Team Jeb Hits Back at Trump for Being 'Soft on Crime,' Cites Past Support for Legalizing Drugs
Monday, August 31
By Cortney O'Brien
The Bush v. Trump feud continues. A few weeks of back and forth tussling between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump in the GOP race for 2016 reached another zenith Monday when Trump resurrected Bush's "act of love" comments from earlier this year and used it to mock the governor in an Instagram post. The post included a video showing illegal immigrants' mug shots, with the following message, "Love? Forget love. It's time to get tough!"
Jeb's team is now hitting back with a new statement Monday, slamming Donald Trump for being soft on crime himself. They outlined three areas for proof:
Donald Trump Supported Legalizing Illicit Drugs.
· Trump Has Spent Years Supporting Soft-On-Crime Liberals Like Harry Reid ($9,400), Hillary Clinton ($5,100), And Charles Schumer ($8,900).
· Donald Trump Even Supported Nancy Pelosi—Who Supports Sanctuary Cities And Backed A Moratorium On The Death Penalty.
The first bullet point linked to a Chicago Tribunearticle from 1999 that cites Trump as saying the only way to end the war on drugs is to legalize them.
Trump blamed the country`s drug problems on politicians who ``don`t have any guts`` and enforcement efforts that are ``a joke.`` ``We`re losing badly the war on drugs,`` Trump told 700 people at a luncheon Friday. ``You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.``
As for bankrolling Democrats, Trump responded to those donations as being all business.
Jeb's team also pumped up the former Florida governor's own record on crime, highlighting his successful record in the Sunshine State. Under his leadership, crime dropped to its lowest level since 1971. He did it, he insisted, without trampling on citizens' Second Amendment rights. One of the ways he tackled criminal activity, was by signing the 10-20-life law, described in detail here:
The law, which is still in place, issues a minimum 10-year sentence for anyone who pulls a gun while committing a crime, 20 years for pulling the trigger during a crime and 25 years to life for injuring or killing someone by firing a gun.
Does Team Jeb have a point in its attack on Trump's criminal justice record? Does the business mogul's past suggest that his ballsy rhetoric is all talk and no action? Or is this just a weak retort from Jeb, who has struggled to counter the Donald's never ending insults?
One thing's for sure: If these two can be as tough on crime as they are on each other, I think we have nothing to fear.
Sen. Chris Murphy Admits That Gun Control Legislation From Washington Probably Won’t Stop Shootings
Monday, August 31
By Matt Vespa
On August 28, CNN’s Poppy Harlow had Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy on to discuss gun violence after the horrific murders of WDBJ7’s Alison Parker and Alex Ward, who were murdered on air by ex-employee Vester Lee Flanagan. Murphy is your typical liberal Democrat from New England–and a staunch supporter of gun control. During the interview, he said that Congress is complicit in these murders if nothing is done by the fall. At the same time, he admitted that gun control policy emanating from Washington is probably not going to stop future shootings.
Poppy Harlow: You said, Senator, in an interview with The Huffington Post this morning, “Congress' silence in the face of this rash of mass shootings has become complicity. We are essentially sending a message of quiet endorsements to these murders.” Who are you talking about in Congress?
Senator Murphy: I'm talking about the entirety of Congress, especially those that have stood in the way of common sense gun measures like expanded background checks or reforms to our mental health system. The fact is, is that when our leadership in Congress stands up and says we can't do anything, they are absolutely wrong. And I believe that we have become complicit in these murders because people listen to highest levels of government and when we say nothing about it – when we don't even attempt to change the laws to try to stop this mass slaughter – then people get some signal that it's okay so settle their grievances or to deal with their illness through gun violence. I just don't accept that we can do nothing and I'm speaking directly to the Republican leadership of the House and the Senate. They should be bringing anti-gun violence bills to the floor that can get consensus votes this fall or the Congress is complicit in these murders.
Harlow also discussed 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore’s remarks regarding this tragedy. The former Virginia governor said that gun control isn’t the answer, and that the real problem is fixing our mental health system.
Poppy Harlow: I went on to say what is the answer and he said community-based mental health services and more of that. What is the answer in your mind, Senator?
Senator Murphy: Well, let's be honest about what the data shows. We don't have any more mental illness in the United States than any other country in the world has, and yet we have five times the rate of gun violence, so it can't be that mental illness is the only answer. The reality is, is that the data shows us that in countries and communities that have more guns – especially have more guns in the hands of criminals, especially have more dangerous assault weapons out on the streets – there’s more gun violence. More guns equals more gun violence. Now, I don't want to stop law-abiding citizens from being able to own guns, but the fact is that the left wing of this country, as Mr. Gilmore says, I guess is 90% of the country because that's the number of Americans that support something like expanded background checks. So you just can't throw this whole problem on the backs of the mental health system, and you also have to recognize that you're feeding the stigma. The fact is that there's no inherent connection between mental illness and violence, and that kind of talk should stop.
Poppy Harlow: What about this shooting and the fact that this gunman, as far as we know right now, did not have any sort of documented history of mental illness. Obviously something was completely wrong with him. He idolized other mass shooters but what do you do about this situation, Senator?
Senator Murphy: Well, I don't think you can craft a legislative solution to every single incident of violence in this country, and so I don't think that we should expect that anything that we're going to enact in Washington is going to stop shootings, but there are plenty of instances – including the Connecticut shooting and the South Carolina shooting – in which better gun laws could have made a difference. In South Carolina, that guy got a gun because of the loophole in the background checks law that allowed the retailer to give him a gun despite the fact he hadn't passed the background check. And this whole culture of mass violence in which Congress does nothing, I think, sends a message to a lot of these individuals who are becoming unhinged in their mind that it's okay to go out and commit these murders because no one seems to be doing anything to stop it, and so why should [they] think any differently than everybody else that [they] see on the news carrying out this kind of violence? There's no one legislative solution, but there are changes that will make a difference, and Congress acting – just the action of Congress in any way, shape, or form – will have a chilling effect on this trend.
First, of course, violence increases when firearms are in the hands of criminals; that’s saying you are probably going to get hit by a car if you blow through a red light. It’s common sense. Second, more guns does not equal more gun violence (via Reason):
Vermont has some of the loosest gun laws in America. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gives it an "F." The state requires no background checks for private gun sales, permits the sale and possession of "assault weapons," and allows concealed guns to be carried in public—without a license.
After the fatal on-air shooting of a TV reporter and her cameraman in Roanoke, Va., on Wednesday, blame was heaped on America's permissive firearms policy. "There are too many guns, and too little national will to do anything about them," asserted an editorial in The New York Times. Democratic politicians and commentators said the murders proved the need for more restrictions on guns.
But did they? Vermont isn't much different from a lot of states in the regulation of these weapons. But it's very different in the volume of bloodshed. In 2013, it had the third-lowest homicide rate in the country—less than one-sixth that of Louisiana.
Utah, which also got an "F" on its laws from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, had the fourth-lowest homicide rate. These places refute the belief that loose gun rules and high ownership are bound to produce frenzies of carnage.
Also, regarding the talking point about limiting access to guns to reduce suicides, one just has to look at Japan and South Korea. National Review noted that the latter has the highest suicide rate in the developed world, despite all guns virtually being illegal. Hunting rifles must be stored at police stations. In Japan, the rate of gun ownership is incredibly low, and most firearms are illegal to possess. Still, the suicide rate is astronomical.
Lastly, mental illness is a serious factor in this discussion. The vast majority of perpetrators who have engaged in mass shootings exhibited symptoms of mental illness. The left-wing publication, Mother Jones, crunched the numbers. Their conclusion: maybe we need a better mental health system [emphasis mine]:
Nearly 80 percent of the perpetrators in these 62 cases obtained their weapons legally. Acute paranoia, delusions, and depression were rampant among them, with at least 36 of the killers committing suicide on or near the scene. Seven others died in police shootouts they had little hope of surviving (a.k.a. "suicide by cop"). And according to additional research we completed recently, at least 38 of them displayed signs of possible mental health problems prior to the killings.
Again, the issue is keeping firearms out if the hands of the mentally ill. Both sides can come together on this, but it’s the left that wants to relegate this rather important piece of the conversation to the periphery–and focus on policies that either would do little to curb gun violence or lead to mass confiscation.
As for the so-called background check loophole Sen. Murphy discusses, it’s not a loophole when government fails to update the National Instance Background Check System (NICS) with a felony charge that would have prevented Dylann Roof from purchasing a firearm. That’s negligence on government’s part. Moreover, a three-day delayed release is part of a pro-gun control law–the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Also, a gun dealer isn’t required by law to follow through with a purchase if their customer is subjected to the three-day delayed release. At any rate, a delayed release is a rare instance, so we’re not really speaking to anything substantial that will reduce overall gun violence. Lastly, Connecticut’s gun control laws did work; Adam Lanza refused to be subjected to a 14-day background check for a rifle days before he committed the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Instead, he killed his mother, and took her firearms to commit his heinous act. Lanza did what most criminals do to obtain firearms; he essentially stole them while committing a homicide in the process.
The debate to keep firearms from the mentally unstable is going to be a tedious one. It’s a Gordian knot. It’s one that involves constitutional issues, doctor-patient confidentiality, the rights of the patient, or the privacy of the family that’s witnessed possible symptoms of mental illness with a loved one. There’s a way to navigate through this legal jungle gym, but we’re going to get nowhere if one side is only focused on making it harder for law-abiding citizens to own firearms, or worse, taking them away.
Friendly Reminder: Sen. Murphy said there has been a school shooting once a week since Sandy Hook. The Washington Post awarded that claim with four Pinocchios.
European Islamic Migrant Crisis At 'Unprecedented Proportions'
Monday, August 31
By Andre Walker
LONDON, United Kingdom – The flood of refugees from the Islamic world into Europe has hit 'unprecedented proportions' according to the European Union. The 28-strong bloc has taken little action to quell the crisis so far, despite it causing Germany's population to increase by one percent this year alone.
The increasing number of people who have died travelling from conflict-hit countries to Europe by land and at sea has forced governments to respond. Many are forced to risk their lives and pay huge fees by people traffickers.
Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said the attendance at some Mosques in the country has doubled in the past month alone. Leading to fears Germany will be unable to cope unless something can be done to stop more migrants crossing into the country.
Germany's Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said: "Never before in history have so many people fled their homes to escape war, violence and persecution… And given the large number of unresolved conflicts in our neighborhood, the stream of refugees seeking protection in Europe will not abate in the foreseeable future."
In response the holder of the European Union's Presidency, Luxembourg, has called an emergency meeting in two weeks time to look at how to deal with the crisis. EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn is suggesting a scheme under which EU countries will be given a mandatory quota of refugees.The scheme is seen by the left as a better way to deal with the crisis than patrolling the border properly. Under EU law the UK, Ireland and Denmark are exempt from the plan.
Mr Hahn said: "We're going to have a quota settlement approach, and in light of recent developments, I believe all 28 member states are now ready to accept and approve that.” He continued: "There are 20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe… Ten to 12 million in Syria, 5 million Palestinians, 2 million Ukrainians and about 1 million in the southern Caucasus.”
Despite the EU's enthusiasm for taking refugees, not everyone is convinced by the plan. Viktor Orbán, President of Hungary, recently said: "For us today, what is at stake is Europe, the lifestyle of European citizens, European values, the survival or disappearance of European nations, and more precisely formulated, their transformation beyond recognition.
“Today, the question is not merely in what kind of a Europe we would like to live, but whether everything we understand as Europe will exist at all."
Australia had a similar problem with people traffickers but dealt with it by helping boats full of refugees sail to uninhabited islands. This was initially denounced as callous by the political left, but it has made sailing to the country pointless and as a result the numbers attempting the trip has fallen sharply. This in turn has bankrupted the criminal gangs who controlled the people trafficking business.
Under the Schengen Agreement most European Union countries have no borders at all, this means refugees who enter Italy will not be stopped until they get to the UK border with France. A number of countries want to suspend or abolish this system. The UK and Ireland refused to join it in the first place, which is why so many migrants are massed of their border.
Larry Kudlow: I'll Run Against Sen. Blumenthal If He Votes for Iran Deal
Monday, August 31
By Leah Barkoukis
Economist, syndicated columnist, radio host, and television personality Larry Kudlow is so concerned about the ramifications of the Iran deal that he’s threatening to run against Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., if he votes for it.
“If Sen. Richard Blumenthal votes with Obama on Iran, I’m going to run against him,” Kudlow told Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., on his radio show Saturday.
“I’m not a political guy — I’m an economist, I’m a broadcaster by profession — but I’m so angry at this issue, among others,” he added. “We’re talking about world security, national security — they’re coming to get us and Iran will finance them.”
“I may lose,” Kudlow admitted. “It’s a long-shot. I’m not a politician. I’ll take on Blumenthal if I have to.”
Blumenthal is among the 13 Senate Democratswho have yet to announce a position on the deal, which even opponents admit is likely to go into effect. Some analysts suspect that he may be willing to break ranks and vote to kill the deal.
Kudlow said that he had been approached by the National Republican Senatorial Commission, which has “polled” about him.
People everywhere should pledge to run against lawmakers who support the multinational nuclear pact, he urged.
“Folks best stand up everywhere and run,” he said. “I’m telling you, citizens’ movement, run against people who support this terrible Iranian deal.”
Kudlow is right that he would be a long-shot candidate. Blumenthal is in a very strong position heading into his bid for reelection in 2016. According to a March Quinnipiac Poll, Blumenthal had a 64 percent approval rating among voters, with 59 percent saying he deserves reelection in 2016.
Bernie Sanders: The Left's Savior On Gun Control?
Monday, August 31
By Matt Vespa
On August 30, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he could get “constructive” gun control passed because he represents a state where there’s almost none.
“In fact, coming from a rural state that has almost no gun control, I think I can get beyond the noise and all of these arguments and people shouting at each other and come up with real constructive gun control legislation which, most significantly, gets guns out of the hands of people who should not have them,” said Sanders.
The part about gun politics in his state is true. While most of the liberal Northeast is anti-gun, Vermont is a constitutional carry state. There is no permit process for open or concealed carry. For lack of a better term, constitutional carry states are a gun owner’s (or anyone who believes in freedom) paradise.
Nevertheless, Sanders’ support for some pro-Second Amendment legislation, like the wonderful* Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005, has drawn the ire of some of the Democratic Party’s more gung-ho anti-gun advocates. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits, where their firearms were used, unwillingly and unknowingly, in felonious activities. Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has hit Sanders for his record on Second Amendment rights, calling the Vermont Senator’s record “anathema to my own.”
Sanders still supports expanded background checks and banning so-called assault weapons, which probably explains his D- rating with the National Rifle Association.
While Sanders and Second Amendment advocates would probably leave a debate table not having changed their minds by the other’s arguments, Sanders does understand the cultural divide in this debate. It’s the rural/urban divide that’s firmly entrenched, and a reason why gun control advocates consistently lose in their campaigns to erode Second Amendment freedoms. Democrats need to understand that 30 percent of their supporters are law-abiding gun owners. Having wealthy, urban-based elites deride gun owners as country bumpkins doesn’t help their cause.
Hillary Clinton has said she would take on this issue, touting off some points at a campaign stop in Iowa last week, which included expanding background checks and alluded to waiting periods; the latter of which has zero statistical evidence proving that it curbs gun violence.
Again, given how Congress will probably look after 2016, the Republicans will most likely maintain their majority in the House. It’s a toss-up about the Senate, but the House alone will probably spell legislative doom for any new regulations on firearms in the country.
So, while Sanders may understand the cultural ties within the gun control debate, there has to be a time that he, and the rest of party, comes to the realization that his side has lost this debate. That’s not to say it can shift.
This is America; public opinion changes often, but it’s the Second Amendment supporters who have the political organization, the passion, and the will to continue fighting for their constitutional rights. The gun control crowd doesn’t have any of that going for them.
Lastly, Bernie haszero regrets voting for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005. So, he’s certainly not letting Everytown dictate his position on at least some aspects of gun politics that end up supporting our side.
*Yes, I'm a biased and staunch defender of the Second Amendment.
Vaccination Win: Tetanus 'Virtually Eliminated' in India
Monday, August 31
By Christine Rousselle
Having been born and raised in the United States, my only experience with anything to do with tetanus involved a quick trip to the doctor's office for a shot after stepping on something that may have been rusty. For people in India, however, tetanus is a very dangerous and real thing that killed thousands of people, mostly babies, each year. Now, thanks to increased vaccination and public hygiene programs, tetanus in the country has been "virtually eliminated."
India has reduced cases to less than one per 1,000 live births, which the W.H.O. considers “elimination as a public health problem.” The country succeeded through a combination of efforts.
In immunization drives, millions of mothers received tetanus shots, which also protect babies for weeks.
Mothers who insisted on giving birth at home, per local tradition, were given kits containing antibacterial soap, a clean plastic sheet, and a sterile scalpel and plastic clamp for cutting and clamping the cord.
The country also created a program under which mothers were paid up to $21 to give birth in a clinic or hospital. “Lady health workers” from their neighborhoods were paid up to $9 per mother and up to $4 for bus or taxi fare to make sure women in labor went to clinics. The workers earned the full amount only after visiting each baby at home and giving tuberculosis shots.
This is great news. Tetanus is a deadly disease that is simple to protect. While it can never be totally and completely eradicated (as the bacteria that causes the illness is found in soil), it's great that these programs exist to prevent women and children from dying.
It's also a huge wake-up call as to how lucky Americans are to have access to the medical care that we do. Tetanus is not something that Americans have to worry about on a daily basis--certainly not during childbirth. Vaccines save lives--and in India, they're saving two at once.
Carson Catches up to Trump in Iowa
Monday, August 31
By Cortney O'Brien
Donald Trump finally has some competition. Another Washington outsider, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, is gaining steam in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, a new poll from Monmouth University finds.
In a survey of 405 likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers, Carson tied Trump at the top with 23 percent. The next closest competitors were Carly Fiorina (another candidate who has never held elected office), who captured 10 percent of the vote, and Ted Cruz, who earned 9 percent. Full poll results can be found here.
Trump and Carson’s successes in the Iowa poll is indicative of voters’ desire to support candidates who aren't chummy with the GOP establishment. In the same survey, a sizable majority of Iowa caucus voters, 66 percent, said they want a government outsider as president.
Carson has a few key advantages over Trump in this latest poll. While the businessman currently has a 52 percent favorable rating, Carson has a striking 81 percent favorable, and just 6 percent unfavorable. Additionally, Carson leads among evangelical voters and “very conservative” voters. Trump, however, leads among Tea Party supporters and men.
Carson has been polling at No. 2 for quite some time, yet often had a double-digit deficit to overcome to catch up with the Donald. That makes his current momentum swing all the more impressive.
Latest Clinton Email Server Dump Reveals 150 More Documents Flagged For Classified Information
Monday, August 31
By Katie Pavlich
Things are rapidly getting worse in the legal department for former Secretary of State and democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The State Department is set to release a batch of 6,000 personal emails belonging to Clinton tonight, but we're already getting a sneak peak of what they contain.
Just in: State Dept found about another 150 Clinton emails with classified information -- more now @FoxNews@GretchenCarlson
That's right, 150 more documents flagged for classified information. This news comes on top of revelations earlier this month Clinton had at least 300 classified documents passing through her private email server, which intelligence officials are almost certain was hacked by foreign governments. Also keep in mind that out of hundreds of classified documents, at least two found in Clinton's system were deemed top secret (the highest level of classification).
As Guy wrote about last week, the FBI is reportedly using it's "A-Team" to investigate the legal aspects of Clinton's inappropriate handling of classified information with the prosecutor who took down General David Petraeus leading the way. Felonies for Clinton could be on the table if she is in fact indicted.
An FBI "A-team" is leading the "extremely serious" investigation into Hillary Clinton's server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," an intelligence source told Fox News. The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793. A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign's standard defense and that of Clinton is that she "never sent nor received any email that was marked classified" at the time. It is not clear how the FBI team's findings will impact the probe itself. But the details offer a window into what investigators are looking for -- as the Clinton campaign itself downplays the controversy...A leading national security attorney, who recently defended former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling in a leak investigation, told Fox News that violating the Espionage Act provision in question is a felony and pointed to a particular sub-section...The Clinton campaign did not provide an on-the-record comment on the matter when given questions by Fox News.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign's response to increasing pressure surrounding classified information has gone from the former Secretary "never sending or receiving any classified information" to "she never knowingly sent or received classified information."
Video: Not Many People Find The Term ‘Anchor Baby’ Offensive
Monday, August 31
By Matt Vespa
On August 20, ABC News’ Tom Llamas got into a heated exchange with 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump over his use of the term “anchor baby” when discussing illegal immigration. Jeb Bush found himself in some hot water when he said the term mostly applies to Asians. At the same time, CNN’s MJ Lee wrote that he’s partially right concerning “maternity tourism,” in which there have been efforts to crackdown on the practice. Yet, it probably wasn’t the best move communications-wise to blame another ethnic group, where Republican support has precipitously declined. That’s a debate for another time, however.
Are ordinary Americans offended by the term?
Last week, MRCTV’s Dan Joseph walked around Washington D.C., specifically the Smithsonian Metro station, to ask tourists, DC residents, or anyone who would be willing to be interviewed, if the term “anchor baby” is an offensive term.
One couple from San Diego, California is familiar with the situation. The woman Joseph interviewed worked at the University of California Medical Center, where she said very pregnant Mexican women in labor would enter the center and sit in the waiting room to deliver their babies on American soil.
Overall, not many people interviewed by Joseph found the term offensive as a racial slur. One woman found it offensive because the term “makes the child out to be the enemy.” Another man said it’s offensive because it’s “intellectually lazy,” though he admitted that pregnant women coming over to have their children in the United States probably does happen.
Texas Sheriff: 'Black Lives Matter' Rhetoric is Resulting in ‘Cold-blooded Assassinations’
Monday, August 31
By Cortney O'Brien
Another police officer was cruelly slain Friday night, this time in Houston, Texas. Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, served in the Harris County Sheriff’s office for a decade until he was shot in the back while pumping gas at a Chevron station near Houston. Local law enforcement are blaming the “Black Lives Matter” movement for creating the anti-cop culture that led to his death.
CNN provided details on the “execution-style killing:”
Deputy Goforth was refueling his vehicle and returning to his car from inside the convenience store when, unprovoked, a man walked up behind him and literally shot him to death," he said.
He was shot multiple times from behind and then fell to the ground, where the suspect fired at him some more, said Deputy Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said the attack was unprovoked and that Goforth’s only sin was that he wore the police officers' badge.
The motive in the shooting, which Hickman described as "senseless and cowardly," is still unclear. But Goforth appears to have been targeted "because he wore a uniform," the sheriff said.
"We found no other motive or indication that it was anything other than that," said Hickman, adding that he doesn't believe the suspect and Goforth knew each other.
Hickman expanded on the deadly effects of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which he said has generated an environment that puts police officers in danger in the same communities they signed up to serve and protect. The controversial movement was born in the wake of recent cop-related deaths involving white police officers and African-Americans. The tragic cases of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland, to name a few, have sparked outrage in the African-American community and resulted in violent protests against “police brutality.”
At the height of racial tension between cops and local communities in New York City, two NYPD officers were murdered in cold blood in December while sitting in their squad car in Brooklyn. In Baltimore, policemen had to dodge rocks and watch their cop cars erupt in flames.
“We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters at a press conference. “Well, cops’ lives matter, too.”
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson agrees, remarking that while some of these tragic cop-related deaths could and should have been avoided, it is unfair to use them to define police as tyrannical, for the majority aim to keep communities safe.
“That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement,” Anderson said. “What happened last night is an assault on the fabric of society.”
The Houston shooting suspect, Shannon J. Miles, is currently being arraigned for capital murder.
Endgame: Iran Deal Opponents Concede They Lack Votes to Overcome Veto
Monday, August 31
By Guy Benson
This was the whole strategy behind President Obama's decision to declare the Iran accord an "executive agreement" rather than a treaty. Treaties require two-thirds support from the Senate for adoption; executive agreements, Obama has argued, don't require any vote at all. Ultimately, even Congressional Democrats were unwilling to accede to a power grab quite that brazen, especially on a deal with major geopolitical implications and that is intended to bind future presidents and Congresses. Thus, a bipartisan bill was passed that asserted the right of Congress to vote to approve or disapprove the final agreement. But with Obama's veto pen waiting in the Oval Office, derailing the deal would take a veto override -- two-thirds majorities in both houses. So the whip count math was flipped on its head: Rather than the White House needing to find 67 Senators to bless a treaty, they only need one-third of at least one house of Congress to sustain his veto of a disapproval resolution. That's a much, much lower bar, and one that Democrats are ready to clear:
Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal in Congress admit they can no longer kill the accord. Their focus now is making sure there will be a vote on the agreement at all, and salvaging some political benefit from their well-funded bid to stop it. Lawmakers, Congressional staffers and lobbyists opposed to the deal reached in Vienna last month tell us they are now fighting to get more than 60 votes in the Senate for a resolution of disapproval to avoid a filibuster by Democrats supporting President Barack Obama. That is a far cry from the 67 votes in the Senate needed, along with two thirds of the House, to overturn an expected presidential veto of that resolution. Yes, overturning an Obama veto was always a longshot. House Speaker John Boehner in April was privately warning Republicans that his party didn't have the votes to stop the deal. Now Republican leaders are saying this out in the open.
The emerging concern is whether opponents of the deal will be able to overcome a Democratic filibuster, as Harry Reid says he intends to try to obstruct a vote on the accord, with the White House's strong encouragement. Obama has never wanted Congress to weigh in on his reckless project, and he knows that vetoing Congress' rejection of the deal would be politically damaging. The public has turned strongly against his agreement as its details have been exposed. All 54 Senate Republicans will vote against the deal, and two Democratic Senators have formally announced their opposition. That's 56 votes. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer (who isn't whipping Democratic votes on this issue) need four of the remaining dozen-or-so undecided Senate Democrats to oppose the deal -- or at least refuse to join a debate-killing filibuster. I've argued for some time that the Corker/Cardin legislation offered critics the most viable pathway to undermining the legitimacy of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Once Obama decreed that his treaty would be presented as something other than a treaty, Republicans' options narrowed significantly. They could try to sue him, assuming they'd even be granted standing, or they could begin quixotic impeachment proceedings, which would delight the White House and unite fractured Democrats. Due to Obama's unilateralism, undermining the deal by relentlessly painting it as Obama's, not America's, foreign policy is the least bad option. Forcing the president to defy a bipartisan Congressional vote on an unpopular foreign policy misadventure would help set the stage for a Republican president to withdraw from the agreement with plenty of political cover. If Reid can muster 41 votes to block a Senate vote, Obama may be spared that humiliation -- although critics could argue that the deal's illegitimacy is still underscored by (a) a (virtually certain) strong House 'no' vote, and (b) the denial of a US Senate vote on the matter, at the behest of the White House. The deal is opposed by bipartisan Congressional majorities, several key US allies, and a solid majority of the American people. It is not stable US policy, they'd say, so foreign countries and businesses choosing to regard it as such do so at their own risk because Obama won't be around to protect them for much longer. Nevertheless, the disqualification argument would be more potent if Obama is compelled to veto Congress' bipartisan rejection of his agreement.
Meanwhile, Obama continues to press his disingenuous case for the disastrous deal, offering contradictory babble on the efficacy of unilateral sanctions, dangerouslypretending that the agreement blocks every path to Iranian nukes, and -- incredibly -- whining about the tone of the debate. This from a guy who's accused opponents making "common cause" with 'death-to-America'-chanting zealots, and who continually claims that his terrible deal is the only alternative to war (prominent Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez and now Steny Hoyer disagree). On that front, please enjoy these quotes, both from Friday. As Allahpundit snarks, Team Smart Power "can't even even get their smears straight anymore:"
“At no point have I ever suggested, for example, that someone is a war monger meaning they want war” Obama says.
Is DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz a warmonger? Parting thought: If Harry Reid mounts a successful filibuster to shield Obama from a veto scenario, should Senate Republicans blow up the legislative filibuster and pass it anyway? Jim Geraghty says they should, in addition to voting to formally declare the agreement a treaty. I'm more skeptical of this course of action. Obama would undoubtedly declare the move illegitimate and veto the resolution anyway. The Senate could contend that they alone possess the authority to determine what is (and is not) a treaty, which would lead to a protracted legal battle -- all while the agreement is signed and implemented. Having failed to block the deal, even through drastic procedural measures, Republicans would have jettisoned the filibuster forever, a move they may live to regret. One might argue that it's worth following in Harry Reid's 'nuclear' footsteps at some point in order to ensure passage of critical conservative reforms with a Republican president poised to sign them into law; discarding precedent and a valuable check on power just to enable votes on bills that will inevitably run into Obama's veto buzz saw seems short-sighted.
Kanye West Announces 2020 Presidential Run at VMAs
Monday, August 31
By Christine Rousselle
Sunday night, Kanye West was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (essentially a lifetime achievement award) at the MTV Video Music Awards. During his 11-minute acceptance speech, West covered a variety of topics in true Yeezus fashion: awards shows are pointless, him and Taylor Swift are no longer feuding and are in fact friends, he smoked a little bit before going on stage, and, oh yes, he's going to run for president in 2020.
"And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president."
(Click the little speaker in the corner to turn on the audio of the Vine.)
Earlier in his speech, West declared "I'm not no politician, bro."
Despite the absolute insanity of West's speech, he actually raised a few good points. America's celebrity culture is somewhat toxic, and MTV is most certainly banking on "feuds" that may or may not be made up/stoked by the network. That's not a healthy culture, and West was right to call them out for it.
The VMAs are known for their outlandish antics and debauchery, and this year was no different. While most people expected host Miley Cyrus to be the main story of the night, I don't think anyone could have predicted that Kanye West was going to announce a presidential run.
Unlike fellow rapper Waka Flocka Flame, who announced earlier this year that he intends to run for president in 2016 despite being too young to actually run, West is 38 years old and Constitutionally eligible.
Let the 2020 race begin?
Jorge Ramos Slams 'Kate's Law' As Unfair to Illegal Immigrants
Monday, August 31
By Katie Pavlich
Univision anchor and open border illegal immigration activist Jorge Ramos is slamming 'Kate's Law' as unfair to illegal aliens. As a reminder Kate's Law, first introduced to public debate by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, would give a mandatory five years in prison to violent, deported illegal immigrants who reenter the U.S. Kate's Law was proposed after 32-year-old Kate Steinle was killed by an illegal alien, who had been deported five times, while walking on a San Francisco pier with her father back in July.
Notice how Ramos uses the term "immigrants" rather than "illegal immigrants." Only once does he use the term "undocumented immigrant."
Ramos argues Kate's Law "stereotypes an entire community" when in reality, Kate's Law simply punishes previously deported illegal aliens for reentering the United States illegally. Kate's Law isn't unfair to illegal immigrants. What's unfair is an illegal alien taking the life of Kate Steinle after being deported multiple times from the country.
Last week Ramos was removed from a Donald Trump press conference after speaking out of turn.
'Liberal Agenda' To Blame For Islamic State Rise Says Former Army Boss
Sunday, August 30
By Andre Walker
LONDON, United Kingdom – The former head of the British Army, Lord Richards, has said the rise of the Islamic State is a result of a “liberal agenda”. Richards claimed the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, lacked the “balls” to take the fight to the country's enemies causing many of the problems in the region today.
He made the comments in a new book by Sir Anthony Seldon and Peter Snowdon called 'Cameron at No10: The Inside Story'. It details the twists and turns of the Cameron premiership, and lifts the lid on a number of difficult relationships he has had with others.
According to the book Lord Richards had asked Cameron and his team to take a much tougher line in Syria and Libya. Richards said: “If they’d had the balls they would have gone through with it. If they’d done what I’d argued, they wouldn’t be where they are with ISIS.”
He added: “In Ukraine, as in Syria and Libya, there is a lack of strategy. The problem is the inability to think things through. It seems to be more about the Notting Hill liberal agenda rather than statecraft.”
Lord Richards was chief of the defense staff from October 2010 to July 2013, the position is the UK equivalent of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. He has made little secret of his disdain for the group of left-wing Conservatives who are all from the same trendy West London district of Notting Hill, which was itself made famous by a film of the same name.
The Notting Hill Set includes both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
Last year Richards first revealed details of how Cameron had rejected a "coherent military strategy" to take on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in 2012. Richards had argued the plan would have "squeezed out of existence" the terrorists who went on to create the Islamic State.
Instead of increasing the pressure on the Islamists both Britain and America took a very hands off approach. This is widely seen as the reason the Islamic State was able to gain the foothold it enjoys today.
The book also details the rocky relationship between Cameron and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson returned to the House of Commons at the General Election and is now seen as a major rival to the Prime Minister.
During the campaign Johnson wrote about the number of Prime Ministers who, like Cameron, had gone to school at the $50k a year Eton College. This led Cameron to send him a text message saying “The next PM will be Miliband if you don’t f******* shut up.”
The text shows how little faith Cameron had in his own chances of beating Labour's Ed Miliband at the election. He had even planned his own resignation speech in advance of polling day. He would have said: “It is clear we have not won and I will have to go… Being Prime Minister of this country is the best job one can possibly have.
“I wish Ed and Justine every success in doing it. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve.”
In the end Cameron made history by being one of the only sitting Prime Ministers ever to increase the number of seats he held in the House of Commons.
WaPo Reporter: Hillary Sounded Desperate When She Compared Republicans To Terrorists
Sunday, August 30
By Matt Vespa
Last week, Hillary Clinton decided to say that Republicans, specifically those running for president, hold views about women’s rights that are really no different from the terrorists we’re fighting abroad. In other words, Republicans, or anyone who hold pro-life views, are terrorists. It was an outrageous comparison, and Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin added that if a Republican said this, “the world would come to a halt.” Earlier today, The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe told John Dickerson of CBS’ Face The Nation that this was done to solidify the Democratic base, but also show liberals that she can be the partisan fighter. Yet, he also said that the remarks came off as desperate, especially if this was done to “tamper down” on the Sanders surge–or the aspect of a possible Biden candidacy within the next couple of months.
On August 28, Bloomberg reported that Clinton campaign aides were telling folks that they have one-fifth of the delegates needed to lock up the nomination ahead of the Democratic National Committee’s Summer Meeting in Minneapolis [emphasis mine]:
The campaign says that Clinton currently has about 130 superdelegates publicly backing her, but a person familiar with recent conversations in Minneapolis said that officials are telling supporters and the undecided in the last few days that private commitments increase that number to more than 440—about 20 percent of the number of delegates she would need to secure the nomination.
Final numbers are still in flux, but current estimates peg the total number of delegates to next summer’s presidential nominating convention at about 4,491, meaning that a candidate would need 2,246 to win. The Clinton camp’s claim to more than 440 delegates means she’s already wrapped up the support of more than 60 percent of the approximately 713 superdelegates who, under party rules, are among those who cast votes for the nomination, along with delegates selected by rank-and-file voters in primaries and caucuses beginning next February. Delegate totals won’t be finalized until the DNC determines the number of bonus delegates awarded to states, a party official said.
To be sure, Clinton had a superdelegate edge early against Barack Obama in 2008, and superdelegates are free to change their allegiance at any time between now and next summer's convention. But Clinton is ahead of the pace she had eight years ago in securing these commitments, and her support from the core of the establishment represented by these superdelegates is arguably the most tangible evidence of the difficulty Biden would have overtaking her with a late-starting campaign.
Again, we all know Biden faces obstacles, but O’Keefe commented that this aspect about the superdelegates is akin to a “student council race.”
“The idea that a certain percentage of superdelegates are telling her ‘yeah, we’re with you.’ Well, that’s like you telling your classmate you’re going to vote for him when really you’re going to vote for the cute girl down the hall … I mean, it’s just silly,” said O’Keefe.
Consolidating the base might be more a priority in these contests, as her support in Iowa has dropped by a third since May. At the same time, no one likes a desperate candidate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. It’s just ugly. Former Pennsylvanian Republican Sen. Rick Santorum is probably the best example of this on the right when he debated then-State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. in 2006.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Hillary will be defeated this time around. Even with the drop in support, the map still favors her to be the eventual Democratic nominee.
Oh My: Clinton's Support Drops By A Third In Iowa
Sunday, August 30
By Matt Vespa
On Saturday, a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll brought some bad news for Hillary Clinton. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is within seven points of her. I guess if you’re on Team Clinton you can take sober satisfaction in the fact that the former first lady is still leading Sanders 37/30, but we’re a long ways from Iowa. In all, the poll concluded that Clinton’s support in the state has dropped by a third. At this rate–she’s in danger of losing come February (via Des Moines Register):
This is the first time Clinton, the former secretary of state and longtime presumptive front-runner, has dropped below the 50 percent mark in four polls conducted by the Register and Bloomberg Politics this year.
Poll results include Vice President Joe Biden as a choice, although he has not yet decided whether to join the race. Biden captures 14 percent, five months from the first-in-the-nation vote Feb. 1. Even without Biden in the mix, Clinton falls below a majority, at 43 percent.
"This feels like 2008 all over again," said J. Ann Selzer, pollster for the Iowa Poll.
In that race, Clinton led John Edwards by 6 percentage points and Barack Obama by 7 points in an early October Iowa Poll. But Obama, buoyed by younger voters and first-time caucusgoers, surged ahead by late November.
In this cycle, Sanders is attracting more first-time caucusgoers than Clinton. He claims 43 percent of their vote compared to 31 percent for Clinton. He also leads by 23 percentage points with the under-45 crowd and by 21 points among independent voters.
The other things mentioned in the poll included the fact that Sanders really isn’t the anti-Clinton candidate. Ninety-six percent of his supporters say they support him because they like his positions on policy. There’s also the Biden factor. The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll found that the vice president captured 14 percent of the vote, with 24 percent saying he’d be their second choice. Biden’s support has grown; he was registering at eight percent in May just before his son, Beau, passed away from brain cancer.
If the vice president were to declare his intention to run for the Democratic nomination, he would probably see another bump in the polls. J. Ann Selzer, director of the Des Moines Register’s Iowa poll, noted that Biden siphons support from Clinton and Sanders. Without Biden, the poll has Clinton at 43 percent and Sanders at 35 percent. So, if you’re a Democrat who’s “ridin’ with Biden,” the fact that your candidate is already taking votes from both of the leading candidates is a positive sign. At the same time, Biden has stated he might not have the “emotional fuel” for a third run, though he has a donor base in waiting, a grassroots contingent, and the blessing from the White House to go for it.
Nevertheless, even as the aura of Clinton’s inevitability begins to fade, it’s possible that Sanders could win Iowa and New Hampshire–and then lose every contest after that. As Nate Cohn at The New York Times has mentioned consistently, white, urban-based liberals dominate the Sanders coalition. Cohn added he doesn’t have enough support with nonwhites, moderates, and southern voters to win the nomination. At the same time, the article added that his campaign is doing more to reach nonwhite Democratic voters, and he seems to be garnering the Obama coalition in Iowa, as Selzer noted on CBS’ Face The Nation.
New Petition Asking Facebook to Allow Religious Titles in Names
Sunday, August 30
By Christine Rousselle
A new campaign is asking Facebook to reconsider its prohibition of religious titles in official names on the site. Currently, members of religious life who include titles such as "Father" or "Monsignor" in their Facebook names are at risk of being locked out their accounts as they technically violate Facebook policy.
So far, over 17,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking Facebook to review its policy.
From the Washington Post:
On Facebook, it’s the company that decides, a policy which has set off renewed public debate in recent weeks after a prominent D.C. Catholic priest – who also is a national columnist – was locked out by Facebook because his clerical title was listed as part of his name on his personal page.
Monsignor Charles Pope wrote about his experience, spurring multiple other priests to say they have had the same experience in the past year. Pope, a blogger for the Washington archdiocese and a columnist with the National Catholic Register; the Rev. Michael Paris, chaplain at the University of Maryland; and the Rev. Raymond Harris, a Baltimore priest with an active online ministry, have all in recent weeks had their accounts locked until they removed their clerical titles from their names. On their Facebook pages, friends say they are hearing of more and more priests having similar issues.
Some priests are finding creative ways around Facebook's ban. Fr. Raymond Harris, for instance, changed his profile picture to an image of the letters "Fr."--which makes his name appear to be "Fr. Raymond Harris" due to the layout of the site. Other priests are changing their names on Facebook to be "Father-(first name) (last name)" to try to comply with the policy.
This isn't Facebook's first flap with backlash against people upset with the naming policy. In October 2014, Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox issued an apology to drag queens who had been locked out of their accounts for using their stage names as their Facebook names.
[...] The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life. For Sister Roma, that's Sister Roma. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that's Lil Miss Hot Mess.
And for the vast majority of clergy, the "authentic name they use in real life" includes their religious title as well.
Democratic Presidential Candidate: Of Course We Want Immigrants to Vote Democratic
Sunday, August 30
By Leah Barkoukis
Remember Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican senator-turned-independent governor-turned-Democratic candidate for president? On Friday, he came out and said what we all knew to be true about the Democratic Party and immigration.
“We’re right on immigration,” he said at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting.
“The fastest growing voting bloc in the country,” he continued. “Of course we want that people to be treated with respect and to vote Democratic.”
As The DC notes, this statement runs counter to what the Democrats have claimed —that lax immigration policies are necessary to help people for humanitarian reasons.
Rick Perry Gets Emotional Talking About Our Troops and Obama’s Foreign Policy Failures
Sunday, August 30
By Cortney O'Brien
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. Years later, when he lived in the Texas governors' mansion, he invited Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell into his home for two years. Perhaps that's why he got so choked up talking about the sacrifice of our brave men and women at a forum in South Carolina Thursday. He answered questions on foreign policy, stating he would keep Guantanamo Bay open, a decision he said was incredibly easy: "The bad guys don't need to be over here."
That's when the governor got a bit more candid, challenging President Obama's lack of direction when it comes to protecting America.
"This president does not know how to, and I’m just going to editorialize here just a little bit — this president does not know how to connect the dots. If he did, we would not be negotiating with Iran today. If he did, we would have the Castro brothers on their knees in Cuba, but we threw them a lifeline."
Perry also addressed the president's failure in Iraq. Withdrawing troops prematurely, Perry said, likely led to the rise of ISIS.
“We have this wreck in Iraq today because this president made a statement during a political campaign to move our soldiers out of there on a date certain and everything is going to heck in a hand basket over there."
He held back tears explaining that we can't forget the deep impact war has on those who serve, and those they leave at home. As governor, Perry signed a letter a week every year from 2003 to 2010 to a Texas family who had lost a loved one in the war. It's this kind of personal knowledge of our servicemen and women's sacrifice that is crucial to the White House.
“We need a president who understands that to their soul and that will never, ever put those young men and women in jeopardy and harms way unless we’ve used up every option that we have.”
Christie: You Know, We Should Track Immigrants Like FedEx Tracks Packages
Saturday, August 29
By Leah Barkoukis
Our country doesn’t just have a problem with illegal immigrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border, it also struggles to keep track of the vast number of foreign visitors who come into the country legally, but overstay their temporary visas.
If elected, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a plan to put an end to that.
Speaking in New Hampshire on Saturday, the GOP hopeful cited the fact that 40 percent people in the nation illegally are visa overstays and suggested immigration enforcement agencies would to well to learn a thing or two about how FedEx does things.
“At any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is,” he said, “It’s on the truck. It’s at the station. It’s on the airplane.”
“So here’s what I’m going to do as president: I’m going to ask Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express, to come work for the government for three months at Immigration and Custom Enforcement and show these people,” he continued.
“We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in, and then when your time is up … however long your visa is, then we go get you. We tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Thanks for coming. Time to go.’”
Christie went on to tell the crowd that Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall across the border and make Mexico pay for it is not going to happen.
He also said talk among Republicans about repealing the 14th amendment makes the GOP sound like its “anti-immigrant.”
“And we’re not,” he added, “We want people to do it legally.”
Requesting Loved Ones Not Vote For Hillary in Obituaries Is Becoming A Thing
Saturday, August 29
By Leah Barkoukis
Hillary Clinton is so unpopular among some older voters that their last dying wish, literally, is that their loved ones do not vote for the former secretary of state.
Since Hillary launched her campaign, at least three people have requested in their obituaries that in lieu of flowers, their loved ones give their vote to anyone but Hillary on Election Day.
An Arkansas man has requested in his obituary that loved ones do not vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, making him at least the third individual to do so since Clinton launched her campaign in April.
The obituary for Richard Buckman of Beebe, Ark., reads, “In lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Hillary,” mirroring text that was included in a recent obituary for a deceased New Jersey woman.
Buckman died on Aug. 22 at the age of 75, three days after news broke that the obituary for 63-year-old Elaine Fyrdrych of Gloucester Township, N.J., advised funeral goers, “Elaine requests, ‘In lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Hillary Clinton.’”
Indeed, such requests have become something of a trend. The obituary for a 81-year-old North Carolina man who died the day after Clinton launched her presidential campaign also asked loved ones to refrain from voting for the Democratic presidential candidate.
“The family respectfully asks that you do not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016,” the obituary for Larry Darrell Upright read.
These individuals aren’t alone in their feelings about voting for Clinton. According to a recent poll, 60 percent of registered voters in the 50 and above age group have an unfavorable opinion of her, while 39 percent have a favorable opinion.
Outrage As UK 'Senate' Numbers Increase To 826
Saturday, August 29
By Andre Walker
LONDON, United Kingdom – Britain's upper parliamentary chamber, the House of Lords, has increased in size once again after the Prime Minister appointed another raft of “cronies” to it. David Cameron was accused of packing the House after he appointed 45 new peers in one go, including 26 former Conservative ministers and aides.
Historically Peerages (i.e. seats in the House of Lords) were created very rarely because they were passed down from father to son. The system had developed from when each Peer ruled over a particularly town or county and this left the House of Lords will a spread of people from across the country.
In 1958 the Life Peerages Act reformed the Lords by allowing HM The Queen to appoint peers for life, meaning the seat was not inherited by the holders eldest child (and instead died with them). In theory this gives the government, and therefore the Prime Minister the power to appoint his supporters without worrying that the Lords will be swollen in size forever.
In reality the rate at which older life peers are dying is not keeping pace with the rate at which more people are being given seats. This has made the House of Lords the second largest Parliamentary chamber in the world, only beaten by the National People's Congress in China.
The people being appointed are also from a narrow cross section of the country, namely the political class. This time they included former MP Douglas Hogg, who was widely seen as a symbol of the 2009 Parliamentary expenses scandal, after he made the taxpayer folk out for the cleaning of the moat at his country pile.
There were 11 seats for the Liberal Democrat Party, despite them winning just eight seats in the House of Commons at the last election. This means they have 101 members of the House of Lords, vastly out of proportion with the number of people who actually vote for them.
The big loser this week was the right-wing United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), who got nearly four million votes at the election but only won one House of Commons seat. There had been pressure to give them some seats in the House of Lords to make things fairer for them, but in the end the government chose not to. This leaves them with just three members of the House of Lords, all of whom defected from the Conservatives.
Lord Pearson, UKIPs leader in the Lords, said: "In 2014, UKIP won the European Elections, with 4.5 million voting for us. This year almost 4 million voted for us and made us the third largest party by vote share.
“Instead of recognizing this fact Cameron has shown that he has an almost 18th Century attitude to the patronage at his fingertips. Awarding friends, rewarding allies rather than trying to reflect the opinions of his countrymen. Despite increasing electoral support in the country, UKIP has never been awarded a single peerage, a constitutional anomaly that must be ended.
"It is clear that the Prime Minister has no interest whatsoever in a fair representation of the people. To that end I am tabling a motion demanding that the situation be debated fully before a single new Lib Dem peer is presented to the House. "
The political sketch writer Quentin Letts was even more savage, described the newly appointed peers as a “mixture of time-servers, leaders’ mates [and] downright dregs”. He continued: “You do not have to be ancient to remember a time when the House of Lords - site of The Throne in Parliament, for heaven’s sake - was respected, if not quite revered. Today it looks like the Upper Chamber of a decayed, decadent Ruritania. The sooner it is abandoned, the better.”
There have been calls for limitations on numbers of peers in the past, but all of these attempts have failed so far.
Emails: Bill Clinton Asked State For Permission To Give Paid Speeches In North Korea And Congo
The emails -- which have come to light because of a public records request by the conservative group Citizens United, which sued the State Department to get the documents -- show just how far Bill Clinton was willing to go to earn those lucrative fees -- seeking approval for appearances with ties to two of the most brutal countries in the world.
One email sent in June 2012 to Clinton State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills from Amitabh Desai, a foreign policy director at the Clinton Foundation, passed on an invitation for a speaking engagement in Brazzaville, Congo.
The catch? The dictators of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo would both be attending -- and required photos with Bill Clinton. The speaking fee? A whopping $650,000.
The Harry Walker Agency, which worked with Clinton on coordinating his speeches, recommended declining the invite, noting the particularly grim human rights record of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its leader, Joseph Kabila.
A second email thread in May 2012 shows another potentially thorny event -- subject line: "North Korea invitation."
“Is it safe to assume [the U.S. Government] would have concerns about WJC accepting the attached invitation related to North Korea?” Desai wrote in an e-mail to Mills and two other State Department officials –Jake Sullivan, then-director of Policy Planning Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, and Michael Fuchs, then a special assistant to the Secretary of State who now serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategy and Multilateral Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Mills two-word response? "Decline it."
ABC News reported that staffers with former President Clinton confirmed that he didn’t deliver a speech to North Korea. The article also mentioned that Huma Abedin, one of Hillary's closest aides, inquired in the emails if the former president could deliver the speech in the Congo, but donate the speaking fee to their foundation. Yet, while giving a speech to a country that deceived you in every way regarding its nuclear weapons program is a bit awkward, the Congo speech proposal presents a problem regarding Hillary’s latest salvo about women, Republicans and terrorists.
The former first lady recently said that the 2016 Republican field’s views on women’s issues are akin to the ones held by terrorists. Now, we have emails showing that former President Clinton wanted approval to collect $650,000 from Congo, whose civil wars have been spotlighted for its infamous use of rape against the civilian population. It was widespread and absolutely brutal. But Republicans are terrorists for holding pro-life views remember?
While Clinton tried to fire off a “war on women” salvo yesterday, it has since turned into a squib load, with other members of the media, including CNN’s Ryan Lizza and Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin, calling it an outrageous comparison–and something that should be strongly condemned.
Joe Scarborough noted that this hyperbole was done to pivot the press towards something other than her email fiasco, which reached a new level today when the FBI announced that their investigation is going to include whether the former first lady violated parts of the Espionage Act regarding the “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information."
So, Clinton's war on women diversion is botched, and the email story is still on everyone's minds.
Take a bow, Team Clinton.
Watch Live: Trump In Massachusetts
Friday, August 28
By Townhall.com Staff
2016 Republican presidential candidate holds rally in Norwood, Massachusetts.
Vester Lee Flanagan Thought Words Like 'Field' and 'Swinging' Were Racist
Friday, August 28
By Matt Vespa
Vester Lee Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams) had contacted ABC News over the past few weeks about a story, but never gave any details. On August 26, the day he ambushed and murderedWDBJ7’s Alison Parker and Alex Ward, he faxed what appears to be a manifesto/suicide note to the organization, citing, among other things, that the Charleston church shooting sent him “over the top.” It’s the ramblings of an unhinged person. Flanagan’s work history has mostly been dotted with him filing complaints about discrimination at work, of which there is no evidence, and a reputation of being difficult among his co-workers.
As The New York Times reported, these written letters documented “the homicidal rage that had apparently been building for years.” After being fired from a previous station, Mr. Flanagan reportedly killed his cats in anger. The article noted that there appears to be a brief period of calm between 1996-98, where he worked for WTOC-TV in Savannah, Georgia. There, he met a co-worker named “Kenny,” who he apparently fell in love with during his time there:
He moved from Georgia to Florida, where a job at WTWC in Tallahassee became what Mr. Flanagan called “a disgusting, vile and wretched situation.” In a 2000 lawsuit, he alleged that he was the victim of racial slurs and bullying, a complaint that he would repeatedly make during the rest of his life.
The station fired him, citing “misbehavior with regards to co-workers,” but the discrimination case he brought was settled out of court.
Mr. Flanagan continued to pursue work in television after the “fiasco” in Tallahassee. He notes that a job in Greenville, N.C., was “amazing.” In a 2011 email seeking a job at WAFF, a station in Huntsville, Ala., Mr. Flanagan sounded enthusiastic and upbeat. He wrote proudly of his ability to multitask, cultivate sources and work with “little or no supervision...being a self-starter.”
The Alabama station declined to hire Mr. Flanagan. Adam Henning, the news director there, said references had told of finding Mr. Flanagan “exceedingly difficult to work with.”
That proved to be the case in Roanoke as well. By the summer of 2012, managers at the station had begun to document problems in his employment file, accusing Mr. Flanagan of “misinterpreting” the actions and words of his co-workers…
After he was fired from the Roanoke station in February 2013, Mr. Flanagan seethed again. He filed another harassment lawsuit, and served as his own lawyer. So angry one day after what he called “an awful chain of events,” he writes that he killed his two cats and drove to a forest, where he dug a grave and covered the bodies with leaves and a flower.
Besides his apparent erratic workplace demeanor, Flanagan seemed to have this mindset that he was besieged with racism at the workplace. Before his termination at WDBJ, co-workers said he thought the words “field” and “swinging” were racist. According to the Daily Mail, this is what prompted him to file a complaint in 2012 against then-intern Alison Parker, who he would eventually murder, for saying stuff like “'swinging’ by an address,” or “going out into the ‘field.’” To no one’s surprise, Flanagan was described as “management’s worst nightmare.”
[Alison] Parker, who was referred to by her middle name as Bailey in the documents, was never disciplined for the remarks.
But they appear to be the 'racist' comments Flanagan was referring to when he Tweeted in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.
Ryan Fuqua, a video editor at WDBJ, told The Post: 'That's how that guy's mind worked. Just crazy, left-field assumptions like that.'
'He was unstable. One time, after one of our live shots failed, he threw all his stuff down and ran into the woods for like 20 minutes.'
Trevor Fair, a 33-year-old cameraman at WDBJ, told the newspaper the words Parker used are commonplace but that they would routinely anger Flanagan.
We would say stuff like, "The reporter's out in the field." And he would look at us and say, "What are you saying, cotton fields? That's racist".'
'We'd be like, "What?' We all know what that means, but he took it as cotton fields, and therefore we're all racists.'
The article then went on to delve into other aspects of Flanagan’s work performance at the station, which was abysmal. He also exhibited a poor work ethic as well.
There are many Americans who get down on their luck. They may lose their jobs, face discrimination at work, and have legitimate anger as a result. Yet, they do not engage in cold-blooded murder. Only the mentally unstable engage in such behavior.