Two weeks ago I wrote a post that upset one of my fellow members of the Watcher's Council. Now I'll concede that my angry response to a personal attack upon me was probably not the best way to have handled the situation, but it reflected what I was feeling at the time and so I left the whole exchange in place. And let me say that I respect where Elise was coming from, just not her tone, manner, and false imputation of motives to me regarding my position on the issue of the post.
I had planned upon writing nothing more on the topic. After all, the matter was done.
Unfortunately, the story of Sarah Murnaghan and lung transplants is back in the news -- and I would argue that it vindicates my earlier post.
The 10-year-old lung transplant recipient whose case shined a light on national organ transplant policy underwent surgery to transplant a second set of lungs earlier this month after the first lungs failed, the family revealed Friday.
Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, received a second set of lungs within days of her first operation on June 12, according to a statement released by her family.
Indeed, the first set of lungs began failing within hours of transplantation.
Which takes me back to my earlier post, where I wrote as follows about that initial transplantation.
The reality of this case was that a child who was sick got an adult organ in a procedure that is less likely to be successful in the long term than would have been the transplantation of those same lungs into an adult.
Yep -- that procedure was not successful in the long term. Indeed, the family chose to hide that truth until Sarah got a second set of lungs. So having used the courts to manipulate the process, two sets of adult lungs went to a patient who was not otherwise eligible for them. So I repeat my question -- now doubly in need of asking.
Whose father or mother, sister or brother, daughter or son died so that this little girl could get the lungs that she was not entitled to under the guidelines?
Now mind you, I'm not unsympathetic to Sarah and her family. But that sympathy does not keep me from looking at the broader picture and recognizing that two adults who met the existing guidelines were deprived of them due to a court order that had the effect of jumping her to the front of the line. What about their lives? What about their families?
And lest the ugly accusations come my way again, let me make something clear -- I don't begrudge the family the right to fight for their child. I just think the judge blew it. And contrary to the overwrought ranting of my Watcher's Council colleague, it is not my belief that children (and disabled children in particular) have no right to life. It is just that I recognized then -- and continue to recognize now -- that the sub-optimal transplantation of these adult organs in a small child unquestionably means that adults did not get them, and that this means that two adults died because those organs were not available. Having had two family members undergo transplantation procedures, that disturbs me every bit as questioning the the transplantation disturbs my colleague. The ugly reality is that there are not enough donated organs, and short-circuiting the process via the courts doesn't change that.
I think that this reaction to being chided by Father Frank Pavone of Priests For Life might be sufficient to get it done.
Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, has challenged former House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to answer the “simple question” as to what the moral difference is between killing a baby outside the womb and killing the same baby inside.
By “continuing to support dismemberment abortion, and refusing to explain its distinction from murder, [Pelosi] has disconnected herself from both faith and reason,” Fr. Pavone said in a statement released Wednesday. “Priests for Life will not allow this to go unchallenged.”
The pro-life priest issued the statement after Pelosi, who describes herself as a devout Catholic, dismissed an open letter he had addressed to her, in which he chastised the former Speaker for her recent remarks describing the issue of late-term abortion as “sacred ground.”
“Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office,” he wrote in that letter. “We have had enough of it. Either exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them.”
In a subsequent interview with Think Progress, Pelosi shot back, saying that in that letter Fr. Pavone was being “hysterical.”
“The arrogance of it all! It’s like something ancient, medieval,” she said. She also said that while she understands what the Catholic Church teaches on abortion, “my faith isn’t about what their position is.”
Your faith is not about what the Church teaches? Well, then, it is quite clear that you are a public heretic, Ms. Pelosi. Excommunication is therefore the appropriate punishment.
Item highlighted by the White House: a $53 million program in Kenya that helps young people "obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration."
Recall what WH spokesmouth Jay Carney said last year about Texas's voter ID law:And on the voter ID case, I can tell you that, as you know, this administration believes it should be easier for eligible citizens to vote -- to register and vote. We should not be imposing unnecessary obstacles or barriers to voter participation.
So why is Obama working to get Voter ID for Kenyans but not Americans?
This week the Supreme Court struck down a significant federal law. The law was popular when it was enacted, not that long ago, but times have quickly changed and we’re in a different world. By a 5-4 vote, reflecting the usual right/left split, the Court decided that it was time for that law to go. The Court invoked federalism to get there, reasoning that the federal government was overreaching into an area traditionally regulated by the states that was appropriately reserved to the states. And so the power has been returned to the states, at least for now.
Believe it or not, it is not with gay marriage becoming legal in California. That may not have been my preferred outcome, but from a federalism standpoint I accept that different states can have different laws on the matter.
No, where this case is troubling for me is that it makes explicit the ability of elected officials in the executive branch of state government to kill a citizen initiative they oppose simply by deciding not to defend it in court. In doing so, they effectively join with those seeking to overturn a law adopted directly by the citizenry rather than fulfilling their obligation to see that said law is faithfully executed.
In this case a governor and attorney general who rejected the will of the people threw the case at the District Court level by giving it a less than stellar defense. Having lost, they declared they would not appeal, will of the people be damned.
Whatever one's view of Prop 8, that should be troubling if you believe in the democratic system -- and the fact that those who worked to pass get a measure on the ballot and adopted have no standing to defend it after the people have spoken creates a troubling conundrum where the will of the people gets overridden by those in elected office who view themselves as knowing better than the voters. Indeed, Prof. William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection shares my view, declaring this decision to be "[t]he death of the ballot initiative movement as Court gives de facto veto power to government officials who want to lose a case." This is also a feature of Justice Kennedy's dissent on the case.
The two biggest gay rights decisions in a decade are both being handed down this morning -- with the potential to reshape America.
Justice Kennedy writes in the DOMA case. The Defense of Marriage Act is overruled on equal protection grounds. This is a 5-4 decision, with Roberts and Scalia writing dissents. The money quote seems to be this -- "DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty."
In other words, if a state recognizes a marriage the federal government must. But this refers only to lawful marriages, so apparently this does not create a federal right to same sex marriage. Here's the link to the decision.
Scalia's dissent appears to be based upon a jurisdictional question rather than a substantive disagreement on the basis for the ruling set out in Kennedy's opinion. And both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito takes a similar position in their dissents -- and telegraph that the Prop 8 case is likely to be dismissed on standing/jurisdictional grounds rather than substantive grounds.
And as expected, the Prop 8 case is rejected on standing grounds. Since the state refused to appeal the groups sponsoring Proposition 8 had not standing to step in and defend its constitutionality. This means that the decision DOES NOT establish a precedent favoring a federal constitutional right to gay marriage.
We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.
This was not unexpected. I'll comment more later on why I've got a problem with the outcome -- one that has nothing at all to do with the issue of gay marriage itself.
At least that is the conclusion that we have to draw in a decision handed down yesterday by the Supreme Court in which the three liberal women on the court rejected a woman's right to choose to place her child for adoption if the absentee, non-supporting father objects.
Why did all 3 female Supreme Court Justices vote on the side of the father... ... in a case where the single mother — with no financial support from the biological father — chose to go forward with her pregnancy and chose adoptive parents, parents who were with her in the delivery room? The father gave up his parental rights via text message before the baby was born, and the child — a little girl — lived with those adoptive parents for 2 years before the state court gave her to the father.
Indeed, the "her body, her choice" crowd would have been up in arms if this same deadbeat bio-dad had sought to prevent her from exercising her choice to abort -- so why on earth would these liberal ladies not support her right to make a different choice that we are so often told is a part of a woman's range of reproductive choices? Why is it that an all-male (and overwhelmingly conservative) majority had to step in to defend this mother's "right to choose"?
The answer is obvious -- she didn't make the right "choice" in their eyes.
Which is one more bit of evidence that the only "choice" supported by the "pro-choice" ideologues is the one that results in a dead or dismembered child,
Yes, the Supreme Court did strike down one provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a provision that gave special scrutiny to certain states based upon election practices that existed back when Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were in office. But the reality is that the decision did not strike down the statutory guarantee of the right to vote or the right to challenges allegedly discriminatory practices. After all, as the majority opinion in the case noted, it the decision left the prohibition on denying the right to vote based upon race.
SEC. 2. No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.
That's right -- Section 2 still stands as it has for 48 years, and it applies nationally. There are still remedies available elsewhere in the act -- but the special scrutiny of certain states and political subdivisions based upon 40-50 year old data and practices has been struck down as unreasonable. The impact there is that now the Department of Justice has the burden of proof when it seeks to overturn state laws and regulations that impact elections -- it has to prove that the challenged laws and practices are discriminatory rather than requiring that the states or subdivisions prove they are not. You know -- innocent until proven guilty.
So let's be clear here.
And anyone who tells you different is either ignorant, deceived, or lying.
Take Terry Moran of ABCNews, who repeatedly made statements about today's Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act that are not only at odds with the holding, but which are also explicitly rejected in the majority Opinion.
During live coverage, minutes after the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, a hyperbolic Terry Moran on ABC inaccurately spun the whole law as being invalidated. It was left to former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos to correct his colleague.
Moran insisted, "Right now there is no voting rights act operative in the United States." Actually, the Court struck down section four of act, saying that the formula for which state and federal localities decide pre-clearance for their voting laws must be rewritten. Trying to clarify Moran's remarks, Stephanopoulos summarized, "They did not strike down the heart of the act, section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. And they didn't find the entire law unconstitutional." [Video to appear soon. MP3 audio here.]
Regarding the Voting Rights Act itself, Moran underlined, "Even conservatives on this court acknowledged its success in transforming...democracy of this country....Even the conservatives acknowledged its success."
The Supreme Court left it to Congress to rewrite section four. This worried Moran: "You and everybody who looks at that building, the Capitol across the street from here, knows how dysfunctional that place is, whether or not we'll get a new voting rights act is anybody's guess."
Of course, Moran got it completely wrong. There is still a Voting Rights Act in this country -- and Section 2 of that act forbids voting discrimination in every jurisdiction in the country and outlines a procedure to challenge any putatively discriminatory practice. All that was eliminated was an obsolete test in Section 5 that determines coverage under Section 5 of the VRA, which requires that the Justice Department approve any electoral changes in covered jurisdictions. And under Moran's misconstruction of the decision, there has NEVER been a voting rights act in Massachusetts or Minnesota, as the test did not sweep them under DoJ jurisdiction. All this decision does is revert to a standard that says no jurisdiction is presumed guilty of discrimination when it changes its voting practices and that they instead must be proved guilty.
But then again, why would we expect media professionals to be able to interpret the clear words of the decision handed down today?
Well, yesterday's five decisions leave us with six cases to be decided, including three of the most interesting/contentious of the 2012-2013 term.
Voting Rights Act.
Defense of Marriage Act.
We know that there will be decisions today, but not if any of those cases -- much less all of them -- will be handed down this morning.
Word on Twitter is that there are only two boxes of opinions to be distributed. That would indicate no more than four decisions, very likely three (yesterday's five decisions came out in three boxes).
And remember -- cases are announced in reverse order of seniority of the justice writing the majority -- which means that the more senior the justice, the more likely to have a conservative opinion decision (two of the liberals have the least seniority on the court, and the three most senior are Chief Justice Robers, Justice Scalia, and Justice Kennedy).
Two Alito decisions this morning -- one a property rights case that has not generated much discussion. Dissents by the usual liberals. Alito's second decision is in an adoption case involving a Native American child and federal law making it difficult for non-Indians to adopt such children.If I understand SCOTUSblog correctly, this is a victory for adoption rights and a defeat for the notion that adoptive children need to be placed within their own race/ethnicity (a requirement already illegal for other racial groups).
And the Chief Justice writes in the Voting Rights case! The formula in the Voting Rights Act -- which I have been writing about for years as a constitutional and logical travesty -- is struck down. It is a 5-4 split, with the conservative/liberal division in play.
Roberts' Opinion notes that the problem is that "coverage today is based on decades-old data and eradicated practices" -- exactly what I've been arguing since the test was reauthorized in 2007.
Here is the money quote:
"Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2. We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions"
In other words, the VRA has not been struck down, just a provision that is irrational based upon the passage of time. Congress can go back and create a new formula for determining jurisdictions in need of preclearance before they can make election changes, but it must be solving today's problems, not the problems of 1964. Justice Thomas would have struck down Section 5's preclearance provisions, but the majority does not do that.
And with that, the Supreme Court is done for the day, leaving the two gay marriage cases for another day. The Chief Justices has announced that all remaining decisions will be handed down tomorrow. Speculation at SCOTUSblog is that The Chief Justice will be writing on the Prop 8 case, Kennedy will be writing on DOMA, and Scalia will be writing on the remaining case. This is based upon who has yet to write a majority opinion for cases argued during various months this term, not any indication from the High Court itself.
Today is the last scheduled decision day for this Supreme Court term, which began in October. There are eleven cases yet to be decided, and four that are of particular interest to the public at large -- those dealing with affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act, DOMA, and California's Prop 8.
Already today there has been one big announcement from the High Court, namely that it will take up the recess appointment case, NLRB v. Noel Canning. This is a separation of powers/checks and balances case of great importance, as it will define what constitutes a recess and when a president can make use of the recess appointment power.
Of interest is that the
first decision first two decisions announced today is from Justice Alito, meaning no decisions written by Kagan or Sotomayor will be forthcoming today, given that decisions are announced in reverse order of seniority. That makes it look like most decisions today will lean in a more conservative direction, depending upon the predilections of Justice Kennedy.
first only big case of the day is Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin -- Justice Kennedy voted to vacate and remand the case back to the Fifth Circuit. The lower court had not held the university to the strict scrutiny standard usually required in cases where government classifies individuals by race. My interpretation is that this means that the Supreme Court as currently constituted is setting matters up to declare affirmative action a dead letter. Of interest is that the case was decided 7-1, with Kagan recused because of work her office did on the case during her days as Solicitor General. Ginsburg dissented alone, while a Thomas concurrence indicates he would overturn the Court's Grutter decision entirely, presumably banning affirmative action for diversity purposes based upon race (and indeed it lays out the case for doing so on Fourteenth Amendment grounds, providing a road map to the Fisher legal team to use at the Fifth Circuit rehearing and presumably at the Supreme Court on appeal after that). Scalia concurred as well, indicating that the only reason he did not vote to overturn Grutter was because the court was not asked to do so by Fischer. Indeed, the majority opinion by Kennedy seems to take a similar stance, upholding Grutter's diversity rationale mainly because there was no challenge to it by Fisher and referring it back to the lower court for consideration under the appropriate standard.
All together there were five cases decided of the eleven that were outstanding at the start of the day. That leaves six to be decided, and the Court has announced it will sit tomorrow at 10:00 AM. SCOTUSblog states that the way in which the announcement was phrased hints that tomorrow may not be the last sitting of the High Court for this term. I would speculate that means that there will be decisions released on Thursday as well, followed by an adjournment until the first Monday in October.
You gotta love Instapundit's excerpting skills here.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Journalists trapped on flight to Cuba as Snowden follies continue. “Reporters quickly bought tickets for the suddenly popular 12-hour Aeroflot route and dutifully took their seats … only to discover after the doors closed and the plane headed for the runway that Snowden wasn’t on board at all.” Oops.
Things look pretty dire right now -- and for rodeo fans, this is a big deal.
CALGARY - The Saddledome is flooded up to row 10 and Calgary Stampede officials say they can only hope to overcome a flood-swamped exhibition grounds and put on the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth next month.
When asked if the show will definitely be a go, Stampede spokesman Kurt Kadatz said: “We’ll do an assessment of the situation and are working hard to deliver the 2013 Stampede.”
With only two weeks until the Stampede is scheduled to begin, facilities throughout the park were mired in muddy water Friday from an overflowed Elbow River.
Kadatz said the scope of the damage won’t be entirely clear until the water’s recede.
There is speculation about a scaled-back Stampede, but is that eve realistic? Again, we won't know until the water recedes -- but every day that it has not puts one of the crown jewels of rodeo in question.
The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to “unauthorized” aliens were in Atlanta.
The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.
Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.
So instead of snooping out the tax fraud that is obvious here, they were instead targeting American citizens who wanted to teach about the Constitution or try to restore traditional American values.
Because after all, only one of them was a threat to Obama's reelection.
And speaking of Obama's reelection, the IG report that ferreted out this wrongdoing was issued almost a year ago. Where was the media coverage? Oh, that's right -- press coverage would have endangered Obama's reelection, so the media ignored the report, just like they are now as we face a vote on amnesty and citizenship for undocumented Democrats.
H/T Michelle Malkin
OK, here are this week’s full results:
See you next week!
When you declare that late term abortion is sacred to you as a Catholic, you are going to get some blow-back. Nancy Pelosi has gotten hers from Priests for Life, who insist that she needs to renounce that position or renounce the claim that she is a "practicing and respectful Catholic".
“With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves “practicing and respectful Catholics” and who find the killing of children — whether inside or outside the womb — reprehensible,” the letter says.
“You speak here of Catholic faith as if it is supposed to hide us from reality instead of lead us to face reality, as if it is supposed to confuse basic moral truths instead of clarify them, and as if it is supposed to help us escape the hard moral questions of life rather than help us confront them,” Father Frank Pavone continues in the letter. “Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches. And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it’s time for you to stop speaking as if it were.”
“Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground. To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason,” the letter adds. “And to say that a question about the difference between a legal medical procedure and murder should not “have anything to do with politics” reveals a profound failure to understand your own political responsibilities, which start with the duty to secure the God-given right to life of every citizen.”
Priests for Life has gotten to the heart of the matter. Not only is Pelosi failing in her moral duty to protect life, she is also creating scandal by her claim that abortion -- especially at the point in pregnancy where it is undeniably in utero infanticide -- is somehow "sacred ground". My only question is why Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco (the archdiocese where her district is located) or Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington DC has not formally excommunicated her after this latest scandalous statement on abortion.
Set aside the fact that there seem to be some First Amendment issues with the Vice President of the United States defining the proper interpretation of Scripture and declaring that those who do not hold to it are "bad Christians". The fact is that Slow Joe Biden is declaring to be incorrect a perfectly defensible interpretation of the passage in question.
As lawmakers move closer to a compromise on border security, the free-talking Biden had some fiery words for Republicans who have accused the White House of executive overreach on immigration.
“Many of these same [GOP] representatives talk about their Christianity and their fidelity to the Bible, but they forget Matthew Chapter 25, Verse 34, where scripture teaches us: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty — you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me,’” Biden said pointing to a Republican amendment that would have blocked President Obama’s decision to halt the deportation of so-called DREAMers.
Biden later added, “It’s the right thing to do; it’s the Christian thing to do. But it’s also an incredibly practical thing to do.”
Now the Left likes to use this particular Scripture to justify every big government entitlement program, and Biden is simply stretching this passage a little further. But let's look at it, why don't we.
MATTHEW 25:31-46 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
First of all, the passage involves Christ praising those who PERSONALLY did something for the favored groups -- it is "whenever YOU did this", not "whenever YOUR GOVERNMENT did this". Forced "charity" via the coercive power of government is not a praiseworthy act; individual charity engaged in through an act of faith and free will is. But beyond that, Biden's odd exegesis (actually eisegesis) would necessarily lead to the belief that the act of calling the police to report a crime or seeking prosecution of a criminal is potentially not a Christian act -- the shoplifter should be allowed to take the stolen food or clothing lest one be viewed as denying them food or clothing, just as an example. Did Jesus truly take a stance that lawlessness was superior to the rule of law? I'd argue that is not the case.
But even more to the point is that the Old Testament repeatedly teaches that foreigners are to follow the laws of the nation. To this end, that would require that aliens follow the immigration laws of the nation. And as we see time and again in the New Testament, it is deemed essential to submit to the just laws of civil authorities and for civil authorities to act justly. To reward those aliens who have violated the laws while holding legal aliens to the full provisions of those same law is fundamentally unjust. And so to claim that we have a Christian obligation to welcome the lawbreakers is a scriptural absurdity.
But then why are we surprised by something absurd coming from the mouth of Biden?
Most of us recognize that something has to be done to deal with our porous border and broken immigration system. However, does this sort of unfairness really cut it?
Seems to me there is a fundamental problem here -- the Constitution requires equal protection of the laws, and this doesn't cut it.
H/T Doug Ross
This story -- about a Bush ancestor in the 1700s -- has caused a minor stir among the Left online.
BUNCE ISLAND, Sierra Leone—Twelve American presidents owned slaves, eight while serving in office, and at least 25 presidents count slave owners among their ancestors. But new historical evidence shows that a direct ancestor of George W. and George H.W. Bush was part of a much more appalling group: Thomas Walker was a notorious slave trader active in the late 18th century along the coast of West Africa.
Walker, George H.W. Bush's great-great-great grandfather, was the captain of, master of, or investor in at least 11 slaving voyages to West Africa between 1784 and 1792.
Scores of European merchants and American plantation owners grew rich on the trade that transported more than 10 million Africans to North America, the Caribbean, and Brazil between 1550 and 1850. Bush's family, like many others, has previously been identified as slave owners in the United States. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at least five Walker family households, George W. Bush’s ancestors by his father’s mother, owned slaves in Maryland’s Cecil County.
Aside from being a minor historical curiosity, this story ought to be a big "so what". After all, we are going back six generations to find that connection -- enough that there are 64 ancestors in that generation. It is fairly likely that one can find something scandalous about one's family if one goes back that far. That isn't a justification or dismissal of the slave trade -- it is a dismissal of the relevance of the connection to either of the two Bush presidents, their characters or their policies.
Especially since the article notes that 25 American presidents have had ancestors who owned slaves, twelve were slave owners themselves and eight actually owned slaves while in the White House.
And as I noted on this blog a couple of years back, Barack Obama is one of those 25 presidents. We can document the slave-owning heritage on his mother's side of the family -- and it is quite likely also found on his Kenyan father's side of the family as well, given the prevalence of the institution on the African continent generally and in particular in Kenya. In fact, the Lou tribe from of which Obama is a descendant is notorious for its slave-trading history. That heritage says nothing about Obama's character, either.
Never mind that such mandated expressions of political opinion have been deemed unconstitutional since the 1940s -- the professor's comments regarding students who hold different opinions and hers refusal to allow for alternatives are indicative of her intent to violate the rights of her students, whether she realizes it or not.
A Tennessee community college professor ordered her students to wear ribbons supporting gay rights and said those who believed in the traditional definition of marriage are just “uneducated bigots” who “attack homosexuals with hate,” according to a legal firm representing several of the students in the class.
Students in a general psychology class at Columbia State Community College were directed by their professor to wear “Rainbow Coalition” ribbons for an entire day and express their support for the homosexual community, said Travis Barham, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Barham is calling for the college to punish Dr. Linda Brunton and order her to apologize to the students whose constitutional rights he believes were violated, according to a letter he sent to the community college president.
“Dr. Brunton essentially turned her General Psychology class into a semester-long clinic on the demands of the homosexual movement,” Barham said.
There were, of course, other options which might have accomplished the same goal -- though I fail to see how the goal of the assignment was within the purview of a General psychology class.
But then again, since when are group rights ideologues like this professor concerned about the individual rights of those who aren't members of the group they are advocating for?
This is destined to go down as a significant testimony on why the GOP is the natural home of African-Americans.
Hello, my name is Elbert Lee Guillory, and I’m the senator for the twenty-fourth district right here in beautiful Louisiana. Recently I made what many are referring to as a ‘bold decision’ to switch my party affiliation to the Republican Party. I wanted to take a moment to explain why I became a Republican, and also to explain why I don’t think it was a bold decision at all. It is the right decision — not only for me — but for all my brothers and sisters in the black community.
You see, in recent history the Democrat Party has created the illusion that their agenda and their policies are what’s best for black people. Somehow it’s been forgotten that the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist movement with one simple creed: that slavery is a violation of the rights of man.
Frederick Douglass called Republicans the ‘Party of freedom and progress,’ and the first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was the Republicans in Congress who authored the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments giving former slaves citizenship, voting rights, and due process of law.
The Democrats on the other hand were the Party of Jim Crow. It was Democrats who defended the rights of slave owners. It was the Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who championed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, but it was Democrats in the Senate who filibustered the bill.
You see, at the heart of liberalism is the idea that only a great and powerful big government can be the benefactor of social justice for all Americans. But the left is only concerned with one thing — control. And they disguise this control as charity. Programs such as welfare, food stamps, these programs aren’t designed to lift black Americans out of poverty, they were always intended as a mechanism for politicians to control black the black community.
The idea that blacks, or anyone for that matter, need the the government to get ahead in life is despicable. And even more important, this idea is a failure. Our communities are just as poor as they’ve always been. Our schools continue to fail children. Our prisons are filled with young black men who should be at home being fathers. Our self-initiative and our self-reliance have been sacrificed in exchange for allegiance to our overseers who control us by making us dependent on them.
Sometimes I wonder if the word freedom is tossed around so frequently in our society that it has become a cliché.
The idea of freedom is complex and it is all-encompassing. It’s the idea that the economy must remain free of government persuasion. It’s the idea that the press must operate without government intrusion. And it’s the idea that the emails and phone records of Americans should remain free from government search and seizure. It’s the idea that parents must be the decision makers in regards to their children's education — not some government bureaucrat.
But most importantly, it is the idea that the individual must be free to pursue his or her own happiness free from government dependence and free from government control. Because to be truly free is to be reliant on no one other than the author of our destiny. These are the ideas at the core of the Republican Party, and it is why I am a Republican.
So my brothers and sisters of the American community, please join with me today in abandoning the government plantation and the Party of disappointment. So that we may all echo the words of one Republican leader who famously said, ‘free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’
For the last few year's I've worked with one of Senator Guillory's cousins. Based upon that experience, I have no doubt about the character and integrity of Senator Guillory -- a man who I am proud to have as a member of my political party.
The Obama administration will start formal peace talks with the Taliban on Thursday in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, the first direct political contact between them since early last year and the initial step in what the administration hopes will lead to a negotiated end to the protracted war in Afghanistan.
So instead of crushing the terrorists, we will be leaving them behind in a position to take over Afghanistan once again -- in the face of evidence that the new negotiations are doomed to failure. Therefore, I want to dedicate this song to President Obama.
And Ayers declares that Obama deserves a failing grade as president. Does that make Ayers racist? Or Obama a failed president guilty of war crimes?
In other words, they are trying to cheat to win -- a common phenomenon among Democrats in Texas (and Chicago, where Obama is from).
We caught Sam, an activist hired by the Democrats & Barack Obama’s Battleground Texas at Houston’s Emancipation Park during the Juneteenth Parade & Festival illegally registering voters. Texas law states that Deputy Voter Registrars must be a resident of the state of Texas,must be issued a certificate of appointment and given a receipt book, and must be authorized by the county in which they are registering voters. (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/…) The problem is that Sam is from Oregon, isn’t a resident of Texas, doesn’t have a certificate of appointment, doesn’t have a receipt book issued by the county and IS NOT authorized to do what he’s doing. That is the definition of Voter and Election Fraud.
Roll the video!
Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 dollars. And most importantly, DO NOT CHEAT TO GAIN VOTES FOR YOUR CANDIDATES.
H/T Urban Grounds
Girl Meets World is a go.
Disney has made it official: "Girl Meets World" is happening!
The network broke the news on Monday morning, announcing that production will begin this summer.
A sequel series to the beloved "Boy Meets World," "Girl Meets World" will center on Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard) as she navigates the world with her best friend Maya (Sabrina Carpenter). "Boy Meets Word" originals Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) will return as Rowan's parents.
And best of all, William Daniels will be a part of the show in some form or fashion!
Dude -- there's a reason that you are not supposed to give Yogi your picnic basket.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says a black bear that mauled a man at a campground north of Anchorage won't likely threaten other people.
Spokesman Ken Marsh told the Anchorage Daily News (http://bit.ly/11sQbZW) the bear was "pretty much goaded" into the attack Saturday near Eklutna Lake Campground because the man fed it meat from a church barbecue. He may be charged with illegally feeding wildlife.
Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says the man had been drinking and went for a bike ride, taking some of the food along. He came across the bear and threw it a piece of meat. When he offered the bear another piece, it attacked.
The man was treated for punctures wounds and scratches at an Anchorage hospital.
He's lucky that is all he got treated for.
Like many Americans, I paid a certain amount of attention tot he fight over whether or not ten-year-old Sarah Murnaghan got a lung transplant. While the case points out a lot of flaws with the current system for getting and distributing organs for transplantation, this particular case was troubling to me because the child was jumped to the front of a line to receive organs she was otherwise ineligible for under the guidelines in place.
Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air notes that Doug Mataconis has given voice to a very legitimate criticism of the decision in this case -- that the intervention of courts into these transplantation decisions makes the system much more difficult.
I am certainly not faulting Sarah’s parents for the course of action that they took. Their daughter likely would have died in the very near future if she hadn’t gotten a transplant, and seeking to have the under-12 rule repealed via the Court system was the only real option that they had available to them. Any parent in a similar situation would have done the same thing, and it’s understandable to see why. However, Courts can only deal with cases like this on an individual basis. They generally won’t consider the consequences in the future of upsetting the medical ethics apple cart by ordering that one patient be advanced up the list to those who are already on the list or the ones who don’t get as a high a position on the list as they might have otherwise. The result may be good for one person, but it’s going to work to the disadvantage of others, and it’s likely to make it that much harder to run an organ transplant system that presents painfully difficult ethical issues on a daily basis.
The reality of this case was that a child who was sick got an adult organ in a procedure that is less likely to be successful in the long term than would have been the transplantation of those same lungs into an adult. And while all the sympathetic press coverage of the dying child and her anguished family was touching, nobody asked what I view as a very important question -- one that I believe nobody (at least not Sarah's family, their supporters, and the ratings-driven media folks who covered the story) wanted to ask because it would have exposed an ugly side of the effort to thrust the child to the front of the line:
Let's face it -- this was not a case where the outcome could be "win-win"; it is a classic case of "win-lose" no matter what the outcome. So will some courageous journalist, one willing to ask the hard questions and pursue the answers wherever they lead, be willing to take up this one and get an answer? After all, if we are going to consider whether the policy was right or the judge's decision was right, we ought to be looking not just at the adorable child who lived, but also at the almost certainly existent bereaved spouse and orphaned children of the person who did not get that transplant. There is more than one side to this story, and the American people should see that other side as well.
And just as importantly, with the coming of ObamaCare in a matter of months, we will see more situations in which government regulations and bureaucrats will decide who gets what treatment and who lives and dies. That is inevitable once you put the government in charge of health care to the degree that the new law does. How often will we find patients and their families appealing to the media, to their elected officials, and to the courts to gain preferential treatment in the face of regulations that place them at a disadvantage?
I didn't vote for him for Congress in the primary.
I didn't vote for him in the run-off.
And I'll concede that I threw a protest vote to the Libertarian candidate in the general election rather than cast a ballot for Steve Stockman.
But I'm coming to recognize that I may have been wrong in my judgement of my newly elected Congressman -- and if he keeps doing stuff like this I will likely be a big supporter by the time 2014 rolls around.
Her's a letter the Congressman had hand delivered to the House Oversight Committee.
Thank you for your ongoing efforts to investigate abuses of civil liberties by employees of the Internal Revenue Service.
These abuses seem to indicate a larger, higher pattern of ideologically-driven harassment of Americans which Congress has an obligation to fully investigate with every tool at our disposal.
Frankly I am disappointed by revelations Obama administration personnel have been less than forward about what they knew and when they knew it.
As you know, recent revelations show the National Security Agency has been keeping an “ongoing, daily” log of every domestic phone call in the United States.
I respectfully request your Committee subpoena the records of every phone call made from all public and private telephones of all IRS personnel to all public and private telephones of all White House personnel.
If President Obama is collecting such information, he certainly would want us to use it. If he has nothing to hide he has nothing to be afraid of.
We must get to the bottom of the IRS scandal. We must get to the bottom of the NSA scandal. But if the misconduct of the NSA will allow us to answer questions about the misconduct of the IRS, that may turn out to be a small silver lining to the broadly-cast net of the Obama surveillance state.
My only quibble with the proposal? That Congressman Stockman didn't expand that request to include similar contacts between IRS personnel and members of Congress and their staffs. After all, we already have sufficient evidence of Democrats in both the House and Senate pressuring the IRS for investigations of Tea party and other conservative groups -- let's see how far that pressure really went.
Members of Congress are now upset that ObamaCare applies to them and their staffers, and that the law will have massive negative impacts upon their ability to attract and retain workers.
When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was being debated, proponents were accused of saddling Americans with inferior and expensive health care while keeping generous coverage for themselves at taxpayer expense. To rebut that allegation and build confidence in the bill, a provision was added mandating that members of Congress – and their staff members – get there coverage through the new exchange system the bill set up. Now that the time to sign up for exchange coverage is nearing, a Democratic member, Rep. John Larson (D., Conn.), is saying that “this is simply not fair” – as key staff members head for the exits to avoid Obamacare.
Politico reports that “many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain” and notes that “[t]he problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy.”
Of course it is fair -- you folks wrote it and you folks passed it. indeed, I would love to see any repeal of ObamaCare exclude the denizens of Capitol Hill, leaving in place as a "demonstration program" members of the Legislative Branch as well as all Executive Branch employees who fall outside of civil service. Let's see if the system works for them before imposing it on the rest of the country. Let's find out if the system disproportionately harms the young and less wealthy in that control group before potentially harming the young and less wealthy nationwide.
Bad enough that the "let 'em all stay" crowd wants to undermine the rule of law by creating a special pathway to citizenship for border-jumping lawbreakers -- now they won't even support a measure making those with convictions for drunk driving ineligible to stay in this country!
I’m told, by a reliable and well-placed source, that a good deal of the Democratic opposition to John Cornyn’s proposed amendment to the Gang of 8 bill has nothing to do with border security. It has to do with DUIs. Specifically, Cornyn’s amendment would bar illegal immigrants with misdemeanor DUI convictions from ”probationary” legal status, which is the immediate legalization offered by Marco Rubio, et al, to most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the U.S.. For the pro-amnesty side, the exclusion of DUI offenders is apparently a deal-killer. There must be a lot of them!
Pro-Gang Democrats (and Republicans) understandably don’t want to publicize their DUI defense. DUI offenders are not an inherently popular group, and accidents in which undocumented immigrant drivers kill innocent civilians tend to be well publicized. It’s not a coincidence that Obama’s executive mini-amnesty of so-called “Dreamers”–issued before the 2012 election–claimed to exclude DUI offenders. But the broader Gang of 8 legislation, written after the election, allows two free misdemeanors–apparently including DUIs–before an illegal immigrant is disqualified.
I guess Americans aren't causing enough mayhem on our highways by driving drunk -- apparently we need to allow foreigners a permanent license to drive drunk in America so they can do more things like this.
But nobody on the Left is going to complain, because big bucks Obama donor Bill Maher is their icon and the five-year-old child he ridiculed as a part of his show is the son of conservative politician and commentator Sarah Palin.
Conservative Ron Futrell knew to expect plenty of left-of-center jibes when he settled into his seat to see Bill Maher at The Pearl Theater in Las Vegas June 8.
Futrell didn’t think he’d hear the HBO personality mock former Gov. Sarah Palin’s special needs child or hear the crowd laugh right along.
Futrell, a former Las Vegas sports broadcaster and Breitbart News contributor, says on his blog that Maher used the term “retarded” to describe young Trig Palin during the comedy performance. Later, Futrell started heckling the comic over a reference to Halliburton, a confrontation which eventually led to Futrell being asked to leave the venue.
Yeah, Bill, jokes about special needs kids barely old enough for kindergarten are just so damn funny -- and show us the level at which your humor operates. Frankly, I'm surprised you still have a job, but then again, you are proof that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence -- or moral degeneracy -- of the left-wing. After all, why else would the domestic violence perpetrating, racial slur spewing "funny man" have a show?
While we continue to wait for a Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that has the potential to end the practice of making college admissions decisions based upon the race of the applicant, it is very clear that the American people have already weighed the practice and found it unacceptable.
Seventy-six percent of adults oppose “allowing universities to consider applicants’ race as a factor in deciding which students to admit,” according to a Washington Post/ABC poll.
That includes 79 percent of whites, 78 percent of blacks and 68 percent of Hispanics. Sixty-four percent of liberal Democrats oppose race-based affirmative action in college admissions.
When you find the margin of opposition to be so high in every racial category, it is pretty clear that the reason for opposition is not racism. Instead, it is evidence that American embrace the belief that discrimination based upon race is wrong.
Breitbart News reported last week that Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) passed an amendment in the House Armed Services Committee protecting religious speech of service members in the military. President Barack Obama has now threatened to veto the bill if it passes the full House and Senate.
The White House released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014. Among other items, the SAP includes as an objection to the bill:
“Expansion and Implementation of Protection of Rights of Conscience of Members of the Armed Forces and Chaplains of Such Members: The Administration strongly objects to section 530, which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, “actions and speech” reflecting the “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member.” By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”
The upshot of this is that Obama intends to veto the bill if the religious freedom of Christians -- in particular the religious freedom of Christians who hold to traditional Christian teachings that offend Obama and his progressive allies -- is protected by statute.
Well, what do you expect of a guy who sat for two decades in Jeremiah Wright's church?
But it is political bias against Republicans, so that's OK.
Many in the mainstream believe that the Republican Party is an elitist organization of the affluent while Democrats represent the party of the people. If that ever were true, it certainly hasn’t been for many years. Yet the myth persists.
A recent example is The Chicago Tribune, which last week on its Web site headlined “Wealthy Bruce Rauner announces for Republican governor race.” Yesterday, The Trib went with “Bill Daley to explore run for Illinois governor.”
OpenSecrets.org determined that in 2010 Daley’s “average net worth was an estimated $28.7 million.” It doesn’t appear that throwing a benefit for him will be necessary any time soon. Yet his prosperity isn’t even referenced by The Tribune. Only rich Republicans are newsworthy there.
Because you know, rich Democrats are just good people who have been blessed with money, not exploiters of the masses.
Jonah Goldberg highlights the contradiction between Obama's views about the war on terrorism and his views on government spying on Americans.
In late May, the president announced in a speech that the war on terror was essentially over. In early June, he’s defending a data-mining operation that even Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) — an author of the Patriot Act, which authorizes surveillance by the NSA — is denouncing as dangerous overreach he never intended.
The idealist wants credit for ending the war, while the alleged pragmatist wants to keep a surveillance apparatus that has no justification if the war on terror is truly over. Maybe he’s right on the merits. The problem is that fewer and fewer people are willing to take his word for it.
The fact that the American people are unwilling to take Obama's word is a good thing. After all, the Founders wanted us to mistrust the government and the politicians who run it. That way we will be inclined to keep an eye on it and make every effort to ensure that our liberties are not destroyed. Our Constitution is designed to encourage that stance -- and while Obama and his supporters may call distrust of him ""racist", the reality is that it is patriotic.
That is the question that I'm left asking after this article appeared in the Houston Chronicle.
Bad timing may have killed a Houston-area proposal to develop software for monitoring social media posts about breaking news.
Initially discussed May 7 at the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, the software was a project of the Houston Urban Area Security Initiative, which includes Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris and Montgomery counties.
Described as "social media intelligence gathering software," the project was scheduled to be on the Fort Bend County court's agenda again on Tuesday.
But County Judge Bob Hebert said he decided to pull the item because there were too many unanswered questions about potential invasion of privacy.
"The concerns I expressed to staff were brought about by numerous phone calls we received from citizens," Hebert said. "The question I got from constituents was, 'Isn't this similar to what the federal government is doing with (collecting data from) Verizon, AT&T and Google?' "
Now pulling this item from Fort Bend County's agenda apparently will kill the program for the entire region. But I ask again -- why does county government (or a regional super-agency created by several county governments) need to be monitoring Twitter and Facebook to see what the citizenry is talking about?
Well, we have a Stasi-style police state developing in this country due to the ramped up surveillance of every American that Obama and his cronies have implemented. Therefore I'm not too surprised by this development. wherein critics of Obama and the regime are being visited by the Secret Service over innocuous First Amendment protected speech about the President.
Tom Francois is an outspoken critic of Barack Hussein Obama- and has a robust Twitter presence. He also likes to dabble with his "paint" program to create funny cartoons. He has never threatened the President in any way, manner or form.
On April 11, 2013, he heard relentless pounding on his door shouts of "Police!" The officers introduced themselves as members of The Secret Service and asked if they could "take a look around."
Since Tom had nothing to hide (and he didn't want any return visits) - he complied fully with their request. He even signed a consent to search his premises AND an "Authorization To Review Medical and Mental Health Records!"
They asked Tom if he ever left his state or traveled to Washington, D.C.
One Agent asked Tom if he has any intentions of "whacking" the President." To which Tom replied- "Of course not. I wish him no harm. I disagree with his policies and actions and I make no bones about it. It's my First Amendment Right and I intend to exercise it."
Not only that, but the jack-booted fascists made it clear that they knew the online satirist legally owned two firearms (apparently the SS has no more respect for the Second Amendment than they do for the First Amendment) and that they were looking for an excuse to confiscate them. And in a visit to his daughter, they stated that the information they were gathering -- most of which consisted of photoshops of public domain photographs that commented on current political issues -- would be turned over to Attorney General Eric Holder because "he has the last word on what to do, if anything." In other words, an Obama political appointee will be making decisions about what criticism of Obama is to be permitted, First Amendment be damned.
Oh, and the agents admitted the basis for their investigation of Tom Francois's Fist Amendment protected activity -- the fact that he has a large (over 11,000) following on Twitter.. Look for yourself to find out how threatening his graphics really are. They claimed that they weren't worried about Tom, but that they were instead worried about what someone might do in response to his tweets -- which is not legitimately grounds for an investigation, and which doesn't justify the questions "do you ever travel out of state?" and have you ever traveled near the District of Columbia?" After all, if they don't see him as a threat, why are they tracking his movements, movements that are also his right as an American citizen? And why are they also told him that his online speech was being watched by the government and that they would come back to confiscate his guns -- and presumably arrest him -- if he were to ever "step over the line".
Oh, by the way -- while the federal government was investigating an internet satirist, they weren't investigating a pair of radical Islamist brothers in the Boston area. Four days after this harassment of an American citizen by the Obama Regime, those two brothers set off a terrorist bomb at the Boston marathon. Why weren't they tagged as being at least as big a threat as a guy who posts on Twitter?
H/T Urban Grounds
Just remember, friends -- this is YOUR Democrat Party, led by the father of Democrat Vice President Al Gore, the mentor of Democrat President Bill Clinton, and a Kluxer hailed as the conscience of the Senate by Barack Obama.
On this day in 1964, Everett Dirksen (R-IL), the Republican Leader in the U.S. Senate, condemned the Democrats’ 57-day filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Leading the Democrats in their opposition to civil rights for African-Americans was Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). Byrd, who got into politics as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan, spoke against the bill for fourteen straight hours. Democrats still call Robert Byrd “the conscience of the Senate.”
In his speech, Senator Dirksen called on the Democrats to end their filibuster and accept racial equality.
In addition to Byrd (the only Senator to vote against both African-Americans to serve on the Supreme Court) Senator Al Gore, Sr. was one of the filibustering senators. So was Arkansas Senator Fulbright, who gave Bill Clinton his start in politics. While a handful of Republicans opposed the bill on federalism grounds, all of them had otherwise strong records on civil rights and based their objections to specific provisions of the bill, while the Democrats who sought to kill the bill did so on the basis of their longstanding opposition to equality for African-Americans. That all but one of those Democrats remained Democrats in good standing for the rest of their lives, right up to the Obama Administration, let there be no doubt that the Democrat Party remains the party of slavery, segregation and the Klan and has not rejected it racist heritage.
Uncontrolled immigration -- legal and illegal -- is turning parts of the United States into carbon copies of Mexico.
The slaying in Southlake Town Square of a Mexican attorney with reputed ties to drug cartels was a brazen and well-coordinated assassination that illustrates the increasingly long and lethal reach of the brutal criminal organizations, security experts say.
The flamboyant public hit was unusual because Mexican cartels try to stay off the radar on this side of the border.
But it underlines an ominous trend: Dallas-Fort Worth has become a key “command and control” center for moving drugs and people across the country, top state and federal law enforcement officials confirm.
DFW is more than 400 miles from the Mexico border, but its central location and vast network of interstates and rail lines make it a vital distribution point for drugs.
Historically, the cartels don't do this in the United States. But now that American cities are becoming "home turf" to some of them, cartel rules are changing. And it isn't just Texas -- apparently much of the gun violence in gun-free Chicago is cartel related. And why shouldn't such violence come here to American? After all, we are letting the cartels in along our unsecured border -- and talking about legalizing those here while leaving the border unsecured. How long until we have headless bodies of police officers and their family members turning up in major cities as a warning to others to not interfere with their drug trade?
H/T Prairie Pundit
Before I moved here to Texas, I never thought much about how air conditioning systems worked -- and certainly didn't think about things like condensation. I mean who knew that when you cooled the air it was necessary for excess humidity to condense out and be drained away/ Well, other than engineers and other folks who care about physics -- it just is not something that ordinary people think about on a regular basis. And people certainly don't think about the notion that there are condensate drains(aka condensate lines) that remove condensation from air-conditioning and other refrigeration equipment like Ice Machines, Ice Cream Machines, Walk-In Coolers, and Coolers, Chillers, and that algae grows in those lines and can block them. How do you clean out those lines?Continue to be enlightened while reading "" Â»
That's where the Clog Popper comes into the picture. The Clog Popper is a handy little device from Good Day Tools that is designed to allow you to access various types of condensate drains and clear them of blockages quickly and easily. The Clog Popper is designed to fit a standard schedule 40 3/4" PVC pipe, but can be adapted to fit other sizes using the company's optional accessory pack. You can even use the Clog Popper on vinyl tubing if you make use of the hose barbs in the accessory pack. And best of all is that the Clog Popper is simple and easy to use, relying on basic principles of physics even a non-technical type like me can understand. Just insert the Clog Popper as far as you can in the line, give it a forceful yank backwards and the clog is suctioned out without use of electricity, CO2, or any other resources.
Oh, yeah -- the Clog popper is a genuine made in the USA product available for less than $20 on ebay or Amazon. It even comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. So really, you ought to try the Clog Buster!
Â« All done with ""?
OK, here are this week’s full results.
See you next week! And look forward to a special announcement about changes in Council membership.
You hoped for change. You voted for a man who promised to be a great respecter of civil liberties and to operate the most transparent administration in history.
But it hasn't worked out that way for you.
Just look at these stories from the last few days.
So let me make this AT40-style long-distance dedication to you.
Here's the Sex Pistols, singing God Save the Queen.
"God save the Quen
And the fascist regime.
They made you a moron."
No future. No future. No future for you.
“Moral responsibility is the essence of humanity. It is what sets Homo sapiens apart from other animals. Assigning moral responsibility to whites while denying it to nonwhites is therefore a way of dehumanizing the latter. Multiculturalism turns out to be a disguised form of white supremacy.”
The notion that whites are presumptively racist and non-whites are incapable of racism -- and that whites pointing out race-neutral misconduct by minorities constitutes an act of racism because of the pseudo-scientific concept of "white privilege" -- means that the multiculturalist absolves minorities of moral agency and thereby reduces them to a status something less than human, because that moral agency is an essential part of what makes us human. And that, my friends, shows how contemporary progressivism is not particularly disconnected from the white supremacy and racism of progressive heroes Woodrow Wilson and Margaret Sanger.
But that was during the Bush years -- under Obama such leaks border on treason.
The unauthorized leaks of two top-secret surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency (NSA) will cause "long-lasting and irreversible harm" to ongoing efforts to safeguard the United States from outside threats, according to the director of national intelligence.
"Discussing programs like this publicly will have an impact on the behavior of our adversaries and make it more difficult for us to understand their intentions," Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday.
* * *
"The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans," Clapper added.
So letting the American people know that every phone call, every text message, and every email or internet search is being turned over to the government for scrutiny endangers the nation and aids our enemies -- but it is the height of public responsibility to disclose an undeniably legal program that monitors financial transactions by terrorists.
But we know the reason for the different reactions -- Bush Bad; Obama Good.
An Army master sergeant was punished after he hosted a promotion party and served Chick-fil-A sandwiches in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The unidentified soldier was investigated, reprimanded, threatened with judicial action and given a bad efficiency report, according to the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
“They say he is no longer a team player and was not performing up to standards,” Chaplain Alliance Executive Director Ron Crews told Fox News. “This is just one little example of a case of a soldier just wanting to express his views and now he’s been jumped on by the military.”
The soldier’s story was included in a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights documenting concerns about attacks on religious liberty within the Armed Services.
The Pentagon did not return calls seeking comment.
Last summer the soldier had received his promotion to master sergeant. The promotion coincided with a national controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A’s support of traditional marriage. Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told a newspaper that he was “guilty as charged” when it came to supporting the biblical definition of marriage. Gay rights advocates were infuriated and some Democratic leaders – most notably the mayor of Boston – attempted to stop the popular restaurant chain from opening restaurants in their cities.
Crews said the soldier decided to hold a party to celebrate his new position. The invitations read, “In honor of my promotion and in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act, I’m serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at my promotion party.”
After the party, the solider received a letter of reprimand. Crews said at issue was the combination of the sandwiches and the soldier’s support of DOMA (which happens to be the law of the land).
“There was initially some talk of bringing judicial punishment against him,” Crews said. “He had a letter put in his file and an investigation was initiated to see if he had violated any policy.”
Remember -- this is a private party paid for with his own money during off-duty time. It involved an expression of the soldier's personal religious and political beliefs, and supported the enforcement of a federal law that the scofflaw in the Oval Office and his perjurious and contemptuous toady at the Department of Justice has refused to enforce.
Based upon what we have been seeing recently, it seems clear that it will take a generation to undo the damage done by eight years of Obama.
One more reason I want my brilliant and talented US Senator to be the GOP candidate for President one day.
“Let me say that the fact that the mainstream media and the New York Times is so hysterical about what I’m doing – to me frankly suggests that we’re doing something right,” Cruz said. “Because I tell ya, I ain’t here workin’ for the New York Times, I’m working every day for 26 million Texans and for conservatives and Americans all across this country that want to get back to our Constitution, and want to get back to the free market system that has made us the greatest nation in the history of the world.”
That's right -- Ted Cruz doesn't work for the left-leaning media or seek to please the loudest members of the dead-tree press. He works for us -- the Texans who sent him to Washington as our Senator -- and the millions of Americans who agree with us about how to make America great again. Would that more members of Congress -- Senate and House -- remembered who they work for.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday said that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community will be a special focus of Obamacare because "for too long...[they] were pushed to the side."
Presumably we will, over the next several months find that HHS is going to announce "a special focus" for other favored groups beloved of the Obama Administration -- blacks, Hispanics, Muslims -- with the result being that members of the Obama electoral coalition will receive better care than those who are members of Republican-leaning groups -- straights, whites and Christians. And given the fact that the IRS has already been targeting those groups, one must wonder if the policies that have been at work in the last several years are just a ramping-up of the policies that will be in play once the IRS takes a major role in running our health care system under ObamaCare.
We've always known that Barry loves Muslims and loves Terrorstinians, but now he's letting his Jew-hatred hang out with the appointment of Samantha Powers as UN Ambassador.
National Security Council Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Samantha Power, who chaired the first meeting of the board Monday following an appearance by President Obama at the Holocaust Museum, said in a 2002 interview that ”external intervention” in the form of a “mammoth protection force” was necessary to separate the Israelis and the Palestinians. She acknowledged that forcing our way in was undemocratic but insisted it was necessary.
“Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. I mean, It’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic.”
Translation -- the US needs to invade the sovereign nation of Israel and impose borders upon it, to the benefit of the terrorists who have vowed to exterminate Jews from the Middle East. Ms. Powers should fit right in at the UN, where anti-Semitism is official policy. But that also tells us that American policy will get even more hostile to Israel during the rest of Obama's term.
That is the only reasonable interpretation of the latest declaration from undesirable alien featured by the anti-American news network.
Yeah, you've got that right -- Martin Bashir has declared that any criticism of Barack Obama related to the IRS scandal is the same as calling him a n*gg*r! That we have reached a point where the apologists for the incompetent occupant of the Oval Office are reduced to declaring that commentary on the scandal within his administration is a racial attack is indicative of the reality that racism is dead in this country except among the fringeoid freaks that inhabit the Klan or the New Black Panther Party -- and that racism is no longer a problem at all in our society. Henceforth, any attempt by Obama or his supporters to use the race card is indicative of utter dishonesty and the lack of any legitimate grounds upon which to refute the criticism of the president.
In other word, YOUR RACE CARD HAS BEEN REVOKED!
Now that Nidal Hasan Has admitted that he was adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Fort Hood Suspect Says He Was Defending Taliban
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of killing 13 people in 2009, gave his first public explanation about the motive.
With Hasan admitting he was acting to help the enemy it makes the work place violence claim all the more ludicrous. The administration needs to drop the pretense.
I guess this means the classification of the Fort Hood attack as "workplace violence" must be overturned, and the Obama Administration must give the wounded and the survivors of the dead the benefits they are due because they are victims of a terrorist attack.
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Ondray Harris, the African-American executive director of the Public Employee Relations Board of the District of Columbia, stepped down last week.
His resignation letter provides a disturbing look at alleged discriminatory and partisan conduct by the members of the board tasked with overseeing labor issues and the D.C. government’s relations with public employees.
Harris claimed in his letter that two members of the board, Don Wasserman and Ann Hoffman, complained over his hiring of a white female, Erin Wilcox, because they perceived her “as being conservative or politically right-of-center.”
According to Harris, at a meeting on Nov. 8, 2012, Hoffman declared that “somebody with a resume like hers doesn’t belong here” and “should never work here.”
Harris said he was “rebuked” by Wasserman for hiring white male employees despite the fact that no challenge was ever made by the board members to their professional “qualifications, competency, or efficiency.”
In fact, Wasserman told Harris to “refrain from hiring white men” in the future to fill open attorney slots, according to Harris.
As a civil rights lawyer and the former Deputy Chief of Employment Litigation in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, Harris vehemently opposed these “illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory comments and hiring demands,” telling the board that it was asking him “to hire in a discriminatory fashion based on race, gender, and political associations.”
Seems to me that Congress needs to start investigating this one -- and since Congress has plenary control over the government of the District of Columbia, it would be appropriate to pass legislation doing away with the Public Employee Relations Board of the District of Columbia due to its gross violations of both statutory law and the Constitution. Then we will see if this President and his administration support civil rights or a racial spoils system, based upon whether or not Obama signs or vetoes the bill.
Or better yet, abolish self-government for the District of Columbia and treat the area as the Founders intended -- after all, we've seen the level of corruption and incompetence that infects the elected government there.
Wow! The folks at DealDash are really making an online splash! I mean, just consider that AdWeek has said that DealDash Dominates Facebook Chatter. That is one major national publication noting the significant impact that DealDash.com is making on one of the most significant social media sites around. The "People Talking About this Metric" (PTAT) at Facebook actually lists DealDash as one of the most talked about sites in the United States -- indeed, worldwide! That, my friends, is a big deal!
Now let me give you a quick Deal Dash Review so you understand DealDash. DealDash is one of that genre of sites known as "penny auction sites where you purchase bids and make your way up the ladder until someone wins the auction. But unlike most such sites, DealDash allows you to get your bids back under certain circumstances if you use the Buy It Now option to buy the item from BestBuy. And they even have a money back guarantee as a part of their risk-free guarantee. So drop by and check out this hot site!
OK, here are this week’s full results.
See you next week!
I'll be honest -- I've enjoyed Matt Smith as the Doctor, though my heart will always have a soft spot for John Pertwee and Tom Baker. But now comes the word that Smith, like each of his predecessors, will be leaving the role and the character will regenerate into something new.
The BBC is today announcing that Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who after four incredible years on the hit BBC One show. Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas special. During his time as the Doctor, Matt has reached over 30 million unique UK viewers and his incarnation has seen the show go truly global. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role.
Matt quickly won over fans to be voted Best Actor by Readers of Doctor Who Magazine for the 2010 season. He also received a nod for his first series at the National Television Awards, before winning the Most Popular Male Drama Performance award in 2012.
Matt has played one of the biggest roles in TV with over 77 million fans in the UK, USA and Australia alone!
I particularly like Smith's observation on leaving the half-century old series.
"Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I'm incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.
Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It's been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he's a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.
The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I've never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet, I'm back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special!
It's been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with 'the ginger, the nose and the impossible one'. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt."
What will be interesting, though, is how the conclusion to the recently aired "The Name of the Doctor" will influence events, given the apparent introduction of a heretofore unknown incarnation of the Doctor at the end.
I cannot imagine John Hurt assuming the role -- but do wonder what this does to the series in terms of regeneration, because this would appear to make Matt Smith's Doctor the Twelfth Doctor and not the Eleventh Doctor. And as all good fans of the series know, a Time Lord can regenerate only twelve times -- making the next incarnation the last UNLESS the producers can come up with a way of getting around a fundamental canon of the series. So stay tuned, fellow Whovians -- this one is going to get a little bit bumpy.
Jean Stapleton, an actress whose portrayal of a slow-witted, big-hearted and submissive — up to a point — housewife on the groundbreaking series “All in the Family” made her, along with Mary Tyler Moore and Bea Arthur, one of the foremost women in television comedy in the 1970s and a symbol of emergent feminism in American popular culture, died Friday at her home in New York City. She was 90.
Jean Stapleton was a wonderful actress and, by all accounts, a dear lady -- but we will always remember her for this one role and this one song.
Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff abruptly resigned Friday after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.
Friday afternoon, Garcia said he had asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the chief of staff — also the congressman’s top political strategist — took responsibility for the plot. Hours earlier, law enforcement investigators raided the homes of another of Joe Garcia’s employees and a former campaign aide in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation into the matter.
“I’m shocked and disappointed about this,” Garcia, who said he was unaware of the scheme, told The Miami Herald. “This is something that hit me from left field. Until today, I had no earthly idea this was going on.”
The proper response by Congressman Garcia should be his resignation if it turns out that the fraud could have plausibly impacted the outcome of that primary -- even if he had no knowledge of it. That doesn't mean he should not seek a new, untainted mandate -- but he has none now.
UPDATE: It appears this also implicates the campaign of Democrat Congressman Patrick Murphy, given that Jeffrey Marcia also worked for the Murphy Campaign and there were similar unusual requests in his race. Murphy unseated Congressman Allen West in a race marked by Murphy's racist ads attacking West and a close vote count that was shut down before all the ballots were counted/verified.
Here it is. The NRA advocates armed rebellion against the duly elected government of the United States of America. That's treason, and it's worthy of the firing squad. The B.S. needs a serious gut check. We are not a tin pot banana republic where machine gun toting rebel groups storm the palace and depose the dictator.
We put the president in the White House. To support the new NRA president's agenda of arming the populace for confrontation with the government is bloody treason. And many invite it gladly as if the African-American president we voted for is somehow infringing on their Constitutional rights.
Normally, I am a peaceable man, but in this case, I am willing to answer the call to defend the country. From them.
To turn the song lyric they so love to quote back on them, "We'll put a boot in your ---, it's the American way."
Except it won't be a boot. It'll be an M1A Abrams tank, supported by an F22 Raptor squadron with Hellfire missiles. Try treason on for size. See how that suits. And their assault arsenal and RPGs won't do them any good.
Commenter responds as follows.
Their "assault arsenal and RPG's"...... Talk about lies and fabrications. This article is such a bastion of misinformation and lied the writer should face a firing squad. I'll bring my RPG.
Clearly a sarcastic reply -- using he author's own words against him in suggesting that, not the leaders of the NRA, ought to face a firing squad -- and mockingly suggesting that e would use a weapon hat he does not own because they are not available for civilians.
To which the professor replies in quite hysterical fashion.
Matt do you realize what you're saying? Je-s man. And you think I'm the problem? This message is enough to get a restraining order? All I'm saying is people who stock such munitions against an imagined threat are the real danger. Now, I see I need to add you.
Odd -- the author suggesting that others face a firing squad because of their speech is reasoned discourse, but a suggestion that his words merits the same merits a restraining order. Guess that is just one more example of selective freedom of speech from the academic Left.
In February 2010, the same month the tea-party targeting started, according to a recent inspector general's report, Freedom's Watch was subjected to an IRS audit that focused largely on its political activities, an uncommon but not unprecedented action, election lawyers say. The probe broadened into other areas, including executive compensation.
About a year later, as many as five donors to Freedom's Watch were subjected to IRS audits of their contributions that sought to impose gift taxes on their donations to the group, according to lawyers and former officials of Freedom's Watch.
Tax experts say that effort was highly unusual. The IRS generally hadn't sought to impose the gift tax on donations to tax-exempt groups such as Freedom's Watch in at least 20 years, perhaps longer, following an unfavorable court ruling and changes in the law by Congress, according to lawyers and IRS documents.
Now this cannot be a coincidence -- at same office going back and making work for itself at a time when it allegedly was so swamped with applications that it had to target certain words and phrases for investigation. There clearly had to be some sort of collusion or direction going on. The only question is how high the conspiracy -- and the misconduct -- went. We know that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was involved -- and need to find out the redacted name of the group/organization that also complained. Could it have been Obama's presidential campaign or one of the fellow-traveling left-wing groups?
The Internal Revenue Service has told House GOP investigators they have identified 88 IRS employees who may have documents relevant to the congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation.
The IRS asked these employees to preserve all the "responsive documents" on their computers, and it has been in the process of collecting it all to comply with congressional requests for information. The IRS missed its May 21st deadline to turn over documents to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The same source said the IRS argues it missed its deadline because of the scope of documents it is collecting.
Now sure, this may not mean that all 88 are implicated in the IRS wrongdoing. But really, for there be 88 with relevant documents means that many of them either were directly involved in the wrongdoing or that they ignored it when they saw it. Of course, many of them may try the Nuremberg defense -- "Ve vere only vollowing orders" -- but we know how well that worked out for those who made that argument.
No wonder the IRS missed the deadline to hand over all relevant documents.
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