded fools that they voted for the Democrats’ partisan bill. They are Sens. Susan Collins (of course), Lisa Murkowski and Mark Kirk. A jedi would have a field day with those three.

The final vote was 56-43. The bill wasn’t “blocked,” it got a vote. It just failed to pass the Senate based on its rules. The bill has no chance of even getting  a vote in the House. Because it’s a partisan bill engineered by Democrats to help Democrats.

Reid’s no vote keeps the bill — the issue — alive so that he can bring it up again closer to the election. The AP story points that out, actually. What it doesn’t point out is how cynical that is.

It doesn’t point out how idiotic this quote is.

“A woman’s health care decision should be made with her doctor, with her family, with her faith, not by her employer with her employer’s faith,” [Dem. Sen. Jeanne] Shaheen said in a Senate speech.

Right. When you force employers to pay for something, you make it their business. When you force employers to have to choose between their faith and their business, as Sen. Chuck Schumer explicitly said last week, you force them to make decisions. If you don’t give them any say, you’re more or less stealing their property and giving it to someone else in the hope that they will vote for you. If you don’t give them any say about the matter, and smear them after the fact, you’re  a tyrant.

The entire exercise of this bill is a game to divide Americans and drive the low-information voters who still support Obama out to vote in November. It’s the Democrats’ only shot at retaining the Senate, and it’s a long shot. It depends on Democrats lying shamelessly (check!) and their voters being clueless (check!) and the media enabling dishonesty (in the case of the AP’s Donna Cassata, check!).

Here’s how the AP’s Cassata delves into the “issue” at hand. Watch for the sleight of hand. It’s not subtle.

National statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 99 percent of women ages 15 to 44 who have had sexual intercourse have used at least one form of contraception.

And your point is? As the AP’s Donna Cassata ought to know and likely does know, the Hobby Lobby case only deals with four specific types of abortifacients. Hobby Lobby covers 16 types of actual contraception in its insurance plans. The decision only deals with a narrow set of business owners. Throwing that contraception statistic out in the way Cassata did is a red herring. She ought to be writing the DNC’s talking points for them.

Well, actually, she is. The DNC ought to report Cassata’s work as an in-kind donations.

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Is the Border Secure? Don’t Ask the Obama White House.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Fox’s Ed Henry asked White House spokesman Josh Earnest a simple yes or no question today: Is the border secure?

For the next two minutes, Earnest does everything that he can to not answer that question and blame Republicans for his decision not to answer it.

YouTube Preview Image

Despite the fact that an estimated 57,000 unaccompanied children have crossed into Texas illegally, along with assorted others, over the past several months, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Twilight Zone) is at least more forthcoming than the Obama White House. Reid says that the border is secure…despite all those illegal crossings.

Too bad that he’s also insane.

 

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This is the Pitiful State of Our Public Discourse

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is a real tweet from Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat, Oregon. He is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

The SCOTUS decision does no such thing. It doesn’t even impact the vast majority of women working hourly wage jobs at all.

At all.

Hobby Lobby only employs about 13,000 people, and not even all of them are impacted by the decision in any way.

Sen. Wyden knows this. He just doesn’t care.

Wyden also surely knows that the following tweet is illogical. If you want bosses out of your health care choices, don’t force your boss to pay for those choices.

Duh.

Wyden also knows that the law that he is supporting has zero chance of passing. He just doesn’t care.

The same man is pushing for an increase in the national minimum wage.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that raising the minimum wage could cost 500,000 jobs.

That’s far more than the number of employees that Hobby Lobby has.

Wyden surely knows that if he gets what he wants on the minimum wage, hundreds of thousand of Americans will lose their jobs.

He just doesn’t care.

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Russia Resets Its Massive Cuban Spy Post

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Great news: The Cold War is back on.

Russia has agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on America, it was reported today.

Moscow-based daily Kommersant claimed Russia and Cuba have struck a deal ‘in principle’ after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week.

Citing several sources within Russian authorities, the respected daily wrote: ’The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday.

The Castro brothers’ patience has been rewarded. They now have alliances with Venezuela, Iran, and their old chum Russia is back with a KGB man at the helm.

The signals intelligence facility near Havana at Torrens, also known as Lourdes, was the largest Russian SIGINT site abroad, but has been mothballed since 2001.

It covered a 28 square-mile area with 1,000-1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base. 

Russia had closed the Lourdes spy base south of Havana on Putin’s orders to save money and due to a warming of relations with the U.S. after the September 11 attacks.

So much for that.

Reminder: Civil liberties hero and SXSW keynoter Edward Snowden fled the US on account of its spying, to the country that is now re-opening that Cuban base on account of spying.

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Obama Loses the Woman Who Thought His Election Would Relieve Her of All Her Earthly Concerns

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In 2008, Peggy Joseph told America that now that Barack Obama was president, her life was destined to get a whole lot better. She would no longer have to worry about paying her bills.

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Halfway into Obama’s second term, Joseph has learned quite a bit. She is appearing in a documentary called There’s No Place Like Utopia.

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They don’t teach this fact in schools anymore, but the word “utopia” literally means “no place,” as in, it doesn’t exist. Sir Thomas More coined the term in the 16th Century to describe his ideal society. Millennials probably haven’t heard of Thomas More. He’s a dead white man. Public schools don’t talk about them anymore, except to denounce them.

More’s Utopia is a fairly scary place from a civil liberty point of view. Yet socialists, communists and progs keep trying to create it anyway.

And they’ve nearly succeeded.

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Is Sen. Elizabeth Warren a Mere Hack or an Out-and-Out Sociopath?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Sen. Elizabeth Warren now says that last year’s government shutdown was about birth control.

Warren did not make the remark in an off-the-cuff setting. She made it in a prepared speech.

Warren said it on the floor of the Senate while supporting a bill that she knows has absolutely zero chance of becoming law.

“Remember last year’s government shutdown that nearly tanked our economy?” Warren asked. “That fight started with a GOP effort to hold the whole operation of the federal government hostage in order to try to force Democrats and the president to let employers deny workers access to birth control.”

Warren is not lying about some distant event for which there is no extant living memory. The government shutdown was last year.

Spoiler alert: That shutdown was not over birth control. That shutdown was over the budget and the entirety of Obamacare. The whole law (which hardly any Democrat read before passing it into law). Not birth control.

There is, in fact, no national controversy over birth control as such. There is a controversy over how the Obama administration used regulatory powers written into the unpopular Obamacare law to impose even abortifacient drugs on Americans who object to the use of such drugs. The controversy is over whether Americans retain the right to live out our religious values once we own businesses.

Spoiler alert: The Supreme Court ruled that we do.

Warren is not merely delivering spin. Saying that the shutdown was about birth control is a Godzilla-sized lie, told intentionally, in order to be provocative. It won’t advance the bill she is supporting. That bill stands no chance of passing in the House, supposing that it even comes up for a vote in the Senate, which it probably won’t, because Democrats do not want to be taking pro-Obamacare votes leading up to the mid-terms. The bill and speaking out in favor of it is nothing more or less than base political theater. Warren is just lying to score points with the Democrat base, who also mostly know that Warren is lying, yet they will repeat the lie themselves until the end of time.

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Israeli Ambassador: 20 Times as Many Germans Died in WWII; Did That Make U.S. Response ‘Disproportionate’?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Israel’s ambassador to the United States stressed on CNN that the Jewish state cannot be accused of a disproportionate response to Gaza rockets because “it has nothing to do with a body count on both sides.”

“Twenty times as many Germans died in World War II than Americans. It didn’t make the American response disproportionate and didn’t make the Nazis right,” Ambassador Ron Dermer said.

Furthermore, he said, Israel is not targeting any civilians, unlike Hamas.

“How many of the total number of people who were killed were non-combatants I don’t know the exact number. After any time you have these types of activities, military activities we have an investigation into each and every incident. We do not target civilians. That’s is the difference between us and Hamas. We’re doing everything to keep their civilians out of harm’s way. We’re not perfect. It’s a very dense urban area,” Dermer said.

“We have an issue now where we have nearly three-quarters of our population, the equivalent of 200 million Americans in bomb shelters. We have to defend ourselves. They put their missile batteries next to schools, next to mosques, next to hospitals. We’re doing everything we can to keep their innocents out of harm’s way.”

Israel is “sending flyers, text messages, or phone calls” to warn Palestinian civilians of the bombings, but Hamas is “saying go into harm’s way.”

“Hamas is telling the Palestinians in Gaza to ignore the warnings of the Israeli Defense Forces and to go into harm’s way,” Dermer said. “…It’s very important to understand what it means for a disproportionate response. Sometimes say Israel is being disproportionate because more Palestinians have been killed than Israelis, 200 versus one.”

The ambassador disputed the Palestinians’ claim that Israelis targeted a charity for the disabled.

“We didn’t bomb a disabled center. Here’s the people you have to ask are the people using these civilians as human shields. They are using civilians as human shields. It’s a tactic of war. If the international community condemns Israel for defending itself legitimately, and you’ve heard the words of the American president, you’ve heard the secretary of state. We’ve appreciate the strong backing they’ve given for Israel’s right to defend itself. If you place the blame on Israel, Hamas is going to put more civilians in harm’s way,” said Dermer.

“We call off actions time after time. If you can really tell me that if 200 million Americans were in bomb shelters then the American government and the American military would use less force than Israel then that’s very surprising.”

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DHS: Parents Are Giving Birth Control to Unaccompanied Illegal Kids ‘In Case They’re Raped’ On the Way to the USA

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s testimony before Congress Tuesday. It’s ghastly.

“Before they leave Central America,” Johnson said, “some of these kids’ parents actually give them birth control in case they’re raped along the way.”

President Obama’s unilateral imposition of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) spawned the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border. It sent the message that we will not enforce our immigration laws. Obama is aware of the flood, obviously. He isn’t fixing it. He did not even visit the border when he was in Texas last week.

Does DACA make him morally culpable for each and every rape, murder, theft and other crime that happens to these kids along the way?

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Even if Obama’s Apparatchik Regime Were Constitutional It Would Be Bad for America

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

It’s the Constitution, Stupid!

That’s the de facto cry as Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, Tea Partisans and others slam President Obama for ruling by executive order and bureaucratic regulation, bypassing the legislature and accruing unchecked power to the executive branch and its apparatchiks in the bureaucracy.

But this alarm falls on deaf ears, because the average American attended Democrat-union-run schools and all he knows of the Constitution consists of a jingle of the Preamble from Schoolhouse Rock.

The sum total of all living Americans who have both read, and understood the purport of the Constitution, could meet today in the room where Freedom’s Charter was drafted and hold a Pilates class without rubbing elbows or bumping exercise balls.

In any case, in this postmodern era, the argument from principles (argumentum super capita sua) has been supplanted by the argument from emotion (ifita fils güd du itum). So, my readers in ye olde tricorne hattef, might want to attempt a different tactic.

Listen, we could get all lathered (rinse & repeat) about the yawning ignorance of our founding documents, lamenting that the Constitution lies dormant among the dust-bunnies of history under the futon, or we could face reality and figure out a way to communicate that connects with who people are, what they feel, and even what they think, when the rare occasion arises.

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House Bill to Sue Obama Gets Its First Hearing

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The House Rules Committee this morning began its examination of legislation to authorize a lawsuit against President Obama for executive overreach.

“Under President Obama, the executive branch has increasingly gone beyond the constraints of the Constitution. In fact, in a number of instances the president has gone beyond his Article II powers to enforce the law and has infringed upon the Article I powers of Congress to write the law,” Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said at the beginning of the hearing.

The committee called four constitutional law scholars to discuss the draft resolution and Obama’s actions.

“The text of the Constitution that we have sworn to defend provides separate powers for each branch of the federal government. Article I puts the power to legislate – to write the law – in the hands of Congress. Article II, on the other hand, requires that the president “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Session said. “This difference is important. The Founders knew that giving one branch the power to both write and execute the law would be a direct threat to the liberties of the American people. They separated these powers between the branches in order to ensure that no one person could trample upon the rights of the people.”

“My fear is that our nation is currently facing the exact threat that the Constitution is designed to avoid. Branches of government have always attempted to exert their influence on the other branches, but this president has gone too far. Rather than faithfully executing the law as the Constitution requires, the president has instead selectively enforced the law in some instances, ignored the law in other instances, and, in a few cases, changed the law altogether, all without going through the required constitutional law making process.”

The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), highlighted outside testimony from two constitutional law experts calling the lawsuit “meritless.”

“There is no standing and it is a bad idea for a Speaker to file such an embarrassing loser,” said Charles Tiefer of the University of Baltimore Law School.

Sessions argued that “it is important that we all acknowledge that this is not a political issue” and “not an issue that should pit Republicans against Democrats.”

“Any approach in which the President can ignore, selectively enforce, or unilaterally rewrite the law tilts the balance of power away from the legislature and toward the executive,” he said. “Presidential overreach also undermines the rule of law, which provides the predictability necessary to govern a functioning and fair society.”

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Arizona Dem: GOP Trying to ‘Drag That Bloody Flag of Amnesty’ Into Border Crisis

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democratic congressman accused Republicans of trying to “reinstitute the whole issue of fear” and “drag that bloody flag of amnesty” in the border crisis.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told MSNBC that today President Obama will sit down with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for the first time since the influx of illegal immigrants coming over the border reached crisis proportions and overwhelmed authorities.

“I really believe there is — the purpose of the meeting is now much more than original. Originally, it was to talk about our recommendations to the president that we had forward to him regarding what he can do with executive action to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform,” Grijalva said. “That will be discussed and that’s the vitally important issue that he has constitutional and legal authority to do.”

“The issue of the children at the border, the children that are — with us in this country right now and being taking care of, that issue and the supplemental that the president requested are tied together unfortunately,” he added. “And, you know, Republicans in the House and in the Senate are trying to milk this for as much of political advantage as they can.”

Grijalva said the GOP is attacking Obama for “imperial powers that he doesn’t follow the law,” then wants to change the 2008 law that allows illegal immigrants from non-contiguous countries special processing rights.

He added that Republicans aren’t paying attention to the problem of drug cartels in Central America “because it doesn’t play to tune that they’re playing out there.”

“They’re trying to rave up people, reinstitute the whole issue of fear, drag that bloody flag of amnesty, the border is not secure, there’s sorts of people coming over, and it’s a consequence, see what political advantage they get in the midterms and going it to 2016,” Grijalva said.

“I think the president needs to be firm, CHC, the Hispanic Caucus is going to be firm and protect these children because after all they’re children and there’s a moral and legal imperative that we do that.”

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President Who Recently Mocked Photo-Ops Participates in Pointless Photo-Op

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Last week President Obama rejected calls from Democrats and Republicans alike to visit the crisis-stricken Texas-Mexico border.

Obama was in the state for fundraisers, including one hosted by Robert Rodriguez, director of the pro-illegal immigration movie Machete. Pretty much everyone, including Wendy Davis late in the day and long after it mattered, asked the president to visit the border and see the crisis for himself.

“I’m not interested in photo-ops,” the president replied, before going to the Paramount Theatre in Austin and giving a sharply partisan speech to a roomful hand-picked supporters.

That was last week. This week, Obama is back to smiling for the cameras like the celebrity that he is.

According to the White House, Obama crossed the Potomac from Washington to visit the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA. The whole event was a photo-op that included having the President of these United States sit in a “smart car” and mug.

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The White House used its fluff piece about the event to attack Republicans.

Pressed to explain the White House’s renewed appreciation for photo-ops just a few days after Obama mocked photo-ops, spokesman Josh Earnest did his best to make nonsense make sense.

Taken at face value, then, the president’s values do not include enforcing immigration law or taking serious care of taxpayers, or gaining a first-hand understanding of the chaos that his policies are causing.

Many of us already knew that.

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Immigration Poster Boy Jose Antonio Vargas: Soros & Unions Linked Yet Again?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Michelle Horstman

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In the constant PR battle from the Left on the immigration flood at the border, it seems that all events lead back to the same agitators. On the heels of last weekend’s protest, promoted and publicized by Soros sponsored groups and the Left’s favorite PR people at Fitzgibbon Media, we now have a new poster boy at the border, Jose Antonio Vargas.

Many people may already be familiar with Vargas and his “Documented” documentary shown recently on CNN, in which he comes out as being both gay and illegal. Quite a double whammy. Vargas, who has written for various outlets including the Huffington Post, presents himself as an example of the model citizen, dismissing the fact that he is still breaking the law and has apparently made no attempt to gain legal citizenship in all these years.

Vargas founded a group called “Define American”, working with other leftists and organizing watch parties for his “Documented” documentary with groups such as GLAAD, MomsRising, La Raza and others. Also working with him is the left leaning pastor/spouse couple, Rev. Eller and Rev. Laura Barclay of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. The church was the site of the first screening and panel discussion of his documentary.

Eller was with him when he was taken into custody in McAllen today. As reported by CNN, who previously aired his documentary:

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas suspected he wouldn’t get out. His fear came to fruition Tuesday morning when he was detained at a Texas airport while trying to pass through security en route to Los Angeles, said Ryan Eller, campaign director for Define American, a group Vargas founded in 2011.Vargas was being questioned at a U.S Customs and Border Protection facility at the airport in McAllen, Eller said at a news conference.

Protesting at the border when you know you are undocumented almost seems to beg for legal action, but makes for some very loud publicity. Vargas was quite aware of what he was doing:

“Because I don’t have any ID besides my Filipino passport, it’s going to be hard for me to actually get out of here at some point when I decide to get out of here in the next couple of days,” he said.

Early Tuesday, Vargas tweeted that he was about to go through security at McAllen-Miller International Airport. Since outing himself as an undocumented immigrant three years ago, he says he has traveled extensively, visiting 40 states.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he tweeted, directing his followers to the Twitter handles for Define American and the University of Texas-Pan American’s Minority Affairs Council.

Within minutes, the latter retweeted a photo of Vargas in handcuffs with the caption: “Here’s a photo of (Vargas) in handcuffs, because the Border Patrol has nothing more pressing to do apparently.”

This all makes for quite a ploy for sympathy. How could we even consider enforcing the law on such a talented and compassionate person? Perhaps the Huffington Post summed it up in this glowing piece they wrote about him in 2011:

If there isn’t room in the United States for people like Jose Antonio — the precise type of people who made this country great — I despair for our collective future.

What seems to be missing here is that Jose has made no attempt to abide by the law and gain citizenship. It is being suggested that Americans would like to refuse citizenship to everyone, when in fact, it is a matter of a flooded border, a lack of law enforcement and the related chaos that is the real issue, as they are well aware. In the documentary, Jose suggests it is just too hard to do the paperwork required. Maybe Jose should be working on streamlining that?

We have already seen close ties to unions, Soros and his funded groups behind all of this, so it should not surprise that we find the same ties here. To start with, Vargas was protesting in McAllen in conjunction with United We Dream:

Jose, who is a Pultizer Prize winning Journalist and recently released a biographical documentary called “Undocumented,”  joined UWD and MAC (Minority Affairs Council), a UWD affiliate, in McAllen, Texas this past weekend to uplift the stories of refugees fleeing persecution in Central America.

Just last week, we wrote about United We Dream, working with Change to Win, and their connections to SEIU, the Teamsters and more:

Conducted by the group “United We Dream”, a quick check links them right back to the usual sources. The United We Dream website locates their offices at 1900 L St. NW Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036. No coincidence, this is the very same address, even specific to the suite number, of the CtW Investment Group. CtW stands for Change to Win, and this is the group that handles their money:

Founded in February 2006, the CtW Investment Group works with pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with Change to Win, a federation of unions representing nearly 5.5 million members, to enhance long-term shareholder returns through active ownership.

A quick look at their News page illustrates the constant bashing of companies like Wal Mart that seems to be a big part of what they do.

Moving over to the Change to Win website, it is pretty quick to see exactly where they are coming from. The home page suggests and links to the following blogs:

Think Progress
Crooks and Liars
United Food and Commercial Workers
Service Employees International Union
Daily Kos

The About page shares the identity of the  “Leadership Council”, with President James Hoffa of the Teamsters at the helm. Joining him are representatives of SEIU, UFW and UFCW, so we have quite a strong mix of unions working together here.

As just one example tying them directly together, their own story about victory in a case of halting a deportation:

Harnessing the power of organizing, collaboration, and advocacy, the United We Dream Network (UWD), along with Students Working For Equal Rights (SWER), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), waged a multi-pronged campaign to halt Walter’s deportation in just four days.

There are plenty of links online where you will find Vargas and his Define American group directly working with Soros’ Center for American Progress. Here are just a few:

  • Speaking here on LGBT illegal immigrants at a Center for American Progress event.
  • Co-hosting an event here on Alabama’s immigration laws with the Center for American Progress.

Vargas is just another orchestrated PR stunt, obviously well planned along with the many others we have seen. No one would disagree that we need smart immigration reform, but the lack of border enforcement and constant shenanigans from the radical Left continue to ensure that nothing close to common sense is going to be happening on their watch.

*- Vargas has already been released as of this writing.

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Maryland Gov Rejects Border Kids, But Not for the Reason You Probably Think

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Only Martin O’Malley — well, him and most prog Democrats — could manage to turn Obama’s border disaster into an opportunity to insult their own constituents.

Martin O’Malley says that deporting the children detained at the border would be sending them to “certain death” — but he also urged the White House not to send them to a facility in his own state.

Hours after the Maryland governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate became the most prominent Democrat to criticize the White House on the issue, Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz called O’Malley to complain.

But before they hung up, O’Malley told Muñoz not to send any of the children to the facility in Westminster, Md., that the White House was looking at. It’s a conservative part of the state, he warned. The children were at risk of getting harassed, or worse, he said.

O’Malley’s problem with having his state take on the illegal kids is not the burden they will pose on his state’s taxpayers. He doesn’t voice a problem with the Obama policies that have cruelly attracted those kids to cross. He still wants Maryland to take some of the kids, in fact.

O’Malley’s problem with taking on the kids is based on his low opinion of his own state’s taxpayers.

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Millennials Desire Government That Provides All and Costs Nothing

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

Over five years of activism in and around the Republican Party, I have frequently heard (and occasionally made) calls to appeal to young voters. Such exhortations typically include a claim to know what young voters want. They want government out of their personal lives. They want a more tolerant and inclusive society. And they want government to balance its checkbook. But the full picture proves a bit more convoluted, as The Atlantic reports:

Millennial politics is simple, really. Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They’re for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they’ve heard of. They’d like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn’t run anything.

That’s all from a new Reason Foundation poll surveying 2,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29. Millennials’ political views are, at best, in a stage of constant metamorphosis and, at worst, “totally incoherent,” as Dylan Matthews puts it.

Author Derek Thompson ably demonstrates how the results could be construed by partisans to signal millennial support for either political party’s agenda. That in spite of a similar Pew poll indicating that millennials don’t care much for either party. In short, the Reason Foundation poll offers little to nothing of any practical substance regarding a millennial platform for public policy.

This really shouldn’t surprise us. Kids want everything, right now and for free, until they learn the value of a dollar through practical experience. The Reason Foundation poll found that millennials who meet with financial success tend to rethink that whole wealth redistribution thing.

Maybe the takeaway for politicos chomping at the bit to win the youth vote is to stop trying to figure them out. Instead, lead with principle and demonstrate how it serves their interests.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 10:52 minutes long; 10.49 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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Oracle, AZ, Is This Week’s Murrieta, CA

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

No más.

Protesters and counterprotesters Tuesday made Arizona the second border state to become a national flashpoint over what to do with the surge of unaccompanied immigrant children entering the country illegally.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in Oracle, Arizona, about 100 miles north of the Mexican border, where federal officials were expected to send dozens of detained immigrant children for housing.

This is going on in a rather sleepy little town just north of my hometown (Tucson). There were counter protesters who were afraid Oracle would appear to be “anti-immigrant”.

Well, let’s wait until some legal immigrants show up before we make that decision.

Yeah, this is going to get much worse before it gets even a little better.

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Family Of Imprisoned Chinese Pastor Flees To US

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

From the Associated Press:

Three members of an imprisoned pastor’s family have sneaked out of China to the U.S. with the help of activists after complaining about an extended campaign of harassment by Chinese authorities, a Christian rights group said Tuesday.

Zhang Shaojie’s daughter, son-in-law and 1-year-old grandchild landed in Dallas, Texas, on Monday, according to U.S.-based China Aid. The group said an underground network of activists helped the three leave China via Southeast Asia.

Zhang, who led the Nanle County Christian Church in the central province of Henan, was sentenced this month to 12 years in prison on charges of fraud and gathering crowds to disturb public order.

Zhang’s church is sanctioned by the communist government, which allows worship only in state-monitored groups, but was involved in a dispute with local authorities over land for a new building.

While land disputes are common in China, Zhang’s popularity prompted other Christians to rally around him to defend what they say is religious freedom.

China Aid founder Bob Fu said that after Zhang was sentenced, his elderly parents received threats and were harassed, his daughter’s car was kept by police and Nanle officials mobilized different government agencies to write to the court to ask for a longer sentence.

It’s a brief and sobering reminder of the rarity of so many of our freedoms in much of the rest of the world.

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Shun the Non-Alarmist: New York Times Spotlights Sophomoric Treatment of Climate Science Pariah

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

It’s no longer enough to believe that the climate is changing, and that man’s activities may have a role in it. In order to avoid an Amish-caliber shunning by the AGW cabal, you must set your hair on fire.

This comes from that great slayer of trees, the New York Times, which profiles Prof. John Christy of the University of Alabama, a pariah in his profession because he thinks many of his colleagues have overstated the case, and the potential consequences, of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

Dr. Christy was pointing to a chart comparing seven computer projections of atmospheric temperatures above the United States with measurements taken by satellites and weather balloons. The projections traced a sharp upward slope; the actual measurements, however, ticked up only slightly.

Of course, the test of any theory is its utility in making predictions. But pointing out the discrepancies between theoretical predictions and actual data is just the kind of thing that gets Prof. Christy in hot water with those who think we’ll all be under water someday soon (or at least that Atlantic City may be renamed Atlantis City).

Christy, a heavily credentialed veteran climate scientist, actually edited a section of the famous 2001 UN report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Now fellow academics rebuff his handshake offer.

“I walked over and held out my hand to greet him,” Dr. Christy recalled. “He looked me in the eye and he said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Come on, shake hands with me.’ And he said, ‘No.’  ”

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Pentagon: Bergdahl Free to Go Where He Pleases While Under Investigation

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Pentagon said today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not under any restrictions as the Army returns him to active duty yet probes the circumstances surrounding his capture by the Taliban.

The Army said Monday that Bergdahl had completed his weeks-long reintegration process to address the effects of being held by the Taliban for five years.

“Sgt. Bergdahl has completed the final phase of the reintegration process under the control of U.S. Army South and is currently being assigned to U.S. Army North, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston (JBSA),” the Army said. “He will now return to regular duty within the command where he can contribute to the mission.”

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters today that he couldn’t answer questions regarding the status of the investigation or whether Bergdahl had secured outside counsel.

“As you know, he did return to full duty this week. And I do know that the investigation into his departure will, you know — will continue and that it will include an interview with him, but I don’t know if that’s occurred yet or — and as for whether he’s, you know, gotten representation, that’s really a question for him to answer,” Kirby said.

Even with the ongoing investigation, there are no restrictions on Bergdahl’s movements.

“He’s an active-duty Army soldier. And just like any active-duty Army soldier, he’s free to leave base,” Kirby said. “He’s — I mean, he’s not under any particular restrictions. And I would remind you — I mean, he’s not been charged with anything.”

“There’s allegations, but, I mean, just having allegations posed against you in the military doesn’t restrict your freedom of movement or place you in any kind of restricted status just by the nature of somebody alleging wrongdoing. There will be a fair, complete, comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding his departure from that base, and then we’ll move on from there.”

When asked if they were concerned about Bergdahl being a flight risk, Kirby replied before ending the press conference, “He’s under no restrictions. There’s simply an ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding his departure.”

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Pope Francis Scores US for ‘Racist’ and ‘Xenophobic’ Approach to Illegal Aliens

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

The head of state of the most closed country in the world is lecturing the US about open borders.

Pope Francis jumped into the US border crisis saying the illegal alien children flooding across our borders should be “welcomed and protected.”

Read carefully what Francis is saying. The Argentine Pontiff is blaming the US for a situation that it didn’t create while smearing the American people who want the exact same thing that the city state of Vatican City enjoys; control over its borders.

Washington Post:

“Many people forced to emigrate suffer, and often, die tragically,” the pope said in a message sent to a global conference in Mexico.

“Many of their rights are violated, they are obliged to separate from their families and, unfortunately, continue to be the subject of racist and xenophobic attitudes.”

The Argentine pontiff said a different approach is needed to tackling what he called a “humanitarian emergency” as growing numbers of unaccompanied children are migrating to the U.S. from Central America and Mexico.

“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence,” the pope said.

“They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.”

Perhaps his Holiness would list the rights of these kids that were being violated instead of reading talking points from the agenda of the anti-American third world. And they are not “obliged” to separate from their families. It is a deliberate strategy of the illegal aliens to send their children across the border alone so that the US is forced to take them, and later, “reunite” the families who are then settled in secret somewhere in the US.

And the Pope would do well to get specific about what “racist and xenophobic attitudes” are being exhibited. Simply put, there is no more xenophobic nation in the world than Vatican City. And the Pontiff should know that just because American citizens are crying out for their government to exercise its sovereign right to say who can come into our country and who can’t, that doesn’t mean that the United States is in any way “xenophobic. Xenophobic countries do not welcome more than 1 million legal immigrants every year, far more than any other country in the world.

There is no such thing as an illegal immigrant in Vatican City. You can’t even enter most of the city without a pass. Legal residency is reserved for less than 500 people. There’s no way to enter illegally because every vehicle is thoroughly searched.

Talk about violation of rights — in Vatican City, it is against the law to show your bare shoulders or bare knees. Your movements are restricted, your right to privacy ignored, and the application of their laws is arbitrary.

But this hasn’t prevented the Pope from lecturing the rest of us about “migrants”:

In his latest message, Francis said the fear and indifference of what he termed the “throwaway culture” should be replaced with a commitment to building a more just and fraternal world.

“These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin,” the pope said.

“This challenge demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted.”

The pope’s letter was sent to the Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development and presented by the papal nuncio to Mexico, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, also attended the conference.

He can start us all off by reforming Vatican City. Then, perhaps, he can speak on an equal plane with the US who is trying its best to, if not “welcome” the illegal alien children who have shown up on our border, then treat them as humanely as is possible given the enormity of the challenges.

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Roll Call‘s Rothenberg Sees Three Senate Races Improving For GOP

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

CORRECTION: The NRSC’s Bill Murphy contacted me to let me know that Rothenberg had moved North Carolina to “Tossup/LeansD” from “Tossup”. However, 538 has the race a tossup.

Moving in the right direction.

Rothenberg has moved the Iowa race to “Tossup” and the North Carolina and Colorado races to “Tossup/Leans D”. All are improvements for Republican prospects for the fall. The GOP is definitely on offense but there is still a long way to go. The Arkansas race continues to see-saw but Rothenberg believes that Cotton has a slight edge.

Many people I talked to continue to behave as if it’s 2010 all over again but this time around the margin for error is significantly smaller. Confidence to keep working is good, cockiness will keep Harry Reid in place as Majority Leader.

The bad news from Rothenberg is, as many of us feared, Mitch McConnell isn’t exactly leaving Alison Lundergan Grimes in the dust:

Kentucky, on the other hand, remains a risk for the GOP.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strong primary victory is worth noting, but the Senate race remains tight and antipathy in the state to the Republican Senate Leader remains considerable. In a bad Republican year, McConnell’s current positioning would be extremely worrisome for the GOP, but the president’s unpopularity and the midterm dynamic should help the incumbent.

Still, until (and unless) McConnell opens up a statistically significant lead, Democrats have every reason to focus their attention and resources on this race.

My fear all along is that Grimes will keep this race so close that the NRSC will start devoting resources to saving McConnell’s hide that could be spent elsewhere to flip a seat.

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Texas Dem O’Rourke: Obama Should Have Come to the Border

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Texas Democrat said he doesn’t think President Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency stopgap measure to address the border crisis addresses the roots of the problem, and said the commander in chief should have visited the border.

Other border colleagues of Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) have been critical of the administration on the crisis, including Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Ron Barber (D-Ariz.).

“The right decision for the president when he was in Texas was to go to the border, preferably McAllen or Brownsville where so many of these refugees are coming from Central America, or El Paso, Texas, the district I represent, which has hosted more than 2,000 family members from Central America,” O’Rourke told Fox News.

“Visit the families themselves, talk to them, hear their story. Talk to the Border Patrol, to ICE, to Annunciation House and other Catholic charities and volunteers who are helping these families out.”

O’Rourke said “the important thing now is to get the response to this situation right.”

“So I’m interested in the president’s proposal. I’m grateful that he’s made one. I’m listening to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to see how we can get this right and do the best thing for all concerned,” he said.

However, the congressman added, “the core problem, at least as I’ve heard it from the president and others, has not been addressed.”

“It’s not sealing the border between the U.S. and Mexico. It’s not sealing the border between Mexico and Guatemala. It’s addressing the issues like the drug demand that we have in this country that’s driving drug trafficking through these other countries and destabilizing them,” he said.

“It’s talking about a history of intervention and then neglect from the United States that has caused severe problems in governance and civil society. Those are very difficult, systemic issues that are gonna take a while to fix, and we’re not going to be able to do it unilaterally. We need to work with our partners in the area who, by the way, have also seen asylum requests from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to the neighboring countries — Belize, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica – have gone up over 700 percent over the last five years. So this is truly a hemispheric, a regional problem.”

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Virginia Dem Moran: Hamas Rockets are ‘Fairly Feckless’

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Virginia congressman characterized the rockets being fired into Israel by Hamas as “fairly feckless,” pointing to “too many” Palestinian deaths as the problem.

“Well, Israel has the overwhelming support of the American Congress. There are a few of us who feel that, you know, a cease-fire is the only way to go, and it’s in Israel’s, as well as the Palestinians’ interest to have a cease-fire,” Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) said on MSNBC last night.

“Lives are of value. And there are going to be too many innocent Palestinians killed in this. I don’t think that there are going to be many Israelis. We have helped Israel secure the Iron Dome. And really these rockets that have been fired from the Gaza Strip, they’re fairly feckless. I mean, they fall in land that is generally unoccupied, but nevertheless, they are a threat. And I suspect if Hamas could kill people with them, they certainly would,” Moran said.

The Israeli Defense Forces reported this morning that a rocket fell on a house in Ashkelon.

“But Israel clearly has the capacity to kill more Gazans and I think they will as long as rockets continue to be fired from the Gaza Strip,” Moran said. “So, a cease-fire seems to be in everyone’s interest. The fact is Israel only generates more hatred, not just from Hamas, but the Arab and Muslim community throughout the world, I suspect with what’s going on, with the possible exception of Egypt, perhaps.”

“And certainly from the Palestinian standpoint, they’re going to continue to lose lives and many of them are going to be innocent women and children,” he added.

Hamas rejected a cease-fire agreement offered by the Egyptians today even though the Israeli cabinet accepted the plan.

Israel, Moran argued, “can’t kill all of the people in the Gaza and they can’t eliminate Hamas. They can certainly teach them a lesson and their objective is long-term stability in Gaza. I’m not sure that’s going to be achieved when you have as many deaths as has occurred from this recent conflict.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the congressman added, isn’t “going to be the prime minister of Israel forever.”

“At some point, there has to be a two-state solution or you’re going to have this revenge of the cradle where the demographics are going to prevent Israel from being able to have one state that elects a democratic government that isn’t Palestinian, because the Palestinian growth rate is so much greater than Israel’s growth rate. So, they need a two-state solution.”

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Kerry: ‘Very Real Gaps’ Remain with Iran, Coming Back to D.C. to ‘Consult’ with Obama, Congress

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Just five days away from the deadline for a final nuclear agreement with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry said “very real gaps” remain between P5+1 and Iranian negotiators in Vienna.

“Despite the difficulties of these negotiations, I am confident that the United States and our partners in the P5+1 remain as squarely focused as ever on testing whether or not we can find a negotiated solution to this most pressing international security imperative,” Kerry told reporters today.

He said he’d had “lengthy conversations” with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif over the past few days “about what Iran is willing to do and what it needs to do to not only assure the community of nations, but to adhere to what the foreign minister himself has said repeatedly are Iran’s own limited objectives: not just to declare that they will not obtain a nuclear weapon, but to demonstrate in the actions they take beyond any reasonable doubt that any Iranian nuclear program, now and going forward, is exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

“In these conversations, and indeed over the last almost six months since the Joint Plan of Action took effect, we have made progress. We have all kept the commitments made in the Joint Plan, and we have all lived up to our obligations. We have all continued to negotiate in good faith. But after my conversations here with both Iran and with our P5+1 partners in particular, it is clear that we still have more work to do,” Kerry said.

“Our team will continue working very hard to try to reach a comprehensive agreement that resolves the international community’s concerns. I am returning to Washington today to consult with President Obama and with leaders in Congress over the coming days about the prospects for a comprehensive agreement, as well as a path forward if we do not achieve one by the 20th of July, including the question of whether or not more time is warranted, based on the progress we’ve made and how things are going. As I have said, and I repeat, there has been tangible progress on key issues, and we had extensive conversations in which we moved on certain things. However, there are also very real gaps on other key issues. And what we are trying to do is find a way for Iran to have an exclusively peaceful nuclear program, while giving the world all the assurances required to know that Iran is not seeking a nuclear weapon.”

Members of Congress, including Democrats, have been wary from the beginning of this process of the Obama administration setting the July 20 deadline but secretly expecting that they could extend that indefinitely — while Iran continues to develop its nuclear program.

Kerry insisted that the goal is “realistic,” but “we have not yet found the right combination or arrived at the workable formula.”

Zarif told the New York Times that Iran is willing to accept short-term concessions for longer-term freedom with its nuclear program.

“I am definitively not going to negotiate in public,” Kerry said in response to the story. “I’m not going to comment on any stories with respect to substance one way or the other. The real negotiation is not going to be done in the public eye; it’s going to be done in the private meetings that we’re having, and it is being done there. And I might add these are tough negotiations. The Iranians are strong in their positions. They understand what their needs are, we understand what ours are. Both are working in good faith to try to find a way forward.”

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VIDEO: What Is the BDS Movement?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Prager University

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