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‘This Is for Michael Brown,’ St. Louis Robber Tells Victims



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“This is for Michael Brown,” a gunman told victims during a weekend robbery outside a restaurant in St. Louis, according to police. Via local outlet KSDK TV-5:

According to police, the robbery happened Saturday evening in the 1100 block of Mississippi Avenue. Six diners had just left Eleven Eleven. While walking north along Mississippi, police said two black men approached the victims.

One of the suspects pointed a gun at the victims and demanded their property. After the second suspect grabbed items from the victims, the armed suspect stated “this is for Michael Brown,” a reference to the unarmed teenager shot and killed Aug. 9 by a Ferguson police officer. Both suspects ran away after the robbery.

Tensions remain high in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, and surrounding areas. Earlier this month, protesters attempted to shut down Interstate 70 during the evening rush hour, but were thwarted by police.

The tensions have also spread: In late August, a white Mississippi man was assaulted by a mob of black men in West Point, Miss. The victim, Ralph Weems IV, had reportedly been warned that the restaurant he was entering, a Waffle House, was not safe for whites, because local citizens gathered there were upset about the killing of Michael Brown. After arguing with patrons gathered there, he left. The crowd reportedly followed him to a different restaurant, where they attacked him.

New York Times Issues Correction for Claim That ‘Unlike Bush,’ Obama Building Iraq Coalition



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The New York Times finally ate crow for its bogus assessment of the Iraq coalitions assembled by President Bush and President Obama, issuing a correction Tuesday for its two-week-old claim that “unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners.” 

The offending article was published on September 11, the day after Obama’s primetime speech outlining a military strategy against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The president promised “a broad coalition to roll back the terrorist threat,” a phrase met with approval by Times reporter Mark Landler. 

“Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners,” he wrote. 

It took the Times twelve days to finally reverse that assertion. “An article on Sept. 11 . . .  gave an incorrect comparison between efforts by the president to seek allies’ support for his plans and President George W. Bush’s efforts on such backing for the Iraq War,” the paper explained. “The approach Mr. Obama is taking is similar to the one Mr. Bush took.”

While similar, President Bush’s 2003 Iraq coalition actually dwarfed President Obama’s alliance against the Islamic State – at least in its current iteration. 

Bush’s international coalition to depose Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein involved over three dozen nations and tens of thousands of ground troops, including 46,000 from the United Kingdom, 2,000 from Australia, and thousands from Poland, Ukraine, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Georgia. Countries from Europe, East Asia, and Latin America all participated.

Obama’s anti–Islamic State coalition has proven smaller, and allied contributions more limited. His September 10 speech was vague, referencing only a desire to work with Middle Eastern partners in the region. Since then, Australia has promised combat advisers and France has conducted air strikes. Regional powers Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan joined the United States to strike targets in Syria on Monday.

But the United Kingdom and Turkey remain conspicuously absent from the president’s coalition, as do many of the United States’ traditional partners in Europe and East Asia. 

The Times did not immediately respond when asked what prompted the correction and why it took twelve days to be issued.

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Biden 2012: Romney Wants to Go to War with Syria



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Joe Biden mocked Mitt Romney’s foreign policy during the 2012 presidential campaign — but Obama-approved air strikes in Syria, which commenced Monday evening, suggest that the administration is coming around to the position of the former GOP nominee.

“He [Romney] said it was a mistake to end the war in Iraq and bring all of our warriors home,” Biden told an audience in York, Penn., on September 2, 2012. “He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he’s ready to go to war in Syria and Iran.”

Biden also scoffed at Romney for his tough talk about Russia: “He wants to move from cooperation to confrontation with Putin’s Russia. And these guys say the president’s out of touch?”

Web Briefing: September 29, 2014

Three Afghan Soldiers Found Trying to Enter Canada



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The three Afghan soldiers who vanished while participating in a training exercise in Massachusetts were found near Niagara Falls at the Canadian border, according to Boston.com. The men were reportedly attempting to cross into Canada, and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick said they may have been seeking asylum.

The three Afghan soldiers picked up near the Rainbow Bridge checkpoint were not the only law-enforcement officers from Afghanistan who may have been seeking asylum on a recent visit to the U.S. A couple of Afghan police officers participating in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration training in Quantico, Va., were apprehended late last week in Buffalo, N.Y., on their way to meet a relative, according to the New York Daily News. The two Afghan officers apprehended in Buffalo were under the supervision of the DEA’s Sensitive Investigative Unit and reportedly slipped away while visiting Washington, D.C. 

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Lowry: Good for Obama for Acting in Syria, But Needs to Destroy and Not Just Degrade



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Mailbag



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I’ve been working through the email that came to me while I was on vacation this summer. My favorite so far, in apparent response to this post:

Seniors have PAID FOR their Social Security benefits, and continue to pay for Medicare, even though they paid for it over decades while they were working. Your enthusiasm for stealing from seniors is tantamount to genocide.

I wonder what my correspondent would have said had I proposed actually cutting benefits.

Reopen Pennsylvania Avenue



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Immigration hawks have been having fun mocking the Obama administration’s border policies in the wake of the intruder who scaled the fence and entered the White House via the unlocked front door. One tweeter observed that it was “Really cool of the #Obama admin to demonstrate how our border security ‘works’ with an exact recreation right there at the Whitehouse.” There’s even a petition at the White House site calling on the president to be consistent and decree a unilateral executive amnesty for the undocumented visitor, complete with the right to live and work in the Executive Mansion.

But apart from the richly deserved mockery, there remains the important question of how to secure the president’s safety. The Secret Service response seems to be more of the same: Close off more streets, expand the perimeter, inconvenience more citizens. East and West Executive Avenues (flanking the White House, between it and the Treasury and Old Executive Office Buildings) were closed in World War II, Pennsylvania Avenue on the north was closed to traffic after the Oklahoma City bombing, and E Street to the south was closed after 9/11. I’m sure the Secret Service wants to close off Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Park to pedestrians as well as to vehicles, though it hasn’t been able to do that yet.

It’s natural for the organization tasked with the president’s security to want to create our version of the Kremlin or the Forbidden City in downtown Washington. But the president must not simply defer to the Secret Service; that organization’s security imperative must be counterbalanced by the need for openness in what is, at least for now, still a democratic republic. As Megan McArdle notes, “We fetishize presidential security as if POTUS were some sort of sacred object rather than a job description.” And not just presidential security; while walking past the VA early one morning a few years back, I noted that then-secretary Eric Shinseki had a bodyguard — despite the fact that no more than a handful of Americans, and not a single goat-herding Islamic terrorist, could recognize him or have ever even heard of him. The problem with “security chic” is not that it interferes with normal life in downtown D.C., but rather that it’s unseemly, unnecessary, and both a symptom and an accelerator of our descent into empire.

So while the Secret Service reevaluates its procedures for stopping intruders, I propose the president push back by reopening Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. The symbolic importance of such a counterintuitive move in the wake of the intrusion would be a subtle but powerful display of confidence in our abilities and contempt for our enemies. I do not mean that security should be ignored; plans were presented in 2000 to reopen the avenue to automobiles, incorporating security features such as pedestrian bridges at 15th and 17th streets to prevent truck traffic and bowing the street to the north to put 300 additional feet between it and the White House. (The Secret Service resisted and 9/11 deep-sixed the idea.) Likewise, there may be ways to improve the fencing around the White House that preserve its open appearance and do not involve barbed wire.

But the 2000 Republican Party platform had the right idea: “We will reopen Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House as a symbolic expression of our confidence in the restoration of the rule of law.”

And to circle back to the border, our discomfort with giving in to the Secret Service’s bunker mentality is not inconsistent with the imperative to improve our still-lackadaisical immigration security. As noted on these pages, the operative principle should be “maximum liberty within a nation and maximum vigilance on the nation’s borders.”

Rubio and Lee: Naming the Problem



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Whatever you think about the specific policy changes proposed in their plan (and I would like to see details but find the overall idea attractive), Rubio and Lee deserve enormous kudos for naming the problem — something Republicans have had enormous trouble grasping:

Too many Americans believe the American dream is slipping away for them and their children. They see their cost of living rise while their paychecks remain stagnant. They see an economy that benefits stockbrokers but not stock clerks. They see the ladder of economic opportunity being pulled farther up and out of their reach (emphasis added).

Kansas Supreme Court Gives Democrats What They Want, Delays What They Don’t Want



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The Kansas Supreme Court promptly gave the Democratic party what it wanted last Thursday when it ordered the name of the party’s U.S. Senate nominee, Chad Taylor, removed from the ballot. So why isn’t the court acting just as promptly in dealing with the issue of a replacement for Taylor on the ballot?

The timeline for what has happened in Kansas is clear. On September 9th, Chad Taylor filed his writ of mandamus with the court asking that his name be removed. Only two days later on September 11th, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a scheduling order setting Monday, September 15 as the deadline for secretary of state Kris Kobach to file a response to the writ, and September 16 for oral arguments. On September 18, within two days of the oral arguments, the court issued its order resolving the matter and removing Taylor from the official ballot.

But as outlined in a previous NRO article, a second writ of mandamus was filed with the court on September 18th almost immediately after the removal order was issued. The second writ requests an order from the court telling the Kansas Democratic party to name a replacement for Taylor on the ballot as required by Kansas law, something the state party does not want to do and has said it will not do absent a court order.

We are now at five days and counting since the second writ was filed, and the Kansas Supreme Court, which is dominated by judges nominated by former Democratic governor Kathleen Sebelius, has not acted on the writ. This is in sharp contrast to its having issued a scheduling order within two days of receiving the first writ. When it issued that initial scheduling order, the court noted the “expedited nature of this case and the necessity for an authoritative ruling.”

This second writ is obviously in just as much need of expedition and an “authoritative ruling” from the court. But of course, this second writ is one that the Kansas Democratic party would like to see ignored completely or handled as slowly as possible, until it becomes too late for the court to intervene.

So the question for the Kansas Supreme Court is very simple: Are you going to handle this second writ as you should and why the delay? Are you going to avoid acting on the writ, even if doing so allows the Democratic party to violate Kansas law and manipulate the candidate-slating process for political advantage?

Lee and Rubio Preview Their Tax Plan



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New Ebola Report: ‘The Epidemiologic Outlook Is Bleak’



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Here:

New figures published Monday by the World Health Organization reveal a far worse outlook than it had previously anticipated for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

In addition to predicting many more cases and deaths, the new report for the first time raises the possibility that the epidemic will not be brought under control and that the disease will become endemic in West Africa, meaning that it could reach a steady state and become a constant presence there.

“The epidemiologic outlook is bleak,” the report said.

If control does not improve now, there will be more than 20,000 cases by Nov. 2, and the numbers of cases and deaths will continue increasing from hundreds to thousands per week for months to come, according to the report. The death rate is about 70 percent in each of the heavily affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

(Bold mine.)

And:

An editorial in the same journal called the epidemic “an avoidable crisis,” and faulted a “highly inadequate and late global response” for letting it surge out of control. It was written by Dr. Jeremy J. Farrar of the Wellcome Trust, and Dr. Peter Piot of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Piot helped discover the Ebola virus in 1976.

The editorial also warns that it will be impossible to control the epidemic “without a massive increase in the response, way beyond what is being planned,” and says that drugs and vaccines are urgently needed. The epidemic is growing so large, they write, that standard containment measures — isolating the sick and monitoring their contacts for signs of illness every day for 21 days — may not be feasible. One patient can easily have 10 contacts, so the number to be traced has already reached into the tens of thousands. No organization now has the staffing to follow that many people.

If Ebola becomes endemic in West Africa, Dr. Piot and Dr. Farrar say, the region could become a reservoir of the virus and pose a constant threat to the rest of Africa and other parts of the world.

— Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar and economist at the American Enterprise Institute. You can write to him on Twitter at twitter.com/MichaelRStrain.

John Kerry: ‘Laser-Focused on Protecting’ Syrian Cultural Sites



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Secretary of State John Kerry pledged that the United States would defend Iraqi and Syrian cultural sites from the Islamic State during a museum event that took place Monday, as U.S. airstrikes in Syria began.

Islamic State fighters destroyed Iraq’s Tomb of Jonah in July. “How shocking and historically shameful it would be if we did nothing while the forces of chaos rob the very cradle of our civilization,” Kerry said at the Metropolitan Museum of Art“Extremists want to rob future generations of any connection to this past. That is profoundly what is at stake. And if you leave it unstopped, if you don’t stand up, we are all complicit. I want you to know that President Obama and our Administration are laser-focused on protecting the cultural heritage of countries all around the world.”

Kerry added that “our heritage is literally in peril in this moment, and we believe it is imperative that we act now.”   

While Kerry touted American funding for conservation efforts, the U.S. military was preparing for air strikes in Syria.

“American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants, known as the Islamic State,” the New York Times reported. “American defense officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control. Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.”

Will’s Take: If Ground Troops Are Necessary to Defeat ISIS, They Won’t Be American



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On Monday’s Special Report, George Will reacted to a montage of clips showing President Obama taking credit for ending the war in Iraq and later moving to rhetorically distance himself from the decision to end the war. In regards to the president’s intial claim that he ended the war in Iraq, Will said, Obama ended American participation in it. Will noted that the quickest way to end a war is to lose it. “It all is going to come back to whether or not ISIS can be driven off the land, the quarter of Iraq that they currently occupy, and the chances are not good,” Will said. He continued to explain that the Islamic State may be defeated by troops willing to kill in close, but added that those troops will not be American and questioned whether any other nation would step up.  

Giuliani: Obama’s ‘No Boots on the Ground’ Another ‘Red Line’ Moment



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Rudy Giuliani said Monday that President Obama will eventually violate his “no boots on the ground” pledge as the United States battles the Islamic State in Iraq, calling it “another red line” that the president will again ignore once circumstances change.

The former New York City mayor and once-aspiring candidate for president spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about the White House’s strategy to combat the jihadist threat in Iraq and Syria. While largely agreeing with the president’s plan, Giuliani expressed skepticism over his insistence that no American ground troops will be put into harm’s way.

“I would never have said, ‘We’re not gonna put boots on the ground,’” he said. “I never would announce that in advance.”

“You don’t think he should send U.S. combat forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria, do you?” Blitzer asked.

“He has,” Guiliani replied, laughing. “But who knows what they’re doing. I think the fact is, before this is over, we’re going to have some troops there. . . . When you listen to General Dempsey, and you listen to his people, they seem to be pushing him in that direction.”

“This is like the mistake he made with the red line,” he added, referencing Obama’s broken promise to strike Syrian dictator Bashar Assad should he use chemical weapons. Though Assad gassed hundreds of his own people in the summer of 2013, at the last minute the White House decided to forgo a military response.

Canada Opens ‘Olympics of Genocide’



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Always keen to warn us Yanks what identity politics looks like at its most zealous, last week our neighbors to the north opened the doors of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

Jonathan Kay, in the National Post, notes that the museum has been met with something less than enthusiasm from a number of human-rights groups:

These include an aboriginal band that was scheduled to play at Saturday’s public gala, but backed out at the last minute — apparently because its members didn’t like the museum’s portrayal of Canadian indigenous issues. The Manitoba Métis Federation decided to boycott the museum because the gala organizers rejected their suggested Métis musical act. Arab Canadian protestors told National Post reporter Joseph Brean that the museum didn’t have enough information about the Palestinians. (On Sunday, a Quebec man named Pete Kirby was campaigning to have Israel’s war against Hamas included in the museum — because of the suffering endured by Gazan civilians.) James Kafieh, an Ontario lawyer and chair of an anti-museum group called Canadians for Genocide Education is protesting the museum on the basis that it was built on “stolen” (i.e. aboriginal) land, and elevates one atrocity (the Holocaust) over all others, in pursuit of what he calls an “emotionally manipulative indoctrination.” . . .

The response of Canadian identity groups to the museum overall is perhaps best epitomized by a statement put out by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress last year, complaining that the museum’s treatment of Stalin’s forced starvation of millions of Ukrainians was fatally undercut by the fact that a panel on the subject was located too close to the public toilets.

For branding panache, one cannot top the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, a representative of which has called the museum “an Olympics of genocide.”

How to iron out all these complaints in accordance with Canada’s principles of diversity and tolerance? Fear not, Kay has a solution:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission must establish a special human-rights tribunal to address human-rights complaints pertaining to the presentation of human-rights issues at the Canadian Museum For Human Rights.

But why not go further?

If the true goal of the Canadians Museum For Human Rights is to create a “national hub for human rights learning and discovery,” as its web site boasts, shouldn’t visitors to the museum be able to file a human rights complaint at the museum itself?

With any luck, says Kay, the inevitable scores of complaints filed in the museum will provide Canucks shovel-ready jobs in the near future building “the Canadian Human Rights Museum-Related Human Rights Museum.”

With some subjects, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, they say. Canada’s backbreaking acquiescence to the pettiest identity politics is surely among those subjects. At least someone is keen to the absurdity of the situation — and still able to find some humor in it.

Millennials Aren’t Getting Jobs and Aren’t Buying Houses



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Young people have never done well during recessions. But this particularly severe recession, with a recovery that’s been slower than usual (and than necessary, I might add) is taking an even bigger toll on the lives of younger Americans. A look at the data shows that the labor market has been a pretty harsh place for Millennials. According to BLS, the unemployment rate for Americans under 25 is 12.2 percent, more than twice the rate for 25-to-54-year-olds. They are also over represented in among the long-term unemployed, the ranks of which include 400,000 young people who have never worked in their lives, but have wanted to work for more than 26 weeks in a row.

Joblessness is costly, especially for young adults who have invested time and resources in career-specific knowledge and skills. Studies consistently show that the longer people are unemployed, the less likely they are to find new work. They may lose their job skills over time, have less connections with informal professional networks, or face suspicions from employers about why they were unemployed for so long.

In addition, business formation has slowed down, which tends to hurt the promotion of younger workersBut there’s another way a weak recovery for young people harms the rest of the economy: They aren’t starting households.

The Wall Street Journal has some new data:

Last week, an annual Census Bureau survey showed that the U.S. added just 476,000 households in the year ended in March, compared with an average of 1.3 million in each of the prior two years . . .

The Census releases a separate quarterly survey that also provides household formation figures, though economists say the annual survey is a better gauge of household formation. The quarterly survey has also shown weak household formation—around 650,000 new households—for the same period measured by the annual survey that runs from March to March….

Additional calculations of the same annual survey from Jed Kolko, chief economist atTrulia, show that the U.S. population grew by 2.3 million last year. If household formation continued at the rate of the past few years, the U.S. would have added 1.2 million households last year. Instead, Mr. Kolko’s calculations show it added just 425,000—and nearly all of them were renter households.

Mr. Kolko found that the share of young adults living with their parents ticked down last year, which is good news. The bad news: They didn’t form their own households, perhaps moving in with other relatives or friends.

Millennials are delaying getting married and having children — and who can blame them — which has a visible impact on homeownership rates among their cohort. After a one-year reprieve, homeownership rate for 18-to-34-year-olds resumed its fall last year. It’s down to 13.2 percent, from a high of 17.2 percent in 2005.

 

I assume that since these young people are delaying marriage and homeownership, they are also delaying starting businesses and postponing getting a better education. All of these factors will have negative effects on the economy’s future growth rates.

Unfortunately for Millennials, one thing isn’t going to be delayed: the bill for their parents’ entitlements.

Daily Show Ambushes Participants, Drives Woman to Tears in Redskins Segment



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The Daily Show is coming under fire from some Washington Redskins fans after the show allegedly misled the participants about a segment relating to the team’s controversial name. At one point, the show surprised the participants with a large number of American Indians opposing the name, who reportedly threatened the panel to the point where one woman called the police.

The Washington Post reports that four fans agreed to take part in the not-yet-aired segment, aware that they would likely be the butt of some jokes. Nonetheless, the participants reached an understanding with The Daily Show’s producers about the nature of the sketch.

“They told us they were going to have a fan panel, and, at some other time, they were going to do a panel with Native Americans,” fan Brian Dortch, a Virginia home-repairman, told the Post. “So I said back, ‘Just to clarify, specifically, we’re not doing a cross-panel discussion right?’ The producer said, ‘Yeah, right. That would be too serious for Comedy Central.’”

In an e-mail to another fan, a producer indicated that there would be one interview with fans, and another with American Indians opposed to the name.

After three hours of interviews, Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones was about to wrap up the interview when a group of American Indians — including a comedy troupe called the 1491s and Amanda Blackhorse, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit to end the strip the team’s trademark — surprised the fans. One of the troupe’s members, who was flown in to Washington, D.C,. from Phoenix, said producers told them this was the plan all along.

Blackhorse and the 1491s allegedly aggressively confronted the four fans about their support for keeping the name, which the fans said they believed “honored Native Americans.” Blackhorse said she personally compared the fans to alcoholics for being in denial about the name; the fans also recalled being told they were “psychologically damaging Native American children.” The fans said they were also cut off when they attempted to respond

The situation escalated to the point where Kelli O’Dell, a former teacher from Virginia, said she was driven to tears by the show’s deception and the ambushers’ behavior.

“It was disingenuous,” she said. “The Native Americans accused me of things that were so wrong. I felt in danger. I didn’t consent to that. I am going to be defamed.”

O’Dell went on to call the police, but was told The Daily Show had committed no crime.

The segment is yet to air on the Comedy Central show, and the 1491s apparently also visited a Redskins tailgate as part of the sketch.

A Bridge to the Health-Care Future



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James Capretta and Yuval Levin on what conservatives should do about Obamacare:

The reality of Obamacare implementation in 2014 does not mean the law is no longer replaceable with something better. It still can be displaced by an appealing conservative alternative if a newly elected president chooses to make repeal and replace a top priority in 2017. But plans to replace Obamacare must now take into account the changes that the law has brought about this year, and stands to deliver over the next few years. 

U.K. Labour Candidate: ‘Evil’ Israel Has Embraced Hitler as ‘Zionist God’



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The United Kingdom’s Labour party has suspended one of its candidates after she used her Twitter account to attack Israel and compare it to the Islamic State.

According to the Mirror, Vicky Kirby, Labour’s candidate for parliament from a district in Surrey, tweeted, “Apparently you can ask IS/ISIS/ISIL questions on ask.fm. Anyone thought of asking them why they’re not attacking the real oppressors #Israel?”

“We invented Israel when saving them from Hitler, who now seems to be their teacher,” she also said, adding that Hitler seems to be the “Zionist God.”

“I will never forget,” wrote Kirby, “and I will make sure my kids teach their children how evil Israel is!”

Kirby had been the party’s candidate for only ten days before her suspension.

She is not Labour’s only controversial candidate. The Daily Mail reported today a tweet written by Benjamin Whittingham, Labour’s candidate for parliament in in the county constituency of Wyre and Preston North, in Lancashire:

The tweet, written earlier this year, was in response to news that Winston Churchill — “the greatest Briton of all time,” according to a 2002 BBC poll — will appear on Great Britain’s new £5 note.

Whittingham, 23, is running against Conservative incumbent Ben Wallace. Whittingham is a self-described socialist who, according to the Daily Mail, lists himself as a member of Edinburgh’s Socialist Workers Party.

The Liberal Gulag, Again



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When Gawker’s Adam Weinstein wrote of his desire to imprison people who disagree with him politically, publishing an essay under the very straightforward headline “Arrest Climate-Change Deniers,” I noted that this was part of the Left’s ongoing, worrisome drift toward authoritarianism. The response was nearly unanimous: that it was unfair to tar the entire Left with the views of one knucklehead writing for Gawker, a man who should not be taken seriously writing for an outlet that should not be taken seriously. While I am sympathetic to that line of argument, the fact is that as a practical matter we do have to take all sorts of foolish and backward people and institutions seriously.

Now that the would-be gulag warden is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., speaking to what everybody loudly assures me was a cheering throng of historic proportions, what will they say? That the world’s largest climate-change march, and those who participated in it, are insignificant? Mr. Kennedy, who has been kept out of one of New York’s Senate seats only by happy circumstance, says that he believes his opponents to be guilty of “treason” — his word — and wants them convicted of crimes — “They ought to be serving time,” he says.

As in the case of Mr. Weinstein, I am open to the argument that in a sane world Mr. Kennedy would not be taken seriously, inasmuch as he is a witless pile of ground chuck molded into the shape of a politician, but we do not live in a sane world. We live in this world, one in which Senate Democrats are working feverishly to repeal the First Amendment while Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gleefully contemplates the prospect of building prison camps for political dissidents.

That is what you are voting for when you vote Democratic. If you are uncomfortable with that, then you should reconsider your affiliations. If you are not uncomfortable with that, then you have failed as a human being, but you should at least have the courage of your convictions and be as forthright as possible that you want to imprison people for thought crimes and political disagreement.  

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