News of the Week for December 22nd, 2013
- Obama Scandals
- Gun Rights
- Hide the Decline
- War & Terror
- National News
- Economy & Taxes
- International News
NSA Phone Spying Program Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Judge
A federal judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency’s PRISM program, which collects telephone records and metadata and was revealed this summer by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, could be unconstitutional.
Video: “We thought he was going to be … the next Messiah”
Who has been hurt by Barack Obama’s plummeting poll numbers? The President himself, of course, and his administration, and incumbent Democrats running for re-election and away from the “you can keep your plan” promise. However, don’t forget the mainstream media, who sent dozens of reporters to Wasilla, Alaska to investigate the supposedly unprepared governor as a Vice Presidential candidate but couldn’t be bothered to look into the Chicago Machine to test the qualifications of a rookie Senator for the top spot. Barbara Walters told Piers Morgan last night that everyone thought Obama was the Messiah, which is why his failures are so disappointing to them
Federal Judge: The Obama Administration Aids and Abets Human Trafficking
A federal judge in Texas has issued a searing indictment of the Obama administration’s immigration policy. He accuses the government of “completing the criminal mission” of human traffickers “who are violating the border security of the United States” and assisting a “criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals.” The judge calls the administration’s behavior “dangerous and unconscionable” and says that “DHS should cease telling the citizens of the United States that it is enforcing our border security laws because it is clearly not. Even worse, it is helping those who violate these laws.”
Caught on Video: Obama’s Brother admits buying Girl
Does Polygamy, Underage Sex Slavery, and Wife-Beating Constitute a War on Women?
California gun owners warily eye rifle, shotgun database requirement
Neither Matt Dittmer nor the people he shoots with are happy about a new law that will preserve information about their gun purchases in a California state database. But he is resigned to it.
Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Laws on Gun Control
When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state’s new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he “maybe” obtained afterward.
Bill would eliminate required license for carrying a concealed handgun in Ohio
Is carrying a concealed weapon an unfettered right that nearly any adult should be able to exercise without a license? Comment below.
Scott Brown’s record on guns signals trouble in NH bid
Earlier this week Ed looked at a rumor we’d been hearing for months now which seems to be verified. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown had put his Bay State home on the market and moved to New Hampshire in preparation for a bid to take the Senate seat currently held by Jeanne Shaheen. There’s little doubt that Shaheen is potentially in hot water over her unflagging support of Obamacare and the President, and Ed felt that might be enough to work that old Scott Brown magic again.
Climate change expert’s fraud was ‘crime of massive proportion,’ say feds
The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.
EPA silenced scientists that challenged their agenda
The Environmental Protection Agency silenced scientific advisers who expressed concerns over the agency’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions limits for coal-fired power plants, House Republicans claim.
Government in Healthcare
Cancer Survivor Still Can’t Sign Up For Obamacare
Lynn Beckler a cancer survivor has been trying to enroll Obamacare since October, and has been unable to successfully complete the process.
National Health SHAMBLES: Three damning reports describe mothers abandoned during labour, serious hospital blunders every day and how patients have lost faith in their GPs
Public confidence in the NHS at record low following run of inquiries
A quarter of new mothers say they were abandoned by their midwives
Some NHS consulting rooms were found to be infested with maggots
Police probe into cover-up claims on cancer treatment waiting times
Blunder doctors carried out heart surgery on the wrong patient
Another man had laser surgery on his right eye rather than his left
Confidential Obamacare Navigator training manual uploaded online
Tammy Duffy, a radiation health physicist from New Jersey, was talking with Obamacare Navigators one day and asked a question regarding people who are self-employed, in which they could not provide an answer. She then asked for a copy of the manual, which they would not give her since it’s not meant to be available to the public.
The Case That Could Topple Obamacare
Obamacare may have its problems, including more bugs than you can find in the cornfields of Nebraska, but its legal worries were meant to end after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, the heart of the Affordable Care Act.
White House Appoints Democrat Congresswoman’s Husband, and the Man Behind Microsoft Office’s Clippy, to Save Healthcare.gov
Politico is touting this hire as the Obama White House turning to the private sector, hiring a Microsoft exec, to make Healthcare.gov something other than the most embarrassing website in Internet history. But the hire has politics built into it.
Obama to Meet With Tech Giants Over Surveillance, Obamacare
President Barack Obama, facing growing pressure from Silicon Valley, will meet Tuesday with executives from Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and other technology and telecommunications giants to discuss their concerns about America’s surveillance operations.
Six Important Take-Aways From Yesterday’s Decision Striking Down The Contraception Mandate in New York
Yesterday, a district court judge struck down the Obamacare contraception mandate as applied to the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and its constituent organizations as a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. You can read the decision here (PDF), but I wanted to highlight some important parts.
California’s health exchange botched letters to 114,000 households
Adding to consumer confusion ahead of a major enrollment deadline, California’s health insurance exchange sent flawed eligibility notices to nearly 114,000 households due to a computer error.
Six Problems with the Latest Obamacare ‘Fix’
Last night, the Obama administration announced two big changes to Obamacare, for people who have seen their individual-market insurance plans canceled this year: They won’t have to comply with the individual mandate, meaning they can go without insurance and not pay the not-insubstantial fine (1 percent of their income, basically); and if they do want insurance, they can buy a “catastrophic” plan on the exchanges, which is cheaper than any of the other plans available.
Obamacare Spawning White Flight, Could Cost Dems Senate
The “Reagan Democrats” of the 80s may soon give way to the “Obamacare Republicans” of today, an outcome that could spell trouble for Senate Democrats seeking reelection as disaffected white voters increasingly reject Obamacare and its redistributive design.
Obamacare Heroin Found in Massachussetts
I think the dealers in this story are on to something. Pretty soon the whole country is going to be so depressed that the sale of narcotics could fund Obamacare, food stamps, and probably even Social Security for years.
California Healthcare Changes Leave Woman Without Treatment for Terminal Disease
Paradise, CA resident Tiffany St. Cyr has a rare disease that is incurable but survivable with treatment, yet she cannot get care because of healthcare changes California adopted in anticipation of Obamacare and corresponding state healthcare changes.
Iran nuke deal quietly collapses
Less than a month after it was hailed as “a great diplomatic coup,” the so-called Geneva accord to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions seems to have come unstuck.
Major computer security firm RSA took $10 mln from NSA to weaken encryption – report
The National Security Agency arranged a clandestine US$10 million contract with computer security power RSA that allowed the spy agency to embed encryption software it could use to infiltrate the company’s widely used products, Reuters reported.
U.S. Air Force Pilots Fly Less than China’s Do
A number of us have been warning about this for a while, but today’s Wall Street Journal carries an important piece by Julian Barnes on the decline in flying and training hours for U.S. Air Force pilots. Leading generals I’ve talked to over the past year have warned about the long-term cost of budget cuts that force them to shift money away from training and maintenance towards daily operations. Earlier this year, the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command had to temporarily stand down 17 squadrons in order to deal with a budget-induced reduction of 44,000 flying hours. When the planes took to the skies again, many of those aircrews had to be recertified, which took several months and more money than if they had been allowed to fly all along.
World War Three?
Are we re-living the lead-up to World War One? Margaret MacMillan—author of the excellent Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World and more recently of The War That Ended Peace—has penned the latest Brookings Essay on the similarities between our time and the years leading up to the First World War. The piece describes these similarities—including widespread belief in the peaceful powers of globalization mixed with ineffective leaders, geopolitical grappling, rising nationalism, and instability in smaller countries that are “clients” of larger powers—and argues that a another war of global proportions could be possible if we don’t learn the lessons of 1914.
Yes, Obama deliberately stalled controversial regs prior to 2012 election
Did not want voters to know what was coming down post-election.
Human brain hard-wired for rural tranquillity
Study of brain activity shows it struggling to process complex urban landscapes
Parents Threatened for Opting Out of Common Core
Parents hate to see their kids treated like robots while forced to fit into the government’s definition of equal and successful. Surprise! Surprise! Parents want their kids to develop as individuals each prepared to follow his own dreams.
In Texas, Search Warrants Can Now Be Based on a “Prediction of a Future Crime”
Police in Parker County had been watching Michael Fred Wehrenberg’s home for a month when, late in the summer of 2010, they received a tip from a confidential informant that Wehrenberg and several others were “fixing to” cook meth. Hours later, after midnight, officers walked through the front door, rounded up the people inside, and kept them in handcuffs in the front yard for an hour and a half.
‘A Cult Worthy of Jonestown’? Hey, Democrats Embraced Jim Jones!
John Podesta, soon to become a White House adviser, recently called the Republican Party “a cult worthy of Jonestown.” Today he apologized.
Ohio Lawmakers Want Social Workers to Have Veto Power Over Decision to Homeschool
Parents would have to submit to background checks and interrogations.
‘Duck Dynasty’ Star: A Vagina Is ‘More Desirable Than A Man’s Anus’
One “Duck Dynasty” star called homosexuality illogical.
House Democrat Jim Matheson retires, clearing the way for Mia Love
Here’s Matheson’s announcement. He’s only 53 years old. Either there’s some as-yet-unknown bad news that’s forced him out or, as a Democrat from Utah, he’s tired of fighting for his political life every two years.
Sen. Mark Udall (D, Colorado) lied about #obamacare: watch him get called on it here.
Ladies and gentlemen, expect a war in the Colorado Senate race.
North Dakota to Let Man in Same-Sex Marriage Wed Woman, Too
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a legal opinion last week confirming that the state does not recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, allowing a man married to another man to come to North Dakota and marry a woman without divorcing his husband.
Rothenberg gives Cotton the edge in Arkansas
Stu Rothenberg has moved the Arkansas Senate race between Sen. Mark Pryor and Rep. Tom Cotton from “toss-up” to “tilts Republican.”
‘Duck Dynasty’ Sponsor
We Stand Behind Phil
Lesbian boss ‘fired me for being straight’
A married, heterosexual gym teacher at a tony Upper West Side private school was fired because his lesbian supervisor disapproved of his “traditional family status,” the canned teacher claims in a new Manhattan lawsuit.
Border Patrol helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the United States
A federal judge in Texas late last week accused the Obama administration of aiding drug cartels, saying that instead of enforcing immigration laws, agents knowingly helped smuggle an illegal immigrant girl into the U.S. to live with her mother, also an illegal immigrant, in Virginia.
Democratic Campaigns Pay African American, Hispanic Staffers Less
African Americans paid 70 cents on the dollar compared to white counterparts on Democratic campaigns
Bill Would Prohibit Asset Forfeiture In Michigan Without Criminal Conviction
State has been ground zero for money and property seizures
Log Cabin Republicans Invite Duck Dynasty’s Robertson to ‘Moonshine Summit’
The Log Cabin Republicans are extending a hand to Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s in the wake of his controversial comments about homosexuality. Rather than criticize Robertson, the gay Republican group is inviting the Duck Dynasty patriarch to a “Moonshine Summit” to discuss the incident.
Harry Reid Is Hospitalized
Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, was hospitalized Friday after falling ill in the morning, his office said.
Duck Hunt: NAACP Blasts Phil Robertson as ‘Racist’
The left’s shrill witch hunt to snuff out a culturally conservative television phenomenon marched on Thursday when the NAACP blasted “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson as “racist.” During an interview with “GQ” magazine, the 67 year-old Robertson described himself as “white trash” and said that his memory does not comport with a Jim Crow South that is seen by most as a living hell for blacks. Apparently, what you remember now qualifies you as a racist
Pol sent staff video of ‘oral sex’
Move over, Vito “Gropez” — yet another Albany politician has been accused of outlandish sexual harassment by young female staffers.
Wastebook: 13 Insane Government Programs Funded With Your Money
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released a new edition of “Wastebook” today — an extensive collection of ridiculous taxpayer-funded projects unearthed by Coburn and his staff — and it’s a real doozy. Or, as Upworthy might put it, “A U.S. senator actually examined the federal budget. What he found will make you wish you had a lifetime supply of tar and feathers.”
China’s Shadow Currency
Bankers acceptance notes are financing tremendous speculation in China’s provinces. How long can this last?
Mandela Signer in Group That Burned Men
The bogus sign language interpreter at last week’s Nelson Mandela memorial service was among a group of people who accosted two men found with a stolen television and burned them to death by setting fire to tires placed around their necks, one of the interpreter’s cousins and three of his friends told The Associated Press Monday.
North Korea Erases Kim Jong-Un’s Executed Uncle From History
North Korea is going the full Winston Smith on former #2 and now executed traitor Jang Song Thaek, erasing any trace of the man from state media. The execution and disappearance of their biggest ally within the North Korean regime leaves the people of China scratching their heads about their relationship with the rogue state.
Oppositionists surround Thai National Police building in Bangkok
“This time we will not go away. Time has come to make a reply,” the protesters yell
South Sudan violence continues, military loses rural state capital
At least 500 killed, 700 injured amid violence in world’s newest country
Nine questions about the South Sudan crisis: A guide for confused observers
Radio Tamazuj is an independent cross-border radio project covering the conflict areas of Sudan and South Sudan. Radio Director Hildebrand Bijleveld tries to answer some of the most asked questions about the conflict that started December 15 as it heads toward what seems to be civil war.
Chef who said the word ‘golliwog’ as he discussed Robertson’s jam in front of black colleague is guilty of racial harassment
A chef who apologised after he mentioned the old ‘golliwog’ label on Robertson’s jam in front of a black colleague was still guilty of harassment, top appeal judges ruled today.
Over 30 Ladies in White Arrested Today
Over 30 members of the pro-democracy group, The Ladies in White, were beaten and arrested today, as they tried to gather for a meeting in Havana.
UN troops missing as contact lost with S. Sudan base
The United Nations said it has lost contact with a South Sudan base that was stormed by attackers Thursday and at least three peacekeepers and civilian staff are unaccounted for.
Are too many kids taking antipsychotic drugs?
Use is climbing despite questions about how safe the drugs are and how well they work
The Age of Envy
The most embarrassing sin produces the worst politics.
Polygamy and the Marriage Free-fall
Marriage in America is in a state of free-fall, and it’s the confluence of American attitudes and legal rulings that are responsible for helping push it off the cliff.
Sons of Divorce, School Shooters
Another shooting, another son of divorce. From Adam Lanza, who killed 26 children and adults a year ago at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn., to Karl Pierson, who shot a teenage girl and killed himself this past Friday at Arapahoe High in Centennial, Colo., one common and largely unremarked thread tying together most of the school shooters that have struck the nation in the last year is that they came from homes marked by divorce or an absent father. From shootings at MIT (i.e., the Tsarnaev brothers) to the University of Central Florida to the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., nearly every shooting over the last year in Wikipedia’s “list of U.S. school attacks” involved a young man whose parents divorced or never married in the first place.
“Male Privilege” — To Be Denigrated, Dismissed, And Shamed For Being Male
I’ve blogged recently how women no longer demand equality but special treatment — to be coddled in the workplace and in academia. In addition, academic feminism has led the march to lie about sex differences (deeming them socially constructed not biologically driven), to shame men for being male, and to deem normal male mating behavior “sexual harassment.”
Why China Will Inherit The Moon.
People Who Appreciate Who They Are Deserve To Win. The US No Longer Does.
The Redistribution of Freedom
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called the right to be left alone the “most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by a free people.” It would even be fair to say that without the right to be left alone no other rights exist.
Orwell’s mistake in Nineteen Eighty-Four was assuming that a totalitarian socialist state would maintain the rigid linguistic conventions of bureaucratic totalitarianism. That future commissars and fuhrers would insist on everyone talking like office clerks picking out words from a coded manual of procedures.
The Stigma of Racism
Around the turn of the century, I was working weekends and summers at a Kmart to save money for college. One day I took a phone call from a woman who was trying to get a hold of another employee she’d spoken to earlier in the week. Her attempts to recall his name were not fruitful, so she took to describing him: “Tall … dark hair … um …” And finally, meekly: “… black ..h1 style=”text-align: center;”.”
Polygamy: It’s Coming
In Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court, reversing its own then-recent holding in Bowers v. Hardwick, ruled that laws against homosexual sodomy are unconstitutional–even though the Constitution says nothing about sex, let alone sodomy–on the ground that the right of privacy (also never mentioned in the Constitution) protects all consensual, private sexual contact between adults. Lawrence immediately was seen as a milestone in the campaign for gay marriage. Some conservatives noted that the Court’s rationale would protect polygamy, too, but they were denounced as killjoys. Lawyers noticed, however. Soon after Lawrence, several lawsuits were commenced in federal courts asserting a constitutional right to polygamy.
A&E fowls up ‘Duck’ flap: Column
The ‘tolerance’ society demands from Christians really is silent compliance.
Ultimately There Will Be No Option for Silence or the Sidelines. You Will Be Made To Care.
I have told you people again and again. You will be made to care. Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good. Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan, honestly answered questions during an GQ interview. He spoke openly of his Christian faith. Because he offended a secular left at war with orthodox Christianity, he must be punished.
Necessary Elitism And The Demise Of Higher Education
The higher education bubble is about to pop. And that’s not all good news.
The Loneliness of the Black Republican
What attracts young African-Americans to the GOP?
How Leftist Targeting Calculus Works
Or geometry or algebra or whatever.
Evil Preaches Tolerance Until It Is Dominant, Then Seeks to Silence Good
In 1987, Andre Sarano took a photograph of Christ on the cross in a jar of urine. It won the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art’s “Awards in the Visual Arts” competition, which was sponsored in part by taxpayers.
The Age of Intolerance
The forces of “tolerance” are intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebratory approval
Having leaned on A&E to suspend their biggest star, GLAAD has now moved on to Stage Two: “We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share,” the spokesman said.
Special Snowflake Syndrome
A frightening report from the front lines of the Culture War