[VIDEO] Why I’m Boycotting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner 

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner has turned into a red carpet event for Washington’s media and bureaucrat elites. This year president Trump is not attending, which is a good thing. Fostering a little comity between Republicans and Democrats can bring the nation together, but a healthy democracy works best when there’s a frosty tension separating journalists and those in power. This weekend’s self-important gala encourages the executive branch and the fourth estate to get along; it would be better if we made them square off in paintball.

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Mostly Weekly is a new comedy series on Reason TV written by Andrew Heaton and Sarah Siskind and produced with Meredith Bragg and Austin Bragg.

Music: Moonlight Reprise by Kai Engel


Chris Wallace Grills Jill Stein: Fox News Sunday Full Interview

Dr Jill Stein Appeared on Fox New Sunday with Chris Wallace. Wallace immediately grills Jill Stein On the recount efforts asking “why not New Hampshire”. Why Only States that Clinton lost? Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace engaged in a pretty combative exchange today while discussing Stein’s recount efforts, with Wallace trying to get Stein to admit that there have been no recounts that have switched tens of thousands of votes.

Steven Crowder writes:

“At the end of the day, Jill Stein isn’t changing any hearts or minds over this. The longer this charade of a ‘recount’ continues, the more ridiculous leftists are going to look in regard to the election. Which is hard to do. At this point, Democrats are pulling a Usain Bolt in that they’re only breaking their own records. In this case, records in national embarrassment. They’ve already racked up the top ten highest scores. Looks like Stein wants to go for an even twenty.”

[more here – Chris Wallace Absolutely Roasts Jill Stein on Her Recount Scam]

The interview started with Wallace wanting to know why Stein hadn’t requested a recount in New Hampshire even though Hillary Clinton carried that state by a much more narrow margin than the three states she did request recounts in. Stein explained that it was because the deadline had passed for New Hampshire.

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After Stein noted that she would look to expand the recounts to other states if they see a systemic issue regarding machine error and hacking, Wallace asked Stein if she knew the highest number of votes that had been switched via a recount. When she brought up a situation with Toledo in 2004 where 90,000 votes were erroneously marked blank — she has brought this up before — Wallace explained that officially, the biggest change had been roughly 1200 during the 2000 Florida recount in that year’s presidential election. ‘There’s not a chance in the world here, Dr. Stein, that the vote is going to change in those three states,” Wallace exclaimed, pointing out the margin in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Read the rest of this entry »


Obamacare Is Being Repealed by Consumers, Providers and Insurers

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When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, nearly every stakeholder involved has voted with their feet. Consumers, providers, and even the insurers who helped create Obamacare to profit from a government mandate have all begun to flee from it.

 writes: The 2016 election cycle will come to a close on Tuesday, and its conclusion will probably have little significance on the issues that face the nation. The three months in which Republicans and Democrats (and others) fought for the presidency focused almost entirely on personalities and personal qualities rather than substantive policy.

[Related: The Simple Reason So Many Americans Are Opting Out of Obamacare]

Republicans want people to vote to keep Hillary Clinton and vast corruption out of the White House, while Democrats argue that voters have to block a temperamentally unsuited and unprepared Donald Trump from having his finger on the nuclear button. Independent candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein want voters to protest against the two-party system by supporting their campaigns.

That will be America’s misfortune because we do face serious choices in the next four years – and this election will tell us nothing about the direction voters want about any of them. The stakes of this election cycle will only determine which candidate turned out to be least unfavorable on personal qualities.

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On issues such as the war on ISIS, the economy, and national debt, both major-party nominees offered nothing but vague ambiguities while focusing almost all of their time and attention on each other’s peccadilloes. No matter the result, the winner will have no claim on a mandate from the electorate on almost any policy direction.

[Read the full story here, at The Fiscal Times]

Rather than look to the election results for policy direction on one key issue, perhaps the next president should look to the voters themselves. When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, nearly every stakeholder involved has voted with their feet. Consumers, providers, and even the insurers who helped create Obamacare to profit from a government mandate have all begun to flee from it.

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Late last week, earnings reports from major health insurers Aetna and UnitedHealth showed a greater-than-expected decline in enrollments from an already disappointing 2016 result. Jed Graham reported at Investors Business Daily  that over 113,000 enrollees had stopped paying their premiums in the third quarter, a 6.6 percent drop that left a combined enrollment of 1.6 million consumers. The two companies account for a sixth of all ACA exchange enrollees, and the trend indicates that national Obamacare enrollment has dropped below 10 million – again.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bill Clinton, After Needlessly Smearing Opponents as Racists, Gets Defensive

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In a series of swing-state appearances this week, Mr. Clinton struck back at criticism of the family foundation, by turns sarcastic and almost pleading.

At last, Bill Clinton could not help himself.

He paced the stage during a speech on Tuesday in North Carolina, holding his microphone close. He raised his left index finger. And at once, the meandering address turned sharply, and without prompting, to his charitable foundation, a magnet for criticism in recent weeks.

“We live in a Snapchat-Twitter world,” Mr. Clinton lamented, tilting his head theatrically — a septuagenarian embracing his age, decades after reveling in saxophone cool.

“It’s so much easier,” he said, “just to discredit people and call them names.”

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For Mr. Clinton and his extended circle, this election has at times felt like a campaign devised to discredit the former president and call him names.

And after more than a year of uncharacteristic restraint — a notable shift from eight years ago, when his simmering instincts often burdened Hillary Clinton’s first presidential run — Mr. Clinton seems to have had enough.

“Did I solve every problem? No,” he told a crowd on Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. “Did I get caught trying? You bet.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘The Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena’, 1743

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BATONI, Pompeo
The Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena
1743
Oil on canvas
Museo di Villa Guinigi, Lucca


More Titillated Than Thou

How the Amish conquered the evangelical romance market

Ann Neumann writes: Peering out from a wire rack in a grocery store was a religious vision of sorts: a paperback romance novel that neatly summed up classic yearning, confining cultural norms, and the hazards of defiled purity. At the center of all this familiar masscult longing and inner turmoil was an unlikely heroine: a young Amish woman, barefoot, clutching a suitcase, her white-bonneted head turned away from a mysterious man in the foreground. Here, plopped down in a hormonally charged set piece, was a figure straight out of the homey folk tradition known as Amish country pastoral. Though this pious woman couldn’t seem more out of place, the book is called Found ; it is the third entry in a series called The Secrets of Crittenden County. There were other books, too, in the rack—The Quilter’s DaughterLeaving Lancaster—clearly meant to evoke the remote corner of central Pennsylvania where we were standing.

My sister and I grew up in the heart of Amish country, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We came across these curious specimens on a routine shopping trip to a rural grocery store. Like people growing up anywhere, we share a complicated relationship with the customs of our homeland, but seeing them serve as the backdrop of a faith-based fiction franchise was a blow to our hard-won sense of 51HkKvPYPaL._SL250_place. It was a bit like what many rent-strapped single women writers in New York must have felt when they first encountered long-lunching, fashion-obsessed Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame, or how Appalachian teens might dissect descriptions of District 12 in the Hunger Games franchise.

[Order the book “The Quilter’s Daughter(Daughter of Lancaster County) from Amazon.com]

My family isn’t Amish, but we’re probably the closest thing—we hail from nearly three hundred years of colonial American Mennonite stock: cussed true believers who moved from Germany to flourish in the free-thinking heart of William Penn’s settlement in the New World. Like the Amish, Mennonites are Anabaptists—adult-baptizing practitioners of an ardent brand of European Protestant pietism that often overlapped with Old World peasant political uprisings, but served in the American setting as a forcing bed for the Amish separatist quest for purity and the Mennonite traditions of pacifism and communal self-help. As the heirs to an easily misunderstood spiritual legacy, we feel protective of our Anabaptist background when it becomes a product label.

The commercialization of the Amish brand is, of course, nothing new. My sister and I have a long familiarity with kitschy Amish books: guidebooks to Pennsylvania Dutch country, Amish “wisdom” books, “Plain” cookbooks. But the strange cover of Found represented something new in this faintly comical face-off between the self-segregated communities of faith we knew and a cultural mainstream incorrigibly curious about what it’s done to offend pious Anabaptist sensibilities. For a tortured Amish conscience to be front and center on a mass-market paperback meant that the bonnet-clad and buttonless Amish were merging, however awkwardly, with more commercially tried-and-true narratives of tested devotion and romantic longing.

[Read the full story here, at The Baffler]

At a minimum, the novel was suggesting that the Amish represent something more than an exotic, out-of-the-way religious curiosity in the early decades of the twenty-first century. Shelley Shepard Gray, the author of the Crittenden County series, who sees her writing as a way to promulgate her more conventional brand of evangelical faith (she’s a Lutheran), seemed to be signaling that the Amish experience, long the object of prurient curiosity from an intensely modern (if only intermittently secular) American mainstream, was ready for prime time. The woman on the cover of Found could be an inspirational symbol of female spiritual self-discipline, or a cleaned-up lady on the make of the sort featured in endless Danielle Steel contributions to the bodice-ripper genre. My sister and I each purchased a copy of Found , agreeing that we would read it and report back.
Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Declines to Fire Self, Fires Police Commissioner Police Commissioner Anthony Batts Instead

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

Rawlings-Blake announced the firing in a news release Wednesday afternoon. She said Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will become interim commissioner.

Police union official Gene Ryan holds a news conference on May 1 in Baltimore after the announcement of charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. Photo: Algerina Perna/TNS/Zuma Press

Rawlings did not give a reason, but the move comes amid a spike in the city’s homicide rate.

Baltimore was rocked with civil unrest in April after black resident Freddie Gray died one week after suffering a critical spinal injury in police custody. Six police officers have been criminally charged in Gray’s death.

Since the rioting stopped, the city has seen a sharp increase in violence, with 155 homicides this year, a 48 percent increase over the same period last year.  [AP/Breitbart.com]

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake abruptly dismissed Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on Wednesday, hours after the city’s police union released a report sharply critical of the department’s response to rioting here in late April.

Ms. Rawlings-Blake announced the decision minutes before Mr. Batts was due to hold a news conference. She named Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis as interim commissioner effective immediately. She was scheduled to address reporters later Wednesday afternoon.

The move came hours after the city’s police union said officers lacked appropriate riot gear and weren’t allowed to stop widespread looting during the unrest.

“Decisions implemented by top commanders of the Baltimore Police Department left officers in harm’s way,” union President Lt. Gene Ryan said at an earlier news conference. “Equally as important, the lack of preparation put the very citizens that we were sworn to protect in harm’s way as well.”

Police-department officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. A spokesman for Ms. Rawlings-Blake dismissed the report as “no more than a trumped up political document full of baseless accusations, finger pointing and personal attacks.” Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Lockdown: Shooting Reported at Tri-County Plaza in Rostraver, Pennsylvania

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A man shot and killed one person inside an auto body shop in Westmoreland County.

[Also see – Tri County Plaza Shooting: 5 Fast Facts]

Investigators confirmed there were injuries at the scene in the Tri-County plaza in Rostraver Township.

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Channel 11’s Cara Sapida reports a man wearing a blue hoodie shot one person behind the counter of an auto body shop, and  shot another person who was taken to the hospital. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Groundhog Day’ The Musical Heading To Broadway: Will Bill Murray Return?

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Get ready to relive ‘Groundhog Day’– over and over again! On Apr. 2 it was confirmed that the Bill Murray film will be reimagined and brought to the Broadway stage as a musical! (read more)

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Governor Christie Pardons Shaneen Allen

At The Corner, Charles C. Cooke writes:

Herewith, a beautiful sight: This is Chris Christie pardoning Shaneen Allen, a single mother from Pennsylvania who had been prosecuted for taking a concealed weapon into New Jersey in violation of the law:

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Allen has come a long way. At first it looked as if her mistake — she did not realize that her Pennsylvania concealed carry license wasn’t valid in every other state — was going to land her in prison for more than a decade, cost her her job as a medical practitioner, and take her away from her children.

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But then something remarkable happened:  Read the rest of this entry »


Why Islam Needs a Reformation

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To defeat the extremists for good, Muslims must reject those aspects of their tradition that prompt some believers to resort to oppression and holy war

Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes: “Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least Hirsi-Ali-Book70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide.

[Order Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now” from Amazon.com]

The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.

“Let me make two things clear. I do not seek to inspire another war on terror or extremism—violence in the name of Islam cannot be ended by military means alone. Nor am I any sort of ‘Islamophobe.’ At various times, I myself have been all three kinds of Muslim: a fundamentalist, a cocooned believer and a dissident. My journey has gone from Mecca to Medina to Manhattan.”

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my ayaan-hirsi-ali-1message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

“For me, there seemed no way to reconcile my faith with the freedoms I came to the West to embrace. I left the faith, despite the threat of the death penalty prescribed by Shariah for apostates. Future generations of Muslims deserve better, safer options. Muslims should be able to welcome modernity, not be forced to wall themselves off, or live in a state of cognitive dissonance, or lash out in violent rejection.”

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.

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Islamic State militants marching through Raqqa, Syria, a stronghold of the Sunni extremist group, in an undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014. Photo: Associated Press

It is not just al Qaeda and Islamic State that show the violent face of Islamic faith and practice. It is Pakistan, where any statement critical of the Prophet or Islam is labeled as blasphemy and punishable by death. It is Saudi Arabia, where churches and synagogues are outlawed and ali-tallwhere beheadings are a legitimate form of punishment. It is Iran, where stoning is an acceptable punishment and homosexuals are hanged for their “crime.”

“But it is not only Muslims who would benefit from a reformation of Islam. We in the West have an enormous stake in how the struggle over Islam plays out.”

As I see it, the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.

[Read the full text of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s essay here, at Wall Street Journal]

It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been “hijacked” by extremists. The killers of Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct.

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Muslim children carry torches during a parade before Eid al-Fitr, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, on July 27, 2014, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.Photo: Getty Images

Instead of letting Islam off the hook with bland clichés about the religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.

As it turns out, the West has some experience with this sort of reformist project. Read the rest of this entry »


MOST AMERICAN HEADLINE EVER

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NEW YORK — A diner who sued Applebee’s after burning his face on a platter of fajitas got his lawsuit tossed out by an appellate court in New Jersey.flag

Hiram Jimenez filed a lawsuit in 2010 after bowing his head in prayer only to burn his face on the sizzling meat at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Westhampton, N.J., near Philadelphia.

He sought damages against the Apple American Group, the franchisee that owns and operates the restaurant, according to Applebee’s.

But an appellate court judge wasn’t buying Jimenez’ claim that restaurant workers failed to adequately warn him of the hazards of the sizzling fajitas, on the basis that the dangers were “self-evident.”

A lawyer for Jimenez, Richard Weiner of Conshohocken, did not return messages from CNNMoney. Read the rest of this entry »


Pennsylvania: 3 Shot at Mall, 2 in Critical Condition; Shooter Sought

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MONROEVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Police say three people were wounded, two critically, when gunfire erupted at a Pittsburgh-area mall in a shooting that appears to have been targeted.

The Monroeville Mall was evacuated after the shooting Saturday evening in Macy’s and placed on lockdown while police search for the gunman.

Police Chief Doug Cole says the shooting doesn’t appear to be random.

He says no one has been taken into custody, but police have some good leads.

Forbes Hospital reports that the three victims were taken there with gunshot wounds. Police say two are in critical condition.

In late December, hundreds of teenagers gathered at the mall and several fights broke out. The fights caused local officials and mall administration to agree on a plan to increase security there.

Associated Press


Amish Buggy Sought in Pennsylvania Hit-and-Run

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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. — State police are searching for an unlikely suspect in a western Pennsylvania hit-and-run accident: the driver of an Amish buggy.

Troopers from the Mercer barracks say the buggy twice hit a passenger vehicle at a crossroads on Route 158 in Wilmington Township, about 6 p.m. Sunday….Read more… CBS News


BUSTED: Craigslist Murderer Newlywed Teen Miranda Barbour Brags to Cops She Killed 22 Others, Evidence Suggests (To No One’s Surprise) Her Claim is False

Authorities and a missing persons group are casting doubt on a 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman's claims that she killed 22 people in a satanic, cross-country killing spree.

Authorities and a missing persons group are casting doubt on a 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman’s claims that she killed 22 people in a satanic, cross-country killing spree.

Accused “Craigslist Killer” Miranda Barbour claimed most of the victims from her six-year spree were in Alaska, where she shot her first victim when she was 13.

[See also Femme Fatale: Newlywed Teen Miranda Barbour Admits Murdering a Dude She Met on Craigslist, Claims She Killed 22 Others]

On Tuesday, state police there said they hadn’t seen any evidence of serial killer-style slayings.

“At this time the Alaska State Troopers are not aware of any information, beyond Barbour’s comments quoted in the press, or evidence that would implicate Barbour with a homicide committed in Alaska,” state police spokeswoman Megan Peters told the Anchorage Daily News.

Similarly, a volunteer missing persons group, Seeking Alaska’s Missing, said Tuesday that Barbour’s jailhouse tales of mass murder seemed far-fetched.

Christine Baker/PennLive.com/AP

Christine Baker/PennLive.com/AP

“Based on the extensive research conducted by our dedicated team, the numbers Ms. Barbour has suggested simply do not add up,” the group wrote in a Facebook post.

“We at Seeking Alaska’s Missing remain skeptical of her unsubstantiated claims and until proof of such atrocities is given we will not expend our resources on any further investigation.

Read the rest of this entry »


Groundhog Delivers Verdict: Chill, Go Watch The Movie, I’m Going Back Inside…

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A Movie for All Time: Groundhog Day

Re-running this Feb. 2005 cover story, year after year, is a tradition at NRO. It’s a thoughtful and entertaining GHdayreview, for a beloved cult movie that’s gotten an unusual amount of attention, for a comedy, over the years, since its release in 1983. Both serious and funny (it’s funny first) Groundhog Day is also moral, and spiritual, in ways we don’t expect. Every religion, creed, faith, philosophy known to man claims the movie’s message as its own. In scholarly theological circles, no less, it’s generated a lot of ink, and a lot of discussion. This article is a good summary of all that.

Jonah Goldberg writes:

Here’s a line you’ll either recognize or you won’t: “This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.” If you don’t recognize this little gem, you’ve either never seen Groundhog Day or you’re not a fan of what is, in my opinion, one of the best films of the last 40 years. As the day of the groundhog again approaches, it seems only fitting to celebrate what will almost undoubtedly join It’s a Wonderful Life in the pantheon of America’s most uplifting, morally serious, enjoyable, and timeless movies.

[Groundhog Day at Amazon]

When I set out to write this article, I thought it’d be fun to do a quirky homage to an offbeat flick, one I think is brilliant as both comedy and moral philosophy. But while doing what I intended to be cursory research — how much reporting do you need for a review of a twelve-year-old movie that plays constantly on cable? — I discovered that I wasn’t alone in my interest.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! Site says Obama Stole Election through Voter Fraud

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Joe Newby  reports:  During the election, Examiner’s Dean Chambers caused quite a stir when he talked about polls being skewed for Obama, something many conservatives reported. Now that the election is over, Chambers is focused on what he said is the reason for Obama’s victory. On Saturday, The Blaze reported that Chambers’ new site, barackofraudo.com, shows that Obama received 80 electoral votes in four states due largely to voter fraud.

“Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk,” the site says, quoting Henry David Thoreau.

“Evidence of vote fraud is very much like that,” Chambers wrote on the site.

“Those who engage in it are slick and do all they can to hide it, so the evidence is often quite circumstantial. In fact, often the circumstantial evidence is all the evidence we have, such was finding tens of thousands of bogus votes in the ballot box, we didn’t see someone actually put them there, but they are found, they are there, and they are clearly evidence of vote fraud,” he added. “Such is true of the voting divisions where Obama gets 100 percent of the votes cast. As if anyone REALLY believes that is legitimate.”

The Blaze reported that Chambers was mocked throughout the election for his site, UnSkewedPolls.com, where he attempted to, as Dave Weigel wrote at Slate, put “into numbers what other conservatives put into words.”

But according to Chambers, four states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida — should rightfully have gone to Romney, and would have were it not for voter fraud.

“I’m getting credible information of evidence in those states that there enough numbers that are questionable and could have swung the election,” he said, according to Weigel. “I’m only putting good credible information on there, like the actual vote counts, reports, and mainstream publications reporting voter fraud,” he added.

Chambers admits, however, that right now there is a lot of noise with very little substance.

“There’s a lot of chatter, though. There are articles people have sent me that don’t hold up. Crazy stuff,” he said.

“What’s not crazy?” Weigel asked.

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“Things like the 59 voting divisions of Philadelphia where Romney received zero votes,” Chambers said. “Even Larry Sabato said that should be looked into.”

Weigel said that “57 precincts gave McCain no votes in 2008.”

“There’s such a thing as a 99% Democratic precinct, and such a thing as a 99% Republican precinct,” he added.

Chambers said that Ohio had irregularities that didn’t get much media attention.

Read the rest of this entry »


Hearings Set for Newlyweds Accused of Luring Man on Craigslist so They Could Kill Together

police officers lead Elyett Barbour from District Justice Benjamin Apfelbaum's office in Sunbury, Pa. Barbour, 22, and his wife 18-year-old Miranda Barbour of Selinsgrove are scheduled to appear separately at preliminary hearings Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at the Northumberland County Courthouse. They are charged with murdering 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara. (AP Photo/The News-Item, Larry Deklinski, File) (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Police officers lead Elyett Barbour from District Justice Benjamin Apfelbaum’s office in Sunbury, Pa. Barbour, 22, and his wife 18-year-old Miranda Barbour of Selinsgrove are scheduled to appear separately at preliminary hearings Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at the Northumberland County Courthouse. They are charged with murdering 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara. (AP Photo/The News-Item, Larry Deklinski, File) (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

(Really, though, WHO HASN’T done this on their honeymoon?)

HARRISBURG, Pa. –  Separate preliminary hearings are slated next week for the Pennsylvania newlyweds police say fatally stabbed a stranger they lured through Craigslist because they wanted to kill somebody together.

Twenty-two-year-old Elytte Barbour and 18-year-old Miranda Barbour, of Selinsgrove in central Pennsylvania, are scheduled to appear Friday at the Northumberland County Courthouse. They are charged with criminal homicide and other offenses in the apparently random killing of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara, of Port Trevorton, in Sunbury on Nov. 11.

Read the rest of this entry »


Amish Buggy Horse Killed in Drive-By Shooting in Pennsylvania

Signs of the Apocalypse?

JUDY BELLAH/GETTY IMAGES/LONELY PLANET IMAGE

JUDY BELLAH/GETTY IMAGES/LONELY PLANET IMAGE

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – A horse pulling a buggy with an Amish family aboard in rural Pennsylvania was struck by a bullet fired from a moving car and later died, police said on Tuesday.

No people were injured in the drive-by shooting, which occurred on Sunday in the village of Ronks in the heart of Lancaster County’s Amish country, said Lieutenant Robin Weaver of the East Lampeter Township Police Department.

The buggy was about a mile from home when the two adults and three children aboard heard a loud crack, police said.

“At the time, they believed it was a firecracker,” Weaver said. “They didn’t realize it was a gunshot.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Companies created high-volume health care exchanges…in the 1990s

Charles C. Johnson reports: While implementation of the federal Obamacare exchange continues to prove vexing to the government, the private sector solved the problem more than a decade ago.

President Obama promised this week that the “best and brightest” will take over building the busted HealthCare.gov website because of widespread “glitches.” He might have consulted the half dozen insurance companies that built successful website before his presidency.

HealthAxis in Pennsylvania successfully launched a website offering health insurance in 19 states in…1998. Another company, eHealthInsurance in California, launched a site allowing thousands to buy health insurance in 1999.

Press releases for both companies stressed the ease with which applicants could enroll in the system, essentially offering what President Obama has claimed the exchanges would offer.

“eHealthInsurance.com offers consumers access to the leading plans at the very best prices, and they can enroll on-line quickly and confidentially,” said Dave Dias, General Manager of eHealthInsurance.com, in 1999.  “The site gives people an easy way to purchase health insurance with no sales pressure or bias, just information.”

Read the rest of this entry »


From the Department of Petty Controversies: Schools Cancel Halloween

Of all the conflicts to roil our educational system, this one is pretty absurd

 writes:  In the latest example of small-mindedness plaguing our educational system, schools around the country are attempting to ban costumes and candy on what is surely one of most kids’ favorite days of the year. The excuses range from vague concerns about “safety” to specific worries about food allergies to—get this—fears of breaching the wall of separation between church and state.

But whatever the motivation, the end result is the same as what Charlie Brown used to get every time he went trick-or-treating: a big old rock in the candy bag. What sort of lesson are we teaching our kids when we ban even a tiny, sugar-coated break in their daily grind (or, even worse, substitute a generic, Wicker Man-style “Fall Festival” for Halloween)? Mostly that we are a society that is so scared of its own shadow that we can’t even enjoy ourselves anymore. We live in fear of what might be called the killjoy’s veto, where any complaint is enough to destroy even the least objectionable fun.

Consider Sporting Hill Elementary School in Pennsylvania. Earlier this month, the school sent parents a note explaining that wearing Halloween costumes was was canceled because, well, you know, “safety is a top priority.” A spokesperson further explained, “We recognize that the education about, and celebration of, seasonal festivals is an important aspect of the elementary setting…[but] we must do so in a manner that is safe and appropriate for all children.” You’d think it would be easy enough to craft basic guidelines on what’s safe – only fake blood, no trailing ghost or ghoul fronds that might get tripped on– but such a simple task is apparently beyond the powers that be in Sporting Hill. Read the rest of this entry »


Teens chase kidnapping suspect on bikes, save 5-year-old girl

Two teenage boys are being hailed as heroes after they chased a car carrying a kidnapped girl — on their bicycles.

Five-year-old Jocelyn Rojas was playing in her front yard in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when she vanished Thursday afternoon. Authorities believe she was abducted by a man who lured her by offering ice cream.

For two hours, neighbors and police scoured the area and asked if anyone had seen her.

Temar Boggs, 15, and his friend took off on their bicycles to search.

About a half-mile away, they spotted Jocelyn in a sedan. But the driver was elusive.

“Every time we’d go down the street, he’d turn back around, and then … we’ll follow him,” Temar told CNN affiliate WGAL.

The two teens chased the alleged kidnapper on their bikes for 15 heart-pounding minutes. The driver apparently knew he was being followed and gave up. Read the rest of this entry »


Fraud in PA: Obama Got Over 99% of Vote at Polls Where GOP Inspectors were Removed; Turnout Somehow “30%” Above Govt Numbers

This item, from  Pundit Press:
Across Philadelphia, GOP poll inspectors were forcibly (and illegally) removed from polling locations. Coincidentally (or not), Mr. Obama received “astronomical” numbers in those very same regions, including locations where he received “over 99%” of the vote.Ward 4, which also had a poll watcher dressed in Obama attire, went massively for Obama. Mr. Obama received 99.5% of the vote, defeating Mr. Romney 9,955 to 55.

Is it odd that a county that expelled GOP inspectors and had people openly campaigning for Obama ended with 99.5% for Obama and 9955 votes for him? It’s up to you to decide.

Another problem: “Voter turnout in Philadelphia was around 60 percent, according to state election figures.” In these precincts it was well over 90% according to House Speaker Sam Smith of Pennsylvania. Considering all of the other “coincidences” going on, it doesn’t seem kosher.

Clear fraud, odd percentages, and numbers that don’t add up? Congratulations on your re-election, Mr. Obama.

Update: Obama also won 99.8% of the vote in 44 Cleveland districts.

 


In Shift, Romney Campaign Makes Push in Pennsylvania

“…But there is a tangible sense — seen in Romney yard signs on the expansive lawns of homes in the well-heeled suburbs, and heard in the excited voices of Republican mothers who make phone calls to voters in their spare time — that the race is tilting toward Mr. Romney…”

via  NYTimes.com


Election Shave Challenge Update: Ed Asner, Janeane Garofalo, Join Axelrod’s Mustache-Shaving Wager

Adding an unexpected dose of humor, and a welcome, long-overdue pledge of personal hygiene, two outspoken celebrities are including themselves in Axelrod’s courageous mustache-shaving wager.

Beloved television actor and outspoken socialist Ed Asner, and activist/actress Janeane Garofalo announced this week that they’re willing to part with treasured follicular adornments, in response to the shave challenge started by Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, who promised to shave his mustache of 40 years on national television if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania on Election Day.

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“I will come on Morning Joe and I will shave off my mustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states”

 

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“If Obama fails to win Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania, I will go on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on election day, and shave my legs”

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“If Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania to Romney next Tuesday, I’ll go on the Johnny Carson show, and shave my ear hair”

We assume Ed meant to say the Jay Leno show. Stay tuned for more celebrities volunteering to join David Axelrod in shaving on national TV, in support of Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.