News/Politics 4-21-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. Today’s Boston Marathon, and the anniversary of last years terrorist attack, have turned the focus again to the bombers. Some in the press, including the NY Times, have gone overboard with stories that look like the terrorist’s fan club wrote them.

From TheBostonHerald  “Yesterday it was the turn of The New York Times, under the headline, “Marathon Bombing Suspect Waits in Isolation.”

“This one was perfectly timed — on the first anniversary of the Joker placing one of his kettle bombs in front of little Martin Richard, who had moments to live after the Times’ victim du jour decided he wanted to murder an 8-year-old infidel.

Does every trust-funded, pony-tailed male Marxist writer in this country have a crush on the “tousle-haired” youth? Rolling Stone, the Globe, now the Times — they start writing about this guy and suddenly they sound like heartsick teenage girls.

This isn’t journalism, it’s mash notes. If these Tiger Beat-like stories were Top 40 songs, they’d have to bring back Leslie Gore to sing them.”

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2. Does Obama foreign policy embolden enemies like Al-Qaeda?

From FoxNews  “All Americans should be aware of some very disturbing events that speak to the state of terrorism, the strength of al Qaeda and our nation’s security. In light of the danger unfolding around us, we also need to question whether or not President Obama’s administration is serious about confronting what is clearly a gathering storm, or whether, in fact, his policies are encouraging those who wish to harm us.

One of the more shocking events illustrating the growing strength of al Qaeda is the release of a video this week showing what CNN reports as “the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.” It’s what experts think is a recent gathering of the terrorist group’s leadership and more than 100 fighters in Yemen.

It now appears al Qaeda was “on the run” in the same way you were able to keep your doctor and hospital.

Whether we didn’t know about the gathering, or did and chose to do nothing, it’s another signal to the beasts around the world that no one is home in Washington, D.C.”

The story then goes on to mention how some 9-11 families feel they’re sabotaging trials at Gitmo, and that the FBI is interfering.

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3. You can read more on that here.

From MSNNews  “Frustration simmered into suspicion Wednesday as relatives of Sept. 11 victims attending stalled hearings here accused a jealous Justice Department of conducting an FBI probe of 9/11 defense lawyers to derail the long-awaited war crimes tribunal.

“These things just don’t happen. It’s not some rogue FBI agent. This had to be approved from the highest level of the FBI to do this,” said Don Arias of Panama City, Fla., a former Air Force officer and New York City firefighter whose brother Adam was killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Some could even say that this was done purposely to derail these hearings and to force it back into federal court,” he told reporters. His sister Lorraine added: “It looks like a well-orchestrated snafu. We’re going to stall now for them to all be investigated. A reappointment process could drag it out another year or more.”

The 10th round of hearings stalled this week on the revelation that two FBI agents questioned a security officer on one 9/11 defense team, then had him sign a nondisclosure agreement, an incursion into attorney-client confidentiality that defense lawyers called “chilling.”

The Obama admin has always wanted show trials in federal court.

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4. Did the Obama admin put off the Keystone Pipeline decision in exchange for 100 million to help finance their 2014 campaigns?

Yes. And yet they still whine endlessly about the Koch Bros.

From TheIJReview  “While the media is obsessed with the Koch brothers this campaign season, a billionaire hedge fund manager from San Francisco just bought off the White House to the tune of $100 million in order to delay the Keystone XL pipeline decision.”

“What you won’t hear about in mainstream media is how Billionaire Tom Steyer drove the decision by promising to spend $100 million to help Democrats in the midterm election who help defeat the project:”

The hypocrisy is stunning, but just what we’ve come to expect from Dems.

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5. China appears poised to become the world’s most Christian nation.

From TheTelegraph  “Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.

Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao’s death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution.

Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world’s number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.

“By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.”

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Common Core required readings that would make a longshoreman blush
Read more at http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/04/17/common-core-required-readings-make-longshoreman-blush/#JrLSyOTaARjJXS7E.99
Common Core required readings that would make a longshoreman blush
Read more at http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/04/17/common-core-required-readings-make-longshoreman-blush/#JrLSyOTaARjJXS7E.99

News/Politics 8-9-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

First up, I can see a judge issuing a gag order to witnesses. What I can’t see is why you threaten the families with loss of benefits if they don’t play along too. A military judge in a court-martial has no such authority over civilians. So where did the order to families not to talk to the press come from? DoD, or the White House?

From RedState  “Autumn Manning, wife of Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning who was wounded in the Ft. Hood terror attack, is speaking out on Twitter. Manning claims that the Department of Defense has “slapped victims of violence with gag orders” and is preventing them to discuss denial of benefits and other developments in the wake of the attack.”

“Why would the DOD gag families, especially those who aren’t serving thus not obligated to comply?”

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The military won’t be the only govt agency used for social experiments by the Obama admin. Introducing the new and improved HUD.

From FoxNews  “In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of  Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds  to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change  those it deems discriminatory. 

The policy is called, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” It will  require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single  neighborhood and try to remedy it.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP  convention in July.”

“Data from this discrimination database would be used with zoning laws, housing  finance policy, infrastructure planning and transportation to alleviate alleged  discrimination and segregation.”

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If you like that one, you’ll love this one.

From CNSNews  “Secretary of State John Kerry announced Wednesday the formation of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, which will be headed by Shaun Casey, a former religion advisor to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and a liberal professor who last year touted the end of ‘civil religion’ in the United States.

“I, frankly, am glad American civil religion is dying,” Casey said at a discussion last year at the Center for American Progress focused on “God and Politics” in the last presidential election.”

“Kerry cited the Bible’s New Testament in describing the new office’s mission, which he said would seek “common ground” between “all religions.”

“One of my favorite passages from the Scripture sums up what Shaun and I think this effort is really all about,” Kerry said. “It’s a familiar Gospel of Mark in which Jesus says to his disciples, ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for the many.’”

And there you have it. I’m not sure exactly what IT is, but there it is.

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Additional indictments from the Boston bombing case.

From Reuters  “A U.S. grand jury on Thursday indicted two students from Kazakhstan on obstruction of justice charges, alleging they helped hide evidence related to the April Boston marathon bombing that killed three and injured 264.

Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19, were college friends of surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.”

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Next up, “Phony scandals?” Depends who you ask.

From FoxNews  “Benghazi. Snooping on reporters. The IRS and NSA. The White  House dismisses them as phony and fake scandals. Americans do not.

A  Fox News national poll released Thursday finds that 78 percent of voters  think the questions over the administration’s handling of the terrorist attack  on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi should be taken seriously. Just 17  percent call it a phony scandal.”

“Meanwhile, 69  percent of voters say the National Security Agency’s electronic surveillance  of everyday Americans is serious, while 26 percent call that a fake scandal.”

And there’s more. Looks like a message fail for Obama and Dems all the way around.

Oh, and since we’re talking about them scandals…..

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “In a remarkable admission that is likely to rock the Internal Revenue Service again, testimony released Thursday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp reveals that an agent involved in reviewing tax exempt applications from conservative groups told a committee investigator that the agency is still targeting Tea Party groups, three months after the IRS scandal erupted..

In closed door testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, the unidentified IRS agent said requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups is being forced into a special “secondary screening” because the agency has yet to come up with new guidance on how to judge the tax status of the groups.”

“In a transcript from the committee provided to Secrets, a Ways & Means investigator asked: “If you saw — I am asking this currently, if today if a Tea Party case, a group — a case from a Tea Party group came in to your desk, you reviewed the file and there was no evidence of political activity, would you potentially approve that case? Is that something you would do?”

“The agent said, “At this point I would send it to secondary screening, political advocacy.” The committee staffer then said, “So you would treat a Tea Party group as a political advocacy case even if there was no evidence of political activity on the application. Is that right?” The agent admitted, “Based on my current manager’s direction, uh-huh.”

Phony. Sure. 🙄

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Waste. Fraud. Abuse.

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “A Maryland woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to setting up at least 15 false businesses in six states that received government contracts despite often being registered to people who did not exist.”

“The conspirators typically operated under a particular business name for a period of six to 12 months until the business was either disqualified from the FedBid marketplace or was otherwise burdened with lawsuits or liens,” the plea bargain said.

“The conspirators initially used their true names and addresses to register their businesses, but later attempted to conceal their true identities by using aliases to register the businesses and by renting commercial mail box store fronts.””

“The case illustrates how little federal officials know about where goods and services they purchase come from, with one Whitehead firm selling ammunition to the Army, according to government contracting records, thus raising questions about whether bullets of dubious quality wound up in soldiers’ hands.”

And it just gets worse from there.

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Lastly today, 2 abortion stories. First Wendy Davis, and the ignorance from Dems like her in the abortion debate. And of course you can’t talk about that without mentioning the media who enables it.

From HotAir   “This spring and summer has seen the media bias in full bloom on abortion.  The national media couldn’t be bothered to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell, which they initially dismissed as a “local” news story despite its potential impact on the national debate over abortion, while they thundered down to Florida as a herd to cover the George Zimmerman trial … and to Arizona for the Jodi Arias trial, whose national implications were apparently “pretty girl kills boyfriend and denies it.””

“When Texas followed up on the Gosnell grand jury report to better regulate abortion mills to ensure that they operated as ambulatory surgical clinics and limited abortions to 20 weeks, the media only took an interest in the woman who tried to block the bill that had support from 62% of Texans and 61% of Texas women.  The same national media who couldn’t be bothered to report on the Gosnell horror without being shamed into it — and then mostly focused on whether or not it was a real news story at all — hailed Wendy Davis as a heroine for her opposition. In fact, they gave Davis three times as much coverage in three weeks as they gave the Gosnell trial in eight weeks.

Oddly, though, they never actually pressed Davis to explain why she opposed regulating abortion clinics, given the horrors of the unregulated Gosnell clinic.  When John McCormack of the Weekly Standard asked her about the majority support of women for late-term abortion bans in light of Gosnell, Davis replied that she was mainly ignorant of the Gosnell case, but claimed women overall were ignorant of the lack of risk involved.”

“Despite frequently mocking anti-abortion activists as anti-science know-nothings, abortion rights absolutists are the ones who play fast and loose with the facts of abortion. Because they are so rarely asked to defend their positions, Davis and her ilk apparently don’t feel the need to be informed.  Follow-up questions to their strange and often empirically false statements are almost nonexistent, while offensive or misinformed comments from GOP back benchers are greeted with full-scale media hysteria.”

And the second is here. I’d be surprised if you’ve seen anything about this on the so-called news.

From LifeNews  “Leading pro-life advocates marched in downtown Washington, D.C. to the doorstep of ABC News’ Washington bureau to accuse the network and other mainstream media outlets of bias and censorship on abortion.

Fifty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC broke its self-imposed blackout and finally offered coverage.

Lila Rose, the head of Live Action, which coordinated the event, said “Enough is enough. It’s time to report the news. It’s time to stop censoring the news.”

“She was joined by pro-life leaders like Jill Stanek, Ryan Bomberger and Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life.”

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News/Politics 7-27-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

First up, more media editing of tape involving the Zimmerman case. ABC joins NBC in pushing a false meme. Hopefully they join NBC in the lawsuit against them area too.

From SLATE  “Did George Zimmerman get away with murder? That’s what one of his jurors says, according to headlines in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and dozens of other newspapers. Trayvon Martin’s mother and the Martin family’s attorney are trumpeting this “new information” as proof that “George Zimmerman literally got away with murder.”

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Next, not surprising given this administration’s policies.

From TheDailyCaller  “Federal Bureau of Investigation officials ignored warnings about the radical origins and nature of the mosque frequented by the Tsarnaev brothers for years before this April’s deadly Boston Marathon bombings.”

“But the FBI was warned nearly four years  prior to the bombings that the ISB was a nest of Islamic radicalism.”

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The IRS union has said they don’t want ObamaCare. Sure, but they want to expand to enforce it for the commoners huh?

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “IRS employees have a prominent role in Obamacare, but their union wants no part of the law.

National Treasury Employees Union officials are urging members to write their congressional representatives in opposition to receiving coverage through President Obama’s health care law.

The union leaders are providing members with a form letter to send to the congressmen that says “I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.”

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In other ObamaCare news, another company opens it’s doors to the navigators (ACORN) and ObamaCare. Personally just further confirmation to us that we were lucky our plan dumped CVS Caremark.

From Politico “CVS Caremark is joining the effort to encourage Americans to sign up for  Obamacare insurance programs, company executives announced Thursday.

CVS officials told POLITICO that they’re planning to use pharmacies at their  7,400 North American stores as a gateway for the uninsured to learn about new  coverage options — especially subsidized insurance coverage available to  low-income people on state-based insurance exchanges.”

“Foulkes said CVS pharmacies would invite trained “navigators” into their stores  to help eligible people sign up for exchanges.”

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And ACORN getting ahold of every American’s personal info isn’t the only worry. Others may too.

From RedAlertPolitics  “As the Obama administration frantically tries to enlist the help of organizations to promote the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood could be one of several groups with access to citizens’ sensitive information in the Federal Data Hub.

According to The Illinois Typepad Reviewif the organization is granted funding through the Department of Health and Human Services’ $54 million in navigator grants, the nonprofit will have access to Obamacare’s Federal Data Hub. The database contains citizens’ information collected from the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, and includes Social Security numbers.”

That’s called cronyism folks. The worst kind. You fund us and help push it, we pay you back with federal dollars for pushing it, and for performing abortions.

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And in an ironic twist, the ObamaCare California call centers about to go on-line have decided half their employees will be part-time intermittent. That means no health insurance, and like the Census, they’ll pace work assignments so nobody makes enough to collect UC benefits when the assignments are done.

From NationalReview  “One branch of that call center will be located in California’s Contra Costa County, where, reportedly, 7,000 people applied for the 204 jobs. According to the Contra Costa Times, however, “about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.” The county supervisor, Karen Mitchoff, called the hiring process “a comedy of errors” and said she “never dreamed [the jobs] would be part-time.”

But hey, don’t worry, at least they’ll get a bigger subsidy to buy insurance they still won’t be able to afford. That’s something right? And since they won’t make much, they can probably get food stamps too. You just have to look at the bright side with this stuff. 🙄

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Everything the man says comes with an expiration date. The promise of Change has officially past it’s sell by date.

From TheHuffingtonPost  “Amid the Obama administration’s crackdown against whistleblowers, Change.gov, the 2008 website of the Obama transition team laying out the candidate’s promises, has disappeared from the internet.

The Sunlight Foundation notes that it last could be viewed on June 8, which was two days after the first revelations from Edward Snowden (who had then not yet revealed himself) about the NSA’s phone surveillance program. One of the promises Obama made on the website was on “whistleblower protections:””

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Next we have attack cats preying on the French. 😯

From TheTelegraph/UK  “About six cats pounced on the unnamed dog owner as she walked her poodle in the city of Belfort, in the popular Franche-Comte region, on the Swiss border, dragging her to the ground and mauling her.

She was bitten repeatedly and left with a torn artery which could have proved fatal, while the dog was also badly hurt.”

“The woman was rushed to hospital where she received treatment for her wounds, and a number of injections including one against rabies. The poodle was treated at a nearby veterinary clinic.”

They estimate that 8,000 more are born in France everyday.  😦

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And a good news story in the treatment of dementia.

From Bloomberg  “Patients taking drugs known as ACE inhibitors that are used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure had lower rates of deterioration caused by certain types of dementia, according to researchers who reviewed Canadian hospital records.”

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News/Politics 7-11-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

The Boston bomber had an appearance in court yesterday. As expected, he showed himself to be a coward yet again. The bombing of innocent and unarmed men, women, and children was the act of cowards. Yesterday he had the chance to admit his guilt and take his punishment. He pled not guilty instead. If that wasn’t insulting enough to the victims and their families,  his supporters added to their pain. It’s pretty sad that people could be so crass. From BostonCBSLocal

“A small group of demonstrators showed up at Moakley Federal Courthouse in South Boston on Wednesday to show support for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev appeared in court for his first public hearing. He has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260.

A group of about a dozen supporters cheered as the motorcade carrying Tsarnaev arrived at the courthouse. The demonstrators yelled “Justice for Jahar,” as Tsarnaev is known. One woman held a sign that said, “Free Jahar.”

Others held signs claiming Tsarnaev’s innocence, while suggesting elaborate conspiracies surrounding the bombing and Tsarnaev’s arrest.”

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The George Zimmerman trial has pretty much finished up. The judge will give jurors their instructions today and then deliberations should begin Friday. Many Sheriff and Police depts. are preparing for the worst, should he be found not guilty. Meanwhile the former Sanford police chief is speaking out about the pressure to charge him even though the police felt he did nothing wrong. It was politicized, from Obama on down. From CNN

“The George Zimmerman investigation was hijacked “in a number of ways” by outside forces, said the former police chief of Sanford, Florida.

Bill Lee, who testified Monday in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, told CNN’s George Howell in an exclusive interview that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.

“It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later,” he said. “You don’t do that.”

When Sanford police arrived on the scene on February 26, 2012, after Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, they conducted a “sound” investigation, and the evidence provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene, he said.”

Despite the evidence, there are plenty of people out there who won’t take a not guilty verdict well. There have been numerous threats of violence from Trayvon Martin supporters. Let’s hope it’s all talk.

More troubling info has also surfaced. Was the DoJ attempting to calm protests, or were they the ones orchestrating the protests? From JudicialWatch

“Judicial Watch, Inc.  on April 24, 2012 launched an investigation into the Trayvon Martin case based on reports that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had sent a secret team of “peacekeepers” to Sanflord, Florida, where Martin was shot on February 26, 2012 after wandering in a gated community after dark.  George Zimmerman, a resident of the community and its neighborhood watch captain, is currently on trial for Martin’s death though he maintains he acted in self-defense.”

“Records obtained by Judicial Watch in response to local, state and federal public records requests show that the so-called peacekeepers are part of a large and growing division within DOJ called the Community Relations Service (CRS).  Though CRS purports to spot and quell racial tensions nationwide before they arise, the documents obtained by Judicial Watch show the group actively worked to foment unrest, spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on travel and hotel rooms to train protestors throughout Florida.  The peacekeepers also met with officials of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for several months later in Tampa, to warn them to expect protests in connection with Martin’s death.”

“In response to a Florida Sunshine Law request to the City of Sanford, Judicial Watch also obtained an audio recording of a “community meeting” held at Second Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford on April 19, 2012.  The meeting, which opens with a gospel hymn and organ music, is reported to have led to the official ouster of Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee.  A week earlier, a group calling themselves the “Dream Defenders” had barricaded the entrance to the police department demanding he be fired for failing to file murder charges against Zimmerman.  The church meeting produced a nine-point plan, the main demand being the firing of Chief Lee.”

Like I said, troubling. And on a related note, is the judge trying to get a mistrial because she knows the case prosecutors presented is too weak for a conviction? From NationalReview

“Nelson reminded Zimmerman that he has the “absolute right to remain silent” if he so desires and proceeded to ask him whether he was prepared to testify. Defense attorney Don West twice objected to the question, but was overruled by Nelson, who explained, “The court is entitled to inquire if Mr. Zimmerman’s determination [sic] as to whether or not he wants to testify.”

The judge then began asking Zimmerman how much time he requires to determine whether or not he would like to testify. West again objected to the question and asked for more time to speak with his client, prompting Judge Nelson to raise her voice and exclaim, “Your objection is overruled!”

“Kathi Belich, a journalist following the trial for a local news channel, tweeted her surprise at the line of questioning, writing “I have never seen that in more than 30 years of court reporting.””

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The Texas House has passed the nation’s most restrictive abortion restrictions. Good. From TheWashingtonTimes

“After weeks of debate and a parliamentary delay engineered by pro-choice  advocates, Texas lawmakers on Wednesday passed a set of abortion limits widely  seen as the most restrictive in the nation.

The Texas House cleared the measure —  known as House Bill 2 — just after noon Wednesday by a vote of 96 to 49. The  legislation now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it’s also expected to pass as early as  this week.”

Democrats of course are throwing fits and shrieking about the “war on women” again, just like their scripts tell them too. They’re calling Republicans extremists for passing what the majority of their citizens favor. But here’s some info to set the record straight on just who the extremists really are. From TownHall

“The American left loves Western European democracies for their cultural sensibilities and for their policies on everything from crime to health care. One policy area where you won’t hear American liberals cite the European example, though, is abortion.

The reason is simple: Abortion law is far more restrictive in Europe than in the United States. As the table below shows, 16 of 18 countries on the continent limit abortion to the first trimester of pregnancy (with certain exceptions in various countries). The banning of late-term abortions now being considered in the House of Representatives and some American states would seem only civilized to most Europeans.”

abortion

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And lastly today, the latest baseball scandal. So yeah, of course A-rod’s right in the middle of it. What a waste.

Anyway, while I get the whole idea of removing these types of PED’s, and they should don’t get me wrong, I’m still troubled by something. What MLB has done here is questionable in my mind. Isn’t this the same thing as making a deal for immunity with a drug dealer if he snitches on his customers? After all, their snitch is the one who provided the stuff, yet it’s the user and not the dealer who gets burned. Doesn’t seem right. Thoughts?

From FoxSports

“Tuesday evening, a new ESPN report said MLB “is expected to suspend Braun and Rodriguez [emphasis mine], along with as many as 20 players.” The timing of the discipline, according to the report, is “sometime after next week’s All-Star break.”

The more conclusive tone in Tuesday’s story was noteworthy. Apparently, MLB has made progress in the Biogenesis investigation with the cooperation of founder Anthony Bosch. And now executives, managers, players and fans across the majors must brace for the possibility of (a) bombshell suspensions, (b) lengthy appeals, or (c) some combination thereof.

Whatever the outcome, this could be one of the most awkward second halves in baseball history.”

And I know the Yankees still owe A-rod a ton of money, but I’d still like to see him banned for life for repeat offenses.

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News/Politics 5-9-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

We’ll start with a bunch of Benghazi links for those interested.

Benghazi whistleblower: ‘I’ve been demoted’ for challenging Susan Rice’s claims, from the Washington Examiner

White House struggles to respond to new Benghazi revelations, from the Washington Times

Diplomat Says Questions Over Benghazi Led to Demotion, from the NY Times

Top U.S. Diplomat In Libya Says Hillary Clinton’s Top Aide Chewed Him Out For Talking With Investigators… from Weasel Zippers

Top Ranking U.S. Diplomat In Libya After Ambassador Stevens Death Says FBI Never Bothered To Interview Him During Their Investigation… from Weasel Zippers

And of course a Democrat blames it all on budget cuts, from The Weekly Standard

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A pair of new studies will make the gun debate a little tougher for one side. From TheWashingtonPost

“Gun homicides have dropped steeply in the United States since their 1993 peak, a pair of reports released Tuesday showed, adding fuel to Congress’ battle over whether to tighten restrictions on firearms.

A study released Tuesday by the government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That’s a 39 percent reduction.

Another report by the private Pew Research Center found a similar decline by looking at the rate of gun homicides, which compares the number of killings to the size of the country’s growing population. It found that the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people fell from 7 in 1993 to 3.6 in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.”

“Both reports also found that non-fatal crimes involving guns were down by roughly 70 percent over that period.”

Huh. You mean they’re being dishonest with their rhetoric? After all, they insist that booming gun sales are dangerous. Yet while ownership rose, deaths declined. Go figure. And yeah, it’s also funny that this comes just weeks after the Senate’s attempted regulations. Now you know why they were in a hurry.

Despite the actual facts, the public seems uninformed on the matter. Just like they and their media mouthpieces intended. Here’s more, from TheLATimes

“Gun crime has plunged in the United States since its peak in the middle of the 1990s, including gun killings, assaults, robberies and other crimes, two new studies of government data show.

Yet few Americans are aware of the dramatic drop, and more than half believe gun crime has risen, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center.”

“Despite the remarkable drop in gun crime, only 12% of Americans surveyed said gun crime had declined compared with two decades ago, according to Pew, which surveyed  more than 900 adults this spring. Twenty-six percent said it had stayed the same, and 56% thought it had increased.

It’s unclear whether media coverage is driving the misconception that such violence is up. The mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., were among the news stories most closely watched by Americans last year, Pew found. Crime has also been a growing focus for national newscasts and morning network shows in the past five years but has become less common on local television news.”

Unclear? No. Not really.

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Joe Biden would like you to know that it’s immoral and callous to want Voter ID. From Politico

“Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday bashed voting rights requirements — calling them “immoral, callous” — and warned of political consequences for those  who try to impose barriers to casting a ballot.

“To me it is the most immoral, callous thing that can be done, the idea of  making it more difficult to vote,” Biden said at the annual gala dinner of the  Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a minority-focused public  policy organization.”

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More radical ties to Boston bombing suspect #1. From YahooNews

“Last year, when Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in the Russian region of Dagestan, he had a guide with an unusually deep knowledge of the local Islamist community: a distant cousin named Magomed Kartashov. Six years older than Tsarnaev, Kartashov is a former police officer and freestyle wrestler—and one of the region’s most prominent Islamists.

In 2011 Kartashov founded and became the leader of an organization called the Union of the Just, whose members campaign for sharia law and pan-Islamic unity in Dagestan, often speaking out against U.S. policies across the Muslim world. The group publicly renounces violence. But some of its members have close links to militants; others have served time in prison for weapons possession and abetting terrorism—charges they say were based on fabricated evidence. For Tsarnaev, these men formed a community of pious young Muslims with whom he could discuss his ideas of jihad. Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat, confirmed that her son is Kartashov’s third cousin. The two met for the first time in Dagestan, she said, and “became very close.””

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The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus is seeking leniency for Jesse Jackson Jr. From TheChicagoSunTimes

“Eight of the letters argued for a break. The most prominent advocate for Jesse Jackson was Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Fudge wrote that even though she and some congressional colleagues in hindsight saw signs of his bipolar illness “during the last 4 to 5 years,” nevertheless, he was a “tireless advocate for the poor and underserved.” He was also the charming “highlight of our karaoke nights.””

So it’s OK to steal campaign donations, as long as you can Karaoke. Got it. 🙄

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Jodi Arias is guilty, and she’d rather have the death penalty. From TheAP

“Jodi Arias spent 18 days on the stand sharing intimate, emotional and oftentimes X-rated details of her life before a rapt television and online audience. She had hoped it all might convince a jury that she killed her one-time boyfriend in self-defense.

But the eight men and four women on the panel didn’t buy it, convicting Arias of first-degree murder after only about 15 hours of deliberations. Jurors will return to court Thursday to begin the next phase of the trial that could set the stage for Arias receiving a death sentence.

It’s a punishment that Arias herself says she wants, telling a TV station minutes after her conviction that she would “prefer to die sooner than later.””

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News/Politics 5-3-13

What’s interesting out there today?

Here’s a few and then you folks can have at it. 🙂

We’ll start with things that make you go Hmmmmmm…….  From FoxNews

“The State Department’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the  special internal panel that probed the Benghazi terror attack for the State  Department, Fox News has confirmed.

The IG’s office is said by well-placed sources to be seeking to determine  whether the Accountability Review Board, or ARB — led by former U.N. Ambassador  Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike  Mullen — failed to interview key witnesses who had asked to provide their  accounts of the Benghazi attacks to the panel.”

“This disclosure marks a significant turn in the ongoing Benghazi case, as it  calls into question the reliability of the blue-ribbon panel that then-Secretary  of State Hillary Clinton convened to review the entire matter. Until the report  was concluded, she and all other senior Obama administration officials regularly  refused to answer questions about what happened in Benghazi.”

This video from Brett Baier’s Special Report with the disguised witness said much the same on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the FBI has finally gotten around to releasing photos of the Benghazi militants responsible. Maybe. From Reuters

“The FBI on Thursday released the photographs of three men it said were at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, when it was attacked last September.

The FBI did not call the three men suspects in the attacks, saying only that they “may be able to provide information to help in the investigation.”

“The FBI is now asking Libyans and people around the world for additional information related to the attacks,” the U.S. investigative agency said in a statement with the photographs.”

Wow. And it only took like 8 months. And they won’t call them suspects. And you have video, but you’re not sure. OK then.

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Here’s a story on drone strikes. The allegation is that they’d rather kill suspected militants than send them to Gitmo. From TheGuardianUK

“The lawyer who first drew up White House policy on lethal drone strikes has accused the Obama administration of overusing them because of its reluctance to capture prisoners that would otherwise have to be sent to Guantánamo Bay.

John Bellinger, who was responsible for drafting the legal framework for targeted drone killings while working for George W Bush after 9/11, said he believed their use had increased since because President Obama was unwilling to deal with the consequences of jailing suspected al-Qaida members.

“This government has decided that instead of detaining members of al-Qaida [at Guantánamo] they are going to kill them,” he told a conference at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

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The Boston bombers were originally planning a July 4th attack, but they completed the bombs sooner than expected. From CNN

“The bombs used in the Boston Marathon attack were built in the apartment that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and child, a U.S. law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday. The official was not authorized to release the information.

Katherine Russell, Tsarnaev’s widow, has remained largely out of view inside her parents’ North Kingstown home since her husband’s death.

According to her attorney, Amato DeLuca, the 24-year-old widow knew nothing of plans to bomb the race, and reports of her husband’s involvement came as an “absolute shock” to Russell and her family.”

I don’t see how you and your brother produce multiple bombs in an apartment and no one else living there sees anything.

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And this last one, well I think we need to get a pool going. How many months until the “My neighbors are them hateful crazy christian people. And they have guns. You should go check them out.” calls start from “concerned” neighbors.? Tea Party Members and legal gun owners should worry too I’d imagine. From ThePalmBeachPost

“Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., from occurring on his turf.

Bradshaw plans to use the extra $1 million to launch “prevention intervention” units featuring specially trained deputies, mental health professionals and caseworkers. The teams will respond to citizen phone calls to a 24-hour hotline with a knock on the door and a referral to services, if needed.”

“Bradshaw is readying a hotline and is planning public service announcements to encourage local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.”

““We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradshaw said. “What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’ ””

I seem to recall similar programs in another country that I read about…… now where was that…..?

Oh well, anyway, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

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News/Politics 4-29-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread, as always.

Some interesting developments in the Boston bombing case. From TheBostonHerald

“A top-ranking Republican congressman said yesterday he expects the feds to make more arrests in their ever-widening probe of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, which took a new frightening turn yesterday when officials revealed the accused terrorist brothers made “spontaneous” plans to launch an attack on Times Square.

“I hear a lot of definitive statements out there that it was just these two men and it’s over, but I will tell you I hear these briefings every day, and I don’t think this is over,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Committee on Intelligence. “There are clearly more persons of interest, and they’re not 100 percent sure if there aren’t other explosives.””

More here from TheWashingtonTimes

“The chairman of the House Homeland Security  Committee says that evidence  suggests the Boston bombing suspects had help  in the attack and that he is concerned about a “wider conspiracy.”

“Given  the level of sophistication of this [explosive] device, the fact   that  the pressure cooker is a signature device that goes back to  Pakistan  and  Afghanistan … leads me to believe there  was a trainer,”  Rep. Michael  T.  McCaul, Texas Republican, told “Fox News  Sunday.”

Also, from TheDailyMail

“The FBI has revealed that they now know the  identity of the American known as Misha who helped radicalize the Boston bombing  suspects.”

“Under the tutelage of a friend known to the  Tsarnaev family only as Misha, Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying  music, his family said. He began opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He turned to websites and literature claiming  that the CIA was behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and Jews  controlled the world.”

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Here’s a piece on the problem in Syria, from TheNYTimes

“In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.”

“Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”

How do you help the Syrian people without further aiding Al-Qaeda and other radical groups? Seems impossible.

Here’s a good example of why it matters. Do we really think it’s a good idea to let Al-Qaeda affiliated fighters take control of a chemical weapons plant? How can you even prevent it at this point?

From TheTelegraphUK

“The fight for al-Safira is no ordinary turf war, however, and the prize can be found behind the perimeter walls of the heavily-guarded military base on the edge of town. Inside what looks like a drab industrial estate is one of Syria’s main facilities for producing chemical weapons – and among its products is sarin, the lethal nerve gas that the regime is now feared to be deploying in its bid to cling to power.”

“But as the West now ponders its response, the fear is not just that President Assad might start using his chemical arsenal in much greater quantities. Of equal concern is the prospect of it falling into even less benign hands – a risk that the stand-off at al Safira illustrates clearly.”

“For among the rebel lines in al-Safira flutters the black flag of the al-Nusra Brigade, the jihadist group that recently declared its allegiance to al-Qaeda. Known for their fighting prowess honed in Iraq, they are now taking the lead in nearly every frontline in the Syrian war, and earlier this month, pushed to within just over a mile of al-Safira, only to for the Syrian troops to regain the ground last week.”

I strongly disagree with Sen. McCain and others who are urging us to assist these people. I don’t see how any good comes from that decision.

But if this is accurate, it looks like Israel is tired of waiting for others to act. If we won’t stop it, looks like they will. From UPI.com

“The Free Syrian Army says Israeli air force jets flew over President Bashar  Assad’s palace and bombed a chemical weapons site near Damascus, Maariv  reported.

The report said Israeli jets entered Syrian airspace close to 6 a.m Saturday  and flew over Assad’s palace in Damascus and other security facilities before  striking a chemical weapons compound near the city.

The Hebrew language daily said a Syrian army air defense battery positioned  in the city fired at the Israeli jets, but the aircraft left Syrian airspace  unscathed. FSA rebels posted a video showing smoke rising from the headquarters  for chemical weapons.”

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It will be interesting to see what the Congressman has in mind here. From TheBlaze

“Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Saturday promised that “explosive” congressional hearings over the Benghazi, Libya attacks are on the way.

“There are more Benghazi hearings coming, I think they’re going to be explosive,” Gowdy said on Fox News.

Gowdy, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the hearings are going to be “coming quickly” and seemed to hint that the public might for the first time hear from witnesses to the September assault that left four Americans dead.”

Let’s hope so. It’s time they got to the bottom of this.

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I think this is what they refer to as a Momma Grizzly. She’s got guts, that’s for sure. 🙂  From FoxNews

“Through the slit of the burqa she wore to blend in on the streets of  Alexandria, Egypt, Kalli Atteya waited and watched until the boy climbed off the school bus. When she saw him, she moved quickly, grabbing his arm and steering  him toward the waiting motorized cart.

“Get in,” she said to the 12-year-old, who recognized his mother’s piercing  blue eyes and obeyed wordlessly.

Soon, they were speeding toward a safehouse where they would wait for three weeks before returning to the U.S., and ending a 20-month ordeal that began with another abduction — one the boy, Khalil Mohamed “Niko” Atteya, did not accept  willingly. His father, Mohamed Atteya, who is wanted by the U.S. authorities, is accused of luring the mother and son to his homeland, then snatching the boy and  leaving Kalli Atteya and her sister on the side of a desolate road between Cairo and Port Said on Aug. 1, 2011.”

Good for her.

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This one is the last from me today. But it comes with a

CONTENT WARNING!!!

for adult content and some pretty gruesome details. The Pro-life group Live Action is about to release another series of undercover videos that show Kermit Gosnell was not the exception, but the norm, in the late term abortion industry. From LifeNews

“The video shows how the kinds of gruesome late-term and live-birth abortions done at abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell‘s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic are not limited to his abortion facility alone.

The pro-life group Live Action today released an undercover video of an abortion counselor at a clinic describing, in gruesome details, what is done with a baby that survives an abortion attempt.  This is the first in a series of videos Live Action will release videos , found at www.liveaction.org/inhuman, that will show a number of late-term abortion clinics engaging in illegal and inhuman practices, as well as explaining in explicit detail what happens to the victims of late-term abortion.

“Dr. Kermit Gosnell is not an aberration, ” said Lila Rose, Founder and President of Live Action.  “The gruesome and brutal practices exposed in Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ are business as usual for the abortion industry in America.  Nationwide, it’s just another day at the office.”

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