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Scott Walker was my first choice for President out of the available candidates, so I'm sorry to read that he's withdrawn from the race. I agree with Byron York's assessment however -- Walker just didn't seem ready for the national stage. He's young, only 47, and I hope he regains his footing and has another opportunity to run for the presidency.
Walker was not a candidate prepared to deal with national policy in the context of a presidential campaign. In an interview, I asked him whether things had moved too quickly, whether the ground had shifted under his feet after the Iowa speech. His answer was instant: "Totally."
"We thought all along if we got in, it would be kind of this slow and steady, don't worry about the other guys, just keep focused on moving forward, and as candidates chose not to get in or fell off, we'd be in a position to make a compelling case to them," Walker explained. "We had no idea that after that Iowa summit there would be that kind of acceleration to the race. But we're here, and we're not going to complain about it."
Still, many Walker supporters thought the problems were fixable. So did Walker. He could get those experts together, dive into the briefing books, and find his footing.
It didn't work. As the campaign went on, Walker made error after error, all based in the fact that he wasn't well versed in national issues.
The kid who was arrested for bringing a clock to school and his father -- are they hoaxing us?
Ahmed is a lovable kid who was victimized. Or was he? His father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, has a lengthy history as a troll and publicity hound. But that's too negative. He is also a sophisticated and intelligent man.
Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed is a self-made multi-millionaire. He started from the bottom and worked his way up to the top, ultimately selling his taxi cab company for millions of dollars. His success will somehow be used to show how unwelcoming America is to Muslim immigrants.
Yet that's not all Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed has done. Mr. Elhassan Mohamed is a political activist who also trolls for attention. He has made two unsuccessful runs for the president of the Sudan.
Also, Ahmed didn't build a clock -- he just took one apart and put the components in a box.
So I turned to eBay, searching for vintage alarm clocks. It only took a minute to locate Ahmed's clock. See this eBay listing, up at the time of this writing. Amhed's clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 765.
The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board - a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels. A second board inside would have contained the actual "brains" of the unit. The clock features a 9v battery back-up, and a switch on the rear allows the owner to choose between 12 and 24 hour time. (Features like a battery back-up, and a 24 hour time selection seems awful superfluous for a hobby project, don't you think?) Oh, and about that "M" logo on the circuit board mentioned above? Micronta.
The Daily Beast reports some details on the investigation into dumbed-down intelligence reports on ISIS. The story accurately but incompletely attributes the alterations to the U.S. military. The "officials" mentioned are military officers, and high-ranking officers are not merely "military", they are also political. If, as alleged, senior military officials doctored intelligence reports to fit President Obama's desired message then the decision was a political one -- and the senior officers believed the alterations would aid their careers more than the truth would.
Senior intelligence officials at the U.S. military's Central Command demanded significant alterations to analysts' reports that questioned whether airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS were damaging the group's finances and its ability to launch attacks. But reports that showed the group being weakened by the U.S.-led air campaign received comparatively little scrutiny, The Daily Beast has learned.
Senior CENTCOM intelligence officials who reviewed the critical reports sent them back to the analysts and ordered them to write new versions that included more footnotes and details to support their assessments, according to two officials familiar with a complaint levied by more than 50 analysts about intelligence manipulation by CENTCOM higher-ups.
In what should be no surprise to anyone, Hillary Clinton wrote and sent sent classified information through her private email server. This information was always classified, and if it wasn't properly marked by the originator (i.e., Hillary) then that isn't a defense, it's another misdeed.
While she was secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote and sent at least six e-mails using her private server that contained what government officials now say is classified information, according to thousands of e-mails released by the State Department.
Although government officials deemed the e-mails classified after Clinton left office, they could complicate her efforts to move beyond the political fallout from the controversy. They suggest that her role in distributing sensitive material via her private e-mail system went beyond receiving notes written by others, and appears to contradict earlier public statements in which she denied sending or receiving e-mails containing classified information.
President Obama has decided to rename Mount McKinely, North America's tallest peak to "Denali". He must have just found out he can rename things. I'm sorry, but this is idiotic.
His excursion north of the Arctic Circle will make Obama the first sitting president to step foot in the Alaska Arctic, home to Alaska Natives who have received less attention amid Obama's recent efforts to improve conditions for Native Americans. In a major show of solidarity, Obama announced on the eve of his trip that his administration is changing the name of North America's tallest peak, Mount McKinley, to Denali, its traditional Athabascan name. ...
In renaming 20,320-foot Mount McKinely as Denali, Obama was instating a moniker Alaskans have informally used for centuries. The name means "the high one" in Athabascan.
Martin O'Malley took the stage at the Democratic National Committee and fearlessly spoke truth to power, attacking the Democrat's coronation of Hillary Clinton. DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a hack Clinton crony, and O'Malley was brave to confront her on her own stage standing barely ten feet from her.
Accusing party leaders of trying to keep Democratic ideas hidden as the Republican presidential candidates spew "racist hate" from their debate lecterns, Mr. O'Malley, the former Maryland governor and mayor of Baltimore, questioned the decision to hold "four debates and four debates only" before the first four states finish voting.
"This is totally unprecedented in our party's history," Mr. O'Malley said. "This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. Whose decree is it exactly? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve? How does this help us tell the story of the last eight years of Democratic progress?"
While Mr. O'Malley never named the party's chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, his remarks about the debates were clearly aimed at her - and she sat looking grim throughout, barely clapping, and appeared angry when she shook his hand once he finished.
Hillary would be a terrible president, and I hope the Democrats nominate someone else. I'm obviously no fan of their policies, but I'd be thrilled for America to have a choice between two patriotic, competent candidates.
Democrats are growing frustrated that Hillary Clinton isn't making the controversy around her private email server go away.
Rosalind Wyman, a veteran Democratic national committeewoman from California who is also a Clinton supporter, said Mrs. Clinton had not shown enough urgency in battling questions about her judgment, and complained that the campaign's responses to the controversy -- and the federal inquiries that have followed -- were becoming only more muddled.
"The only thing Hillary can do, I think, is get out there in front of reporters and take five hours of questions -- if that's what it takes -- until people understand her, at least, and hopefully believe her," Ms. Wyman said. "And we have to have people who are talented, independent experts on classified secrets defending her on television, rather than who we have now."
But Hillary can't just say "sorry" and answer a few questions when her apology will constitute an admission of guilt to a series of crimes. She has to dodge and weave to try to avoid prosecution.
In Kentucky, where a hard-fought governor's race will be decided in November, some Democrats are privately fretting that Mrs. Clinton's problems could damage the party's brand. The departing Democratic governor, Steven L. Beshear, said he believed that Republican attacks over Mrs. Clinton's email use would continue through the fall and beyond -- and that the Clinton campaign had to devise a strategy of more effective countermoves.
"Honestly, at this point there isn't any great way to handle it," Mr. Beshear said. "While Hillary Clinton has been straight up from the very beginning, the Republicans will not let the issue die, and they will conduct as many witch hunts as possible. She will really have to start addressing those attacks as the campaign becomes more active."
Beshear is delusional or lying. It's President Obama's DOJ and inspectors general who are investigating, and they're hardly Republican hatchet men. Hillary isn't being "straight up", and she can't be without going to jail.
David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress sat down for a meal in May with Cate Dyer, founder of StemExpress, which partnered with Planned Parenthood to sell organs to medical researchers.
"What would make your lab happy?" Daleiden asked.
"Another 50 livers a week," Dyer said. "We're working with, you know, almost like triple digit number of clinics. So it's a lot on volume. We still need more than what we do. So it's a lot. ... I don't think you're going to hit a capacity with us any time in the next 10 years."
The High Priests of Molech laugh about squeamish unbelievers.
StemExpress: I know we get requests for neural [tissue]. It's the hardest thing in the world to ship.
Buyer: You do it as the whole calvarium [the entire intact head of a dead baby].
StemExpress: That's it, yeah, that's the easiest way. And I mean we've actually had good success with that in the past.
Buyer: Yeah, Make sure the eyes are closed!
StemExpress: [Loud Laughter] Tell the lab it's coming. So they don't open the box and go, "Oh God!" [Laughter] So yeah, wheras so many of the academic labs cannot fly like that. They're just not capable.
Buyer: Why is that? I don't understand that.
StemExpress: It's almost like they don't want to know where it comes from. I can see that. Where they're like, "We need limbs, but no hands and feet need to be attached." [...] They want you to take it all off, like, "Make it so that we don't know what it is."
Buyer: Yeah. Bone the chicken for me and then I'll eat it.
StemExpress: That's it. But we know what it is [Laughter]. [...] Their lab techs freak out, and have meltdowns, and so it's just like, yeah.
Sacrificing children for medical research is an abomination.
Leviticus 20:2-5 (ESV)
2 "Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, 5 then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.
Glenn Reynolds writes that "victimhood isn't the only response" when you're threatened. Three Americans and a Brit take out a would-be terrorist on a French train:
The three were riding on a train from Amsterdam to Paris when a gunman -- an Islamist from Morocco who had visited Syria and was flagged as a possible jihadist -- started shooting. One of the Americans, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, 23, sprinted at the gunman and tackled him. The others, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, 22, and Sacramento State University student Anthony Sadler, 23, joined in.
As Skarlatos recounted in a Sky News interview from his hotel in Arras, northern France: "I just looked over at Spencer and said, 'Let's go!' Spencer got to the guy first, grabbed the guy by the neck, and I grabbed the handgun, got the handgun away from the guy and threw it. Then I grabbed the AK (assault rifle), which was at his feet, and started muzzle thumping him in the head with it."
Arm yourself. Be a wolf.
Fear is contagious. But so is courage. People should respond not like a herd of sheep but like a pack of wolves.
Whoever "these people" are, the WaPo claims they've confirmed that Hillary Clinton's private email server was insecure and unreliable when it was used to transmit classified material. Will Hillary and her cronies require a presidential pardons?
With the new server came an additional specialist: Bryan Pagliano, who had worked as her campaign's IT director. According to federal campaign finance records, Pagliano was paid by Clinton's Senate leadership PAC through April 2009. The next month, he went to work for the State Department as an IT specialist, a department official said. The people briefed on the server indicated that he continued to act as the lead specialist responsible for it.
The e-mail system was not always reliable, these people said, with Pagliano summoned at various times to fix problems. Notably, the system crashed for days after New York was hit by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
That led to new conversations about the need for better security, durability and a more professional setup, according to these people. In 2013, the Clintons hired Platte River to maintain the data.
In this new video there are more scenes in the pathology lab where Planned Parenthood personnel and picking through body parts in a petri dish. At one point there is a cracking sound and a medical assistant says it's the cracking of the baby's skull.
Dr. Ginde laughs and says, "It's a baby."
In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Ginde at the abortion-clinic headquarters of PPRM in Denver to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs. When the actors request intact fetal specimens, Ginde reveals that in PPRM's abortion practice, "Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact."
Since PPRM does not use digoxin or other feticide in its 2nd trimester procedures, any intact deliveries before an abortion are potentially born-alive infants under federal law (1 USC 8). ...
As the buyers and Planned Parenthood workers identify body parts from last fetus in the path lab, a Planned Parenthood medical assistant announces: "Another boy!"
Ed Morrissey is right that Planned Parenthood would prefer to focus on the legality of their actions rather than the underlying truth: human organs come from human beings.
Planned Parenthood wants to keep the debate on these points to deflect from the real debate -- the nature of abortion itself, and the deliberate minimization in language that has allowed it. Abortion defenders claim that the procedure does not terminate life, and that it has no more moral meaning than excising a tumor or a cyst, a "clump of cells" in the most common construction. ...
The true danger to Planned Parenthood and the entire industry is the exposure of their hypocrisy. The two positions of "clumps of cells" and negotiating over human organs from abortions are mutually exclusive. One cannot extract human organs from "a pile of goop," or from tumors or undifferentiated "clumps of cells." Human organs come from human beings, and the only way to harvest them from unborn human beings is to kill them first. The videos cut through all of the misdirection, all of the antiseptic generalities used in defense of abortion, to expose its true nature -- and that's what has Planned Parenthood panicked over the videos.
The IRS scandal marches on -- new Lois Lerner emails have been found three years after we were told they'd all be "accidentally" destroyed. At least one of the emails gives conclusive proof that the IRS intentionally harassed conservative groups and evaded Congressional and judicial scrutiny.
The email shows that the IRS sent out intrusive inquiry letters to at least one organization purely as a stall tactic.
As Glenn Reynolds says: Tar. Feathers.
In one Nov. 3, 2011, exchange between Ms. Lerner and Cindy Thomas, a program manager in the Cincinnati office that was handling the cases and was involved in a back-and-forth with Washington, the IRS admitted to having hundreds of cases stacked up and awaiting action.
Afraid of congressional pressure, Ms. Thomas ordered one of the inquiry letters to be sent, just to prevent one of the organizations being held up from complaining.
"Just today, I instructed one of my managers to get an additional information letter out to one of these organizations -- if nothing else to buy time so he didn't contact his Congressional Office," she wrote in the email released by Judicial Watch.
Ms. Thomas said she feared a judge would get involved soon and order the IRS to move the applications more quickly.
That email exchange did confirm that IRS employees in Washington were deeply involved in making decisions about the nonprofit groups' cases.
The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community says that Hillary Clinton send classified emails through her personal email server. The IG only checked 40 out of 30,000 emails, and he found 4 classified emails.
An internal government review found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department.
In a letter to members of Congress on Thursday, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community concluded that Mrs. Clinton's email contains material from the intelligence community that should have been considered "secret" at the time it was sent, the second-highest level of classification. A copy of the letter to Congress was provided to The Wall Street Journal by a spokeswoman for the Inspector General.
The four emails in question "were classified when they were sent and are classified now," said Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for the inspector general. The inspector general reviewed just a small sample totaling about 40 emails in Mrs. Clinton's inbox--meaning that many more in the trove of more than 30,000 may contain potentially confidential, secret or top-secret information.
Here's a list of companies that support Planned Parenthood and crushing babies to harvest their organs. If you work for one or patronize one, call them or send an email asking about their support for Planned Parenthood.
- American Cancer Society
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Bath & Body Works
- Ben & Jerry's
- Deutsche Bank
- Fannie Mae
- Johnson & Johnson
- La Senza
- Levi Strauss
- Liberty Mutual
- March of Dimes
- Morgan Stanley
- Susan G. Komen
- United Way
- Wells Fargo
I don't agree with all the policy prescriptions the President laid out in his remarks, but President Obama's eulogy for Pastor Clementa Pinckney may be the best speech of his career.
We continue to pray for the families of the victims at Mother Emanuel, for our country, and for Christians facing persecution around the world.
(HT: James Taranto.)
The shooting last night at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston seems obviously motivated by race, but it also specifically targeted Christians at worship. The shooter is still at-large. Pray for the victims, their families, and the law enforcement officers who are risking their lives to catch the killer.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (CBS Atlanta/AP) -- A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, killing nine people, including the pastor, in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime.
The shooter remained at large Thursday morning and police released photographs from surveillance video of a suspect and a possible getaway vehicle.
CBS News reports worshippers were at the church at the time for Bible study.
The New York Times carries a river-full of water for the Democrats' argument that the words of the Affordable Care Act don't mean what they say. The NYT invokes the phrase "drafting error" four times and the words "intend" or "intent" five times in the story, as if these magic talismans can protect the sloppy law from itself. Jonathan Gruber is not mentioned even once!
The story opens with a juvenile non sequitur:
They are only four words in a 900-page law: "established by the state."
It's crazy how just a few words can change the meaning of a whole document! You'd think that a journalist who works with words would grok the power of words, rather than be astonished.
But it is in the ambiguity of those four words in the Affordable Care Act that opponents found a path to challenge the law, all the way to the Supreme Court.
How those words became the most contentious part of President Obama's signature domestic accomplishment has been a mystery. Who wrote them, and why? Were they really intended, as the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell claim, to make the tax subsidies in the law available only in states that established their own health insurance marketplaces, and not in the three dozen states with federal exchanges?
The "ambiguity" only exists insofar as the reader wills it into existence by invoking "drafting errors" and ex post facto "intent".
The answer, from interviews with more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law, is that the words were a product of shifting politics and a sloppy merging of different versions. Some described the words as "inadvertent," "inartful" or "a drafting error." But none supported the contention of the plaintiffs, who are from Virginia.
If every single person you talk to falls on one side of "the most contentious" issue at hand, perhaps there's some selection bias at work? The only elected Republican quoted is former Senator Olympia Snowe, who was always extremely liberal but voted against Obamacare anyway.
Also, "who are from Virginia" is apropos absolutely nothing.
The Senate bill was on the floor for 25 consecutive days before it was approved on Christmas Eve 2009 by a party-line vote of 60 to 39. Senators always assumed that their bill would be polished and refined in negotiations with the House. But the expected conference between the two chambers never occurred. Democrats switched their plans after Scott Brown, a Republican, won a special election in January 2010 to fill the seat long held by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, who had died the previous year.
Having lost a filibuster-proof majority, Democrats believed they could not afford to make significant changes in the Senate bill; it was then approved by the House and sent to the president, with an agreement that lingering questions could be answered separately. Some were, though these four words were unaddressed.
Elections have consequences?
Anyway, it's completely nonsensical to enforce what someone claims ex post facto the law was "intended" to say. That's rule by men, not rule by law. The written word is the shared understanding that Congress voted on and the President signed. If the written words don't reflect the intent, then the solution is to pass a new law with the correct intent. Problem solved.
We humans use writing to coordinate all kinds of shared activities: contracts, laws, regulations, procedures, religious beliefs, etc. The point of writing things down is to make sure that there's a common understanding that everyone can rely on. If you can't rely on what's written down to mean what it says, then what's the point?