Zero-tolerance policies continue to make zero sense. David Duren-Sanner, a senior at Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tennessee, has been suspended for the crime of unknowingly transporting a fishing knife onto school grounds. Duren-Sanner's father is a commercial fisherman who uses the knife for work and had accidentally left it in his car before his son drove it to school. The knife was found when Duren-Sanner's car was randomly selected during a search at school.
On Thursday, Duren-Sanner, a senior at Northeast High School drove his father's car to school. During a random lockdown, his car was chosen to be searched.
Duren-Sanner gave permission because he said he had nothing to hide.
His father is a commercial fisherman on the West Coast and had apparently left a fishing knife in the car. Duren-Sanner's father said it might have been wedged between one of the seats.
Duren-Sanner said he told school officials and the Sheriff's department the car was his father's and he didn't know the knife was in it.
"He's like 'it doesn't matter it was in your possession anyway,'" Duren-Sanner said.
Duren-Sanner has been suspended for ten days and will be moved to an "alternative" school for three months.
This is ridiculous. Duren-Sanner isn't a criminal. He didn't bring the knife into school and there's no evidence he was actually going to do anything illegal with the knife. The school overreacted in this case. People make mistakes—and this was definitely one of those instances. Giving Duren-Sanner the same punishment as someone who actually carried out an attack on a teacher or student is absolutely absurd.
Common sense apparently isn't so common in Clarksville.
By now you've heard about the FCC "study" that would have put government bureaucrats into newsrooms all over the country in order to monitor how news is gathered. Luckily, that study was killed thanks to the work of conservative media and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who exposed and spoke out against it.
Now, a new Rasmussen Report shows an overwhelming majority of Americans do not believe it is the government's job to monitor news content.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it is not the government’s role to monitor the content of news organizations in this country, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 18% think it is the government’s job to monitor news content. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.
It's good news a big majority believes the government should stay out of the news gathering process, but it's also very scary that 18 percent think news monitoring is the government's job and that 11 percent "aren't sure."
You all remember this guy? O'Reilly's Jesse Watters has a one-on-one with this modern-day Jeff Spicoli:
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is an extremely busy woman -- far too busy, in fact, to offer a coherent answer to a relevant question about her role in passing Obamacare. She voted for the law in 2009 and 2010, then joined all of her Democratic colleagues to defeat a Republican attempt to revise its grandfathering guidelines in such a away that would have preserved the president's since-obliterated "keep your plan" pledge. At a press event yesterday, reporters wanted to know why Sen. Hagan has feigned shock and outrage over millions of Americans losing their preferred plans. Why did she vote against a plan to preserve the promise? When did she "discover" that "keep your plan" was a fiction? Hagan wasn't interested in answering those questions:
Like President Barack Obama, Hagan said the Affordable Care Act would allow North Carolinians to keep their existing insurance plans if they liked them. The pledge proved false – and earned Obama PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year honors. But the details about what Hagan knew about the law’s limits and when she learned it remains unclear. Asked about it again Monday at a press conference in Raleigh, after she made her re-election bid official at the State Board of Elections, Hagan avoided the question. Pressed on the question two more times as reporters followed her outside to the parking lot, Hagan did not answer. She offered this explanation without further details: “it wasn’t clear that insurance companies were selling substandard policies.” Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurer, responded by saying Hagan’s comments “are simply not true and she should know better.”
Of course she knows better. She was warned of this precise outcome years ago, but voted with Harry Reid and Barack Obama anyway, like a loyal liberal soldier. She wasn't the least bit concerned about people losing their preferred coverage at the time. Her hollow expressions of concern today are about one thing: Self-preservation. When Hagan ran for her current office six years ago, she slammed her Republican opponent for voting with President Bush 92 percent of the time. That degree of unbending partisanship, she said, "doesn't work" in North Carolina. Hagan has proceeded to vote with President Obama 96 percent of the time. Hagan would prefer not to discuss any of these inconvenient subjects. She's dodged interviews on Obamacare, and literally ran away from reporters' questions yesterday. One local media personality dubbed the performance "the worst-planned presser in political history." But that honor may go to Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). Oops:
Yes, the incumbent Democrat accidentally steered voters to his GOP opponent's website. Pryor was attempting to showcase Republican Tom Cotton's "dangerous" record on Medicare, or whatever. Cotton has supported Paul Ryan's bipartisan plan to save the program from impending insolvency, whereas Mark Pryor has supported Democrats' alternative -- namely, offering no ideas and lying about others' reform solutions. The trouble Pryor and his colleagues will run into, however, is that they are the ones who voted for massive cuts to Medicare. Why? To (partially) pay for a brand new, deeply unpopular entitlement program: Obamacare. Democrats then tried to double-count these Medicare cuts as both funding the new law and shoring up the old one, but the same dollar can't be spent twice. When Republicans raised these truths in 2012, liberals brayed that Obamacare's Medicare cuts wouldn't impact seniors, which simply wasn't accurate. It's even less accurate today, as the Obama administration has proposed deeper than anticipated cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage program:
“The final cut may be bigger, as the proposed rate doesn’t take into account adjustments required by the Affordable Care Act,” Michael Manns, a Bloomberg Industries analyst, said in a telephone interview. About 15.9 million people, or about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, are enrolled in Advantage plans this year, according to February data from the government. Next year may mark a turning point: Medicare’s actuaries estimate that enrollment will decline for the first time since 2004 because payment cuts will cause plans to drop out or reduce benefits.
Must be a slow news day over at the Huffington Post , they are really reaching for stories now. Recently emails from the Scott Walker camp have come under fire as potentially showing questionable campaigning practices. Even though those inquiries have been dropped and there is no story there, apparently the Huffington Post doesn’t want to give up on it. And not only are they trying to continue this story, they are trying to drag something extremely insignificant out of the shadows.
The online “news” source is glorifying the actions of a Democratic super PAC that is trying to bring down the Governor of Wisconsin. The president of the PAC said,
“There is a pattern in Scott Walker's career where he gets caught knowing about illegal activity and then tries to blame it on others. Walker needs to stop ignoring legitimate questions from the Wisconsin and national press and explain what he knew and when about the illegal activities happening in the County Executive Office literally only feet away from his desk.”
The author over at the Huffington Post writes that back in 1988(!) Scott Walker ran for president of the student government at Marquette University. In a contentious fight for the office Walker started campaigning on January 24, when he was supposed to wait until February 3rd. How preposterous!
And what was this “campaigning” he did? He simply told a fraternity that he planned on running for the office in a few weeks! So announcing your intentions to run counts as campaigning?!
Mind you, Walker didn’t even win this election!
Walker dropped out of Marquette before graduating and Democrats tried to convince people it was because of the campaign shenanigans. The university denied those claims. So basically there is no story here.
The Huffington Post actually, legitimately asked the Walker campaign for comment, too! But they didn’t hear back…So obviously they think he’s admitting guilt; even though this is one of the most preposterous probes I have ever heard of.
Who knew that what we did as 20 year olds running for class president would come back to (potentially) hurt our political ambitions. Especially when the situation is questionable in the first place! It must be hard working over at the Huffington Post when there is nothing to write about!
Remember this? When NBC's David Gregory brandished and waved around a 30-round magazine on Meet the Press during an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre about gun control? The incident occurred inside the District of Columbia where magazines with a capacity of more than 10-rounds, and even fake magazines, are illegal. Not only did he violate D.C. gun laws, but according to D.C. police, he knowingly violated the law after being denied the use of the illegal magazine on the show. A review of the law:
No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Regardless a well connected, pro-gun control Gregory escaped without charges for illegal possession of the magazine, which would land a regular person in jail for up to a year with a $1000 fine. After D.C. police completed their investigation into the incident, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier turned the case over to the D.C. Office of the Attorney General [OAG], headed by Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan, to determine whether prosecution would be appropriate. The ruling from the OAG on Gregory's prosecution? No charges, no trial, no jail time and no fines.
Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and circumstances of this matter, as it does in every case involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23, 2012 broadcast.
Now the same Attorney General, Irvin B. Nathan, who failed to bring charges against Gregory, is doing everything he can to make the life of D.C. business and family man Mark Witaschek (who, like Gregory, doesn't have a criminal record) a living hell. Why? Cops in full SWAT gear raided Witaschek's Georgetown home on July 7, 2012 looking for "firearms and ammunition … gun cleaning equipment, holsters, bullet holders and ammunition receipts." Police found a single empty shotgun shell and muzzleloader sabots (lead balls), no guns. Witaschek is facing jail time as a result of those finds and prosecutors are arguing Witaschek was in illegal possession of "ammunition" even though neither the empty shotgun shell casing or the sabots can be fired without other components. Emily Miller explains:
The District of Columbia has finished presenting its case on why Mark Witaschek is a danger to society for possessing a single shotgun shell and muzzleloader sabots in his home. This outrageous legal battle shows how far unelected, anti-gun liberals will go to attempt to destroy a man’s life.
When Attorney General Irvin Nathan’s prosecutors rested on Tuesday, they established simply that Mr. Witaschek did not have a registered gun in the city, so he violated the firearms laws by having ammunition.
Mr. Witaschek has never denied these charges, but has said that he didn’t know that inoperable ammunition was illegal. He also insists that his constitutional rights have been violated.
“The police and attorney general obviously have infringed upon my Second Amendment right to keep arms, or ammunition, or even the muzzleloaders borne by our Founding Fathers,” the father of three told me. “And they trampled on almost every other amendment to the Bill of Rights not only for me, but my entire family.”
Right before the trial began, Mr. Nathan’s office dropped the charge from possession of unregistered ammunition to attempted possession.
It’s unclear how Mr. Witaschek could attempt to possess something that was in his home, but the facts aren’t the reason for the shift. The lesser charge carries a penalty of six months in jail, which means Mr. Witaschek was not eligible for the jury trial he wanted.
Judge Robert Morin has listened almost impassively as the government put police officers on the stand to explain how they raided the business man’s house twice looking for guns. Mr. Witaschek is a gun owner and hunter, but has always kept his firearms at his sister’s home in Virginia.
Miller pressed OAG spokesman Ted Gest about the clear double standard and difference in prosecution for Gregory and Witaschek. Gest told her, "Mr. Nathan and our prosecutors believe this is in the interest of public safety" while attempting to smear Witaschek with an allegation of domestic violence that has never been investigated or proven by police. “Accusations that are unproven in court factor into prosecution decisions," Gest told her.
Equal treatment under the law? Not in Washington D.C.
Witaschek's trial resumes in March when the defense will make its case.
The top trending story on Cosmo magazine’s “The Hot List” isn’t about the latest pair of shoes, the trendiest scarves or even the latest celebrity scandal. It’s about pro-life activists and their harmful effect on young women.
Last week, Cosmo published the ever-misleading, “6 Women on Their Terrifying, Infuriating Encounters With Abortion Clinic Protesters.” The article provides a quick background on the controversial “buffer zone” law in place in Massachusetts, which prevents pro-life activists from coming within 35 feet of abortion clinic entrances as they try to counsel young women arriving for abortions. The piece then lists six women’s “horror stories” about encountering these menacing pro-lifers.
For instance, there’s Brittany from Colorado, who says anti-abortion activists threw doll parts at her as she arrived for her abortion appointment. Or Bre from Maine, who witnessed “grotesque decoupage collage signs of mutilated fetuses.” Another young woman, Heather, from Arizona, made this observation after being disturbed by similar images:
“If they wanted to make an impact, why not just talk to women about what they are actually going through? Holding up signs of dead babies is not going to get your point across.”
The thing is, they do talk to these young women about their situations. I’ve been to a sidewalk counseling training session and the first thing they teach you is to make sure you relate to the distressed young woman, don’t judge her and try to encourage her to see she is strong enough to give her baby life. It’s unfortunate these young women featured in the article experienced such treatment as they say they did from pro-life activists, and unfortunate still that these are the six stories Cosmo chose to share with their readers.
I’ve met several pro-life sidewalk counselors before and have witnessed them in action. I can tell you, their tactics couldn’t be more harmless. They smile, ask young women politely if they can talk to them about their baby, and hand them a pamphlet or two. As for signs, the majority I’ve seen are inked with positive messages such as, “Smile! Your Mom Chose Life.” In fact, the only threatening behavior I’ve seen has come from the other side. The activists have been cursed at, pushed or worse, facing threats on a daily basis just for exercising their free speech. The most important thing to keep in mind is these activists’ ultimate and worthy goal: to save babies. I wonder if Cosmo will run a follow-up story on that?
I guess it’s no surprise the publication would run such a biased, pro-abortion feature considering the editor-in-chief is chummy with Planned Parenthood and has called her circular a “deeply feminist” magazine. What a shame Cosmo is leading girls to believe that demonizing pro-life sidewalk counselors is in style.
A tectonic shift since the heady days of Hopenchange, and a direct reversal of last year's numbers:
Why the dramatic drop? Part of it is the president's general unpopularity, which is infecting any number of poll results about his policies and standing. A December survey from Pew Research showed Obama hitting new lows on foreign policy questions, with a majority describing his international posture as "not tough enough." The public's attention may be heavily focused on the economy and healthcare at this point in history, but there appears to be a growing sense that among this administration myriad failures is a conspicuous whiff on Obama's pledge to "restore America's standing" in the eyes of the world. I discussed this poll on Fox News last evening:
As was mentioned, I don't necessarily equate concerns over perceived weakness with an expanded appetite for military intervention. The public was extremely cold on strikes against Syria and holds a more negative view of America's "good war" than ever before. But that doesn't mean Americans will tolerate international humiliations or foreign policy incoherence. Does anybody believe that America has enhanced its ability to pursue and advance our national interests abroad during this presidency? The administration's most high-profile gambits in the international arena have ended in utter failure. The Russian "reset" began with a foolish gaffe, and deteriorated from there. Obama's Libya intervention, done "from behind" and without Congress' consent helped uproot a madman's regime, but left madness in its wake. Our position on the ground in the post-Gaddafi failed state was so weak that we couldn't protect our own people, which invited a disastrous outcome. The administration looked vacillating and powerless throughout Egypt's turbulent upheaval.
In Syria, the president drew a red line on chemical weapons, then seemed paralyzed when it was flagrantly crossed. He was going to authorize a strike, but wouldn't Congressional permission. Then he wanted Congress on board, until it became clear that the votes weren't there. He wanted to arm the "moderate" rebels, but that plan fell to pieces. Cornered, he eventually agreed to a disarmament "deal" birthed by a John Kerry mistake, and seized upon by Putin and Assad. The Syrian regime has failed to live up to its end of the bargain, leading the accidental author of this "compromise" to concede that it isn't working. The carnage continues in Syria, with no acceptable WMD resolution in sight. And with all of that as a backdrop, Obama is also chasing a grand bargain with the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran -- arguably the least trustworthy potential "peace partner" on planet earth. (Also recall that Syria is Iran's top ally in the region). The president is doing so without Congressional threats of stepped-up sanctions strengthening his negotiating hand, upsetting many within his own party. Obama's initial play vis-a-vis Iran was so insufficient that even the French balked at it. Meanwhile, our "peace partners" are publicly contradicting the administration's assurances about the deal's contents (which remain secret), boasting that they haven't agreed to dismantle even one solitary element of their illegal nuclear program. Foreign leaders, historically friendly and hostile alike, are watching and taking note all the while -- which helps explain how Americans have drawn their conclusions regarding global perceptions of our current leadership.
A new report shows at least 11 million small business workers and their employers will see their health insurance costs skyrocket thanks to Obamacare. More from the Washington Post:
Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has spearheaded the implementation of the law, has acknowledged that new rules requiring insurers to offer guaranteed coverage and renewal options to small employers will likely drive up the price of insurance for some companies. So will rules banning insurance companies from varying their rates based on factors like a company’s industry or the age of its employees.
“We are estimating that 65 percent of the small firms are expected to experience increases in their premium rates while the remaining 35 percent are anticipated to have rate reductions,” CMS’ Office of the Actuary wrote in a new report. Conversely, “the effect on large employers is expected to be negligible,” because most large companies run their health insurance programs in house.
In case it's getting difficult to keep track, here's a reminder of what Obamacare has done so far:
-Stripped millions of their previous health insurance plans they were promised they could keep
-Stripped millions of the doctors they were promised they could keep
-Stripped cancer patients of insurance and life saving treatments
-Increased healthcare premiums of millions of Americans
-Has expanded the welfare state
-Will kill at least 2.5 million jobs according to the Congressional Budget Office
-Has stifled innovation in the medical device industry thanks to the medical device tax
-Has stifled the economy, job growth and economic growth as a whole due to uncertainty
Remember when the President told small businesses that ObamaCare will "make your coverage more stable and more secure"? Just add it to the list of broken promises about the "benefits" of ObamaCare.
In fact, a new CMS report finds that "65% of small firms are expected to experience increases in their premium rates" -- that's right, almost two-thirds of small businesses will confront premium hikes as a result of ObamaCare.
The reason? Small businesses -- which often employ healthier, younger workers -- had been paying lower-than-normal rates. Since ObamaCare prohibits insurance companies from taking such facts into consideration, their rates are going to rise . . . for new purchasers, by as much as 20%.
In an era when the share of unemployed 25-32 year-olds -- with college educations -- is greater than any other generation of the 20th century at the same age, it is perverse and wrong-headed to make it more expensive for firms to offer these young people a gateway into employment and self-sufficiency. But intentionally or not, that is just what ObamaCare is effectively doing.
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Which Nations Maintain the Rule of Law Best of All? | Daniel J. Mitchell