Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Business Insider - Last week's Culebra Koa 15 (CK 15) exercises in Hawaii were the last chance for some fun in the sun before two of the US Navy's newest — and most unusual — ships get deployed.
The USNS Montford Point is not just the first ship of its class, it's the first of its kind. The ship "became fully operations capable and delivered to Military Sealift Command just last month," Lieutenant Commander Brian Tague of the US Navy's Military Sealift Command told VICE News in Hawaii. It practically has that new-ship smell.
The ship is what the military calls a Mobile Landing Platform (MLP). Part of the vessel has a big ramp that connects to any one of a variety of other ships that would normally unload cargo at a dock. Read More
Gary Gross -
Tim Carney’s article about how the presidential candidates did at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference reaffirms my beliefs. First, it reaffirms that Jeb Bush is a frontrunner only because of his fundraising operation and his name recognition. Second, it reaffirms my belief that this race isn’t about who wins ‘the establishment primary’ vs. who wins ‘the movement primary’. Third, it reaffirms my belief that candidates like Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Donald Trump are sideshows and don’t have a chance at winning the nomination. Finally, it reaffirms my belief that I’ve had from the start that Scott Walker is still the frontrunner.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The annual Southern Republican Leadership Conference provided a glimpse into the state of the Republican base and the presidential field. The conference revealed a Republican base that is (1) broadly happy with the crowded and conservative field, (2) still smitten with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and (3) unimpressed and uninterested in Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Senate chaos over the Patriot Act kept the four senators who are running from making it, dampening the mood a bit. The candidates running a second time — Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee — do not excite the conservative base.What’s interesting is Carney’s statement that the activists are “still smitten with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” Marco Rubio has climbed to frontrunner status on Special Report’s Candidate Casino segment because he’s excellent on foreign policy and he’s got a terrific life story to tell. Jeb Bush is accorded top tier status for the reasons I’ve stated above. Scott Walker still gets strong support but there’s little buzz about him.
Perhaps that’s because he’s just the guy everyone quietly likes? This part is interesting:
Straw Poll: The straw poll results mostly reflected Scott Walker’s popularity, and the apprehension the Republican base has for Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, the perceived establishment moderates in the field.
1) Dr. Ben Carson won the straw poll handily, thanks to his having the biggest organized effort. His campaign bought a booth and bought 100 tickets, to allow supporters to attend for free. Many of these supporters came in from out of state. All told, Carson won about 240 votes.
2) The biggest winner may have been Wisconsin Gov. Walker, who finished a close second, with about 200 votes. He had no organized effort to win the straw poll, but he still won the most votes among Oklahomans in the crowd. His Friday afternoon speech was spot-on and well delivered. His strong showing reflects that the good will Walker garnered through his fights in Madison, Wis., sill buoy him, even after other conservative stars have entered the race.Dr. Carson showed that he’s put together an organization. Still, what’s impressive is that Gov. Walker didn’t bring his organizers to the event and still was competitive. This might be more impressive, though:
3) What recommends Walker most to Republican voters is his successful battles with powerful labor unions, the media, and the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
Walker made these battles — including his recall election victory — the focus of his talk.
4) Walker was able to tick off a long list of legislative accomplishments, touching on all the major conservative policy priorities: cutting spending, cutting taxes, bringing the bureaucracy to heel, defunding Planned Parenthood, expanding gun rights, passing right to work, requiring photo ID for voters and so on.
5) Walker cast his political and policy wins as populist victories over powerful insiders. He described his fight against the government unions as “taking power out of the hands the big-government special interests” and putting it in the hands of ordinary people.
6) Walker closed with a pointed critique of his rivals. He said many Washington politicians are good at picking fights, but they don’t win — a clear reference to Cruz’s failed Obamacare shutdown, and Marco Rubio and Paul’s lack of a record. Alternatively, many Republicans, Walker said, are good at winning races, but they never fight for important, tough things — presumably referring to Christie and Bush.In other words, he’s a confident leader with a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments who isn’t afraid to pick a fight. Simply put, he’s everything McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Santorum weren’t and Jeb Bush isn’t.
Gary Gross -
Paul Waldman’s illogic is painful reading:
And the Kochs aren’t the only ones trying to do this winnowing. Fox News, which always keeps the long-term interests of the Republican Party in mind, recently announced that in the first debate of the season, it will be refusing admittance to all but 10 candidates. The excluded ones will in all likelihood find themselves caught in a vicious cycle where they can’t get coverage because they aren’t being taken seriously, and the can’t get taken seriously because they aren’t getting coverage. Ten is still a large number of candidates, but that first debate will be a key moment in the winnowing process.Let’s analyze this sentence:
The excluded ones will in all likelihood find themselves caught in a vicious cycle where they can’t get coverage because they aren’t being taken seriously, and the can’t get taken seriously because they aren’t getting coverage.The “excluded ones” won’t be taken seriously because they can’t appeal to more than a niche within the Republican Party.
Think Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Fox News made the right decision because having 16 candidates on the same stage is worthless.
Assuming that each candidate got 2 minutes to answer their questions, 2 questions would eat up an entire hour. That’s assuming that the candidates’ answers don’t run long, which is a foolish assumption.
The activists wouldn’t benefit from a scattershot format. Neither would the candidates.
Finally, the winnowing process is part of the cycle. This isn’t about a competition where each of the participants gets a trophy or medal for participating. These candidates are interviewing to be the leader of the free world.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Larry Hart -
In an al Jezeera poll, in Arabic, asking whether or not Muslims support the Islamic State, an overwhelming 81% said yes, they do. After 9-11 al Jezeera took another poll asking their support for Osama bin Ladin and the attacks on the United States. That poll was 50% approval rate. Several questions can be asked rhetorically about the ISIS poll .
Fifty per cent of the Arab Muslim world is uncomfortable enough but thirty points more between then and now is very disturbing. What has happened between 9-11 and now that accounts for that boost in percentage? Read the rest of the article here
Other polls corroborate al Jazeera's poll
What's on tap for Google's big conference this week: expect watches, virtual reality, and a mystery Bluetooth device
Business Insider - It’s Google I/O time again, the time of year when the Internet giant holds its annual developers' conference in San Francisco, showing off the cool stuff its army of engineers have been working on for the past 12 months.
The event, which will take place on Thursday and Friday, draws thousands of attendees, all eager to hear from Google’s top brass — CEO Larry Page gave an impassioned and much-discussed talk about the state of the tech industry in 2013 — learn about the latest products, and get their hands on the free swag that Google typically doles out (last year, attendees got two free Android Wear smartwatches).
Charisma - It was right there in the New York Times earlier this year: blatant hostility toward the religious liberty rights of people of faith. Openly gay columnist Frank Bruni didn't candy-coat it:
"I do support the right of people to believe what they do and say what they wish—in their pews, homes and hearts. But outside of those places? You must put up with me, just as I put up with you."
That's the reality of today in America, where it's now open season on people of faith who are vulnerable to growing attacks by litigious individuals and organizations offended by traditional religious viewpoints. They're seeking to litigate employment discrimination claims to further a larger political or cultural agenda.
While there is hope from key Supreme Court cases, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC (a victory granting ministries latitude in hiring, firing and disciplining ministerial employees) and Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. & Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell (a landmark win for freedom of conscience rights), churches, ministries and schools, and faith-based businesses still need to take legal steps to protect themselves from serious legal and financial ruin. Read More
‘Revitalizing’ Detroit with 50,000 Syrian Refugees? - An idea that will drive the failed city deeper into poverty — and harm national security
FrontPageMag.Com - It has been said that nature abhors a vacuum. The Obama administration’s policies around the world have created power vacuums with severe and often deadly consequences. These vacuums are profoundly impacting the Middle East and the rampage of ISIS and other terror organizations.
Today my focus will be on the massive numbers of refugees fleeing the chaos and violence of the Middle East and what this is likely to mean for the United States from a number of perspectives.
Millions of people are quite literally running for their lives and are heading to countries around the world. Make no mistake, this is a humanitarian crisis that pulls at people’s heartstrings, and rightfully so. As the grandson of a woman who was slaughtered in Poland during World War II, I understand how important it is for countries around the world to try to save lives. Read More
The Hill -
Washington wants to spend more.
Just four years ago, the nation's rapidly expanding debt was seen as Washington's No. 1 crisis.
When House Republicans took the majority in 2011, they made it their overarching mission to rein in spending. Together with the White House, they agreed to limit spending for the next decade by the use of budget caps.
Now those spending ceilings are unpopular with members of both parties.
Pressure to break them is coming from all sides, and building.
“We’re living with just really low numbers without any wiggle room, any flexibility,” Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), one appropriations subcommittee chairwoman, told The Hill.
“Particularly in foreign operations, or defense, or some of the others, it’s really difficult.”
There are plenty of causes that members believe deserve more money. Read More
Obama Gives Green Light to Force Palestinian Statehood? - Report alleges Obama is plotting with the UN and EU to unilaterally carve up Israel
FrontPageMag.Com - President Barack Obama visited an influential conservative Washington D.C. synagogue on May 22nd with the avowed purpose of assuring his audience of about 1000 people that his “commitment to Israel’s security is and always will be unshakeable.” Donning a yarmulke and speaking from the synagogue sanctuary’s bimah where the Torah is recited, Obama claimed that “no U.S. President, no administration has done more to ensure that Israel can protect itself than this one.” Carried away by his own self-proclaimed support for Israel, he declared himself an “honorary member of the tribe.”
Obama’s understatement that the “Palestinians are not the easiest of partners” evoked laughter from the audience. He reiterated to applause his commitment to a two-state solution “for two peoples, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security,” while saying he recognizes the “existential risks” Israel would face from a bad deal with the Palestinians that does not “take into account the genuine dangers of terrorism and hostility.” Read More
The Hill - The FBI is investigating threats to up to ten international flights after a man claimed chemical weapons were aboard the jets, according to multiple media reports.
NBC News is reporting that authorities do not believe that the anonymous threats are credible, but that they are still investigating. It adds that the male caller threatened at least ten flights and that authorities have so far cleared all but three of the planes. Read More
Legal Insurrection - We’ve recently seen riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, and there are growing concerns that Cleveland will be the next city to become embroiled in riots. As we learn about (relatively well-) paid protesters and watch the usual parade of race grievance mongers, one thing has become quite clear: the left has decided that violent riots are a viable tool for change.
According to Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine:
The recent spate of protests against police brutality have changed the way the left thinks about rioting. The old liberal idea, which distinguished between peaceful protests (good) and rioting (bad), has given way to a more radical analysis. “Riots work,” insists George Ciccariello-Maher in Salon. “But despite the obviousness of the point, an entire chorus of media, police, and self-appointed community leaders continue to try to convince us otherwise, hammering into our heads a narrative of a nonviolence that has never worked on its own, based on a mythical understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.” Vox’s German Lopez, while acknowledging the downside of random violence, argues, “Riots can lead to real, substantial change.” In Rolling Stone, Jesse Myerson asserts, “the historical pedigree of property destruction as a tactic of resistance is long and frequently effective.” Darlena Cunha, writing in Time, asks, “Is rioting so wrong?” and proceeds to answer her own question in the negative. Read More
@ComediAnon continued the discussion with Dave on #OpISIS, elaborating more on how the operation works, results and risks such as threats from ISIS. He also talked about the new #GhostArmy and CloudFlare Fridays.
Listen To The Podcast (@ComediAnon's interview begins at 49:00)
Washington (AFP) - The death of blues guitar legend B.B. King this month will be investigated as a homicide, a Nevada coroner's office said.
King died aged 89 on May 14 in Las Vegas, where he kept a residence.
Two of King's daughters have reported concerns that his death may have been related to foul play, Las Vegas media reported.
"Our coroner takes jurisdctn over #BBKing body, performs autopsy. Results:6-8wks min. Homicide investgtn w/ @LVMPD," the Clark County, Nevada coroner's office announced on Twittter, referring to the Las Vegas police department. Read More
h/t - The Clarion Project
Police: Yes, there ARE No-Go Zones in Sweden
The Sweden Report - The issue of whether there are No-Go Zones in Europe or not has been somewhat controversial, mainly because the term has not had a clear-cut definition when applied to civilian cities.
The original term is military lingo for hot areas controlled by the enemy, where it is suicidal to venture without sufficient firepower to match that of the enemy. This describes the situation of police officers pretty well; you have to enter the area in force or stay out, since a lone patrol car WILL be attacked.
Jacob Ekström is a police officer working in these areas. He has this to say in the latest issue of Forsking & Framsteg, the premier scientific journal in Sweden:
“The situation is slipping from our grasp,” he says about infamous enclaves Tensta and Rinkeby. “If we’re in pursuit of a vehicle, it can evade us by driving to certain neighborhoods where a lone patrol car simply cannot follow, because we’ll get pelted by rocks and even face riots. These are No-Go Zones. We simply can’t go there.” [My bold] Read More
Larry Hart - On April 24th last, I wrote “Why Dzhokhar Tsarnaev must die” Now that the Jury has come back with the desired verdict, the Boston Bomber will die by whatever means the Federal government decides.
But, first we must go through the appeals process. Death penalty cases can take up to twenty to twenty five years before all appeals are exhausted and the sentence is finally carried out. Victims and victims’ families are beset with this mental torture waiting a lifetime to see justice. Read More
Gary Gross - The Democratic playbook on Marco Rubio is thin. Their best argument against Sen. Rubio is that he isn’t Hispanic enough:
So far, Democrats who have combed over Mr. Rubio’s voting record in the Senate have seized on his opposition to legislation raising the minimum wage and to expanding college loan refinancing, trying to cast him as no different from other Republicans. The subtext: He may be Hispanic, but he is not on the side of Hispanics when it comes to the issues they care about.That’s incredibly defensive. If the Democrats’ biggest criticism of Sen. Rubio is that he opposed raising the minimum wage, that will last about a week, if that, before Sen. Rubio starts talking about restoring the American Dream again. Let’s remember that Democrats are frightened by Sen. Rubio’s personal story:
WASHINGTON — They use words like “historic” and “charismatic,” phrases like “great potential” and “million-dollar smile.” They notice audience members moved to tears by an American-dream-come-true success story. When they look at the cold, hard political math, they get uneasy.
An incipient sense of anxiety is tugging at some Democrats — a feeling tersely captured in four words from a blog post written recently by a seasoned party strategist in Florida: “Marco Rubio scares me.”Sen. Rubio isn’t flawless. His participation in the Gang of 8 immigration reform bill is a definite sticking point with Republicans. That might hurt Sen. Rubio’s chances for winning the nomination. Still, that’s nothing compared with the cloud of scandals that Hillary will have to defend in the general election.
Defending a policy misstep isn’t difficult compared with convincing people that the series of disastrous decisions you’re associated with (the Reset Button with Russia, pulling the troops out of Iraq, which led directly to ISIS claiming functional control of Anbar Province and not stepping up security in Benghazi, which led to the U.S. Ambassador to Libya getting assassinated) aren’t proof that you’re the worst Secretary of State in the last 75 years.
John Hinderaker has an other observation that Democrats should be worried about:
The one who should really scare them is Hillary Clinton, as her ineptitude as a candidate becomes more palpable with every passing day.If Hillary hadn’t been First Lady, she wouldn’t get taken seriously as a presidential candidate. When she was First Lady, she was a disaster, starting with her bombing with HillaryCare, then including her “vast right wing conspiracy” statement. After that statement, she disappeared from the stage for over a month.
When she started her book tour, she committed one gaffe after another, which led to cancelling the majority of the tour. Initially, it was thought that the book tour would serve as Hillary’s first step in her presidential coronation. Instead, it was cancelled because she botched things badly.
The War on Christians Has Hit the Shores of Ireland - A bakery was fined for refusing to bake a cake
ITS OFFICIAL!!! I am a Hater and I Have Proof :-)
If I was a baker WHO would I refuse service to. I believe in the free markets so I did not expect a long list to be honest. After about 2 minutes of thinking I came up with 12!!!! Wow I guess its true what people say about me – I really am a hater and a bigot!!! Here are the types of cakes I would refuse to bake (BTW I am sure I left some out)
- A cake for ANY non-traditional wedding;
- A cake for a Church like Westboro Baptist Church with a insulting message like God hates f**s!!!
- A cake celebrating any EVIL Communist murder like Che, Stalin, Lenin, Mao or Pot;
- A cake celebrating Hitler / Mein Kamnp or gas chambers;
- A cake which featured any anti-Semitic messages;
- A cake celebrating Planned Parenthood, abortion or the evil Margaret Sanger;
- A cake celebrating the KKK / hangings or slavery;
- A cake celebrating segregation or how it was a benefit to society!
- A cake mocking any religion;
- A cake in support of any of the terrorists groups we see today ranging from the IRA to Boko Haram to Hamas!
Also While many American’s today have fond feelings of him I would also refuse to do anything connected to FDR – There is nothing he could do in my eyes to overcome Internment Camps! Who did I forget?