Who’s Not Ready for Hillary?

Almost 666,000 (appropriately enough) by my count, that’s who:

In June, Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on the cover of People magazine for the first time in more than a decade. Real people, not the magazine, talked about what the article might mean for 2016. They talked about whether Clinton was using a walker (she wasn’t). They talked about people talking about whether Clinton was using a walker (She still wasn’t).

What they didn’t do was buy the magazine. According to a report from AdWeek on Monday, the June 16 issue of People featuring the former first lady and senator was the magazine’s worst selling of 2014 with 503,890 copies sold. The magazine’s best-selling issue –1,169,800 copies — was the one featuring Robin Williams after his death in late August. AdWeek said that celebrity weeklies saw poor performances with issues that featured the Kardashians and Beyonce on the cover.

It seems to me Hillary has something else in common with Beyonce and Kim—butt I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m sure it’ll come to me in the end. At bottom, they’re all talented successful women.

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Lie of the Year

Politifact said it was Ebola panic. But that was hardly a lie (just ask Sierra Leone), but a series of fortunate events.

I think Glenn Kessler nails it:

“I didn’t call the Islamic State a ‘JV’ team”

President Obama repeated a claim, crafted by the White House communications team, that he was not “specifically” referring to the Islamic State terror group when he dismissed the militants who had taken over Fallujah as a “JV squad.” But The Fact Checker had obtained the previously unreleased transcript of the president’s interview with The New Yorker, and it’s clear that’s who the president was referencing.

Obama’s lies are like Lays potato chips: who can have just one?

“Republicans have filibustered 500 pieces of legislation”

President Obama, a former senator, got quite a few things wrong here. He spoke of legislation that would help the middle class, but he was counting cloture votes that mostly involved judicial and executive branch nominations. Moreover, he counted all the way back to 2007, meaning he even included votes in which he, as senator, voted against ending debate — the very thing he decried in his remarks. At best, he could claim the Republicans had blocked about 50 bills, meaning he was off by a factor of ten.

“We’ve got close to 7 million Americans who have access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion.”

– President Obama, Feb. 20

Nope. Depending on the estimate, Obama was either six times too high or just double. Either way, he was way off.

There are more, from the Left and the Right, but Obama’s the only multiple winner.

PS: Remember when Politifact had a spine?

Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’

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See You in Court

You’ll be hearing from my lawyers:

President Barack Obama’s new plan to ease the threat of deportation for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge found on Tuesday, handing down the first legal ruling against the plan.

The ruling has no immediate impact, with the government saying there was no reason for Judge Arthur Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania to address the issue in the case, which concerns 42-year-old Honduran immigrant Elionardo Juarez-Escobar.

Schwab is the first judge to rule on the legality of the plan Obama announced on Nov. 20. The executive action by the Democratic president is opposed by Republicans and is already subject to other legal challenges.

Schwab ruled that the executive action violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of separation of powers and the separate “take care clause,” which requires the president to faithfully execute laws passed by Congress.

So what if it’s non-binding? At least someone has the nuts to pronounce on the issue. Over to you, John Boehner (speaking of nuts, or lack thereof).

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Outta Here

I’ll be out of town for the holidays. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I’ll be reading from afar, so I hope you’ll comment.

– Aggie

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The Most Transparent, Ethical Administration EVAH!!

How cheap can they be bought?

The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.

The woman, Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.

It was one of several favorable decisions the Obama administration made in recent years involving the Isaías family, which the government of Ecuador accuses of buying protection from Washington and living comfortably in Miami off the profits of a looted bank in Ecuador.

More at the link. They really care about poor people, don’t they?

– Aggie

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Europe is as Europe Does

I’m still trying to understand the story Aggie broke below.

But I’m not getting very far:

The European Union’s second highest court annulled on Wednesday the bloc’s decision to keep Hamas on a list of terrorist organizations, but temporarily maintained the measures for a period of three months or until an appeal was closed.

There’ a lot to digest right there—starting with the existence of EU courts apart from British courts and French courts, etc. If I read this right, the EU itself (the bloc-heads mentioned above) wanted to keep Hamass on the terrorist list, but the court (the JV court, as Obama would say) overruled, at least temporarily.

Very well. How and why did the court make this decision?

The General Court of the European Union said the contested measures were not based on an examination of Hamas’s “acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities” but on imputations derived from the media and the Internet.

The EU court did not consider the merits of whether Hamas should be classified as a terror group, but reviewed the original decision-making process. This, it said, did not include the considered opinion of competent authorities, but rather relied on press and Internet reports.

“The court stresses that those annulments, on fundamental procedural grounds, do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group,” the court said in a statement.

Hamas’s military wing was added to the European Union’s first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Hamas’s political wing was added to the EU’s list of terror organizations in 2003 after a diplomatic effort led by Israel and the US.

So, Hamass has been designated a terrorist organization for well over a decade, but now isn’t because the original determination wasn’t informed by “competent authorities”.

I got one for you:

On December 8, 2006, several months after becoming Hamas’ leader, Haniyeh spoke to thousands of worshipers at Tehran University in Iran, calling for the next intifada against Israel.

“We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem.”

“The Hamas movement will lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing.”

“The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.”

“Thousands of fighters above ground and thousands of fighters underground have been preparing in silence for the campaign to liberate Palestine.”

On January 13th, 2014, the Hamas’ government celebrated 13,000 graduates from the Hamas youth paramilitary camps, designed to encourage Gazan teens “to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs.” Haniyeh congratulated the participants at the graduation ceremony.

“This is a generation which knows no fear. It is the generation of the missile, the tunnel and suicide operations.”

Just one guy, a hot-head, you say?

Dr. Issam Adwan, a leading Hamas official, recently declared that the terrorist organization has the right to attack Israeli embassies and officials across the globe. His comments appeared in an article published last week on a Hamas-affiliated website.

In his recent comments, Adwan declared his support for expanding Hamas’ use of violence, stating that the terror organization must “pursue the agents of the occupation wherever they may be” and that “leaving them in peace damages the Palestinian cause.”

Adwan issued more specific threats against Israeli officials. Hamas, he said, “may find itself forced to attack the enemy’s interests and senior officials” outside of Israel. He pointed to “the enemy’s embassies worldwide” as targets for a potential strike.

Two’s company, three’s a crowd:

On December 05, 2012, Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad called on all Gazans to vow to remain on the path of sacrifice and be “creative about the ways to get rid of this entity (Israel), to get rid of of this cancer, God willing.” The minister was speaking in a ceremony for Interior Ministry workers following Operation “Pillar of Defense”.

He promised that the Interior Ministry will continue to “sacrifice martyr after martyr”, while admitting that the ministry cooperates with other military factions in the Gaza Strip.

Additionally, Hamad called on all Arab countries to release funds kept in European and American banks, and transfer them to “the Jihad warriors, for them to buy with it all the weapons, with which we’ll humiliate the enemies of Allah”.

Can we get a fourth for bridge?

A Hamas MP recently called on all Palestinian factions to attack Israel, especially Jerusalem, in response to what he called the “war crimes perpetrated…in the Al-Aqsa mosque” by the “Zionists”.

“I use this opportunity to demand of the Palestinian factions, and of the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces, to urge their military wings to execute Jihad operation, in the depth of the Zionists, and especially in the city of Jerusalem in response to the Zionists war crimes perpetrated in this holy city and in the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque.”

One more and we can put together a basketball team:

The organization has a disciplined hierarchy with Mr. Meshaal at the top.

“He is the leader,” Mr. Al Hroub said. “He is not a nominal figure.”

What most observers agree on is Mr. Meshaal’s ability to bring in cash. Though he has been forced to switch patrons every few years — he has been based in Kuwait, Jordan, Syria and Qatar — he has always been adept at raising money, said Alon Ben-Meir, a fellow at the New York University Centre for Global Affairs.

This has made him personally wealthy, according to reports in the Israeli press. These include claims he has diverted billions of dollars from Hamas, amassing a fortune of up to $5-billion.

It’s difficult to judge the accuracy of the reports, but Mr. Ben-Meir believes they have at least some truth.

“He raises money for the organization,” he said. “I’m not going to tell you he steals half of it or part of it, but there’s no question when you have a lot of money, you can live a more comfortable life. Over the years, he’s definitely accumulated a significant amount of money. He definitely can be considered very, very rich.”

Mr. Al Hroub, in contrast, dismisses such suggestions as “silly.”

What is clear is the contrast between Mr Meshaal’s privileged lifestyle and that of his people in Gaza will grow ever more stark as the war drags on.

“The Palestinians voted for Hamas because they promised them change and reform,” said Mr. Eldar.

“They didn’t build any schools. They just built tunnels. And he is living in Qatar in very good condition.”

How about asking Hamass itself?

In 1988, Hamas issued its infamous charter: an ugly admission of their racism and fundamentalism. Today, the grotesque values defined in Hamas’ charter continue to be the broken moral compass of the terror group.

It is suggested that the entire charter (especially articles 8, 9,13 & 32) be read. However, a few articles of the charter will suffice to represent its malevolence.

Article 6: An example of Religious fundamentalism

The Islamic Resistance Unit is a unique Palestinian movement. It owes it’s loyalty to Allah, derives from Islam its way of life, and strives to raise the Banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.

Article 7: An example of Islamic anti-Semitism

The Islamic resistance movement has been looking forward to fulfilling the promise of Allah [IE the destruction of the Jews], no matter how long that might take.

[The article continues with this Quranic quote] “The Last Hour would not come until the Muslims fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them, and until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim or Servant of Allah there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree of the Gharwad would not say it, for it is the tree of the Jews.”

Okay, we’ve made our point. What’s disgraceful is that we had to.

Ball’s in your court, Europe. What will your court decide?

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How Low Can Europe Go?

They plan to remove Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations.

The European Union is expected to remove Hamas from its list of terrorist groups, Western officials confirmed to The Jerusalem Post late Tuesday.

The officials said that the EU courts will accept the Islamist organization’s appeal to remove its designation as a terrorist entity.

I hope this isn’t true, but nothing coming out of Europe would surprise me.

– Aggie

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The Wages of Sin is Detroit

And your wages have been docked:

A published report says dozens of suspected killers, rapists and others who were arrested by Detroit police over the past four years have been released because of a backlog of unsigned warrants.

Among the unsigned warrants at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office are 21 for murder, including one going back to 2010, according to a report in the Detroit News. The newspaper says there are 105 for sexual assault and 126 for child abuse.

In most cases, police were forced to release the suspects, since the law requires that they can’t be held beyond 72 hours without being arraigned.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says many of the releases are a result of too few employees in her office. She says the office has “lost half of our staff and it is no surprise that we are not able to fulfill our mandated functions with such drastic staff reductions.”

“It certainly is not surprising that this has impacted our ability to review and charge warrant requests presented to us,” Worthy said.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he sympathizes with issues at the prosecutor’s office, but he has staffing challenges of his own.

“I can’t and won’t say I don’t have enough officers to do the job,” Craig said. “I don’t have the luxury of saying that. I have fewer officers today than when I got started, but I can’t say, ‘We don’t have enough people.’ That’s not an option.”

Meanwhile, Craig says, all his officers can do is continue to arrest suspects.

“Once we arrest them and submit a warrant request, it’s out of our hands,” he said.

They shouldn’t be that hard to find:

In 1950, Detroit was America’s fifth largest city and one of the most prosperous on the back of its booming motor industry.

It prompted the construction of skyscrapers on the banks of the river and the development of vast suburban housing projects in the surrounding areas.

But almost 55 years on, a dwindling motor industry and a dramatic fall in blue collar jobs has caused people to leave the Michigan city, abandoning their homes and businesses.

These aerial photos reveal the tiny urban island that is left – a clutter of high-rises surrounded by empty housing plots now covered in grass.

Detroit, once the industrial capital of the nation, was voted the most dangerous city in the country in 2012, for the fourth year in a row.

The city, left ravaged by dwindling blue-collar jobs, the decline of the auto industry and rising unemployment.

And corrupt, incompetent one-party rule, don’t forget!

With all that open space, many have suggested Detroit turn from cars to cows.

Or at least goats:

David and Sky Brown do not seem like the type of people who would be targeted by Detroit’s law enforcement. This summer the couple moved into the Motor City’s dangerous northwest area to help with revival efforts. After fixing an abandoned home, they opened a backyard pen with goats and chickens and began hosting neighborhood dinners, using the animals’ eggs and milk. They hoped to transform their decrepit block into a community farm.

But the city squelched the Browns. Without warning, animal-control officials entered their home on the afternoon of Oct. 22 and, citing a city law banning farm animals, confiscated their pets. In a phone interview, Mrs. Brown described this as “the most traumatic experience of my life.”

While housing livestock was technically illegal, the decision to target the Browns was odd. The couple had good neighborhood rapport, epitomizing the sort of urban pioneers that Detroit wishes to attract. The animals should have been a minor concern amid the city’s rampant crime. But the crackdown was one example of a broader regulatory sweep that has spread across Detroit and may kill its newfound entrepreneurial spirit.

Detroit is lawless, so it seems unfair to complain about them enforcing the law. But when murderers, rapists, and child molesters go free while goats remain in the can, that is a backward world in more ways than one.

And the goats may never go free:

Admitting she was ignorant of the law, Sky Brown, 34, said her initial goal was to get permission from the city to transfer the goats to a farm where they are legal so they wouldn’t e killed.

She said the animal control worker who itook them told her she’d never see the goats again.

Since, she’s heard varying stories from the Detroit Law Department about the disposition of the animals. At one point she was ensured they’d avoid the lethal needle and be moved to a farm.

But the latest she says comes from Doug Baker of the Legal Department.

Baker told her, to comply with federal law, the goats would have to be transferred to a USDA facility for scabies testing. After that, he indicated they might be euthanized.

Brown, who has a law degree and is scheduled to take the Michigan Bar exam this weekend, scoured the law books but couldn’t find anything referencing goat scabies testing.

The state was just issuing an “executive action”, like Obama. If the goats had been truly illegal, they’d be free to come out of the shadows now.

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Tough Day To Be A Muslim Child

The adults keep killing them. Aside from the slaughter in Pakistan, an additional 20 children were blown up in Yemen.

Two car bombs killed at least 31 people, including 20 children, in central Yemen’s Radaa city when suspected al Qaeda fighters targeted Houthi militants Tuesday, senior security officials and locals told CNN.
One car bomb struck a Houthi gathering point, but the other did not make it to the target and instead blew up next to a bus that was carrying children home from school, officials said.
All the killed children were under the age of 12
, said Osama Sari, a prominent pro-Houthi activist.
Eleven Houthi fighters were killed, an Interior Ministry official said.
Eyewitnesses told CNN that the death toll within Houthi lines exceeded 18. At least a dozen others were injured, among them six in critical condition, medical sources in Radaa told CNN.

I’m not going to make any wisecracks about whether little kids even want 72 virgins or whether they would have been just as happy with Legos or My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll.

What in the heck is wrong with these people?

– Aggie

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North Korea Movie Is A Bomb

Literally

The Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco’s North Korean comedy “The Interview,” substantially escalating the stakes surrounding the release of the movie.

“The world will be full of fear,” the message reads. “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment

The note also threatens people who attend the premiere of “The Interview.” A New York premiere of the film is scheduled to take place Thursday at Sunshine Cinema and has already been scaled down, according to a report in the New York Post. A special screening of the film took place in Los Angeles last week without incident.

A spokesman for the studio, an FBI spokesman and a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners were not immediately available for comment.

Read the full message:

Warning

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

More to come…

Who was it that allowed North Korea to get the atom bomb? George W. Bush screwed that one up.

– Aggie

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Free Us From the Prius

You might as well drive around with a bumper sticker that says “My Other Car’s a Blast Furnace”:

“It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline” for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean … are not better than gasoline.”

The key is where the source of the electricity all-electric cars. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity, according to the study that is published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They also are significantly worse at heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming, it found.


So pretty, yet so deadly

The study finds all-electric vehicles cause 86 percent more deaths from air pollution than do cars powered by regular gasoline. Coal produces 39 percent of the country’s electricity, according to the Department of Energy.

But if the power supply comes from natural gas, the all-electric car produces half as many air pollution health problems as gas-powered cars do. And if the power comes from wind, water or wave energy, it produces about one-quarter of the air pollution deaths.

Simple. Just call up your power company and order some wave energy. Or go to the ocean yourself and fill a bucket with it.

Hybrids and diesel engines are cleaner than gas, causing fewer air pollution deaths and spewing less heat-trapping gas.

But ethanol isn’t, with 80 percent more air pollution mortality, according to the study.

“If we’re using ethanol for environmental benefits, for air quality and climate change, we’re going down the wrong path,” Hill said.

We’re using ethanol to win the Iowa caucuses. And drive up the price of corn for starving people around the world.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go burn some of that $2.83 gas in my tank so I can fill up on that $2.71 while it lasts.

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#i’llwalkthanks

Have you heard about the latest campaign to apologize to Muslims for terrorist acts they have yet to commit?

As a gunman holds people hostage in a cafe in Sydney, thousands of messages of support have been posted online for Muslims in Australia who are afraid of an Islamophobic backlash.

The spark was this post on Facebook by Rachael Jacobs, who said she’d seen a woman she presumed was Muslim silently removing her hijab while sitting next to her on the train: “I ran after her at the train station. I said ‘put it back on. I’ll walk with u’. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute – then walked off alone’.

That’s nice.

Only there are some Muslims with whom I would not ride:

I get it: people want ordinary, peace-loving Muslims to feel comfortable, to know that the rest of us don’t consider all Muslims to be terrorists (even if pretty much all terrorists are Muslim). But can they call it something else?

#illhavecoffewithyou

#illhavepizzawithyou

#illhaveasederwithyou

Okay, how about #illnodfromacrossthestreetasigetthehellawayfromyoubeforeyoublowmetokingdomcome?

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