23 April 2014.
On today's Fightin Words podcast: The Supreme Court recently upheld a Michigan law banning the practice of affirmative action in public universities. The dissenting opinion authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor reveals a twisted worldview which seeks equal protection through racial discrimination.
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A worrisome new memo from the Council on Foreign Relations indicates that China, without warning, is poised to knock out U.S. satellites, especially those used by the Pentagon.
"The threats to U.S. space assets are significant and growing," said the "contingency planning memo" titled "Dangerous Space Incidents." It also cited Iran, North Korea, space junk and electromagnetic pulse as threats.
Around since 1921 and co-founded by former President Herbert Hoover, the Council on Foreign Relations is a thoughtful group, making its warnings about an attack on U.S. satellites a real concern.
As President Obama visits Asia this week, the memo suggests that he push his diplomatic team to cut deals with China and others to keep low earth orbit where most satellites fly a war-free zone.
The memo said that there are several indications from China, Iran and North Korea about a coming attack. "Warning indicators would suggest that a dangerous space event is forthcoming," said the council memo.
The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.
While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.
After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.
The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.
By Cheryl K. Chumley-The Washington Times Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FILE - In this April 12, 2014, file photo, the Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle is released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nev. The federal Bureau of Land Management says six cattle died in the roundup of animals it says rancher Cliven Bundy allowed to graze illegally on public land outside his southern Nevada property. The BLM said Tuesday, April 22, 2014, that two of four animals that were euthanized bore Bundy brands.
The attorney general of Texas has a stark warning for state residents, on the heels of the federal government’s armed standoff at the Cliven Bundy cattle ranch: The BLM may be headed to our neck of the woods next, with intent to take over 90,000 acres of prime Red River property.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in a letter to Bureau of Land Management director Neil Kornze that he has “deep concern” the feds are eyeing land along the 116-mile stretch of property along the Red River — the border line between Texas and Oklahoma — that’s been in private hands “for generations,” the Daily Mail reported.
SEE ALSO: Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
He went on: “I am deeply concerned about reports that the Bureau of Land Management is considering taking property in the state of Texas and that it now claims belongs to the federal government,” Fox News reported. “As attorney general of Texas, I am deeply troubled by reports from BLM field hearings that the federal government may claim — for the first time — that 90,000 acres of territory along the Red River now belong to the federal government.”
Mr. Abbott also said the BLM hasn’t fully discussed “either its full intentions [for the land] or the legal justification for its proposed actions,” the letter stated.
The Energy Department didn't have to pay millions of dollars in fees designed to prevent risk for taxpayers when it approved $6.5 billion of loan guarantees for a nuclear project in February, the agency confirmed Tuesday to the Washington Examiner.
The DOE calculated a zero dollar "credit subsidy fee," which protects taxpayers if developers default, for electric utility Georgia Power -- a subsidiary of Southern Co. -- and Oglethorpe Power Corp. to spur completion of two large, next-generation nuclear reactors at the Vogtle power plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Energy & Environment Publishing's Greenwire first reported the story.
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Dawn Selak, a spokeswoman with the DOE's loan program office, said the agency calculated little risk of default based on a methodology devised by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Koch group launches new ObamaCare attacks on vulnerable Dems
Americans for Prosperity, the national conservative group backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, is launching new ads attacking Democrats in Senate races in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Colorado and Michigan.
The ads hammer Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), as well as Michigan Senate candidate Rep. Gary Peters, for issues with ObamaCare. The ad running in Colorado has yet to be released but will hit Sen. Mark Udall (D) on the law as well.
In Louisiana, AFP’s ad features Christopher Schiff, a former Marine, recounting how ObamaCare caused his insurance costs to spike.
“Mary Landrieu said that ObamaCare is going to make things better. Better? Not for people like me,” he says in the ad. “I don’t think Mary Landrieu is looking out for my best interests or the people in Louisiana.”
AFP’s ad in New Hampshire declares that it will be difficult to enjoy the “scenic drives” in the state while driving long distances to see the doctor, which the ad charges is likely under ObamaCare.
Red-state Democratic Senate candidate are still alive and kicking, according to four new non-partisan polls.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a top GOP target, leads Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) by 46 percent to 36 percent in a live-caller poll conducted for the New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Pryor's approval rating is at 47 percent with 38 percent disapproving, good numbers for any Democrat in a state as conservative as Arkansas.
The polls likely do not reflect what the electorate will look like this fall, however. In the Arkansas poll, for instance, fully 39 percent of those in the sample say they're paying little or no attention to the 2014 campaign despite heavy spending on ads from both sides in the race. One third of the registered voters surveyed in Arkansas didn't vote in 2012, a sign the poll's sample isn't reflective at all of what election day will look like. Similar problems plague the other polls.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also in a dogfight, according to the poll. McConnell leads Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) by 44 percent to 43 percent in the heavily Republican state. McConnell's approval rating is at 40 percent with 52 percent disapproving, though President Obama is much worse and possibly dragging Grimes down in the state — his approval rating is just 32 percent.
A group called the Citizens Commission on Benghazi has come out with a damning report on events and decisions that led up to the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead. The commission, which is made up of former high-ranking US military officers, CIA insiders and think-tank fellows, gathered information on Benghazi across seven months. Their investigation included 85 Freedom of Information Act requests as well as contact with current officials who have direct knowledge of US actions during the months prior to the attack.
‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.
She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..
Parents and teachers criticized a lawsuit filed against their New Jersey school district that objects to the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance recited by their children.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) announced the lawsuit the day after Easter. The group filed it on behalf of a local family in Monmouth County who wished to remain anonymous.
The suit claims the use of the words “under God” in the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance are discriminatory to atheist children and their families.
The school district claims it is just abiding by the state’s statute.
Superintendent David Healy, when asked for comment, sent a prepared statement from the school district’s general counsel David Rubin, who said the district is “merely abiding by a state statute, on the books for many years, mandating the recitation of the pledge in all school districts.”
Early 2014 will be viewed historically as the period when most of the American left’s bubbles detached themselves completely from reality and wafted off to Unicornland.
Everyone, without exception, lives in a bubble, an area of individual consciousness made up of education, experience, and worldview. These bubbles naturally differ due to intelligence, lifestyle, and endless other factors. An Einstein’s bubble may be nearly coterminous with the walls of the universe itself; an imbecile’s may consist of little more than regular meals, a warm place to sit, and the occasional kind word.
In the modern era it has become fashionable to create and fully upholster one’s own bubble out of the rag ends of various ideologies, fads, and daydreams. To in effect attempt to establish an individual reality, more often than not at odds with the world as it actually exists. Such efforts quickly come up against individual limitations, both intellectual and emotional, but that doesn’t seem to discourage people.