Tuesday, May 3, 2016

'Frozen' fans tweet Disney: Make princess a lesbian because 'young queer kids need someone to look up to!!'

Nothing is sacred any longer ... nothing

Hundreds of "Frozen" cartoon film fans took to Twitter to press Disney, the producer of the children's mega-hit musical, to make a sequel – only this time, give the leading lady, Elsa, a lesbian love interest.

The hashtag "#GiveElsaAGirlfriend" took off on Twitter, with posters and media pundits noting that the takeaway song from the Disney film, "Let It Go," was already a big deal among LGBT community members.

As a writer with the Independent noted: "What better candidate is there for that honour than Elsa, whose own journey of acceptance with her powers has widely been interpreted as a metaphor for coming out?"

Elsa from "Frozen" by Disney
Among some of the pro-gay posts on Twitter was this one, from Jeffrey Marsh: "#GiveElsaAGirlfriend because LGBT kids deserve to know that there is nothing wrong with them."

And another: "#GiveElsaAGirlfriend because little girls watching should know you can be a princess and love another princess."

And another, from @feminizza: "#GiveElsaAGirlfriend so little kids will know that girls loving girls is normal even when their parents teach them otherwise."

Yet another, from @feministgals: "hey @Disney, give us a gay Elsa! Young queer kids need someone to look up to!! #GiveElsaAGirlfriend."

And one more: "#GiveElsaAGirlfriend because there is absolutely no representation of any LBGTQ+ people in children's Movies/Tv."

Another poster, @miaafame, suggested the LGBT community was much more widely populated than scientific research and surveys show.

She tweeted: "#GiveElsaAGirlfriend because 1 in 5 kids are queer, but only 1 in 10 feel safe enough to come out."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Franklin Graham on Target's Transgender Bathrooms: We're 'Sex God Created Us to Be – Male or Female'

A petition to boycott Target over its transgender bathroom policy has generated huge interest ...

Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of the Christian international relief organization Samaritan's Purse, struck back hard on Facebook at Target over its recently implemented transgender policy, saying men who use women's bathrooms is a danger to the most vulnerable in society.

"I agree with the American Family Association – this policy encourages sexual predators and puts women and children in danger," Graham wrote. "A man shouldn't be able to enter the women's restroom or dressing room because he says he 'feels like a woman today.' That's ridiculous."

He went on, speaking of God's design and the fruitlessness of humans to change that.

"The fact is, gender identity isn't something we choose or feel," Graham wrote. "We are the sex God created us to be – male or female. How a person feels doesn't change the facts."

Graham referenced statements made by Benjamin Watson with the Baltimore Ravens – in which the football star said "we are buying the lie that feelings trump all else and that how one feels can only be accepted and celebrated instead of addressed and challenged" – and agreed.

He also said Target's new policy, in which males and females could decide for themselves which bathroom best corresponded to their genders, was harming business.

"Target is putting its shareholders – and its customers – at risk! Just since last Wednesday, [hundreds of thousands of] people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new bathroom policy that welcomes employees and guests to use the restrooms or fitting rooms that 'corresponds with their gender identity,'" he wrote. "Target certainly has the prerogative to make this decision, but it's proving to be bad for business. I'm glad people are standing up and letting them know this is wrong."

Sign up here ... https://www.afa.net/action-alerts/sign-the-boycott-target-pledge/

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Republican Establishment Call on Donald Trump Supporters to 'Retract'

This is rather astonishing ... and kudos to Mike Huckabee for standing firm.

Conservative thought-leaders are ratcheting up their attempts to take out Donald Trump, despite his long-lasting front-runner status that was just underscored by his five-state sweep of Tuesday's primaries.

But at least one key conservative, former presidential candidate and governor Mike Huckabee, has stepped forward to defend Trump, saying in an email the billionaire businessman is the best candidate to take on Hillary Clinton – and he should know, given his years of experiencing fighting off the Clinton family during his executive leadership in Arkansas.

The groundswell of establishment conservative push-back against Trump started Tuesday, as ballots were being counted.

In an interview on MSNBC on "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, insisted it was still feasible for a third party candidate to jump into the political fray and fight back the support that's been swelling for Trump.

"I think the public deserves an alternative," he said. "I think Clinton and Trump are unusually unfavorably viewed by the public, which offers a political opportunity as well as I think a substantive opportunity for the country for someone to set forth to do the right thing for the country."

He then said, Breitbart reported: "There is also the possibility of getting on the ballot of a small party that's already on the ballot in North Carolina and Texas. The Reform party in particular. I think it is more doable than people think. The key is obviously having compelling candidates."

Kristol said "those discussions are taking place in private" and it won't be long before the country "see[s] what happens" with them.

"I think there is too much resignation and fatalism, especially among the people," he said. "If you think we deserve better than Trump and Clinton and I certainly do, I guess I'm annoyed at other people who are activists and donors and politicians, who sort of sit back and watch the slow motion car crash happening. It is happening in slow motion. There is time to avert it. There is time to get out of your own car and help, and instead people are sitting in their air conditioned cars and saying, 'Gee, it's too bad about the car crash the whole United States of America is about to have by being faced with the choice of Clinton and Trump.'"

Meanwhile, Breitbart just published an open letter to "friends and allies" of Trump penned by the chairman of the conservative grassroots nonprofit ForAmerica, Brent Bozell, who called on the billionaire's supporters to retract their endorsement of his candidacy.

Bozell, who has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for the White House, wrote in part: "Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Phyllis Schlafly – you are friends and allies, serious men and women for whom I have great respect. ... I pen this open letter to you. ... Does Donald Trump mean a word he says? Are conservative leaders supporting Trump prepared to live with the consequences if he doesn't?"

The letter then listed several areas where Trump has fallen from the conservative line, including his views on amnesty, abortion, gay marriage, eminent domain, government bailouts, restrictions on "assault weapons," and universal health care.

"But Trump said he's changed," the letter continues. "On everything. Overnight. Just in time for the GOP nomination fight. Really? ... This isn't about purity. It's about basic sanity. Do the most courageous thing you've ever done, in a lifetime of bravery. Retract your endorsement."

That letter follows several written weeks ago by dozens of conservatives to National Review, all of whom pointed out their various reasons for opposing a Trump nomination.

But Huckabee, who dropped his own bid for the presidency in February, after a weak showing in the Iowa caucuses, said he's standing by Trump – even though he's never officially endorsed him.

"The irony is that I have not endorsed in the primary," he said, in emailed response to the call for his retraction. "I think some assume if you don't hate Trump and spew venom at him, you must have endorsed."

Still, he said, Trump's his pick.

"For the record, I like Trump and think he is our very best hope to beat Hillary and I know Hillary probably a lot better than any Republican who ran this year," Huckabee said. "Trump [has] said a lot of what I said 10 years ago and since about trade, the working class, failures of our foreign policy and the way the game is rigged by the elites. Too bad for me, but the media gave Trump hours to my seconds of coverage. [B]ut I appreciate that he is the only candidate left who isn't owned by the Wall Street donor class and that alone would be a seismic shift."

Huckabee also said he's aware of Trump's differences in views on social issues – but in the end, he remains the best of the existing candidates.

"I have no illusion that Trump would be as strong on issues like life and marriage as me," Huckabee said, "but neither will Cruz, although he makes good lawyerly speeches making people believe he will fight for those issues.  But if people read the fine print, they will learn that [Cruz would] leave such things to the states or SCOTUS, which means he will be all thunder and no rain but will leave voters feeling used again just like we were in the Bush years."

So his takeaway?

It's Trump, not Cruz, who could better lead the country, he said.

"Like the song by the Who, 'we won't be fooled again,'" Huckabee wrote.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dearly Beloved: ISIS Terrorists Offered Marriage Counseling to Keep Wives From Fleeing

Oh, this is just too rich ...

The New York Post – not the satirical site the Onion – reported ISIS terrorists have been forced to offer their recruits marriage counseling in order to keep their stressed-out brides at home and happy during hardship times.

Citing the UK Sun, the news outlet reported ISIS terrorists just opened a "relationship counseling center" in Raqqa, Syria, in order to make sure even the toughest of terrorist has access to a quality marriage, described in part as one in which the woman doesn't flee.

The media offshoot of ISIS released a photograph to go with the announcement portraying a woman with a tear-stained face requesting aid from a therapist who's near by a box of tissues.

Strange but true: Hard to imagine women could complain
about the treatment they receive from their ISIS husbands.
The psych sessions come as ISIS has been tied to dozens of videotaped beheadings of Christians and others who refuse to toe their terrorist line. They also come on the heels of numerous suicide bombings in recent months that have left dozens dead and even more injured in places like Paris, Iraq, Syria and Brussels purportedly by members of ISIS or sympathizers and supporters of ISIS.

Still, thousands of women from the West, including Britain, have made the journey to Iraq and Syria to marry ISIS members – only to find their betrothed aren't all they're cracked to be. On top of that, the constant fighting in choice spots of high terror activity have left the region in shambles.

"At least before [ISIS] we had electricity, we could bake and cook," said one women in Raqqa, to the Open Your Eyes dissident website organization.
And another said to the same group, the New York Post reported: "Our basic needs were met. Now we are back to ancient times. There's no electricity, no drinking water. There are no services."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Obama Tells Brits on EU: Sovereignty's OK, But 'Collective' Even Better

Core socialist belief ... it's all about the "collective," the group, the society at-large -- most certainly NOT the individual. 

President Obama, in a Friday opinion piece penned for the Telegraph, told members of the reading British public who are about to decide on their future participation in the European Union – whether to stay in or opt out – that sovereignty, while a good thing, is hardly as powerful as the collective.

"In this complicated, connected world, the challenges facing the EU – migration, economic inequality, the threats of terrorism and climate change – are the same challenges facing the United States and other nations," Obama wrote. "And in today's world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective action that today's challenges demand."

He then went on to list what he perceived to be the successes of the collective.

"When we negotiated the historic deal to verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, it was collective action," he wrote. "When the climate agreement in Paris needed a push, it was the European Union, fortified by the United Kingdom, that ultimately helped make that agreement possible. When it comes to creating jobs, trade, and economic growth in line with our values, the UK has benefited from its membership in the EU."

And one more, looming: "And the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU will advance our values and our interests, and establish the high-standard, pro-worker rules for trade and commerce in the 21st century economy," Obama wrote.

He called for "friends and allies to stick together," and bring about a "remarkable legacy" of collectively meeting "the challenges of this young century," he wrote.

Politicos in Britain, however, aren't happy about Obama's press into their government business.

"A monstrous interference," said U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, telling Fox News Obama ought to keep his political leanings out of Britain. "I'd rather he stayed in Washington, frankly. ... You wouldn't expect the British prime minister to intervene in your presidential election. You wouldn't expect the prime minister to endorse one candidate or another. Perhaps he's another one of those people who doesn't understand what the [EU] is."

More than 100 MPs signed on to a letter Farage penned to the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom requesting Obama to quit intervening, and calling any such intervention "extremely controversial and potentially damaging," Fox News reported.

The letter read, in part: "It has long been the established practice not to interfere in the domestic political affairs of our allies and we hope that this will continue to be the case. While the current U.S. administration may have a view on the desirability or otherwise of Britain's continued membership of the E.U., any explicit intervention in the debate is likely to be extremely controversial and potentially damaging."

And London Mayor Boris Johnson accused Obama of hypocrisy.

"I just think it's paradoxical that the United States, which wouldn't dream of allowing the slightest infringement of its own sovereignty, should be lecturing other countries about the need to enmesh themselves ever deeper in a federal superstate," he said earlier in the week.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Anti-war Mural of Gun With Flowers Triggers Fears for 'Black Mental and Emotional Health'

A college-age student who also serves as a senator for his Pitzer College class wrote a scathing email to his fellow classmates that condemned a mural of a gun with flowers flowing from the end – a classic anti-war image made popular in the 1960s – and said it was hurtful to blacks especially.

This mural caused one college student to fear for the mental health of
"students of color." (Credit: Claremont Independent)
"It's truly in bad taste to have a large depiction of a gun in a dorm space – especially when students of color also reside there," said Gregory Ochiagha, in his email, reported Campus Reform. "Now let's imagine there were countless videos of white teenagers, white teenagers that look like you, or your broth or your sister, get shot to death by police officers. Imagine scrolling down Facebook everyday and seeing a new video of the same thing, over and over again. Really put yourself in that headspace. Then ask yourself whether it's the brightest idea to have white teenagers, who have a very real fear of getting shot, see a large gun every time they want to get food from the [dining] hall."

The mural was approved by the Pitzer College aesthetics committee, Campus Reform reported.

But Ochiagha said it was highly offensive.

"My Black Mental and Emotional Health Matters," he wrote. "I shouldn't be reminded every time I leave my dorm room of how easy my life can be taken away, or how many Black lives have been taken away because of police brutality. This is emotionally triggering for very obvious reasons. And if you want to belittle or invalidate [my] black experience, I live in Atherton, come thru, let's have that idiotic conversation."

A student, Jessica Folsom, responded by explaining the historical context of the mural, as "actually representative of a nonviolence movement to protest the Vietnam War in the 60s. There's a famous photo of a protester putting flowers in the barrel of a National Guardsman's rifle and everything."

Other students slammed Ochiagha's response to the mural, saying it was tantamount to a free speech infringement.

"I actually love the mural and thought it was obvious that it was about the flower power movement/a message of anti-violence," wrote Jennifer McNamara, Campus Reform found. "It was approved by the aesthetics committee and the artist has freedom of speech within her design."

And another, Alessandra Elliot, wrote: "I love our [college's] radical liberalism. However, I'm not in love with the trend of shutting down voices that don't align with liberal ideologies."

The artist, Selena Spier, said she was going to change her mural to accommodate dissenting views.

"I spoke with Gregory earlier and we agreed on a modification that preserves the integrity of the original piece while avoiding any potentially triggering content – it's a change I was absolutely happy to make in the interest of creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone in my community," she said, in the Claremont Independent. "I have absolutely no right to decide whether or not my artwork is offensive to marginalized communities – nor does anyone else in a position of privilege, racial or otherwise."

Dissatisfied with America? Quit Thinking in Terms of 'Republican' Versus 'Democrat'

A Quinnipiac University survey recently found 57 percent of Americans agreed the country “has lost its identity,” 57 percent felt they were “falling further and further behind economically,” and 76 percent believed “public officials don’t care much what people like me think.”

Gallup reported in March, meanwhile, that 71 percent of Americans were dissatisfied with the “way things in the United States were going at this time,” the same number who responded to the identical poll question a month earlier.

What’s up with all the angst?

“Many American voters, especially Republicans, are dissatisfied with their own status and the status of the country, but by far the most dissatisfied are Donald Trump’s supporters, who strongly feel that they themselves and the country are under attack,” said Quinnipiac University poll director Douglas Schwartz, in a statement.

Well, that is the theme of Trump’s campaign, to make America great again – and it’s one that’s resonating big time with voters across the country.

But thinking Mr. Trump, or Sen. Ted Cruz – or, God forbid, the self-declared socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders – can solve what ails America is flawed thinking. First off, Americans have been complaining about the country for years. In July 2015, Fortune blasted forth the headline: “12 Signs America is on the Decline.” In April 2014, Salon warned: “Global rankings study: America in warp-speed decline.” In October 2013, the New Yorker offered: “Measuring America’s Decline, in Three Charts.” In March 2012, the Atlantic posed: “The Decline of the West: Why America Must Prepare for the End of Dominance.” In 2011, it was the American Spectator, with the title, “Is America in Decline?”

The demise of America, it seems, has been a long-running go-to topic for the press, the pundits and the pollsters. So long, in fact, it leads one to wonder: Do elections really bring change?

Not so much. Not in any long-lasting, meaningful way, at least. Which brings up this second point: It’s not about the “R” versus “D.”

Looking at politicians to provide for the needs and concerns of America seems a cycle of insanity – a red herring, even. But this story, from Raphael Cruz, a Christian pastor who spent his growing and formative years in Cuba, under the watchful eyes of an oppressive regime? This story is the elephant in the room.

Jerry Newcombe wrote for the Christian Post: “Rafael Cruz tells a story where the soldiers of Castro would teach the children to not believe in God, but instead to believe in Fidel. Soldiers would come into a kindergarten class and tell the children, ‘Okay now, close your eyes and pray to God for some candy.’ The children would comply, but there was no candy. Then they would say, ‘Close your eyes and pray for candy to Fidel Castro.’ The children would close their eyes and pray accordingly, as the soldiers quietly placed candy on the desks.”

What a horrific example of leading children astray, and simultaneously, a tremendous warning of what is really rotting America: the turn from God as leader and toward government as provider.

Inserting fresh faces into the government, whether Trump or Cruz or Clinton or Candidate X, is a temporary fix, at best. America’s government is only a microcosm of America at-large. And there will never be a single politician, or even grouping of politicians, that actually make America great. They can’t; the country’s greatness doesn’t flow that way.

America’s greatness comes from this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

America’s greatness is from the bold idea that rights stem from God, not government – that it’s the individual with greatest worth, not the collective. And until we win back a country where that sentiment is intuitively felt and instinctively enacted upon, where “in God we trust” is the lesson being taught the coming generations, not “on government we depend,” then the changing faces of politicians will be just that – new look, new messaging, but bringing the same dissatisfying results.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tennessee votes to sue feds over resettlement of refugees: 'Time for states to say no more federal overreach'

Tennessee's General Assembly voted by a wide margin to sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program, alleging violations of the the Tenth Amendment, the one that guarantees states hold all rights not specifically delegated to the national powers.

The vote on SJR467 first passed the House with a 69 to 25 vote and then the Senate, 29 to 4.

"Today we struck a blow for liberty by finally adopting SJR467," said Sen. Mark Norris, one of the resolution's co-sponsors, in an interview with Breitbart. "The General Assembly clearly understands the importance of public safety and state sovereignty as demonstrated by the overwhelming support of this resolution for which we are thankful. They Syrian surge heightens our sense of urgency to get this properly before the courts, and we urge the attorney general to act without delay."

Tennessee withdrew itself from the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 2008. It is now the first state to sue the feds about this program on a states' rights line of argument. As Breitbart noted, Alabama and Texas have launched lawsuits against the federal government for the same program, but on claims feds are violating the Refugee Act of 1980.

"As a state legislator, it is my duty to fulfill my oath and to exercise constitutional authority," said Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, the sponsor of the bill in the House, to Breitbart. "I take it seriously to do all I can to protect the sovereignty of our great state. Either we abide by the Tenth Amendment, or we ignore it. It's time for states to say no more federal overreach and [I] really believe that the federal government was created by the states and not the other way around."

The governor, according to to Tennessee law, does not have to approve resolutions for them to take effect.

The resolution specifically calls on the attorney general to consider representing the General Assembly in a federal suit. It also makes clear that if the attorney general declines, then the Thomas More Law Center has offered to represent the state for free.

A total of 12 states have withdrawn from the federal resettlement program.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tennessee lawmakers pass bill making Bible the book of the state

Tennessee lawmakers voted to make the Bible the official book of the state, passing the measure with a 19-8 vote and sending it to the governor's desk for approval.

Opponents argued the bill, if signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam, actually trivializes the Bible and opens the door to constitutional challenges.

"The Bible is a book of history," said Sen. Ferrell Halle, a Republican who opposed the bill, the Tennessean reported. "It is not a history book to be placed on the shelf."

But as Democratic Sen. Jeff Yarbro pointed: Lawmakers actually place their hands on the Bible when taking the oath of office. And as Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts, who favored the bill, said: "The very founding of our nation, the very form of government that we have today, was put forth by men of faith, based on their faith, based on what they read in Holy Scripture."

State symbols are entered into the Tennessee Blue Book, the state's annually produced guide to state government.

It's not clear if Haslam would sign it, and if he does, if opponents would fight back in court.

Right after the vote, ACLU-Tennessee executive director Hedy Weingberg spoke out, the Tennessean reported: "Lawmakers' thinly veiled effort to promote one religion over other religions clearly violates both the United States and Tennessee constitutions, as our state attorney general has already pointed out.  Privileging one religion over another not only tramples on the Constitution, it marginalizes the tens of thousands of Tennesseans who choose to practice other religions or not to practice religion at all.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued an opinion months ago suggesting the measure would violate church-state separation mandates.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Feds pressing to fine schools that don't comply with Michelle Obama's lunch menu desires

Talk about a Police State ....

The federal government is pressing for a new authority to issue fines to schools that don't abide lunch menu rules pushed by first lady Michelle Obama.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service proposed a rule that would amend portions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that came to fruition as the first lady's pet project.

Specifically, the rule would grant the feds authority to fine schools that display "egregious or persistent disregard" for the sodium and calorie limits contained within the act, as well as for the bans on white grains, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The form of punishment is not a new idea.

As the news outlet reported, a West Virginia preschool teacher was threatened with fines when she gave out candy to students as a good behavior reward in mid-2015. The teacher didn't end up having to pay, but school officials meanwhile were told to create a "corrective action plan" that included new training on the healthy eating policy.

But such scenarios could become commonplace if the feds have their way.

Section 303 of the healthy eating act allows for federal authorities to "establish criteria for the imposition of fines" for Agriculture Department food programs for children – and it may not be long before the punitive measure moves into law.

The proposed rule references this section, and reads in part, the Washington Free Beacon states: "Under section 303, the secretary or a state agency may establish an assessment against any school food authority or school administering the child nutrition programs if the secretary or the state agency determines that the school or school food authority failed to correct severe mismanagement of any program, failed to correct repeated violations of program requirements, or disregarded a requirement of which they have been informed."

Feds say the fines would only be affixed to those public facilities that are guilty of repeated menu infractions.

"The department anticipates assessments would be established only on rare occasions in securiing corrective action," the proposed regulation stated, citing Food and Nutrition Service remarks.

But the "assessments," meaning fines, could prove substantial.

The Washington Free Beacon reports: "The agency said the fines would amount to 1 percent of the total amount the school was reimbursed for lunches for the first fine. A second fine would equal up to 5 percent of the total meal reimbursements, and 10 percent for a third or subsequent fine."

If Alabama, for instance, which received nearly $211 million in cash payments for school lunch in 2015, were forced to pay a 1 percent fine, the amount in punishment would surpass $1 million. A 10 percent fine would mean $21 million, the news outlet reported.

The Food and Nutrition Service said the fines were "intended to improve the integrity" of the school lunch menu program and would also apply to private organizations that receive federal dollars for kids' food.

The rule, once published in the Federal Register, will be given a 60-day public comment period.

Obama and the Transparency That Never Was

(first posted at Washington Times) ...

Well, the statistics have been compiled and the results are in, and the conclusion about this current White House and its record of transparency is clear: This administration is about the worst in history.

The numbers don’t just deliver a sigh – they clang a drum. President Obama, after all, did rise into office promising the most open and transparent government ever. On January 21, 2009, his first full day in the White House, he signed two memoranda to the heads of his executive departments and agencies pressing for transparency and for speedy fulfilment of Freedom of Information Act requests. One read, in part: “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”

Very well. But Obama didn’t stop there.

On December 8, 2009, Obama’s Office of Management and Budget director, Peter Orszag, advanced the White House’s stated commitment to transparency with the issuance of the Open Government Directive, expressing how agencies and departments were to “implement the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration.” On April 7, 2010, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board published the outcome of this Open Government Directive – the Open Government Plan – and requested public comment.

All this flurry of activity – surely it’s paid off for the American transparency-seeking citizen, right?

Hardly. As the Associated Press found, in an analysis of the White House’s record on FOIA fulfilment, published this March: “The Obama administration set a record for the number of times its federal employees told disappointed citizens, journalists and others that despite searching, they couldn’t find a single page requested under [FOIA].”

The numbers bare all. On 129,825 different occasions, or on more than one in six times, the government’s response to citizen and media FOIA requests was a resounding Sorry, Can’t Find It. As AP wrote: “People who asked for records under the law received censored files or nothing in 77 percent of requests, also a record.”

The White House’s response to this subpar performance? Deny and divert.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told questioning members of the press he wasn’t aware of the actual FOIA fulfilment figures, but he was certain federal employees were working hard in this regard. He then suggested the media ought to focus on Congress, and the fact members of the House and Senate are exempted from the very FOIA rules they affixed to the executive branch 50 years ago.

“Congress writes the rules and they write themselves out of being accountable,” he said.

That’s a good point – a very valid shot. Why indeed does Congress pass laws it exempts itself from following? But that’s also an argument for a different day. The point Earnest was trying so hard to dodge was that fact Obama pledged an “unprecedented” level of transparency. That was Obama’s word – “unprecedented.” Congress, as a body, hasn’t pledged similarly.

Congress didn’t sign a memorandum directing all its members to provide historical levels of openness and transparency to constituents. But Obama did, and in so doing, invited accountability and feedback.

So the feedback is in. This administration, this president, is failing on FOIA.

“Where’s the transparency that Obama promised?” the Washington Post blared in a headline, from March, 2011.

“This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David Sanger, a long-time Washington correspondent for the New York Times, to the Committee to Protect Journalists in October, 2013.

“Obama’s Transparency Promise Became a Big, Fat Lie,” scolded the Fiscal Times, in a headline for a March, 2015, story.

And of course, the AP’s headline for its March 2016 piece: “Obama Administration Sets Record for Failure to Provide Documents for FOIA Requests.”

Talk about double-speak. Secrecy with this administration is not an anomaly; it’s a trend. And it’s very likely a trend that will be talked about in the history books for decades. Nixon has Watergate, Clinton has Finger-Wagging Lies – and Obama will have the Transparency That Never Was.

Monday, March 28, 2016

CHERYL CHUMLEY: Obama and the transparency that never was

CHERYL CHUMLEY: Obama and the transparency that never was: When it comes to promised transparency, the Obama White House has about the worst record in history.

ACLU vows to sue N.C. over 'horribly discriminatory' LGBT bathroom law

The American Civil Liberties Union, along with two gay rights groups, was set to announce Monday a lawsuit against North Carolina for its just-passed bill requiring those who claim transgender status to use the public bathrooms that correspond with their birth genders.

The measure, signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory last week, came in response to Charlotte's passage of a rule that allowed transgenders to use the restrooms of choice – the ones that corresponded to their adopted genders.

Lambda Legal and Equality North Carolina joined with the ACLU to announce a suit was pending, the Hill reported.

"We are disappointed that Governor McCrory did not do right by North Carolina's families, communities and businesses by vetoing this horribly discriminatory bill, but this will not be the last word," said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina in a statement. "The ACLU, Lambda Legal and Equality NC are reviewing all options, including litigation."

And Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, said similarly in a separate statement reported by the Hill.

"HB 2 is an undisguised attack on LGBT people and the efforts of one city to protect gay and transgender North Carolinians against discrimination," he said.

North Carolina's law caused a stir among some in the business world, as well as in San Francisco. There, the mayor banned city employees from traveling to North Carolina on the taxpayer dime, Fox News said.,

And corporations like Apple, PayPal and American Airlines sent out statements of condemnation against the new law.

"Our future as Americans should be focused on inclusion and prosperity and not discrimination and division," Apple's statement read, the Hill reported.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Christianity crisis: Time to fight for the First Amendment

This is something I point out in my new book, "The Devil in DC: Winning Back the Country From the Beast in Washington," in great detail ... and offer solutions how to fix. It's available now, and endorsed by radio giant Michael Savage, along with others.

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, of “Judge Jeanine” fame, issued a scathing commentary on the state of Christianity in modern day America, telling a crowded NRB International Christian Media Convention audience in Nashville, Tennessee, they better watch out – the demise of the First Amendment first creeps, then floods.

“Although it seems that the protections that we have in the Constitution are protections that no one can take away from us, I want to tell you that they’re already being taken away,” she was widely quoted as saying. “The irony of today’s liberalism that is accepting of anything and everything is that it is sanctioning discrimination against Christians.”

She’s right, you know. Don’t believe it? Parents, send one of your kids to school with a clearly marked Bible to carry to each class and open during quiet times. See what happens. Politicians, try and open the next public meeting with a prayer that invokes the name of Jesus. Private sector professionals and business owners, see how it goes denying service to customers whose demands conflict with long-held biblical teachings and Christian beliefs.

There’s more – much more.

A just-released report from First Liberty Institute in Texas – “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” -- sheds some serious light on the ability of Christians in America, circa 2016, to publicly show, profess and abide beliefs.

The atmosphere is chilling.

Some of the report’s findings: Companies have faced prosecution for failing to offer abortion-inducing drugs in employee health care plans. State governments have come under fire for displaying the 10 Commandments – despite the fact the face of Moses, the giver of the Law, is displayed over the gallery doors of the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol as part of a group of 23 “historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law,” according to the Architect of the Capitol. Local governing bodies have faced legal challenge for opening meetings in Christian prayer. High school sports’ coaches, athletic team cheerleaders, public school students and teachers have been brought to court, denounced, criticized, punished and in some cases, fired, for the so-called crimes of praying in public, handing a Bible to a student who requested it, displaying biblically-based messages of encouragement at sporting contests, mentioning the name “Jesus” during a valedictorian graduation speech, or, as in one third-grader’s case, trying to hand out religious messages in goodie bags for classmates at the annual “Winter Party” – the same type of school event that for decades was commonly accepted in this country as the “Christmas” party.

If the argument from the left is public school is no place for religion – that such messaging is better left for Sunday church service or for private Christian educational facilities == well, consider this, from the same report: In the recent Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & Sch. V. EEOC, a private Christian school was told by the U.S. Justice Department it could not fire a teacher with narcolepsy by citing the “ministerial exception” clause – that lets churches choose religious leaders absent government interference – because no such clause exists. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled in the school’s favor, but what was the Justice Department trying to accomplish here – control of the churches?

That doesn’t even touch on the crack-downs in the U.S. military against open displays of Christianity – the case of a Navy chaplain who faced an inquiry because he spoke of sex outside of marriage through the looking glass of his religious beliefs, the case of an Air Force master sergeant who found himself in hot water for explaining his biblical views against homosexuality to a gay commander – who had insisted he explain.

The report spans a shocking 376 pages. Obviously, atheists and progressives have been having some banner years. So what’s the solution? Fight.

Those who do nothing – who let such take-downs of the First Amendment go forth unfettered – simply don’t deserve to call themselves patriots and defenders of the American way of life.

Column first appeared here, at the Washington Times: 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fox News host Judge Jeanine warns evangelicals: Liberals 'sanctioning discrimination against Christians'

(I agree ... and my new book, "The Devil in DC: Winning Back the Country From the Beast in Washington," gives more than a dozen actions Christians and patriotic Americans can take to overturn just this scenario! Hope you check it out here.)

Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro said during a speech in Tennessee that Christians are in danger of losing their rights because the liberal mindset of modern times is all things anti-Christian are A-OK.

Speaking to a crowd at the NRB International Media Convention in Nashville, Pirro said, Western Journalism reported: Americans can't rely on their First Amendment rights to protect them as Founding Fathers intended any longer.

"Although it seems that the protections that we have in the Constitution are protections that no one can take away from us," she said, "I want to tell you that they're already being taken away."

Blame liberalism, she said.

"The irony of today's liberalism that is accepting of anything and everything is that it is sanctioning discrimination against Christians," Pirro said.

Pirro told those in the audience in the media they ought to "defend free speech" and step up coverage of issues that show Christianity is under attack.

She also warned evangelical Christians in particular face a First Amendment hit and that the time may come when this group of people are no longer able to speak freely on matters of faith, Western Journalism reported.

"[The First Amendment is] the cornerstone of this nation," Pirro said. "Your being offended is not an excuse [to take] my free speech."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hey, Vatican City: Why So Much Gold – So Few Refugees?

(not to mention the pope's historic rally at the U,S,-Mexico border to shame America into taking more illegals ...)

In the next week or so, the Council of the European Union will meet to discuss how well its ongoing commitment to provide for the millions of Middle Eastern, Asian and African adult males and other migrants fleeing the likes of Syria has been going.

But let’s just cut to the chase. The bureaucrats in charge are going to conclude A) the European Union needs to do more and B) the United States needs to do more. What’s not going to be determined, however, is the need for any sort of first-person attachment to those conclusions.

Germany’s Angela Merkel may double down on her national embrace of the migrants, rapists and all. But Germany’s Angela Merkel is never going to open her massively spacious Bundeskanzleramt-based apartment to taking in a few of these refugees herself.

Nope. That Price is Right “come on down” attitude has a boundary – and it weaves nicely along the border of Not In My Yard.

Politicians being politicians, nobody’s really surprised at their hypocrisy. Where it really nags, however, is in the religious realm. And where it’s really personified is in this continuing migrant crisis is in the pope, his church, and Vatican City.

Migrants are our brothers and sisters, in search of better lives, Pope Francis told the world, during a January address on Vatican Radio.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” he told the United States, during a September 2015 address on Capitol Hill.

“Behind these statistics are people, each of them with a name, a face, a story, an inalienable dignity which is theirs as a child of God,” he said in a November 2015 speech from Vatican City marking the 35th anniversary of the Jesuit Refugee Service, just days after a series of terror attacks rocked Paris and threatened to slow the flow of migrants into the area.

Noticeably absent during these speeches? Faces and photographs of the dozens of refugee families welcomed into Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the pope. The sovereign city-state sits on a 100-acre parcel of well-guarded, partly walled land by the Tiber River, and is home to some of the world’s most notable treasures, from art work to gold, as well as to the highly secretive – and highly profitable – Vatican Bank with untold amounts of assets and investments. Plenty of money to spend on provisions for these children of God, it would seem.

The world saw a glimmer of goodwill from the cloistered city when the pontiff, in a widely reported September 2015 address, called on every parish, monastery and religious community in Europe to take in a refugee family or two – and backed that call by vowing to house two such families in the Vatican. But weeks later, and the segregated city had only found one family worthy of welcome – and curiously enough, given the high Muslim population of the refugees, a Christian family belonging to the Melkite Catholic Church, at that. Within months, many of the Catholic Churches called by Pope Francis to do their moral duty and open doors to refugees abandoned the idea in seemingly similar fashion.

One can imagine the cry of the migrant standing outside one of the five armed-guarded doors that keep Vatican City secure: “Father, got a spare coin?”

It’s bad enough listening to politicians prattle on from tax-paid venues about the need to provide for the world’s suffering, before being escorted by armed officers to their chauffeured vehicles and dropped within the gates of their high-security homes. But having a religious leader wag moral fingers at the rest of us, from behind gilded screens and amid some of the world’s most precious of metals and treasures – from behind walls that protect this wealth from the riffraff of society – is just too much. It’s unChristian, and it’s everything people hate about organized religion. But Jesus said it best, speaking to the money-lovers of the time: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The rise of Bernie Sanders – the Fall of America

All eyes may be on the Republican primary and the brewing battles between Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump and Fox News, and Donald Trump and National Review, and Donald Trump and fill-in-the-blank -- but the Democratic race is where the real news is happening.

The fact that Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-declared Socialist, is heating up the campaign trail against the one-time presumptive primary winner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is one of the biggest tragedies facing America right now. It also happens to be one of the most under-reported.

Flash back to February 2009 when the cover of Newsweek blared forth the shocking headline, “We Are All Socialists Now” and the inside article elaborated with the subtitled query: “Can America Adopt a More European Model, Only With a Faster Rate of Growth?” Then there were the widely watched “Hardball” interviews of July 2015 and January 2016 when MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked the Democratic National Committee’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Mrs. Clinton, respectively, to define the differences between their political party and Socialism, with the ensuing results in both cases being wide-eyed stutters and off-guard stumbles. Then there was the should-be-historic reach-out of President Obama to Socialist Mr. Sanders with a January 27 closed-door meeting at the White House, the nation’s highest hallways of power, to trade thoughts on ISIS, foreign policy and other matters of political importance.

Anybody else see the alarm here?

Add in Mrs. Clinton’s lagging poll numbers, due in large part to her own doing, and the simultaneous rise of Mr. Sanders’, and what we have is a seismic shift in politics, one that says bluntly, It’s okay to admit being a Socialist. The tag doesn’t bring a blacklist. It brings an invite to the White House.

True, Democrats have been leaning Socialist for some time. But they’ve been masking it as progressive policy.

Mr. Sanders now represents for Socialists what Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, represented for the homosexual rights movement – legitimacy. His Simon and Garfunkel “America” all-court press has freed Socialists from the shadows. Their stigma is gone. And that – not the poll numbers, or the day-to-day politicking, or the he-said, she-said arguments, but rather the sad disappearance of America’s noble republic, complete with principles of limited government as based on God-given rights – is the big story, the media-missed picture. Giving Mr. Sanders such a large platform is a startling commentary on the state of U.S. politics and culture. Watching his Socialist race be greeted with such favor is a pitiful discovery that speaks volumes about the country’s demise.

The fact that some argument has popped from the far-left camps condemning Mr. Sanders as little more than a Socialist wanna-be, and that the candidate himself often says he’s more a Democratic-Socialist, is little comfort to those who see America in the same vein as the Founding Fathers – or little matter. It’s the movement of Socialism into the mainstream, in either hyphenated form or stand-alone, that’s the larger concern, the loudest outrage.

Thomas Jefferson was said to have written, “It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.” Mr. Sanders, on the other hand, offered this, in a January 19 Twitter post: “Our job is to tell every kid in this country, that if they work hard, regardless of family income, they will get a college education.” Or this, the same day: “I got a message for the Walton family of Walmart: Get off of welfare and pay your workers a living wage.” Or this a day earlier, of a Martin Luther King Jr. quote: “Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth.”

These are the ideas that are gaining steam in America. Truthfully, they have been for years, and from both sides of the political aisles. The disappointing and depressing realization, though, is that thanks in large part to Mr. Sanders and his steaming charge through Iowa toward New Hampshire, outing them out as Socialist is not dimming their appeal.