How Hillary Got Classified Information Onto Her Private Email

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If the latest allegations are true, Hillary Clinton and her minions committed several felonies. And they knew this when they did it.

Kurt Schlichter writes: Hillary Clinton’s acolytes are racing to dismiss the latest allegations that classified material was cut and pasted into her emails, but this isn’t some mere oversight that can be hand-waved away PANTSUIT-REPORTwith a shrug and a sad trombone honk. One doesn’t spill classified material into an unclassified system accidentally or through mere negligence. What these new revelations show—if they are true—is conduct that was conscious, intentional, and felonious as all get-out.

In basic and open-source terms, there is no one big computer system where innocuous, unclassified material shares space with classified material. They are kept on physically separate computer systems: there is the unclassified system, and there are several classified systems. They don’t connect, unless someone chooses to intentionally connect them.

When there is spillage of classified material into unclassified systems, all hell breaks loose. Well, at least it does when it’s not a friend of the administration doing the spilling.

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Filching Information from a Secure Facility

Let’s take a look at what it would take to make this happen. Hillary Clinton refused to use a secure system. She wanted to use her own system because she could control it and unlawfully shield it from the prying eyes of the American people and their representatives. Her minions therefore had to deliberately act to circumvent the rules and procedures put in place to prevent people from doing exactly what Clinton wanted done.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

First, someone would have to enter a secure facility—usually called a SCIF—to access a classified document on one of the secure systems. These terminals are behind locked doors with access controls and multiple security measures. You have to have the clearance to enter, and you leave your Android, iPad, laptop, and everything else with a chip outside.

Read the rest of this entry »


Inspector General: Clinton Emails Had Intel from Most Secretive, Classified Programs

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FBI investigation into Clinton expands beyond emails.

 and  report: Hillary Clinton’s emails on her unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government’s most secretive and highly classified programs, according to an unclassified letter from a top inspector general to senior lawmakers.

“According to court documents, former CIA Director David Petraeus was prosecuted for sharing intelligence from special access programs with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. At the heart of his prosecution was a non-disclosure agreement where Petraeus agreed to protect these closely held government programs.”

Fox News exclusively obtained the unclassified letter, sent Jan. 14 from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III. It laid out the findings of a recent comprehensive review by intelligence agencies that identified “several dozen” additional classified emails — including specific intelligence known as “special access programs” (SAP).

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That indicates a level of classification beyond even “top secret,” the label previously given to two emails found on her server, and brings even more scrutiny to the presidential candidate’s handling of the government’s closely held secrets.

“To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels,” said the IG letter to lawmakers with oversight of the intelligence community and State Department. “According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources.”

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Intelligence from a “special access program,” or SAP, is even more sensitive than that designated as “top secret” – as were two emails identified last summer in a random sample pulled from Clinton’s private server she used as secretary of state. Access to a SAP is 12-hillary-clinton-email.w245.h368restricted to those with a “need-to-know” because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal the source, putting a method of intelligence collection — or a human asset — at risk. Currently, some 1,340 emails designated “classified” have been found on Clinton’s server, though the Democratic presidential candidate insists the information was not classified at the time.

[Read the full story here, at Fox News]

“There is absolutely no way that one could not recognize SAP material,” a former senior law enforcement with decades of experience investigating violations of SAP procedures told Fox News. “It is the most sensitive of the sensitive.”

Executive Order 13526 — called “Classified National Security Information” and signed Dec. 29, 2009 — sets out the legal framework for establishing special access programs. The order says the programs can only be authorized by the president, “the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, or the principal deputy of each.”

The programs are created when “the vulnerability of, or threat to, specific information is exceptional,” and “the number of persons who ordinarily will have access will be reasonably small and commensurate with the objective of providing enhanced protection for the information involved,” it states. Read the rest of this entry »


Author of Benghazi Book Mitchell Zuckoff Stands by Pivotal ‘Stand-Down’ Scene

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Jocelyn Noveck reports: “Stand down,” says the actor playing the CIA station chief in Michael Bay‘s new film, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” He’s speaking to the security team that wants to go help Americans under siege less than a mile away in a U.S. diplomatic compound under fierce attack. His order keeps the team from leaving for a crucial 20 minutes, before they decide to ignore him and go anyway.

“We worked very hard to get the facts right from the research of the book that Mitch did to the amazing access I have from working 20 years with the military, from the boots on the ground, the people who were in country to the CIA, at a high-level meeting to get just the facts right, the recently released emails. We just had to get it right.”

— Director Michael Bay

It’s the pivotal — and most controversial — scene in the new film, a movie that Bay insists steers clear of politics, but which is bound to spark much political discussion nonetheless. On Friday — the movie’s opening day — the Washington Post quoted the now-retired CIA station chief, identified only as Bob, as strongly denying he ever issued such an order or anything like it.

“There never was a stand-down order,” the base chief was quoted by the Post as saying. “At no time did I ever second-guess that the team would depart.”

The author of the book upon which the film is based, Mitchell Zuckoff, stood by his depiction of the scene on Friday, saying in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he’d based it on several firsthand accounts. Zuckoff collaborated on his book, “13 Hours,” with some of the surviving security contractors.

[Read the full story here, at US News]

“It’s not credible what he’s claiming,” Zuckoff said of the station chief, whom he said he had tried to interview when writing the book, but his request was denied.

Four Americans died in the attacks, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] After Watching the Movie ’13 Hours’, Benghazi Victim’s Mother: ‘Hillary Is a Liar!’

Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith who was murdered at the Benghazi Consulate on 9-11-3012, screamed out “Hillary is a liar!” after watching the movie ’13 Hours.’

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. The alleged ringleader in the attack has been captured by involving Special Operations forces. (AFP/Getty Images)

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. The alleged ringleader in the attack has been captured by involving Special Operations forces. (AFP/Getty Images)


‘We Caved’: How Barack Obama’s Idealistic Rhetoric Collided With the Cold Realities of War and Dictatorship in the Middle East

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The persistent problem of how to deal with American-allied strongmen has long tripped up an inflexible president who boasts of his preference for ‘pragmatic solutions’ over moral purity but has been unable to find much of either in the Middle East.

Michael Crowley writes: On a late July day this past summer, a roar filled the sky over Cairo. It was the sound of Barack Obama’s capitulation to a dictator.

Eight new American fighter jets, freshly delivered from Washington, swooped low over the city, F-16s flying in formation. As they banked hard over the city’s center, they trailed plumes of red, white and black smoke—the colors of the Egyptian flag.

“The rhetoric got way ahead of the policymaking. It … raised expectations that everything was going to change.”

— Michael Posner, who served as Obama’s top State Department official for human rights and democracy in his first term

For Egypt’s brutally repressive president, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the spectacle was a triumph, symbolizing not only his militaristic power at home, but also his victory over an American president who had tried to punish him before surrendering to the cold realities of geopolitics.

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“He’s never quite melded his rhetoric with his policies.”

— Dennis Ross, who served as Obama’s top Middle East aide in his first term

Just two years earlier, Sisi had seized power in a military coup, toppling Mohamed Morsi, the democratically elected successor to Hosni Mubarak, himself a strongman of 30 years pushed out in early 2011 by mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. In the summer of 2013, Sisi followed his coup with a brutal crackdown that would have done Saddam Hussein proud. His security forces arrested thousands of people, including much of his political opposition, and in one bloody day that summer, they gunned down some 1,000 pro-Morsi protesters (or more) who were staging peaceful sit-ins. The massacre was shocking even by the standards of Egypt’s long-dismal human rights record.

“It seems like we are swinging back to the idea that we must make a choice between supporting dictators or being safe.”

— Robert Ford, who was Obama’s ambassador to Syria before resigning in frustration over the president’s policy there

Obama was appalled. “We can’t return to business as usual,” he declared after the slaughter. “We have to be very careful about being seen as aiding and abetting actions that we think run contrary to our values and ideals.”

[Read the full text here, at POLITICO Magazine]

Several weeks later, Obama halted the planned delivery of U.S. military hardware to Cairo, including attack helicopters, Harpoon missiles and several F-16 fighter jets, as well as $260 million in cash transfers. He also cast doubt on the future of America’s $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt—a subsidy on which Cairo depends heavily, and much more than the United States sends to any country in the world aside from Israel.

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But a fierce internal debate soon broke out over whether and how to sanction Egypt further, a fight that many officials told me was one of the most agonizing of the Obama administration’s seven years, as the president’s most powerful advisers spent months engaged in what one called “trench warfare” against each other. It was an excruciating test of how to balance American values with its cold-blooded security interests in an age of terrorism. Some of Obama’s top White House aides, including his deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, and the celebrated human rights champion Samantha Power, now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, urged the president to link further military aid to clear progress by Sisi on human rights and democracy. But Secretary of State John Kerry, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Hagel’s successor, Ash Carter, argued for restoring the aid. Trying to punish Sisi would have little effect on his behavior, they said, while alienating a bulwark against Islamic radicalism in an imploding Middle East. “Egypt was one of the most significant policy divides between the White House and the State Department and the Department of Defense,” says Matthew Spence, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy. Read the rest of this entry »


‘But…the President Cried!’

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AWR Hawkins writes: A CNN/ORC poll embargoed for release until the start of Obama’s gun control town hall shows that a majority of Americans oppose the use of executive actions for gun control.

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According to CNN, 54 percent of Americans said “no” when asked, “Do you favor or oppose Obama using executive orders to implement [gun controls]?” When asked if they believe Obama’s gun executive gun controls will be effective, 57 percent of Americans said they will not.

[Read the full story here, at Breitbart.com]

This is the same assessment the New York Daily News gave of Obama’s executive gun controls when they observed that the key component of the controls was an expansion of the frequency of background checks. Read the rest of this entry »


Another Chinese Billionaire Goes Missing

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The billionaire founder of Metersbonwe, one of China’s best-known fashion brands, has gone missing, the latest in a series of Chinese business people and financiers apparently embroiled in the country’s anti-corruption campaign.

“The company said in a second statement on Thursday night that it was unable to reach Mr Zhou or the secretary of the board, Tu Ke. The statement gave no further details.”

Metersbonwe suspended trading in its shares on the Shenzhen stock exchange on Thursday while the company said it was investigating reports in the Chinese media that Zhou Chengjian, its chairman, had been picked up by police.

“Mr Zhou is the latest high-profile private sector businessman believed to have been caught up in probes, and his disappearance follows the detention last month of Guo Guangchang of the conglomerate Fosun, which owns Club Med.”

The company is a household name on the Chinese high street and Mr Zhou was China’s 65th-richest man last year, according to the Hurun Rich list, with a fortune of Rmb26.5bn ($4.01bn).

The company said in a second statement on Thursday night that it was unable to reach Mr Zhou or the secretary of the board, Tu Ke. The statement gave no further details.

[Read the full story here, at FT.com]

Mr Zhou is the latest high-profile private sector businessman believed to have been caught up in probes, and his disappearance follows the detention last month of Guo Guangchang of the conglomerate Fosun, which owns Club Med. Read the rest of this entry »


11 Things Obama Never Cried About

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Laquan McDonald’s death, Tamir Rice’s death, the San Bernardino attack, James Foley’s beheading, nor the Fort Hood attack have moved the president to tears.

 writes: While announcing executive actions to further restrict gun sales on Tuesday, President Obama became emotional when recounting the children who died during the Sandy Hook shooting.

This very public display of emotion surprised many, as Obama doesn’t cry in public very often. In fact, he has a reputation of being rather stoic and emotionless.

“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” he said as he brushed away tears.

Over the past seven years, there have been numerous tragedies he didn’t publicly shed a tear over, including the deaths of black men and children at the hands of police officers.

Here are 11 other things that Obama never (publicly) cried about.

1. Laquan McDonald’s death

Laquan McDonald

Obama’s hometown of Chicago has been rife with tension after police shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald then apparently colluded with city officials in an attempt to conceal details surrounding his death.  Many were upset that the dashcam footage showing a police officer fatally shooting the teen was released to the public 13 months after the October 2014 shooting. The delay in releasing the video raised suspicions that Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayor and Obama’s former chief of staff, was involved in covering up the police’s actions surrounding his death.

A deluge of emails from city officials show that the Emanuel administration was concerned about the optics of the shooting, and it appears that they tried to minimize attention to the tragic event. The emails, which total over 3,000 pages, were made available to the public on New Year’s Eve.

[Read the full story here, at TheFederalist]

While Obama did release a statement saying that he was “deeply disturbed” by the footage, he hasn’t publicly shed tears over a police officer shooting this teenager 16 times even after McDonald had already fallen to the ground. Nor has he claimed to have lost sleep over the subsequent cover-up that his former pal seems to have participated in.

2. Tamir Rice’s Death

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Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was shot to death while playing with a toy gun at a park in November 2014. The police officer who shot Rice has been cleared of any legal wrongdoing, but video footage showing the child’s death is truly horrifying.

3. Eric Garner’s Death

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Eric Garner was choked to death by police last year while they apprehended him for selling untaxed cigarettes. Though he was resisting arrest, Garner can be heard repeatedly saying: “I can’t breathe.”

Read the rest of this entry »


The Misleading Uses, Flagrant Abuses, and Shoddy Statistics of Social Science About Gun Violence

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You Know Less Than You Think About Guns

Brian Doherty writes: “There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America,” President Barack Obama proclaimed after the October mass shooting that killed 10 at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. “So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer? We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work—or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns—is not borne out by the evidence.”

In this single brief statement, Obama tidily listed the major questions bedeviling social science research about guns—while also embodying the biggest problem with the way we process and apply that research. The president’s ironclad confidence in the conclusiveness of the science, and therefore the desirability of “common-sense gun safety laws,” is echoed widely with every new mass shooting, from academia to the popular press to that guy you knew from high school on Facebook.

[Order Emily Miller’s book “Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

In April 2015, the Harvard gun-violence researcher David Hemenway took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to declare in a headline: “There’s scientific consensus on guns—and the NRA won’t like it.” Hemenway insisted that researchers have definitively established “that a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be…that guns are not used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime…and that the change to more permissive gun carrying laws has not reduced crime rates.” He concludes: “There is consensus that strong gun laws reduce homicide.”

But the science is a lot less certain than that. What we really know about the costs and benefits of private gun ownership and the efficacy of gun laws is far more fragile than what Hemenway and the president would have us believe.

More guns do not necessarily mean more homicides. More gun laws do not necessarily mean less gun crime. Finding good science is hard enough; finding good social science on a topic so fraught with politics is nigh impossible. The facts then become even more muddled as the conclusions of those less-than-ironclad academic studies cycle through the press and social media in a massive game of telephone. Despite the confident assertions of the gun controllers and decades of research, we still know astonishingly little about how guns actually function in society and almost nothing at all about whether gun control policies actually work as promised.

Do More Guns Mean More Homicides?

“More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on August 26, 2015, just after the grisly on-air murder of two television journalists in Virginia. It’s a startling fact, and true.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

But do the number of guns in circulation correlate with the number of gun deaths? Start by looking at the category of gun death that propels all gun policy discussion: homicides. (Gun suicides, discussed further below, are a separate matter whose frequent conflation with gun crime introduces much confusion into the debate.)

In 1994 Americans owned around 192 million guns, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. Today, that figure is somewhere between 245 and 328 million, though as Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss in their thorough 2014 book The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press) wisely concluded, liberal-huh“the bottom line is that no one knows how many firearms are in private hands in the United States.” Still, we have reason to believe gun prevalence likely surpassed the one-gun-per-adult mark early in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report that relied on sales and import data.

Yet during that same period, per-capita gun murders have been cut almost in half.

One could argue that the relevant number is not the number of guns, but the number of people with access to guns. That figure is also ambiguous. A Gallup poll in 2014 found 42 percent of households claiming to own a gun, which Gallup reports is “similar to the average reported to Gallup over the past decade.” But those looking for a smaller number, to downplay the significance of guns in American life, can rely on the door-to-door General Social Survey, which reported in 2014 that only 31 percent of households have guns, down 11 percentage points from 1993’s 42 percent. There is no singular theory to explain that discrepancy or to be sure which one is closer to correct—though some doubt, especially as gun ownership continues to be so politically contentious, that people always reliably report the weapons they own to a stranger literally at their door.

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The gun murder rate in 1993 was 7.0 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (Those reports rely on death certificate reporting, and they tend to show higher numbers than the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, though both trend the same.) In 2000 the gun murder rate per 100,000 was 3.8. By 2013, the rate was even lower, at 3.5, though there was a slight upswing in the mid-00s.

This simple point—that America is awash with more guns than ever before, yet we are killing each other with guns at a far lower rate than when we had far fewer guns—undermines the narrative that there is a straightforward, causal relationship between increased gun prevalence and gun homicide. Even if you fall back on the conclusion that it’s just a small number of owners stockpiling more and more guns, it’s hard to escape noticing that even these hoarders seem to be harming fewer and fewer people with their weapons, casting doubt on the proposition that gun ownership is a political crisis demanding action.

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In the face of these trend lines—way more guns, way fewer gun murders—how can politicians such as Obama and Hillary Clinton so successfully capitalize on the panic that follows each high profile shooting? Partly because Americans haven’t caught on to the crime drop. A 2013 Pew Research Poll found 56 percent of respondents thought that gun crime had gone up over the past 20 years, and only 12 percent were aware it had declined.

Do Gun Laws Stop Gun Crimes?

The same week Kristof’s column came out, National Journal attracted major media attention with a showy piece of research and analysis headlined “The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths.” The subhead lamented: “But there’s still little appetite to talk about more restrictions.”

Critics quickly noted that the Journal‘s Libby Isenstein had included suicides among “gun-related deaths” and suicide-irrelevant policies such as stand-your-ground laws among its tally of “gun laws.” That meant that high-suicide, low-homicide states such as Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho were taken to task for their liberal carry-permit policies. Worse, several of the states with what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence considers terribly lax gun laws were dropped from Isenstein’s data set because their murder rates were too low!

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Another of National Journal‘s mistakes is a common one in gun science: The paper didn’t look at gun statistics in the context of overall violent crime, a much more relevant measure to the policy debate. After all, if less gun crime doesn’t mean less crime overall—if criminals simply substitute other weapons or means when guns are less available—the benefit of the relevant gun laws is thrown into doubt. When Thomas Firey of the Cato Institute ran regressions of Isenstein’s study with slightly different specifications and considering all violent crime, each of her effects either disappeared or reversed.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] 8 Times Obama Blamed His Failures on Poor Communications Skills 


Obama’s Legacy? Executive Overreach

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Obama can’t do much on guns, but he has mainstreamed a dangerous idea about governing.

David Harsanyi writes:

…The flow of donations to Second Amendment advocacy groups will almost certainly rise, and gun violence — which has fallen considerably over the past 20 years of gun ownership expansion — will not be addressed.

“Perhaps Obama’s most destructive legacy is the mainstreaming of the idea that if Congress ‘fails to act’ it’s okay for the president to make law himself.”

But more consequentially — and this may be the most destructive legacy of the Obama presidency — is the mainstreaming of the idea that if Congress “fails to act” it’s okay for the president to figure out a way to make law himself. Hillary’s already applauded Obama’s actions because, as she put it, “Congress won’t act; we have to do something.” This idea is repeated perpetually by the Left, in effect arguing that we live in direct democracy run by the president (until a Republican is in office, of course). On immigration, on global warming, on Iran, on whatever crusade liberals are on, the president has a moral obligation to act if Congress doesn’t do what he wants.

President Bush speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

“If President Bush had instituted a series of restrictions on the abortion industry — since it has a loud, well-organized, and well-funded lobby that wants to make abortions ‘effortlessly’ available — without congressional input, would that have been procedurally okay with liberals? You know, for the children? I don’t imagine so.”

Perhaps Obama’s most destructive legacy is the mainstreaming of the idea that if Congress ‘fails to act’ it’s okay for the president to make law himself.

To believe this, you’d have to accept two things: 1) That Congress has a responsibility to pass laws on the issues that the president desires or else they would be abdicating their responsibility, and 2) That Congress has not already acted.

In 2013, the Senate rejected legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases and to ban certain weapons and ammunition, and they would almost certainly oppose nearly every idea Obama has to curb gun ownership today. Congress has acted, just not in the manner Obama desires.

President Barack Obama, holding a football, offers a fist-bump April 8, 2009, to senior staff member Pete Rouse, during a meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

“Is it really is the work of ‘citizenship’ to cheer on a president who single-handedly constrains Americans from practicing one of their constitutional rights?”

“Change, as always, is going to take all of us,” Obama theorized the other day. “The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone. The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in our defense of our kids. That’s the work of citizenship — to stand up and fight for the change that we seek.”

[Read the full text here, at TheFederalist]

Get it? You can be with the loud and reprehensible gun lobby who supports allowing criminals to obtain guns “effortlessly,” or you can stand with the kids. Your choice!

Well, not exactly your choice. As a reactionary, I wonder is it really the duty of “citizenship” to cheer on a president who single-handedly constrains Americans from practicing one of their constitutional rights? If President Bush had instituted a series of restrictions on the abortion industry — since it has a loud, well-organized, and well-funded lobby that wants to make abortions “effortlessly” available — without congressional input, would that have been procedurally okay with liberals? You know, for the children? I don’t imagine so.

Read the rest of this entry »


President Obama Makes Good On Pledge to Boost Weapon Sales, Enrich Gun Industry

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 reports: The FBI processed a record number of firearms-related background checks last year, indicating that more guns were sold in 2015 than in any previous year in American history.

“A day has not gone by without a major media assault on gun rights or an Obama administration call for new additional restrictions on gun ownership.”

More than 23 million checks were processed through the National Instant Background Check System in 2015, an all-time record.

 “Americans have voted with their dollars and bought record levels of guns and ammunition.”

— Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation.

The all-time record for yearly sales comes after May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December 2015 each set sales records for their respective months. In December the FBI conducted 3,314,594 checks, an increase of more than half a million checks over the previous single-month record set in December 2012.

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The number of FBI background checks is widely considered to be the most reliable gauge of how many firearms were sold in a given month because background checks are required on all sales made through federally licensed firearms dealers. However, the checks do not provide an exhaustive representation of gun sales. Checks are not required on sales between private parties in most states, and a single background check may cover the purchase of multiple firearms by the same person at once.

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Additionally, some states perform the checks on those who apply for gun-carry permits.

[Read the full story here, at freebeacon.com]

[Also see – President Obama Has Let His Emotion Get the Better of His Judgment, at by Charles C.W.Cooke, National Review Online]

The record gun sales came as Democrats moved to implement new gun control measures at the federal, state, and local levels. Hillary Clinton, the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said that the Supreme Court’s decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller gun rights case was “wrong” and she and President Barack Obama praised Australian-style gun confiscation. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s New Immigration Plan Offers Work-Permits To Foreigners Slated For Deportation

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Neil Munro writes: President Barack Obama’s new 181-page plan to award work-permits to at least 100,000 foreign college-grads also contains a convoluted section that would also sneak work-permits to a huge range of foreign migrants – even after courts have formally ordered their repatriation.

In plain English, the section in the rule would automatically provide updated work-permits to 15 categories of migrants who are appealing judges’ deportation orders.

In plain economics, the rule would increase the number of foreign migrants in U.S. workplaces and impose wage-cutting job competition on ordinary blue-collar Americans so that university-trained, white-collar immigration lawyers could be paid billable-hours by their due-for-deportation, work-permit clients.

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“Obama is transferring the jobs and salaries of Americans to foreign nationals, including illegal aliens… [who will be] licensed to take middle class jobs,” said one Hill staffer. The pending rule “highlights the unholy alliance between progressive Democrats, progressive Republicans, and the Obama administration… [so] when it comes to finding a job in America, being native-born in America is a disadvantage,” the staffer said.

There’s little chance that establishment GOP leaders will fight Obama’s pro-migrant, anti-American rule.

For example, House Speaker supported an amnesty-and-cheap-labor bill in 2014, and he sneaked a new rule into the December 2016 omnibus bill that allows companies to bring in at least 100,000 extra foreign workers for jobs sought by 100,000 blue-collar Americans. Ryan defended his pink-slip plan, while he and other GOP and Democratic leaders also rejected proposed amendments to the omnibus by pro-American legislators that would have constricted Obama’s legal ability to add more foreign workers to the U.S. economy.

[Read the full text here, at Breitbart.com]

If the rule is not struck down by the courts, the due-for-deportation migrants who would automatically get new work-permits include many categories of provisional immigrants, such as people who falsely claim persecution in their home countries. Most of the 250,000 Central Americans who have been allowed by Obama to migrate into the United States since 2009 have claimed in court hearings that they fear persecution in their home countries. Read the rest of this entry »


Inside Job: ‘Hate Crime’ Narrative Interrupted; Man Charged with Setting Houston Mosque Afire Turns Out To Be a Devout Attendee

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Carol Christian and Leah Binkovitz report: A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day, but the motive for the crime remains a mystery, with the suspect maintaining he was a regular at the mosque.

“Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the storefront mosque for five years, coming five times.”

A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the suspect, 37-year-old Gary Nathaniel Moore of Houston, was arrested early Wednesday. Moore appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said, and bond was set at $100,000.

According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the storefront mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.

Mohammed Suleman, left, and Shezad Chatriwala, talk before prayers at a makeshift location near the damaged Savoy Mosque Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, in Houston. A two-alarm fire damaged the mosque Christmas day, and authorities are investigating the cause. Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle

Mohammed Suleman, left, and Shezad Chatriwala, talk before prayers at a makeshift location near the damaged Savoy Mosque Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, in Houston. A two-alarm fire damaged the mosque Christmas day, and authorities are investigating the cause. Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle

“Using surveillance video from multiple businesses nearby, investigators were able to identify Moore, according to records.”

Moore said he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home, according to authorities and court papers. Moore said he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he departed, authorities said. He maintained he had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.

“A search warrant of his home was conducted, and investigators recovered a backpack and clothing similar to that which was seen in surveillance footage, as well as half of a two-pack of charcoal lighter-fluid bottles that seemed to match another lighter fluid bottle found inside the mosque.”

MJ Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, which operates the mosque, said he was unfamiliar with Moore. “We are just looking into it ourselves,” he said Wednesday morning after learning of the arrest.

“We are really very surprised and saddened by this whole thing,” said Khan.

Using surveillance video from multiple businesses nearby, investigators were able to identify Moore, according to records. A search warrant of his home was conducted, and investigators recovered a backpack and clothing similar to that which was seen in surveillance footage, as well as half of a two-pack of charcoal lighter-fluid bottles that seemed to match another lighter fluid bottle found inside the mosque.

[Read the full story here, at Houston Chronicle]

A team of 30 investigators worked around the clock investigating the cause of the fire, which was found to have multiple points of origin. Moore was even interviewed by investigators at the mosque the day of the fire. He had attended services there earlier that day, according to Ruben Hernandez, chief arson investigator with the city’s fire department. Read the rest of this entry »


Most Important Election 2016 Feature: Deep and Growing Ideological Divide

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Conservative and liberal extremes dominate primaries, but then Republicans and Democrats face a shrinking center.

Gerald F. Seib reports: As the nation heads into what figures to be a dramatic election year, its defining political liberal-huhcharacteristic isn’t love or hate for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Instead, the most important feature of America’s political landscape is a deep and growing ideological divide.

This divide will be especially apparent early in the new year, when the most divided groups in America, the Republican and Democratic voters who show up for primary elections and caucuses, hold the keys to the presidential selection process. These folks disagree, deeply, on an array of social issues, on the nation’s top priorities, and on what kind of leader they are seeking in the next president.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Collectively, these voters are driving Republican candidates to the right and Democratic candidates to the left—and ensuring that the challenge of bringing the country together will be tougher after the election, regardless of who wins.

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A clear picture of this divide emerges from the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, taken in mid-December. Consider:

— Almost 7 in 10 Republican primary voters describe themselves as strong supporters of the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. Among Democratic primary voters, the figure is just 25%.

— Among Democratic primary voters, 62% say they strongly back immediate action to combat climate change. Just 13% of Republican primary voters share that view.

— A new issue splitting the parties at their bases is the Black Lives Matter Movement. Almost half of Democratic primary voters call themselves strong supporters of the movement. Only 6% of Republican primary voters do so.

— The National Rifle Association drives one of the biggest wedges of all. Among Republican primary voters, 59% strongly support the NRA, while just 11% of Democratic primary voters are strong backers.

Republican primary voters put national security and terrorism at the top of their list of priorities for the government. Democratic primary voters put job creation and economic growth at the top of the priority list. About a third of Democrats say health care is a high priority; among Republicans, a comparable share worry about deficits and government spending.

Republicans are more likely to say they worry that the U.S. isn’t projecting a sufficiently tough image abroad; Democrats are more likely to say they think the U.S. should be focused on concerns at home.

Among Democratic primary voters, 62% say they strongly back immediate action to combat climate change. Just 13% of Republican primary voters share that view. Here, a November rally outside the White House in support of the Paris climate talks.

Among Democratic primary voters, 62% say they strongly back immediate action to combat climate change. Just 13% of Republican primary voters share that view. Here, a November rally outside the White House in support of the Paris climate talks. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

When pollsters asked what voters are looking for in the next president, Republicans used terms like bold and a strong leader who could restore American strength abroad. Democrats were more likely to say they want a leader who is diplomatic and inclusive and who will preserve recent progressive gains. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Trashing Obama, Praising Reagan: Jerry Lewis on ISIS, Refugees, Trump

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“Refugees should stay where the hell they are. Hey, no one has worked harder for the human condition than I have, but they’re not part of the human condition. If 11 guys in the group of 10,000 are ISIS—how can I take that chance?”

Lewis then said that President Obama was “never prepared” for ISIS and suggested that he was not a real leader…

…The clip concludes with Lewis praising Trump for his “showmanship.”

“I think he’s great,” said Lewis of Trump. “He’s a showman and we’ve never had a showman in the president’s chair.”

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“You can’t make do a comparison on Ronald Reagan because I can do three hours on him with just praise, he was so good.”

“Well, we had Ronald Reagan,” Arroyo interjected….(read more)

gatewaypundit has more…


Houston, We Have a Problem: What’s Wrong With All Those ‘Muslim Backlash’ Stories

The backlash is back.

Back on the front page, that is:

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 writes: Before dissecting today’s Houston Chronicle story, a little background: After the San Bernardino massacre, the New York Post splashed the inflammatory headline “Muslim Killers” across its tabloid cover. At that time, we noted that — ever since 9/11 — the phrase “Muslim backlash” has entered America’s lexicon.

[Read the full text of ‘s article here, at GetReligion]

In follow-up posts, we questioned media reporting a “surge” in anti-Muslim crime without providing hard data to back up that factual claim. Moreover, we pointed out bias by media using the term “Islamophobia” without bothering to define it.

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That leads to Houston, where firefighters battled a Christmas Day blaze at a storefront mosque.Investigators called the fire “suspicious,” citing multiple points of origin.

The fire serves as the news peg for the Chronicle’s Page A1 report today on anxiety in the area’s Muslim community:

Even before investigators determined that a Christmas Day fire at a southwest Houston mosque was set deliberately, Muslims in the Houston area were on edge.

Recent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., were followed by threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere. Now, in the aftermath of the arson at the mosque, local Muslim leaders and public officials are organizing a meeting to try to calm fears and ease tensions.

M.J. Khan, the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he understands the community’s growing anxiety.

“Families and children come, and we do take precautions to make sure people are protected and feel safe,” said Khan, whose organization operates the mosque. Still, he added, “These are places of worship, and we cannot make them fortresses.”

The fire broke out at around 2:45 p.m. on Christmas Day at the small mosque inside the Savoy Plaza strip center, near Wilcrest Drive and Bellfort Avenue. About 80 firefighters helped extinguish the blaze, which significantly damaged the worship hall.

Given the fire, the Muslim community’s concerns are certainly newsworthy. I have no problem with the story angle or the report’s above-the-fold placement.

But here’s the problem with this 1,300-word piece (roughly twice as long as a typical daily newspaper story): It attacks the issue with a giant ax when what’s really needed is a surgical knife.

[Read the full story here, at GetReligion]

What I mean: On a story such as this, journalists need to take extra care to be precise, to report what they know — and no more. Readers deserve hard facts, not squishy generalizations.

Instead, the Chronicle makes the sweeping statement up high that “threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere” followed the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. OK, what threats? (Insert crickets.)

The newspaper never provides any evidence of actual threats, such as police reports. The story does provide this brief note:

Waqar Mehmood was browsing his Sugar Land neighborhood’s social media page when he saw posts from a neighbor calling for the community to cleanse itself of Muslims using pig’s blood. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘The Real Threat To Free Speech Now is Conformism and Cowardice’

REASON TV with Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill

“The real threat to free speech now is conformism and cowardice,” says Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked and a columnist for Reason.com.

The 41-year-old Londoner has similarly blunt and outspoken views about “left-wing environmentalism,” which he calls “an apology for poverty” and simply the latest iteration of religious “end-of-worldism” in which “we will be judged for our sins.”

O’Neill is also a critic of European policies that he says marginalize religious and ethnic minorities even as they “protect” immigrants by passing hate-speech laws and banning burqas. “In their efforts to enforce Enlightenment values,” he says, policymakers “actually undercut them.”

O’Neill got his start at the defunct Living Marxism, the publication of Britain’s Revolutionary Communist Party, and these days he sometimes calls himself a “Marxist libertarian.” “It seems like a contradiction in terms,” he acknowledges, “but that’s because people haven’t read the original Marx and Engels, the early stuff…if you read the early stuff it’s all about liberating humanity from poverty and from state diktat and allowing them to have as free a life as possible.” Read the rest of this entry »


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