Hillary Admits the Planned Parenthood Videos are 'Disturbing'

It's taken three damning and graphic videos for the leading Democratic presidential contender to admit that Planned Parenthood may not be as innocent as they want Americans to believe.

Hillary Clinton is a pro-abortion politician who just last year was honored with Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger Award for her "commitment to women's health care." Because of her cozy relationship with the organization, she defended it in the initial wake of the Center for Medical Progress' undercover investigation that revealed top doctors were negotiating the sale of fetal body parts. The footage was so unnerving that Congress has even introduced bills to defund Planned Parenthood. Despite the first shocking videos, however, Clinton said the pro-life group behind the investigation was waging a "concerted attack" on Planned Parenthood and defended their other "important services."

Here's a quick recap of the CMP's investigation and Clinton's reactions: The first released video showed an abortionist bragging about the possible sale of fetal body parts during lunch - silence from Clinton. The second showed a Planned Parenthood doctor joking about using money from the sale of fetal body parts to buy a Lamborghini - Clinton tries to defend the organization. The third was much more graphic in nature, including actual footage of abortionists sifting through aborted babies' limbs after an abortion. 

That proved too much even for Hillary to defend. In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader Tuesday, she admitted the videos contained some stomach-turning footage.

“I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing."

Was it sincere? Hard to tell. Perhaps she has realized that, as more of these videos surface, fewer and fewer Americans, especially women, are willing to stand with the pro-abortion organization. Across the country Tuesday, pro-life rallies were largely comprised of young women and mothers tired of being tricked into believing Planned Parenthood stands for women's health.

The RNC, for one, is not impressed with Clinton's delayed concern:

"It should not have taken a third video showcasing Planned Parenthood’s barbaric side business of selling fetal body parts for Hillary Clinton to change her tune. Instead of condemning these horrific revelations, Hillary Clinton has stood by Planned Parenthood despite weeks of unsettling headlines. Rather than lead, Hillary Clinton has once again shown herself to be someone who will do or say anything to get elected. Perhaps that’s also why she has yet to spell out what limits, if any, she supports on abortion."

As for female Republican candidate Carly Fiorina, she couldn't be clearer as to what she thinks about Planned Parenthood.

Do Conservatives Need a “Heart”? (Author Interview: Arthur Brooks, AEI President)

CBC sat down with Dr. Arthur Brooks, author of The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America. He is currently President of the esteemed, conservative American Enterprise Institute, former professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs – the US News & World Report’s top-ranked public affairs school in the country, and a former professional french horn player!

Congratulations Dr. Brooks on your new book,The Conservative Heart! Can you give us an overview of your book, and what was your inspiration in writing it?

The guiding inspiration for The Conservative Heart was my own personal story of how I became a conservative. I was raised in a liberal family in Seattle, and only became a conservative later in life for one reason: I care deeply about poverty and want to help people escape it.

In my late twenties, when I was finally finishing up my B.A., I fell in love with economics. And in particular, I was captivated by the fact that traditionally “conservative” values like free enterprise, globalization, free trade, and American leadership overseas had helped billions of people around the world pull themselves out of poverty. That’s why I’m a conservative today.

But here at home, there’s a bit of a political paradox at work. Even though we conservatives are in possession of the best solutions for poverty and the best ideas for expanding access to meaningful work, we are the least trusted by citizens to fight for poor and vulnerable people. We’ve failed at communicating what is really written on our hearts. That has to change. That’s why I wrote this book.

What three takeaways would you like readers to leave with after reading your book?

First, conservatives need to stop “fighting against things” and start fighting for people. Our cause has come to be defined by the bad policies we oppose. We fight against Obamacare, we fight against tax increases, we fight against runaway spending. But merely opposing bad ideas will never be enough to transform our protest movement into a social movement and reclaim the moral high ground. We need to get beyond the specifics of particular policy fights and remember—and remind the American people—that conservatives are fighting to help them pursue their own happiness.

Second, our society and our policies must treat every single person as an asset to develop, not a liability to manage. Often, our political rhetoric tragically reduces struggling people to mere liabilities to be managed at minimal cost. On the left, this manifests itself in a view that the poor should be left to the dependence of the welfare state; on the right, it sometimes appears in claims that the poor are simply “lazy” or refuse to work. The conservative heart at its core believes that people have equal, God-given worth and dignity—and should be cultivated like the invaluable assets they are.

Third, true leaders stand up for the people who need them, not just the people who support them. You’ll sometimes hear some conservatives ask: “Why should we work hard to support the poor? They’ll never vote for us anyways!” I respond with two points. First, history’s real patriots fight for everyone who needs them, not just those who agree with them. But secondarily, doing the right thing has a political payoff. Americans want leaders who embody compassion and empathy in addition to strong, moral leadership.

I assume your idea for the title of your book was loosely taken from Russell Kirk’s seminal The Conservative Mindan early leader of conservative Traditionalism. Do you believe there is an untenable divide between the economic and social conservatives, or do you believe there is an opportunity to reinvigorate conservative fusion in the upcoming 2016 election?

Fusionism is successful when all three pillars of the mainstream conservative agenda—free enterprise, traditional moral values, and American strength around the world—are all motivated by one core ethical principle: fighting for people with less power than us.

Fiscal conservatism will fall short if it is perceived as an outgrowth of greed. Social conservatism can’t succeed if traditional values are perceived as a tool used for excluding others. And a conservative foreign policy won’t succeed if it is rooted in fear. But when all three pillars are based in aspiration, in real hope for what human beings can accomplish when they are safe from tyranny, held to high moral standards, and free to earn their own success in a prosperous economy—that’s how conservative fusionism wins.

In your previous life, you were a public administration professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs before becoming President of the American Enterprise Institute. From your experience, what is your assessment of university education, in regards to its utility and the current politically correct nature on campuses?

The United States has the best universities in the world. But the single greatest weakness of American higher-ed is its lack of genuine intellectual diversity. So many campuses are effectively ideological monocultures, and “political diversity” means that some professors support President Obama and others think he isn’t liberal enough.

The answer is not for conservatives to withdraw and rail against academia from outside it, but to re-engage. We need more smart conservatives to become college professors, and we need conservative students to dive into campus life, both in political groups and through acts of charity, pairing real brotherly love with the courage of their convictions.

Tell us a little more about yourself!

Favorite Movie:

Impossible to pick just one. One recent favorite is the George Clooney film Up in the Air.

Favorite TV Show:

NFL football. Specifically the Seattle Seahawks.

Favorite Food:

My favorite real food is probably Spanish lentils. But I have a huge sweet tooth, so I’ll eat almost any sweets that are put in front of me. (My dentist loves me.)

Favorite Drink:

Black coffee.

Favorite Band:

I’m a huge classical music junkie, being a former professional French horn player. Two of my favorite composers are J.S. Bach and Anton Bruckner. Both made beautiful music based on a deep sense of moral purpose.

Where do you get your news from primarily?

I keep it simple: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and “AEI Today,” our daily newsletter on policy and politics.

If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

St. Thomas Aquinas.

What do you do for fun?

Family activities are the best. I love hunting, fishing, riding horses, and going to concerts with my kids, and watching their gymnastics meets and bike races.

What books, authors, or conservative-themed books, influenced your political philosophy and outlook on life?

Thinking about political philosophy, I’d say The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith, The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek, and The Moral Sense by my mentor James Q. Wilson.

In a broader sense, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis are among the books that’ve had a tremendous influence on my life.

- See more at: http://www.conservativebookclub.com/12197/author-interviews/do-conservatives-need-a-heart-author-interview-arthur-brooks-aei-president - sthash.qfBvZskv.dpuf

Israel: U.S. Officials Are Withholding Major Parts And Details Of Iran Deal From Us

As the Obama administration desperately tries to sell the Iran deal to a skeptical Senate, including Democrats, U.S. officials are being accused of withholding details of the deal from Israel. More from Israeli newspaper Haaretz (bolding is mine): 

Israel is missing entire parts of the nuclear agreement, which makes assessing its consequences impossible, National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen tells Knesset panel.

The United States and other world powers haven't provided Israel with the details of the Iran nuclear deal, and especially the secret addendums concerning the agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, a top Israeli security official told lawmakers on Tuesday.

"Israel has yet to receive the addendums to Iran's agreement with the powers, despite promises," National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen told MKs at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Cohen stated that Israel is missing entire parts of the nuclear agreement, which makes assessing its consequences impossible. "We don't have the whole picture," Cohen said, according to two sources that were in attendance.

Cohen noted that Israel was still actively trying to thwart the agreement or at least trying to have some critical changes made to it.

The information Israel is being denied has to do with Iran's agreement with the IAEA concerning possible military aspects of Teheran's nuclear program. This agreement has to do with IAEA inspections in the suspicious military base in Parchin, where Iran is said to have been trying components of a nuclear bomb.

Based on the information above, it seems information is being withheld from the Israelies in order to prevent them from bombing Iranian nuclear sites. Considering Iranian officials have openly stated they want to annihilate all of the Jews, which they claim will be easy to do (with a nuclear weapon) because the majority are located in Israel, the Israeli's are more than entitled to know about every detail of the (a deal considered by most as a very bad one). 

Israel, of course, has been against negotiations with the Iranian regime since talks with the White House began last year. When a deal was announced by President Obama earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "stunning, historic mistake." When Netanyahu visited the U.S. in March, he said Israel will stand, even if it is alone, during an address to a joint session of Congress.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry and other Obama administration officials have been on Capitol Hill this week trying to sell the deal to Congress. Vice President Joe Biden was there doing the same two weeks go.

Hillary On Keystone Pipeline: I’ll Let You Know My Position When I Become President

It’s that time again! Where does Mrs. Clinton stand on the issue of the Keystone XL pipeline? That’s what one voter wanted to know at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, where the former first lady said she did lay the groundwork for “that process,” and added that she doesn’t want to “second guess” President Obama since this is his decision. She ended her non-answer by telling the voter, “if it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”

I guess I can understand why Hillary is prevaricating on this issue. She doesn't want to rock the boat, especially since her numbers with the Obama coalition aren't that good.  First, her base isn’t too thrilled by the pipeline, and the environmental left want a definite answer sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, Politico reported in April, that major environmental groups were prepared to go soft on her on Keystone since they’re looking at the totality of her environmental record. That’s not really flying with the tree huggers in the grassroots, which is something Team Hillary should keep in mind since there’s some history here. 

The article also mentioned how Al Gore refused to comment on an airport project in the Everglades back in 2000 until the Clinton administration finished its review. They eventually rejected the idea, but the refusal to give a “yes” or “no” answer infuriated foot soldiers of mother Earth, who flocked to Ralph Nader. Nader got 90,000 of their votes, and Bush won Florida*.

Yet, for now, Clinton continues to play to dodge, dip, duck, dive, and … dodge with Keystone.

*If Gore didn't go so heavy on gun control in 2000, he could have won Arkansas, Tennessee, and West Virginia and the presidency. Even with bush winning Florida, Gore would have won. Oh, and Hillary is (shocker) also on the wrong side of gun control, but you already knew that.

Iran: How About We Supply Our Own Soil Samples From That Alleged Nuclear Site?


Given the long list of mind-boggling Obama administration capitulations to Iran, why not see the farce all the way through? Seems legit:

Iran wants its own officials to take soil samples at a site where it is alleged to have experimented with ways to detonate a nuclear weapon, and the U.N. agency probing the suspicions may agree provided it is allowed to monitor the process, two officials told The Associated Press Tuesday. The investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency is part of the overarching nuclear deal reached earlier this month between Iran and six world powers. Iran denies any such work but has agreed to give the IAEA access to the Parchin military complex. Several U.S. senators cited Obama administration officials last week as saying Iran could conduct its own soil sampling at Parchin. The officials who spoke to the AP said a final agreement has not yet been reached between Iran and the IAEA. The officials said stringent oversight of the soil-sampling could include video monitoring. They did not say what reasons Iran gave for wanting to take its own samples. The samples would be analyzed by the agency for traces left by any nuclear experiments. David Albright, whose Institute for Science and International Security is often consulted by the U.S. government on proliferation issues, said the IAEA "could instruct Iran in where and how to take the sample, as they would an inspector. They could try to keep a close watch on how Iran follows the instructions." At the same time, "the IAEA could not exclude Iran tampering with the sample in some way," he said. Iran has refused to give IAEA experts access to people, documents and sites allegedly linked to the suspected weapons work for nearly a decade.

It's come to this, already:  Iran is inspecting itself.  These so-called inspections may entail "video monitoring" and cannot rule out Tehran tampering with its self-supplied samples.  Team Smart Power pronounces themselves baffled as to why Iran might prefer to gather and submit their own samples.  Perhaps the regime's motives here are similar to its reasoning behind insisting on 24-day adjudication processes prior to "snap" inspections, refusing to allow inspections of military sites, and habitually cheating on international obligations pertaining to their rogue nuclear and other weapons programs.  They cannot be trusted.  Nevertheless, President Obama claims that '99 percent of the world' supports the deal, which is ludicrous.  For starters, two recent polls show that most Americans oppose the agreement, as do the vast majority of Israelis.  Then there are the Arab states, who loathe the accord, worry about Iran's American-aided ascendance, and are now considering pursuing nuclear weapons of their own.  The latest salvo on this front:

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday accused Iran of making threats against Riyadh's ally, Bahrain, which he said showed that the Islamic republic was harboring hostile designs against its Middle Eastern neighbors. Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Jubeir said Saudi Arabia had raised the issue with her. He said the comments showed that Tehran was intervening in its neighbors' internal affairs. "It does not represent the desire of a state for good neighborly relations but that of a state which has aspirations in the region and which carried out hostile act like this," he added. Jubeir did not clarify who made the comments or when, but he said they could be linked to the terms of the agreement with world powers on its nuclear program or to setbacks suffered by Iran's Houthi allies in Yemen and President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria. "I don't know, but we reject their comments and reject the hostility they show towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the region," he said. Bahrain on Saturday said it had foiled an arms smuggling plot by two Bahrainis with ties to Iran and recalled its ambassador to Tehran for consultations after what it said were repeated hostile Iranian statements.

Iran is a deeply destabilizing force in the region, and will soon be flush with sanctions relief cash to fund the regime's meddling and terrorism. Remember, this agreement is silent on Iran's international treachery, unsurpassed material support for terrorism, and human rights abuses. They are not required to clean up their act one iota on any of these matters. In fact, they've been guaranteed many billions in new resources to escalate their bad behavior, as well as granted fresh leeway to pursue banned arms and develop new weapons systems. Moreover, key regime figures have stated unequivocally that Iran use its newfound windfall however it sees fit, including in furtherance of its malignant global agenda. Iran has declared victory because Iran has won.  Congress is expected to vote against the deal in the coming weeks, with broad-based and bipartisan opposition.  But it appears as though the administration has enough ideological allies and disciplined partisans within the Democratic caucus as to stave off a veto override vote, thus paving the way for the agreement to be implemented over the will of Congress.  But what if an override vote succeeded?  Would the Obama administration abide by that super-majority's decision?  John Kerry won't answer that "hypothetical" question, posed by a Congressional Democrat:

“Will you follow the law even though you think it violates this agreement clearly and even if you think it’s absolutely terrible policy?” Sherman asked.

“I can’t begin to answer that at this point without consulting with the president and determining what the circumstances are,” Kerry responded.

“So you’re not committed to following the law?” the Democrat said.

“No, I said I’m not going to deal with a hypothetical, that’s all,” Kerry shot back.

Also, what are the terms of the secret side deal Iran has reportedly struck with the IAEA? Kerry has no idea. Smart power. Just trust them.

One Dead After Another Attack on UK Border

The Channel Tunnel is in chaos again today after another major attack by illegal immigrants desperate to get into the UK. Last night's incursion into the terminal in Northern France involved 1500 illegal immigrants, one of whom was killed in the ensuing struggle.

African migrants are being allowed to cross Europe unchecked and are only stopped by the UK Border Agency. They can make a journey because of the European Union's Schengen Agreement, that has abolished border controls in most countries across Europe.

The man who died is believed to be Sudanese aged between 25 and 40, he is thought to have been crushed by a lorry. He is not the first person to be killed trying to enter the UK, but the exact figures of fatalities are unclear as the French do not properly record the deaths.

Over the past few days the border position has come under increasing pressure, and has had to be closed completely on a number of occasions. The situation is so desperate the UK's M20 motorway has been closed in sections so it can be used as a temporary park for all the lorries left stranded by the closures.

On the French side the British authorities have agreed to build a secure zone for lorries to park, so drivers and their loads are not attacked while they wait to get onto either the Channel Tunnel train or the ferries.

Send In The Army…

UKIP Leader, Nigel Farage, told LBC radio Britain needed to pile in whatever resources it has to quell the migrant flood. When he was asked if this included the potential to send in the army to secure the border he said the should “absolutely” be considered.

Speaking to John Stapleton on the John Stapleton show, Farage said: "There needs to be a bigger, stronger message coming from Britain that anyone that comes through this route will not be allowed stay.” He continued: "This situation is serious… There are no easy answers...what we have to send is a message to say this can't happen."

There are believed to be around 5000 Africans in Calais waiting to get to the UK. Many live in a shanty town called 'The Jungle' which has become rife with lice and scabies, due to non-existent sanitation.

The French are pressuring the UK to take the migrants or move the border onto the UK mainland. The British government is highly unlikely to do either. It is unhappy French Police simply release anyone caught trying to enter the UK, meaning the migrants try every night until they get through.

Good News: All Major Candidates Are Eligible For August 6 Debates

There will be two GOP candidate forums (sponsored by Fox News) on August 6 in Cleveland, OH. The main event will feature candidates polling in first-through-tenth place over a series of five newly-released national surveys. Earlier in the day, however, the network will also host a debate for candidates…not doing as well. Previously, Fox said only candidates polling one percent or higher would merit an invitation.

Now, however, Politico reports the network has lowered the bar:

Fox News is opening its 5 p.m. debate to all the announced Republican candidates who fail to make the cut for the Aug. 6 prime-time event, removing a requirement that participants reach at least 1 percent in polling.

The change amounts to an insurance policy for candidates who were in danger of being disqualified from the vital first debate based on low polls – Carly Fiorina, former New York Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

The announcement by Michael Clemente, Fox News Executive Vice President, News, means that all 16 announced candidates will qualify for Cleveland — either the 5 p.m. undercard, or the 9 p.m. main event.

Probably for the best, honestly. Changing the rules (a) appeases the partisans of these low-polling candidates and (b) gives everyone a chance to either sink or swim in the national spotlight. It’s more fair and competitive. What’s not to like?

Then again, if there are no requirements anymore for who qualifies, does that mean anyone can participate? Ah, not quite:

“Due to the overwhelming interest in the FOX News Facebook Debate Event Night on August 6th and in a concerted effort to include and accommodate the now 16 Republican candidate field — the largest in modern political history — FOX News is expanding participation in the 5 PM/ET debate to all declared candidates whose names are consistently being offered to respondents in major national polls, as recognized by Fox News,” said Clemente in a statement.

In other words, if you’re not famous enough to appear in a national poll, you’re not getting in. Thank goodness.

Senate To Vote on Defunding Planned Parenthood

Newly minted Republican Senator Joni Ernst introduced legislation late yesterday to defund Planned Parenthood after a series of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress revealed the abortion giant selling baby parts and haggling over prices. (In case you missed the videos, Cortney has you covered here). The legislation is co-sponsored by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul and five other Republicans. 

"A bill to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America," the legislation states. "IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be made available to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or to any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics."

The legislation is set for a vote early next week ahead of the August recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fast-tracked the legislation Tuesday night using Rule 14 of Senate procedure, setting up a procedural cloture vote to move the bill to the floor as early as Monday. That all but assures the bill will get a final vote before Senators depart for August recess.  

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood and other abortion supporters are scrambling to defend themselves after the undercover sting. The pro-abortion political outfit EMILY's List sent a frantic fundraising email early this morning warning about the legislation.

Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million per year in taxpayer funding. The organization receives enough money from donations every year to survive without it.

Terror Concerns: Obama Administration Extends Protected Status Deadline For New Somali Refugees

The Obama administration, through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, has extended the period in which new Somalian refugees can apply for protected status. So far in 2015, the USCIS has admitted an additional 6200 refugees from Somalia into the United States, the most of any other African country. These refugees, like the ones before them, are eligible for government welfare benefits under current policy. Since 2010, more than 25,000 Somali refugees have been relocated in the U.S. 

"Friday, July 31, 2015, is the deadline for current Somalia Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries to re-register for the 18-month extension of TPS that runs from Sept. 18, 2015, through March 17, 2017," an email from USCIS states. "Eligible Somalia TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the registration period and request employment authorization will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with an expiration date of March 17, 2017."

In recent years the U.S. has had serious concerns and problems with terrorism recruitment inside the Somali-American community. Particularly, these problems are occurring in Minnesota, where many Somali refugees have settled. Earlier this year, six Somali-Americans were arrested for providing support to ISIS. Four of them were convicted. 

A 10-month investigation has led to arrests in what some have called the largest confirmed case of Islamic State recruiting in the United States. Federal prosecutors say six young Somali Americans arrested Sunday in Minneapolis and San Diego were attempting to travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

But while the recruitment efforts of extremists may have been thwarted this time, government officials say that more work is needed to ensure that Muslim youth are not radicalized. So far, a few dozen Americans have traveled, or attempted to travel, to Syria to join the Islamic State. The single-largest cohort has been Somali-Americans from Minnesota, according to The New York Times.

“To be clear, we have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota. I urge anyone who is concerned about their young son or brother to reach out,” Andy Luger, US attorney in Minnesota, said during a press conference on Monday.

Finally, because the United States doesn't have  treaty with Somalia (a failed State), refugees cannot be sent back to the country even after crimes or acts of terror are committed.

Baltimore Emails Show A City’s Descent Into Chaos

The controversial arrest and death of Freddie Gray–he died in police custody of a spinal injury–hurled the city of Baltimore into an unpleasant era of unrest. Some unrest occurred during the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 25. As Freddie Gray was laid to rest two days later, the unrest was reignited with an intensity that left the city completely unprepared to deal with the rioters who seemed to have outmaneuvered the Baltimore Police Department. As the security situation continued to deteriorate, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, deploying the National Guard in order to restore order. The Baltimore Sun obtained over 7,000 emails from city officials during the unrest showing how things devolved into chaos:

Even as Baltimoreans were breaching pharmacies and supermarkets, emails show, police were waiting for riot gear that was on order.

In one terse email — sent as the rioting was breaking out — William M. Johnson, the city's transportation director, called the confusion among city leaders "unacceptable."

"This issue needs to be corrected unless I am the only person who finds this unacceptable," he wrote to mayoral aides at 3:14 p.m., as television broadcast images of fighting at Mondawmin Mall. "Local news stations are reporting on what is happening, downtown buildings are closing early, and when the City looks to the Administration for leadership and answers, we don't know or we are the last to provide any guidance due to this protocol."

[…]

The documents also show that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Gov. Larry Hogan disagreed about when to lift the city's curfew and that police were planning for the potential for further violence on May 1 and 2.

The city withheld an unknown number of documents, saying state law does not require disclosure of information that is part of the "deliberative process."

[…]

Another email detailed a list of police gear that was being deployed, including 259 masks sent to the Western District. Four hundred and seventy-four more mask packs were ready to be distributed, and another 1,000 had been ordered wrote Thomas Moore, who was then chief financial officer for the Police Department.

In an update sent at 7:21 p.m., he said 17 riot bags were assembled and pepper spray canisters were ordered.

"Working on having 200 shields delivered from manufacturer for tomorrow delivery, Wednesday latest," Moore wrote.

Within hours of rioting, the city's finance director, Henry Raymond, signed off on the purchase of thousands of additional pieces of equipment.

He was asked for 1,000 pairs of "protective riot gloves," 1,000 pieces of chest, leg and arm protection items, 1,000 riot shields and 1,000 baton rings, among other items.

"Approved," Raymond wrote in an email with a 4:01 a.m. time stamp.

Johnson's strongly worded email followed a series of communications among city officials expressing concern that violence would break out on the day of Gray's funeral.

Drew Vetter, the Police Department's government affairs director, sent an email to elected officials at 10:13 p.m. Sunday warning that some students intended "to 'walk out' after first period and/or around 3pm tomorrow and head Downtown. BPD will be closely monitoring the situation and officers will be deployed accordingly."

By the next day, some officials were already talking about the possibility of a riot breaking out at Mondawmin Mall.

In an email marked "URGENT" sent at 1:52 p.m., Olivia D. Farrow, a deputy health commissioner, said the agency had "received reports that children will possibly riot after school starting at 3p down from Mondawmin to North Ave and to downtown. Staff at Druid becoming concerned. May need to close early. Waiting to see if rumor or if something seems to begin happening."

At 3 p.m., the rioting began at Mondawmin in what became a long, destructive night for the city. Even Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake admitted that the city could have been better prepared to deal with the fallout from the Gray incident.

In the end, the six police officers involved in Gray’s death were indicted on a multitude of charges, including misconduct in office, manslaughter, false imprisonment, reckless endangerment, and second-degree assault. The city’s police department isn’t new to controversy regarding misconduct and improper arrests. Nevertheless, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts was fired on July 8, and his deputy took the reins of a “demoralized” department. Neighborhoods that once slammed the police were now yearning for their return as crime spiked. A review of the incident by the city’s police union described the tragic events of the rioting as “preventable,” though Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office didn’t agree with the police union’s conclusions, she did fire Batts shortly after its release.

Report: Illegal Aliens Outnumber Unemployed Americans

A new report from the Pew Research Center says that the number of illegal aliens in the country currently outnumber unemployed Americans.

The Washington Free Beacon has the details:

The number of illegal immigrants in the United States totaled 11.3 million in 2014, outnumbering the 9.6 million Americans who were unemployed in the same year, according to data from Pew Research Center and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014,” says a Pew report. “The new unauthorized immigrant total includes people who cross the border illegally as well as those who arrive with legal visas and remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.”

Of those 11.3 illegal immigrants, 8.1 million are participating in the labor force. “Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of the U.S. labor force,” Pew says. “In the U.S. labor force, there were 8.1 million unauthorized immigrants either working or looking for work in 2012.”

Firstly, unauthorized immigrants? Why the politically correct language, Pew? Illegal aliens is the correct term, even if it's politically incorrect.

A couple of other things to note about this report. Like the U3 unemployment number, this report doesn't take into account the 92 million Americans that have dropped out of the workforce. Some have dropped out due to retirement- we do have an aging population- and others have dropped out because they've given up looking for work. So in that sense, the number of illegals in the country doesn't necessarily outnumber unemployed Americans.

But it should also be noted that the 11 million illegals number should also be taken with a grain of salt, as that number has remained static for over a decade. It is more likely that that number is closer to 30 million. That still doesn't quite outnumber the Americans that have dropped out of the workforce, but it is still a sizable number to compete with the number of Americans out of the workforce.

But the most important takeaway from this report is that the number of Americans searching for jobs is less than the number of illegal aliens in this country. That's a problem, given that employers are more likely to turn to illegals for cheap labor, which not only crowds out jobs for American workers but also lowers wages for workers due to the increased supply.

This is the sign of a country in decline.

Last Call: Democrats Are Running Out Of Time to Find Solid House Candidates

Well, the star search for solid House candidates for 2016 is coming to a close for the Democrats. It’s last call–and they have some absences in their roster. Nevertheless, the same goes for Republicans, who are missing some candidates in competitive races, according to Roll Call. Yet, the publication added that recruitment is much harder for Democrats since they got pummeled in 2014. The Democrats aren’t worried since Hillary is going to be at the top of the ticket, but their consultants admit that the time frame in finding good people to run next year is rapidly coming to a close:

Among the seats Democrats must win in 2016 if they have any shot at chipping away at Republicans’ 30-seat House majority — but where the party still doesn’t have recruits — is upstate New York’s 24th District. The Syracuse-based seat voted for President Barack Obama by a 16-point margin in 2012, making it one of the most Democratic districts held by a Republican in the country, but so far no candidate has emerged to take on freshman Republican Rep. John Katko.

In California’s 21st District, a seat Obama carried by an 11-point spread in 2012 but that is now held by two-term GOP Rep. David Valadao, Democrats are hunting for a stronger recruit after the current candidate posted a measly $24,000 fundraising haul in the second quarter. And in Iowa’s 3rd District, a competitive seat held by freshman GOP Rep. David Young, Democrats are also without a recruit. Democratic former Gov. Chet Culver is mulling a run there, but it’s unclear when or if he’ll announce.

Still, national Democrats say they are unconcerned about the current state of recruitment, noting there are potential recruits mulling bids behind the scenes in a number of districts — though they declined to name names or specify which seats.

[…]

Yet multiple Democratic operatives cede it’s typically harder to recruit a cycle after bruising losses. In 2014, Democrats saw a net loss of 13 seats.

[…]

But a month into the third quarter, a number of Democratic consultants say the window to find strong candidates is slowly closing.

Yet, let’s be honest. The chances that Democrats can win back the House of Representatives next year is quite slim, even with her highness, Hillary Rodham Clinton, leading her party, which seems to have been met with a soporific reception (for now). The New York Times’ Nate Cohn wrote after the 2014 midterms that it’s not inconceivable that Republicans have a lock on the House for the next generation. Yet, that all ends if the GOP loses at the state-level, which oftentimes goes underreported.

Republicans control two-thirds of the governorships and the most state legislatures since 1920. This is where the districts are drawn, hence why the Republican State Leadership Committee launched their REDMAP 2020, which carries with it a $125 million investment goal through 2022, on July 16, according to their press release:

“We are launching REDMAP 2020 to stay on offense at a time when Republicans are at historic highs in state chambers around the country,” said RSLC Chairman Bill McCollum. "The launch of REDMAP 2010 marked the beginning of strong gains in the number of Republican-controlled legislative bodies at the state level that led to helping both solidify a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and winning back the U.S. Senate a few years later. It’s important to maintain that success at all levels of government, and by investing $125 million over the next seven years, we plan to help do just that.”

“When we started REDMAP in 2010, we were able to utilize the in-depth knowledge and resources of the RSLC’s vast network of Republican elected leaders who represent all 50 states,” said SGLF Chairman and former NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds. Reynolds served as REDMAP Chairman in 2010. “To now expand that role from winning critical legislative majorities that help shape the redistricting process to also providing targeted legal strategic advice and commentary for ongoing redistricting legislation is exciting for the REDMAP 2020 program. It’s exciting for the future of the Republicans Party.”

Through REDMAP 2010, the RSLC raised $30 million and led Republicans to take control of 21 new chambers, including capturing control of both chambers in several states President Obama went on to win twice: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Republicans today control a Party-record 69 of 99 state legislative chambers. REDMAP 2020 will work to maintain the historic highs we hold today, including those in Obama-blue states, while working to pick up additional majorities in states like Kentucky, Maine and New Mexico where the legislatures play a vital role in crafting district boundaries, and Republicans currently control only one of the two state chambers.

Kentucky’s State House of Representatives is one of the last legislative chambers with a Democratic majority in the South. Of course, that’s on the hit list, but Democrats also know the significance of state-level elections, albeit they have a lot more rebuilding to do. Hillary Clinton has made rebuilding such political infrastructures–which have withered to irrelevance in many states–a priority if she’s elected president. It’s to the point where Democrats literally have no one to succeed the current Democratic leadership in Congress, which is increasingly becoming older. The state-level is where the new talent is found–and Democrats don’t have those connections anymore. Nevertheless, they’re also fundraising and mobilizing their political forces to win back state legislatures in the hopes they can redraw the congressional map (via WaPo):

Both Democrats and Republicans think controlling state legislatures in 2020 is one of the most important political battles to fight, mostly for one reason: The power of the pen -- the kind that draws district lines, that is.

[…]

Some analysts think the current map is such that Democrats simply won't be able to win a majority on it, barring a massive wave in their direction.

[…]

After another great 2014 midterm election for Republicans, the party now controls an all-time high of 68 of 98 state chambers. That's the potential to rewrite a lot of lines.

Sensing a winning game plan, Democrats are getting in now, too. They launched Advantage 2020 last year, a super PAC that hopes to raise $70 million to play exclusively in states where redistricting is on the line. (Compare that with the $10 million they raised in 2010.)

[…]

Expect the first of the redistricting battles to take place a little closer to Capitol Hill: Control of the Virginia senate is in question in the fall.

You can bet RedMap 2020 and Advantage 2020 will be there, with an eye toward the future.


Global Warming Is So Powerful That It Showed The Resilience Of Sea Ice

So, sea ice is more “resilient” that scientists originally assumed, according to the Wall Street Journal. In fact, a “single cool summer” actually stopped the ice cap around the North Pole from melting:

Using new satellite data, researchers at University College London reported in Nature Geoscience on Monday that the total volume of sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere was well above average in the autumn of 2013, traditionally the end of the annual melt season, after an unusually cool summer when temperatures dropped to levels not seen since the 1990s.

“We now know it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short,” said the study’s lead author Rachel Tilling, a researcher who studies satellite observations of the Arctic. “The sea ice might be a little more resilient than we thought.”

A steady decline in the extent of Arctic sea ice since the late 1970s has been taken as a barometer of longer-term warming trends in the Northern hemisphere. The U.S. Navy last year predicted that by 2030 the Arctic’s northern sea route could be ice-free and navigable for nine weeks every year.

Miss Tilling and her colleagues used new data from the European Space Agency’s Cryosat-2 radar satellite, launched in 2010. For the first time, they measured changes in the overall volume of seasonal sea ice across the Arctic and Greenland. Until now, researchers have been able to track the extent of ice, but not its thickness.

In 2013, summer temperatures were about 5% cooler than the previous year and the volume of autumn ice jumped 41%, they said.

Now, the Journal reported that sea ice levels are at its lowest before measurements began, but let’s elaborate on this a bit.

Scientists predicted the Arctic Ice Cap would be gone by 2013 as well. By the time 2013 came around, it had grown by 533,000 square miles. That year we also saw the creation of 19,000 Manhattan-size islands worth of sea ice, the quietest tornado season in six decades, and the calmest hurricane season in three decades*. Our air quality is also better than ever, according to the EPA.

To the south, the sea ice conditions in Antarctica have made the journey for the resupply vessels keeping the various research stations sustained more difficult. Heck, the CIA even shut down their climate research program.

Recently, the CCGS Amundsen, an icebreaker that acts as a research vessel, which conducts experiments 24-hours a day, had its 115-day expedition altered when it was ordered to help out resupply ships en route to Northern Quebec due to the amount of ice in their shipping lanes.

So, scientists were wrong about the resilience of sea ice, they were wrong about global cooling in the 1970s, and they could be wrong about rising global temperatures that seemed to have plateaued almost two decades ago, according to the UK Metrological Office.

Oh, and those new EPA regulations that are aimed at combating this phantom threat are going to do little; EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seems to have admitted to it.

*Global warming was suppose to create wild weather, right? 

Kerry: The Iran Deal "May" Lead to US Deaths

The Iran deal, as Guy has meticulously argued, is disastrous. Moreover, it is also unpopular. (Goalpost shifting and eleventh-hour concessions, after all, are hardly the stuff of universally-popular diplomatic negotiations). Nevertheless, there is one provision, as outlined in the accord, that is extremely disconcerting; namely, eventually allowing “conventional weapons” to flow back into the hands of an unapologetically anti-American and anti-Semitic regime.

Put another way, Western powers will be presiding over the de facto rearmament of a burgeoning nuclear power. The consequences of doing so – and lifting economic sanctions, for that matter — are incalculable. And yet, critics of the accord have long argued that such provisions will only put Americans and our Israeli friends at risk.

Stunningly, however, after listening to the administration’s own Secretary of State testifying before Congress on Wednesday, it appears they weren't totally off the mark (via Weasel Zippers).

In fairness to Kerry, he is not the first member of the administration to admit this.

Kentucky Juvenile Department Bans Minister From Biblical Counseling

In his dissenting opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Alito warned that the decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.” Moreover, he argued, “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

Unfortunately Justice Alito was correct in his predictions about life in America post-Obergefell v. Hodges, which wasn’t hard to see coming given that we’d already seen it happening prior to the decision. But in any case, the intolerance has now reached the steps of a Kentucky pastor’s prison ministry work.

David Wells, an ordained Evangelical minister, has been visiting and counseling juveniles at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center for more than 10 years. Now, however, because he refused to sign a statement promising to refrain from telling the juveniles that homosexuality is “sinful,” the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) revoked his volunteer credentials.

“Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes,” Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement. “David Wells must be able to discuss what the Bible says about matters of sexuality with the juveniles he is trying to help. To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands,” he continued. “Without it, they cannot provide healing.”

DJJ’s policy on ‘Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’ states that volunteers “[S]hall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful, or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“DJJ 912 equates the teaching of Biblical morality with ‘derogatory,’ ‘biased,’ and ‘hateful’ speech,” Staver noted in the statement. “In so doing, the DJJ policy creates an unconstitutional, religious litmus test for DJJ access.”

He continued, “The First Amendment prohibits the government from viewpoint discrimination. This detention center may not prohibit the expression of Biblical morality simply because a few DJJ policymakers object to the Bible and its teaching.” 

Collapse: WH Caves on All Three 'Red Line' Demands of Iran


Western negotiators, led by the United States, offered two enormous concessions to the Iranian regime from earliest stages of talks: In spite of President Obama's tough rhetoric, an eventual deal would allow Tehran to keep virtually its entire nuclear infrastructure intact, with Western-imposed restrictions automatically beginning to sunset after one decade. These allowances alone would be sufficient to give observers pause over the wisdom and efficacy of an accord. But those were only the opening salvos of the US-quarterbacked giveaway. In June, as details and rumors about the progress of negotiations leaked into the press, a bipartisan group of respected foreign policy heavyweights wrote an open letter spelling out the tough limits on Iran's program that would be necessary in order to win their support for an agreement. This contingent included a number of former high-ranking Obama administration officials. Their concerns focused on three primary areas:

A group of influential U.S. foreign-policy strategists, including five former confidants of President Barack Obama, warned the White House Wednesday they would oppose a nuclear agreement with Iran if tough terms weren’t included in a final agreement. Among the requirements identified by the former diplomats, military officers and lawmakers were intrusive snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear and military sites, a resolution of questions surrounding secretly developed nuclear-weapons technologies and a phased reduction of international sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Let's examine how each of these crucial issues was resolved:

(1) "Intrusive snap inspections:"


The experts:

The Obama administration’s claim that the Iran nuclear accord provides for airtight verification procedures is coming under challenge from nuclear experts with long experience in monitoring Tehran’s program...Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director of the [IAEA], said in an interview that while “it is clear that a facility of sizable scale cannot simply be erased in three weeks’ time without leaving traces,” the more likely risk is that the Iranians would pursue smaller-scale but still important nuclear work, such as manufacturing uranium components for a nuclear weapon. “A 24-day adjudicated timeline reduces detection probabilities exactly where the system is weakest: detecting undeclared facilities and materials,” he said...“If it is on a small scale, they may be able to clear it out in 24 days,” Mr. Albright said in a telephone interview. “They are practiced at cheating. You can’t count on them to make a mistake.”

(2) "A resolution of questions surrounding secretly developed nuclear weapons technologies:"


An Obama administration assessment of the Iran nuclear deal provided to Congress has led a number of lawmakers to conclude the U.S. and world powers will never get to the bottom of the country’s alleged efforts to build an atomic weapon, and that Tehran won’t be pressed to fully explain its past. In a report to Capitol Hill last week, the administration said it was unlikely Iran would admit to having pursued a covert nuclear weapons program, and that such an acknowledgment wasn’t critical to verifying Iranian commitments in the future...“On Iran’s alleged past weapons work, the Obama administration said it concluded: ‘An Iranian admission of its past nuclear weapons program is unlikely and is not necessary for purposes of verifying commitments going forward,’ said a copy of the assessment viewed by The Wall Street Journal.


(3) "Phased reduction of international sanctions:"

Within six months to a year, Iran will have access to $100 billion to $150 billion in unfrozen assets due to the unwinding of sanctions, a total that doesn't include the economic windfall to come once international firms begin doing business in Iran. As a leading sponsor of terrorism according to the State Department, Iran would thus have more money available to distribute to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.Initially, the Obama administration argued that all of the sanctions being lifted would exclusively have to do with the nuclear program – this was their way of justifying why they didn't make Iranian sponsorship of terrorism or human rights violations a part of any deal...But the final deal provides much broader sanctions relief to Iranian financial institutions and individuals. The deal even unwinds sanctions against Qasem Soleiman, commander of the Quds Force, which has provided aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, and killed American soldiers in Iraq.

A comprehensive rout.  The United States backed down on every single one of the big ticket items -- to say nothing of the astonishing last-minute "add-ons" to sweeten the pot for Iran, or the undisclosed, unreviewable secret side agreements between Iran and the IAEA.  President Obama dismisses critics of his disastrous deal as intellectually dishonest purveyors of "talking points."  The astounding degree to which the administration shifted its own established goalposts -- offering one concession after another to an enemy regime -- exposes his arrogant posture as demagogic nonsense.  Congress must vote this deal down and force our reckless president out onto an isolated, illegitimate limb.

Three Excerpts From Carly Fiorina's Ronald Reagan Library Speech

For better or worse the safe bet is that Carly Fiorina will not be the Republican nominee in 2016. The odds therefore are even longer that she will be the next president of the United States. Nevertheless, she has taken her effective communication skills, her withering criticisms of Secretary Clinton and President Obama, and her vision for the country to anyone who will listen. Her most recent stop was the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

There she delivered what can only be described as a landmark speech. Lasting almost thirty minutes, she focused exclusively on foreign policy issues. She repeatedly assailed the “political class” for their incompetence and pusillanimity — and called out the spinelessness of the current administration for bargaining with our enemies and alienating our friends. She also offered warnings for America and optimism.

Consequently, the following are three must-read quotations from her rousing speech. They are as follows.

On her first day as president:

“On my first day in the Oval Office I will make two phone calls. The first will be to my friend Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him that the United States of America will always stand with the state of Israel. My second phone call will be to the Supreme Leader of Iran. Realistically, he might not take my phone call. He will get the message. And the message is this: [No] deal. Unless and until you are prepared to open every military facility and every nuclear facility to full and unfettered ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections, we will make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.”

On the threat from China:

“China is our rising adversary… The Chinese, like the Iranians and the Russians, engage in draconian Internet censorship. Just as Ronald Reagan tore down a physical wall we must now tear down these cyber barriers to the exchange of free information… Today the Chinese steal our intellectual property with impunity and engage in state-sponsored cyber terrorism. The Chinese government, as we now know, has stolen the personal information of 20 million Americans... And yet once again the government bureaucracy was too bloated and inept to act and the political class was too complacent to stop it.

“The next president must understand technology. She must understand both how to use it, to harness the power of our citizenry to engage in the process of their government to change and challenge bureaucratic status quos as well as protect and defend our nation.”

On Secretary Clinton’s hypocrisy:

“As Mrs. Clinton now runs for president she likes to talk about her support for human rights, for women’s rights, for democracy. But unfortunately, her actions conflict with her words… Mrs. Clinton personally gave the Russians a 'reset button' just as the human rights situation, in that country, took a drastic turn for the worse. And in Iran, when the green movement demonstrated against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, she went silent. China, Russia, Iran, and terrorist groups such as ISIS — these are the big human rights tests of our time. Women and girls are systematically targeted, subjugated, murdered, raped and sold into bondage. It is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton to run for president as a champion of “women’s rights” when her record as secretary of state is so dismal.

Watch the full clip below.

Manners Before Truth: The Usual RINOs Pile on Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz's public accusation that Mitch McConnell lied to fellow Senators has not gone over well among the GOP leadership. Establishment Republicans are predictably going after the Texas Senator and rebuking him for violating Senate etiquette.

Cruz made waves last week when he accused the Majority Leader on the Senate floor of telling a bald-faced lie to Republicans -- a lie that Cruz says opened the way to a vote on the Export-Import Bank, which conservative Republicans would have blocked if they had known the Majority Leader's plans. The Senate ended up voting to renew the Ex-Im Bank on Sunday evening. Cruz and other conservative Republicans have persistently fought the Ex-Im Bank, calling it a classic example of corporate welfare and congressional corruption.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was among the first to attack Sen. Cruz's comments.

"I think it was outside the realm of Senate behavior," said Sen. John McCain, who has clashed with Cruz in the past. "I would never contemplate going to the floor of the Senate and impugning the integrity of another senator. Just not something we do here. I really think it was a very wrong thing to do."

Wrong, perhaps -- unless Cruz's claim is actually true. Wouldn't a straight-up lie warrant a slight breach of genteel manners? Would not a breach of trust warrant a breach of cordiality?

Perhaps it is this stubborn politeness, after all, that has for so long kept noble reformers from upending the money-changers who rule Congress and lie in bed with lobbyists. Perhaps it is McCain's profound and unrivaled concern for niceness that keeps the Senate awash in cronyism. Perhaps it is this unwavering devotion to the status quo, which rules the hearts of so many GOP leaders, that millions of Americans voted to oust last fall. Sadly, their votes have affected little change.

McCain is not alone in his overt concern for niceness over truth. Sen. Orrin Hatch threw in his own two cents on the matter.

"Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues -- or perhaps on the campaign trail -- but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate.

I see. So Cruz was simply grandstanding, perhaps trying to catch up to Donald Trump in the presidential polls. Whatever his motives, he couldn't have been expressing righteous indignation at a misguided Senate leader who goes to bat for K Street every day.

At least Cruz remained unfazed. His response to these criticisms was short and sweet.

"I do not believe speaking the truth is anything other than in the very best tradition of the United States Senate," Cruz said to reporters.

Obama: I'd Make An Awesome Third Term President, You Know

Do you think President Obama would make a good third term president? He certainly thinks so.

Speaking in Africa Tuesday, President Obama made positive remarks about Africa's democratic progress, but criticized leaders who refuse to step aside and give up power once their terms are over. He then proceeded to explain his belief he'd make a great third term president, but that the Constitution limits him to just two terms. 

"I am in my second term. It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as the President of the United States. I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job. I love my work. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again. I can't run again. I actually think I’m a pretty good president. I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t, so there’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving but the law is the law," Obama said.

For reference, President Obama's disapproval among Americans currently outweighs their approval.

Thanks to the WFB for the video.

On The Day Israel And Cyprus Sign Energy Security Deal, EU Protects Cypriot Cheese

WESTMINSTER, United Kingdom – If you ever wanted to see why British people are so sick of the European Union look no further than the two announcements on Cypriot security today. On one hand was Nicosia and Jerusalem talking about making themselves energy independent by working together, while Brussels announced greater protection for Cypriot cheese.

The remarkable contrast is further evidence of just how out of touch and irrelevant the European Union really is. According to the Associated Press the move to protect halloumi, or hellim in Turkish, will serve as some sort of a symbol of unity in Cyprus. The island has been divided since it was invaded by Turkey in 1974.

Commenting on the weighty new proposal for peace EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the “cheese unification drive” shows the commitment of both sides "to work together on projects unifying the whole island."

Meanwhile in the real world Benjamin Netanyahu and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said they would seek to tap the potential of natural gas in the sea bed beneath both countries. Energy security is a major issue for them because they both have land borders with aggressive neighbors.

This is not a one off case, the EU has taken a keen interest in food related irrelevance for a number of years now. It has already legislated to make carrots a fruit and to make sure bananas are not too curvy. There were also moves in Brussels to make it illegal to serve olive oil in a bowl.

To be fair each of these moves did have some justification but they also proved the EU is desperately trying to create a role for itself. The UK recently converted many of its embassies from just being British alone to also including other Commonwealth countries, especially Canada. The reason for this was the EU is desperate to take over the embassies of its member states and the UK has some of the nicest ones.

All of this is a power grab, Brussels bureaucrats will get involved in anything to make themselves feel useful. It would not surprise if they deliberately announced the cheese thing because they were jealous about being left out of the energy deal.

We are told that it is the EU that is stopping European conflict, a point that is self evidently disproved as several wars have taken place during its existence. In reality it's a vehicle for empire builders to exercise their dreams of world domination… and they'll use anything to get there (admittedly cheese was not their finest weapon).

Britain is likely to vote on independence in July next year, the establishment will throw the kitchen sink at the campaign to keep us in the EU. Hopefully today's announcement will further serve to show how little point there is giving up our freedom to be associated with these people.

Oh and well done on the gas deal, it's about time Israel had some good will from a European country!

Chaffetz: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Should Be Fired And Impeached

After years of investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who took over as chairman after Rep. Darrell Issa earlier this year, has had enough of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. 

Yesterday Chaffetz called on the President to fire Koskinen over allegations of obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and stonewalling a congressional investigation. He accused Koskinen of lying to Congress when he said last year that backup tapes belonging to former IRS commissioner Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the targeting scandal, didn't exist. We of course learned shortly after that backup tapes do exist, but that IRS officials didn't bother looking for them in order to turn them over to Congress for scrutiny. It was later revealed that at least some of the available back-up tapes were destroyed, even after a congressional subpoena for the tapes was issued. 

"Congress needs to get more aggressive and stand up for itself. We may hold him in contempt and there are other constitutional remedies that perhaps, one of the things we're exploring is perhaps impeaching the commissioner," Chaffetz said last night On The Record. "He [President Obama] should fire Mr. Koskinen because he's not working with us." 

"We're going to get to the truth no matter where it is no matter how long this takes. We're going to get after it," Chaffetz continued.

Considering President Obama doesn't believe the IRS targeting of conservatives is a scandal at all, I doubt he'll be heeding Chaffetz' calls. However, Congress does have the power of impeachment. Whether that authority will be exercised under current GOP leadership is a different story.

Last week, former Oversight Chairman Issa revealed the IRS is still engaged in targeting of conservative groups.

Poll: Half of Respondents (52 Percent) Oppose Iran Deal

The Iran deal has been the talk of Washington for weeks now. Supporters of the accord say it slows Iran’s path to the bomb, reduces the number of centrifuges operated by the regime, earns general support among Western powers, and is the best option currently available under difficult circumstances. Critics, however, aren't as sanguine. They claim that the deal will speed Iran’s path to the bomb, lift sanctions on an active terrorist state, threaten the state of Israel, and provide zero assurances that Iran will ever give up its quest for nuclear weapons.

But what does the public believe?

As it happens, a hot-off-the-press poll conducted after the deal was announced provides some instruction. When asked if “Congress should approve or reject the deal with Iran,” a majority of respondents said they should:

Over a thousand respondents participated in CNN/ORC’s national survey. The D/R/I breakdown was 29/22/49.

UK Lords Deputy Speaker Resigns after Cocaine and Hooker Binge

WESTMINSTER, United Kingdom – Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords has resigned his seat after being filmed taking cocaine with prostitutes. Before the scandal broke at the weekend Lord Sewel was a highly respected figure in the Labour Party and even chaired the House of Lords Standards Committee.

The Sun newspaper first exposed his actions on Sunday and he resigned as Deputy Speaker but reportedly wanted to stay on as a member of the Lords.
He announced he would take a leave of absence from the House, which is fairly common among peers as they are appointed for life. The 69-year-old would have been able to end the leave at anytime.
Last night his home in Dolphin Square close to Parliament was raided by thge Metropolitan Police. They confirmed his activities were now under criminal investigation.
In addition to sleeping with prostitutes and taking drugs Sewel also made a series of indiscreet comments about other senior politicians. He claimed former Prime Minister Tony Blair had “fallen in love” with George Bush, who himself was “crap”. Sewel also said the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, was “facile” and “superficial”.
This morning he issued the following statement: “I have today written to the Clerk of the Parliaments terminating my membership of the House of Lords. The question of whether my behaviour breached the Code of Conduct is important, but essentially technical.
“The bigger questions are whether my behaviour is compatible with membership of the House of Lords and whether my continued membership would damage and undermine public confidence in the House of Lords. I believe the answer to both these questions means that I can best serve the House by leaving it.
“As a subordinate, second chamber the House of Lords is an effective, vital but undervalued part of our political system. I hope my decision will limit and help repair the damage I have done to an institution I hold dear. Finally, I want to apologise for the pain and embarrassment I have caused.”
Baroness Stowell, Leader of the House of Lords, said: "I welcome Lord Sewel's decision to resign permanently. For the House of Lords to earn the confidence of the public, all of us must respect the privileges that come with a peerage and recognise that - because we are unelected - it is especially important to meet the standards the public have a right to expect, and to act swiftly when we fail."
Members of the House of Lords are unpaid and instead are given $470 unappreciated expenses for every day they attend. There is also a smaller payment for anyone who attends half a day. The system exists because peers are not expected to vote on every issue that comes before the House.
Today a number of UK newspapers claimed Sewel has spent over $18k on prostitutes in the last three years. On the tape itself he is clearly heard to say he used his expenses payments from the House of Lords for the prostitutes and drugs.

Bipartisan Group of Senators Calling for National Lobster Day

If a bipartisan group of Senators from New England get their way, September 25 will be deemed "National Lobster Day." Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Angus King (I-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) are co-sponsoring a resolution to proclaim an official National Lobster Day for this year.

The senators are introducing a resolution to designate Sept. 25, 2015, as National Lobster Day. Maine's Angus King and Susan Collins say the crustacean deserves the honor because thousands of families rely on the multimillion dollar American lobster industry to make a living.

Collins and King say the lobster day will also note the American lobster's "growing popularity as a global delicacy."

June 15 had previously been unofficially deemed "National Lobster Day." While lobster season is year round, the season tends to peak in the fall.

Not that I personally need an excuse to eat a lobster, but I think this resolution is as good a reason as any to indulge. Lobster prices have plummeted in recent years, which while good for the consumer, is a little rough on the lobsterman who needs to sell lobsters to earn a living. Anything that would promote local industry is a win in my book.

Horror: Third Planned Parenthood Video Captures Abortionists Procuring Fetal Tissue for Profit

In baseball, three strikes means you're out. Hopefully the same is true for Planned Parenthood, who as of Tuesday morning has now been exposed three times negotiating the sale of fetal body parts.

For a brief morbid summary, in the past two weeks the Center for Medical Progress has released findings from their 3-year investigation into Planned Parenthood. Their first undercover video contained footage of a doctor describing the potential of selling aborted babies' body parts for profit, all while enjoying her lunch. The second video featured an abortionist discussing prices for the organ harvesting, while callously joking she 'wants a Lamborghini.'

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards tried (unsuccessfully) to defend her organization on ABC's "This Week." Now, however, she will be forced to do damage control once again.

In its third released video, the CMP interviews an ex-procurement technician from the company StemExpress. Holly O'Donnell describes how she thought she was just tasked with drawing blood when she applied for the company, yet soon realized, to her horror, they wanted her to procure tissue from aborted fetuses. Then the harvesting began:

“For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage. The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

Later in the video, O'Donnell describes how she fainted on her first day when doctors asked her to help procure fetal body parts from a pie dish. A similar scenario was conducted by the CMP, who caught the Vice President and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Dr. Savita Ginde, harvesting fetal tissue in a laboratory following an abortion, her only concern seeming to be the price tag of each specimen:

"I think the per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it."

Footage is included below, but I warn you it's very graphic.

Today, in several cities throughout the country, defund Planned Parenthood rallies will be held for anyone concerned about what they see in these videos, including in the nation's capital, right outside Congress' door. Doing so, pro-life activists hope, will speed new legislation introduced by GOP members like Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) to halt this ill use of taxpayer money.

It's time to stop funding this money-hungry and immoral organization. O'Donnell, for one, knows Planned Parenthood's agenda all too well:

"They do get some kind of benefit."