Apparently tiring of US soil as a source of campaign dollars, the Obama campaign is headed overseas -- with its celebrity friends in tow. The European Obama campaign starts next week in Paris on July 4 with a reception organized by various fundraising heavy-hitters. Independence Day fundraisers in Paris now thats a flag-waving campaign.
Now I'm curious -- will the purchase of tickets be limited only to Americans? Or will non-resident foreigners also be allowed to buy them -- meaning that Obama could be raking in some substantial foreign cash. The optics of an American president raising campaign funds in a foreign country -- possibly from foreigners -- on Independence Day are ghastly. Especially since foreigners giving to an American campaign -- or an American campaign receiving money from foreigners -- is incredibly illegal.
Former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir passed away at the age of 96 on Saturday at the care home in which he resided in Tel Aviv.
Shamir served as Israel's seventh prime minister from 1983 to 1984 and again from 1986 to 1992.
He also served as Knesset speaker, opposition head and was among the founders of the Mossad. He was among the leaders of the Jewish underground group Lehi in mandatory Palestine.
Y'hay shmay rabbo m'vorach l'olam ul'olmay olmayo.
Yisborach v'yishtabach v'yispoar v'yisromam v'yismasay, v'yishador v'yis'aleh v'yisalal, shmay d'kudsho, brich hu, l'aylo min kl birchoso v'sheeroso, tush'bechoso v'nechemoso, da,ameeran b'olmo; vimru Omein.
Y'hay shlomo rabbo min sh'mayo, v'chayim alaynu v'al kol Yisroel; v'imru Omein.
Oseh sholom bimromov, hu ya'aseh sholom olaynu, v'al kol yisroel; vimru Omein.
Frankly, the facts in this case are precisely the sort that could lead to allowing corporate donations directly o political campaigns.
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that a judge was wrong when he declared a century-old ban on corporate campaign contributions in federal elections unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge James Cacheris ruled last year that the ban violates corporations free-speech rights. In his first-of-its kind ruling, Cacheris said it was not logical for an individual to be able to donate up to $2,500 while a corporation cannot donate a cent.
Cacheris based his decision on the U.S. Supreme Courts landmark 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down a prohibition against corporate spending on campaign activities by independent groups, such as ads by third parties to favor one side. However, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted yesterday that Citizens United left untouched the ban on direct contributions to candidates.
Cacheris viewed independent expenditures and direct contributions the same, saying both are political speech, but the 4th Circuit panel said they must be regulated differently.
The reason for this difference in scrutiny is clear: independent expenditures, by definition, are direct means by which political speech enters into the marketplace, Judge Roger Gregory wrote in the unanimous decision. Direct contributions, conversely, do not necessarily fund political speech but must be transformed into speech by an individual other than the contributor.
The federal government cited an "interest in preventing corruption" while defending the law, and the Fourth Circuit agreed. However, that is precisely the same argument that failed in both Citizens United and the Montana case that he Supreme Court decided earlier this week. Seems to me like we will soon find out just how far the precedent set by those two cases extends.
The Muslim Brotherhood front group which was an unindicted co-conspirator objects to depicting Muslims as terrorists.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking the Pentagon to remove a target depicting a Muslim woman from a new SEAL training range in Virginia Beach.
A photo of the cardboard target, which shows a woman in a head scarf holding a pistol, ran in The Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday. The image shows verses of the Koran hanging on the wall behind the woman, which also generated criticism from the group.
Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based council, said in the letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that the target is offensive and sends a negative and counterproductive message to trainees and to the Muslim-majority nations to which they may be deployed.
Here's a fair deal to offer CAIR -- when they can persuade their terrorist buddies to quit engaging in terrorism in the name of Islam, we'll quit depicting Muslims as terrorists. Until that time, we'll continue to use mock-ups that depict individuals and setting that are likely to be involved in terrorist incidents.
UPDATE: Sadly, the Navy has given in to the terrorist front group.
The Navy will not use a target depicting a Muslim woman holding a gun at a new training range for SEALs in Virginia Beach.
The announcement came hours after the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Pentagon to remove the target. A picture of the cardboard target, which shows a woman in a headscarf holding a pistol, was published in The Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday. The image shows verses of the Quran hanging on the wall behind the woman, which also generated criticism from the group.
* * *
Late Friday, Lt. David Lloyd, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said the materials in question would not be used on the close quarters combat training range, which was dedicated Monday at Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story.
"We have removed this particular target and Arabic writing in question from the range in the near term, and will explore other options for future training," Lloyd said.
My confidential sources at the Pentagon have confirmed that the following models will replace the objectionable target in order to more accurately reflect the sort of threats that SEALS will face in operational settings.
The Justice Department moved Friday to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from prosecution after the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.
The contempt vote technically opened the door for the House to call on the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to bring the case before a grand jury. But because U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen works for Holder and because President Obama has already asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, some expected Holders Justice Department to balk.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole confirmed in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner that the department in fact would not pursue prosecution. The attorney generals withholding of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, he wrote, does not constitute a crime.
Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the attorney general, Cole wrote, in the letter obtained by Fox News.
Interesting -- Holder's subordinates get to make the decision about prosecuting their boss for official misconduct regarding the operations of the department for which they work. The conflict of interest here is mind boggling. That Holder's subordinates are complying without multiple resignations accompanied by statements of outrage tells us all we need to know about the ethical standards of the Obama Regime -- remember, even Nixon officials resigned rather than help obstruct justice.
A bipartisan majority in the House cited Holder for contempt. They also authorized the pursuit of civil contempt by a larger bipartisan majority. It is time to authorize the use of the inherent contempt power to direct the arrest and imprisonment of Eric Holder -- and perhaps some of his subordinates -- until the documents in related to Operation Fast & Furious are released.
And it may be time to consider impeachment -- not just of Eric Holder, but also of Barack Obama.
I've always loved game shows. When I was a kid, my brother and i would watch the daytime games hows on days when we didn't have school. We enjoyed the games of chance, but I grew to like the games of strategy and those involving knowledge. Some of those sorts of games eventually made it into prime time, including shows like Deal or No Deal -- or as they call it in Italy, Affar Tuoi.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Game Shows" Â»
Now you may wonder why I mention that there is an Italian version of the game. That's easy -- Deal or No Deal is an international phenomenon, having been broadcast in various versions in no less than 75 countries around the globe. While the American version of the show is no longer in production, the show continues to be popular in many countries around the world. Endemol - Deal Or No Deal production company - considers the Italian version of the game to be one of their most successful versions of the internationally popular game. And it should be popular, given that a contestant can win up to half-a million euros, which is right now would be somewhere around $625,000. The amount can be higher if one of their "crazy boxes" doubles the amount (or sometimes raises it even more). And yes, I did say "boxes", because the game uses boxes instead of cases like the American prime time version did.
What is it about the game that makes it popular around the world, despite the many differences we find in the cultures of the places where versions of the show are broadcast? That's easy. Everyone likes to fantasize about getting rich, Everyone wants to believe that they are crafty and wise enough to beat the odds -- and get a vicarious thrill watching others take the chance to win a lot of cash or gamble on that the sure thing offered is better than the hidden prize.
Â« All done with "Game Shows"?
The NRCC gets it -- use the truth to ridicule them.
Have Obama and the Democrats been too clever by half?
After all, yesterday ObamaCare was upheld by the Supreme Court under the theory that what the bill called a "penalty" is actually a tax -- a position taken by the Obama Administration and others in briefs and oral arguments.
Now that they have gotten a decision their way, some mighty curious statements have come out of Obama Administration officials, campaign surrogates for President Obama and Democrats in Congress. It seems they all want to have it both ways on the tax issue.
A top surrogate for President Obama insisted Friday that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act was not a tax despite the fact that the Supreme Court narrowly preserved the law on those grounds.
Dont believe the hype that the other side is selling, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters on a conference call.
This is a penalty, Patrick said. Its about dealing with the freeloaders.
Its a penalty, because you have a choice. You dont have a choice to pay your taxes, right? [Jay] Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Roberts wrote that the law makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning an income.
You can call it what you want, Carney said, underlining Congressional Budget Office estimates that whatever you call it will affect only 1 percent of Americans. It is not a broad-based tax. One percent of the population. One percent. You can call it what you want, but it is affecting 1 percent of the population. Because most people either have health insurance or people do the responsible thing and if they can afford health insurance they will purchase it, the spokesman said.
A number of Congressional Democrats have continued to make the same "penalty, not a tax" argument in the wake of the decision as well.
Of course, that means that there has been a fraud committed upon the American people, and upon the Supreme Court. After all, the above comments make it clear that the Obama Administration lied to the Supreme Court in both the briefs filed and the oral arguments made.
We the People cannot do anything about that issue until November -- but those who brought the lawsuits against ObamaCare have 24 more days to do something about it. They can act under Rule 44 of the Rules of the Supreme Court. Here's the relevant part of that rule.
Rule 44. Rehearing
1. Any petition for the rehearing of any judgment or decision of the Court on the merits shall be filed within 25 days after entry of the judgment or decision, unless the Court or a Justice shortens or extends the time. The petitioner shall file 40 copies of the rehearing petition and shall pay the filing fee prescribed by Rule 38(b), except that a petitioner proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The petition shall state its grounds briefly and distinctly and shall be served as required by Rule 29. The petition shall be presented together with certification of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel) that it is presented in good faith and not for delay; one copy of the certificate shall bear the signature of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel). A copy of the certificate shall follow and be attached to each copy of the petition. A petition for rehearing is not subject to oral argument and will not be granted except by a majority of the Court, at the instance of a Justice who concurred in the judgment or decision.
Rehearing requires an absolute majority of the court to agree to hear the case again. What's more, it requires one of those in the majority to agree to hear the case again.
Somebody like Chief Justice John Roberts, author of the controlling opinion in the case just decided. You know, the guy who accepted the Obama Administration argument that the penalty associated with the mandate was a tax and not a penalty -- a position now being rejected by those who presented the argument in the first place. If a petition for rehearing is submitted, he has a chance for a "do-over" -- and the option of pointing to the post-decision reversal by the Obama Administration as supporting the opposite conclusion from the one he initially made.
The dissent signed by Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas and Alito would then serve as the template for the new majority opinion. A concurrence by the Chief Justice would clarify that it was the rejection of the winning argument in the case that necessitated the rehearing and reversal. Far from being an act of political hubris, the striking down of ObamaCare would constitute an upholding of the dignity and objectivity of the Supreme Court. After all, if the party that claimed there was a tax has immediately declared that there is not tax, the integrity of the Court and the interest of justice requires that the decision based upon a fraudulent argument be reversed.
How likely is it that a petition for rehearing will be granted in this case? Not very likely -- there has not been such a rehearing in a case taken under appellate jurisdiction since 1969. The particular situation at hand in this case, however, could be one that requires (dare I say "mandates") reconsideration -- and reversal.
UPDATE: Interesting commentary and observations here -- be sure to read the comments, too.
UPDATE 2: This new post by me provides more evidence of why Rule 44 must be invoked.
Im not happy with yesterdays ObamaCare decision. I believe the whole thing should have been overturned as unconstitutional. However, a quarter century of studying and watching the Supreme Court leaves me unsurprised by the fact that the healthcare law survived even if I find the grounds for declaring it acceptable to be quite weak.
Whats more, Im quite surprised that Chief Justice John Roberts is the author of the controlling opinion in this case (Link to PDF of opinions here).
But lets consider this for just a minute.
1) Why uphold the law? That is easy. Any law that is brought before the court is presumably constitutional unless it is shown not to be. This is sort of the legal equivalent of the rule we all had in pick-up baseball games as a kid the tie goes to the runner. Or, to use a different sports analogy, all it takes for a touchdown is or the tip of the ball to cross the plane of the goal line. Like it or not, John Roberts made the call that the plane of the goal line was broken, using the its a tax reasoning brought up at a late date and contrary to the bulk of the legislative history of the bill. However, there was arguably a plausible connection to the powers enumerated in the Constitution there, and the Chief Justice chose to construe the statute accordingly though I believe the dissenters made the better case.
2) Even if the law is expansive, the ruling itself is incredibly narrow. The Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause have both been explicitly limited by the Chief Justice and the four conservative justices. We will thank him and praise him for years to come, even if we dont like the portion of the holding that he reached with the liberal four on the mandate/penalty being a tax.
3) A series of recent rulings show that this court is anything but a runaway activist court. Look at the final week of the term. The Arizona immigration law. The ruling on juvenile sentencing. And yes, the ObamaCare decision. Each of these decisions was within the bounds of prior precedent, but also narrowed the holding from what the most liberal outcome could have been. Roberts was central to these rulings as well as to the reaffirmation of Citizens United in a per curiam opinion. Liberals love unpredictable seismic shifts in Constitutional law at the behest of unelected judges, but we conservatives should not seek to emulate them.
4) We remain a nation of laws made by the peoples elected representatives. Ive really struggled with this one. On the one hand, I would have been gratified to see ObamaCare struck down by the mighty sword of the judiciary, as I believed that the constitutional arguments presented in its favor were insufficient. But rememberthese judges are unelected and are charged with the task of interpreting the law and applying it to the facts of the case before them. It is the task of the peoples elected representatives, with the involvement of the elected executive, to make the law. It is the responsibility of the people to choose those elected officials wisely and to hold them accountable and that responsibility cannot be delegated to the judiciary. The Chief Justice made that point clearly yesterday early in his written opinion, but at the end of his spoken remarks.
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nations elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
I applaud the Chief Justice for making that point. We need to remember that important principle in the future, and quit relying on courts to protect us from our bad behavior at the ballot box. The American people screwed up in 2006 and 2008 by electing liberal extremists from the Democrat Party to high office. It is up to the American people to correct that error in 2012, having made a start at doing so in 2010 in response to the foisting of ObamaCare on the nation over our vociferous objections.
This has been floating around my brain since the ruling came down.
Hey, we've got to find something to laugh about in all of this.
Never in the history of the United States has the Attorney General -- the nation's top official for law enforcement and criminal prosecution -- been cited as a criminal by a house of Congress for refusing to abide by the terms of a subpoena.
A bipartisan group of representatives voted to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress over his refusal to produce documents related to Operation Fast & Furious and the subsequent coverup.
The GOP-led House voted Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to provide key information pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, making Holder the first sitting Cabinet member to be held in contempt.
The vote was 255-67 with one lawmaker voting not present. Seventeen Democrats broke ranks to vote in favor of contempt, while two Republicans voted against the measure.
The vote was preceded by a heated floor debate.
Its important to remember how we got here, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said during a speech ahead of the vote. The Justice Department has not provided the facts and information we requested. Its our constitutional duty to find out.
The GOP-led House took the step over the alleged failure to provide additional information about the failed gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious which was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives a division of the Justice Department led by Holder.
For those who are unaware, Operation Fast & Furious has resulted int he death of US Border patrol Agent Brian Terry and at least 300 Mexican citizens. Barack Obama and Eric Holder don;'t want you -- or your elected representatives -- to know any of that, or to find out exactly how an operation run by the Department of Justice could have such results.
Democrats, as is their wont, threw a temper tantrum over their inability to win. The Congressional Black Caucus and the Democrat leadership team led a walkout because it was apparent that they could not stop the measure from passing -- they sided with Obama and Holder, putting the color of their skin ahead of the content of their character and the prerogatives of Congress to oversee the operations of federal departments and agencies.
Oh, and Eric Holder decided to play the race card -- ignoring the dead bodies at his feet and the blood on his hands and instead trying to make this about his efforts to stop Voter ID laws. It was an utterly shameless display by a man who really ought to resign. After all, we can't have a criminal running the Justice Department. Time to cuff him and stuff him and haul him to jail -- which would have happened if Congress had instead invoked its inherent contempt power.
And for anyone who wants to question whether this is a bipartisan vote, please consider that Democrats tried to cast ObamaCare as having bipartisan support with far fewer Republicans voting in favor of that legislation.
Ill be honest, Im not happy with the Supreme Courts decision on ObamaCare, and Im shocked that Chief Justice Roberts voted to uphold that execrable piece of legislation. I find the reasoning weak but cant help but note that the official declaration of the Supreme Court of the United States is that the legislation is a tax on Americans at every income level.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the court in the 5-4 decision on the mandate, ruling that Congress has the authority to enforce the healthcare laws individual mandate, which will require most U.S. taxpayers to buy insurance or pay a penalty.
Roberts said the mandate could survive as a tax.
"Nothing in the Constitution guarantees that individuals may avoid taxation by inactivity," Roberts said from the bench.
Now think about this. Barack Obama ran in 2008 saying that he would not increase taxes on any Americans except for the very wealthy (which, Ill grant you, kept being defined down until it included two-income upper middle class families). After the ruling today, We Republicans can point out that not only is Obama the biggest deficit spender in the history of America, but he is also the biggest tax raiser, too. And in the debate on extending the Bush tax cuts which cut the taxes of every single American who paid taxes we can point that this is simply ANOTHER Obama tax increase to go along with the incredibly unpopular ObamaCare tax.
I wont join the folks making nonsensical calls to impeach John Roberts (or any other justice) over this decision. We dont impeach justices over decisions we believe to be wrong in this country we did not do so over much more egregious decisions like those in the Dred Scott case, US v. Cruikshank, Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe v. Wade or any of a dozen others I could name. Instead, I want to echo Erick Erickson of RedState on what the Chief Justice has done here.
[I]n writing his case, Roberts forces everyone to deal with the issue as a political, not a legal issue. In the past twenty years, Republicans have punted a number of issues to the Supreme Court asking the Court to save us from ourselves. They cant do that with Roberts. They tried with McCain-Feingold, which was originally upheld. This case is a timely reminder to the GOP that five votes are not a sure thing.
Third, while Roberts has expanded the taxation power, which I dont really think is a massive expansion from what it was, Roberts has curtailed the commerce clause as an avenue for Congressional overreach. In so doing, he has affirmed the Democrats are massive taxers. In fact, I would argue that this may prevent future mandates in that no one is going to go around campaigning on new massive tax increases. On the upside, I guess we can tax the hell out of abortion now. Likewise, in a 7 to 2 decision, the Court shows a strong majority still recognize the concept of federalism and the restrains of Congress in forcing states to adhere to the whims of the federal government.
Fourth, in forcing us to deal with this politically, the Democrats are going to have a hard time running to November claiming the American people need to vote for them to preserve Obamacare. It remains deeply, deeply unpopular with the American people. If they want to make a vote for them a vote for keeping a massive tax increase, let them try.
Erickson has it exactly right. We need to win this battle in the political arena, not the judicial one. While I firmly believe that the Chief Justice is wrong on this one (the fact that Congress refused to call the penalty a tax and the president denied that it is a tax is prima facie evidence it was not intended to be a tax and subsequent efforts to define it as such by the Obama Administration were just post hoc rationalizations something Justice Kennedy noted in dissent), it is better that elected officials, not judges, set public policy for us. The trend to have unelected judges set binding policy and rescue policymakers from their own inability to make hard choices or abide by the Constitution has been destructive for decades. If this leads to a reversal of the trend, we owe Roberts a debt of gratitude.
And just as importantly, this decision gives Republicans an opportunity and Democrats a headache in the fall.
In order to defend the single major domestic policy success of the current administration and the Democrat Party, Obama and congressional Democrats are going to have to run on the platform of Vote For Us, We Raised Your Taxes! Given that the American people already dislike ObamaCare, are financially strapped due to the failure of Obamas policies to stem the Great DemPression (which began after the election of a Democrat majority to Congress in 2006 and which deepened after Obama took office) and are now looking at increased healthcare costs (and/or tax increases) beginning in the next 18 months because of ObamaCare, this decision to let the federal government expand its size and scope exponentially should be sufficient to drive American voters into the arms of the GOP in November. After all, votes for Mitt Romney and the GOP candidates for House and Senate are the only way to keep the worst features of ObamaCare from going into effect.
Despite negotiations between the house of Representatives and the Obama Administration, it looks like a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress will happen sometime today. The House has indicated a willingness to delay or cancel the vote if the White House will turn over some of the documents. Unfortunately, the White House isn't particularly willing to budge on the issue, and wants to keep the House in the dark on what the documents show and why they are privileged.
And while some Democrats -- the diehard Obama loyalists -- are urging that the vote be cancelled, all indications are that there will be a bipartisan majority for taking the unprecedented step of holding a sitting attorney general in contempt, given the unprecedented lies and stonewalling of the Fast & Furious investigation.
How this will be impacted by the day's other big story is open to question.
By the way -- look for the Congressional Black Caucus to stand Martin Luther King on his head and show solidarity with Eric Holder and Barack Obama based upon the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. They are planning a walkout during the vote. If we need any more evidence that the group is a racist organization that ought to be done away with by Congress, this is it.
This does, of course, set up a constitutional crisis. Will Congress use its inherent contempt power to order Holder's arrest and detention on Capitol Hill? Or will they instead turn it over to a US Attorney beholden to Barack Obama and Eric Holder for his/her job -- who will then be ordered not to proceed with the prosecution? If the latter, look for impeachment talk, because such action will clearly be a case of high crimes and misdemeanors by the President and the Attorney General.
I've been expecting this to be the day for the ObamaCare decision to be handed down by the Supreme Court for some time now. Sure, I've diligently checked the internet for the half-hour between 10:00 and 10:30 AM EDT for updates on recent decision days in case I was wrong, but I figured the case would be the last one decided for the 2011-2012 SCOTUS term, and unless the high court were going to go into July, this would be the last decision day in June.
Well, the day is here.
I've heard various predictions. 5-4 to uphold. 5-4 to strike it all down. 5-4 to strike down the mandate while leaving most of the rest in place. I've even heard a suggestion of 6-3, with the Chief Justice voting to uphold the law so he could write a limited majority opinion. And don't forget the possibility of an outcome without a majority opinion -- sort of like Roe v. Wade.
My guess? It will be a 5-4 decision. The individual mandate will be struck down. I'd like to see the rest of the law done away with on the legal grounds that the lack of a severability clause AND the centrality of the mandate requires the rest of the law to be struck as well -- but I'm not sure that the justices are going to be able to muster a majority to go there (read that "I don't know that we can rely on Justice Kennedy to pull his head completely out of his hindquarters.")
One other point -- there will be no resignations announced today UNLESS there is a justice who has been hiding a serious (read that imminently terminal) illness. The earliest we will see a resignation is after the election (if Obama wins) or after the inauguration (if Romney wins). After all, there will be no confirmation of any replacement justice until after the election is decided.
An unemployed Brooklyn man missed a job interview Tuesday for the best of reasons: He was saving the life of a 9-month-old boy who was blown into the path of an oncoming subway train by a gust of high wind.
Like a superhero without a cape, Delroy Simmonds jumped onto the elevated tracks and hoisted the bleeding child still strapped into his stroller to the safety of the platform as the J train bore down on them.
The father of two then shrugged off his courageous, selfless act.
Everybody is making me out to be some sort of superhero, the father of two told the Daily News on Tuesday night. Im just a normal person. Anybody in that situation should have done what I did.
He said he wasnt looking for praise. What he really wants is a regular paycheck.
Ive been looking for a job for a year and change, Simmonds said. Im looking for something to support my family.
Folks gave that taunted bus monitor in upstate New York something on the order of half-a-million dollars. Anyone know where to start a fund to top that for Delroy Simmonds?
You can bet it would be front page news if the FBI were investigating 100 Christian extremists, extreme racists, or potentially violent homophobes in the military. But its only potential Islamic terrorists in the military, so it is no big deal.
The FBI has conducted more than 100 investigations into suspected Islamic extremists within the military, NPR has learned. About a dozen of those cases are considered serious.
Officials define that as a case requiring a formal investigation to gather information against suspects who appear to have demonstrated a strong intent to attack military targets. This is the first time the figures have been publicly disclosed.
The FBI and Department of Defense call these cases "insider threats." They include not just active and reserve military personnel but also individuals who have access to military facilities such as contractors and close family members with dependent ID cards.
Officials would not provide details about the cases and the FBI would not confirm the numbers, but they did say that cases seen as serious could include, among others things, suspects who seem to be planning an attack or were in touch with "dangerous individuals" who were goading them to attack.
Will it take another Fort Hood style attack or worse to get America serious about this problem again? Or is the problem that Americans are serious about the problem, but Americas leaders -- and the lapdog media -- are not?
Americans may be split on which presidential candidate can fix the economy, but President Barack Obama trounces Mitt Romney in one out-of-this-world scenario an alien invasion.
The majority of Americans, nearly 65 percent, say Obama is better suited than Romney to handle an alien invasion, according to a new National Geographic Channel poll, USA Today reports.
Of course, recent events show that this poll is wrong.
We are already facing an alien invasion.
Barack Obama is suspending efforts to deal with it.
When the UFOs appear, Obama will give those aboard them temporary residency and work permits, and will act to stop state and local officials from driving the aliens from their territory.
And hell also order Eric Holder to facilitate their registering to vote as long as their leaders direct the crews of their spaceships to vote Democrat.
Ive been involved in the pro-life movement in one form or fashion for the last 30 years. I believe we need to reduce the number of abortions in this country, and that we need to stop tax dollars from funding the procedure in most cases.
That said, Im going to agree with Harry Reids opposition to Rand Pauls pro-life amendment to the flood insurance program bill.
The Senates flood insurance program looked like it was headed toward smooth passage but now, there appears to be an abortion-related wrinkle.
Thats at least according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who said Tuesday that a Republican senator is insisting on a vote on an amendment defining when life begins. Reid didnt name the senator, but it was Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who had offered the amendment.
I think some of this stuff is just I have been very patient working with my Republican colleagues in allowing relevant amendments on issues, and sometimes we even do non-relevant amendments, Reid said. But really, on flood insurance?
After all the work thats been put on this bill, this is ridiculous that somebody says Im not going to let this bill go forward unless I have a vote on when life begins, Reid continued. I am not going to do that, and I think I speak for the majority of senators.
Calling the request outlandish, Reid said he was told of Pauls demands on Monday night.
And while hes allowed various unrelated amendments to bills as of late last weeks farm bill being one example Reid put his foot down on the latest request.
Well either do flood insurance with amendments dealing with flood insurance or we wont do it, Reid said.
Paul responded to reporters Tuesday: I think the people who believe in protecting life would like to see a vote.
Frankly, Id love to see a vote on Senator Pauls measure but as a stand-alone bill. Just like I believe we should get a vote on the flood insurance bill as a stand-alone bill. We dont need to be amending a flood insurance bill to deal with the completely unrelated issue of when life begins.
The question of when life begins is too important to make it a gimmicky amendment to unrelated legislation. And too many Americans and yes, Ill include myself after my experience during and after Hurricane Ike need to see the flood insurance program fixed.
Of course, Im not a big fan of placing unrelated amendments on legislation to begin with, as it is a recipe for making bad law,
Ive been teaching a summer school class for the last couple of weeks. One of the concepts that we include is the offshoring of jobs by companies, and the reason that this happens.
Kids have actually responded because they have heard about offshoring as a part of the current political campaign, as President Obama attacks Mitt Romney for sending good-paying jobs that used to be done by Americans to foreign countries. MSNBC's "Great White Dope", Chris Matthews, thinks it is a great line of attack, too. It is rather odd, therefore, that I would come across this bit of information.
The Obama campaign spent nearly $4,700 on telemarketing services from a Canadian telemarketing company called Pacific East between March and June, a Washington Free Beacon study of federal election filings shows.
Pacific East is not the only overseas telemarketing firm raking in cash from the presidents reelection campaign. Obama paid a call center in Manila, Philippines $78,314.10 for telemarketing services between the start of the campaign and March.
Of course, maybe we shouldnt be surprised the Obama Campaign is also the one that doesnt use verification software to ensure that they arent taking campaign donations from foreigners (a sort of outsourcing that is illegal under US law), so why wouldnt they outsource their campaign staff, too?
This post brought to you by livecitizen. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you spend any time at this blog, you know I am a political person. But you also know that I don't hate folks who disagree with me -- I'm married to one, after all. That's why I like the idea behind Political discussion LiveCitizen, a new social networking site that is all about politics.Continue to be enlightened while reading "LiveCitizen" Â»
What is Live Citizen? It is a social networking and discussion forum for those who want to talk about those one of those things that we were always told shouldn't be discussed socially -- politics. It is fantastic! You'll find folks there from all parts of the political spectrum who are ready, willing and able to discuss political topics with folks from the same and differing point o view. And what makes this site unique is its "red/blue political ideology meter. During the course of discussion, your positions get evaluated for where they fall on the political spectrum. You might just find out that you are not as conservative -- or as liberal -- as you think you are. It can certainly serve as a wake-up call for some -- and pretty quickly does away with the trolls who tell you "I'm a conservative/liberal, but I think that the other side is right on this issue." doo that too much and your rating will change.
Really, it seems like an interesting place. I'll be spending some time there.Political discussion LiveCitizen
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I mentioned Aaron Walker's case yesterday in a quick post before I left for work.
First, dear readers, you should expect this post to change radically--or perhaps I will start a new post. I just wanted to get this off my chest immediately.
I am free once again to do something very simple. I am allowed to say the name Brett Kimberlin again. The fact I was not allowed to do so, even in a post directed to the world at large and rather than any communication directed to Kimberlin himself, is a sign that things have gone horribly wrong in the Maryland legal system. But more on that later.
Last Wednesday I sought an emergency stay of Judge Vaugheys flagrantly unconstitutional prior restraint upon my speech. And it was granted.
I'll note that Walker made an explicit point in the post to beg that no one harass or molest Kimberlin and his cronies. I agree with him -- and join with him in noting that writing the truth about Kimberlin's criminal history and current activities IS NOT harassment in any sense respected by the laws of the United States.
Realize, of course, that Aaron has faced some difficult times beyond merely having his First Amendment rights stripped away by a robed marsupial who did not give a damn about the Constitution or relevant Supreme Court precedents related to freedom of speech. It has been much worse than that. A convicted bomber, drug dealer, and perjurer has caused havoc in his personal life.
My wife and I have lost our jobs due to the harassment of convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin, including an attempt to get us killed and to frame me for a crime carrying a sentence of up to ten years. I know that claim sound fantastic, but if you read starting here, you will see absolute proof of these claims using documentary and video evidence.
So anyone following along on twitter know the basics. I was SWATted tonight. My wife was down in the basement, and unknown to me she had fallen asleep in an uncomfortable position while watching TV. I was just finishing up a post where I was going to share Kimberlins nutty response to my motion for a partial stay when someone decided to recklessly endanger my life.
I mean again. Lets not forget the last time someone intentionally engaged in conduct that they knew could get me and my wife killed. In that case we know who the culprit was: Brett Kimberlin. He intentionally and gratuitously revealed my real name, home address, work and work address, in court documents and then told the police in a letter that he believed because of his actions that there exists the very real probability that Mr. Walker could be subjected to serious harm or death now that his identity has been exposed. And then he fought tooth and nail to keep that information from being sealed, and then fought to get them unsealed.
* * *
I [was] writing when there was a knock at the door. A second knock came and it was very insistent. I went to the door and looked through the peep hole and there was nothing. I said something like, hello? and someone firmly said, open the door!
I opened up to find two cops hugging the front of the house. They had M4s as I recognized from video games (see?! They are good for something!) and they later confirmed. They were not pointed at my face like it had been with Patrick. They were pointed at the ground.
(When I told my mother that, she said not to minimize it. No, obviously whoever it was doing their best to get me killed. Fortunately the police were not so easily tricked.)
I cant quote them, but they said something to the effect that they got an emergency call. I actually said, let me guess, someone claimed I shot my wife ? One officer confirmed it, and I said, this is a hoax. I think I even said the word "swatting."
That wasn't sufficient, though, to stop the necessary things that came next.
I believe the SWATting started around 5:44 p.m. I say this because the last opened tweet in my contacts list was this one and I was checking them pretty often.
Anyway, to the police officers credit, they recognized a hoax was a real possibility. I would describe what they did next as just due diligence. They had me stand out in the yard and talk to an officer about who my list of suspects were, in my bare feet and everything, and they swept the house and verified my wife was safe and no one else was in danger. As I became more aware of my surroundings, I saw around 5-6 cop cars at the corner, and a number of officers waiting. No, it wasnt a SWAT team. One weenie-ish SWATting apologist thinks that if they dont bring out the SWAT van it doesnt count, failing to understand that like many slang terms, it is not utterly literal.
My wife came out a bit later and she appeared to be okay and I gave her a hug. She later told me when the officer woke her up, she said, the same phrase, let me guess, someone called and said my husband shot me... She says the cop was surprised that she wasnt surprised. Then I spent a good hour or two talking to the police and contacting people with vital information. That is, for instance, how Patrick Frey over at Pattericos knew first even before I tweeted anything out about it, because I knew he would have a lot to tell them. And we will be working with a detective to get at who committed this latest crime against us in the days to come.
And then it started to catch up with my wife, and she started shaking and getting a little upset.
What was done to this man and his family in retaliation for his use of his rights under the Constitution is utterly despicable.
Aaron says he does not believe that Bret Kimberlin made the call. I agree with him. On the other hand, I also agree with Aaron's view that the call was made on Kimberlin's behalf, if not at his behest, by one of his little crew of online allies to punish (and perhaps kill) Aaron for daring to write the truth and for daring to fight back when silenced.. Apparently they won''t stop until the rest of the world is silenced -- and if it takes getting someone killed, they are willing to do it. After all, the courts have already determined that Brett Kimberlin has the blood of one innocent on his hand -- what's another body or two on behalf of the greater "progressive" cause to his friends and supporters?
As that progressive hero Josef Stalin once remarked, "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs."
Or as that other great "progressive", Che Guevara said -- "A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall!".
They don't merely want us silent -- they want us dead to ensure our silence.
Aaron, you have my best wishes -- and I have your back. Keep writing on this subject -- and I will as well.
I look at one decision and view it as having been just about right. I look at another and consider it to be completely wrong. And a third -- one that I did not expect to see decided -- was spot-on.
First, let's look at the Arizona immigration law decision. I honestly think that this decision was the best we could reasonably hope for. The creation of immigration related crimes by the state of Arizona really did tread into areas constitutionally reserved to the federal government. On the other hand, checking immigration status when making unrelated stops and/or arrests is no different than running a warrant check. I'm therefore not displeased with the direction the court went here. And beyond that, we got another gift, courtesy of the Obama Regime itself, in the wake of this decision -- the Department of Homeland Security will no longer respond to Arizona requests for verification of immigration status unless there is an outstanding felony warrant. In other words, the Obama Regime has once again indicated that it will not uphold the laws of the United States regarding illegal immigration. The lawlessness is staggering.
The conservative justice accused Obama of selectively enforcing only those immigration laws that he deems appropriate and said states would never have joined the union if the framers of the Constitution had intended for the executive branch to wield power in such a way.
The delegates to the Grand Convention would have rushed to the exits, Scalia wrote.
While I don't like that the justice waded in to the current dispute over Obama's order that those brought to the country as children not be deported (it was not a part of this case and he'll now have to recuse himself if it does reach the High Court), he is exactly correct in his observation -- the framers never intended the President to have such powers. Once again, Scalia sounds the clarion call back to fidelity to the Constitution. Unfortunately, I fear that the controversy over his policy criticism will detract from his having done so. I also agree with his observations on state sovereignty -- though will note that the Supreme Court's Fourteenth Amendment and Commerce Clause jurisprudence have served to strip states of sovereignty for the better part of a century.
I'm less pleased by the Court's Eighth Amendment ruling. In that ruling, the majority decided that a sentence of life without parole for juveniles constituted cruel and unusual punishment, even in cases of murder that would qualify for the death penalty if committed by an adult.
The Supreme Court on Monday abolished the imposition of mandatory sentences of life without parole for all juveniles convicted of murder.
Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the 5-4 majority, said, By requiring that all children convicted of homicide receive lifetime incarceration without possibility of parole, regardless of their age and age-related characteristics and the nature of their crimes, the mandatory sentencing schemes before us violate this principle of proportionality, and so the Eighth Amendments ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The ruling that such sentences violate the Eighth Amendment continues the juvenile justice reform movements streak of victories at the high court over the last decade. In 2005, the justices eliminated the death penalty for minors. In 2010, the court struck down life-without-parole sentences for all juveniles convicted of non-homicide offenses. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion both times, joined by the courts four-justice liberal bloc.
As I've pointed out in the past in the predecessor rulings to this decision, the holding of the court has no firm grounding in either the Constitution or the American legal tradition. The liberal wing of the Supreme Court is constitutionalizing its policy preferences here -- and having done so, prevented the "evolving national consensus" from continuing its evolution in any direction other than that preferred by liberals.
Professor Ann Althouse points to Justice Alito's comments in dissent echoing my position.
"Our Eighth Amendment case law is now entirely inward looking," writes Justice Alito, dissenting today in Miller v. Alabama PDF which declared it mandatory life imprisonment to be "cruel and unusual" punishment when imposed on a juvenile.
Unless our cases change course, we will continue to march toward some vision of evolutionary culmination that the Court has not yet disclosed.
There is nothing in our legal or constitutional history to support this decision aside from a couple of precedents that amount to "because we say so". If you want a reason to make sure we have a conservative in the White House after this election, consider that at least two of the members of the majority here are likely to leave the Supreme Court and be replaced by the man elected in November -- as is also the case with Justice Scalia.
And then there was the surprise decision, coming on a Montana case in which the court summarily overturned a decision of the state's supreme court that directly conflicted with Citizens United. The justices decided that there was no need for oral arguments -- and acted to preserve the First Amendment. Hurrah!
A teacher behaves unprofessionally, shows utter ignorance of her content area, and is caught on videotape by a student, who alerts the media.
The teacher receives a slap on the wrist from the district and will be allowed to keep her job.
The young man who did the videotaping had a hellish time finishing the school year. In an interview with Breitbart News, the young mans sister described the ensuing weeks after the videotape. She said that some of the other students have said they are out to get the young man; the teacher, Tanya Dixon-Neely, has relatives who are students in the school. The young mans family, fearing for his safety, requested for the young man to finish the last three weeks of school at home, but the school refused. Instead, the school offered for the young man to come to school after the other students were already in class, be secluded from other students during the school day and leave before school ended.
According to the videotapers sister, not only did the school authorities reject the appeal for home-schooling, they gave him a suspension on his school record for videotaping in the classroom -- the first suspension ever issued for such an action, despite the fact that other students have also videotaped on school grounds.
The young mans sister stated that assistant principal Antoine Brisbon said to her brother, That was a very stupid thing you did. You have damaged the school. Our staff is taking a beating because our phones are nonstop. This is all over the country. She also said that after the video was released, Tanya Dixon-Neely started making indirect remarks at the young man accusing him of stabbing her in the back. The family tried to find another school for the young man, but the sister said the schools that are close enough are worse.
This situation is unreal.
District administrators are more concerned about the image of the school than the quality of the teachers and the education they are providing the students.
The teacher who was disciplined has been allowed to engage in further unprofessional actions via implied threats against the student whistleblower.
Threats of bullying -- and worse -- have gone unaddressed.
Where is the state government in North Carolina? Why are actions not being taken to protect his right to a safe education? Why are state officials missing in action?
And moreover, where is the US Department of Justice defending this young man's civil rights? Oh, that's right -- he's a white kid who was critical of Obama, so that makes him a racist who deserves whatever he gets. I'm surprised that Eric Holder isn't looking into filing civil rights charges against him for embarrassing an African-American Obama supporter.
As a public school teacher, I'm disgusted. And ashamed that losers like this are found in my profession.
H/T Jawa Report, Gateway Pundit
I'm not going to rant about drunk drivers -- though Lord knows that there is plenty to rant about.
And I'm not going to rant about illegal aliens and the crimes they commit -- that is something for another post.
No, I'm just going to highlight something that shows how a mindless bureaucracy can be heartlessly cruel to the victims of crimes and their survivors.
GREENVILLE, S.C. - A drunken driver killed an Upstate women's son last year, and if the grief wasn't enough, she's had to deal with bills associated with the wreck, even for the cost of cleaning up her son's blood.
* * *
The grieving mother then showed the judge the many bills she's had to pay, even though her son was not at fault.
Robinson said she paid to have the wrecked car stored for months, in case there was a trial.
"I had to pay to have the vehicle towed," she said. "I had to pay for the vehicle removed and to clean up the street from Justin's blood on the ground."
Robinson said that was the bill that stung the most paying $50 to have the street cleaned.
Really? The victim 's family got charged to clean up his blood from the street? Sweet God in Heaven.
What next? Bill the family directly for the cost of imprisoning the drunken border-jumper who killed Justin Robinson? It is bad enough to think that their taxes will indirectly be funding the three hots and a cot that Anna Gonzalez will be getting for the foreseeable future.
Blogger Aaron Walker will get his day in court today -- in a court not presided over ay a robed marsupial.
Monday morning, there will be a hearing in Montgomery County (Md.) Circuit Court on an appeal by attorney/blogger Aaron Walker, who was arrested last month after he was accused of violating a peace order obtained by Kimberlin.
UPDATE: Walker will be represented by attorney Reginald W. Bours III at Mondays hearing at Circuit Court (Judicial Center, 50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850). David Hogberg of Investors Business Daily reported Friday that Bours has filed an emergency motion in Circuit Court seeking a partial stay or a modification of Kimberlins peace order that would in effect lift the peace order until the Appeals Court hears the case on July 5th.
In a May 29 ruling that outraged First Amendment activists, District Court Judge C.J. Vaughey effectively imposed a gag order that prevents Walker from writing or speaking about Kimberlin.
* * *
In addition to his appeal in Maryland state courts, Kimberlin has filed for an emergency preliminary injunction in federal court.
I've written on Kimberlin before, and about his scuzzy tactics to silence truthful speech and fact-based commentary upon him and his past. This is a case to watch -- and one that will hopefully eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.
As I read things over at SCOTUSBlog, there are eight cases still pending from this year's Supreme Court docket. Of those, three are part of the health care litigation and are likely to be handed down together by the justices. One is the Arizona immigration law case. The remaining four are as follows:
Argued on November 28, 2011
Plain English Issue: Whether lawsuits under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which allows homebuyers to sue banks and title companies when they pay kickbacks for the closing of a mortgage loan, are constitutional if the kickback does not affect the price or quality of the services provided?
Argued on February 22, 2012
Plain English Issue: Whether a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about receiving military medals or honors violates the First Amendments guarantee of the right to free speech.
Argued separately on March 20, 2012
Plain English Issue: Whether a sentence of life without parole for someone who was convicted of murder when he was fourteen violates the Constitutions prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
Given that two of those cases deal with essentially the same issue (life without parole for teens), That leads me to believe that thee are six decisions/clusters of decisions to be handed down this week.
My guess is that the four cases offset in the block quote will all come down today. I also suspect that the Arizona case will come down today as well. My best guess is that later this week -- probably on Thursday. Why put them off to their own day? Because there are likely to be multiple opinions produced by the justices in those three cases, and we may see justices -- in particular dissenters -- reading their opinion from the bench. The time issue alone makes it reasonable for the decisions to be announced on their own.
Of course, we will know what is happening in about three hours, given that decisions are announced at 10:00 AM Eastern Time.
I raised just this issue yesterday.
[T]he problem is that as a NATO member, the move by the Syrian government could be viewed as falling under the mutual defense requirements of the North Atlantic Treaty as subsequently amended when Turkey joined the alliance. If that is invoked, we could see Obama committing US forces in the weeks before the election.
Lo and behold, what is the latest news regarding the shoot-down?
Turkey on Sunday summoned its NATO allies for emergency consultations on the downing by Syria of one of its warplanes, a move that potentially opens the door to international military intervention in the Syrian crisis for the first time.
Turkey said it had invoked Article 4 of the NATO charter which allows consultations in case of a security threat after concluding that the plane was over international waters in the Mediterranean when it was hit by a Syrian missile Friday.
Investigations into the shooting suggested that it was not an accident or a mistake, and that Syria was aware it was firing at a Turkish plane when the U.S.-made F-4 fighter was targeted without warning by at least two surface-to-air missiles, Turkish officials said. A search continued in the eastern Mediterranean for the two missing pilots.
It was an act of war, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said in a telephone interview. They shot down a plane over international waters, and this is unacceptable. Turkey sent a diplomatic note to Syria stating that under international law, Turkey reserves the right to respond, he added.
In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the downing a brazen and unacceptable act and said the United States was consulting with its allies and partners regarding next steps to be taken against Syria, at a time when a U.N. effort to address the spiraling bloodshed inside Syria through diplomacy is faltering.
Although immediate military action seems unlikely, Turkeys summons puts the Syrian crisis on NATOs agenda for the first time since the uprising began, and the development it is very significant, said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.
So I raise the issue again -- will Obama use the situation between Turkey and Syria to "wag the dog" in the weeks before the election?
Here are this weeks full results:
See you next week!
Yes He Can!
After all -- Turkey is a member of NATO.
Turkey promised to respond 'determinedly' tonight after the Syrian military admitted shooting down a Turkish warplane over the Mediterranean Sea.
Two Turkish pilots are still missing after their air force jet was downed by Syrian forces in an act which has escalated tensions between the neighbouring countries.
Syria said it shot down the F4 phantom jet because it was flying 'over Syrian territorial waters'.
The violation -- which did occur a sea -- apparently amounted to an overflight of Syrian waters of about 1 kilometer. That amounts to less than 2/3 of a mile. Syria's action is therefore quite aggressive, as such an incursion would ordinarily be met with a radio warning and/or a fighter escort being sent to investigate. Given the speeds at which an F4 travels, the incursion into Syrian space could have been nothing more than a wide turn by a pilot having navigational or mechanical problems.
But the problem is that as a NATO member, the move by the Syrian government could be viewed as falling under the mutual defense requirements of the North Atlantic Treaty as subsequently amended when Turkey joined the alliance. If that is invoked, we could see Obama committing US forces in the weeks before the election. Would he be willing to "wag the dog" in the event he needs to appear "presidential" and burnish his credentials as a war time president? I don't know -- but I would not be surprised, given his Libyan military adventure that lacked both congressional approval and a connection to US national security.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, I repeatedly defended Mary Cheney from those -- including John Kerry and John Edwards -- who would attack her for her sexual orientation or use her as a tool to attack her father.
And when Mary Cheney announced that she was pregnant back in 2005, and that she and her long-time partner Heather Poe were going to become parents, I offered my congratulations and best wishes. I did not -- and do not -- have to agree in every particular with someone's life choices to do so.
And so, even though I am not a supporter of gay marriage, I again extend congratulations and best wishes to the couple -- this time on the occasion of their wedding.
Mary Cheney, the openly gay daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, married longtime partner Heather Poe on Friday in Washington, D.C.
The former vice president and his wife, Lynne, issued a statement Friday morning saying they are "delighted" about the marriage.
Mary and Heather have been in a committed relationship for many years, and we are delighted that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have that relationship recognized, the Cheneys said in a statement obtained by ABC News. Mary and Heather and their children are very important and much-loved members of our family and we wish them every happiness.
The couple are parents to a son and daughter.
May their marriage be a blessing to them, their children, to their friends and family, and to society as a whole. I do not have to agree with them to hold nothing but goodwill for them and wish for nothing but good to flow from their relationship.
In the midst of the deluge of traffic from Instapundit and Powerline viewing this post, I noticed this entry as I scrolled through my recent visits.
Given it is Wasilla, Alaska, I have to wonder -- is it the town's most prominent resident reading my site? If so, Welcome Sarah Palin!
When WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange (who should have been droned by Barack Obama some time ago) skipped bail and sought asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy, he left those who put up the bond high and dry -- and out a whole bunch of cash.
If your friends gave you $376,000 to stay out of jail, the least you might want to do is drop a hint that you're skipping town. But none such courtesies were extended to Julian Assange's donors such as Michael Moore, who now face losing all the bail money they posted for the WikiLeaks founder. Early this year the filmmaker joined other donors including British socialite Jemima Khan and Australian journalist John Pilger as sureties for Assange's bail by helping to post £240,000. The list of Assange allies also includes those who agreed to pay 20,000 pounds ($31,000) in surety to be paid later such as former British army captain Vaughan Smith and catering business mogul Sarah Saunders. Each one now faces losing that money because of the WikiLeaks founder's bid for asylum in Ecuador. Who knew radical transparency was so expensive?
Assange's legal team is trying to claim that if he is granted asylum that that constitutes not violating the terms of his bond. The Brits, on the other hand, are having none of that. Here's hoping the crew who backed the WikiRapist (he was on bond awaiting possible extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges) end up paying handsomely for their support of this turd.
In a post today, Sister Toldjah appended this little bit from the distant past of Hollywood.
I don't imagine such a comment would ever make it into a movie today. And ad mit it -- even if you are a Democrat it is amusing.
One of the things that is true of the Left is that it is generally guilty of great selectivity when applying those things it claims are absolute.
I could note their selective absolutism on discrimination (except for affirmative action), the right to keep medical care between patient and doctor (but only for abortion -- ObamaCare will bring government into every other medical decision), free speech (except for speech the Left dislikes) and freedom of religion (you WILL buy birth control for your employees and do gay marriages or lose your tax exemption!).
And apparently that selective application of absolute principles applies to the parents of public servants who are killed in the line of duty.
Back in 2005, Maureen Dowd declared, regarding Cindy Sheehan, that "the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute." Of course, the mere fact that Ms. Sheehan did not speak for the overwhelming majority of mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, or sisters and brothers of those who have died fighting the various terrorist groups seeking to impose radical Islam on the rest of the world didn't detract from Sheehan's "absolute moral authority" -- the White House was obliged to accommodate her and tailor policy to her demands.
Of course, Sheehan's "absolute moral authority" was conceded by the Left only until the Democrats took control of Congress and Sheehan began applying the same standards to emocrats that she did to Republicans -- and she was dismissed as a crazy old auntie in the attic once she began to criticize Barack Obama. After all, "absolute" is a relative term to the Left.
Jump forward seven years, to 2012. Barack Obama and Eric Holder are stonewalling on the release of documents related to the Operation Fast & Furious gunrunning scheme. The media is doing its best to avoid covering the story of what is going on -- and when they do cover it, the present it as a political witch hunt. Who is not being heard? The parents of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed using the guns that the Obama Department of Justice allowed into the hands of criminals.
The parents of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry accused the Obama administration of lying and hiding something about the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, which was linked to the 2010 killing of their son.
I think they are hiding something. I think they are lying and they are hiding big time. Passing the buck, Ken Terry said on Foxs Hannity on Thursday evening. I got a gut feeling on that. I just know that they are hiding something big. Something happened out there, and worse than what we know.
Eric Holder has been before Congress so many times. And [from] the first couple times you can tell theres something being hid, and theres something not being said. After a while you feel like throwing the TV through the front window because you get tired of hearing the constant lies, said Josephine Terry.
Brian Terrys December 2010 death linked to firearms traced to the ATFs Fast and Furious program was the incident that brought the operation into public scrutiny.
Unlike Sheehan, who actually had a meeting with President Bush within weeks of her son's death in Iraq, Ken and Josephine Terry have never been granted a meeting with President Obama or Attorney General Holder. Holder sent the couple a flaccid condolence letter, and Obama placed a phone call to them shortly before their son's funeral -- but failed to mention Fast & Furious or explain that the gun used to kill their son came from a botched operation of the Justice Department.
The parents of this slain law enforcement officer have supported the investigation into the program that resulted in their son's death. They have publicly urged Obama and Holder to release the documents that will shed light on their son's death and those responsible for it. Now they are outraged at the stonewalling and cover up that is going on as Obama has tried to shield Holder by invoking executive privilege.
And the news media? They have virtually ignored the Terrys -- just like they ignored Brian Terry's death and the connection to a law enforcement operation gone sour.
After all, supporting these parents of a slain law enforcement officer who just want the truth about their son's death and proper punishment meted out to those who are responsible for it could reflect badly on an administration that so many in the press are invested in seeing succeed -- unlike what we saw in 2005, when the media was more than willing to use a grief-stricken mother to tear down a president they opposed.
And we certainly haven't heard the liberal media establishment arguing that Ken and Josephine Terry have "absolute moral authority" that needs to be deferred to by an administration that is arguably responsible for their son's murder -- because once again, that which the Left declares to be an absolute principle must fall by the wayside when it becomes inconvenient to the accomplishment of what they have decided is a higher goal (like reelecting Obama).
Update -- Welcome to the sudden influx of readers from Instapundit! Feel free to stay a while and look around. And thank you, Glenn Reynolds, for the link. Thanks as well to the guys from PowerLine for their top-of-the-page link as one of their picks from around the blogosphere.
Over the last couple of years, I've made positive references to the organization GOProud, a group of conservative Republican gays, and their efforts to expand the conservative movement into a constituency that is traditionally not very open to Republicans. I've even done battle with other conservatives over the group -- due in no small part to my blogging friendship with a member of the group's board.
Now since GOProud definitely identifies itself as a Republican organization, nobody should be shocked that the group endorsed Mitt Romney for President this week. Why would a group of gay conservatives make such an endorsement? Because their platform and Romney's match up on the overwhelming majority of the issues upon which the group defines itself -- conservative issues that are no-brainers to conservatives like members of the group. The group expresses disappointment that Romney holds a different position of gay marriage, but views the confluence of their other views as the basis for endorsing Romney over a president who supports only the group's gay marriage plank and no other issues.
The response from the Left has been. . . well,homophobic.
I wonder -- what would be the reaction of gay Obama supporters were called "house faggots"? I think we would see virtual Armageddon.
And now we get this from a prominent media supporter of Obama, Joy Behar, on her CurrenTV show (You know CurrenTV, where has-been liberal hosts go to fade away into obscurity).
JOY BEHAR, HOST: Do you think Romney will ever get the gay vote? I don't think hes going to get it any way.
HOWARD BRAGMAN, REPUTATION.COM: No, I dont, unless his sons do a spread in GQ shirtless, and then I think itll be fine.
BEHAR: Could it be that the GOProud guys are just attracted to Mitt Romney's sons Matt, Mutt, Tag, Tip, Tack, and Bashful? Do you think that's the issue?
BRAGMAN: I would love a magic underwear photo shoot. I think we could
BEHAR: What is that, anyway? Haven't they seen The Book of Mormon? They call themselves gay and they haven't been to The Book of Mormon? Unbelievable.
Lots of bigotry there from "tolerant" Joy -- but I'll confine myself to the homophobia. Does Joy really believe that gay men only think with their penises? And the stereotyping of gay men as mincing enthusiasts of Broadway musicals is pretty "out there" as well. Such claims from a conservative would be equally offensive -- and would be the basis for the same sort of outrage that a Dan Savage type comment from a conservative would be.
No, homophobia lives! Among the denizens of the political Left.
At least retiring Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) is honest enough to admit that he lacked the balls to say this before he announced his plans to step down from office.
I think the people have gotten dumber.
You know -- because you don't want to compromise with them because you view their policies as fundamentally wrong for America. You refuse to give in because you are too stupid to understand that he's right and you are wrong.
And lest you think my interpretation is incorrect, just look at the response of the rank and file of the Democrat party.
I love the Dos Equis commercials -- but i have to tell you, I think I love this parody even more.
Wouldn't it be fun to see this thing run in prime time?
H/T Doug Powers
UPDATE: Looks like the Libs may have forced it down -- keep getting an error message. So here is a mirror of the video.
It is a great place for great entertainment -- and it is free for anyone who wants to come. Check out their schedule at their website.
Could be -- and with it one of Obama's two claims to policy success.
WASHINGTON -- Television cameras will surround the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, as they did Monday, anticipating something that may, again, not happen.
The momentous healthcare decision could be announced Thursday. Or not. All we really know is that it is extremely likely to be handed down by the following Thursday, June 28, when the court is expected to end its current term.
The court works in secrecy as it prepares its opinions, and outsiders might be surprised to learn that some of its work is done at the last minute. The justices would have voted almost immediately after three days of oral arguments last March on whether President Obamas healthcare overhaul is constitutional. Although that vote would normally have determined the outcome of the case, there is a lot of back and forth before the majority opinion and the dissents, if any, are finished.
Last Friday was the deadline for justices to hand in dissents. Then whoever is writing the majority opinion the betting is on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has the option of responding to any criticism of the ruling in his own opinion.
There are only three scheduled decision days left for this term -- today, Monday, and next Thursday. I personally think it likely that ObamaCare -- and the Arizona immigration law case -- will not be handed down this week. Instead, I expect the case involving the FCC's broadcast indecency rules to be today's big case.
We'll know for sure in four hours.
Are you someone interested in martial arts? I'm not a practitioner myself, but I've always had an appreciation of the skill and effort that goes into them. I've been familiar with the various forms of karate, judo, and jujitsu that are out there, as well as newer martial arts, but I had never hear of muay thai, a martial art native to thailand.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Muay Thai" Â»
What is may thai? It is a form of kickboxing that the Siamese military developed in the distant past of Thai history. It was designed to allow disarmed soldiers to continue to fight on the battlefield -- an important skill to have if one did not want to become a dead soldier during the day of up close and personal combat. It is now Thailand's national sort, and considered an important part of the country's culture, and is fought under rules established by the Thai king in the mid twentieth century.
In recent years, training in muay thai Thailand has become more popular -- though most training facilities are still in Thailand. Now you can travel to Thailand for training in the sport. If you are interested, I'd like to suggest that you visit www.muaythaithailand123.com for further information.
Â« All done with "Muay Thai"?
Hurrah to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for doing the right thing by voting to hold Eric Holder in contempt for failure to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena.
Voting on strictly partisan lines, a House committee recommended Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents relating to the botched Fast and Furious weapons sting operation.
The measure now goes to the full House for consideration, expected next week, of what would be an unprecedented event -- Congress holding a sitting attorney general in contempt.
And this will move forward in the House -- Speaker Boehner indicates that the full House will be voting on holding Holder in contempt next week.
Despite being given multiple opportunities to provide the documents necessary for Congress investigation into Fast and Furious, Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall. Today, the Administration took the extraordinary step of exerting executive privilege over documents that the Attorney General had already agreed to provide to Congress. Fast and Furious was a reckless operation that led to the death of an American border agent, and the American people deserve to know the facts to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. While we had hoped it would not come to this, unless the Attorney General reevaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week. If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the Oversight Committee an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue.
This may be the beginning of the end for the Obama Regime's lawless Reign of Error. Looks like we may yet get a crisis, though, as one of Holder's subordinates is required to prosecute him for his crime.
Well over a year ago, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, the Justice Departments gunwalking program that resulted in thousands of guns illegally reaching the hands of criminal gangs in Mexico, resulting in many deaths (including that of at least one federal agent). Eric Holder and the Justice Department have stonewalled, turning over only about 3% of the subpoenaed materials.
The committee was supposed to vote today to cite the attorney general for contempt over the failure to turn the documents over. That vote has been postponed because, in the dark of the night last night, the Justice Department requested and the Obama White House granted, the invocation of executive privilege to justify withholding the material.
President Obama on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House panel ahead of a scheduled panel vote where Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to be held in contempt of Congress.
It's the first time Obama has used executive privilege since taking office. A White House aide said the president had gone longer without asserting the privilege in a congressional dispute than any other president in the last three decades.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said his panel was "evaluating" a letter from Deputy Attorney General James Cole asserting the privilege that arrived minutes before Issa's committee was to begin contempt proceedings. The vote was to take place Wednesday after a last-ditch effort to reach a deal over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious failed on Tuesday night.
In my opinion, the Committee should ignore this claim and continue its plan to cite Holder for contempt over his failure to turn over the subpoenaed documents. The invocation of executive privilege is spurious, and not based upon the sensitivity of the documents. There is no national security implication to the release of the documents, nor is there a reasonable claim that their release will hinder deliberations within the executive branch. What this claim does amount to is an argument by the Obama Administration that Congress may not act to oversee and/or regulate the actions of an executive branch department that appears to have engaged in actions in violation of existing federal law actions that led to the deaths of American and Mexican citizens at the hands of criminals armed with guns that Justice Department officials knowingly allowed into the hands of those criminals.
More to the point, the timing of this invocation is quite suspect. The claim that the materials are privileged could have been invoked fifteen months ago. It could have been invoked six months ago. Instead, it is invoked mere hours prior to the committee vote on a contempt citation against the Attorney General for withholding the documents. and in the midst of the presidential campaign. The delay and the timing make this appear to be a cover up by the Obama Administration and the presidents reelection campaign. So much for the transparency promised by Obama!
Given the bad faith shown by the Obama Administration since the issue of the subpoena, the committee ought not back down from the issuance of the contempt citation. Cite Eric Holder for contempt. Order his arrest. Let the Obama Administration argue in court that it is above the law and that neither Congress nor the Courts can provide oversight of its actions nor compel it to release documents under subpoena and that Obama appointees are immune from the application of laws that apply to other American citizens. Im sure that the constitutional law professor (actually a part-time non-tenure track adjunct faculty member) in the White House will be able to make the case every bit as effectively as he fixed the economy.
And have no doubt that this action by the Obama Administration is part and parcel of a cover up of wrongdoing. The New York Times reports that yesterday Holder met with Rep. Darrell Issa and other Congressional leaders, the head of the committee, and offered to voluntarily supply some of the subpoenaed documents that are today deemed to be too sensitive to release but only if Issa agreed that the committee agreed to cease investigating Operation Fast and Furious before they knew the contents of the documents to be released! Even the blind can see that the Obama Administration is trying to hide wrong-doing from the American people and their elected representatives a desperate attempt to protect the presidents chances of being reelected.
UPDATE: There's a great post over at Sister Toldjah that explains why this claim of executive privilege is particularly troubling -- unless Barack Obama was in the loop on on authorizing and covering up Fast and Furious, it is does not meet the standard set by court precedents. So which is it? Is Barack Obama part of the operation that has killed US law enforcement personnel and Mexican citizens, or is he allowing an unfounded claim of privilege go forward to save his political skin?
The post also notes that allowing the weapons to go to these drug gangs could constitute an act of war with Mexico.
Last month I wrote about the North Carolina teacher who verbally abused a student who dared to speak the truth about Barack Obama. I was quite blunt in my assessment that her professional malpractice represented grounds for termination.
The North Rowan High School teacher who told students its criminal to speak ill of the president will keep her job with the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
Although Tanya Dixon-Neely has been suspended without pay, she will return next school year, when she will be required to start a monitored growth plan, Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom said in a press release.
This decision is wrong. Tanya Dixon-Neely doesn't belong in a classroom -- not because of her sycophantic devotion to the president. but because she violated any number of minimum standards for how a teacher should conduct herself in a classroom. I suspect that the "growth plan" will consist of nothing more than teaching her how not to get caught in the future.
LOS CABOS, Mexico President Barack Obama says Mitt Romneys campaign advisers should quit criticizing him on foreign policy especially since they dont know what theyre talking about.
During a brief news conference held Tuesday night to wrap up the two-day G-20 conference with world leaders here, the president rebuffed a mention of an op-ed last month published in Handelsblatt, Germanys leading business newspaper, by Romney economic adviser R. Glenn Hubbard.* * *
I would point out that we have one president at a time and one administration at a time, Obama said. And I think traditionally the notion has been that Americas political differences end at the waters edge.
Gee, remember back in the day when dissent was the highest form of patriotism? You know -- before January 20, 2009.
MSNBC has long-since forfeited the right to be called a news organization. Why on earth would any Republican candidate consider being a part of any debate sponsored by that network, which is an arm of the Democrat Party and displays significantly less ideological diversity and objectivity that Fox News?
Senator Scott Brown said he will accept a debate at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute but only on the condition that Vicki Kennedy stay neutral in the election and that MSNBC not be included as a broadcast partner.
The Brown campaign said in a press release that it would agree to allow former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw to moderate.
Elizabeth Warren has already accepted the Sept. 27 debate, but Brown had previously not committed. The candidates are jointly committed to two other televised debates so far, one in the Boston market and a second one in Western Massachusetts.
Vicki Kennedy, Senator Kennedys widow, had proposed a third debate. But she has been an active Democrat, causing some to question whether Brown should accept the invitation. And MSNBC, home to many liberal talk show hosts, had been mentioned as a potential broadcast partner.
I'll be honest -- I don't know why Walker would want to be a part of any debate sponsored by the Edward Kennedy Institute and Vicki Kennedy. After all, she is no more a neutral party than Pat Buchanan would be.
And besides, why would any self-respecting candidate be a part of an event sponsored by an organization named for a man who was notorious for having left a girl to drown in his car and for offering to cooperate with a foreign power to subvert a presidential election?
CHICAGO -- President Obama is spending Father's Day in his hometown playing the 100th round of golf of his presidency.
* * *
Mark Knoller, CBS News's longtime keeper of presidential data, says it's Obama's 100th round since taking office. And the president picked a nice course -- he's playing at the historic Beverly Country Club the southwest corner of the city.
Pres. Obama using Father's Day for a round of golf here in Chicago. By my count, it's his 100th round of golf as president.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 17, 2012
Remember -- George W. Bush played only 24 rounds of golf in 8 years as president.
Fooled you! There's no outrage because it was just another gang of murderous Muslims attacking Christian churches and murdering Christians at prayer.
(AFP) Bombs rocked three churches in neighbouring cities in Nigerias northern Kaduna state on Sunday, injuring dozens of worshippers, emergency services and residents said.
The number of casualties in the blasts in the neighbouring cities of Zaria and Kaduna was not immediately clear. Police and the military cordoned off the areas around the churches.
The state-run National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the blasts happened in the Wusasa and Sabongari districts of Zaria, previously targeted by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Residents in the areas said many people were injured in the attacks on the Christ the King Catholic Cathedral and ECWA GoodNews Church.
Many people in the church were injured but I have not seen any dead bodies, a woman who was in the church in Wusasa at the time of the explosion said by telephone from her hospital bed.
Several residents in Sabongari said the church was badly damaged.
I went close to the church but could not access it due to heavy police and military security deployed around it, resident Mahmud Hamza told AFP.
From where I stood I could see a badly destroyed church still burning from the explosion. It is obvious there were deaths from the scale of the damage and the fire, he added.
Another resident spoke of seeing bodies being taken out of the church.
This isn't the first such event. It isn't the first such event in Nigeria. And such events are not confined to Nigeria, but seem to take place with some degree of frequency wherever large numbers of Muslims live among Christians.
No doubt someone will accuse me of hating Muslims. I don't -- just ask any Muslim who knows me. But the reality is that there is a cancer within Islam that makes the murder of non-Muslims acceptable and laudable to a segment of followers of Islam. On the other hand, Christians generally turn the other cheek in response to these incidents, as per the words of Christ. Maybe that's why these incidents continue to occur.
Lets move on to this weeks full results.
Yeah, it seems shocking to me, too. But his recent NYT column contains this tidbit that needs to be memorized and repeated every time someone on the Left calls the contemporary GOP "extreme".
Democrats frequently ask me why the Republicans have become so extreme. As they describe the situation, they usually fall back on some sort of illness metaphor. Republicans have a mania. President Obama has said that Republicans have a fever that he hopes will break if he is re-elected.
I guess Id say Republicans dont have an illness; they have a viewpoint. Let me describe it this way: In the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower reconciled Republicans to the 20th-century welfare state. Between Ike and George W. Bush, Republican leaders basically accepted that model. Sure, they wanted to cut taxes and devolve power, but, in practice, they sustained the system, often funding it more lavishly than the Democrats.
But many Republicans have now come to the conclusion that the welfare-state model is in its death throes.
Now set aside Obama's metaphor that dissent is sick, not patriotic, (shades of the old Soviet Union!) and consider what Brooks is saying -- the GOP is operating out of a viewpoint that the welfare state model is fatally flawed and no longer sustainable without major fixing. That sums things up rather nicely.
The reality is that there are times in history when there is a consensus opinion around which the body politic has coalesced. At those times, policy differences amount to tinkering around the edges. But at other times the situation that exists requires breaking out of the old consensus and the introduction of new ideas into the national dialogue and their adoption as national policy. I'd suggest -- consistent with my conservative views -- that this is one of those times. Such straying from the old consensus is generally seen as "extreme" or "radical" at the time -- but history often judges those radical extremists (or is that "extremist radicals"?) to be visionary leaders whose ideas were ultimately vindicated.
His rich celebrity donors, not the American people, are "the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes."
NEW YORK (AP) President Barack Obama soaked in the support and the campaign cash of Manhattan's elite entertainers Thursday as his re-election team sought to fill its fundraising coffers.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama made a rare joint fundraising appearance when they visited the home of actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. The intimate dinner banked about $2 million, with 50 people paying $40,000 each.
The dinner was the Obama campaign's latest attempt to bank on celebrities for fundraising help in countering the growing donor enthusiasm from Republicans supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid.
Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation's future.
"You're the tie-breaker," he said. "You're the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes."
Remember, folks -- under Obama, THIS is what democracy looks like.
President Barack Obama laid out details of his new immigration policy that will stop deporting and will issue work permits to up to 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and have never committed a crime.
"This is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship, it's not a permanent fix, this is a temporary stop gap measure," Obama said, about the new immigration policy.
* * *
He knew from the very beginning, this president, that amnesty was rejected time and time again by the American people," said Bob Kane, Communications Director at Federation for American Immigration Reform. "He knew amnesty was not possible legislatively and yet by executive fiat he has declared the new plan of the land.
You know, I'm not necessarily opposed to the underlying concept of treating such young people differently under our immigration law (actually, I've got a problem with much of our immigration law as it currently exists). I work with a bunch of these kids, and would hate to see them deported. That, however, is not the issue here -- the issue is the wholesale ignoring of the laws that do exist and the usurpation of Congressional lawmaking authority to create what is, in essence, a stop-gap amnesty program. Remember-- Congress has thus far rejected proposals substantially identical to the measures imposed by executive fiat today. That flies in the face of our constitutional system.
And remember -- it has only been a bit more than a year since Barack Obama said as much.
MR. RAMOS: Mr. President, my question will be as follows: With an executive order, could you be able to stop deportations of the students? And if thats so, that links to another of the questions that we have received through univision.com. We have received hundreds, thousand, all related to immigration and the students. Kay Tomar (ph) through univision.com told us Im reading What if at least you grant temporary protective status, TPS, to undocumented students? If the answer is yes, when? And if no, why not?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, temporary protective status historically has been used for special circumstances where you have immigrants to this country who are fleeing persecution in their countries, or there is some emergency situation in their native land that required them to come to the United States. So it would not be appropriate to use that just for a particular group that came here primarily, for example, because they were looking for economic opportunity.
With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, thats just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that weve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branchs job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.
There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.
The proper response to this action by the Chief Executive would be for the House to impeach him and the Senate to vote for his removal. That is what our Constitution envisions. But that won't happen -- partly because we are so close to an election, and mainly because the Senate Democrats are as lawless as their party's leader.
A Houston woman was arrested after police said she sent a text message about a bomb to a coworker when she was released from jury duty.
Court documents showed Cynthia Ann Creed, of Deer Park, sent the message to her coworker, Janie Ibarra, around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
It said that there was a bomb at the courthouse at 1201 Congress in Houston and that she needed to notify law enforcement. Houston police and the Harris County Constable's Office Precinct 1 responded. They evacuated the building, including the jury pool area.
And she went from potential juror to defendant in just a bit over 8 hours, facing arraignment at 7:45 that evening. I don't know if I would prefer to see her do a nice stretch in jail or face a stiff fine. After all, she has already cost those of us who live in Harris County enough tax dollars with her little joke.
Want to know why we need to have a photo ID for every voter? Here's a good example.
Three separate mailers from the State of Texas.
What are they?
Voter registration forms, already completed except for a couple of slots, and ready to mail back to Austin.
One problem -- none of these three individuals actually exist.
My wife and I subscribe to some magazines under these names, to keep track of who is selling our information to whom.
Looks like the Secretary of State's office is buying.
And if we were significantly less honest, we could have created three fictitious voters.
Makes you wonder how many folks out there are not so honest.
UPDATE -- 6/15/2012: Commenter Fred notes that this address is not a state building as it appeared, but is actually a UPS Store male drop. Further examination indicates that the mailer in fact is from a non-profit -- "The Voter participation Center" -- and not an office of the Texas Secretary of State. Here's a bit of info about the group.
The Voter Participation Center (VPC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization in the United States dedicated to increasing voter registration, voting and civic activity among unmarried women, people of color and 18-29 year olds. The organization is based in Washington, D.C. and was formerly named Women's Voices Women Vote (WVWV). The VPC designs, tests and carries out voter registration and turnout programs. It also produces research material on demographic and voting trends among traditionally under-represented groups, with a particular focus on unmarried women.
Further research shows that the "non-partisan" group is reliably liberal and partnered with other reliably liberal groups to get the vote out -- presumably for the
right left candidates.
American political parties are essentially coalitions of different factions. When a new faction links up with a political party, it does so to influence that party's platform. Organized labor has done this, civil rights groups have done this, and so have a variety of other groupings during America's long and storied political history. So why does this story treat the same thing happening today like it is so shocking?
James Bopp Jr., a prominent conservative lawyer and high-ranking Republican national committeeman, is helping tea partyers influence the official GOP 2012 platform.
Bopp, the vice chairman of the RNC, is among those tasked with writing the platform and is using his expertise to advise FreedomWorks, a well-financed conservative advocacy organization that has taken on the tea party mantle.
* * *
FreedomWorks plans to crowdsource ideas for its platform online and in a series of town hall meetings this summer, much like the group did with its Tea Party Debt Commission, a foil to the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, and its 2010 Contract From America, which called for a reduction in taxes, a balanced budget and reduced federal spending.
In the weeks before the convention, the group will lobby RNC members to include its ideas. The committee will release the first draft of the official platform one week before the convention, opening it up to amendments from subcommittees before final approval. Outside groups can offer their own proposals at any point in that process, but with thousands of interests vying for attention, only those with connections are likely to get a second look.
FreedomWorks pledges to fight elements in the platform draft that dont jibe with tea party interests. The group will not comment on social issues.
In other words, Tea Party activists are working within the system to influence one of the major parties -- and through that party, American politics in general -- in the direction supported by a fairly large group of Americans who have felt their views have been neglected. That's a good thing, and I support it -- even if I am not always on board with some of the things that some factions of the Tea Party supports. It is a good thing - and will benefit America in the long run.
Because life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness apparently does not include the freedom to decide what you will eat and drink or how much of it you can consume.
The board hand-picked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that must approve his ban of selling large sugar-filled drinks at restaurants might be looking at other targets.
The New York City Board of Health showed support for limiting sizes of sugary drinks at a Tuesday meeting in Queens. They agreed to start the process to formalize the large-drink ban by agreeing to start a six-week public comment period.
At the meeting, some of the members of board said they should be considering other limits on high-calorie foods.
One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered.
"The popcorn isn't a whole lot better than the soda," Vladeck said.
Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits.
"There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories," said board member Dr. Joel Forman.
Odd. It wasn't until the last generation that there was a belief that the government had any place regulating food for purposes of controlling the weight of the population. But then again, it wasn't until the last generation that government began getting itself so entangled in health care that the costs associated with obesity in Americans was a major budget issue.
It therefore seems to me that Americans need to make a choice.
We can either have government tell us what we are allowed to eat, or we can have government get the hell out of the business of providing (or even subsidizing) health care to so many Americans.
It is time for Americans to stand up to government officials (and busybody First Ladies) who want to control what we eat and how much of it we eat by firing back at them with a slogan long beloved by liberals:
After all, if it is a sufficient justification for the slaughter of the unborn, it is certainly sufficient reason to let Americans have a Super Thirst Quencher and a Jumbo Popcorn.
Under threat of a House contempt citation over the botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke in a conciliatory tone Tuesday about his willingness for compromises to avoid what he called an impending constitutional crisis over the withholding of documents in response to a congressional subpoena.
We are prepared to make I am prepared to make - compromises with regard to the documents that can be made available, said Holder in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
I want to make it very clear that I am offering I myself to sit down with the Speaker, the chairman, with you, whoever, to try and work our way through this in an attempt to avoid a constitutional crisis, and come up with ways, creative ways, in which to make this material available. But Ive got to have a willing partner. Ive extended my hand, and Im waiting to hear back, he added in response to a question about the subpoenaed documents posed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.)
I think that Eric holder just doesn't get it. Those documents have been subpoenaed. Turning them over is not optional, nor is it dependent upon having "a willing partner". As it is, the House has been quite lenient in how it has dealt with Holder and the Obama Just-Us Department, given that there have been lies, omissions and stonewalling in an attempt to cover up the details of Operation Fast and Furious. If Holder were an ordinary citizen -- like Roger Clemens, who is in the midst of his second trial for alleged lies on a subject of significantly smaller public concern -- he would have long since been in the dock on contempt charges. that he is now trying to make a deal to avoid being cited for contempt is laughable.
By the way, I'm curious about the "impending constitutional crisis" remark. There really is not one, if the laws of the United States are followed. If Holder is cited for contempt, he must face the legal process. It sounds to me like a warning that the Obama Administration will refuse to recognize the contempt citation, and that the Obama Regime will declare that the Head of the Just-Us Department is not subject to the very justice system that every other American is. At that point, it will become necessary to consider the impeachment of Eric Holder -- and of Barack Obama for declaring himself and his cabinet to be above the law.
This story is shocking -- just shocking.
Except, of course, that it isn't shocking at all.
After all, hypocrisy from "civil rights" organizations is so common place that it is expected and accepted enough to not even be commented upon.
But this situation is so outrageous that it is impossible not to comment.
A 17-year-old student at King High School in Riverside has returned a $1,000 scholarship intended for black students because he is white.
Jeffrey Warren and his father Rod returned the scholarship from the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club the night the teen was announced as the winner of the African-American student scholarship, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Jeffrey, who has a 4.25 cumulative grade-point average, applied for 27 scholarships and won three others in addition to the award from the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club, which only specified that African Americans were encouraged to apply, the newspaper reported. School counselors were informed that the scholarship was for black students.
The club intends to change the language on next years application to clarify who is eligible, according to the Press-Enterprise.
I wonder -- will the Martin Luther King Senior Citizen KKKlub impose some sort of reverse "brown paper bag test" to make sure that they get a winner who is truly black enough?
Now let's be honest about this entire situation. It is racism, pure and simple -- even more than the situation I blogged about earlier this evening or the one I wrote about back in January.
When will the federal government and the various states begin enforcing civil rights statutes to do away with this sort of RACIST garbage? Since we ban racial discrimination in so many forms, why do we still stand by and allow for race-based scholarships to be awarded? And more to the point, why do we allow our public schools to promote such scholarships? Where do the Fourteenth Amendment and the various civil rights acts come into play with these awards -- especially once public schools begin promoting them and passing out their applications?
Particularly disheartening is that a group named for Dr. King is engaging in this racist practice of disqualifying applicants because of their race. After all, didn't King himself have a radically different view?
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Yes, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to see the young people of our nation judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. The martin Luther King Senior Citizens KKKlub, on the other hand, is composed of racists who don't give a damn about the character of young people who do well in school if the color of their skin doesn't meet their criteria. That is simply disgusting -- and an insult to the vision of the man for whom the organization is named.
About two decades ago, a particularly vile individual was nominated for governor of one of our 50 states by the GOP. That unworthy individual, David Duke, had a history of hate-mongering and membership in racist organizations that stretched back years. The response of the GOP? It pulled out all the stops to get the Democrat candidate -- the ever-so-corrupt Edwin Edwards -- elected instead of Duke. Even the sitting President of the United States, George H. W, Bush, weighed in against Duke. The message? "Vote for the crook. It's important."
Well, it looks like we are now facing the moment when the Democrats have to make a decision on whether or not to stand silently and allow an anti-Semitic racist to be elected on the Democrat ticket.
New York City councilman Charles Barron may be on his way to winning the Democratic nomination for Congress in New York's Eighth District, despite a history of racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel rhetoric. Barron, who has earned the support of retiring congressman Edolphus Towns, would be representing a district with a sizable Jewish population. Charles Barron
In 2010, he told a reporter that in New York's Crown Heights neighborhood, Jews "only make up 20 percent of the population, but they've always walked these streets as if they owned them, and acted as if they are the only ones in the community that matter."
Barron once referred to a fellow city councilman, who is Jewish, as a "coward" whose actions on the council were to "satisfy the Jewish lobby."
Barron has also called into question the legitimate existence of Israel. "Where should we start [the discussion]?" he said at a Brooklyn church in 2010. "Should we start with the 1906 Zionist Convention, or in 1914, with the Balfour Declaration? With Menachem Begin, the terrorists, all the wars, you want to discuss Israel becoming a state in 1948 when it should not have? Who are the terrorists? You want to talk about the definition of terrorism? How do you define acts of piracy?"
Wow! That the Democrats haven't acted to put down this rabid dog already is pretty stunning. But now that Barron is running for Congress in New York's 8th Congressional District, the time has come for the leaders of the party -- from the lowliest ward heeler to Barack Obama himself -- to stand up and announce their support for his opponent in the June 26 primary. And if Barron wins the nomination, the Democrats should officially stand up and declare their support for the election of his GOP opponent.
Unless, of course, racism and anti-Semitism are only character flaws if espoused by a Republican candidate, but are perfectly acceptable when they are the stock in trade of a Democrat -- especially if that Democrat has black skin.
So here's the question for Democrats -- is it more important to win the seat, or to stand for what is right? The next couple weeks -- and potentially the next few months -- will tell America a lot about what the Democrats really believe about noxious bigotry espoused by candidates and officeholders.
Especially since the race card keeps being played any time someone opposes Barack Obama and his policies.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sort of effort would have resulted in shrieks of outrage rather than virtual silence from the media.
The Labor Department has backed off a plan to force news agencies to use government-issued computers and other equipment to report on jobless reports and other key economic data, following a GOP-led House hearing this week, according to several published reports.
Agency officials have said they want reporters who analyze, then write about economic reports inside their so-called lock up room to use U.S. computers, software and Internet lines so the government can further protect against such potential security breaches as hacking.
But the plan also resulted in cries about potential free-speech violations and the government now having computer access to news agencies.
As Dafydd points out at Big Lizards, what this would do would be to give the Labor Department the ability to "supervise" the news as it was being written, make "corrections" of stories that didn't fit with the spin preferred by the Administration, and potentially block negative stories from reaching the public at all until significantly after the stories that meet with Administration approval have already established the narrative. Oh, and I see one other potential abuse of the First Amendment as well -- the Administration could simply exclude any reporter or media outlet from using the secure equipment, effectively barring them from access to the economic data until after the government-endorsed version of the economic news has been disseminated.
Since there is unfortunate collateral damage when the bad guys commit a war crime by hiding among civilians (using them as human shields), the the good guys have decided to allow that crime to be a successful strategy for avoiding attack.
WASHINGTON The senior allied commander in Afghanistan has ordered new restrictions on airstrikes against Taliban fighters who hide in residential homes, coalition officials said Sunday, a move in response to a NATO attack in the eastern part of the country last week that Afghan officials say killed 18 civilians.
Given our commitment to protect Afghan civilians, restricting the use of air-delivered munitions against insurgents within civilian dwellings is a prudent and logical step in the progression in the campaign, Jamie Graybeal, a NATO spokesman in Afghanistan, said in an e-mail on Sunday
After a meeting on Saturday between Mr. Karzai, General Allen and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker of the United States to discuss the issue, aides to Mr. Karzai released a statement saying that General Allen had pledged to halt attacks altogether on residential areas and homes.
We've already forbidden ground troops to engage in combat operations in civilian neighborhoods, even when there is good intelligence about the presence of the Taliban in those areas. What this effectively means is that the Taliban can no make free use of innocent civilians to protect their mangy terrorist butts.
I have five words for the Ron Paul supporters, and other conservatives and libertarians, who will sit out the election or vote third party: Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder.
That should about do it. Any Obama appointee -- but especially one as feckless and hopelessly partisan as Eric Holder -- would make it less likely that the Constitution will mean anything when it is bequeathed to the next generation.
Magpas patron Lady Linda Vane Percy experienced the emergency medical team in action when her car overturned in Huntingdon...
The 63-year-old was cut out of her vehicle by the fire service as a Magpas team monitored her condition... [she] suffered four fractured ribs and cuts and bruising and is now recovering at home.
...Lady Linda said she did not think the accident was ever going to stop as her Smart car flipped over and the windows began to smash.
She said: My mouth was full of broken glass and my hand was bleeding profusely.
She was removed from the vehicle on a spinal board before being taken to hospital... After a week I still feel stiff and quite breathless and not able to do as much as I would like to do.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my students asked me if I would ever consider getting one of these death-traps on wheels. I told him now -- and after glaring at the smart alec who made a weight joke, I explained that I did not believe that they could possibly be safe in a high-speed crash or one with a significantly large vehicle (which would be virtually any other vehicle). I was quite blunt -- "Would you really want to be in one of those when you had an accident with a pickup truck or an SUV?"
H/T Doug Ross
This article certainly hits the issue head-on.
GARLAND - Hickman Elementary is one of this city's most diverse campuses, but it is now under scrutiny after giving some students awards based on their race.
"This is wrong. This is absolutely wrong," said Rene Morris, the grandmother of a fifth grader at Hickman. "They said this is an African-American award."
Two teachers at Hickman handed out multiple awards to fifth graders on May 25, including ones for science, reading and perfect attendance.
But four students were also recognized during the school ceremony because of their race.
An African-American boy and girl who earned good grades and had good behavior, but need some encouragement, received the Goldie Locke Excel Award.
In addition, a Hispanic boy and girl who met the same criteria were given the New Image Award.
Now I raised a similar issue earlier this year about schools and districts promoting scholarships that have racial restrictions for eligibility. This raises the same question -- and perhaps in a more distilled form, because a school or district refusing to participate in such programs (the awards were created and awarded by local race-based organizations). Ought a school be participating in such programs, or announcing the awards at awards ceremonies?
And it really does come down to principle -- if we as educators and the schools where we teach are to promote the values of equality and non-discrimination, how can we simultaneously aid, abet, and even promote a program that excludes some of our students from participation or consideration?
Because after all, it is much more important that we keep the Turkish Islamists happy than have Israel participate in a counter-terrorism conference.
The United States blocked Israel's participation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum's (GCTF) first meeting in Istanbul on Friday, despite Israel's having one of the most extensive counterterrorism experiences in the world.
Israel was excluded from the meeting due to fierce objections by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Washington-based source told Globes news.
According the State Departments website, the GCTF, which was established in September 2011, aims at strengthening the global counterterrorism (CT) architecture in a manner that complements and reinforces the CT work of existing multilateral bodies.
Twenty-nine countries are participating in the GCTF, ten of which are Arab and/or Muslim countries.
Remember -- this is the second time that the Obama Regime has excluded Israel from an event at the behest of the Turkish Islamist regime. In May, Obama and his minions acquiesced to Turkish demands that Israel be excluded from participation in the NATO summit in Chicago and insists that there can be no relations between NATO and Israel until Israel apologizes for for stopping a blockade-running pirate vessels sent from Turkish ports in violation of international law.
Here are this weeks full results.
See you next week!
Because in the fantasy world inhabited by Mike Lupica, there is no other reason for opposing Barack Obama but the color of his skin.
New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica went a little overboard in his analysis of the political landscape in a column on Friday. Lupica could not even mask his spite and resentment for the American people when he determined that the nation, still simmering with latent racism, is ready to let their most ignoble instincts take over in the fall and unseat the President. Lupica calls Barack Obamas race the silent issue that could doom his election chances and says being black makes Obama the underdog ahead of November.
Lupica suggests that it was not so much that Obama overcame the nations racism in the last presidential election cycle, but that the perfect storm of Democratic headwinds in 2008 (financial collapse, 8 years of Republican governance, an unpopular war, etc.) buoyed Obama enough to overcome the nations recalcitrant white racist vote:Last time, there were just werent enough reasons for enough white voters to vote against the black guy, as much as they wanted to. This time there are plenty.
Got that -- all us white folks really wanted to vote against Obama in 2008, but too many of of my fellow pale-skinned Americans had their innate sense of racial solidarity overwhelmed by the grim outlook we faced in 2008 to slap down the uppity black man who thought he was more than 3/5 of a person and therefore could become president. But now, with the outlook as grim as (if not grimmer than) what the nation faced four years ago, we can now indulge our natural desire to vote for the guy with our skin color.
You know what I call that sort of argument?
The reality is that Obama has failed at most of what he has attempted as president. he came in with a great deal of good will, buoyed by the Home & Change sloganeering of his campaign. But it wasn't long before we found that the change was for the worse and that the outlook for the future would remain hopeless as long as Obama held office.
But that doesn't keep folks like Lupica from making assertions like this one. There just aren't many good reasons to vote for Barack Obama -- especially if you are one of those Americans who falls into categories like religious believer, person with a job, business owner, or believer in the Constitution. But according to Lupica, if you decide to vote against Obama this fall it is really because you are a racist who was looking for a reason to get rid of the black guy.
Personally, I'd like to remind Lupica of something.
And I could add that not only did I vote against Kerry and Gore in the two elections before I voted against Obama, I also voted against Bill Clinton twice, against Mike Dukakis, and against Walter Mondale before him. Heck, at age 17 I got kicked out of class by my psychology teacher because I refused to take off a Ronald Reagan campaign button on the day he beat Jimmy Carter. Not only will my vote for Mitt Romney this fall not be about the color of Obama's skin, I'd have to argue that I could not cast a vote for him unless the only thing I was making a decision upon was a desire to prove that I'm not prejudiced against African-Americans.
UPDATE: Reason Magazine's Hit & Run blog offers a review of some of the many cries of racism against Obama opponents.
I have no doubt if Jabba the Hutt look-alike Michael Moore had been invited to speak to students in a government class at this high school, the principal would have let it go on without any problem. However, since the speaker was a Marine Corps vet and a "right-wing conservative" instead of a Castro and al-Qaeda praising leftist, the classroom presentation could not be permitted.
A Marine veteran and Academy Award winning film producer said he was barred from speaking to a U.S. government class at a Montana high school because he was a right-wing conservative.
Gerald Molen, who won an Oscar for co-producing Schindlers List, had been invited to speak to a class of seniors at Ronan High School in Montana. Hes also one of the few conservatives working in Hollywood and is currently making a documentary based on Dinesh DSouzas book, The Roots of Obamas Rage.
Molen, who is a popular motivational speaker, said his speech was going to be apolitical. He had planned on reminding students of their individual greatness and opportunities for the future.
But when he showed up at the high school about 90-minutes from his home in Bigfork, Mont. the principal informed Molen that he would not be allowed to address students because he was a right-wing conservative. He was told that there had been some calls to the school complaining about the planned speech.
He said some callers didnt want kids exposed to that, despite not knowing what my message would be, he told the Hollywood Reporter.
Got that -- they didn't know what he was going to say, but thee mere chance that he might say something conservative was sufficient to deny the students a chance to hear what Gerald Molen might have to say. Rather than tell any objecting parent that they had the right to keep their student out of the class (and they do), he instead caved in to pressure to make sure that no student would hear something that might be (but wasn't actually going to be) controversial.
I'll say it flat out -- Ronan High School principal Tom Stack needs to be fired immediately for professional misconduct. And since there was allegedly consultation with the folks in the district office, any administrator above him who told him anything other than to permit the presentation to go on ought to be fired as well, on the same grounds. After all, the purpose of public education -- and especially an American government class -- is to prepare students to be full-fledged citizens who freely and unashamedly exercise their rights and are open to other citizens doing the same. When public education is instead perverted into indoctrination in a single point of view with all others officially labeled as unacceptable and unsuitable for expression in public, it betrays those values.
Indeed, Justice Robert Jackson wrote the following some seventy years ago in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette -- a seminal case on the nexus between the First Amendment and public education:
If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.
Those words are as true today as they were when they were written, in the midst of the Second World War.
I served three years in the Marine Corps so that others might stand before their peers or even a group of students, but never did I think my voice would be stilled by some mysterious caller(s) on the notion that I might say something they thought would not be in the students best interests. Reminds me of another time in history when voices were silenced by the mere suggestion they might be different or have a point of view. I never dreamed it might happen in Montana.
I feel the students missed out that day. I feel they were robbed of an opportunity to hear from someone who actually experienced the true facets of the American dream. But a high school principal failed the very students assigned to his leadership because he feared some unknown person or persons or some other factor not divulged.
This high school teacher agrees completely. As conservative as I am, I have never shut down a student with a different point of view. In 2008 I did a lesson on the upcoming election that was so even-handed that as many students thought I supported Barack Obama as thought I supported John McCain -- something I viewed as a supreme compliment. And if I ever get to teach American Government, my goal will be to include visitors from a variety of political perspectives in my classroom, not just conservatives or Republicans.
And lest you think I am overreacting to this, please understand why. Several years ago, a group of Democrat activists (none of whom knew me personally and none of whom lived in my school district) made an effort to get me fired because my "right-wing conservative" views made me unfit (in their freedom-loving liberal perspective) to be permitted to teach. Fortunately my principal at the time and the powers-that-be in the administration building gave unconditional support to my right as an American citizen to be politically active and to speak freely on matters of public concern. Those rights belong to every American, regardless of political persuasion, and I defend them vigorously on this website.
Also, commenter Drummond supplies the following information on contacting the school board in the district:
Your Ronan School District #30 Board of Trustees are:
Chris Lynch Board Chair Carmel Couture Vice Chair Mark Clary Trustee Tom Anderson* Trustee Bob Cornwell Trustee Fabian Deneault* Trustee
*One year Term
All correspondence with School Board is public information. The board does not accept anonymous correspondence.
You may email the School Board at firstname.lastname@example.org. All correspondance through this email is public information and will be posted on the Board Email website. This process is automated and unattended.
While I'm not participating in the Day of Silence, by going silent, I am unquestionably in support of the goal, which is the protection of free speech from the nefarious crew that has gathered around convicted bomber, perjurer, and drug dealer Brett Kimberlin in an effort to silence all speech about Kimberlin's record of lawlessness. Since Kimberlin's convictions are a matter of public record -- as criminal convictions are under our system of law -- and since Kimberlin is now a moderately high-profile liberal political activist funded by such public figures as Barbra Streisand and George Soros (through the Tides Foundation) -- discussion of who he is and the source of his funding is a perfectly legitimate thing. Heck, the book about his case -- written by a reporter who was initially quite sympathetic to Kimberlin's outrageous claims -- makes it quite clear that Brett Kimberlin is a nasty piece of work who injected himself into the political world by making never-substantiated claims about his relationship with a then-sitting vice president of the United States.
Kimberlin's latest tactic is to use the courts to silence opponents -- First Amendment be damned. Unfortunately, he recently found a judge whose kangaroo court hearing resulted in the jailing of a blogger for the crime of blogging.
Now as I said, I'm not going to be a part of the Day of Silence. That is because I believe that such silence rewards Kimberlin and his defenders. Instead, I am going to urge you to speak out by engaging in another First Amendment protected activity -- petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. And grievances we have, given the frivolous litigation engaged in by Kimberlin to silence opponents, the threats received by others from his associates, and the new technique of SWATing that has been used by parties unknown against bloggers whose major connection is their having written extensively about Brett Kimberlin. Michelle Malkin has offered the following suggestions of folks to contact in order to safeguard the freedom of bloggers to blog and speakers to speak in the face of these attacks.
Never in the eight years that I have worked as an independent blogger have I seen such a concerted threat to the fundamental right of citizen journalists to speak their minds freely and without fear of bodily harm. As former Justice Department official Christian Adams points out, it is a federal violation of 18 U.S.C. §241 to conspire to deprive someone of his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
Members of Congress swore an oath to uphold the Constitution all of it. Who means it?
Who to call:
GOP Rep. Frank Wolf (Va.) Ask him to investigate Kimberlin-related charities.
Phone: (202) 225-5136
Fax: (202) 225-0437
US Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line 202-353-1555
To close, I want to echo the free speech blogger over at Popehat on two points -- first, that we do not know to what degree Brett Kimberlin is coordinating the actions of his friends and supporters; and second, that this is not a right/left issue so much as it is a question of preserving the liberty of all speakers regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.
I don't know whether or not Kimberlin is coordinating Team Kimberlin activities, or whether those activities are coordinated at all, as opposed to a bunch of nuts milling about. But if the aim of the nuts, collectively or individually, is to stop public comment on Kimberlin and his activities, then the nuts have failed in a catastrophic, apocalyptic, unhappy-cat-meme-worthy fashion. A senator has started to talk about it, which will lead to more mainstream press attention. Bloggers and lawyers are streaming to the cause. The ACLJ's arrival could be cited in Urban Dictionary under "deus ex machina." In short, the more Team Kimberlin attacks and escalates, the worse it gets for them, the louder their critics get, the more voices are raised, and the more public attention is drawn to the cause. Team Kimberlin's strategy seems to be "I'm going to keep digging until this damn hole gets shallower."
Finally, I know that I'm beating a dead horse, but I wish that critics of Team Kimberlin, and supporters of the censored, would focus on the free speech elements of this case and try a bit more to resist the partisan urge. Part of Team Kimberlin's strategy is to marginalize critics as "wingnuts" and "far-right extremists" who are simply attacking liberals. People who are framing this as "evil leftists oppress conservatives" and "see how the liberals act" and "this is all connected to [liberal group]" are promoting Kimberlin's narrative and making it easier for the mainstream media and for moderates and liberals to ignore it. So, please think about framing and tone and heed the better angels of your nature said the pot to the kettle.
After all, free speech means nothing if one side is intimidated or litigated into silence by the other -- regardless of whether those silenced are conservative bloggers, liberal activists, or simply concerned citizens who are rendered too scared to speak their mind because of the threat of ruinous litigation.
This post brought to you by PA Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.
Planning a vacation? Well, Pennsylvania is a good place for you to consider. It is a beautiful state, diverse in geography and history. You can learn about the American Revolution there, or you can learn about the oil industry. And the state of Pennsylvania has made it easy with their Fantastic Roadtrip-a-Matic feature to help you plan roadtrips, whether it is a weekend getaway for two or a family trip.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Pennsylvania Roadtrips" Â»
Now personally, I've got a soft spot for western Pennsylvania, which is where I spent a lot of time with my lovely wife because that is her childhood home. One of the neat pa-roadtrips in the region they have planned out for you is called "The Roads Less-Traveled", and it takes you through some of the back roads to visit some of the neat locations that often get missed. There is a fascinating toy store on this one, and a visit to a brewery restaurant and an inn in Slippery Rock that will certainly please anyone looking for fun. A visit to Grove City is also on the agenda -- and though it isn't listed, you can always make a side trip to see the wonderful metal crafts at Wendell August Forge. And don't forget to stop in for chocolates from Daffin's Candies -- you will be amazed.
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SOME PEOPLE HAVE EMAILED TO ASK IF IM JOINING IN THE NATIONAL DAY OF BLOGGER SILENCE TOMORROW. Nope. Silence isnt my M.O. Others are free to do what they wish, but I will be blogging as usual.
And he's right about Fridays, too.
When making one's plans for retirement, a reverse mortgage is one tool to consider. It is helpful because a reverse mortgage provides a way to tap into one's equity free from the traps of the home equity loan.
You are never required to make a monthly payments with a reverse mortgage -- and when and if you decide to pay off the loan there is no such thing as a prepayment penalty.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Reverse Mortgage Calculator" Â»
Even better, the money you receive from a reverse mortgage does not count as income and therefore doesn't impact eligibility for Medicare and Social Security.
At http://ereversemortgagecalculator.com you can find out about what sort of reverse mortgage you qualify for. Just enter some pertinent data about yourself, your home, and any existing mortgages you have on your home and they will get back to you with some great reverse mortgage offers. It is all so simple! And remember, you built up that equity over the years by working hard and paying your mortgage faithfully -- you have a right to access the stored wealth that is your equity in your home. After all, you own it, you need it, and you can do it so that you can live out your life without financial worry.
Â« All done with "Reverse Mortgage Calculator"?
Well, another hit piece from the New York Times on Mitt Romney, this one on his home in La Jolla. They've managed to find every disgruntled neighbor and every gripe about his plans to enlarge the house. Needless to say, Romney is painted in a bad light.
ON Dunemere Drive, it seems as if just about everyone has a gripe against the owners of No. 311.
The elderly woman next door complains that her car is constantly boxed into her driveway. A few houses over, a gay couple grumbles that their beloved ocean views are in jeopardy. And down the street, a widow grouses that her childrens favorite dog-walking route has been disrupted.
Bellyaching over the arrival of an irritating new neighbor is a suburban cliché, as elemental to the life on Americas Wisteria Lanes as fastidiously edged lawns and Sunday afternoon barbecues.
But here in La Jolla, a wealthy coast-hugging enclave of San Diego, the ordinary resident at the end of the block is no ordinary neighbor.
He is Mitt Romney.
Oddly enough, the New York times did no such investigation of the Obamas and their neighborhood four years ago. Moreover, they went out of their way to avoid talk about the shady Obama/Rezko real estate deal, with only a couple of mentions perfunctory mentions related to Rezko's trial and no in-depth investigation. And as for the neighbors -- well, the New York Times just accepted the Obama story on his relationship with one neighbor, domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, which the American people certainly deserved more information about.
But then again, there are differences.
Republican v. Democrat.
Conservative v. liberal.
White v. black.
You know, things that justify the different treatment in the eyes of liberal opinion leaders.
And besides -- did you know that Mitt Romney is a member of a funny religion with views way outside the mainstream of the American people, not like the mainstream teachings of the pastor at the church that the Obamas attended for years.
I mentioned the phenomenon of SWATing the other day, and asked what was being done to investigate and stop the tactic being used to intimidate conservative bloggers. Well, it looks like one lawmaker is finally asking the same question, and demanding action be taken to deal with it.
WASHINGTON Today, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding recent reports that several conservative political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Chambliss demanded that Holder examine these cases to determine if federal laws have been violated.
These dangerous hoaxes, also known as SWAT-ting, occur when a perpetrator contacts local police to report a violent incident at a targets home. These callers are believed to utilize voice-over IP (VOIP) and other less-traditional telecommunications methods to make the call appear to come from the target residence and to hide the callers true identity.
In response, a dispatcher sends a SWAT team or other police unit in a heightened state of readiness to the unsuspecting targets residence. Targets only learn of these false reports when a large police presence descends upon their homes.
In the letter, Chambliss states that Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse. Those who choose to enter into that political discourse should not have to worry about potential threats to their or their familys safety.
This is not merely a public safety question, though it certainly is one. It is also a civil rights question, given it has become a tactic used to silence commentators and critics. You can be damned sure that the full force of the federal government would already be in play if the victims were left-wing pro-Obama writers or well-known figures on the Left. it is going to take serious pressure for the Obama Department of Just-Us to get off its collective butt and look out for the liberties of its political opponents, too.
After all, we've been repeatedly told that blacks don't have photo ID and so asking for one is racist.
On Friday, June 8th, those wishing to attend the event must purchase a copy of the First Lady's book at the location and leave it at the store, according to the employee. At the same time, customers must also submit their social security number and show an official photo ID (driver's license, passport) to a Secret Service agent, and they will be issued a wristband to the First Lady's event on June 12.( Emphasis added)
Barack Obama's Department of Just-Us has attacked photo ID requirements as racist when applied by states. "Civil Rights" leaders have declared such requirment sto be racist and an attempt to go back to the days of Jim Crow. Where is the outrage over this clear violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act provisions against racial discrimination by the First Lady, the Secret Service, and the Barnes & Noble bookstore where this event is being hosted?
This post brought to you by Quaker Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of the things about being a teacher is that you are always on the go. There just isn't a chance to take a break when you need one or run our to get a snack or a cup of coffee. I've found that the best solution is to keep a quick snack in my desk drawer for those moments when I need an energy boost.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Quaker Soft Baked Bar" Â»
The problem, of course, is deciding what to choose. After all, there is quick and there is healthy -- and rarely do the two cross paths. That's why I'm excited about Quaker Soft Baked Bar. They are a convenient snack that would be perfect for those couple of minutes between class that I spend watching students move from room to room out in the hall. Unless I miss my guess, I'll be partial to the Cinnamon Pecan ones myself -- two of my favorite flavors in one tasty treat. I'm sure my colleagues will love this wholesome food, too.
How nutritious are these new treats? Well, they are only 140 calories, have 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Even better, they are a great source of B vitamins! So what more can you ask for -- good taste and good nutrition in one breakfast snack!
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I am, as so many of my readers know, a big fan of science fiction. Among those who were major influences on me was Ray Bradbury, a native of Waukegan, Illinois, not far from where I spent much of my youth.
Bradbury has passed away at the age of 91.
Ray Bradbury, the science fiction-fantasy master who transformed his childhood dreams and Cold War fears into telepathic Martians, lovesick sea monsters, and, in uncanny detail, the high-tech, book-burning future of Fahrenheit 451, has died. He was 91.
He died Tuesday night, his daughter said Wednesday. Alexandra Bradbury did not have additional details.
Although slowed in recent years by a stroke that meant he had to use a wheelchair, Bradbury remained active into his 90s, turning out new novels, plays, screenplays and a volume of poetry. He wrote every day in the basement office of his Cheviot Hills home and appeared from time to time at bookstores, public library fundraisers and other literary events around Los Angeles.
His writings ranged from horror and mystery to humor and sympathetic stories about the Irish, blacks and Mexican-Americans. Bradbury also scripted John Huston's 1956 film version of Moby Dick and wrote for The Twilight Zone and other television programs, including The Ray Bradbury Theater, for which he adapted dozens of his works.
Many folks have commented on The Martian Chronicles as a favorite work, while others have mentioned Dandelion Wine. Personally, I love A Sound of Thunder, which I first read in middle school and which I later used when I taught high school English. Here's a link to a PDF of the story.
On June 6, 1944, Allied forces began the long-awaited assault on German forces in occupied France, crossing the English Channel to land on the beaches of Normandy -- the largest single movement of military forces in world history. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as he informed the nation of this new venture, asked the American people to unite in prayer for this venture.
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Mens souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom. And for us at home fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces. And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.
I've written about Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price a few times before. he is a great example of how a certain type of official engages in race baiting in order to retain political office. Well, it now appears that a federal judge and the Obama Justice Department helped protect his reelection chances on the eve of last week's primary.
The primary election cycle apparently played prominently in the release of court documents that provided details on a federal investigation into Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.
In those court documents, released this week, Price is accused of masterminding a conspiracy with two associates to enrich himself.
The accusations are outlined in a civil forfeiture filing made by the government in federal court. The filing, including a detailed, sworn affidavit, for the first time appears to lay out the bulk of the governments criminal investigation into Price, who has denied any wrongdoing.
Price is seeking to block the feds seizure of more than $450,000 from him.
The governments court filing, arguing for the forfeiture of that money, came to light two days after Price won renomination in Tuesdays Democratic primary.
According to a court document unsealed this week, a decision was made by the court to keep the affidavit and other documents sealed until after the primaries are concluded.
Apparently the US Attorneys office didn't want to be in the position of releasing evidence to the public before a powerful minority elected official faced the voters.
Got that -- the people don't have the right to know about wrongdoing by their elected officials and candidates for office, lest it influence their votes. Thus the people of Price's precinct were denied the right to know that their county commissioner is a crook until after they had voted for him. Heck -- I'm surprised they didn't get the release put off until after the November election.
Shameful. Just shameful.
H/T Urban Grounds
A report issued by the State Council Information Office of the Peoples Republic of China has included U.S. gun ownership among a list of human rights violations, Law Enforcement Examiner Jim Kouri reported yesterday. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 was published last Friday on the PRCs Consulate General in New York website.
The United States prioritizes the right to keep and bear arms over the protection of citizens lives and personal security and exercises lax firearm possession control, causing rampant gun ownership, the report claims. The U.S. people hold between 35 percent and 50 percent of the worlds civilian-owned guns, with every 100 people having 90 guns [and] 47 percent of American adults reported that they had a gun.
So let's get this straight -- a regime that suppresses religious freedom and free speech, as well as forces abortions on unwilling women, believes that the US government allowing Americans to exercise rights guaranteed by its founding document constitutes a human rights violation? Astounding.
But of course, we know why the Red Chinese oppose personal firearm ownership -- it makes it much harder for governments to commit offenses like this against their own citizens when they exercise their fundamental human right to assemble in a peaceful manner and to speak out against their own government.
Interesting that the report was issued on the eve of the anniversary of the Red Chinese suppression of dissent by students at Tiananmen Square back in 1989.
Remember -- the Left always has free speech, even on your property. On the other hand, you have no right to stop the appropriation of your property to communicate political messages you oppose.
Take this case from New Mexico, where a property owner removing signs placed on his land by supporters of a candidate he opposed was assaulted for doing so.
Officials with the Taos Police Department say they are still working to get to the bottom of the alleged beating of a Taos landowner over the removal of political signs from in front of his property.
In an interview with The Taos News Friday (May 25), property owner Roy Cunnyngham and his wife Joni recounted the events when they returned home, across from Casa los Córdovas May 1.
I dont know how many people hit me, Cunnyngham said of the incident.
According to the police report filed the same day, Eighth Judicial District Court judge candidate Ernestina Cruz was having a meet and greet event at Plaza de Colores. At the same time, across the street, Cunnyngham and his wife were returning home from dinner to find several of Cruz campaign signs in front of his property.
As in the police report, Cunnyngham confirmed that three men approached him and demanded that he replace the signs where theyd been staked. Cunnyngham said he resisted.
We were setting them in the car and wed planned to call whoever they belonged to, Cunnyngham said. I told them I thought it was very distasteful to put these signs in front of my property.
At that point, a younger man came across the street and again told Cunnyngham to put the signs back. When Cunnyngham refused, the man pounded me in the chest, Cunnyngham said.
The response of judicial candidate Ernestina Cruz confirms that she is unfit for any public office.
At the time of the incident, Cruz denied having any knowledge of anyone involved in the incident, saying that it was unfortunate that Cunnyngham removed signs that did not belong to him.
Actually, it was unfortunate that her supporters put signs in the man's yard and then beat him up for removing them. And isn't it interesting that she doesn't find it "unfortunate" that her thuggish supporters beat up Roy Cunnyngham? Guess she considers herself and her supporters entitled to coerce political speech by unwilling speakers.
H/T Gateway Pundit
Spent much of yesterday invlved in the festivities surrounding graduation, as we sent some 400-odd (some really odd) high school seniors off into the world.
So, having completed that, here are this weeks full results -- only a day later thanusual.
See you next week!
I finished things up at school yesterday -- pack up, clean up, lock it all away until August. Oh, yeah -- and give and grade final exams for the last two classes of kids, with the attendant complaints that we were burdening them with exams in the first place (ninth graders never do get it about finals, having been babied through middle school). As usual, I ended up with an aching head and an aching back.
Yesterday was particularly bittersweet because of some losses that came with the end of this school year. Two of my oldest and dearest friends in the district are leaving -- one due to a promotion that takes him to another campus, one bought a big parcel of land and a house several hours away and so she will be teaching there. The school's dance teacher, every bit as charming as she is pretty, is headed to a new school in the area where she will get to create her program from scratch. Several other familiar faces are leaving the faculty as well.
And then there are the seniors. This bunch was my first group of freshman at this school, and they kept me strong and sane in the wake of Hurricane Ike. I don't know that I would have made it without them. I've got some of them in particular who I've remained close to, and it will be hard not to have them around next year. One is headed to a major university football program. Another, a young father whose brother was killed in an accidental shooting a couple of months back, will be closer to home -- though exactly where will depend on a scholarship I nominated him for and which we sent off his application this week. A third will be at the local community college -- but I will always cherish the experience of seeing her go from a quiet child who never smiled to the vivacious beauty with a million dollar smile. And then there is one, the daughter of one of my colleagues mentioned above, who I've watched grow from a toddler with glasses that seemed to wear her into a a sweet, loving intellectual with whom I've spent the last couple of years exchanging book recommendations. They, along with four hundred odd classmates (and some of them are a bit odd) will graduate tomorrow evening -- and damn it, there is no way that I'm going to avoid crying.
I don't often blog about school, because I try to keep my professional and online lives separate -- but for all the time and energy I put into this blog, my life at school is a much bigger part of who I am. And so this day, this year, with these friends and loved ones, I say farewell, and Godspeed you on to success and happiness. And to the Class of 2012, I say thank you and congratulations -- and that the privilege of sharing these last four years has been a gift I will always cherish.