Friday Fun: A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Between Hillary Clinton’s whining about being broke, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s historic primary loss to Tea Party challenger David Brat, Iraq coming under siege and President Barack Obama’s ongoing trouble doing anything right, political cartoonists have had a lot to work with this week. And they didn’t disappoint.
EricAllie

 


 

EricAllie2


 

TaylorJones


 

Jeff Koterba cartoon for June 13, 2014 "Hagel, Obama, Bergdahl"


R.J.Maston


ArendvanDam


MarkStreeterSavannahMorningNews


BobEnglehart

 

 

Friday Morning News Roundup 6-13-2014

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Iraq is breaking up. The Kurds have taken the northern oil city of Kirkuk that they have long claimed as their capital. Sunni fundamentalist fighters vow to capture Baghdad and the Shia holy cities further south. The nine-year Shia dominance over Iraq, established after the US, Britain and other allies overthrew Saddam Hussein, may be coming to an end. Source: The Independent UK…
  • Islamist rebel fighters captured two more Iraqi towns overnight in a relentless sweep south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a medieval caliphate carved out of fragmenting Iraq and Syria. Source: Reuters…
  • The full horror of the jihadists’ savage victories in Iraq emerged yesterday as witnesses told of streets lined with decapitated soldiers and policemen. Blood-soaked bodies and blazing vehicles were left in the wake of the Al-Qaida-inspired ISIS fanatics as they pushed the frontline towards Baghdad. They boasted about their triumphs in a propaganda video depicting appalling scenes including a businessman being dragged from his car and executed at the roadside with a pistol to the back of his head. Source: The Daily Mail…
  • The FBI “most wanted” mugshot shows a tough, swarthy figure, his hair in a jailbird crew-cut. The $10 million price on his head, meanwhile, suggests that whoever released him from U.S. custody four years ago may now be regretting it. Taken during his years as a detainee at the U.S.-run Camp Bucca in southern Iraq, this is one of the few known photographs of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS). Source: The Telegraph…
  • Another fascinating story on what little is publicly known about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious leader of ISIS. “The murkiness of the photo of the man who calls himself Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is appropriate. Though he’s “the world’s most dangerous man” to Time magazine and the “the new bin Laden” to Le Monde, the man who orchestrated the sacking of northern Iraq’s largest city and today controls a nation-size swath of land, is a relatively unknown and enigmatic figure. Source: The Washington Post…
  • The U.S. economy likely contracted at a much sharper pace in the first quarter than previously estimated with data on Wednesday showing weaker health care spending. The government reported that the economy contracted at a 1.0 percent annual rate in the January-March period. But with health care spending data now in hand, economists say growth probably declined at a rate of at least 1.7 percent. Source: CNBC…
  • After six minutes of questioning on gay marriage, Hillary Clinton got testy with NPR‘s Terry Gross after the “Fresh Air” host asked if the former Secretary of State changed her mind on gay marriage or she publicly stated something she had always believed. “No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons,” Clinton finally snipped. Source: Real Clear Politics…
  • U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former prisoner of war whose recent release from Taliban captivity prompted both celebration and controversy, has arrived in Texas. A flight transporting Bergdahl from a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, landed in San Antonio at about 1:40 a.m. Friday. Source: USA Today…
  • The sun has had three major solar flares on its surface in the past two days that have affected communications on Earth and could send a shockwave through Earth this Friday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Source: ABC News…
  • A new study by researchers at the University of Texas, Austin found that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is collapsing due to geothermal heat, not man-made global warming. Source: The Daily Caller…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-12-2014: Lawmakers Scramble For Iraq Answers; U.S. Contractors Being Evacuated; Carney Can’t Explain Why Iraq Is Not An Obama Achievement; Americans Increasingly See Opposing Party As A Threat; Obama Is Falling In Polls

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Lawmakers Scramble To Make Sense Of Iraq Crisis

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) took to the Senate floor Thursday to advise President Barack Obama to fire the Administration’s entire national security team following reports that Iraq is under siege by Islamic extremists. Read More… 

‘Planeloads’ Of U.S. Contractors Flee Baghdad As ISIS Moves South

As the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues its southern sweep across a severely destabilized Iraq, non-government American workers in Baghdad are evacuating to undisclosed areas of the country by the planeload, the State Department told media today. Read More… 

Jay Careny Has A Tough Time Explaining How Obama’s Iraq Diplomacy Represents A ‘Signature Achievement’

Departing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney faced reporters today to address a bevy of questions about whether – and how – the U.S. will move to protect what’s left of its interests in Baghdad as an army of highly-organized ISIS insurgents wrest control of cities from the Iraqi government in a decisive trek towards the capital. Read More… 

Polls: Americans Increasingly Fed Up With Obama

As Americans wait to see how the President will respond to the situation in Iraq and his Administration continues to be plagued by various political scandals, a couple of new surveys show that Barack Obama is as unpopular as his predecessor and quickly losing the Nation’s trust. Read More… 

Today In 1987: ‘Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall’

In case you forgot what leadership in the face of international trouble looks like, today marks the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s demand that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall. Watch… 

Americans Increasingly See Opposing Party As ‘Threat’ To Nation

More than one-third of Republicans and just more than a quarter of Democrats see the other party as a “threat to the nation’s well-being,” reflecting a widening partisan division in the country that has congealed into animosity and distrust. Read More… 

Today In 1987: ‘Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall’

In case you forgot what leadership in the face of international trouble looks like, today marks the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s demand that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall.

Enjoy.

In November 1989, two years after the famous speech, East Germans issued a decree to open the wall and allow free travel into West Berlin. By 1990, the wall had been fully dismantled, as had Communism in Eastern Europe and in Soviet Russia.

Here’s the full text of Reagan’s speech:

Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world at the City Hall. Well, since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn, to Berlin. And today I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin, we American presidents, because it’s our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom. But I must confess, we’re drawn here by other things as well: by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation; by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten; most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer Paul Lincke understood something about American presidents. You see, like so many presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin. [I still have a suitcase in Berlin.]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same–still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

President von Weizsacker has said, “The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.” Today I say: As long as the gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.

In this season of spring in 1945, the people of Berlin emerged from their air-raid shelters to find devastation. Thousands of miles away, the people of the United States reached out to help. And in 1947 Secretary of State–as you’ve been told–George Marshall announced the creation of what would become known as the Marshall Plan. Speaking precisely 40 years ago this month, he said: “Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.”

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. I was struck by the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: “The Marshall Plan is helping here to strengthen the free world.” A strong, free world in the West, that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium–virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth; the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty–that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

Where four decades ago there was rubble, today in West Berlin there is the greatest industrial output of any city in Germany–busy office blocks, fine homes and apartments, proud avenues, and the spreading lawns of parkland. Where a city’s culture seemed to have been destroyed, today there are two great universities, orchestras and an opera, countless theaters, and museums. Where there was want, today there’s abundance–food, clothing, automobiles–the wonderful goods of the Ku’damm. From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on earth. The Soviets may have had other plans. But my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn’t count on–Berliner Herz, Berliner Humor, ja, und Berliner Schnauze. [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner Schnauze.]

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: “We will bury you.” But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent– and I pledge to you my country’s efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.

Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles, capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counter-deployment unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution; namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counter-deployment, there were difficult days–days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city–and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then– I invite those who protest today–to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. And because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva, we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative–research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend; on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago, freedom was encircled, Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines, in South and Central America, democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations, a technological revolution is taking place–a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete.

Today thus represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safe, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start. Free people of Berlin: Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin, which is permitted by the 1971 agreement.

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world.

To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.

With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control or other issues that call for international cooperation.

There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I’m certain, will do the same. And it’s my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.

One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you may have noted that the Republic of Korea–South Korea–has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West? In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You’ve done so in spite of threats–the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there’s a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there’s something deeper, something that involves Berlin’s whole look and feel and way of life–not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence that refuses to release human energies or aspirations. Something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says yes to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin is love–love both profound and abiding.

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere–that sphere that towers over all Berlin–the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.” Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I’ve been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they’re doing again.

Thank you and God bless you all.

-President Ronald Reagan – June 12, 1987

Thursday Morning News Roundup 6-12-2014

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Fighters for the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took Mosul Wednesday, giving the militant group control of Iraq’s second largest city and setting the country on a path toward chaos. ISIS militants already control Fallujah, a city that American Marines took in 2004 in what was the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War. Now, with both Mosul and Fallujah under their control, nearly half of Iraq is in the grips of a group that is a formal affiliate of a terrorist group. Source: The Fiscal Times…
  • Iraqi forces sought to check the rapid advance of ISIS Islamist militants who had seized major cities, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki responded to the greatest threat to his government since taking power. The surge in violence across northern and central Iraq, three years after U.S. troops withdrew, has raised the prospect of a return to sectarian civil war in OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer. Source: Bloomberg…
  • During the same Internet Q&A in which he said gun violence in the United States is “off the charts,” President Barack Obama also said the rest of the world is “less violent than it’s ever been.” Source: Real Clear Politics…
  • Vice President Joe Biden has insulted Germany, the EU’s biggest economy and America’s most important ally in Europe, with a gratuitous and ignorant accusation that the German people are hostile towards immigrants and “xenophobic.” Offering no evidence, Biden told an audience in Washington to “Look at Germany. Look at the rest of the world.” He put Germany among the countries that were not “as welcoming” to outsiders. America is “the only non-xenophobic nation in the world that’s a major economy.” Source: Breitbart… 
  • The White House is adopting enhanced security procedures during foreign trips after the name of a CIA official was accidentally leaked to the press during President Barack Obama’s visit to Afghanistan late last month. However, no one was disciplined or fired as a result of the leak. Source: Business Insider…
  • With the $500 million purchase of Skybox, a startup that shoots high-res photos and video with low-cost satellites, Google can extend its reach far across the offline world. Thanks to its knack for transforming mass quantities of unstructured data into revenue-generating insights, the unprecedented stream of aerial imagery to which the company is gaining access could spark a whole new category of high-altitude insights into the workings of economies, nations, and nature itself. One Skybox insider says that satellite images alone could be used to estimate any country’s major economic indicators. Source: Wired…
  • California Governor Jerry Brown, running for an unprecedented fourth term, says that if he can curb his fellow Democrats’ spending dreams, the most-indebted State may win its highest credit rating in five years. Brown wants to finance unfunded pension costs and pay off what he calls a “wall of debt” that former governors racked up in balancing prior budgets. The tax increases that Brown championed have stoked investor interest in California tax-exempt debt. Source: Bloomberg…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-11-2014: GOP Leadership Battle Begins In House; The Best Places To Start A Small Business; News Anchors Flipped Out As Cantor Lost The Primary; More Gitmo Transfers ‘Not Imminent’; Obama’s Love Of Arguing Against Nothing

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Cantor To Resign As Majority Leader; GOP Leadership Scramble Begins

A battle royale emerged Wednesday among House Republicans jockeying to move up the leadership ladder after Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary defeat to a Tea Party newcomer. Read More… 

Entrepreneur Survey Reveals Best, Worst Places For Small Business

Politicians love to claim that they plan to create jobs during campaign seasons— even if they aren’t always able offer a clear plan. But, according to the results of survey of the actual job creators who run the Nation’s small businesses, formulating one should be pretty simple: do away with ridiculous licensing requirements and minimize regulation. Best Places For Business… 

Earthquake! Stunning! OMG! Watch Smoke Come Out News Anchors’ Ears As Brat Defeats Cantor

Talking heads across mainstream media Tuesday evening were beside themselves as it became clearer with each passing commercial break that Dave Brat, whom no one outside Virginia had heard of before this week, was going to knock House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) from his six-term Congressional career. Funny Stuff… 

Official: More Transfers From Guantanamo Prison Not ‘Imminent’

The Obama Administration is working on more transfers out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in the wake of last week’s release of five Taliban fighters but said Wednesday it doesn’t have a timeline for progress. Read More… 

Video: President Obama Rejects All The Absurd Views Held By Political Straw Men

President Obama has a rhetorical gift for absolutely crushing absurd contrarian views that virtually no one holds. Like when he said, “I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves.” No Kidding?.. 

Earthquake! Stunning! OMG! Watch Smoke Come Out News Anchors’ Ears As Brat Defeats Cantor

Talking heads across mainstream media Tuesday evening were beside themselves as it became clearer with each passing commercial break that Dave Brat, whom no one outside Virginia had heard of before this week, was going to knock House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) from his six-term Congressional career.

Brat did just that in the two-candidate Virginia Republican primary race, with wiggle room to spare. He earned 56 percent of the vote to Cantor’s 44 percent.

TV anchors, thirsting for an excuse to crank the hype amp to 11, went berserk:

Coming back down to Earth, Brat’s win was pretty significant in historical terms: Cantor’s defeat marks the first time an incumbent House Majority Leader has been ousted during a primary election since the position of House Majority Leader has existed, dating back to 1899.

Wednesday Morning News Roundup 6-11-2014

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fell to challenger Dave Brat on Tuesday in a stunning primary upset likely to send shockwaves through Congress and the Republican Party. The result will no doubt cause a leadership scramble on the Hill, where Cantor was expected by many within the Republican Party to one day succeed House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Source: Washington Examiner…
  • President Barack Obama’s favorability ratings hit the lowest point of his presidency in a Bloomberg National Poll, with just 44 percent of Americans saying they have positive feelings about him. Source: Bloomberg…
  • Islamist insurgents seized control of Iraq’s second-largest city on Tuesday in a brazen military operation that underscored the weakness of the central government across vast swaths of the country. Source: The Wall Street Journal…
  • Newspapers in El Salvador and Honduras are promoting policies by the Obama Administration that defer deportation to minors brought to the United States as children by their parents — known as “Dreamers” — and those that are housing illegal children at military bases in the South and West. Source: Newsmax…
  • Both in public and in private meetings, new Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson readily acknowledges there is a border “problem” that needs fixing — a major departure from his predecessor, Janet Napolitano, whose consistent refrain was that the border was more secure than it had ever been. Source: The Washington Times…
  • The family of a Connecticut teenager at the center of a custody dispute with the state of Massachusetts has posted a video showing the teen pleading for the judge to let her go home. Source: CBS Boston…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-10-2014: Obama prepared to act ‘unilaterally’ on guns; More selective enforcement of Obamacare; Cell phones can be used as microphones by government spies; Judge issues major blow to Calif. teachers’ unions; Iraq being overrun by al-Qaida; Farmers’ ‘Frozen’ parody takes on EPA

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

White House: Obama Prepared To Act ‘Unilaterally’ Again Using ‘Executive Authority’ On Guns

President Barack Obama is looking for new ways to act “administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority” to enact new gun control legislation, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a press conference Tuesday. Read More…

More Selective Enforcement Of Obamacare As States See Key Provision Delayed

Eighteen States are getting a reprieve from the Obama Administration in rolling out an Obamacare provision that requires their State-managed insurance markets to offer an array of coverage to small business employees. Read More… 

Your Cell Phone Likely Isn’t Impervious To Snoops Even When The Device Is Off

For years, “paranoid” surveillance critics have questioned whether cell phones could be used as listening devices by government snoops. Last month, National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden said that they can—even when they’re turned off. Tech experts have now confirmed Snowden’s claim. Read More… 

Key Teacher Job Protections Violate California’s Constitution, Judge Rules

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that key job protections for teachers in California are unconstitutional, in a major loss for unions. Read More…

Police, Army Flee As Al-Qaida Group Seizes Iraq’s Second Largest City

Iraqi police and army forces abandoned much of the northern city of Mosul Tuesday after fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized control of key government buildings late Monday night, leaving the central government’s control of northern Iraq in grave doubt. Read More…

‘That’s Enough’: Farmers Protest EPA’s Water Takeover With ‘Frozen’ Parody

If you have youngsters running around, chances are you’ve been acquainted with the song “Let It Go” from the hit Disney movie “Frozen.” If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky you haven’t heard it hundreds of times. Either way, Missouri farmers Kacey and Andy Clay’s re-imagining of the song to tell the Environmental Protection Agency to back off on new proposed water rules is worth a listen. Video…

‘That’s Enough’: Farmers Protest EPA’s Water Takeover With ‘Frozen’ Parody

If you have youngsters running around, chances are you’ve been acquainted with the song “Let It Go” from the hit Disney movie “Frozen.” If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky you haven’t heard it hundreds of times. Either way, Missouri farmers Kacey and Andy Clay’s re-imagining of the song to tell the Environmental Protection Agency to back off on new proposed water rules is worth a listen.

The parody song is a response to the EPA plan to regulate water in small ponds and ditches, as well as in low-lying areas where water sometimes flows. The “Waters of the U.S.” proposal would essentially give EPA regulators control over any land where it claims that water flows— the rules would also make it nearly impossible for many farmers throughout the Nation to do their jobs.

Ditch The Rule, an organization advertised in the video above, explains the problems with the proposal on its website:

The “waters of the U.S.” rule proposes a change to the definition of that term—waters of the United States. Where the Clean Water Act has previously defined those waters as those that are navigable or are significantly connected to navigable waters, the proposed rule would include smaller waters and even some dry land in the definition of “waters of the U.S.” As a result, permit requirements that apply to navigable waters would also apply to ditches, small ponds and even depressions in fields and pastures that are only wet when there is heavy rain. If landowners could not get permits to do things like build fences and use pesticides to control bugs and weeds—something that would be far from guaranteed—farming and ranching would be much more costly and difficult. Other landowners, too, would face roadblocks to things they want to do, such as build a house or plant trees.

It is clear from the language of the Clean Water Act that Congress did not intend for the law to extend federal regulations to such small, remote waters and land features; otherwise, Congress would not have used the term “navigable.”

Under the proposed rule, nearly every drop of water that falls would be regulated by the federal government—the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Tuesday Morning News Roundup 6-10-2014

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Federal prosecutors recently held discussions with representatives of renegade National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on a possible deal involving his return to the United States to face charges of stealing more than a million secret NSA documents, according to U.S. officials. Source: The Washington Free Beacon…
  • The Internal Revenue Service may have been caught violating federal tax law: In October 2010, the agency sent a database on 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups containing confidential taxpayer information to the FFBI, according to documents obtained by a House panel. The information was transmitted in advance of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s meeting the same month with Justice Department officials about the possibility of using campaign-finance laws to prosecute certain nonprofit groups. Source: National Review…
  • While discussing the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap Monday on Fox News, Bill Robinson, a columnist for the Huffington Post, claimed a Pentagon official had told him “the White House, in concert with the State Department and Defense Department, was orchestrating a campaign of threats and intimidation not only against infantrymen and the military men in Afghanistan at the time in 2009, but also against military officers and Pentagon officers to keep silent about what really happened, there.” Source: Breitbart…
  • By a 55-38 percent margin, people wish the Affordable Care Act had never passed and the 2009 system were still in place. That includes a quarter of Democrats (25 percent), a majority of independents (58 percent) and most Republicans (85 percent). Source: Fox News…
  • Backed by Arms with Ethics, Broward County, Fla. is considering a number of voluntary gun control measures in an attempt to skirt the State’s preemption laws. Source: Guns.com…
  • Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday there was “sexism” in Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign that she and the President needed to get past. “Beginning the process of working with then-Senator Obama after I ended my campaign, we had an awkward but necessary meeting to clear the air on a couple of issues, and one of them was the sexism that — unfortunately — was present in that ’08 campaign,” Clinton told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Source: POLITICO…
  • A pro-Hillary Clinton super-PAC is facing a legal fight after trying to prevent shirts, mugs and bumper stickers that play on the group’s name. Instead of “I’m Ready for Hillary,” a Minnesota activist made a line of shirts declaring “I’m Ready for Oligarchy,” in the same style and with the same font as the super-PAC’s images. Source: The Hill…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-9-2014: Veterans Balk At Bergdahl; Father ‘Thanked’ Taliban In Video; Police On Steroids; A Blow To Legal Immigrants; Obama’s Two Foreign-Policy Faces

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Veterans Agree: Obama Administration Should Not Have Swapped Terrorists For Bergdahl

The Obama Administration doesn’t fare well among the general public on the question of whether the U.S. made the right call in exchanging five Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s freedom. But among veterans, Obama fares even worse. Read More…

Bergdahl’s Father Now Under Scrutiny Himself

In 2011, Bob Bergdahl made a personal video for the Pakistani government that he hoped would be delivered to his boy, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. In the three-minute video, he mentioned several high-ranking Pakistani generals by name, thanking them for their sacrifices. Then he went on to thank the Taliban forces that were holding his son. Read More…

Why Do Police In New Mexico Need 42 MRAPs?

People who read websites like this one already know about the ongoing militarization of America’s local police agencies. But this infographic from the Department of Defense, which breaks down the number of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles (MRAPS) currently in service in every State, looks a little out of whack. War Zone?…

Supreme Court Deals Setback To Young Relatives Of Legal Immigrants

Foreign-born grandchildren, nieces and nephews of Americans and legal immigrants will lose their place in line to obtain a visa if they reach age 21 before the process is complete, the Supreme Court ruled today. That’s a setback for thousands of foreign-born relatives of U.S. citizens and legal U.S. immigrants who have sometimes waited years to join their families. Read More…

Ron Paul: Obama’s Foreign Policy Rhetoric Does Not Match U.S. Actions

President Barack Obama’s recent foreign policy speech, delivered at this year’s West Point graduation ceremony, was a disappointment to anyone who hoped the President might be changing course. It represents a continuation of the policy of “do what we say and we will subsidize you, disobey us and we will bomb you.” That approach is a failure. Texas Straight Talk…

Monday Morning News Roundup 6-9-2014

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • If you thought President Obama’s release of five top Taliban commanders in exchange for POW Bowe Bergdahl was bad, wait until you see what his Gitmo parole board plans. Desperate to empty the Guantanamo Bay prison by the end of his term, Obama quietly is giving “get out of jail free” cards for the flimsiest of excuses. Source: New York Post…
  • Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said Friday she is “disturbed and outraged” after she was informed by Federal officials that not only has the government been shipping illegal immigrants out of Texas and “dumping” them in her State; it has no plans to stop. Source: Fox News…
  • The Obama Administration said Friday that it was starting a program to provide lawyers for children facing deportation as it scrambles to deal with the soaring number of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the border from Mexico. Source: The New York Times…
  • The Justice Department is resurrecting a program designed to thwart domestic threats to the United States, and Attorney General Eric Holder says those threats include individuals the government deems anti-government or racially prejudiced. Source: WND…
  • Nationally, nearly half of Emergency Room doctors responding to a recent poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians said they’ve seen more visits since Jan. 1, and nearly nine in 10 expect those visits to rise in the next three years. Mike Rust, president of the Kentucky Hospital Association, said members Statewide describe the same trend. Source: The Courier-Journal…
  • The U.S. Treasury Department said it sets limits while allowing the Nation’s intelligence agencies to access reports that banks file on suspicious or large money moves by customers, including information about Americans. Source: Bloomberg…
  • If you think of the United States of America as a store, its recent decisions and scandals resemble a sale, perhaps a fire sale. Or maybe even a “Going Out of Business” sale. Source: New York Post…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-6-2014: Rice Insists Inaccurate Talking Points Differ From Lies; Toy Gun Gets Another Kid In Trouble; Democratic Donor Goes Off On ‘Irritant’ Wasserman-Schultz; The Fed’s Continuing Damage To The Economy; Awkward Obama; Friday Funnies

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Susan Rice: Spouting Inaccurate Talking Points Doesn’t Make Me A Liar

During a television appearance on Sunday National Security Advisor Susan Rice said that Pfc. (Sgt.) Bowe Bergdahl had served his country with “honor and distinction.” On Friday, CNN’s Jim Acosta called her out, hinting that she’s either a White House parrot or an outright liar. Read More…

There’s No Winning: Conscientious Pennsylvania Kid Gets Suspended From School For Voluntarily Turning In Toy Gun

You can’t win for losing with the effete, fearful, gun-obsessed, progressively-correct adults overpopulating the ranks of the Nation’s public school teachers and administrators. One kid who realized he’d accidentally brought a toy gun to school inside his backpack recently tried, and was promptly slapped with a suspension for violating the school’s gun-replica policy. Read More… 

Major Democratic Donor Bashes Wasserman Schultz

Major Democratic donor John Morgan blasted the national party’s chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as an “irritant” who is becoming “irrelevant” after she voiced concerns about a medical marijuana proposal he helped put on Florida’s ballot this November. Read More… 

Economic Scholar: The Fed Won’t Let The Economy Heal

Contrary to popular thinking, an economic cleansing is a must to “fix” the mess caused by the Fed’s loose policies. To prevent future economic pain, what is required is the closure of all the loopholes for the creation of money out of “thin air.” Mises Institute… 

Did Obama Really Blow Jay Carney A Kiss?

When White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced his resignation at the end of May, a video of an awkward farewell hug between him and President Barack Obama started making its rounds around the Internet. Carney went in for a handshake and Obama pulled him in for a hug. As awkward as it looked, it wasn’t that big of a deal. What We Missed… 

Friday Fun: A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Boy, did President Barack Obama ever step in it when he decided to swap five Taliban detainees for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an alleged deserter! Was the President trying to divert the Nation’s attention from the Veterans Affairs scandal? As Sarah Palin would say, “You betcha!” Did it work? Well, tongues have definitely been wagging over Bergdahl’s release. But it probably hasn’t gone the way Obama thought it would. Funnies… 

Did Obama Really Blow Jay Carney A Kiss?

When White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced his resignation at the end of May, a video of an awkward farewell hug between him and President Barack Obama started making its rounds around the Internet. Carney went in for a handshake and Obama pulled him in for a hug. As awkward as it looked, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

But somehow we missed this.

obama kissgif

Did the President of the United States blow a kiss to his outgoing employee?

Here’s an official version of the video (awkward hug at around 4:18):

Now, this isn’t that big of a deal. But it’s Friday—and man-to-man kiss blowing is a little strange in a professional context.

It’s also worth noting that, for a President who has gone to such great lengths to control his image by limiting press access to his candid moments, Americans get more than their fair share of Obama awkwardness.

Case in point:

obike

http://youtu.be/9eEoIStETNE

Mostly, we’re just wondering what our readers’ take is. And where is the liberal media that ruthlessly mocked President George W. Bush every time he did or said something unusual? Let us know in the comments below.

Friday Fun: A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Boy, did President Barack Obama ever step in it when he decided to swap five Taliban detainees for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an alleged deserter! Was the President trying to divert the Nation’s attention from the Veterans Affairs scandal? As Sarah Palin would say, “You betcha!” Did it work? Well, tongues have definitely been wagging over Bergdahl’s release. But it probably hasn’t gone the way Obama thought it would.

cartoone0606
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
cartoong0606
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
cartoond0606
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
cartoona0606
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
cartoonc0606
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
cartoonf0606
Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Grassy hill under a blue sky with cloud
RJ Matson
cartoonb0606
Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-5-2014: Bergdahl… A Hero?; Senators Have Questions About Obama’s Prisoner Swap; CBO Can’t Figure Obamacare Cost; A Good Time For Hemp In The Senate; Gun Store’s Response To Prisoner Swap; 65 Things We Didn’t Know About The NSA A Year Ago Today

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

A Hero?: Obama’s Reasoning On Bergdahl Is Baffling

President Barack Obama left no questions during a Thursday press conference in Brussels when he said that he makes “absolutely no apologies” for the prisoner swap which led to the return of Pfc. (Sgt., if you count promotions following his defection) Bowe Bergdahl. But that isn’t stopping many people in the United States from continuing to heavily criticize the White House’s actions. Read More… 

Senators’ Doubts Persist As Administration Explains Bergdahl Deal

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl appeared “drugged” and “very weak” in a Taliban video shown to Senators Wednesday during a classified briefing, the Administration’s most broad-ranging consultation with lawmakers after a controversial prisoner swap. Read More… 

Old CBO: Obamacare Will Save $120 Billion. New CBO: We Have No Idea

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revised – if you can call it that – its forecast on the long-term impact Obamacare will have on the Federal deficit, all but abandoning any attempt at assigning a concrete dollar figure after reporting in 2010 that the law would trim the deficit by $120 billion over ten years. Read More… 

High Times For Hemp In Senate Vote

On Thursday, the hemp industry showed its new muscle on Capitol Hill, convincing the Senate Appropriations Committee to approve a plan that would block Federal agencies from spending any money to enforce anti-hemp laws in States that have received permission to grow the plant. Read More… 

Check Out This Awesome Sign A Gun Store Made In Response To Obama’s Prisoner Swap

The Katy, Texas-based Tactical Firearms company has gotten national attention for signs responding to the Obama Administration’s policies in recent months. But the latest rendition of the store’s political messaging, taking aim at the White House’s prisoner exchange for Pfc. (Sgt. according to the government) Bowe Bergdahl, just may be the most poignant yet. The Sign… 

EFF: On 6/5, 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance That We Didn’t Know a Year Ago

It’s been one year since The Guardian first published the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, that demonstrated that the NSA was conducting dragnet surveillance on millions of innocent people. We Now Know

Check Out This Awesome Sign A Gun Store Made In Response To Obama’s Prisoner Swap

The Katy, Texas-based Tactical Firearms company has gotten national attention for signs responding to the Obama Administration’s policies in recent months. But the latest rendition of the store’s political messaging, taking aim at the White House’s prisoner exchange for Pfc. (Sgt. according to the government) Bowe Bergdahl, just may be the most poignant yet.

The sign references U.S.M.C. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who was detained Mexican prison after mistakenly crossing the border with registered guns. The Administration has not attempted to secure Tahmooressi’s release.

Here’s some background via CBS Houston: 

A few weeks before, the store posted another sign taking aim at Obama: “I like my guns like Obama likes his voters: Undocumented,” the Tactical Firearms sign states.

The store’s owner, Jeremy Alcede, said the “undocumented” sign was meant to be looked at as a joke.

“Thank God for our First and Second Amendment rights,” Alcede told KTRK-TV in a statement. “It’s meant as a joke. It’s meant to be funny.”

An additional gun rights message posted by the same store reads: “Criminals obey gun laws like politicians follow their oaths of office.”

The most recent sign calls into question the difference between Sgt. Tahmooressi’s imprisonment versus that of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released from Taliban custody in exchange for five prisoners of war being held by the U.S.

Although not a prisoner of war, Tahmooressi’s mother says he served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Friends of the Marine say he has been tortured and threatened with rape and death.

Many have made the comparison as to why Bergdahl was the focus of so much U.S. effort for release, while Tahmooressi remains in Mexico.

Thursday Morning News Roundup 6-5-2014

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Wednesday that Republican lawmakers would call for President Obama’s impeachment if he released more prisoners from Guantanamo Bay without congressional approval. Source: The Hill…
  • As controversy grows over the release of five hardened Taliban detainees in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Obama Administration is considering springing yet another prisoner from Guantanamo Bay. Source: Fox News…
  • The Obama Administration announced Thursday that it will renew the non-deportation for young adult illegal immigrants, meaning the more than 560,000 so-called “Dreamers” who are part of the program will be allowed to continue living and working in the U.S. with no fear of deportations. Source: The Washington Times…
  • Children’s shelters in Arizona are overflowing after the arrival of hundreds of Central American immigrants transferred from Texas, the epicenter of a massive arrival of undocumented children characterized by President Barack Obama as an “urgent humanitarian situation.” Source: Fox News Latino…
  • For Democratic lawmakers who were hesitant to sign onto the sweeping 2010 health care law, one of the most powerful selling points was that the Affordable Care Act would actually reduce the Federal budget deficit, despite the additional costs of extending health insurance coverage to the uninsured. Four years after enactment of what is widely viewed as President Barack Obama’s key legislative achievement, however, it’s unclear whether the health care law is still on track to reduce the deficit or whether it may actually end up adding to the Federal debt. In fact, the answer to that question has become something of a mystery. Source: Roll Call…
  • You’ve heard of Big Oil and Big Tobacco. Now get ready for Big Parent. Moms and dads from across the political spectrum have mobilized into an unexpected political force in recent months to fight the data mining of their children. In a frenzy of activity, they’ve catapulted student privacy — an issue that was barely on anyone’s radar last spring — to prominence in statehouses from New York to Florida to Wyoming. Source: POLITICO…
  • California’s 33rd Congressional district has long been considered one of the Democrats’ most valuable stretches of real estate, but in Tuesday’s open primary Republican Elan Carr was the top vote-getter among a field of 18 candidates vying for a chance to advance to the general election. Source: The Hollywood Reporter…
  • A routine request in Florida for public records regarding the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray took an extraordinary turn recently when federal authorities seized the documents before police could release them. The surprise move by the U.S. Marshals Service stunned the American Civil Liberties Union, which earlier this year filed the public records request with the Sarasota, Florida, police department for information detailing its use of the controversial surveillance tool. Source: Wired…
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as someone who has “never been too graceful in her statements,” according to the Kremlin transcript of an interview that aired on French TV and radio Wednesday. After being asked about Clinton’s recent tough rhetoric on Russia’s foreign policy, Putin said, “It’s better not to argue with women.” He later characterized Clinton’s comments as a sign of weakness, which is maybe “not the worst quality for a woman,” he added. Source: CNN… 
  • You’re in the heat of the moment, rounding third, but then you must stop and ask, Can I have your verbal or written consent to have sex with you? Sounds quite unspontaneous. But a law co-authored by California State Senator Kevin de Leon would have State-run college campuses establish an “affirmative consent” standard for its students. Source: L.A. Weekly…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-4-2014: Negotiating With Terrorists; Obama’s Stock Rises In The Arab World; Congress Condemns Bergdahl Swap; Stranded In Cuba; Georgia Versus The USDA; The Coming Legal Storm Over The New EPA Regs

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

The Bergdahl Exchange Video: A Negotiation With Terrorists

It’s hard to watch the Taliban video showing the moment Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released into U.S. custody without seeing the exchange for exactly what it is: the fruit of a negotiation between the United States and terrorists. Watch…

Obama’s Popularity Drops In U.S. As It Increases In The Arab World

A new CNN poll out Tuesday demonstrates a continuing decline in President Barack Obama’s policy approval rating across nearly all American demographic categories. Luckily for him, his stock is rising – in the Arab world. Read More… 

Bergdahl Prisoner Exchange Sparks Bipartisan Backlash In Congress

Senior lawmakers from both parties are questioning the Obama Administration’s justification for negotiating the return of Bowe Bergdahl without first consulting members of Congress and whether the deal put the Nation’s security at further risk. Read More…

Despite Administration Denials, Lawmaker Thinks Obama Wants Cuba Spy-Swap

After news broke about President Barack Obama’s prisoner swap involving five Taliban Guantanamo Bay detainees, many people wondered about the fate of another person, this one locked away in Cuba: Alan Gross, the U.S. government contractor believed by many to have been railroaded on trumped-up spy charges. The Obama Administration says it is not negotiating for Gross. Read More…

Feds Warn Georgia Not To Enforce Law That Makes Passing A Drug Test A Condition For Receiving Food Stamps

Georgia passed a law earlier this year requiring some SNAP recipients to agree to a drug test. Now, the USDA is cautioning State officials not to enforce it, because it places State-controlled parameters on a program that’s administered under Federal guidelines. Read More… 

Carbon Emissions Rule Relies On A Broad View Of ‘System’

The coming legal battle over President Barack Obama’s far-reaching climate-change rules will probably turn on the meaning of one word in the Clean Air Act of 1970: “system.” In unveiling its much-anticipated carbon-emissions rule, the EPA is seeking to define the word more broadly to describe a State’s entire system for producing power and controlling pollution. Read More… 

Wednesday Morning News Roundup 6-4-2014

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • To pull off the prisoner swap of five Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the White House overrode an existing interagency process charged with debating the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners and dismissed long-standing Pentagon and intelligence community concerns based on Top Secret intelligence about the dangers of releasing the five men, sources familiar with the debate tell TIME. Source: Time…
  • After hurriedly endorsing the Obama Administration’s terrorist swap for the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, many Democratic Congress members are now distancing themselves from the exchange. More than a dozen Democratic senators questioned by TWS Tuesday afternoon declined to defend it. Source: The Weekly Standard…
  • Following widespread speculation that the move was imminent, German Federal Prosecutor Harald Range on Wednesday announced he is launching a formal investigation into allegations that the NSA spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile telephone communications. Source: Spiegel…
  • Hillary Clinton’s shift from declaimer of Big Finance shenanigans to collaborator with Goldman Sachs — the firm has donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation — prompts an obvious question: Can the former secretary of state cultivate populist cred while hobnobbing with Goldman and pocketing money from it and other Wall Street firms? Source: Mother Jones…
  • An Alaska volcano that has been spewing ash and lava for years began erupting with new intensity this week, pushing a plume of smoke and ash as high as 24,000 feet (7,315 meters) and prompting scientists to issue their highest volcanic alert in five years, authorities said on Tuesday. Source: Reuters…
  • Over half of Americans have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to the “How Housing Matters Survey,” which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools. Source: Marketwatch…
  • Vermont, Connecticut and Arizona Obamacare customers will almost universally be paying higher premiums in 2015, contrary to one of the central promises of the health-care law — lower health care costs. Source: The Daily Caller…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.