Video surfaced on Thursday showing Michael Mulgrew, president of New York’s United Federation of Teachers, as he unloaded a hateful rant against critics of the Common Core Standards Initiative.
“If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine!” Mulgrew bellowed clownishly. “You do not take what is mine!”
The union boss also challenged opponents of Common Core and union control over education to a fist fight.
“I’m going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” Mulgrew threatened.
The teachers union bigwig made the speech at a convention in Los Angeles last month, according to the New York Daily News.
Ed Notes Online, a blog that follows education news, posted the screed yesterday.
Mulgrew’s bizarro, menacing outburst was part of an intense debate on a mundane resolution calling on the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers to continue its support the implementation of Common Core.
“I’ve heard the stories about how Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Joel Klein and a flying saucer full of Martians designed these things to brainwash us all,” Mulgrew also raged in scorn of the growing grassroots tide of opposition to Common Core.
Attendees at the convention said the hulking, bald and very angry union boss’s intimidating diatribe was frightening.
“It was scary,” a member of the audience who wished to remain anonymous told the Daily News. “People were saying that he shouldn’t be around children.”
Across the country, bureaucrats in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories had originally decided to implement Common Core with virtually no democratic input.
Since then, a handful of states have either neutered or – in the case of Oklahoma – banned Common Core entirely. Legislatures in several more states are mulling bills that would limit the controversial national standards.
Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and his wife Constancia Mangue De Obiang, pictured arriving for a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit
Pictured outside the White House waving and grinning with his wife President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea is Africa’s longest serving dictator after seizing power from his uncle and mentor (who used to hang regime critics from the capital’s street lights) in 1979.
Since then he has won the yearly elections with 99% of the vote. Taking the lead from his uncle, he has since had shot or jailed virtually all political opponents and ruled the country with an iron fist. Despite running one of sub-Saharas biggest oil-producing countries and amassing a personal wealth in excess of an estimated $600million, he’s far from generous with his riches.
The average income of his citizens is $2 a day, few live beyond 53 and 20 per cent of children die before they reach five years of age. Last year the country ranked 163 out of 177 on Transparency International. There is no freedom of the press, the country’s one television station is government-run and clean water is scarce. In 2011, the United States’ Department of Justice made moves to seize more than $70 million in assets from President Obiang’s son, Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue.
Justice Department lawyers alleged Nguema, on top of his official government salary of $100,000, used his position to amass more than $100 million through corruption and money laundering, including a $30 million dollar mansion in Malibu, California, a $38.5 million Gulfstream jet and one of the world’s finest Michael Jackson memorabilia collections including the red and black ‘Thriller jacket’ and Jackson’s crystal-studded ‘Bad Tour’ glove worth more than $2m. He was also the focus of a corruption investigation in France who seized his 101-room Paris mansion, a collection of cars and other luxury assets. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.
President Blaise Compaore (With First Lady Chantal Compaore) of Burkina Faso seized power in a bloody coup
Burkina Faso’s Blaise Compaore is another African leader who seized power by bloody coup. The Burkina Faso president’s 1987 uprising left his predecessor Thomas Sankara dead – who himself had taken power four years earlier alongside Compaore. In 2011 he watched as protests gave way to calls for his resignation over claims of police brutality and government corruption. However, his presidential guard eventually squashed a mutiny, then made concessions to appease the remaining protesters – but questions remain over corruption among the ruling elite.
Cameroon president Paul Biya (with his wife Chantal Vigouroux) pictured at the President Obama’s summit yesterday
Paul Biya has the dubious honour of ranking nineteenth on author David Wallechinsky’s 2006 list of the world’s 20 worst living dictators. The Cameroon’s grip on his country’s presidency has remained tight since he came to power in 1983 and there have been widespread allegations of fraud and voting consistencies in every election cycle. In fact, Mr Wallechinsky claims in the Huffington Post Biya is credited with the innovative election fraud tactic of paying for a set of international observers to certify his elections as legitimate.
Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos (in Japan) Human rights groups claim his government has murdered many
Human rights groups claim Angolan president Jose Eduardo do Santos has murdered many and exploited the country’s resources to his own gain. After Mariah Carey was paid $1million for performing for him last year, Human .Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen said: ‘It is the sad spectacle of an international artist purchased by a ruthless police state to entertain and whitewash the father-daughter kleptocracy that has amassed billions in ill-gotten wealth while the majority of Angola lives on less than $2 a day’
President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh (with his wife, First Lady Zineb Jammeh) attended the dinner at the White House
arack Obama shakes hands with Gambia’s Yahya AJJ Jammeh as the presidents pose for an official photo
Gambian president Yahya Jammeh took power in a military coup in 1994. Although the coup itself was bloodless, in the 20 years since he has been accused of countless breaches of human rights. In 2008, he threatened to ‘cut off the head’ of any homosexuals in the country. The following year, it was reported up to 1,000 Gambians had been abducted by the government on charges of witchcraft – they were taken to prisons and forced to drink poison.
Watch Video Here:
Good morning, everyone. Michelle and I were honored to host you and your wonderful spouses at dinner last night. I hope people didn’t stay out too late. The evening was a chance to celebrate the bonds between our peoples. And this morning, we continue our work, and it’s my privilege to welcome you to this first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.
So we come together this week because, even as the continent faces significant challenges, as I said last night, I believe a new Africa is emerging.
To my fellow leaders, I want to thank you and your teams for helping us to shape our agenda today. Our work can build on the valuable contributions already made this week by civil society groups, the private sector, young Africans, and – at our first session of this summit – our faith communities, which do so much to sustain the U.S.-Africa relationship. Different though they may be, our faith traditions remind us of the inherent dignity of every human being and that our work as nations must be rooted in empathy and compassion for each other, as brothers and as sisters.
Today is an opportunity to focus on three broad areas where we can make progress together.
Number one, we have the opportunity to expand trade that creates jobs. The new trade deals and investments I announced yesterday are an important step. And today we can focus on what we can do, as governments, to accelerate that investment – economic and regulatory reforms, regional integration, and development so that growth is broad-based, especially among women, who must be empowered for economies to truly flourish.
Second, we have the opportunity to strengthen the governance upon which economic growth and free societies depend. Today we can focus on the ingredients of progress: rule of law, open government, accountable and transparent institutions, strong civil societies, and respect for the universal human rights of all people.
And finally, we have the opportunity to deepen our security cooperation against common threats. As I said, African security forces and African peacekeepers are in the lead across the continent. As your partner, the United States is proud to support these efforts. And today, we can focus on how we can continue to strengthen Africa’s capacity to meet transitional threats – transnational threats, and in so doing make all of our nations more secure.
Watch Video Here:
Rwanda president Paul Kagame’s rule over his country has been notable for its restrictions on the press – (seen here at the White House on Tuesday with his daughter, Ange Ingabire Kagame)
Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame with Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday
When he came to power in 2000, Rwanda’s president Paul Kagawe inherited a nation still raw from the brutal genocide of 1994 which claimed up to one million lives. But during his heavy-handed time in power, the country’s ranks for press freedom have plummeted and a suspicious number of public and political opponents have been harassed or have died in increasingly suspicious circumstances.
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan casting a vote in his country’s 2011 elections
Barack and Michelle Obama have an official portrait taken with Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan
Goodluck Jonathan, president of Nigeria, signed harsh anti-gay laws this year. They criminalise gay relationships, being involved in gay societies and organizations and gay marriages. Violation of this law can result in up to 14 years in prison, with dozens of homosexuals already jailed. Jonathan also sparked major controversy over his decision in 2012 to end fuel subsidies. He is also accused of pardoning corrupt politicians.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta is embroiled in major controversy over electoral violence. He has pleaded innocent to murder and other charges for an alleged role in organizing violence that left more than 1,000 people dead after Kenya’s 2007 elections. The case is before an international criminal court, and Obama pointedly skipped visiting Kenya when he toured Africa with his family last summer.
Guinea president Alpha Conde came to power in December 2010 and while known for his brainpower and charm – has also been criticised for being impetuous and authoritarian.This assessment comes not just from his political opponents, but from his allies, too, according to the BBC. Opposition figures accused him of rigging the vote in the December 2011 parliamentary elections. However, after agreeing to delay the vote until 2013, Conde’s Rally of the Guinean People won, with the Supreme Court stamping its approval on proceedings.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta with Barack and Michelle Obama
And look who else was there…
Former U.S. President George W. Bush pictured joking with one of the spouses of the African leaders at a symposium organised by Michelle Obama
Smile! President Barack Obama and African leaders pose during the family photo session at the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit, on Wednesday, Auhust 6, 2014, at the State Department in Washington
Good job: US President Barack Obama ((L)) appauds with African leaders during a group photo at the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the US State Department in Washington DC
Finger wagging: President Barack Obama, front row third from left, points his finger upwards as he arrives for the official family photo at the US African Leaders Summit at the State Department in Washington
Two thousand rules and regulations passed by the Obama administration are illegal, according to an article in the Washington Post.
Most federal rules and regulations must be reported to Congress and more than 2,000 of Obama administration rules have not been reported. Since 2012, he has simply implemented the regulations without Congress and without telling Congress.
The author of the WaPo article, a staunch left-wing Democrat, Juliet Eilperin, who is pictured below, wrote this: “The situation illustrates the obscure, byzantine process used to create federal regulations – and how easily it can go awry.”
Ms. Eilperin refers to it as “technically illegal” but it is “actually illegal.”
Obama is completely lawless and Congress has yet to be heard from on this issue.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said Friday that he sent a letter to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, charging him for all the illegals in his jail.
What happened next? The Ohio sheriff told Dana Loesch: “The federal government sends me a letter and said I violated a treaty of like, 1790.”
When Loesch asked for more information, Jones continued: “I sent him a bill for the prisoners that are in my jail. They came here illegally. I’ve not gotten any money from them, but I billed them so much. And I’ll tell you what I got in return: my life was threatened.”
Jones said he got a call from the FBI saying there were three sheriffs in the country that were going to be killed by the drug cartels, and he was one of the three.
Jones has also written a letter to President Barack Obama, “asking and pleading with him not to bring these people here to the state of Ohio, and to secure our borders.”
“We’ve had horrendous crimes here in this community,” Jones said. “We had a senior citizen, an elderly lady, molested by a teenager that came over from Mexico. We had another one molested – an eight year old girl. We’ve had drugs pouring in, more so than before the government said the borders were sealed. And we’re being run over by the drug dealers coming to this community. The violence has increased, and we’re a long way from the borders.”
Jones said his county spends eight to ten million dollars each month on welfare programs, which he called “free stuff,” and said that’s “some of the reason that they come here.”
“It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Jones said. “People’s lives are being threatened. It’s in the state of Ohio, for crying out loud. We’re not in Arizona; we’re not in California.”
Jones said the administration is making it “too easy” for those wishing to harm America to cross into the United States.
“They’re going to walk in with backpacks. They’re going to put some dirty bombs together, [and] they’re going to do something really terrible. It’s too easy,” Jones said. “We don’t know who they are. They don’t have vaccinations. Our jails are full. They hit and run. It’s totally out of control, and it’s gotten worse just in the past twelve months.”
If you get your news from the Obama Administration or the U.S. State Department you probably haven’t heard about this yet. That’s because the U.S. President, a man who far too often comments on issues of racism with the purpose of stirring emotions, has not held a press conference about what might be the largest act of racism in modern history.
It is now confirmed that President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has sealed the deal as dictator and declared that whites are no longer allowed to own land in his country. He’s officially booting all white farmers and taking their land.
Via Daily Nation.
The 90 year-old old leader, who launched a violent land reform programme in 2,000 that displaced the majority of the 4,000 white commercial farmers, on Wednesday said Zimbabwe was no country for white farmers.
“There are white farmers who are still on the land and have the protection of some Cabinet ministers and politicians as well as traditional leaders,” President Mugabe said.
“That should never happen and we will deal with ministers but as for our chiefs we do not want to harass you. We do not want trouble.
“I have been given a list of 35 white farmers in Mashonaland West (province) alone and in just a few districts that have been audited.
“We say no to whites owning our land and they should go.
“They can own companies and apartments in our towns and cities but not the soil.
“It is ours and that message should ring loud and clear in Britain and the United States.”
President Mugabe has often justified the wholesale seizure of productive farms saying he was correcting historical injustices.
This ignorant statement ignores the fact that most of these farmers, if not all of them, personally had nothing to do with any ‘historical injustices.’ This sets a dangerous precedence and it’s shameful the world’s leaders aren’t denouncing it.
If you thought President Obama’s release of five top Taliban commanders in exchange for POW Bowe Bergdahl was bad, wait until you see what his Gitmo parole board plans.
Desperate to empty the Guantanamo Bay prison by the end of his term, Obama quietly is giving “get out of jail free” cards for the flimsiest of excuses.
One al Qaeda suspect captured in Afghanistan is considered reformed because he took up yoga and read a biography of the Dalai Lama. Another is eligible for release because of his “positive attitude.”
And one longtime detainee, a former bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, is now harmless because he’s going to start a “milk and honey farm.”
The Periodic Review Board already helped clear 78 of the remaining 149 prisoners for release, documents show, and has scheduled more hearings for this summer.
Many of these men were dubbed “forever prisoners” because of the threat they posed to the US – with intelligence officials warning that, if free, they would return to the jihad to kill Americans.
Based on past cases, that’s a good bet.
In a report on detainee recidivism, Obama’s own director of national intelligence this year documented that 178, or 29 percent, of the 614 prisoners already transferred from the prison have been confirmed to have, or are suspected of having, re-engaged in terrorism.
That means for every three freed from Gitmo, one has rejoined the war against us. Intelligence analysts admit their ability to track all former detainees is limited, so the recidivism rate may, in fact, be much higher.
One notorious recidivist, Abdullah Gulam Rasoul, became the Taliban’s operations commander in southern Afghanistan soon after his 2007 release from Gitmo. He was blamed for masterminding a surge in roadside attacks against American troops and organizing assaults on US aircraft in Afghanistan.
Another repeat terrorist is Said Ali al-Shihri, who after his 2007 release ran al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch and helped plan the deadly bombing of the US Embassy there.
Already, one of the five Taliban leaders freed last week in exchange for Bergdahl – Mullah Noorullah Noori – has pledged to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan.
Obama’s terrorist parole board was established in 2011. He appoints its members – officials from the Justice Department, Pentagon, State Department and Homeland Security – without a congressional confirmation process. It is secretive and lacking in accountability.
In setting up the Periodic Review Board, meanwhile, Obama prohibited members from relying on information that has been obtained as a result of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (in order) to support a determination that continued law of war detention is warranted for a detainee.”
The bias against interrogation evidence potentially opens up the release of some of Gitmo’s hardest cases, including al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, 2002 Bali bombing mastermind “Hambali,” and Mohammed al-Qahtani, the suspected 20th hijacker of the 9/11 attacks.
But these releases won’t cause the same outcry, because it’s being done in virtual secrecy. Already, more than 600 prisoners have been transferred out of Gitmo with little fanfare. Two hundred of them were sent back to Afghanistan.
As defense lawyer David Remes explained to Al Jazeera news network, “The Periodic Review Board is likely to be predisposed to approval to transfer because the idea here is to close down Guantanamo.”
The inmates slated for release include:
GHALEB NASSER AL-BIHANI, 34
“He loves yoga”
What he did: Classified as an “indefinite detainee” in 2010 because of the danger he posed to the US. The Yemeni national was captured in 2001 fighting in Afghanistan. The military said he was a troublemaker while in custody, even inciting riots. He was uncooperative in interviews, showing “ill intentions toward the US.” One of his brothers in Yemen is a leader in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group’s most lethal branch.
What they say now: His government-appointed lawyer argued he was merely an assistant cook for an unspecified military group. “He has asked for yoga magazines and self-help books,” lawyer Pardiss Kebriaei told the parole board in April, noting he practices yoga in his cellblock and has read biographies of the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King Jr.
In his own plea to the board, Bihani suggested his hostility comes from losing his parents as a boy, saying, “It was hard growing up without a mother or father.” He promised to start a family and live a peaceful life if freed. “I look forward to the day when I can hold my baby in my hands,” he said. Last month, the board said it found his story “credible” and declared al-Bihani “no longer… a threat to the security of the United States.”
MAHMUD ABD AL AZIZ AL MUJAHID, 33
“Wants a milk & honey farm”
What he did: Served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard and was captured after 9/11. The military warns that, if freed, he would likely hook up in Yemen with his brother, “another former bin Laden bodyguard.”
Without explanation, the board blacked out a large section of Mujahid’s testimony dealing with al Qaeda.
What they say now: “Mujahid is a peacemaker,” his lawyer David Remes insisted, adding he “requires no rehabilitation when he returns.”
Mujahid called a character witness – another detainee – who testified that Mujahid had told him he wants to start a “milk and honey farm” in Yemen.
In November, the board cleared Mujahid for release, reasoning he would maintain his good behavior through “extensive family support in Yemen.” Panelists were impressed with his personal statement that, while growing up, “in our household, we were taught politeness, decency and human being [sic].”
ALI AHMAD MOHAMED AI-RAZIHI, 33
“Has a positive attitude”
What he did: Served as an Osama bin Laden bodyguard. There’s evidence he wrote to his family boasting of his commitment to jihad. The military cautioned officials against believing that “his stated intentions are genuine.”
Curiously, the board withheld Razihi’s written testimony and hearing transcript.
What they say now: In taking him off the threat list, the board cited his “positive attitude.” His personal representative convinced board members that Razihi “has keen business acumen” and seeks to take over the family’s “fruit and vegetable business” in Yemen.
Added the unnamed government advocate: “He’s ready to live out the rest of his days as a peaceful man, a family man and an entrepreneur, and no longer should be considered a continued significant threat to the United States.”
Prisoners in Gitmo at height in 2003: 684
Prisoners left: 149
Cleared for transfer but not yet released: 78
Prisoners, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who are considered “high-value detainees” charged with war crimes: 16
Recidivism rate for released prisoners: 29%
Update: The author of this list, Don Fredrick, contacted TMR to let us know this is part of a book he’s writing, you can find more here.
A long detailed list of curious coincidences in Obama’s life, emailed anonymously to Ben Fulford:
This was e-mailed to me, author unknown:
Obama just happened to know 60s far-left radical revolutionary William Ayers, whose father just happened to be Thomas Ayers, who just happened to be a close friend of Obama’s communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who just happened to work at the communist-sympathizing Chicago Defender with Vernon Jarrett, who just happened to later become the father-in-law of Iranian-born leftist Valerie Jarrett, who Obama just happened to choose as his closest White House advisor, and who just happened to have been CEO of Habitat Company, which just happened to manage public housing in Chicago, which just happened to get millions of dollars from the Illinois state legislature, and which just happened not to properly maintain the housing – which eventually just happened to require demolition.
Valerie Jarrett also just happened to work for the city of Chicago, and just happened to hire Michelle LaVaughan Robinson (later Mrs. Obama), who just happened to have worked at the Sidley Austin law firm, where former fugitive from the FBI Bernardine Dohrn also just happened to work, and where Barack Obama just happened to get a summer job.
Bernardine Dohrn just happened to be married to William Ayers, with whom she just happened to have hidden from the FBI at a San Francisco marina, along with Donald Warden, who just happened to change his name to Khalid al-Mansour, and Warden/al-Mansour just happened to be a mentor of Black Panther Party founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale and a close associate of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and al-Mansour just happened to be financial adviser to a Saudi Prince, who just happened to donate cash to Harvard, for which Obama just happened to get a critical letter of recommendation from Percy Sutton, who just happened to have been the attorney for Malcolm X, who just happened to know Kenyan politician Tom Mboya, who just happened to be a close friend of Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., who just happened to meet Malcolm X when he traveled to Kenya.
Obama, Sr. just happened to have his education at the University of Hawaii paid for by the Laubach Literacy Institute, which just happened to have been supported by Elizabeth Mooney Kirk, who just happened to be a friend of Malcolm X, who just happened to have been associated with the Nation of Islam, which was later headed by Louis Farrakhan, who just happens to live very close to Obama’s Chicago mansion, which also just happens to be located very close to the residence of William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who just happen to have been occasional baby-sitters for Malia and Natasha Obama, whose parents just happened to have no concern exposing their daughters to bomb-making communists.
After attending Occidental College and Columbia University, where he just happened to have foreign Muslim roommates, Obama moved to Chicago to work for the Industrial Areas Foundation, an organization that just happened to have been founded by Marxist and radical agitator Saul “the Red” Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, who just happened to be the topic of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s thesis at Wellesley College, and Obama’s $25,000 salary at IAF just happened to be funded by a grant from the Woods Fund, which was founded by the Woods family, whose Sahara Coal companyjust happened to provide coal to Commonwealth Edison, whose CEO just happened to be Thomas Ayers, whose son William Ayers just happened to serve on the board of the Woods Fund, along with Obama.
Obama also worked on voter registration drives in Chicago in the 1980s and just happened to work with leftist political groups like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Socialist International (SI), through which Obama met Carl Davidson, who just happened to travel to Cuba during the Vietnam War to sabotage the U.S. war effort, and who just happened to be a former member of the SDS and a member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, which just happened to sponsor a 2002 anti-war rally at which Obama spoke, and which just happened to have been organized by Marilyn Katz, a former SDS activist and later public relations consultant who just happened to be a long-time friend of Obama’s political hatchet man, David Axelrod.
Obama joined Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), whose pastor was Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a fiery orator who just happened to preach Marxism and Black Liberation Theology and who delivered anti-white, anti-Jew, and anti-American sermons, which Obama just happened never to hear because he just happened to miss church only on the days when Wright was at his “most enthusiastic,” and Obama just happened never to notice that Oprah Winfrey left the church because it was too radical, and just happened never to notice that the church gave the vile anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan a lifetime achievement award.
Although no one had ever heard of him at the time, Obama just happened to receive an impossible-to-believe $125,000 advance to write a book about race relations, which he just happened to fail to write while using the cash to vacation in Bali with his wife Michelle, and despite his record of non-writing he just happened to receive a second advance, for $40,000, from another publisher, and he eventually completed a manuscript called Dreams From My Father, which just happened to strongly reflect the writing style of William Ayers, who just happened to trample on an American flag for the cover photograph of the popular Chicago magazine, which Obama just happened never to see even though it appeared on newsstands throughout the city.
Obama was hired by the law firm Miner, Banhill and Galland, which just happened to specialize in negotiating state government contracts to develop low-income housing, and which just happened to deal with now-imprisoned Tony Rezko and his firm Rezar, and with slumlord Valerie Jarrett, and the law firm’s Judson Miner just happened to have been a classmate of Bernardine Dohrn, wife of William Ayers.
In 1994 Obama represented ACORN and another plaintiff in a lawsuit against Citibank for denying mortgages to blacks (Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Federal Savings Bank), and the lawsuit just happened to result in banks being blackmailed into approving subprime loans for poor credit risks, a trend which just happened to spread nationwide, and which just happened to lead to the collapse of the housing bubble, which just happened to help Obama defeat John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.
In 1996 Obama ran for the Illinois State Senate and joined the “New Party,” which just happened to promote Marxism, and Obama was supported by Dr. Quentin Yong, a socialist who just happened to support a government takeover of the health care system.
In late 1999 Obama purportedly engaged in homosexual activities and cocaine-snorting in the back of a limousine with a man named Larry Sinclair, who claims he was contacted in late 2007 by Donald Young, who just happenedto be the gay choir director of Obama’s Chicago church and who shared information with Sinclair about Obama, and Young just happened to be murdered on December 23, 2007, just weeks after Larry Bland, another gay member of the church, just happened to be murdered, and both murders just happened to have never been solved. In 2008 Sinclair held a press conference to discuss his claims, andjust happened to be arrested immediately after the event, based on a warrant issued by Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who just happens to be the son of Joe Biden.
In 2003 Obama and his wife attended a dinner in honor of Rashid Khalidi, who just happened to be a former PLO operative, harsh critic of Israel, and advocate of Palestinian rights, and who Obama claims he does not know, even though the Obamas just happened to have dined more than once at the home of Khalidi and his wife, Mona, and just happened to have used them as occasional baby-sitters. Obama reportedly praised Khalidi at the decidedly anti-Semitic event, which William Ayers just happened to also attend, and the event Obama pretends he never attended was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network, to which Obama just happened to have funneled cash while serving on the board of the Woods Fund with William Ayers, and one speaker at the dinner remarked that if Palestinians cannot secure a return of their land, Israel “will never see a day of peace,” and entertainment at the dinner included a Muslim children’s dance whose performances just happened to include simulated beheadings with fake swords, and stomping on American, Israeli, and British flags, and Obama allegedly told the audience that “Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine” and there has been “genocide against the Palestinian people by (the) Israelis,” and the Los Angeles Times has a videotape of the event butjust happens to refuse to make it public.
In the 2004 Illinois Democrat primary race for the U.S. Senate, front-runner Blair Hull just happened to be forced out of the race after David Axelrod just happened to manage to get Hull’s sealed divorce records unsealed, which just happened to enable Obama to win the primary, so he could face popular Republican Jack Ryan, whose sealed child custody records from his divorce just happened to become unsealed, forcing Ryan to withdraw from the race, which just happened to enable the unqualified Obama to waltz into the U.S. Senate, where, after a mere 143 days of work, he just happened to decide he was qualified to run for President of the United States.
In honor of President Lyndon Johnson and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, President Barack Obama on Thursday honored Johnson, calling him a “master of politics and the legislative process” who paved the way for him to become the first African-American president.
“Because of the Civil Rights movement, because of the laws President Johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody,” Obama said. “Not just blacks and whites, but also women and Latinos; and Asians and Native Americans; and gay Americans and Americans with a disability. They swung open for you, and they swung open for me. And that’s why I’m standing here today – because of those efforts, because of that legacy.”
As the president faces a divided Congress and tries to recover from the rocky roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, Obama harkened back to Lyndon Johnson’s passage of significant pieces of legislation like the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act.
“Passing laws was what LBJ knew how to do,” Obama said. “No one knew politics and no one loved legislating more than President Johnson. He was charming when he needed to be, ruthless when required. He could wear you down with logic and argument. He could horse trade, and he could flatter.”
“What President Johnson understood was that equality required more than the absence of oppression,” Obama continued. “It required the presence of economic opportunity. He wouldn’t be as eloquent as Dr. King would be in describing that linkage… but he understood that connection because he had lived it. A decent job, decent wages, health care – those, too, were civil rights worth fighting for.”
Using Johnson’s legislative success as a backdrop, Obama made the case that government has a role to play in addressing economic inequality. “In a time when cynicism is too often passed off as wisdom,” Obama said, “it’s perhaps easy to conclude that there are limits to change; that we are trapped by our own history; and politics is a fool’s errand, and we’d be better off if we roll back big chunks of LBJ’s legacy, or at least if we don’t put too much of our hope, invest too much of our hope in our government.”
“I reject such thinking,” Obama added, emphatically.
This magazine has long specialized in debunking pernicious political myths, and Jonah Goldberg has now provided an illuminating catalogue of tyrannical clichés, but worse than the myth and the cliché is the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought, and my nominee for the worst of them is the popular but indefensible belief that the two major U.S. political parties somehow “switched places” vis-à-vis protecting the rights of black Americans, a development believed to be roughly concurrent with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the rise of Richard Nixon. That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century. Perhaps even worse, the Democrats have been allowed to rhetorically bury their Bull Connors, their longstanding affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, and their pitiless opposition to practically every major piece of civil-rights legislation for a century. Republicans may not be able to make significant inroads among black voters in the coming elections, but they would do well to demolish this myth nonetheless.
Even if the Republicans’ rise in the South had happened suddenly in the 1960s (it didn’t) and even if there were no competing explanation (there is), racism – or, more precisely, white southern resentment over the political successes of the civil-rights movement – would be an implausible explanation for the dissolution of the Democratic bloc in the old Confederacy and the emergence of a Republican stronghold there. That is because those southerners who defected from the Democratic party in the 1960s and thereafter did so to join a Republican party that was far more enlightened on racial issues than were the Democrats of the era, and had been for a century. There is no radical break in the Republicans’ civil-rights history: From abolition to Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, there exists a line that is by no means perfectly straight or unwavering but that nonetheless connects the politics of Lincoln with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower. And from slavery and secession to remorseless opposition to everything from Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, there exists a similarly identifiable line connecting John Calhoun and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Supporting civil-rights reform was not a radical turnaround for congressional Republicans in 1964, but it was a radical turnaround for Johnson and the Democrats.
The depth of Johnson’s prior opposition to civil-rights reform must be digested in some detail to be properly appreciated. In the House, he did not represent a particularly segregationist constituency (it “made up for being less intensely segregationist than the rest of the South by being more intensely anti-Communist,” as the New York Times put it), but Johnson was practically antebellum in his views. Never mind civil rights or voting rights: In Congress, Johnson had consistently and repeatedly voted against legislation to protect black Americans from lynching. As a leader in the Senate, Johnson did his best to cripple the Civil Rights Act of 1957; not having votes sufficient to stop it, he managed to reduce it to an act of mere symbolism by excising the enforcement provisions before sending it to the desk of President Eisenhower. Johnson’s Democratic colleague Strom Thurmond nonetheless went to the trouble of staging the longest filibuster in history up to that point, speaking for 24 hours in a futile attempt to block the bill. The reformers came back in 1960 with an act to remedy the deficiencies of the 1957 act, and Johnson’s Senate Democrats again staged a record-setting filibuster. In both cases, the “master of the Senate” petitioned the northeastern Kennedy liberals to credit him for having seen to the law’s passage while at the same time boasting to southern Democrats that he had taken the teeth out of the legislation. Johnson would later explain his thinking thus: “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us, since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this – we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
Johnson did not spring up from the Democratic soil ex nihilo. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fourteenth Amendment. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fifteenth Amendment. Not one voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Eisenhower as a general began the process of desegregating the military, and Truman as president formalized it, but the main reason either had to act was that President Wilson, the personification of Democratic progressivism, had resegregated previously integrated federal facilities. (“If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it,” he declared.) Klansmen from Senator Robert Byrd to Justice Hugo Black held prominent positions in the Democratic party – and President Wilson chose the Klan epic Birth of a Nation to be the first film ever shown at the White House.
Johnson himself denounced an earlier attempt at civil-rights reform as the “nigger bill.” So what happened in 1964 to change Democrats’ minds? In fact, nothing.
President Johnson was nothing if not shrewd, and he knew something that very few popular political commentators appreciate today: The Democrats began losing the “solid South” in the late 1930s – at the same time as they were picking up votes from northern blacks. The Civil War and the sting of Reconstruction had indeed produced a political monopoly for southern Democrats that lasted for decades, but the New Deal had been polarizing. It was very popular in much of the country, including much of the South – Johnson owed his election to the House to his New Deal platform and Roosevelt connections – but there was a conservative backlash against it, and that backlash eventually drove New Deal critics to the Republican party. Likewise, adherents of the isolationist tendency in American politics, which is never very far from the surface, looked askance at what Bob Dole would later famously call “Democrat wars” (a factor that would become especially relevant when the Democrats under Kennedy and Johnson committed the United States to a very divisive war in Vietnam). The tiniest cracks in the Democrats’ southern bloc began to appear with the backlash to FDR’s court-packing scheme and the recession of 1937. Republicans would pick up 81 House seats in the 1938 election, with West Virginia’s all-Democrat delegation ceasing to be so with the acquisition of its first Republican. Kentucky elected a Republican House member in 1934, as did Missouri, while Tennessee’s first Republican House member, elected in 1918, was joined by another in 1932. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the Republican party, though marginal, began to take hold in the South – but not very quickly: Dixie would not send its first Republican to the Senate until 1961, with Texas’s election of John Tower.
At the same time, Republicans went through a long dry spell on civil-rights progress. Many of them believed, wrongly, that the issue had been more or less resolved by the constitutional amendments that had been enacted to ensure the full citizenship of black Americans after the Civil War, and that the enduring marginalization of black citizens, particularly in the Democratic states, was a problem that would be healed by time, economic development, and organic social change rather than through a second political confrontation between North and South. (As late as 1964, the Republican platform argued that “the elimination of any such discrimination is a matter of heart, conscience, and education, as well as of equal rights under law.”) The conventional Republican wisdom of the day held that the South was backward because it was poor rather than poor because it was backward. And their strongest piece of evidence for that belief was that Republican support in the South was not among poor whites or the old elites – the two groups that tended to hold the most retrograde beliefs on race – but among the emerging southern middle class, a fact recently documented by professors Byron Shafer and Richard Johnston in The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South (Harvard University Press, 2006). Which is to say: The Republican rise in the South was contemporaneous with the decline of race as the most important political question and tracked the rise of middle-class voters moved mainly by economic considerations and anti-Communism.
The South had been in effect a Third World country within the United States, and that changed with the post-war economic boom. As Clay Risen put it in the New York Times: “The South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class. This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the GOP. Working-class whites, however – and here’s the surprise – even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats. This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.” The mythmakers would have you believe that it was the opposite: that your white-hooded hillbilly trailer-dwelling tornado-bait voters jumped ship because LBJ signed a civil-rights bill (passed on the strength of disproportionately Republican support in Congress). The facts suggest otherwise.
There is no question that Republicans in the 1960s and thereafter hoped to pick up the angry populists who had delivered several states to Wallace. That was Patrick J. Buchanan’s portfolio in the Nixon campaign. But in the main they did not do so by appeal to racial resentment, direct or indirect. The conservative ascendency of 1964 saw the nomination of Barry Goldwater, a western libertarian who had never been strongly identified with racial issues one way or the other, but who was a principled critic of the 1964 act and its extension of federal power. Goldwater had supported the 1957 and 1960 acts but believed that Title II and Title VII of the 1964 bill were unconstitutional, based in part on a 75-page brief from Robert Bork. But far from extending a welcoming hand to southern segregationists, he named as his running mate a New York representative, William E. Miller, who had been the co-author of Republican civil-rights legislation in the 1950s. The Republican platform in 1964 was hardly catnip for Klansmen: It spoke of the Johnson administration’s failure to help further the “just aspirations of the minority groups” and blasted the president for his refusal “to apply Republican-initiated retraining programs where most needed, particularly where they could afford new economic opportunities to Negro citizens.” Other planks in the platform included: “improvements of civil rights statutes adequate to changing needs of our times; such additional administrative or legislative actions as may be required to end the denial, for whatever unlawful reason, of the right to vote; continued opposition to discrimination based on race, creed, national origin or sex.” And Goldwater’s fellow Republicans ran on a 1964 platform demanding “full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes, to assure equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen.” Some dog whistle.
Of course there were racists in the Republican party. There were racists in the Democratic party. The case of Johnson is well documented, while Nixon had his fantastical panoply of racial obsessions, touching blacks, Jews, Italians (“Don’t have their heads screwed on”), Irish (“They get mean when they drink”), and the Ivy League WASPs he hated so passionately (“Did one of those dirty bastards ever invite me to his f***ing men’s club or goddamn country club? Not once”). But the legislative record, the evolution of the electorate, the party platforms, the keynote speeches – none of them suggests a party-wide Republican about-face on civil rights.
Neither does the history of the black vote. While Republican affiliation was beginning to grow in the South in the late 1930s, the GOP also lost its lock on black voters in the North, among whom the New Deal was extraordinarily popular. By 1940, Democrats for the first time won a majority of black votes in the North. This development was not lost on Lyndon Johnson, who crafted his Great Society with the goal of exploiting widespread dependency for the benefit of the Democratic party. Unlike the New Deal, a flawed program that at least had the excuse of relying upon ideas that were at the time largely untested and enacted in the face of a worldwide economic emergency, Johnson’s Great Society was pure politics. Johnson’s War on Poverty was declared at a time when poverty had been declining for decades, and the first Job Corps office opened when the unemployment rate was less than 5 percent. Congressional Republicans had long supported a program to assist the indigent elderly, but the Democrats insisted that the program cover all of the elderly – even though they were, then as now, the most affluent demographic, with 85 percent of them in households of above-average wealth. Democrats such as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze argued that the Great Society would end “dependency” among the elderly and the poor, but the programs were transparently designed merely to transfer dependency from private and local sources of support to federal agencies created and overseen by Johnson and his political heirs. In the context of the rest of his program, Johnson’s unexpected civil-rights conversion looks less like an attempt to empower blacks and more like an attempt to make clients of them.
If the parties had in some meaningful way flipped on civil rights, one would expect that to show up in the electoral results in the years following the Democrats’ 1964 about-face on the issue. Nothing of the sort happened: Of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the 1964 act, only one would ever change parties. Nor did the segregationist constituencies that elected these Democrats throw them out in favor of Republicans: The remaining 20 continued to be elected as Democrats or were replaced by Democrats. It was, on average, nearly a quarter of a century before those seats went Republican. If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so. They say things move slower in the South – but not that slow.
Republicans did begin to win some southern House seats, and in many cases segregationist Democrats were thrown out by southern voters in favor of civil-rights Republicans. One of the loudest Democratic segregationists in the House was Texas’s John Dowdy, a bitter and buffoonish opponent of the 1964 reforms, which he declared “would set up a despot in the attorney general’s office with a large corps of enforcers under him; and his will and his oppressive action would be brought to bear upon citizens, just as Hitler’s minions coerced and subjugated the German people. I would say this – I believe this would be agreed to by most people: that, if we had a Hitler in the United States, the first thing he would want would be a bill of this nature.” (Who says political rhetoric has been debased in the past 40 years?) Dowdy was thrown out in 1966 in favor of a Republican with a very respectable record on civil rights, a little-known figure by the name of George H. W. Bush.
It was in fact not until 1995 that Republicans represented a majority of the southern congressional delegation – and they had hardly spent the Reagan years campaigning on the resurrection of Jim Crow.
It was not the Civil War but the Cold War that shaped midcentury partisan politics. Eisenhower warned the country against the “military-industrial complex,” but in truth Ike’s ascent had represented the decisive victory of the interventionist, hawkish wing of the Republican party over what remained of the America First/Charles Lindbergh/Robert Taft tendency. The Republican party had long been staunchly anti-Communist, but the post-war era saw that anti-Communism energized and looking for monsters to slay, both abroad – in the form of the Soviet Union and its satellites – and at home, in the form of the growing welfare state, the “creeping socialism” conservatives dreaded. By the middle 1960s, the semi-revolutionary Left was the liveliest current in U.S. politics, and Republicans’ unapologetic anti-Communism – especially conservatives’ rhetoric connecting international socialism abroad with the welfare state at home – left the Left with nowhere to go but the Democratic party. Vietnam was Johnson’s war, but by 1968 the Democratic party was not his alone.
The schizophrenic presidential election of that year set the stage for the subsequent transformation of southern politics: Segregationist Democrat George Wallace, running as an independent, made a last stand in the old Confederacy but carried only five states, while Republican Richard Nixon, who had helped shepherd the 1957 Civil Rights Act through Congress, counted a number of Confederate states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee) among the 32 he carried. Democrat Hubert Humphrey was reduced to a northern fringe plus Texas. Mindful of the long-term realignment already under way in the South, Johnson informed Democrats worried about losing it after the 1964 act that “those states may be lost anyway.” Subsequent presidential elections bore him out: Nixon won a 49-state sweep in 1972, and, with the exception of the post-Watergate election of 1976, Republicans in the following presidential elections would more or less occupy the South like Sherman. Bill Clinton would pick up a handful of southern states in his two contests, and Barack Obama had some success in the post-southern South, notably Virginia and Florida.
The Republican ascendancy in Dixie is associated with the rise of the southern middle class, the increasingly trenchant conservative critique of Communism and the welfare state, the Vietnam controversy and the rise of the counterculture, law-and-order concerns rooted in the urban chaos that ran rampant from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, and the incorporation of the radical Left into the Democratic party. Individual events, especially the freak show that was the 1968 Democratic convention, helped solidify conservatives’ affiliation with the Republican party. Democrats might argue that some of these concerns – especially welfare and crime – are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism, but this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades. Indeed, Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing when he informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures.
President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say has helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.
The Tomahawk missile program – known as “the world’s most advanced cruise missile” – is set to be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.
In addition to the monetary cuts to the program, the number of actual Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States would drop significantly – from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.
The Navy will also be forced to cancel its acquisition of the well-regarded and highly effective Hellfire missiles in 2015, according to Obama’s proposal.
The proposed elimination of these missile programs came as a shock to lawmakers and military experts, who warned ending cutting these missiles would significantly erode America’s ability to deter enemy forces.
“The administration’s proposed budget dramatically under-resources our investments in munitions and leaves the Defense Department with dangerous gaps in key areas, like Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of House Armed Services Committee.
“Increasing our investment in munitions and retaining our technological edge in research and development should be a key component of any serious defense strategy,” he said.
The U.S. Navy relied heavily on them during the 2011 military incursion into Libya, where some 220 Tomahawks were used during the fight.
Nearly 100 of these missiles are used each year on average, meaning that the sharp cuts will cause the Tomahawk stock to be completely depleted by around 2018. This is particularly concerning to defense experts because the Pentagon does not have a replacement missile ready to take the Tomahawk’s place.
“It doesn’t make sense,” said Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”
Cropsey said that if someone were trying to “reduce the U.S. ability to shape events” in the world, “they couldn’t find a better way than depriving the U.S. fleet of Tomahawks. It’s breathtaking.”
The Navy has used various incarnations of the Tomahawk with great success over the past 30 years, employing them during Desert Storm and its battle zones from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Balkans.
While the military as a whole is seeing its budgets reduced and equipment scaled back, the Tomahawk cuts do not appear to be due to a lack of funds.
The administration seems to be taking the millions typically spent on the Tomahawk program and investing it in an experimental missile program that experts say will not be battle ready for at least 10 years.
“It is definitely short-sighted given the value of the Tomahawk as a workhorse,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Pentagon staffer who analyzes military readiness. “The opening days of the U.S. lead-from-behind, ‘no-fly zone’ operation over Libya showcased how important this inventory of weapons is still today.”
Overall, the Navy has essentially cut in half its weapons procurement plan, impacting a wide range of tactical weapons and missiles.
Navy experts and retired officials fear that the elimination of the Tomahawk and Hellfire systems – and the lack of a battle-ready replacement – will jeopardize the U.S. Navy’s supremacy as it faces increasingly advanced militaries from North Korea to the Middle East.
The cuts are “like running a white flag up on a very tall flag pole and saying, ‘We are ready to be walked on,’” Cropsey said.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell called the cuts to the Tomahawk program devastating for multiple reasons.
“We run a huge risk because so much of our national policy for immediate response is contingent on our national security team threatening with Tomahawk missiles,” said Russell, who is currently running for Congress.
“The very instrument we will often use and cite, we’re now cutting the program,” Russell said. “There was a finite number [of Tomahawk’s] made and they’re not being replenished.”
“If our national policy is contingent on an immediate response with these missile and we’re not replacing them, then what are we going do?” Russell asked.
North Korea, for instance, has successfully tested multi-stage rockets and other ballistic missiles in recent months. Experts say this is a sign that the Navy’s defensive capabilities will become all the more important in the Pacific in the years to come.
Meanwhile, the experimental anti-ship cruise missile meant to replace the Tomahawk program will not be battle ready for at least 10 years, according to some experts.
The Long Range Anti Ship Missile has suffered from extremely expensive development costs and has underperformed when tested.
“You have to ask yourself: An anti-ship missile is not going to be something we can drive into a cave in Tora Bora,” Russell said. “To replace it with something not needed as badly, and invest in something not even capable of passing basic tests, that causes real concern.”
The Pentagon did not return requests for comment.
2 + 2 = Social Justice
The far left unionists are now successfully politicizing math in the classroom.
In March Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis urged fellow teachers to politicize math at their schools. Lewis spoke at the Network for Public Education conference in Texas.
Via EAG News:
“People always talk about how that there’s no politics and values in math. That you can teach math and there’s no place for social justice. So let me tell you how Bob (Peterson) deals with that,” Lewis said.
She went on to describe a math story problem about money and the cost of pencils.
“That’s a very political statement because it’s all about consumerism – it’s about buying stuff, right?
“Bob Peterson tells them about José working in a factory making piecemeal clothes. He uses the same numbers and gets the same answer. And yes, math is political, too.”
Another day, another illegal Obamacare delay.
Via The Hill:
The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.
As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.
Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.
The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.
The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.
“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”
Shots rang out and tension remained high in the streets of Kiev Friday, as Ukrainian protest leaders signed a deal with Ukraine’s president to defuse a political crisis that has left scores dead and hundreds injured.
After hours of European-led negotiations, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement with opposition leaders Friday that calls for early elections, a new constitution and a new unity government. The deal promises presidential elections will be held no later than December, instead of March 2015 as scheduled.
Many protesters say December is too late – they want Yanukovych out immediately.
Ukrainian authorities also will now name a new government – including opposition figures – within 10 days. The deal says the government will not impose a state of emergency and both sides will refrain from violence.
It’s a “good compromise for Ukraine. Gives peace a chance. Opens the way for reform and to Europe. Poland and EU support it,” European Union mediator, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, said in a Twitter post Friday.
The Ukrainian parliament approved amnesty for protesters involved in the violent months-long standoff, following the agreement Friday. The parliament also voted to restore the 2004 constitution that limits presidential powers, clawing back some of the powers that Yanukovych had pushed through after being elected in 2010. Although Yanukovych retains an apparent majority in parliament, his powers are now significantly reduced.
Yanukovych gave in to pressure from European diplomats, offering concessions – including elections – and promising to invite the opposition into the government, in an attempt to end the violence.
Opposition leader Oleh Yaroslavovych Tyahnybok says one condition of the agreement was that the present interior minister and prosecutor-general be excluded from any interim government, Reuters reported, citing Interfax.
Russian officials immediately criticized the deal and protesters angry over police violence showed no sign of abandoning their sprawling camp in central Kiev. While opposition leaders agreed that protesters should hand over any weapons and withdraw from occupied buildings and protest camps around the country, it’s far from clear whether the thousands of demonstrators camped out in Kiev Friday will go home.
One by one, protesters took to a stage on Independence Square to say they’re not happy and didn’t get what they wanted.
A statement on the website of the Health Ministry said 77 people had been killed between Tuesday morning, when the violence began, and Friday morning. The statement said 577 people had been wounded and 369 hospitalized. Opposition sources claimed at least 70 on their side were killed Thursday. There was no way to immediately verify the figures.
European foreign ministers had stayed up all night in Kiev trying to negotiate an end to the standoff, sparked when the president aborted a pact with the European Union in November in favor of close ties with Russia instead.
The U.S., Russia and European Union are deeply concerned about the future of Ukraine, a nation of 46 million that has divided loyalties between Russia and the West.
Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the committee in charge of relations with other ex-Soviet nations in the lower house of Russian parliament, told reporters Friday that the agreement serves the interests of the West.
“We realize where and by whom this agreement has been written. It’s entirely in the interests of the United States and other powers, who want to split Ukraine from Russia,” Slutsky said.
Slutsky also shrugged off claims that Russia could send its troops to Ukraine, saying Moscow will communicate with any government Ukraine has. “No matter how bad and hard to deal with the new government is for us, we will deal with it,” he said. “We must learn from mistakes we have made.”
Lawmaker Inna Bogoslovskaya, allied with the opposition, told The AP that December is too late for elections. “After 77 corpses yesterday… that changes the stakes,” she said. “The Maidan (protest movement) demands immediate resignation of the president instead of early elections.”
Protesters will not abandon occupied buildings until after the constitution is changed, she added.
“It’s completely not enough,” said protester Anton Gusev, standing at one of the barricades near city hall. Referring to the election date, he said, “December or March – what difference does it make?”
At the city hall barricade, protesters were busily organizing stacks of tires. The street was crowded with people heading toward the central square.
Several regions in the west of the country are in open revolt against the central government, while many in eastern Ukraine back the president and favor strong ties with Russia, their former Soviet ruler.
In a sign of the high tensions, armed law enforcement officers tried to enter parliament Friday morning during a debate over measures to end the crisis. Shouting lawmakers pushed them out.
The report of a deal followed the worst violence yet in the confrontation between the government and protesters. Demonstrators advanced on police lines in the heart of the Ukrainian capital on Thursday, prompting government snipers to shoot back and kill scores of people in the country’s deadliest day since the breakup of the Soviet Union a quarter-century ago.
Protesters across the country are upset over corruption in Ukraine, the lack of democratic rights and the country’s ailing economy, which just barely avoided bankruptcy with the first disbursement of a $15 billion bailout promised by Russia.
The violence is making Ukraine’s economic troubles worse. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Ukraine’s debt rating Friday, saying the country will likely default if there are no significant improvements in the political crisis, which it does not expect.
H/T Right Scoop
VIRTUAL INAUGURAL ADDRESS
Make no mistake about it folks, our wonderful community organizer in chief is very far to the left of center in his political views and ideology. In fact, I really doubt that very many people realize just how much of a radical Obama really is in his personal beliefs. If you doubt this, perhaps his new nomination will change your mind on this score.
Obama has just nominated an man who has tirelessly advocated for the release of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. The incident in question occurred back in 1982, when the former Black Panther shot and killed Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner as he tried to arrest Abu-Jamal’s brother during a traffic stop. Mumia shot the officer once in the back and then reportedly stood over him and shot four more times including once directly in the face.
Abu-Jamal also never even denied the killing during his trial. Both he and his supporters are unapologetic about the death of Officer Faulkner, thinking that they were fully justified in this situation. As far as whether or not he is guilty, there are a number of eyewitnesses present at the scene. Not to mention the fact that even his brother did not testify to his innocence and Abu-Jamal chose not to testify in his own defense. It has also been widely reported that Abu-Jamal confessed the killing to several hospital workers, both of which testified affirmatively at the trial. He reportedly said that he killed the officer and that he hoped he dies.
Guess what? One of the people who has been an unapologetic supporter of Mr. Mumia throughout all these years is former NAACP Legal Defense Official Debo P Adegbile. He has worked tirelessly to free Mumia from prison, thankfully unsuccessfully.
Now, our community organizer in chief has once again demonstrated what truly ultra-Liberal and left wing ties and beliefs he really has by nominating Adegbile to head the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division as an assistant attorney general. He is looking to replace another radical, Tom Perez, who has now moved on to become the Secretary of Labor. What a team of colorful characters King Obama has included in his Regime. It is like all of the ultra-left radicals and rebels from the 70′s and early 80′s are now coming home to roost and actually taking over the system!
Certainly we can guess at the motivation of Obama for making such a move right now. This famous liberal and cop-killer advocate will undoubtedly continue to carry out the radical racial agenda already begun by Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Of course, this time he will be doing it from inside the system, with the force of the law behind him. That might be the scariest thing about all of this.
One of the things that we can expect to see if this man is confirmed will be a new investigation into the case of Mumia the cop-killer. Back in 2010 the Supreme Court threw out the Beard v Abu-Jamal case, officially ending his appeal process. However, there was a petition circulated for Obama and Holder to investigate the “long history of civil rights and constitutional violations” in the Abu-Jamal case. It is sad to think that despite multiple appeals and court rulings over the past three decades upholding the conviction, that we might end up see this convicted radical cop-killer have a chance for release because he friends are now running the system. There is an old phrase about ‘show me your friends and I will tell you who are.’ The company that Obama keeps speaks volumes about how he really feels.
What do YOU think? Is this nomination a good idea? Do you think it will be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate? Are you now convinced that Obama may just be even more of a radical than most people realize?