Christine Rousselle - Woman Arrested for Throwing a Molotov Cocktail at a Pro-Life Prayer Group
Posted: 3/25/2015 2:00:00 PM EST

A woman in Austin, Texas has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault after throwing a "Molotov cocktail-type device" at a group of pro-lifers holding a prayer vigil outside of a Planned Parenthood. The flame in the bottle was stamped out before the wick could ignite the fuel inside, preventing the device from exploding.

From KVUE:

Police said 52-year-old Melanie Maria Toney threw the object out the passenger side window of her car where two anti-abortion protesters standing outside of the clinic at 201 East Ben White Boulevard around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

One of the protesters, Ruth Allwein, said she was praying in the grassy area as a volunteer with Texas Alliance for Life when she saw Toney throw the bottle.

"It looked like some sort of bottle, and it had an ignited wick in it, so my first instinct was backing away," said Allwein.

First and foremost, thank goodness nobody was hurt and it's incredible that someone had the presence of mind to extinguish the device before it exploded. Secondly, it goes without saying that there are appropriate ways to discuss the legality of abortion...and this was definitely not one of them. Tossing Molotov cocktails does not promote any kind of productive dialogue.

Vivian Hughbanks  - Seven Pro-Lifers Arrested While Praying Outside of Speaker Boehner's Office
Posted: 3/25/2015 1:45:00 PM EST

Seven pro-life activists were arrested just before noon today while praying peacefully outside of the office of Speaker John Boehener (R-OH).

Wearing shirts reading “pre-born babies feel pain,” the protesters – including Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, President of Operation Rescue Troy Newman, and former nurse Jill Stanek – conducted the demonstration to bring attention to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

“The pro-life movement needs to instill a sense of urgency in the fact that this bill must be passed,” Newman said, before the demonstration. “We're here to sacrifice just a little bit of freedom, stand in solidarity with these children, and to help Speaker Boehner grow a spine.”

The demonstration was held to put pressure on House Republicans to pass the bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks -- the time an unborn child can feel pain. Mahoney described the behavior of the House GOP as a betrayal of the support of the pro-life community.

“The pro-life community in the midterm elections spent hours manning phones, walked hundreds of miles passing out literature, donated millions of dollars to candidates to give Speaker Boehner the historic majority he has in the House today,” Mahoney said. “And for all that incredible hard work, we were promised on January 22 that a vote would be held banning abortions after 20 weeks. On the eve of the Roe v. Wade memorial, that vote was shelved."

“We were told yesterday that this is the most pro-life Congress that has ever been installed,” Newman added. “And yet a ban on late-term abortions – which the vast majority of Americans believe should be passed immediately – has languished in the House.”

After making statements to the gaggle of press that gathered, the seven knelt and prayed the Lord's Prayer. Capitol Police kept a watchful eye on the group from just down the hall.

“It should be very peaceful on our part – very quiet, very peaceful,” Mahoney's wife, Katie, said before the event. “They know we're coming. We met with Boehner's office last week.”

Whilst Newman prayed a psalm, an officer approached with a loudspeaker warning that the group was engaging in illegal activity and if they did not leave the area they would be arrested.

“We pray for the day that all abortions end within America,” Mahoney prayed. “We pray for the day that everyone is treated with dignity and justice and humanity.”

Police established a perimeter and put the seven in zip tie handcuffs before leading them away.

“This house refuses to pass a bill that would save innocent human lives,” Newman called down the hall while being arrested.

“We may forfeit just a little bit of our freedom, but that is nothing compared with 1,200 to 2,000 babies that die every single day here in America,” Newman said.

Matt Vespa - Friendly Reminder: There Was No Inspector General At State When Hillary Was There
Posted: 3/25/2015 1:30:00 PM EST

Recently, the State Department’s Inspector General issued a report that its employees weren’t following federal guidelines regarding the preservation of emails. It wasn’t deliberate, most employees don’t have a lot of clarity regarding what should be saved for the public record and what should not. Yet, the gap is massive. In 2011, 1 billion State Department emails were sent, but less than 62,000 were saved. How did the Inspector General miss the Hillary email trainwreck? Well, as Bloomberg reported, the State Department didn’t have one when she served as Secretary of State.

Moreover, this incident has government accountability groups somewhat hopeful as it raises the issue concerning Inspector General vacancies in government. Then again, not every Inspector General is of a good character:

For five years, including all of Clinton’s time as secretary, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General never had a confirmed inspector. Instead, it was lead by acting inspector Harold W. Geisel, a former ambassador who was accused of being too cozy to agency leadership by transparency groups like the Project on Government Oversight. Throughout the first half of President Obama’s first term, the absence of a State Department Inspector General while internal scandals and Benghazi rocked the department drew bipartisan criticism.

“For no one to raise concerns, it’s almost impossible to believe,” said Danielle Brian, the executive director for POGO.

For years POGO has been highlighting “the frequency and the longevity of vacancies in Inspectors General offices,” as Brian put it. She added that while it was ironic that the Clinton story broke so close to last week's Sunshine Week—a time for open government advocates to raise awareness of transparency issues—it was also an opportunity to highlight the importance of why open government issues like Inspectors General vacancies.

The Inspector General Act of 1978 established independent watchdog offices for every major federal agency, led by an official nominated either by the president or the agency. There are currently 11 inspector general positions open—either because President Obama or the agency have yet to nominate anyone, or because a presidential nominee has yet to be confirmed by Congress.

Some positions have gone without nominees for years—according to a database maintained by POGO, the Department of Interior hasn’t has a permanent inspector, or presidential nominee, since early 2009; the Agency for International Development’s OIG hasn’t had a leader or presidential nominee since 2011. The National Archives and Records Administration hasn’t had an inspector since September 2012, when Inspector General Paul Brachfield was put on administrative leave while being investigated for racial and sexual comments.

The State Department’s permanent inspectors haven’t been above reproach—in 2007 then-IG Howard J. Krongard resigned over allegations that he’d impeded investigations into Blackwater and corruption in Iraq—but the work of vetted and confirmed officials carry more weight.

Even with an interim IG, as Ed wrote over at Hot Air two years ago, several of the investigations from Geisel’s office were being “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off.” In some cases, members of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Security Service detail engaged in soliciting prostitutes while on official trips, according the CBS News. Another incident involved an underground drug ring near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that provided members of the security detail there with narcotics.

Obviously, with a proper IG in place, the private email address would’ve come up.  Also, the fact that she never submitted several donations for her foundation for review might have been picked up as well. Bill Clinton and President Obama had an agreement that the Clinton Foundation would not accept any new donations from most governments while she was Secretary of State, and that any new, or increased, donations would be subject to State Department review. Of course, that didn't really happen, and Clinton has failed to disclose the foundation's donors since 2010, despite a 2008 promise to do so on an annual basis.

Yet, the Obama White House knew that House Republicans uncovered Clinton’s private email address last August, and admitted to corresponding with her using that address. A nugget that some folks in both camps probably wanted to bury at the time since it only adds to the negative narratives that surround the Clintons.  Again, having such vacancies for positions that ensure accountability and transparency for this length of time at State–and theory agencies–isn't indicative of an administration that takes either of these issues seriously. 

Wait; who am I kidding with that statement? 

Daniel Doherty - VIDEO: Cruz Defends His Candidacy For President on 'The Kelly File'
Posted: 3/25/2015 12:45:00 PM EST

Perhaps the most biting criticism of then-Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign was his lack of executive and managerial experience. Nevertheless, he easily won that election and subsequently went on to win re-election four years later. Questions about his resume and past friendships were largely brushed aside, in part, because of the enthusiasm and support his candidacy generated. And yet, given the many failures of the current administration, real and perceived, party elders are already issuing dire warnings to Republican voters heading into 2016: Let’s not make the same mistake Democrats did in 2008.

Speaking of which, Cruz appeared in-studio on The Kelly File Tuesday night to defend his decision to run for president as a one-term Senator. Addressing the flurry of attacks directed at him personally and professionally, he had a couple of good one-liners, including this one:

“There’s nothing like the warm embrace of the mainstream media.”

Cruz assured his audience that there were “marked differences” between himself and the president of the United States. He explained that while President Obama was a “backbencher” during his years in the upper chamber, he himself had been a vocal and active participant "in the arena." He had stopped bad legislation from becoming law and passed good legislation—sometimes with almost universal support. He also reminded Kelly that he had previously served as the Solicitor General of Texas for nearly six years before running for the office he currently holds. He did not mention explicitly, however, the treasure-trove of awards he received or the impact he had as Texas' top lawyer.

Interestingly, Kevin Williamson points out that the exact same things critics are saying about him today are the exact same things they said about Ronald Reagan before the 1980 campaign. Bear that in mind. Cruz, meanwhile, is articulate and deeply accomplished—and apparently raised over $1 million in less than 24 hours after announcing his bid. And while the GOP field will indeed be crowded in 2016, few candidates can electrify and rouse the conservative base like Ted Cruz.

This is an asset, my friends—not a liability—as the last two Republican presidential nominees, unfortunately, know all too well.

Conn Carroll - Obama's Iran Deal Probably Won't Be In Writing
Posted: 3/25/2015 12:00:00 PM EST

One might hope that a President of the United States would at least get a written agreement from the leader of a country that chants "Death to America" on any nuclear deal. But President Obama is not just any President of the United States. And his quest for a second term legacy accomplishment may just force America into a handshake agreement on Iran's nuclear weapons program.

The New York Times reports:

If an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capability is reached by deadline in the next seven days, one thing may be missing: an actual written accord, signed by the Iranians.

Over the past few weeks, Iran has increasingly resisted any kind of formal “framework” agreement at this stage in the negotiations, preferring a more general statement of “understanding” followed by a final accord in June, according to Western diplomats involved in the talks.

For anyone who has been following the negotiations between the Obama administration and the Ayatollah Khamenei regime, this minor "there will be no actual written agreement" detail should come as no surprise. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has been downplaying the supposed March "deadline" for months. His response to a question last Friday about what happens if there is no deal by the end of March was typical:

One thing I do want to clarify about one aspect of your question, though, is what we would anticipate at the end of this year is essentially -- or at the end of this month, pardon me -- at the end of this month, we would anticipate a political agreement. And what that means is it means some very specific commitments from the Iranians about their nuclear program and about how some of their nuclear facilities are run. It would also include very serious commitments by the Iranians to agree to a set of historically intrusive inspections. ... What, however, we’ll be required though is then for the technical experts to get together and to talk about how those political agreements are technically implemented. ... And so what we have said is that we would anticipate that those technical negotiations and discussions would also take a little bit of time too, but that we would anticipate that those kinds of technical conversations would be resolved by the end of June.

(emphasis added) So whatever the Obama administration announces in the coming days won't be a real written binding agreement at all. Instead, it will just be a "political" document for domestic consumption here in the United States. In fact, the NYT reports, the Khamenei regime doesn't even acknowledge that the March deadline exists:

A senior administration official who was in Lausanne for the talks last week told reporters there that the United States still hoped to agree on specific limits by the end of March that define the parameters of a more detailed, comprehensive agreement that is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

That is essentially what Mr. Kerry had envisioned last November — a two-step process that would demonstrate concrete progress to Congress and keep the process with the Iranians moving. At the time, the Iranian negotiators seemed on board.

But in early February, Ayatollah Khamenei, who has taken his own negotiators by surprise several times, said there would be only one agreement. That left the United States and its allies — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — in an uncomfortable place. What was the March deadline all about if it was no longer a deadline in the Ayatollah’s eyes?

What the March deadline is all about is giving Obama the opportunity to declare victory on "ending" Iran's nuclear before any actual deal is made. The liberal media can then all heap praise on Obama and accuse anyone who questions the deal of wanting war with Iran. Then by the time the actual agreement is signed in June, Obama's legacy will be far too tied up in its "success" for any Democrat, even Hillary Clinton, to oppose it. 

Guy Benson - Ugly: Journalist 'Debates' Conservatives on Obamacare, Things Escalate Quickly
Posted: 3/25/2015 11:35:00 AM EST

Ron Fournier is a columnist for National Journal and a cable news mainstay who served as the Associated Press' Washington bureau chief for years. In his new opinion-based role, he's worked to carve out a niche as a 'pox on both houses' purveyor of common sense, a detector of BS, a practitioner of intellectual honesty, and Chief of the Civility Police.  In that last capacity, Fournier expended much indignant energy denouncing Rudy Giuliani's acerbic commentary about President Obama's patriotism -- wrongly asserting that Obama would never say such nasty things about his political opponents.  Regardless of that particular blind spot, Fournier would likely tell you that he feels obligated to blow the whistle on ad hominem slanders hurled from either side of the aisle, because such tactics are unseemly and poisonous to our politics.  Falsely impugning motives isn't acceptable. He recently noted on Twitter that his antipathy runs especially deep for racially-tinged attacks:

Playing the race card is terrible, except when it's not. As Sen. Dick Durbin repeatedly invoked Jim Crow-era imagery to demonize GOP slow-walking of Obama's Attorney General nominee (a black woman) on legitimate ideological and tactical grounds, Fournier served up some "real talk."  Not for Durbin -- the obvious uncivil culprit -- but for Republicans:

Don't like being baselessly slimed as racists? Well, hurry up and do exactly what your cheap, bad-faith accusers demand. Pay that moral ransom, regardless of the principles and outcomes actually at stake, and the meanness will go away. For awhile, at least. The Civility Police have an uneven concept of justice, it seems. Or perhaps Fournier simply has a soft spot for vicious insults that reference segregation. This week, he was beating the drum about how Republicans are wrong in their ongoing efforts to oppose and repeal Obamacare. It's the law now, so everyone should just suck it up and help make it work, he intoned.  (Obamacare, I should add, is a law that Fournier himself has conceded was constructed upon a "foundation of lies"). Several conservatives immediately challenged him on this logic, noting that Fournier's "it's-the-law-so-deal-with-it-and-move-on" posture surely doesn't apply in all circumstances. Would Fournier have thrown up his hands and recommended that opponents of, say, the Fugitive Slave Act abandon their convictions? Fournier didn't take kindly to such questions, berating his inquisitors for "comparing" Obamacare to an issue like slavery. That's not what they were doing, of course. They were proving the point that not all laws must be automatically accepted and embraced once they've been passed. Obamacare happens to be a law that has never enjoyed the consent of the governed, has violated almost every core pledge made in its marketing campaign, and that continues to harm far more people than it's helped.  When Sean Davis, a writer for The Federalist, jumped into the discussion with a provocatively-worded rebuttal, an exasperated Fournier went straight for the jugular:

Shut up, he explained.  Lacking an argument, Mr. Civility went with, "oh yeah, well don't talk to me about segregation, since that's your thing."  Appalling, but revealing.  In one fell swoop, Fournier effectively walks away from the substantive debate, shamelessly going the racial route as a last-ditch means of bullying his critics into silence.  (This is exactly the sort of thing Mary Katharine Ham and I write about in End of Discussion, available for pre-order here).  In executing his low class surrender, he also demonstrates how he -- and no doubt many of his mainstream media colleagues -- view conservatives. The self-appointed referees of politics will never call a truly fair game because they see one of the teams as populated by bad, anti-women, racist people.  Davis, a thirty-something conservative who was born long after this country's worst racial days, has never breathed a word remotely in support of the rank immorality of racial segregation.  But because he's on the Right, and segregation is (note the present tense) the Right's "gig" (never mind the Democrats' sordid racial history), clubbing Davis with this conversation-ending slander was apparently fair game in Fournier's mind.

In fairness, everyone is susceptible to lashing out in anger or frustration occasionally, and Twitter is a venue that sometimes invites rhetorical excess. But even after having some time to reflect on the implications of what he'd said, Fournier adamantly refused to apologize.  The Civility Police Chief decided that his casual segregation smear was justified.  Lest you think I'm overblowing a single tweet, Mollie Hemingway reminds us that Fournier isn't a stranger to indulging in race card politics.  Though he wouldn't condemn Dick Durbin's overt racial demagoguery (and in fact counseled Republicans to capitulate to it), he's invented "problematic" racial angles to GOP stances on other issues -- including their…citation of  nonpartisan CBO data regarding Obamacare's negative impact on the labor force.  That smacked of racism to Fournier; Durbin's explicit antics received a quasi-endorsement.  One can't help but wonder how these sorts of underlying attitudes may have colored the Associated Press' coverage of Washington when Fournier was at the helm.  How many others in the establishment media share his deep-seated bias and ugly assumptions about what guides and animates conservatives?

I don't know Ron Fournier, but I have grown to respect him.  He is sometimes willing to buck conventional wisdom and take Democrats to task in ways that many other center-Left writers won't touch.  See, for instance, his tough takes on Hillary Clinton's conduct.  But earning and sustaining credibility across the spectrum doesn't just entail knocking both sides from time to time.  It involves respecting people's worldviews enough not to assume the worst about them.  If Ron Fournier has decided that racial animus is lurking around every corner on the Right, and is willing to nuke strangers with grotesquely unfair calumnies during public debates, I suppose that's his prerogative.  But he shouldn't expect his targets and their friends to continue taking him seriously, which is how I presume he'd prefer to be taken.  And he should permanently surrender his Civility Police badge.  One final note: Mr. Fournier, if you're reading this, I'd imagine you might be tempted to retreat into a comforting, "if both sides are upset, I must be doing something right" mentality.  That aphorism has some truth to it, and it may even apply to you sometimes.  Before you congratulate yourself and dismiss this post as just another criticism from an ideologue, however, please consider this specific critique's substance, even if you're inclined to disregard its source.

Katie Pavlich - Cornell Assistant Dean: Why Yes ISIS Is Welcome on Campus To Train Students "Like a Coach"
Posted: 3/25/2015 11:30:00 AM EST

In the latest investigation by Project Veritas, Assistant Dean of Student Activities Joseph Scaffido is shown approving a "humanitarian group" on campus that wants to sent care packages to ISIS freedom fighters in Iraq and Syria. 

"Programs like that really have a good place here at Cornell," Scaffido is shown saying.

Scaffido even goes so far as agreeing that bringing an ISIS fighter to campus to train and talk with students would be a great idea and that funding from the university would be available to do so. 

"It's just like bringing in a coach, to a do a training on a sports team or something," he said.

I'm going to give Scaffido the benefit of the doubt and assume he has no idea what ISIS is...I hope that's the case.

Meanwhile, college campuses around the country remain extremely hostile to conservative student groups and speakers on campus.

Cortney O'Brien - CNN's Sally Kohn Sets Up Bowling for Abortion Fundraiser
Posted: 3/25/2015 11:00:00 AM EST

CNN host Sally Kohn had an important PSA for her Twitter followers yesterday.

If you click on the link, you learn that Kohn is joining the National Abortion Access Bowl-A-Thon in an effort to raise money for abortions. The event is a nationwide series from the National Network of Abortion Funds that allows community members to raise money to help pay for abortions with their friendly neighborhood abortion funds (their words, not mine.) On her donation page (sick, right?), Kohn set a goal of $2000 and explained why she’s bowling for this “friendly” cause.

I'm bowling because I believe that everyone should have access to the abortions they need, regardless of how much money they have.

Because of unfair and unnecessary laws, safe and legal abortions can be out of reach of those who don't have the money to pay for them. I don't think that's right, so I'm doing something about it. I'm bowling to break down barriers to abortion access.

I'm lacing up my shoes and polishing my bowling ball to raise money for my local abortion fund, the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF).

You can help me hit my goal, and together, we can make an immediate difference with real impact.

Join me!

Tempting. Yet, instead of joining her, many social media users responded in disgust.

But, my hands down favorite had to be this message from The Blaze’s Dana Loesch, in which she used Kohn's pro-abortion promotion to donate to the National Right to Life organization.

Loesch’s tweet was much more popular, getting retweeted more than twice as many times as Kohn’s. I guess people would rather donate to save lives than to destroy them.

The NNAF Abortion Bowl-a-thon has been around for six years now, but this seems to be the first time such a high profile name has signed onto the campaign. In 2012, LifeNews explained how the event was little more than a fundraising scheme, encouraging participants to raise money as if it’s a worthwhile causes like walking to cure life threatening diseases.

Please "join" me in rejecting Kohn’s call for donations and cheering for her to strike out.

Katie Pavlich - Ted Cruz Complies With Federal Healthcare Law, Media Freaks Out
Posted: 3/25/2015 8:50:00 AM EST

Yesterday Texas Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced he was signing his family up for Obamacare. As required by law, he has to. Just like millions of other Americans, the choice is get insurance coverage or be fined for not having it. 

"We'll be getting new health insurance and we'll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we'll be on the federal exchange with millions of others," Cruz said in an interview with CNN Tuesday.

Cruz and his family currently have health insurance coverage through his wife’s employer, Goldman Sachs. Cruz's wife, Heidi, is a managing director at the company and will take a leave of absence to campaign for her husband, causing her family to lose their healthcare coverage, according to CNN.

Naturally because of Cruz' extensive work to repeal Obamacare during his time in the Senate, which included a 21-hour filibuster about the legislation, the media and its liberal think tank counterparts are freaking out and calling Cruz a hypocrite. 

It's "Mitt Romney put his dog on the top of the car, what a terrible person," all over again.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have broken federal records laws in an effort to evade transparency with the American people after doing all of her official business from a private email server and the press thinks it's hilarious.

Katie Pavlich - "Last Bastion of Free Speech" Invites Islamic Jihadist Who Doesn't Believe in Free Speech As Star Guest
Posted: 3/25/2015 8:15:00 AM EST

The Oxford Union, which touts itself as the "last bastion of free speech," has invited anti-free speech, shariah law loving, murder promoting Islamic jihadist Anjem Choudary as a "star guest." More from the Inquisitor

A notorious British Muslim hate preacher has been invited as the star guest by the Oxford Union, despite the fact he is openly anti-democracy and is a member of a banned terror group.

The preacher in question, Anjem Choudary, is well-known to the British authorities as a public Muslim leader, born in Britain, who openly espouses ISIS-type ideology, while influencing young British Muslims to engage in Jihad.

To make the Oxford Union, affiliated with the Oxford University, look even worse, the people who invited Choudary to speak, wrote him a letter informing him that it would be a “great privilege” to have him speak there.

Earlier this year when Islamic terrorists slaughtered the editors of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, Choudary justified the killings, said "people know the consequences" for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and argued free speech does not and should not exist. 

"Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people's desires," Choudary ironically wrote in a recent USA Today column.

In January, Oxford University Press encouraged authors not to reference pork or bacon in remarks in order to avoid offending Muslims. It was also Oxford that refused to give Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher an honorary degree.

When I was in England earlier this year, I was scheduled to speak at an event at the Oxford Union. When I arrived overseas, I was informed there was a "scheduling conflict" and the event didn't happen. 

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