Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Good morning! In the news today: Drive to remove Confederate flag from the public square gains momentum; Trump surges in New Hampshire; Obama trade victory at hand; ValJar’s parents reportedly hardcore communists; conservatives have more self-control than libs; Obama hosts Israel haters; and sex with Neanderthals.
Have a great day.
Momentum against Confederate flag grows . . . An initiative to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds picked up steam on Tuesday, a week after the massacre of nine black church members, and criticism over the emblem long associated with slavery spread to other U.S. southern states. U.S. retailers joined lawmakers in distancing themselves from the banner, with industry leaders Amazon and Wal-Mart Stores pulling the images of the rebel flag from their stores and websites, joining Google, Sears and eBay. Reuters
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Clinton aide worked with UAE while at State . . . Hillary Clinton’s top aide Cheryl Mills held several outside roles, including a board position with a UAE-funded university in Abu Dhabi, while working as chief of staff and counselor at the State Department. Washington Free Beacon
Trump surges in New Hampshire . . . Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is leading the 2016 GOP field in a new survey on the early state of New Hampshire, with fellow newly declared presidential candidate Donald Trump close behind him. Mr. Bush was at 14 percent in the Suffolk University poll released Tuesday, followed by Mr. Trump at 11 percent. Both men officially announced last week they are running for president in 2016. Washington Times
Cruz: Where’s the apology from AP? . . . Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Mark Levin’s radio show on Tuesday night that he is not surprised that the Associated Press would publish a photograph that appears to show Cruz with a gun pointed at his head–and that if the AP had done the same thing to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama “there would have been a public apology.” CNS News
Christie could announce as early as next week.
Conservatives plot revenge against Boehner . . . Dozens of members of the House GOP’s most conservative faction plan to meet Tuesday to discuss ways to counteract the decision of House Speaker John Boehner and other leaders to seek retribution against members who vote against must-pass measures. Washington Examiner
Fox dumps Palin . . . Palin, 51, is expected to make occasional guest appearances on Fox and Fox Business, and will appear on other networks and cables. She has a show on the Sportsman Channel, does a lot of speeches, and will announce a new publishing project soon. Politico
Obama headed for huge trade victory . . . President Obama is poised for one of the biggest victories of his second term after the Senate voted Tuesday to advance legislation enhancing his trade powers. The Senate’s 60-37 vote sets the stage for passage on Wednesday of the trade-promotion authority (TPA) bill, or fast-track, which House GOP leaders ushered through the lower chamber last week. If the Senate approves the measure, as expected, it heads to the White House for Obama’s signature. The Hill
GOP trade divide . . . It’s Cruz and Paul vs. Rubio and Graham in the party’s latest ideological split. Politico
Obama orders amnesty for prisoners . . . The administration has ordered agents to begin ignoring many of the illegal immigrants they encounter in prisons and jails, as President Obama begins to implement a lesser-known part of his deportation amnesty policy — though his program isn’t sitting well with either side of the immigration debate. Washington Times
Illegals not showing up for court dates . . . Not only are illegal immigrant women and children continuing to cross the border in large numbers, but the majority charged with crimes aren’t even showing up for court. Fox News
Report: Jarrett’s parents hardcore communists . . . FBI files reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government. Jarrett’s dad, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals, his lengthy FBI file shows. In 1950 Bowman was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, who fled to Prague after getting charged with espionage. Judicial Watch
Obama hosts Israel haters at Iftar dinner . . . President Barack Obama hosted two radical anti-Israel activists, Riham Osman and Batoul Abuharb of Houston, Texas, on Tuesday night. They both had the honor of sitting at Mr. Obama’s exclusive “President’s Table” at the annual White House Iftar dinner. Both have publicly stated that they consider Israel and its leadership to be sponsors of terroristic acts. Breitbart
Obama glad he used the “N” word . . . The reaction, in Obama’s mind, is a good thing. Like a national experiment in abstract expressionism, the response it’s generated has shown him he was right in the point he was making about what’s wrong with how the country talks about race. Politico
Biden soft pedals China criticism . . . Opening a series of high-level U.S.-China meetings, Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday cautiously touched on human rights, but as he did so, he assured his Chinese guests that he was not “lecturing” them. CNS News
Obama to announce US won’t prosecute ransoming . . . The White House is expected to announce Wednesday that the administration will tell families of Americans held by terror groups they can communicate with captors and even pay ransom without fear of prosecution. Fox News
Hayden: Policy could increase hostage taking . . . “When you allow a family to pay ransom for a hostage, you are in a sense transferring risk from your family member to future family members,” said former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden. “In other words, you may be making it more likely that other people’s children or father or mother or sister are captured and held for ransom because you’ve suddenly made it more profitable for those who would do this.” Newsmax
How could it not increase hostage taking? It’s a clear signal to terrorists that they will be paid.
Iran deal a legacy maker for Kerry . . . If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pulls off a nuclear deal with Iran, it will be a singular achievement in a long career in which the grand prize has eluded him. His 2004 presidential election loss, lack of legislative monuments despite 28 years in the Senate, and failure, like many before, to bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians have contributed to a view that he struggles to seal major successes. Reuters
Get it? It’s about him. He’ll take whatever Iran offers.
US to give Iran advanced nuclear equipment . . . The United States and its allies are willing to offer Iran state-of-the-art nuclear equipment if Tehran agrees to pare down its atomic weapons program as part of a final nuclear agreement, a draft document has revealed. Fox News
The bomb Obama could use against Iran . . . When dropped from an altitude likely above 20,000 feet, the bomb would have approached supersonic speed before striking a mock target in the desert, smashing through rock and burrowing deep into the ground before its 6,000 pounds of high explosives detonated with devastating force. Politico
Of course, he won’t use it, ever.
Attacks on power grid growing . . . Major attacks on the U.S. power grid system are “increasing,” with hackers stepping up efforts to penetrate critical systems and to implant malicious software that could compromise the power grid and result in a nationwide crisis, according to a government report. Washington Free Beacon
Iraq “zero civilian casualty” policy criticized . . . U.S. and coalition air forces are aiming for zero civilian casualties in airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), frustrating some lawmakers who say the military campaign is progressing too slowly. While officials say they can never be absolutely certain of who’s on the ground, U.S. and allied forces are refraining from airstrikes against ISIS if there’s a risk of even one civilian casualty. The Hill
Afghans say foreign fighters flooding in . . . An estimated 7,000-plus foreign terrorist fighters are believed to be operating in Afghanistan, according to the country’s ambassador to the U.N., although it’s unclear how many of those belong to, or have pledged loyalty to, the Islamic State. CNS News
France furious about US spying . . . Angry and embarrassed, France summoned the U.S. ambassador Wednesday to respond to the revelations by WikiLeaks that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on three successive French presidents and other top officials. Associated Press
Scientific study: Conservatives have more self-control . . . “Evidence from three studies reveals a critical difference in self-control as a function of political ideology,” the study’s abstract reads. “Specifically, greater endorsement of political conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with greater attention regulation and task persistence. Moreover, this relationship is shown to stem from varying beliefs in freewill; specifically, the association between political ideology and self-control is mediated by differences in the extent to which belief in freewill is endorsed, is independent of task performance or motivation, and is reversed when freewill is perceived to impede (rather than enhance) self-control.” Newsmax
Library of Congress promotes gay erotica . . . The federally funded Library of Congress held an event to mark Gay Pride Month on Thursday to showcase the publication of literature focused on the homosexual lifestyle, including a gay man’s photography of nude male subjects and poetry by gays and lesbians about their homosexuality. CNS News
Transgender athlete switches teams . . . She was the quintessential recruit for the women’s swimming team at Harvard University: a nimble breaststroker with a fierce work ethic and sharp intellect. But when Schuyler Bailar jumps into the school’s Olympic-size pool this fall, he instead will be a member of the men’s team, the first openly transgender collegiate swimmer in U.S. history. Washington Post
Humans had sex with Neanderthals . . . A jawbone found in Romania more than a decade ago provides the first genetic evidence that humans and Neanderthals knocked boots in Europe before the latter disappeared between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago. Fox News
Prison worker put tools in meat . . . The prison worker charged with helping two convicted murderers escape from a maximum security prison in New York admitted to smuggling hacksaw blades and other tools in hamburger meat, according to Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie. Good Morning America
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