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As we near the final few weeks of one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the US – right here in North Carolina, social media messaging becomes more and more crucial for candidates as they continue their quest to win over undecided/unaffiliated voters in order to cross the finish line first in November. In the case of incumbent Senator Kay Hagan, the vast majority of the time that “messaging” boils down to falsehoods, half-truths, personal attacks on character, and grossly taking her opponent – GOP nominee and NC House Speaker Thom Tillis – grossly out of context.
Today, she managed to combine several of her typical tactics into standard anti-Tillis tweets – except this time she inadvertently slammed … herself and her fellow NC Democrats.
As of this writing, here are the two tweets:
— Kay Hagan (@kayhagan) September 30, 2014
— Kay Hagan (@kayhagan) September 30, 2014
Here’s the “write-up” on her campaign website:
GREENSBORO – Speaker Thom Tillis’ dangerous education agenda slashed $500 million from public education in order to give tax cuts for the wealthy, so it unfortunately comes as no surprise that a new report ranks North Carolina as the worst state for teachers. Those education cuts have put the squeeze on teachers who are dealing with larger class sizes, fewer teaching assistants and outdated supplies that have left them dipping into their own pockets to stock their classrooms.
From the Greensboro News & Record:
Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, North Carolina ranks as the worst state for teachers, according to a new ranking by WalletHub.
The personal finance website analyzed data along 18 categories to come to its rankings.
The metrics it looked at included looks at states’ median starting salaries, unemployment rates and teacher job openings, among other factors.
Read the rest of the article HERE.
But what Hagan doesn’t tell you – perhaps intentionally, or perhaps it was out of sheer ignorance (my vote is for the latter) – are these pesky little details, as reported by Charlotte-based news outlet WCNC (bolded emphasis added by me):
The company looked at things like starting salary, per pupil spending and the 10-year change in teacher salaries from 2003-04 to 2013-14.
“The NC rank was affected mostly by the level of salaries that teachers have in NC and related indicators (starting salary, salaries increase over the last decade etc.),” Raz Daraban, communications manager for WalletHub said via email. “Other factors that had a negative impact were the low annual state and local expenditures for K-12 public schools per student and the best schools ranking.”
The analysis did not take into account the teacher raises that were approved this summer by state lawmakers.
What does all that mean? Well, a number of important things:
1) The ranking was “mostly affected” by salaries and their increase “over the last decade” – which, as NC education guru Terry Stoops notes means SEVEN of the TEN years of the report, the NC state legislature (known here as the General Assembly) was controlled by … Democrats, including then-state Senator Kay Hagan:
The “survey” is a series of rankings developed by Richie Bernardo, who is a financial writer at WalletHub.com and appears to be a nice young man. In fact, one wonders why the reporter did not ask Mr. Bernardo to comment on the ranking. After all, he did ask three liberals – State Superintendent June Atkinson, Progress NC’s Gerrick Brenner, and N.C. Association of Educators president Rodney Ellis – to use the survey as a platform to bash state legislators and Republicans. To respond to their charges, he interviewed one person – Tom Murry, a Republican representative from Wake County. To add insult to injury, the reporter repeatedly misspelled Rep. Murry’s last name.
I will not get into too much detail about the arbitrariness of the methodology or the sources used. (For an excellent overview of both, read this article from the Daily Haymaker.) The survey itself examined changes in per-pupil spending and teacher pay over ten years. Republicans have been in charge of the legislature for four years but most of the data sets used by Mr. [Richie] Bernard[o] lag by at least one year. As a result, it represents three years of legislative control by Republicans and seven years of control by Democrats. Given that fact, an honest liberal would have observed that Republicans and Democrats share the blame in stunting school funding growth.
But honesty, among other virtues, is usually in short supply during election season.
2) As pointed out above in the WCNC piece (and what should have been obvious, considering the years they reviewed), WalletHub’s analysis didn’t include the 7% increase in teacher pay raises that were passed by the GOP-led NC General Assembly over the summer. Keep in mind, too, that some of the statistics for the report were compiled with information provided by the National Education Association – hardly a non-partisan organization. So exactly how much weight should be given to its “findings” in the scheme of things?
FULL WEIGHT, according to the Hagan campaign – and their faithful supporters on social media, who have also been dutifully passing along links to articles about the report and doing just as Hagan did, blame Tillis reflexively rather than carefully read and analyze the articles and report linked. But since we’re supposed to take this report as the “gospel truth according to Kay and Co,”, we’ll run with the stats in it – just for the sake of argument. You know, argue on their terms.
Not surprising that Senator Hagan and her campaign team apparently didn’t read the fine print on what’s been published by mainstream outlets about this report, when you consider that the most disastrous legislation that passed in modern history – Obamacare – wasn’t read in full by most Democrats who voted for it, either.
Including Senator Hagan who, ironically, brags of helping craft the bill that eventually forced nearly 475,000 North Carolinians off of health insurance plans they liked – in spite of Hagan’s some 24 promises to the contrary.
As they say, some things never change …
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**Posted by Phineas
Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to be the nation’s top cop — will announce later today that he is resigning, a Justice Department official told ABC News.
The announcement comes after nearly six years at the helm of the department that were marked by both highs and lows for a man who came in to revamp what many considered a demoralized and scandal-plagued institution.
Under Holder’s leadership, the Justice Department saw “historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement,” particularly on the issues of gay rights, sentencing reform and voting rights, and in the coming Holder is expected to impose new curbs on racial profiling in law enforcement, a department official told ABC News.
In a recent interview with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, Holder described his time leading the Justice Department as “demanding” but “the honor of my professional life,” serving the American people.
“I hope I’ve done a good job,” he said. “I’ve certainly tried to do as good a job as I can. There are sacrifices that I’ve had to make, that my family has had to make.”
You want to know what a good job he’s done? Look at this:
That’s the blood of Mexican teens killed at a party by cartel gunmen wielding weapons that Eric Holder Department of Justice knowingly allowed to be bought illegally in the US and be taken to Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious. (See also) That’s what Eric Holder “sacrificed” for.
Hell of a legacy, man.
It’s a shame I don’t have time to write about this today; Holder just makes me sick, and I would love to vent. For now, though, If you want to know more of what I think about this corrupt, racialist radical, check out my posts tagged “Eric Holder.” Also, there’s an excellent recent book about Holder’s role as Obama’s enforcer.
By all rights he should walk out of his office and into a jail cell.
UPDATE: More on Holder from J. Christian Adams, a former DoJ elections attorney — Goodbye and Good Riddance:
What can be said about Eric Holder’s six years as attorney general that PJ Media hasn’t already said? The news that Holder is going to resign should be bittersweet to anyone who cares about racial equality and the rule of law. The damage he has already done to the country leaves a turbulent wake that is ill-matched to the financial reward awaiting him at a shameless and large Washington, D.C., law firm.
Our country is more polarized and more racially divided because of Eric Holder. He turned the power of the Justice Department into a racially motivated turnout machine for the Democratic Party. That was his job in this administration, and he did it well.
Be sure to read it all. Mr. Adams is also the author of the invaluable “Injustice.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
I have no words left, I think, to describe what a fatuous buffoon this man is, so I’ll let the Secretary of State of the United States speak for himself:
Secretary of State John Kerry said the threats posed by climate change should be addressed with as much “immediacy” as confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Ebola outbreak.
During a meeting with foreign ministers on Sunday, Kerry said global warming is creating “climate refugees.”
“We see people fighting over water in some places. There are huge challenges to food security and challenges to the ecosystem, our fisheries and … the acidification of the ocean is a challenge for all of us,” Kerry said.
“And when you accrue all of this, while we are confronting ISIL and we are confronting terrorism and we are confronting Ebola and other things, those are immediate,” he added, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.
“This also has an immediacy that people need to come to understand, but it has even greater longer-term consequences that can cost hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars, lives, and the security of the world,” Kerry continued.
Let’s see. Ebola is a hideous hemorrhagic disease that has already killed thousands in West Africa, may well spread further –and beyond Africa– and could become a nightmare if somehow it mutates into an airborne form.
And then we have ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State, a more virulent form of al Qaeda that has claimed the mantle of the defunct caliphate and a divine mission to force Islam and sharia law on the rest of the world. It has killed thousands of people –men, women, and children– by shooting, beheading, crucifixion, and God knows how else. It has declared that Yazidis must convert or die. It has oppressed, killed, and stolen the property of Christians and Muslims of the “wrong sort.” It has sold women into sex slavery. It has promised to wage war on the West. (All of this is in accordance with Islamic law, btw.) If it obtains nuclear or biological weapons, there is no doubt they will use them wherever they can be deployed, inside or outside the Middle East.
Oh, and don’t forget a newly aggressive Russia, slowly dismembering Ukraine and now rattling sabers at NATO members in Eastern Europe, raising the specter of a continental war that would inevitably involve us.
But Secretary of State Kerry thinks the imaginary monster under the bed, human-caused catastrophic warming that leads to devastating climate change, is as great a threat. A bogeyman warming that has not occurred for over 215 months. Anthropogenic climate change that exists only in computer models that have trouble accurately modeling the past. (1)
Is it any wonder our (former?) allies in the Middle East have written him off as useless? This guy makes Thurston Howell III look like Klemens von Metternich.
We have over two years left of this car-clown administration. I’d better stock up on the Tylenol.
(1) Of course, the Earth’s climate is a dynamic, changing system. A series of natural cycles. It’s the misuse of science to perpetrate a huge fraud, man-caused catastrophic climate change, that I’m objecting to.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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**Posted by Phineas
The break room coffee machine is a staple of many a workplace. Usually though, it tends to fall on the “economical” or “value” side of the java spectrum.
But not in Castro Valley, California, where officials with the Castro Valley Unified School District are taking fire for the purchase of a $14,000 espresso maker.
The outrage was immediate. According to KPIX News in San Francisco, the school board’s facebook page was flooded with angry comments when word of the pricey espresso maker – paid for with taxpayer money – got out.
According to a school board official, buying the espresso machine was “an opportunity” to keep a part-time child nutritionist on staff. If you can’t see that, you must hate the children.
Though how a $14,000 espresso maker for the staff and child nutrition go together is a bit baffling. When I was in fourth grade, we were served chocolate milk, not a double shot.
And for an additional fourteen grand per year, maybe they could have made that nutritionist full-time? Or used it to… Oh, I don’t know. Buy new textbooks and school supplies for the kids?
Silly me. I guess a Mr. Coffee is just too déclassé for the Castro Valley school board.
Can’t wait to see the board members justify this to the voters.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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**Posted by Phineas
Lots of people have written today about that terrible morning: where they were, what they remember, maybe honoring the victims or the many valiant heroes of the battle and its aftermath. I wondered what I would write. I decided that, rather than focus on the day itself, something others have done much more eloquently than I ever could, I wanted to share video of what has become one of my strongest memories from that time: the moment, when, three days later, George W. Bush stood amidst the smoldering ruins from which the dead were still being recovered and rallied a stunned and bloodied nation:
That was the day a man who won a disputed, contentious election truly became President of the United States of America, and I’ll forever be grateful for him.
Note: This is a re-posting, slightly updated, of something I wrote for the tenth anniversary; I think it’s a moment that needs recalling.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Reposting. God bless, and never forget. -ST**
Longtime readers of this blog will recognize this post, as I have published it here every 9-11 since 2006 in honor of Mr. Mardikian, and all victims of the 9-11 terror attacks, as part of DC Roe’s 9-11 remembrance project. I thought this year about doing another post for another victim, but decided it would be too painful, as the memories of what happened that day are still so fresh and raw for many, myself included. I didn’t know anyone in the WTC towers, the Pentagon, or on any of the planes, but I was in NYC on that day – scheduled to fly back home that evening. I remember just like it was yesterday what I was doing and where I was when I found out what was going on, and the shock and numbness that washed over me as it slowly started to sink in that we were under attack. When my friend S and I checked back into the Times Square hotel we had only checked out of about 2 hours earlier, the first thing we did was turn on the TV to get updates. At that time, news channels were showing unedited coverage, & raw eyewitness footage as all news at that point was “breaking,” so we saw what the rest of America was seeing – like people screaming for help from the top floors of the towers, some of them jumping. Also, like many other Americans, we watched on TV as the towers collapsed. And, again, like the rest of America, she and I couldn’t stop crying at the senseless losses of so many innocent lives, as the victim count piled up from NYC, to the Pentagon, to a field in Shanksville, PA.
It’s still hard to believe even today that something as horrifying as 9-11 happened on our soil. But it did, and we must never, ever forget it. Time passes on and life goes on, but for the victims, their families, and for the future of America, we must always remember – and always remain vigilant against the Islamofascists who would like nothing more than to commit many more 9-11s.
For an extensive archive of TV coverage of 9-11 as it happened, click here.
Here, once again, is Peter Edward Mardikian’s story. Note: Some links may no longer work, but they were valid at the time of the original writing.
(Originally posted 9/10/06 7:55 pm)
Imagine you are 29 years old. You’ve been married for six weeks to your college sweetheart, someone whom friends would later say that you wouldn’t have been “complete” without. You’re beginning to realize your personal and professional dreams. The world looks to be your oyster, and you believe that you and your spouse have the rest of your lives to explore it, all the while enjoying the comfort of knowing that you have not only each other, but the enduring love of family and friends surrounding you.
And then imagine those hopes being snatched away from you in the blink of an eye, without warning, without provocation. Imagine the chilling, horrifying realization that you will never see your spouse again, your family, your friends. That you will be leaving this earth much sooner than you ever thought you would be.
Such was the case for Peter Edward Mardikian, one of 2,996 victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation.
As it was for most of us, September 11, 2001 started off as an average day for Mr. Mardikian. Peter worked for a company called “Imagine Software” in Manhattan. That morning Peter was on business, preparing a software exhibit for a trade show in the World Trade Center at Windows on The World, which was a popular restaurant on the top floor of the North Tower. As you can see from the picture, it had a spectacular view of the city. It was a city Peter Mardikian, who grew up in Princeton, NJ, had dreamed of living and working in. Here is what the morning started out like at Windows on the World:
“Good morning, Ms. Thompson.”
Doris Eng’s greeting was particularly sunny, like the day, as Liz Thompson arrived for breakfast atop the tallest building in the city, Ms. Thompson remembers thinking. Perhaps Ms. Eng had matched her mood to the glorious weather, the rich blue September sky that filled every window. Or perhaps it was the company.
Familiar faces occupied many of the tables in Wild Blue, the intimate aerie to Windows that Ms. Eng helped manage, according to two people who ate there that morning. As much as any one place, that single room captured the sweep of humanity who worked and played at the trade center.
Ms. Thompson, executive director of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, was eating with Geoffrey Wharton, an executive with Silverstein Properties, which had just leased the towers. At the next table sat Michael Nestor, the deputy inspector general of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and one of his investigators, Richard Tierney.
At a third table were six stockbrokers, several of whom came every Tuesday. Ms. Eng had a treat for one of them, Emeric Harvey. The night before, one of the restaurant’s managers, Jules Roinnel, gave Ms. Eng two impossibly-hard-to-get tickets to “The Producers.” Mr. Roinnel says he asked Ms. Eng to give them to Mr. Harvey.
Sitting by himself at a window table overlooking the Statue of Liberty was a relative newcomer, Neil D. Levin, the executive director of the Port Authority. He had never joined them for breakfast before. But his secretary requested a table days earlier and now he sat waiting for a banker friend, said Mr. Levin’s wife, Christy Ferer.
Every other minute or so, a waiter, Jan Maciejewski, swept through the room, refilling coffee cups and taking orders, Mr. Nestor recalls. Mr. Maciejewski was one of several restaurant workers on the 107th floor. Most of the 72 Windows employees were on the 106th floor, where Risk Waters Group was holding a conference on information technology.
Already 87 people had arrived, including top executives from Merrill Lynch and UBS Warburg, according to the conference sponsors. Many were enjoying coffee and sliced smoked salmon in the restaurant’s ballroom. Some exhibitors were already tending to their booths, set up in the Horizon Suite just across the hallway.
A picture taken that morning showed two exhibitors, Peter Alderman and William Kelly, salesmen for Bloomberg L.P., chatting with a colleague beside a table filled with a multi-screened computer display. Stuart Lee and Garth Feeney, two vice presidents of Data Synapse, ran displays of their company’s software.
Down in the lobby, 107 floors below, an assistant to Mr. Levin waited for his breakfast guest. But when the guest arrived, he and Mr. Levin’s aide luckily boarded the wrong elevator, Ms. Ferer would learn, and so they had to return to the lobby to wait for another one.
Upstairs, Mr. Levin read his newspaper, Mr. Nestor recalled. He and Mr. Tierney were a little curious to see whom Mr. Levin, their boss, was meeting for breakfast. But Mr. Nestor had a meeting downstairs, so they headed for the elevators, stopping at Mr. Levin’s table to say goodbye. Behind them came Ms. Thompson and Mr. Wharton. Mr. Nestor held the elevator, so they hopped in quickly, Ms. Thompson recalled.
Then the doors closed and the last people ever to leave Windows on the World began their descent. It was 8:44 a.m.
At 8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower, slicing through floors 94 through 98. Those in the direct path of the Boeing 767 aircraft that had been used as a weapon were likely killed instantly. No one in the floors above floor 91 would survive, because they had no way out, and firefighters could not reach them.
According to Peter Mardikian’s wife Corine, he called her at 9:05 a.m. using a landline phone, one that was miraculously still working, on the 106th floor. Here is her recollection of the conversation:
“He said it was very, very smoky,” Ms. Mardikian said, “and he was worried about his breathing. He was talking about going up to the roof. I think he was trying to shelter me. He said he couldn’t talk longer because there were a lot of people standing in line to use the phone.”
His in-laws quoted him as saying this as well to his wife:
“We think a bomb hit here. I’m having a hard time breathing. I probably won’t make it out of here. I just want you to know I love you.”
Here’s what was happening on the top floors of the North Tower at 9:35 that morning:
So urgent was the need for air that people piled four and five high in window after window, their upper bodies hanging out, 1,300 feet above the ground.
They were in an unforgiving place.
Elsewhere, two men, one of them shirtless, stood on the windowsills, leaning their bodies so far outside that they could peer around a big intervening column and see each other, an analysis of photographs and videos reveals.
On the 103rd floor, a man stared straight out a broken window toward the northwest, bracing himself against a window frame with one hand. He wrapped his other arm around a woman, seemingly to keep her from tumbling to the ground.
Behind the unbroken windows, the desperate had assembled. “About five floors from the top you have about 50 people with their faces pressed against the window trying to breathe,” a police officer in a helicopter reported.
Now it was unmistakable. The office of Cantor Fitzgerald, and just above it, Windows on the World, would become the landmark for this doomed moment. Nearly 900 would die on floors 101 through 107.
In the restaurant, at least 70 people crowded near office windows at the northwest corner of the 106th floor, according to accounts they gave relatives and co-workers. “Everywhere else is smoked out,” Stuart Lee, a Data Synapse vice president, e-mailed his office in Greenwich Village. “Currently an argument going on as whether we should break a window,” Mr. Lee continued a few moments later. “Consensus is no for the time being.”
Soon, though, a dozen people appeared through broken windows along the west face of the restaurant. Mr. Vogt, the general manager of Windows, said he could see them from the ground, silhouetted against the gray smoke that billowed out from his own office and others.
By now, the videotapes show, fires were rampaging through the impact floors, darting across the north face of the tower. Coils of smoke lashed the people braced around the broken windows.
In the northwest conference room on the 104th floor, Andrew Rosenblum and 50 other people temporarily managed to ward off the smoke and heat by plugging vents with jackets. “We smashed the computers into the windows to get some air,” Mr. Rosenblum reported by cellphone to his golf partner, Barry Kornblum.
But there was no hiding.
As people began falling from above the conference room, Mr. Rosenblum broke his preternatural calm, his wife, Jill, recalled. In the midst of speaking to her, he suddenly interjected, without elaboration, “Oh my God.”
Imagine what it would feel like to be Peter Mardikian in that crowd, knowing that each moment may be your last. What would you think? How would you feel? How would you act?
The North Tower collapsed at 10:28 that morning. Collapsing along with it were the lives of everyone in floors 92 and above, including Peter Mardikian.
Destroyed with it were the hopes and dreams of everyone on those floors who were murdered that day in an act of extraordinary cruelty and viciousness perpetrated by Islamofascists in an act of war against America.
Mr. Mardikian’s life was snatched from him in a way that no one should ever have to experience. He will never get to feel sunlight on his face again, nor get a kiss from his wife after he’s come home from a hard day at the office. Any plans they’d made for the future? Gone.
A September 11 Memorial Endowment was established by Ohio State University in 2002 in honor of Peter Mardikian, who was an alumnus – graduating from OSU’s Fisher College of Business in 1995 with a B.A. in marketing and business. It’s also where he met the woman who would be his wife.
The online guestbook for Peter Mardikian has many pages of messages from family, friends, and strangers – their lives all touched by either knowing and loving Peter Mardikian or learning about him after Sept. 11.
At some point in your day, please say a prayer or a kind word for Mr. Mardikian’s family, as well as all other families who lost loved ones that day. They may be gone, but they are most definitely not forgotten.
The post #NeverForget 9-11: Remembering 9-11, and WTC victim Peter Edward Mardikian appeared first on Sister Toldjah.
WILSON, N.C. — Thom Tillis, the Republican running for a North Carolina Senate seat that could well decide the majority in the Senate, has been pilloried since last week’s debate by Democrats who see him as a condescending “man-splainer” who played into gender stereotypes.
But in his first comments on the controversy, the Republican state House speaker was unrepentant in a sit-down interview on the campaign trail, chalking up the firestorm to Democrats playing gender politics to boost Sen. Kay Hagan.“It’s just silly,” he said during a lunch stop this weekend with supporters over barbecue, fried oysters and chicken livers. “We’re talking about the future of the greatest nation on the earth, and this is what we’re going to?”
In a state that’s become ground zero this cycle for Democrats “war on women” strategy, the debate served as a flashpoint. There’s no race in the country where the gender gap is more pronounced than North Carolina — a must-win state for both parties. Democratic women’s groups Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List have already announced their biggest 2014 investments will be in the Tar Heel State, where there are 500,000 more women registered to vote than men.
Polls have shown the race locked in a dead heat even with the wide gender gap. A USA Today/Suffolk University poll — conducted in August, before the first debate — had Hagan up 18 points among female voters and Tillis leading by 12 points among men.
The attacks began after Tillis, in a paid advertisement, jabbed at the incumbent, a former bank vice president, saying “Math is lost on Sen. Hagan.” Then, in last week’s debate, in which the Republican appeared better prepared overall, Tillis referred to her as “Kay,” even though she continued to refer to him as “Speaker Tillis.”
“We saw women on social media in particular who were bothered by his tone and more than anything they were bothered by his record,” said Sadie Weiner, spokeswomen for Hagan.
Tillis dismissed the criticism.
“I knew Sen. Hagan when she was in the state legislature. I knew her husband Chip. This race isn’t about titles. It’s about results,” he said. “And in Sen. Hagan’s case, it’s a lack of results. If you look at it just objectively, if that is what the Hagan’s camp is focusing on in this debate, then they must have really felt in their own minds that they fell short on the issues. If it really comes down to that — I mean what about the substance of the debate?”
As a side note, what Ms. Weiner won’t tell you is that the much of the “outrage” over the alleged “mansplaining” that was seen on social media last Wednesday during and after the debate came from … political operatives like herself, and state-wide media allies who (unsurprisingly) eagerly jumped on the “Tillis was being mean!” bandwagon. As a general rule, once the media validates a particular “criticism”, there is a snowball effect with others who may not have necessarily seen it that way then falling in line with the prevailing – but false – narrative.
Tillis is right – if ridiculous charges of “mansplaining” are the best Team Hagan could do coming out of last week’s debate, it kind of tells you how badly they think she did, which is why they want you to focus on the sideline noise they’re drumming up about sexism which – ironically, is what they themselves are guilty of. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
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The first game of the 2014-2015 NFL regular season for the Panthers is against the Tampa Bay Bucs this afternoon, and the big news of the day so far is the announcement that QB Cam Newton has been listed as “inactive”:
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will miss his first regular-season game as a professional Sunday after the Panthers placed him on their inactives list before Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.
Derek Anderson, who has been Newton’s backup for three years, will be the starter.
Newton has cracked ribs that he suffered two weeks ago in an exhibition. He did not practice until Thursday, though it was in a limited capacity. Newton threw more than the team expected Friday, but Ron Rivera and team officials decided the risk was too great for Newton to play Week 1.
Joe Webb will be the backup quarterback. This is Anderson’s first start for the Panthers and his first career start since the 2010 season when he was with Arizona. Anderson did not throw a pass in a game last season in four appearances.
Get well soon, Cam.
Game time today is 4:25, and the game will be broadcast locally on Fox.
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**Posted by Phineas
Here we go again.
One of the enduring questions from the 9/11/12 massacre at the US consulate in Benghazi and the subsequent attack on a CIA annex there has been “Where was the cavalry?”, when we had forces available in the area that might have saved the ambassador and three others who died.
An investigation by the Republican-lead House Armed Services Committee determined that American forces in nearby countries could not have responded in time, though they blamed the White House for not being prepared. (As do I.) They also concluded that there was no stand-down order for the quick reaction force in Tripoli and that it could not have arrived in time to save lives.
Fair enough. But what about the CIA team in the “annex?” There had been earlier reports that a rescue force was delayed for roughly half-an-hour, before deciding to go on their own volition. Now, in an interview to air on Bret Baier’s “Special Report” tonight at 7 PST, three of the contractors at the annex who survived the battle have accused their boss of holding them back:
The security contractors — Kris (“Tanto”) Paronto, Mark (“Oz”) Geist, and John (“Tig”) Tiegen — spoke exclusively, and at length, to Fox News about what they saw and did that night. Baier, Fox News’ Chief Political Anchor, asked them about one of the most controversial questions arising from the events in Benghazi: Was help delayed?
Word of the attack on the diplomatic compound reached the CIA annex just after 9:30 p.m. Within five minutes, the security team at the annex was geared up for battle, and ready to move to the compound, a mile away.
“Five minutes, we’re ready,” said Paronto, a former Army Ranger. “It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.”
But the team was held back. According to the security operators, they were delayed from responding to the attack by the top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom they refer to only as “Bob.”
“It had probably been 15 minutes I think, and … I just said, ‘Hey, you know, we gotta– we need to get over there, we’re losing the initiative,’” said Tiegen. “And Bob just looks straight at me and said, ‘Stand down, you need to wait.’”
“We’re starting to get calls from the State Department guys saying, ‘Hey, we’re taking fire, we need you guys here, we need help,’” said Paronto.
After a delay of nearly 30 minutes, the security team headed to the besieged consulate without orders. They asked their CIA superiors to call for armed air support, which never came.
Now, looking back, the security team said they believed that if they had not been delayed for nearly half an hour, or if the air support had come, things might have turned out differently.
“Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said. Tiegen concurred.
“I strongly believe if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today,” he added.
An unidentified “intelligence official” denied there was a stand down order, but these three swear those exact words were used to them: “stand down.” The question, if this account is true, is did “Bob” act on his own, or did he have instructions from above?
This is a question that needs answers. We already have a special select committee investigating Benghazi, and the Chairman has said these new allegations will be part of that investigation.
The victims and their families deserve no less than the truth.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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In an update to this post, the disgraceful, shameless Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, known for her insane, over-the-top, way beyond the bounds of basic civility, has issued a non-apology “apology” of sorts for her vile remarks likening Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) to a physically abusive husband:
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she used words she “shouldn’t have” in her attack against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in which she said he “has given women the back of his hand.”
“I shouldn’t have used the words I used,” Wasserman Schultz wrote in a statement on Thursday. “But that shouldn’t detract from the broader point that I was making that Scott Walker’s policies have been bad for Wisconsin women, whether it’s mandating ultrasounds, repealing an equal pay law, or rejecting federal funding for preventative health care, Walker’s record speaks for itself.”
The DNC chairwoman slammed the Republican governor and the GOP during a round-table discussion in Milwaukee on Wednesday. Her remarks quickly sparked outrage.
“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality,” Wasserman Schultz said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
She continued, “What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch.”
Sorry – her lame “walk-back” was not good enough. While it was refreshing today to see even some in the normally reliably left wing media take her to task for not just what she said, but how she said it, she really should have the decency to resign from her post as Chairwoman. But she won’t because, as I noted this morning, this is exactly the type of in-the-gutter public discourse she gets paid to come up with.
So because she won’t resign, I’m calling on people to do exactly what prominent Democrats and their allies in the press would do had this been a Republican: Keep talking about it for the next couple of weeks at least (that’s about the normal timeframe for an MSM scandal cycle, right?). On social media, on your blogs, on political message boards, everywhere you can. Remind people Wasserman Schultz’s brand of “hardball is part of a larger Democrat party election-year strategy – one in which Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), currently in a fierce battle to try and keep her seat, is also taking part - of blatantly trying to emotionally manipulate women with baseless, false, in some cases outright reprehensible political and personal attacks against their opposition … because they’re desperate to win in November. Of course, this is something they do all the time, but this time around they’ve cranked up efforts to levels previously unseen for a non-presidential election year.
Keep what’s happening, the stunts they’re trying to pull, fresh in everyone’s minds. Don’t let Democrats get away with throwing everything but the kitchen sink again.
The post Not enough: DNC Chair apologizes (not really) for cheapening the meaning of domestic abuse appeared first on Sister Toldjah.
Just when you think the left hadn’t stooped low enough this election year. Via The Week:
On Wednesday, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz used some fairly graphic language to describe Republican Gov. Scott Walker during a visit to Wisconsin.
“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand,” Wasserman Schultz said at a roundtable discussion in Milwaukee on women’s issue, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality.” She added: “What Republican Tea Party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch.”
In response, Republican Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch said she was “shocked” that Wasserman Schultz used language that would normally describe domestic violence, in reference to Walker: “I think the remarks were absolutely hideous and the motive behind them was despicable.”
The campaign of Walker’s Democratic opponent, businesswoman Mary Burke — whom Wasserman Schultz was attempting to boost — distanced themselves from the comments. “That’s not the type of language that Mary Burke would use, or has used, to point out the clear differences in this contest,” said Burke press secretary Stephanie Wilson, who also added: “There is plenty that she and Governor Walker disagree on — but those disagreements can and should be pointed out respectfully.”
The Burke campaign is right on the surface, even if they really don’t mean what they say. We’ve seen this all play out before, haven’t we? Wasserman Schultz makes inflammatory remarks that go wayyyy beyond what is acceptable in the political debate arena, the mainstream media – typically – gives her a pass on them (unlike how they’d treat this if the words came from the mouth of a Republican), the GOP calls her out on them and her left wing allies respond with muted “criticism” of what she deliberately suggested and then we’re all supposed to move on as if she never said anything.
This, my dear readers, is part of what this viper is paid to do – and why Democrats keep her in this position. To say the worst things imaginable about the opposition, and then hope/expect the (glaringly phony) image they’ve painted of them will stick in the minds of enough voters that they’ll vote against them at the ballot box. In essence, this is what you call “selling your soul” for political advantage. Wasserman Schultz didn’t think – and likely still doesn’t think – her disgusting broadside against Walker is wrong, in spite of the fact that it’s likely the case that she knows women who have been real victims of actual, horrific domestic abuse, just like many others of us do.
Falsely insinuating domestic violence is in no way, not ever acceptable as campaign rhetoric (or any other rhetoric, for that matter), Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Many women have the life-long emotional and physical scars, and some have even been murdered, at the brutish hands of men they thought loved them. For you to cheapen their experiences, to water down the definition of the term “domestic abuse” in your attempt at partisan one-upping someone in the opposing party defines gutter tactics at their absolute worst. Shame on you – not that you have any.
Read more via Memeorandum.
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Prominent conservative talker Glenn Beck is making waves this week in like-minded & non-like-minded alike circles with his prediction that Hillary Clinton will win the presidency in 2016. Via The Politico:
Hillary Clinton will be the next president, Glenn Beck said on his radio show Tuesday.
Beck said a friend of his spoke with “some Hillary people” about her 2016 campaign strategy and after he heard it, he realized the former first lady and secretary of state would become the next White House occupant.
“You guys are going to all be fighting on Benghazi and everything else,” Beck said his friend told him. “And here is what Hillary is going to do: ‘Do you remember when America was good? Do you remember when America, we had jobs and we were building towards a brighter future? And things were really happening? Clinton administration. We had it under control. Things were good, they weren’t great. We’re going to do better. But we’re going to replant our flag in the traditional things that you understand. But the traditional things in the Clinton administration. We could talk about Ronald Reagan all we want. … But the Clinton years were the golden years.’”
“While we’re talking about technicalities and the past, they’re going to be talking about a past that was brightly remembered, and they will talk about the America we will become,” he added. “She. Will. Win.”
As much respect as I have for Glenn Beck and his opinions on all things political, I’m not buying it. This is the exact campaign Hillary Clinton ran in 2007-08 against Barack Obama. ‘Vote for me and we’ll return to the glory years you saw before President Bush was elected’, blah blah. And she lost. Granted, she wouldn’t be running against a slick talker like Barack Obama the second time around, but that doesn’t mean it’d be smooth sailing for her during the primaries, especially if Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has become a major darling in hard-line Democrat circles, throws her hat into the ring. As much as the left would love to “coronate” Hillary as the first female president in US history, they want someone who embodies more of their core left wing values and Hillary is largely seen right now as conveniently “playing it safe” and “down the middle” rather than attempting to appeal to her party’s base – unlike Warren – also a woman, of course, and one who is unashamedly liberal.
There seems to be this growing sense of “inevitability” – even on our side – that Hillary will be elected the next president. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I don’t think her election is a done deal. There’s still a lot of ground to cover – both for her potential Democrat and Republican challengers, and for Hillary as well – between now and the time everyone starts announcing their intentions, and in an era where the “fresh and new and different” kind of candidates seem to be more appealing to the masses, someone like La Clinton who has been a national political fixture since the early 1990s may end up struggling to make it into the top three in the primaries.
Of course, it’s early still – and anything is possible so, as they say, stay tuned …
**Posted by Phineas
The savages of the “Islamic State” have sent another message to the United States:
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against the backdrop of an arid Syrian landscape, [Steven] Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq.
In the video distributed Tuesday and entitled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is beheaded by an Islamic State fighter.
As Bryan Preston of PJ Media points out, our leaders have once again been caught unaware. Maybe they’re still trying to figure out a strategy for dealing with medieval lunatics who are butchering Americans. If Obama and his team are having trouble doing that, let me offer a suggestion:
Hunt these swine down and kill every last one of them.
UPDATE: At the end of the video of Sotloff’s beheading, ISIS shows another captive, Briton David Cawthorne Haines. The implication is clear: unless the US stops its airstrikes, Mr. Haines will be slaughtered like James Foley and Mr. Sotloff.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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For those of you who were under the radar and missed this horrifying news from earlier this week:
In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley – and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. Even so, the U.S. military pressed ahead, conducting nearly a dozen airstrikes in Iraq since Tuesday.
Foley, 40, from Rochester, New Hampshire, went missing in northern Syria in November 2012 while freelancing for Agence France-Presse and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. The car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control. He had not been heard from since.
The beheading marks the first time the Islamic State has killed an American citizen since the Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011, upping the stakes in an increasingly chaotic and multilayered war. The killing is likely to complicate U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Obama administration’s efforts to contain the group as it expands in both Iraq and Syria.
The group is the heir apparent of the militancy known as al-Qaida in Iraq, which beheaded many of its victims, including American businessman Nicholas Berg in 2004.
The video released on websites Tuesday appears to show the increasing sophistication of the Islamic State group’s media unit and begins with scenes of Obama explaining his decision to order airstrikes.
It then cuts to a balding man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling in the desert, next to a black-clad militant with a knife to his throat. Foley’s name appears in both English and Arabic graphics on screen. After the captive speaks, the masked man is shown apparently beginning to cut at his neck; the video fades to black before the beheading is completed. The next shot appears to show the captive lying dead. The video appears to have been shot in an arid area; there is no vegetation to be seen and the horizon is in the distance where the sand meets the gray-blue sky.
At the end of the video, a militant shows a second man, who was identified as another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warns that he could be the next captive killed. Sotloff was kidnapped near the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013; he had freelanced for Time, the National Interest and MediaLine.
I was on Twitter when news of Foley’s murder broke. The expressions of outrage towards his killers, the condolences posted to his family – all were understandable. For a brief moment, I joined in with the calls for people to always remember how he lived, and to put out of mind how he died. It seemed fitting at the time. But as the week went on, and the more I thought about it, the more I concluded that – while it is indeed important to remember Foley’s work as a photojournalist, something he felt called to do in war-torn countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq, it was also vitally important to keep his murder fresh in people’s minds as a reminder of just how radicalized the “religion of peace” has become, and how we simply cannot continue the policy of appeasement towards Islamofascists that has taken place under the Obama administration.
Like many, I have not been impressed AT ALL with the “official response” communicated by the Obama administration to Foley’s brutal murder, because there is a continued insistence by them and other dangerous liberal moral relativists that terrorists like ISIS simply “pervert” the Islamic faith. There’s the implication that if we stop and try and “understand” these inhumane swine who behead innocents in the name of “Allah” and bury alive rape victims as punishment in countries like Iran then maybe we could all just “get along”, sing “Kumbaya” and all that.
No. I wrote this in 2010, and I still believe it to this day:
For a brief time long ago, I used to subscribe to the belief that there was a “moderate” element to Islam. I don’t anymore. Yes, there are Muslim Islamists out there who are not hateful, who are respectful of the religious beliefs and faiths of others, etc, but my opinion is that these Muslims are not full-fledged Islamists – and that’s a good thing. There is hope for that minority of Islamists that they can turn away from the evil “religion” we know as Islam.
That is, if they’re not murdered first.
No, Mr. President – I will not be “tolerant” of this religion, not in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Doesn’t mean I’ll get violent, but it DOES mean that I will speak out strongly against it, loudly and often. Islam, which is the law of the land in many Muslim countries via the use of the Koran as their “standard,” stands for everything we’re supposed to be against. Secularists and non-secularists alike can see this. It’s a crying, outrageous shame that you and so many of your fellow “enlightened” liberals do not.
If Foley’s sickening, torturous death does not wake people up as to the horrors of radical Islam, perhaps the ongoing persecution of non-believers by ISIS will:
Reports coming in from Sinjar, a small town that was once home to Iraqi minority community, Yazidis, suggest that the Islamic State militants are carrying out a “genocide” in the town.
For the Sunni militants, the Yazidis are a race of “devil worshipers” and killing them would only amount to a “holy act.”
The 4,000-year-old religious group has faced persecution for centuries for its unique belief and practices.
Earlier on Sunday, the Islamic State captured the town after driving away the Kurdish forces in the region. Witnesses claim that the militants are executing dozens of Yazidis for refusing to convert to Islam.
The Gulf News report claimed that 67 young men were shot dead by the militants. Besides executing the Yazidis, the Al Qaeda offshoot, is also reportedly taking Yazidi women for “jihad” marriage.
Mohammed al-Khuzai, an official with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society told NYTimes that ISIS took more than 100 Yazidi families to the airport at the nearby town of Tal Afar, where it executed the men.
“ISIS killed all the men,” Khuzai said, “and are planning to keep the women for jihad marriage.”
Reports have also come in claiming that the Islamic State militants have forcefully taken away a large number of children from the Yazidi town. A resident told McClatchy DC that militants were taking away young children from their families.
Several Sinjar local government and municipal workers also have been executed by the ISIS.
It’s time for world leaders to stop being silent, time to stop sitting back hoping the problem will just “go away.” Time for “leaders” here at home to stop largely ignoring the issue or downplaying because it’s “not happening here.” Time for dangerous left wing moral relativists like the President, Reps. Keith Ellison, and Sheila Jackson Lee to stop playing the religious equivalency games. Condemn it, call it out, STOP making excuses for it, stop rationalizing it. Stop putting it “in its proper context.” 9/11 wasn’t the first time radical Islam used its might to kill innocents in its quest to punish “infidels”, and James Foley’s beheading won’t be their last radical act of cold, sickening brutality, either. Pretending otherwise on all counts will only ensure that more will die.
- Flashback – October 2013: The global persecution of [Christian] churchgoers is the unreported catastrophe of our time
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Like everyone else on the planet, I was stunned and saddened to read the news last night of comedian Robin Williams’ death:
Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, who dazzled in such wide-ranging dramatic and comedic roles as alien, nanny, therapist and cartoon genie during a four-decades long career, was found dead in his northern California home in a suspected suicide Monday. He was 63.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that Williams was found unconscious and not breathing in his home around noon. The statement said the investigation into Williams’ death is ongoing, but the coroner “suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.”
The Marin County coroner’s office said Williams was last seen alive at home at about 10 p.m. Sunday. An emergency call from his house in Tiburon was placed to the Sheriff’s Department shortly before noon Monday.
A representative for Williams said in a statement the actor had been battling “severe depression of late.”
“This is a tragic and sudden loss,” Mara Buxbaum said. “The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
Williams’ wife Susan Schneider said in a statement she is devastated and asked for privacy.
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings,” she said. “I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
Williams publicly struggled with addiction during his career and most recently went to rehab in June to “fine tune” his sobriety, his rep said at the time.
The death of someone is never easy to handle, but when you read it’s from apparent suicide, your heart just absolutely breaks, and you wonder “what could I have done that maybe would have led to a different outcome?”
If you’re in a position in your life where you think hope is lost, IT ISN’T. Reach out and talk to someone. If you want it to remain anonymous, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline. 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You are never alone, and please always remember that people care about and love you.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Williams’ family. It goes without saying that although he is gone, he will not be forgotten.