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30Oct/14Off

The Democrats’ Desperate, Race-Baiting Push

30race1-superJumboAs several key Senate races head down to the wire, many embattled Democrats have, in desperation, resorted to their most reliable, tried and true tactic: race baiting. None has done so more gratuitously or offensively than the pasty white creature of privilege Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Kay Hagan4%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard4% who has distributed flyers suggesting that if Thom Tillis won, blacks would be lynched and more recently suggested that Thom Tillis killed Trayvon Martin. In response to these gratuitous and offensive tactics, Thom Tillis objected publicly to the race-baiting of Hagan’s campaign; for doing so he was subjected to a National Journal story which ran an incredible headline suggesting that “both sides” were injecting race into the NC Senate campaign.

Just to review the bidding – one side (Hagan) ran two racially charged ads, the other side (Tillis) complained that the ads were racially charged, and the media reports this as “both sides injecting race” into a campaign. What despicable and ridiculous arbiters of truth we have in this country.

The New York Times(!), at least, has recognized the blatantly obvious – that embattled Democrats this election cycle are responsible for playing the race card to the hilt this election season:

In the final days before the election, Democrats in the closest Senate races across the South are turning to racially charged messages — invokingTrayvon Martin’s death, the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and Jim Crow-era segregation — to jolt African-Americans into voting and stop a Republican takeover in Washington.

The images and words they are using are striking for how overtly they play on fears of intimidation and repression. And their source is surprising. The effort is being led by national Democrats and their state party organizations — not, in most instances, by the shadowy and often untraceable political action committees that typically employ such provocative messages.

I have given the Republicans a lot of grief over the last couple of weeks for running on a mostly idea-free platform this election season. But it’s important to remember that however little the Republicans have to offer America, the Democrats are offering much, much worse. They have demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to actively sow seeds of discord, discontentment and unrest in America if it helps them keep their seats of power. They care nothing for America or for the health of American society. They have no interest in healing race relationships and in fact are actively working against it because it furthers their electoral prospects.

Such people must not be allowed to keep power, whatever the alternative.

The post The Democrats’ Desperate, Race-Baiting Push appeared first on RedState.

30Oct/14Off

Senator Whitehouse Exposes Carbon Tax Push As A Redistribution Scheme

As I’ve noted numerous times, the whole “climate change” schtick is really just another part of the far left Progressive policy push, an attempt to instituted their out of the

30Oct/14Off

Andrew Napolitano on the Importance of the Presumption of Liberty

James Madison noted that freedom came about in
Europe when the people rose up and cast off or intimidated tyrants,
who reluctantly granted the people the freedoms they sought. That
was, in Madison's words, "power granting liberty." The American
experience was the opposite, he argued. After we seceded from Great
Britain, the free people of the 13 independent states voluntarily
came together and through the states delegated discrete amounts of
power to a central government. That was, in Madison's words,
"liberty granting power," especially since the people reserved to
themselves the liberties they did not delegate away.

Much of the political class of the founding generation, unlike
our own, recognized that natural rights—areas of human behavior for
which we do not need a government permission slip—are truly
inalienable. An inalienable right is one that cannot be taken away
by majority vote or by legislation or by executive command. It can
only be taken away after the behavior of the person whose restraint
the government seeks has been found by a jury to have violated
another's natural rights. This process and these guarantees are
known today as the presumption of liberty, explains Andrew
Napolitano. It is always the government's obligation to demonstrate
our unworthiness of freedom to a judge and jury before it can
curtail that freedom. It is not the other way around—until
now. 

View this article.

30Oct/14Off

La Raza Pushing Illegals To Voting States With Not ID Requirements

According to Democrats, illegals are no big deal when it comes to voter fraud. And voter ID is raaaaacist, mean, and bigoted. And violates civil rights and stuff, you guys.

30Oct/14Off

Brickbat: Black OUt

Earlier this year,
Arizona State University had its annual blackout football game, in
which students are encouraged to dress in black to support the
team. Some students showed up with their faces painted black as
well. The ASU Black and African Coalition (BAC) said that smacked
of racism and cultural
insensitivity, and the administration recently sent out a letter
asking students not to paint their faces at all, with any color, in
the future. So far, that's just a request, but the BAC says it
plans to introduce a bill in the student government that would ban
face paint and mandate any student caught using it be required to
attend sensitivity training.

30Oct/14Off

Detroit Man Fights $30K Child Support Bill For a Kid That’s Not His

Most people are all for making deadbeat dads pay child support for their kids. But the Detroit legal system has decided that they’re going to make men pay tens of

30Oct/14Off

Why Those White Women Want Nothing To Do With Barack Obama

If a group of white Republican women adamantly refused to go near a black man and complained loudly about him, the political press would destroy them as racists.

That is what is happening, however, in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Georgia. Two of the three women, Landrieu and Nunn, are the legacies of old Democrat families in their home states. Hagan is politically connected and of a Democratic political family, though not quite as much an in-state legacy family.

These three women want nothing to do with America’s first black President. Michelle Nunn and Georgia can show us precisely why. You can visibly see it.

Just over a week ago, President Obama called into V-103, an urban station in Atlanta. He urged voters to go put Michelle Nunn in the Senate. He said he could not get his agenda accomplished without her.

Nunn’s Republican rival, David Perdue, immediately turned around the quotes into advertisements. Ending Spending, a thirty party group supporting Perdue, was actually out of the gate the fastest making sure everybody knew what President Obama had said.

Below is a close up of the Real Clear Politics polling average for Georgia. You can visibly see the aftermath of President Obama publicly supporting Michelle Nunn. Perdue, having fallen below Nunn in the polling average, has now bounced back.

Ads with the President’s voice in support of Nunn are all over radio and television in Georgia.

ObamaNunn

The post Why Those White Women Want Nothing To Do With Barack Obama appeared first on RedState.

30Oct/14Off

Attack Ad on ‘Immigration Amnesty’ Puts Karl Rove in Unexpected Camp

Karl Rove’s support for what many Americans consider amnesty for illegal immigrants has put the Republican political guru at odds with The Heritage Foundation for a decade.

That’s why observers of current and past incarnations of “immigration reform” were surprised to learn of Rove’s association with a campaign ad drawing attention in a hot U.S. Senate race.

The 30-second ad was paid for by American Crossroads, a political action group largely financed by Rove, best known as chief political aide to President George W. Bush. The ad, which first aired early this month, cites a Heritage Foundation report last year on the fiscal costs of amnesty in attacking the Democratic candidate in Iowa for supporting “immigration amnesty.”

That is, the same Karl Rove who has argued against using the word amnesty to refer to legalizing illegal immigrants. Rove raised funds to pay for the ad that accuses Rep. Bruce Braley, in a tight race with Republican Joni Ernst, of favoring … amnesty.

Dan Holler, communications director for Heritage Action for America, the think tank’s advocacy arm, told The Daily Signal:

 It’s not news that amnesty is bad policy and bad politics—conservatives have been making that case for a decade. Apparently Rove now agrees. So the only question is whether the GOP will govern in 2015 the way they campaigned in 2014.

The think tank’s report documented the hundreds of billions in ever-rising cost to taxpayers of granting citizenship to millions who broke the law to come or stay here.

Rove was among amnesty backers who sought to marginalize the Heritage research paper, published May 6, 2013, which the anti-Braley ad cites.

The American Crossroads ad opens with criticism of Braley’s support for Obamacare, saying the legislation cut “over $700 billion from Medicare” and “caused Iowans to receive insurance cancellation notices.”

At 15 seconds, the narrator asks: “Why does Braley keep voting with Obama and support immigration amnesty giving those lawbreakers access to food stamps and Medicare?”

The citation “The Heritage Foundation, 5/6/13” appears on the screen in small print after the words: “Bruce Braley: Giving Lawbreakers Food Stamps and Medicare.”

Dave Weigel wrote in Bloomberg Politics:

It’s just a little jarring to see this message coming from American Crossroads. Karl Rove, who raises funds for the group, has spent more than a decade telling Republicans that they need to be careful about how they discuss immigration if they want to win Hispanic votes. “It is … important that Republicans avoid calling a pathway to citizenship ‘amnesty,’ ” Rove wrote a year ago [in the Wall Street Journal]. And here’s Crossroads, telling Iowans that any pathway to citizenship is amnesty. It’s a long, long way from the Bush presidential campaigns.

Last year, at the height of the immigration debate, Rove got a rejoinder from Heritage’s Edwin Meese in the Wall Street Journal over what the word “amnesty” meant to President Reagan, whom Meese served as attorney general among other roles.

The Daily Signal was not able to reach Rove for comment on the ad. Paul Lindsay, communications director of American Crossroads, was not immediately available for comment.

Lindsay confirmed to Talking Points Memo, however, that the ad purposefully cited the Heritage report on the costs of granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

>>> Robert Rector: White House Sells Amnesty With Dubious Economics

Rove has seen eye to eye with The Heritage Foundation on other policy issues over the years. His campaign and White House experience also made him a popular speaker at Heritage membership events after Bush left office.

In 2006, however, during Bush’s second term, Rove also assailed a Heritage paper on the scope and cost of amnesty that ended up torpedoing the immigration reform package supported that year by Bush and key members of Congress.

Robert Rector, Heritage’s senior research fellow in domestic policy, was the main author of both the 2006 and 2013 papers.

Braley’s campaign website, in a write-up on the ad, repeats incorrect assertions by left-leaning media organizations that Heritage disavowed Rector’s 2013 report and that the paper had been “debunked.”

In fact, Rector briefed scores of House and Senate members and their staffers on his findings, as National Journal reported at the time:

[Rector] has tangled with lawmakers, schooled young staffers, and been skewered by opposing policy analysts. And in the process, Rector has become the most influential outside player on what is perhaps the defining issue of the 113th Congress.

‘He’s the guy,’ said one lobbyist who has been involved with immigration negotiations and witnessed Rector’s impact. ‘He’s not afraid to push back on members, he’s not afraid to push back on staff, and he’s not afraid to tell people they’re wrong.’

Rector said of lawmakers in an interview with National Journal in June 2013:

The problem is, they are trying to move the bill so fast that no one can really understand what the issues are. There’s not a lot of understanding of the issues, and what I perceive is kind of  a race to get this bill passed before anyone really understands what its consequences are.

 

The post Attack Ad on ‘Immigration Amnesty’ Puts Karl Rove in Unexpected Camp appeared first on Daily Signal.

30Oct/14Off

Computer Hacks and Screaming Flacks: 5 Startling Anecdotes From Sharyl Attkisson’s New Book

Sharyl Attkisson has been called a “pit bull” by former bosses and “unreasonable” by top Obama administration officials. The veteran investigative reporter isn’t known for backing down from a story — even when faced with hacked computers, screaming flacks and suspicious cables.

Attkisson’s new book, “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington” (Harper), doesn’t come out until Nov. 4. But tantalizing excerpts obtained by the  Washington Post and New York Post have caused a stir as they make their way around the Washington, D.C., media circuit.

Here are five anecdotes detailing some of the “intimidation, obstruction and harassment” that Attkisson — the former CBS News correspondent who currently is a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal — encountered on the job.

1. A mysterious computer hacking. Early one morning at a time when Attkisson was reporting on the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, she woke up to hear her Apple computer making a strange noise. It sounded  like the one made a day earlier by her Toshiba laptop from CBS News.

So she had  the computer checked out by “Number One,” who she describes as a “confidential source inside the government.”

Number One told Attkisson that her computer had been breached. The origin: a “sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

At one point, an intruder or intruders obtained Attkisson’s Skype handle and password, and activated the audio–making “heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool.”

Number One also found three classified documents buried on her computer. Attkisson writes that she had no idea they were there.

“Why?” Attkisson asks. “To frame me?”

>>> Journalist: Obama Administration More ‘Restrictive’ and ‘Dangerous’ Than Any in History

Her computer troubles don’t end there. While preparing for an interview with Thomas Pickering, who served as chairman of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board, she watched as data began disappearing before her eyes, “deleted line by line in a split second.”

Don Allison, a security specialist at Kore Logic, examined Attkisson’s iMac and found “key evidence of a government computer connection” to her computer.

2An extra fiber-optic line. Besides the computers, Attkisson ran into problems with her telephones, television and alarm system — all run on Verizon’s FiOS system.

She enlisted the help of “Jeff” to determine what was wrong with her phones and computers. He looked around the outside of her house and something caught his eye: Dangling from the FiOS box affixed to a brick wall was a stray fiber-optic line used to download data and send it away.

Attkisson took a picture of the cable and called Verizon, whose customer service reps said they didn’t install it. Verizon instructed the reporter to report it to police, then called back to tell her they wanted to look themselves.

“That shouldn’t be there,” said the technician who visited Attkisson’s home on New Year’s Day.

>>> Sharyl Attkisson Calls Obama Administration ‘Worst Atmosphere’ for Journalists

Attkisson had the Verizon employee leave the cable on top of the air-conditioning fan. Several days later, she asked her husband to go get it. The cable was gone.

3. CBS News and the Benghazi attacks. The day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” conducted an interview with President Obama. During the interview, Obama told correspondent Steve Kroft that it was “too early to know” whether it was a terrorist attack.

That part of the exchange, however, aired only days before the November 2012 presidential election.

Before the Oct. 16 presidential debate between Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the White House worked to convince Americans that the president specifically referred to Benghazi as terrorism.  A White House official called Attkisson to tell her Obama had referred to a “terrorist attack” in his Sept. 12 statement in the Rose Garden — when he did use the phrase “no act of terror.”

“I had no idea that the question of how the administration portrayed the attacks — and whether it was covering up the terrorist ties — would emerge as a touchstone leading up to the election,” Attkisson writes. “But the White House already seemed to know.”

She recalls occasions when CBS officials in New York inserted a line in “CBS Evening News” stories implying that Obama called the events in Benghazi a terrorist attack on Sept. 12.

“It seems as though they’re putting a lot of effort into trying to defend the president on this point,” she writes.

Later, Attkisson learned what the president had told her colleague,  Kroft, during his Sept. 12 “60 Minutes” interview.  The full transcript, however, had been emailed to “CBS Evening News” offices in New York that same day.

“I feared that we’d once again mischaracterized facts in advance of a presidential election to hurt a Republican,” Attkisson writes. “We not only had stood by silently as the media largely sided against Romney, but we’d also taken an active part in steering them in that direction.”

>>> Sharyl Attkisson Sues Federal Government to Obtain Obamacare Documents

4. Ties between CBS and the administration. The White House made it known when it didn’t like Attkisson’s reporting — and often went to the head honcho, CBS News President David Rhodes, the New York Post notes.

Typically, a White House flack upset with her work would  email both Rhodes and his brother, Ben, a top national security adviser to Obama.

Attkisson recalls lining up an exclusive interview with Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, creator of a YouTube video about Islam for which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed the Benghazi attacks. David Rhodes shot down her idea.

“That’s kind of old news, isn’t it?” he said.

Similarly, Attkisson found stories were watered down or nixed because of potential, even loose, ties to the Obama administration. One story on school-lunch fraud had nothing to do with first lady Michelle Obama, but was ultimately cut. Another report on waste at the Department of Housing and Urban Development turned into a “bland non-story” before it aired.

 5Liberal bias from the mainstream media. During her reporting on Benghazi, Attkisson ran into criticism from high-ranking Obama administration officials. In one exchange with national security spokesman Tommy Vietor, she asked for more information about reinforcements sent to Benghazi.

“I give up, Sharyl,” she says Vietor told her. “I’ll work with more reasonable folks that follow up, I guess.”

Attkisson got a similar response from Eric Schultz, principal deputy press secretary, when she asked him about the “Fast and Furious” scandal.

>>> Journalists Seek a Way to Stop White House Censorship of ‘Pool’ Reports

Schultz cursed at her,  saying:

The Washington Post is reasonable. The LA Times is reasonable. The New York Times is reasonable. You’re the only one who’s not reasonable!

One boss at CBS, she writes, said analysts with a conservative perspective should be labeled as “conservatives.” Liberal analysts, though, were just “analysts.”

Attkisson points to bias in some outlets’ reporting of the number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare:

Many in the media … are wrestling with their own souls. They know that Obamacare is in serious trouble, but they’re conflicted about reporting that. Some worry that the news coverage will hurt a cause that they personally believe in. They’re all too eager to dismiss damaging documentary evidence while embracing, sometimes unquestioningly, the Obama administration’s ever-evolving and unproven explanations.

The post Computer Hacks and Screaming Flacks: 5 Startling Anecdotes From Sharyl Attkisson’s New Book appeared first on Daily Signal.

30Oct/14Off

City Says Ministers Don’t Have to Wed Same-Sex Couples, but Here’s Why It’s Not Over Yet

An Idaho town is not going to force a Christian ministry couple who own a wedding chapel to perform same-sex marriages there, the town’s chief attorney told The Daily Signal.

A lawsuit filed against the town by the ordained ministers to protect themselves from prosecution was based on “a misperception,” City Attorney Michael C. Gridley said, and he had no intentions of “threatening” and “imprisoning” them.

With these conciliatory words, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, backed off enforcing its nondiscrimination ordinance against the ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp. The move would have subjected the couple to thousands of dollars in fines and up to six months behind bars for declining to perform gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies at their Hitching Post Lakeside Wedding Chapel.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 5.35.25 PM

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is located near the border of Washington state.

In a letter to the Knapps’ lawyer dated Oct. 23,  Gridley sought to “clarify” the town’s earlier stand in response to the couple’s lawsuit and motion for a temporary restraining order. He wrote:

[I]t is my opinion and the city’s position that as currently represented, the conduct by Hitching Post Weddings LLC is exempt from the requirements of the ordinance and would not be subject to prosecution under the ordinance if a complaint was received by the city.

>>> Commentary: Government to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Weddings or Go to Jail

Don and Lynn Knapp, who are Pentecostal ministers, have been married for 47 years. The couple, who have  owned the Hitching Post chapel in Coeur d’Alene since 1989, say their wedding ceremonies follow the teachings of the Bible, “which makes clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

closeupHitchingPost

Hitching Post Lakeside Wedding Chapel has been part of the regional experience since 1919.

The Knapps sued the city on Oct. 17, 10 days after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared gay marriage legal in Idaho.

Already, one same-sex couple had inquired about holding a wedding at their Hitching Post chapel.

Critics called the lawsuit “totally false” and “ridiculous,” saying the Knapps were already exempt from the nondiscrimination law, which states that places of “public accommodation” such as restaurants and hotels must offer services equally regardless of a person’s sexual orientation.

Gridley, the city attorney, now concedes that officials may have sent mixed messages to the Knapps.

How the Story Unfolded

In multiple interviews last spring, another attorney for Coeur d’Alene said the Knapps would be subject to the nondiscrimination law pending an appeal of a federal judge’s ruling against the Idaho law affirming marriage as between a man and  a woman.

>>> Q&A: Couple Look to Paul’s Example in Resisting Order to Perform Gay Marriages

“I would think that the Hitching Post would probably be considered a place of public accommodation that would be subject to the ordinance,” Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson told The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

In an interview with KXLY, a local ABC television affiliate, Wilson also said:

For-profit wedding chapels are in a position now where last week the ban would have prevented them from performing gay marriages, this week gay marriages are legal, pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit.

He added:

If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation.

If you turn away a gay couple, then in theory you violated our code.–attorney for Coeur d’Alene

So on Oct. 17, when a same-sex couple asked the Knapps about holding their wedding at Hitching Post, the ministers went on the offense.

Of that decision, Don Knapp told The Daily Signal in an interview via email last week:

If someone was told by the government that he or she would be prosecuted and face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for exercising their First Amendment rights, they would not wait around to see if the government made good on that threat. They would file a lawsuit to protect their freedom and avoid jail and fines. And that’s what we did here.

Represented by a lawyer associated with Alliance Defending Freedom, the Knapps filed suit to prevent officials of Coeur d’Alene from prosecuting them for declining to violate their religious beliefs about marriage.

The lawsuit follows several cases that have drawn national attention because a government agency moved against a private business owner for acting on their religious beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman.

>>> Farmers to Lesbian Couple: ‘We’re Not Hateful People’

Hours after filing suit, the Knapps — ordained by a Pentecostal denomination called the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel — received another request to hold a same-sex ceremony, this time from a couple in Boston.

This put them at risk of being prosecuted over saying no to a second couple, meaning more fines and more jail time, said Jeremy Tedesco, the Knapps’ lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom.

Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is one of the most famous summer destinations in the Pacific Northwest.

Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is a popular summer destination in the Pacific Northwest.

Filing Suit Too Soon?

Tedesco told The Daily Signal that the lawsuit isn’t pre-emptive because the city made clear on three occasions that if the Hitching Post were to decline to perform same-sex weddings, the Knapps would be in violation of the law and subject to criminal prosecution.

The city’s first response was a letter dated  Oct. 20. In it, Gridley writes that the Knapps would be exempt from the law if they were running a nonprofit religious corporation:

If [the Knapps] are operating as a legitimate not-for-profit religious corporation then they are exempt from the ordinance like any other church or religious association. On the other hand, if [the Knapps] are providing services primarily or substantially for profit andthey discriminate in providing those services based on sexual orientation then they would likely be in violation of the ordinance.

Hitching Post has been a for-profit wedding chapel since they opened it 25 years ago, the Knapps say.

The city’s distinction between for-profit and nonprofit distinction “should not come as any surprise,” Tedesco said in an email to The Daily Signal:

The left’s unequivocal (and incorrect) position is that for-profit companies cannot exercise religion, and thus are not entitled to any religious exemptions in these types of nondiscrimination laws. The city consistently expressed this same position before and after we filed suit. But the massive public outcry has pressured the city to alter its position and recognize that people do not abandon their faith when they open a business.

Later in the Oct. 20 letter, Gridley told the Knapps there was another way they could be exempt from the law: the First Amendment.

The city attorney wrote:

[S]ection 9.56.040 of the anti-discrimination ordinance states that the ordinance ‘shall be construed and applied in a manner consistent with the First Amendment jurisprudence regarding the freedom of speech and exercise of religion.’

Amending the Law

Tedesco said he was pleased to see the city backing off enforcement, but its response was insufficient to settle the case.

“To resolve the broader religious freedom problem with the ordinance, the city should amend it so that it is clear that the religious exemption covers for-profits, like the Hitching Post,” he said. “It is a fundamental violation of due process for the city to leave people guessing as to whether they will be subject to the criminal penalties set out in the ordinance.”

Gridley’s follow-up letter Oct. 23, meant to “clarify” the city’s stance, does not say all for-profit religious corporations are protected from prosecution — only Hitching Post.

HitchingPost2

Don and Lynn Knapp are ordained Pentecostal ministers who have been married for 47 years.

In a telephone interview with The Daily Signal late Tuesday, Gridley said town officials are talking about changing language in the law. As written, he said he realized upon review,  it “makes no distinction between profit and not.”

Citing the Supreme Court’s June 20 decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which upheld the religious liberty rights of closely held corporations, Gridley said:

It’s not my place to add that [interpretation regarding for-profit enterprises] onto that ordinance, so that’s why I sent the letter correcting or clarifying … that a religious corporation would be exempt from this ordinance, whether they are for profit or not.

>>> Supreme Court Upholds Religious Freedom in Hobby Lobby Case

Gridley also said town officials were not maliciously targeting the Knapps. He said:

I think there was a misperception that we were threatening the Knapps, that we were imprisoning ministers, and all that kind of stuff, and we’re really not. We have not gone there, we have not threatened anybody.

The post City Says Ministers Don’t Have to Wed Same-Sex Couples, but Here’s Why It’s Not Over Yet appeared first on Daily Signal.

30Oct/14Off

In the War on Terrorism, We Must Win the War of Ideas

Asked recently by CNN what the United States needs most to fight ISIS on the Internet, James Glassman former under secretary of state for Public Diplomacy under President George W. Bush answered, “A commitment to the war of ideas.”   Fighting the terrorists on the battlefields in Iraq and Syria will not be enough. We need to engage in the ideological war, “just as we did during the battle with Communism.”

On the international scene, the first to boldly advocate this approach was British Prime Minister David Cameron. In remarks to the United Nations on Oct. 3. Cameron called for “defeating the ideology of extremism that is the root cause of this terrorism — so that we win the battle of ideas, not just the battle of military might.”

Glassman speaks with authority on the subject of fighting violent extremism. It was during his tenure at the State Department that the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communication was first established, which today takes the lead for the U.S. government on fighting ISIS propaganda and recruitment on the web. It is currently the best weapon we have, but it should not be the only one.

How to we fight this battle? With a two pronged approach, suggests Glassman. One the one hand, says Glassman, we do it by persuading returning foreign fighters to be interviewed and broadcast about their experiences with Islamist extremism, which many find to be a much different reality, more repressive and far more violent, than anything they had been led to believe online. Both the U.S. and European governments are currently grappling with how to deal with returning ISIS fighters.  The effectiveness of testimonials by disaffected fighters, however, has to be measured against the homeland security threat presented by returning foreign fighters to their communities.

Secondly, we need a forceful defense of Western principles based on freedom, justice, peace, tolerance– the principles indeed embraced by most of the world at this point. These universal principles, on which the United States itself was founded, stood up well in the battle against Communism, and would do so again in this battle if openly and forcefully embraced.

Unfortunately, under President Obama, the U.S. has been disarming itself in more ways than one. At the Pentagon, the Office of Strategic Communication has been shut down, and at Voice of America, the leadership bristles at the idea of promoting American values and policies. From the White House, Americans and the world are constantly reminded that the United States “has plenty of problems within its own borders,” as Obama relentlessly stated at the United Nations.  Not even during his U.N. speech, preparing for military action against ISIS, was the president able to refrain from a dig at his own country, suggesting a moral equivalence between the police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., and the massacres of innocent Christians and Muslims committed by ISIS.

The foundational ideas of Western civilization matter today as much as ever. But you have to believe in them to fill the vaccuum of confidence that has developed within our own political culture.

 

The post In the War on Terrorism, We Must Win the War of Ideas appeared first on Daily Signal.

29Oct/14Off

Honey Boo Boo (Cartoon)

29Oct/14Off

PunditFact Lies Again

PunditFact strikes again. For the second time. PunditFact is a so-called truth-seeking column by the Tampa Bay Times. Its website describes the feature as “dedicated to checking the accuracy of

29Oct/14Off

LOCAL IL The Great Ketchup Controversy (Cartoon)

29Oct/14Off

Jeb Bush and taxes — ready my lips, part II

Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL.) is thinking seriously about running for president in 2016, according to his son, George P. Bush. According to Commentary magazine, Jeb Bush had an impressive record

29Oct/14Off

Trying to Silence Bill Maher in the Cradle of Free Speech

“The students at the University of California at Berkeley represent a diverse array of students from all walks of life,” begins the student petition. Somehow you just know that before