Thursday, April 30, 2015

Aletia: Presidential Contenders Tell a Tale of Two Catholic Churches

The Catholics running for president represent two very different approaches to the faith

By Fr. Dwight Longnecker, Apr. 30, 2015, Aletia.org

As the race for the White House gears up, all eyes are on the presidential contenders, and there has never been a larger crop of Catholics either already in the race, or waiting in the wings. If anyone wants to get a glimpse into the contemporary Catholic Church in the United States, the range of Catholic politicians reflects the amazingly diverse and difficult variety of American Catholics.

The “conservative Catholics” are best represented by Senator Rick Santorum. A life-long Catholic, Santorum became more serious about his faith after marrying. Now a daily mass attendee, Rick Santorum has put his Catholic faith at the center of his conservative political life. With a strong appeal to conservative Evangelical voters, he is consistently disappointed by the lukewarm reception he receives from fellow Catholics. With strongly conservative opinions on defense and foreign affairs, Santorum is also an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion. The sympathy for his family during a health crisis of his disabled daughter revealed a softer side to Santorum and strengthened his pro-life credentials through personal experience.

Also lined up in the Evangelical Catholicism camp is Republican Marco Rubio. A junior senator from Florida, Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants. For a time he abandoned his family’s Catholicism for the Mormon faith and then became more committed to Christianity through attendance at a large Evangelical Protestant Church. Recently, however, Rubio and his family have returned to a regular and fervent commitment to Catholicism. Rubio retains strong friendships within the Evangelical church and like Santorum will appeal to conservative voters in both the Catholic and Evangelical communities. With his Cuban background, Rubio adds to the conservative Catholic brand a strong Hispanic appeal, and as such represents the growing presence of the Hispanic Catholic population in the United States.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Salon: Ferguson activist perfectly schools Wolf Blitzer: “You are suggesting broken windows are worse than broken spines”



Source:  www.salon.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chicago Tribune: Emanuel won't say if he backs police chief's views on 2012 shooting by cop

By Bill Ruthhart, Apr. 28, 2015, ChicagoTribune.com

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday declined to say whether he agreed with Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy's assertion that an off-duty detective should not have faced criminal charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of a woman.

The mayor also did not say whether he backed McCarthy's comment that the victim "also happened" to be hit by Detective Dante Servin's gunfire as the off-duty cop "hit the individual who he was aiming at."

Questions about Chicago police shootings were in the forefront following Servin's acquittal last week and the city's continued refusal to release dashboard camera footage in the case of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old shot 16 times and killed by Officer Jason Van Dyke. That case is being investigated by the FBI.

Emanuel faced the questions a day after McCarthy discussed the Servin case. Prosecutors charged Servin with involuntary manslaughter, alleging the officer acted recklessly when he fired five shots over his shoulder from inside his Mercedes in the direction of four people who had their backs to him in a dark West Side alley in March 2012.


Reason: Martin O'Malley's Lousy Record on Overpolicing

AP
By Jesse Walker, Apr. 28, 2015, Reason.com

Likely presidential candidate Martin O'Malley weighed in on the Baltimore riots last night, which is to say he tweeted some mushy platitudes. The most bizarre subplot of the early presidential campaign, at least for those of us who lived in Baltimore when O'Malley was mayor, is to see this man recast as the Great Insurgent Hope for angry lefties dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton. O'Malley may be a liberal when it comes to taxes and regulations, but if you're talking about civil rights and civil liberties...well, here's a Washington Post piece that should give you a sense of his record on police issues:


Police in Baltimore—like their counterparts elsewhere—have had strained relations with African Americans for generations. But community leaders say the relationship reached a nadir during O'Malley's tenure, thanks to a policing strategy that resulted in tens of thousands of arrests for minor offenses such as loitering and littering.

Although prosecutors declined to bring many of the cases, activists contend that those who were arrested often could not get their records expunged, making it harder for them to get jobs….

181 Clinton Foundation donors who lobbied Hillary's State Department

By Jonathan Allen, Apr. 28, 2015, Vox.com

The size and scope of the symbiotic relationship between the Clintons and their donors is striking. At least 181 companies, individuals, and foreign governments that have given to theClinton Foundation also lobbied the State Department when Hillary Clinton ran the place, according to a Vox analysis of foundation records and federal lobbying disclosures.

The following chart shows entities that donated to the foundation and lobbied the State Department during Hillary Clinton's tenure. The totals include funding from both the corporate and charitable arms of listed companies (the Gates and Walton foundations are named to illustrate that point). The chart does not account for contributions made by executives, and it may omit some companies who made contributions or lobbied through subsidiaries.


See the full list:  www.vox.com

Ray Lewis: Baltimore Riots Rant

ABC News: Baltimore Riots: Obama Says 'No Excuse' for 'Senseless' Violence

By Benjamin Siegel, Apr. 28, 2015

President Obama condemned the violence in Baltimore this afternoon, saying there is "no excuse" for the violence, looting and arson that followed the funeral held for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African American who died after suffering a spine injury in police custody earlier this month.

"They're not protesting, they're not making a statement, they're stealing," Obama said in a jointpress conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"They're destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities that rob jobs and opportunity from people in that area," he added.

The public comments are Obama's first since violence began in Baltimore on Monday afternoon and continued overnight -- following nearly 200 arrests and roughly 150 fires, according to the Baltimore mayor’s office.

Fifteen police officers have been injured since Monday, with six hospitalized. It is not clear how many rioters have been injured.

More:  www.abcnews.go.com

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Remember the Flat Tax? It’s still a good idea.

By Stephen Moore, May 4, 2015, The Weekly Standard

Almost exactly 20 years ago, a gawky conservative renegade magazine publisher named Steve Forbes threw his hat in the ring for the 1996 GOP presidential nomination. Forbes’s run was first seen as a joke. But he wound up rocking the Republican establishment by injecting fresh and bold reform ideas into a party that had become crusty and tired.

Term limits. Medical savings accounts. Tax limitation. Personal savings accounts for Social Security. And the issue that electrified conservatives across the country: Blow up the tax system and install a low-rate flat tax. When the New Hampshire primary rolled around, the GOP politicos, the housing lobbyists, and the municipal bond traders were in a state of terror. Steve Forbes had somehow caught on. He might—God forbid—even win. The empire fought back and successfully derailed him; their man Bob Dole then got crushed in the general election.

Two decades later, the flat tax is again the rage in a presidential primary. A number of GOP candidates, including Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker, are looking to go flat with a radically simplified postcard tax return. Mike Huckabee wants a low flat-rate tax too, but he would use a sales tax, not an income tax—i.e., no tax return at all.


OANN: Christie’s wife quits Wall Street job amid speculation he will seek White House

NJ First Lady, Mary Pat Christie
By Hilary Russ, Apr. 25, 2015, Reuters/One America News Network

(Reuters) – Mary Pat Christie, the wife of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, resigned from her Wall Street job, his spokesman confirmed, as her husband contemplates a run for the White House in 2016.

Her resignation from New York-based hedge fund Angelo Gordon & Co is perhaps the clearest sign yet that Christie is likely to officially announce that he will be a Republican 2016 presidential candidate.

“Mrs. Christie has decided to take a hiatus from her work in the finance world to spend more time with her family and young children,” said Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for the governor, in an emailed statement.

More: www.oann.com

ICYMI: The New York Times: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

Frank Giustra, right, a mining financier, has donated
$31.3 million to the foundation run by former
President Bill Clinton, left.
Credit: Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images
By Jo Becker and Mike McIntire, Apr. 23, 2015, The New York Times

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.


CBS News: First Principles: Hillary Clinton may have a hard time talking campaign finance

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) 
and Saudi Arabian Defense Minister 
Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (2nd L) 
Source:  Alex Wong/Getty Images N. America
By John Dickerson, Apr. 25, 2015, CBS News

This article first appeared on Slate.

New information about donations to Hillary Clinton's family foundation and her husband have her on the defensive. It's also going to make it harder to go on offense.

When Clinton announced her campaign, she outlined four big fights she would take on. One of the pillars of her pitch was that she wanted to fix "our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment."


Manufacturing authenticity: Clinton on the campaign trail

This position has political appeal. Voters think the system is rigged, and they think big money helps those in power keep it rigged. For a populist campaign of the kind Clinton wants to run, it would be helpful to run against Republican operations where the donors are hidden and where mountains of money pour in against her.


Daily Caller: Obamacare Leaves Behind Millions Of Lower Income Workers

By Connor D. Wolf, Apr. 25, 2015, Daily Caller

Despite being designed to help the poor, certain aspects of Obamacare are holding millions of individuals back who fall into what is being called the “coverage gap.”

Reverend Vann R. Ellison, the president of the Florida based St. Matthew’s House, is trying to bring attention to the issue which he says affects people that fall between the $10,000 and $12,000 a year income range. St. Matthew’s House, which takes care of roughly 1,500 people, provides food and shelter to those individuals trying to work their way out of poverty.


The Detroit News: Snyder report of presidential run 'lot of speculation'

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Chad Livengood, Detroit News Lansing Bureau, Apr. 25, 2015

Washington – — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Saturday at a reception hosted by Bloomberg at the White House Correspondents dinner told The Detroit News that a report that he had decided to run for president was a "lot of speculation."

Snyder attended the Republican Jewish Coalition's (RJC) spring meeting in Las Vegas Thursday night and Friday.

"I had a great visit with the RJC and I think they got excited by Michigan," Snyder said.

"With respect to the (presidential) race, I hope we get a common sense problem solver out there and I am just watching."

Asked if it was fair to say he is considering a run for president, Snyder said; "it is fair to say I am just watching what's happening."

Asked if he met with billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Snyder said he met with the RJC board and a number of board members. "The Michigan story's a good one."

More:  www.detroitnews.com

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Closer Look: Clinton Cash - Late Night with Seth Meyers

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Breitbart / Bloomberg: ‘Clinton Cash’ Author Peter Schweizer Is Targeting Jeb Bush Next

Source:  Amazon.com
By Joshua Green, Breitbart News / Bloomberg, Apr. 23, 2015, Breitbart.com

The past week can’t have been very pleasant for Peter Schweizer. On Sunday, the New York Times revealed that his forthcoming book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, was roiling the political world—“the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy,” as the Times put it.

That landed Schweizer squarely in the crosshairs of the Clinton team and allied liberal groups, which have launched a campaign to discredit Schweizer as “disreputable” and blinded by partisan animosity. Anyone familiar with Schweizer’s work knows better: he wrote a well-regarded book about the Bush dynasty and another, detailing insider trading in Congress, that led to a new law, the bipartisan STOCK Act of 2012, which aims to curb these abuses.

That hasn’t quieted the left-wing clamor that Schweizer is simply out to get Hillary Clinton. But maybe this will: Schweizer is working on a similar investigation of Jeb Bush’s finances that he expects to publish this summer.


The Questions Hillary Clinton Doesn't Want Answered About the Clinton Foundation

By Ron Fournier, Apr. 22, 2015, NationalJournal.com

I don't know what's in Peter Schweizer's book. But I know what the Clintons are capable of.

Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firmfiles. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.

1. Deny: Salient questions are dodged, and evidence goes missing. The stone wall is built.

2. Deflect: Blame is shifted, usually to Republicans and the media.

3. Demean: People who question or criticize the Clintons get tarred as right-wing extremists, hacks, nuts, or sluts.

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation is both an admirable charity and a shadow political operation awash in conflicts of interest—a reflection of the power couple who founded it. Bill and Hillary Clinton, like history's most enduring characters, seem to stride through public life with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.

The seedy side of the foundation is a legitimate campaign issue. While the Clintons deserve credit for making foundation donations largely transparent, other activities raise serious questions. They violated an ethics agreement with the Obama White House. Hillary Clinton deleted most emails she sent and received as secretary of State, including any concerning the foundation or its donors.


Read the full story:  www.nationaljournal.com

Roll Call: The What Ifs of the 2016 GOP Presidential Race

By Stuart Rothenberg, Apr. 16, 2015, RollCall.com

If Jeb Bush doesn’t win any of the first four GOP contests — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — does that eliminate him from the Republican race? Or does he have the staying power to survive those losses?

If Texas Sen. Ted Cruz finishes first in the Iowa caucuses, does that all but eliminate hopefuls such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Ben Carson from the race?

If Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul finishes fourth in Iowa (which would be worse than his father’s third-place showing in the caucuses in 2012), can he come back in New Hampshire or Nevada? Are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a mini-contest of their own, with only one able to survive the February contests?

We all love to “game out” crowded presidential contests, just like we do football games, the stock market and future episodes of “Homeland.” It’s fun, after all, and if we get things right we can smugly point to our great analysis and instincts.

But when I was speaking recently to a veteran Republican consultant (who will be deeply involved in the race) about various possible scenarios, he brought me back to reality with three short words: Don’t do it.


The Hill: Rubio jumps to top of GOP pack

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
By David McCabe, Apr. 23, 2015, TheHill.com

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is the new leader atop the Republican presidential field, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Fifteen percent of GOP voters surveyed for a new Quinnipiac University poll said that Rubio would be their first choice if the 2016 primary were held today — a 10-point jump from the survey at the beginning of last month.

In the latest poll, 13 percent backed his onetime political mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and 11 percent said they would support Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. In the March survey, Walker and Bush led with 18 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Unlike Rubio, Walker and Bush have not officially announced that they will seek the nomination, but have been hiring campaign advisers and courting donors.

Asked who they would vote for if their favored candidate was not in the race, Bush and Walker supporters named Rubio more than any other candidate.


IJReview: Rick Perry Lets Everyone Know How He Feels About the Legalization of Marijuana

Credit:  Susan Walsh / AP
By Joseph Perticone, Apr. 22, 2015, IJReview.com

Former Texas Governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate Rick Perry defended the states who have legalized marijuana, during an interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” Tuesday.

Hewitt asked Perry his views on marijuana policy, after citing the various Republican candidates who side one way or another on the issue. Perry responded:


“Well, I’m a big believer in the 10th Amendment,” he said. “I don’t agree with those decisions that were made by that, by the state of Colorado or Washington, but I will defend it to my death, if you will, to allow them to make those decisions. So you know, I think I’m closer to Ted [Cruz] there than I am to Chris [Christie].”

Then Hewitt pressed the Texas Republican on the issue, raising the dilemma of those states’ violating the federal laws against marijuana.

But Perry remained firm on his stance, again addressing the importance of states’ rights:

“Yeah, well, I just happen to think that that’s one of those that maybe the federal government got wrong to begin with from the standpoint of you’ve got to have some, you’ve got to have, you either believe in the 10th Amendment or you don’t, is kind of where I come down on it.”


Christian Science Monitor: Senate committee passes fast track trade bill, but major challenges ahead

By Francine Kiefer, Apr. 23, 2015, Christian Science Monitor 

WASHINGTON — A Senate committee has taken the first step in Congress toward granting President Obama “fast track” authority to negotiate trade deals by passing a bipartisan fast-track bill on Wednesday night. A House committee will take up a similar bill Thursday morning.

Despite relatively strong support for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee – it passed 20 to 6 and now heads to the Senate floor – it faces fierce opposition from many Democrats in both chambers. In the House, a significant number of Republicans also oppose the bill, making that an even harder sell for the president.

The Democratic rift over trade split wide open this week as the legislation began to make its way through committees.
Recommended: So you think you know Congress? Take our quiz.

On Wednesday, the progressive icon from Massachusetts, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, hit back at Mr. Obama for his comment the day before that she was flat-out “wrong” on the issue. In a blog post, she sharply criticized the secrecy of the administration’s trade negotiations with 11 Pacific nations (not including China) in what would be the largest trade deal in US history.

More:  www.csmonitor.com

Fox News: Clinton charities reportedly will refile tax returns due to foreign donation reporting errors

Dana Perino
Credit:  Fox News via screenshot
Apr. 23, 2015

Charities with ties to Hillary Clinton will re-file at least five tax returns after errors in how donations from foreign governments were disclosed, according to a published report.

Reuters reported early Thursday that the errors on form 990s include under-reporting or over-reporting by millions of dollars the amounts donated by foreign governments, as well as not disclosing the donations as separate from total revenue. Reuters also reported that officials may audit other returns filed by the Clinton Foundation as far back as 15 years ago in the event of more errors being found.

The report will likely add a new layer of scrutiny to the foundation, which has been criticized by Republicans and ethics experts for its ongoing ties to several foreign governments during the early stages of Hillary Clinton's run for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

According to Reuters, the discrepancies are not evidence of wrongdoing in and of themselves, but they do undermine the 990s purpose of holding charities accountable for their funding and expenditures.


OANN: The Daily Ledger: Stop the Tape! America's Socialist Economy

Census: Record 51 million immigrants in 8 years, will account for 82% of U.S. growth

By Paul Bedard, Apr. 22, 2015, WashingtonExaminer.com

Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures.

A report from the Center for Immigration Studies that analyzed the statistics said that by 2023, one in seven U.S. residents will be an immigrant, rising to one in five by 2060 when the immigrant population totals 78 million.

The report was provided to Secrets and released Wednesday evening.


The surge in immigrant population, both legal and illegal, threatens to slam into the presidential campaign as GOP candidates move to figure out what their position is and the president tries to use executive powers to exempt some 5 million illegals from deportation.

CNN/ORC poll: ISIS a bigger threat than Iran, Russia

By Jennifer Agiesta, CNN Polling Director, Apr. 23, 2015, CNN

Washington (CNN)Americans see ISIS as a bigger threat to the United States than Iran, Russia, North Korea or China, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

Overall, 68% say ISIS is a very serious threat, compared with just 39% who say so about Iran, 32% about North Korea, 25% on Russia and 18% on China. Nearly 9 in 10 see ISIS as at least a moderately serious threat.

The partisan divides that often drive public opinion around foreign policy issues are less prominent when Americans rate the threat from ISIS. Majorities across political and ideological lines say ISIS is a deeply serious threat to the U.S., including 68% of Democrats, 79% of Republicans and 63% of independents.

READ: Alabama student marries ISIS fighter

With active fighting against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and the arrests Sunday of six Minneapolis men accused of trying to join ISIS, concerns about the threat posed by the group grow alongside worries that the military battle could spread. While a CNN/ORC Poll in March found the public remained mostly confident that the U.S. effort to combat ISIS would succeed, it also showed 79% of Americans were worried that the conflict would develop into a larger war that would spread throughout the region and to other parts of the world.


More:  www.cnn.com

Daily Caller/Ann Coulter: Still No Reports Of ‘Hillary Fever’ Outbreaks

Ann Coulter
By Ann Coulter, Apr. 22 2015, DailyCaller.com

I gather from the increasing hysteria of the feminists that Democrats are beginning to rebel at having a loser of a presidential candidate being foist upon them, in the person of Hillary Clinton.

The same way the national tea party leaders are a thorn in the side of the Republican Party, constantly challenging incumbent Republicans with untested candidates who then go on to lose to Democrats (in Delaware, Indiana and Nevada, and nearly in Kentucky, Kansas and Mississippi), the feminists are a thorn in the side of the Democrats, saddling them with utter mediocrities like Hillary.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Sen. Patty Murray are, objectively, two of the least appealing human beings ever elected to any office. (That sentence still works even without the words “elected to any office.”) But God help the Democrats if they tried to replace Schultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee or Murray as secretary of the Senate Democratic Caucus.


Fox 40: After Delay, Lawmakers Approve California Vaccine Bill

By AP Wire, Apr. 22, 2015, Fox40.com

A California Senate committee has approved a bill that would require California schoolchildren to be vaccinated.

The Senate Education Committee voted 7-2 Wednesday on the bill by Sen. Richard Pan, a Democratic pediatrician from Sacramento, with votes from both Democrats and Republicans.

The proposal would eliminate California’s personal-belief and religious exemptions so unvaccinated children would not be able to attend public or private schools.

Medical waivers would only be available for children who have health problems.


More:  www.fox40.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CBS News: DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart retires

By Rebecca Kaplan, Apr. 21, 2015, CBS News

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart is stepping down. Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement, said that Leonhart had informed him Tuesday of her decision. She will leave the agency in mid-May.

Holder praised Leonhart, writing that she "led this distinguished agency with honor" and added that he was "proud to call her my partner in the work of safeguarding our national security and protecting our citizens from crime, exploitation and abuse."

He noted her 35 years of public service, saying, "She has devoted her life and her professional career to the defense of our nation and the protection of our citizens, and for that, I am deeply grateful."

Leonhart, who was confirmed to her position in December 2010 but has served in an acting capacity since November 2007, has presided over an agency that has been plagued by scandal in recent years. Just last month, a damning report from the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General revealed that several DEA agents had engaged in "sex parties" with prostitutes paid for by Colombian drug cartels.


Monday, April 20, 2015

CBS Los Angeles: ‘Undocumented Immigrant Not A Criminal,’ California Attorney General Says

California Attorney General Kamala Harris / KSBW
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — California Attorney General Kamala Harris made waves this week after telling the San Francisco Chronicle that “an undocumented immigrant is not a criminal.”

On Friday, in an exclusive interview with CBSLA, Harris echoed that comment.

“An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal,” she reiterated. “I’m a career prosecutor. I’ve personally prosecuted everything from low-level offenses to homicides. Unfortunately, I know what crime looks like. I know what a criminal looks like who’s committing a crime. An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal.”

Those comments, however, have struck a chord with some who say Harris’ stance is in direct conflict with the Constitution.

More:  www.losangeles.cbslocal.com

C-SPAN: William Bennett talked about his book Going to Pot



WATCH THE VIDEO

William Bennett talked about his book Going to Pot: Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana is Harming America, in which he argues against the legalization of marijuana. He spoke with Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of National Review.

Get the book: www.amazon.com

O’Malley: ‘I’m Not Sure Why’ Others Aren’t Challenging Hillary Clinton

Sunday, April 19, 2015

CNS News: Fla. Gov. Suing Administration for Trying to 'Force Our State Further Into Obamacare'

By Susan Jones, Apr. 17, 2015, CNSNews.com



Source:  www.cnsnews.com

Reuters: Republican hopefuls target middle-class insecurity as economy improves

By James Oliphant and Andy Sullivan, Apr. 19, 2015, Reuters

(Reuters) - Facing a recovering economy and a tumbling jobless rate, Republican presidential candidates honing their economic message are trying tap into a lingering sense of insecurity among Americans seven years after the global financial crisis.

And some are striking a sympathetic tone with lower-income workers in a way that contrasts with four years ago when Mitt Romney struggled to overcome perceptions that he was largely the candidate of the wealthiest Americans. Then, Republican nominee Romney had the luxury of being able to hammer President Barack Obama with an unemployment rate of more than 8 percent.

Now, with the jobless rate at 5.5 percent, the 18 Republican White House hopefuls who gathered this weekend in the key early primary state of New Hampshire faced the challenge of arguing the country needs new economic stewardship even as the worst of the downtown has passed.


Sac Bee: Pot web site puts $1 million into possible California initiative

By Jim Miller, Apr. 17, 2015, Sacramento Bee

A popular marijuana dispensary mapping website has contributed $1 million to a campaign committee for a possible November 2016 pot legalization ballot measure.

Irvine-based Weedmaps Media, LLC, which runs Weedmaps.com, put the money into the company-sponsored “Californians for Sensible Reform” to support a possible 2016 initiative.

What that measure will be remains unclear. Earlier this week, marijuana proponents filed two proposed measures to qualify for next year’s fall ballot, with possibly more to come.

The more substantive of the two, the “California Craft Cannabis Act,” was submitted by “cannabis freedom lawyers” Omar Figueroa and Heather L. Burke.
Related

“Californians love freedom and are ready to legalize the responsible use of cannabis by adults,” Figueroa said in a statement last week. “This move is a great step in the right direction.”


More:  www.sacbee.com

WND/WBTV: Man's obituary: Do not vote for Hillary Clinton

Source:  WBTV / WhitleysFuneralHome.com
By Chris Dyches, Apr. 17, 2015, WBTV

CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Cabarrus County man's last wishes point to the political future in the United States. And he doesn't want another Clinton as president.

Larry Darrell Upright, 81, passed away Monday, at the hospital. His obituary lists his accomplishments, work history and clubs he took part in throughout his life.

Upright's "greatest joy was his family and he will forever be remembered as a loving husband, father, and Granddaddy," the obituary states.

"In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Shriners Hospital for Children," the obituary continues. "Also, the family respectfully asks that you do not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. R.I.P. Granddaddy."

More:  www.wbtv.com

Source:  www.wnd.com

MSNBC: 2016 will decide the fate of drug-policy progress

By Steve Benen, Apr. 16, 2015, MSNBC

There have been some historic breakthroughs in recent years on U.S. drug policy, but there’s an under-appreciated fragility to the progress. When voters in Alaska, Colorado, and the state of Washington voted to legalize marijuana, for example, their experiments were allowed to proceed because the Obama administration extended its approval.

But it didn’t have to – under federal law, officials could have ignored voters’ will and blocked those policies from advancing. In this case, neither President Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holderwanted to intervene, so state experimentation has been allowed to flourish.

There is, however, a presidential election coming up – the outcome of which may have an enormous impact on those experiments.

If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) becomes president of the United States, he said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” Tuesday, he will “crack down” on those states that have ended prohibitions on marijuana. 
When asked by Hewitt if he would enforce federal drug laws in those states that have legalized and regulated cannabis, Christie responded unequivocally.
More:  www.msnbc.com

Saturday, April 18, 2015

PR Newswire: "Jeb Bush's Elephant In The Room Is Role In Slow-Walking Bush V Gore Recount" Says Des Moines Register

By National Democratic Strategist Bob Weiner and Policy Analyst Daniel Wallace, Apr. 16, 2015, PR Newswire

WASHINGTON and DES MOINES, Iowa, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jeb Bush's role in slow-walking the Bush v Gore recount is the "Elephant in the Room" for 2016, say national Democratic strategist and former Clinton White House staffer Robert Weiner, and policy analyst Daniel Wallace, in an article in today's The Des Moines Register. They contend that 2016 campaign media has ignored questions on Bush's role, documented in the article from phone logs and emails, in slow-walking the 2000 election recount, and suppressing Democratic votes earlier, until the election was stopped by the Supreme Court.

"The Florida governor's office in Tallahassee made 95 telephone calls to the George W. Bush presidential campaign, its advisors, lawyers and staffers during the 36-day recount period, records show," Weiner and Wallace point out in an article titled "Jeb Bush's Elephant in the Room: Role in Bush v. Gore Recount" published in the Des Moines Register on April 16. The authors demonstrate the true extent of Jeb Bush's hand in the infamous final-hours recount of the Florida vote in the 2000 Bush v Gore election.

Despite his staff at the time saying Bush "recused" himself from the events, the article also includes a telling email from Jeb Bush to future Chief Justice appointee by George W. Bush, John Roberts, thanking him for legal advice during the recount, a week before the Supreme Court decision to stop it. "Thank you for your time today. I really appreciate your input on my role in this unique and historic situation," he wrote. The email from December 6, 2000, was in the batch recently released by Bush operatives in the run-up to this year's presidential campaign.

More: www.prnewswire.com

Right Sightings: “I understand executive decision making, which is making a tough call, in a tough time, with high stakes, for which you’re prepared to be held accountable” Potential GOP candidate Carly Fiorina establishes that she’s serious about running for Presidency in 2016 on Fox and Friends Weekend

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Townhall: Grassley to Holder: Why Is The VA Putting So Many Veterans on Your Federal Gun Ban List?

By Katie Pavlich, Apr. 17, 2015, Townhall.com

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing deep concerns over Veterans Affairs evaluations classifying veterans as "mentally defective" and banning them in the federal background check system from purchasing or owning a firearm.

According to Grassley's office, the VA "reports individuals to the gun ban list if an individual merely needs financial assistance managing VA benefits," keeping them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. (Bolding is mine)

"The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is effectively a national gun ban list and placement on the list precludes the ownership and possession of firearms. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of June 1, 2012, 99.3% of all names reported to the NICS list’s "mental defective” category were provided by the Veterans Administration (VA) even though reporting requirements apply to all federal agencies.

The Des Moines Register: Running for 2 offices could put Paul's Senate seat at risk

By Jennifer Jacobs, Apr. 16, 2015, The Des Moines Register

Rand Paul's decision to not give up his U.S. Senate seat to run for president leaves his seat at serious risk of falling into Democratic hands — which could then complicate the GOP's ability to maintain the U.S. Senate majority in 2016, some Kentucky Republicans say.

Kentucky law forbids a candidate from appearing on the ballot for more than one office.

Nonpartisan politics watchers agree that Paul's maneuvering to run for two offices simultaneously could could give Kentucky its first Democratic U.S. senator in 18 years — if Paul ends up being the GOP presidential nominee, that is.

"Republicans have legitimate concerns that they won't be able to hold onto the seat," said Josh Douglas, an election law expert at the University of Kentucky.


The Daily Beast: Huckabee’s Feud With The Clintons

Mike Huckabee
Credit:  Gage Skidmore
By Suzi Parker, Apr. 18, 2015, The Daily Beast

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The story of Mike Huckabee is forever intertwined with the Clintons. And it looks like that connection will get deeper after Huckabee’s appearance on FOX News Friday night saying that he plans to announce his White House plans on May 5 in Hope, Ark.

The choice of Hope is a not-so-subtle jab at Bill Clinton, who, like Huckabee, was born in Hope and who used it strategically as a slogan in his 1992 campaign for president with his slogan: “I Still Believe In A Place Called Hope.”

Huckabee’s nascent campaign offered no details on staffing, but Democrat and Republican sources say that the Huckabee camp has already leased office space in Little Rock. The Washington Post reported earlier on Friday that the former governor told reporters that a Super PAC has been established for his presumed campaign, and that a network of supporters in Iowa was being built up. He’s in New Hampshire tonight.

And Huckabee seems like he’s itching for a fight. On April 12, he tweeted to Hillary: “Congrats. Your announcement makes me nostalgic for our days doing political battle in Arkansas…#ImStillStanding.”


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Boston Globe: Senate panel approves bill giving Congress say on Iran deal

By Deb Riechmann and Laurie Kellman, Apr. 14, 2015, BostonGlobe.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel on Tuesday passed a bill to give Congress right to approve or reject Iran nuclear deal. The White House signaled earlier that President Barack Obama would sign the proposed compromise giving Congress a say on an emerging deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program — and a chance to undercut any agreement it doesn’t like.

Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise on the bill as Secretary of State John Kerry and other members of the Cabinet visited Capitol Hill for a second straight day to sell lawmakers on details of a possible final deal and plead for time to reach an accord with Tehran by the end of June.

International negotiators are trying to reach a deal that would prevent Iran from being able to develop nuclear weapons. In exchange, Tehran would get relief from economic sanctions that are crippling its economy.


ICE Director Blames Courts for Release of 30,000 Illegals Charged with DUIs

The Hill: Obama Pleads with Jewish Groups to back Iran Deal

By Jordan Fabian, Apr. 13, 2015, TheHill.com

President Obama pleaded with Jewish groups to back his nuclear framework deal with Iran during a private meeting at the White House on Monday.

The president held separate meetings on Monday with leaders of major Jewish organizations and a group mostly comprised of Jewish Democratic supporters and donors.

Obama made an “emphatic and passionate” case during the nearly 90-minute meeting with Jewish organizations that the deal is the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, according to an official from a group that participated.

“Concerns were raised and there was a fair amount of back and forth,” the official, who requested anonymity to describe the events of the meeting, said. “There were some folks walking in who support and favor the deal and there were some who have deep, deep concerns about the deal. I don’t think anyone’s fundamental view was changed by the conversation.”


NY Times: Obama Endorses Cuba off Terror List. "State Dept. determined that Cuba has not engaged in terrorist activity for the last six months…"

Source:  Adweek.com
By Randal C. Archbold and Julie Hisrschfeld, Apr. 14, 2015, Nytimes.com

MEXICO CITY — The White House announced on Tuesday that President Obama intends to remove Cuba from the American government’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, eliminating a major obstacle to the restoration of diplomatic relations after decades of hostilities.

The decision to remove Cuba from the list represents a crucial step in President Obama’s effort to turn the page on a Cold War-era dispute.

It came after a much-anticipated meeting between Mr. Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas meeting in Panama over the weekend, the first such formal session between the leaders of the two countries in more than a half-century.

Ted Cruz: The Constitution Trumps Public Opinion

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