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  • Limited-time Christmas offer for TheBlaze Magazine
    Posted November 28, 2014 at 7:34 am by Chris Field

    Comments (3)

    Get TheBlaze Magazine’s special Christmas gift offer here.

    Christmas 2014 offer Image - 2 subs for 40

    For a limited time, you can get two print subscriptions for just $40. That’s right, get a gift for someone and give yourself a gift—or use both subscriptions as gifts.

    And if you order your gift by December 20, and we’ll send your recipient a personalized, hand-written note telling them of your gift.

    Follow Chris Field (@ChrisMField) on Twitter

  • Obama administration pitches Obamacare as a Black Friday purchase
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 4:38 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (8)

    The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday said it has partnered with shopping centers, pharmacists and websites to help promote Obamacare during the busy shopping weekend.

    HHS said Westfield Shopping Centers, National Community Pharmacists Association and the XO Group will help promote Obamacare to people over the weekend. Black Friday is usually one of the biggest shopping days in the country, and it’s followed up by “Small Business Saturday,” and then “Cyber Monday.”

    This May 14, 2014 file photo shows then-Health and Human Service Secretary nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Obama administration has been struggling to clear up data discrepancies that could potentially jeopardize coverage for millions under the health overhaul, the government’s health care fraud watchdog reported Tuesday. The Health and Human Services inspector general said the administration was not able to resolve 2.6 million so-called “inconsistencies” out of a total of 2.9 million such problems in the federal insurance exchange from October through December, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    Health and Human Service Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced partnerships that she hopes will help sell Obamacare policies to people over the long Thanksgiving weekend. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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  • Can anything unite Republicans and Democrats? How about…the Nazis.
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (12)

    House Republicans next week will debate and pass bipartisan legislation that would prevent the U.S. government from making Social Security payments to Nazi war criminals.

    The issue came up in October, when the Associated Press reported that some Nazis were receiving these payments as part of agreements under which the recipients agreed to leave the United States. The AP said by 1999, 28 suspected Nazi war criminals had been paid $1.5 million, and said and handful of these people were still receiving these benefits today.

    nazihelmet

    U.S. legislators will pass a bill next week to stop Social Security payments to Nazi war criminals.

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  • Flashback: ‘Turkey Drop’
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm by Chris Field

    Comments (5)

    Maybe we’ll just go ahead and make this an annual tradition:

    The greatest Thanksgiving episode of any TV sitcom — ever.

    “With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

    You’re welcome.

    Follow Chris Field (@ChrisMField) on Twitter

  • ‘For The Record’ Live Blog: ‘Insider Attack’
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm by Steve Krakauer

    Comments (0)

    While you watch tonight’s new episode of For the Record, “Insider Attack,” about the possibility of a military cover-up in Afghanistan, join the conversation here with producers and reporters at TheBlaze. We’ll have behind-the-scenes pictures and details, related links, polls and much more.

    The live blog begins at 8 p.m. ET.

  • Boehner says EPA’s smog rule is a massive job killer, vows GOP Congress will fight it
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (2)

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned Wednesday that the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to reduce air pollution would create a huge new hurdle to job creation, and said Congress would continue working to stop these sorts of proposals.

    “The Obama administration’s massive new regulation – the most expensive rule ever proposed by the EPA – could slash family budgets by more than $1,500 per year, reduce GDP by trillions, and cost our economy millions of jobs,” Boehner said.

    Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 2.07.27 PM

    EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy released a new smog regulation on Wednesday, one that House Speaker John Boehner said would crush U.S. job creation.
    Image: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

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  • Brad Thor fans defend author with expert trolling in the great Ferguson #Thorgiving Twitter war of 2014
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm by Benjamin Weingarten

    Comments (7)

    For those who missed it, what you are looking at is a slice of Brad Thor’s recent Twitter war with a fellow book industry professional over tweets the author made with which said professional disagreed about the ongoing Ferguson situation.

    As has been documented over at Twitchy, when Thor retweeted criticism from one of this book industry’s Twitter friends, a Twitter war began.

    In the fallout from the debate, we compiled some of the most entertaining tweets from the great #Thorgiving Twitter war of 2014.

    Editor’s note: Some poor language coming (more…)

  • Doc and Skip’s blunt response to Ebola nurse who requested refund from Ohio bridal store
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm by Erica Ritz

    Comments (5)

    TheBlaze Radio’s Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe were not impressed after reading reports that Amber Vinson, the second Texas nurse to contract Ebola, asked an Ohio bridal store to refund her bridal party $480 in deposits and payments.

    Vinson traveled to Coming Attractions Bridal & Formal shop before testing positive for Ebola, having received permission from the CDC to board a commercial airliner and mingle with society.

    Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, speaks at a news conference as members of her nursing staff look on after being discharged from Emory University Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP/David Goldman

    Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, speaks at a news conference as members of her nursing staff look on after being discharged from Emory University Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP/David Goldman)

    After Vinson’s diagnosis was confirmed, Anna Younker was forced to shut down her store and have the place professionally cleaned. Her customers panicked, cancelling their orders, and she lost tens of thousands of dollars.

    “By the way, what is the whole purpose of a deposit?” LaCombe demanded. “A deposit is there because, ‘Hey, we’re going to go ahead and put the expense out to do this. Give us some of the money in case you decide not to pick them up or whatever, we won’t be completely out.’”

    “No you don’t get your deposit back!” he added. “Of course not!”

    You can listen to the complete segment, below:

  • Congressional Research Service says Congress can defund Obama’s immigration move with legislation
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (10)

    The Congressional Research Service has told Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) that Congress has the legal authority to restrict the work of federal agencies funded by fees, a finding that could embolden Republicans to pass legislation blocking Obama’s executive action on immigration.

    Before leaving for the Thanksgiving break, House Republicans were debating whether Congress could pass a bill to stop U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from implementing Obama’s executive action. Questions were raised about whether Congress had any authority over USCIS because that agency is largely funded through fees, rather than the appropriation of specific amounts of money from Congress.

    Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., joins other members of the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013, as lawmakers work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions. The panel is aiming to pass the legislation out of committee this week, setting up a high-stakes debate on the Senate floor. Credit: AP

    Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) got an opinion from the Congressional Research Service that says Congress has the authority to defund President Barack Obama’s immigration action. Credit: AP

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  • Anthony Weiner says his former boss Chuck Schumer is wrong on Obamacare
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 11:56 am by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (1)

    Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) spoke out Wednesday against his former boss, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), for saying Democrats made a mistake in pushing to pass Obamacare in the middle of the Great Recession.

    Schumer made waves Tuesday for saying the push for the health care law was a political mistake, and that Democrats should have focused on ways to create jobs.

    NEW YORK, NY - JULY 26:  Anthony Weiner, a leading candidate for New York City mayor, speaks with reporters in Staten Island on a visit to homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy on July 26, 2013 in New York City. It was recently revealed that Weiner engaged in lewd online conversations with a woman after he resigned from Congress for similar previous incidents. Credit: Getty Images

    Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) criticized his former boss, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for saying Democrats should not have pursued Obamacare in the middle of the Great Recession. Photo credit: Getty Images

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  • Watch: Dem implies whites not able to understand black reaction to Ferguson
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 10:45 am by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (101)

    Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) implied Wednesday that white people may not have the capacity to understand the way blacks and other minorities are reacting to the events in Ferguson, and said non-minorities need to “take a deep breath” before reaching any final conclusions.

    “One of the most important things that I think people need to do who are not African American, who are not Latino, is… just take a deep breath for one minute, and say, ‘maybe I don’t understand, maybe there’s something going on here that I need to look at,’ ” Bass said on CNN Wednesday morning.

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  • The government wrote a 52-page report to show that people buy fast food to save time
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (31)

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday released a study that examined years of data to reach the conclusion that people buy fast food because it’s faster, and they want to save time.

    That conclusion was quickly summarized near the top of the 52-page study: “Americans purchase fast food to save time.”

    Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 3.50.58 PM

    One of the several charts produced by USDA showing that people who buy fast food are busy and need to save time.
    Image source: USDA

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  • Saga of latest ‘fired’ VA official isn’t quite over yet, has right to appeal
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (1)

    The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that it had “formally removed” Sharon Helman, former director of the Phoenix VA Healthcare System, from federal service.

    That announcement led several members of Congress to praise the VA’s decision — Helman had become the poster child for corrupt VA officials that purposely manipulated wait time data for veterans seeking health care. Helman had been put on administrative leave since May 1, which led to further criticism that she continue to receive a paycheck.

    Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald of Ohio listens to the opening statements during a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearings to examine his nomination to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (AP Photo) AP Photo

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has decided to remove a second VA official, but that official gets to appeal that decision. (AP Photo)

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  • Watch: Chuck Schumer admits Dems should have focused on jobs, not Obamacare
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (5)

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, admitted Tuesday that Democrats made a political error by pushing for passage of Obamacare in 2009 and 2010, and instead should have focused on jobs and the economy.

    Schumer’s admission is essentially the same argument Republicans have made for the last several years — that Democrats and the Obama administration spent months working on health care when the main issue for most Americans was jobs and how to survive the Great Recession.

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  • “[H]istory shows the truth eventually wins”: Readers respond to Beck on Upton Sinclair’s secret socialist cover-up letter
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm by Benjamin Weingarten

    Comments (1)

    In an effort to further the conversation on Glenn Beck’s “Dreamers and Deceivers,” Beck has developed a FaceBOOK club, which began with a discussion of chapter 6 of his new book.

    The chapter, titled “The Muckraker: How a Lost Letter Revealed Upton Sinclair’s Deception,” tells the story of influential socialist author Upton Sinclair, whose “Boston,” a “documentary novel” published in 1928 on the case, sought to absolve anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti of the crime of murder at a shoe factory in Braintree, MA in 1920.

    Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left), handcuffed to Nicola Sacco (right). Dedham, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1923. This photo was taken in 1923 when Sacco was on the 23rd day of a hunger strike. (Image Source: Boston Public Library)

    Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left), handcuffed to Nicola Sacco (right). Dedham, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1923.
    This photo was taken in 1923 when Sacco was on the 23rd day of a hunger strike. (Image Source: Boston Public Library)

    Sacco and Vanzetti, while found guilty and executed, were defended by leftists in America and throughout the world, with Joseph Stalin himself honoring the pair through christening two naval vessels after each of the men, renaming streets in major Russian cities after the men and printing hundreds of thousands of copies of their collected writings from jail in Russian. [Note: SPOILER ALERT COMING]

    Sinclair was perhaps Sacco and Vanzetti’s most prominent American supporter, and while his “Boston” argued for their innocence, the it would be discovered in a letter decades later that in effect Sinclair had seen evidence indicating that Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty, and lied about it in “Boston” to further the socialist cause.

    Glenn Beck took to Facebook to ask readers four questions about the story, per the below post:

    Here are some of the most insightful responses from you, the reader:

    1. “[H]e issued the book and God made sure that the truth was always stronger than the lie”

    Bill writes:

    1) He should have written the book with every detail regardless of how it effected his cause.

    2) He probably wrote it as a safety net in case he was “found out” for printing a false report. It was probably why he sent it to his lawyer. The fact that he admitted his error in private does not redeem him when he issued a lie in such a public forum.

    3) YES. I’m sure it was not a pretty scenario, but if he was willing to lie to further his cause in BOSTON, he would certainly have had no problem lying in THE JUNGLE.

    4) I think BOSTON has done nothing to benefit his cause. I think he issued the book and God made sure that the truth was always stronger than the lie. More people knew the truth internally than anyone that could have “learned the lie” by reading BOSTON. As for people today taking advantage of others, look at Ferguson, immigration, tax payers, etc. It is everywhere!

    2. “[W]e use events or people and twist them to suit our own agenda. Both sides do it. And most of the time it is wrong.”

    Megan writes:

    1) putting my self in his shoes I feel like scrapping the book all together would be the better option. Yes it would hurt you but save your cause. If it were me…I like telling the truth no matter what.

    2) maybe a moment of guilt or maybe to cover his butt. I don’t know? I would like to believe he had a conscience.

    3) oh yes! I know working conditions during that time was horrific but in my experience people who embellished stories to suit their causes do it more than once.

    4) I think it turned 2 terrible people into heroes. You can see parallels today with the way the media and the left portrayed business owners as evil money grubbing tyrants. Or even what’s going on in MO where a police officer is demonized for doing his job. These are just a few examples of how we use events or people and twist them to suit our own agenda. Both sides do it. And most of the time it is wrong.

    3. “Unfortunately, the tactics employed for the last 100+ years surface frequently with the “Never let a good crisis go to waste” mantra seen on both political sides. The Progressives are just the ones that seem best at it!”

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    Vicki writes:

    1) Of course, Sinclair should’ve rewritten his book to tell the truth, but that was never going to happen due to his devotion to the cause of Socialism.

    2) Most likely his one sleepless night caused Sinclair to write the letter with the truth. This was the 1929 version of CYA (cover your a*#) and then he went on with the charade with no damage to his reputation.

    3) Though I’m sure the meat packing industry was, and is, a grisly one, I have no doubt Sinclair would’ve used hyperbole whenever needed to drive home his desired points in THE JUNGLE.

    4) In the long run, any help given to the Socialist cause by BOSTON, was likely a mere blip on the radar. Unfortunately, the tactics employed for the last 100+ years surface frequently with the “Never let a good crisis go to waste” mantra seen on both political sides. The Progressives are just the ones that seem best at it! (more…)

  • Food trucks escape Obamacare’s new rules on nutrition labels
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (0)

    People who want to eat whatever they want without getting a guilt trip from nutrition labels may soon have to hide out in front of food trucks.

    Food trucks increasingly offer gourmet choices for lunch, and are rolling up to office buildings in major cities all over the country. And in a new rule published by the Food and Drug Administration, food trucks will have the added feature of not having to tell you how many calories you’re eating.

    Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 12.03.44 PM

    Food trucks like this one in Fort Collins, Colorado, won’t have to live by the federal government’s new rules on calorie content labeling.
    Image: MCT/MCT via Getty Images

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  • House Dem says Ferguson shows ‘you may kill black men’ without consequences
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 10:20 am by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (73)

    Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said late Monday that the decision not to indict a police officer who shot and killed a black teenager shows that people can kill black men in America without any fear of going to jail.

    “This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that black lives hold no value; that you may kill black men in this country without consequences or repercussions,” she said. “This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”

    Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.17.31 AM

    Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Missouri, shows there is no price to pay for killing black men.
    Image: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

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  • Eric Holder: Federal civil rights case against Ferguson cop will continue
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 8:53 am by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (15)

    Attorney General Eric Holder said late Monday night that the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown would continue, even after a grand jury declined to indict the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who fired the shots.

    “[T]he Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing,” Holder said. “Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence.”

    Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 8.48.22 AM

    Attorney General Eric Holder says his ongoing civil rights investigation into the Ferguson, Mo. shooting will continue, despite the failure of a grand jury to indict the officer to shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.
    Image: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

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  • Rand Paul wants Congress to formally declare war against the Islamic State
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (7)

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday proposed a resolution that would have Congress officially declare war against the Islamic State, and also cites key portions of U.S. history showing that the Founding Fathers wanted Congress to be the body that declares war.

    Congress agreed to let the Obama administration take some initial steps to fight the Islamic State, but most Republicans and Democrats agree that a formal authorization from Congress is needed for the longer term.

    WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the March for Life on January 25, 2013 in Washington, DC. The pro-life gathering is held each year around the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Credit: Getty Images

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposed language Monday to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State. Credit: Getty Images

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  • Watch: White House says everyone — including Al Sharpton — should pay their taxes
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (4)

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest advised Monday that all Americans should pay their taxes, after being asked whether it makes sense for President Barack Obama to take advice from Al Sharpton, who reportedly owes $4.5 million in personal taxes and unpaid taxes from his companies.

    Sharpton routinely canoodles with Obama and is seen as something of an informal adviser. But a New York Times story reported last week that Sharpton still owes millions, and has a history of not paying taxes and stiffing hotels and other companies on money he owes those service providers.

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  • White House admits it’s looking for someone ‘better suited’ to fight the Islamic State
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (2)

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday acknowledged that the Obama administration is looking for a secretary of Defense who is more qualified than Secretary Chuck Hagel to prosecute the fight against the Islamic State.

    Several news outlets reported Monday morning that Hagel was essentially pushed out of his job after criticisms mounted about how it has decided to fight the terrorist group. Earnest admitted this was the case in his daily press briefing with reporters.

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks about the response to the ongoing Ebola crisis during the daily press briefing, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) AP Photo/Evan Vucci

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged Monday that President Barack Obama is looking for someone with better qualifications to fight the Islamic State. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    “When Secretary Hagel was first nominated for this job, I believe that was at end of 2012… the threat that was posed by ISIL was not nearly as significant as it is now,” Earnest said. “And that has caused the threat that’s posed by ISIL to rise up to near the top of the priority list at the Department of Defense. And that wasn’t the case when Secretary Hagel first took office.”

    Earnest said when Hagel arrived in early 2013, the department was facing other challenges, such as adjusting to some budget cuts and stopping sexual assault in the military.

    “The priorities of the department, or at least of the new secretary, have changed, given changes in the international community,” Earnest said. “It doesn’t mean that Secretary Hagel hasn’t done an excellent job of managing these crises as they’ve cropped up.”

    “But it does mean that as we consider the next remaining two years of the president’s time in office, that another secretary might be better suited to meet those challenges,” he added. “That was something that the two of them agreed.”

    Just as President Barack Obama said in remarks earlier in the day, Earnest praised Hagel’s performance, and said Obama trusts Hagel completely to implement his defense policy. Some reporters noted that Hagel disagreed with Obama’s plans for Syria, and asked if that was a factor in Hagel’s departure, but Earnest rejected that.

    Earnest also said Hagel and Obama together agreed that it was time for Hagel to go.

    “Secretary Hagel and the president and convened a number of conversations, more than a month ago, about the president’s two remaining years in office, and the kinds of priorities that this administration, this country, would be facing when it comes to our foreign policy,” he said. “Over the course of the last month or so, the president and the secretary had a number of conversations and they determined that it would be best for the Pentagon to transition to new leadership.”

    Earnest also held up the idea that it’s been routine for Obama to switch out his defense secretaries every two years. “It certainly is consistent with this pattern that we would have a new secretary of defense for the two remaining years of the presidency,” he said.

    Earlier in the day, however, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) criticized Obama for changing secretaries yet again.

    “The Obama administration is now in the market for their 4th secretary of defense,” he said. “When the president goes through three secretaries, he should ask ‘is it them, or is it me?’ “

  • The government would like you to talk about your family’s health history during Thanksgiving
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (3)

    If you’re running out of ways to have awkward, stilted conversations during Thanksgiving, the acting Surgeon General of the United States has a new idea — talk about your family’s health history.

    Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak said Monday that Thanksgiving would be the 11th annual Family Health History Day, which should be used by people to “talk about and keep a record of the health problems that seem to run in their families.”

    Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.14.47 PM

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  • White House relies on ‘theory,’ ‘academic literature’ to argue immigration move won’t hurt U.S. workers
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 10:30 am by Pete Kasperowicz

    Comments (20)

    Despite its decision to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance to work in the United States, the Obama administration is insisting that its plan will have “no effect” on employment for U.S. citizens.

    It reached that conclusion by relying on “theory” and “academic literature,” which it said indicates that adding thousands or even millions of people to the workforce just won’t matter.

    Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 10.15.41 AM

    Officials under President Barack Obama say his executive action on immigration won’t affect U.S. jobs or wages.
    Image: AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

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  • Celebrate William F. Buckley’s birthday with his tension-filled Saul Alinsky interview from 1967 (video)
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 10:04 am by Benjamin Weingarten

    Comments (102)

    William F. Buckley, one of the most influential figures in the history of conservatism, founder of National Review, prolific writer and expert debater, stood athwart history, yelling Stop.

    But in yelling stop, he chose to engage with his ideological opponents, true to his belief that the American system requires a free flow of ideas in the intellectual marketplace.

    William F. Buckley speaks with Saul Alinsky on Firing Line in 1967. (Image Source: YouTube)

    William F. Buckley speaks with Saul Alinsky on Firing Line in 1967. (Image Source: YouTube)

    To celebrate the legacy of the man born some 89 years ago today, we thought we would share the following video from the YouTube archives of Buckley interviewing “Rules for Radicals” author Saul Alinsky back in 1967 on Buckley’s “Firing Line” program.

    Buckley attempts to cut to the heart of Alinsky’s philosophy, and Alinsky bobs and weaves around Buckley’s jabs, in a characteristically obfuscatory fashion.

    In the video, Alinsky makes some interesting assertions, including:

    (i) “I’ll steal before I take charity.”

    (ii) “You only get power as a reaction to a threat.”

    (iii) “[That Alinsky is] very much in agreement with the thinking of the early revolutionaries…men like Madison, Jay, Hamilton, etc.”

    (iv) “People only do the right things for the wrong reasons.”

    (v) “I think that the most insidious, the most subversive force that has ever entered the American scene has been what I would call Madison Avenue, public relations, middle-class moral hygiene — which has made the word “conflict” a nasty word, and “controversy” a very nasty word, so that people are fired off from mass media for controversy.”

    (vi) In practicing one of his own rules, that “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon,” challenging Buckley by stating “Will you look at me, and tell me whether you believe what you’re saying?”

    Check out the video below. (more…)

  • ‘For the Record’ update: Could China take out the U.S. power grid?
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Tom Orr

    Comments (5)

    The United States power grid and other utility systems are vulnerable to threats from China and “probably one or two other” nations that could take them offline, according to testimony during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on cybersecurity threats Thursday.

    Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command, told the committee there are nation-states and groups that have the ability to “enter our systems, to enter our industrial control systems and to shut down [and] forestall our ability to operate, our basic infrastructure.”

    “That has the potential to lead to some truly significant, almost catastrophic failures if we don’t take action,” he said.

    The threats to the U.S. power grid were the subject of For the Record‘s episode “Unguarded” in April.

    In his testimony, Rogers pointed to cases where foreign nations and other groups have successfully hacked into the control systems for critical infrastructure like the electrical grid, water and fuel pipelines.

    “What we think we’re seeing is reconnaissance by many of those actors in an attempt to make sure they understand our systems so that they can then, if they choose to, exploit the vulnerabilities within those control systems,” Rogers said.

    Many complex networks such as utilities require Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition — or SCADA — systems to run, but those systems are vulnerable to hacking. Rogers said they are one of his biggest concerns.

    “People will often ask me, ‘What are the coming trends that you see?’ I think the industrial control system and the SCADA piece are big growth areas of vulnerability and action that we’re going to see in the coming 12 months,” Rogers said.

    He testified that the impact of a successful cyberattack on utilities could be devastating.

    “Once you’re into the system and you’re able to do that, it enables you to do things like if I want to tell power turbines to go offline and stop generating power, you can do that,” he said. “If I wanted to segment the transmission system so that you couldn’t distribute the power that was coming out of the power stations, this would enable you to do that.”

    Rogers added, “This will be truly destructive if someone decides that’s what they want to do.”

    Learn more about the threats to the electrical grid and other utilities by watching “Unguarded” on demand. Here’s a clip: