Yemen President’s Chief of Staff Abducted

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A Record-High Number of Americans Say Guns Make Homes Safer


Paul Bedard: Northeast Loses 40% of House Seats as People Flee High-Tax States

The Northeast, once the nation’s political engine that produced presidents, House speakers and Senate giants including the late Edward M. Kennedy, is losing clout in Washington as citizens flee the high-tax region, according to experts worried about the trend.

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“This result is one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in American history. This migration is shifting the power center of America right before our very eyes.”

The Census Bureau reports that population growth has shifted to the South and the result is that the 11 states that make up the Northeast are being bled dry of representation in Washington.

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“The movement isn’t random or even about weather or resources. Economic freedom is the magnet and states ignore this force at their own peril.”

Critics blame rising taxes in states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut for limiting population growth in the Northeast to just 15 percent from 1983 to 2013, while the rest of the nation grew more than 41 percent. Read the rest of this entry »


New ISIS Threat: GRID JIHAD

PALO ALTO, CA -JULY 12: Power line towers are shown July 12, 2002 in Palo Alto, California. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission boosted the maximum price of electricity from $55.26 per megawatt hour to $91.87 in the wake of record-breaking temperatures for the week, including 112 degrees in Redding, California today. One megawatt is enough to power about 750 homes. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Congress is looking at legislation to protect the grid via the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act

Paul Bedard reports: Former top government officials who have been warning Washington about the vulnerability of the nation’s largely unprotected electric grid are raising new fears that troops from the jihadist Islamic State are poised to attack the system, leading to a power crisis that could kill millions.

ISIS, ISIL, whatever

“By one estimate, should the power go out and stay out for over a year, nine out of 10 Americans would likely perish.”

— Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington

“Inadequate grid security, a porous U.S.-Mexico border, and fragile transmission systems make the electric grid a target for ISIS,” said Peter Pry, one of the nation’s leading experts on the grid.

“At the afternoon press conference, Gaffney dubbed the potential crisis the ‘grid jihad.'”

Others joining Pry at a press conference later Wednesday to draw attention to the potential threat said that if just a handful of the nation’s high voltage transformers were knocked out, blackouts would occur across the country. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] GOP Candidate Cory Gardner’s New Ad Backs Over-the-Counter Birth Control

Washington Examiner reports: Colorado Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner is calling for birth-control pills to be sold without a prescription in a new TV ad, putting campaign cash behind a conservative argument that’s been picking up steam in recent months.

“I believe the pill ought to be available over the counter, round the clock, without a prescription — cheaper and easier, for you.”

In a 30-second ad released Tuesday, Gardner argues for cheaper, over-the-counter access to birth-control pills, an argument he previously made in a June op-ed in the Denver Post.

[In an op-ed in 2012, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal argued that adult women should be allowed to buy birth-control pills without a prescription.]

[In 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a leading group of women’s physicians, endorsed over-the-counter birth-control pills.]

[Here’s how it’s reported in backward, behind-the-times New York City – Bobby Jindal Offers “Unexpected” Endorsement of Over the Counter Birth Control Pills – nymag.com]

Gardner is running a highly competitive race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, but he’s not the first one to call for over-the-counter birth control. Read the rest of this entry »


Analysis: Washington is Divided Because it has Abandoned Federalism


Obama Border Funding Reality Check: Most Money to Care, Feed, Transport Illegal Immigrants; Little for Deportations

For the Washington ExaminerByron York reports: It’s still a little unclear exactly how much money President Obama will request to deal with the crisis of thousands of families and unaccompanied children crossing the border into the United States illegally.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, left, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 24, as they testify on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing regarding the growing problem of unaccompanied children crossing the border into the U.S. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, left, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 24, as they testify on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing regarding the growing problem of unaccompanied children crossing the border into the U.S. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

But there are indications the vast majority of the funding will go to caring for the illegal immigrants who are already here — feeding, housing, and transporting them to new American homes — while a far smaller amount will go to sending some of those immigrants back to their home countries and preventing future immigrants from crossing into the U.S. illegally.

The president will ask for a large amount of money, perhaps as much as $2 billion, for the Department of Health and Human Services. Most of that will go to care for the more than 50,000 unaccompanied children who have illegally entered the United States in recent months. The law requires that border officials transfer those children to the care of HHS, which is then required to find homes for them, unite them with family members, provide legal assistance, and help them in a variety of other ways. So most of the HHS funding request, whatever it is, will go to the care of illegal immigrants who are already here.

Then there is the administration’s request for more money for the Department of Homeland Security, which handles border enforcement. But it appears that most of that money will go to care for — rather than deport — the new illegal immigrants. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] About that Wall Street Journal Poll: Is the Public Saying Obama’s Presidency is Over?

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“This poll is a disaster for the president.”  

For the Washington ExaminerT. Becket Adams  reports:

President Obama‘s approval rating has dropped to 41 percent, a majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of foreign policy issues, he has lost support from the Hispanic community and Americans actually think his administration is less competent than the Bush White House post-Hurricane Katrina, according to a new survey from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

“…Lowest job rating, tied for the lowest; lowest on foreign policy. His administration is seen as less competent than the Bush administration, post-Katrina.”

In short, the poll is nothing but bad news for the president.

“…essentially the public is saying your presidency is over.”

[more about the WSJ/NBC News poll here.]

The survey would appear to be so bad, in fact, that NBC News’ Chuck Todd said Tuesday…(read moreWashingtonExaminer.com

NoteChuck Todd says something  interesting here, that’s left unexplained (in this clip) about 34 seconds in,

“What’s interesting, it’s a disaster for the president, it’s not a disaster for the Democrats.”

What? If so, that would be historically peculiar. A president’s unpopularity and disastrous failure that inflicts no damage to the party he leads?  Seriously? Recall that Bush’s unpopularity–nearly identical–damaged the Republican brand so thoroughly that the effects linger to this day. Somebody explain how the Democratic party, in the public eye, is somehow insulated from Obama’s unpopularity.

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“Effectively rewriting history to suit their agenda, the press will also inflate the legacy of Obama, once his final term is complete, reinventing him as a historic, noble, misunderstood figure of astonishing greatness.”

If true, the only explanation I can imagine is this: Once the press’s historic success at promoting and protecting its cherished president begins to fail, they can at least succeed in protecting their party’s brand. And let’s not kid ourselves, it’s their party. The media is overwhelmingly Democratic, donating millions to campaigns, actively working for the cause, its most influential members no longer even attempting to pretend otherwise. The media’s collective efforts to discredit Bush, smear Republicans, and fortify Democrats, could actually work. Chuck Todd may be right. Read the rest of this entry »


Crisis: ‘Unprecedented’ Number of Young Illegal Immigrants Pouring Over U.S. Border

OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images

OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images

For the Washington ExaminePaul Bedard reports: A city-sized rush of about 120,000 illegal immigrant children and teens from Latin America is expected to crash through the U.S. border this year, twice the administration’s prediction, leading humanitarians to seek much more than the $1.5 billion spent to handle the runaways.

“It’s a city of children.”tex-border

U.S. authorities report that there was massive surge in May of children trying to escape crime, drug gangs and sexual exploitation in GuatemalaHonduras and El Salvador, leading them to cast aside the administration’s prediction of 60,000, which was still more than twice the 24,000 apprehended last year.

“It’s a city of children,” said Annie Wilson, executive vice president for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), a national group that works with the government to settle child refugees and exiles. Read the rest of this entry »


House Republicans Won’t Rule Out Arresting Lois Lerner if Justice Department Doesn’t

arrest-her-drudge

This is one of those days where I think Matt Drudge is imitating my obsessions, rather than the other way around. Wishful thinking, I know. But readers here know, Lois Lerner is our favorite voodoo doll. At punditfromanotherplanet, a day without Lois Lerner is a day without sunshine

For the Washington ExaminerJoel Gehrke reports: House Ways and Means Committee Republicans aren’t ruling out the use of the chamber’s “inherent contempt” authority if Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to act on the panel’s accusations against former IRS official Lois Lerner.

The committee voted Wednesday to seek an investigation of whether Lerner violated federal law by using her power to ensure Right-leaning groups were targeted for extra scrutiny by the agency, giving misleading information during a probe of the matter by the Treasury Department‘s inspector general and using her personal email to conduct official business, which could have resulted in the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

“The Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman [Dave] Camp [R-Mich.], has conducted a serious and thorough investigation of the IRS, uncovering abuses and criminal acts that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said of the referral. “As I’ve said, if Lois Lerner continues to refuse to testify, then the House will hold her in contempt. And we will continue to shine the light on the administration’s abusive actions and use every tool at our disposal to expose the truth and ensure the American people get the answers they deserve.”

Read the rest of this entry »


The Murderer Hollywood Doesn’t Want You to Hear About

The most prolific mass murderer in American history.

The most prolific mass murderer in American history.

Over at The Foundry,  writes: Filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have been speaking out against media and Hollywood bias in efforts to fund their new movie project, Gosnell.

“Gosnell killed more people then Gary Ridgway…the Zodiac Killer, and Ted Bundy, combined. In a thirty-year killing spree it is thought he killed many thousands…”

— Ann McElhinney

McAleer and McElhinney, along with journalist Magdalena Segieda, launched a crowd-sourcing campaign through Indiegogo to produce Gosnell, which Hollywood Reporter said, “unlike FrackNation and other movies McAleer has produced, will be a scripted drama, and be based largely on grand jury testimony and documentation from Gosnell’s trial, which major media outlets covered sporadically.”

Kermit's House of Horrors

Kermit’s House of Horrors

Read the rest of this entry »


Study: Obama Most Well-Traveled, Expensive President In History Through Five Years

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Breitbart.com EXCLUSIVE:  reports:  President Barack Obama has spent more time traveling abroad than other U.S. president in history at this point in their presidencies, according to a forthcoming study from the National Taxpayer Union Foundation (NTUF) provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release.

“The most internationally well-traveled President, through five years, is also flying the most expensive-to-operate Air Force One to date.”

NTUF wrote. After five years in the White House, Obama has taken 31 trips for a total of 119 days abroad. At that point in George W. Bush’s presidency, Bush had taken 28 trips for 116 days, while Bill Clinton had taken 27 trips for 113 days. Ronald Reagan, after five years, had taken 14 trips for 73 days while Richard Nixon had taken 12 trips for 60 days after five years in the White House and Lyndon Johnson took 10 trips for 34 days at the half-decade mark. Dwight Eisenhower took 8 trips for 31 days after five years in the White House.

Citing a recent report in the Washington Examiner that found through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that taxpayers are on the hook for about $228,288 per Air Force One flight hour in 2013, a 27 percent increase from the previously confirmed cost of $179,750 per fight hour that NTUF used in its last study, the taxpayer watchdog concludes that Obama’s flights have cost taxpayers more than any other president.

Read the rest of this entry »


Concealed-Weapons Laws Have Changed America Regardless of National Debate on Gun Control

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For Washington Examiner, the Michael Barone writes:  Over the last 25 years, we have had related national debates over proposed federal gun-control laws designed to restrict access to certain firearms. But Concealed-Carry-Women2only one piece of major legislation has passed Congress, in the 1994 crime bill, and the electoral backlash against many of its supporters in the 1994 midterm elections convinced many Democrats inclined to support such restrictions to try to sidestep the issue.

But Congress and the laws it passes are not the only determinants of facts on the ground. Starting with a Florida law in 1987, most states have passed concealed weapons laws, allowing law-abiding citizens who have had relevant training to obtain licenses to carry concealed weapons. Such laws have been supplemented by court decisions covering a few states since the U.S. Supreme Court decision inHeller v. District of Columbia in 2008, which recognized that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.

The result has been that over the years the entire nation has become carry-concealed-weapons territory, as shown in a neat graphic in a Volokh Conspiracy blog post by Dave Kopel.

The chart below shows how Shall Issue laws for the licensed carrying of firearms for self-defense have become the American norm.

 

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By 2014, the percentage of people living in the Red states, with no possibility of even applying for a permit, has declined to zero. Illinois’ 2013 reforms ended the problem of states not even having a process theoretically available. (The problem persists in DC, but this chart is only for states.)

As of January 2014, about 2/3 of the population lived in a Green state, with a Shall Issue licensing statute.

Read the rest of this entry »


Report Card: Only 29% say President Bambi Has Nation Headed in Right Direction

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Paul Bedard  writes:  Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama’s numbers are mixed, both in approval rating and right-direction, wrong-direction.

[Check out Zogby’s book: First Globals Understanding, Managing, & Unleashing the Potential of Our Millennial Generation at Amazon]

“I am a numbers guy and the numbers are mixed. Troubling for Obama is that so few Americans feel the U.S. is headed in the right direction (29 percent average) and that the stock market is falling. This could be the inevitable correction and the obvious impact of the Fed‘s tapering.

Read the rest of this entry »


Wall Street adviser: Actual unemployment is 37.2%

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‘Misery Index’ Worst in 40 Years

Paul Bedard  writes:  Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.

In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obama Is Losing the Millennials

Young voters are unhappy with Obamacare, college costs, lack of jobs

Young voters are unhappy with Obamacare, college costs, lack of jobs

Michael Barone  writes:  What do young Americans want? Something different from what they’ve been getting from the president they voted for by such large margins.

Evidence comes in from various polls. Voters under 30, the Millennial generation, produced numbers for Barack Obama 13 percentage points above the national average in 2008 and nine points above in 2012.

But in recent polls, Obama’s approval among those under 30 has been higher than the national average by only one percentage point (Quinnipiac), two points (ABC/Washington Post) and three points (YouGov/Economist).

Those differences are statistically significant. And that’s politically significant, since a higher percentage of Millennials than of the general population are Hispanic or black.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Texas Is Growing (and Illinois Isn’t)

Why-Texas-Is-Growing-And-Illinois-Isnt

Michael Barone writes:   The Census Bureau’s holiday treat is its release of annual state-population estimates, to be digested slowly in the new year.

The headline from this year’s release is that population growth from July 2012 to July 2013 was 0.72 percent, lower than in the two preceding years and the lowest since the Great Depression 1930s. This reflects continuing low, below-replacement-rate birth rates and lower immigration than in 1982–2007. Net immigration from Mexico evidently continues to be zero.

The nation’s economy may be growing again, but Americans — and potential Americans — are not acting like it. There’s a parallel here with poll results showing that majorities still believe we are in a recession that the National Bureau of Economic Research says ended in June 2009, nearly five years ago.

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Balanced Approach’: Networks give ‘Bridgegate’ 17 times more coverage in 1 day than IRS scandal in 6 months

big-networks

The Examiner‘s Paul Bedard reports:  The Big Three networks, in a frenzy over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s traffic headache dubbed “Bridgegate,” have devoted a whopping 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage to the affair in just the last 24 hours.

By comparison, that’s 17 times the two minutes, eight seconds devoted to President Obama‘s IRS scandal in the last six months, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center.

“While routinely burying new stories on the IRS scandal, the media practically fell over themselves to start taking shots at the potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee,” said the conservative media watchdog.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obama has shown how a future GOP president can gut Obamacare

paul&cruz

Philip Klien writes: I owe Mitt Romney an apology.

During the 2012 Republican presidential primary season, I repeatedly criticized Romney — and personally challenged him during his editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner — for promising that if elected, on day one of his presidency, he would grant Obamacare waivers to all 50 states.

As I reported, under the text of the law, the ability to offer waivers to states was subject to many restrictions and wouldn’t even be an option until 2017, four years after his hypothetical swearing in.

Though I still believe I was right about what the statute said, as it turns out, I was being old-fashioned by taking the letter of the law so literally.

Read the rest of this entry »


President ‘Present’

obamayawn-e1353423462686Washington is abuzz with talk about how much President Obama has damaged America’s credibility with his indecisiveness on Syria. It’s become accepted fact that Obama’s decision-making style resembles that of an academic convening an unruly seminar whose participants he largely disdains. What he is not is a decisive leader with the ability to bring disparate players together behind a common purpose.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. We had inklings of it a long time ago. Back when Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton accused him of “taking a pass” on tough issues when he was in the Illinois state senate, a theme later picked up by Republicans. Its basis is the 129 times he voted “present.” On 36 of those occasions, he was the only one to vote present of the 60 senators. One of those occasions was in 1999, when he twice chose not to vote on a bill protecting sexual-assault victims from having the explicit details of their cases made public without “good cause.” Bonnie Grabenhofer, the president of the Illinois National Organization of Women at the time, said she endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2007 in part because “when we needed someone to take a stand, Senator Obama took a pass.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Market innovation, not government regulations, are the key to keeping college costs down

Higher-education reformers shouldn't have to rely on the government to experiment with new methods. (Thinkstock)

Higher-education reformers shouldn’t have to rely on the government to experiment with new methods. (Thinkstock)

BY CONN CARROLL

“Over the last month,” President Obama said in Buffalo, N.Y., on Thursday, “I’ve been out there talking about what we need to do as a country to make sure that we’ve to a better bargain for the middle class and everybody who’s working hard to get into the middle class.”

Stella, the second youngest of five brothers, was raised in a single parent home in Roanoke, Alabama. He was the only one of his siblings to finish high school, although he has since encouraged all of his siblings to go back and get their G.E.D.s.

Now living in Warren, Ohio, with a son of his own, Stella wanted to improve his own life and his son’s opportunities. But as a single parent with a full-time job, his options were limited.

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Unions hurt Detroit but crime killed it

Unions hurt Detroit but crime killed it | WashingtonExaminer.com

I’ve been told that some readers of my Washington Examiner columnon city bankruptcies have interpreted it as a vindication of Detroit’s public employee unions and the contracts they got the city government to agree to. I didn’t intend to make that point and I don’t think I did. What I did point out is that the average pension of retired Detroit workers is relatively low, $19,000, far lower than the lavish pensions agreed to by the city governments of Stockton and San Bernardino, California. But the burden on Detroit’s city government imposed by those union contracts proved to be more than the city can bear. The unions hurt Detroit but crime killed it.

Detroit’s huge population loss (see the column for the numbers) was a response to the city’s high rates of violent crime and the inability or unwillingness of city government to reduce them drastically over the years. White flight was followed by black flight; those remaining tend to have very low incomes and property values have fallen to zero in many parts of the city. With such a dwindling tax base, it’s very difficult or impossible to afford even modest pensions for former city employees who were needed when the city was much larger. You can raise tax rates, but Detroit already has the highest income and property tax rates in Michigan, and the Detroit News, in a feat of good local coverage, found that taxes were not paid in 2011 on 47% of the properties in the city. And of course superhigh tax rates tend to drive even more people away and deter others from coming in.

via WashingtonExaminer.com.


Shot to the Heart

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The document, as Bedard writes, instructs politicians and advocates “to hype high-profile gun incidents like the Florida slaying of Trayvon Martin to win support for new gun control laws.” Essentially it’s a how-to book on inciting a moral panic.

“The most powerful time to communicate is when concern and emotions are running at their peak,” it advises. Antigun advocates are urged to seize opportunistically on horrific crimes: “The debate over gun violence in America is periodically punctuated by high-profile gun violence incidents including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, the Trayvon Martin killing, Aurora, and Oak Creek. When an incident such as these attracts sustained media attention, it creates a unique climate for our communications efforts.”

The booklet explicitly urges foes of the Second Amendment to abjure rationality in favor of the argumentum ad passiones, or appeal to emotion. “When talking to broader audiences, we want to meet them where they are,” the authors advise. “That means emphasizing emotion over policy prescriptions, keeping our facts and our case simple and direct, and avoiding arguments that leave people thinking they don’t know enough about the topic to weigh in.”

The do’s and don’ts are consistent with this advice. “Examples of power language” include: “It breaks my heart that every day in our country (state or city) children wake up worried and frightened about getting shot.” “Just imagine the pain that a mother or father feels when their young child is gunned down.” “The real outrage–the thing that makes this violence so unforgivable–is that we know how to stop it and we’re not getting it done.”

Read the rest of this entry »