Obama declines Ukraine question, describes his lunch insteadPosted March 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm by Eddie Scarry
From a White House pool report on President Obama‘s Wednesday trip to Connecticut, where he made remarks on raising the minimum wage:
Obama arrived at the Cafe Beauregard, a small restaurant with green awning on Main Street. They serve salads, soups and sandwiches. A sign outside says “Brr…Come in the cafe to warm up.”
“You guys all gotta buy a sandwich,” Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin told pool (press). The governor was seated to Obama’s right.
“That’s true,” Obama said. “They’re expecting, Pete, for you to spring.”
“Vermont’s buying.” …
Asked if he had any update on Ukraine, Obama smiled and said, “Thank you.” Asked what he ordered, Obama said “A Korean beef sandwich, along with some chili. So I’m going with beef. I’m going with meat.”
Peggy Noonan wants John Kerry to stop tweetingPosted March 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm by Eddie Scarry
Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan is mostly laudatory of State Secretary John Kerry‘s speech Tuesday regarding the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. But she’d really like him to get off Twitter.
“It (the speech) was cluttered a bit at the top with personal emotionalism about how he feels about what he is seeing, how he feels about various aspects of the crisis,” Noonan writes at the Wall Street Journal. “Sharing their feelings is what U.S. diplomats now think is necessary to convey real engagement and sincerity: I’m so upset, my heart is exploding and will soon deposit clumps of tissue all over your unmarked uniform. They should cut it out.”
Noonan then went on about Kerry’s social media habits. “They should also stop tweeting their emotional reactions to events. They’re diplomats. They’re supposed to be grownups. They’re supposed to be mature.”
Presumably, Noonan is referring to any one of several tweets Kerry sent from Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday morning. “Incredibly moving visit to Shrine of the Fallen,” one said. “Courageous, proud people.We stand with Ukrainians for self-determination.”
Barbara Bush says bye to NY TimesPosted March 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm by Eddie Scarry
“Did you read about the man who died and in his obituary … said, ‘Don’t send flowers, don’t send donations to anything, cancel your New York Times subscription?’ so I did.”– Former first lady Barbara Bush on Fox News Wednesday, referring to an obituary in a Connecticut newspaper for one Leonard M. Smith
Files reveal remarkable efforts of MI5 spy who inspired John le Carré’s central characterPosted March 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm by Benjamin Weingarten
In an article titled “The spy who turned Hitler’s British supporters into unwitting double agents” in The Telegraph, the newspaper outlines the heroic efforts of a World War II MI5 spy revealed through newly released documents from the National Archives some 25 years after his death.
John Bingham, an MI5 agent (and prolific spy novelist in his own right) who partly inspired John le Carré’s George Smiley character, he of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” and numerous other works, according to the Telegraph’s review of the documents was a “‘genius’ spy who pretended to be a German agent duped British Nazi sympathisers into revealing their secrets during the Second World War…”
Bingham, who was not named in the files but referred to by his pseudonym “Jack King”, uncovered disloyalty that “astonished” hardened spies.
From 1942, he had direct contact with six men and women who believed he was working for the Gestapo and gave him information on “scores and probably hundreds” of sympathisers.
He gathered information on the aristocracy, the military and the intellectual elite, with one sympathiser (more…)
Al Jazeera America drawing less than half the ratings Current hadPosted March 5, 2014 at 11:15 am by Eddie Scarry
Some number crunching on the fledging Al Jazeera America by Ad Age:
The channel isn’t even pulling in half the total audience that predecessor Current TV managed. Al Jazeera America has averaged just 15,000 total viewers in prime-time since bowing in August, with only 5,000 viewers in the target 25-to-54-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen figures. That’s low enough to be considered “scratch,” or negligible, by Nielsen. For the marketers that still worry about the channel’s perspective and its image in the U.S., those aren’t the kind of numbers to tempt a re-examination.
Al Jazeera America announced it had purchased Current at the start of 2013.
Piers Morgan: Koch brother a ‘patriot’Posted March 5, 2014 at 10:12 am by Eddie Scarry
David Koch, billionaire businessman and conservative activist, is liberal America’s biggest villain, next to his brother Charles.
But he’s made a fan out of Piers Morgan.
“I sat next to David Koch at a dinner last year,” Morgan tweeted Tuesday night. “One thing he’s most definitely NOT is ‘Un-American’. Rarely met a bigger patriot.”
Morgan’s remark comes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Koch brothers were “un-American” and that Republicans, who are frequently supported by them, were “addicted to Koch.”
The response to Morgan’s tweet was a mix of shock and sarcasm from his followers.
“Thank you for being honest,” said one reply. “Kind of shocked, but thanks.”
“Lookin’ for a job?” read another, referring to the oncoming cancelation of Morgan’s CNN show.
New book obliterates President Obama’s view of peaceful PLO Chairman AbbasPosted March 5, 2014 at 9:23 am by Benjamin Weingarten
In a controversial interview prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s arrival in the U.S. this past Sunday, President Obama and Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg sat down to discuss a variety of issues on the Middle East.
One of the overlooked parts of the exchange came on President Obama’s highly favorable view of PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
In a new book out yesterday titled “The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East,” Caroline Glick, an American Israeli who is deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and a former assistant foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu demolishes Obama’s view on account of Abbas’ explicit and consistent rejection of peace and Israel’s right to exist, support of terrorists (including his own alleged financing of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre) and Holocaust conspiracism/denial.
First, here is the exchange between Obama and Goldberg on Abbas:
Obama: [Abbas] has proven himself to be somebody who has been committed to nonviolence and diplomatic efforts to resolve this [the Israeli-Palestinian] issue.
Goldberg: Do you believe he’s the most moderate person you’re going to find?
Obama: I believe that President Abbas is sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist, to recognize Israel’s legitimate security needs, to shun violence, to resolve these issues in a diplomatic fashion that meets the concerns of the people of Israel.
Caroline Glick counters Obama’s (not to mention George W. Bush’s) views of Abbas in a section of her book titled “Phony Reformers and Totalitarian Democrats.” Below are the three major points she cites that directly contradict the president’s view of Abbas:
1. Explicit and consistent rejection of peace and Israel’s right to exist
On Abbas’ failure to even respond to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s comprehensive offer of peace and Palestinian statehood in 2008:
“In exchange for peace and an agreement that the Palestinian conflict with Israel was over, Olmert offered Abbas 94 percent of Judea and Samaria, and an additional 327 square kilometers of land within sovereign Israel adjacent to the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. He offered the Palestinians sovereignty over the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and offered to transfer sovereignty over the Temple Mount and other sacred areas of Jerusalem’s Old City to an international body. He offered a limited right of immigration to a truncated Israel to descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948-49.
…Abbas failed to respond to Olmert’s offer. And although Olmert remained in office for seven months after he made the offer, Abbas refused to see him again.”
On what followed (emphasis ours):
“After receiving Olmert’s proposal, Abbas escalated the PLO’s diplomatic war against Israel at the UN and internationally…
To this end, Abbas has undertaken two parallel policies. First, from 2008 through 2013 he refused to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or to allow his representatives to meet with Israeli negotiators and renew negotiations toward the establishment of a Palestinian state at peace with Israel. And even after talks were started in August 2013, Abbas insisted that they be carried out in complete secrecy to avoid popular criticism. Under his leadership, the Palestinians have become more, rather than less opposed to peaceful coexistence with Israel.
Second, he waged an unrelenting and reasonably successful campaign at the United Nations to achieve recognition of a sovereign state of Palestine outside the framework of a peace treaty with Israel…Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have used this [PLO] status upgrade [from observer mission to the UN to the level of nonmember observer state as a result of UN General Assembly approval of Resolution A/67/L.28] to argue that Israel has no right to any presence in Judea and Samaria–even though the agreements the PLO signed with Israel recognize the inherent legitimacy of Israel’s presence in the areas. (more…)
UPDATED: Having problems viewing TheBlaze TV? You can listen via TheBlaze RadioPosted March 5, 2014 at 9:08 am by Wilson Garrett
TheBlaze TV is currently experiencing a technical issue affecting all digital platforms including web, iOS, and Roku. Until our team is able to resolve the problem, you can listen to today’s radio show via TheBlaze Radio Network by clicking here. Thank you for your patience while we work through this.
Update 9:32 AM: These issues have now been resolved and you should be able to access TheBlaze TV’s live and on demand content.
Scott Brown denies Greta Van Susteren report that it’s ‘certain’ he’ll run for SenatePosted March 5, 2014 at 9:00 am by Eddie Scarry
Former Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Greta Van Susteren may be colleagues at Fox News. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they talk.
On Tuesday, Van Susteren tweeted that she’s been “told” it’s “certain” Brown will make another bid for the Senate out of New Hampshire, where he is considering a run.
Maybe that was news to Brown. “I am not sure who she talked to, but it was not me,” he told Politico. “I know what the timelines are and when I need to make a decision, one way or the other. I will make my decisions in due course. Until I announce or file with the FEC (Federal Election Commission), it is all just speculation.”
The last time Brown was on Van Susteren’s show was in 2012.
We’ve requested comment from Van Susteren
There’s a new celebrity magazine dedicated to Pope FrancisPosted March 5, 2014 at 8:23 am by Eddie Scarry
Is Pope Francis a little glamorous?
Apparently enough to merit an entire magazine devoted to his celebrity, according to the New York Times. It’s an new Italian publication called “Il Mio Papa” (My Pope) and the 68-page first edition published Wednesday.
“It’s a sort of fanzine, but of course it can’t be like something you’d do for (boy band) One Direction,” Aldo Vitali, editor of the magazine, told the Times.
It even comes with a centerfold of the pope, accompanied by one of his quotes.
Think “US Weekly” but without photos of Francis grocery shopping.
“We don’t want gossip or paparazzi,” Vitali said. “We’re not going to go after any scoops.”
There’s a potential snag, however. A Vatican official told the Times that if the magazine publishes “the pope’s words,” (which it plans to do) he’ll try putting it a stop to it.
How would John Travolta butcher your name? (Glenn Beck would be…)Posted March 5, 2014 at 6:47 am by Mike Opelka
After actor John Travolta destroyed Idina Menzel’s name on Sunday night’s Oscars telecast, the Slate.com posted something they call the “Adele Dazeem Name Generator.” The little bit of online magic offers to Travoltafy your name.
We had a few free minutes this morning, so we tested the system.
Putting “TheBlaze” into the Travoltification engine, our site was renamed, Todd Borfes.
That spurred us to wonder — What would the magic widget do with the name of our owner and CEO, Glenn Beck?
We sincerely doubt that “Grace Blork” will catch on as Glenn’s new nickname. (more…)
Full coverage of ‘Disinformation’Posted March 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm by Benjamin Weingarten
Today Glenn Beck focused extensively on Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak’s “Disinformation.”
Check out our full coverage below:
Daily leftoversPosted March 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm by Eddie Scarry
Recalling Larry King‘s tiny bathrobe. [Jim Romenesko]
GOP congressman doesn’t want you to see his old mugshot. Too late. [Talking Points Memo]
“Choom Gang Economics.” [White House Dossier]
Does Mika Brzezinski have bad breath? [The Mirror]
New young MSNBC host Ronan Farrow draws old audience. [National Review]
Healthy food Michelle Obama hates. [Associated Press]
Hillary Clinton looking good for her age, poll findsPosted March 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm by Eddie Scarry
For all the talk of Hillary Clinton‘s age and what it means for her potential presidential run in 2016, an overwhelming majority of Americans think the former state secretary is younger than her actual age (66).
According to a new Pew survey 83 percent of Americans think Clinton is 65 or younger. Just 12 percent thought she was older than 66.
The median age offered up by respondents: 60.
Full survey results here.
For your interpretation: Meghan McCain editionPosted March 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm by Eddie Scarry
Meghan McCain, who is in the middle of moving from New York City to Los Angeles to start a new TV news gig:
"Los Angeles is just New York lying down." – Quentin Crisp
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 4, 2014
Who watches Washington? For The Record delves into government transparencyPosted March 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm by Wilson Garrett
For decades, the lack of government transparency has been a pressing issue in Washington. And it’s not a partisan problem, three consecutive Presidential administrations – Republican and Democrat – have promised more transparency, but the American people have more questions than ever as requests for information under the FOIA are repeatedly and almost always ignored. Today, the technological revolution in media has changed the way traditional outlets have dug into political scandals. Gone are the days of massive investigative units at newspapers, but the scandals they should be looking into remain.
This Wednesday at 8 P.M. ET, For The Record takes you inside a different type investigative journalism outlet, which is using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to dig for the truth behind scandals like Benghazi and the IRS.
Watch a two-minute preview of the episode below:
The troubling aspect of the student debt bubble you haven’t heardPosted March 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm by Benjamin Weingarten
Back in January we covered Professor Glenn Renyolds’ (aka Instapundit’s) “The New School” which focuses on the impending bubbles in higher and lower education, and what we can expect in a post-bubble world.
A large focus of Reynolds’ book was on student loan debt: that there is a massive bubble in it and that prospective college students should do everything they can to avoid it.
As Reynolds noted in our interview with him:
“there are a lot of toxic things about student loan debt. But one of the things is that we as a society have depended for a long time on people who get out of college, are in their 20s, sort of getting on an economic escalator – you know first they live in an apartment, maybe they buy a small car, then later they have kids and move into a bigger house and get a bigger car and so on, and that generates a lot of economic activity. What’s happening now is, even the people who graduate and have jobs basically can’t afford to buy that house because they’ve already got the equivalent of a mortgage payment. They can’t afford to buy that fancy car because they’ve got the equivalent of a car payment. I mean when you’ve got six figures of student loan debt, you’re not in the same position of people who graduated college 20 or 30 years ago with maybe a 10th that much. And when you add that to the fact that the economy is not so great anyway, you really have kind of a vicious cycle. People can’t buy things because they’re in debt, and the economy stays slow, so there aren’t as many jobs, and it circles around on itself. It’s reinforcing.”
59 seconds & you will learn how to impress in meetings with this simple persuasion trickPosted March 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm by Oliver Darcy
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter
Chicago reporter performs hilarious version of Disney’s ‘Let It Go’ to mark ‘brutal winter of 2013-2014′Posted March 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm by Oliver Darcy
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter
A dip into the pool reports: Biden playsPosted March 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm by Eddie Scarry
From a White House pool report on Vice President Joe Biden‘s visit Tuesday to an Atlanta YMCA:
He praised Republican governors for early childhood education efforts in their states, and he said he hoped other members of their party would support early childhood education.
“I think some of our Republican colleagues would come around,” he said. “I’m hoping this is the beginning.”
Then he joined children during a class to play with shapes, animals and puzzles.
One boy told Biden he was building a bridge out of his plastic shapes.
“I wish we were making more bridges,” Biden said.
The Washington Post once had great hopes for Obama’s foreign policy legacyPosted March 4, 2014 at 11:33 am by Eddie Scarry
As noted Monday, the Washington Post’s editorial board has consistently turned up disappointed with President Obama‘s performance abroad, first with his handling of unrest in Egypt, then Syria and now Ukraine.
The paper bemoaned the world’s “receding” Democracy on Obama’s watch.
And yet, this was the Post’s hope for Obama in 2008 when the paper endorsed him over then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain:
Abroad, the best evidence suggests that he would seek to maintain U.S. leadership and engagement, continue the fight against terrorists, and wage vigorous diplomacy on behalf of U.S. values and interests. Mr. Obama has the potential to become a great president. Given the enormous problems he would confront from his first day in office, and the damage wrought over the past eight years, we would settle for very good.
What a difference six years makes.
(Update) Former convict congressman gets new gigPosted March 4, 2014 at 10:14 am by Eddie Scarry
Former House Majority Leader and one-time convicted felon Tom DeLay (R) is joining the Washington Times as a radio personality and columnist.
“I’m very excited about having a platform for a dialogue with the American people,” DeLay said in a release from the Times. “The Washington Times was always my favorite newspaper in Washington. It was the first thing I read in the morning. Being part of the Washington Times is a big honor for me.”
DeLay was convicted of money laundering in 2010. The conviction was overturned in 2013 by a Texas appellate court. He served as House majority leader from 2003 to 2005.
DeLay, 66, was also a cast member on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009.
The Washington Times recently added conservative talker Rusty Humphries as a columnist and radio contributor. The publication’s senior opinion editor and gun rights columnist Emily Miller also launched her own radio program on Monday.
Update: We asked a Times rep for details on what DeLay plans to write about. She provided some an answer from Editor John Solomon, who said: “We expect Tom to write about a wide variety of subjects, including his strong-held beliefs about the importance of remaining true to the principles of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution and his ideas for how conservatives can go about winning elections in the 21st century. He’s a sensational strategic thinker and an expert on all things Constitutional, and I know our readers will love him.”
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Both Bush first ladies viewed more favorably than Obama, Clinton: pollPosted March 4, 2014 at 9:47 am by Eddie Scarry
Results from a new Gallup poll:
Biographer: ‘Reagan would unhesitatingly make himself a voice for the oppressed in the Ukraine right now’; President Obama is the ‘anti-Reagan’Posted March 4, 2014 at 9:30 am by Benjamin Weingarten
In an interview with Blaze Books in connection with the release of his new book, “11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative,” professor of political science at Grove City College, Reagan biographer, and author of numerous books including the 2012 title ”The Communist” (published under our Mercury Ink imprint) and “God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life” Paul Kengor held no punches.
When asked how President Reagan would deal with the Ukrainian crisis, Kengor stated that “Reagan would unhesitatingly make himself a voice for the oppressed in the Ukraine right now.” And further, in contrast with the apparent unpreparedness of the Obama administration, “Nothing that a KGB guy [Russian President Vladimir Putin] would do would ever surprise Ronald Reagan.”
Title: 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
Author: Paul Kengor
With respect to the rhetoric or lack thereof emanating from the Obama administration on the Ukraine, Kengor noted:
Rather than deploying troops or firing missiles, Reagan fired verbal missiles—words as weapons. He used the presidency as a moral pulpit to encourage those “captive peoples” who were being suppressed by Russia and the communist world. His public and very vocal and encouraging voice of support for people under the Russian or communist jackboot was literally constant. It was very important to those people, as anyone from the former communist world will fondly tell you today. They adore Reagan. It’s no coincidence that today they build statues to Reagan in Poland and elsewhere in the former Communist Bloc.
On the broader question of ideological differences between President Reagan and President Obama, Kengor draws a distinction between Reagan’s focus on the individual and Obama’s focus on the collective. In Kengor’s view, as reflected in the fact that President Obama “constantly extolls what he calls “collective action,” while decrying the opposing individualist caricature of the “John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing,
“Barack Obama, in his beliefs, his actions, his choices, and above all his ideology, is really the anti-Reagan and the anti-Reagan conservative.”
Be sure to read the full interview for Kengor’s views on these and many more topics.
An interview with Paul Kengor, Reagan biographer and author of 11 Principles of a Reagan ConservativePosted March 4, 2014 at 9:00 am by Benjamin Weingarten
In connection with the release of his new book, “11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative,” reviewed here, we interviewed Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College, Reagan biographer, and author of numerous books including the 2012 title ”The Communist” (published under our Mercury Ink imprint) and “God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life.”
Our correspondence with Professor Kengor comes in light of a renewed focus on Russia given the goings-on in the Ukraine, years of economic stagnation and hostile in-fighting between conservatives and Establishment Republicans, among other similarities with the era in which Reagan rose to the White House.
Below we cover these timely issues and more. The interview, conducted via email, has been slightly edited for formatting. And again, be sure to check out our review and cheat sheet if you missed them too.
Give us your elevator pitch for why TheBlaze audience should read another book on Reagan.
Kengor: Because this is a book on Reagan that’s crucial and timely and well worth their time—and it’s short. They will sincerely find great benefit in this one. I mean that.
We constantly hear Republicans of all stripes make the claim “I’m a Reagan conservative,” or, when asked which Republican they most identify with, they point to Reagan. But in fact, many to most are not Reagan conservatives at all. Many of them are liberal/progressive Republicans. So, what is a “Reagan conservative?”
I’m someone who has studied Reagan enough (some say more than anyone) that I felt I could and should and must take up the task of answering that question, especially during this battle within the GOP between genuine conservatives like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Tom Coburn and what Reagan would have called the “Rockefeller Republican” types. There are far more Reagan conservatives coming out of the Tea Party than from the so-called Establishment.
Thus, with the 2014 mid-terms coming up, and the crucial 2016 presidential nomination coming as well, this project to define what a Reagan conservative is struck me as imperative. I should add, too, that Reagan was such a model conservative, really the prototype, that this book defines not just Reagan conservatism but conservatism generally.
When I spoke on this book at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara last week, the executive director of the group, Andrew Coffin, said that this book is a kind of manifesto on conservatism.
So, I ask readers of The Blaze: What could be more needed right now as we engage in this battle for 2016? I think a short book carefully explaining Reagan conservatism and conservatism generally is one they should read. (more…)
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