Essay by Progressive Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: A Woman Fantasizes About Being Gang Raped

Socialist and declared presidential candidate on the Democrat ticket Bernie Sanders, reportedly wrote an essay back in the 70s that is....really bad. Warning: graphic. 

In the essay Sanders not only writes that a woman fantasizes about being raped, but about being gang raped by three different men. The Washington Examiner has the story: 

The 1972 article "Man — and Woman," published in the Vermont Freeman, displays Sanders' views on gender and sexuality at the time of its publishing.

"A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy," wrote Sanders. "A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused."

When in comes to female fantasies, Bernie also knows all.

"A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by three men simultaneously," the essay reads.

What Sander's wrote is horrifying and it's inexcusable, but lets put this into perspective. 

Hillary Clinton, the Democrat Party's most probable nominee, is married to a former President Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was accused of actually raping a woman. Bill Clinton didn't simply write about rape, he was accused of engaging in it. Not to mention his long history of sexual abuse toward women. 

So, there's that. Good jobs Democrats. And to think this is the Party that claimed in 2012 Republicans were (and still are) waging a war on women.

Friday Fun: Jon Stewart Mocks Hillary’s Fake Southern Accent

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She attended school in Massachusetts and Connecticut. She then served as a US Senator from New York. Considering she earned her education in New England and served on the East Coast, Hillary's southern accent during a recent campaign stop in South Carolina was heard by some very confused ears.

Mrs. Clinton seems to have a knack for borrowing the regional dialect of wherever her tour bus parks. Her pit stop South Carolina is just the latest example. The Daily Show's Jon Stewart couldn't help mocking her clearly fabricated southern tone.

"I'll do the Lindsey Graham impressions around here thank you very much."

Stewart also took the opportunity to contrast Clinton with a candidate who has a much bleaker chance of earning the Democratic nomination, yet a seemingly more authentic campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). Although Sanders has championed progressive ideals such as reining in Big Banks and expanding Social Security, he has often characterized him as a bit too eccentric for the White House. 

“The problem here isn’t that Bernie Sanders is a crazy-pants cuckoo bird,” Stewart said. “It’s that we’ve all become so accustomed to stage-managed, focus-group-driven candidates that authenticity comes across as lunacy.”

Clinton has already been criticized for her staged campaigning after reports claimed that her staff had bussed in supporters to a campaign stop in Iowa. As for her insistence that she and husband Bill were "dead broke" after leaving the White House in 2001, one look at their speaking fees proves she and the American people have a much different interpretation of the word "broke."

Staged events and fake accents are doing Hillary no favors. If she is the best candidate the Democrats have to offer, their party may be in for a rude awakening next year.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

NYT: Bill Clinton's 'Distasteful' $500,000 Charity Shakedown


Just so we're clear, today's New York Times story about shady Clinton financial practices is separate from the undisclosed foreign cash revelations, apart from the international influence peddling allegations, distinct from the unreported foreign income story, different than the quid pro quo access-buying accusations, unique from the misreporting taxable income as charitable donations "mistake," and unrelated to the undisclosed "pass through" shell corporation report.  No, this is a new one:

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Petra Nemcova, a Czech model who survived the disaster by clinging to a palm tree, decided to pull out all the stops for the annual fund-raiser of her school-building charity, the Happy Hearts Fund. She booked Cipriani 42nd Street, which greeted guests with Bellini cocktails on silver trays. She flew in Sheryl Crow with her band and crew for a 20-minute set. She special-ordered heart-shaped floral centerpieces, heart-shaped chocolate parfaits, heart-shaped tiramisù and, because orange is the charity’s color, an orange carpet rather than a red one. She imported a Swiss auctioneer and handed out orange rulers to serve as auction paddles, playfully threatening to use hers to spank the highest bidder for an Ibiza vacation. The gala cost $363,413. But the real splurge? Bill Clinton. The former president of the United States agreed to accept a lifetime achievement award at the June 2014 event after Ms. Nemcova offered a $500,000 contribution to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The donation, made late last year after the foundation sent the charity an invoice, amounted to almost a quarter of the evening’s net proceeds — enough to build 10 preschools in Indonesia. Happy Hearts’ former executive director believes the transaction was a “quid pro quo,” which rerouted donations intended for a small charity with the concrete mission of rebuilding schools after natural disasters to a large foundation with a broader agenda and a budget 100 times bigger. “The Clinton Foundation had rejected the Happy Hearts Fund invitation more than once, until there was a thinly veiled solicitation and then the offer of an honorarium,” said the former executive director, Sue Veres Royal, who held that position at the time of the gala and was dismissed a few weeks later amid conflicts over the gala and other issues.

Team Clinton will surely dismiss Ms. Royal as a "disgruntled former employee with an ax to grind" -- they have a long history of impugning critics' character and motives -- but this arrangement does seem odd.  Here we have a relatively small charity eclipsing the entire budget for its major fundraiser in order to secure an appearance from Bill Clinton, in exchange for a $500,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation.  As the Times story notes, this fee amounted to a quarter of the evening's proceeds, and represented money that could have been put to good use in pursuit of the organization's laudable mission.  Instead, it landed in the Clintons' allegedly 'charitable' bank account, supposedly earmarked for "yet undetermined" relief work in Haiti.  Keep in mind that the Clinton Foundation has been described as a "slush fund" by an official at the Sunlight Foundation, has been placed on a "watch list" by the watchdog group Charity Navigator (which, in turn, has been pressured and bullied by the Clinton people), and was once explicitly characterized as "not charity," and in fact a "commercial proposition," by one of its founders.  But this is how the racket operates:

Never publicly disclosed, the episode provides a window into the way the Clinton Foundation relies on the Clintons’ prestige to amass donors large and small, offering the prospect, as described in the foundation’s annual report, of lucrative global connections and participation in a worldwide mission to “unlock human potential” through “the power of creative collaboration.”...“This is primarily a small but telling example of the way the Clintons operate,” said Doug White, who directs the master’s program in fund-raising management at Columbia University. “The model has responsibility; she paid a high price for a feel-good moment with Bill Clinton. But he was riding the back of this small charity for what? A half-million bucks? I find it — what would be the word? — distasteful.”

The Clintons might argue that they're capable of putting that cool half-million to better use than the much smaller and more targeted charity.  But is that really true?  The Clinton Foundation spends a fortune on overhead and operating costs, and appears to spend precious little on actual charity (see again, this quote).  Although it's tough to tell, given how opaque and apparently sloppy the entity's bookkeeping is.  I'll leave you with this little nugget mined from a slobbering Politico column intended to mount a defense of the Clintons by invoking the "phony scandals" talking point.  Here's why the foundation was paying political hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal $10,000 per month to work for their "charity" (while gathering unreliable, off-the-books intel for Sec. Clinton, as an end-round past the Obama administration's refusal to hire him):



So, What’s Become of Colorado’s Pot Legalization?

On this week's Townhall Review:

Dennis Prager on Ireland's vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Hugh Hewitt and Ron Fournier on Hillary's PR blunders. Hewitt and Mark Steyn on Obama's ISIS disaster. Hewitt and Rick Perry on the Patriot Act. Michael Medved and Scott Walker on the Patriot Act. Bill Bennett and MD/Psychologist Leonard Sax on the affluent city of Palo Alto, California's recent epidemic of teen suicides. Hewitt and Wayne Laugensan, lead writer and editor for the Colorado Springs Gazette discusses his series on the effects of marijuana legalization in Colorado titled, "Clearing the Haze."

Poll: Majority of Democrats Think Illegal Immigrants Should Have Right to Vote in U.S. Elections

According to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports, 53 percent of Democrats believe illegal immigrants should have the right to vote in U.S. elections so long as they pay taxes. Although the number is significantly lower, 21 percent of Republicans believe the same. The majority of the country, 60 percent, believe illegal immigrants should not have the right to vote. From the survey:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that one-out-of-three Likely U.S. Voters (35%) now believes that illegal immigrants should be allowed to vote if they can prove they live in this country and pay taxes. Sixty percent (60%) disagree, while five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Democrats think tax-paying illegal immigrants should have the right to vote. Twenty-one percent (21%) of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major political party agree.

Earlier this year, secretaries of states from Kansas and Ohio sounded the alarm over President Obama's December 2014 executive action giving illegal immigrants the ability to vote in elections. 

"I want to bring to your attention my concern that the President’s recent Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will make it more difficult for elections officials to determine if all voters meet the primary standard for voting – U.S. citizenship. I am not here to debate immigration policy or the President’s executive actions. However, I am here to emphatically say that we cannot follow both the federal law and the executive action and ensure the integrity of the elections process without further assistance from Congress and the Obama administration," Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said to the House Oversight Committee in February. "For an estimated four to five million non-citizens, the President’s executive actions provide access to Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses. These are the same documents that federal law requires the states to recognize as valid forms of identification for voter registration. Under federal law, anyone with a valid Social Security number or driver’s license number can register to vote, provided they attest that they are a U.S. citizen. However, there is no way for us to validate this citizenship statement, since under the executive actions previously undocumented non-citizens will have access to the same documents as U.S. citizens. The issue becomes especially complicated in states like Ohio where millions of dollars are spent on third - party voter registration drives where no election official would be present to make clear the eligibility requirements for voting." 

"The problem of aliens registering to vote is a massive one, nationwide. And I have seen it firsthand in Kansas. Because there is no way of scanning a state's voter rolls and identifying which of the registered voters are aliens, determining the exact number of aliens on the voter rolls in virtually impossible. But we know that the number is significant, because specific election episodes present evident of aliens voting and because we gain some information by matching driver's license databases against voter rolls," Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said during the same hearing. "Based on the empirical evidence that I have seen as the Kansas Secretary of State, it is a certainty that the Administration's executive actions will result sin a large number of additional aliens registering to vote throughout the country, in violation of state and federal law. These are irreversible consequences, because once an alien registers to vote, it is virtually impossible to detect him and remove him from the list of registered voters." 

And as a reminder

A Cooperative Congressional Election Study released in October 2014 found, "more than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010."

You can bet Obama's executive amnesty wasn't simply about "bringing people out of the shadows." Instead, it was about bringing illegal immigrants to the polling booth to vote for Democrats.

Anheuser-Busch Temporarily Stops Beer Production To Supply Water To Texas Flood Victims

The historic rains pounding Texas has been nothing short of extraordinary. At the same time, it’s been incredibly tragic. Julie Shields spoke with her sister, Laura McComb, as a flood caused by the intense rain destroyed McComb's house.

"She called me, she said 'I'm in a house. I'm floating down the river. Tell mom and dad I love you and pray,'" said Shields. Laura McComb and her two children are still missing. Her husband, Jonathan, was rescued with severe injuries. In Dallas, around 200 people had to be rescued from their cars as flooding intensified.

To aid with relief efforts, Anheuser-Busch has halted beer production to bring water to Texas residents (via NBC News):

Beer giant Anheuser-Busch stopped production at its Georgia brewery this week to instead produce drinking water for those affected by a deadly bout of historic flooding and storms in Texas and Oklahoma.

Anheuser-Busch said it had stopped beer production at its Cartersville brewery in Georgia late Wednesday night to produce 50,000 cans of water for the American Red Cross.

"Right now our production line is running emergency drinking water instead of beer," Cartersville brewery manager Rob Haas told NBC News.

The Cartersville brewery produces cans of emergency relief water a few times a year, Haas said, partnering with the American Red Cross to provide to places in need within the United States.

"It's something we're uniquely positioned to do in a very timely period," he said.

About 2,000 cases, each carrying 24 cans, are en route to communities in Texas and Oklahoma, he added. The water is expected to reach those areas within the next few days.

Perspective: More People Have Died from Abortion Than Recorded in 1880 Census

Update: A new Gallup poll just released has revealed that 54 percent of Americans want all or most abortions illegal. This statistic further corroborates the fact that the country is souring on Big Abortion.

Original post:

In 1880, 50,189,209 people lived in the United States, according to the US Census Bureau. In a somber comparison, it turns out that is about the same number of individuals that has now been lost to abortion.

Columnist Terrence Jeffrey provided the research over at CNS News.

The Guttmacher Institute has estimated the number of abortions in the United States in each year from 1973 through 2011. They add up to 51,376,750—or 1,187,541 more than the entire population of the nation as of 1880. In each of the last 36 straight years for which Guttmacher has published an estimate of the number of abortions, the number has exceeded 1 million.

Imagine that. That means no census workers needed, no population, no one. An entire generation – evaporated.

As Jeffrey points out in the article, still living in 1880 were American icons such as Mark Twain, Thomas Edison and Booker T. Washington. It kind of makes you wonder, how many more inventors, writers and talented trailblazers have we lost to abortion?

If there is any good news, it’s that fewer abortions are occurring each year. In fact, in 2014, they declined to an historic low. The country as a whole, is also becoming more pro-life. A Gallup poll from 2013 revealed that a sound majority of Americans want all or most abortions illegal. The advances in technology, such as incredible ultrasound imaging that allows mothers to see their unborn children in the womb, is a major factor in the debate. The recently exposed horrors of the late-term abortion industry have also left people sick to their stomachs. The atrocities of Kermit Gosnell will be hard to shake from Americans' minds.

We can’t bring back those unborn babies who have already been massacred since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, but the number of changed hearts and declining rates prove that we can start turning those numbers around. All we can do is try and save those future generations.

Yikes: GDP Shrank to .7 Percent For First Quarter of 2015

Based on the latest GDP numbers, which were released today, the first quarter of 2015 was rough for the economy. New numbers show the economy shrank during the first months of the year, putting the GDP at an abysmal .7 percent. More from

AP
The U.S. economy went into reverse in the first three months of this year as a severe winter and a widening trade deficit took a harsher toll than initially estimated.

The overall economy as measured by the gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the January-March period, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

The revised figure, even weaker than the government's initial estimate of a 0.2 percent growth rate, reflects a bigger trade gap and slower consumer spending. It marked the first decline since a 2.1 percent contraction in the first three months of 2014, a slump that was also blamed on winter weather.

The silver lining

Economists expect a rebound in the current quarter to growth of around 2 percent and expect the economy to strengthen later this year.

Meanwhile, a record number of people aren't in the workforce.

Bergdahl Teammates Asked to Stay Quiet About Desertion With Non-Disclosure Agreements

According to a new report from Fox News' Catherine Herridge, teammates of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements years ago after discussing his desertion with the Joint Chiefs Chairman in Afghanistan. 

According to Herridge's reporting and General Bob Scales, asking soldiers to sign non-disclosure agreements is unprecedented.

"I can't remember, ever, have an enlisted soldier sign a non-disclosure agreement for anything. This is completely unprecedented," Scales said. "These non-disclosure agreements have got nothing to do with military justice."

Further, new information shows Bergdahl not only deserted, but started planning for his departure by sleeping on the floor and prepared himself for life outside of the military.

Earlier this week, General Stanley McChrystal admitted he knew Bergdahl had deserted immediately after leaving his post in June 2009. The White House maintains officials weren't and still aren't sure about the circumstances surrounding his capture by the Taliban.

Bergdahl will stand trial at Ft. Sam Houston later this year.

Federal Judge Not Impressed With DOJ Attempts to Get Lawsuit Against Obamacare Thrown Out

Since Obamacare was passed in 2010, dozens of changes have been made to the legislation by executive fiat, not through Congress. One of those changes includes the Obama administration going around Congress to issue payments from the Treasury Department directly to health insurance companies. Another change is President Obama's February 2014 action to delay the Obamacare employer mandate, which requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance under the law. By implementing the delay, the administration effectively altered the law without a vote from Congress. 

In November 2014, the House of Representatives sued over the changes coming directly from the White House. Liberal George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley has been hired by the House to lead the lawsuit against the administration. The administration wants the lawsuit thrown out.

Yesterday the case was argued in front of U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer, who seriously questioned the administration's actions of going around Congress to fund parts of Obamacare that the legislative body rejected. She also scolded DOJ attorney Joel McElvain for failing to provide a legitimate argument about why the lawsuit should be tossed. From Reuters

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer, appointed by Obama's predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, repeatedly interrupted U.S. Justice Department lawyer Joel McElvain during the hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Justice Department lawyers argue that the House lacks standing to sue, citing a section of U.S. law that means the House would have to prove it has been directly harmed.

"So it is your position that if the House of Representatives affirmatively voted not to fund something ... then that vote can be ignored by the administration, because after all, no one can sue them?" she asked.

McElvain argued that the merits of the case were not being discussed at the hearing, and that any perceived injury was "abstract."

"I'm not asking you to give me your brief. I want you to explain ... why it's not an insult to the Constitution?" Collyer said.

McElvain argued that the House could pass new legislation if it disagreed with the administration's changes, which he said were legal under "pre-existing permanent appropriation."

At another point, Collyer admonished McElvain: "You can't just shake your head and not deal with the question."

Collyer will make a decision about whether the lawsuit from the House against the administration can proceed within the next few weeks.

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted For Lying To The FBI, Evading Currency Transaction Reports

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has landed himself in hot water with federal authorities for lying to them about cash transactions that were being made to someone blackmailing him (via Chicago Tribune):

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted on federal charges alleging he agreed to pay $3.5 million in apparent hush money to a longtime acquaintance blackmailing him, then lied to the FBI when asked about suspicious cash withdrawals from several banks, federal prosecutors said.

The stunning indictment of the longtime Republican powerhouse alleged he gave about $1.7 million in cash to the acquaintance, identified only as Individual A in the charges, to “compensate for and conceal (Hastert’s) prior misconduct” against Individual A that had occurred years earlier.

Hastert, a former high school teacher, served eight years as House speaker and has been working as a lobbyist in Washington since stepping down from office in 2008.

Hastert, 73, of Plano, was charged with one count each of structuring currency transactions to evade Currency Transaction Reports and making a false statement to the FBI, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He will be arraigned later at U.S. District Court in downtown Chicago.

According to the seven-page indictment, Hastert withdrew a total of $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts between 2010 and 2014 to give to Individual A. In December, Hastert began structuring the cash withdrawals in increments less than $10,000 to evade bank reporting requirements, the indictment said.

When questioned by the FBI about the withdrawals, Hastert lied and said the cash was for his own use, according to the charges.

“Yeah, I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing,” the indictment quoted Hastert as telling agents.

You can read the indictment here.

Updates to follow...

Fifteen Dollars an Hour for Thee, but Not for Me: California Unions Request Exemption from New Wage Law

Los Angeles recently passed a wage-increase mandate that will eventually raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour--backed by the support of several major labor unions. Those very same labor unions now want an exemption from the wage law.

From the L.A. Times:

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

"With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them," Hicks said in a statement. "This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing."

Earlier this year, Rusty Hicks co-wrote an editorial at Huffington Post titled "Raise Los Angeles' Minimum Wage and Enforce It."

Nowhere in that editorial is the "leeway" to negotiate a sub-15 dollar wage mentioned. In fact, supporting a law that would raise the wage to a certain price and then backtracking on this support to pay employees something lower sounds eerily similar to the "wage theft" described in the article.

Clearly, there's an economic advantage when non-unionized competitor businesses are forced to pay their employees six dollars more than California's nine-dollar minimum wage. Employers seeking to avoid the higher wage (which has already threatened the survival of some small businesses elsewhere in the state) now have an incentive to join the union, who gains the new union dues and money from these previously non-unionized employees. The unions are the only winners in this (incredibly sneaky and backhanded) wage arrangement. (Or, alternatively, employers will seek out illegal immigrant labor to be paid under the table at a lower wage than 15 dollars an hour.)

L.A.'s minimum wage law hasn't gone into effect yet, and won't reach $15/hour until 2020, but the furious backpedaling has already begun.

Judge: There’s No ‘Good Reason’ To Issue A Stay On DC's Carry Law Ruling

A judge has denied Washington D.C’s request for a stay after the city’s carry law was ruled unconstitutional last week. Judge Frederick J. Scullin ruled that a provision in DC’s concealed carry process, which included a requirement for applicants to show “a good reason to fear injury to his or her person, which shall at a minimum require a showing of a special need for self protection distinguishable from the general community” was unconstitutional. Applicants had to document the threats made against them as well. Two D.C residents and one Florida resident filed a lawsuit over the provision. On May 18, Judge Scullin issued an injunction over the provision, but kept in place other portions of the city's concealed carry law, like areas where carrying was banned, like libraries, government buildings, public transportation, and bars. Permit holders–all eight of them–also have to be at least 1,000 feet away from any foreign or U.S. dignitary.

The Second Amendment Foundation praised the ruling:

The federal district court judge handling the Second Amendment Foundation’s challenge to the District of Columbia’s “good reason” concealed carry permit requirement has denied the city’s request for an immediate administrative stay of his ruling last week granting a preliminary injunction against further enforcement of the requirement. The District is also seeking a stay pending appeal.

Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., announced his decision this morning, and set two important dates. By June 22, SAF and its co-plaintiffs must file papers opposing the city’s stay pending appeal request, and the city must respond by June 26. This development is seen as a clear win by SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.

“The Second Amendment Foundation is pleased that the court ruled immediately against the city and has forced them to start issuing carry permits,” Gottlieb said. “By now they should realize that when we say we will do everything in our legal power to force them to recognize that people have Second Amendment rights we mean it.”

The city has required concealed carry applicants to provide justification for wanting a permit to carry firearms outside the home for personal protection. Judge Scullin ruled last week that the requirement “impinges on Plaintiff’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

“Bearing arms is a civil right,” Gottlieb observed, “not a government-regulated privilege subject to arbitrary discretion. This case isn’t about making a political statement, but about making the District of Columbia comply with an earlier court ruling, and with the constitution.

“The city is running out of wiggle room,” he added, “and should immediately start issuing permits to all citizens who meet the legal qualifications.”

The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

Judge Scullin also ruled in the Palmer case, which struck down DC’s law banning carrying firearms outside one’s home last summer. In that case, both parties agreed to a stay in order for the DC City Council to draft a carry law in accordance with the ruling. Every Second Amendment-loving American knew that DC’s carry law was going to be as onerous as any “may issue” carry law could get given the city’s strong anti-gun sentiments.

Baltimore Residents Who Decried Police in Their Neighborhoods Now Want Them Back

In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in police custody, arrests in Baltimore have dropped significantly. Police are no longer “arresting everybody for every little thing,” according to Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, which he says “led to the underlying issues that we have been dealing with in the city.” In other words: distrust of police.

But more than that, officers are “fearful at doing their jobs,” according to Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis. And that has meant they are no longer being proactive.

And now, of course, we’re seeing a big spike in violence, which has some residents wishing the police would come back.

Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore.

She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the gunfire.

“I’m afraid to go outside,” said Perrine, 47. “It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.” […]

Now West Baltimore residents worry they’ve been abandoned by the officers they once accused of harassing them. In recent weeks, some neighborhoods have become like the Wild West without a lawman around, residents said.

“Before it was over-policing. Now there’s no police,” said Donnail “Dreads” Lee, 34, who lives in the Gilmor Homes, the public housing complex where Gray, 25, was arrested.

“I haven’t seen the police since the riots,” Lee said. “People feel as though they can do things and get away with it. I see people walking with guns almost every single day, because they know the police aren’t pulling them up like they used to.”

It's not that officers have completely backed down, it's just that they're trying to do their jobs in much different conditions. “Our officers tell me that when officers pull up, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them at any time,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, reports the AP.

As Lewis said about the violence, “I hope this is a shot fired across the bow of mayors and urban leaders across this country. Once you disembowel your law enforcement officers, then you cannot no longer expect them to go out there and protect you, or protect your communities. This is very troubling, the worst I’ve ever seen in 31 years of law enforcement.”

Maine Senate Passes Constitutional Carry Bill

The Maine Senate has passed a "Constitutional Carry" bill with a vote of 21-14. The bill would permit gun owners to legally carry their weapons concealed without a permit. This is the second time in two years that the Senate has considered this type of bill.

While the votes were mostly split along party lines, three Democrats sided with the Republicans in voting for the measure.

The Senate voted 21-14 to approve the bill, L.D. 652, a heavily lobbied measure that pits gun rights activists against groups seeking more oversight over individuals who carry firearms. Three Democrats joined the Republican majority to support the bill. Two Republicans voted against it.

The bill now moves on to the House of Representatives.

Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, and Wyoming all have Constitutional Carry laws that allow permit-free concealed carry within the state. The Brady Campaign gave Maine an "F" grade on its state scorecard in 2013, yet also noted that the state has one of the lowest gun death rates in the nation.

Clinton Foundation Paid Blumenthal $10K Per Month While He Was Fact-Finding In Libya

Recap: Sidney Blumenthal was involved in a secret intelligence network that fed Mrs. Clinton unsubstantiated information to her private email address–the one that her lawyers insisted didn’t exist when she was at State, but that turns out to be another lie. At the time, we didn’t know if Mrs. Clinton read or even responded to the emails. Now, we know she did read some of them and forwarded a few to a State Department staffer. The House Select Committee on Benghazi has subpoenaed him. He’s a die-hard Clintonite, who circulated some of Obama’s dirty laundry that prevented him from taking a job at State after the 2008 election. And he might have received a request from Clinton to find information on Libya, as reported by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius. If this is true, then Clinton’s claim that Blumenthal sent her “unsolicited” emails on Libya really isn’t true.

Yet, one question remained: who bankrolled this whole network? The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf noted that one trip cost this little network tens of thousands of dollars. He wondered if the money came from the Clinton’s personal fortune, or some buried figure within the State Department. We still don’t know, but what we do know is that the Clinton Foundation paid Blumenthal $10,000 per month while he was on his little intelligence gathering trips in Libya (via Politico):

Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, earned about $10,000 a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the arrangement.

Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources.

While Blumenthal’s foundation job focused on highlighting the legacy of Clinton’s presidency, some officials at the charity questioned his value and grumbled that his hiring was a favor from the Clintons, according to people familiar with the foundation. They say that, during a 2013 reform push, Blumenthal was moved to a consulting contract that came with a similar pay rate but without benefits — an arrangement that endured until March.

A Clinton loyalist who first earned the family’s trust as an aggressive combatant in the political battles of the 1990s, Blumenthal continues to work as a paid consultant to two groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign — American Bridge and Media Matters — both of which are run by David Brock, a close ally of both Clinton and Blumenthal.

Blumenthal’s concurrent work for the foundation, the Brock groups and a pair of businesses seeking potentially lucrative contracts in Libya underscores the blurred lines between her State Department work and that of her family’s charitable and political enterprises

In his own statement last week, Blumenthal suggested that he did not write the memos on behalf of the foundation or any other entities with which he may have been associated, but rather as “a private citizen and friend” of Clinton’s.

Sources: John Kasich To Enter 2016 Fray

I can’t even keep track anymore. Seriously, now that Rick Santorum is already in, and George Pataki is about to be, the list of seemingly no-shot candidates running for president grows bigger by the day. The latest scoop, via the Washington Post, indicates that Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has decided, after some gut-wrenching and serious contemplation, that he, too, wants a shot at the nomination. As the Post reports, he’ll likely make it official sometime mid-summer:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has been actively gauging reactions to a possible campaign for president in 2016, is now moving rapidly to assemble the staff and financial resources for such a bid and is looking to declare his candidacy sometime after June 30, according to knowledgeable Republicans.

The two-term governor and former House member is running through a checklist before formally entering the race, but strategists close to Kasich and other longtime friends say there is no doubt that he will soon join the crowded field of those vying for the GOP nomination.

Kasich, for his part, is scraping the bottom of the barrel in recent polling. Recent Quinnipiac and Fox News surveys position him at … 2 percent nationally. Thus, in a field of at least 15 other candidates -- with top tier contenders like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio sucking up all the airtime -- it will be difficult for him to find a niche. But he does have a wild card up his sleeve, I suppose: He hails from Ohio.

And why does that matter? Well, because it’s pretty much a well established fact at this point that if Republicans lose the Buckeye State, they will lose the 2016 election. Can Kasich, therefore, use his geographical roots to his advantage? As the Post emphasizes, there’s also a lot to like about Ohio's incumbent governor, namely his experience in government and his commitment to the poor. And while this might be a bit of a problem, it’ll be interesting to see if he makes a splash in 2016 -- or flames out early as expected. We'll see.

MSM: Why, This Hillary Character Seems Evasive and Flawed


The keepers of the Beltway flame don't seem terribly impressed by Hillary Clinton's aloofunavailable presidential campaign thus far. Meet the Press' Chuck Todd thinks she's engaged in awkward ideological "gymnastics" and failing to connect (via the Free Beacon):


The 'Game Change' boys see the relentless drip, drip, drip of the Clintons' financial irregulaties and serial opacity as "quite threatening" to her viability (via Grabien):


And what is Mrs. Clinton's favorite refuge when her family's multimillion-dollar slush fund is attracting unwanted attention, new details are emerging about her failures and dishonesty as Secretary of State, and her self-created email headaches just won't go away?  First! Woman! President! demagoguery:


Sigh.  Economists have found that Democrats' go-to "pay gap" issue is largely a fiction, borne not of discrimination, but of women's choices.  But since people like Hillary Clinton insist on flogging this talking point as means of scoring cheap points with under-informed voters, conservatives have no choice but to raise obvious hypocrisy questions -- applying the Left's own anti-intellectual, nuance-free standards:


Clinton's camp protests that these figures don't tell the whole story.  They're right, of course; they don't.  How much will Hillary focus on that exact same fine print as she's pounding the table about Republicans "standing in the way" of equal pay or whatever?

Townhall LIVE: Join Guy Benson for Q&A at 11:30 ET

Townhall's Guy Benson will be hosting a Facebook Q&A this morning at 11:30 a.m. to discuss his new book, End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun), coauthored by Hot Air's Mary Katharine Ham.

End of Discussion explores the ripple effect of the outrage industry—the media frenzy orchestrated by the Left that is designed to shut down debate—and offers insightful advice to conservatives and freedom-loving Americans on how they should (and should not) fight back against this strategic effort that makes America less free, less feisty, and less fun.

Sign up for your chance to win a FREE copy of End of Discussion, signed by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson!

Join in on the conversation below:

Townhall.com's Guy Benson is here to answer your questions and talk about his upcoming book, END OF DISCUSSION,...

Posted by Townhall.com on Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scott Walker Calls Ultrasound Photos 'Cool,' Media Misquotes and Demonizes Him

Question: What exactly is wrong with calling an ultrasound image of the womb "cool?" Answer: Nothing. That is, except when the media misquotes you and labels you as the new torchbearer of the War on Women.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was the latest victim of this tired and unfair characterization when defending his state's mandatory ultrasound law. The law, which requires women to have the imaging before going through with an abortion, has been a source of controversy ever since it was passed, with pro-abortion groups calling it an unfair burden on women who want no interruptions on their way to terminating their pregnancies. Walker sat down with TheBlazeTV's Dana Loesch Wednesday to discuss the benefits of the legislation. Most importantly, that it has the potential to save countless unborn lives.

"We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child.”

At one point, he provided his own personal opinion on the incredible machine.

“Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It’s just a cool thing out there.”

That's when Politico took the last line and inserted it into a breathless headline that read, "Scott Walker defends mandatory ultrasounds: 'It's just a cool thing out there,'" suggesting that it was the enforced law he was referring to as 'cool.'

Politico has since deleted the quote from its headline (you can still their initial intention in the URL), but not before several other liberal-leaning outlets published similar titles. RedState has a roundup of several websites that ran with Politico's initial error and jumped on the chance to excoriate Walker as hostile to women's anatomical rights.

Planned Parenthood wasn't far behind.

Ultrasounds are technological advances that allow mothers to view a window to the womb. I can't think of anything cooler.

The media on the other hand...

Q-poll: 5 Way Tie Between Bush, Walker, Rubio, Huckabee, and Carson

This renders every other poll conducted to date pretty much meaningless, no? Indeed, after a short lull in polling data, a new Quinnipiac University surveys finds that five Republican presidential hopefuls are technically in first place right now, garnering 10 percent of the total vote each. They are, in no particular order, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson.

Wow:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A few other notable tidbits: Ted Cruz, for his part, only took home six percent of the total vote, putting him comfortably in the middle of the pack. But with a whopping 17 percent of Tea Party support, he shows great promise and potential as a presidential candidate if he can slowly begin winning over centrist/moderate voters. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, appears to be the hands down favorite among evangelicals and social conservatives. Indeed, he came in strongly with 17 percent of that vote, suggesting that Rick Santorum has an enormous mountain to climb if he hopes to win Iowa again. Finally, Marco Rubio, as many polls have already shown, appears to be the candidate who can best win over Tea Party and establishment support. Put simply, he won over 12 percent of Tea Partiers -- and 13 percent of moderate/liberal Republicans (with leaners). Besides Scott Walker, no one in the field seems to have the kind of double-digit, spectrum-wide appeal.

And while the only female candidate in the race, Carly Fiorina, is struggling to make a dent in the polls, the good news is that if the first Republican debate were held today, she would satisfy all criteria and therefore be invited to participate:

Rounding out the top 10 for televised debates are U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 7 percent, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 6 percent, Donald Trump at 5 percent, New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie at 4 percent and Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2 percent each.

I’ll leave you with this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Not even close.

UPDATE: I should also add that no Republican candidate does better (head-to-head) against Hillary Clinton than Rand Paul. He trails her by four percentage points (46/42).

Friendly Reminder: The USPS Has Lost More than $46 Billion Since 2007

The U.S. Postal Service has lost billions since 2007, but the move that could put it on the path towards solvency is to expand its operations into the financial sector. Oh, those aren’t my words; it’s the words of the Inspector General and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who thinks giving the money-losing USPS the ability to hold bank accounts, is a way to save it from its financial pickle. This expansion is just a bad idea– no wonder why Citizens Against Government Waste called the proposal “ludicrous” (via Citizens Against Government Waste):

Having lost more than $46 billion since 2007, The United States Postal Service (USPS) is having a very public flirtation with expanding its service footprint to include banking. Oddly, one of the prime cheerleaders in this effort is the Postal Service’s Inspector General (IG) David Williams. Typically, IG’s are tasked with keeping a watchful and skeptical eye on their agencies, identifying and routing out waste, fraud, abuse, and bad management practices. However, Williams frequently acts as USPS’s chief advocate on matters of expansion. Last year, his office released a white paper alleging that the USPS possesses the ability to expand into the financial services sector. On May 22, 2015 another white paper was published by the IG urging the same thing.

Ostensibly, this expansion would be designed to help the “68 million undeserved Americans who either do not have a bank account or rely on expensive services like payday lending and check cashing.” His case is weak. For example, there are nearly 100,000 bank branches and more than 400,000 ATMs compared to just 31,000 post offices. Add to that, national retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, Safeway, and others provide financial services nationwide on every street corner. Finally, the onset of the digital age has given way to banking services on smart phones that don’t require customers to travel to a bank at all.

A fellow proponent of expansion, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), claimed that allowing the USPS to get into banking would help it “shore up its own financial footing.” On this point, Warren and her allies reveal their warped economic logic. The USPS is clearly in financial peril. On top of its staggering financial losses, the USPS has seen more than a quarter of its total mail volume evaporate between 2007 and 2013. This can be mostly attributed to the rapid and irreversible decline in paper mail, the demise of the brick and mortar business model, and the rise of the digital era. But, the USPS, which itself is burdened by an onerous network of bricks and mortar facilities and exorbitant labor costs, has failed to rationalize and right size to deal with its changing service base. The contention that it should expand, even as the agency careens headlong toward financial calamity, is counterintuitive and fiscally ludicrous.

Santorum: Why Yes, George, I'm Running

Somewhat bizarrely, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) agreed to give his first television interview as a presidential candidate to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. (Read this, this, and this if you think Stephanopoulos is an objective, fair-minded journalist). In any case, after complaining that Fox News was treating him unfairly after the network announced their imperfect new debate rules, he spoke to Stephanopoulos exclusively on Wednesday about why he’s running again—and why he thinks the outcome will be different this time (despite the very long odds against him).

“I’m ready to do this again,” he intoned. “To come back home, to be at a manufacturing facility, to really reconnect to what I grew up with and understood to be an America that worked.”

He explained that the “74 percent of Americans” who never graduated from college are falling behind, and indeed, really struggling to get ahead. And thus because of his roots, and his commitment to blue collar conservatism, he hopes to bring these issues to the fore in the campaign ahead.

But he also justified his candidacy on more pragmatic grounds. After all, he said, he will be much better funded than he was four years ago.

“Number one, we’re going to have some more money—that really helps,” he said. “Obviously, we learned something from the last campaign: You got to do well in Iowa.”

Santorum, for his part, did do well in Iowa—winning it belatedly in 2012. He won almost a dozen states, too. But if he hopes to climb his way to the nomination, he'll need to broaden his base of support beyond traditional marriage supporters and pro-lifers.

Can he do it? Perhaps, my friends, he already is.

“Hillary Clinton and big business, they have called for a massive influx in unskilled labor,” he told a roomful of supporters yesterday in Butler County, Pennsylvania during his first-ever 2016 campaign rally. “Their priority is profits."

"My priority is you, the American worker,” he added.

Hm: Cuomo Casts Self as Crusader Against Sexual Assault on Campus

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken it upon himself to combat sexual assault on New York’s private campuses. Flaunting misleading statistics, the liberal governor thinks he knows what’s best for schools and how they should handle reports of rape. Some of these schools have a message for him: No thanks.

Cuomo’s new campaign, entitled "Enough is Enough," is urging for the passage of legislation that would make private colleges enforce “affirmative consent” standards in campus rape allegations. This standard, which is already in place in New York's public schools, means that the accused student would have to prove that the accuser consented to engage in sexual activity. What’s more, the student reporting a rape would not be punished for violating campus policies on drinking or drugs, as a way to encourage them to come forward without having to worry about being punished.

In an effort to prop up his plan, Cuomo has cited a widely quoted, yet little proven, statistic that states one in five female students will be victimized. The New York Daily News’ Bill Hammond quickly rebutted this shocking number with one that has a bit more credibility.

The Justice Department’s more credible estimate of the assault rate for college women — based on nationwide surveys taken every year — is 6.1 out of 1,000, or less than 1%. That’s still too high, of course, but a far cry from one in five.

Unsurprisingly, colleges are not happy with Cuomo’s sweeping legislation. With one stroke of a pen, he is threatening to override the policies they had in place to combat sexual assault – ones which may have been uniquely effective to their specific schools. One provision that has been met with particular disdain, is a requirement that would throw labels on the parties involved in an alleged rape case.

“All universities have an obligation to be neutral in these circumstances,” said Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, a Manhattan Democrat and chairwoman of the Assembly’s committee on higher education. “You cannot prejudice the circumstances by naming one ‘the victim,’ and the other ‘the accused.’”

Cuomo may think he’s the campus hero, but he’s just causing more headaches for these schools who are trying to serve their students as best they can.

No wonder Hammond couldn’t help asking, “Have you thought this through, Governor?

Nebraska Has Abolished the Death Penalty

The Nebraska legislature has overridden Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) veto and abolished the death penalty in the state. Ricketts vetoed the bill yesterday, but that veto was overturned on a 30-19 vote.

From the New York Times:

Nebraska on Wednesday became the first conservative state in more than 40 years to abolish the death penalty, with lawmakers defying their Republican governor, Pete Ricketts, a staunch supporter of capital punishment who had lobbied vigorously against banning it.

By a 30 to 19 vote that cut across party lines, the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto on Tuesday of a bill repealing the state’s death penalty law. The measure garnered just enough votes to overcome the veto.

The vote at the State Capitol here capped a monthslong battle that pitted most lawmakers in the unicameral Legislature against the governor, many law enforcement officials and some family members of murder victims whose killers are on death row. The Legislature approved the repeal bill three times this year, each time by a veto-proof majority, before sending it to Mr. Ricketts’s desk.

Nebraska has not executed anyone since 1997. Including Nebraska, 19 states have abolished the death penalty.