Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is demanding to know if the Department of Homeland Security is following a court injunction by delaying the implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, after DHS and President Barack Obama hinted that officials might still be working on the program behind the scenes.
“Your comments and the president’s comments raise serious questions about the administration’s intent to comply with the law and abide by the most basic rules of our American system of government,” Cruz wrote in a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Tuesday that Senate GOP leaders were making a major error by agreeing to pass a “clean” Department of Homeland Security bill that doesn’t defund President Barack Obama’s immigration plans.
“Leadership’s current plan – to pass clean DHS funding and separate legislation barring executive amnesty – is a mistake,” Cruz said. “Congress is obliged to use every constitutional check and balance we have to rein in President Obama’s lawlessness, and that includes both our confirmation authority over nominees and the power of the purse.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) slammed President Barack Obama’s decision on Tuesday to veto legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and said Obama’s move will make it harder for the U.S. to create jobs.
“The president’s veto of the Keystone jobs bill is a national embarrassment,” Boehner said. “It’s embarrassing when Russia and China are plowing ahead on two massive pipelines and we can’t get this one no-brainer of a project off the ground.”
Michelle Obama and her ilk have created their own food police. They think they know what’s best for all American students’ diets. The government’s increased involvement in what kids eat hasn’t made things better.
In fact, things are worse. Students are leaving school lunch lines in droves. A black market for snack foods has been created in schools across the country.
And the things the government is trying to “fix” aren’t improving either—though the number of students getting free lunches is way up.
What can we do about it?
Plus, Steven Crowder takes a look at the health food hype in America. What are you really putting in your body? If you’re relying on what the government is saying, you’re in for a surprise.
And you don’t want to miss an exclusive excerpt from a new book that reveals just how right the House Un-American Activities Committee was about the level of control the Soviets had in Hollywood.
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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated Tuesday that he’d be open to legislation that keeps the Department of Homeland Security open at last year’s funding levels, in order to avoid a partial DHS shutdown.
Democrats have been calling for a “clean” DHS bill that doesn’t include language defunding President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, something Republicans have refused to offer them. As a compromise, Congress could pass a “continuing resolution,” or a CR, that keeps DHS operating at last year’s funding levels.
“A very humbling review of my Oscar performance,” the music megastar tweeted, including a link to an article on glennbeck.com summarizing Beck’s comments. “I love this piece of music so much, thank you.”
A very humbling review of my Oscar performance http://t.co/n8PrXelFvy I love this piece of music so much, thank you.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 24, 2015
Beck praised Lady Gaga as an “absolute artist” and a “genius” on his radio program Monday.
“I’ve said this for a long time. This woman is an absolute artist. She is a genius,” Beck said. “At first everybody mocked her. Then she just became such a big pop star. But a lot of people, again, continued to mock her. This woman is the way artists should be.”
You can hear Beck’s comments about Lady Gaga’s performance, 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!
If as one of America’s foremost experts on China contends, Beijing has been playing on Western wishful thinking and willful blindness over several decades as part of a hundred-year plan to use U.S. support to ultimately surpass her and dominate the world by 2049, does America have the will and capability to counter China’s designs, and what can we do to turn the tide?
This is the question I posed during an in-depth interview with Michael Pillsbury, a crucial member of America’s diplomatic and national security establishment for over 40 years, who has specialized in China, helping American presidents devise China policy from Nixon to Reagan and Obama.
Pillsbury has sounded the alarm on China’s long-range strategy in a must-read new book titled “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower,” which former CIA Director James Woolsey has said indicates that the U.S. has “vital work to do, urgently.”
Here is what Pillsbury said:
Everybody tells me that I should be more pessimistic — that the “friends of China,” what I call the “cheerleaders for China” — are too strong, too well-entrenched, and they know that if someone like me comes along, they just have to demonize that person, or try to undercut their arguments. That’s why the book ["The Hundred-Year Marathon"] has 70 pages of footnotes. I’m trying to show the actual documents.
But I am slightly pessimistic I would say, that our country historically wakes up with a Pearl Harbor attack, or some kind of huge disaster takes place. Then in the past we’ve always had years to get ready: we could mobilize and we had the resilience that could withstand a strong first attack. The Chinese know this. They’ve actually told me this.
So their approach is long-term, slow, and not to seek confrontation or to provoke the rise of the “China Threat Theory.”
One of their greatest fears is that there will be a rise of a “China Threat Theory” group inside the United States, and so far they’ve been quite subtle in punishing their critics and nurturing and even rewarding their friends.
So I am a little bit pessimistic.
We asked Pillsbury to offer three measures America could take to help defend against Chinese efforts to surpass us. He continued:
Title: The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower
Author: Michael Pillsbury
…[T]here’s one set of reforms…that’s the most important…everybody kind of agrees that we should have tax reform, but what you end up with is 10 different plans, and an unwillingness of senators from both parties to cooperate and pass tax reform. [The inability to pass] tax reform (and there’s several other similar issues), that’s what slows our growth down. That’s why we have two point five percent growth, instead of seven or eight percent growth. In fact it’s considered wonderful — I heard Jeb Bush make a speech last week — he thinks it would be great if we could just get to four percent, which most people would say probably is impossible. So our own competitiveness is the area where we need to get results. And not just people making speeches about competitiveness, but actually having a formula that gets implemented. That’s the most important thing.
The second set of majors I recommend, is we’ve got to have an inventory of just how much we’re helping the Chinese, and what leverage we have with them. My fear is, our leverage is mostly gone. We’ve transferred about as much science and technology and export techniques; we’ve set up business schools in China where we teach them all of our precious techniques of venture capitalism. We’ve been pretty much squeezed by the Chinese for 30 years. So our leverage is declining. But anything we can do to find out what leverage we have left, I strongly advocate.
The third area is our own understanding of Chinese strategy. That’s why I wrote this book. That’s why I try to focus on the hundred-year marathon. We’ve got to understand and give them credit, even admiration, for just how well they have played our system. That in many ways is the hardest: just to recognize the problem of Chinese competitiveness, before it’s too late.
During the interview, Pillsbury and I also had a chance to discuss several other topics including: (more…)
Progressives are pretty sure they know what every American student should eat every day in every school.
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Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday rejected press reports that said the U.S. is close to an agreement that will give Iran access to nuclear weapons after a decade, and insisted that any final deal will not let Iran develop those weapons.
“I can’t state this more firmly,” Kerry told a Senate subcommittee. “The policy is, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.”
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 24, 2015
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Tuesday admitted that Democrats in the Senate are blocking a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security — something that many other Democrats have been unable to say in public.
“Last night, the Senate rightly so, the Democrats held up and blocked, and the bill was not successful, to have [DHS] funding tied to the elimination of the executive… actions,” Jackson Lee said on C-SPAN. “Rightly so.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday proposed a new way of attacking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, one that’s not tied to efforts to fund the Department of Homeland Security.
But Senate aides said McConnell’s move shouldn’t yet be seen as an attempt to split the immigration language from the DHS bill. Many conservatives worry that splitting the issues up would remove all the leverage Republicans gained by combining a must-pass DHS bill with language to fight Obama’s immigration move.
Meet “Frank Underwolf,” a puppet with designs on the White House.
Monday, PBS released a video parody of the hit show, “House of Cards.”
In less than a day, the clip has grabbed over a half-million views. That is an impressive start on the road to Internet “virality.” However, it is a far cry from Sesame Street’s biggest online smash, “Elmo Sings,” a clip with more than 119 million views.
You will probably recognize the plot of the video — it’s a mash-up of the “Three Little Pigs” and “House of Cards”:
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
The Department of Labor on Monday announced a rule change that will ensure people in same-sex marriages have access to unpaid time off to care for a seriously ill spouse.
The rule change affects the implementation of the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal law that created a right for spouses to take unpaid time off for medical reasons. However, the regulations implementing that law didn’t give people in same-sex couples that benefit if they lived in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he would propose legislation in the coming days aimed at helping people transition out of Obamacare, in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling that the Obama administration illegally gave out billions of dollars in subsidies to millions of people.
“I don’t think we can stand by and simply let the shortcomings of the law harm millions more,” Hatch said at the Heritage Foundation Monday. “We need to help the people who will be hurt by losing their subsidies because of Obamacare’s broken promises.”
A dozen House members last week introduced legislation that would decriminalize marijuana and allow it to be regulated by a new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.
The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act is the latest attempt by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) to give all states the freedom to decide whether they want to legalize non-medical marijuana. He said his state’s experience shows that regulating marijuana takes money away from criminals, and makes it easier to keep out of the hands of children.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson claimed on Sunday that Democrats are not blocking legislation to fund his department, even though Democrats have overtly prevented the bill from moving ahead in the Senate four times over the last few weeks.
“Democrats are not blocking debate,” Johnson said on Fox News Sunday.
His comment goes against what anyone watching the Senate floor can see for themselves. On Feb. 12, Democrats objected to a request from Republicans to take up the bill, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would allow Democrats to offer several amendments to the bill to change parts they don’t like.
The week before that, Democrats voted against moving ahead with the bill three times.
While it’s clear that Democrats are blocking progress on the DHS bill, they’ve tried to downplay their role in the fight by saying it’s the Republicans’ fault for calling up a bill that would defund President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. Democrats oppose that defunding language, and have argued that the GOP is putting DHS funding at risk by including that language.
“What is happening is that some in Congress want to tie defunding our executive actions to my entire homeland security budget,” Johnson said. “We should have the debate about immigration reform. But, you should not tie that to the funding for the third-largest department of our government, 240,000 people.”
This week will test the mettle of both parties, as funding for DHS expires on Friday. Republicans will be pushing Democrats to allow the current DHS bill to move ahead or risk a partial DHS shutdown, while Democrats will again push Republicans to get rid of the immigration defunding language.
The fight will start up again early Monday evening, when Republicans will again call up the bill and ask Democrats to allow the Senate to consider it and various amendments.
Last week, Republicans got a boost when a federal judge ordered an injunction against Obama’s immigration plans. That win prompted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to say Republicans should drop the immigration language from the DHS bill, since the Obama plan Republicans are trying to block with legislation has now been blocked through a court order.
While McCain’s logic offers Republicans a possible way to retreat from the legislative fight, many Republicans may not see the court decision as one that lasts. The Department of Justice on Monday was expected to ask the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the injunction and allow Obama’s immigration plan to continue.
What if the Chinese government developed a hundred-year plan based on ancient warring strategies to counter American hegemony and ultimately overtake her and the entire world?
That is the thesis at the heart of a chilling new book by a member of Washington’s foreign policy and national security establishment for over four decades, who is perhaps America’s foremost expert on China.
Michael Pillsbury’s new “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower” reflects a mea culpa of sorts, with Pillsbury — who served in administrations from Nixon through Obama and posts in the Defense Department and four U.S. Senate Committees, supporting ever-closer ties to China in the diplomatic, economic and military realms — arguing that he and the rest of Washington have gotten things completely wrong with respect to China.
Based on his extensive interactions with Chinese officials, examinations of internal Chinese military documents and other materials and a sober examination of the facts, Pillsbury argues in “The Hundred-Year Marathon” that America has been duped into aiding China’s “peaceful rise,” and we need to wake up and take concrete steps to counter the patient Chinese foe if we are to neutralize their long-term plan to overtake us by 2049.
Pillsbury begins his book with five false assumptions, all of which are enabling China’s plan to continue apace, which read very similarly to America’s dealings with Russia and the Islamic world:
“For four decades now, my colleagues and I believed that “engagement” with the Chinese would induce China to cooperate with the West on a wide range of policy problems. It hasn’t. Trade and technology were supposed to lead to a convergence of Chinese and Western views on questions of regional and global order. They haven’t. In short, China has failed to meet nearly all of our rosy expectations.
From thwarting reconstruction efforts and economic development in war-ravaged Afghanistan to offering lifelines to embattled anti-Western governments in Sudan and North Korea, China has opposed the actions and goals of the U.S. government. Indeed, China is building its own relationships with America’s allies and enemies that contradict any peaceful or productive intentions of Beijing.”
…[T]he idea that the seeds of democracy have been sown at the village level became the conventional wisdom among many China watchers in America. With patience but no pressure from the United States, the argument went, local elections in Chinese cities and towns would eventually be followed by regional and national elections.
Like many working in the U.S. government, I had heard the democracy story for decades. I read about it in countless books and articles. I believed in it. I wanted to believe in it.
My faith was first shaken in China in 1997, when I was among those encouraged to visit China to witness the emergence of “democratic” elections in a village near the industrial town of Dongguan. While visiting, I had a chance to talk in mandarin with the candidates and see how the elections actually worked. The unwritten rules of the game soon became clear: the candidates were allowed no public assemblies, no television ads, and no campaign posters. They were not allowed to criticize any policy implemented by the Communist Party, nor were they free to criticize their opponents on any issue. There would be no American-style debates over taxes or spending or the country’s future. The only thing a candidate could do was to compare his personal qualities to those of his opponent. Violations of these rules were treated as crimes.
One candidate I spoke to asked me if this was how the democratic elections worked in the West. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. China’s hawks had already done away with true elections.”
“In what appeared to be a forthright exchange of views with Chinese scholars [during a 1996 U.S. delegation to China of which Pillsbury was a part], we were told that China was in serious economic and political peril–and that the potential for collapse loomed large. These distinguished scholars pointed to China’s serious environmental problems, restless ethnic minorities, and incompetence and corrupt government leaders–as well as to those leaders’ inability to carry out necessary reforms. Considering the well-known secretiveness of the Chinese Politburo, I was astonished by these scholars’ candor and startled by their predictions, which only underscored my support for efforts to provide U.S. aid to a supposedly fragile China.
I later learned that the Chinese were escorting (more…)
The Obama administration has handed out millions of work permits to illegal, unqualified or ineligible immigrants over the last five years, according to the latest report from the Center for Immigration Studies.
“These statistics indicate that the executive branch is operating a huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the bounds of the laws and limits written by Congress,” wrote Jessica Vaughan, who authored the report based on government data received through a Freedom of Information Act request. “Millions of work permits are being issued to illegal aliens and aliens admitted legally, but in a non-work authorized category.”
When life gives you a relentless winter and massive amounts of snow — sculpt it!
Snow sculpting is not new, just wonderful. The “porch shark” above was actually posted about year ago.
The combination of record-setting snow and cabin fever has inspired many of those in the affected regions to channel their energies and frustrations into snow art. The traditional snow man has been replaced by some detailed creations.
Earthporm.com noticed the trend and gathered 30 photos in a collection they call, “30 People Who Have Conquered the Art of Snow.”
Here are eight of our favorites from the post.
We believe the late Charles Schultz would approve.
Roasting a snow marshmallow — a really big snow marshmallow.
Well done, D.C. snow artists, well done.
The minions from “Despicable Me.”
In case you are wondering how these snow artists get the colors right, there are many methods. Some use spray paints (reportedly popular on college campuses). The helpful website ehow.com suggests using household spray bottles like the kind used to mist plants, filled with water and food coloring.
Snow dogs are popular, but this gets our approval for best detail (right down to the collar).
The classic snowman meets your mail box.
Snow Godzilla ate my car!
See the rest of Earthporm’s “30 People Who Have Conquered the Art of Snow.”
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We’re back with episode six of The Church Boys podcast, where you’ll get the chance to hear an epic battle between biblical characters Abraham and Rahab (well, sort of).
We also tackle former megachurch pastor Rob Bell’s recent claim that the Christian church is just “moments away” from embracing gay relationships — and one Hollywood producer’s pointed message for Bible-believers.
Plus, you’ll hear about how one little Iraqi girl who lost everything at the hands of the Islamic State is showing us all what true forgiveness really means.
All that and plenty, plenty more — including evidence that Field kind of, sort of, definitely celebrated Valentine’s Day with his family, despite his disparaging claims about the coveted day of love.
Listen to it all unfold below:
The Congressional Budget Office reported Friday that the economic stimulus bill will end up increasing the national debt by $836 billion by 2019, not the $787 billion that CBO first estimated.
The nearly $50 billion difference was reported in CBO’s latest assessment of the stimulus, formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA.
You already think of Overstock.com as your one-stop shopping destination, a valued online partner since 1999. From furniture to jewelry, electronics to bath and beauty, Overstock.com has the highest quality items you need at the prices you love.
But did you also know Overstock.com has a rewards club to thank their best customers? It’s true! It’s called Club O and offers a myriad of exclusive member benefits. With an annual membership to Club O, you’ll get at least 5% of your purchase back and up to 40% on select items, plus FREE SHIPPING.
Join Club O now and you’ll get previews of exclusive sales events so you won’t miss out on the very best deals Overstock.com has to offer. Once you’re a member, you’ll begin earning Club O Rewards on most purchases you make at Overstock.com. Your Club O Rewards are eligible to redeem once your first order ships.
You can use your Club O rewards the moment you get them or save them for a big splurge in the future! While there are a number of exciting reasons to join Club O, perhaps the most rewarding is the FREE SHIPPING you will receive on all orders, every day of the year. With Club O, you’ll be saving extra money on top of the rewards you’re already earning!
If Club O doesn’t pay for itself, Overstock.com will make up the difference. As Club O is just $19.95 for the first year of membership and $14.95 to renew, it really is a no brainer!
The Obama administration announced Friday afternoon that it would move to stay a federal court ruling that has stalled President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration — an effort aimed at quickly winning back the right to implement Obama’s plan to protect millions of illegal immigrants.
Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas slapped an injunction on Obama’s action while it continues to hear a lawsuit brought by 26 states. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would comply with that injunction by shutting down two major components of Obama’s action, “until further notice.”
Earlier this week, Vice President Biden made some curious claims about the cab drivers waiting outside the train station in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
“If you ever come to the train station with me, you’ll notice that I have great relationships with them because there’s an awful lot of them driving cabs and are friends of mine. For real,” Biden said at the opening of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.
We decided to check Biden’s claims by speaking with the cabs gathered outside Wilmington’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr. train station (Amtrak changed the name to honor the vice president back in 2011).
Our unscientific survey talked to three cabbies (that’s all we found at the station).
Based on our interviews, Biden’s claim about Somalis being friends of his appears to fall flat. However, one of the three drivers interviewed was Somali immigrant. See their responses below:
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Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged on Thursday that he’s not completely sure the government is able to track every American who travels to and from the Middle East to fight with or otherwise aid the Islamic State.
“I have reasonable confidence that we’re tracking these people,” Johnson told CNN. “Do I have complete confidence? No, I can’t say that to the American public, but I have reasonable confidence that we’re tracking these people.”