Showing posts with label Washington Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington Post. Show all posts

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Insiders: The murder spike in America’s cities is part of the Obama legacy

The Insiders: The murder spike in America’s cities is part of the Obama legacy - The Washington Post
With headlines about the growing murder rate in our cities becoming more and more prevalent, the contours of the 2016 campaign may be coming into view.  I can see smart GOP campaigns in 2016 taking a three-prong approach to attacking their Democratic opponents. Republican candidates will talk about strengthening our weak economy, reversing the embarrassment of our decline in influence abroad and introducing a plan to put an end to the raging crime wave currently occurring in American cities across the country.
The spike in murders could be every bit as corrosive for the Democrats as our economic woes and foreign policy failures. Simply put, fear of crime could drive turnout up for Republicans and down for Democrats. No one who is worried about crime in their neighborhood or about crime coming to their neighborhood should think that electing more Democrats anywhere to any office is the solution.
The completely unprepared Barack Obama, who was elected to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer, set the tone early in his presidency with a bias that was – at best – skeptical about the police. And his fellow Democrats either remained silent or joined the chorus when radicals in their own party called for less incarceration, fewer arrests and a pullback of police presence in high-crime communities. Well, you reap what you sow.  The spike in murders and violent crime is an issue of the Democrats’ own making. And, oh by the way, pandering to government unions for endorsements isn’t the same as supporting cops on the streets.
The Post’s Courtland Milloy wrote an interesting piece, “We’ve ignored a reason for homicides of blacks: Look at the enemy within.”  Incredibly, Milloy quotes THE Eric Holder talking about violence in 1994, when Holder said, “Crime is generated by a lack of values that has gone largely unaddressed in our nation as a whole and in the black community in particular.  Soaring unwed birthrates, absentee fathers, an aversion to work, an unwillingness to embrace societal standards and time-honored discipline – all these factors have contributed to the problems we must now confront.”  If a Republican said that today, we know how the Democrats would howl.  More than two decades later, speaking as Attorney General under President Obama, Eric Holder was blaming “systemic racism” and “cycles of poverty, crime and incarceration” for the same problem.  Milloy argues those two statements are not contradictory, but I think it shows how the Democrats have capitulated to the most shrill voices in their coalition and adopted the denial and lack of accountability that has been a staple of the Obama Administration.
What we are seeing is the crescendo of the Obama stewardship of race relations in America. It is a fair question to ask if President Obama and the Democrats have contributed to the targets being placed on the backs of police officers everywhere. The naïve community organizer has ushered in the unintended consequences of a police pullback in many American cities. And the reality is, many of these American cities – such as Baltimore – are wholly owned by the Democratic party. ‎

Friday, September 4, 2015

[OPINION] Millennials have low opinion of themselves, compared to boomers

Millennials have a relatively low opinion of their generation. They don’t even like the label “millennials” to describe the group they’ve been lumped into, especially when compared to baby boomers, who eagerly self-identify as such.
That’s the finding from the Pew Research Center, whose latest report on generational groups holds a mirror up to each to see how they perceive themselves. The report, released Thursday, says boomers have the strongest generational identity, followed by those in generation X. Only the so-called silent generation seems to identify with its label even less — perhaps because the name has negative connotations.
As for millennials – a highly diverse group of people born between 1981 and 1997 and between 18 and 34 years old – only 40 percent consider themselves part of that generation. A third of older millennials (33 percent) would instead prefer to identify with gen X-ers, who were born from 1965 to 1980 and are now 35 to 50 years old.
Millennials are also more likely to give themselves low rankings in categories such as patriotism, responsibility, willingness to sacrifice, religiousness, morality, self-reliance, compassion and political activism. Fully 59 percent say “self-absorbed” is an apt description of their bunch.
But, hey, they’re young.
Boomers, however, tend to have relatively healthy self-regard, giving themselves better scores in patriotism, responsibility and so on. Only the silent generation -- those born between 1928 and 1945, who are between 70 and 87 years old – gave themselves an even bigger pat on the back.
Carroll Doherty, director of political research at the Pew Research Center, said the survey suggests that boomers like being considered boomers, perhaps because of the catchiness of the alliterative phrase and its descriptive qualities for a group of people whose post-war births created a population bubble. It may also be proof that the field of generational identities involve as much art as science.
“That name has really connected. And the others haven’t, and it’s unclear why,” Doherty.

Friday, August 28, 2015

This Government Jobs Program Is Ineffective, Ridden With Crime

Government Jobs Program Is Ineffective, Ridden With Crime
A job training program for disadvantaged youth—sounds like a good thing. Except maybe when it is plagued by violent crime and doesn’t boost participants’ wages or help them secure full-time jobs.
Each year, Congress spends in excess of $1.65 billion on Job Corps, even though Department of Labor researchfound years ago that Job Corps does not provide the skills and training necessary to substantially raise the wages of participants.
Criminal Misconduct
The Washington Post has reported on the extent of violence within Job Corps. This summer at a Miami Job Corps center, 17-year-old Jose Santos Amaya-Guardado was lured to a prepared gravesite by 20-year-old Kaheem Arbelo and three other students.
After being hacked to death with a machete, Arbelo and his accomplices placed Amaya-Guardado in the grave and set his body on fire.
In St. Louis, a 20-year-old student shot his Job Corps roommate in the chest. Last year in Oregon, a male security guard pleaded guilty for raping a female student.
Reports of assaults, sex abuse and drug abuse occurred at the McKinney, Texas Job Corps center.
As official policy, Job Corps is supposed to have zero tolerance for violence and illegal drugs. However, a Department of Labor Inspector General report found otherwise.
An audit, released in February, found Job Corps centers frequently failed to report and investigate serious misconduct like assaults and drug abuse that require mandatory expulsion from the program. Further, violent transgressions were often downgraded to avoid holding the perpetrators accountable.
Over the course of two fiscal years, the Inspector General found that over 35,000 serious misconduct incidents occurred at Job Corps centers.
Of these, almost 9,000 (26 percent) incidents were not properly investigated and 5,300 (15 percent) incidents were not investigated within the required timeframe. Since 2009, the Inspector General has consistently found that Job Corps administrators failed to appropriately follow disciplinary policy to address student misconduct.
Ineffective Job Training
Federal job-training programs have a long history of failure. Job Corps is no different. A scientifically rigorous impact evaluation of Job Corps found:
  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corps participants were less likely to earn a high school diploma (7.5 percent versus 5.3 percent)
  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corps participants were no more likely to attend or complete college
  • Four years after participating in the evaluation, the average weekly earnings of Job Corps participants was just $22 more than the average weekly earnings of the control group
  • Employed Job Corps participants earned $0.22 more in hourly wages compared to employed control group members.
When it does succeed, the cost is enormous. The Inspector General estimates that each Job Corps participant who is successfully placed into any job costs taxpayers $76,574.
Job Corps fails any reasonable cost-benefit analysis test.
While the idea of Job Corps helping disadvantaged youth learn new job skills to move up the economic ladder may sound nice, the reality doesn’t live up to the promise.
Good intentions are not enough, results matter. Job Corps is not producing a worthwhile return. Moreover, in many cases Job Corps students are subjected to harmful and dangerous environments. Given our $18 trillion and growing debt, Congress should put this wasteful program on the chopping block.
Via: Daily SIgnal
Continue Reading.....

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Story Behind That Viral Photo Of Donald Trump’s Crowd In Alabama

When Sydnie Shuford and her husband took their son, Jackson, to see Donald Trump’s speech at a football stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Friday, she couldn’t imagine that a photo of her family with the Republican presidential candidate would go viral.
But by Monday, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza devoted more than 500 words to “breaking down this amazing Donald Trump picture from his Alabama rally.” Thousands liked and shared it on BuzzFeed’s Facebook page. And Mediaitewrote about how it had even inspired “hilarious photoshop gold.”
In the photo, a visibly thrilled Shuford is holding her 8-month old son. Her face shows the excitement of the moment. Trump has his hands on the baby’s face. Shuford’s husband is seen snapping his own photo. Someone behind them is holding a sign that says “Thank You Lord Jesus For President Trump.”
In an email to The Daily Caller, Shuford explains what was really going on. “As Mr. Trump came by, he said, ‘What a cutie!’ and gave my son a kiss,” she recalled. “I guess my expression in the picture shows my surprise that this event actually took place. The camera caught a combination of me laughing hysterically while yelling to my husband, ‘Did you get the pic?'”
But while she may look like an ardent Trump supporter in the photo, Shuford says her family went more out of curiosity and she is open to hearing from other candidates.
“I went to see Donald Trump because I have watched his television show and I have enjoyed him for years,” she said. “My attendance didn’t have much to do with politics at this point in time. I was simply curious.”
“My husband and I enjoyed the picture, and laughed at nearly all of the photo shops and captions,” she added. “We were, however, disturbed to see the negative comments people were making in response to the newspaper stories and the picture.”
Here is Shuford’s full re-telling of the story behind the photo:
This is the story of how a young woman from Mobile Alabama, came to be in a picture that went viral.
Friday, Aug. 21 was like any other Friday. I was finishing up the work week and looking forward to the weekend. My husband and our two older daughters wanted to go the rally to see Mr. Trump’s speech. No one can argue the fact that Trump has a great brand and regardless of political affiliation, he is very entertaining.
I kept thinking of pictures one always sees of politicians kissing babies. Being a new mother, I thought how funny it would be if Donald Trump saw my son, and we could snap a picture of him giving our baby a kiss.
During the speech, I meandered my way through the crowds of people, so I could get a place on the front row. As Mr. Trump came by, he said, “What a cutie!” and gave my son a kiss. I guess my expression in the picture shows my surprise that this event actually took place. The camera caught a combination of me laughing hysterically while yelling to my husband, “Did you get the pic?” (The man on my left in the picture who is leaning back and taking a photo is my husband).
My husband and I enjoyed the picture, and laughed at nearly all of the photo shops and captions. We were however disturbed to see the negative comments people were making in response to the newspaper stories and the picture. These attacks were made against me, the collective group of people around me, the city of Mobile and the state of Alabama. “Alabamians are racist, stupid, have the lowest IQs in the country, the highest school dropout rate, etc.” I never realized until this experience how difficult it would be to hear such insults about my beloved city and state.
Here is the truth: I am a wife and mother of three, and I am employed full-time as a guidance counselor. I love my students regardless of ethnicity or affluence. I went to see Donald Trump because I have watched his television show and I have enjoyed him for years. My attendance didn’t have much to do with politics at this point in time. I was simply curious.
Mobile does not receive much attention from politicians, much less celebrities and as a member of this community I believe it is not only “southern hospitality” but good manners to show up and listen to what a candidate has to say. Furthermore, as a citizen of this great country, I feel an obligation to make informed a decision before I vote. Rest assured, I will attend speeches given by members of the other party as well.

A college student literally just redefined what it means to be ‘nude’

What’s “nude” mean to you?
Until recently, anyone searching the Merriam-Webster dictionary for the word would have come across the following.
  • having no clothes on
  • of or involving people who have no clothes on
  • having the color of a white person’s skin
To Luis Torres, the third definition wasn’t just wrong. It was racist: a “micro aggression” toward people of color.
So Torres, an incoming sophomore at Ithaca College, started an Internet campaign called Nude Awakening to shame Merriam-Webster and coax it into changing its entry.
“This is something small that most white people, myself included, take for granted,” he told “I started doing research around Band-Aids, which led to nude fashion, which led to me discovering the Merriam-Webster definition of nude. It blew my mind that an academic source was perpetuating this same racism.”
On July 14, a.k.a. National Nude Day, Torres urged people to “demand Merriam-Webster Dictionary change its racist definition of the word ‘nude.'”
More than 800 responded, flooding the dictionary’s entry with angry comments and attacking Merriam-Webster on Twitter.
“Hey @Merriam-Webster Dictionary, did you know you’re the only dictionary with a racist definition of the word ‘nude’?” many of the critics wrote. “Remove the third definition from this word to get with the times. #NudeAwakening”
Others tailored the message to fit their own personal fury.
“This is disgusting,” one woman wrote. “Nude is a state of being, not a skin tone.”
“Now, black models were a leap forward, but NUDE black models?! That must be, frankly, impossible,” wrote another woman. “It’s most certainly never happened. Defining ‘nude’ to specifically be the color of a white person’s skin is pure bigotry and is plain offensive. How can you define a shade as another’s individualized flesh tone when there’s not even a concrete definition of WHAT a white person’s coloring is?”

WaPo Writer: Black Votes Should Count For More Than White Votes

A writer over at The Washington Post has a bold new proposal he believes can heal the American racial divide: empower blacks by making their votes count more than those of other races.
“Racial reconciliation is impossible without some kind of broad-based, systemic reparations,” writes Theodore R. Johnson, a former White House fellow and current Ph.D candidate in law and policy at Northeastern University. “But if a pecuniary answer can’t fix the structural disadvantage — and it can’t — what can?”
The answer, Johnson argues, is simple: weighted voting, where black votes count for more than white ones. Specifically, Johnson suggests giving each black person five-thirds of a vote, to reverse the old three-fifths compromise written into the U.S. Constitution.
As Johnson gleefully notes, counting black votes more than others would significantly alter many elections in the U.S. In the 2012 election, several Southern states with high black populations, such as Mississippi and Georgia, would have swung over to Barack Obama’s column, and their recent Senate races would have been decided in Democrats’ favor as well.
Johnson justifies his argument by saying it’s the only way to solve the “structural disadvantages” faced by blacks.
“A five-thirds compromise would imbue African Americans with a larger political voice that could be used to fight the structural discrimination expressed in housing, education, criminal justice and employment,” he says. “Allowing black votes to count for 167 percent of everyone else’s would mean that 30 million African American votes would count as 50 million, substituting super-votes for the implausible idea of cash payments.” With black voters so massively empowered, politicians will have no choice to but to put black priorities first if they hope to remain in office.

Friday, August 21, 2015

[COMMENTARY] Trump's birthright stance

10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Some people believe that Donald Trump is a Democratic mole who is in the Republican presidential race to scare away voters from the GOP and torpedo otherwise-promising Republican contenders by getting them to co-sign crazy.
Those who believe that Trump is a Democrat in Republicans’ clothing will wince at the question that NBC News’ Kasie Hunt put to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker this week at the Iowa State Fair:
“Do you think birthright citizenship should be ended?”
Trump does. Supposedly. Although since the real-estate tycoon is a master manipulator who has over the years changed position on a variety of issues, no one can be sure what Trump believes about anything.
The candidate’s nearly 1,900-word policy paper on immigration suggests hitting “delete” on the 14th Amendment to ensure that the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants are no longer granted citizenship at birth.
Anyone who passed eighth-grade civics will know that changing the Constitution is nearly impossible because it involves getting the support of two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states. Anyone who has followed the immigration debate will note the irony that many of those who consider U.S. citizenship sacred when denying it to the undocumented suddenly consider it less sacred when stripping it away from their offspring. And any lawyer who was not absent the day they taught law in law school will tell you that, if you want to pick a fight with the judicial branch, this is the wrong battle. The courts have defended birthright citizenship without fail.
Besides, conservatives always talk about how they want to protect the Constitution. So now we have to destroy the founding document in order to save it?
Trump’s immigration proposals are a hot mess that can be summed up as follows: Build a wall, enforce the law, and protect the jobs of Americans.
But who can be sure that any of this is real?
President Barack Obama promised to make immigration reform a top priority, tried to explain away record numbers of deportations by claiming that he lacked the executive power to halt them, insisted that his administration was only deporting dangerous criminals and not hardworking people looking for a better life, and pledged that thousands of women and children refugees from Central America would be treated humanely.
None of this was true. It was all one big con job intended to fool the Democratic base.
Likewise, Trump’s policy paper is a mixture of bluster, generalities and vagueness. You hear what you want to hear.
As when Trump tells Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We’re going to keep the families together. But they have to go.”
This isn’t the same as declaring that you would forcibly remove entire families. One could do what Obama did: Deport undocumented parents, and hope their U.S.-born children follow.
Those on the right who take Trump at face value on immigration will likely be just as disappointed as those on the left who were taken in by Obama.
This brings us back to the idea of ending birthright citizenship, which is catnip to the nativist wing of the GOP.
So when NBC’s Hunt asked Walker if he wanted to jump onboard Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride, the governor said uncomfortably:
“Yeah, to me it’s about enforcing the laws in this country. And I’ve been very clear, I think you enforce the laws, and I think it’s important to send a message that we’re going to enforce the laws, no matter how people come here, we’re going to enforce the laws in this country.”
No one who has studied Walker’s multiple choice positions on whether we should give the undocumented legal status would agree that he has been “very clear” on immigration.
What is clear is that Walker and the other GOP contenders, would likely never have been dragged into the thorny debate over birthright citizenship if not for Trump. And now with his spineless “me-tooism,” Walker has disqualified himself from the race. Moderates won’t go near him, and the folks who agree with him are with Trump anyway. That’s a recipe for losing.
Republicans, beware of the Trump trap. Things are not what they seem. Every policy proposal is really a character test. And a presidential campaign is a terrible thing to waste.
Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for The Washington Post Writers Group.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

[OPINION] #BlackLivesMatter Will Continue to Disrupt the Political Process

Opinion: #BlackLivesMatter Will Continue to Disrupt the Political Process - The Washington Post
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors writes that the Democratic Party has “milked” the votes of African-Americans
The Outrage Machine is a weekly opinion column by voices from the left and right on Washington. Want to write for us? Contact us at
My morning rituals are typical. I wake up yearning for a few extra moments of rest. I express gratitude to a higher power for the breath in my body and the blessings in my life. I shower. I dress. I eat breakfast. I exchange laughter and words with my beloveds, embracing each other as we say our daily goodbyes. As I stand at the threshold of my home, the liminal space between warmth and safety and the chaos of the outside world, my experience becomes explicitly Black. Everyday before I leave my house, I ask myself, will today be the day I am murdered by the police?
#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2013 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder. Black Lives Matter is both a network and a movement. The network has 26 chapters and affiliate organizations globally. The movement is made up of Black folks and allies who are not necessarily a part of the network. We are decentralized — meaning we focus on local leadership and help build the capacity of those most impacted to fight and win victories for their communities. We understand the local is the national and we must utilize our resources as such. We support both international and local action and policy changes that empower the Black community.
On Aug. 8, 2015, as the Black community prepared to collectively mourn the anniversary of the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson police, members of Black Lives Matter disrupted a Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle.  In the week since that disruption, at least nine Black people have been killed by state-sanctioned violence. Do we know the names of the nine people who faced a trial by fire? Do we know how the loss of their lives has impacted their families and communities? Or are we so collectively focused on the feelings of White presidential candidates that we have missed the essential purpose of the disruption? We as a movement will continue to disrupt the current political process until Black Lives Matter.
Agitating a perceived political ally to the Black community is strategic. For far too long, the Democratic Party has milked the Black vote while creating policies that completely decimate Black communities. Once upon a time, Bill Clinton was widely perceived as an ally and advocate for the needs of Black people. However, it is the Clinton administration’s Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act that set the stage for the massive racial injustice we struggle with in law enforcement today.
Let us recall: Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill provisions included $10.8 billion in federal matching funds to local governments to hire 100,000 new police officers over a period of six years, $9.7 billion allocated for the construction of new federal prisons, creation of 60 new death penalty offenses, mandatory minimums for crack cocaine possession and the decision to allow children as young as 13 to be tried as adults. The Clinton administration gave birth to the very era of mass incarceration that current Democrats are renouncing with great emotion and fervor. But these are ardent words with no concrete agenda.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

As Biden weighs a 2016 campaign, does he want to be the anti-Clinton?

By many accounts, Vice President Biden has spent his vacation week mulling whether to run for president — again. The decision will test head and heart and involve no small amount of emotion.
Tracking the story of is-he-or-isn’t-he-going-to-run is akin to chasing smoke, even to those who are loyal friends. Few people beyond his family are privy to his real thinking. Some Democrats say his advisers are making calls. Everyone looks for evidence of active pursuit of a campaign. Friends say they don’t yet sense a real campaign-in-the-making, and they doubt there ever will be. But they hedge.
Joe Biden has run for president twice without success, but almost three decades after his first campaign, the embers of ambition continue to glow. There was a time a few years ago when he might have willingly set aside those personal ambitions, if only because he could believe that his son Beau, a talented politician in his own right, would one day run for and perhaps be elected president.
Beau Biden’s tragic death a few months ago robbed the vice president of that hope. It is now left to the father to decide whether to do what his son reportedly urged him to do — to run once more. The death of Beau Biden also has prolonged the decision-making process about another campaign. It’s understandable that the vice president has not yet said “no” to a campaign in 2016. He is being tugged in different directions.
Biden can find reasons to think he should run. He is an accomplished public servant. He is a politician with 36 years of experience in the Senate. He served as chairman of both the Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees. He has been one of the most active vice presidents in history.
As he looks at Hillary Rodham Clinton, is there any doubt that he wonders why so many Democrats have tried to smooth her path to the nomination while seeming to ignore him? Does she have longer experience, more authenticity, a firmer connection to the middle class? He has long been an advocate for the struggling middle class, and unlike Clinton, he has not become fabulously wealthy.

Monday, August 10, 2015

[VIDEO] Hillary has to run ads because she has NO tangible accomplishments – WaPo’s Tumulty

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty commented on the remarkable lack of tangible accomplishments for Hillary as U.S. Senator and as the Secretary of State this morning on MSNBC.
“Hillary Clinton, assuming she gets the nomination as we do, is likely to be running against a governor or a senator or someone who can point to a lot of very tangible accomplishments in their career, and Hillary Clinton, from her time in the senate, there really were no landmark pieces of legislation with her name on them,” she said.
“As secretary of state, she was largely involved in strengthening relationships with people around the world, but again, there will be not a singular accomplishment like, say, this Iranian arms deal was for John Kerry. When she tried to reform the health system, she failed. When she ran for president, she failed. So, again, the extraordinary part of it is that a woman who has been part of all our lives for this long still feels she has to introduce herself.”

Sunday, August 9, 2015

GOP leaders say erratic attacks hurt Trump, but he vows to fight and win

Republican leaders who have watched Donald Trump’s summer surge with alarm now believe that his presidential candidacy has been contained and may begin to collapse because of his repeated attacks on a Fox News Channel star and his refusal to pledge his loyalty to the eventual GOP nominee.
Fearful that the billionaire’s inflammatory rhetoric has inflicted serious damage to the GOP brand, party leaders hope to pivot away from the Trump sideshow and toward a more serious discussion among a deep field of governors, senators and other candidates.
They acknowledge that Trump’s unique megaphone and the passion of his supporters make any calculation about his candidacy risky. After all, he has been presumed dead before: Three weeks ago, he prompted establishment outrage by belittling the Vietnam war service of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), only to prove, by climbing higher in the polls, that the laws of political gravity did not apply to him.
Still, Trump’s erratic performance during and after the first Republican presidential debate last week sparked a backlash throughout the party Saturday and a reassessment of his front-running bid. The final straw for many was Trump’s comment on CNN late Friday that Fox moderator Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), a fellow candidate, said Trump was jeopardizing the GOP’s chances of winning back the White House and urged party leaders to stop “tiptoeing” around him.
“I think we’ve crossed that Rubicon where his behavior becomes about us, not just him,” Graham said in an interview.
“Donald Trump is an out-of-control car driving through a crowd of Republicans, and somebody needs to get him out of the car,” Graham said. “I just don’t see a pathway forward for us in 2016 to win the White House if we don’t decisively deal with this.”
Trump — whose strident opposition to illegal immigration helped him amass a 2-to-1 polling lead over his nearest GOP rivals — was characteristically defiant and confident in a series of phone calls Saturday with The Washington Post. He vowed to reboot his campaign amid a staff shake-up and said he could capture the White House because “millions of people everywhere” who feel alienated by the political class are standing by him.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

[VIDEO] Conservatives grapple with surprise Trump snub

ATLANTA — Michael Pemberton, a 65-year-old conservative from Kentucky, started the day in a good mood. He was attending his second RedState Gathering, and ready to hear from 10 of the Republican Party's presidential candidates. He dug into breakfast — coffee and fruit — and sat down with another conference-goer.
"One of the chaps across me asked, 'Did you hear the news?'" recalled Pemberton. "I thought he was going to tell me that a sinkhole opened up in Kentucky and I couldn't go again. But no: He said, they disinvited Donald Trump. I lost my appetite."
The TV news confirmed it. RedState's outgoing editor-in-chief, Erick Erickson, made an 11th hour call to disinvite Trump after the GOP presidential front-runner told CNN that Fox News's Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" when she grilled him during Thursday's presidential debate.
Pemberton grabbed a sharpie and a note card and scrawled out "I AM DONALD TRUMP." He affixed it to his jacket with an American flag pin and grudgingly walked into the conference, determined never to come again.
More than 700 activists had signed up for the gathering, and up to a thousand of them had been expected to join Trump at a Saturday night party at the College Football Hall of Fame. On Saturday morning, the reaction to Trump's exclusion was mixed — and distracting. Annoyance at what seemed to be a politically correct purge competed with annoyance at Trump himself.
"It was really inappropriate to attack Megyn Kelly," said Richard Fonte, 70, an activist who split his time between Texas and Illinois, and strongly supported Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) for president. "That and the fact that he's taking the position that he might run as a third party — that would automatically elect Hillary Clinton."
Fonte's wife, Dulsey, 68, was even happier to see Trump gone: "I find him crude," she said. "I have no sympathy for his candidacy."
Those sentiments had been burbling up on the right, but even 12 hours earlier, Trump's Republican critics had started to soften their tone, and say that the billionaire candidate had tapped into a well of legitimate voter anger. Saturday's burst of anger at Trump was jarring; not everyone at the conference could agree what Trump had even said. Was he making a crude joke about menstruation or wasn't he?
"It's wrong to exclude him and insult him on what people interpret he said as opposed to what he said," said Pemberton. "He was saying that Megyn was seeing blood, in her eyes. As far as 'blood coming out all over,' the first thing I think of is not a woman's menstrual cycle. I think of Jesus Christ, thorns on his head, nail holes in his hands, stigmata."

GOP debate contenders give Democrats reason to worry

 Donald Trump may top the polls in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, but this week’s debate was a reminder that the party has able rivals who eventually could take him down — and who also could mount a stiff challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the general election.
Trump performed in typical style Thursday in the two-hour debate — the same style that has helped him blow past the other candidates. But as the campaigns broke camp here Friday morning, the smiles on the faces of other candidates’ advisers told the fuller story of what happened on the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Everyone came out a winner — or so the rivals’ advisers proclaimed. Some of that bravado was typical post-debate hype, but some of it was grounded in reality. Trump may have been the center of attention, but others performed more effectively overall.
For months, Republican leaders have talked about the breadth, depth and potential strength of their candidates. As a group, the aspiring nominees are certainly more experienced and seemingly more ready for a national campaign than the collection of politicians who sought to deny Mitt Romney the GOP nomination in 2012.
In a field of 17 candidates, Trump’s poll numbers are impressive. He’s getting a fifth to a quarter of the GOP vote in national polls. In those polls, his nearest rivals are drawing half or less of his support.
To Trump, that already makes him a winner. But the Republican race will not remain a 17-candidate scrum indefinitely. When the field shrinks, Trump will find himself in a different battle, and it will probably not be as favorable to him as this summer’s contest has been.
Trump complained after the debate that the Fox News moderators — Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace — had treated him badly, with unfair questions designed to embarrass him and ultimately bring him down. The judgment from many others was that the three did an exceptional job, with probing questions not only for Trump but also for others on the stage.
Trump set the tone early in a combative exchange with Kelly over some of the derogatory words he has used to describe women. He got a big laugh when, as Kelly quoted his words, he interjected, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” It seemed like classic Trump — delivering a quick, sharp riposte in the face of a potentially damaging accusation — although he then went too far and attacked Kelly, continuing to do so on Twitter after the debate.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Scandal Deepens

Hillary Clinton’s scandal deepens - The Washington Post

The Clinton e-mail scandal reached a new level of seriousness when the intelligence community inspector general found classified information from five intelligence agencies in e-mails housed on Clinton’s private server. It is against the law to remove classified information from government facilities and retain it after you have left office and have no official reason to possess it.
Just ask Sandy Berger.
Marc Thiessen writes a weekly column for The Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. View Archive
In 2003, Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser was caught removing five classified documents from a secure reading room at the National Archives, as he prepared to testify before the 9/11 commission.
A Justice Department investigation ensued and in 2005 Berger reached a plea agreement in which he was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material instead of a felony. He was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service and was stripped of his security clearance for three years. Prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed on a $10,000 fine, but the judge raised it to $50,000. In 2007, in order to shut down a disbarment investigation by the District of Columbia bar, he relinquished his license to practice law.
That was for unlawfully removing and retaining just five classified documents.
Clinton has apparently been caught removing at least five e-mails containing what we now know to be classified information and retaining them on her personal server in her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., after she left office. And in the weeks ahead, that number will probably grow to the hundreds, if not thousands.
The inspector general reviewed only a small sample of 40 e-mails Clinton turned over to the State Department. Yet in that tiny sample, he found that five e-mails contained classified information. Five classified e-mails in a sample of just 40 is a rate of one out of eight e-mails that contained classified information. Clinton has handed over some 30,000 official e-mails to the State Department that she had been keeping on her private server. That means there could be some 3,750 classified e-mails that she removed and retained.

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