The U.S. Department of Agriculture is putting overweight Americans on a new mission — stop eating dessert, and try something natural instead.
“Dessert? Try the salad bar,” USDA advised in a tweet over the weekend. “Sliced fruit is a healthy way to end a meal with dining out.”
— ChooseMyPlate.gov (@MyPlate) April 5, 2015
It could be the toughest assignment USDA has ever handed down to Americans since December, when it advised people against eating cookie dough. Americans seem to love dessert, and there are even TV shows about dessert that people love to sit and watch when they’re not eating dessert.
USDA’s “MyPlate” service provides daily advice to anyone who signs up for it. Last week, for example, MyPlate suggested that people get a little more calcium in their diet by adding low-fat milk in their diet.
— ChooseMyPlate.gov (@MyPlate) April 2, 2015
It also distributed a handy recipe for a healthy salsa you can make yourself, and suggested that parents provide yogurt for kids as “dip for fruits or veggies.”
— ChooseMyPlate.gov (@MyPlate) April 3, 2015
— ChooseMyPlate.gov (@MyPlate) April 6, 2015
Former Florida governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush marked himself down as “Hispanic” in a voter registration application form in 2009, the New York Times reported Monday.
Gauging from how the Bush camp reacted, it appears to be a mistake. The Times said a Bush spokesman “could offer no explanation” for why he put himself down as Hispanic, and his own son called him out on Twitter:
— Jeb Bush, Jr. (@JebBushJr) April 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he’s talked directly with the vast majority of members of Congress in an effort to convince them to fight the tentative Iran nuclear agreement, which he says will only put Iran on a stronger economic footing and let it continue to threaten Israel.
Netanyahu was asked on CNN how much he is working with Republicans to block the agreement, and he answered by saying he’s talked with dozens of members of both parties.
The State Department on Friday rejected the idea that the final Iran nuclear agreement would have any language requiring Iran to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday morning that Israel can’t support any agreement with Iran unless it includes that language, and warned that dropping sanctions in return for questionable nuclear security commitments will only make Iran stronger and more of a threat to Israel.
President Barack Obama on Friday announced his administration would try to train thousands of retiring soldiers to become solar panel installers, a program aimed at advancing his green energy policies and finding work for members of the U.S. Armed Forces who still face a bleak unemployment situation.
“I’m announcing a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020,” Obama said at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. “As part of this, we’re creating what we’re calling a solar-ready vets program, that’s modeled after some successful pilot initiatives that have already been established over the last several years.”
Easter weekend brings many things. Among them? The iconic chocolate bunny. According to the National Confectioner’s Association, more than 90 million are made and consumed each year.
While the tasty treat’s popularity is hard to argue, there is a classic dilemma attached to the chocolate bunny — where do you first bite into it?
Tell us where you stand on this vital topic in our Blaze poll:
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday claimed a major victory in his negotiations with the U.S. and other world powers, by noting that Iran will still be able to enrich uranium on its own soil under the nuclear agreement announced this week.
“One promise was that the centrifuges have to spin, and at the same time, people’s life should go on smoothly,” Rouhani said through an interpreter in an address to his country Friday.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold an investigatory hearing later this month to examine how a new VA medical center in Denver that was supposed to cost $328 million ended up costing $1.7 billion.
The huge cost overrun has been a slow-motion disaster for the Department of Veterans Affairs, which watched as the cost of the project went up and up over the last few years, but did nothing but ask Congress for more money along the way. The project was supposed to be finished more than a year ago, but still isn’t.
To mark the fifth anniversary of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon and Mrs. Obama teamed up for a reprise one of the show’s 2013 mega-viral smash, “Evolution of Mom Dancing.”
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As I crossed the open-door threshold at CrossFit Isorropia in Carrollton, Texas, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. The gym — or “box,” a term I would later learn — looked unlike any of the gyms I had frequented over the last decade.
Where were the bench presses? Where were the free weights for bicep curls? No treadmill even?
Though I had never tried CrossFit training, I entered my first workout with Drew Denny, owner of CrossFit Isorropia, with silent confidence, almost wanting to disprove everyone who had warned me how challenging CrossFit can be.
The workout was simple enough:
• 500 meter row
• 40 squats
• 30 sit-ups
• 20 push-ups
• 10 pull-ups
After going over the workout and completing warm-ups, I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, Denny was a phenomenal motivator and he clearly knew what he was doing — but I felt like the workout was going to be far too easy. After all, I knew I could do 20 push-ups and 10 pull-ups in my sleep.
It would be my ego that would ultimately do me in.
The workout was “for time,” meaning I would be tasked with completing all of the exercises as fast as I possibly could. Denny set a goal of under 8 minutes for me.
I went into the workout like a bat out of hell, going nearly 100 percent on the 500m row in an attempt to impress Denny and prove that I was “in shape.”
I’d pay for it later.
When it was time for 40 squats, my arms, back and even glutes were on fire. My first squat attempt was an immediate “no rep” because I had been getting away with doing very shallow squats my entire life. The squats Denny demanded required getting my butt almost all the way to the ground. By rep 40, my legs felt like I had dipped them in kerosene and lit a match with my toes.
I breezed through the 30 sit-ups, though I definitely slowed my pace to gather myself after going at nearly 100 percent through the first two exercises.
I moved on to push-ups, which I was actually excited to get to. It was at least something familiar — until it wasn’t. These were “hand-release push-ups,” and I’d learn quickly that 20 was plenty. I ended up doing some extra after Denny slapped me with a few “no reps” for not fully locking out my arms.
By the time I got to the pull-up bar, my heart rate was definitely up there, the sweat was flowing and I was trying to figure out how I could be so tired after only 6 minutes or so. But I was making good time, so I powered through — mind over matter and all.
I was so wiped after the first five pull-ups that I practically had to finish one rep at a time to get to 10. I also had to suffer through two more “no reps” in the final stretch when I failed to get my chin over the bar. (Keep in mind, knocking out four rounds of 12-15 pull-ups is pretty much routine for me.)
“Time!” Denny shouted after rep 10.
I was finally done.
I looked at the clock: 7:48.
I hit my target time. But it came at a price.
That’s when I learned another major CrossFit lesson: chugging 12 ounces of a pre-workout drink minutes before “metabolic conditioning” is pretty much one of the dumbest things you can do.
So, after about 20 minutes of, as Denny put it, trying to “get my life together,” I met “Pukie” for the very first time. As I understand it, many CrossFitters consider this a right of passage or a moment to remember. It wasn’t pleasant.
Luckily for you, I didn’t get that part on video.
After my brief meeting with Pukie, I sat on the concrete steps outside CrossFit Isorropia trying to figure out what had just happened. In less than 8 minutes, I was more exhausted than I would be after an hour in the “traditional” weight room, for lack of a better word.
“Am I not as fit as I thought I was?” I asked myself.
Denny would later tell me that doing continuous, high-intensity exercises is an entirely different type of fitness than the traditional three set, 10 rep model used in many gyms. I believe him.
It was this seriously humbling experience that led me to return for my first full CrossFit session — the very next day.
My decision to try CrossFit was initially just to get a quick story out of it, maybe some video to post to entertain some Blaze readers who happen to also be into CrossFit. Today, I’m an official member of CrossFit Isorropia.
I don’t know if I’ll want to stick with it forever or if it’s the right fitness training for me, but if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that I’ve never been pushed as hard, both mentally and physically, than I have been in my first week of CrossFit.
So, I’m going to give it a 90-day trial, give it everything I’ve got and check my ego at the door. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a steady critic of the Obama administration’s effort to negotiate a nuclear agreement with Iran, argued Thursday that despite the administration’s announcement of a deal, President Barack Obama has instead announced capitulation.
“There is no nuclear deal or framework with Iran; there is only a list of dangerous U.S. concessions that will put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons,” Cotton said. “Iran will keep a stockpile of enriched uranium and thousands of centrifuges — including centrifuges at a fortified, underground military bunker at Fordo.”
Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to skirt dangerously close to embellishing the quality of the tentative Iran nuclear agreement that was announced Thursday, by implying that the deal would never expire even though key parts of it will, and by implying that Iran’s nuclear facility at Fordo would never again enrich uranium.
Kerry spoke just moments after Iran and several world powers announced a deal that they hope can lead to a final, written agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Kerry and President Barack Obama said the deal meets their objective of cutting off Iran’s ability to build a nuclear bomb.
It’s not exactly a state secret that MSNBC leans to the left. As such, the network’s personalities frequently pose questions to their guests and audience intended to spark responses or engagement in straw-man arguments.
From Lawrence O’Donnell asking Senator Elizabeth Warren for her autograph to Melissa Harris Perry coaxing Attorney General Eric Holder to “quack” like a duck for her, some of these questions border on the ridiculous.
The Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz took note of this and compiled a montage of what he considers to be the most ridiculous questions heard coming out of the mouths of MSNBC’s on-air personalities.
Watch the compilation:
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
UPDATE April 2, 2015: Obama repeated the statement while announcing the framework for a nuclear deal with Iran. Read our original fact check below.
President Barack Obama recently delivered an address to the Iranian people in celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, imploring its citizens to get behind a nuclear deal. While you may have heard about the address, if you did not watch closely, you may have missed the president repeating a critical statement about Iran’s nuclear program that has been thoroughly debunked.
Obama stated: “Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons.”
A fatwa is a ruling by an Islamic religious authority.
The problem is that no such ruling exists.
Several days ago, former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy penned a post on just this topic in response to similar comments from Secretary of State John Kerry, and before him Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. McCarthy wrote: (more…)
Between the stumbles, fumbles and double entendres, March was a very busy month for television bloopers.
Enjoy this 10-minute collection of unintended comedy from last month:
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) on Thursday wrote to Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch to ask if she would investigate Hillary Clinton for her decision to use personal email while serving as secretary of State, and then later deleting emails on her own accord that she deemed to be personal.
“If you are confirmed as Attorney General Eric Holder’s replacement, will you commit to a vigorous and transparent investigation of the allegations that Clinton used her personal email account and server to shield politically-sensitive material from FOIA requests?” Vitter asked her in a letter.
Republicans are increasingly calling for an end to the Obama administration’s efforts to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, even as Secretary of State John Kerry remained behind in Switzerland two days past the March 31 deadline for reaching that deal.
The State Department said Kerry would remain in Switzerland at least through Thursday morning to see if any progress can be made. While he kept trying, the foreign ministers from China, France and Russia had already left — China and France said not enough progress was being made.
Major Stephen Coughlin, an attorney, decorated intelligence officer and the man known as the Pentagon’s leading expert on Islamic law has been warning America for years about our inability or unwillingness to know, let alone define our enemy, and the disastrous consequences we will face as a result.
In spite of his groundbreaking work for the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center, the National Military Joint Intelligence Center, the National Security Council’s Interagency Perception Management Threat Panel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate, along with lectures at practically all of America’s leading national security institutions, by his own admission Coughlin’s work is no longer welcomed in much of Washington D.C.
Fearing such censorship, he has decided to bring his critical work to the public, in the form of a forthcoming book titled ”Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.”
Below is a Blaze exclusive excerpt from “Catastrophic Failure,” illustrating the dire state of America’s national security and what the country can and must understand to effectively counter our enemies.
What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, our army and our navy. These are not our reliance against tyranny. All of those may be turned against us without making us weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.
Abraham Lincoln Speech at Edwardsville, Illinois
September 13, 1858
Senior leaders remain profoundly unaware of the Islamic doctrines that frame the War on Terror
I did not set out in life to be a student of jihad and Islamic-based terrorism. In the fall of 2001, I was a reserve officer in the United States Army, called to active duty from the private sector due to the events of September 11.
My posting was to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate (JS-J2). As I watched America respond to events across the world, I noticed with alarm that decisionmaking seemed to be increasingly less focused on the threat as it presented itself and more on the narratives that reduced the threat to a nameless abstraction.
As a mobilized officer brought into the heart of the strategic intelligence world, I knew there would be a large learning curve involved in formulating the threat doctrine of an enemy that had brought down the Twin Towers in the name of Islam and according to Islamic law.
I made a point of going to the source. I found actual books of Islamic law. I read them and found they could be mapped, with repeatable precision, to the stated doctrines and information that groups like al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood disclosed about themselves and used when speaking to each other. My analysis helped me develop a threat doctrine, an understanding of the enemy as he understands himself unconstrained by the influences of the environment – Sun Tzu’s “Know your enemy.” That threat analysis was in line with all the standard doctrines on threat development I had been taught when I learned to do intelligence analysis. Because the declared enemy stated that his fighting doctrine was based on the Islamic law of jihad, Islamic law had to be incorporated into any competent threat analysis. When assessing al-Qaeda in light of the jihad doctrines that the group’s members actually cite, I came to realize that such doctrines did exist, they are generally cited properly, and that al-Qaeda made plausible claims to be actually following those doctrines. In legal parlance, al-Qaeda’s claims to be operating in accordance with mainstream Islamic law could at least survive summary judgment. By the same token, any analysis of al-Qaeda that failed to account for such a self-disclosed component of an identified threat doctrine could not be competent. I assumed everyone with whom I worked in the intelligence directorate was aware of the most basic aspects of intelligence, such as threat identification.
I was wrong. I had entered the Intelligence Directorate adhering to the traditional methods of analysis. Soon, however, I discovered that within the division there seemed to be a preference for political correctness over accuracy and for models that were generated not by what the enemy said he was, but on what academics and “cultural advisors” said the enemy needed to be, based on contrived social science theories.
It seemed the enemy was aware of this as well. Forces hostile to the United States in the War on Terror appeared to have successfully calculated that they could win the war by convincing our national security leaders of the immorality of studying and knowing the enemy. It is not our fault that the threat we face identifies its doctrine along Islamic lines, but it is our fault that we refuse to look at that doctrine simply because our enemy wishes to blind us to its strategic design. (more…)
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says Republicans will try again to pass federal legislation to ease the effects of the California drought, a natural problem that the GOP says was made worse by President Barack Obama’s decision to impose federal water restrictions on homes, companies and farms in California’s Central Valley.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Wednesday imposed state-wide water restrictions for the first time in the history of the state, and said drastic cuts in water use are needed in light of the dramatic shortages seen for the last several years.
Glenn Beck on Wednesday aired a “day in the life” special on his television program. Cameras had followed him around for a week, documenting his reactions to everything from his interview with Grover Norquist to a phone call he shared with a longtime fan.
The cameras even accompanied Beck on his car ride home, as his family prepared for dinner and as they sat down to eat. You can watch a clip from the show, 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!
While you watch tonight’s episode of For the Record, “Socialized Science: The Animal Testing Debate,” about some surprising facts behind animal testing, 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:
In honor of April Fools’ Day, TheBlaze reached out to a few people in the radio world and asked them to share memories of past stunts, pranks and dumb ideas they recalled from the past.
We got some great responses.
Before he was a talk show host, Glenn Beck worked on B-104 in Baltimore, Maryland, in the early 1990s. The B-104 morning show also featured Pat Gray and was like many “wacky morning shows” of the 80s and 90s.
Gray shared a story with TheBlaze about two of the “successful” April Fools’ Day stunts they pulled on listeners.
The exact year escaped Gray’s memory, but he recalled one April Fools’ Day when the duo announced a surprise Madonna concert was going to take place at the lounge of a suburban Holiday Inn, 25 miles away in Laurel, Maryland.
Despite the fact that Madonna was on top of the pop charts and filling stadiums, people believed it could be true and swarmed the suburban motel, creating a traffic jam Gray described as “two miles long on I-95.”
Another Beck stunt during the Baltimore years was something called “Six Flags Under Baltimore.” Beck and his crew produced a series of radio promos talking about an exciting, new underground amusement park from the Six Flags company. After weeks of talking about it and playing the fake commercials, the show pretended to be inside the underground theme park, testing the rides and previewing it for the public.
Callers swamped the station switchboard, trying to get directions to the park. Sadly, in the course of Glenn’s many moves, none of the recordings of the promo and its on-air execution can be found.
TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo reminded us of a prank from a California radio station.
In 1993, San Diego radio station KGB caused traffic jams and confusion after the station’s morning show fooled thousands, telling them the NASA space shuttle was landing at a nearby airport. The on-air hosts told listeners the shuttle was diverted from Edwards Air Force Base to the much smaller, local Montgomery Field.
Despite the fact that no space shuttle flight was on NASA’s schedule, and the airport where the fictional landing was supposed to take place was much too small to handle the ship, officials say more than 1,000 people showed up.
Police needed to divert resources to the area to assist with the traffic jam.
Dave Rickards, of the Dave, Shelley and Chainsaw Show, told the LA Times the prank was his idea.
After the event, Rickards told the newspaper, “I just light these bombs, and then I run away.”
Listen to a synopsis of the event and media coverage.
In 1996, Sean Hannity was hosting a conservative talk show in Atlanta. Hannity shared the story of how he switched places with an alternative rock radio show on 99X.
Hannity told the stunned listeners the entire staff of the station had been fired and replaced with the likes of him.
“I had kids calling in and taking a chastity pledge,” Hannity said to TheBlaze, adding, “I told them the station was moving in a new direction with more family friendly music.” He even proposed a ban on all Nirvana songs.
Of course, over on Hannity’s show, rock jocks Leslie Fram and Jimmy Baron told listeners that Howard Stern would be replacing Rush Limbaugh, adding that homosexuality is something that should be looked at as a way to reduce teen pregnancies.
The stunt has been memorialized in a 2005 issue of Atlanta magazine. They called it, “the best morning show prank – ever.”
Long time radio partners Opie & Anthony pulled off a massive April Fools’ Day prank in Boston in 1998. That’s when they told listeners the city’s beloved mayor, Tom Menino, had died after his car was hit head-on by a tractor trailer while he was on vacation in Jacksonville, Florida.
Hughes recalled the events of the day and posted some of the newspaper clippings on his Instagram account Wednesday:
The story was front page news and dominated local television news as well. Despite an immediate suspension by the radio station and making a very public apology to the mayor, “Opie and Anthony” were terminated over the stunt.
Have an April Fools’ Day stunt story to share? We invite you to add them to our list in the comments section.
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
Senior government officials are incredibly nervous about legislative proposals aimed at making them more accountable and making it easier to fire corrupt or inefficient workers, and say these ideas will likely prompt many of them to retire early rather than risk being fired.
The Senior Executives Association, which represents senior executive service (SES) officials in the government, released a report Wednesday that said almost none of the nearly 500 current and former SES workers polled believe these “at will” employment proposals are a good idea. Some said the accountability measures would create a culture of “fear” in the government, while others said it would no longer be worth working for the government with these changes in place.
Thirteen senators from both parties want FIFA, the global soccer association, to strip Russia’s right to the 2018 World Cup, and said letting Russia host the tournament would only reward President Vladimir Putin when he should instead be punished for his actions in and around Ukraine.
“Allowing Russia to host the FIFA World Cup inappropriately bolsters the prestige of the Putin regime at a time when it should be condemned and provides economic relief at a time when much of the international community is imposing economic sanctions,” the senators wrote.
Democrats in the House and Senate warned this week that climate change is real and is the proximate cause of more extreme weather-related events across the U.S. and the world.
“Climate change is driving more severe drought and wildfires in the west, larger and more frequent floods in the midwest, and sea level rise and greater storm damage along our coasts,” they wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama. “Vulnerable populations, like children with asthma and the elderly, are suffering from higher levels of smog in our cities and longer, more severe heat waves.”