News/Politics 7-3-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. 30 and counting. And these are only the ones they know about. 

From TheDailyMail  “FBI agents have made at least 30 arrests on US soil this year as they try to combat the murderous reach of ISIS and its warped followers, Daily Mail Online can disclose.

Officials revealed this week that the Islamic terror group has a foothold in all 50 states as it continues to target disaffected Americans through its torrent of online propaganda and slick videos of barbaric beheadings and mutilations.

The stark warning comes days after ISIS-inspired gunman Saif Rezgui unleashed horror on at a Tunisian beach resort, killing 39 vacationers and wounding dozens more. 

The FBI has reportedly set up command centers in each of its 56 field officers in case extremists try to mark the July 4 weekend by unleashing similar carnage here in the U.S. American ISIS ‘recruits’ to date have included schoolgirls, a young nurse, a pizza shop boss and even a National Guard soldier who hatched a plan to gun down 120 of his own colleagues. “

“Some have conspired to travel or send friends abroad to link up with fundamentalist fighters while others have plotted jihad here in the US – with Capitol Hill among the targets for a foiled bombing raid.”

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2. How the SSM “anti-polygamy” movement turned into Animal Farm.

From HotAir  “Speaking as a somewhat ideologically removed observer of the gay marriage battle still raging in the national discourse, I have to say that there are some very amusing elements to the current “GAY POINT 2″ argument taking place. I say this with all due respect for my traditional marriage supporting, conservative brethren who consider the matter a cornerstone of faith and a rightly viewed threat to the religious liberty rights of Christians who would opt to not participate in such ceremonies, but even you must surely be able to see some comedic value to the arguments currently coming from the Left. Having won the war for same sex marriage in the Supreme Court, more and more of them seem to be jumping on the dog pile of folks who insist – contrary to Chief Justice John Roberts’ arguments – that plural marriage can not possibly be just around the corner. I completely disagree, and have even come before you to say why plural marriage proponents now have a legally solid argument, but I’m forced to wonder where this sudden zeal for opposing them on the Left is coming from.

I suppose one possible explanation is that, even though there was zero value seen in the traditional definition of marriage as being the union of one man and one woman, the math underlying the equation was somehow sacrosanct. It didn’t really matter what genders filled the values of A and B in the principle of sums so long as C was still equal to two. Any other number would be an insult to… something.

A perhaps more cynical argument might be phrased as follows: Holy cow! We spent so long arguing against that slippery slope theory where letting gays marry could lead to polygamy that we’d damned well better come up with a convincing policy presentation now or we’re going to look like a bunch of self-serving asses! Find us an ethicist, stat!

I didn’t have long to wait to find out how that one would play out. Two examples popped up almost immediately. One came from Jonathan Rauch at Politico, who explains in no uncertain terms that Polygamy can’t be supported in the courts because it’s bad. And why is it bad? Well,it’s unfair to the men who don’t get wives, DUH.”

“But then we finally we come to the kicker of Cathy Young’s entire argument. I sincerely hope that everyone stuck with me this far into the diatribe, because this is the true cherry on top of the cake. With no further prelude, I offer you this closing argument from the author: (emphasis added)

In a free society, the private sexual choices of adults should not be criminalized. But they are not automatically entitled to cultural approval or societal support systems.

My, my my… that sounds awfully familiar. Where might I have possibly heard it before? Could it be some argument about how Christians really aren’t concerned about what gays do in the privacy of their bedrooms, but they just don’t want them redefining the concept of marriage? It is at this point where Young has gone full Animal Farm on us. Having taken over the formerly unassailable position of the farmer and his wife in the farmhouse, she is ready to begin banning the rest of the animals from having any of the apples and milk. After all, we don’t want Boxer the horse to get any strange ideas.”

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3. An interesting read. No truce with the left. 

From SultanKnish  “Republicans are still trying to figure out a truce on gay marriage. They retreated to civil unions, then accepted a full defeat on gay marriage and then acted baffled when Christian bakery owners were dragged into court for refusing to participate in gay weddings. When the left insisted that gay marriage was a civil rights issue, they refused to take them as their word.

Now they’re wondering how an accommodation can be made with tranny rights. A brief look back at gay rights will show that the only possible accommodation is one in which men in dresses have a legal right to use the ladies room and every single closed female space and event. And yes, that means your business will be shut down if you object to Steve using the female locker room.

After a few skirmishes, some fundraising and angry letters, the accommodationists will find ways to accommodate that and we can look forward to conservative activists eagerly crowing about the first gay Republican presidential candidate around say, 2024, and the first Republican man in a dress in the Senate around the same time.

Of course by then it will be something else. Maybe pedophiles. Gay rights activists don’t like the analogy, but their movement and its assorted allies, particularly in Europe’s Green parties, have a long history of advocating it. The same pop culture methods that were used to sell gay rights and Bruce Jenner can easily be flipped around to sell NAMBLA.

By 2024, the Republican gay and tranny candidates will be dismissed as tokens while the media oohs and aahs over a vocal and charismatic campaigner for some other love that dare not speak its name.

And that’s the point. It has always been the point.”

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News/Politics 6-18-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. First here’s the official story from the Obama White House where Obama takes credit for the success of other groups……

From TheWashingtonTimes  “The White House claimed credit Tuesday for a victory by Kurdish fighters over the Islamic State in northern Syria, saying the battlefield success is a direct result of military decisions by President Obama late last year.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the triumph by Syrian Kurds in the town of Tal Abyad “is actually a direct consequence of an earlier military operation that President Obama ordered” to break the siege of the Syrian city of Kobani last fall.

“Because of the president’s decision to order the air drop of significant resources and equipments and reinforcements, and because we were able to work with Turkey to allow for additional forces to enter that city, we saw that coalition … backed by coalition airstrikes, of course … drive [the Islamic State] out of Khobani,” he said. “And over the last several months, those forces have steadily driven east across northern Syria.””

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2. And then there’s the real story, which is success in spite of Obama……

From FoxNews  “The Kurds are enjoying increasing success against ISIS, and not only are they doing it without the U.S. weapons they seek, they often find themselves going up against American-made equipment.

In Syria, Kurdish Peshmerga forces captured the key city of Tal Abyad from ISIS on Monday, the latest in a string of Kurdish victories over the black-clad jihadist army in Iraq and Syria. Leaders of the ethnic army told FoxNews.com recently that they could be even more effective if U.S. weapons went to them instead of the enemy, which has seized massive amounts of American weaponry from the Iraqi forces it has defeated in battle.

 “What America has given to Iraq in the past, what Iraq borrowed from Russia and U.S., ISIS has,” said Peshmerga commander Kemal Kerkuki. “They are using many, many, mines, C4, TNT, snipers, mortars; they have Humvees, they have tanks, they have different kinds of weapons.”

U.S. military aid is distributed through Baghdad, which has an arm’s length relationship with the semi-autonomous Kurds in the north. Without direct aid, the Kurds have largely made do with aging equipment and weapons they seize from ISIS.”

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3. Meanwhile in the US, right-wing extremism and violence is rampant, at least according to the left and the NY Times. 🙄

From JammieWearingFools  “Let’s just completely ignore the constant threat of Islamist terror and the leftwing street marauders rioting around the country. We’ve got the New York Times helpfully cherry-picking and twisting some statistics to help pretend there’s some right-wing plot to undermine America. Yes, nearly 14 years after 9/11, the “right” are still the greatest threat facing America.

The stupid, it hurts.

THIS month, the headlines were about a Muslim man in Boston who was accused of threatening police officers with a knife. Last month, two Muslims attacked an anti-Islamic conference in Garland, Tex. The month before, a Muslim man was charged with plotting to drive a truck bomb onto a military installation in Kansas. If you keep up with the news, you know that a small but steady stream of American Muslims, radicalized by overseas extremists, are engaging in violence here in the United States.

But headlines can mislead. The main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists. Just ask the police.

In a survey we conducted with the Police Executive Research Forum last year of 382 law enforcement agencies, 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction; 39 percent listed extremism connected with Al Qaeda or like-minded terrorist organizations. And only 3 percent identified the threat from Muslim extremists as severe, compared with 7 percent for anti-government and other forms of extremism.”

Was it right-wingers burning Baltimore and Ferguson, trying to blow up a bridge in Cleveland, shooting up a draw the prophet gathering, bombing Boston, attacking Boston police with a knife, shooting 2 cops in NY, attacking an FBI agent yesterday, or any other episodes in recent memory? No, it wasn’t, those have all been left-wing agitators and muslims. 

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4. From bad to worse.

From KHQ.com  “The City of Spokane says an independent investigation into a whistleblower complaint filed against three members of the volunteer citizen Police Ombudsman Commission has found “behavioral misconduct during interactions with City employees.” City of Spokane Communications Director Brian Coddington said eight findings of misconduct in the report include chair Rachel Dolezal and commissioners Kevin Berkompas and Adrian Dominguez. The report has been forwarded to the City Council for review. 

Dolezal recently resigned as President of the Spokane NAACP amid allegations from her parents that she is in fact white, and not black as she has been portraying for years. 

“We are deeply disturbed by the facts contained in the report of findings from the independent investigator,” Spokane Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart said in a joint statement. “The conduct is unacceptable and falls far short of the community’s expectations of volunteers who sit on City boards and commissions.”

The evidence and interviews conducted by the law firm Winston & Cashatt confirmed workplace harassment allegations, revealing a pattern of misconduct as well as specific incidents of harassment that might be viewed only as rude or unprofessional were it not for the ongoing pattern of harassment.

The report also states investigators uncovered additional abuses of authority, as well as violations of the Code of Ethics. The report states one or more of the Named Commissioners attempted to directly supervise the operation of the OPO, lied to investigators, failed to set aside biases toward police, engaged in unprofessional disrespectful conduct in public settings, and engaged in conduct that created a conflict of interest.At a press conference on Wednesday, Council President Ben Stuckart said after reading the findings in the report, the creation of a hostile work environment was “pretty horrific.””

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5. Hillary’s lies continue to be exposed. 

From FoxNews  “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her personal email account to handle high level negotiations in 2011 for a no-fly zone to help topple Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, according to a series of emails obtained by Fox News, challenging her claim the private server did not hold classified information.

The emails, linked here, conflict with Clinton’s statement that she did not put national security at risk by using a personal account.

“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material,”  Clinton, now a candidate for president, told reporters in March. “I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

That claim was hard to test because emails released by the State Department are heavily blacked out. But an email chain from March 23, 2011 — with virtually no redactions — shows a message for senior administration staff including then Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy among others.  It goes point by point, explaining what Turkey, France and Britain will likely accept in the deal.

“I think the information in the email is clearly classified. If I were engaged in the negotiation on that subject reporting back to Washington, my reporting cable would be classified,”  former UN Ambassador and Fox News contributor John Bolton said after reading the un-redacted emails.”

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News/Politics 6-17-16

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. So who is withholding documents from Congress? Was it Hillary or the State Dept.? Or both?

From TheNYTimes  “Emails that a longtime confidant to Hillary Rodham Clinton recently handed over to the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, raise new questions about whether the State Department and Mrs. Clinton have complied with a series of requests from the panel.

The emails, provided by Sidney Blumenthal, a close adviser to Mrs. Clinton, include information about weapons that were circulating in Libya and about the security situation in Benghazi in the year and a half before the attacks. The committee has asked the State Department and Mrs. Clinton several times in the past year for emails from her and other department officials about “weapons located or found in” Libya and about the decision to open and maintain a diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

The emails from Mr. Blumenthal have widened a rift between the State Department and the committee. State Department officials said that they had complied only with requests and subpoenas related directly to the attacks because the committee’s demands were too broad. The department has “provided the committee with a subset of documents that matched its request and will continue to work with them going forward,” said a spokesman, Alec Gerlach.

But the panel has called that an excuse to protect Mrs. Clinton and to slow the investigation of the attacks, which occurred on Sept. 11, 2012, and resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

It is not clear whether the State Department possesses the emails between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Blumenthal and did not hand them over. It is also possible that Mrs. Clinton never provided them to the department and deleted them off the server that housed the personal account she used exclusively when she was secretary of state.”

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2. The Pope has become the left’s new BFF. At least for now. 

From TheGuardian  “Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century, according to a leaked draft of a papal encyclical. In a document released by an Italian magazine on Monday, the pontiff will warn that failure to act would have “grave consequences for all of us”.

Francis also called for a new global political authority tasked with “tackling … the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions”. His appeal echoed that of his predecessor, pope Benedict XVI, who in a 2009 encyclical proposed a kind of super-UN to deal with the world’s economic problems and injustices.

According to the lengthy draft, which was obtained and published by L’Espresso magazine, the Argentinean pope will align himself with the environmental movement and its objectives. While accepting that there may be some natural causes of global warming, the pope will also state that climate change is mostly a man-made problem.

“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it,” he wrote in the draft. “Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all because of human activity.”

The pope will also single out those obstructing solutions. In an apparent reference to climate-change deniers, the draft states: “The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions.””

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3. This is the face of evil. 

From TheDailyMail  “Merciless ISIS fighters retreating from towns taken by their Kurdish enemies are planting mines in the bedrooms and bathrooms of homes to blow up returning families, it was claimed today.

The bombs, which have so far killed 12 People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters, are being discovered in the Khabour region of Syria.

YPG and Syriac Military Council forces are working to liberate the villages, as well as find and defuse the explosive devices. They were planted by the terrorists after they seized the area in February and kidnapped 250 civilians.

The bombs are being hidden under beds, behind bedroom doors and even in bath tubs, as well as in crop fields in the north-eastern region of the country, which is predominantly Kurdish but also has populations of Arabs and predominantly Christian Assyrians and Armenians.

It is the terror group’s chilling new tactic aimed at wiping out minorities in Khabour.

‘Property of Islamic State’ and ‘Your land is ours now, go to hell’ are scrawled on the walls inside the homes of Assyrians who fled earlier this year.”

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4. The poor woman is just a black person trapped in a white person’s body. Welcome to the world of transracials. I know it sounds silly, but she already has enablers helping her thru this difficult process. 🙄

From NewsBusters  “Transgenderism is so yesterday. Now, it’s time to “discuss” transracial issues! That, of course, according to a guest on the June 15 edition of MSNBC’s NewsNation. Tamron Hall invited Earl Hutchinson – a radio host and prominent author on racial issues – to the program to chat about the still unfolding story surrounding Rachel Dolezal, the now former head of the Spokane NAACP who lied about being black.

Hall started the conversation by asking Hutchinson if Dolezal has “identified herself as transracial,” and he responded by suggesting that she’s never had the chance to fully explain herself other than stating that she considers herself black. He added: “You know, if you consider yourself from the moon, or a Martian, I mean, if that’s what you wanna be, that’s what you want to be.” 

The radio personality mentioned that – aside from the fact that Dolezal clearly lied about her race – it is important that people look at her record:

The critical question is, what did she do as president of that chapter? I took a look at it. I took a look at the record. I took a look at the minutes of some of the meetings that they had, and I got to tell you, Tamron, I was absolutely bowled over on all the key issues: education, health care, criminal justice reform, police misconduct and civil rights. I got to tell you, she was spot on and the chapter was spot on. 

Hall concluded her interview by wondering if we have reached a point where discussion over transracial issues may become necessary: 

[A]re we now looking at a space where I am Caitlyn, so that’s how she wants to identify herself – are we now at a transracial point?  Because when blacks passed for white it was in many cases because their life was in danger. Are we at a transracial point now where someone like a Rachel is now on the forefront of something we’ve probably never discussed before?”

Ummmmm…. No.

And there’s more enablers making up justification for her actions……….

From TheHuffingtonPost  “Rachel Dolezal is a fascinating case study in White racial identity development.* She is stuck in the immersion/emersion stage, in which White people, having learned extensively about the realities of racism, and the ugly history of White supremacy in the U.S., “immerse” themselves in trying to figure out how to be White in our society, and “emerge” with a new relationship to Whiteness. Only in the case of Dolezal, her way of dealing with the pain of the reality of racism, was to deny her own Whiteness and to become Black.

She is an extreme example of a common phenomenon. The “immersion” stage is typified by White people taking more responsibility for racism and privilege and often experiencing high levels of anger and embarrassment for racism and privilege, which they sometimes direct towards other Whites. They sometimes try to immerse themselves in communities of color, as Dolezal did. She’s not alone.

I definitely experienced this. There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors… and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically.

If I was going to pass on my privilege, I wanted to pass it on to someone who doesn’t have racial privilege; so I planned to adopt. I disliked my Whiteness, but I disliked the Whiteness of other White people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make other White people feel guilty for it too. And then, like Dolezal, I wanted to take on Africanness. Living in South Africa during my junior year abroad, I lived with a Black family, wore my hair in head wraps, shaved my head. I didn’t want to be White, but if I had to be, I wanted to be White in a way that was different from other White people I knew. I wanted to be a special, different White person. The one and only. How very White of me…”

The stupid is strong in this one…. and so is the white guilt. 

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News/Politics 6-3-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. Thoughts?

From LifeNews  “Last month, LifeNews covered quotes from a United Methodist Pastor who wrote years ago about how he thinks caring about unborn babies who die in abortions is “idolatry.”

Minister John M Swomley is an ordained United Methodist minister and, from 1960 to 1984 he was professor of Christian Ethics at St. Paul’s school of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri. At the time he was active in ministry, he was president of Americans for Religious Liberty and a longtime board member and sometimes vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union and chair of its Church – State committee. So here is a Christian pastor serving on the board of a prominent pro-abortion group.

Sarah Terzo, who has a knack for documenting the history of the abortion debate and the abortion advocacy movement by posting quotes from pro-abortion activists through the years, posted the controversial quotes on her blog.

Now, Terzo has uncovered more quotes from Swomley arguing that unborn babies are not “innocent” as pro-lifers claim, but are actually guilty – guilty enough, he implies, to justify aborting them. Swomley first tries to refute the baby’s claim to innocence using theology.

“The first claim is that society should protect innocent human life that is unable to protect itself. The term “innocent,” originally used by various popes, refers to fetal life which has committed no sin. Yet the Roman Catholic Church has proclaimed only one person, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as having an immaculate conception and hence free from original sin. In any event, public policy cannot be founded on theological claims to innocence.

There is another meaning of “innocence” which comes from two Latin words, in (not) and nocere (to harm), and therefore means “not harmful or dangerous.” However, it is precisely the fact that some pregnant women (and their physicians) view the fetus as harmful or threatening to their health or welfare and hence leads them to consider abortion.”

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2. Someone needs to be indicted. 

From TheWashingtonTimes  “Bill Clinton’s foundation set up a fundraising arm in Sweden that collected $26 million in donations at the same time that country was lobbying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department to forgo sanctions that threatened its thriving business with Iran, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Times.

The Swedish entity, called the William J. Clinton Foundation Insamlingsstiftelse, was never disclosed to or cleared by State Department ethics officials, even though one of its largest sources of donations was a Swedish government-sanctioned lottery.

As the money flowed to the foundation from Sweden, Mrs. Clinton’s team in Washington declined to blacklist any Swedish firms despite warnings from career officials at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm that Sweden was growing its economic ties with Iran and potentially undercutting Western efforts to end Tehran’s rogue nuclear program, diplomatic cables show.”

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3. Again, not following federal law, so someone needs to be indicted. 

From FoxNews  “Over a five-year span, senior officials at the National Archives and Records Administrations (NARA) voiced growing alarm about Hillary Clinton’s record-keeping practices as secretary of state, according to internal documents shared with Fox News.

During Clinton’s final days in office, Paul Wester, the director of Modern Records Programs at NARA – essentially the agency’s chief records custodian – privatelyemailed five NARA colleagues to confide his fear that Clinton would take her official records with her when she left office, in violation of federal statutes.

Referring to a colleague whose full name is unknown, Wester wrote on December 11, 2012: “Tom heard (or thought he heard) from the Clinton Library Director that there are or may be plans afoot for taking her records from State to Little Rock.” That was a reference to the possibility that Clinton might seek to house her records at the Clinton Presidential Center, which was largely funded by the Clinton Foundation.

“[W]e need to discuss what we know, and how we should delicately go about learning more about…the transition plans for Secretary Clinton’s departure from State,” Wester added. He did not specify why the situation required “delicate” handling, but added that colleagues had “continued to invoke the specter of the Henry Kissinger experience vis-à-vis Hilary [sic] Clinton.””

“The Wester email and 72 other internal documents released by NARA and the State Department earlier this month show NARA officers repeatedly expressed concerns that Clinton and her office were not observing the federal laws and regulations that govern recordkeeping – but that NARA never did much about it.”

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4. The “White Privilege” racket. 

From EAGNews  “In 2010, the St. Paul school district began a contractual relationship with the Pacific Educational Group, a San Francisco-based organization that tries to help public schools deal with achievement and disciplinary issues involving black students. PEG packages and sells the concept of victimization, for a very high price.

It claims that the American education system is built around white culture, tradition and social norms – aka “white privilege” – to the unfair detriment of black students.

PEG believes that black students will only achieve if school curricula are customized to meet their cultural specifications. It also rejects the concept of using suspensions or expulsions to discipline black students.”

“Not long after PEG started working with St. Paul school officials, crucial policy changes were made, according to various news reports.

Special needs students with behavioral issues were mainstreamed into regular classrooms, a position openly advocated by PEG. Student suspensions were replaced by “time outs,” and school officials starting forgiving or ignoring violence and other unacceptable behavior, according to various sources.

“The disciplinary changes came out of meetings with an organization called Pacific Educational Group, a San Francisco-based operation that has been consulting with the district dating back to 2010,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The result has been general chaos throughout the district, with far too many students out of control because they know there are no real consequences for their actions.””

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5. How NOT to win a war……

From TheDailyBeast  “A centerpiece of the U.S. war plan against ISIS is in danger of collapsing. A key rebel commander and his men are ready to ready to pull out in frustration of the U.S. program to train a rebel army to beat back the terror group in Syria, The Daily Beast has learned.

The news comes as ISIS is marching on the suburbs of Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city. Rebels fighting the jihadists there told The Daily Beast that the U.S.-led coalition isn’t even bothering to respond to their calls for airstrikes to stop the jihadist army.”

“Mustapha Sejari, one of the rebels already approved for the U.S. training program, told The Daily Beast that he and his 1,000 men are on the verge of withdrawing from the program. The issue: the American government’s demand that the rebels can’t use any of their newfound battlefield prowess or U.S.-provided weaponry against the army of Bashar al-Assad or any of its manifold proxies and allies, which include Iranian-built militias such as Lebanese Hezbollah. They must only fight ISIS, Washington insists.”

“In another uninspiring development for the Levantine arm of the war, a major rebel commander has told The Daily Beast that no matter how hard he tries, he still cannot get the coalition’s attention for directing airstrikes against ISIS. And that’s allowing the jihadists to make major gains near the city of Aleppo, a stronghold of both moderate and Islamist rebels.”

The Pentagon denies everything, of course. But the reality is getting hard to ignore. ISIS is now in control of Aleppo.

More here, from TheWashingtonPost/MSN  “Syrian rebels appealed for U.S. airstrikes to counter a new offensive by the Islamic State in the northern province of Aleppo that could reshape the battlefield in Syria.

The surprise assault, launched over the weekend, opened a new front in the multi-pronged war being waged by the extremist group across Iraq and Syria, and it underscored the Islamic State’s capacity to catch its enemies off guard.

The push — which came on the heels of the miltants’ capture of the Syrian city of Palmyraand the western Iraqi city of Ramadi late last month — took them within reach of the strategically vital town of Azaz on the Turkish border.

The offensive reinforces the impression that the Islamic State is regaining momentum despite more than eight months of U.S. led-airstrikes.”

““Automatically, the Islamic State would gain control of Aleppo city,” said Abu Mohammed, the nom de guerre of a leader of the rebel group Thuwar al-Sham, based in the Turkish town of Gaziantep. “The situation is dire.”

If the Islamic State seized the area, it would also extend its reach along the Turkish border, amplifying its capacity to secure supplies and smuggle in foreign fighters at a time when Turkey’s government has imposed severe restrictions on travelers along its 580-mile border with Syria.”

And the rebels aren’t the only ones frustrated by Obama’s so-called strategy. 

From FoxNews  “U.S. military pilots carrying out the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are voicing growing discontent over what they say are heavy-handed rules of engagement hindering them from striking targets.

They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: “There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn’t get clearance to engage.”

He added, “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating.”

Sources close to the air war against ISIS told Fox News that strike missions take, on average, just under an hour, from a pilot requesting permission to strike an ISIS target to a weapon leaving the wing.”

And again, the Pentagon and Central Command are in denial. Denying the obvious isn’t a foreign policy strategy, or a plan for winning this war. But it’s all the Obama admin seems to have in their playbook. 

They keep denying while the evidence to the contrary mounts. Like with everything in this administration, even the “bombing” numbers are just propaganda and fuzzy math. 

From Forbes  “Three out of every four times that Obama dispatches American warplanes over Iraq, they return to base without dropping any bombs or firing any missiles.

“Seventy-five percent of the sorties that we’re currently running with our attack aircraft come back without dropping bombs, mostly because they cannot acquire the target or properly identify the target,” said U.S. Army General (ret) Jack Keane in testimony before the U.S. Senate last week.

That’s why White House and Pentagon briefers usually talk about the number of sorties, not the number of air strikes. The number of missions flown is four times larger than the number of bombing runs.

Gen. Keane offered a straightforward solution. “Forward air controllers fix that problem,” he said.”

“America’s swift seizure of territory in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya was largely due to such specialists, but the administration has been reluctant to send them against ISIS. Obama officials fear that additional “boots on the ground” would anger antiwar activists and combat deaths would be unpopular with the general public. Without effective air strikes, the U.S. is fighting a phony war against ISIS.”

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News/Politics 4-23-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. Why did the IRS cut it’s customer service budget? So it could pay bonuses?

From TheWeeklyStandard  “If you tried to contact the IRS with a question about your taxes this year, chances are you didn’t get a response. The IRS estimated that it would only answer 17 million of the 49 million calls received this filing season. Taxpayers lucky enough to have the IRS answer their calls waited an average of 34.4 minutes for assistance–nearly double the wait time last year (18.7 minutes).

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts–funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak–but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.

In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015–a 76 percent cut.”

“The report notes that Koskinen reinstated bonuses weeks after his appointment, has allowed IRS employees to spend roughly 500,000 work hours on union activities, and failed to collect delinquent taxes owed by federal employees. The tax agency has also been strained by Obamacare. According to the report, the IRS has spent “over $1.2 billion on the President’s health care law to date, with a planned expenditure this year of an additional $500 million.”

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2. The Pentagon and White House aren’t being honest about ISIS. Again. 

From TheDailyBeast  “The Defense Department released a map last week showing territory where it is has pushed ISIS back, claiming that the terrorist group is “no longer able to operate freely in roughly 25 to 30 percent of populated areas of Iraqi territory where it once could.” This was touted as evidence of success by numerous news outlets.

Pushing ISIS back is clearly a good step. But the information from the Pentagon is, at best, misleading and incomplete, experts in the region and people on the ground tell The Daily Beast. They said the map misinforms the public about how effective the U.S.-led effort to beat back ISIS has actually been. The map released by the Pentagon excludes inconvenient facts in some parts, and obscures them in others.

The Pentagon’s map assessing the so-called Islamic State’s strength has only two categories: territory held by ISIS currently, and territory lost by ISIS since coalition airstrikes began in August 2014. The category that would illustrate American setbacks—where ISIS has actually gained territory since the coalition effort began—is not included.”

““Taken in isolation, the map definitely gives an impression that anti-ISIS efforts have succeeded in pushing the group back along a northern and north-eastern peripheries, but it fails in one huge respect—it fails to specifically identify territory gained by ISIS during the same period,” said Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center.”

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3. Yesterday was Earth Day. Since I’m not a hippie, I forgot. Oh well….. 🙄

So in honor of Earth Day and the doom and gloom predictions I’m sure were made, here are 18 spectacularly wrong predictions from the first Earth Day. 

From TheAmericanEnterpriseInstitute  “In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled “Earth Day, Then and Now” to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it’s now the 45th anniversary of  Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 15 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” according to Bailey. Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.

3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.””

🙄

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News/Politics 4-8-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. Well that didn’t take long.

Less than 2 hours after Rand Paul announces his candidacy, MSN and the NY Times were already out with the story of why he can’t win. Just like with Walker and Cruz. And for good measure, they make sure to take some shots at libertarians. They’re so predictable. 🙄

From MSN/NYT  “It has become fashionable in recent years to refer to a growing libertarian wing of the Republican Party, and Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator who announced his candidacy for the presidency on Tuesday, hopes to become the first serious candidate to make it part of a winning primary coalition.

Perhaps in a decade or two, a representative of the libertarian wing of the party will have an easy time winning the nomination. It’s just unlikely to happen in 2016.

The libertarians remain too young and too few to present Senator Paul with a realistic path to the nomination. He has to win over a much larger share of more reliable Republican primary voters, who will have considerable reservations about Mr. Paul’s policies. The other problem he faces: Many of the voters most receptive to libertarian views tend not to vote.

In one sense, you could argue that the libertarian wing of the Republican Party barely exists at all. According to a large Pew Research survey in 2014 of 10,000 respondents, 11 percent of Americans and 12 percent of self-identified Republicans considered themselves libertarian. They met a basic threshold for knowing what the term meant. But there wasn’t much “libertarian” about these voters; over all, their views were startlingly similar to those of the public as a whole.”

So basically the Times wants you to abandon all hope and vote for Bush or some other RINO. Again.

No thanks.

I have 3 I’d vote for, Paul is one of them. If it’s not one of them, I stay home with the supposedly (according to the NYT) mythical libertarians, and watch Pant Suits rule the world for 8 years.

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2. Are California’s water problems man-made? Is it caused by environmentalists and their liberal enablers/benefactors in DC? Carly Fiorina makes a good case that it is. Others are as well.

From TheWashingtonTimes  “With different policies over the last 20 years, all of this could be avoided,” Ms. Fiorina said in an interview Monday on Glenn Beck’s radio show, The Blaze reported. “Despite the fact that California has suffered from droughts for millennia, liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled.”

Ms. Fiorina said that as a result, 70 percent of California’s rainfall “washes out to sea” every year, The Blaze reported. “California is a classic case of liberals being willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology. It is a tragedy,” Ms. Fiorina said.

“Government has grown so huge, so powerful, so costly, so complex, it is literally crushing the life out of this country,” she argued. “It is crushing small and family-owned businesses, which are the economic engine of our nation. It is crushing possibilities out of people’s lives by entangling them in a web of dependence from which they cannot escape. The weight, the cost and the power of government are literally crushing the potential of the nation.””

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More here, from HotAir  “In 2014, National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke filed a dispatch from California’s Central Valley, an area that was once an agricultural hub and has now been reduced to a virtual dust bowl as a result of drought combined with severe and unnecessary resource mismanagement. That misallocation of resources is not the result of a frustrating tradeoff between the needs of Central Valley farmers and the desert-dwelling populations of Los Angeles and San Diego, but the eternally threatened smelt.”

“This is a classic tale of activist government run amok — and, too, of the peculiarly suicidal instincts that rich and educated societies exhibit when they reach maturity. Were its consequences not so hideously injurious, the details would be almost comical. As a direct result of the overwrought concern that a few well-connected interest groups and their political allies have displayed for a fish — and of a federal Endangered Species Act that is in need of serious revision — hundreds of billions of gallons of water that would in other areas have been sent to parched farmland have been diverted away from the Central Valley and deliberately pushed out under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Pacific Ocean, wasted forever, to the raucous applause of Luddites, misanthropes, and their powerful enablers. The later chapters of “The Decline and Fall of the United States” will make interesting reading.

Make no mistake: The rare, hard-done-by, and rightly protected manatee the Delta smelt is not. According to some estimates, there are no more than 3,000 manatees left in the United States, and, when left unchecked, human beings have had a nasty tendency to maim and kill them in the service of nothing more exalted than speedboating. By contrast, when the Great Smelt Freakout of 2007 began, there were 35,000 to well over 100,000 of the little buggers, depending on whom you ask. And yet the powers that be have seen fit to decree that no more than 305 of them may be killed in a given year. As an exasperated Harry Cline, of the Western Farm Press, put it in February 2012, last year “800,000 acre-feet of water went to waste based on the science of four buckets of minnows. That is enough water to produce crops on 200,000 acres or 10 million tons of tomatoes; 200 million boxes of lettuce; 20 million tons of grapes. You get the picture?”

The present crisis is not entirely California-based; Washington also plays a role. In December, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would have pumped water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta into Central and Southern California, but it died an unceremonious death in the Democrat-dominated Senate. If the measure had passed both chambers of Congress, President Barack Obama pledged to veto it. Why? Environmental groups feared the threat it posed to the smelt.

“That’s the tragedy of California, because of liberal environmentalists’ insistence — despite the fact that California has suffered from droughts for millennia, liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled,” said former CEO and U.S. Senate candidate from the Golden State Carly Fiorina. “There is a man-made lack of water in California — and Washington manages the water for the farmers.”

The entire NationalReview piece is here.

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3. Ever wonder why gay issues are always so front and center everywhere, when they make up such a small amount of the population? The answer is simple, they’re well-funded and connected.

From Bloomberg  “For those fighting for marriage equality, these are heady times, with the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments on gay marriage later this month and a favorable decision widely anticipated this summer. And they haven’t forgotten Biden. On April 30th, some of the biggest philanthropists involved in this fight will gather in Dallas for “OutGiving,” an annual conference organized by Tim Gill, the founder of Quark and an important behind-the-scenes figure in the gay rights movement, who over the last decade has worked to organize the political strategy for a large group of wealthy gay donors. (Read all about it here.)

On May 2, Biden will be a keynote speaker (per the Vice President’s office, reporters will have an opportunity to cover his remarks).

For Biden, it’s a chance to soak up some love as the Obama administration draws to a close and attention turns to Hillary Clinton. And if Clinton should get beamed up by an alien spacecraft or is otherwise incapacitated, Gill’s network will be a invaluable fundraising source, should Biden make his own run for the White House.

From its outset 10 years ago (described in Atlantic profile), Gill’s political strategy has been built upon secrecy and the element of surprise—swooping in at the last moment with his network to donors to turn races against unsuspecting anti-gay politicians. Also, the details surrounding this year’s OutGiving conference are so shrouded in secrecy that they’d only reveal to me the city in which it’s being held, not even the hotel.”

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Here’s the old but good read on who they are and how they operate. From TheAtlantic

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4. This one…….. CONTENT WARNING!!!!!! for adult material.

I honestly have no clue on the answer here. But here’s the question….

Is it, or isn’t it, OK for a married couple to continue a sexual relationship when one becomes stricken with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s?

I can say I never thought about it. But now that I have, it raises so many questions….

And could you account for such a situation in your medical instructions in a living will?

From MSN/TheAP  “When Henry and Donna Lou Rayhons married seven years ago in their northern Iowa hometown, it was a second chance at love for the devoted couple, both previously widowed. But their domestic routine of church activities and political functions unraveled as Donna’s health began to fail.

Last year, the 78-year-old woman was moved into a nursing home, suffering from dementia and Alzheimers. According to Henry Rayhon’s family, this was decided by her daughters from a previous marriage. Conflict developed over how to care for Donna Lou Rayhons, culminating in a meeting in which staff told Henry Rayhons that his wife was no longer mentally capable of legally consenting to have sex.

State prosecutors say Henry Rayhons — a long-serving state lawmaker — ignored that message. On Wednesday, he will stand trial for sexually assaulting his wife, who died last August. The charges were filed days after she died.

Many couples experience the hardships of illness, mental decline and living apart, but what happened with the Rayhons has little precedent. Experts could not think of another rape case that happened because a previously consenting spouse could no longer legally acquiesce.”

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More here, from TheWashingtonPost  ““This is maybe the last great frontier of questions about capacity and dementia,” she said. “… Any partner in a marriage has the right to say no. What we haven’t completely understood is, as in this case, at what point in dementia do you lose the right to say yes?”

Friends and family say that Donna Lou and Henry Rayhons, a member of the Iowa House of Representatives from 1997 until this year, were besotted with one another throughout their relationship. She often accompanied him to the state Capitol in Des Moines. He bought her dresses and acquired a bee suit so he could join her in her beekeeping.

“He treated her like a queen,” Charity McCauley Andeweg, who clerked for Rayhons, told Bloomberg.”

“On March 29, Donna was moved to Concord Care Center in Garner, Iowa, a five-minute drive from her home with Rayhons. Rayhons reportedly resisted the move and clashed with Donna’s daughters — both from her first marriage — over how she should be cared for at the facility.

In May, Dunshee and Donna’s other daughter, Suzan Brunes, met with Concord staff and drew up a care plan for Donna, according to a state affidavit. At the meeting, the women and doctors concluded that Donna was no longer able to consent to sex, a fact Rayhons was informed of.”

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5. Why are they not banned from re-entering the US? They committed treason. If allowed to return it should be for arrest, trial, and prison.

From TheFreeBeacon  “Rep. Tim Bishop (D., N.Y.) warned during a recent speech that up to 40 radicalized U.S. citizens who have fought alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) have already returned to the United States, where they could pose a terrorist threat.

Bishop claims that of the 100 or so Americans who have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIL’s ranks, some 40 have returned and are currently being surveilled by the FBI, according to his remarks, which were filmed and uploaded to YouTube last week.

“One of the concerns is the number of U.S. citizens who have left our country to go join up with ISIS,” Bishop said during the speech. “It is believed there have been some number up to 100 that have done that.”

“It is also believed that some 40 of those who left this country to join up with ISIS have now returned to our country,” Bishop said, eliciting shocked responses from some in the crowd.

These 40 individuals, Bishop said, “are under FBI attention and surveillance. So they are known and being tracked by the FBI.””

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The Obama admin refuses to be honest about terrorist threats.

From JudicialWatch  “Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain records regarding its response to the January 1, 2014, explosion of an apartment building in the largely Muslim Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The FOIA lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v U. S. Department of Justice (No.1:14-cv-02212)).

The FOIA lawsuit, filed after the DOJ failed to respond to a March 12, 2014, FOIA request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), seeks:

Any and all records regarding, concerning or related to the investigation of the January 1, 2014 explosion and fire at the Cedar-Riverside apartment complex in Minneapolis, Minnesota, based on searches of the FBI’s Electronic Case File system, Central Records System and Electronic Surveillance records, as well as any cross-referenced files concerning the explosion and fire.

At 8:16 a.m. on New Year’s Day in Minneapolis, a building at 516 Cedar Avenue containing a grocery store and several apartments exploded, killing three people and injuring 13. All of the apartments were occupied by single men. Many were hurt while jumping out of the burning building’s windows in order to escape the carnage.

The building was owned by Garad Nor, the owner of a money-transfer company, who had initially been implicated as a terrorist financier by the U.S Treasury Department.”

“Before the building’s destruction, G. Schmitz, fire investigator for the Minneapolis Fire Department, and the official investigating the scene on the day of the explosion reported, “The origin of the fire is undetermined.” And suggestions by some that the fire may have been caused by “some kind of gas leak,” were quickly refuted by Minnesota’s Centerpoint Energy spokeswoman Becca Virden, who stated, “We have specialized a gas leak that can detect a gas leak even when you can’t detect it – highly sensitive equipment,” she said. “They have checked there were no gas leaks reported before and there are no gas leaks in the area now.” Virden added, “We had no natural gas in the area.”

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News/Politics 3-17-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. Sounds fishy.

From USAToday  “The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office.

The White House said the cleanup of FOIA regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office is not subject to the transparency law. The office handles, among other things, White House record-keeping duties like the archiving of e-mails.

But the timing of the move raised eyebrows among transparency advocates, coming on National Freedom of Information Day and during a national debate over the preservation of Obama administration records. It’s also Sunshine Week, an effort by news organizations and watchdog groups to highlight issues of government transparency.”

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2. The legal case against Obama’s internet plan.

From TheHill  “As legal challenges loom for new net neutrality regulations, GOP members of the Federal Communications Commission are offering some of the first lines of attack.
 
The dissenting opinions of the two Republicans ran 80 pages, and they telegraph some of the arguments on which critics could rely as they prepare legal filings to scrap the new rules.
 
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has repeatedly said the commission wrote the rules to withstand challenges from the “big dogs.” And while it is still unclear which organization or company will lead the charge, there is little doubt that a legal battle is brewing.
 
On Thursday, the public got its first look at the actual text of the net neutrality order, two weeks after it was approved. The rules would reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communication Act. The new designation will give the commission increased authority to enforce rules barring Internet service providers like Verizon or Comcast from prioritizing any piece of Internet traffic above another.
 
Here are four legal arguments already being lobbed against the new rules. “

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3. The Senate is probing Obama’s anti-Bibi campaign activities.

From FoxNews  “A powerful U.S. Senate investigatory committee has launched a bipartisan probe into an American nonprofit’s funding of efforts to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Obama administration’s State Department gave the nonprofit taxpayer-funded grants, a source with knowledge of the panel’s activities told FoxNews.com.

The fact that both Democratic and Republican sides of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations have signed off on the probe could be seen as a rebuke to President Obama, who has had a well-documented adversarial relationship with the Israeli leader. 

The development comes as Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel Two television station this week that there were “governments” that wanted to help with the “Just Not Bibi” campaigning — Bibi being the Israeli leader’s nickname.

It also follows a FoxNews.com report on claims the Obama administration has been meddling in the Israeli election on behalf of groups hostile to Netanyahu. A spokesperson for Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican and chairman of the committee, declined comment, and aides to ranking Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, did not immediately return calls.”

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4. Outsourcing in America.

From TheHill  “You’ve spent twenty plus years loyally working in Information Technology (IT) for Southern California Edison, and eighteen months ago your boss tells you that they are going to study outsourcing but not to worry, “your position is safe.” On the one hand you are worried because you know many stories of American IT workers losing their jobs to outsourcing, but on the other you feel comforted that you’ve been loyal to SCE and provide a critical service. Then eight months ago they tell you that they are outsourcing most IT functions and that they want you, get this, to train your guestworker replacement. If you say no, SCE will terminate you with cause and you would lose not only a severance package but also eligibility for unemployment insurance. This is the common story I heard from many workers at SCE.

The work that the 400 SCE IT employees do isn’t disappearing, instead it and their jobs are being taken over by foreign guestworkers here on H-1B visas. Those guestworkers are employed by the two leading India-based outsourcing firms, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys.

The SCE workers are wondering: “Why should I lose my job when the work still needs to be done? Why is the government doing this to me and my family?”

Adding to the injustice of losing their jobs, the SCE workers are being forced to do something that is so common in the industry it is a term of art: “knowledge transfer,” an ugly euphemism that means being forced to train your own foreign replacement. The SCE workers are, “demoralized; in disbelief; beyond furious; down in the dumps; feeling anguish; depressed; feeling dehumanized; feeling humiliated; worrying about the future; worrying about paying the bills.”

The SCE workers rightly place the culpability squarely on SCE executives, the president, and Congress. One worker simply said, “Shame on Edison for doing this and shame on our politicians for enabling it.””

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5. Sure, they can track every fish that comes to the US, but not illegal immigrants.

From TheWapo/MSN  “It’s exactly what the Obama administration is hoping to crack down on when it rolls out a new plan Sunday to stop seafood crime with an ambitious system that attempts to track every fish and crustacean shipped to U.S. ports.

Before any seafood enters the U.S. market, officials said, it must have information about its origin, who caught it, when and with what. That data can be taken by any federal, state and local authority at a port and submitted to a central database for tracking.

Traceability from harvest to ports is “new and that is the story,” said Russell Smith, deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Currently port officials are not required to collect that much information and much of what they do is not automatically shared by federal, state and local governments.”

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6. Not good.

From HotAir  “This is not the first time that Islamic State fighters have been accused of using the region’s loose chemical weapons on pro-Western forces, but this might be the most disturbing reported use of chemical agents by ISIS. The allegation that ISIS militants used chlorine gas on Kurdish soldiers in Iraq likely represents the ultimate failure of the Obama administration’s policy toward to the Syrian civil war.

According to reports, Kurdish authorities have provided evidence to international investigators that indicates ISIS used low-grade chemical weapons, likely chlorine gas canisters, against Peshmerga fighters in an attack near the Syrian border in Iraq.

The allegation by the Kurdistan Region Security Council, stemming from a Jan. 23 suicide truck bomb attack in northern Iraq, did not immediately draw a reaction from the ISIS, which holds a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-declared caliphate. However, Iraqi officials and Kurds fighting in Syria have made similar allegations about the militants using the low-grade chemical weapons against them.

In a statement, the council said the alleged chemical attack took place on a road between Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and the Syrian border, as peshmerga forces fought to seize a vital supply line used by the Sunni militants. It said its fighters later found “around 20 gas canisters” that had been loaded onto the truck involved in the attack.”

More here, from FoxNews

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