It’s nice to be rich, and not just because you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from. No, being a millionaire is the ultimate definition of “never having to say you’re sorry.” But now Chicago millionaires are fleeing the city due to concerns over racial tensions and rising crime rates, according to a report by research firm New World Wealth. That’s right, the very people that have milked the city dry through corruption and bribery for the last 90 years, are packing their bags and leaving the ruins to the rabble, you.
“About 3,000 individuals with net assets of $1 million or more, not including the value of their primary residences, moved from the city last year, with many citing rising racial tensions and worries about crime as factors in the decision,” says the report. Chicago is third on the list of cities experiencing an exodus of millionaires, behind Paris and Rome. Both of which are cities that have been ran by Socialist administrations since the last world war. The French capital lost a stunning 7,000 millionaires – 6 per cent – over the last year alone, while Rome lost 5,000 or 7 per cent.
Increasing wealth inequality combined with the rise of extreme protest movements like ‘Black Lives Matter’ provide a toxic cocktail that virtually guarantees social disorder. Wealthy elites are also installing panic rooms in their big city apartments due to fears over potential civil unrest and skyrocketing crime. “The world is a very scary place right now, especially for people of means; they feel cornered and threatened,” Tom Gaffney, the president of Gaffco Ballistics, a company which installs safe rooms in New York City, told the NY Times.
Fearing global unrest and the possibility of another major conflict, many members of the elite have also been buying remote property and land in places like New Zealand, according to reports that emerged out of last year’s Davos Economic Forum. Economist Robert Johnson said the rich were making such purchases “because they think they need a getaway” from Ferguson-style riots that will erupt as a result of widening wealth inequality, which it at its worse in virtually all developed countries since the 1980s. According to realtors involved in the sale of remote property, the elite are concerned about “what is happening around them” and are looking for stable areas of the world to both live and store their wealth due to their “paranoia” over the precarious global situation.
Hillary Clinton has won the South Carolina Democratic primary, notching a decisive win in a state where she suffered a devastating loss just eight years ago.
The Associated Press called the race for the former secretary of state over rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders just seconds after the polls closed at 7 p.m. ET. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton was leading Sanders by a nearly 50 point margin, 74 percent to 26 percent.
“Today you sent a message in America that when we stand together, there is no barrier too big to break,” Clinton declared in her victory speech in Columbia, S.C. “Tomorrow this campaign goes national. We are going to compete for every vote in every state. We are not taking anything for granted.”
Clinton struck a populist tone as she spoke too, backed by younger voters behind her on stage – a demographic she’s struggled to capture over Sanders.
“Together we can break down all the barriers holding our families and our country back. We can build ladders of opportunity and empowerment so every single American can have that chance to live up to his or her God-given potential,” Clinton thundered. “Then and only then can America live up to its full potential, too.”
“We’re going to work together to give people – particularly young people – the tools you need,” she added.
A Clinton victory in the first Southern primary had long been expected, and even the Vermont senator’s campaign seemed resigned to a loss as voting began. Instead of remaining in the Palmetto State to wait for results, Sanders opted instead to turn his eye toward Super Tuesday states voting March 1. He was campaigning in Minnesota on Saturday night.
Sanders congratulated Clinton in a statement but cast attention toward the other contests in just three days.
“Let me be clear on one thing tonight. This campaign is just beginning. We won a decisive victory in New Hampshire. She won a decisive victory in South Carolina. Now it’s on to Super Tuesday,” Sanders said.
“In just three days, Democrats in 11 states will pick 10 times more pledged delegates on one day than were selected in the four early states so far in this campaign,” he continued. “Our grassroots political revolution is growing state by state, and we won’t stop now.”
Still, the South Carolina victory is an important one for Clinton and gives her a boost of momentum heading into Super Tuesday, when voters in more than a dozen states will go to the polls and 865 delegates are up for grabs.
South Carolina was the first contest in which a majority of the electorate had been made up of minority voters, and Clinton won black voters handily.
According to early exit polls, a record 62 percent share of Democratic voters were African-American, an increase from even the previous 55 percent benchmark eight years ago. Clinton was on track to capture 84 percent of those votes.
Clinton won all women voters by 58 points and carried black women (37 percent of the electorate) by 78 points. Clinton carried white women 18 points, while Sanders won white men by 14 points.
Younger voters – a key part of the Sanders base – were a much smaller share of the electorate than in previous contests this year. In Iowa and New Hampshire, voters under 30 made up just under 20 percent of the primary vote.
The South Carolina electorate was heavily supportive of President Obama, who beat Clinton in the state in the 2008 contest. Seventy-four percent of the Democratic electorate said the next president should generally continue Obama’s policies, and Clinton won those voters 81 to 19 percent, per exit polls. Sanders carried the 17 percent of voters who wanted the next president to implement more liberal policies.
A clear majority of Democrats believe socialism has a “positive impact on society,” according to a poll by the American Action Forum (AAF).
The political and economic system that wreaks havoc across the world from Venezuela to North Korea is enjoying widespread support in the modern Democratic Party.
A telephone poll of 1,000 likely Democratic primary voters found that when capitalism and socialism were polled head to head, socialism won by 15 percentage points, with just 25 percent of respondents saying they favored capitalism.
In terms of definition, the poll made clear that socialism meant a greater role for government in the economy and substantial wealth redistribution, but the idea itself was not clearly defined by its traditional meaning as government ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
But despite some haziness around precise wording, there was no doubt that the number of Democrats who favored a totally socialised healthcare system far outstripped those who favored retaining a private model of healthcare.
Not only are Democrats far to the left of mainstream America on the question of socialism and health care but they are also largely suspicious of how the media covers hot button issues such as racial equality on campus.
More than two-thirds of those surveyed agreed with the statement “most of the media in our country is controlled by corporations who are more interested in profits than telling the truth. Before a corporate owned media entity covers a campus rally for racial equality, they should first prove that they are not biased against the content of the rally.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s decision to stand for the Democratic nomination on a platform of democratic socialism has sparked furious debate over what socialism means and whether it has a place in 21st century America. AFF’s poll suggests there’s a wide reservoir of support for many of the policies Sanders advocates.
Competing Democrats debate each other one night. Republican rivals take their shots at each other a couple of nights later. An air of frenetic normalcy sets over primary season: The country is $20 trillion in the red and under heightened terrorist threat, yet pols bicker over the legacy of Henry Kissinger and the chameleon nature of Donald Trump – another liability the mogul is marketing as an asset. It is business as usual.
Except nothing about the 2016 campaign is business as usual.
For all the surreal projection of normalcy, the race is enveloped by an extremely serious criminal investigation. If press reporting is to be believed – in particular, the yeoman’s work of Fox News’s Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne – Hillary Clinton, the likely nominee of one of the two major parties, appears to have committed serious felony violations of federal law.
That she has the audacity to run despite the circumstances is no surprise – Clinton scandals, the background music of our politics for a quarter-century, are interrupted only by new Clinton scandals. What is shocking is that the Democrats are allowing her to run.
For some Democrats, alas, any criminality by the home team is immaterial. A couple of weeks back, The Donald bragged, as is his wont, that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” Trump was kidding (at least, I think he was). Unfortunately, the statement might have been true had it sprung from Mrs. Clinton’s lips.
In a Democratic party dominated by the hard Left, the power Left, what matters is keeping Republicans out of the White House, period. Democrats whored themselves for Bill through the Nineties, seemingly unembarrassed over the lie it put to their soaring tropes about women’s rights, good government, getting money out of politics, etc. They will close ranks around Hillary, too. After all, if she was abusing power while advancing the cause of amassing power – er, I mean, the cause of social justice – what’s the harm?
More-centrist Democrats realize there could be great harm, but they seem paralyzed. The American people, they know, are not the hard Left: If Mrs. Clinton is permitted to keep plodding on toward the nomination only to be indicted after she has gotten it, the party’s chances of holding on to the White House probably disappear. By then, there may not be time to organize a national campaign with a suitable candidate (as opposed to a goofy 74-year-old avowed socialist).
So these Democrats play Russian roulette: hopefully assuming that the FBI won’t dare recommend criminal charges with the stakes so high; that the Obama Justice Department won’t prosecute if charges are recommended; that Obama will figure out a way to intervene with a pardon that won’t do Clinton too much damage, and that the public can be spun into thinking an investigation led by Obama appointees and career law-enforcement officers is somehow a Vast-Right-Wing-Conspiracy plot dreamt up by Republicans.
Many of these Democrats know that the right thing to do for their party – and country – is to demand that Mrs. Clinton step aside. They also know that if they do the right thing, and Clinton wins anyway, there will be vengeance – Hillary being the vengeful sort. So mum’s the word.
Their silence will not change the facts.
To take the simplest of many apparent national-security violations, it is a felony for a person “being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any… information relating to the national defense” to permit that information “through gross negligence… to be removed from its proper place of custody” or to be “delivered to anyone in violation of his trust” (Section 793(f) of Title 18, U.S. Code).
Mrs. Clinton was entrusted with national-defense information and knew that working with such classified intelligence was a substantial part of her duties as secretary of state. Despite this knowledge, she willfully, and against government rules, set up a private, non-secure e-mail communication system for all of her government-related correspondence – making it inevitable that classified matters would be discussed on the system. This was gross negligence at best. And the easily foreseeable result is that classified intelligence was removed from its secure government repository and transmitted to persons not entitled to have it – very likely including foreign intelligence services that almost certainly penetrated Mrs. Clinton’s non-secure system.
The penalty for violating this penal statute is up to ten years’ imprisonment for each individual violation. Mind you, there are already 1,600 reported instances of classified information being transmitted via the Clinton server system, and the latest indications are that at least twelve, and as many as 30, private e-mail accounts are known to have trafficked in our nation’s defense secrets. Many of these account holders were certainly not cleared for access to the information – and none of them was permitted to access it in a non-secure setting.
Fox has also reported that the FBI has expanded its investigation to possible public-corruption offenses – the cozy connections between the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Clinton-connected businesses; the question whether Clinton Foundation donors received favorable treatment in government contracts. Such allegations could fill a book. Indeed, investigative journalist Peter Schweizer has written just such a book: Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
It’s a hair-raising story, but corruption cases are tough to prove. Comparatively, classified-information offenses are straightforward: There is a paper trail and secret intelligence either ended up someplace it was not supposed to be or it didn’t. Corruption cases, by contrast, can involve complex transactions and the gray area between grimy political deals and actionable quid pro quo. They hinge on proving the state of mind of the players, which can be challenging.
So I want to pass over that for now and think about something rarely mentioned in the Clinton caper: the unknown e-mails. What has been revealed about Mrs. Clinton’s disclosed e-mails has been so shocking that we often forget: There are 30,000 other e-mails that she attempted to destroy. We do not know what’s in them, so it is only natural that we have focused instead on what is knowable – the e-mails that have been disclosed. But there have been media reports that the FBI, to which Mrs. Clinton finally surrendered her private servers some months ago, has been able to retrieve many of the “deleted” e-mails, perhaps even all of them.
Mrs. Clinton told us she destroyed these e-mails because they were private and unrelated to government business. Basically we are to believe that one of the busiest, highest-ranking officials in our government had time to send tens of thousands of e-mails that were strictly about yoga routines, her daughter’s bridesmaids’ dresses, and the like. This, from the same Mrs. Clinton who looked us in the eye and insisted that none of her e-mails contained classified information.
Anyone want to join me in indulging the possibility that many of the deleted e-mails involve government business?
I ask because, wholly apart from any classified information crimes, there is another penal law defining an offense that is very easy to prove: the federal embezzlement statute (Section 641 of Title 18, U.S. Code). This provision targets anyone who, among other things,
embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use…, or without authority… conveys or disposes of any record… of the United States or of any department or agency thereof…; or …conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use… knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted.
As with the afore-described crime of mishandling classified information, the penalty for violating this statute is up to ten years’ imprisonment for each instance of theft.
To the extent Mrs. Clinton’s e-mails involved government business, they were not private – they were government records. When she left the State Department, however, she took these government records with her: She didn’t tell anyone she had them, and she converted them to her own use – preventing the government from complying with lawful Freedom of Information Act disclosure demands, congressional inquiries, and government-disclosure obligations in judicial proceedings, as well as undermining the State Department’s reliance on the completeness of its recordkeeping in performing its crucial functions.
I believe that Clinton has already violated the embezzlement law with respect to the 30,000 e-mails she finally surrendered to the State Department nearly two years after leaving. But for argument’s sake, let’s give her a pass on those. Let’s consider only the 30,000 e-mails that she withheld and attempted to destroy but that the FBI has reportedly recovered. Does anyone really doubt that this mountain of e-mail contains State Department-related communications – i.e., government files?
In a better time, responsible Democrats would already have disqualified Mrs. Clinton on the quaint notion that fitness for the nation’s highest office means something more than the ability to evade indictment for one’s sleazy doings. But now we have a candidate who may not – and should not – be able to meet even that lowly standard. No self-respecting political party would permit her to run. Obviously, a plea to do the right thing is not a winning appeal to today’s Democrats. But what are we left with if appeals to self-interest also fall on deaf ears?
Nobody wants to watch Communists argue over who’s the rightful heir to Marx.
MSNBC’s feisty debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton received high marks from political observers, but not high ratings from ordinary viewers.
It was the lowest-rated debate of the 2016 election cycle by far, according to preliminary Nielsen data. The debate had a 3.3 household rating in Nielsen’s metered markets.
The prior low was a 6.0 household rating for ABC’s Democrat debate on the Saturday night before Christmas.
That American democracy would allow even one vote to be decided by a coin toss seems bizarre – but somehow the outcome of six separate Iowa Caucus precinct elections were decided by the flip of a coin Monday. And Hillary Clinton won them all.
The Democrats’ Iowa Caucus appears to be a “virtual tie” between Bernie Sanders and Clinton – or a hairline win for Clinton, depending on whom you ask. But before eking out the narrowest of victories against Sanders, Clinton won a truly bizarre-sounding six coin tosses used to decide which candidate would get the votes of several Iowa precincts that were too tied up to call.
Precincts in Des Moines, Newton, West Branch, Davenport and Ames were decided by coin tosses, according to Reuters, and became crucial parts of Clinton’s Monday night win. Democratic Party counts show Clinton ultimately winning the Iowa Caucus by just four delegates.
If you’re still scratching your head over how this could happen, the Iowa Democratic Party sort of explains: On the night of the caucus, Iowans vote for their favorite candidate. Each precinct receives a set number of delegates, and the number of precinct delegates each candidate gets is proportional to the votes he or she got from the precinct’s population. Votes from those delegates ultimately determine the night’s big winner. When a precinct’s delegates vote and it results in a tie, the precinct leaders can flip a coin to figure out which candidate should win their majority.
You can watch some Democracy in action below:
Apparently Iowa is just one of 35 states to use “chance procedures” – a.k.a. throwing a coin in the air in exasperation and walking away in shame – to determine tied elections, according to the Washington Post.
The Iowa Democratic Party informed the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders late Monday night that it has no results for 90 precincts across the state, which could account for as much as 5 percent of the total vote. And the party has asked the campaigns for help in getting a tally for those missing results.
“We are, right now, calling all our precinct captains on precincts where we have knowledge of what’s missing, to report what we think happened there,” a visibly irate Robert Becker, Sanders’ state director told Roll Call after Sanders’ speech at the Holiday Inn near the Des Moines airport.
“They’ve asked the other campaigns to do the same thing. At the end of the day, there’s probably going to be squabbles on it,” he added.
An Iowa Democratic Party official disputed Becker’s characterization.
“We are currently getting results from our small number of outstanding precincts, and results continue to be reported on our public website,” an Iowa Democratic Party official told Roll Call. “The reports of precincts without chairs are inaccurate. These outstanding precincts have chairs who we are in the process of contacting to get their results. It is inaccurate to report that these precincts did not have chairs.”
“We have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for our outstanding precincts. We are not taking results from the campaigns. We are taking them from the chairs who are in these precincts,” the official added.
Clinton and Sanders were locked in a virtual tie for most of the evening, with the state party announcing early Tuesday morning that Clinton achieved a slight edge in delegate counts.
“The party has a responsibility to staff 1,681 individual precincts. And what we’re seeing right now is that they had no-shows. People not showing up with the materials, not showing up with the app to report it. And when they’re telling us an hour ago that they have basically lost 90 precincts, it’s an outrage,” Becker said. “It’s insulting to the people who worked their asses off across this state that they can’t come up with people to cover these things.”
Attempts to reach the Clinton campaign early Tuesday were unsuccessful.
“I’m assuming they’re in the same boat. And they should be just as outraged as we are,” Becker fumed.
Two officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations will be attending the State of the Union address Tuesday as guests of Democratic lawmakers.
Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) and Alcee Hastings (Fla.) will both be hosting representatives from CAIR chapters in their respective states, the group announced Monday.
Lofgren will be bringing Sameena Usman, a government relations coordinator in the San Francisco office, while Hastings will host Nezar Hamze, the chief operating officer of the nonprofit’s Florida branch.
The announcement comes days after Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, challenged Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to bring a Muslim American as one of his guests to the speech.
“This is an opportunity to really drive the point home that there are no Americans who are suspect just based on their religious identity, that all Americans are welcome in the people’s house,” Ellison said in an interview with The Hill.
Demoratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has also urged Democratic lawmakers to bring Muslims to the speech as a rebuke to what she sees is anti-Islamic language from the right.
“The rhetoric and vitriol that has been targeted at this community has been absolutely outrageous and unacceptable,” Wasserman Schultz said at a news conference according to The Sun-Sentinel.
“And as a member of a minority religion myself, one that has faced persecution throughout our existence, to me the idea that we would stand idly by and ignore that and not stand up and use our voices to stand up for our brothers and sisters in the Muslim-American community was just unacceptable.”
CAIR has been an outspoken critic of some Republican presidential contenders, including front-runner Donald Trump, who has called for temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.
The organization also called on Ben Carson to drop out from the race after the former neurosurgeon said that he does not believe a Muslim should be president without first denouncing Sharia law.
Carson later responded by calling for a federal investigation into CAIR, which he accused of supporting terrorism, as a part of his plan to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
An FBI chart has surfaced depicting connections between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the chart shows CAIR falling under the umbrella of the jihadi outfit.
This FBI chart details the Hamas-related groups, which included CAIR, that were created to ultimately support the Palestinian terrorist organization. It also established Nabil Sadoun’s (former CAIR national board of directors member and vice chairman) connections to Hamas.
The IPT also obtained groundbreaking new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents that trail CAIR back to its roots as a subversive Hamas-related group.
In 2007, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, a Hamas financing case that would result in the FBI ceasing its working relationship with CAIR. The HLF trial was the largest terror-financing case in American history. In 2008, during a retrial of the HLF case, an FBI Special Agent labeled CAIR as “a front group for Hamas” during her trial testimony. In 2010, a federal judge reiterated that his court had “ample evidence” that CAIR was involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.” CAIR, which relies upon millions of dollars in Saudi cash, was recently listed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a terrorist organization.
The group, which fashions itself as a civil rights voice for American Muslims, was founded by members of the Palestine Committee (PALCOM), an organization “established to support Hamas,” according to the chart. Nihad Awad, currently CAIR’s executive director, was previously an official at PALCOM.
The FBI declaration submitted in connection with removal proceedings for Nabil Sadoun (a former top CAIR official) said PALCOM members used coded language to discuss the “true nature” of their clandestine operations in support of Hamas. During a Philadelphia conference, which was being wiretapped by the FBI, they “referred to Hamas as ‘Samah’ – Hamas spelled backwards – or simply as ‘the Movement,’” the FBI declaration said.
“It is clear that the true nature of the PALCOM meeting was to discuss the means to support Hamas’ goal to undermine the peace process (between Israel and the Palestinians) and to thwart law enforcement in the United States,” the FBI declaration read.
According to the FBI declaration, attendees of the Philly meeting “discussed how ‘Samah’ would one day be labeled as a terrorist organization by the US government,” the document said, adding they “discussed the need to create a new, uncompromised front group in the United States under the veil of some cover palatable to the American public.”
CAIR was “subsequently founded” after the Philly Conference, where attendees discussed the “need to create a new front organization” for Hamas, the FBI declaration said, with PALCOM tasking Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad to chair the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). A third founder, Nabil Sadoun, would join shortly thereafter as Vice-Chairman of CAIR. According to the FBI, Sadoun was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and “was affiliated with Hamas.” Sadoun was also involved with other organizations that solicited funding for Hamas. At one point, he brought Hamas chairman Khaled Mashaal to keynote a conference in Oklahoma City, the FBI declaration reveals.
Before becoming CAIR’s Vice-Chair, Sadoun was motivated by violent jihad, IPT found. Asked about the Middle East conflict with “the Jews” (Israel) in a 1993 interview, Sadoun described the conflict as “the first priority for Muslim[s] until the Holy Land is liberated and the backbone of the Jews is broken.” He also discussed “raising the spirit of jihad and the struggle amidst the Palestinian people… to form a tight Islamic front to face the Zionist Existence and put an end to it.” Sadoun would later be deported from the country, ordered removed from the U.S. by an Immigration Court after authorities alleged he lied about his affiliation with organizations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Democratic lawmakers visited a mosque on Friday to show solidarity with Muslims in the wake of rising anti-Islamic rhetoric. They also showed resistance to any attempts by Republicans to restrict Syrian refugees from entering the country.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., attended prayer service at a Northern Virginia mosque on Friday. The visit was in response to try and tamp down rising anti-Islamic rhetoric, but comes at a time when Congress is beginning negotiations on how to fund the government.
Republicans have floated the idea of inserting language into the omnibus government spending package to block Syrian refugees. The bill must be passed by Dec. 11, when the government runs out of money, but Beyer pushed back against calls from Republicans to tighten refugee restrictions.
“It is really important to realize how tough it is to be one of those Americans admitted,” he told the Washington Examiner after a press conference at the mosque.
Beyer noted that the asylum application process typically takes about two years, and there are much easier ways for potential terrorists to enter the country. He did agree to reforms to the visa process, which in some cases has weak background checks.
But the Virginia lawmaker demurred when asked whether he would advocate shutting down the federal government if the omnibus funding package includes tougher restrictions on refugees.
“I think we should wait and see if there is that kind of language in the omnibus and what it looks like,” he said.
Outside groups are pushing to ensure that Democrats don’t waver when it comes to refugees, even in the face of a government shutdown.
Polling commissioned by the liberal group MoveOn.org recently released showed 59 percent of Americans want the U.S. to do more for refugees. The poll data was of 800 Americans and was completed about eight days after the Paris terror attacks.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations also joined with several refugee groups to lobby on the issue.
“We are pressing Congress not to include any Syrian refugee exclusion provisions in the omnibus bill,” said Robert McCaw, head of government affairs for CAIR, at the mosque.
Beyer said he coordinated the visit to the mosque because he wanted to help tamp down anti-Islamic rhetoric that has inflamed since the terrorist attack in Paris, and the California shootings this past week. Beyer said that he mainly reached out to his Democratic colleagues, however, and only informally to some Republicans.
The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center recently had a bomb threat and had Molotov cocktails thrown into the parking lot, according to lawmakers attending the event.
The mosque has controversial ties to terrorists, as Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan was reportedly worshiping there. The mosque also previously had an imam, typically known as a prayer leader, named Anwar al-Awlaki that the government believes was a recruiter for terrorists.
Shaker El-Sayed, the imam that led prayers on Friday, called for an end to harmful anti-Islamic rhetoric and no retaliation from his congregation.
“No religion teaches terrorism,” he said.
For the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States of America, I hereby officially and wholeheartedly announce my endorsement for – The Empty Lectern!
Debate hosts CNN and Facebook announced earlier this week that they were saving an extra debate podium just in case a liberal knight in shining armor rode in at the last minute to provide desperately-needed legitimacy to the stable of lame donkeys on stage.
But I say forget the knight. The Empty Lectern alone stands head and shoulders above the five candidates now running for the Democratic nomination.
In fact, one does not even have to have watched Tuesday night’s debate to know that the most honest, capable and inspiring leader in the Democratic field is, hands down, The Empty Lectern.
Not since Clint Eastwood introduced us to The Empty Chair at the 2012 Republican Convention has a piece of furniture captured the hopes and dreams of such a despondent electorate.
Let’s not waste time on all the sad and sordid negative reasons that disqualify the rest of the Democratic field to hold the highest office in the land. Let’s just focus on all the positive attributes of The Empty Lectern and why she would be so great as America’s first woman president.
Probably the single greatest thing about The Empty Lectern is that she is NOT married to a sex predator. She truly stands for women’s rights.
The Empty Lectern also never voted to send American troops to die and get disfigured in a war that she didn’t really actually believe in – a war that she later determined was so disastrously hopeless that she was instrumental in surrendering it to the most dangerous jihadi terrorists the world has ever seen.
Nor did she spark protests that killed countless people around the world by falsely blaming a coordinated terrorist attack at an American Embassy on outrage over a two-bit crank film about the Prophet Mohammad that nobody saw – until she made it famous.
The Empty Lectern is open, true and honest. She has never hidden Rose Law Firm records or stashed an unsecured server in her bathroom to keep her employer from reading all the dastardly dealings she was doing over government email.
She is still clean and sturdy and has not weathered the public eye for a quarter of a century.
And that is just comparing The Empty Lectern to the Democratic front-runner!
Consider the rest of the field such as The Gray-Headed Hoot Owl that is nipping at her heels.
At the very least, The Empty Lectern does not describe herself as a “socialist Democrat.” I mean, what is that, anyway? An unprincipled Communist?
Nor has she been a professional politician for 35 years from a politically crackpot state and been a member of Congress since 1991.
The Empty Lectern also has never surrendered the stage to angry Black Lives Matter protesters, or even worse, apologized for saying “all lives matter.” And nor was the city she governed in the state she governed literally in flames earlier this year as a testament to the failure of her government policies.
So, you can sit around waiting for a white knight in shining armor to ride in, but I am going with The Empty Lectern for the Democratic nomination.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 248 to 177 on Friday afternoon to approve a bill that would give a born baby who survives an abortion the same protection under the law as “any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”
Under the bill, the Congressional Research Service explained in its official summary of the legislation, “An individual who commits an overt act that kills a child born alive is subject to criminal prosecution for murder.”
The bill would also “require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.”
Five Democrats voted for the bill, and all 177 votes against it were cast by Democratic members. One member, Rep. John Garamendi (D.-Calif.), voted present, and eight members, including three Republicans and five Democrats did not vote.
Among the members who voted against this bill that would clarify that it is an act of murder to kill a baby who survives an abortion were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Jackie Speier (D.-Calif.), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.)
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R.-Ariz.), who was joined by 98 co-sponsors. These included Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R.-Mo.), and Rep. Kristi Noem (R.-S.D.).
“The Born Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act protects little children who have been born alive,” Rep. Franks said in a speech on the House floor before the vote. “No one in this body can obscure the humanity and the personhood of these little born alive babies.”
“The abortion industry labored all these decades to convince the world that unborn children and born children should be completely separated in our minds, that while born children are persons worthy of protection, unborn children are not persons and are not worthy of protection,” he said.
“But those who oppose this bill to protect born alive babies now have the impossible task of trying to join born children and unborn children back together again and then trying to convince all of us to condemn them both as inhuman and not worthy of protection after all,” he said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke against the bill on the House floor.
“I stand in strong opposition to this punitive and intrusive bill,” she said.
“This is politics at its most manipulative and politics that should never be permitted to come between a patient and her doctor,” she said.
“This bill attempts to criminalize legal medical care and punish millions of women by rolling back reproductive choices. It wages a kind of guerilla warfare against Roe v. Wade by threatening doctors with jail time for providing care to their patients.”
Democrats today blocked a bill to defund the Planned Parenthood baby organ harvesting industry today.
The Senate voted 53-46 on the cluture motion failing to get the 60 needed to move the bill forward.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell led the effort to keep Planned Parenthood funding by blocking an amendment to the Highway Bill by Mike Lee to defund the abortion harvesting group.
The move by McConnell made it necessary for conservatives to get 60 votes today for their bill.
They could only muster 53 votes.
Life News reported:
Senate Democrats today defeated an effort to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business by filibustering the bill and preventing a vote on it. Republicans were unable to secure the 60 voted needed to invoke cloture and stop debate on the bill, allowing an up or down vote.
The legislation follows four shocking videos that have caught Planned Parenthood doctors discussing and arranging the sale of body parts of aborted babies.
The Senate voted 53-46 on the cloture motion – failing to get the 60 votes needed to stop the Democratic filibuster against the de-funding measure. had the cloture vote been approved and the bill passed, and should the House pass its own bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, President Barack Obama said he would veto the measure.
With the Senate voting against de-funding, attention now turns to attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood via the budget process. Already, 18 House Republicans have said they will not allow passage of any essential bills to fund the federal government if such bills do not include language de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Attention will also now turn to Congressional and state efforts to investigate Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted babies and state-level efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood further.
A group of 14 Democrat senators has written a letter to President Obama urging him to “dramatically increase” the number of Syrian refugees being resettled into American cities and towns.
They say the U.S. needs to take in at least 65,000 Syrians as permanent refugees over the next year-and-a-half.
“While the United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees, we must also dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees that we accept for resettlement,” says the four-page letter to Obama, copied to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
More than 3.5 million Syrians are registered with the United Nations as refugees, and the U.N. wants to assign about 350,000 of them to so-called “third-party countries.”
The 14 senators, led by Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., cite the research of the Refugee Council USA to make their case for 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. RCUSA is the main lobbying arm of the nine agencies that contract with the federal government to resettle refugees in cities and towns across America.
The more refugees brought into the country, the more government grants doled out to the nine resettlement agencies. Among them are the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Church World Service, International Rescue Committee and the National Association of Evangelicals’ World Relief.
More than 90 percent of Syrian refugees will be Muslim
Of the 843 Syrians resettled in the U.S. since the start of the Syrian civil war, 92 percent have been Muslim and about 7 percent Christian. Syria’s overall population is 90 percent Muslim and close to 10 percent Christian.
“The vast majority of these refugees are women and children, including two million children,” the letter states, using language similar to what Democrats used to justify the entry of some 60,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last year. “An entire generation of Syrian children is at risk.
“More than ten thousand Syrian children have been killed, and half of Syrian refugee children are not attending school, more than one-hundred thousand are working to support their families, and thousands are unaccompanied or separated from their parents.
“[W]e urge your Administration to work to accept at least 50 percent of Syrian refugees whom UNCHR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] is seeking to resettle, consistent with our nation’s traditional practice under both Republican and Democratic Presidents.”
The letter also addresses the security concerns about accepting Syrians who may have ties to the various Islamic extremist factions fighting to overthrow and replace Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Among them are ISIS, Jabat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army.
“We fully support your Administration’s efforts to ensure that any potential security concerns are addressed by strengthening security checks for refugees with the latest technology and information,” the letter states.
“Refugees are the most carefully vetted of all travelers to the U.S., with extensive biometric, biographic, intelligence, and law enforcement checks involving numerous agencies,” the letter says, parroting the U.S. State Department talking points about the quality of the screening process for refugees.
The problem with that argument, however, is that it has been debunked by FBI counter-terrorism experts who have openly admitted it is virtually impossible to screen Syrian refugees, precisely because U.S. agents don’t have access to reliable biometric and law enforcement data. As WND previously reported, Michael Steinbach, deputy assistant director of the FBI counter-terrorism unit, admitted at a hearing before the House Homeland Security committee on Feb. 11 that reliable records are not available in a “failed state” like Syria.
The House Homeland Security Committee was schedule to hold another hearing this week on the national security risks associated with the Syrian refugees, but that hearing was postponed Thursday until further notice.
The letter being sent to Obama makes the upcoming House hearing even more pivotal as the battle over this issue heats up on both sides of the aisle, with Democrats pushing for more Syrians and Republicans pushing for less.
‘A serious mistake’
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, says resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. is a “serious mistake” and should be stopped until safeguards are in place.
“We have no way… to know who these people are, and so I think bringing them in is a serious mistake,” said McCaul during a press conference Thursday.
McCaul said the U.S. has “no intelligence footprint or capability” inside Syria to ensure refugees mean no harm.
“We don’t have databases on these individuals so we can’t properly vet them,” he added, “to know where they came from, to know what threat they pose, because we don’t have the data to cross-reference them with.”
McCaul, who has visited Syrian refugee camps overseas, said that while there are “a lot of mothers and kids, there are [also] a lot of males of the age that could conduct terrorist operations.”
“That concerns me,” he added.
‘Give me your tired…’
The U.S. takes in more refugees than any other country by far. In the current fiscal year it has committed to accept 70,000 and some years it has been as high as 200,000. Almost all of the refugees coming to the U.S. are selected by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
Also playing against the Democratic senators argument is the recent string of arrests of Somali refugees and children of Somali refugees. Just last month six Somali young men were arrested and charged with trying to leave the country to fight for ISIS. Two of them used their college student loan money to pay for plane tickets to Turkey.
Dozens of others have gone to fight with al-Shabab in Somalia and still others have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing money or other material support to overseas terrorist organizations.
Somalia, like Syria, is a failed state where the U.S. has no military presence and no access to reliable law enforcement data.
“This issue has obviously come up before. We’ve had a bunch of people who have come in as refugees and committed terrorist acts, or tried to commit terrorist acts,” said Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. “But I think the underlying question is, one, the ability to vet people from a war-torn country that had poor record keeping to begin with is virtually nonexistent now. There’s simply no way to know what people have done in the past from a country like Syria.
“All we know about Syria is that powerful and well-organized terrorist groups operate throughout the country,” he said.
Lessons learned or mistakes repeated?
Even if they could be adequately screened, experience proves that the children of Muslim immigrants are sometimes more in danger of being radicalized than their parents, Camarota said.
He points to numerous recent cases like that of Hoda Muthana, the 19-year-old daughter of Muslim parents who emigrated from Yemen more than 20 years ago and settled in Birmingham, Alabama. She left to fight for ISIS in November after being recruited over the Internet. Her parents have been “traumatized” by losing their oldest daughter, according to an article by AL.com.
The fact that some arrive as “children” is also no guarantee against radicalization. Some are radicalized in American mosques after they grow into teens and young adults.
That’s what happened to the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing. They came as asylum seekers as young boys with their parents from war-torn Chechnya.
“Unfortunately, a number of people who have come as refuges became radicalized after they arrived in the United States, including the Tsarnaev brothers. The younger brother, who just got convicted, was a young boy when he arrived with his family,” Camarota said.
“We’ve had a number from Somalia who have gone to fight for ISIS or al-Shabab who came to America at young ages,” he added. “Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a number of cases where people have been radicalized after they got here from Somalia.”
There is an alternative that low-immigration advocates such as Camarota say could be more effective in helping the plight of true refugees.
“We can help countries in the region resettle these folks, provide resources to countries like Jordan, and countries like Saudi Arabia, which is a rich country with lots of space,” he said. “And because they would be close to their home countries they could return once the war is over.”
Resettling refugees costs the American taxpayer $1.5 billion a year, and that does not include the cost of social welfare benefits. Unlike other immigrants, refugees immediately qualify for government benefits such as food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, or TANF, subsidized housing and Medicaid health care.
“Instead, that money could be used to help a lot more people resettle in the Middle East region, making it more likely that their life would be less disrupted and they would be more likely to return home,” Camarota said. “We could help more people and make it more likely rather than bring a tiny number here at huge costs and bring these risks to national security.”
Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said taking in more Syrian refugees poses risks that must be balanced against humanitarian concerns.
“Welcoming more Syrian refugees to the U.S. would be a generous move to make, so long as they can be vetted to exclude any who identify with a jihadist ideology or worse yet, are jihadis themselves,” she said. “It would also make sense to be sure we select for those who will most easily assimilate to America’s Judeo-Christian-based legal system and Western-style democratic society.”
While the lobbying organization National Council of Refugees USA, refers to itself as nonprofit and bipartisan, refugee watchdog Ann Corcoran doesn’t buy it.
She said conservatives shouldn’t be fooled by the “church sounding names.”
“Looking at this list they all appear to be from the hard left,” said Corcoran, who follows the refugee movement at her blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch.
The senators’ letter closes by saying: “[I]t is a moral, legal, and national security imperative for the United States to lead by example in addressing the world’s worst refugee crisis of our time by greatly increasing the number of Syrian refugees who are resettled in our country. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they’ve seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect – just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen.
A poll released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28% of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47% saw slight increases. By contrast, fewer than half of doctors reported any increases last year in the early days of the Affordable Care Act.
Such hikes run counter to one of the goals of the health care overhaul, which is to reduce pressure on emergency rooms by getting more people insured through Medicaid or subsidized private coverage and providing better access to primary care.
A major reason that hasn’t happened is there simply aren’t enough primary care physicians to handle all the newly insured patients, says ACEP President Mike Gerardi, an emergency physician in New Jersey.
“They don’t have anywhere to go but the emergency room,” he says. “This is what we predicted. We know people come because they have to.”
Experts cite many root causes. In addition to the nation’s long-standing shortage of primary care doctors – projected by the federal government to exceed 20,000 doctors by 2020 – some physicians won’t accept Medicaid because of its low reimbursement rates. That leaves many patients who can’t find a primary care doctor to turn to the ER – 56% of doctors in the ACEP poll reported increases in Medicaid patients.
Emergency room usage is bound to increase if there’s a shortage of primary care doctors who accept Medicaid patients and “no financial penalty or economic incentive” to move people away from ERs, says Avik Roy, a health care policy expert with the free market Manhattan Institute.
“It goes to the false promise of the ACA,” Roy says, that Medicaid recipients are “given a card that says they have health insurance, but they can’t have access to physicians.”
Complicating matters, low-income patients face many obstacles to care. They often can’t take time off from work when most primary care offices are open, while ERs operate around the clock and by law must at least stabilize patients. Waits for appointments at primary care offices can stretch for weeks, while ERs must see patients almost immediately.
“Nobody wants to turn anyone away,” says Maggie Gill, CEO of Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga. “But there’s no business in this country that provides resource-intensive anything and can’t even ask if you’re going to be able to pay.”
Some people who have been uninsured for years don’t have regular doctors and are accustomed to using ERs, even though they are much more expensive. A 2013 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says going to an ER when a primary care visit would suffice costs $580 more for each visit.
Damian Alagia, chief physician executive for KentuckyOne Health, says he’s seen the trend play out in his large hospital system. There are more than a half-million people in the state newly insured through Obamacare. Many who put off care in the past now seek it in the place they know — the ER. “We’re seeing an uptick pretty much across the system in our ERs,” he says, calling the rise “significant” in both urban and rural hospitals.
Gerardi acknowledges that some people come to the ER for problems that would be better handled in a primary or urgent care office. But he says the ER is the right place for patients with vague but potentially life-threatening symptoms, such as chest pain, which could be anything from a heart attack to indigestion.
ER volumes are likely to keep climbing, and hospitals are working to adapt. Alagia says his ERs have care management professionals who connect patients with primary care physicians if they don’t already have them. Gill says her Georgia hospital has a “whole staff in the emergency room dedicated to recidivism,” who follow up with patients to see whether they’ve found a primary care doctor, are taking their medications or need help with transportation to get to doctors.
Still, seven in 10 doctors say their emergency departments aren’t ready for continuing, and potentially significant, increases in volume. Although the numbers should level off as people get care to keep their illnesses under control, Alagia says, “the patient demand will outstrip the supply of physicians for a while.”
In December 2014, Utah Senator Mike Lee warned that Obama’s illegal executive amnesty would create an easy loophole for illegal aliens to register to vote thereby compromising our election system. On Thursday, two Secretaries of State testified before Congress that Obama’s illegal amnesty would indeed lead to more illegals voting.
Obama’s illegal amnesty creates a significant loophole since illegal aliens will, under Obama’s plan, be able to get drivers licenses and social security numbers. The Washington Times details the testimony of John Husted, Secretary of State in Ohio, and Kris Kobach, Secretary of state in Kansas.
Husted said that mass voter registration drives often lack the resources to fully pay attention to the verification of someone’s immigration status. When the individual is asked if they would like to register to vote and they can produce a drivers license and social security number, which Obama will allow illegal aliens to have, then the result will be more illegals voting, despite the fact that such action is illegal.
“It is a guarantee that it will happen, “ Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said regarding an increasing number of illegals voting in elections. He added that illegals have pointed to being asked by workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles if they would like to register to vote as the reason that did register, then did indeed vote.
Of course, Democrats are accusing Republicans of simply wanting to suppress the right to vote, even though according to the Constitution, illegals do not have the right to vote.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting delegate to Congress representing the District of Columbia, demonstrated that she is in need of a history lesson based upon her criticism of Republicans. Norton said, “The president’s executive order gives immigrants the right to stay – immigrants who have been here for years, immigrants who have been working hard and whose labor we have needed. The Republicans may want to go down in history as the party who tried once again 100 years later to nullify the right to vote. Well, I am here to say they shall not succeed.”
Perhaps Norton needs to brush up on her history since it was the Democrat Party who implemented Jim Crow laws in an attempt to prevent voting by blacks, just as it was the Democrats who enslaved blacks and fought to maintain the practice of slavery.
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts Democrat, took another dishonest path with his defense of Obama’s illegal amnesty by claiming that it’s doubtful that illegal aliens would risk voting since getting caught could get them deported. He added that votes by illegals would be an “insignificant part of an election.”
This disingenuous statement by Lynch is proven to be an egregious lie based upon polls by both the Washington Post and Pew Research Center which determined that illegal aliens are hyper-partisan with an overwhelming majority identifying as Democrats.
Democrats finally get the opportunity to show their true colors for Israel and Netanyahu. They claim this is a partisan effort by Boehner, however it will only be partisan if they don’t show up. Boehner didn’t just invite Netanyahu to speak to Republicans, but all of Congress. Democrats are just miffed because Boehner finally got one on the president:
CNN – Several influential senior Democratic senators said on Wednesday they and other senators are considering boycotting an upcoming speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protest the decision by House Republicans to disregard protocol and invite the foreign leader without the involvement and blessing of the White House.
“Colleagues of mine are very concerned about it and I’m troubled by it. I won’t name names, of course,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat who is also a close ally of President Barack Obama. “It’s a serious mistake by the speaker and the prime minister. The relationship between Israel and the United States has been so strong, so bipartisan.”
Durbin said he hasn’t decided whether to attend the March 3 speech to a joint meeting of Congress. In his address, Netanyahu is expected to criticize the controversial negotiations the Obama administration is spearheading with Iran aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Those talks face a critical deadline at the end of March.
“One of my closest friends – one of the strongest supporters of Israel – described this Boehner tactic as a disaster, a terrible disaster for Israel,” Durbin said, referring to Republican House Speaker John Boehner who invited Netanyahu. “I won’t speak for any other members but they’ve been talking to me about what is the right way to react to what could turn out to be a divisive event.”
Asked about a boycott, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who is Jewish and the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “there are people discussing that.”
She hasn’t decided if she will attend the speech, which will take place in the House chamber. But she is deeply concerned about Netanyahu’s appearance, in part, because it is scheduled just days before the prime minister faces voters in Israeli elections.
“I take it very seriously,” Feinstein said. “My concern is that it is obviously political and it uses the backdrop of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate two weeks before a political campaign and violates all the protocol that’s always existed in terms of working this out with the President and I don’t think that helps Israel.”
Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he is still weighing whether to show up.
“I think it’s inappropriate both from in terms of our country and their country,” he said.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, would not say if he would attend.
“One of the most important pillars of the enduring, strong relationship between the United States and Israel is it has always been strongly bipartisan and I am concerned by some of the elements of the timing of the speech,” he said.
It’s not clear how many House and Senate Democrats will skip the speech, but if there is a large number of absences it could be embarrassing to Netanyahu. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said he plans to go but said it should be a “personal decision” by senators as to what they do.