A holdover from yesterday, but still worth watching if you haven't seen it already. For those who aren't not plugged into sports news, Miami Marlins standout pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a tragic boating accident early Sunday morning, along with two friends. He was just 24. His death has devastated his clubhouse, leading to many poignant, heartbreaking, and inspirational moments both on and off the field. Florida Senator Marco Rubio -- a native son of Miami -- took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to mourn the loss, paying tribute to a young man who'd already led an extraordinary life before it was suddenly cut short. Eloquent and moving:
As a young man, Fernandez and his family attempted to defect from Communist Cuba on multiple occasions. At 14, he was jailed after his third escape attempt. He finally completed the treacherous journey, but not before saving his own mother from drowning in choppy seas. Years later, he called becoming a US citizen one of his proudest accomplishments. "I consider myself now to be free," he said. "I thank this amazing country for giving me the opportunity to go to school here and learn the language and pitch in the major leagues. It’s an honor to be a part of this country, and I respect it so much." My friend Mary Katharine Ham wrote about Fernandez on Monday, noting his passion not just for the game, but for the incredible gift of liberty:
Five days before he died, Fernandez posted a black and white photo of his girlfriend on the beach, cradling an obvious baby bump. The caption read, “I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst.” Fernandez understood, more than most, what it meant to have his whole family here, in one place. One can only imagine the joy he would have taken in growing that family in the country he loved. Before he died, he left his teammates with a thought about freedom, something he often tossed around in the locker room. Usually a sunny jokester, this was more of an admonition than a celebration: “You were born into freedom. You don’t understand freedom, really.”
Descansa en paz.
The first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is over. The media says that Clinton won in a landslide. Those outside of the D.C. beltway felt otherwise. They felt Clinton’s scripted and formulaic answers didn’t speak to any of their concerns and they were annoyed that she tries to paint herself as her husband. We all know Hillary isn’t Bill. Democrats think otherwise. So, did she have a surge? Reuters/Ipsos and the Morning Consult noted that Clinton did indeed have a surge…that falls well within the margin of error.
First, let’s look at the Morning Consult poll, which was sponsored by Politico, who released their results this morning. Out of a sample of 1,253 likely voters, they found that moderator Lester Holt was generally fair; they felt Clinton won, and over half watched the whole debate. Yet, despite Clinton winning the debate in this poll, only nine percent said the debate changed their mind—and she only went up three points. Trump led Clinton by one point in their previous poll, both fall within the margin of error.
We have a brand-new post-debate poll that confirms Hillary Clinton got a small bump over Donald Trump from her performance. Clinton is up THREE POINTS among likely voters in the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll of the four-way race for president. Before the debate Trump was up ONE POINT. JUST NINE PERCENT of respondents said the debate changed their mind about who to vote for.
Here are some other key findings of the poll, which was conducted online Monday and Tuesday among 1,253 likely voters with a margin of error of three points.
--LESTER HOLT WAS SEEN AS FAIR. 42% of respondents said Holt was impartial. 27% said he was more favorable to Clinton and 2% said he favored Trump.
--CLINTON WAS THE WINNER. This tracks with practically all other reputable public polling: 49% say Clinton won and 26% say Trump won. 18% of Republicans say Clinton won.
--VOTERS WERE RIVETED. 72% of likely voters watched the debate, and 55% of those viewers watched the whole 95-minute affair. Half of those polled said they would watch the debate again.
In the Reuters poll, Clinton surged six points, but when you add the third party candidates, she only leads by four. Again, well within the margin of error (via The Hill):
Clinton has 44 percent support among likely voters to Trump's 38 percent in the Ipsos/Reuters national tracking poll, which was taken before Monday's first presidential debate.
Clinton's lead shrinks slightly when third-party candidates are included. In that scenario, she has 42 percent to Trump's 38 percent. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has 7 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein is backed by 2 percent.
The sample size for this poll was 1,041 voters.
So, two polls post-debate show that Clinton (for now) was incapable of gaining any meaningful ground against Trump. I say for now because we need to see what the other polls came out with post-debate. She may have been good. She may have had detailed answers, but two things will continue to hamstring her a) she’s less trusted than Trump; b) she’s not likable; and c) a lot of people have already made up their minds. Still, a nine percent change post-debate from the Consult poll is interesting. If similar figures are found in other polls, we should be able to paint a clearer picture of where these folks are going. Are they heading into the third party camps? Are they heading into the sit this one out bunker? If one thing is clear at this point is that Monday night was neither good nor bad for either camp. Yes, maybe Clinton won Monday by a large margin, but why isn’t she leading by eight or ten points post-debate if it truly was a disastrous performance by Trump? In reality, I think the whole night was a draw, with both candidates getting the upper hand in various parts of the night, with the closing act being a toss up. The second debate is surely to be where things get a bit more interesting, especially if Trump brings up the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, and the emails again. He has to hammer those points home, especially after blowing a missed opportunity when Clinton rambled about cyber security on Monday.
It is now legal to take a picture of a ballot in New Hampshire and post it on the internet. A judge struck down a controversial law from 2014 that prohibited photographing a ballot and sharing it on various social media sites. The law was blocked before it could ever go into effect.
The American Civil Liberties' Union praised the court's decision as a victory for free speech.
BOSTON – Today, in a victory for the First Amendment, the First Circuit Court of Appeals struck down New Hampshire’s law banning “ballot selfies” on the grounds that it violates the right to free speech under the First Amendment. The decision can be found here.
In a thoughtful 22-page opinion, the Court unequivocally concluded that the law violates free speech rights. As the Court held: “The restriction affects voters who are engaged in core political speech, an area highly protected by the First Amendment …. Ballot selfies have taken on a special communicative value: they both express support for a candidate and communicate that the voter has in fact given his or her vote to that candidate.” The Court added: “New Hampshire may not impose such a broad restriction on speech banning ballot selfies in order to combat an unsubstantiated and hypothetical danger. We repeat the old adage: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’”
Good. This law was silly, and all it was going to do was make more people into criminals--without any of the supposed "benefits" against voter intimidation. While "ballot selfies" may sound silly, they certainly shouldn't be a crime.
The Senate and House of Representatives voted to override President Obama's veto of JASTA on Wednesday, legislation that allows 9/11 victims' families to sue Saudi Arabia. It was the first time Obama has faced an override since entering the Oval Office. The Senate vote was not even close, passing on an overwhelmingly bipartisan tally of 97-1. Harry Reid was the only senator to vote to sustain it.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate, was not present for the historic moment.
Unfortunately, the vice presidential nominee could not use geography as an excuse. In a press release, the Republican National Committee pointed out that Kaine was only 10 miles away from Capitol Hill at the time of the vote, appearing at an event in Alexandria, VA.
Sen. Bernie Sanders also missed the vote, for the same reason - he was stumping for Clinton.
Earlier this week, the Clinton campaign indicated Clinton would sign the bill if it reached her desk.
In 1999, Juanita Broaddrick accused then-President Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978 during his campaign for the Arkansas statehouse. On Wednesday, Broaddrick took to Twitter to admonish Chelsea Clinton for claiming that bringing up Bill's mistresses during the debates would be a "distraction." One of Bill's mistresses, Gennifer Flowers, was reportedly invited to attend the debate.
Broaddrick did not mince words in her several-part tweetstorm, going as far as to say that Hillary and Bill Clinton were "not good people" and that Bill Clinton is a sexual predator.
1. Here is my response to Chelsea Clinton's statement about her father's sexual misdeeds— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 28, 2016
2. Chelsea you said you don't remember a time in your life that your parents weren't being attacked.— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 28, 2016
3. There's a very good reason for this---your parents are not good people.— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 28, 2016
4 your father was, and probably still is, a sexual predator. Your mother has always lied and covered up for him.— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 28, 2016
5. I say again "I was 35 when Bill Clinton Raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73. It never goes away".— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 28, 2016
6. The truth is what has brought the attacks on your family and you are smart enough to know that by now.— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 28, 2016
The vote shaming isn’t ending with President Obama. He said to black voters at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala this month that if they don’t vote, he would take it as a personal insult for everything that he’s done for us over the past eight, miserable years. For Democrats, votes are viewed as an entitlement program. Obama has been unusually aggressive this cycle as he prepares to help Clinton by dragging her across the finish line. As Donald Trump has come within striking distance of Clinton, the president has decided to turn his involvement with the Clinton campaign into a rescue mission.
Other Clinton supporters, like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), also went commented on Clinton’s struggles to gain the edge over Trump, blaming third party candidates for siphoning off Democratic support for the former first lady. Now, Obama has decided to follow suit (via The Hill):
President Obama on Wednesday ratcheted up Democrats' attacks on third-party candidates, arguing anything other than a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Donald Trump.
“If you don’t vote, that’s a vote for Trump. If you vote for a third-party candidate who's got no chance to win, that’s a vote for Trump,” Obama said during a radio interview with Steve Harvey.
Democrats have worried about Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein drawing votes away from Clinton, the Democratic nominee, especially among younger voters.
"My legacy is on the ballot. All the work we've done over the last eight years is on the ballot," he said.
Again, are these red flags that Democrats a) know they have a turnout problem since a core constituency—young people—are utterly unenthused by Clinton’s candidacy; and b) never thought this race would be this close? By the map, we seem to be having an electorate that resembles more 2004 than 2008, 2012, which bodes well for Republicans. Trump looks like he can win Nevada and Colorado, in which case if he wins Florida and Ohio, he’s elected president. That’s with him losing Virginia and Pennsylvania. So, yeah, I guess I can see why Democrats, including Obama, are trying to shame their own members into voting for Clinton, even though some core groups of their party base can’t seem to stand her. That’s not their fault—and these people don’t owe Clinton anything if they think she sucks, or is an old, sick decrepit liar.
In the meantime, Libertarian Gary Johnson continues to make his case.
For some time, the pro-life movement has been suspicious of California Attorney General Kamala Harris' relationship with Planned Parenthood. After all, she gave the greenlight to the sudden search of pro-life activist David Daleiden's home. Daleiden is the man behind the shocking Planned Parenthood videos last summer that urged Congress to investigate the organization and introduce bills to defund it. Daleiden and his group, the Center for Medical Progress, posed as a fetal tissue buyer and secretly recorded Planned Parenthood employees negotiating the sale of fetal body parts. The footage exposed the organization as greedy and desensitized to the plight of unborn children. Yet, pro-abortion groups argued the real sin was Daleiden's questionable tactics.
Now, pro-lifers may have some proof that Harris' office was working together to target Daleiden and his pro-life efforts. New emails obtained by the Washington Times appear to show a California Planned Parenthood influencing AB 1671, a bill that would make secretly recording communications with health care providers a crime. The legislation was introduced after Daleiden's investigation.
The emails show Beth Parker, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, sending multiple drafts of AB 1671 to Jill Habig, who was at the time special counsel to the attorney general.
“Attached is the language for AB 1671, proposed amendments to Penal Code section 632,” Ms. Parker wrote in an email marked March 8. “I look forward to your thoughts about this.”
Ms. Parker sent a revised draft of the legislation to Ms. Habig on March 16. “Here’s the rewrite of the video tape bill,” she wrote. “Let me know what you think.”
Planned Parenthood donated thousands of dollars to Harris's reelection campaign. Is her office rewarding them by allowing them to have a say in legislation?
UPDATE: The House has more than enough votes to override President Obama's veto. It will now become law.
JUST IN: House votes 348-77 to override Pres. Obama's veto of 9/11 bill, the first veto override of his presidency https://t.co/TcD5cQDbeC— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 28, 2016
By vote of 348-77, House joins Senate in overriding Pres Obama's veto of 9/11 lawsuit bill. It's the first veto override of his presidency.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 28, 2016
As Cortney wrote earlier today, virtually every member of the United States Senate voted to override President Obama’s veto on a bill that would allow victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. Pretty much everyone voted for it, with both the House and Senate passing it by voice votes. The only senator to vote against the override today was old, crusty crab Harry Reid.
Now, the Obama White House is going through something of a meltdown, calling the vote an embarrassment. It also offers insight into the president’s sway over Capitol Hill, which seems to be virtually non-existent at this point. The House is expected to hold their override vote later today—and it’s expected to pass the two-thirds threshold as well. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is expected to vote in favor of the override (via The Hill):
The White House lashed out at the Senate Wednesday for overriding President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow U.S. citizens to sue Saudi Arabia over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983,” Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.
The veto override was a major blow to Obama, prompting questions about his diminishing sway over Capitol Hill and foreign policy months before he leaves office.
Earnest’s unusually harsh words are an effort to shame lawmakers for their support for the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).
For weeks, White House officials have accused members of Congress of failing to publicly express the reservations about the measure that they have spoken about privately.
The Senate voted to override Obama’s veto 97-1.
The FBI has released it's annual crime statistics for 2015 and for the first time in many years, violent crime is up and the murder rate has alarmingly increased by more than 10 percent.
"After two years of decline, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased 3.9 percent in 2015 when compared with 2014 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes dropped 2.6 percent, marking the 13th straight year the collective estimates for these offenses declined," the FBI released. "The 2015 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 372.6 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,487.0 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate rose 3.1 percent compared with the 2014 rate, and the property crime rate declined 3.4 percent."
"In 2015, there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased 10.8 percent when compared with estimates from 2014," the report states. "Rape and aggravated assault increased 6.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, while robbery increased 1.4 percent."
FBI Director James Comey expressed the need for data about the use of lethal force by police in order to better understand the impact of crime on American communities.
"We need more transparency and accountability in law enforcement. We also need better, more informed conversations about crime and policing in this country. To get there, we are improving the way this nation collects, analyzes, and uses crime statistics and data about law enforcement’s use of force. Information that is accurate, reliable, complete, and timely will help all of us learn where we have problems and how to get better," Comey said about the report. "Key elements of this are our shift to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which will occur no later than 2021 (we hope sooner), and our first-ever use-of-force database. Those will give us a more complete, richer picture of crime in our communities, and a national and detailed picture of the ways we in law enforcement are using force. With indispensable support from our colleagues at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, all of us will be better able to talk in an informed way about things that matter tremendously."
Three people have been injured in a shooting at Townville Elementary School in South Carolina, according to The Greenville News. Two of the victims are children and the other is a teacher.
The school has been evacuated and the victims have been transported to the hospital.
The suspect is in custody. He shot his father to death before entering the school, the Associated Press is reporting.
BREAKING: Authorities: School shooter apparently shot his father to death before rampage; 2 students, teacher wounded .— The Associated Press (@AP) September 28, 2016
This post has been updated.
Katie has been following the latest email scandal developments on Capitol Hill, but I thought this video might add some useful color. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse questioned FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson yesterday, seeking information on the Justice Department's grant of limited immunity to top Clinton consigliere Cheryl Mills in exchange for producing a crucial piece of evidence in the Bureau's criminal probe of Hillary Clinton's email scheme. His questions are succinct and precise. As Hugh Hewitt suggests, other lawmakers should take notes. Watch:
Sasse didn't extract any major revelations from Comey, but the FBI chief did explain that the immunity offer was necessary because without it, Mills would have fought investigators tooth and nail in an effort to withhold her computer. A subpoena "would likely entangle us in litigation over privilege for a very long time," he said. Recall that Team Clinton has insisted throughout this ordeal that they've been fully cooperative. They have not. They deleted thousands of work-related emails, they only produced the (non-destroyed) records under a series of court orders, they refused to cooperate with the State Department's IG, and now here's Comey saying that because of Mills' highly unusual, hazy, overlapping roles under the Clinton umbrella, they "likely" would have fought hard in court to preserve Mills' ability to hinder the investigation. Bill McGurn's Wall Street Journal column this week cites former US prosecutor Andy McCarthy's analysis in spelling out how...fragrant this entire arrangement appears to be:
There are two ways a witness can get immunity: Either she invokes the Fifth Amendment on the grounds she might incriminate herself, or, worried something on the laptop might expose her to criminal liability, her lawyers reveal what this might be before prosecutors agree to an immunity deal. As with so much else in this investigation, the way the laptop was handled was out of the ordinary. Normally, immunity is granted for testimony and interviews. The laptop was evidence. Standard practice would have been for the FBI to get a grand-jury subpoena to compel Ms. Mills to produce it...Now we learn about the multiple immunity deals. Immunity in exchange for information that will help make the case against higher-ups is not unusual. Even so, the Mills deal carries a special stink. To begin with, Ms. Mills was pretty high up herself. As Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, she was in the thick of operations. In 2012, while working at State, she traveled to New York to interview candidates for a top job at the Clinton Foundation. More disturbing still, not only was Ms. Mills granted immunity for the content on her laptop, she was permitted to act as Mrs. Clinton’s attorney even though she herself was also a witness in the investigation.
This was allowed in part because she told the FBI she knew nothing of Mrs. Clinton’s private server until after she’d left the State Department. But this claim is suspect and contradicted by emails that have since emerged. These include one to Huma Abedin asking, “hrc email coming back—is server ok?” The special treatment accorded Ms. Mills also reeks on a more fundamental level. As a rule, the Justice Department is aggressive about going after lawyers for any perceived conflict of interest. This would include, for example, a lawyer who wanted to represent different parties in a trial. By giving Ms. Mills a pass to serve as Mrs. Clinton’s attorney in an investigation in which she was a material witness, Justice allowed her to shield her communications with Mrs. Clinton under attorney-client privilege. Indeed, Ms. Mills invoked that privilege during her own FBI interview.
Comey testified today that Mills was, at least for a time, a subject of the probe herself. McGurn concludes his piece with this question for Comey: "You publicly said there was no case for criminal charges. So what did Cheryl Mills need immunity for?" Incidentally, if you keep watching the Sasse clip past his email scandal line of questioning, he inquires about the recent Inspector General report that hundreds of immigrants were accidentally given US citizenship. He asks Jeh Johnson for the exact number of people affected by this error (Johnson can only offer an estimate), and wants to know if any of them were from "special interest countries" such as "Iran, Syria or Libya." Johnson replies that doesn't know, prompting Sasse to politely but firmly ask how that could be possible, adding that the IG report stated that at least two of the individuals in question had been referred to the FBI at some point. I'll leave you with Comey confirming to a House panel today that the DOJ has received Congress' criminal complaints regarding Mrs. Clinton's apparent perjury during her famous marathon testimony before the Benghazi committee -- and this:
Rick Perry will not be bringing the mirrorball back to Texas. On Tuesday night, Perry became the second contestant eliminated from the 23rd season of Dancing With The Stars. Perry and his partner Emma Slater were eliminated after scoring the lowest score for their paso doble routine and failing to defeat Vanilla Ice in the face-off challenge on Monday night. Perry had suffered an ankle injury during the week.
Speaking to E!, Perry called his brief stint on the show an "amazing experience."
"I look back on it for the last month as an amazing experience," Perry told E! News. "I was able to talk about those veterans issues that really brought me to the show to begin with…We're here tonight enjoying America's pastime because somewhere along the way there was some young American who served and kept us free."
A look back at Perry's time on the dance floor:
God Bless Texas, Cha-cha
Theme from 'Green Acres,' Quickstep
Tamacun, paso doble
Bravo. We'll miss ya, Rick.
At the Economic Club of Washington Wednesday morning, Speaker Ryan was asked by the moderator if he’d consider running for the White House in the future. “You never say never to these things,” the Wisconsin Republican replied.
While stating that he didn’t want to rule the option out, he lamented that he never had the “ambition” to run for the nation’s highest office.
Giving hope to any ‘Ryan 2020’ supporters that this sentiment could change - Ryan said he used to find his previous job as Ways and Means Chairman as more enjoyable than being Speaker, but now feels the bigger role has grown on him.
Speaker Ryan explained his biggest goals are policy reforms. He also stressed the importance to him in spending time with his kids and making sure they live a normal life during their younger years. Despite a heavy fundraising schedule, Ryan visits his family in Janesville, Wisconsin every weekend.
A lot of speculation has gone around regarding a potential Paul Ryan run in 2020 or 2024. The Wisconsin congressman is extremely popular in Republican circles, has deep policy knowledge, and touts a national fundraising network resulting from his VP run in 2012.
Per the usual, Ryan has been hesitant of, but not outright against, the idea of a presidential run. Ryan supporters point to his initial reluctance to run for the speakership in which he was eventually pressured into.
Perhaps Republicans can push Ryan into a run for the White House, as well.
It did not take long for Heisman winning quarterback Tim Tebow to make a splash in his first at bat during his professional baseball game debut.
Playing for the
"I feel like every day I'm getting a little more comfortable,'' Tebow, who singled in his last two at-bats of the simulated game, told The Associated Press. ''It's great just to see live pitching and get live at-bats. I'm just getting a little bit better every day. That's the goal.''
UPDATE: The House just voted to override Obama's JASTA veto as well, Fox News is reporting.
In a vote of 97-1 (the only rebel being Minority Leader Harry Reid), the Senate voted to override President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). The bipartisan bill allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged support of terrorism. It is the first time Obama has faced a veto override in his presidency.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) celebrated the successful effort.
“I applaud my colleagues for joining together and with the American people to stand against President Obama’s attempt to deprive terror victims from receiving full recourse under the law,” Sen. Cruz said. “Our nation has a duty to ensure that American victims of terrorism, first and foremost the 9/11 families, are able to receive justice. Congress, by passing JASTA, will do just that and will continue to protect our brave men and women in uniform who defend our freedoms and way of life across the globe. I encourage my colleagues in the House to follow the Senate in overriding the president’s veto and enact JASTA into law.”
The House will vote next and Speaker Paul Ryan expects they too will have more than enough votes. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi noted that she would vote to override Obama's veto, arguing that September 11 families deserve their day in court.
A United Nations-affiliated panel has said that the United States owes reparations to its black population for a history of “racial terrorism.” As Ishaan Tharoor wrote for The Washington Post, the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent came to these nonbinding conclusions in their report released from Geneva, with reparations coming in the form of financial payments, debt cancellation, increased opportunities in education, health initiatives, and a formal apology. Oh, and they also touched upon the string of police-involved shooting deaths as well:
The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history.
"In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent," the report stated. "Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching."
Citing the past year's spate of police officers killing unarmed African American men, the panel warned against "impunity for state violence," which has created, in its words, a "human rights crisis" that "must be addressed as a matter of urgency."
Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another, continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of African Americans today," it said in a statement. "The dangerous ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the US population."
Are these experts or a bunch of overly educated urban-based elites with doctorates in social justice warrior studies? White supremacy is the glue that keeps our nation together? That’s unadulterated crap. Our values, our Constitution, our belief in the defined system of rights that we felt so deeply as to rebel against to British rule is what keeps us together and makes us Americans—or at least that’s what I thought. Our country was founded on these unalienable rights, not around kings or ethnic groups as other nations in the past. Second, and most importantly, if this is some ridiculous way to foster a racial healing, it’s not going to work. In fact, most likely it will exacerbate the already abysmal race relations we have now. We’re blaming a racial group who had zero stakes in slavery. No white person today is to blame for slavery or racial terrorism. No white person today is responsible for the past actions of their racial group; people they didn’t event know. And have we forgotten that the abolitionist movement was comprised of…religious, church-going white folk? Who soaked the battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, and other battlefield of the American Civil War with blood to end slavery? Oh, that was mostly white people too. It remains our bloodiest war our country has ever fought, with over 600,000 dead, but it was one where the heart and soul of our country was on the line. In the end, slavery was forever abolished.
Yes, more works needs to be done. Yes, Jim Crow, the lynchings, and other forms of discrimination today are not pleasant, but we, ourselves, are destined to fix these problems, not some UN board in Geneva. This is just a mass exercise of guilt by association that will not mend any fences or heal wounds. It will merely reopen them, with both groups being even further apart. Blessedly, these recommendations, like most UN actions, lack teeth. They’re non-binding—and they should be ignored. At the same time, I’m sure more than a few social justice warriors will cite this report in various articles and blog posts.
What is it with the UN and their inability to realistically execute the function of conflict resolution? They’re utter failures at it.
A cop is retiring. You need a cake. You want to have it say “Blue Lives Matter” on it—and the cake makers raise objections that it could be considered racist. That’s what happened at a Walmart in Georgia, where a retiring police officer’s festivities were hamstrung by political correctness. When a request was made to nix the text and instead opt for a blue line with a chocolate background, these cake wizards still refused. Walmart has since stepped forward to apologize. Oh, and the cake was made, but it wasn’t the most professionally done (via Macon Telegraph):
The police officer’s daughter, who has remained anonymous, told radio host Todd Starnes that she went to a Walmart in McDonough, Georgia on Thursday to ask for a cake with the American flag in black and white with a blue stripe added in.
But one of the employees at the bakery balked at the common police officer emblem, telling the woman “the design could be perceived as racist and nobody feels comfortable decorating the cake,” she recounted to Starnes. When she asked for a simpler cake, with just one blue line on a chocolate background, the employee said she didn’t “feel comfortable” with that design either.
“I asked her, ‘Is there something wrong with cops?’” the woman recalled, according to Starnes.
The employee again refused to make the cake.
A Walmart spokesperson said in a statement that the company regretted the incident, according to WTVM: “Our goal is to always take care of customers. But sometimes we misstep.”
In a post dated Sunday, Starnes wrote that the daughter took Walmart up on the offer to remake the cake. But the result “looked terrible,” the police officer’s daughter said. “It doesn’t look professional.”
This really isn’t a place for debate. A customer had a request, they had money, and you refused to offer them service or process their order properly. How exactly is blue lives matter a racist slogan? Oh, now I remember—it’s not. Walmart still has some explaining to do. I can see how if a Neo-Nazi came in and demanded a Swastika on a cake, but this is far from that. It's not even in the same ballpark.
Katy Perry teamed up with Funny or Die and Rock The Vote to put out a new video that attempts to encourage young people to head to the polls this November. Perry at first appears disheveled, and reminds people that a person can indeed legally vote in their pajamas, and then strips down to nothing before being led away by the cops.
Perry is a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton and performed at the DNC this past July.
Not to be outdone, Madonna also posted a nude picture of herself encouraging people to vote this November.
Im voting naked with Katy Perry!! Vote for Hillary. She's the Best we got!????????????. Nude Voting series # 1 pic.twitter.com/fBYkTnXVLe— Madonna (@Madonna) September 28, 2016
The "Vogue" singer also tweeted that she was "living for Hillary" and included a photoshopped picture of herself straddling the Democratic nominee for president.
Living For Hilary! Yes I vote for intelligence. I vote for equal rights for women and all minorities. ???????????????? pic.twitter.com/YxoFYm7HDL— Madonna (@Madonna) September 28, 2016
There are 40 days until Election Day, and by golly it can not come soon enough.
Besides Guy, The Washington Free Beacon’s Ali Meyer has been another historian charting the decline of President Obama’s health care law, noting that earlier this month—New Jersey’s Obamacare co-op collapsed. That leaves only six out of the original 23 co-ops left functioning:
Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey is folding after the state’s insurance commissioner put the Obamacare co-op in “rehabilitation” due to its hazardous financial condition.
The co-op had a liability of $46.3 million under the Affordable Care Act’s risk adjustment program, according to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. That program was designed to transfer money between insurers in case one insurer had more costly enrollees
“Despite our hard work and growing customer base, the unfortunate necessity for complying with the [Affordable Care Act’s] risk adjustment mandate has put the company under considerable financial strain,” said Tom Dwyer, the co-op’s CEO.
The closing will force 35,000 customers served by the New Jersey co-op to find a new plan in 2017. The co-op was initially awarded $107.2 million in taxpayer-funded loans in 2012 and received an additional $1.9 million in 2013.
Throughout the summer, the law has seen nothing but bad news. Health care insurance providers began to pull out of the market, premiums were expected to soar into the double-digits, and the co-op network could collapse altogether by the end of this year. Yes, six remain, but the whole system is on the verge of total catastrophe. Americans have started to pay the penalty to remain uninsured since it’s more economical. In fact, Meyer noted that 8.1 million taxpayers decided to go that route and cough up $1.7 billion in penalties to Uncle Sam in 2014:
Nearly 8.1 million taxpayers paid $1,694,088,000 in Obamacare penalties for not having health insurance in 2014, the first year the penalty was in effect, according to the most recent data from the Internal Revenue Service.
“Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that individuals must have had health care coverage, qualified for a health coverage exemption, or made a shared responsibility payment with a tax return,” the IRS said. “A health care individual responsibility payment was made on 8.1 million returns for $1.7 billion, an average of $210 per tax return paying this penalty.”
Testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey defended the Bureau's criminal investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server to transmit and host classified information.
"You can call us wrong, but don't call us weasels," Comey said. "We are not weasels, we are honest people and we did this in that way."
"I think questions are fair, I think criticism is healthy and fair, I think reasonable people can disagree about whether I should have announced it and how I should have done it. What's not fair is any implication that the Bureau acted in any way other than independently, competently, honestly here. That's just not true. I knew this was going to be controversial, I knew there would be all kinds of rocks thrown, but this organization and the people who did this [agents] are honest, independent people. We do not carry water for one side or the other. That's hard for people to see because so much of our country we see things through sides. We are not on anybody's side. This was done exactly the way you would want it to be done. That said, questions are fair, feedback is fair," he continued.
In recent months the FBI has been under fire and accused of giving Clinton special treatment due to her political status. In July after a year long investigation, Comey announced Clinton would not be indicted due to prosecutors at DOJ being unlikely to take up the case.
Martin Shkreli, the "pharma bro" who made headlines last year after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, drastically raised the price of a toxoplasmosis drug, is auctioning off the chance to "punch/slap" him in the face in order to raise money for the son of a friend who recently passed away. Shkreli announced the rather unusual fundraiser on his Twitter account, and claimed that people are already bidding into the mid-five figures.
I will auction one slap/punch in the face to benefit my friend Mike who passed away & leaves behind a young son who survived cancer. DM bids— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 26, 2016
Shkreli then shifted the "auction" to a Giveforward, and said that everyone who donates will get a raffle ticket for a chance to punch him in the face. The largest donor will also get the opportunity to punch him in the face.
Donate now and a winning slapper/puncher will be selected. Not seeing much donation relative to media exposure.https://t.co/29bdZWJmkP— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 28, 2016
I'm matching the donation amount and each dollar donated gets you a raffle ticket to punch, slap, have, dinner, or even a date, with me.— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 28, 2016
Isn't capitalism wonderful?
Less than 24 hours after Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton faced off in their first one-on-one debate, Trump hit the campaign trail in south Florida and was greeted by crowds of nearly 30,000 people.
Pictures and video from the event show thousands of Clinton's so-called "deplorables" gathered in a hangar bay to hear the Republican nominee speak. An estimated 15,000 were inside the event with 12,000 being denied by the fire marshall.