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  • With Time Running Out, GOP Lawmakers Plot Revolt Over Iran Deal Vote
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 11:58 am by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (76)

    Republican lawmakers are moving toward a revolt against House GOP leaders on a vote disapproving the Iran nuclear deal, Politico reported.

    House Speaker John Boehner (Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

    Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

    After congressional members voiced outrage to Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders Wednesday morning over President Barack Obama’s failure to disclose “side deals” between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, Politico reported, Republicans are looking at a resolution from Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) that would delay a disapproval vote because they believe Obama hasn’t disclosed some elements of the deal, Politico reported.

    Boehner is said to have called the discussions “a very healthy conversation.”

    From Politico:

    But there’s not much time. The House is scheduled to have a procedural vote Wednesday afternoon on the disapproval resolution. But Republicans are also considering delaying the Iran vote.

    Should the House GOP leadership decide to go ahead with the disapproval resolution, they might not be able to bring it to the floor, because some Republicans are prepared to vote down a procedural rule vote that’s needed to proceed.

    Regardless of how the House chooses to proceed, the survival of the Iran nuclear deal is in little question now that Obama holds enough Democratic votes in the Senate to uphold his presidential veto should Congress vote to reject the agreement.

    Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter

  • Read the Bold Letter Trump Sent CNN’s President Requesting ‘All Profits’ of the Second GOP Debate Be Donated to Veterans
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 11:45 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (181)

    With several sources reporting that CNN’s advertising rates skyrocketed for a slot during second GOP presidential candidate debate, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has not only taken credit for the increase in ad prices but is also asking the company to donate the proceeds.

    Last week, Ad Age reported that CNN was charging as much as $200,000 for a 30-second spot during the Sept. 16 prime-time debate. This, Ad Age reported, was up to 40 times more than the usual $5,000 generally asked for the same type of spot.

    Watch CNN’s 15-second trailer promoting the debate:

    In a letter to CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, Trump wrote “while I refuse to brag, and as you know very well, this tremendous increase in viewer interest and advertising is due 100% to ‘Donald J. Trump.’”

    “As you are aware,” he continued a bit later in the letter he sent Tuesday, “for the first debate FOX unexpectedly (but not to those who know), had one of the largest audiences in the history of cable television, 24 million people plus, and word is that your audience will be even larger.”

    Trump went on to say that he thinks Zucker should view this debate, which airs on Sept. 16, as a “public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate.”

    “I believe that all profits from this broadcast should go various VETERANS groups, a list of which I will send to you in the near future,” the letter read. “The veterans of our country, our finest people, have been treated horribly by our government and its ‘all talk and no action’ politicians. In fact, some would say they are treated like third class citizens — even worse , in many cases, than illegal immigrants. It is about time that someone comes to their aid. Let’s start now!”

    Trump wrote that he thinks America’s veterans deserve more help than they’re given.

    “That is why my campaign is so focused on these great people who have done so much for us. This large contribution of many millions of dollars would be a truly wonderful thing for CNN to do,” Trump concluded.

  • Inmates at a Philly Prison Are Doing Something for Pope Francis That Has Atheists Up in Arms: ‘Totally Inappropriate’
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 11:38 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (76)

    Pope Francis doesn’t arrive in Washington, D.C. for his highly-anticipated first trip to the United States until September 22, but an atheist group is already speaking out about perceived violations of the First Amendment that surround the pontiff’s visit.

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist group, penned a letter to the Philadelphia Prison System last week, complaining about a project being undertaken by prisoners that involves the carving and upholstering of a special chair.

    Inmates at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center have been working for weeks on the massive chair that the pontiff will sit in when he visits inmates in a city prison later this month, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

    Pope Francis waves to well-wishers upon arrival from Sri Lanka, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 at suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. (AP/Bullit Marquez)

    Pope Francis waves to well-wishers upon arrival from Sri Lanka, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 at suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. (AP/Bullit Marquez)

    “This is literally a captive audience, being asked to labor to produce something for a sectarian purpose, a purely devotional event, and that is totally inappropriate,” foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote. “It doesn’t matter whether the prisons asked for volunteers — prison officials shouldn’t have been involved at all.”

    In her letter, the atheist activist asked that the prison system take steps to ”ensure that it does not continue to use inmates to further religion.”

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation also sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week that took aim at his administration’s handling of a ticket giveaway contest to a September 25 event that the pope is holding in Central Park.

    At the center of atheists’ grievance is the fact that New York City hosted a ticket giveaway contest on its official government website.

    “Space is limited for the Pope’s historic Central Park procession,” read a note on the website. “Entrants who have been randomly selected to receive tickets will be notified beginning Thursday, September 10th via email or telephone.”

    Pope Francis smiles at the end of a meeting with young people entitled 'Throw your nets' in Largo Carlo Felice in Cagliari on September 22, 2013. The pope is on a one-day pastoral visit to Sardinia to meet workers, business representatives, prisoners, the poor, young people, leading representatives from the world of culture and the islands Catholic bishops. The pontiff wanted to visit the Marian shrine of Bonaria ('Good air') because it gave his hometown of Buenos Aires its name. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Pope Francis smiles at the end of a meeting with young people entitled ‘Throw your nets’ in Largo Carlo Felice in Cagliari on September 22, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

    The New York City ticket giveaway has the Freedom From Religion Foundation claiming that the city is guilty of a violation of the separation of church and state, with the group’s leader calling it a religious endorsement.

    “By singling out this event for a ticket giveaway, NYC appears to be endorsing Pope Francis’ sectarian religious message,” Gaylor wrote. “This practice violates the well-established constitutional principle that the government must remain neutral toward religion.”

    Pope Francis’ trip to the United States will involve trips to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.

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  • Officer Asked Speeding Driver Where She Was Headed — After She Told Him, the Cop Grabbed Her Hand and Did the Unexpected
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 11:37 am by Jon Street

    Comments (151)

    Maxine Morgan admits she “wasn’t really paying attention” as she sped down a Louisiana highway with her husband, Jimmy. But Bossier Parish Deputy Jackie Loveless was paying attention.

    Loveless pulled the couple over but, before getting out of his patrol vehicle, he told KSLA-TV, he said a short prayer. Like so many other officers across the country recently, Loveless couldn’t help but think about how a routine traffic stop could become something much worse.

    Image source: KSLA-TV

    Image source: KSLA-TV

    The deputy walked up to Morgan’s window, voicing such friendly phrases as “How are you doing today?” and “Where are you going in such a hurry?” After hearing that the couple was headed to to a memorial service for their daughter Daphne, who died just days before, Loveless did the unexpected.

    “I asked her, ‘Ma’am, do you mind if I pray with you?’” Loveless told KSLA. “When the spirit of the Lord comes up to me to pray, I’m obedient to him and pray with that person.”

    For the Morgans, that was just what they needed to get them through what was sure to be a difficult day ahead.

    “It just touched me so much,” Maxine Morgan said.

    Loveless recalled that in the middle of his prayer, the woman grabbed his hand “real tight” as tears flowed down from her eyes. The deputy later described them as “tears of greatness and tears of appreciation.”

    “I think he was our miracle that day,” Maxine Morgan said of the officer.

    Loveless’ remarkable action didn’t go unnoticed by his boss, either. Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington had nothing but positive things to say about his deputy while talking to KSLA.

    “Jackie understands we deal with a lot of people, but in a lot of times in the most stressful, critical event they’ve ever had to deal with in their lives,” Whittington said. “He exemplifies, first off, a man, a Christian man.”

    A Christian man, to be certain. In fact, Loveless is also the pastor of a church that he started in nearby Bossier City.

    As for Maxine Morgan, she got off without a ticket, but said she doesn’t consider the traffic stop to be without consequence.

    “We needed something that day and he gave it to us,” Morgan told KSLA-TV. “I think he was our miracle that day.”

    (H/T: KSLA-TV)

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert Says He’ll Give Republicans in Congress the ‘Only Thing I Have That They Want’ If They Agree to His Iran Deal Proposal
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 11:17 am by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (79)

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) declared that he won’t run for re-election if fellow congressional Republicans agree to handle the nuclear agreement with Iran as a treaty that must be ratified.

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (Image source: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

    Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

    “I’ll give them the only thing I have that they want,” Gohmert told KLTV-TV Tuesday. “And that’s me not to run for Congress again.”

    Gohmert said he believes House GOP leaders want him out, and he’s willing to make their wish come true as long as they agree to his treaty proposal.

    Realizing the odds of that happening are very slim, he told KLTV that if GOP congressional leaders “continue this course of just playing a game and saying, ‘We voted to disapprove it in the House and Senate,’ instead of bringing it up as the Constitution requires, for ratification, I will run again and again as long as the people of East Texas allow me. And I will be the biggest pain in the neck, and other places, of the Republican leadership, until we get leadership that will follow the Constitution.”

    Gohmert is expected to attend a Capitol Hill rally against the nuclear deal with Iran Wednesday afternoon, along with Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and frontrunner Donald Trump.


    Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter

  • Hillary Clinton Defends the Iran Deal, but Criticizes the Obama Administration
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 10:49 am by Fred Lucas

    Comments (33)

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly defended the Iran nuclear agreement on Wednesday, but said she would take a “don’t trust and verify” approach.

    Even while mounting a strong defense for what would be President Barack Obama’s most significant achievement — one that her State Department legacy is indelibly tied to as well — Clinton was also surprisingly critical of the Obama administration’s handling of Iran following the 2009 protests, including herself in the criticism.

    Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about Iran at the Brookings Institute September 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Clinton spoke in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement and its implications for U.S. foreign policy and national security. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about Iran at the Brookings Institute, Sept. 9, 2015 in Washington. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    “We were too restrained in response to the protests in June 2009 and in our condemnation of the government crackdown that followed,” Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate, said Wednesday at the Brookings Institute in Washington. “That won’t happen again. We will enforce, and if need be, broaden, our human rights sanctions. And I will not rest until every American detained or missing in Iran is home.”

    The Obama administration has been heavily criticized for leaving out of the deal the freeing of Americans jailed in Iran.

    Clinton said she understood the concerns Israel has about the agreement, but wants to provide superior defense equipment for Israel to be protected.

    “I would invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House in my first month in office to talk about all of these issues and to set us on a course of close consultation right from the start,” Clinton said.

    Her remarks come before Congress is set to begin debate this week on a resolution of disapproval of the deal — an action that will likely prove futile, as Senate Democrats now have enough votes to sustain a presidential veto of the measure.

    Clinton said the deal makes the world safer than it would be without a deal.

    “Is it perfect? No agreement like this ever is,” Clinton said. “But is it a strong agreement? Yes, and we absolutely should not turn it down.”

    She said she was “appalled” by how Republican lawmakers opposed the deal, but said she respects the thoughtful opposition by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) She said the “driving force” for Republicans is to “close ranks against the president.”

    She also called for tackling the Syrian refugee crisis and conflict more aggressively, including the refugee crisis.

    “The United States must lead in assisting those who have been uprooted by conflict, especially the millions of Syrian refugees beseeching the world to help them,” Clinton said. “As Pope Francis has reminded us, this is an international problem that demands an international response. The United States must help lead that response.”

  • News Station Uncovers ‘Almost Unbelievable Story About Dangerous Criminals’ Inside Georgia’s Toughest Prisons
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 10:44 am by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (63)

    Like other Facebook users, they chat online with friends and describe the meals they’re about to eat.

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    But for violent felons doing time in Georgia high-security prisons, their access to Facebook often becomes problematic — even dangerous.

    Take for example Shawn Mosley — a.k.a. “Juice,” who’s serving a 15 years for aggravated assault and possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

    Shawn Mosley (Image source: WGCL-TV)

    Shawn Mosley (Image source: WGCL-TV)

    He posts photos of his tattoos, cash and even drugs he’s using and selling, all right in front of his 3,500 friends, WGCL-TV reported, which called it an “almost unbelievable story about dangerous criminals.”

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    “It’s unbelievable,” Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds noted to WGCL. “My initial reaction is, ‘How in the world does he have a Facebook page when he’s a convicted felon inside of a state prison system?’”

    Mosley, who the station said has been an avid Facebook poster since 2010, has been brazen.

    “This isn’t something that somebody is hiding,” Reynolds told WGCL. “He’s bragging about it.”

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Mosley has even posted updates during prison emergencies, the station said.

    “Why y’all on lock down again?” his mom penned to him once. When Mosley replied that an inmate was stabbed, his mother offered this reply: “Dang!!!”

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    Image source: WGCL-TV

    “It’s mind-boggling,” Reynolds added to WGCL. “I mean, I would think that the people who run that state prison system would want to be aware of this and would do something about it.”

    Mosley’s page under his alias “Eskabar Juice” didn’t appear to be active Wednesday.

    Ricky Myrick, the state’s top investigator in the Department of Corrections, pointed his finger at Facebook.

    “Facebook is not extremely cooperative with us on pulling down the pages,” Myrick told WGCL. “Basically, the way they look at the violations of their conduct policy, being an inmate does not fit the bill.”

    Myrick also acknowledged the serious issues prisoners’ access to Facebook creates.

    “[It] allows them to intimidate witnesses, threaten and harass their victims that they currently were dealing with,” he told the station. “It allows them to coordinate their efforts to defeat out security measures.”

    Inmate Travis Morgan last month hopped online, accessed the state’s Department of Corrections website, found photos of a convicted sex offender and posted them to his Facebook pages, WGCL said.

    Travis Morgan (Image source: Facebook)

    Travis Morgan (Image source: Facebook)

    Morgan described Kevin Lattrell Holloway as an “aggravated child molester [who] goes by the name of Bankhead…and is now located at Calhoun State Prison.”

    “The call has been made,” Morgan announced. “So remember his face!”

    Myrick said Facebook access allows inmates to “put hits on individuals that are rival gang members and so forth.”

    So how do Georgia’s inmates get Internet access? Cellphones, WGCL said, adding that these devices seem to freely flow right in.

    Prison officials didn’t know about the seriousness of these issues until the station told them about it, WCGL said.

    But after WGCL spoke to prison officials, Morgan — who posted the threat directed toward a transferred inmate — now faces charges of criminal solicitation to commit murder. And officials, after arriving at his cell, located a cellphone he said was his, along with a homemade weapon.

    However, it appears Morgan’s Facebook page is still active.

    CBS46 News

    This story has been updated.

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  • Only a Few Pieces of Steel Relics From the World Trade Center Remain — Here’s Where the Rest Has Gone
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 10:38 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (29)

    In an airplane hangar at New York’s Kennedy Airport, fewer than 30 pieces of steel remain from the debris recovered after terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Even 14 years after the attacks, applications are still pending for the pieces of metal – mostly for memorials and museum exhibits – and some pieces found a new home as recently as last week in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida.

    Here’s a look at what has become of the relics of the World Trade Center:

    How much steel?

    Beginning in August 1968, builders used 200,000 tons of steel to build the World Trade Center complex, enough to raise the twin towers to heights of 1,362 feet (south tower) and 1,368 feet (north tower). Out of 1.8 million tons of debris removed from the site after the attacks, recovery workers collected 840 pieces of steel, some of which were cut up to make a total of 2,200 separate items. They ranged from 6-inch slabs to massive beams to the 7.5 tons the Navy used in the construction of the warship USS New York.

    A steel beam from the World Trade Center stands at the center of Foundation Hall. (John Munson-Pool/Getty Images)

    A steel beam from the World Trade Center stands at the center of Foundation Hall. (John Munson-Pool/Getty Images)

    Where did it go?

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department honor the arrival of an about 2,000-pound World Trade Center steel beam enclosed in a case draped with the American flag, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, at Miami International Airport in Miami. The beam will spend the night at a cargo facility at MIA and will be ground transported Friday, Aug. 14, to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The beam’s final resting place will be at the Kennedy Space Center Fire Rescue’s 9/11 memorial. (AP/Alan Diaz)

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department honor the arrival of an about 2,000-pound World Trade Center steel beam enclosed in a case draped with the American flag, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, at Miami International Airport in Miami. The beam will spend the night at a cargo facility at MIA and will be ground transported Friday, Aug. 14, to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The beam’s final resting place will be at the Kennedy Space Center Fire Rescue’s 9/11 memorial. (AP/Alan Diaz)

    The artifacts can be found anchoring memorials or museum exhibits in all 50 states and eight countries: Germany, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, The United Kingdom, Afghanistan, China and Ireland. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oversees the artifact program, reviewing applications and parceling out the steel and other items to about 1,500 individual nonprofit groups, governments or museums so far. The artifact must be available for the public to view it.

    How much is left?

    Fewer than 30 pieces of steel, including pieces of rail tracks, remain. Fewer than 70 other artifacts such as clothing or toys also remain in Hangar 17 at Kennedy Airport.

    London's mayor Boris Johnson, right, unveils a sculpture by U.S. artist Miya Ando entitled "Since 9/11", which uses steel taken from the World Trade Center during the unveiling at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park in London, Tuesday, March, 17, 2015. The piece is not a memorial but was commissioned by a UK-based charity to help educate Londoners about the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP/Alastair Grant)

    London’s mayor Boris Johnson, right, unveils a sculpture by U.S. artist Miya Ando entitled “Since 9/11″, which uses steel taken from the World Trade Center during the unveiling at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park in London, Tuesday, March, 17, 2015. The piece is not a memorial but was commissioned by a UK-based charity to help educate Londoners about the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP/Alastair Grant)

    Are items still being sought?

    Yes. Thirty applications are pending approval, and 40 others are in the review process. Even as recently as last week, an 8-foot-long, 1,100-pound steel beam arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, while other pieces were distributed to Ware, Massachusetts, and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida during August. The Ware Fire Department is building a second memorial using trade center artifacts. It received a 1,600-pound piece of steel in August that will be used in a memorial that is still being discussed. At the space center, the beam will be the centerpiece of a permanent memorial at Fire Station No. 1. That memorial includes small-scale replicas of the twin towers.

    A salvaged section of steel facade from the North Tower from Ground Zero on display in the the National September 11 Memorial Museum. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    A salvaged section of steel facade from the North Tower from Ground Zero on display in the the National September 11 Memorial Museum. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Was any of the steel recycled or discarded?

    No. The Port Authority’s mission was to preserve the artifacts and distribute them to worthy groups to memorialize the attacks.

  • VIDEO: Texan Saw Dodge Charger Speeding Directly at Deputies — He Wasn’t About to Let Another Officer Go Down
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 10:05 am by Jon Street

    Comments (118)

    Texas deputy constables say the driver of a Dodge Charger nearly hit them while they were working the scene of a separate vehicle stop in Montgomery County, north of Houston.

    Image source: KHOU-TV

    Image source: KHOU-TV

    The first stop came late Tuesday when the deputies stopped a white pickup truck with three men inside. The officers had reportedly spotted the men throwing something out of the window.

    When deputies stopped the vehicle one of the men got out and started running away into the woods, but one officer later caught up to him and took him into custody. The officer suffered an injury to his knee during the pursuit, KHOU-TV reported.

    Another deputy constable arrived on the scene about 30 minutes later and, while talking with the constables who were already there, a Dodge Charger came barreling toward the group of officers. But one citizen wasn’t about to let any of those officers get taken out.

    The man pushed the officers out of the way of the speeding car, thus keeping them from being run over and, possibly, injured or even killed. The entire incident was caught on one officer’s dash cam, which you can see below.

    The violent incident quickly escalated into a full-on police chase, with the vehicles involved topping speeds of more than 100 mph. The high-speed chase ended when the suspect who was driving saw that police had set up spike strips in the road, forcing him to pull over and resulting in his arrest.

    Anthony Joel Shelton, 32, was taken into police custody and charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, theft of a motor vehicle and evading arrest with a motor vehicle, all felonies. His bond was set at $131,000.

    The Dodge Charger that Shelton was driving had been stolen just the day before in Jasper, Texas, a city about two hours away.

    The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze when asked if anyone else has been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s events.

    (H/T: KHOU-TV)

    Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

  • Bible Scholar Challenges Defiant Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis in Open Letter: ‘There Are Three Things I Would Like to Say to You’
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 10:03 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (568)

    A feminist Bible scholar released an open letter to Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis on Tuesday, addressing Davis’ refusal to grant gay marriage licenses, and proclaiming that “nowhere in the Bible does God say that two men or two women who love each other are going to hell for it.”

    Dr. Jennifer Grace Bird (Twitter)

    Dr. Jennifer Grace Bird (Twitter)

    The letter, written by Dr. Jennifer G. Bird on her Huffington Post blog, offered up three main points that the scholar wished to convey to Davis. Rather than opening the note by diving into her theological disagreement with the defiant county clerk, Bird started with a sympathetic tone.

    “In light of all of the attention being focused on you and your family at the moment, there are three things I would like to say to you. The first is that I am impressed by your ability to stand by your own beliefs and convictions,” she wrote. “I absolutely do believe you when you say that this matter is not about holding ill will against anyone but that it is about God and God’s Word.”

    Bird said that she also understands the forgiveness that Davis found when she converted to Christianity four years ago, stating that she is glad that Davis encountered such contentment.

    The scholar went on to say, for her second main point, that she is “terribly sorry” for the negative reactions that Davis has received, including “death threats” and negative scrutiny from media.

    “Rude and harmful behavior is never appropriate or justified, in my opinion,” Bird wrote.

    It was in the third area of her letter that Bird decided to dive into theology, explaining that she spent nine years in graduate schools attempting to better understand scripture, and expressed her belief that the Bible doesn’t condemn same-sex relationships, as Davis believes it does.

    Citing Old Testament verses like Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Gen 38:8-10 and Genesis 2:24, among others, Bird attempted to dispel claims that these areas of scripture condemn same-sex relations; she did not, however, address New Testament verses.

    “Many people refer to Genesis 19, the Sodom story, in this conversation, as well. The thing is, if you read that passage slowly and carefully, and try to imagine what music you would put in the background if you were filming it, you are likely to notice that what the men of Sodom had in mind, regardless of the recipients, was harm,” Bird wrote. “When Lot offers up his two virgin daughters to take the place of his visitors he is simply trying to turn the intention of harming someone away from his visitors. The idea that the men of Sodom were going to have sex with the two visitors is misinformed, in part by the wording in the story itself.”

    This Thursday, Aug. 3, 2015 photo made available by the Carter County Detention Center shows Kim Davis. The Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk went to jail Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, but five of her deputies agreed to comply with the law, ending a two-month standoff. (Image source: Carter County Detention Center via AP)

    This Thursday, Aug. 3, 2015 photo made available by the Carter County Detention Center shows Kim Davis. The Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk was released from jail on Tuesday (Image source: Carter County Detention Center via AP)

    She went on to offer similar descriptions in an effort to convince Davis that her stance against same-sex nuptials might not be biblically informed, and encouraged the clerk to consider how she reads scripture.

    “Nowhere in the Bible does God say that two men or two women who love each other are going to hell for it. Nowhere,” Bird concluded. “What the Bible does say about marriage and sex is at times rather startling. I think it would be in your own best interest to be fully informed on them, given your stance regarding marriage licenses.”

    Read the open letter in its entirety here.

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  • A Huge Percentage of Israelis Believe the Iran Deal Is an ‘Existential Threat’ to Israel
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 10:01 am by Sharona Schwartz

    Comments (13)

    A large majority of Jewish Israelis believes the Iran nuclear deal poses an “existential threat” to Israel and that Iran won’t abide by the agreement, according to a new public opinion poll.

    The survey, published Wednesday by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, found that 73 percent of Israeli Jews said they were “sure” or at least “moderately sure” that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right when he says the deal poses an existential threat to the country.

    Source: Israel Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University

    Source: Israel Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University

    Asked if they believe that Iran is “upholding or not really upholding” its side of the nuclear deal spearheaded by the U.S. along with five world powers, 78 percent of Israeli Jews said they “think it is not upholding” or are “sure it is not upholding” its obligations.

    Source: Israel Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University

    Source: Israel Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University

    Arab Israelis were split on the issue of Iran upholding its commitments, while 45 percent said they did not view Iran as an existential threat to the country.

    As if to drive home Israelis’ fears, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday threatened the future existence of the Jewish state in a series of anti-American and anti-Israeli posts on Twitter.

    Addressing Israel, Khamenei wrote, “You will not see next 25 years. God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years” and until then, it will have “no moment of serenity.”

    The State Department said Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security in a weekend telephone call with Netanyahu.

    “The secretary and the prime minister reiterated the need to continue pushing back on Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “The secretary reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and continued military and security relationship.”

    Netanyahu has argued repeatedly that the Iran deal comprises a threat to Israel’s future because he believes the concessions offered Iran will pave the way for it to become a nuclear power.

    He has also blasted lifting of sanctions, which he says will allow Iran new funds with which to “arm their terror machine,” including supporting international terrorist groups like Hezbollah.

    The Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University poll was conducted on Aug. 30 and 31.

  • Man Was Taking Some ‘Selfie’ Video While Driving Jeep, Then…’Oh, Crap’
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 9:50 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (68)

    Alex Lopatnyuk of Florida was out for a gator hunt.

    To document his adventure, he thought he’d start by taking his first “GoPro selfie.” With his camera attached to a selfie-stick, Lopatnyuk filmed himself driving his mud-splattered, maroon Jeep as he followed a truck toting a canoe.

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Turning his eyes from the road and toward his camera for only a second, Lopatnyuk missed the moment when the truck ahead of him braked.

    “FAIL,” Lopatnyuk wrote in a description of the video, showing the green canoe smash through his Jeep’s windshield.

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    After the incident, it sounds like he said “oh crap.”

    Watch the video, which includes images of the damage as well:

    “[T]his is why you shouldn’t Text and Drive or try to take a selfie and drive, this is a PSA!” Lopatnyuk wrote on his Facebook page.

    Lopatnyuk did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.

  • New ‘Giant’ Virus Reanimated After Being Frozen in Ice for 30,000 Years — Why Scientists Say It ‘Should Be of Concern’
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 9:15 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (177)

    It’s not the first time within the last year that scientists have managed to “reanimate” an ancient virus frozen for thousands of years in permafrost, but they more recently reported a “fourth type of giant virus.”

    Four giant viruses were isolated and identified from a 30,000-year-old sample of permafrost. Some of them were reanimated and found to be still infectious.  (IGS CNRS/AMU)

    Two  viruses were isolated and identified — Pithovirus and Mollivirus — from a 30,000-year-old sample of permafrost, joining two others that are considered “giant” viruses. Scientists found that these viruses were still infectious despite being frozen for thousands of years.  (IGS CNRS/AMU)

    Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers announced the discovery of Mollivirus sibericum, isolated from a 30,000-year-old sample of permafrost that already yielded the discovery of another giant virus, Pithovirus.

    The researchers were able to infect an amoeba with these “largest known DNA viruses.” To be considered a “giant” virus, the Agence France‑Presse explained that the virus has to be longer than one thousandth of a millimeter.

    The Mollivirus measured 0.6 micrometers.

    “The Mollivirus nucleocytoplasmic replication cycle was analyzed using a combination of ‘omic’ approaches that revealed how the virus highjacks its host machinery to actively replicate,” the study authors wrote. “Surprisingly, the host’s ribosomal proteins are packaged in the virion. Metagenomic analysis of the permafrost sample uncovered the presence of both viruses, yet in very low amount.”

    In a news release from the French National Center for Scientific Research, the scientists explained how the Mollivirus differs from some of the other viruses identified in the same sample. In terms of its replication and some other traits, the researchers said the Mollivirus is “more similar to the common viral types, including human pathogens such as Adenovirus, Papillomavirus, or Herpesvirus.” Pithovirus, which was isolated and described from the sample in 2014, replicates more like a Poxvirus, according to the researchers.

    “In terms of its shape, mode of replication and metabolism, Mollivirus sibericum thus represents a new type of virus never previously observed and distinct from the three giant virus families discovered to date,” the news release stated.

    The study authors said in the abstract that the fact that these two viruses — Mollivirus and Pithovirus — were still able to infect host organisms after thousands of years in the permafrost “should be of concern in a context of global warming.”

    “In the presence of a susceptible host, a few particles that are still infectious could indeed be sufficient to cause the resurgence of potentially pathogenic viruses in Arctic regions that are increasingly coveted for their mining and oil resources, and whose accessibility and industrial exploitation have been facilitated by climate change,” the news release stated.

    Going forward, the researchers are studying older soil samples, looking for other giant virus types.

    (H/T: Daily Mail)

     

  • Two ‘Nuns’ Are Showing Up at Peoples’ Homes and Demanding Money. Now, This Church Has a Warning.
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 9:06 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (25)

    A Catholic church in Lehigh Acres, Florida, is warning local residents to beware of two women who have been going door-to-door and asking for donations, saying that the aggressive solicitations appear to be a scam.

    St. Raphael’s Church is speaking out to let the public know that two the two “nuns” who appear to be in their early 20s and who are showing up and demanding cash on behalf of the church are not affiliated in any way with the house of worship.

    The church opened Saturday night mass by letting members know about the scam, which officials believe involves the use of nun costumes.

    The faux-sisters are reportedly so insistent that some victims have told the church that they have followed them into their living rooms in a quest to gain cash and credit card numbers — and that they’ve even offered to take them to the ATM, if needed, WINK-TV reported.

    Earl Smith, an area lector and Eucharistic minister, decried the purported scammers, noting that their actions show the depths of how low some will go in today’s society.

    “I just feel that whoever is doing that is taking advantage of the people, the parishioners at St. Raphael’s,” Smith told WINK-TV. “It just depicts how desperate people are in the world, in our society, that they will go and try to use the Catholic church to use other people.”

    He said that their actions are disrespectful to the community, the Catholic Church and to God.

    (H/T: WINK-TV)

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  • Chicago Officer Didn’t Realize This Moment Was Caught in Photo — Until He Saw It Spreading Like Fire on the Internet
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 9:03 am by Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Comments (150)

    As a Chicago police officer ate lunch at a Chipotle, he noticed a homeless black man “dumpster diving” outside of the window and proceeded to get the man’s attention.

    Then, without knowing anyone was watching — or much less, taking photos — Sergeant, B. Hagarty walked with the man up to the counter, ordered him lunch and shook his hand. But that wasn’t the end of it.

    A Chipotle patron heard Hagarty knock on the window and ask the man if he was hungry. The customer, Rachel Mitchell, took photos of the pair standing in line and posted it to Facebook with a heartfelt message, and it quickly went viral.

    Image via Facebook/Chicago Police Department

    Image via Facebook/Chicago Police Department

    Her post read:

    “So today I saw something that made my day. This Chicago Police officer was sitting at a window seat at Chipotle, outside the window he saw a homeless man digging through the trash. The cop knocked on the window, getting the homeless man’s attention. Through the glass he asked the man if he was hungry. The man nodded yes, and the cop motioned for him to come inside. The cop told him to set what belongings he had next to him and told him to order what he wanted because he would pay for it. They stood in line together and at the end the cop paid for the man’s meal. A simple hand shake was exchanged between them and they parted ways like it was no big deal. Touched my heart so much, with all the (crap) police are getting these days it reminds me there’s so much more good out there than anyone ever wants to give credit. If everyone did something simple like this every day the world would be a better place.”

    Members of the Chicago Police Department saw the post as it started to spread and approached Hagarty, who “reluctantly” corroborated Mitchell’s post.

    “We asked him if he knew he was in a story on social media,” a post on the Chicago Police Department’s Facebook reads. “He reluctantly said yes, a few friends had sent him the photos. He was not aware that someone had captured the moment, a break in his day as he was finishing his lunch, while at work just yesterday. He didn’t know the written story that had been posted on Facebook and re-posted by the Country Music Station Big 95.5 Chicago. We read the story posted originally by Rachel Mitchell to the Sergeant. He said ‘yes, that’s exactly what happened.’”

    According to the police department, Hagarty said a woman approached him as he was leaving the restaurant who told him “thank you.” Hagarty said he believed it was the same woman who posted the photo and wanted to express his gratitude.

    The Chicago Police Department said Hagarty, a 35-year veteran of the force, will retire this year.

    “Sergeant Hagarty we thank you for leading the Chicago Police Department by example.” 

    019th District Town Hall – Sergeant HagartyLeading by ExampleA quote posted on social media, Facebook…Rachel…

    Posted by Chicago Police Department on Friday, September 4, 2015

  • Watch Live: Hillary Clinton Speaks on Iran Deal
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 8:55 am by TheBlaze Staff

    Comments (28)

  • NFL WR Becomes First Player to Publicly Play the ‘Race Card’ Regarding ‘White’ Tom Brady’s ‘Deflategate’ Victory
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 8:37 am by Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Comments (92)

    According to a New York Jets player, many NFL players believe one deciding factor was the reason why Patriots’ star Tom Brady’s suspension was lifted — his race.

    “The race card. There are a lot of players out there that believe that white players — specifically, at the quarterback position — are treated differently,” Jets’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall said while on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” panel.

    New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall walks in the bench area during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall walks in the bench area during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    According to ESPN, Marshall added that “absolutely, at times” black players in the league are held to a higher standard than their white counterparts, a sentiment he said is shared across the league among black and white players. Gathered from conversations he said he’s had with other players, many believe Brady’s suspension over “Deflategate” was because he’s white.

    “I think that there are three different types of players’ views in this thing,” he said of a federal judge lifting Brady’s suspension. ”No. 1 is the fighter. I think there are guys in the fight with Tom. When one player’s rights are upheld, then all players’ rights are upheld. It’s not about what he did, if he’s right or wrong. It’s more about the process. Is it fair?”

    “The second is cowards — I call them cowards,” Marshall continued. “That’s the guys that are afraid to face Tom Brady. They want him suspended; I don’t believe in that.”

    The last type of player are those who played the “race card.”

    Former Jets quarterback and co-panelist on “Inside the NFL” Boomer Esiason questioned Marshall’s remarks, according to NJ.com.

    “So you’re telling me that there are players out there, and I don’t know if you believe this, that there are players out there, that if this was Cam Newton, that his suspension would be upheld and he would be there, that the judge would see Cam Newton differently because of the color of his skin?” Esiason asked.

    “Well, when you look back at the history of this sport, you can build a case on that, yes,” Marshall responded.

    “I think that the important role that I play on this show is to give the viewers [an] inside look of the locker room,” Marshall continued. “I am a player right now. This is not just from our locker room; this is from the locker rooms across the states. This is how guys are feelings. This is not just my opinion. These are conversations I’m having with guys.”

    ESPN reported that Marshall looked at his prepared notes while making his remarks about players’ attitudes toward Brady. 

    Tuesday’s appearance was Marshall’s first on “Inside the NFL” during the 2015 season, according to NJ.com. ESPN reported that Marshall is a weekly regular on the program.

    The Patriots will host the Jets Sunday, Oct. 25.

  • This Presidential Candidate Has a Big Concern About How the Defiant Kentucky Clerk’s Gay Marriage Refusal Will Impact Christianity
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 8:35 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (128)

    Republican presidential contenders like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have openly embraced defiant Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, but Ohio Gov. John Kasich took a very different stand on Tuesday, wondering if the debate surrounding her could negatively impact faith in America.

    “We have a lot of young people that have walked away from, or are confused or uncertain about personal faith,” Kasich told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. “And one of the things that I know that’s so great about it — being a flawed man — is that, thank God we have grace.”

    Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

    Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

    The GOP presidential contender said that his concern is that young people who are looking to explore faith will see the Davis spectacle and potentially be turned off, the Huffington Post reported.

    “In this case, when young people, or people who are looking at what is religion all about, what is faith all about — when they see dust-ups like this, my concern is they would go the other way and say, ‘Look, I don’t want anything to do with that,’” Kasich said.

    While he doesn’t disagree with Davis’ stance on gay marriage, as he, too, supports traditional unions, he said that he believes there are “bigger fish to fry” when it comes to matters of faith, and that Davis should have complied with the court order.

    Watch the segment below: 


    (H/T: Huffington Post)

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  • Two Texas Football Players Are Now Claiming This Is Why They Brutally Hit Referee During Game
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 8:30 am by Jon Street

    Comments (208)

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Two Texas football players accused of intentionally ramming into a referee during a high school game allege the referee directed racial slurs at them, school district officials said Tuesday.

    The district, which previously suspended the two players, has placed an assistant coach on paid leave while it investigates allegations that he suggested there should be retaliation against the referee for missed calls, Northside Independent School District Superintendent Brian T. Woods said at a news conference.

    The two suspended John Jay High School students, whose names aren’t being released, will go through a disciplinary hearing and the incident will be treated as an assault on a school official, according to the school district.

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    Image source: YouTube

    “The incident is shameful and in no way reflects who Northside ISD and Jay High School are,” Woods said.

    The district, which has 105,000 students, is in the process of filing a complaint about the racial slur allegation with the Texas Association of Sports Officials, Woods said.

    Michael Fitch, the association’s executive director, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on Tuesday. The name of the referee has not been made public.

    Video from Friday’s game between John Jay High School and Marble Falls High School showed the referee watching a play, and his head snapping back when he is leveled from behind. The other player then dove on top of him. The game took place in Marble Falls, located about 90 miles north of San Antonio.

    Northside school district officials said that during the game, the suspended players “were feeling lots of frustration by what they perceived to be missed or wrong calls by the refs.” The players also alleged the referee directed racial slurs at them.

    The students allege that assistant coach Mack Breed, 29, said “that guy needs to pay for cheating us” or words to that effect, according to the district.

    “The alleged comments by the coach are in no way a reflection of the John Jay coaching staff whatsoever. If that did happen, he let the emotions get the best of him,” said Northside school district athletic director Stan Laing.

    Breed didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail message left Tuesday by The Associated Press.

    Woods said if a racial slur was directed at the two players, the protocol should have been to let the lead official at the game know about it.

    “We’re obligated to use this as a teachable moment … As educators, we’ve got to take this opportunity to teach our young people two wrongs don’t make a right,” Laing said.

    The University Interscholastic League, which governs primary and high school sports and is working with the school district and officials on the investigation, said in a statement Tuesday that it supports the initial disciplinary measures taken by the Northside school district.

    “Interactions between coaches, students and officials should always be respectful and an official’s safety should never be compromised during a competition,” the UIL said.

    The Marble Falls police department, which is investigating the hit on the referee, will take at least a week to complete its probe, said Sgt. Tom Dillard.

    Dillard said if charges are filed, it could be for misdemeanor assault, but that wasn’t “chiseled into stone.”

  • Hungarian Camerawoman Fired After She’s Caught Tripping a Migrant Carrying a Child as He Was Chased by Police
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 8:22 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (43)

    BUDAPEST, Hungary (TheBlaze/AP) — A Hungarian camerawoman has been fired after she was caught on video kicking and tripping migrants entering Hungary across the border with Serbia.

    The N1TV Internet channel said their employee, widely identified in Hungarian media as Petra Laszlo, has been dismissed because she “behaved unacceptably” at a makeshift gathering point where police take migrants immediately after they enter Hungary near the village of Roszke.

    In videos posted online, Laszlo can be seen kicking at least one migrant in a group trying to break through police lines and tripping a man carrying a small child while also running from police.

    Watch footage of the incident:

    “The N1TV colleagues today behaved unacceptably in Roszke collection point. The cameraman working relationship, extraordinary notice was released today. The case was considered closed our part,” N1TV Editor-in-Chief Szabolcs Kisberk said in a statement posted to the news station’s Facebook page.

    Much of the channel’s content centers on the activities of the far-right Jobbik party.

    This video shows a series of still shots of the incident from another angle:

    The AP was unable to obtain a telephone number for Laszlo, and a Facebook page that she was previously said to have could not be found. Emails to Kisberk and other staff of N1TV were not immediately answered.



    Front page image via Reuters/YouTube screenshot.

  • After White Guy’s Poem Was Repeatedly Rejected, He Thought of Crazy Idea to Subvert ‘Politically Correct Poetry Business’ — and It Worked
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 8:13 am by Jason Howerton

    Comments (82)

    Michael Derrick Hudson reportedly submitted his poem, “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve,” multiple times, but was rejected every single time.

    Then Hudson came up with an idea that he felt would be an effective way of “subverting what he believes to be a politically correct poetry business.”

    He submitted the same poem under the pen name Yi-Fen Chou — and it was accepted.

    Yi-Fen Chou

    Yi-Fen Chou

    The editor who ultimately accepted the poem to be included with an anthology of 75 other works, identified as noted author Sherman Alexie, said he ended up receiving a note from Hudson. More from ABC News:

    “I chose a strange and funny and rueful poem written by Yi-Fen Chou, which turns out to be a Chinese pseudonym used by a white male poet named Michael Derrick Hudson as a means of subverting what he believes to be a politically correct poetry business,” Alexie wrote in a blog post published Monday. “I only learned that Yi-Fen Chou was a pseudonym used by a white man after I’d already picked the poem and Hudson promptly wrote to reveal himself.”

    Some online commenters have called for the removal of the poem from the book, which is released this month by Simon and Schuster’s Scribner publishing group.

    “Although your reasons for publishing the poem MAY be defensible, the racist suggestion of the pseudonym is not,” one online comment to Alexie’s blog stated.

    Hudson wrote on his own blog that changing his name has done wonders for his poetry career.

    “There is a very short answer for my use of a nom de plume: after a poem of mine has been rejected a multitude of times under my real name, I put Yi-Fen’s name on it and send it out again,” he wrote, according to ABC News.

    Obviously, the decision has earned Hudson a good amount of critics.

    But at the end of the day, Alexie said he will not be removing Hudson’s poem. Despite how it may appear, he claimed he chose the poem because he loved it, not because of the name attached to it.

    (H/T: Washington Post)

  • Pastor and Beloved Professor Who Was Outed as Ashley Madison User Commits Suicide
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 8:02 am by Billy Hallowell

    Comments (128)

    A pastor and seminary teacher who was exposed as a member of Ashley Madison — the dating website that facilitates hookups between married individuals — has taken his own life.

    Dr. John Gibson

    Dr. John Gibson (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary)

    Dr. John Gibson, 56, a communications professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, was among millions of individuals who were listed in the highly publicized Ashley Madison hack last month, according to the Daily Mail.

    Gibson, a married father of two, was found dead on August 24 by his wife, Christi, just six days after millions of names were publicly leaked by the hackers.

    “It was a moment that life doesn’t prepare you for. I had to call my kids,” Christi Gibson told CNN Money. “How do you tell your kids that their dad is gone and that he took his own life?”

    In a suicide note, Gibson mentioned Ashley Madison and apologized over the fact that his name was found in the member list. He also addressed some of the other issues that he had been facing, including depression; the pastor had struggled in the past with addiction as well.

    “What we know about him is that he poured his life into other people, and he offered grace and mercy and forgiveness to everyone else,” Christie said. “But somehow he couldn’t extend that to himself.”

    His wife said that she would have forgiven him, but that the revelation that he was a member “carried such a shame” for Gibson.

    An article released by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary two days after the professor’s death described him as a “beloved professor,” recounting how Christie Gibson had discovered her husband unresponsive in the couple’s campus home August 24, before calling emergency services, who were unable to revive him.

    “Gibson served as youth minister and senior pastor at numerous churches in Louisiana and Mississippi,” the statement read. “At the time of his death, Gibson was pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Pearlington, Miss., a community located on the banks of the Pearl River.”

    (H/T: Daily Mail)

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  • ‘Seriously, This Was a Hostage Video’: MSNBC Mercilessly Mocks Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal Apology
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 7:29 am by Mike Opelka

    Comments (133)

    The morning after Hillary Clinton’s miniature apology tour featuring an interview with ABC’s David Muir, a light-hearted stop by Ellen DeGeneres’ show and a written apology posted on Facebook, the Democratic frontrunner was roasted on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    The Wednesday show opened with a clip of Clinton apologizing to Muir, followed by almost 10 minutes of mockery from the panel of Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle, Willie Geist and John Heilemann.

    Scarborough called the Muir interview “a hostage video.”

    Barnicle wondered, “Did they cut out the part where she said to David, ‘OK, are you happy now?’”

    Heilemann said Clinton did not enjoy apologizing and was dragged to it, “kicking and screaming.”

    Brzezinski focused on Clinton constantly repeating what she did was “allowed.”

    Scarborough also compared the apology to one he might say to his spouse.

    “You know, there’s a ‘B.S. detector’ that tells our significant others, we’re saying we’re sorry — but we don’t really mean it,” he added.

    Watch a short clip from the show’s opening segment via MSNBC:

    Watch the entire segment on MSNBC.

    __

  • Queen Elizabeth II Makes History as Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 6:36 am by Liz Klimas

    Comments (20)

    LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II reached a major milestone Wednesday, becoming the longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history by passing Queen Victoria, who served for 63 years and seven months.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said millions of Britons would celebrate the queen’s historic moment.

    “Over the last 63 years, Her Majesty has been a rock of stability in a world of constant change and her selfless sense of service and duty has earned admiration not only in Britain, but right across the globe,” Cameron said.

    A combination of photographs shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) seen through the window of the royal carriage, 02 June 1953, after being crowned solemnly at Westminter Abbey in London, and in the second photo as she travels down the Mall for the State Opening of Parliament in London, 06 November 2007. Queen Elizabeth II was set Thursday 20 December 2007, to become the oldest monarch, overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria amid signs the royal family is preparing for life after 81-year-old 'Lillibet'. Victoria died in 1901 aged 81 years and 243 days, and Elizabeth will mark passing the milestone with neither pomp nor ceremony, spending the day as usual with her husband of 60 years, Prince Philip. (INP/SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

    A combination of photographs shows Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) seen through the window of the royal carriage,  June 2, 1953, after being crowned solemnly at Westminter Abbey in London, and in the second photo as she travels down the Mall for the State Opening of Parliament in London, 06 November 2007. (INP/SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

    The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, plan one public event, although it is not directly connected to the milestone. The royal couple plan to inaugurate a new train route along the Scottish borders.

    Elizabeth is expected to speak briefly at the opening ceremony.

    Former Prime Minister John Major praised the queen’s long presence as a tonic for Britons.

    “Whilst prime ministers have come and gone, celebrities have come and gone, life has changed, she and the monarchy have been an absolute constant in their lives and I think that is very reassuring,” he said.

    Praise also poured in from distant parts of the Commonwealth.

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) accompanied by Prince Philip waves to the crowd after being crowned solemnly at Westminter Abbey in London. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

    Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) accompanied by Prince Philip waves to the crowd after being crowned solemnly at Westminter Abbey in London. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

    Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Australian Parliament that the queen has compiled and extraordinary record of service and is regarded with “respect and affection” by Australians.

    “Hers has been a long, rich life of service to her country, to the Commonwealth,” Abbott said. “We pay tribute to her dedication to duty. We wish her and her loving, remarkable husband health and happiness in the years ahead.”

    Buckingham Palace marked the event by releasing an official photograph of the queen taken by Mary McCartney, a photographer who is the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney.

    Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 upon the death of her father, King George VI.

  • Ted Cruz’s Candid Answer When CNN Asks Why He Invited Donald Trump to Anti-Iran Deal Rally
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 5:53 am by Jon Street

    Comments (1)

    Sen. Ted Cruz gave a very candid answer when he was asked why he invited billionaire businessman and Republican presidential rival Donald Trump to a protest rally against the Iran deal, which he helped organize.

    Cruz gave the very candid answer while speaking to reporters just before the rally in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, CNN reported.

    Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to supporters during a campaign event at the Stockyards in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to supporters during a campaign event at the Stockyards in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    “The reason’s not complicated,” Cruz said. “Number one: I like Donald. He’s a friend of mine. But when Donald arrives at an event, he brings an army of TV reporters. He brings an army of cameras that show up. And Donald’s being there – he very graciously accepted – means the mainstream media will cover the event.”

    Cruz’s blunt admission came as many political pundits have speculated that the reason Cruz hasn’t criticized Trump as other GOP presidential candidates have is because Cruz wants to gain Trump supporters if the billionaire real estate mogul ever drops out of the race.

    But for Trump, the Capitol Hill appearance has very different implications as far as politics is concerned.

    Trump recently tripped up over a question from conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt, confusing the name “Quds” with “Kurds,” which some suggested was an example of his lack of foreign policy experience.

    Speaking at the event, Trump invoked his many years of deal-making in business to slam the agreement as “incompetent” and the “worst” deal he’s ever seen, echoing Cruz’s earlier comment that the deal is “catastrophic.”

    But the rally doesn’t appear to be having much effect through the halls of Congress, as 41 senators have already vowed their support for the deal, virtually ensuring that Congress can pass it.

    “I don’t anticipate that rally will have any impact on the ultimate vote in either the House or the Senate,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who opposes the deal, told CNN.

    Republican strategist Ron Bonjean echoed Collins’ statement, saying, “It’s not going to change what’s going on in Washington right now, but they’re scoring political points.”

    (H/T: CNN)

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