News/Politics 6-9-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. First up today, we know that fasting accompanied by prayer has spiritual benefits, but now some are saying that it has physical benefits too.

From TheTelegraph/UK  “Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as “remarkable”.

Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.

It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.”

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2. Next up, he’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

From NBCNews  “A Michigan teenager who wanted to raise awareness about cerebral palsy by walking 40 miles with his younger brother strapped to his back battled heat, rain, fatigue and more to finish the trek Sunday.

Hunter Gandee, 14, had been planning for weeks to pull off the walk, hoping to put a face on the muscular disorder that prevents his 7-year-old sibling, Braden, from being able to walk without help. But all his organizing couldn’t prepare him for the conditions he faced as he packed the 50-pound boy over two days.”

“Honestly, yes, there was a point that we did consider stopping,” Hunter said. “Braden’s legs — the chafing was getting pretty bad. We did have to consider stopping. It was at about the 30-mile point.” A phone call changed all that.

Hunter reached out to a friend, who said a prayer for the brothers. That, combined with some rest and a change in how Braden was positioned on his brother’s back, helped the boys make it the final 10 miles.”

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3. As in football, politics requires a strong ground game.

From Politico  “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is helping open a “GOP engagement office” on Saturday in an African-American area of Louisville, part of a frenetic summer schedule aimed at reaching beyond the party’s traditional base, with explicit appeals to minorities and young people.

In late summer or early fall, Paul plans a major foreign policy address that will give him a prime chance to close a gap with establishment Republicans that has been perhaps the biggest hurdle to acceptance of Paul by party elites.

The itinerary will bolster the widespread view among Republican leaders that Paul is doing the most visible spadework of the party’s potential presidential candidates. As a sign of his advanced planning, the senator told AP that he would consider running for reelection and president at the same time, and that a Kentucky ballot law against dual candidacies would not be an obstacle.”

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4. This is the problem with arming the bad guys. Sooner or later, they turn their weapons on you.

From TheNYPost  “In his new book, “Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Ben­ghazi” (Broadside Books), writer Kenneth R. Timmerman explains how the US government’s efforts to arm the Libyan rebels backfired, flooding weapons into Syria, and as he ­reveals here, Afghanistan: The Obama administration isn’t only giving the Taliban back its commanders — it’s giving them weapons.

“The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.

Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.

The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet ­jihad.

“My sources in the US Special Operations community believe the Stinger fired against the Chinook was part of the same lot the CIA turned over to the ­Qataris in early 2011, weapons Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department intended for anti-Khadafy forces in Libya.”

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5. As usual, nothing is as they advertised it.

From TheCourier-Journal  “It wasn’t supposed to work this way, but since the Affordable Care Act took effect in January, Norton Hospital has seen its packed emergency room become even more crowded, with about 100 more patients a month.

That 12 percent spike in the number of patients — many of whom aren’t actually facing true emergencies — is spurring the hospital to convert a waiting room into more exam rooms.

“We’re seeing patients who probably should be seen at our (immediate-care centers),” said Lewis Perkins, the hospital’s vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer. “And we’re seeing this across the system.”

That’s just the opposite of what many people expected under Obamacare, particularly because one of the goals of health reform was to reduce pressure on emergency rooms by expanding Medicaid and giving poor people better access to primary care.”

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News/Politics 5-9-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. While the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls has drawn the world’s attention, Boko Haram continues to commit their bloody rampages. This is now 450 victims in the last week, in addition to the girls.

And now we learn that once again, Obama and Hillary refused to call them what they are, or to pursue them, for political purposes.

From TheDailyBeast  “Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department repeatedly declined to fully go after the terror group responsible for kidnapping hundreds of girls.

The State Department under Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years. And now, lawmakers and former U.S. officials are saying that the decision may have hampered the American government’s ability to confront the Nigerian group that shocked the world by abducting hundreds of innocent girls.

In the past week, Clinton, who made protecting women and girls a key pillar of her tenure at the State Department, has been a vocal advocate for the 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the loosely organized group of militants terrorizing northern Nigeria. Her May 4 tweet about the girls, using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, was cited across the media and widely credited for raising awareness of their plight.”

Yeah, widely credit by the media who seek to provide cover for her for not doing her job in the first place.

More here on their latest brazen attack on those hunting them, and the innocent bystanders who got in the way. From CNN

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And we now know that Boko Haram is armed with weapons from Libya. They have them because of yet another failure of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy strategy, or lack there of.

From CommentaryMag  “The Bama attack showed their [Boko Haram’s] substantial firepower, including machine guns, large numbers of rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, a sign the weapons flood from the Libyan war that helped rebels seize parts of Mali last year has reached Nigeria, officials say.

Let this be a miserable lesson in the dangers of foreign-policy ambivalence. The Obama administration was dragged kicking and screaming into Libya and refused to take the necessary steps to secure the regime’s weapons after Gaddafi was gone. This “light footprint” approach was praised by many as a low-risk “new model” for American military action. But in reality it was just world-policing on the cheap. The results speak for themselves. We can either fight terrorism or we can watch it advance and offer our remorse after the fact.”

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Kerry has chimed in as well. Of course he continues with the Obama policy of refusing to acknowledge the elephant in the room. While poverty plays a roll, it’s not the motivation of the leaders of Boko Haram or Al-Qaeda.

From CNSNews  “Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday underlined the issue of poverty as a recruitment tool for extremist groups like Boko Haram, although analysts and Nigerian officials have for months been reporting that the organization is forcibly conscripting civilians, including children, into its ranks.”

“Kerry’s comments on poverty as a key factor follows others by State Department officials in recent years, focusing on socio-economic issues rather than the religious element when discussing Boko Haram.

“It is important to note that religion is not the primary driver behind extremist violence in Nigeria,” then-assistant secretary of state for African affairs Johnnie Carson told a Senate committee in March 2012. He said Boko Haram “attempts to exploit the legitimate grievances of northern populations to garner recruits and public sympathy.”

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2. Not shocking.

From USAToday  “The Obama administration continues to withhold documents that could shed light on how U.S. officials produced its false narrative that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi arose from a non-existent protest over a video, according to a conservative watchdog group.

The documents reveal “that the Obama administration is still refusing to provide the full details of how top officials arrived at the now-discredited talking points released to the public following the deadly assault on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya,” Judicial Watch said in a statement.

“Though the State Department document repeatedly describes the material as ‘Unclassified’ or ‘Sensitive But Unclassified,’ it nonetheless justifies scores of extensive redactions and exemptions,” the statement said.”

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3. But…but…. it’s a consensus.

From ClimateDepot  “’600 page litany of doom’: Weather Channel Co-Founder John Coleman slams Federal climate report: A ‘total distortion of the data and agenda driven, destructive episode of bad science gone berserk’

 Coleman: ‘When the temperature data could no longer be bent to support global warming, they switched to climate change and now blame every weather and climate event on CO2 despite the hard, cold fact that the “radiative forcing” theory they built their claims on has totally failed to verify.’

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News/Politics 3-15-14

What’s interesting in the news this weekend?

Open thread, as always.

Here’s a few from me.

1. Sure, what could possibly go wrong?

From TheWaPo  “U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.

“We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan,” Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, said in a statement.”

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2. More bi-partisan shenanigans from our elected officials. And of course, the DoJ refuses to pursue the matter.

From TheWashingtonTimes FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.

The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.

But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.”

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3. Benghazi, and the investigation that was never investigated.

From FoxNews  “American personnel on the ground in Benghazi the night of the 2012 terror attack are outraged after learning that the CIA’s inspector general never conducted an investigation into what happened — despite two CIA workers being killed in the attack and despite at least two complaints being filed by CIA employees.”

“Asked why such a probe has not been launched, a CIA spokesman said: “CIA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) always reviews carefully every matter that is brought to its attention, and takes appropriate action based on a variety of factors.”

“But a CIA spokesman said the OIG has already “explained fully” to the agency’s congressional oversight committees “why it did not open an investigation into Benghazi-related issues.”

“That decision was based on a determination that the concerns raised fell under the purview of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, and that a separate OIG action could unnecessarily disrupt the FBI’s criminal investigation into the Benghazi attacks,” the spokesman said.”

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4. The best way to fight racism is with….. more racism? 🙄

From King5.com  “An attempt to fight racism at a community college may have backfired.

A group of employees at South Puget Sound Community College sent out an invitation to all 300 staffers.

The “Staff, Faculty and Administrators of Color” encouraged employees to reply to the invitation to find out the confidential date and time of what was being called a “happy hour” to “build support and community” for people of color.

The invite made it clear white people were not invited.”

With a Hat Tip to Janice for pointing this one out.

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News/Politics 9-20-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open thread, here’s a few to start things off.

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From Breitbart  “Obamacare is before the U.S. Supreme Court again. On Thursday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyers filed the first viable petition for Supreme Court review involving Kathleen Sebelius’ HHS Mandate, which requires employers to provide abortion-related insurance coverage, even if those employers have a religious objection to abortion.  

Section 1001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) requires all large employers to offer “preventive services” to their employees or face enormous financial penalties. With President Obama’s approval, Sebelius issued a regulation that defined preventive services to include access to birth control, including those that cause abortions after conception. The regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) only allows narrow exceptions, such as for churches, but leaves other religion-oriented or religiously-owned employers subject to the regulation. “

“These lawsuits argue both that the HHS Mandate violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment as well as a federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The federal appeals courts have split on whether a religiously-owned business can claim religious-liberty protections and whether requiring people to provide abortion-related services is a substantial burden on religious faith.”

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But Democrat Chris Murphy would like you to believe that forcing folks to violate their religious convictions is the morally right thing to do. 🙄

From CNSNews  “Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said that it would be morally justifiable for Congress to pass a continuing resolution that forces Americans to buy health care plans covering abortion-inducing drugs even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.

CNSNews.com asked Murphy about funding the controversial provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, following a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday.”

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Tom DeLay is back in the news. His conviction for money laundering has been overturned on appeal.

From KVUE/ABC  “Found guilty in 2010, the lawmaker known as “the Hammer” became a convicted felon.

 “It is what it is and we will carry on,” DeLay told reporters after the  verdict was announced. Lead attorney Dick DeGuerin assured the gathered  media, “This will never stand up on appeal.”

On Thursday, a two to one decision by the Third Court of Appeals  overturned that conviction, citing a lack of evidence. In the majority  opinion, Justice Melissa Goodwin explained, “The fundamental problem  with the State’s case was its failure to prove proceeds of criminal  activity.”

This decision will be appealed as well, but by prosecutors.

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Just think, when Common Core is fully implemented all public school kids will be learning the important stuff they need to succeed.

Or not. 🙄

From FoxNews  “Fourth grade students in Vermilion Parish, La. were given a homework  assignment that included words like “Po Pimp” and “mobstaz,” but school  officials said the worksheet was age appropriate based on an education website  affiliated with Common Core education standards.

“I try to instill values in my son,” parent Brittney Badeaux told Fox News.  “My goal is for him to ultimately to become a great man, a family man, a  well-rounded man. And now my son wants to know what a pimp is.””

“Vermilion Parish School Superintendent Jerome Puyau told Fox News the  “po-pimp” assignment was aligned to a fourth grade English Language Arts  standard for Common Core.

“Out of context, this word is inappropriate,” Puyau said. “However, within  the Common Core standards, they do want us to discuss real world texts.”

The Superintendent says this will help them later in life when buying albums. I kid you not. 🙄

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And here’s one that Chas posted last night, in case you missed it.

There’s a whole lot I’d like to say about these cowards not having the decency to hear these folks out. But I won’t. I’ll just say that I find this disgusting and shameful, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Democrats.

From TownHall  “During the second portion of a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing about Benghazi Thursday on Capitol Hill, the majority of Democrats on the Committee left the room and refused to listen to the testimony of Patricia Smith and Charles Woods. Ms. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer killed in the 9/11 Benghazi attack. Charles Woods is the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was also killed.”

More here from HotAir, along with some video.

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News/Politics 9-19-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

I’m feeling under the weather today. You folks are pretty much on your own. But here’s a few I did want to post.

From TheBBC  “Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department, which guards the US Capitol complex, have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in at about 8:20 local time.

The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later, an official with knowledge of the incident told the BBC.

According to a Capitol Police source, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington DC’s main municipal force, told the Capitol Cert officers they were the only police on the site equipped with long guns, and requested their help stopping the gunman. When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.”

“I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene,” a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.”

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From TheFreeBeacon  “Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy said the government of Libya is not allowing U.S. law enforcement into the country to arrest individuals connected with the Benghazi attack because the Libyan government “is not in control to that degree” Wednesday in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

Kennedy explained ever since the events of September 11, 2012 the country has taken a “serious turn for the worse.”

Journalists, according to Kennedy, still have access to the country but the Libyan government’s authority is so diminished it is incapable of allowing the United States in to arrest people:”

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From CNSNews  “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), appearing with other Republican  leaders on Wednesday, said the House will pass a continuing resolution  (CR) that defunds Obamacare and lets the Senate deal with it.

He also  indicated that Republicans will use debt limit legislation as leverage in an attempt  to cut spending.

Two other Republicans said their conference has agreed to “delay” Obamacare.”

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From TownHall  “Traditionally, an “interfaith” meeting would mandate that some sort of “faith” be present by all parties, but that is no longer the case with the Obama administration. The Secular Student Alliance, a national nonprofit dedicated to organizing nonreligious students, has been invited to help plan a national gathering for the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge.”

“While it is curious that an organization that explicitly denies the existence of faith would be invited to an “interfaith” meeting, it is hardly the Obama administration’s first outreach to those lacking any belief in a higher power. Atheists were present at a 2010 “interfaith discussion” at the White House, which prompted criticism from religious leaders.”

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News/Politics 9-12-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread, here’s a few from me.

The State Dept continues to ignore the Benghazi and 9-11 anniversaries.

From TheWeeklyStandard  “At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City by terrorists.  Eleven years later on September 11, 2012, events unfolded in Benghazi, Libya, that would ultimately leave a U.S. diplomatic facility gutted and four Americans dead.  As of 8:46 AM today, the U.S. State Department had not acknowledged either anniversary.

Up until yesterday, as noted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD, neither the White House or the State Department had mentioned the upcoming anniversary of the Benghazi attack.  Then Tuesday night around 8 p.m., the White House issued a statement by the press secretary noting a preparedness meeting the president held on Tuesday in anticipation of the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  The notice referenced the Benghazi attack as well:”

“The silence from the State Department, however, continues.  There is nothing on Wednesday’s public schedule of the State Department regarding any observance, memorial, or remembrance of either 9/11 or Benghazi.  There are no mentions of 9/11, Benghazi, or Ambassador Christopher Stevens any time recently on the State Department website, the Facebook page, or the Twitter account.”

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This one is interesting. But I have no idea on the credibility of what these former hostages say. The part about overhearing an English language Skype conversation doesn’t sound right. Why would Syrian rebels be communicating in English? Anyway, it wouldn’t surprise me either way.

From TheBlaze  “Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin and Italian journalist Domenico Quiric both say they were able to eavesdrop on an English-language Skype session between their abductors in which they allegedly revealed that it was the Syrian rebels who perpetrated the attack so that the West would intervene.”

“In this conversation, they said that the gas attack on two neighborhoods of Damascus was launched by the rebels as a provocation to lead the West to intervene militarily,” Quirico told the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa. “We were unaware of everything that was going on during our detention in Syria, and therefore also with the gas attack in Damascus.”

“Quirico, a journalist, correctly acknowledged that there is no proof that the conversation he overheard was based on irrefutable facts. He was sure to point out that he “cannot say for sure that it is true because I have no means of confirming the truth of what was said.” However, he also revealed that one of the three people he overheard in the alleged conversation identified himself as a Free Syrian Army general, according to the La Stampa report.

Italy’s Quotidiano Nazionale reports Quirico as saying: “I am extremely surprised that the United States could think about intervening, knowing very well how the Syrian revolution has become international jihadism – in other words Al-Qaeda.”

Surprised? You’re not the only one. It makes no sense.

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We discussed this lady and her influence with Kerry, the Obama admin, and McCain a few days ago. Looks like they’ve been taking advice from a fraud.

From BuzzFeed A young researcher whose opinions on Syria were cited by both Senator McCain and Secretary of State John Kerry in congressional testimony last week has been fired from the Institute for the Study of War for allegedly faking her academic credentials.

The institute issued a statement on its website concerning the researcher, Elizabeth O’Bagy:

The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University. ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.

O’Bagy and her op-ed drew scrutiny last week when the Wall Street Journal failed to disclose O’Bagy’s ties to an advocacy group backing the Syrian opposition and lobbying the U.S. government to intervene in Syria. The Journal was forced to post a clarification that “in addition to her role at the Institute for the Study of War, Ms. O’Bagy is affiliated with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a nonprofit operating as a 501(c)(3) pending IRS approval that subcontracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition.”

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Maybe listening to Syrian rebel advocates like her are why they’re under the mistaken impression that the rebels are mostly moderate. But they’re not.

From NBCNews  “Syrian opposition activists tell NBC News that Bashar Assad is getting away with having used chemical weapons to massacre hundreds of civilians, and that giving the regime a pass will only benefit al-Qaeda extremists.

“If there is no action, everyone will be desperate. We are already desperate. We are dying. Many will join al-Qaeda. Even the educated will join them, because no one else is helping,” a Syrian rebel said.

There is a battle underway within the Syrian revolt — a war within the war — between the generally moderate, US-backed Free Syrian Army and Islamic extremist groups.  

The Free Syrian Army put its faith in Washington, which promised action, but so far hasn’t delivered. The moderates say they have lost hope and face. Islamists, on the other hand, always doubted Washington would act, and instead of attending meetings, they are putting bullets in their guns; and they are sending men.”

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The dueling rallies in Washington happened yesterday. One side clearly had more supporters. 🙂

From TheWashingtonTimes Thousands of bikers from around the country roared into the D.C. area on  Wednesday in a show of support for Sept. 11 victims and in solidarity against a  controversial Muslim rally on the Mall.

The 2 Million Bikers to DC ride might have fallen short of 2 million strong,  but the numbers were impressive. A line of shining chrome and steel bikes  stretched about a third of a mile from the starting point at the Harley  Davidson of Washington store just  outside the District in Prince George’s County.”

A couple dozen attended the Million Muslim March.

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Two Colorado officials have been recalled for their role in the states new, more restrictive, gun laws.

From WeaselZippers AWESOME: Colorado Voters Recall Dem State Senator Who Led Gun Control Push – Update: Second Democrat Loses Recall Election For Backing Anti-Gun Legislation…

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PPP, or Public Policy Polling has always been a left leaning group. Now they’re being accused of not releasing poll data that didn’t jive with their liberal assumptions about the Colorado recall elections. It showed Democrats losing, and that couldn’t be right. 🙄

From TheWashingtonExaminer A spokesman for Public Policy Polling admitted Wednesday to withholding a poll showing Colorado voters were going to recall State Sen. Angela Giron by a 12-point margin.

The reason, according to PPP pollster Tom Jensen, was that “in a district that Barack Obama won by almost 20 points, I figured there was no way that could be right and made a rare decision not to release the poll.”

When the votes were counted in race, the poll turned out to be on target, as Giron lost by 12 points. “We should have had more faith in our numbers,” Jensen said.”

Why? No one else does. 😯

sheldon

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Next up, I say good, serves you right for being a horse’s posterior. But at the same time I’m troubled by the possible violating of his right to free expression, offensive as that expression is.

From TheLATimes  “Florida officials have arrested radical anti-Islam preacher Terry Jones as he was on his way to a Sept. 11 event where he planned to burn 2,998 Korans, according to local news reports Wednesday.

Jones is best known for stoking Muslim anger by publicly desecrating the religion’s holy book, sometimes with international consequences.

This time law enforcement officials intervened before Jones could carry out his plans for a ceremonial Sept. 11 burning.”

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And lastly, this little gem. It’s stuff like this that gives capitalists a bad name.

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “On Tuesday, the chief human resources officers of more than 100 large corporations sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging quick passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The officials represent companies with a vast array of business interests: General Electric, The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, The Wendy’s Company, Coca-Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, and many more. All want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill as well as high-skill workers, in addition to a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally.”

“Of course, the U.S. unemployment rate is at 7.3 percent, with millions of American workers at all skill levels out of work, and millions more so discouraged that they have left the work force altogether. In addition, at the same time the corporate officers seek higher numbers of immigrants, both low-skill and high-skill, many of their companies are laying off thousands of workers.

For example, Hewlett-Packard, whose Executive Vice President for Human Resources Tracy Keogh signed the letter, laid off 29,000 employees in 2012. In August of this year, Cisco Systems, whose Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Weslock signed the letter, announced plans to lay off 4,000 — in addition to 8,000 cut in the last two years. United Technologies, whose Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Organization Elizabeth B. Amato signed the letter, announced layoffs of 3,000 this year. American Express, whose Chief Human Resources Officer L. Kevin Cox signed the letter, cut 5,400 jobs this year. Procter & Gamble, whose Chief Human Resources Officer Mark F. Biegger signed the letter, announced plans to cut 5,700 jobs in 2012.”

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OK, yeah, that was more than a few. 🙂

News/Politics 9-11-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread, as always.

First up, the Syria debacle. The President made his pitch to the country last night. I doubt many will be swayed by his speech. The official storyline changes daily. A little consistency might help his cause.

From WeaselZippers  Yesterday: Obama Says Assad Not A “Credible” Threat To America – Today: Assad Is A Threat To Our National Security…

“Assad has capability “relative to children,” the president told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, but “he doesn’t have a credible means to threaten the United States.”

“The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it, because what happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security. Let me explain why.”

Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria, along with our leadership of a world where we seek to ensure that the worst weapons will never be used.”

Zip asks the appropriate question “Which is it?”

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The spin machine is working overtime.

From BuzzFeed  “The Obama administration’s explanation of how a Russian proposal to get rid of Syrian chemical weapons came to be has morphed rapidly in the past 24 hours from being portrayed as an unexpected slip-up to — in its new incarnation — a plan that U.S. officials were involved in as early as last week.

“I had some conversations about this with my counterpart from Russia last week,” Secretary of State John Kerry said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “President Putin raised the issue with President Obama at St. Petersburg. President Obama directed us to try to continue to talk and see if it is possible. So it is not something that — you know, suddenly emerged, though it did publicly. But it cannot be allowed to be a delay.”

Later, under questioning by Rep. Hank Johnson, Kerry said he had not made a mistake when he suggested the proposal in a press conference in London on Monday.”

“The administration has quickly changed its line on an idea that it scrambled to play down yesterday in the White House and State Department briefings even as the Russians immediately followed up by making the proposal to the Syrians, who “welcomed” it.”

Again, which is it?

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Rebels are demanding strikes.

From YahooNews The chaos in Syria will only get worse and destabilize the entire region if the global community fails to act, key figures of the war-torn country’s opposition said Tuesday.

Only Washington can deter Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and so the US Congress should give the White House the go-ahead to target the strongman, they added.

Ahmad al-Jarba, president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, and Salim Idriss, chief of the rebel Free Syrian Army, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post.”

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In other news……..

The cover-up continues.

From WeaselZippers  Report: Kerry Refuses To Allow Congress To Question Benghazi Survivors, Republicans Threaten To Issue Subpoenas…

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This has to sting the “Smart Diplomacy” crowd’s egos.

From Reason.com  “Poll: 64 Percent of Americans Say President Obama’s Handling of Foreign Policy Is Worse or the Same as President George W. Bush’s

74 percent of Americans say strikes on Syria would be “unwise” and half of Americans believe the D.C.  establishment wants war more than the public

As the country debates launching airstrikes on Syria, President Barack Obama’s standing on foreign policy has taken such a hit that the latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 64 percent of Americans, including 68 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats, believe President Obama’s handling of foreign policy is worse than, or the same as, former President George W. Bush’s handling of foreign policy.”

Ouch.

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Looks like an October House vote on the Immigration/Amnesty bill.

From MSNBC  “Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee overseeing immigration, said he expected Congress to pursue reform legislation despite a tight schedule featuring debates over Syria, health care, and the debt limit.

Those and other issues “should not deter us from getting to [immigration] as soon as possible,” Goodlatte said in an appearance on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show on Tuesday.

Goodlatte said he expected votes soon, perhaps in October, on a series of smaller House bills on border security, internal enforcement,  guest workers, and high-tech visas.”

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Unions that supported ObamaCare are asking for a “fix” for them, which would cost taxpayers 187 billion over a decade. Funny how all the supporters of this bad law want to be excluded from its effects. Congress, govt workers, and now Unions.

From TheWashingtonExaminer Big Labor officials are negotiating with Obama administration officials on a “fix” to spare multi-employer pension plans, which are provided by many unions to their members, from the higher costs they would face under the president’s health care law.

A forthcoming report estimates the cost to taxpayers for that fix at $187 billion over 10 years.

Multi-employer plans — also known as “Taft-Hartley” plans — are ineligible for federal subsidies under Obamacare. This has many unions worried, since it will raise the cost of the plans, pushing employers to either limit coverage or pull out altogether. Some are already moving in that direction.”

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Some union members are finally figuring out that national union leadership is not working in their best interest. They’re more interested in helping Democrats push progressive causes. Including some that work against union members. ObamaCare is a perfect example. Immigration/Amnesty is another.

From TheWashingtonTimes  “The AFL-CIO needs to stick with representing workers and stop trying  to take on social  causes for the far left, said the union head for the  International  Association of Fire Fighters.

Harold Schaitberger, who presides  over the IAFF,  said there is “great  value” in aligning with political groups — but only as a  secondary  mission, he told The Hill. And the AFL-CIO’s  recent push to bring in environmental groups and  progressive-minded organizations to the union cause is leading the IAFF to express  concerns about politics becoming the priority, over the  representation  of members.

“To say that we are going to grow this labor movement by some kind of  formal  partnership, membership, status,  place in this federation, I am  against. This is the American  Federation of Labor. We are supposed to be  representing workers and  workers’ interests,” Mr. Schaitberger said in  The Hill. “We are not going to be the American  Federation of  Progressive and Liberal Organizations.”

He’s not alone in that view. Union members from the construction  sector have been especially vocal against bringing environmental  groups  into the AFL-CIO family, viewing them as the enemy in the Keystone XL  pipeline fight.”

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Meanwhile ObamaCare continues to be a job and hours killer.

From TheWeeklyStandard  “A Grand Rapids, Michigan report on a company that had to lay off over 1,000 people due to the Obamacare medical device tax:

“There are also new taxes affecting West Michigan industry, in particular, that took effect this year,” says a local reporter. “There’s a new 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers. According to some reports, Kalamazoo based Stryker has laid off more than a thousand people because of it–and owes the federal government upwards of $100 million dollars this year alone. Late last week a Stryker spokesperson told me that Obamacare will cost the company fully 20 percent of its total research and development investments.”

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And it appears that the first reports on the altercation between George Zimmerman, his estranged wife, and his father-in-law may have been seriously exaggerated. Police are calling into question many of his estranged wife’s statements.

From ABC/ActionNews  “Lake Mary Police are now questioning the validity of several statements Shellie  Zimmerman made when she told 911 dispatchers her estranged husband, George  Zimmerman, threatened her and her father at gunpoint Monday afternoon.

“We did not find a gun, did not locate a weapon,” said Zach Hudson, public  information officer with the Lake Mary Police Department.  “Nobody ever saw  a gun. A gun is not part of this story.”

“”He continually has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying, ‘Step  closer.’  He is just threatening all of us,”  Shellie can be heard  telling dispatchers.”

“Hudson told ABC Action News Shellie provided a written statement Monday night  saying she never saw a gun and only assumed her estranged husband was carrying a  weapon because he touched his stomach.”

As I’m sure you’re all aware, this isn’t the first time she’s been accused of being untruthful with authorities. In fact she was already convicted for it. What a mess.

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