[Townhall.com] Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives.
Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.
One of those costs appeared in an announcement of a house for sale in Palo Alto, the community adjacent to Stanford University, an institution that is as politically correct as they come. (Click title to read more…)
[Newsmax.com] The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dealt a blow to the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a Michigan law that bans the practice in state university admissions. On a 6-2 vote, with Justice Elena Kagan recused, the court rejected a challenge to the law, although the justices were divided as to the legal rationale. The court made it clear it was not deciding the larger and divisive question of whether affirmative action admission policies can be lawful.
The court rejected the argument made by civil right groups that the 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment that banned the practice had imposed burdens on racial minorities in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
Affirmative action programs, first advocated in the 1960s to combat past discrimination against racial minorities, have faced a backlash from conservatives in recent decades.
Michigan is one of eight states to ban affirmative action. The others are Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. The justices in the majority were divided three ways. (Click to read more…)
[FloppingAces.net] Barack Obama held a press conference the other day during which he took a “victory lap” and taunted Republicans in his typical juvenile fashion:
At a press conference yesterday President Obama asserted that when it comes to ObamaCare, the Republican Party “is going through the stages of grief–anger and denial and all that stuff–and we’re not at acceptance yet.”
His endless hubris echoes his “I won” utterance in 2009.
Then James Taranto notes this:
A Politico reporter asked the president: “Do you think it’s time for Democrats to start campaigning loudly and positively on the benefits of ObamaCare?” Watch him contradict himself in response: “We need to move on to something else. That’s what the American people are interested in. I think that Democrats should forcefully defend [ObamaCare]. . . . I don’t think we should apologize for it, and I don’t think we should be defensive about it.” (Click to read more…)
[FoxNews.com] The White House allegedly was involved in seeking financial support for a pro-ObamaCare group, according to a new report issued in response to Republican concerns about the administration’s fundraising efforts.
Until now, outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the only official known to have solicited financial support for Enroll America, a nonprofit that promoted enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. But a Government Accountability Office report released Monday detailed not only the secretary’s involvement but that of a White House adviser.
According to the report, though HHS officials said they were “not aware” of any federal government officials outside the agency soliciting funds for Enroll America, a representative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation told GAO “about a discussion” in 2012 between one of their staffers and the “Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy.”
Though not named in the report, this would have been Jeanne Lambrew. The GAO said they were told the official nudged the foundation to give a “significant” contribution. (Click title to read more…)
[GMA Networks/About.com] In the whole Christendom, the most solemn celebration each year is the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter) or the celebration of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. The Paschal Triduum is the very core of our Christian faith, proclamation and witnessing. It is a celebration very much akin to ‘three-in-one”’ coffee. They all go together and we cannot be choosy which one to attend and which one to miss.The celebration of the Paschal Triduum dates back as far as the 4th century. While the early Christians celebrated each Sunday as the Resurrection of the Lord, Easter Sunday stood then as a great Feast standing ‘alone’. By the 3rd Century, certain communities began prolonging the preparation and celebration of Easter. They added the reading of the Passion and the veneration of the Cross on the Friday preceding Easter. Then by the 4th century, we already have the three celebrations marking the solemn festivity of the Holy Week.
Holy Thursday is a very special celebration of two sacraments – the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It begins on the morning with the Mass of the Chrism – the blessing of the Sacred Oil – one for the sick and the other Chrism used for the anointing during Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. The Holy Oil blessed at Chrism Mass is used for anointing both the sick and the elect. The anointing of the Oil for the Sick communicates outward and inward healing in the celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick (formerly known as Extreme Unction). The Sacred Chrism is used to communicate God’s election during the Sacrament of Baptism, Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. (Click to read more…)
[HumanEvents.com] As horrible news continues to pour from the sinking of a South Korean ferry filled with school children, a new note of tragedy was struck by the apparent suicide of one of the survivors. The vice principal of the high school, Kang Min-kyu, was found hanging from a tree on an island close to where the ferry went down, outside a gymnasium where families of the missing students had gathered. Korean news services say he felt guilty about surviving, even as 28 bodies have been recovered, and 270 people remain missing. A Reuters report at the Chicago Tribune says Kang was hanged with his own belt, and did not leave a suicide note.
The kids were on their way to a holiday retreat on the island of Jeju, departing from the port of Incheon, a journey that normally requires about 13 hours to complete. Something went hideously wrong when the ferry reached a scheduled turn. Investigations into possible negligence by the crew have begun; in fact, Fox News reports that an arrest warrant is being sought for the captain, 69-year-old Lee Joon-seok. In an uncomfortable echo of the Costa Concordia disaster, there have been allegations that the captain was at least half an hour too slow in ordering an evacuation, and might have been one of the first into a lifeboat. 20 of the 29 crewmembers survived, which has led to some angry accusations that they didn’t work hard enough to ensure the safety of the passengers before abandoning ship themselves. (Click title to read more…)
[FloppingAces.net] Mary Landrieu really is a prime example of why people loathe politicians. Part of the problem is that she is full of manure.
Landrieu is one of the democrats on the 2014 endangered species list and most deservedly so. Back in December of 2009 Landrieu had this to say:
“Those individuals who like the coverage they already have will be able to keep their current plan”
and added this punctuation:
“This is a very accurate description of this bill”
Um, no it wasn’t. (Click to read more and watch VIDEO…)
New Emails Show Lois Lerner Was in Contact With DOJ About Prosecuting Tax Exempt Groups [Collusion?]
[Townhall.com] According to new IRS emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Justice in May 2013 about whether tax exempt groups could be criminally prosecuted for “lying” about political activity.
“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures.
DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS,” Lerner wrote in a May 8, 2013 email to former Nikole C. Flax, who was former-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller’s chief of staff.
“I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?” Flax responded on May 9, 2013. (Click title to read more…)
Everything you need to know to become an expert on the November elections: 14 Factors to Watch in the 2014 Midterms
[PJMedia.com] President Obama and the Democrats clearly have had a case of the winter blues that could well carry over into the fall elections. Republican David Jolly’s upset win in a Florida special election in a district that President Obama had carried twice is a warning sign that it will be extremely difficult for Democrats to re-take the House of Representatives – and Democratic control of the US Senate is now in even more jeopardy. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus is now gleefully predicting a GOP tsunami that will wash over the entire country, Red, Purple and Blue states alike. Michael Barone, co-author of The Almanac of American Politics, titled a column after the Florida election “Democrats are going down with Obama-Care” and compared them to the French generals who quickly lost to the German Army in 1940.
And Americans are generally in a foul mood: every independent survey in the first quarter of 2014 showed that by margins of at least 2-1, voters believed that the country was on the wrong track. With the President’s job approval consistently below 50% in 2014, the voters will likely take out their discontent on his party. (Click title to read more…)
[FoxNews.com] Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly stressed his right to send Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, but rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in the region.
According to The New York Times, Putin emphasized that Russian Parliament’s upper chamber had authorized him to use military force if necessary, and stressed Russia’s historical claim to the territory, repeatedly referring to it as “new Russia.”
Putin recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers. (Click title to read more..)
EDWARD LUCAS: I hope I’m wrong but historians may look back and say this was the start of World War III
[DailyMail.co.uk] Vladimir Putin is striking at the heart of the West.
Deep in the flat and featureless landscape of eastern Ukraine, it is all too possible that the outline of World War III is taking shape.
Whipped up by the Kremlin propaganda machine and led by Russian military intelligence, armed men are erecting road blocks, storming police stations and ripping down the country’s flag. They are demolishing not just their own country — bankrupt, ill-run and beleaguered — but also the post-war order that has kept most of Europe and us, here in Britain, safe and free for decades.
His target is our inability to work with allies in defense against common threats. The profoundly depressing fact is that the events of the past few months, as Russia has annexed the Crimea and suppressed opposition in Ukraine, have shown the West to be divided, humiliated and powerless in the face of these land grabs. (Click title to read more…)
[CNSNews.com] Inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $1,320,793,000,000 in the first half of fiscal 2014, but the federal government still ran a $413,264,000,000 deficit during that time, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for March.
Each month, the Treasury publishes the government’s “total receipts,” including all revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance and retirement taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes), unemployment insurance taxes, excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and “miscellaneous receipts.”
In constant 2014 dollars, the $1,320,793,000,000 that the federal government collected from Oct. 1, 2013 through March 2014 (the first half of fiscal year 2014) was $106,742,000,000 more than the $1,214,051,050,000 it collected in October through March in fiscal 2013. (Click title to read more…)
[Townhall.com] The Republican National Committee has submitted a lawsuit against the IRS for failing to comply with Freedom Information Requests related to the targeting of conservative groups. The original FOIA request was made on May 21, 2013, nearly one year ago and the IRS has asked for multiple extensions to submit information. At this point, none of the information requested by the RNC has been received by the taxing agency.
“We’re filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people. The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records. On Tax Day especially Americans deserve to know whether they can trust the agency to which they’re sending their taxes,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. “If the IRS and the Obama administration don’t have anything to hide, why not answer the request? (Click title to read more…)
[RedState.com] The Export-Import Bank, the darling of K Street lobbyists, is up for reauthorization and there are encouraging signs that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling just might have his way and let it die.
The Ex-Im Bank is a chartered government corporation established by President Franklin Roosevelt that is responsible for providing “financing for transactions that would otherwise not take place because commercial lenders are either unable or unwilling to accept the political or commercial risks inherent in the deal.”
On paper, the bank is not supposed to compete with private financing and it is supposed to focus on small business. The reality is a lot different. (Click title to read more…)
[Newsmax.com] A Russian fighter aircraft made repeated low-altitude, close-range passes near a U.S. ship in the Black Sea over the weekend, the Pentagon said on Monday, condemning the action at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions over Ukraine.”This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with their national protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries,” said Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.
Warren said a Russian Su-24 aircraft, or Fencer, made 12 passes at low altitude near the USS Donald Cook, a destroyer that has been in the Black Sea since April 10. It appeared to be unarmed, he told reporters.
The incident lasted 90 minutes and took place on Saturday evening while the U.S. ship was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea, Warren said. The ship is now in a Romanian port. (Click title to read more…)
[Breitbart.com] The United Nations (UN) has delivered its latest verdict on the measures necessary to save the world from global warming and the news is as grim as it is predictable and wearisomely familiar:
More regulation from “experts”, technocrats and bureaucrats at supranational organisations, such as the one whose initials begin with U and end with N.
More taxpayer subsidies for expensive, inefficient renewable energy.
More nuclear power (with shale gas used as a transitional fuel to replace coal).
The abandonment of fossil fuels > Less meat consumption… (Click to read more…)
[FoxNews.com] Groups from as far away as New Hampshire are riding out to Nevada to join the cattle rancher whose standoff with the federal government is growing tenser by the day.
The groups said they were going to the ranch, some 80 miles north of Las Vegas to stand with Cliven Bundy, who property is surrounded by federal agents. Bundy’s herd, which once numbered nearly 1,000, is being thinned out by private contractors under the watch of dozens of armed federal agents in SUVs and helicopters, the government says, he has refused for two decades to pay fees to allow the cattle to graze on federal lands.
“Our mission here is to protect the protestors and the American citizens from the violence that the federal government is dishing out.”- Jim Landy, West Mountain Rangers (Click title to read more…)
[DailyCaller.com] A federal judge criticized Attorney General Eric Holder for directing prosecutors to pursue shorter prison sentences for drug crimes before new guidelines for sentencing had been approved.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission approved the reduced sentences for federal drug trafficking offenses on Thursday. Holder endorsed the move last month, and the Justice Department instructed prosecutors not to object if defendants sought the newly-proposed guidelines during sentencing.
The Justice Department’s eagerness to apply more lenient sentencing before it had been approved through the appropriate channels frustrated commission member Judge William H. Pryor Jr., despite his support for the reform. (Click title to read more…)
[Townhall.com] The plot thickens, as the Democrat point man for obstructing investigations into one of the biggest scandals in American history – ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-MD) – is actually part of the scandal. It turns out his staff sent emails to the IRS asking for information about True the Vote, the vote fraud watchdog group headed up by Catherine Engelbrecht, who mysteriously found herself harassed and investigated by virtually every branch of the federal government, on the flimsiest of pretexts.
Cummings specifically denied making such requests, but now House Oversight has hard evidence to the contrary, and chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is asking some hard questions of Cummings. Katie Pavlich at Townhall reports:
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.
“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.” (Click to read more…)
[Personal Liberty Digest] During a speech at Al Sharpton’s 2014 National Action Network (NAN) Convention Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder went off script to vilify House lawmakers who recently brought up the still-pending contempt case against him.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder attend the 32st Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on May 15, 2013. Obama attended the annual event to honor law enforcement who were killed in the line of duty in the previous year.
Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) suggested that “contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general” during a Judiciary hearing on Tuesday, enraging Holder. “You don’t want to go there, buddy. You don’t want to go there, OK?” the Attorney General told Gohmert. (Click title to read more…)
[Newsmax.com] Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner engaged in an “aggressive and improper pursuit” of Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a nonprofit political group advised by Republican Karl Rove, according to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Lerner’s intervention should be investigated by the Justice Department as a crime because she treated Republican-leaning groups unfairly, the committee said in a letter published after a two-hour closed session today. Some of the information in the letter had been kept secret until now under taxpayer-privacy laws.
“This is so important that the public has a right to know,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, told reporters after the party-line vote to send the letter. “What do we have as Americans if we don’t have our constitutional rights?” (Click title to read more…)
[Newsbusters.org] For the second day in a row, Good Morning America on Wednesday devoted a full report to investigating the married “Louisiana Republican” who was caught on camera kissing a staffer. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On Tuesday, the show’s reporters made sure to remind viewers that the Congressman involved in the alleged affair is a “conservative” and “Republican.” Yet, Democratic controversies have largely been ignored or downplayed by the network.
Despite the news that a House committee plans to ask the Justice Department to charge former top IRS official Lois Lerner, ABC skipped the development and hasn’t mentioned the scandal-plagued bureaucrat since March 5, 2014. (That occasion was only to highlight Democrat Elijah Cummings complaining about the unfairness of the hearings. Excluding this incident, Lerner’s name was last uttered on May 24, 2013.) (Click title to read more…)
[DailyCaller.com] Texas Republican congressman Blake Farenthold refused to ask Eric Holder questions during a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, saying the attorney general should “be in jail” for ignoring congressional subpoenas instead of testifying before Congress.
Farenthold’s turn for questions came towards the end of a contentious hearing. The lawmaker explained that he would not exercise his right to question the witness as a protest against Holder’s refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents related to the IRS’ Tea Party targeting investigation.
“I’m committed to maintaining the constitutional balance of power and the authority this branch, this legislative branch, has,” Farenthold said. “And I just don’t think it’s appropriate that Mr. Holder be here.”
“If an American citizen had not complied with one of the Justice Department subpoenas, they would be in jail, not testifying,” he noted. “But I realize there are questions to be asked, and I’ll yield the remainder of my time to [South Carolina Republican congressman] Trey Gowdy.” (Click title to read more…)