Pending rule will force colleges to expand definition of ‘hate crime,’ boost protections against sexual violencePosted October 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Department of Education next week will publish a final rule requiring colleges around the country to broaden their definition of “hate crime” and take other steps aimed at limiting dating violence and sexual assault.
Among other things, it will require educational institutions to add gender identity and national origin as a new basis for determining whether “hate crimes” have taken place. It will require schools to outline the disciplinary processes used to deal with cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
GOP lawmaker looks to force Obama’s hand with Ebola travel ban legislationPosted October 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said Friday he would introduce legislation to ban all travel between Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa and the United States, and prevent the issuance of any new travel visas to people in those countries.
Poe’s bill is the latest sign of pressure from members of Congress who have pushed for some kind of travel restriction, only to see the Obama administration continually reject that idea.
Is the Federal Reserve helping the Obama administration carry out its secretive Operation Choke Point?Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Republicans this week asked the Federal Reserve to explain if it has in any way helped the Obama administration implement Operation Choke Point, a secretive program critics say is being used by the Obama administration to quietly shut down companies it doesn’t like.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and regulatory affairs subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote to Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday to ask if the Fed is playing any role in that program.
Countries blowing off urgent U.N. request for Ebola fundsPosted October 17, 2014 at 11:21 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Four weeks after the United Nations made a request for $1 billion to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the U.N. has collected only 38 percent of that amount from member nations, and is warning that the shortfall is hurting efforts to fight the deadly virus.
“It’s time that those other countries who really have capacity, (that) they would provide financial support and other logistical support,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
Carnival Cruise chairman’s unfortunately timed statement about Ebola and travel bookingsPosted October 17, 2014 at 11:02 am by Mike Opelka
News that a person who handled the Dallas Ebola victim’s lab specimens was aboard a Carnival Cruise ship and in self-isolation broke early Friday morning.
Just two days before, David Dingle, the chairman of the company, appeared on CNBC and made a now-rather ironic statement.
While talking about the impact of Ebola on their future business, the Carnival chairman said: “We have seen no impact on our future bookings whatsoever.”
CNBC tweeted the statement Wednesday night.
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
‘For the Record’ revealed Islamic State connection to Iraq WMDs weeks agoPosted October 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm by Elizabeth Kreft
On the Sept. 24 episode of For the Record, dire warnings from top national security officials revealed that the Islamic State has had positive control of some of the chemical weapons from the Saddam Hussein regime since June. And now those same deadly weapons may be headed for the United States.
More than two weeks later, the New York Times reinforced For the Record’s report that deadly chemical weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq. For seven years, before military operations wound down in Iraq, American and multinational forces encountered chemical weapons that were hidden or abandon in previous years of fighting.
The same kind of deadly mustard gas munitions found by the deployed soldiers could now be used by the Islamic State.
“They have access to chemical munitions and uranium compounds … they took over the Muthanna weapons — chemical weapons complex — in Iraq, and they’ve got munitions that have Sarin gas, VX gas and mustard gas,” Brian Fairchild, a former CIA clandestine service officer, revealed.
Despite U.S. officials denying or downplaying the threat posed by the remaining munitions, Fairchild’s assessment lines up with testimony provided by top military officials in 2006, warning that chemical weapons still hidden in Iraq could be used by future jihad forces.
“These are chemical munitions, and be definition, dangerous,” Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, then-director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, explained to the House Armed Services Committee.
“They are dangerous. Even in degraded mode, they will produce hazardous and potentially lethal effects, and that we would categorize them as weapons of mass destruction,” Maples explained.
National security officials told For the Record that the combination of Islamic State fighters holding Western passports and the porous condition of the U.S. border has created an imminent threat to Americans.
And Andrew McCarthy – the former assistant U.S. attorney who led the prosecution of the “blind sheik,” Omar Abdel Rahman, for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – provided a grave warning: He doesn’t believe the Islamic State will hesitate to execute a lethal “spectacular” attack, potentially with chemical weapons.
“I think right now we’re in a very dangerous situation, because I think there was a time in the late 90s when Al Qaeda might wait to be able to do the spectacular strike, and I’m not sure these guys would,” McCarthy said. “To me, that’s a combustible combination.”
Experts also told For the Record the Islamic State’s massive bankroll makes the chemical weapons threat even more significant.
“They have $2 billion in assets. So can they get those through the border? Chances are, drugs come through the border ever day,” Fairchild said. “Do they have already-established connections? I can’t tell ya, but if they don’t, they’ve got $2 billion in assets to buy those connections.”
Check out For the Record‘s coverage of the Islamic State and the lingering danger with these forgotten weapons of mass destruction.
Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter
Watch: CDC’s Frieden can’t answer whether White House has ruled out an Ebola travel banPosted October 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden had a tough time answering questions about whether he or the White House have ruled out imposing a travel ban to help stop the spread of Ebola.
Frieden faced members of a House subcommittee on Thursday, and many Republicans pressed him on why a ban on travel from West Africa hasn’t been imposed. Frieden said several times that a ban would make it harder to help West Africa recover from Ebola, and make it harder to track people who may have the virus.
GOP docs demand Frieden’s removal, call for House vote on Ebola travel banPosted October 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden on Thursday lost the support of two Republican members of the House who are also doctors, as one called for Frieden’s removal, and the other called for a House vote on imposing an Ebola-related travel ban.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) released a statement saying the first step to combating Ebola should be to remove Frieden for failing to be more careful about stopping the spread of Ebola in the United States.
House Dems side with Obama, oppose Ebola travel banPosted October 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Democrats said Thursday they oppose a travel ban on people coming from Ebola-stricken countries in Africa, going against Republican calls for some form of travel restriction in order to protect Americans from Ebola.
The Democratic comments in the House also support the position taken by the Obama administration, which says it does not support banning people flying from West African countries that have seen Ebola outbreaks.
See which countries have dominated the world’s economy, from Jesus’ time to the presentPosted October 16, 2014 at 11:48 am by Zach Noble
Think Rome, London and New York have been the commercial capitals of the world for most of the past 2,000 years?
Look further east.
The U.S. economically dominated the 20th century, but it seems as if that period of dominance will turn out to be an historical blip, as two enduring economic heavyweights reemerge as preeminent powers: India and China.
China is set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy this year, and India, with the weight of 1.2 billion people behind its potential-laden economy, is comfortably in third place.
The Economist chronicled 20 centuries of economic change in a video posted to YouTube Wednesday.
Compared to China and India, the Roman, Byzantine, French and British empires were small potatoes — facts which we Americans might take as some comfort as the economic tides continue to change in the coming centuries.
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter
Publishers from U.S. partner states peddle most anti-Semitic titles at int’l book fairPosted October 16, 2014 at 11:07 am by Benjamin Weingarten
Each year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center — a global Jewish human rights organization dedicated to confronting anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism — produces a report on anti-Semitic hate and incitement to violence on the display stands of the international Frankfurt Book Fair.
This year, the non-governmental monitor finds that publishers hailing from states or areas controlled by key American diplomatic partners rank as the worst offenders.
Topping the list of most virulently anti-Western publishers on display are those from Qatar, which showcased titles including:
1. “The Battles of Mohammed,” Qatar Foundation and Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, first published in Arabic in 2012. This booklet, now published in English for children, begins with the plots of the Jews against the Prophet, their slaughter at the battle of Khaybar and a survivor’s subsequent attempt to poison him. This distilled hatred necessitates direct intervention to ensure that Qatar takes measures for a hate-free display to participate in the 2015 Fair.
2. Despite our Centre’s protests, Qatar is now recidivist for the third year, in presenting “The Open Veins of Jerusalem,” Munir Akash and Fouad Moaghrabi, Juseer, Doha, 2010. The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is presented as a conspiracy to deny Palestinian autochthonous identity.
3. “The Israeli Strategic Mind”, Saleh al Noumani, Al Jazeera Centre (Qatar) and Arab Scientific Publishers (Lebanon), 2013. Another conspiracy theory targeting Judaism
Runner-up for most offensive literature goes to a Palestinian Islamist publisher, Bait Almaqdes Centre, which is based in the West Bank under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, but listed as a Kuwaiti entity. This comes on the heels of the Gaza Reconstruction Conference, in which the U.S. pledged $212 million, and international donors combined to pledge $2.7 billion to rebuild Gaza. The report notes:
Among the display of Korans and Islamic texts are such political screeds as: (more…)
Health official: Work on Ebola vaccine ‘highly complex’ and will ‘take time’Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:45 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Obama administration health officials are indicating that a vaccine for Ebola is still many months and possibly years away, as the handful of drugs that show some promise are no where close to being mass produced and sold to consumers.
Top officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services will testify before a House panel Thursday on efforts to produce an Ebola vaccine. While neither estimated when one might be ready in their prepared testimony, both said possible vaccines are still at the early stage of development.
House leader on foreign affairs wants the U.S. to shut down visa applications in West AfricaPosted October 16, 2014 at 8:23 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The point man for foreign affairs issues in the House on Wednesday became the latest member of Congress to call for a ban on anyone traveling from Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa.
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) pointed out that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are still processing visas for non-U.S. nationals to travel to the United States, and called on Kerry to suspend that visa service as long as the Ebola outbreak is not contained.
MSM says the U.S. has no surgeon general amid Ebola crisis? You may not be getting the whole truthPosted October 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm by Mike Opelka
There have been campaign commercials, fundraising emails, and endless talking points that blamed the incompetence, inaction, etc. on the other side.
Additionally, more than one media outlet has wondered why the CDC and not the surgeon general has taken the lead on this health crisis. After all, isn’t the surgeon general, “America’s Doctor?”
CBS News wondered: ”Where’s the Surgeon General?”
The Huffington Post called for Obama to “Appoint a Surgeon General Right Now!”
In the past couple of days, many liberal outlets have been claiming that America does not have a surgeon general — and they are placing blame for this lack of leadership squarely on the backs of Republicans.
In reality, the role of surgeon general is not really vacant. Granted, Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., is the “acting” surgeon general, but he’s still the man who holds the job.
Dr. Lushniak competed his medical school training at Northwestern University and added a Masters in public health from Harvard before serving in the U.S. Navy. Early in his career, Lushniak worked at the CDC in the Epidemic Intelligence Service.
Despite all of his qualifications, and the fact that Lusniak has been in the position for over a year, at least one anchor at MSNBC thinks Democrats need to force the Senate into approving President Obama’s troubled nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy.
During his television program on Wednesday, MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow spoke with Dr. Richard Carmona, a former Surgeon General. It appeared that the host was trying to get Dr. Carmona to support the appointment of Obama’s nominee, Dr. Murthy while blaming Republicans for the delay in approving Obama’s pick.
Farrow asked, “Is Washington at fault and how much does it hurt this Ebola response not to have someone in that role?”
Carmona did not directly answer Farrow’s question. However, if you listen closely, you will hear the former Surgeon General delivering a solid case for Dr. Lushniak to handle the Surgeon General role.
He also presented a clear line of reasoning explaining as to why Dr. Murthy should not be approved, initially stating, “He’s got no senior leadership experience. He has no public health training or experience.”
Carmona closed his statement on Murthy with this crystal clear appraisal of Obama’s candidate, “I’ve communicated with him and expressed my concerns that it wasn’t personal, but other than that he was one of the cofounders of “Doctors for Obama,” there’s nothing on his resume that would indicate that he would be even worthy of consideration for Surgeon General United States especially in these tough times with complicated issues that he’s never dealt with.”
Watch the exchange below:
Farrow also spoke with his colleague, MSNBC White House correspondent Chris Jansing, about the lack of a surgeon general during this crisis.
Jansing’s reply included the clarification; “It’s a communications position, not a strong policy position.”
Murthy was nominated by Obama last year. However, thanks to his stance on guns and some opposition from the NRA, it is doubtful he would be approved by the Senate. With recent rule changes, all Harry Reid would require to secure Murthy’s appointment would be a simple majority. Apparently, that is not likely.
The surgeon general position is not the only high ranking job with an “acting” boss. The Secret Service also has an “acting” director and we have not heard any media outlets calling for immediate action on the person who is charge with leading the team that protects the president and his family.
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
Eric Holder gives ‘distinguished service’ awards to DOJ employees who handled the government shutdownPosted October 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday handed out 278 performance awards to Department of Justice employees, including 11 for the work some lawyers did related to last year’s partial government shutdown.
Parts of the government shut down for 16 days in 2013 after Congress failed to reach a funding agreement in time for the new fiscal year. The Department of Justice said that led to “complex legal issues” that several officials worked on, which led to Holder’s decision to give them an “Award for Distinguished Service.”
Callers enlighten us on EbolaPosted October 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm by Stu Burguiere
Today on Pat & Stu we had a couple of callers who contributed to the discussion about Ebola. The way the virus has been handled in the U.S. is appalling (but you already knew that part).
Now hear about the dangers from a bio-hazard specialist and a nurse who called in
at the 40:35 mark:
‘For The Record’ live blog: ‘General Holder’s War’Posted October 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm by Steve Krakauer
While you watch tonight’s new episode of For the Record, “General Holder’s War,” on the threat of voter fraud, 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.
The ‘destroy’ part of Obama’s ‘degrade and destroy’ plan for the Islamic State might still be a ways offPosted October 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Obama administration’s top coordinator for its campaign against the Islamic State indicated on Wednesday that it may still take many months or even years before coalition forces can begin destroying the Islamic State.
The administration’s plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group appears to have two main parts, as the broad description suggests. The first part is U.S. airstrikes, which have been happening for weeks now against vehicles, infrastructure and other targets the that group controls.
You can’t get cell service or Wi-Fi in this county, and residents love itPosted October 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm by Zach Noble
It’s an oasis in a tech-saturated world.
Pocahontas County lies deep within the National Radio Quiet Zone where cell phone service, Wi-Fi and radio signals are suppressed to protect the operations of the world’s largest radio telescope nearby.
The residents seem to love it, as they shared in a video produced by National Geographic.
As TheBlaze has previously reported, the National Radio Quiet Zone has attracted people from around the country who claim to suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, or “Wi-Fi sickness.”
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter
Obama administration has made no request to boost NIH, CDC funding for EbolaPosted October 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Despite a spreading Ebola crisis and political fighting about whether the government has enough funding to fight the virus, the Obama administration had no plans as of this week to increase federal funding for these efforts.
Some press reports have suggested that Democrats in Congress will be pushing for some kind of funding increase after the mid-term election. But a staffer on the House Appropriations Committee said requests for a funding increase almost always come from the executive branch, and said no such request has been made for either the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Two traits essential to George Washington’s successPosted October 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm by Sponsored Post
George Washington is often considered our greatest president. Certainly he was the model for every president that followed. But what made him so successful as our first commander in chief? The answer lies in two essential qualities of his character.
George Washington’s character was defined by both great strength and great restraint. It is for this reason our Founding Fathers chose him as our first president. He wielded vast power, and yet he demonstrated his willingness to surrender it back to the people who empowered him. It is just this sort of limited power that the founders intended to institutionalize in the executive office. Hillsdale College’s new class, “The President and the Constitution” explains the role of the president as it was in Washington’s era, and as it ought to be today.
The college’s latest free online course examines the office of the president as it was established in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers. What can Washington’s example show us about the executive branch? What principles guide the structure and function of the executive office? Are those principles still in operation in the presidency today? In this free 10-lecture series, “The Presidency and the Constitution,” Hillsdale’s politics faculty answer these questions, bringing a much needed constitutional focus to a conversation dominated by a modern progressive administrative state.
In signing up for this free class, you will join the ranks of over 600,000 Americans who have learned from Hillsdale College about the principles of liberty at the heart of our founding documents. Hillsdale’s online courses teach how these principles of liberty allow free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish, which helped America quickly become the freest and most prosperous country on earth.
John Adams wrote of the Constitutional Convention in 1787: “The deliberate union of so great and various a people in such a place, is without all partiality or prejudice, if not the greatest exertion of human understanding, the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen.” Become a part of the current national deliberation over the Constitution today.
Click here to enroll in Hillsdale’s latest free course “The Presidency and the Constitution.”
‘Fired’ VA official escapes being fired, opts for early retirementPosted October 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A top procurement officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs who might have been fired for misconduct has instead opted for early retirement, a move that will let her escape a formal decision on her removal.
Susan Taylor, the former deputy chief procurement officer who is accused to steering VA contracts to a specific company, also appears likely to escape with all the pension benefits that she racked up after 29 years of working in the federal government.
You knew it was only a matter of time before Ebola inspired a Halloween costumePosted October 15, 2014 at 11:14 am by Liz Klimas
Each year, some shrug off the more standard witch or police officer costume and choose to go with something more creative. There are those who specifically turn toward the latest news headlines inspiration — just check out this Anthony Weiner costume from last year.
What will this year’s hot topic-inspired costume be? You’ve probably been waiting for just this moment when someone would create…the Ebola costume.
What will such a costume look like? It could take various forms: a simple Ebola zombie, a sexy hazmat suit, an ornate replica of the virus itself.
Richard Parrott, president of the costume shop, Ricky’s NYC told the Associated Press “people are definitely asking about an Ebola-type costume.”
The website Brands on Sale has one such costume on the market for nearly $80.
Some think it’s not only “too soon” for people to consider such a getup but that it shouldn’t be portrayed in this manner at all.
Maria McKenna, a 26-year-old physician’s assistant and Philadelphia, said the idea of an Ebola costume “definitely rubs me the wrong way.”
“Normally I think that irony and humor is funny, but this thing with the costumes, is it really that funny? I mean, Ebola’s not even under control yet,” she said told the Associated Press this week.
Even Parrott, who said his costume shop toyed around with the idea of creating an Ebola costume and donating the proceeds of it to research, said they decided against it because “it probably crosses a line that we don’t want to cross.”
Can 3-D printers help mankind colonize space?Posted October 15, 2014 at 10:39 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is looking at launching 3-D printers into space that would be used to print parts and equipment that could ultimately help mankind colonize space.
White House Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil wrote Tuesday that NASA is working on “printable spacecraft” and using robots to assemble equipment from 3-D printed parts in space, and has already sent the first 3-D printer to the International Space Station.
My run in with nature and what it probably explainsPosted October 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm by Stu Burguiere
I think it goes without saying that I’m a little weird. The story I shared today on Pat & Stu may explain why.
See, when I was a young boy growing up in the wilds of Connecticut, I had a run in with a crazed animal. I think it explains a lot even up to today.
Listen to my story (and Pat’s similar run in with nature) at the 51:40 mark:
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