Thursday, May 14, 2015
Good morning! In the news today: The Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia headed into a curve at twice the legal speed; the driver says in remembers nothing; Dems demand more money for Amtrak; Obama and his aides telling press how to do their job; trade bill back; electric grid takedown feared; and protests in Wisconsin.
Have a great day.
Train approached curve at twice legal speed . . . The Amtrak train that derailed here Tuesday night was traveling 106 mph, more than twice the authorized speed. The engineer applied the emergency brakes, but the action was too late. The train was still moving at 102 mph when it hit the curve about three seconds later and the engine and all seven cars derailed. Washington Post
Amtrak engineer doesn’t remember what happened . . . The engineer of the Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia “has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual” and “no explanation” for what caused the crash. Brandon Bostian, 32, of Queens, New York, was “very distraught” to learn that the crash killed at least seven people. ABC News
Technology that could have prevented derailment absent . . . Amtrak has installed the technology, known as positive train control, on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor. But the technology, designed to automatically slow or stop a train to prevent accidents, was not available on a critical stretch of track in Philadelphia where Train No. 188 derailed. New York Times
White House attacks GOP for trying to cut Amtrak . . . Just hours after an Amtrak derailment that killed seven people and injured dozens of others, the White House assailed Republicans for supporting legislation that would cut funding for Amtrak by $250 million. Washington Examiner
Don’t feed the Amtrak beast . . . Democrats responded immediately with a hand darting out to grab more taxpayer dollars. Without knowing the cause of the accident, they demanded a doubling of Amtrak’s budget. You almost have to admire the brazen opportunism — making such demands while the wreck was still smoldering and most of the victims’ identities had not been made public. Washington Examiner
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Obama administration telling press how to cover ISIS . . . Frustrated that coverage of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant isn’t reflecting reality on the ground, senior Obama administration officials are urging television networks to update their footage of the radical militant group. Senior State Department and Pentagon officials have begun contacting television network reporters to ask them to stop using “B-roll” — stock footage that appears on screen while reporters and commentators talk — showing ISIL at the peak of its strength last summer. Politico
Obama wants to “change how the media reports” . . . “We’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like, and how budgets connect to that. And that’s a hard process because that requires a much broader conversation than typically we have on the nightly news.” Fox News
Gosh, imagine if Bush had suggested the free press needs to change the way it operates? And of course, here with Obama, we have the complacent assumption that a more rigorous discussion of issues would lead to a conclusion that liberals are right.
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Defending Obama against the Sensitivity Police . . . I’m glad President Obama got a taste of the left’s own medicine after committing the putatively sexist crime of referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Conn., as “Elizabeth.” Now, the White House wants my help as much as it wants a chimpanzee to redecorate the Blue Room. But, hey, he’s used senators’ first names many, many times. White House Dossier
Michelle Obama’s lifetime of microaggressions . . . The first lady often strikes an aggrieved note when talking about her experience in America. Rich Lowry
Senators reach deal to revive Obama trade bill . . . Under the new agreement, senators will vote on two controversial bills favored by Democrats before moving to a wide-open debate on granting Obama fast-track authority to negotiate future trade deals. Republicans said Democrats shifted their stance after getting pummeled by the press. The Hill
Lawmakers demand tougher stance against China . . . Lawmakers want the United States to be more aggressive toward China’s creation of artificial islands to bolster its claim to much of the South China Sea before it sparks a war in the region. Countries in the region are alarmed by China’s reclamation of some 2,000 acres as part of what one U.S. admiral calls a “Great Wall of Sand” and its construction of an airstrip on a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands. Washington Examiner
Duncan: Gang leaders need jobs . . . Education Secretary Arne Duncan said on Tuesday that he has met with gang leaders in his hometown of Chicago and they’ve told him that it’s a lack of jobs that keeps them on the streets. CNS News
Experts warn U.S. to invest in grid defense . . . An attack on the United States’ unprotected grid could leave the nation without electricity for months or even years, experts are warning the government. Washington Examiner
Bill puts guns in hands of military spouses . . . Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would let military spouses buy handguns in the state where their husbands and wives are on permanent duty. Rigell said this change is needed after the Islamic State released a “hit list” of military targets, which puts military families at risk of attack. The Blaze
Military dog handlers want their partners back . . . Military dog handlers are pushing legislators to change a law that has kept many of them from being reunited with their canines after serving alongside them overseas. Washington Free Beacon
Jeb accidentally throws hat into ring . . . What? No grand splash at Liberty University? Jeb Bush today accidentally told a Nevada TV station that he is running for president. Technically, he’s still just a nice private citizen exploring the possibility. White House Dossier
Liberal pundit calls for FBI to probe Hillary . . . The liberal but nevertheless intellectually non-comatose radio talk show host Alan Colmes Wednesday called for an FBI investigation into the potential conflicts of interests resulting from foreign donations to the Clinton charitable fund and Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State. White House Dossier
“Clinton Cash” book debuts at #2 on NYT’s bestseller list.
Chris Christie will never be president . . . Where he once bounced on a springboard of his early blue-state successes, he is now mired in Jersey bogs of his own making. And who is there to help? No one. Why would they? Where was Mr. Christie when his then-allies needed him? In his home state; on the Hill with the speaker’s crew; across the GOP’s elite; or with conservatives of every stripe, the governor wasn’t even absent — he was their antagonist. Christopher Bedford
Bolton: Iraq war was a good idea . . . John Bolton, who will announce today if he will run for preisdent, stands by the decision made by his old boss, George W. Bush, to invade Iraq and topple dictator Saddam Hussein. Bolton said his opinion wasn’t altered by the post-war discovery that Hussein’s regime did not possess weapons of mass destruction. Washington Examiner
Rubio outlines tough-minded foreign policy . . . In his first major foreign policy speech since launching his presidential campaign, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said if elected, he would prioritize a strong military, take aggressive steps to fight nations that undermine global commerce and ensure that U.S. is a world moral leader. Fox News
Cruz making friends on Wall Street . . . Despite the uncompromising rhetoric, Cruz is winning praise from some potential Wall Street donors, including bankers and hedge fund managers, who told Reuters there is more to him than the conservative firebrand of the campaign trail. He has been courting financiers in their homes in New York and Greenwich, Connecticut, they said. Reuters
House passes twenty-week abortion ban . . . The House approved a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a party-line vote on Wednesday. The legislation, which also requires a 48-hour waiting period, informed consent forms and mandatory counseling for victims of rape and sexual assault before abortions, passed 242-184, with 4 Republicans in opposition. The Hill
Liberal pundit Kirsten Powers pummeled from Left . . . She is fairly certain that the many critics have not read a single page of The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech. The book, released Monday, argues that the Left has increasingly adopted an “any means necessary” approach to suppressing contrary ideas, which includes bypassing all opposing arguments and going straight to accusing people of racism, homophobia and sexism. Washington Examiner
Study: Republicans may never win over blacks . . . A new study of blacks and their voting patterns finds that nothing the Republican Party does, even nominating African-American GOP candidates, works to win them over. “Historical legacies provide deeply rooted ties between blacks and the Democratic Party,” said the study in the authoritative journal Political Research Quarterly. Washington Examiner
Top Republican releases Obamacare replacement . . . The plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga an updated version of his “Empowering Patients First Act” released in the previous Congress, relies on a combination of tax credits and regulatory reforms meant to broaden access to health insurance and bring down costs without Obamacare. Washington Examiner
Lawmakers angered by Pope’s recognition of Palestine . . . After Pope Francis moved to recognize a Palestinian state, some defenders of Israel suggested the pontiff should stick to preaching and stay out of politics. “It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a hawkish defender of Israel. Politico
Half of atheists wind up believing . . . According to Pew, more than half of those raised in non-religious households will eventually identify as a believer in something. Why? Because they got married, most likely. Daily Beast
Protests in Wisconsin after cop not charged . . . Hundreds of people protested Wednesday in Wisconsin’s capital, blocking a road a day after a prosecutor ruled that a Madison police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed biracial teenager was justified. Reuters
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