Where is the ACLU when you really need them?
Thomas Farnan reports: What do you call a system of government that cannot tolerate a transition of power without corrupt machinations by those unwilling to cede control? Banana Republic is a term that comes to mind.
The Special Counsel was appointed to determine whether Russia colluded with Trump to steal the election. Michael Flynn was indicted for a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador on December 28, 2016, seven weeks after the election.
That was the day after the outgoing president expelled 35 Russian diplomats—including gardeners and chauffeurs—for interfering in the election. Yes, that really happened.
The Obama administration had wiretapped Flynn’s conversation with the ambassador, hoping to find him saying something they could use to support their wild story about collusion.
The outrage, for some reason, is not that an outgoing administration was using wiretaps to listen in on a successor’s transition. It is that Flynn might have signaled to the Russians that the Trump administration would have a different approach to foreign policy.
How dare Trump presume to tell an armed nuclear state to stand down because everyone in Washington was in a state of psychological denial that he was elected?
Let’s establish one thing early here: It is okay for an incoming administration to communicate its foreign policy preferences during a transition even if they differ from the lame duck administration.
In 1980, President-elect Reagan’s transition was dominated by negotiations between outgoing President Jimmy Carter and the Iranians about the fate of 52 hostages that were being held in the Tehran. Read the rest of this entry »
Two police officers and at least 1 citizen were run down in a hit-and-run Thursday night in the nation’s capitol. The incident occurred on 18th Street, ‘near Columbia Road in Northwest D.C.,’ FOX5 reported. The vehicle initially fled the scene but the driver was later taken into custody and arrested—-charges pending. One of the officers […]
Paul Bedard writes: In the latest sign that Washington operates in an alternate economy, journalism jobs around the country dove 22 percent in the last 10 years, but they spiked a whopping 38 percent in the nation’s capital, according to a new economic study. What’s more, salaries for Washington journalists rose 7 percent while diving nationally.
While 12,000 reporting jobs were eliminated in most markets in the last decade, the Washington journalism market expanded from 2,190 to 3,030. That is more than five journalists for every single House and Senate member.
In New York, by comparison, the drop was historic, from 5,330 jobs in 2005 to just 3,478 in 2015, said the study from Apartmentlist.com.
The study reviewed rents in major cities and showed how rents have spiked while the salaries of reporters hasn’t. That gap may be responsible for the shift by reporters, even award-winning journalists, to better paying public relations.
“Our analysis illustrated that reporter salaries are growing slower than rents in most metros. Nationwide, reporter salaries declined by 7 percent over the past decade while rents increased 9 percent. If this trend continues, publications will struggle to hire and retain talent,” said the report provided to Secrets. Read the rest of this entry »
Is there a point where the “P.C. Police” are satisfied? Are there ever “enough” rules governing the jokes we tell, the mascots of sports teams, or the symbols on city seals? Or should we want a society as non-offensive as the American college campus? George Will, Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, imagines what an idyllic politically correct universe would look like.
The US Capitol is on lockdown after a visitor opened fire, shooting and wounding a police officer – just hours after an active shooter drill in the government building.
Staffers in the visitor center were ordered to shelter in place just before 3pm (Eastern Time) on Monday as police secured the area.
One officer was hospitalized with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. The suspect was taken in to custody within minutes of the first shot being fired, the Associated Press reported.
There was confusion as the shooting came soon after a scheduled active shooter drill, which staff had been notified about via email. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Barone writes: What influence does a front-page editorial in The New York Times have on public opinion? A strong negative influence, judging from the only two examples from the last 95 years. The Times famously ran a front-page editorial Dec. 4 calling for drastic gun control measures, including confiscation of weapons. The response: No. The latest CBS/New York Times poll reports that 50 percent oppose “a nationwide ban on assault weapons,” while only 44 percent support it.
That’s a sharp reversal of trend: In January 2011, 63 percent supported the ban on “assault weapons” — a vague term that invites agreement, even though any gun, even a toy pistol, can be used to assault someone (consult your law dictionary) and the 1990s legislation banning “assault weapons” distinguished them from other guns by purely cosmetic criteria.
The Times’ second-most recent front-page editorial, published in June 1920, had a similar effect. It criticized the Republican National Conventions‘ nomination of Warren G. Harding as that of “a candidate whose nomination will be received with astonishment and dismay by the party whose suffrages he invites.” Voters took a different view that fall….(read more)
Source: Washington Examiner
Panic at the State Department: Reporter Threatened at Briefing Detailing Obama Administration Concessions to IranPosted: June 29, 2015
See more at #RollingThunder
A member of the Capitol Police inspects a gyrocopter after it landed at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. One person was detained by authorities and streets were closed near the incident.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 4, 2014
RPV wrote a letter to the Virginia Department of Elections this morning stating there were problems with some of the electronic voting touch screens in at least four different Congressional Districts.
“Voters have difficulty selecting the candidate of their choice using the touch screen because the screen’s touch sensor is not properly aligned with the text that appears on the screen.”
— RPV spokesman said in the letter.
A video link included in the letter shows a machine malfunction when someone tries to select the Republican candidate on the ballot:
For more about the precincts where RPV says the issue is happening…(read more)
This story is developing….
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 28, 2014
“‘Worthy Fights’ is highly self-regarding even for a Washington book.”
Peggy Noonan writes: There’s the sense of an absence where the president should be.
Decisions are made—by someone, or some agency—on matters of great consequence, Ebola, for instance. The virus has swept three nations of West Africa; a Liberian visitor has just died in Dallas. The Centers for Disease Control says it is tracking more than 50 people with whom he had contact.
“Publicly Mr. Panetta has always been at great pains to show the smiling, affable face of one who is above partisanship. But this book is smugly, grubbily partisan.”
The commonsense thing—not brain science, just common sense—would be for the government to say: “As of today we will stop citizens of the affected nations from entering the U.S. We will ban appropriate flights, and as time passes we’ll see where we are. We can readjust as circumstances change. But for now, easy does it—slow things down.”
[Check out Panetta’s “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace” at Amazon.com]
Instead the government chooses to let the flow of individuals from infected countries continue. They will be screened at five U.S. airports, where their temperatures will be taken and they will be asked if they have been around anyone with Ebola.
A lot of them, knowingly or unknowingly, have been around Ebola. People who are sick do not in the early stages have elevated temperatures. People who are desperate to leave a plague state will, understandably if wrongly, lie on questionnaires.
“He is telling partisan Democrats on the ground that he’s really one of them, he hates those Republicans too, so you can trust him when he tells you Mr. Obama’s presidency is not a success.”
U.S. health-care workers at airports will not early on be organized, and will not always show good judgment. TSA workers sometimes let through guns and knives. These workers will be looking for microbes, which, as they say, are harder to see. A baby teething can run a fever; so will a baby with the virus. A nurse or doctor with long experience can tell the difference. Will the airport workers?
None of this plan makes sense. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON — The only original copy of the Magna Carta in the United States is the centerpiece of a new museum gallery at the National Archives, tracing the evolution of rights and freedoms through present day.
On Wednesday, the archives will open its new “Records of Rights” permanent exhibit in an expanded museum space on the National Mall. Philanthropist David Rubenstein donated $13.5 million to fund the project, along with funds from Congress. Rubenstein also is loaning the 1297 copy of Magna Carta to the archives.
FIRST AMENDMENT CENTER NASHVILLE, TENN.
WASHINGTON — In a survey released today by the Newseum Institute, 34% of Americans say the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, up from 13% in last year’s survey. This is the largest single-year increase in the history of the State of the First Amendment national survey.
The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center-sponsored survey has been conducted since 1997 to determine public knowledge and opinion about the First Amendment and related issues. The results were released today by First Amendment Center President Ken Paulson and Newseum Institute Chief Operating Officer Gene Policinski at a luncheon for high school students attending the 2013 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference.
“It’s unsettling to see a third of Americans view the First Amendment as providing too much liberty,” said Paulson, who also is the dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. “This underscores the need for more First Amendment education. If we truly understand the essential role of these freedoms in a democracy, we’re more likely to protect them,” Paulson said.
On other issues, the survey found:
- Americans identified freedom of speech as the most important freedom that citizens enjoy (47%), followed by freedom of religion (10%), freedom of choice (7%), and the right to vote and the right to bear arms (both 5%).
- 80% agreed it is important for our democracy that the news media act as an independent “watchdog” over government on behalf of the public, up 5 percentage points from 2012; 46% believe that “the news media try to report the news without bias” — the highest number since the survey began asking the question in 2004.
- Only 4% of those surveyed could name “petition” as one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment, the lowest percentage this year for any of the five freedoms.
- Only freedom of speech was named by more than half of the respondents, 59%. Freedom of religion was named by 24%, while just 14% named freedom of the press and 11% named assembly.
- 75% believe high school students should be able to exercise their First Amendment rights just as adults do, while 23% disagreed.
“Americans remain generally supportive of First Amendment freedoms. But the inability of most to even name the freedoms, combined with the increase of those who think the freedoms go too far, shows how quickly that support can erode,” said Policinski. “As a nation, we must better prepare our fellow and future citizens for the hard decision of defending core freedoms against those who would damage or limit them by violence or by law.”
Complete survey results are available at newseum.org and firstamendmentcenter.org
About the Newseum
The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment. One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum’s 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits, and its Newseum Institute serves as a forum for the study, exploration and education of the First Amendment. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit newseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Taking Back the Joint
Much ink has been spilt in describing the precise nature of the soul-searching the GOP is undergoing in the wake of getting totally shellacked last Tuesday. There are a plethora of suggestions — of varying degrees of helpfulness — as to how the Republican party can re-brand and re-orient itself; ranging from capitulating on taxes to deciding that gay marriage isn’t a hill to die on. But there’s one easy ideological maneuver that Republicans could make that would simultaneously burnish their stance as the party of freedom and expand their base while alienating the president from his. It is a move that might also make one swing state a little easier to win in 2016. Congressional Republicans and conservative leaders could get on the weed bandwagon.
Now, the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of the world may never win the loyalty of the Choom Gang contingent. But Republicans should rejoice with those who rejoiced when voters in Colorado and Washington passed sensible marijuana policy. Last Tuesday, both states passed ballot measures decriminalizing the recreational use of medical marijuana — and giving the GOP an early Christmas present.
Most of us are familiar with the arguments for and against marijuana legalization — it’s non-addictive and (mostly) harmless; it’s not as bad for you as alcohol; it’s a gateway drug; it funds violent drug cartels; it’s too expensive to be worth taxing; etc. etc. ad nauseam. It’s probably not helpful to rehash all those here. The short version is this: A lot of smart people think weed is the devil, and a lot of other smart people like to toke up on weekends because, come on man, it’s just a plant and it grows in the ground.
On Tuesday, the people of Washington State and Colorado sided with the latter. They aren’t the first to ditch the metaphorical Keep off the Grass signs. Medical marijuana is legal in California and Massachusetts, and the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor — Warning: This will not surprise you — has functionally decriminalized possession. This should hearten those fond of federalism. Remember, you don’t have to like THC to hate Washington, D.C. As a general rule, states’ assertion of autonomy is good news for friends of limited government, rendering the question not how conservatives should feel about marijuana decriminalization, but rather how they should respond to it.