Saturday, August 9, 2014
"Inaction is no longer an option. I support actions by the administration to coordinate efforts with Iraq and other allies to use our military strength and targeting expertise to the fullest extent possible,” says Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Senate Democrats teetered Friday between cautiously supporting and cautiously criticizing President Obama’s airstrikes and humanitarian drops in Iraq.
But Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) warned that just a slap at ISIS won’t be enough.
“I strongly support the president’s authorization for airstrikes against ISIL. This is not a typical terrorist organization—it is a terrorist army, operating with military expertise, advancing across Iraq and rapidly consolidating its position,” Feinstein said in a statement today.
“ISIL is capturing new Iraqi towns every day, is reported to be in control of Mosul Dam and is engaging in a campaign of ethnic cleansing that appears to be attempted genocide. I believe that once this group solidifies its hold on what it calls the Islamic State, its next target may be Baghdad,” she continued. “It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries, training them to fight its battles in the Middle East and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard. We simply cannot allow this to happen.”
“It takes an army to defeat an army, and I believe that we either confront ISIL now or we will be forced to deal with an even stronger enemy in the future. Inaction is no longer an option. I support actions by the administration to coordinate efforts with Iraq and other allies to use our military strength and targeting expertise to the fullest extent possible.”
352 Reasons Harry Reid and Senate Democrats Are Actively Working To Stop Congress From Doing Its Job
◼ What Democrats aren't saying about the "Do-Nothing Congress" they love to bash - IJREVIEW.COM
Barack Obama and the Democrats have railed against the “do-nothing Congress” (translation: House Republicans) for nearly six years. So what are the facts?
Currently, 352 bills that passed the House are awaiting action on Harry Reid’s desk. Of these bills:
- 98% passed with bipartisan support
– Nearly 70% passed with 2/3rds support or more
– Over 50% passed with no opposition at all
- And 55 were introduced by Democrats
And still, Harry Reid refuses to bring them up for a vote.
His feckless irresponsibility allowed the ISIS terrorists – who he once dismissed as the “junior varsity” of al-Qaeda – to sweep into Mosul with an absurdly small force that could have been repelled by the American military presence that should have been there, augmenting and directing the Iraqi troops. Obama was dead wrong about the Iraqis being “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant.” Everyone with actual knowledge of the facts on the ground warned him he was wrong, over and over again, but he didn’t listen, because he was so hungry for that “I ended George Bush’s war” sound bite.
Obama also ignored months of warnings about the impending genocide that has finally spurred him to action. He still doesn’t seem to care much about the ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Christians – I don’t believe he’s even directly addressed the matter in a speech – but the sight of 50,000 Yazidis slowly starving to death on the sun-baked slopes of a barren mountain, surrounded by a horde of bloodthirsty ISIS killers, was impossible for him to ignore. He dithered for days, but in the end, with global media starting to relay pictures of the trapped Yazidis and heart-wrenching footage of them pleading for help, Obama finally came off the golf course (fairly literally – he’s in the middle of taking yet another vacation) and authorized some humanitarian assistance, plus limited airstrikes to weaken ISIS....
The New York Times struggles mightily to keep the cocoon around its liberal readership intact:
In sending warplanes back into the skies over Iraq,President Obama on Thursday night found himself exactly where he did not want to be. Hoping to end the war in Iraq, Mr. Obama became the fourth president in a row to order military action in that graveyard of American ambition.More from the Times, which is over-estimating the shock Obama felt at the strategic threat to the Kurds, and underestimating how much he just can’t afford to be seen as the guy who shot eighteen holes while genocide was conducted on-camera:
Aides said his hand was not forced until ISIS won a series of swift and stunning victories last weekend and Wednesday night against the Kurds in the north, who have been a loyal and reliable American ally, especially compared to the Baghdad government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. ISIS threats to wipe out Yazidis and other religious minorities trapped on Mount Sinjar, they said, added to the urgency.So back into Iraq we go, while Obama’s loyal supporters spin themselves into neck braces trying to explain why none of this is his fault.
“You don’t have to have a ton of insight to know he feels reluctant,” said Douglas Ollivant, a former Iraq adviser in the White House under Mr. Obama and President George W. Bush. “He wants the Iraq problem not to exist. And that’s exactly what the American people sent him to the White House to do.” But “all these factors may kind of drag him kicking and screaming into some kind of decision.”
◼ Peace Prize in our time - Neo-neocon
◼ Obama, With Reluctance, Returns to Action in Iraq - NY Times
In sending warplanes back into the skies over Iraq, President Obama on Thursday night found himself exactly where he did not want to be. Hoping to end the war in Iraq, Mr. Obama became the fourth president in a row to order military action in that graveyard of American ambition.
The mandate he gave to the armed forces was more limited than that of his predecessors, focused mainly on dropping food and water. But he also authorized targeted airstrikes “if necessary” against Islamic radicals advancing on the Kurdish capital of Erbil and others threatening to wipe out thousands of non-Muslims stranded on a remote mountaintop.
As he explained himself to a national television audience, Mr. Obama made a point of reassuring a war-weary public that the president who pulled American forces out of Iraq at the end of 2011 had no intention of fighting another full-scale war there. Yet his presence in the State Dining Room testified to the bleak reality that the tide of events in that ancient land has defied his predictions and aspirations before.
◼ Pentagon Releases Footage Showing U.S. Military F-18 Hornet Drop ‘500-Pound Laser Guided Bombs’ on ISIS Terror Target - The Blaze
◼ ISIS Sweeps The Middle East In A Method Reminiscent of Genghis Khan - Trevor Loudon
*** Warning: This post contains graphic pictures and video. Due to the barbaric and brutal nature of the material, please be advised this content is not for those with a weak stomach.◼ Left frets over Iraq mission creep - The Hill
“I oppose open-ended military commitments, which the president’s actions in Iraq could become,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.◼ ISIS VOWS: 'We will raise flag of Allah at White House' - Daily Caller
“I am deeply concerned that these actions could lead to prolonged direct military involvement, which I would strongly oppose,” he added.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), another senior Democrat on the committee, said he supported the president’s actions, but “as one of only 23 senators who opposed the war in Iraq, I do not believe this should be an extended campaign involving US ground troops.”
Reed is running for reelection this fall.
◼ Feinstein: Group training to 'attack in our backyard' - The Hill
Friday, August 8, 2014
◼ Fighters and supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) have taken to Twitter hellbent on letting the world know of their deep disdain for America with gruesome, bloody images of the carnage they have wrought on non-Muslims via #AmessagefromISIStoUS. - Breitbart Big Peace
◼ ‘Screw you': Americans hijack #AMessageFromISIStoUS - Twitchy
I think its a good time to take over a hash tag..... #AmessagefromISIStoUS Reverse Jihad!— FloridaJayhawk (@HouseCracka) August 8, 2014
'They have vicious plans for them': Fears for hundreds of Yazidi 'slave' women captured by ISIS fanatics in Iraq
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: This story contains images of death that some readers may find disturbing
Common Core began as an effort to simply raise standards for students, but it has morphed into a scheme to drive education curriculum from Washington, D.C.
Jindal lawyer: Common Core a ‘scheme’ that breaks federal law...
“The Race to Top Program … effectively co-opted Common Core for the federal government, attempting to accomplish indirectly through economic coercion that which the federal government is prohibited from accomplishing directly,” Jindal said.
The Education Department didn’t require states to adopt the Common Core or related exams. As long as states took on higher standards and higher quality exams, it didn’t matter what states chose, and many states have selected other exams....
The planet’s largest and most powerful driver of climate changes from one year to the next, the El Niño Southern Oscillation in the tropical Pacific Ocean, was widely thought to have been weaker in ancient times because of a different configuration of the Earth’s orbit. But scientists analyzing 25-foot piles of ancient shells have found that the El Niños 10,000 years ago were as strong and frequent as the ones we experience today.
◼ Don't bet on a mighty El Niño: It likely wouldn't help North Coast anyway, officials say - Times-Standard
A powerful El Niño that had been emerging in the Pacific Ocean is fizzling out, evaporating hopes it will deliver a knockout punch to California's three-year drought.
A new report from scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decreases the probability of an El Niño — the condition that occurs when warm Pacific Ocean water at the equator affects the jet stream — to 65 percent starting in October, down from 82 percent in June.
More significantly, researchers said, the ocean water that had been warming steadily through the spring has cooled off in recent months.
On the North Coast, National Weather Service hydrologist Reginald Kennedy said the events don't usually bring any significant changes to the area's rainfall — unlike regions farther south. In fact, the weather phenomenon tends to delay the rainy season by a month.
"Typically, it doesn't have any significant impact," Kennedy said. "This year, it would just prolong the dry conditions until November."
"[T]he operation of our government is often more interesting than fiction." PLF's Todd Gaziano talks about the "revolving door between individuals who work for environmental activist groups that seek greater government regulation and the federal agencies that produce such regulations."
The report is an interesting read and shines some light on phony, supposedly “local,” grassroots campaigns that are directed by many of the same national entities and interests.
The section that most intrigued me covers the revolving door between individuals who work for environmental activist groups that seek greater government regulation and the federal agencies that produce such regulations. See pp. 23-32. It lists a number of individuals who recently obtained or held influential positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and were previously employed by the National Resource Defense Council, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Public Interest Research Groups, Union of Concerned Scientists, and elsewhere. These organizations regularly lobby and sue federal agencies seeking ever-increasing government regulation of economic and social activity.
Receding Swiss glaciers incoveniently reveal 4000 year old forests – and make it clear that glacier retreat is nothing new
Dr. Christian Schlüchter’s discovery of 4,000-year-old chunks of wood at the leading edge of a Swiss glacier was clearly not cheered by many members of the global warming doom-and-gloom science orthodoxy.
This finding indicated that the Alps were pretty nearly glacier-free at that time, disproving accepted theories that they only began retreating after the end of the little ice age in the mid-19th century. As he concluded, the region had once been much warmer than today, with “a wild landscape and wide flowing river.”
Dr. Schlüchter’s report might have been more conveniently dismissed by the entrenched global warming establishment were it not for his distinguished reputation as a giant in the field of geology and paleoclimatology who has authored/coauthored more than 250 papers and is a professor emeritus at the University of Bern in Switzerland.
Then he made himself even more unpopular thanks to a recent interview titled “Our Society is Fundamentally Dishonest” which appeared in the Swiss publication Der Bund where he criticized the U.N.-dominated institutional climate science hierarchy for extreme tunnel vision and political contamination....
´This is internal US politics to show we´re doing something´: Retired four-star general ´dismayed´ at Obama´s failure to use ´decisive´ force in Iraq in face of ´huge unfolding tragedy´
'There's a huge tragedy unfolding: 1.5 million refugees, a couple of hundred thousand just in the last few weeks. 50,000 of this minority group stuck on – up in the mountains,' Gen. Garry McCaffrey said on MSNBC.
'But these are political gestures using military power.'
'We dropped three aircraft loads of water and food to 50,000 people in the mountains. Now we're striking ISIS artillery units. It looks to me as if a lot of this is internal U.S. politics to show we're doing something.'
◼ We may not like it, but Isis and Iraq remind us that we need America to be the world´s policeman - Dan Hodges/Telegraph [UK]
◼ Britain must support America´s effort in Iraq – if our crippled military still can - Con Coughlin/Telegraph [UK]
◼ World Stock Markets Driven Down as Obama Orders US Airstrikes on Islamic State in Iraq - International Business Times
◼ The new U.S. military mission in Iraq: What we know now - Washington Post
◼ Obama´s Iraq Plan Has a Killer Flaw - And Airstrikes Alone May Not Save It - Jacob Siegel/Daily Beast
The U.S. gambled on local militias to keep ISIS in check. The president’s authorization of airstrikes is an admission that bet didn’t pay off.
ISIS — which recently began referring to itself simply as the Islamic State — now controls a large swath of territory extending from Syria into Iraq, where it has implemented a harsh form of Islamic law and appears to be committing a genocide against religious minorities who refuse to convert to Islam.
WARS OF RELIGION:
◼ ISIS Captures Largest Christian City in Iraq
Pulls down church crosses...
Pope calls for action...
◼ OBAMA: 'America Is Coming to Help' - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
Jets, explosions reported near Islamic State lines...
Airstrike announced on TWITTER...
Largest Dam Seized, Stoking Panic...
ISIS VOWS: 'We will raise the flag of Allah in the White House'...
◼ REPORT: Children beheaded - Gateway Pundit
◼ In the interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, Chaldean-American businessman Mark Arabo said that the “world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.” - MSN
“There is a park in Mosul, where [ISIS] they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick and have them in the park,” he explained. “More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”
◼ CNN Interview
...You see, it’s not that the Obama administration even wants to have an individual mandate, at this point. Obviously, they don’t, because it’d be an electoral disaster to force 10% of the population to pay a tax that they’ve clearly decided not to pay*. What this is about is simply the flailing of a group of people who are miserably incapable of living up to their hype, who know that they are miserably incapable, but who cannot bring themselves to publicly admit their failure as policy makers and politicians. This would almost be funny… except that I have to live with the policies that these people are currently mismanaging.
Ach, well, don’t look at me. I voted for the functional adults.
The Obama administration has reached what one might call the ‘Pol Pot Aftermath’ of its Middle Eastern policy....ISIS is massacring the Yezhidis, people who practice “the original religion of the Kurds. ” What is worse, according to the New Yorker magazine, this massacre is genocide.
Of course the Yazidis are not alone in facing extermination. For the first time in nearly 2,000 years there are no Christians in Mosul. What no power of evil has been able to be accomplish in two millenia was achieved in a trice by the most moral administration in American history; perhaps by accident, perhaps by carelessness, perhaps even by design, but achieved nonetheless. Whichever way you look at it, that’s awesome.
The entire map of the Middle East has been transformed into a 21st century version of the European Bloodlands. But the most remarkable thing is this catastrophe was enabled in a fit of moral superiority. Roger Kimball, speaking to an audience in Sydney observed that most striking property of modern political correctness was narcissism. For the ultimate source of leftist legitimacy is the view that they are better simply persons than the rest; able to make moral judgments no one else can. Their self-regard is almost erotic. They’re in love with themselves. Or to paraphrase one the president’s campaign lines: ‘we are the people the world has been waiting for.’
We’re ready for our moral close-ups.
Something of this present tragedy was foreshadowed in the casual way with which the Left regarded the exodus of the boat people from Vietnam and the Cambodian Killing Fields as collateral damage; something ironic in an anti-war movement that finishes up empowering the greatest seaborne exodus in the history of the world and the massacre of millions.
But if there’s irony it escapes them. After all, ‘how could we have known,’ they ask, ‘that the people we supported were murderers? We meant well.’
More incoming rocket sirens right now in southern Israel. Third rocket barrage since the ceasefire ended nine minutes ago.— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) August 8, 2014
◼ One size does not fit all in public education. Teaching geared to the average or slowest students in the class harms the brightest, severely limiting their achievement. The best hope to restore America’s former level of academic excellence must be to adopt the techniques provided in the programs offered by the charter and home schools, the specialized high schools like those in New York City and Catholic schools that have made them so successful. - California Policy Center
Most importantly, there must be no mistake about the motivation behind the war on excellence. It is pure unadulterated envy. With Common Core, the president’s signature education program, it is envy writ large. It is part of Obama’s efforts to debase American excellence that, sadly, appear to be bearing fruit.
War demands an appropriate response. It is essential to understand the psychology of Common Core and to mount an effective response. With the vast amount of funding available to public schools, more must be demanded.
There was a time when excellence was the gold standard. Those days must be restored for our country’s children to have any hope for a bright future. To do that, however, we must first win the war.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
The Pentagon firmly denied that American forces had begun a bombing campaign. But Pentagon officials said it was possible that allies of the United States, either the Iraqi or Turkish militaries, had conducted the bombing.
Kurdish and Iraqi officials attributed the bombing campaign to American forces. An announcement on Kurdish television of what was described as an American intervention prompted street celebrations and horn-honking by residents of towns under seige by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
◼ UPDATE: PENTAGON DENIES — U.S. bombed ISIS targets in northern Iraq - The Right Scoop
Amid the state’s crippling drought, many communities are fighting not the mere cultivation of cannabis — which is legal in the state, though subject to myriad restrictions — but the growers’ use of water. Marijuana is a thirsty plant, and cultivating it at a time when California residents are subject to water restrictions has become a sticky issue.
Continue reading the main story
Interactive Feature: Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S.
When a statewide drought emergency was declared in January, “the first thing we wanted to address was water theft and marijuana,” said Carre Brown, a supervisor in Mendocino County, a major cannabis hub west of Lake County.
By mid-July, the sheriff there, Thomas D. Allman, had already caught growers siphoning water from springs because wells had run dry too early in the season. “I have told my marijuana team, ‘I want you to fly the rivers, fly the tributaries; let’s prioritize the water diversion,’ ” Sheriff Allman said....
Using Google Earth imagery, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has estimated that outdoor marijuana cultivation in Mendocino County and Humboldt County doubled between 2009 and 2012, with what the agency described as disastrous effect. A marijuana plant can consume five to 10 gallons of water, depending on the point in its growth cycle. By comparison, a head of lettuce, another of California’s major crops, needs about 3.5 gallons of water.
“If President Obama goes too far on this — whether it’s within his legal right or not — the outrage will be so incredible on the Republican side, it will probably bring more Democratic losses this fall,” she said. “Because I don’t know that Latinos are going to turn out this fall as a result of this issue. But it also could become a constitutional crisis.”
Fournier agreed. “Let’s assume for a second that legally he can do this — just stipulate that, just for a second,” he said. “Should he do it?”
“Even if you agree, like I do, that we really need to do something about these 12 million people who are in the shadows,” he continued, “even if you agree that it is legal, I still think there is an argument to be made that he should not do it.”
“Because the fundamental reason he became president was he was promising there’s no red state, there’s no blue state, I’m going to bring the country together,” Fournier asserted. “He’s been a polarizing president.”
“And this would be a nuclear bomb that would blow open and make this country even more divided,” he warned. “In a way that most Americans just don’t want.”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA http://t.co/IkeSO151eY— RB (@RBPundit) August 6, 2014
◼ The taxman cometh for actor Robert Redford — but the two-time Academy Award winner is fighting the nearly $1.6 million bill in court, claiming it violates his constitutional rights. - NY Post
Redford was slapped with the whopping fee from the New York State Department of Taxation in May for the sale of his ownership in the Sundance Channel in 2005.◼ Robert Redford sues to get his $1.6 million back from the Fair Share pot in NY - HotAir
But the Utah resident is balking at the bill because the state constitution says he only has to pay income taxes on “intangible personal property” in his home state.
People like Redford claim the way to make America work better is to pass laws forcing people like them to pay more in taxes. Then, the state of New York forces Redford to pay more in taxes, and my does that tune change...◼ ‘Not very economically patriotic': Robert Redford sues to avoid paying taxes - Twitchy
Imagine how many wind farm subsidies this could fund! Or, film festivals! Look, I have no particular desire to see Redford’s income taxed twice, but I am not an activist for the ideology that loves the estate tax and refuses to recognize that when, say, Mitt Romney pays a lower effective tax rate on income from dividends, it’s partly because that income has already been taxed once.
Further, being that Redford likely falls into the ultra-rich category that would theoretically be made to pay more taxes under the fanciful Buffett Rule President Obama suggested but never had a plan for passing, why not just consider this his fair share tax? He and his super-rich, ideological brethren have been sitting around waiting for the government to force them to pay more, and New York has obliged Mr. Redford. He should count himself lucky.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
◼ MSNBC: “Total disconnect” between Obama’s rhetoric on economy and reality for voters - HotAir
Worth a watch, especially on this particular network even though Morning Joe offers much more reality than most of the rest of MSNBC’s schedule. Today’s reminder of reality comes from Wall Street Journal’s White House correspondent Carol Lee, who points out that the sunny rhetoric from Barack Obama and his administration has a “total disconnect” to the reality for most Americans, as seen in the latest NBC/WSJ poll.
Time for another pivot?
◼ CNN: Abysmal New Obama Poll ‘Very Ominous Sign For Democrats’ - Daily Caller
◼ America's Fed Up: Obama Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low, Poll Shows - NBC
"The public seems have moved beyond the plaintive cry of ‘Feel our pain!’ to the more angry pronouncement of ‘You are causing our pain!’"
The voice on the other end of the line is exasperated. “It’s insane,” he wants America to know. “We’re in a war zone.” And there’s no room for apathy.
“This is coming to a town near you,” he warns.
The man on the phone is a veteran of the Department of Homeland Security who works in South Texas. He reached out to me last night in the wake of an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent’s horrific murder on Friday. The 36-year-old agent, Javier Vega Jr., was shot execution-style in front of his wife, his parents, two of his sons and another child in the Rio Grande Valley. Vega’s father was also shot but survived. They were on an idyllic family fishing trip before being robbed and ambushed.
The two suspects are Mexican nationals from Matamoros. “They’re here illegally,” my source said with a weary sigh. And not just that. They had been previously deported after committing other serious crimes, he says.
According to my source, one had a history of smuggling aliens and drugs. The other had previous arrests for unlawfully carrying a firearm and family violence issues.
“But we just drop the thugs off at the border, and they come right back.”...
◼ The Heartbreaking Words Police Say Slain Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Told His Dad After They Were Attacked - The Blaze
Sheriff Spence told Kiii-TV that Border Patrol agent Javier Vega, Jr., was fishing with relatives when two men attempted to rob them, opening fire on Vega and his family. Vega was shot and killed and his father was shot in the hip....
An off-duty Border Patrol agent shot in the chest and killed in an attempted robbery Sunday night begged his father to “keep shooting, dad,” while the agent’s mother picked up a rifle and shot at the fleeing suspects as well, police told TheBlaze.
Federal and state law enforcement officials were questioning two male suspects in the killing of the off-duty Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol and the shooting of his father while the family was on a fishing expedition in south Texas....the agent, his two young children, a young friend and the agent’s parents were fishing together. The suspects had made several passes along the road by the water when they spotted the group, and approached the victims and told them to get on the ground. The suspects were surprised when they discovered that the off-duty agent and his father were armed, Spence said.
◼ Off duty border patrol agent is shot and killed and his father is wounded in fishing trip robbery - Daily Mail UK
'That's typical of some of these crimes that have been happening in the area,' Spence said.
'There are several instances where people have been robbed while fishing. They pulled up and try to rob them, take their money, jewelry and usually vehicle.'
Vega's sister -in-law Natalie Gardere Vega mourned the loss of the young man on Facebook.
'I will never understand why we have such heartless people in this world! An amazing man was taking (sic) from his family way to soon! Please keep my family in y'all's prayers! Especially his 3 boys and wife!
'And my father in law who is still in the hospital! We love you and will forever miss you Javier Vega Jr.!!!'
◼ Rep. Justin Amash’s Controversial Victory Speech May Not Have Been the Nicest, But It Sure Was Honest - IJReview
◼ Rep. Justin Amash Delivers One of the Most Scathing, Unforgiving Victory Speeches in Recent Memory: ‘I Ran for Office to Stop People Like You’ - The Blaze
Amash was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives during the 2010 tea party wave that stunned the nation. Since then, he has routinely butted heads with the GOP establishment over issues like civil liberties, NSA surveillance and foreign policy.
Amash led an effort last year to defund the NSA’s massive surveillance program that gives the agency authority to indiscriminately collect phone records and metadata under the Patriot Act — unless it identified an individual under investigation. The bill was narrowly defeated 217-205 in the U.S. House.
Amash has been described by one pollster as a conservative with a “libertarian streak.” He has also takes pride in his perfect voting record. As of June 4, he had reportedly cast 2,500 consecutive votes. After votes, he takes to Facebook to explain to his constituents why he voted a particular way, which he says has been key to his goal of being transparent.
Founded by leftwing activist Billy Wimsatt, the group is a secretive digital gathering of writers, opinion leaders, activists and political hands who share information, ideas and strategy via a closed Google group.
The group’s existence was discovered by Media Trackers through an open records request filed with a University of Wisconsin professor who happened to be a member of the network....
Jordan Flaherty was, as of last year, a producer for Al Jazeera America television. He is also listed as a member of Gamechanger Salon and for a while he occasionally blogged for The Huffington Post.
In addition to working at the left-leaning American Sustainable Business Council, David Brodwin writes an online column for U.S. News & World Report. Brodwin is a member of Gamechanger Salon, and on July 14 he published a column arguing that small business owners support a minimum wage increase. Fascinatingly, the Obama Administration’s U.S. Department of Labor relies on Brodwin’s American Sustainable Business Council to argue that very point in a recent “fact-sheet” advocating for a minimum wage hike.
Dozens of members of the leftwing network have contributed columns to The Huffington Post, and others have written opinion pieces for several other publications. The full extent of the network’s activity and effectiveness at amplifying and coordinating left-leaning messaging campaigns has yet to be fully explored.
“Cash for Clunkers” may not have fulfilled its promises to boost car sales, but it did manage to shift the market equilibrium in a way that made used cars less affordable, destroyed any incentive to splurge on a new car, and is now putting auto makers at risk for another downturn in sales.
Some of the European women already in the ranks of the Islamic State are trying to lure their ‘sisters’ to the marriage beds of the caliphate’s holy warriors.
Umm Layth warns prospective recruits that the biggest problem in deciding to take the plunge and head to Syria might be opposition from family. “Even if you know how right this path and decision is and how your love for Allah comes before anything and everything, this is still an ache which only one [who] has been through and experienced it can understand. The first phone call you make once you cross the borders is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do…when you hear them sob and beg like crazy on the phone for you to come back it’s so hard,” she writes.
She adds: “Many people in present day do not understand…why a female would choose to make this decision. They will point fingers and say behind your back and to your families’ faces that you are taking part in…sexual jihad.” But there is no question that extremist groups try to reward their fighters with brides, however they can be obtained. One obvious example elsewhere is the mass kidnapping of schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Islamic State has opened a “marriage bureau” in the northern Syrian town of Al Bab for women who want to wed jihadist fighters in territory they control, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based pro-opposition group that relies on activists on the ground for its information.
A key topic for discussion in the Tweets and online advice is what to do if parents oppose plans to go to Syria or refuse to bless a wedding—both major hurdles for believers who need parental consent to travel and marry. The online recruiters say IS can appoint a guardian for them to provide permission. One of the Western jihadi women, Umm Anwar, says in her case the emir (leader) of her prospective husband was appointed and he phoned her father “to ask for my dad’s consent by phone.”
Democratic activist claims responsibility for controversial radio ads that attempted to tie Chris McDaniel to the Ku Klux Klan.
Harris’ claim counters charges leveled by the McDaniel campaign that the Republican Establishment and GOP operative Henry Barbour were responsible for the ads....
McDaniel, who has thus far refused to concede, cried foul. He and his Tea Party supporters charged the state’s GOP Establishment, and in particular Republican operative Henry Barbour, with employing dirty tricks Republicans usually associate with Democrats. They said Barbour financed ads that accused to McDaniel of racism and KKK ties in an effort to motivate Democrats to back Cochran. Barbour ran the main super PAC behind Cochran’s candidacy, but has vehemently denied the charges.
“I am glad the people really behind this despicable KKK ad have been revealed, because Sen. Cochran’s opponents have falsely accused our group and others of running it,” Barbour said. “ As I have said from the start, I had zero to do with it.”...
Don't believe conservatives' criticisms of Common Core? How about this from a math professor at Cal-Berkeley?
...It gets your attention, as it should, when a professor from Cal-Berkeley denounces Common Core as a major step backward in the area of math education. And that's just what happens this morning in the Wall Street Journal, where math professor Marina Ratner relates what she discovered about Common Core from observing what they're teaching her grandson.
Does drawing a picture to demonstrate 2/3 divided by 3/4 sound like a good way of learning the material to you? If not, then you have an ally at UC-Berkeley...
It's important when we look at the problems with Common Core not to get caught up in some of the fiction about how it came about. To listen to some people, you'd think Barack Obama sat down and personally wrote the curriculum. He didn't, but when you realize what Common Core really is, and where it really came from, it's no less an indictment of the U.S. education establishment and those who support it....
He is not alone. The 26-year-old aspiring restaurateur and chairman of the party's West Los Angeles central committee, is one of a raft of ethnically diverse young libertarians who hold seats in L.A. County’s huge GOP apparatus, injecting youthful energy into its operations at a time when the state’s Republican Party is nearly moribund.
...Despite personal politics that might seem more in tune with Democrats - world peace, ending the war on drugs and addressing global warming top the list of concerns for many - these millennials say they are more comfortable with Republicans' emphasis on freedom than Democrats' penchant for regulation.
"I used to be very liberal," said Carey Wedler, 25, at a recent meeting of the group. But she sees government as oppressive, authoritarian and warmongering, and says Republicans are the ones skeptical of government. "Everything the government does is backed up with a gun."
The newcomers have clashed with Tea Party libertarians, who skew more conservative on social issues. Many Tea Partiers bristle at the newcomers' views on abortion and immigration, and their deep distrust of the National Security Agency.
On Tuesday, August 5, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that President Obama’s popularity reached its lowest point since he first took office in 2009. Overall, 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the job the president is doing compared to just 40 percent who approve....
The NBC News/WSJ poll also found that a strong majority of Americans, 60 percent, disapprove of President Obama's handling of foreign policy with only 36 percent approving. The same poll also found that 33 percent of Americans have very negative feelings towards Obama, tying a record high from December of 2013.
Rather than cover its own polling, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams spent 40 seconds promoting a video of a Norwegian mom trying to get her 2-year old son to go to bed on a hot summer night....
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
◼ #CAGOP14 Fall Convention Friday, September 19, 2014 - Sunday, September 21, 2014
Welcome Reception is a Tribute to GOP Local Elected Officials, Featuring CAGOP Statewide Nominees! Register today to mix and mingle with Neel Kashkari, Ron Nehring, Pete Peterson for Secretary of State, Ashley Swearengin, Greg Conlon for California State Treasurer, Ron Gold, Ted Gaines, and dozens of local Republican elected officials as we honor their work.
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION – August 22: Register today.
◼ And: ISIL Targets Saudi Intelligence - Washington Free Beacon
The ultra-violent al Qaeda offshoot group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has targeted Saudi Arabian intelligence officers for a campaign of assassination as part of plans by the group to expand activities inside the oil-rich kingdom.
“We need to bundle payments so you aren't paid for every single treatment you offer a patient with a chronic condition like diabetes, but instead paid well for how you treat the overall disease,” Obama told the crowd of physicians.
Obama was articulating what would become one of the key payment reforms in his health care law — a proposal aimed at giving incentives to providers to control costs by rewarding them for providing less expensive care.
But a study published in the journal Health Affairs looked at an ambitious three-year pilot program of bundled payments in California that was funded by a $2.9 million grant from Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package — and found that the program was such a massive failure, it could hardly get off the ground.
“In spite of a high level of enthusiasm and effort, the pilot did not succeed in its goal to implement bundled payment for orthopedic procedures across multiple payers and hospital-physician partners,” the study reads. “An evaluation of the pilot documented a number of barriers, such as administrative burden, state regulatory uncertainty, and disagreements about bundle definition and assumption of risk. Ultimately, few contracts were signed, which resulted in insufficient volume to test hypotheses about the impact of bundled payment on quality and costs.”
...This one study doesn’t necessarily disprove that bundled payments could work under different circumstances, and the authors write that the study resulted in “hard-won lessons” that could be useful in future pilot programs.
But its also worth noting that its failure comes on top of other issues raised about the bundled payments approach.
For instance, a May 2012 study reported in the New York Times found that bundled payments were having dangerous consequences for dialysis payments, because clinics were prescribing fewer prescription drugs, and blood transfusions spiked. Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute has argued that this incentive for doctors to prescribe fewer drugs could be particularly harmful for cancer patients who rely on expensive medications.
...So, far little of the information stolen in the wave of attacks appears to have been sold to other online crooks, according to the Times. Instead, the information is being used to send marketing pitches, schemes and other junk messages on social networks on Twitter, the newspaper said.
The breadth of these break-ins should serve as a chilling reminder of the skullduggery that has been going undetected on the Internet for years, said John Prisco, CEO of another security firm, Triumfant.
“This issue reminds me of an iceberg, where 90 percent of it is actually underwater,” Prisco said in an emailed statement. “That’s what is going on here… So many cyber breaches today are not actually reported, often times because companies are losing information and they are not even aware of it.”
At the press conference, McDaniel announced he will be using such evidence to file a formal challenge of the runoff results with the state GOP executive committee. Ten days after he files the challenge with that body—which, given its extensive ties to the GOP establishment in the state, is expected to rule against the Tea Party-backed McDaniel or just simply ignore the challenge—McDaniel can take the challenge into state court.
“It’s been an interesting six weeks since the 24th. We’ve been very, very busy. We’ve covered the state as well as we could with hundreds of volunteers, but justice has no time table, and yet here we stand. They asked us to put up or shut up—well, here we are. Here we are with the evidence,” McDaniel said.
“We know that the conservative movement is passionate about this issue,” McDaniel said. “We know right now that the conservative movement is very angry about what’s occurred. We all witnessed what a segment of our party did leading up to the 24th. We saw despicable acts of race-baiting. We saw despicable allegations from those who are supposed to be leaders in our party. There is no place in the Republican Party for those that would race bait. There is no place in the Republican Party for racism of any kind, and that’s exactly what we saw on those evenings and mornings leading up to the 24th. That has to end. We watched it. We witnessed it. We saw the dirty money coming in from D.C., whether it was from Bloomberg or other Republican United States senators. We saw what they did here in Mississippi.”
McDaniel noted that the actions the GOP establishment took “moved more than 40,000 Democrats into the Republican primary, and in so doing mistakes were made.”
“Some of those weren’t even mistakes—some of it was very intentional,” McDaniel said. “What we’re going to show is a pattern of conduct on the part of a number of people that demonstrates a problem with this election. The evidence is clear.”
Monday, August 4, 2014
Democrats' favorite statistician from 2012 may not be their favorite this fall.
Nate Silver's latest election forecast says Republicans are "slightly more likely than not" to regain control of the Senate in November....
This year's batch of Senate elections "come from states that gave Obama an average of just 46 percent of the vote in 2012."
Silver describes 2014 as a potential "reversion to the mean," and says a "wave" election is unnecessary for Republicans to retake control.
There is a plan 9 weeks from now that you need to be aware of: The objective: ten thousand dead and wounded, hundreds of prisoners, all in one operation, to take place on Rosh Hashana (September 24th).
...The Hamas Charter and Manifesto openly declares that their ultimate objective is annihilation of all Jews, anywhere in the world; not Israelis. If they were ‘nasty’ only to Israelis, one could perceive them as a military or militant organisation, for instance, to depose and distance those who they perceive as conquerors and interlopers. If they were ‘nasty’ only to Jews one could try to claim that they are fighting “simply a race war.” But they are equally cruel to their own folks....
◼ THE ‘REAL’ FOREVER WAR – PART 2 - Mordechai Ben-Menachem/Human Events
Yesterday, I had a meeting with several people. One of them is a Druze. A gentleman who served in the Army (IDF) for 25 years and recently completed his service – he still does Miluiim (reserve duty) voluntarily. He is just completing now his doctorate.
One of the things he told me is that over the past few weeks he has been receiving tens of emails per day from acquaintances from Gaza City, even from Sajiyah, begging, literally begging, us not the stop, that we do not halt the operation prematurely– to please free them from the horror of living under Hamas. They are begging for us to finish the job because Hamas is too horrible for them to countenance. These are residents/citizens of Gaza City....
◼ The real Forever War, Part 3 - Mordechai Ben-Menachem/Human Events
A look at the full extent of the Hamas network, and what they were planning to use it for.
Click to LISTEN
◼ 5 Facts About Ebola - Herman Cain
◼ Ebola Fast Facts - CNN
◼ FEAR: NYC HOSPITAL TESTS MAN FOR EBOLA - WABC
Mount Sinai Hospital is performing tests on a patient who had recently traveled to a West African country where Ebola has been reported, the hospital says.
A male patient with high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms came to the hospital's emergency room on Monday morning, officials said.
The hospital says the patient has been placed in strict isolation and is undergoing medical screenings to determine the cause of his symptoms.
"All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff. We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients," the hospital wrote in a statement.
Plane Carrying American Ebola Patienten Route to USA
Two Americans with Ebola received experimental serum
Atlanta hospital receives hate mail
2nd American infected return to USA Tuesday... *
Death toll rises to 826... *
EBOLA TERROR AS PASSENGER DIES AT LONDON AIRPORT *
SAVAGE: AMERICA'S RESPONSE IS 'MADNESS'
Panic grows as Nigeria doctor infected
Sierra Leone's 'very essence' in danger
Bodies dumped in street
FLASHBACK: From Pigs to Monkeys, Ebola Goes Airborne
Expert Warns Terrorists Could Make Dirty Bomb With Virus
◼ GOP Rep Gives Straight-Shooting Rebuttal To Nancy Pelosi’s Meltdown Against Him On the House Floor
Fireworks erupted on the House floor Friday when Nancy Pelosi
On Monday, Rep. Marino hooked up with Fox and Friends to explain his take on the situation:
“She came over and started calling me ‘a liar, a liar.’ And that’s when I said, ‘no, I do my homework, I did my research, these are the facts; you might want to try that once in awhile.’”Marino said that in addition to being called a liar, Pelosi also called him “an insignificant person.” His “insignificant” comments that set her off:
◼ 'Some Think They're Royalty': GOP Rep Details Heated Exchange With Pelosi - FOX & Friends
Sunday, August 3, 2014
The Democrats’ “war on women” strategy may resonate with liberals, but it’s losing ground with crucial female swing voters in Colorado, said a poll released this week
A whopping 77 percent of women voters surveyed agree that they “clearly see through the so-called Democrat ‘War on Women’ messaging strategy,” according to Magellan Strategies in Louisville, Colorado...
The poll also found that 67 percent of those surveyed “do not fear a government bureaucrat taking birth control away from them, but what they fear are politicians using the issue of ‘access to birth control’ as a political tactic to scare them into voting a certain way.’”
Now Obama is using Israel as a lever to push Egypt back into the Islamist camp. Egypt’s rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood broke the Arab Spring. Political Islam, which seemed to be on the ascendance, is back to being a freak show represented by terrorists and Turkey’s mad mustachioed dictator.
While Israelis are fighting and dying, families huddling in bomb shelters and soldiers going off to face death, the men and women in suits and power suits moving through the great halls of diplomacy are using them as pawns in a larger game.
During the Cold War, Israel was a pawn in a larger struggle between the US and the USSR. Now it is back to being a counter in a larger game....
Israel is just the means; the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam are the objective. That objective may mean the end of the West, but those striding boldly through the halls of diplomacy are not worried.
The real target of the Hamas campaign wasn’t Israel; it was Egypt.
Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood had included Hamas. That crackdown worried Hamas far more than anything that Israel was doing. Meanwhile the Muslim Brotherhood’s loss of power meant a major setback for the sugar daddies of the Arab Spring; Qatar, Turkey and their Western allies.
The new alignment had placed Qatar, Turkey, Obama and the EU in one row, while Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the PLO were in another row. The latest phase of the Gaza War between Israel and Hamas was meant to break apart that alignment.
Obama’s tilt toward Iran had encouraged Sunni Muslims to throw their backing behind ISIS leading to significant gains in Iraq. Qatar and Turkey, backers of both Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, then used ISIS to push the myth that the only counter to Al Qaeda was the Brotherhood’s political Islam.
Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, political Islam and the Jihadist bands, have always been two sides of the same coin, but the argument remains a persuasive one in the great halls of diplomacy.... Read the rest HERE
Republican California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari recently spent a week homeless on the streets of Fresno, CA, and he may have discovered why so many American workers oppose illegal immigration. His struggles to find a job--let alone food and a roof over his head--exemplify why American workers oppose illegal immigration and President Barack Obama´s plans to give millions of illegal immigrants work permits in an economy that has not recovered for them. On Thursday, fierce opposition to Obama´s potential granting of work permits to millions of illegal immigrants caused House GOP leaders to pull their border bill, which did not explicitly ban Obama from implementing potential executive actions....
American workers, like those in Fresno, know that wages are not rising for the jobs that are becoming more scarce. They know that their social services, as Palin said, are being stretched to the max. Yet, the Obama administration forces them to take care of illegal immigrant juveniles while pressing to bring in more foreign workers to compete with them for jobs....
On Thursday, the House GOP imploded over its border bill to solve the child-migrant crisis, pulling the legislation from the floor for lack of votes. And there, standing among the legislative wreckage, stood the proud senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. Not literally, of course. But the tea party Texan is once again smack in the middle of a House Republican debacle.◼ Republicans deliver another self-inflicted wound - Washington Post
Republicans are asking for the right to govern, to control the legislative machinery starting in 2015. But they continue to struggle with that very responsibility in the one chamber they control. How many times have Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his top lieutenants suffered similar embarrassments as support for leadership measures suddenly eroded in the face of a conservative revolt?◼ The GOP Senator who helped spike the Border Bill is not who you think - Betsy Woodruff & David M. Drucker/Washington Examiner
◼ Jeff Sessions Holds The Line, Blocks Democrat Immigration Travesty - John Hinderaker/Powerline
◼ ‘Blame Cruz’ Is the New ‘Blame Bush’ for Whiny Democrats - Stephen Kruiser/PJMedia
No one is living rent free in more Democrats’ heads these days than Ted Cruz. He could take the next six months off and they would be blaming everything on his “failure to come to work and show leadership” or something. He is a convenient fall guy because none of the useful idiot Republican senators from the old guard will openly defend Cruz after he failed to spend his first year in office kissing their backsides.
What Cruz is most guilty of is responding to his constituency rather than the popularity police on Capitol Hill. We have created a permanent ruling class thanks to a lazy electorate who returns idiots to office for decades. These idiots stay in office by mugging for the cameras but not really doing much. Anybody new who shows up and acts like a representative in this — you know –representative republic is just asking for trouble.
Some Republicans frustrated over the last-minute collapse of support for a border bill have been blaming Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. But it turns out they may have the wrong Republican senator in their sights. A number of sources on Capitol Hill say lobbying by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions helped sway that state´s House delegation against the bill, leading to the collapse.
◼ Rep. Chris Van Hollen: ‘Speaker Cruz’ - Politico
Rep. Chris Van Hollen slammed House Republicans on Thursday, saying members now have to check with “Speaker Cruz” to get any legislation passed. “It was Senator Cruz calling the shots, and that’s why people around here are calling him ‘Speaker Cruz’ today,” the Maryland Democrat said to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner. “It means when Speaker Boehner says he’s going to get something done from now on, he’d better be checking with Senator Cruz to see if he’s gonna get the votes because clearly the new leadership team isn’t up to the task.”
According to the Hamas version of events - widely promulgated in the media by ITN, the Telegraph and the Belfast Telegraph - an Israeli airstrike on a crowded market place during a partial ceasefire in the Shijaiyah neighbourhood of Gaza City on July 30th, 2014 was responsible for the deaths of 17 people, including blue-helmeted photojournalist Rani Rayan.
However as Thomas Wictor has incontrovertibly demonstrated using close analysis of film footage of the incident, the deaths were not caused by Israeli shrapnel but by secondary explosions from a vast cache of Hamas rockets.
Oh, and the market wasn't 'crowded' either: it had been closed for the day.
And this particular area wasn't included in the ceasefire zone, either, because Hamas was continuing to fire rockets from it.
Major mainstream media which generally parrot the perspectives and analyses of the environmental movement have utterly ignored the report....
Here are just four of the conclusions described in the report's executive summary regarding government funding of environmental nonprofits:
• Former far-left environmentalists working at EPA funnel government money through grants to their former employers and colleagues, often contributing to the bottom line of environmental activist groups.
• Under President Obama, EPA has given more than $27 million in taxpayer-funded grants to major environmental groups. Notably, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund – two key activists groups with significant ties to senior EPA officials – have collected more than $1 million in funding each.
• EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck appears to be inappropriately and personally involved in the allocation of EPA grants to favored groups. Enck is also the subject of an inquiry led by the EPA Office of Inspector General.
• EPA also gives grants to lesser-known extreme groups. For example, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade received hundreds of thousands of grants under former Administrator Lisa Jackson despite challenges by state regulators over the use of such grants.
It wasn't that long ago that MSM silence could disappear an important government report, but thanks to the Internet, that's no longer the case.