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.
Just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know that, starting tomorrow, yours truly will be taking the next three weeks off from blogging as a bit of a “summer break.” If anything super-hot breaks that I feel the urge to write about, I’ll check in but other than that I’ll be away from the blog. Phineas may post here and there but it will likely be light posting. As much as we’d both like it to, our writing does not pay the bills so we have offline responsibilities that must take priority. Because of that, sometimes the amount of content here isn’t what we’d like it to be.
I’ll be using my time away from the blog to, in part, consider its creative direction, and its future. I’ve been blogging consistently since October 2003, and while I appreciate loyal readers who keep coming back, readership is not growing, and it needs to grow if I want this to be a successful blog that generates ad revenue and tip jar contributions that can help me sustain it and perhaps one day turn it into something I can do on a more regular basis.
All that being said, I will not be totally off the radar. You can still catch me daily on social media (my Twitter / Facebook / Phineas’ Twitter account). For the time being, it’s just easier for me to partake in social media posting and commentary than it is for me to blog during the week.
Anyone who needs to contact me can do so via social media, or via the “contact” link at the top of this page. I appreciate, in advance, your understanding. Later, gators.
Enough is enough, they say. Via Fox News:
Dozens of government watchdogs are sounding the alarm that the Obama administration is stonewalling them, in what is being described as an unprecedented challenge to the agencies they’re supposed to oversee.
Forty-seven of the government’s 73 independent watchdogs known as inspectors general voiced their complaints in a letter to congressional leaders this week. They accused several major agencies — the Justice Department, the Peace Corps and the chemical safety board — of imposing “serious limitations on access to records.”
The inspectors general are now appealing to Congress to help them do their jobs uncovering waste, fraud, and mismanagement.
“Agency actions that limit, condition, or delay access thus have profoundly negative consequences for our work: they make us less effective, encourage other agencies to take similar actions in the future, and erode the morale of the dedicated professionals that make up our staffs,” they wrote.
The letter to the chairmen and ranking members of relevant oversight committees in the House and Senate claimed agencies are withholding information by calling it “privileged.”
In the letter, they said this interpretation poses “potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”
Gotta hand it to IG’s willing to put their name to the complaints in this letter. After all, we’ve seen what happens to inspectors general in this administration when they run afoul of the President’s do as I say, not as I do agenda.
“Transparency” you can believe in! At least many in the mainstream media aren’t even falling for it anymore. Baby steps ….
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When all else fails for Democrats, the “VICTIM” card must be played! Via The Hill’s Briefing Room blog:
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is calling the attack during the immigration debate on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “sexist.”
On MSNBC’s “Politics Nation” late Monday, Schakowsky was asked to react to Rep. Tom Marino’s (R-Pa.) comments toward Pelosi in which he suggested she bore some of the blame for the border crisis.
“I would say that it’s sexist and that it was patronizing. ‘Do the research, Madam Leader.’ And he got exactly what he deserved. And then for him to claim, ‘I was the tough guy. I’m a street fighter.’ Really? On the floor of the House?” she said.
Before the House passed the new version of the GOP border bill on Friday, Marino broke floor protocol and called out Pelosi directly.
“I did the research on it,” he said. “You might want to try it. You might want to try it, Madam Leader.”
Um, correction. Marino didn’t “break floor protocol” – it was Pelosi who did so by leaving her side of the aisle and marching over to his to confront him, as the video clearly shows. That’s why he said to her, “I did the research,” etc.
Continuing from The Hill’s report:
“And talking to her in that condescending way. I’m really offended. And I was proud of her for marching over,” Schakowsky said.
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was on the House floor at the time, said Pelosi walked across the aisle to Marino and said, “You’re insignificant.”
“You know, you’re not supposed to direct comments personally, and he did just that. He deserved what he got and shouldn’t be proud of it,” Schakowsky added.
If Schakowsky had ANY shame whatsoever, which she doesn’t, she’d either not comment on this at all or at the very least say both sides got heated. I know there’s no way in hell she’d actually admit the truth, which is that Pelosi got WAY out of line in her Friday chase-down of Marino. Escalating disagreement personally like what she did simply isn’t done on the House floor, shouldn’t be done.
You wanna know what the infuriating thing is about Schakowsky’s bull sh*t comments on Pelosi’s meltdown?
1) That she’s trying to have her cake and eat it, too, on the “sexism” card. Marino was “sexist” for defending what he was saying and not backing down from her, but he’d have also been “sexist” had he been the one who walked across the aisle and confronted her. Don’t you just love how liberals enjoy having it both ways?
2) Schakowsky is knowingly lying about the instigator of the “personal” attack. Marino called out the other side of the aisle for not doing much of anything on immigration when they had control for the first two years of Obama’s presidency. Pelosi came over to him and tried to “correct” him and then went personal by calling him “insignificant.” Again, imagine the howls of outrage from “feminists” had he said and done the same to her? Furthermore, why is Marino “insignificant” to Pelosi? I would love to hear an answer to that one.
3) Schakowsky is doing exactly what “feminists” of yesteryear deplored – in effect, being the opposite of a true feminist – by giving Pelosi the fainting couch treatment, suggesting any disagreement with female political leaders in positions of power by men are, by default, outrageous and sexist and therefore any response the “attacked” woman decides is “appropriate” and should not be questioned nor criticized. Or …., you got it, sexism!
4) I think of all the legitimate claims of sexism in this country from years past and current, where women have actually been real victims of sexually hostile environments, and then I read Schakowsky’s completely watered down definition of it and it makes me sick. As usual, the left dumbs down words to the point they have no real meaning anymore except what they decide it is at the time – for political advantage, of course.
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**Posted by Phineas
That’s the unavoidable conclusion of a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which, if I recall correctly, has been friendly towards the ACA. Byron York reports:
According to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has closely tracked Obamacare for years, 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. That’s an eight-percentage-point jump in unfavorability over last month, and a two-point drop in favorability over the same time.
Why the shift? It’s not because millions of Americans have suddenly become conservative Republicans. Kaiser found that disapproval of Obamacare has risen across the board. Among Democrats, for example, the law’s unfavorable rating jumped six points in July, while its favorable rating fell four points. A similar thing happened among independents and — it hardly seemed possible — among Republicans who already hated the law.
Obamacare’s unfavorables also rose among all income groups — people who make less than $40,000 a year, those who make between $40,000 and $90,000 a year, and those who make more than $90,000. The same among all age groups. And the same for race and ethnicity: Disapproval rose among whites, blacks, and Hispanics.
Rather than a shift among some identifiable group, Obamacare’s rising unpopularity seems to be a product of the simple fact that, several months into its implementation, more and more people are having personal experience with the law.
Remember how Democrats swore people would love the law, once they got some experience with it? Critics suspected that was wishful thinking, and we seem to have been right.
Read the rest of York’s article for the details, but this is really the result of two things: 1) monumental progressive arrogance in seizing control of a health insurance system that a majority of the nation was satisfied with, substituting their judgement for that of their constituents and face-slapping the constitutional order in the process; and 2) doing a crappy job of writing the actual legislation, causing all sorts of problems for people across the nation. After the disruption of doctor-patient relationships, shrunken provider networks, increased deductibles, and massive cancellations of policies people were happy with –and the savaging of large group plans is still to come!– after all that, is it any wonder more and more people hate this thing, the more they get to know it?
Obamacare has been pushed into the background somewhat, as other crises du jour have taken it’s place on the front pages. But it’s still there, and it is still going to annoy the heck out of people, especially as the rate increases hit this summer and group policies start getting cancelled. And you can bet that surveys like this one fill Democrats with dread as we approach November.
As they should.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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A fantastic column from Ron Christie in today’s Daily Beast regarding the disgusting racist attacks being waged by Democrats in Kentucky against former Secretary of Labor (and wife of KY Senator/Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) Elaine Cho (hat tip):
But Democrats who imagine racist slights and “dog whistles” at every turn would be wise to look at the vicious anti-Asian bigotry on display in Kentucky, which is being fomented by supporters of their so-called progressive party.
This past weekend, as Senator McConnell spoke to supporters at the Fancy Farm event in Kentucky, he sought to confront the “War on Women” rhetoric of his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, by noting his wife’s accomplishments. “And the biggest asset I have by far is the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet, my wife, Elaine Chao,” he said to applause from the crowd.
It didn’t take long for Kathy Groob, the founder of the pro-Democrat PAC Elect Women, to start mocking Chao’s heritage on Twitter. “She’s not from KY…She is Asian and [President George W.] Bush openly touted that,” Groob said. In other tweets, Groob referred to Chao as McConnell’s “Chinese wife,” and said McConnell is “wedded to free trade in China.”
She later deleted her offensive tweets and deactivated her Twitter account. National and Kentucky Democrats, to their credit, quickly denounced her remarks.
Still, the incident left me scratching my head. A prominent Democrat attacks a spouse of a Republican candidate based on the color of her skin, but the reaction from the national media has been largely muted. One can only imagine the reaction had a GOP operative made the exact same slur against the spouse of a Democratic candidate. There would be wall-to-wall coverage on MSNBC, disapproving editorials from The New York Times, and warnings from the DNC that Republicans are looking to bring us back to the days of internment camps and Jim Crow. Talking Points Memo, a liberal website that delights in highlighting the ramblings of obscure GOP statehouse backbenchers, would use a story like that to insinuate that conservatives are, by and large, racist.
And this isn’t even the first time Democrats in Kentucky have attacked Chao’s ethnicity. Last year, a Democratic super PAC called Progress Kentucky tweeted that McConnell’s marriage to Chao “may explain why your job moved to #China.”
Make sure to read the whole thing.
Double standards like this, which I’ve written about many, many times before, will never change – at least as far as the mainstream media is concerned. But all the same, they’ll always be worth pointing out. Sunlight is the best medicine, and all that …
The post “Why is racism treated differently when it comes from the left?” appeared first on Sister Toldjah.
It is to laugh, my dear readers. It is to laugh:
So you think that President Obama’s rise stemmed in part from media favoritism? Reid Cherlin, a former Obama campaign media liaison and later a White House spokesman, has different ideas, as outlined in a Rolling Stone piece:
No, Barack Obama never had reporters eating out of his hand the way that right-wingers love to allege — even though Obama’s intellectual approach made him seem like someone who could just as easily have been a columnist as a candidate. Appearing at his first Correspondents’ Dinner, in 2009, the president joked, “Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me.” But even as polite laughter settled over the black-tie crowd, there was ample evidence that the old way of the news business – in fact, the news business entirely – was falling away, and with it, the last shreds of comity between subject and scribe.
Time to book Cherlin on a conference panel with Mark Halperin. The co-author of “Game Change” and well-traveled pundit and reporter said after Obama’s 2008 victory: “It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war. It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”
Halperin was, of course, correct. And several years later, unfortunately, not much has changed.
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I’ll be chuckling over this one for a while:
Black Democrats in Congress are sharply criticizing their party’s leadership for supporting efforts to overturn the GOP-drawn congressional map in Florida and cut into Republicans’ House majority.
Last week, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) sent a sharply worded letter to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) complaining about the party’s support for a lawsuit that aims to throw out Florida’s congressional map — changes that could dismantle the gerrymandered seat of CBC member Corrine Brown.
“On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), I write to express our ongoing concern with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) support of lawsuits challenging the validity of minority Congressional districts,” Fudge wrote. “Per our prior discussion, we are extremely disturbed by the DCCC’s efforts to dismantle CBC districts in states that have historically proven to be difficult to elect minority members. Considering the history of discrimination through efforts such as gerrymandering, the recent actions reflect the discrimination of days past.”
On Friday, a Florida judge asked the Legislature to redraw the congressional map so that it conformed with the state’s constitution. He set a deadline for Aug. 15 so that the new map could be used for the 2014 election and left open the possibility that the election could be postponed to allow time for the new plan to be implemented.
Democratic-aligned groups, with funding from the National Democratic Redistricting Trust, have supported the lawsuit with an eye toward undoing a congressional map that is seen as GOP-friendly. But the CBC is unhappy because the judge has specifically pointed to Brown’s oddly shaped 5th District, which snakes from Jacksonville all the way down to Orlando, as a district that violated the state’s Fair Districts amendment.
OK. Let me break this down: Democrats, especially those in the South, have an – er, unsavory shall we say history on the issue of racism going waaaaaaaaay back. They’ve tried to make amends to it over the years, mostly by flipping the switch and (many times falsely) accusing their opponents of racism in an effort to scare voters. To a large degree, the despicable, desperate tactic worked. They often point to “gerrymandering” as a way Republican-dominated state legislatures demonstrate their alleged disdain and hatred for black people.
In this instance, the FL GOP drew up a revised Congressional map that a FL judge has asked them to redraw by the middle of this month. Naturally, the DCCC applauded the judge’s ruling because they believe it will give them an upcoming election advantage. But if the maps are redrawn the way the judge seems to think they should be, it could impact Corrine Brown’s seat which the CBC does not support. In effect, black Democrats here are saying that, though in the past redistricting has been used to “disenfranchise” black voters, in this situation it wasn’t. The (mostly white) members of the DCCC, on the other hand, are apparently willing to overlook at how this could negatively impact Congresswoman Brown because of the potential to pick up more desperately needed seats elsewhere.
You really can’t make this stuff up! #popcorn
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**Posted by Phineas
I’m telling ya, this is how Act One of a bad science fiction movie would run. A report leaked to Breitbart Texas from the Customs and Border Patrol service (CBP) discusses how people from all over the globe are trying to exploit our porous southern border to get into the United States. People from more than 75 different countries have been apprehended. That’s frustrating enough. But what is truly scary is where some of them are coming from:
Among the significant revelations are that individuals from nations currently suffering from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across the porous U.S. border into the interior of the United States. At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014.
None of those people it seems were carrying ebola, for we’d surely know by now. But what if someone carrying the virus made it across the Rio Grande and successfully hid themselves in our inner cities, not knowing the danger he or she posed as a “Trojan horse?” By the time this person showed symptoms and was discovered, the virus might already have spread into the larger population. Even if safely contained, the news would spread like wildfire.
Can you say “mass public panic?”
Securing the border is looking better and better all the time.
via Rick Moran
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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Via The Politico:
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) on Monday called his recent fight with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “a walk in the park” after, he says, she called him a “liar” on the House floor.
“She came running over crossing the floor, which is a breach of protocol … and she came up to me wagging her finger and saying that I was a liar, a liar, and I simply said, ‘No, I do my research and I have my facts straight, perhaps you should try that,’” Marino told Fox News on Monday, recalling the event.
“I’m a former prosecutor … I’ve been threatened by drug dealers and organized crime and murderers, and this was a walk in the park,” Marino added.
The battle between Marino and Pelosi began on Friday during a heated discussion on immigration.
“You know something that I find quite interesting about the other side?” Marino said on the House floor on Friday. “Under the leadership of the former speaker [Pelosi], and under the leadership of the former leader [Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)], when in 2009 and 2010, they had the House, the Senate and the White House, and they knew this problem existed … they didn’t have the strength to go after [immigration] back then.”
Marino’s comments caused Pelosi to cross the aisle, but not for bipartisan reasons.
“I am an insignificant person; she told me that twice, and I just simply said to her, ‘Do you want to talk about this in the back?’ and she said, ‘No’; she was visibly shaken,” Marino said.
Make sure to watch the bottom of the screen when the camera pans to the floor and you’ll see her twice going after him, the second time pretty aggressively.
Now, I want you to imagine just for a minute the level of outrage had this been Marino confronting Pelosi on the House floor in such a hostile manner. We’d NEVER hear the end of it in terms of how it was just another “example of the GOP’s war on women”, etc. But, like I said Saturday in my initial comments on the matter, the double standard will – of course – be allowed to stand in this instance:
It was a severe breach of decorum, but unlike how House Dems reacted when Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” at President Obama during a State of the Union, don’t expect much of any criticism of what she did yesterday.
Wondering what tripped Pelosi’s trigger? Nothing Marino said was a personal attack on her, her party, her constituency, nothing of the sort. It was mere political disagreement. Which, perhaps, is where the problem is. After decades of having to stand on the House floor and ‘tolerate’ ‘intolerant’ comments from the political opposition, perhaps ‘Madame Minority Leader’ had had enough. Though sh*t, hon. When/if the political opposition in the US House starts calling the President a murderer and dictator and thug on the floor of the House like your side did during the eight years Bush was in office, you’ll maybe have a valid excuse for your behavior. But until then ….
Hats off to Rep. Marino, for not backing down from her attempt at intimidating him into silence. We definitely need more like him.
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It’s about time a President said it. Too bad it’s not the one currently occupying the White House. Via Mike Wereschagin and Salena Zito from the Tribune-Review:
Former President Bill Clinton on Saturday sharply criticized Hamas for deliberately endangering civilians and using international aid to build a network of tunnels into Israel.
Speaking at a memorial service for Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife, Clinton lamented the series of foreign policy crises that have cropped up from Eastern Europe to the Middle East in recent weeks.
“How could the people in Gaza, who started rocketing Israel, think that it was OK to use international aid money to dig tunnels to increase their ability to destabilize the region and kill people?” Clinton told about 150 Trib Total Media employees at the memorial service at Scaife’s boyhood home in Ligonier.
Israeli officials list the destruction of the tunnels, which Hamas has used for a series of incursions into Israel, as a chief objective of the 26-day-old war in Gaza.
The Israeli government has come under increasing international pressure, including criticism from the United States, for bombing and shelling that killed more than 1,600 Palestinian civilians, many of them children. About 60 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have died.
But Clinton blamed the rising civilian death toll on Hamas as well, saying they deliberately placed munitions where civilians seek shelter, then use their deaths to foment international anti-Israeli sentiment.
“How could they put rockets in a school to follow a deliberate strategy to force the deaths of their own civilians so as to make Israel look bad in the world?” Clinton said.
Meanwhile, the dangerously clueless wonders in the White House all but accused Israel over the weekend of deliberately targeting civilians (including children). Criticism of Israel isn’t in and of itself wrong, but can’t they at least get their facts right before they condemn a staunch ally in public statements and on national television, in effect further fanning the flames of discontent and rage? Is that really too much to ask of this administration?
The post Bill Clinton slams Hamas for deliberately placing munitions near civilians appeared first on Sister Toldjah.
It’s amazing how no longer being an elected official can free up people to tell the truth about their own side for a change:
Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed the administration’s ObamaCare rollout, calling President Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance plans under the law a “lie.”
“The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank said in an interview with the Huffington Post published Friday.
“But frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it,” he continued. “That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people.”
However, Frank showing a bit of an honest side on the issue of the promotion of Obamacare – something he actively took a role in as a Congressman – doesn’t change the fact that the guy is a bonafide fascist, as he made clear later in the interview:
“He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them,’” Frank said. “But that’s not what he said.”
Got that, y’all? In retrospect, Frank says the President should have told people that it was in their own “best interests” for him to pull out from under them healthcare plans he and the Democrats who forced this plan through Congress without a single Republican vote deemed “inadequate” — even if you happened to like your healthcare plan. But Frank knew at the time -as did the President, as did other dishonest Democrats like NC’s Senator Kay Hagan – that being up front with the American people and letting them know that many of them would lose their health insurance plans under this law would have meant Obamacare would have never come close to becoming law.
Frank, Hagan, Obama, and the rest of the left deliberately lied to the American people in order to get this bill passed and signed into law. Telling that tall tale was a means to an end for Democrats in Washington, DC who think they know better than you what types of healthcare plans are “adequate” – in spite of them giving lip service to “if you like it you can keep it.” That’s just the simple, cold reality of what they did – knowingly repeating this blatant falsehood over and over again, and it is one that Democrats (both in and out of office) would conveniently like for you to forget.
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**Posted by Phineas
That’s the gist of the complaint from Navi Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who denounced Israel (and by extension the US) for civilian deaths in Gaza. The original article is behind Haaretz’s subscriber wall, so I’ll quote the Breitbart summary:
Navi Pillay told reporters following yet another “emergency” meeting of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that Israel was not doing enough to protect civilians. “There is a strong possibility,” said the known Israel critic, “that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”
Among the UN’s long bill of particulars against the beleaguered Jewish state comes the almost unbelievable accusation that Israel’s refusal to share its Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield with the “governing authority” of Gaza – i.e. Hamas, the terror group created to pursue the extermination of the Jewish state and now waging a terrorist war against it – constitutes a war crime against the civilians of Gaza.
The UN chairwoman criticized the U.S. for helping fund Israel’s Iron Dome system which has saved countless Israeli and Palestinian lives. “No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling,” she said.
Oh, poor little Hamas. They start a war with Israel, firing thousands of rockets with the potential to kill thousands –especially if they had hit that nuclear reactor at Dimona!– and they dig tunnels for offensive operations against civilians, and then when they fight back to destroy those tunnels and successfully defend their people from those rockets, the leftists in the transnational bureaucracy (1) whine that Israel, the nation that got attacked in the first place, has an unfair advantage.
You cannot make this crap up.
Claudia Rosett take Ms. Pillay’s idea about “sharing the weapon-wealth” to its logical, farcical conclusion:
It also seems unfair to limit such sharing to terrorist organizations. The UN is, after all, an institution devoted to upholding and treating equally the rights of all sovereign states. Why not save South Korea from its unfair military edge over North Korea, by demanding that Seoul turn over to Pyongyang enough advanced military technology to even the balance? For the sake of world peace, the U.S. could deliver to China any military secrets China hasn’t stolen already; likewise, give Russia its fair share. And it almost goes without saying that the U.S. and other world powers should stop dickering with Iran over its nuclear program, and just give Tehran the bomb.
Actually, once this redistribution really gets underway, there are quite a number of UN member states, plus an array of terrorist groups, around the globe, which could more safely threaten or attack the world’s developed democracies if only advanced military technology were to be included in the UN roster of aid entitlements. Though, the myriad transfers and accompanying funding could become complex. Maybe it would be more efficient to simply require that all developed democracies turn over all advanced military technology to the UN, along with the requisite cash, to be redistributed to terrorist groups and rogue states as UN human rights officials deem proportionately appropriate. One more step toward the UN dream of a more equitable world.
Fair is fair, after all. To paraphrase President Obama, “At some point, you have enough weapons.”
PS: My philosophy of dealing with dangerous neighboring countries is simple — “We want to live in peace with you. We are happy to buy your stuff and sell you our stuff, something good for us all. But, if you insist on trying to kill my people, I will bring the Wrath of God down on you. That is how I will share my country’s military technology.”
PPS: And if you want an idea of how seriously High Commissioner Pillay’s UN Human Rights Council takes the idea of human rights for all, consider that China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are all members.
(1) Is there a more useless class of people in the world? I’m hard pressed to think of one.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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I’m headed out to run errands and to try to enjoy this mostly cloudy (but still beautiful) day in Charlotte. Wanted to write more at length about the story surrounding House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s literally chasing a GOP member of Congress on the House floor over mere disagreement, but won’t have time to do it today. Read the story for yourself – it has to be read/seen to be believed. It was a severe breach of decorum, but unlike how House Dems reacted when Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” at President Obama during a State of the Union, don’t expect much of any criticism of what she did yesterday.
Hope y’all have a good one!
**Posted by Phineas
The War on Poverty was launched in 1964 under Lyndon Johnson with the best of intentions: through massive spending and extensive welfare programs, the government would eradicate poverty in America and make people self-sufficient. Like I said, a worthy goal.
It has also been an utter failure. In 1964 we declared war on poverty, and poverty won.
As the chart above shows, poverty was in deep, rapid decline in America after World War II without any government help, just the natural processes of a growing, prosperous economy. It looked well on its way to elimination, perhaps. Then, in the mid to late-60s, it leveled off and, save for an occasional bump up, has stayed right around fifteen percent.What happened?
In 1964, with the start of the War on Poverty, progressives and other economically illiterate do-gooders wound up trapping people in poverty, rather than helping them out of it. As Robert Rector at The Signal writes:
Johnson did not intend to put more Americans on the dole (1). Instead, he explicitly sought to reduce the future need for welfare by making lower-income Americans productive and self-sufficient.
By this standard, the War on Poverty has been a catastrophic failure. After spending more than $20 trillion on Johnson’s war, many Americans are less capable of self-support than when the war began. This lack of progress is, in a major part, due to the welfare system itself. Welfare breaks down the habits and norms that lead to self-reliance, especially those of marriage and work. It thereby generates a pattern of increasing inter-generational dependence. The welfare state is self-perpetuating: By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future. Reforms should focus on these programs’ incentive structure to point the way toward self-sufficiency. One step is communicating that the poverty rate is better understood as self-sufficiency rate—that is, we should measure how many Americans can take care of themselves and their families.
What was it Ronald Reagan said?
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
One would think that, faced with all the mounds of evidence that government programs don’t lift people out of poverty, Progressives, who claim to be devoted to “progress,” would see the war on poverty has been a failure and that the programs should be reformed or discontinued and something else tried, something like less government intervention.
But, no. Few ever will be that honest, because to say government failed to reorder society as desired would be to admit that the central tenet of progressivism, a faith in the power of technocrats to manage a vastly complex society, was wrong.
Meanwhile, that core 15% remains trapped in poverty, addicted to government “crack” and walking a road paved with good intentions.
PS: Note the sharp climb back up to 15% at the end of that chart. It starts soon after the Democrats take over Congress in 2006 and undo the 1990s Clinton-Gingrich welfare reform, then accelerates under Obama. Coincidence? I think not.
RELATED: Cato economist Dan Mitchell has often written on the same topic. Here’s a post he wrote on the failures of the War on Poverty and another on the “redistribution trap.” That latter is must-reading.
(1) Many criticize that assertion, with some justification. See for example Kevin Williamson’s “The Dependency Agenda.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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The shameful judicial advocacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continues:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making the media rounds and the Internet is eating it up. After telling Yahoo News the five men on the court have a “blind spot” when it comes to discrimination against women, she turned around and told the Associated Press they’ll just have to live and learn.
The five conservative justices recently ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. that closely held for-profit companies may refuse to cover women’s contraceptives for religious reasons. Ginsburg was joined by the two other women on the court as well as liberal Justice Stephen Breyer in a dissenting opinion, which held that leaving it to companies to decide what sorts of health coverage a woman may use amounted to a form of discrimination.
Asked about the decision by the AP on Thursday, Ginsburg suggested the five male justices simply didn’t know better. “I have no doubt that if the court had been composed of nine women the result would have been different in Hobby Lobby,” she said. But, she added, she hasn’t entirely lost hope for the men in the court’s majority opinion: “As long as one lives, one can learn.”
Here’s the shorter version of what Ginsburg has said all along about the ruling on Hobby Lobby, including her dissent on the case: The United States Supreme Court should consider gender before the Constitution when deciding which way to rule on any given case where there is a perception that women could potentially be impacted. Furthermore, implicit in her public reaction and dissatisfaction with the majority opinion is the insinuation that the five “conservative” (hilarious that National Journal considers Justice Kennedy a “conservative”!) Justices ruled that way because they’re men - full stop, and that a court of all women would have (and should have) taken gender into account and ruled primarily on emotion rather than basing their opinion solely on the Constitution. And here you thought it was misogynistic for anyone to suggest women allow their sex and emotion to dictate their decisions rather than logic and fact and, in this case, the law! Silly rabbit.
I respect the position of SCOTUS Justice, and I respect the years Ginsburg has been on the bench. It’s cute that she and Justice Scalia are reportedly “close friends” in spite of their obvious ideological differences. However, none of that changes the fact that she has crossed a serious line here in suggesting in so many words that the men on the court are, well, just being men and that a majority of women on the court would have and should have ruled differently based more on the sideline emotional aspects rather than Constitutional law. She’ll get by with it, of course, without much criticism from the Usual Suspects™ who would have, I should note, flipped their lids at this point if any of the so-called “conservative” male Justices on the Supreme Court had even remotely suggested after a court ruling that the women on the court were, you know, just being women.
Move along here, business as usual, and all that …
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Maybe not exactly what you wanted to know about the Vice President, but we need a little “lighter side” news these days, and this story is a perfect fit:
It’s the Joe Biden you didn’t know — and might not want to see.
Secret Service agents dread being assigned to protect the vice president, in part because Biden’s a big fan of skinny dipping, according to a new tell-all book.
In “The First Family Detail,” author Ronald Kessler quotes unnamed Secret Service agents dishing about the supposedly “hidden lives” of Presidents and the other important people they protect.
Biden is portrayed as being more interested in coming off as a “regular Joe” than being potentially responsible for the nation’s nuclear codes.
Not to mention he’s a guy who apparently doesn’t have a problem getting naked.
“Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude,” Kessler writes.
“Female Secret Service agents find that offensive.”
Between Biden’s “lack of consideration as evidenced by” his naked aquatics and his supposedly incessant last-minute schedule changes, “being assigned to his detail is considered the second worst assignment in the Secret Service,” Kessler writes.
Coming in at No. 1, per Kessler: Protecting Hillary Clinton.
While news of Biden’s alleged swims in the buff is a bit shocking, Hillary’s being difficult for the Secret Service to handle, well – let’s just say there are no surprises there ….
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I know 2016 Senate races are way off but this, my dear readers, is tantalizing for those of us whose top five Senate priorities include either politically neutralizing Reid or ousting him from office completely via the ballot box:
Gov. Brian Sandoval leads Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by 10 percentage points in a hypothetical 2016 U.S. Senate matchup, according to a new poll that represents the first public release of results in this potential race.
The survey, conducted by Harper Polling earlier this week, also shows, as other surveys do, Sandoval cruising to re-election (56-34) over Bob Goodman. The robo-survey of 602 statewide voters has a margin of error of 4 percent.
Sandoval crushes Reid among independents, 65-28. Reid’s 55 percent unfavorable rating is all but fatal — you know, just as it was in 2010.
There is a lot of other data in the survey, which pollster Brock McCleary said he paid for himself, likely as an entree into Nevada to try to get business. The numbers, demographics (43-37 Dem/GOP, 53-47 female/male) generally look solid, although Sandoval’s unfavorable number (30 percent) seems a tad high (although possible). Harper is a former GOP operative on Capitol Hill, running the polling operation for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Intriguing, to say the least, but as Andrew Johnson at National Review notes, Reid looked pretty vulnerable in 2010 but ended up winning by 6 points over GOP nominee Sharron Angle. So who knows?
No matter who the eventual nominee ends up being, look for Reid, a Senator since 1987, to play all his usual dirty tricks and pull out all the stops, maneuvering the state political system to suit his own ends. Typical of a paranoid entrenched liberal politico who can’t win the conventional way, you know, by earning (rather than BUYING) votes.
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WASHINGTON (Gannett Washington Bureau/Mary Troyan) – The special House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi will hold its first public hearing in September about changes the State Department has made to better protect diplomats, Rep. Trey Gowdy said Wednesday.
Gowdy, the committee’s Republican chairman, also said the panel is gaining access to witnesses that didn’t participate in previous congressional investigations into the attacks.
“I know I’m biased, but one of the good parts about running an investigation in a way that appears to be serious-minded is that witnesses who were previously unavailable or not interested in cooperating are now interested in cooperating,” Gowdy said. “The universe of witnesses is expanding.”
U.S. House lawmakers created the committee in May to review the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that killed four Americans in eastern Libya, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Several previous congressional investigations have looked at security lapses and intelligence failures related to the attacks, along with the military’s response and whether President Barack Obama’s administration initially downplayed the incident for political reasons.
Gowdy, in an interview Tuesday, said the panel is not scheduled to meet during the August congressional recess, but committee lawyers and investigators will be working.
In a notable departure from other House committees that battled with the administration over Benghazi investigations, Gowdy said he is “encouraged” by responses to his panel’s requests for additional documents.
“There is no substitute for sitting down and me sharing my expectations and them telling me their concerns or what their frustrations in the past have been,” Gowdy said. “I’m not looking for the fight or the story. I just want the documents. It’s been easy so far.”
The September hearing will focus on about 24 recommendations issued in December 2012 by the independent Accountability Review Board, which investigated the State Department’s actions before, during and after the attacks. The board was led by former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Their report blamed “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department” for “grossly inadequate” security.
Gowdy, a former prosecutor, is famously pit-bullish when he’s not getting the information he seeks. Let’s hope he’s just as unrelenting when these Benghazi hearings start. The family members of the four victims of the Benghazi murders have been invited to attend, and they deserve answers.
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