Archive for the ‘National news’ Category

On writing on 9/11, on and on

I’m not going to lie: I have a hard time writing about 9/11.

This is (for the most part) a political blog, but politics seems like a very small topic for a day like today. 9/11 is a messy day, not just because it’s still full of sorrow and anger for so many people who lost loved ones that day or any of the hard days that followed, but because still it is not a closed case.

On a micro level, there are still discoveries, such as the note that a Connecticut man dropped from a window on the 84th floor of Two World Trade Center that day, and which reached his family just before last year’s decennial remembrance, and which finally made it into the press this week. A fresh wound for them and, albeit on a much smaller scale, for the rest of us, too.

On a macro level, there’s a war in Afghanistan that began shortly thereafter and continues to this day. There are still tens of thousands of Americans fighting in that war, being shot at by our enemies and our alleged friends. Their …

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When it comes to intelligence briefings, Obama isn’t even voting ‘present’

Marc Thiessen asks a good question in the Washington Post today: Why is President Obama skipping more than half of his daily intelligence meetings?

Writes Thiessen:

Clint Eastwood re-enacts a scene from the president's daily intelligence briefings. (AP Photo)

Clint Eastwood re-enacts a scene from the president's daily intelligence briefings. (AP Photo)

President Obama is touting his foreign policy experience on the campaign trail, but startling new statistics suggest that national security has not necessarily been the personal priority the president makes it out to be. It turns out that more than half the time, the commander in chief does not attend his daily intelligence meeting.

The Government Accountability Institute examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012, to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) — the meeting at which he is briefed on the most critical intelligence threats to the country. During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time. …

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In ‘war on women,’ the tables are turned on Democrats

Oh, the irony (from the Daily Caller):

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem and several chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) have condemned the Democratic National Committee for “discrimination against mothers with young children” during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

“Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” Steinem said in a statement. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”

Goodness gracious, what kind of discrimination could be going on? Is the DNC not allowing mothers to be delegates? Read on …

The NOW chapters of Southern California — including Hollywood, Long Beach-South Bay, Pacific Shore and Palm Spring — voiced concern this week that the Democratic National Convention will not offer automatic access for young children on the convention floor, and will not be providing childcare during the event.

Whoa. Denying free stuff that women …

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Todd Akin and the perils of ‘personhood’

Two weeks ago, Missouri’s Todd Akin took a big step in his quest to go from the U.S. House to the U.S. Senate by winning the state’s Republican primary for the seat. Instead of moving toward unseating incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, however, Akin may have taken an even larger step back this weekend with his remarks about rape and abortion during an interview with a St. Louis TV station:

First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

From his bizarre distinction between “legitimate rape” and, well, I’m not sure what (maybe Whoopi Goldberg could help him out with that?) to his crackpot notion that the female body “has ways to try to shut [pregnancy by forcible rape] down,” Akin has created a …

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2012 Tuesday: Voter fraud, not suppression, is real

It’s an election year, so we’re being treated to the usual back-and-forth about whether requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls is an attempt to suppress voting or just voter fraud.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder — never hesitant to politicize an issue — last month likened voter ID laws to Jim Crow-era poll taxes that suppress minority voting. Of course, neither he nor any plaintiff in a court challenge to a voter ID laws has produced any evidence that suppression has taken place. I’ve always thought it is insulting to minorities to suggest they are incapable, or unmotivated, or whatever, when it comes to obtaining a free, state-issued photo ID.

On the contrary: Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp noted in a recent interview that since the General Assembly passed our voter ID law in 2006, the number of minority voters has soared — between both the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, and the 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial elections. That’s strong evidence against …

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Poll Position: Will today’s Chick-fil-A ‘kiss-in’ be successful?

The “buycott” of Chick-fil-A on Wednesday produced what the company will only describe as an “unprecedented day” for business. Today, we get the counter-protest (it was announced first, but arrives second) in the form of a “kiss-in” by gay couples angry about remarks made by company president Dan Cathy.

Will it be as successful?

Boycotts have a revered place in American history as an effective form of protest, in large part because of the role they played in the civil rights movement. Lately, however, the tactic’s record is much more spotty. Looking at one list of current boycotts, I don’t see many, if any, that I’d count as successful.

Will today’s “kiss-in” by gay couples at Chick-fil-A restaurants be successful?

  • No (3,059 Votes)
  • Yes (210 Votes)
  • I don’t know (159 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,428

Loading ... Loading …

Now, a “kiss-in” isn’t exactly the same thing as a boycott; I have no idea how many of the reported 15,000 people nationwide who say they’re participating in …

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The disturbing attacks on Chick-fil-A

There’s one part of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s recent remarks that the left seems especially intent on disproving: the part where he said,

… we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

The rest of Cathy’s comments, if you haven’t already heard, concerned his opinion of the propriety of gay marriage from a biblical perspective. As retribution for his voicing this opinion, some liberals in Chicago and Boston want to deny Cathy and his company the right to operate in their cities.

This is disturbing on a number of levels, two in particular.

The first is the idea that local governments might deny a business license to a company because of the beliefs of its owners. In Chicago, Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno threatened to do just that in his ward. (The city’s mayor, former Obama aide Rahm Emanuel, was more oblique, voicing sympathy with Moreno’s perspective but saying only that a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Chicago “would be a bad …

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The work of a madman

The accused Colorado gunman appears in court Monday. AP Photo

The accused Colorado gunman appears in court Monday. AP Photo

The suspect in Friday’s horrific shooting at a Colorado movie theater appeared in court today and didn’t speak a word. Police have said he isn’t speaking while in their custody, either, so it could be some time before we learn whether there was any kind of motivation for the man charged with murdering (as of now) 12 people and wounding dozens more.

My rule of thumb in these cases, absent any evidence, is to begin by assuming they are the work of madmen with thoughts and beliefs unthinkable to the vast, vast majority of us. Until investigators and reporters closer to the situation uncover more about the accused, I would argue that’s a good working basis for all of us.

At Hot Air, Mary Katharine Ham has compiled an excellent series of brief sketches from various news outlets about the 12 who have died so far (there are others with life-threatening wounds), complete with photos. I’m struck that survivors said five of …

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Obama tramples welfare reform, rule of law

What is it about the rule of law that doesn’t agree with Barack Obama? When he thought the Supreme Court might throw out his namesake, signature health reform, he (falsely) lamented it “would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” But the president appears to have no compunctions about taking such a step himself.

Last month, it was a decision to partially stop applying immigration law. Yesterday, his administration neutered a key element of one of the signature moments from the Clinton administration: the 1996 welfare reform. As the Daily Caller’s Mickey Kaus puts it:

The guts of the 1996 welfare reform were a) welfare was ended as an “entitlement” (controlled by the feds) and transferred to the states, as a “block grant” subject to certain requirements; and b) one of those requirements was that a certain percentage of each state’s welfare caseload had to be working or preparing …

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Poll Position: Proper penalty in Penn State abuse scandal?

This week brought new revelations in one of the most shocking scandals to hit a university in some time: the sexual abuse of multiple children, over many years, by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. The new information, contained in a report released Thursday by former FBI director Louis Freeh that was commissioned by university trustees, details the lengths to which Penn State officials went to keep Sandusky’s actions from being made public — enabling him to prey on more young people for another 14 years.

From ESPN.com’s article about the report:

“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State,” said [Freeh] …. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

After an eight-month inquiry, Freeh’s firm produced a 267-page report that concluded that Hall of Fame coach [Joe] …

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