Thursday, October 08, 2015

McCarthy drops out of the House speaker race

Wow, who saw this development coming?

From the Washington Post:
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday abruptly dropped out of the race to replace John Boehner as speaker, a stunning move that further complicates an already chaotic House leadership contest.

McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced his decision at a meeting of House Republicans who gathered to select their candidate for speaker ahead of the official floor vote scheduled for Oct. 29.

"We need a fresh face," said McCarthy in post-meeting news conference, adding that he would remain as majority leader. "I don't want making voting for speaker [on the House floor] a tough one."
McCarthy must not have had the votes. Look for someone more conservative than the Californian to become the next House speaker.


Hero in French train terror attack stabbed in California

Sad news out of Sacramento--but it appears this US Air Force hero will recover.

From the Sacramento Bee:
A man who suffered critical stab wounds during an assault in midtown early Thursday is being identified as Spencer Stone, one of the heroes who stopped a terrorist attack aboard a train bound for Paris in August.

Officers were called at 12:46 a.m. Thursday to the 2100 block of K Street where they found a man with multiple stab wounds in his torso.

Officers initially thought the man would not survive the stabbing. However, once he arrived at the hospital, medical staff was able to stem the bleeding and he is expected to survive.

Islamic State demons told to rape women to make them Muslim

Evil has been set loose in the Middle East.

From CNN:
Noor (not her real name) was sold into slavery after ISIS overran her village in the Iraqi province of Sinjar. The 22-year-old says the militant who picked her out raped her -- but not before trying to justify himself.

"He showed me a letter and said, 'This shows any captured women will become Muslim if 10 ISIS fighters rape her.' There was a flag of ISIS and a picture of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi."

After abusing her, he passed her on to 11 of his friends, who also raped her.

In ISIS territory, Yazidi women can be bought and sold for money, bartered for weapons, even given as a gift; but this is not a simple commercial transaction -- ISIS has made rape and slavery part and parcel of its -- brutal -- theology.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Iranian museum has two Hitler paintings on display

Iran is crawling with anti-Semites--so you shouldn't be surprised that by this story from Haaretz.
A gallery in the Iranian capital Tehran is showing two paintings by German dictator Adolf Hitler.

"The exhibition also includes water colours by other artists, but most visitors come to see the Hitler paintings," Daphineh gallery curator Golnaz Golsabahi told German News Agency dpa on Wednesday.

400,000 Midwestern Teamster retirees face pension cuts

Here's another black eye for the labor movement, which touts pensions as one of the major benefits of being a union member.

There are eight members of the Central States Pension Fund--four of them are Teamster big shots.

From CNBC:
A prominent Teamsters pension fund, one of the largest, has filed for reorganization under a new federal law and has sent letters to more than 400,000 members warning that their benefits must be cut.

Any reorganization of the decades-old Central States Pension Fund would take months and would probably be a brutal battle as workers, retirees, union leaders and employers all seek to protect competing interests. It is a multiemployer plan, the type led jointly by a union and a number of companies, that has caused consternation for many years, because if it failed, it could wipe out a federal insurance program that now pays the benefits of a million retirees.

If the reorganization ultimately proves successful, however, it could serve as a model for other retirement plans with similar, seemingly intractable financial problems.A prominent Teamsters pension fund, one of the largest, has filed for reorganization under a new federal law and has sent letters to more than 400,000 members warning that their benefits must be cut.

(Video) Hillary email company wrote that he was "starting to think this whole thing is covering up some shady ****"

An employee of Platte River Networks, the small-scale IT firm that managed Hillary Clinton's email service while she was Barack Obama's secretary of state, wrote in an email to a coworker that he was "starting to think this whole thing is covering up some shaddy [sic] shit."

From ABC 7 Denver:

States might balk at Obama's Syrian refugee settlement plans

Remember, these refugees will receive food stamps and welfare benefits.

From Fox News:
The Obama administration's pledge to absorb thousands more Syrian and other refugees could run headlong into resistance from state and local officials worried about whether their communities can handle the influx.

Federal officials announced last month they plan to take in at least 10,000 refugees from Syria over the next year, and a total of 100,000 refugees from around the world by 2017 -- up from 70,000.

While Republicans on Capitol Hill have raised concerns about whether refugees from Syria will be adequately screened for terror ties, local officials are worried simply about whether they have the resources to take them.

"It's a fiscal issue," said Peter Steele, a spokesman for Maine Gov. Paul LePage. "You can only pay for what you can afford, and those funds should be going to the most needy citizens in our state."

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Victims of Islamic State rape speak out

We live in wretched times.

From the Daily Mail:
Pregnant women abducted and sold as sex slaves by Islamic State fighters have been forced to undergo abortions leaving them unable to move or speak, freed Yazidi girls have revealed.

ISIS jihadists would bring their own gynaecologists to 'slave markets' in the Sinjar region of Iraq where captured Yazidi women who were found to be pregnant would be subjected to painful abortions so they could be used for sex.

One woman, Bushra, 21, revealed that her friend was three months pregnant when she was captured, and that ISIS forced her to undergo a termination.

Nebraska Democrat calls for end of free congressional mailings

Omaha's skyline
Here's an idea from a Democrat that I strongly support.

From the Omaha World-Herald:
Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb., wants to cut off the mass mailings sent from Capitol Hill lawmakers every year on the taxpayers’ dime.

"We must end special privileges for members of Congress," Ashford said in a press release Tuesday.

"Nebraskans expect elected officials to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. That's why I will not spend tax dollars for self-promoting mass mailings, which do not help my constituents."
Yes, a bipartisan commission reviews these "franking" mailings for political bias and these freebies are banned three months prior to election, but as anyone who took an introductory marketing course will tell you--if you win the name recognition battle--you can almost claim victory.

I'm sure Ashford's bill faces an uphill battle but other members of Congress can vow not to use frankings.

Abandoned Detroit home in Mexicantown

Within a couple of blocks of the abandoned C.F. Smith Company warehouse in Detroit's Mexicantown neighborhood is this long forsaken home--most likely it was one of the finest homes on its block a few decades ago.