Advertisements

OH YES THEY DID: Courts Dismisses Bogus Charges Against David Daleiden for Exposing Planned Parenthood

In a huge victory, a California court today dismissed almost all of the criminal charges abortion activists filed against the pro-life advocates who recorded undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling the body parts from aborted babies.

“We will now turn our attention to dismissing the final count. Sandra Merritt did nothing wrong. The complaint by the California Attorney General is unprecedented and frankly will threaten every journalist who provides valuable information to the public. This final count will also fall.”

—  Attorney Mat Svaer of LibertyCounsel

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed 15 felony charges against both David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Becerra is a longtime abortion advocate with financial connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion company that the two pro-life Advocates exposed in the videos for selling body parts such as fetal brains and livers.

Planned-Parenthood-Founder-Margaret-Sanger

At the time, pro-life advocates said Becerra’s 15 felony charges were bogus charges meant to belittle the expose’ campaign and to cast aspersions on Daleiden and the organization behind the videos. They said the attempt was about drawing attention away from Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby parts.

The San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday dismissed 14 of 15 criminal counts but the pair are still charged with one count of conspiracy to invade privacy. However the court dismissed the charges with leave to amend — meaning Becerra could re-file the charges with additional supposed evidence against the pair.

planned-parenthood-recycle-green

The court ruled that counts 1-14 were legally insufficient. The state has the opportunity to amend if it can plead a more legally sufficient and specific complaint. The California’s Attorney General filed 15 criminal counts against Merritt, with counts 1-14 for each of the alleged interviews and count 15 for an alleged conspiracy. San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite gave the state attorney general’s office until mid-July to file a revised complaint. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Judge Sentences Former Substitute Teacher Mary Beth Haglin to 90 Days in Jail

In addition to the jail time, Haglin also will have to serve a special sentence of parole for 10 years and be placed on the sex offender registry for 10 years due to the nature of the offense.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Trish Mehaffey reports: A judge on Friday sentenced former Washington
High substitute teacher Mary Beth Haglin to 90 days in jail for having a sexual relationship — that started in 2015 and continued into last year — with a 17-year-old Washington High
student.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Kevin McKeever said he didn’t think a deferred judgment and probation, as recommended by defense, and 180 days in jail, as recommended by prosecutor, were appropriate.

McKeever said he had considered all the facts of the case and both recommendations, but he believed the appropriate sentence was 360 days in jail. He did, however, suspend 270 days, which requires Haglin to serve 90 days in jail. He also placed her on supervised probation for two years.

Tell it to the judge

Haglin, 25, of Cedar Rapidswas found guilty by McKeever in December of sexual exploitation by a school employee, an aggravated misdemeanor. She agreed to a bench or nonjury trial based on the “minutes of testimony,” a limited summary of evidence the prosecution would present at trial.

In addition to the jail time, Haglin also will have to serve a special sentence of parole for 10 years and be placed on the sex offender registry for 10 years due to the nature of the offense.

[ALSO SEE – ‘It’s the School’s Fault I Had Sex with That Boy’]

McKeever also warned her that because this is a sexual offense she would be subject to an enhanced penalty — more prison time — for any future conviction.

Haglin, during the sentencing, apologized to the victim and the court. She never went into teaching for this to happen, she said.

“I’m more complex than this one snapshot in time,” Haglin told the judge.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Heidi Carmer said during the hearing these kinds of cases are particularly difficult because the best outcome for both the victim and the community have to be considered. But the facts in this case “can’t be overlooked.” There was an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student, she argued.

Carmer said 180 days in jail would hold her accountable, protect the victim and community and discourage others from this kind of crime.

Katie Frank, Haglin’s lawyer, asked the judge to consider a deferred judgment or a suspended sentence and probation. Frank argued that Haglin had no previous criminal history, and she believed it was the intent of the law, that because this wasn’t a forcible felony, she would be eligible for a deferred or suspended judgment. Read the rest of this entry »


China Not Following Through on Market Reform Promises, says German Ambassador

german-amb

Michael Clauss hits out at lack of progress in market reforms and a reality that contradicts Beijing’s declared intentions.

wendy-wuWendy Wu reports: China isn’t following through on its market reform pledges as quickly as desired, German ambassador to China Michael Clauss said in an interview.

“I regret to note that the reform initiatives taken at the third plenum apparently have lost momentum,” Clauss told the South China Morning Post in Beijing.

The Communist Party, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, pledged three years ago that China would allow the market to play a “decisive” role in resources allocation. But the promises of adopting more market-oriented changes have mostly been shelved as Beijing beefs up intervention in economic activities, from coal mine operations to capital account controls.

“It seems that preserving social stability and discipline are the order of the day much more than implementing the necessary economic reforms,” Clauss said.

“Officially, China propagates a policy of open markets and unfettered access for foreign trade and investment. However, we note that very often [the] reality on the ground does not correspond to the declared intention of the Chinese government to facilitate foreign direct investment.

“On a long-term perspective, we sense a growing tendency in China towards market closure and favouring of indigenous production,” he said.

At a key policy meeting that ended on Friday, the leadership again highlighted “stability” and “financial risk prevention” as priorities for the coming year, sending a clear message that bold moves in market opening or liberalisation were off the table, observers said.

They are worried that Beijing is also unlikely to make painful cuts in the bloated state sector, for fear of possible social unrest, before the top leadership reshuffle at 19th party congress in the autumn.

[It’s time for China to honour its pledge to open up the market and society – and play fair]

Survey results of commerce chambers of China’s major trading partners have underscored the increasing difficulties of doing business in China, including ambiguous security laws, limited market access and an official favouring of domestic technology.

Last year Beijing launched “Made in China 2025” – a campaign to revamp its manufacturing sector, and establish a home-grown hi-tech powerhouse.

“We wonder whether this is what in the end China 2025 is all about: a future Chinese economy relying on its own, leaving no room for exchanges with its partners,” Clauss said, adding that plans for German companies to expand investment in China had fallen to a three-year low.

Since late last year, Beijing has strengthened controls on individuals and companies transferring funds overseas to stem capital outflows and defend the yuan’s exchange rate. Read the rest of this entry »


Kissinger Dismisses Concerns About Tillerson, One China Policy

kissinger

Kissinger himself negotiated the One China policy, which recognizes the Chinese government in Beijing, as opposed to Taiwan. 

Addy Bairdaddy-baird-staff-photo-squarespace reports: Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger dismissed concerns Wednesday about President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has been criticized for his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 “I hope and I am optimistic that the cooperative way will prevail… Keep in mind that if China and America are in conflict, then the whole world will be divided.”

“I pay no attention to this argument that he is too friendly with Russia,” Kissinger said at an event in Manhattan. “He would be useless at the head of Exxon if he was not friendly with Russia… I don’t hear those concerns at all.”

Kissinger was asked about Tillerson at an event put on by the Committee of 100, an organization that works to advance Chinese-American relations, where the former secretary talked about the future of U.S.-Chinese relations under Trump.

h-kissinger

“I pay no attention to this argument that he is too friendly with Russia. He would be useless at the head of Exxon if he was not friendly with Russia… I don’t hear those concerns at all.”

But Kissinger walked a fine line in talking about Tillerson, joking when he was asked about the appointment that he didn’t “come to commit suicide,” but that he “sympathized” with Trump’s decision.

“Nobody can meet every single qualification for secretary of state,” Kissinger said. “I think it’s a good appointment.”

Reflecting on Trump’s developing relationship with China, Kissinger said he is optimistic about the coming administration.

[Read the full story here, at POLITICO]

“[We have to decide] whether to attempt to deal cooperatively or confrontationally” with China, Kissinger said. “I hope and I am optimistic that the cooperative way will prevail… Keep in mind that if China and America are in conflict, then the whole world will be divided.”

Earlier this month, Trump became the first U.S. president or president-elect to speak with the leader of Taiwan since 1979. And he suggested this past weekend that the U.S. shouldn’t have to be “bound” by the “One China” policy that American leaders have stood by for decades. Those comments “seriously concernedChina’s Foreign Ministry, its spokesperson said Monday. Read the rest of this entry »


Tacoma, Washington Police Officer Shot Dead; Suspect Killed After 12-Hour Standoff

tacoma-cops

Tacoma police officer shot dead, barricaded suspect killed

This post has been updated.

Katie Mettler reports: After a nearly 12-hour standoff with multiple law enforcement agencies in Tacoma, Wash., a 38-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a police officer Wednesday was killed by a single bullet from a SWAT team member early Thursday morning.

“We’ve suffered a great loss and I think the community has suffered a great loss. And I don’t know how to put that into words other than to say that everyone here appreciates the kind thoughts and the prayers that are going out to us.”

— police spokeswoman, Loretta Cool

The man, whose name has not been released, had barricaded himself inside a three-story home on the city’s east side late Wednesday afternoon after unleashing bullets on two Tacoma officers who had responded to the residence after reports of a verbal domestic dispute between two people.

moto-cops

“They showed great patience and restraint to make sure those kids were out safe. The whole situation is horrible. We have a deceased officer, but we have a whole lot of heroic ones that went in and got those kids.”

The man’s wife and another woman were able to escape the gunfire Wednesday, reported the News Tribune, but local authorities did not say until after the suspect was killed that two young children remained inside the home throughout the extensive standoff.

The boy and the girl, believed to be aged 8 and 11, respectively, were rescued from the home by a SWAT team around 3:20 a.m. local time Thursday, and were taken to the hospital for an evaluation, authorities said.

Police knew all along that the two children were trapped inside with the gunman, but didn’t share that information with the public for “tactical reasons,” Pierce County sheriff’s detective Ed Troyer told The Washington Post.

“Our priority was to make sure those kids were safe,” Troyer said. “We weren’t going to let those children get hurt.”

Troyer couldn’t say exactly how authorities managed to pull the children to safety, but he told The Post that there were negotiators outside the home and law enforcement officers inside the home who “never left” for the duration of the standoff. The man, who was armed with multiple weapons, had barricaded himself and the two children in an upstairs bedroom and refused to let them go, Troyer said.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

The sheriff’s department SWAT team was able to rescue one of the children, Troyer said, then separate him from the second. Before he could reach his weapons, a SWAT officer fired a single, fatal round, and authorities were able to safely remove the children from the home. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] CNN: Clinton Team ‘Stunned’ by FBI Re-Opening Email Investigation, Didn’t Know Until Plane Landed 

ORA HILLARY PREOCCUPA WALL STREET, TEME LA SVOLTA A SINISTRA

 


OH YES SHE DID 24-Year-Old Teacher Mary Beth Haglin: ‘It’s the School’s Fault’ I Had Sex with that Teen Boy

CoZdKuMUAAAPF-F

A substitute teacher accused of having sex with a student is blaming education officials for her illegal indiscretions — claiming they failed to stop her, and “allowed” the relationship to blossom.

“These people all knew what was going on, and yet hey turned a blind eye because they wanted to protect their school. They didn’t want it to get into the limelight.”

In a series of interviews with reporters in Iowa, 24-year-old Mary Beth Haglin admitted to having sex teacher-3with a 17-year-old boy for much of the 2015-16 academic year — and accused Cedar Rapids Community School District of complicity.

“They didn’t ban me. They never actually said they were banning me from school grounds, they never said they were banning me from working at any other school…”

“These people all knew what was going on, and yet hey turned a blind eye because they wanted to protect their school. They didn’t want it to get into the limelight,” Haglin told KGAN-TV, saying she first had sex with the boy last October. “They allowed this to happen. They knew in February.”

Unknown.jpeg

“…they never said they were banning me from thus-and-so many feet of any school. They never said any of that.”

Haglin, a sub at George Washington HS, was arrested on Friday and booked for sexual exploitation of a minor.

[Read the full story here, at New York Post]

She faces up to two years behind bars and having to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »


IT’S UNANIMOUS: Supreme Court Ruling Throttles Obama Environmental Agenda

supremecourt-998x697

 reports: The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that landowners can appeal to a federal court when the government subjects their property to wetlandsclimate-freakout
regulations requiring additional permits.

“For more than 40 years, millions of landowners nationwide have had no meaningful way to challenge wrongful application of the federal Clean Water Act to their land.”

The unanimous ruling determined that the Clean Water Act “imposes substantial criminal and civil penalties for discharging any pollutant into waters” covered by federal regulations without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

bn-lu165_1epa_g_20151218180030

They have been put at the mercy of the government because land covered by the Act is subject to complete federal control. This victory guarantees the rights of millions of property owners.”obama-incandescent

— Principal Attorney M. Reed Hopper

The decision could weaken the Obama administration’s environmental agenda.

The Corps is in charge of assessing whether a landowner’s property contains “waters of the United States” or “navigable waters,” which are protected under the Clean Water Act. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND 1977: Ronald Reagan’s Speech at the 4th Annual CPAC Convention

ronald-reagan-quotes-hd-wallpaper-16-2z4oynkidsx1tsr5acc3cw

I’m happy to be back with you in this annual event after missing last year’s meeting. I had some business in New Hampshire that wouldn’t wait.

Three weeks ago here in our nation’s capital I told a group of conservative scholars that we are currently in the midst of a re-ordering of the political realities that have shaped our time. We know today that the principles and values that lie at the heart of conservatism are shared by the majority.

Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves “conservative” are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well.

A Harris poll released September 7, l975 showed 18 percent identifying themselves as liberal and 31 per- cent as conservative, with 41 percent as middle of the road; a few months later, on January 5, 1976, by a 43-19 plurality those polled by Harris said they would “prefer to see the country move in a more conservative direction than a liberal one.”

Last October 24th, the Gallup organization released the result of a poll taken right in the midst of the presidential campaign.

Respondents were asked to state where they would place themselves on a scale ranging from “right-of-center” (which was defined as “conservative”) to left-of-center (which was defined as “liberal”).

  • Thirty-seven percent viewed themselves as left-of-center or liberal
  • Twelve percent placed themselves in the middle
  • Fifty-one percent said they were right-of-center, that is, conservative.

What I find interesting about this particular poll is that it offered those polled a range of choices on a left-right continuum. This seems to me to be a more realistic approach than dividing the world into strict left and rights. Most of us, I guess, like to think of ourselves as avoiding both extremes, and the fact that a majority of Americans chose one or the other position on the right end of the spectrum is really impressive.

Those polls confirm that most Americans are basically conservative in their outlook. But once we have said this, we conservatives have not solved our problems, we have merely stated them clearly. Yes, conservatism can and does mean different things to those who call themselves conservatives.

You know, as I do, that most commentators make a distinction between they call “social” conservatism and “economic” conservatism. The so-called social issues—law and order, abortion, busing, quota systems—are usually associated with blue-collar, ethnic and religious groups themselves traditionally associated with the Democratic Party. The economic issues—inflation, deficit spending and big government—are usually associated with Republican Party members and independents who concentrate their attention on economic matters.

Now I am willing to accept this view of two major kinds of conservatism—or, better still, two different conservative constituencies. But at the same time let me say that the old lines that once clearly divided these two kinds of conservatism are disappearing.

In fact, the time has come to see if it is possible to present a program of action based on political principle that can attract those interested in the so-called “social” issues and those interested in “economic” issues. In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole?

I believe the answer is: Yes, it is possible to create a political entity that will reflect the views of the great, hitherto, conservative majority. We went a long way toward doing it in California. We can do it in America. This is not a dream, a wistful hope. It is and has been a reality. I have seen the conservative future and it works.

reagan-library-photo

Let me say again what I said to our conservative friends from the academic world: What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority.

This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle. What will emerge will be something new: something open and vital and dynamic, something the great conservative majority will recognize as its own, because at the heart of this undertaking is principled politics.

I have always been puzzled by the inability of some political and media types to understand exactly what is meant by adherence to political principle. All too often in the press and the television evening news it is treated as a call for “ideological purity.” Whatever ideology may mean—and it seems to mean a variety of things, depending upon who is using it—it always conjures up in my mind a picture of a rigid, irrational clinging to abstract theory in the face of reality. We have to recognize that in this country “ideology” is a scare word. And for good reason. Marxist-Leninism is, to give but one example, an ideology. All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin. If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded.

I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free for slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism.

When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth.

When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing—he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain.

When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education—he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school.

When a conservative quotes Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire.

reagan-choomgang

Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanatacism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way—this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before.

The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations—found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow.

One thing that must be made clear in post-Watergate is this: The American new conservative majority we represent is not based on abstract theorizing of the kind that turns off the American people, but on common sense, intelligence, reason, hard work, faith in God, and the guts to say: “Yes, there are things we do strongly believe in, that we are willing to live for, and yes, if necessary, to die for.” That is not “ideological purity.” It is simply what built this country and kept it great.

reagan-oval-desk

Let us lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of a small group of ideological purists trying to capture a majority. Replace it with the reality of a majority trying to assert its rights against the tyranny of powerful academics, fashionable left-revolutionaries, some economic illiterates who happen to hold elective office and the social engineers who dominate the dialogue and set the format in political and social affairs. If there is any ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found among the enemies of freedom on the left or right—those who would sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.

Our first job is to get this message across to those who share most of our principles. If we allow ourselves to be portrayed as ideological shock troops without correcting this error we are doing ourselves and our cause a disservice. Wherever and whenever we can, we should gently but firmly correct our political and media friends who have been perpetuating the myth of conservatism as a narrow ideology. Whatever the word may have meant in the past, today conservatism means principles evolving from experience and a belief in change when necessary, but not just for the sake of change.

Once we have established this, the next question is: What will be the political vehicle by which the majority can assert its rights?

I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends—perhaps including some of you here tonight—who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party. Read the rest of this entry »


Daily News Cover: ‘I’m With Stupid’

tumblr_o19mhyPavP1qag2f8o1_540


#GOPDebate: The Trump-Cruz Duet

cruz-trump-GOPDebate5 cruz-trump-GOPDebate4 cruz-trump-GOPDebate3 cruz-trump-GOPDebate1 cruz-trump-GOPDebate2


[VIDEO] OH YES THEY DID: Reporter Asks Bill Clinton Questions About Juanita Broaddrick, MSNBC Edits Out the Footage

 writes: MSNBC edited out footage of a reporter asking Bill Clinton repeated questions about the reemergence of Juanita Broaddrick, who has long alleged Clinton raped her, Thursday afternoon after airing the exchange in its entirety in an earlier segment.

Clinton was asked by a reporter about Broaddrick on Thursday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after he gave a stump speech there in support of his wife’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bill-Clinton-pointing-screen

The reporter, according to the Daily Caller, was its own Kerry Picket. In an article entitled “Bill Clinton Avoids Reporter’s Question About Reemergence of Juanita Broaddrick,” the Daily Caller posted the full video of the exchange that played on MSNBC at 2:29 ET.

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

Clinton answered NBC reporter Kristen Welker’s questions, which did not mention Broaddrick, about the effect of his past on his wife’s campaign, but Clinton ignored Picket’s queries regarding Broaddrick. Read the rest of this entry »


Another Day in Obama’s America: Man Shames Panhandlers Who Refused His Job Offer

Facebook Mobile Uploads – Michael Wooldridge | Facebook

Standing next to two panhandlers in Iowa, one man held a sign that read, “Don’t give money.”

He had apparently offered them a job at his business and they refused.

“My Uncle Mike offered these guys a job said he was busy right now could use the help they said no so he did this!!”

“I said, You’re hired,’ and they said, ‘We’re not from around here.’ I said, ‘Well, you’re here,’ and then they just smirked and turned around,” Mike Pothoff told  WQAD-TV.

A photo posted by Michael Wooldridge, who says Pothoff is his uncle, on Dec. 12 on Facebook has since gone viral with over 24,943 shares.

creen-Shot-2015-12-16-

Wooldridge wrote, “My Uncle Mike offered these guys a job said he was busy right now could use the help they said no so he did this!!”

Pothoff told WQAD that the job offer is still valid. He shared his reason for shaming them with the station.

“There’s a lot of women and kids that aren’t going to have a lot for Christmas – might not have anything – and it upsets me that we have younger kids, or people who can work, that are doing that,” Pothoff said….(read more)

Source: USAToday


[VIDEO] REASON TV: Do College Students Hate Free Speech? Let’s Ask Them

The faculty council at Occidental College is considering instituting a system for students to report microaggressions perpetrated against them by faculty members or other students.

Reason TV visited Occidental’s campus to find out what exactly constitutes a microaggression. One Columbia psychology professor defined the term this way: Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

After exploring the limitations of a microaggression reporting system, we discussed broader free speech issues with the students in the wake of a month of campus protests that resulted in the resignations of several faculty members and a university president.

Most of the students defended free speech in principle, if not always in practice. This is consistent with a recent Pew Research Center survey, which found that although 95 percent of Americans agree that people should be allowed to publicly criticize government policies, support erodes when the question turns to offensive speech. While a majority of millennials still believe that the government should protect speech offensive to minorities, a whopping 40 percent believe the government should restric such speech. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Big Shakeup’ in Iowa Poll: Cruz Soars to Lead

cruz-tatts

Seven weeks from the caucuses, Ted Cruz is crushing it in Iowa.

The anti-establishment congressional agitator has made a rapid ascent into the lead in the GOP presidential race here, with a 21 percentage-point leap that smashes records for upsurges in recent Iowa caucuses history.

Donald Trump, now 10 points below Cruz, was in a pique about not being front-runner even before the Iowa Poll results were announced Saturday evening. He wasted no time in tearing into Cruz — and the poll — during an Iowa stop Friday night.

crz.jpg

Ben Carson, another “Washington outsider” candidate, has plunged 15 points from his perch at the front of the pack in October. He’s now in third place.

[Read the full story here, at demoinesregister.com

“Big shakeup,” said J. Ann Selzer, pollster for The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll. “This is a sudden move into a commanding position for Cruz.”

635843337572065873-1128-Cruz-Event-01

Cruz, a Texas U.S. senator famous for defying party leaders and using government shutdown tactics to hold up funding for the Obamacare health care law and abortion provider Planned Parenthood, was the favorite of 10 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers in the last Iowa Poll in October. He’s now at 31 percent. Read the rest of this entry »


POLL: Obama Approval on Terrorism: 40/54 Lowest. In His Presidency. Lowest. Ever.

US President Barack Obama attends a military briefing with US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham (L) at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Gary Langer reports: With terrorism fears near a post-9/11 high in a new ABC News-Washington Post poll, majorities of Americans back increased use of military force, including ground forces, against the Islamic State, and more than half oppose admitting Mideast refugees to the United States.

[Also see – Barack Obama: Worst. President. Ever.]

Seventy-three percent support increased U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and 60 percent back more ground forces, double the level of support for ground forces from summer 2014. One reason: Eighty-one percent see a major terrorist attack in the United States in the near future as likely, a level of anxiety that has been higher just once since 9/11.

Fifty-four percent oppose admitting refugees from Syria and other Mideast countries, while 43 percent are in favor. Opposition in part reflects skepticism about the U.S. government’s ability to screen out terrorists; 52 percent are dubious, and they’re especially likely to oppose entry.

Featured Image -- 82218

That said, if refugees are admitted, an overwhelming 78 percent of Americans say all should be considered equally, without regard to their religion. Just 18 percent favor special consideration for Christians, proposed by Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz.

[See PDF with full results here]

…Perhaps most fundamentally, 59 percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, say the United States is at war with radical Islam, which is little changed from a poll earlier this year but another indication of the public’s mindset in the post-9/11 world….

Fifty-four percent disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the threat of terrorism in general, up 9 points since January to the worst rating on terrorism of his career. Fifty-seven percent disapprove of his handling of the Islamic State in particular. “Strong” disapproval on both is quite high, 43 and 46 percent, respectively…

Fewer than half of Americans, 45 percent, are confident in the government’s ability to prevent further terrorist attacks in the United States. That’s near the average since 9/11, and helps explain the level of public concern about an attack occurring.

[Read the full text here, at ABC News]

Not all views have changed substantially. In a Fox News poll of registered voters in January, 56 percent said they thought the United States was at war with radical Islam. A similar number says so now, 59 percent of all adults (and 60 percent of registered voters).

Response

In terms of a response to the Paris attacks, 73 percent of Americans say the United States should play a role in military action against ISIS. Likely given the attacks’ locus on French soil, however, those who favor action say by more than 2-1 that the United States should take a supporting role in responding, not the leading role.

At 73 percent, support for increased U.S. air strikes against ISIS is similar to its level just more than a year ago, having risen sharply after the ISIS killings of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Fifty-two percent “strongly” support more air strikes, a continued high level. Read the rest of this entry »


Read My Lips: The Bush Era is Over

No matter how hard Jeb tries he cannot distance himself from the name and legacy.

Edward Luce writes: Jeb’ll fix it” is the latest mantra of Jeb Bush’s flailing campaign. Whatever problem America faces, Florida’s former governor has the nous to solve it. Alas, Jeb’s reinvention as a regular Joe with a toilet plunger is unlikely to fix his own campaign. Just one in 25 Republican votersnow support him. Big donors are looking elsewhere. At some point, there will be autopsies. Proximate causes will leap out (his awkwardness on the stump would rank highly). Yet it is increasingly clear that his campaign was doomed before it began. No matter how hard Jeb tries to distance himself from the Bush name, it cannot match how far he needs to go.

Jeb’s quandary has been brought into sharp relief by Jon Meacham’s biography of his father, George Herbert Walker BushDestiny and Power is a fitting title for a patrician who took ­America’s reins just as it was sealing its cold war victory. Ask almost any student of diplomacy — American or foreign — and they agree that Bush 41’s ­presidency is underrated. The Soviet collapse could have turned nasty. Bush senior guided a peaceful lifting of the Iron Curtain and spurned the unanimous advice of aides to appear on the Berlin Wall as it was collapsing. He did not want to dance on the grave of Russia’s empire. Nor did he wish to hijack Germany’s moment. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Even President Obama Disturbed by Infantilized PC Campus Censorship Culture

25561893

‘I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view.’

 reports: President Obama condemned the rash of liberal political correctness seen recently in American colleges Monday, saying “that’s not the way we learn” and that
liberal-huhcollege students shouldn’t be “coddled and protected from different points of view.”

“Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too.”

— President Obama, speaking at a town hall in Iowa

Speaking at a town hall in Iowa about affordable college education, Obama launched into his remarks after a question about Dr. Ben Carson’s proposal to stop government funding to schools with political biases.

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

Obama slammed Carson’s idea, but he segued into his criticism of left-wing intolerance for opposing viewpoints that have popped up on campuses around the country.

“I’ve heard some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women.”

“Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree
with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too,” Obama said…

baby-crying-in-crib

“And you know, I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view.”

“And you know, I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view.

campus-censorship

“You know, I think you should be able to—anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, ‘You can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say.’ That’s not the way we learn either.”

You know, I think you should be able to—anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. Read the rest of this entry »


Biden: The Ground Game Begins

Biden-staffs-up

…The staff moves lend new credibility to the budding effort to convince the vice president to run against former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the party’s front-runner.

Biden, who is still mourning the loss of his elder son Beau to cancer in May, said Thursday that the most important factor in weighing his decision is whether he and his family “have the emotional energy to run.”

Hillary-Toast

“Some might think that’s not appropriate. Unless I can go to my party and the American people and say I’m able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »


Pulp Fiction: ‘Mitt Romney Should Save the Republican Party and Join the 2016 Race’

ROMNEY-CAMP

michaelbd_bw_circle_308Michael Brenden Dougherty writes: “Mitt wants to run. He never stopped wanting to run,” an anonymous senior adviser of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign recently told New York magazine. Other members of Romneyworld have denied the former governor is interested in another campaign. But at this stage in the 2016 race, Mitt Romney should start preparing to get back in the arena.

Romney should be ready to enter the field to save his party from an awful reckoning between its leadership and its base, a reckoning that has been brought on by Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump has proven that the “strongest GOP primary field in 30 years” is no such thing, creating an opening for the winner of the last primary. If Romney should win the primary, it would be an incredible political comeback. It would also be a gift to his party, forcing on the GOP the reality of a new and stable settlement between its factions.

Romney, if he can secure the nomination, has a much better shot in 2016 than he did in 2012. He would be running against Obama’s third term, with the torch passed to a much less talented and more scandal-plagued Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »


TIME Cover: Donald Trump Has Landed

trump-cover-final-1

Republican Presidential Race 2016

Michael Scherer writes: There are some things you just can’t do in politics, not at the presidential level, anyway.

This is a game like any other, with rules honed over decades by the pros in blue blazers clutching focus-group results: Be likable. Don’t make enemies. Respect the party elders. Avoid funny hats. And never wear white bucks or French cuffs to the Iowa State Fair, a flyover fantasy­land of cholesterol and common decency where the life-size butter cow grazes behind glass with the life-size butter Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly.

That’s why Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wore jeans to pose atop the hay bales this year. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina featured pink plaid—­Farmer Jane meets Disney princess—and Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton dug up a blouse of blue gingham, hoisting her pork chop on a stick like a blue ribbon for authenticity. They all played it well, adhering to the sacred promise that if they pretend to be like everyone else, voters might think they actually are.

Then a buzzing came across the sky. A $7 million Sikorsky helicopter, sent over six states in at least four hops by its billionaire owner, descended in tight circles on the crowd, the name of the Republican front runner for the 2016 presidential nomination emblazoned on the tail. Donald John Trump, at roughly 25% in the national GOP polls, about twice his nearest rival, emerged in Des Moines with his golden mane encased in a big ruby baseball cap, his cuffs flashing diamond links and his shoes shining brighter than bleached teeth. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Is America Ready for a Female, Socialist, or Evangelical President?

A new poll shows that America is prejudiced against few candidates. The vast majority of American voters are ready for a female president. The fewest will vote for a socialist. Does this mean Sen. Bernie Sanders should abandon his presidential ambitions? Find out.

 


Fred Barnes: The Coming Democratic Panic

hillary-hair

Watch what happens if Hillary Clinton falls behind in the polls

Fred Barnes writes: When a CNN poll last week showed Hillary Clinton leading Rand Paul by a single percentage point (48-47) and only three points ahead of Marco Rubio (49-46) and Scott
Walker (49-46), it was mildly shocking. In April, her lead over the three Republican presidential candidates had been in double digits: Paul (58-39), Rubio (55-41), and Walker (59-37).

But wait. If the next CNN survey shows Clinton actuallybehind one or two or three of the GOP candidates, it won’t be just shocking. It will send Democrats into a near-panic over the possibility of losing the White House in 2016, even with their preferred candidate, Clinton, as nominee.

Bill-Clinton-Hillary-Clinton-540x355

“Stonewalls can work, but not forever and not in the midst of a presidential campaign. A minimal requirement of candidates is that they converse with the press. It looks bad when they don’t. It looks like they’re hiding something.”

Such a poll result isn’t far-fetched as we watch Clinton’s campaign deteriorate. True, head-to-head matchups this early in the presidential cycle are almost never predictive. But in this case, PANTSUIT-REPORTit’s the psychological impact that matters.

That Clinton’s candidacy is in trouble is indisputable. She’s not threatened with losing the Democratic nomination—at least not yet. She has the well-financed Clinton machine and a national network of supporters on which she can rely. The campaigns of her Democratic opponents are small and weak in comparison.

[Read the full text here, at The Weekly Standard]

But the rationale for her bid for the presidency, the strategy of her campaign, and the tactics she’s adopted—all have failed to stop her steady decline. The expectation of Clinton’s glide
into the White House in 2016 is gone.

** FILE ** Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, during the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  in Washington in this July 19, 2006 file photo. When Obama heads to Africa for a five-nation tour this week, he will take with him one credential no other U.S. senator can claim - and which, he says, may make Africans listen to what he has to say.  Obama is a son of the continent. His late father was a goat herder who went on to become a Harvard-educated government economist for his native Kenya. That connection, he hopes, will give a special resonance to his words. "One of the messages I'm going to send is that, ultimately, Africa is responsible for helping itself," Obama said in an interview Wednesday Aug. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

“What is the rationale for her candidacy? President Obama had a big one in 2008. He would reform Washington, end polarization, promote bipartisanship, and bring about change. As a campaign message, it was appealing. As we now know, his real intentions were different.”

In place of a rationale, there’s an assumption that her prominence, her résumé, and the likelihood of her becoming the first woman president would make her a uniquely appealing candidate. They haven’t. She’s a terrible candidate. She has not only failed to attract big crowds. She’s having trouble raising big money from those described by Politico as “rich liberals.”

“But Obama had a rationale for seeking the presidency. Clinton doesn’t.”

The old adage that opposites attract may apply in her marriage. Bill Clinton is charming, has wonderful political instincts, is a compelling speaker, and has a common touch. She lacks all four. Also, Bill is dynamic. She is lifeless as a candidate. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Watch Hillary Clinton Nod and Sip Water While Maintaining Eye Contact with an Everyday Iowa Voter

hillary-graphics-1

 writes: Journeyman presidential candidate Hillary Clinton interacted with some everyday Iowa students in a garage on Tuesday, and taught all of us a lesson in the art of relatable politicking.

[Stay tuned for regular updates to THE PANTSUIT REPORT]

On several occasions during the roundtable event, Clinton revealed herself as a true “triple threat” by demonstrating an array of crucial skills that, when deployed correctly, can make even the most out-of-touch politicians appear somewhat human.

hillary-gif

  1. Eye Contact — One of the easiest ways to make an everyday person feel that you really care about what they are saying, even if you are secretly counting the seconds until you can return to the plush leather “safe space” in your luxury van. This iPANTSUIT-REPORTs particularly useful for a extremely wealthy person who is forced to interact with a commoner on the commoner’s home turf.
  1. Head Nod — A critical tool of everyday human interaction, especially when paired with meaningful eye contact. It makes the commoner feel as though you agree with them, and can empathize with their everyday concerns even if you can’t. Keep in mind that most people who have never met a sultan, much less shared a Gulfstream jet with one, usually don’t have anything interesting to say, and certainly won’t be able to write a six-figure check to your Super PAC. Alas, they are still allowed to vote.
  1. Hydration — The human body needs water, but simply taking a sip every now and then won’t increase your favorability rating. Everybody drinks; that’s boring. Some may argue that hydrating while engaged in nodding eye contact is just showing off. Read the rest of this entry »

THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Campaign Staff Recruited ‘Everyday’ Iowans for Staged Photos

2791754900000578-3040482-image-a-3_1429126130035

Coffee Shop Visit Staged from Beginning to End

David Martosko reports from Des Moines, Iowa: Hillary Clinton’s astroturf candidacy is in full swing in Iowa.PANTSUIT-REPORT

Her Tuesday morning visit to a coffee shop in LeClaire, Iowa was staged from beginning to end, according to Austin Bird, one of the men pictured sitting at the table with Mrs. Clinton.

Bird told Daily Mail Online that campaign staffer Troy Price called and asked him and two other young people to meet him Tuesday morning at a restaurant in Davenport, a nearby city.

Price then drove them to the coffee house to meet Clinton after vetting them for about a half-hour.

27913F8F00000578-3040482-image-a-1_1429126113523

  • Austin Bird sat for coffee on Tuesday morning in the town of LeClaire, Iowa, chatting with Hillary Clinton as photographers snapped pictures
  • News reports called him a ‘student’ and her campaign called it an unscripted event
  • But Clinton’s Iowa political director Troy Price drove Bird and two other people to the coffee house
  • Bird is a hospital government relations official who interned with Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign
  • The Iowa Democratic Party, which Price ran until a month ago, tasked him to be Joe Biden’s driver during an October Senate campaign trip in Davenport

drudge-iowa-staged

The three got the lion’s share of Mrs. Clinton’s time and participated in what breathless news reports described as a ’roundtable’– the first of many in her brief Iowa campaign swing.

Bird himself is a frequent participant in Iowa Democratic Party events. He interned with President Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign, and was tapped to chauffeur Vice President Joe Biden in October 2014 when he visited Davenport. Read the rest of this entry »


Monday Morning News Dump

newsdumphtone2

newsdumpmarch

Go here, to Ace of Spades HQ for clickable links. The top story, The Bergdahl Affair…” by Jonah Goldberg, is our recommended highlight.


‘Big Government – Especially Big, Corrupt Government – Fights Back When it Feels Theatened’

FILE - In this May 22, 2013 file photo, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS unit that decides whether to grant tax-exempt status to groups, listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lerner, the official at the center of the agency’s tea party scandal is retiring. Lerner headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status when she was placed on paid leave in May. While she was in charge, the agency acknowledged that agents improperly targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010 to 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

…Government has, so far, stood up to everyone who came in promising to reform it, shrink it, or even make it perform with a modest degree of competence.  Stood up to them and backed them down and chased them out of town. It is tougher and meaner than anyone it has had to deal with. 

obama-facing-right

Vastly tougher than Barack Obama who retreats behind a pose of insouciance, as though running the government with a degree of managerial competence is much too pedestrian a role for him….

scott-walker

Scott Walker, on the other hand, seems actually to relish the role. And maybe even to enjoy the fight. The venomous quality of the attacks on him is pretty clear evidence that his enemies fear him…

They’ve had enough of the big vision stuff. Right now, they’ll take toughness and competence...(read more)

Weekly Standard


Chris Cillizza: The Hillary Clinton Email Story Just Keeps Getting Worse for Her

Hillary-blackberry

Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail address that she used while secretary of state reinforces everything people don’t like about her, argues The Post’s Chris Cillizza, and is very dangerous to her presidential ambitions

Chris Cillizza writes: Hard on the heels of the New York Times scoop Monday night that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email account to conduct business as Secretary of State comes this report Wednesday morning by the Associated Press:

The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family’s home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton’s secretive email practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free email services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.

Uh oh.

Bill-Clinton-Hillary-Clinton-Getty-Images

There’s any number of problematic phrases in those two paragraphs but two stand out: 1)”impressive control over limiting access to her message archives” and 2) “secretive email practices as far more hillary-eyessophisticated than some politicians.”

“This wasn’t some garden variety home email system; it was “sophisticated” in ways that went well beyond what candidates like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin — both of whom used private email accounts to do official business — put in place.”

Let’s take them one by one.

The first phrase speaks to the suspicion that has long hung around the Clintons that they are always working the angles, stretching the limits of how business can be conducted for their own benefit.  It seemed clear that Clinton went out of her way to avoid the federal disclosure requirements related to email by never even setting up an official account. That she took it another step and created a “homebrew” email system that would given her “impressive control over limiting access” is stunning — at least to me — given that she (or someone close to her) had to have a sense that this would not look good if it ever came out.

“That level of sophistication speaks to the fact that this was not thrown together at the last minute; instead it was a planned manuever to give the Clintons more control over their electronic correspondence.”

Yes, her allies have maintained that she turned over more than 55,000 pages of emails from her time as Secretary of State. But, the decisions over which emails to turn over were made by Clinton and/or her staff. That’s not exactly the height of transparency for someone who is the de facto Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »


John Fund: Curtains for Reid? He May Not Even be Minority Leader After Tuesday

curtains-for-harry

editor-commen-desk

Whether history will be cruel or kind to the political career of Harry Reid remains to be seen, but in the short term, one thing is for sure, the blame for Democrats’ upcoming election defeat will be served generously to Harry, in multiple helpings. Judgement day is almost here. Until as recently as a week ago, I was too superstitious and too cautious to predict that the Tuesday’s election will firmly close the book on the Reid era. Now that Tuesday is almost here, I’m throwing caution to the dogs. It’s half-past Reid-O’clock. Time to chill the champagne, unwrap the cigars, put sparkly icing on the cowboy cupcakes, and light the candles. Harry’s days as senate majority leader are in the final twilight. The show’s almost over. I get emotional just thinking about it, don’t you?

At The Corner, John Fund writes:

It looks as if Harry Reid is at high risk of losing any Senate leadership role after Tuesday’s election.

Reid said Saturday that it’s all up to Iowa to determine whether he keeps his job. He told Democratic donors that if Republican Joni Ernst wins her victory, it “would mean . . . that Mitch McConnell would be leader of the United States Senate.”

“Reid indicated to the newspaper that ‘other Democrats would only get their chance to lead the caucus if they pried the title from his cold, dead hands’.” 

Given that Sunday’s Des Moines Register poll shows harryreidclockErnst with a seven-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley, Reid can be forgiven some nervousness.

“But this year, at a news conference held in September, Reid declined to clarify whether he would stay on as minority leader if his party lost the majority.”

But Reid may also not even remain minority leader after Tuesday, though Democrats around him exude inside-the-Beltway loyalty to him in public. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 ranking Democrat and a man known for his ambition, told Meet the Press last month that Reid had a lock on the majority leader’s job. Read the rest of this entry »


Templeton Rye Distillery in Iowa is Raising Pigs to Taste Like Whiskey

800px-Pig_in_a_bucket

“This is something somebody is going to do, and we want to be at the cutting edge of it, and I think we are.”

— Distillery co-founder Keith Kerkhoff

TEMPLETON, Iowa, May 9 (UPI) — Just when it seemed like there was no way to make eating bacon an even more excessive experience, some folks in Iowa came up with a way.

The Templeton Rye Pork Project was started at the Templeton Rye Distillery in the hope of raising pigs that will taste like whiskey.

TempletonRyePigs

The 25 purebred Duroc pigs in the project were born in January 2014 and they are subsisting on a diet that incorporates distillery grain into their food. “As a group who appreciates both flavor and quality, we thought it would interesting to bring to market a selection of heritage breed pigs fed a diet using spent Templeton Rye mash,” according to the project’s website. Read the rest of this entry »


The ‘Squeal’ Heard Round the World: The Blockbuster Pork-Cutting Ad by GOP Candidate Joni Ernst

Squeal – YouTube

If you’ve seen this ad, you know what the buzz is about.

This “Best Of” video captures the media reaction to it. Priceless.


Fort Hood Shooter Loved Death Metal, ‘Slipknot’ Fan, Facebook Page Shows

slipknot

The shooter who killed three people and injured 16 before killing himself at Fort Hood Wednesday apparently shared his love for the band Slipknot on his Facebook page.

ABC News found a page under the name Ivan Slipknot–the shooter’s real name is Ivan Lopez–but the details and photographs from the site match with the gunman.

Read the rest of this entry »


Voter Fraud in the Heartland

obama-iowa

Iowa Refers 80 Cases of Voter Fraud to Prosecutors 

NRO’s John Fund writes:  Vice President Biden claimed voter ID laws were evidence of “hatred” and “zealotry” during a Black History Month event yesterday in Washington.

Ignoring the fact that voter ID laws were declared constitutional in a 2006 Supreme Court decision written by John Paul Stevens, the Court’s then most liberal justice, Biden is continuing the fact-free assault on anti-voter fraud measures.

“…five people have pleaded guilty to voter fraud and 15 others are facing charges….”

When such laws aren’t “hateful” they are “unnecessary.” The Brennan Center for Justice says “voter fraud is essentially irrational” so it almost never happens. Voter fraud is so rare “you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than find a case of prosecutorial voter fraud,” insists Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the liberal Advancement Project.

iowa-voter

Well, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation disagrees. Not a state known for its hateful politics, Iowa’s DCI wrapped up its investigation this month and has referred more than 80 cases of voter fraud to county attorneys for possible prosecution. Since the investigation was initiated by GOP Secretary of State Matt Schultz a year and a half ago, five people have pleaded guilty to voter fraud and 15 others are facing charges. Read the rest of this entry »


Did the CIA Fund Creative Writing in America?

 How Iowa Flattened Literature

Illustration by Scott Seymour, original image from Istock

Illustration by Scott Seymour, original image from Istock

Eric Bennett writes:  Did the CIA fund creative writing in America? The idea seems like the invention of a creative writer.

Yet once upon a time (1967, to be exact), Paul Engle, director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, received money from the Farfield Foundation to support international writing at the University of Iowa. The Farfield Foundation was not really a foundation; it was a CIA front that supported cultural operations, mostly in Europe, through an organization called the Congress for Cultural Freedom.

With CIA help, writers were enlisted to battle both Communism and eggheaded abstraction. The damage to writing lingers.

Seven years earlier, Engle had approached the Rockefeller Foundation with big fears and grand plans. “I trust you have seen the recent announcement that the Soviet Union is founding a University at Moscow for students coming from outside the country,” he wrote. This could mean only that “thousands of young people of intelligence, many of whom could never get University training in their own countries, will receive education … along with the expected ideological indoctrination.” Engle denounced rounding up students in “one easily supervised place” as a “typical Soviet tactic.” He believed that the United States must “compete with that, hard and by long time planning”—by, well, rounding up foreign students in an easily supervised place called Iowa City. Through the University of Iowa, Engle received $10,000 to travel in Asia and Europe to recruit young writers—left-leaning intellectuals—to send to the United States on fellowship.

Read the rest of this entry »


Scenes from Militarized America

Iowa Family ‘Terrorized’ 

SWAT-Raid

Authorities destroy cameras to prevent account of raid

When critics warn about the dangers of police militarization, this is what we’re talking about. You’ll see the raid team, dressed in battle-dress uniforms, helmets and face-covering balaclava hoods take down the family’s door with a battering ram. You’ll see them storm the home with ballistics shields, guns at the ready. More troubling still, you’ll see not one but two officers attempt to prevent the family from having an independent record of the raid, one by destroying a surveillance camera, another by blocking another camera’s lens…

Read the rest of this entry »


Does Obama Know? Does Obama Care?

Obama avoids discussing ObamaCare at the White House yesterday. Associated Press

Obama avoids discussing ObamaCare at the White House yesterday. Associated Press

James Taranto writes:  Last night on Twitter, your humble columnist observed: “There’s only one thing that can save ObamaCare now. AN OBAMA SPEECH.” We were kidding, naturally–alluding to President Obama’s endless series of speeches in 2009 and 2010 in which he tried, unsuccessfully, to sell “health-care reform” to the public, and to subsequent laments like this one from Drew Westen in August 2011: “Nor did anyone explain what health care reform was supposed to accomplish . . .”

But then it occurred to us that the American people really do deserve a presidential address on ObamaCare. No, not as punishment for re-electing him, or at least not mainly for that purpose. Rather, because 2½ weeks after the launch of the “exchanges” that are supposed to be ObamaCare’s operational centerpiece, it is clear to almost everyone that they are an administrative disaster. In this crisis, there is an opportunity: to recognize an impending economic and humanitarian disaster, and to act in time to avert or at least minimize it. Read the rest of this entry »