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Archive for June 10th, 2014

‘Young Ones’ Star Rik Mayall Dies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

‘Young Ones’ Star Rik Mayall Dies
Rik Mayall, the British comedian and actor known for the TV shows The Young Ones and Blackadder as well as the 1991 movie Drop Dead Fred, has died. He was 56. Mayall co-wrote Young Ones and portrayed one of the slovenly slackers on the sitcom, which was exported from the U.K. to the U.S. and became an early hit on the MTV cable channel. He also played the lecherous Lord Flashheart on Blackadder. His writing and performing partner Adrian Endmondson said, “There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree, stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he’s died for real. Without me. Selfish [bleep].”

Nato Forces Kill 5 U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
Five American soldiers have been killed accidentally by their own side in southern Afghanistan, U.S. military sources have confirmed. An Afghan soldier and an interpreter also died in the Nato air strike after Monday’s operation in Zabul province. The incident happened in Arghandab district, a place hotly contested between the Taliban and international forces.


Facebook, Twitter brace for World Cup fever

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Facebook, Twitter brace for World Cup fever
NEW YORK (AP) — This year’s World Cup will play out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and messaging apps like WhatsApp just as it progresses in stadiums from Sao Paulo to Rio De Janeiro.


House votes to ensure speedier care at VA hospitals

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

House votes to ensure speedier care at VA hospitals
The 421-0 vote was Congress’ strongest response yet to systemic misconduct and treatment delays for veterans’ health care

Obama signs into law water, Congressional Gold Medal bills
The president signed a bill authorizing $12.3 billion in infrastructure and another to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Borinqueneers, a segregated infantry unit comprised of primarily Puerto Rican soldiers who served in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War.

Bowe Bergdahl deal finalized a day before swap, senator says
Despite Sen. Dick Durbin’s explanation as to why Congress wasn’t informed about the deal, lawmakers remain skeptical


Mark Levin Advises GOP To “Stop Chasing Genitalia” To Win Elections

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Mark Levin Advises GOP To “Stop Chasing Genitalia” To Win Elections

From the June 10 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

Previously:

Mark Levin: The Go-To Radio Host For GOP Lawmakers Despite Inflammatory Rhetoric

Mark Levin Compares Marriage Equality To Incest, Polygamy, And Drug Use

Mark Levin: “Under This Administration, It’s An Abortion In Every Household”


The Prisoner Swap Deal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Prisoner Swap Deal
Thomas Sowell, RealClearPolitics
People are arguing about what the United States got out of the deal that swapped five top level terrorist leaders for one American soldier who was, at best, absent from his post in a war zone. Soldiers who served in the same unit with him call him a deserter. The key to this deal, however, is less likely to be what the United States got out of the deal than it is about what Barack Obama got out of the deal. If nothing else, it instantly got the veterans’ hospitals scandals off the front pages of newspapers and pushed these scandals aside on television news programs. It was a clear winner for…

Military Bases: Obama’s New Illegal Alien Dumping Grounds
Michelle Malkin, RealClearPolitics
A source tipped me off last week to a curious occurrence: It seems that two planeloads of illegal aliens were recently shipped to Massachusetts. The first reportedly landed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford. According to my tipster, approximately 160 illegal immigrants arrived on that flight and stayed nearly a week before being transferred to a Department of Homeland Security site and then released. The second flight reportedly was diverted from Hanscom to Boston’s Logan Airport this past weekend. I am told that both Massachusetts and New Hampshire officials were on hand. I reached out to…

Teachable Moment for Clinton
Ruth Marcus, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s tone-deaf comments about being “dead broke” after she and her husband left the White House were unfortunate, revealing and — if Clinton chooses to learn from them — instructive for the likely presidential campaign ahead. ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked Clinton about her reported $5 million in speaking fees since leaving the Obama administration, and Bill Clinton’s supposed $100 million pile. “We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt,” Clinton responded. “We had no money when we got there and we struggled to, you know, piece together the…

Christie Touring Country, Reviving 2016 Prospects
Steve Peoples and Erik Schelzig, RealClearPolitics
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chris Christie is plunging into what amounts to a cross-country revival tour, looking to recover from a clumsy political scandal and reclaim his place as a promising Republican presidential prospect. In one recent week, it was on-the-ground politics in Tennessee and New Mexico. This week, after a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, the New Jersey governor returns to the late night comedy circuit with an appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show.” Then he’ll stop by Mitt Romney’s Utah summit, a private event for donors and GOP establishment leaders, and the week after that he heads…


VIDEO: What’s in political ‘too difficult’ box?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VIDEO: What’s in political ‘too difficult’ box?
Politicians are asked what can be done about social care, House of Lords reform and drugs.

VIDEO: Clarke: No route back for Blair
Charles Clarke says Tony Blair is “in quite a tragic position” as he looks for a future role in politics.


My Obamacare agony

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

My Obamacare agony
I was just the kind of sickly, long-uninsured person Obamacare was designed to help—or so I thought.


‘Richmond Hubris’ Drove Eric Cantor’s War With Grassroots, Led To His Demise

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

‘Richmond Hubris’ Drove Eric Cantor’s War With Grassroots, Led To His Demise
WASHINGTON — In his brief remarks to a room full of shell-shocked supporters Tuesday night, deposed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor expressed disappointment, thanked his family and staff, and began talking about research.

“I’m really proud of the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. Because what it says as conservatives is that we don’t believe you ought to spend taxpayer dollars on political conventions. That in fact it’s probably better to help cure disease, because not only do you save lives and help people, you can ultimately solve the federal deficit problem by bringing down federal health care costs,” Cantor said.

Tucked inside that moment of seemingly random self-puffery, Cantor alluded to one of the central political fights that ended up driving him from office in a shocking primary defeat to a little-known challenger, Dave Brat, in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Cantor, who had been next in line to become speaker of the House, was caught off guard by grassroots energy that emanated from a battle with his political organization to take back control of the state’s Republican Party from forces unleashed two years ago by former state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

The battle was over using a convention process, rather than primary elections, to nominate Republican candidates.

In 2012, Cuccinelli supporters took over the state central committee and ruled that the 2013 Republican nomination for the governor’s race would be decided at a convention rather than through the traditional primary process. The more cumbersome process meant that only the most intensely committed activists would get to decide the GOP nominee for governor. The decision drove moderate Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling from contention and paved the way for Cuccinelli to cruise to the nomination.

Using a state chapter of his Young Guns political action committee, YG Virginia, Cantor decided to take on the activists trying to purge the Virginia GOP, said Ron Meyer, who ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2013.

“YG ramping up was in direct reaction to Cuccinelli taking over the party to defeat Bolling,” Meyer said.

But the tactic of “slating” used by YG and by Cantor’s political lieutenant in the state, Ray Allen, had the effect of poking “a nest of already angry hornets” in the conservative grassroots, as Steve Albertson, a member of the state central committee, put it.

“Slating” was a procedural move by Allen and YG operatives to push out grassroots delegates to congressional district conventions that vote on seats to the state central committee. The central committee is the body that decides whether statewide candidates are elected by a convention or primary.

Cantor wanted to restore primaries and get rid of conventions to protect his allies in the state, as well as his own seat.

“He was worried that the state central committee would allow conventions for incumbents” like himself, Meyer said.

And that’s the reason Cantor went to war with the grassroots, and the reason why he mentioned conventions in his concession speech Tuesday night.

One Virginia GOP operative said that the fight over the central committee was “all of” the reason Cantor lost.

“[Rep. Rob] Wittman in VA-01 has a voting record arguably to the left of Cantor, and won handily against his Tea Party challenger,” the Virginia operative said. “So you start eliminating variables: immigration, Tea Party strength, etc. and the one thing that truly sticks out is the fight over district chair seats across Virginia — spearheaded by Young Guns.

“That’s what makes VA-07 an outlier at the end of the day. The grassroots noticed the desire to whack the liberty movement and in turn the Tea Party made the decision to punish,” he said.

Cantor was never well liked, especially by conservatives, who considered him a fraud. His operation’s battle with Virginia’s grassroots — a move described by one senior Cantor aide as “Richmond hubris” — created a perfect storm to propel one of the bigger upsets in American political life for some time.


World Briefing: India: Ruling Party Official Killed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

World Briefing: India: Ruling Party Official Killed
Two men on a motorcycle on Monday fatally shot a local politician from the ruling party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh, the second such killing in a week.



Despite Clash in Ukraine, Cease-Fire Talks Advance
The foreign ministers of Russia, Germany and Poland said they were optimistic while President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine proposed setting up a corridor to help people flee the violence.



Open Source: Glimpses of Mosul in Islamist Hands on YouTube
Video uploaded to YouTube appeared to offer images of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, under the control of Islamist militants.



Merkel Cites ‘Threats’ in Warning to Cameron
Fissures are forming as Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain expresses increasing skepticism of the value of European Union inclusion.



World Briefing: Mali: Rebels Agree to Talks
Three northern Malian rebel groups signed an accord in Algiers pledging to work for peace through inclusive talks in Mali, the Algerian government said in a statement on Tuesday.




Day 24: Contemplations of Identity

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Day 24: Contemplations of Identity
In the first of two posts about north Wichita, Kansas, immigrants who came here for the city’s good, affordable quality of life say they have largely found it, but that discord with their white neighbors is pervasive.