February 22nd, 2014
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain predicted if voters headed to the polls for the 2016 elections tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would be most likely be elected president - though the former secretary of state wouldn't be his pick.
Asked by CNN's Piers Morgan on Thursday about 2012 Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann's recent assessment that America isn't ready for a female president, McCain said they have a different reading on the current political landscape.
"I would bet, my friend, as much as I hate to admit it, that right now – this is why we have campaigns – but right now, if the election were tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would most likely be the president of the United States," the Arizona Republican said.
"She wouldn't be my candidate," he added, but pointed to growth in the number of women in the Congress and state officials as evidence to the contrary of Bachmann's judgment.
Clinton has yet to announce that she's running for president in 2016, but that hasn't stopped Republicans from preemptively attacking her record in preparation for another Clinton White House bid.
Bachmann told syndicated columnist Cal Thomas that a lot of people “aren’t ready” for a woman to be president when asked about Clinton’s appeal as potentially the first female commander in chief.
“I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt," she told Thomas. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman...I don’t think there is a pent-up desire (for a woman president.)"
A CNN/ORC poll conducted from January 31 through February 2 showed Clinton as the overwhelming favorite as Democrats' choice for a 2016 presidential nominee. That same poll shows Clinton ahead of potential Republican White House contenders like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, has said he won't launch another bid for the White House but is considering running for a sixth term in the Senate.
More from CNN
CNN's Mary Grace Lucas contributed to this report.
Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.
February 22nd, 2014
Bill de Blasio, who has promised to curb massive inequality, infuriated journalists when he blocked questions about the incident
New York's mayor has sparked accusations of hypocrisy after refusing to answer questions about his SUV violating traffic rules two days after he ordered a crackdown on dangerous driving.
Bill de Blasio, who has promised to curb massive inequality, infuriated journalists when he blocked any questions about the incident at a considerably delayed news conference.
New York's local CBS news channel on Thursday filmed his official vehicle as it ran two stop signs, changed lanes without signalling and went over the speed limit.
Just two days earlier the Democrat had ordered a crackdown on dangerous driving designed to slash traffic deaths.
But at a considerably delayed news conference, Mr de Blasio devoted more than an hour to healthcare and repeatedly batted aside any questions on the traffic incident.
He read out a short statement saying he had "great respect" for the training and protocols of police, who guard his security, and that he was "committed, obviously, to traffic safety".
He referred everyone to a police statement saying the mayor's drivers have "specialised training" based on "security as well as safety" and then walked out, ending the press conference.
Indignant journalists took to Twitter to vent their frustration.
"De Blasio refusing to take questions on a fairly mid-level scandal does not portend well for his administration," wrote political journalist Andrew Hawkins.
Michael Barbaro, a political reporter for The New York Times, harked back to de Blasio's campaign criticism of his billionaire predecessor Michael Bloomberg.
"Flashback: as candidate, de Blasio blasted Bloomberg for being an imperial mayor, who failed to be transparent, accountable."
Twenty pedestrians have been killed in traffic accidents in New York since the start of the year.
More from The Telegraph
Edited by Bonnie Malkin
February 22nd, 2014
UK Daily Mail
By Guy Adams
Formed in the early Seventies and boasting almost 1,000 members at its height, it waged a long-running campaign for paedophiles to be seen as ‘child lovers’ and abolish the age of consent.
It cynically allied itself to the gay rights movement to gain credibility in Left-wing political circles, arguing that paedophiles were an oppressed minority whose human rights were threatened by child protection laws.
The organisation’s crowning achievement was to secure formal ‘affiliate’ status, from 1975 until the mid-Eighties, with the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) — now the respected lobby group Liberty.
At the time, the NCCL was run by a trio of future Labour grandees.
From 1978-82, Harriet Harman, now Labour deputy leader, was its legal officer. Her husband Jack Dromey, now a shadow Home Office spokesman, served on the NCCL’s ruling executive from 1970 to 79. And Blair government Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt was General Secretary from 1974 to 83.
This week, the Mail published an investigation into the full extent of links between the trio’s work for the NCCL and the paedophile lobby. We revealed that Hewitt described the paedophile lobby organisation in glowing terms as a ‘campaigning/counselling group for adults attracted to children’.
We further told how the NCCL lobbied Parliament for the age of sexual consent to be cut to ten — if the child consented and ‘understood the nature of the act’.
Our exposé also revealed how it called for incest to be legalised, in what one MP described as a ‘Lolita’s charter’. What’s more, in 1975, NCCL lawyers attempted to muzzle hostile Press coverage of PIE and helped its members under investigation by the police.
We also uncovered documents in the NCCL’s archives that showed how, in 1978, Harriet Harman wrote an NCCL submission to MPs attempting to water down child pornography laws.
Pressure is mounting on these senior Labour Party politicians to explain their actions after it emerged that police are investigating PIE in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, following claims there was evidence that its members were abusing children ‘on an industrial scale’.
Henry Hodge, a Left-wing solicitor who went on to become a High Court judge, presided over the NCCL during its affiliation with PIE when the latter published an ‘information’ leaflet, Paedophilia: Some Questions And Answers, which showed how it was allying its cause to the gay rights movement.
It read: ‘Homosexuals are now widely regarded as ordinary, healthy people — a minority, but no more “ill” than the minority who are left-handed. There is no reason why paedophilia should not win similar acceptance.’
Many were shocked years later when, despite what publicly emerged about the mistreatment of children in Islington care homes and her failure to acknowledge or address the matter, Tony Blair appointed Mrs Hodge, who was previously the council leader, as his Children’s Minister.
February 21st, 2014
By Barry Secrest
On February 19th, Four Conservative Senators sent a letter of inquiry to the FBI Director in order to obtain information regarding charges brought against Conservative Director Dinesh D' Souza.
D' Souza was responsible for making one of the most popular documentaries in history, which debuted in 2012, titled "2016: Obama's America," which offered an often scathing look at the President's politics and his past.
The four GOP Senate Judiciary Members
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.)
Jeff Session (R-Ala.)
Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
The Senators' letter specifically asks the question concerning whether or not D' Souza may have been an additional victim of the well documented Conservative targeting campaign.
In addition, the letter requests specific information with regard to what criteria was used in order to select D' Souza, and ultimately file charges.
Many experts believe that the targeting may have been conducted by higher-up officials, within the Obama Administration.
According to the Blaze:
“The Washington Post and other news outlets reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the investigation that led to the [D'Souza] indictment began as a result of a ‘routine review by the FBI of campaign filings with the FEC of various candidates after the 2012 election,’” the letter said. “The articles, however, did not provide any details regarding the scope and methodology of these routine reviews.”
The senators questioned whether targeting played a role in the D’Souza investigation, adding that to “dispel this sort of public perception that Mr. D’Souza may have been targeted because of his outspoken criticisms of the president, it is important for the FBI to be transparent regarding the precise origin of this investigation.”
Also weighing in was the Washington Examiner's Byron York who stated:
“The senators made no assertion one way or the other about D’Souza’s guilt or innocence in the case. But they clearly want to know if the D’Souza indictment resulted from a process that was truly random.”
D' Souza's possible persecution by officials is highlighted by an Inspector General's report in 2013, verifying that Certain Conservative groups were targeted due solely to their political affiliations. As a result several investigations are still underway, while the top director implicated, ultimately pleaded the fifth amendment, to escape testifying before Congress.
While now being largely denied by both Obama and his regime, the IRS issued a statement on May, 10th, 2013 apologizing for illegal targeting of conservative groups, according to the AP:
"The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status."
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza is charged with giving a losing candidate $20,000 "in violation of certain Federal election laws"....as contrasted against several of Obama's top 2012 donors, and how much they contributed, as follows:
University of California
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Google Inc $817,855
US Government $638,335
Sidley Austin LLP $606,260
Stanford University $603,866
National Amusements Inc $579,098
Columbia University $570,839
Skadden, Arps et al
WilmerHale Llp $554,373
US Dept of Justice $540,636
IBM Corp $534,470
While election rules may vary, the astounding variance between D' Souza's alleged crime concerning a relatively paltry $20,000 campaign grant, and the hundreds of millions donated to the Obama campaign by numerous businesses, colleges, and special interest groups, has raised a large number of eyebrows and questions, across the US.
February 20th, 2014
Michael "Domi" Domalaog/KCRA
California has reached the breaking point, says Tim Draper. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist is pushing a proposal to crack the nation's most populous state into smaller pieces - six of them.
California has grown so big, so inefficient, it's essentially ungovernable, according to a ballot initiative that could reach voters as early as November.
It has to go, he says.
"Vast parts of our state are poorly served by a representative government," according to Draper's plan, which cleared a key government hurdle this week, part of the process to qualify for the ballot. California residents "would be better served by six smaller state governments."
In an interview Thursday, Draper said he has seen a state once regarded as a model slide into decline - many public schools are troubled, transportation, water and other infrastructure systems are overmatched and outdated, spending on prisons has soared.
A group of states could change that, he said, competing and cooperating with each other.
Without change "it will get worse," he warned. "California is not working."
No one would dispute that California, home to 38 million people, is full of rivalries and squabbling. Dodgers or Giants. Tacos or sushi. Where water goes, and how much of it.
But the state has proven reliably resilient against attempts to split it apart, dating to the era of its founding in 1850. Over the years, proposals have suggested California should be two states, or three, or four.
"It's certainly fun to talk about," said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. But "its prospects are nil."
Even if it were to be approved by voters, Congress would have to endorse the idea of creating six new states - and adding 10 senators to the chamber's political mix (as with all states, California currently has two). Congress, under the U.S. Constitution, must approve the creation or division of any states.
"I don't think anyone is going to give California 12 Senate seats," Sonenshein said.