Sunday, April 26, 2015

Survivors outraged after learning Tsarnaev's family's trip to US paid for with American tax dollars

MyFox Boston ^ | 4/24/15 

The family of the convicted marathon bomber is in America, on your tax dollars, and survivors are outraged after learning the news.
As of Thursday, family members of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been staying at the Hampton Inn in Revere under very tight security, just one of the things tax dollars are paying for. FOX25's Sharman Sacchetti investigated how much this trip is costing you.
Sources say these family members are being called as witnesses and not only that, at least three agencies are working around the clock to protect and transport them. This is all part of the defense team's strategy to save Tsarnaev. While it's unclear when their flight started, we know the last part of it came through Amsterdam and landed at Logan Airport and cost nearly $2,500 per person.
The cost to put them up at the Hampton Inn at the government rate: almost $200 per night, per person. And a source says at least three agencies, the FBI, US Marshal's and Revere Police are involved in constant protection.
“I think you're probably talking about $100,000 plus in that neighborhood in terms of security and out of pocket costs associated with travel,” former US attorney Michael Sullivan said.
And that's just for this trip.
Lawyer fees or even what all witnesses during the trial cost is still unclear. One defense witness, Mark Spencer of Arsenal Consulting, charged $375 per hour and billing taxpayers for $150,000.
Governor Charlie Baker said, “It's a federal trial, it's a federal case, the feds ultimately need to make the decisions about this.”
Baker was non-committal about how resources are being used, even state ones.
Sullivan told Sacchetti that while he understands taxpayer outrage, the whole point is to make sure it's done right.
(Excerpt) Read more at myfoxboston.com ...

Females In Ranger School Hack Off Hair To Maintain Equality

Daily Caller ^ | 4/25/15 | Jonah Bennett 

To assuage fears that different standards will apply to men and women in Ranger School, women have been required to sport short haircuts, as well.
“The standard for the Ranger course is for students to have the shortest haircut authorized by AR 670-1,” Col. William Butler, deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School, told Army Times.
The idea is to maintain strict standards of hygiene. Short hair makes it much easier to spot ticks. Women are not allowed to have hair extending more than one inch from the scalp. If there are any bangs, they may not fall below the eyebrows.
Nineteen women were brought into the two-month long Ranger School on Monday for the first time ever, in an attempt to answer the larger question of whether combat occupations can be opened up to women in the military. As of Thursday, just 8 of 19 women have managed to survive the Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP) and will continue on in the course. For the first day of RAP, students needed to complete 49 push-ups in two minutes, a five-mile run in 40 minutes, and six strict chin-ups, among other things.
On Thursday, the last day, students had to hike for 12-miles with a 35-pound pack, a rifle, and a vest.
During the planning process, officials have taken extra steps to ensure the training runs smoothly, even updating the packing list requirements to include certain items for the women, such as sports bras, tampons, and a female urinary diversion device, which allows women to urinate while standing.
According to the Pentagon, all jobs have to be opened to women by January, or else the military needs to request waivers from Congress to keep certain jobs closed.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was noncommittal this week when asked about his predictions about performance, answering that “maybe” all jobs will be opened. However, Carter seemed to think that female performance will be sufficient enough to open up most jobs.

The Disgraceful Republican Cave-in on Loretta Lynch

The National Review ^ | April 25, 2015 | Andrew C. McCarthy 

Voting to confirm an attorney general who won’t uphold the Constitution isn’t a way to inspire confidence among conservatives.

Hillary Clinton didn’t have such a bad week after all. Sure, she’s reeling from the latest unseemly revelations about the Clinton Foundation family piggy bank. But they’re only marginally worse than earlier unseemly revelations about the Clinton Foundation.
They are roughly on par with the revelations about how Mrs. Clinton obstructed Congress’s Benghazi investigations by purging her unlawful private e-mail system, which was worse than her obstruction of the State Department’s Benghazi investigation. Yet it may not have been as bad as the obstruction of justice that was a staple of her husband’s administration. Those obstructions, in turn, were on par with her husband’s selling of a pardon to a fugitive fraudster on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List . . . which itself was not quite as bad as his awarding pardons to FALN terrorists — to ingratiate Hillary! with the New York Puerto Rican community (or at least the radicals therein) in preparation for her Senate campaign.
We could go on corruptio ad absurdum. But you get the point: Reeling is not so bad. Reeling is what Clintons do. The way they operate, it’s what they <>have to do. They should change the Clinton Foundation’s name to Reel Clear Politics.
But what difference, at this point, does it make? Not much. See, it wasn’t that bad a week for Hillary because, even with all the reeling, there is a very good chance she will be the next president of the United States.
If that happens, we may remember this as the week that put her over the top. Or better, the week Republicans put her over the top, right after they got done putting Loretta Lynch over the top.
On Thursday morning, top Republican strategist Karl Rove proclaimed, “The dysfunctional Congress finally appears to be working again as the Founders intended.” Just hours later, the GOP-controlled Senate confirmed as attorney general — i.e., as the chief federal law-enforcement officer of the United States — a lawyer who quite openly supports the systematic non-enforcement of federal law. In fact, Ms. Lynch also supports President Obama’s blatantly unconstitutional usurpations of legislative authority, including most notoriously, of Congress’s power to set the terms of lawful presence by aliens in our country.
Now, I happen to like Karl Rove — if you’re looking for the Rove piñata at the end of the Tea Party, you will not find it in my columns. But can someone as smart as he is really think Congress under Republican control is working as the Founders intended? The Founders intended Congress to rein in a president who behaved like a monarch. Anyone who has read the 1787 constitutional-convention debates knows they would have impeached and removed a president for a bare fraction of the malfeasance carried out by President Obama.
The Founders, moreover, thought oaths of office were serious business — having pledged their own lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause of liberty against great odds and a great power that would have put them to death had the revolution failed. They therefore required (in Article II, Section 1) that the president take an oath to execute the laws faithfully, and to preserve, protect, and defend a Constitution that Mr. Obama takes less seriously than his NCAA brackets. Beyond that, the Founders mandated (in Article VI) that oaths to support the Constitution also be taken by senators and executive-branch officers, among others.
So, in what we’re now to believe is a functional Congress, Loretta Lynch, the president’s nominee for attorney general, testified without compunction that she endorses and intends to facilitate the president’s lawlessness and constitutional violations. With that knowledge, senators then had to consider her nomination.
If oaths mean anything, she should never even have gotten a vote. To repeat, the position of attorney general exists to ensure that the laws are enforced and the Constitution preserved; plus, each senator has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. So this was not a hard call.
Yet, Republicans were up to their now familiar shenanigans.
In October, while courting conservative support for the upcoming midterm election, Senator Mitch McConnell declaimed that any nominee to replace Eric Holder as “the nation’s highest law-enforcement official” must, “as a condition of his or her confirmation,” avoid “at all costs” Holder’s penchant for putting “political and ideological commitments ahead of the rule of law” — including as it “relates to the president’s acting unilaterally on immigration or anything else.”
Turns out he was kidding.
Once the November election was safely won (including his own — McConnell won’t face the voters again for six years), the majority leader swung into action, laboring behind the scenes to drum up support for Lynch. He not only whipped for Lynch from the shadows; by voting for her confirmation, he mocked any conservatives who’d been naïve enough to take his campaign rhetoric seriously.
In this he joined nine others on the roster of Republican senators who took an oath to uphold the Constitution then supported an attorney general who had vowed to undermine the Constitution: Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), and Ron Johnson (Wis.).
That doesn’t begin to quantify the perfidy, though. In order to get Lynch to the finish line, McConnell first had to break conservative opposition to allowing a final vote for her nomination. The majority leader thus twisted enough arms that 20 Republicans voted to end debate. This guaranteed that Lynch would not only get a final vote but would, in the end, prevail — Senators Hatch, Graham, Flake, Collins, and Kirk having already announced their intention to join all 46 Democrats in getting Lynch to the magic confirmation number of 51.
So, in addition to the aforementioned ten Republicans who said “aye” on the final vote to make Lynch attorney general, there are ten others who conspired in the GOP’s now routine parliamentary deception: Vote in favor of ending debate, knowing that this will give Democrats ultimate victory, but cast a meaningless vote against the Democrats in the final tally in order to pose as staunch Obama opponents when schmoozing the saps back home. These ten — John Thune (S.D.), John Cornyn (Texas), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Cory Gardner (Col.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), and Thom Tillis (N.C.) — are just as willfully complicit in Lynch’s confirmation and her imminent execution of Obama’s lawlessness.
This is not a Senate back to regular order. It is a disgrace, one that leads to the farce’s final act: On Monday, Loretta Lynch will ceremoniously take the oath to uphold the Constitution she has already told us she will undermine.
This is not about immigration, amnesty, health care, and the full spectrum of tough issues on which reasonable minds can differ. It is about the collapse of fundamental assumptions on which the rule of law rests. When solemn oaths are empty words, when missions such as “law enforcement” become self-parody, public contempt for Washington intensifies — in particular, on the political right, which wants to preserve the good society and constitutional order the rule of law sustains.
In 2012, Barack Obama was reelected despite hemorrhaging support. Obama drew three-and-a-half million fewer votes than he had in 2008. He is president today because, despite deep dissatisfaction with his tenure, millions of former Republican supporters were too vexed by the party’s insipidness to believe voting would make a difference. They stayed home.
The GOP, it seems, is going to great lengths to convince them that they were right. It may be that, for an entrenched Beltway political class, the important thing is to stay entrenched: better to play ball with the “opposition” party than to represent a base that wants Washington — the political class’s source of power — pared way back.
Accomplished as she is in self-dealing sleight-of-hand, Mrs. Clinton clearly has not cornered the Washington market. To win the White House, she does not need to be popular. She just needs to be a tad more popular with the Left than the GOP is with the Right. Eminently doable.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417467/disgraceful-republican-cave-loretta-lynch-andrew-c-mccarthy

Education Secretary: Parents Who Opt Out Of Common Core are Racist – “Feds Will Step In”

Conservative Treehouse ^ | 4/25/15 | Sundance 

Education Secretary Arnie Duncan is reminding parents in America “that all your children belong to them”. In a not-so-very veiled threat Secretary Duncan states the Federal Government will step in if parents continue to opt their children out of Common Core testing. (Via Doug Ross Journal) Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a veiled threat to the parents and students who choose to opt out of Common Core testing – The Feds “have an obligation to step in.” Federal law, under No Child Left Behind, requires 95 percent of students in a state to take the annual standardized tests in reading
(Excerpt) Read more at theconservativetreehouse.com ...

It Turns Out the Gridlock Was All About Harry Reid

New York Post ^ | April 25, 2015 

Here’s a story you haven’t seen for a while: Congress is working — well, sort of. Better than it had for the previous six years, anyway.
The difference? Harry Reid is no longer running the Senate — and Republican Mitch McConnell has made the place far less dysfunctional.
Just last week, the Senate cast breakthrough votes on a sex-trafficking bill and the confirmation of attorney-general nominee Loretta Lynch.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...

How the Sierra Club’s Lexus Liberals’ Agenda Hurts Poor Americans

Daily Signal ^ | 4/25/15 | Stephen Moore 

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and the whole gang of Democratic leaders claim that one of their highest priorities is to lift up the middle class and reduce the income gap between rich and poor.
That goal collides with what they admit is their very highest priority: stopping climate change. Their agenda is driven by the millionaire and billionaire Democratic donors who make the party possible. But the agenda also involves making energy, home heating, transportation and just about everything else less efficient and more expensive to the middle class and poor. The people who lose their jobs when the climate-change Stalinists prevail are the people at the bottom and the middle of the income ladder.
The billionaire club members don’t seem to mind this collateral damage. Last week billionaire Tom Steyer convened the uber-rich liberal donor base at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle—nice—to pontificate about how much they care about polar bears, the Arctic ice caps and rising sea levels.
As Politico reported earlier this week, Steyer had “his fingerprints are all over this week’s spring meeting of the Democracy Alliance—an indication that the influential coalition of liberal donors intends to spend big to elevate climate change, and that Steyer plans to be at the forefront.”
All of the major action items will hurt unions, reduce wages, drive up unemployment, and make the poor poorer. Steyer may as well be saying of America’s working class: Let them eat cake.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailysignal.com ...