Looking for holiday reads? Here are 13 books on Glenn Beck’s nightstandPosted December 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm by Benjamin Weingarten
Just in time for the holidays, Glenn Beck recently shared the books he has been reading during 2014.
1. “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly“ by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff
2. “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds” by Charles Mackay
3. “Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead: The Ten Most Innovative Lessons from a Long, Strange Trip” by Barry Barnes and John Perry Barlow
USDA’s latest recommendation: ObamacarePosted December 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is the latest wing of the government calling on Americans to buy Obamacare.
While Obamacare might normally be seen as something for the Department of Health and Human Services to promote, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered his own advice on the subject late Friday. Vilsack focused his comments on how Obamacare can help rural Americans who might be more likely to live and work on farms.
Did Republicans really help Harry Reid confirm Obama’s nominees on Saturday?Posted December 15, 2014 at 11:01 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Senate Democrats have spent the last few days arguing that the Republican push for a vote against President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration actually helped Democrats confirm several of Obama’s nominations.
But comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday morning shows that Democrats were always planning on approving a last wave of Obama nominations before leaving. A basic understanding of current Senate rules also shows that Democrats have the power to approve these nominations whenever they want, without Republican help, because of changes Democrats engineered in the Senate.
Rand Paul says Obama’s immigration move violates parts of the Constitution, like Articles I and IIPosted December 15, 2014 at 10:06 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation late last week that would prohibit the executive branch of government from deferring any categories of illegal immigrants from immigration laws, and finds President Barack Obama’s executive action clearly violates the Constitution
“I believe that the Constitution is clear that the legislative power resides in Congress,” Paul said when he introduced his bill. “The president is not a king and he does not have the power to enact laws then execute his own laws.”
Here are the 24 Republicans who voted for the $1.1 trillion spending billPosted December 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Twenty-four Republicans voted late Saturday night to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will fund most of the government through the end of fiscal year 2015, ending a full week of drama over whether the government might shut down.
The Senate approved the spending bill in a 56-40 vote that split both parties. While many Republicans supported the bill, many others were angry at the idea of approving a spending bill that doesn’t defund President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.
Senate dodges government shutdown…againPosted December 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Senate voted Saturday afternoon to pass a short-term continuing resolution that will keep the federal government open through Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Passage of the resolution — which the House approved on Friday — lets Congress dodge a government shutdown that was due to take place at the end of the day Saturday.
Government shutdown drama returns to the Senate in rare Saturday sessionPosted December 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blamed Republicans for threatening another possible government shutdown at the end of Saturday, even though Republicans are expected to agree to a vote in the next few hours to extend funding into next week.
“I remind everyone at 12:00 midnight — 12:00 a.m. — the United States government tonight runs out of money,” Reid said on the Senate floor Saturday. “We tried to get an agreement last night to extend government funding for a few extra days while we worked to pass the long-term bill, but Republicans wouldn’t let us do that.”
‘Did anyone else cry?’: Watch these kids have the perfect response to crummy Christmas presentsPosted December 13, 2014 at 8:30 am by Zach Noble
These kids really get in the Christmas spirit, spouting boundless joy and gratitude…even when their presents literally stink.
Their dad had the idea to prank them ahead of Christmas, writing on YouTube:
As we approach Christmas I wonder if my children realise how fortunate they are when they are inevitably spoilt rotten on Christmas Day. So I decided to let them have one early gift 2 weeks before Christmas. One completely terrible gift that is.
In the video, he asks his kids what they want for Christmas, and they both immediately shout their answers: the little boy wants a Ben 10 watch, and the girl wants Barbie Princess and Ken King.
Then their dad gives them each an early present and they dig into the wrapping paper to find something unexpected.
“It’s not Barbie Princess and Ken King,” the little girl marvels as holds an onion. “It’s… it’s… it’s my present!”
She spends the rest of the video convinced that her stinky onion is a tiny pumpkin, while the boy pulls out his present, “A bah-naw-nah!”
Despite the lackluster gifts, both children seem jubilant just to have received a gift at all.
Watch their joyful reactions below:
The video is an internet classic — the original was posted Dec. 13, 2011 — but it was enjoying renewed attention on Reddit Saturday as commenters reacted to the children’s gratitude and shared Christmas stories of their own.
One commenter wrote about his own son displaying similar gratitude:
The year the Nintendo Wii came out, that was all my son wanted. I told him there was no way he was going to get it. Little did he know I had a friend in New York City that could get one from the Nintendo store. I am big on the kids having the same amount of presents to open along with the same amount spent. So I bought him all these crappy dollar store toys and candy. When he opened them he was so happy, didn’t even question it. At the end we acted like Santa had hidden one more gift for him, which was the Wii. He was so excited and cried! When I asked him why he wasn’t disappointed in those other gifts, he said, ‘Mom, some kids don’t get a Christmas. I am always going to be happy with anything I receive.’ He was 12.
Another commenter recalled an old man’s simple presents from his childhood at church:
When I was a kid (80s, 90s), after the Church Christmas Pageant an older member of the church named ‘Frank,’ would give out sacks filled with peanuts and one orange to all the kids.
I always though this was kind weird, but hey, the last place you want to be ungrateful is church, and it became a tradition.
When I was older, and Frank passed away, I learned that when he was growing up during The Depression, his family of like 8 kids was beyond poor. The peanuts were fairly affordable, but back in those days, to get an orange, during winter, in the middle of the country, was unthinkable.
He remembered just how happy he was getting his Christmas gift of an orange, and now that he was able to afford many oranges, wanted kids to have at least what he had growing up.
Most commenters, on the other hand, didn’t share long stories — they just appreciated the kids’ joy.
“Did anyone else cry?” one commenter asked. “Cutest kids ever!”
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter
House saves the Senate from weekend work, extends deadline for passing $1 trillion spending billPosted December 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The House met quickly Friday afternoon to pass a continuing spending resolution that would keep the government open through next Wednesday, in anticipation that the Senate will need until early next week to pass a full-year spending bill. It’s enough time that the Senate probably won’t have to stick around for the weekend.
Late Thursday, the House passed a giant, $1 trillion spending bill, just before the government was due to shut down. But because the Senate needs more time to approve that bill, the House also approved a resolution keeping the government open until the end of Saturday.
Does Beck throw really bad parties?Posted December 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm by Erica Ritz
Glenn Beck’s radio co-hosts, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, roundly mocked him on Friday for throwing uninspired parties.
The company’s holiday party in Dallas was that night, and no one seemed particularly excited to go.
“I can’t imagine having a good time at my parties,” Beck admitted with a laugh. “Mainly because I’m really awkward and I’m not good at social setting things. I’m not good at that.”
“Everybody knows that as soon as I leave, that’s when the party begins,” he added. “Some people don’t know I’m totally OK if you’re drinking. They’re like, ‘He’s an alcoholic! He could snap if we have something to drink!’”
“Well, recovering alcoholic Mormon adds a certain je ne sais quoi to every party where there’s alcohol involved, I would say,” Gray responded with a laugh.
Watch the complete segment, below.
The full episode of The Glenn Beck Program, along with many other live-streaming shows and thousands of hours of on-demand content, is available on just about any digital device. Click here to watch every Glenn Beck episode from the past 30 days for just $1!
What is former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal doing in a video with an Easy-Bake Oven?Posted December 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm by Jonathon M. Seidl
Former NBA MVP Shaquille O’Neal is the star of a new public service campaign from Toys for Tots.
The affable all-star donned a musical Santa hat and tried to do a little holiday baking using the classic kids toy, the Easy-Bake Oven.
The 7′ 1″ tall Shaq dwarfed the toy oven. The actual baked goods that he managed to create are little more than a bite-sized snack for the big man. But this was not about baking.
At the end of the video, Shaq reveals that he made the clip to promote Toys for Tots. He cites a shocking statistic that 14.7 million children will wake up on Christmas morning without a single present under the tree.
Watch the cooking show that has not one celebrity chef worried about their job security:
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
Harry Reid praises $1 trillion spending bill for funding Obama’s immigration plan, other ‘important priorities’ for DemsPosted December 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday called on senators to support the $1 trillion spending bill the House passed Thursday night, in part because it will allow the implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.
Reid said that while there are parts of the bill he doesn’t like, it still “achieves many of our important priorities.”
Lawmaker’s explosive charge about the $1 trillion spending billPosted December 12, 2014 at 11:41 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) said late Thursday that he helped set up the final House vote in favor of a giant, $1 trillion spending bill, but only because House Republican leaders told him that so-called “CROmnibus” bill would never pass, and that the House was instead going to approve a less objectionable short-term continuing resolution.
“Earlier today, I supported the rule because I was informed by leadership that the CROmnibus was dead and a short term CR would take its place,” Stutzman said. “I was very surprised and even more disappointed to see the CROmnibus back on the floor. The American people deserve better.”
Louie Gohmert’s take on how John Boehner can stay on as Speaker of the HousePosted December 12, 2014 at 9:46 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said that after Thursday night’s vote to pass a controversial $1 trillion spending bill, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) might need help from Democrats to be re-elected as Speaker when the new House of Representatives convenes in January.
“I think he ought to be able to pick up some Democratic votes for speaker this time,” Gohmert said on Fox News. “He can have Denis McDonough or the president come over and get Democrats to get the votes to carry him across the finish line to speaker.”
The confrontation you would love to see between a CIA interrogator and Sen. Feinstein — as imagined five years ago by Vince FlynnPosted December 12, 2014 at 9:36 am by Benjamin Weingarten
The late great thriller author Vince Flynn published a book in 2009, “Pursuit of Honor,” that became particularly relevant recently.
In a scene that Glenn Beck once described as “almost conservative porn,” Flynn describes a fictional exchange between a CIA interrogator, Flynn’s protagonist Mitch Rapp, who had tortured terrorists for information, and a Senate Intelligence Committee leader — a scene we can only imagine might have occurred had there been interviews with and/or open testimony from CIA officials prior to the production of the Senate’s enhanced interrogation report.
Below we have posted this scene for your reading pleasure.
Congress avoids government shutdown with two-day continuing resolutionPosted December 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Congress avoided a government shutdown late Thursday night by quickly passing a two-day continuing resolution that will keep the government open until the end of Saturday.
Government funding was due to expire at the end of Thursday, Dec. 11. The House was able to pass a giant, $1 trillion spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year, except for the Department of Homeland Security, which will be funded through late February.
Louie Gohmert floats a way out: 60-day spending bill with a House vote on immigrationPosted December 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and other conservative Republicans have proposed a way around the spending bill problem that had frozen Congress all of Thursday afternoon.
Gohmert said on Sean Hannity’s radio show that conservatives would support a 60-day continuing spending resolution that would keep the government open past today, when funding runs out. He said he also wants language on that CR that prevents President Barack Obama from implementing his executive action on immigration.
UPDATE — House stalls on $1 trillion spending billPosted December 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The House went into a serious stall Thursday afternoon over a $1 trillion spending bill, as leaders tried to find votes from both parties for legislation that only seemed to be getting less popular as the day progressed.
The House held a debate on the bill that finished just after 2 p.m., but then went into recess after it became clear the votes weren’t there yet.
Mike Lee charges Obama with planning a back-door path to citizenship for illegal immigrantsPosted December 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) charged Thursday that President Obama’s executive action on immigration would make it easier for illegal immigrants to get on a path to U.S. citizenship, even though Obama has said he is not going that far.
“He and his administration have cleared the pathway to citizenship for millions of people who have crossed into our borders illegally,” Lee said on the Senate floor. “They know that that’s what they have done, and it is illegal.”
Six-year-old girl nails the cuteness factor after taking over the mic during news interviewPosted December 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm by Jonathon M. Seidl
Little, 6-year-old Arlillia isn’t shy in front of the cameras. She also loves her grandpa. KRIV-TV in Houston captured that all recently.
From the news station’s video description:
When 6-year-old Arlillia saw the cameras, she knew it was her time to shine. After taking the microphone from reporter Kristine Galvan to report live from the “Shop with a Cop” event at Target, Arlillia sent a special shout-out to her grandfather by saying, “Papa if you’re not watching your granddaughter, you need to watch your granddaughter on the news!”
Black Caucus members propose end to secret grand jury system after Ferguson, NYC casesPosted December 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday introduced a bill that would strongly encourage states to eliminate the use of secret grand juries to determine whether police officers should face a trial after using deadly force against civilians.
The bill is a response to two controversial grand jury decisions in which white police officers were not indicted after killing black men.
One senator’s simple reform that would shrink the federal budget by one-sixth — and why he believes it can passPosted December 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm by Benjamin Weingarten
James Buckley, former U.S. senator from New York of the Conservative Party (also the first and only senator ever elected from the Conservative Party), under secretary of state during the Reagan and Bush administrations, federal judge, and the Buckley in the landmark campaign finance decision, Buckley v. Valeo, has a plan that could singlehandedly shrink the federal budget by one-sixth, restore the balance of federalism and Constitutional order, return power to the states and the people, and in the process improve the services provided to taxpayers.
The novel idea to achieve these ends is the subject of his slender but insightful new book, “Saving Congress from Itself: Emancipating the States and Empowering Their People,” and it is as follows: eliminate all federal grants-in-aid.
What are grants-in-aid, and why in the world would members of Congress cede control of 17% of the federal budget and with it a substantial portion of their power?
Grants-in-aid are federal expenditures doled out to states for projects ranging from road construction and maintenance, to assistance for the poor and education, as well as a number of arguably more questionable causes, many of which can be found in Senator Tom Coburn’s annual “Wastebook.”
The vast majority of federal grants…deal with needs that are generally accepted as important…But others, such as the one that would widen sidewalks to fight juvenile obesity [a $430,000 grant to a town in Buckley's home state of Connecticut from the Federal Safe Routes to School Program in order to entice children to walk or bike to school], illustrate Congress’s incurable temptation to propose a federal solution to any problem or need, however parochial.
That temptation is as old as the Republic.
Title: Saving Congress from Itself: Emancipating the States and Empowering Their People
Author: James L Buckley
As Buckley lays out in his book, like so many powers before it, the federal government largely shunned the use of grants-in-aid (save for those directed toward education), adhering to an expansive reading of the Tenth Amendment and narrow reading of the Spending and Commerce Clauses, until a series of court decisions during the Depression made legitimate their use, and President Lyndon Johnson made them widespread under his Great Society program.
To give you a sense as to their explosion in the ensuing decades, in 1970, grants-in-aid totaled $24.1bn. In 2010 they totaled $608.4bn, 17% of that year’s federal budget, and the third largest category of all federal expenditures behind entitlements and defense.
In addition to direct monetary costs, there are many other costs both seen and unseen that such grants impose on the states and Congress, which Buckley convincingly argues far outweigh their benefits quantitatively and qualitatively, to the detriment of the people.
Buckley writes: (more…)
$1 trillion spending bill barely survives first House vote, passes 214-212Posted December 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A huge, $1 trillion funding bill for the federal government narrowly cleared a key procedural hurdle in the House on Thursday, as a bare majority of members voted in favor of a resolution allowing it to come up for a vote later today.
But the vote was incredibly close, and it indicated that many Republicans will likely vote against the final bill. That means there’s no guarantee it will pass later today, especially since Democratic opposition to the bill seems to be growing, and many Republicans already oppose it over immigration.
Watch: Senate Dem blasts Obama administration for fighting release of CIA interrogation reportPosted December 11, 2014 at 10:24 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said Wednesday night that the Obama administration fought the release of a report on the CIA’s brutal interrogation tactics for years, even as President Barack Obama himself said the U.S. should not use torture to get information out of terrorist suspects.
Udall played a key role in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s effort to release the controversial report, which found the CIA used torture techniques including waterboarding, ‘rectal rehydration’ and other physical abuse.
Government wasted millions of taxpayer dollars in a fight with itself over food packaging safetyPosted December 11, 2014 at 8:39 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Several conservative groups have asked incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to help end a fight within the federal government over food packaging safety — a fight that has already cost taxpayers more than $170 million.
Groups like Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens Against Government Waste, and the National Taxpayers Union wrote to Chaffetz Wednesday to say the National Institutes of Health has handed out $172 million in grants over the last 14 years to study the safety of bisphenol A, or BPA.
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