Because a personal history like Clinton's would only be relevant if she were a white Republican male or something..
During a discussion on Wednesday's Hardball about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's reticence to speak out on pressing political issues and her tendency to eschew spontaneity in favor of carefully crafted, calculated statements, panelist Michelle Bernard did raise the point that Clinton has tended to evolve over time to be what she thinks her audience wants her to be. As an example, she raised the audio recording that came to light earlier this year wherein she chuckled as she recalled her successful defense in the mid 1980s of an alleged child rapist.
Yet when Bernard brought up that allegation, fellow panelist and leftist writer David Corn of Mother Jones magazine objected strenuously, dismissing the controversy as much ado about nothing.
And I suppose that her laughter while sharing anecdotes about tearing down a rape victim in order to free her rapist while working as a defense attorney does not really tell us anything new about Hillary's character.
After all, we watched her defend her rapist husband and slime his victims for the eight years that Bill Clinton disgraced the American presidency -- and in that situation she wasn't providing a vigorous defense to a client like an ethical lawyer is supposed to do.
Seems to me that it might be after the latest threat from North Korea’s hacking squad.
The hackers who recently stole and released massive troves of data from Sony Pictures have escalated their threats: The group posted a message yesterday warning that if Sony does not put a stop to the release of The Interview, a raunchy forthcoming comedy about two journalists tasked with assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the group will stage attacks on theaters where the movie is shown.
“Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made,” the message says. “The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce the SONY.”
This really comes down to a simple question – should we as Americans allow terrorism and threats of terrorism to dictate what entertainment we are permitted to create and enjoy? We as Americans may need to say no even as cowardly corporate movie house chains say yes and even Sony chooses to pull the plug on its release. Maybe, as is suggested over at the Volokh Conspiracy, we need to start pre-ordering DVDs to show our support for the First Amendment in the face of terrorist threats.
For six long years, Barack Obama and his administration have taken a stance towards Israel , America’s closest ally in the Middle East that can only be described as relentlessly adversarial (and which could be interpreted as being functionally anti-Semitic). In recent weeks, the Administration has even floated the possibility of imposing sanctions against Israel because it continues to build new subdivisions and apartments (because that’s what “settlements” really are) in territory that the Palestinian terrorists surrounding it demand for their own. This comes after repeated snubs directed towards Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and appeasement of Iran, which is seeking to build nuclear weapons in order to attack the Jewish state. These actions are just one example of how American allies have been disrespected by this Administration, harming our standing in the eyes of the world.
But if you are an enemy of the United States, you get coddled. The country’s Iran policy is one example, and today’s moves with relation to Cuba are another.
President Obama announced sweeping changes to U.S. policy with Cuba on Wednesday, moving to normalize relations with the island nation and tear down the last remaining pillar of the Cold War.
Under the new measures, the United States plans to reopen its embassy in Havana and significantly ease restrictions on travel and commerce within the next several weeks and months, Obama said. Speaking from the White House, he declared that a half-century of isolation of the communist country “has not worked.”
And in an instance, one of the cornerstones of America’s bipartisan foreign policy for the last half century has been demolished by Obama. A nation which has long shown itself to be an enemy of the United States and a serial violator of basic human rights for all its citizens will get everything it has wanted from the US.
And it isn’t just a prisoner exchange, the end of long-standing economic sanctions and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Communist dictatorship just off our shore. It is also the removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
President Obama is ordering Secretary of State John Kerry to review Cuba’s place on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
“This review will be guided by the facts and the law,” Obama said during his Wednesday announcement. “A nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.”
This change is being made despite the fact that Cuba has been actively aiding and abetting terrorist groups as recently as 2013.
So what this means is that Cuba gets everything that Fidel and Raul Castro have wanted since John F. Kennedy took office and America gets. . . well, if you stop and look at it, nothing. There will be no improvements in Cuba’s human rights situation, no free elections, and no other change that might benefit this country.
or the past week, Sen. Harry Reid has worked hard to prevent a vote on President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. Finally, after considerable turmoil this weekend, we were able to force a vote.
Only one month ago President Obama announced amnesty for roughly five million people here illegally. He did so in defiance of the manifest will of the voters; as he rightly noted, his “policies were on the ballot all across the country.” And the people voted overwhelmingly against amnesty.
Amnesty is wrong, and it is unfair. It’s unfair to millions of legal immigrants, to the 92 million Americans who are currently not in the labor force, and to minority communities across the nation struggling with record unemployment.
Even more troubling was how the amnesty was decreed: by executive fiat, directly contrary to federal immigration law and to the Constitution. The former prohibits issuing work authorizations to those here illegally, and the latter prohibits the president from ignoring federal laws passed by Congress.
If a president can defy federal law, it renders useless the checks and balances in our Constitution. And it sets the stage for presidents to ignore any other laws (tax, labor, environmental) with which they might disagree.
If Congress does nothing in response, we acquiesce to this constitutional crisis.
Late Thursday night, the House passed the so-called “CRomnibus,” funding the federal government to the tune of $1.1 trillion.
That’s what’s publicly known. Now let me tell you some of what happened behind closed doors.
Within hours, I joined a handful of other senators in going to leadership and affirmatively offering to cooperate to facilitate a quick vote on the CRomnibus—that very evening, we suggested—in exchange for a simple up or down vote on defunding executive amnesty.
Republican leadership told us we would likely get our vote. All day Friday, they told us the same thing. Then, late Friday night, Harry Reid apparently changed his mind, and we were told there would be no vote on amnesty.
At that point, I supported an objection to delaying the CRomnibus vote any further. We used the leverage we have under the rules to try to force our vote.
Harry Reid responded in anger. He forced the Senate to come back Saturday and spend the entire day casting procedural votes to move forward a series of Obama nominations.
Be sure to read the rest here.
He didn't mean to, but if his claim here is accurate then there is no reason workers should be forced to support them.
In the latest jab in his ongoing war of words with the police unions, he said they don’t represent the views of cops on the beat.
“Police unions, with all due respect to them, do not necessarily speak for the rank and file. The rank and file is 35,000 uniformed officers. They keep their own counsel. They have their own ideas. And I respect what they do,” he said. “A few union leaders do not necessarily speak for the people who protect us everyday.”
Walk away from that union contract, Mr. Mayor – after all, the union leaders don’t speak for the rank and file.
Now let’s lay some things out here before I get started on this post.
That said, I greet the following announcement with mixed emotions.
Jeb Bush was a fine governor of Florida. He ran the state as a conservative, and did so quite competently. He is a decent man, is able to present himself well, and is undeniably a deep thinker. He is also not an ideologue, which means he can and will work with those he disagrees with (a necessary trait that made Reagan a success and would doom some of today’s conservative favorites).
Unfortunately, he supports the worst aspects of the Common Core movement – which would result in the further federalization of education despite the lack of a constitutional mandate for the federal government to involve itself in that area at all. His best instincts may leave him too open to an amnesty for illegal aliens without gaining control of the border. And then there is the biggest electoral problem – he is, for better or worse, Jeb Bush rather than Jeb Smith, and that last name may be ballot box poison.
However, I agree with Charles Krauthammer that the potential Bush candidacy is a good thing overall.
Charles Krauthammer says a Jeb Bush presidential campaign would discourage other potential candidates from the establishment and conservative wings of the GOP from running for office.
“Those who would be on, let’s say, his wing of the spectrum are going to have to rethink whether they want to go up against Jeb Bush and how good a chance they’re going to have,” Krauthammer said on Tuesday’s Special Report. “Because it creates an instant front-runner, for good or for ill, it will discourage some of the fringe candidates.”
And I wholeheartedly hope this is true. We have a whole host of potential candidates for the 2016 nomination, and many of them simply do not belong in the race. Ben Carson is not even remotely qualified for the job. Chris Christie should be attorney general, not president – and Ted Cruz should be an early appointee to the Supreme Court. Bush protégé Marco Rubio needs seasoning, as does Rand Paul (although the latter might make an interesting vice presidential choice). Neither Rick Santorum nor Rick Perry ought to run, and neither should Mike Huckabee. It is my hope that Bush taking a lot of the air out of the room at such an early date will make many of these folks reconsider running and give us a race with no more than half a dozen presidential hopefuls a year from now – Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, along with one additional candidate (another governor or Rep. Paul Ryan) and (for better or for worse) Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
But do I think Bush can get the nomination? In all honesty, I do not. There are too many Republicans who don’t want another Bush, or who do not want him in particular. I’ve heard that again and again in recent days. His immigration stance is outside of the GOP mainstream. So is his position on Common Core. Why, then, would Republicans nominate him? After all, those things mitigate against him being electable because the base will stay home if he’s the candidate.
I’ve often asked what would happen if a pro-traditional marriage church sought a cake endorsing traditional marriage only from a gay baker (or if a Jewish baker were asked by a “Christian” Identity Church to make a cake for their St. Hitler Day celebration or the “Christian” Knights of the Ku Klux Klan sought a cake for the social time after their cross burning from a black baker). Well, looks like someone decided to find out how those gay bakers would respond – and it wasn’t pretty.
The mainstream media has done a lot of reporting on Christian bakers refusing to provide their services to those engaging in a gay marriage. These bakers have been called “bigots”, “fundamentalist wackos”, “homophobes” and many other invectives for simply adhering to their principles. They become the target of discrimination lawsuits that some didn’t have the funds to fight. These suits have put many bakeries out of business, eliminating the income of the owners. All of this because of an agenda that states everyone must share the views of an extreme minority or risk persecution.
But what happens when the tables are turned? Theodore Shoebat wanted to find out. After spending quite some time calling various gay bakeries asking if they would bake a cake for a traditional marriage ceremony, he quickly found out that tolerance is a one-way street in their eyes. Shoebat was cursed at, screamed at, and met with animosity, but the frosting on the cake as when he was asked why he would make such a request, as it would go against the beliefs of the baker. Sound familiar, anyone?
RightWingNews commentator (and fellow Watcher’s Council member) Terresa Monroe-Hamilton makes the following observation.
Theodore Shoebat called some 13 prominent bakers who are pro-gay marriage and requested that they make a pro-traditional marriage cake with the words “gay marriage is wrong” placed on the cake. He suffered anger and obscenities for his request. It appears these individuals feel you must submit to their lifestyle and requests, but the same is not true for Christians. How is that fair or right? How is that not discrimination? How is this tolerance in any shape, way or form?
Terresa is, of course, exactly right. And in a nation where “equal protection of the law” was a reality rather than something that is merely given lip service by the advocates of so-called “civil rights”, there would be prosecutions and persecutions of every single one of those bakers. But there won’t be.
And you know what… I completely defend their right to refuse to bake a cake in support of something they don’t believe in; because I don’t believe people forfeit their Constitutional rights when they open businesses.
It’s the gay fascist left who are the hypocrites.
And I agree with him as well. If the First Amendment means anything in terms of our right to practice our religion freely, express our beliefs or remain silent free of government coercion, or to associate or not based upon our preferences, then rejecting business from someone whose message is not one you are willing to help communicate is a completely legitimate exercise of one’s constitutionally protected liberties. But our government has long since rejected that notion under the rubric of “non-discrimination” and “civil rights” laws that have been deemed to trump the liberties explicitly protected by the Bill of Rights.
But what of the argument that all businesses should be open to all comers, and that by providing the service/product one is not endorsing the message. After all, that is what we hear from the proponents of gay marriage and forced cake-decorating, flower-arranging, and t-shirt printing, isn’t it? So why shouldn’t the government be stepping in to force business to create messages that are contrary to the ethical or religious beliefs of their owners? Isn’t that the fairest way for us as a society to proceed? Over at Reason’s Hit & Run blog, Scott Shackford hits the nail on the head.
If bakers are a "public accommodation" as is argued, there's no reason for them to refuse to make these cakes or cookies or what have you. The bakeries would not be saying "Gay marriage is wrong." They're just selling a cake to somebody who believes that. Just as making a gay wedding cake is not an endorsement of gay marriage. It's just fulfilling a customer's orders.
But it's wrong on both counts. Nobody should, by order of the government, have to make Shoebat's stupid cakes. And nobody should be forced to make gay wedding cakes either. Ethical and moral consistency requires demanding both or neither, not one or the other. Somehow some people see that it's obviously wrong for anybody to be forced to make Shoebat's cakes, but not gay wedding cakes.
Of course no one should be forced to participate in the communication of a message they disagree with and find repulsive. And certainly not if only some folks are going to face such government coercion. That is the sort of thing that the First Amendment was designed to prohibit.
Which brings me to a proposed statute here in Texas that would keep government on any level from forcing anyone to provide business services in a manner contrary to their religious or ethical beliefs. Prominent progressive blogger Charles Kuffner offers this objection to the bill and suggests that those who support such legislation haven’t thought it through.
We are all clear that these “freedom to discriminate” bills are, intentionally or not, also about the freedom to discriminate against Jews or blacks or whoever else you don’t like, right? I mean, every time they get pinned down on it, proponents of such bills admit as much. I don’t suppose it has ever occurred to the Donna Campbells of the world that one of these days they themselves could be on the receiving end of such treatment, if someone else’s sincerely held religious beliefs hold that antipathy towards LGBT folks is an abomination before God. I’m just saying.
Well, Chuckles, let me give you a hint – many of us (probably most of us) have thought it through and are willing to take the chance that someone may find us and our beliefs so offensive that they don’t want to do business with us. And while I will not speak for all the rest of us who believe that rights guaranteed by the Constitution can never be overridden by a mere statute, my response is “God bless America and the Bill of Rights – ain’t freedom a grand thing for everyone!” Over the last half century we have extended the concept of “public accommodations” so far beyond the original common law notion of places of where travelers could get food and lodging that the concept no longer has any relation to its original meaning. Outside of such establishments and emergency medical care (the right to life is preeminent – no more cases like that of Dr. Charles Drew should ever be legal), there is no compelling government purpose in prohibiting business owners from picking and choosing with whom they do business. After all, there is the quaint notion of “freedom of contract” and that a contract entered into under duress is not truly valid. How odd that laws designed to protect individual liberty would in fact limit individual freedom to such a degree! Personally, I prefer too much freedom to too little.
Meet the Woodhouse brothers – a pair of political activists from opposite sides of the political divide.
And meet their mom, who called in to a show they were appearing on and took them to task on the air.
Now I’ll concede I have a certain sympathy for the boys. My darling bride and I are political opposites, and have had to learn to not talk politics at times in order to avoid those dinner table arguments. But if you are dragging the whole family into arguments over a holiday dinner, then you deserve what you get.
Two stories with two victims whose only crime was speech that a cop didn't approve of.
First, the woman whose mouthing off while driving past a cop got her thrown in jail.
A Georgia woman jailed for criticizing police officers as she rode by on a bicycle has been awarded a $100,000 settlement in a civil suit against the local police department.
Cobb County resident Amy Barnes was bicycling to the store in April 2012 when she passed police officers questioning a suspect. She treated them to the middle finger and a cry of "Fuck the police!"
How you feel about the propriety of Barnes' actions will probably depend on how you feel about cops in general, but I hope most would agree that this wasn't criminal behavior. It did, however, hurt the fragile egos of Cobb County police officers. A dashcam video from the police car captures one cop's reaction: "That ain't happening."
So the officers arrested Barnes, charged her with disorderly conduct, and took her to the county jail, where she was held for nearly 24 hours. A judge eventually dismissed the charges, disagreeing with officers’ claim that Barnes meant to incite violence. "The defendant’s statements, although offensive to this court, clearly constitute political speech,” wrote State Court Judge Melodie Clayton. "Her words were insulting, but as a matter of well-established constitutional law, they did not constitute 'fighting words.'"
Now Barnes words were cretinous, but they were fully protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The entire notion of “fighting words” found in the Supreme Court’s Chaplinsky decision is probably so constitutionally infirm as to make it fodder for reversal – but even if it is still good law, subsequent precedent demonstrates that it is virtually never applicable to a situation involving words directed to a police officer in the performance of his duties. There was undeniably a violation of Barnes’ rights when she was arrested, and the settlement is entirely justified.
The second case is even more outrageous, and ought to make any American’s blood boil.
A Long Island mother of three arrested for taking pictures of an Air National Guard base in the Hamptons – while armed to the teeth with a licensed assault rifle in her car — has been awarded $1.12 million by a federal jury over her false prosecution by Suffolk County authorities.
The Central Islip jury on Thursday sided with Nancy Genovese, 58, in a 2010 lawsuit she filed against Suffolk County, its Sheriff’s Office and other parties, claiming she was only arrested during the July 2009 incident because she belonged to the Tea Party.
Genovese was arrested while taking pictures of a decorative helicopter in front of the Gabreski Airport Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach for a “Support Our Troops” website. She was charged with criminal trespass and spent four days in jail before the charges were dropped.
Southhampton cops searched her and found a legally owned rifle that she was transporting from a nearby rifle range. She contends a deputy sheriff arrived on the scene later and said to her, “I bet you are one of those Tea Party people.” When Genovese said she’s gone to Tea Party rallies, he allegedly said, “You’re a real right-winger, aren’t you?” and “You are a ‘Teabagger’” and then added that she’d be arrested for terrorism to make an example of other “right wingers.”
“Ms. Genovese was subjected to a level of abuse because [authorities] did not share the same political views as she did and saw this as an excuse to deny her even the most basic civil rights,” her lawyer Frederick Brewington said.
Now consider the implication of this arrest and prosecution. Genovese was arrested not because there was an actual offense committed, but because of her membership in a political organization – clearly constitutionally protected activity. If we allow the arrest and imprisonment of Americans because police do not like their political activity, we will no longer have the sort of republican form of government created by the Framers of the Constitution. Instead we will be living in a dictatorship that has the trappings of such a government, but not the substance.
To each of these women I say “Hurrah!” And to the cops involved, I say “Fuck the police!” – at least when they have little or no regard for the right of citizens to engage in political speech and activism, or even just dislike a citizen’s musical taste.
Quite a bargain for your own Greek island.
Yeah, I said “ISLAND”.
What did you think I meant?
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat candidate for President in 2016, told us only a week ago how important it is to empathize with the enemies of America.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is getting pushback for saying this week that smart foreign policy should include empathizing with one’s enemies.
Mrs. Clinton spoke at Georgetown University about what she called “smart power,” which entails “using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security, leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect, even for one’s enemies, trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view, helping to define the problems, determine the solutions.”
So I hope the press will be inquiring into her level of empathy with the Taliban today.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing 126 people, officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in years.
The overwhelming majority of the victims were students at the army public school, which has children and teenagers in grades 1-10. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the assault and rushed to Peshawar to show his support for the victims.
The horrific attack, carried out by a relatively small number of militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban, a Pakistani militant group trying to overthrow the government, also sent dozens of wounded flooding into local hospitals as terrified parents searched for their children.
"My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now," wailed one parent, Tahir Ali, as he came to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son Abdullah. "My son was my dream. My dream has been killed."
You know, the enemy we have been engaged with for over a decade in Afghanistan and who have been seeking to overthrow the government of Pakistan, which has been a US ally in that war.
The folks who, when they controlled Afghanistan, employed one Osama bin Laden as their defense minister.
Enemies of America.
So tell me, Mrs. Clinton, could you offer to us your empathetic understanding of these deeds and explain to the American people how we should respect these actions and the motivations behind them? Because I, for one, fail to see where there is anything in the POV of the Taliban and their barbaric actions that deserves respect of empathy.
And having lived here in Texas for some years, I see the only legitimate view as being summed up in a homespun Texas saying – “Some folks just need killing.”
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.
"Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community, and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. " - Oscar Wilde
"Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice… There is no revolution without violence." - - Agitator at the Ferguson riots, as quoted by Reuters.
"“You are hard at work madam ," said the man near her.
Yes," Answered Madam Defarge ; " I have a good deal to do."
What do you make, Madam ?"
For instance ---"
For instance," returned Madam Defarge , composedly ,
The man moved a little further away, as soon as he could, feeling it mightily close and oppressive .” - Charles Dickens in his novel about the French Revolution, A Tale Of Two Cities.
"We're liberators, not looters" - Al Sharpton
This week's winning essay,The Noisy Room's The Movers and Shakers Behind the Ferguson Riots explores the Ferguson protests and riots and is pretty much about what the title implies it is, a well written in depth examination about a subject not much covered in the media...the plethora of very well organized groups who organized it and orchestrated it. Here's a slice:
The Ferguson riots are not what they seem and those behind them are professionals. One of the top organizers of the protesters for the Ferguson riots is Lisa Fithian, someone who was intimately involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. She has been deemed “Professor Occupy.” In 2005 and 2008, Lisa Fithian, Root Activist Network of Trainers, (2005), Alliance for Community Trainers Inc. (2008), was voted onto the Steering Committee for United for Peace and Justice. United for Peace and Justice is a partner organization of the George Soros linked Institute for Policy Studies. Several Marxist organizations are involved in the UFPJ leadership, but the most influential has been the Communist Party USA.
Lisa Fithian joined the labor movement through the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute in 1993. She is considered a legendary organizer. She also served as a human shield in actions conducted by the International Solidarity Movement in the Palestinian cities of Jenin and Nablus and has accused Israel of “slaughter[ing] Palestinians every single day in Gaza and the Occupied territories.” These are just a few of her credits.
Fithian is known for her statement: “create crisis, because crisis is that edge where change is possible.” Sound familiar? It should, it is straight out of Holder’s and Obama’s playbook, as well as Marxism in general. Fithian was a lead organizer in the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization that devolved into violence. She is known for teaching violent tactics as well as community organizing. She specializes in aggressive “direct action” tactics. Fithian previously provided training and support for the controversial ACORN group, National People’s Action, the new version of the Students for a Democratic Society and other radical organizations. She trained somewhere around 600 protesters for Ferguson.
The following video shows anti-capitalist radical Lisa Fithian training Chicago union teachers on how to stage their arrests for the camera in 2011:
Fithian is far from alone in her Revolution organizing. She is joined by the likes of Code Pink, RevCom, the New Black Panthers, Socialist Party USA, etc. The ACLU has been in the mix from the beginning as well, along with SEIU. The UN also became involved, along with national LGBT organizations, climate environmentalists, amnesty groups, pro-Palestinian organizations, Christian social justice groups and Planned Parenthood.
LGBT organizations represented include the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, National Center for Lesbian Rights Action Fund and PFLAG National.
Amnesty International sent a “13-person human rights delegation” to the town to “examine” potential human rights abuses, in what they refer to as an “unprecedented” move by deploying in the United States. Many other groups joined in, such as Tauheed Youth Development Life, the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), the Moorish Science Temple, the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression and the Universal African Peoples Organization (UAPO). No radical party would ever be complete without the Socialist Workers Party as well.
More at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Andrew McCarthy at the NROwith What’s Really Going on with Holder’s Civil-Rights Crusade against Police Departments submitted by Nice Deb . McCarthy has an excellent take here on what's behind the sudden seemingly endless assault on the nation's police department's by our Attorney General and the DOJ.
Here are this week’s full results:
See you next week!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.
It may be a futile effort on our part, but on Monday night the Executive Committee of the Harris County Republican Party overwhelmingly passed a resolution endorsing Scott Turner for the position of Speaker of the House over the current incumbent, Joe Straus.
The vote was taken at a standing room only HCRP committee meeting, according to a report by Charles Blain at Empower Texans. [Disclosure: Empower Texans President Michael Quinn Sullivan is a Breitbart Texas contributor.] The Executive Committee is made up of all the Republican Precinct Chairs in the county. Blain wrote that the support for Turner was "unwavering," and only a voice vote was needed to pass the resolution by a large margin. The resolution cites Turner's conservative record and states that "the Executive Committee of Harris County Republican Party wishes to recognize Scott Turner as being worthy of such an honor and capable of such a responsibility" of being Speaker of the Texas House. of Representatives. Blain also reported that there were concerns about retaliation during the debate before the vote:During the open debate portion one precinct chair said, “supporting Turner would cause Straus to retaliate against Harris County.” In response, someone shouted from across the room, “that proves why he should not be speaker and does not deserve our support.”
I was one of the speakers in favor of the resolution, although I had no part in drafting it -- that honor goes to David Wilson, who was the first of the three speakers in favor of the resolution.
"The previous speaker stated that we should trust the elected officials we worked for to do what is best. I say that we need to remind those elected officials that THEY work for US, and we need to make clear to them our views and our wishes on what will be the first vote of this legislative session. . . ."
"Joe Straus, a Speaker originally installed by Democrats, will be appointing as chair of a major committee a Democrat who on election night made it clear that she believes that we and our conservative beliefs are stupid and ignorant, which means that she will be in a position to single-handedly kill conservative legislation. Are we stupid? No! Are we ignorant? No! I therefore say to you that we must vote for this resolution urging our representatives to vote for Scott Turner."
And before you ask, that was me who said loudly to those seated near me that the threat of Joe Straus retaliating against Harris County if we opposed his reelection constitutes evidence of his unfitness for the post which he holds.
Over at Cahnman's Musings, there's a list of the Republican representatives who are from the nine counties that have passed anti-Straus resolutions. There are 29 of them, constituting roughly 30% of the GOP caucus. More counties may follow in passing such resolutions. Sadly, most of the 29 have indicated their support for Speaker Straus. Will they respond to the grassroots opposition to the moderate speaker and his allies and the call for the election of a conservative alternative? I fear not, given the Facebook exchange I had with Rep. Debbie Riddle a few hours after the resolution was adopted. She insists that she knows better than the Republican activists of Harris County. I'd argue that she is an example of how after a few terms even the most conservative of legislators begins to suffer from insider's disease and needs to be replaced by the voters.
Or maybe there is another reason, as Kelley Horsley (the third speaker in favor of the resolution) notes over at The Political Chicken. It seems that Speaker Straus has been a major donor to his fellow Republicans in the House, making it appear that these legislators are more beholden to Straus than they are to the voters. Some of the numbers are quite significant, as as noted over at Raging Elephants Radio. Has money talked in this race in a manner that drowns out the voices of the people? This can and should cause concern for conservative activists.
By the way, the version of the resolution that has been floating around is not the final version that was adopted. Scott Bowen offered an important amendment directing that the resolution be publicized. I have unfortunately not been able to find the text of the clause requiring that it be posted on the HCRP website and that it be communicated to all Republican Representatives whose districts include any portion of Harris County. This is, however, the original draft.
Whereas Scott Turner was born and raised in Texas, and is a 4th generation Texan;
Whereas Representative Scott Turner, since his election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012 has fought for government transparency and efficiency, fought for tax relief for hard working Texans and small business owners, supports pro-life, and supports school choice;
Whereas Representative Scott Turner is recognized by GOPAC as one of Texas’ emerging leaders, is recognized as a top rated conservative by Texas Eagle Forum, has a 100% rating with Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and has an 'A' rating by the NRA;
Whereas Representative Scott Turner has announced his intention to run for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives when it convenes in January, 2015, and
Whereas the Executive Committee of Harris County Republican Party wishes to recognize Scott Turner as being worthy of such an honor and capable of such a responsibility;
IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Executive Committee of Harris County Republican Party supports Representative Scott Turner for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
To my fellow precinct chairs here in Harris County -- and those in other counties who have also acted on this matter -- I offer my hearty congratulations and praise. now let's make sure our elected representatives know that we expect them to represent us in this matter.
Rolling Stone apologized for the lousy journalism that allowed the UVa frat gang rape story to reach print.
Rolling Stone magazine has updated the “note to readers” that it posted Friday in light of a Washington Post report casting doubts on its article “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which told the horrific story of a University of Virginia freshman named Jackie suffering a seven-man gang rape in 2012 at the prestigious Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. “We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening,” reads the last line of the note.
The new version makes one significant deletion. Gone is this line: “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.” That sentiment aligned with an ugly history of blaming rape victims for their trauma and for shaming them when their stories occasionally don’t pan out. Now, the key line reads, “These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”
That’s not only more sensitive, but more accurate as well.
Yes, there was failure on the part of everybody involved at Rolling Stone. But let’s be honest – they were also incorrect to take Jackie’s account at face value. Indeed, that was one of their failings – engaging in a credulous acceptance of outrageous claims on the grounds because we are all supposed to “believe the victim”. Good journalism would have involved asking questions and verifying facts – but that went against the liberal mantra of “believe the victim” because “rape culture”. Good journalism would have involved questioning the students who were named and accused to get their side of the story rather than placing unquestioned trust in the accuser – but in the liberal mindset that pervades the editorial offices of Rolling Stone, doing so would make one a “rape apologist”. When faced with a choice between being good liberals or good journalists, Rolling Stone chose to be good liberals.
So yes, Rolling Stone made mistakes. But one of those mistakes was to place trust in someone whose story was so full of holes that even the supposed corroborating witnesses found the story being told to – and by – Rolling Stone to be something other than the truth as they knew it. Their trust in Jackie was therefore misplaced – but the mistake was entirely Rolling Stone’s. But that does not absolve Jackie of telling a story that now appears to be substantially untrue.
Most decent human beings would argue that the issuance of this pardon was a matter of justice and setting the record straight – but given the current crisis about “rape culture”, isn't this failure to “believe the victims” a travesty to be denounced by “victim advocates”?
More than 80 years after they were falsely accused and wrongly convicted in the rapes of a pair of white women in north Alabama, three black men received posthumous pardons on Thursday, essentially absolving the last of the “Scottsboro Boys” of criminal misconduct and closing one of the most notorious chapters of the South’s racial history.
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously during a hearing in Montgomery to issue the pardons to Haywood Patterson, Charles Weems and Andy Wright, all of whom were repeatedly convicted of the rapes in the 1930s.
Of course, anyone with even a small amount of historical knowledge knows about the Scottsboro Boys. But since historical ignorance – along with legal ignorance – is the order of the day among many Americans, let’s recap who they were and why this pardon was necessary.
The men were among the group of nine teenagers who were first tried in April 1931 after a fight between blacks and whites aboard a train passing through Jackson County, in Alabama’s northeastern corner, led to allegations of sexual assault. Within weeks of the reported rapes, an Alabama judge had sentenced eight of them to death following their convictions by all-white juries. The trial of the youngest defendant, Roy Wright, ended in a hung jury amid a dispute about whether he should be executed, and he was never retried.
The United States Supreme Court intervened the following year, setting off a long stretch of additional appeals and trials, including one in 1933 where Ruby Bates, one of the accusers, recanted her story.
Prosecutors dropped the rape charges against five of the men in July 1937, but four others — including those pardoned on Thursday — were convicted again and initially sentenced to death or decades in prison.
Of course, people of an earlier generation were concerned with little things like truth and justice. Today’s “advocates” against “rape culture” who demand that we “believe the victim” don’t care about those things. Instead they take a position not to different from those who demanded that the authorities “believe the victims” of the Scottsboro Boys and exact the harshest available punishment against them –the Ku Klux Klan.
The states challenging President Obama’s deportation amnesty have already won the first round in court after the case landed in the lap of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a Bush appointee who issued a scorching rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security last year, accusing it of refusing to follow border security laws.
It could hardly have been a worse outcome for Mr. Obama, who, in order to preserve his policy, will now have to convince a judge who is on record calling his previous, less-extensive nondeportation policies “dangerous and unconscionable.”
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Judge Hanen, who took his spot in the federal bench in 2002, was quick to say in his order that he didn’t take a “position on the topic of immigration reform,” but said he was dismayed at “the failure by the DHS to enforce current United States law.”
In other words, Congress can change our nation’s immigration laws – but the executive branch cannot simply refuse to enforce them.