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U.S. Nixes Nigerian Request for Aid

By 2.16.15

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, who is running for re-election next month, appealed to the U.S. as early as a year ago for arms and men to fight against the Islamic insurgency in the country’s northeast, according to a weekend report in the Wall Street Journal. High American officials prefer to talk about free and fair elections; originally scheduled for last week, Nigeria Independent Electoral Commission postponed them until late March due to the terrorist emergency. Top American military spokesmen say there are absolutely no plans to aid the Nigerians, let alone send advisors and even troops, as Mr. Jonathan says are needed.

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The Obama Watch

Mr. President, ‘Violent Extremism’ Has a Real Name

By 2.16.15

Less than forty days after the Charlie Hebdo/Hyper Cacher attacks in Paris, freedom of speech has once again come under deadly assault and anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head in Europe at the hands of Islamic radicals.

The attacks began when a gunman entered a cafe in Copenhagen that was hosting a conference on freedom of speech. The gunman silenced the conference by killing one man and injuring three police officers. The target of the attack was Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks who in 2007 (you guessed it) drew a cartoon of Muhammad. Over the years, Vilks has been threatened repeatedly, was once assaulted while giving a lecture and nearly had his home burned down. Fortunately, Vilks was unharmed.

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Special Report

VA Reform DOA

By 2.16.15

President Obama and the Veterans Administration bureaucracy are already sabotaging the VA reform law passed in August. The ink is barely dry on the 8.6 million “Choice Cards” that supposedly allow vets to see a doctor outside the delay-plagued system. But Obama’s budget tries to snatch the $10 billion allocated for choice and allow it to be spent however VA top administrators want. It’s a sickening betrayal.

Even worse, VA Secretary Robert McDonald is telling federal lawmakers that this underhanded move will better serve “VA system priorities.” That’s the problem. He’s more interested in protecting “the system” than vets. It’s all about bureaucratic turf and union jobs.

With a straight face, McDonald says it has “nothing to do with us trying to gut the Choice Card or anything like that, it was about flexibility.” Flexibility for VA bureaucrats, not for ailing vets who need it. Removing the funding definitely will gut the program because the law says the Choice program expires whenever funding runs out.

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Campus Scenes

Divest UC of USA or Vice Versa?

By 2.16.15

The University of California Student Association has approved a resolution to direct UC regents to divest financially of the governments of Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and the United States. “UC students did not give consent to invest in governments engaged in violence against others,” proclaimed the Resolution Toward Socially Responsible Investment at the University of California, targeting the above countries for human rights violations. The motion — which passed with nine yes votes, one no vote, and five abstentions — faulted the U.S. government for conducting drone strikes abroad, as well as the nation’s high incarceration rate and deportation policies.

My suggestion to these students would be that if they truly want to cleanse themselves from dirty American tax dollars, then they should not go to a state university or accept any grubby federal student aid. But it seems the whole point of being a UC student activist is to abandon all thought of regulating one’s own behavior in furtherance of telling everyone else how they should live.

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Eminentoes

Episcopagans

By 2.16.15

On December 27, 2014, at 2:30 in the afternoon in suburban Baltimore, the inebriated Episcopal Bishop Heather E. Cook’s Suburu struck and killed a much loved 41-year-old married father of two, cyclist Thomas Palermo, shattering her front windshield. She drove away, a hit and run, returning about 30 minutes later.

Arrested and charged with driving under the influence, causing an accident due to texting while driving, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, she was later released on $2.5 million bail. Now a grand jury has issued an indictment including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Cook, 58, registered a shocking .22 breathalyzer reading shortly after the fatal collision, close to the .27 reading she registered in a 2010 arrest that Episcopalian leaders failed to reveal to the delegates who elected her last September to the high-ranking position.

Bishop Heather — in today’s Episcopal Church many bishops prefer the first-name address — and her enablers create a fascinating tableau of the sketchy contempo Episcopagans.

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A Bigger Perspective

Celebrating George Washington’s Entrepreneurship

By 2.16.15

This month, America celebrates the birthday of one of the country’s earliest business innovators and large-scale entrepreneurs.

During a time period of America’s existence as a British colony and then a young nation—when communication and transportation faced challenges, to put it mildly—this businessman built an enterprise with international reach. He opened a mill that ground 278,000 pounds of branded flour annually that was shipped throughout America and, unusual during colonial times, exported to Europe. And in the 1790s, late in his life, he built one of the new nation’s largest whiskey distilleries.

Don’t think you’ve heard of this early titan of industry? Well, you might know him from some of his political and military achievements. As commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, he led the nascent American nation to a hard-fought victory for independence. Then, a few years later, he became the new nation’s first president.

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Amelia’s Kitchen

RECIPE: Scott Walker Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

By 2.16.15

Scott Walker has emerged as a popular contender for the GOP nominee in 2016. As governor of Wisconsin, he tamed the public employee unions, handily beating a recall to top off his victory. He has experience in the hot seat and knows how to get things done. Is this Wisconsinite the man for the top job? 

He’s hearty Midwestern fare, that’s for sure. Just like today’s recipe:

SCOTT WALKER WISCONSIN BEER CHEESE SOUP

What You’ll Need:

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The Obama Watch

You Lie!

By 2.13.15

To vouch for the president’s ethics, his chief political lieutenant touts a lie the president told to the American people for years about his position on gay marriage. His ends-justify-the-means mendacity on one of the most divisive issues of our times somehow makes him a more moral man. Beam me up, Scotty!

David Axelrod writes in his new book Believer, “Obama never felt comfortable with his compromise and, no doubt, compromised position. He routinely stumbled over the question when it came up in debates or interviews, ‘I’m just not very good at bulls——-,’ he said with a sigh after one such awkward exchange.”

The president was for gay marriage before he was against it before he was for it. Yet, he insists in the aftermath of Axelrod’s publicity tour that he never fibbed. To quote Congressman Joe Wilson, “You lie!”

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Spectator's Journal

Tyrrell Opens the Bartley Gala of 2015

By 2.13.15

Does anyone remember that classic of left-wing thought written back in 2009, The Death of Conservatism? This extended exercise in sophistry was written by Sam Tanenhaus, and naturally it was celebrated by all the mainstream media’s walking dead: the walking dead at the money-losing New York Times, the walking dead at the money-losing Washington Post, the cadavers at the major networks, led by NBC News and its drop-dead beautiful star, Brian Williams, whose mythical helicopter crash-landed just last week. Tanenhaus’s book actually came out just months before a disconcerting event took place. That disconcerting event would be the off-year elections of 2010. You will recall that the 2010 elections were what we now call a wave election in which conservatives sprang from their sepulchers and swept in the conservative House of Representatives and 29 governorships, and many state legislatures.

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Campus Scenes

Let’s Give Our Empty Pocket College Kids a Fighting Chance

By 2.13.15

What kind of a country have we become where a college graduate with empty pockets starts their working life burdened with a debt that will take them decades to pay off? If there was ever a reason to defrock politicians, it is for their inherent inability to remove the needless barrier of debt that impedes the best and the brightest, the most ambitious and creative among the lesser financially endowed.

I am viscerally offended by the fact that today’s students are stuck paying huge debts incurred getting a college degree and I keep wondering if my experience six decades ago is relevant to what college graduates have to look forward to in today’s world.

My College Days: A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Although I graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, which is one of the elite high schools in New York, my marks were not exactly stellar. I was rejected by most colleges until thankfully being admitted to New York University’s uptown campus when it was on University Avenue in the Bronx.

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