Politics

Polls Give a Nod to Non-Interventionists

By on 7.21.14 | 3:12PM

As politicians across the country continue to fight amongst themselves over wedge issues that the average voter does not care about—specifically birth control—Ukraine, Iraq, Israel, and several other countries are on fire. As foreign policy continues to come to the forefront, a debate is raging over what involvement the United States should have in helping settle these crises. One thing, however, is clear: the McCains and Grahams of the Senate are losing popularity.

According to a poll done by Politico, while Republicans have a seven-point advantage on foreign policy, the hawks are losing their edge by a wide margin:

In the big picture, two-thirds of respondents agreed with the statement that U.S. military actions should be “limited to direct threats to our national security.” Only 22 percent agreed with the statement that as a “moral leader,” the United States “has a responsibility to use its military to protect democracy around the globe."

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Another IRS Hearing Leaves Questions Unanswered

By on 7.17.14 | 3:31PM

In another House Oversight Committee hearing today, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole was subpoenaed to testify. Cole was specifically asked to answer questions about the investigation of the IRS by the Department of Justice.

Congressman Jim Jordan, who was chairing the hearing, opened with a strong statement condemning the DOJ’s lack of response to the allegations against the IRS:

Four days after the IRS leaked they were targeting conservatives, the DOJ under Holder said they were outraged and were going to investigate. That was last May and we have heard nothing more. How much more will it take for the administration to appoint a special prosecutor?

The ranking member, Elijah Cummings, said Republicans were only being zealous because they were looking for an opportunity to attack the administration and find a conspiracy theory:

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Passenger Jet Shot Down in Eastern Ukraine

By on 7.17.14 | 1:48PM

Malaysia Airlines lost a plane in Ukrainian airspace near the Ukraine-Russia border Thursday. The company’s official Twitter page posted at 11:36 a.m. EST that it had “lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam." Reuters reported that all 295 people aboard are dead. The jet came down over Donetsk, a pro-Russian Ukrainian separatist stronghold, crashing some twenty-five miles from the Russian border. The Russian news source Interfax reportedly broke the story citing Russian aviation officials. Its website was inaccessible as the story broke. The Associated Press reports that Anton Gerashenko, Ukraine’s interior minister, wrote on his Facebook profile that it was shot down by a Buk missile system.

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Karl Rove’s Chief of Staff Replies

By on 7.17.14 | 1:20PM

Yesterday, I ran a short post that quoted a June 4th Washington Post story on the role of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads in the Mississippi Senate runoff. The Post reported:

American Crossroads, a GOP establishment organization, has decided to shift its political focus almost entirely to the general election and will not be spending money in the likely runoff election to decide the Mississippi Senate nomination that was virtually deadlocked after Tuesday night. […]

“Other than Alaska, we have completed our work on Senate primaries this cycle and are now focused on general elections. With the Chamber, the NRSC, and a local super PAC already backing Cochran, this is not our fight,” Paul Lindsay, spokesman for Crossroads, said in a statement. 

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The Psychology of Climate Change

By on 7.17.14 | 10:54AM

"The Population Bomb: While You Are Reading These Words Four People Will Have Died of Starvation, Most of Them Children,” read the title of Paul R. Ehrlich’s 1968 book. In 1975, Newsweek’s Peter Gwynne wrote an article called “The Cooling World,” which argued that the earth was cooling and “the resulting famines could be catastrophic.” These days, you can’t drop your child off at pre-school or go to the grocery store without hearing about the latest Malthusian uproar, climate change.  

The doomsayers have run into no trouble reaching the otherwise tone-deaf executive branch. Yesterday, President Obama said, "climate change poses a direct threat to the infrastructure of America," before unleashing a number of new climate change initiatives.

To be clear, it does seem like the earth is warming and that human beings have an effect on it. That much is apparent. But the rate at which the earth is warming, the amount of influence that humans have on the climate, and the proper solutions are certainly up for debate.

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Politics

Showdown in Las Vegas

By 7.17.14

The letter was polite. A simple request for dialogue — a “productive conversation” — with the NAACP at its upcoming 105th convention in Las Vegas. Dialogue between black conservatives and representatives of the historic group that was once a beacon in the fight for civil rights.

The March letter went to Lorraine C. Miller, the interim president of the group, and was signed by Deneen Borelli, the prominent black conservative, on behalf of empower.org and FreedomWorks. Borelli cited the national black unemployment rate in February (12 percent) and noted it was double that for whites. The unemployment rate for black teens between ages 16 and 19 — a particularly mindboggling set of statistic, 32.4 percent — was cited. Last but not least was the drop in black homeownership from 50 percent to 43 percent, a sharp contrast to a rise of 73 percent in white homeownership.

The suggestion was made to have a panel on economic empowerment with representatives of the NAACP and a group of black conservatives including Borelli and the Reverend C.L. Bryant. Along with the inevitable booth, a staple of these kind of gatherings.

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Darrell Issa, Subpoenas, and Political Theater

By on 7.16.14 | 4:06PM

Congressman Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, issued a subpoena to White House senior adviser David Simas, compelling him to testify at a Wednesday morning hearing exhaustively titled, “White House Office of Political Affairs: Is Supporting Candidates and Campaign Fund-Raising an Appropriate Use of a Government Office?”

White House counsel Neil Eggleston pushed back against the subpoena in a letter, describing it as a violation of the separation of powers, as it “threatens longstanding interests of the executive branch in preserving the president’s independence and autonomy, as well as his ability to obtain candid advice and counsel to aid him in the discharge of his duties,” the Washington Post reported. Issa insisted the subpoena remain in place.

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God Bless the IRS

By on 7.16.14 | 1:27PM

In a series of releases from the House Oversight Committee last night, Chairman Darrell Issa released new information in the ongoing investigation of the IRS. The revelations deal with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. According to a YouTube video released here, the recording is of Solis soliciting funds for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Federal law, under the Hatch Act, prohibits federal officials and bureaucrats from campaigning during work time. Issa is alleging that these calls were made on federal time, which is a clear violation of the act. 

In another allegation, this one from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Issa points to several tweets from an April Sands, who was Lerner’s deputy before resigning earlier this year. One of the tweets, posted on Issa’s Twitter page, shows Sands attacking Mitt Romney on federal time:

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Rove American Crossroads in Mississippi Controversy

By on 7.16.14 | 8:00AM

The headline in the Washington Post on June 4 was clear:

Rove-backed American Crossroads won’t get involved in Cochran runoff

Said the Post story the day after Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel had defeated six-term Mississippi GOP Senator Thad Cochran in the first round of the state’s GOP primary:

American Crossroads, a GOP establishment organization, has decided to shift its political focus almost entirely to the general election and will not be spending money in the likely runoff election to decide the Mississippi Senate nomination that was virtually deadlocked after Tuesday night. […]

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A Woman’s Right to Choose

By on 7.15.14 | 5:34PM

In the course of my journalistic wanderings, I met a woman who gave up a dream of becoming a medical researcher to marry a farmer and have ten children. She not only homeschools them all, but also teaches a theological course for local teenagers at her kitchen table. And she enjoys it:

“I didn’t realize just how important motherhood is until I became a mother,” she told me at the Deseret News. “I think motherhood is the answer to changing the world instead of what I thought I was going to do.”

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