Poll: Key Obama Supporters Losing Faith

During President Barack Obama’s first campaign he managed to sail into the White House with overwhelming youth and minority support. The President was able to reestablish hype with members of the same demographic in his second campaign.

But as Obama moves further into his second Presidential term, blacks, Hispanics and young voters are increasingly tiring of the President’s inability to deliver on idealistic campaign promises, according to poll results.

The results of the latest Zogby Analytics poll of 919 likely voters show Obama carrying only 46 percent approval among young Americans, 68 percent among Hispanics and 84 percent among blacks. By contrast, Obama won the 2012 Presidential election with respective 61, 71 and 84 percent support those demographic categories.

Zogby  explains the slipping support as follows:

Here it is the summer of 2013 and the President faces a barrage of bad news. First it is a series of scandals – Benghazi, the IRS, and NSA eavesdropping. Then it is chaos in Syria and Egypt, while the nation he leads stands by powerless. All of this is followed by the antics of a young high school dropout who has used his security clearance to reveal highly classified secrets that are embarrassing the United States before its allies. To cap it all off, the President’s domestic agenda is stalled, notably his efforts to pass the first real immigration reform in a generation.

Big Sis Leaving DHS

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday that she would be leaving her national security post in order to take a job as the next president of the University of California system.

The announcement of Big Sis’ forthcoming departure drew cheerful rejoice, rebukes of Napolitano and calls for DHS to be dismantled.

In a statement, Napolitano said that DHS has done much to make the American public safer during her tenure.

“The Department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity,” she said.

“I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects.”

President Barack Obama praised Napolitano in a statement late last week following her announcement.

“Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values,” Obama said. “And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks.”

While Obama and Napolitano may be infinitely proud of the Orwellian DHS, several members of Congress say that government officials should re-think certain aspects of the agency before appointing a new director.

Former House Transportation Panel Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), who helped draft legislation that created the DHS-led Transportation Security Administration, said that Napolitano’s departure “comes not a minute too soon.”

“Now is a good time for Congress to consider dismantling the monstrous Department of Homeland Security and replacing it with a smaller security focused entity that is realistically capable of connecting the dots of threats posed to our national security,” he said in a statement.

Mica, in the years following 9/11, said that the TSA had grown into a government monstrosity that needed to be dismantled, arguing that it strayed from its intended mission and become a bureaucracy that invades airline passengers’ privacy.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) blasted Napolitano following her resignation announcement, saying that her tenure was “defined by a consistent disrespect for the rule of law.”

“The resignation of Secretary Napolitano should refocus the attention of Congress on its first task: to ensure that the executive branch faithfully carries out the laws of the land,” said Sessions, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The most significant obstacle to immigration reform remains President Obama’s selective enforcement of the law. Any selection — interim or permanent — to replace Secretary Napolitano must disavow these aggressive non-enforcement directives or there is very little hope for successful immigration reform.

“Whoever replaces Secretary Napolitano must restore the rule of law, as well as the morale of ICE officers which has plummeted under her tenure.”

Get Ready For Crappy Obamacare Commercials

Obamacare may be unpopular, costly and full of burdensome regulations. But maybe it isn’t too late to give the President’s controversial healthcare overhaul a bit of hipster flair to get the more stylish among us on board.

At least that seems to be the hope of Oregon officials who recently launched a $3.2 million ad campaign.

Via The Oregonian

The reforms are complicated and controversial. But you wouldn’t know it from the first wave of the Oregon-centric ad campaign, which features snappy jingles, simple messages and feel-good artwork at a cost of $2.9 million.

The TV and radio spots feature the slogan “Long Live Oregonians,” and performances by popular Oregon artists like folksinger Laura Gibson, mariachi folksinger Edna Vazquez, the hip-hop group Livesavas, and Matt Sheehy of bands like Lost Lander and Ramona Falls.

There will be print and online ads as well.

Aside from its health-related slogan, the campaign goes conspicuously light on words like federal health reforms, insurance or the Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare. Instead, the ads describe Cover Oregon as “our healthcare marketplace.” The idea is to avoid controversy and the polarized debate surrounding the federal law.

“We didn’t want to interject ourselves into the national debate,” says Rocky King,  executive director of Cover Oregon. “It’s about Oregon, it’s not about Washington, D.C.”

The funding for the ad campaign comes from a $300 million Federal grant for State healthcare exchanges to inform the public about Obamacare.

If you can stomach it, here is one of the Oregon commercials:

 

Watch: Cop Abuses A Man, Reporters Refuse To Help

Here’s what happens when the local media and the local police are very friendly.
 

 
Reporter Jessie Gavin and her cameraman were recently on a ride along with Corporal C.D. McCormick of the Beckley Police Department in West Virginia when the officer pulled over an elderly war veteran from of town for talking on his cell phone.

The driver exited his vehicle — seemingly unaware that he’d been pulled over—until Beckley yelled at the older man repeatedly.  When the driver got back into his car, McCormick forcefully slammed the man’s door.

The driver, who deemed the officer’s actions as out of line, asked to speak to a police supervisor and was told by McCormick that he would need to call the station.

“If you would like to speak with him [the supervisor] he’s at the police department,” McCormick said.

In order to make sure the incident did not devolve into a word-against-word situation, the ticketed motorist asked Gavin and her cameraman—after they approached him for comment— to give him their names in case he needed witnesses.

“I didn’t see him being rude; did you not hear him?” Gavin asked.

The cameraman, too, jumped to the officer’s defense, saying, “He asked you not to get out of the vehicle. For his own safety, he doesn’t know if you’re carrying a gun or not.”

To Serve and Protect. Fail.

Holding public employees accountable. Fail.

Ho Lee Fuk: Think Media Does A Good Job Checking Facts, Having Common Sense? Watch This

The San Francisco Bay Area’s KTVU  reported today that the pilots of the crashed Asiana flight 214 were named “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.”

 


 

The station later apologized and blamed the mistake on faulty information from the NTSB.

However, NTSB’s policy is to never give out pilot names in situations like the Asiana crash, contradicting KTVU’s claims.

“I don’t know who [KTVU] got that from, but we do not release names,” an official told Gawker.

Federal Court Rejects Christian University’s Request To Overturn Obamacare, Opens Possibility Of New SCOTUS Consideration

On Thursday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Commerce Clause of the Constitution’s gives Congress the authority to demand that employers purchase private health insurance for their employees or pay government fines.

By rejecting the Liberty University lawsuit that was a bid to overturn the healthcare law on grounds of religious freedom, the court opened up the possibility that the Supreme Court could once again hear arguments about Obamacare, as the university plans to appeal.

“Plaintiffs present no plausible claim that the act substantially burdens their free exercise of religion, by forcing them to facilitate or support abortion or otherwise,” Judge James A. Wynn Jr. wrote in the opinion. He wrote the law “allows an individual to obtain, and an employer to offer, a plan that covers no abortion services at all.”

Liberty attorney Mat Staver said the fight isn’t over.

“At least the court reached the merits and did not try to dodge the issues on procedural or standing grounds,” he said. “This clears the way to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will be the final stop anyway.”

Paul Introduces Bill To Cut Off Billions Of Dollars In Egyptian Aid

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday doubled down on his opposition to continued U.S. aid to Egypt following the toppling of the nation’s government, introducing legislation that would halt aid in light of what the bill defines as a military coup.

Introducing the proposal, Paul said that the White House’s handling of the situation in Egypt is yet another example of President Barack Obama’s mismanaged foreign policy.

“The overthrow of the Egyptian government was a coup d’état, and the law is clear that when a coup takes place, foreign aid must stop,” the Senator said. “But, the President still plans to continue to send aid to Egypt, at a pace of more than $1.3 billion per year. By the President’s refusal to call the situation in Egypt a ‘coup’ and continuing the flow of foreign assistance to Egypt, he is forthrightly saying ‘I am ignoring the rule of law.'”

Earlier in the year, Paul introduced an amendment to the debt limit bill that would halt a U.S. plan to provide Egypt with four F-16 fighter jets. The amendment was handily defeated in the Senate 79-19. Given the current state of affairs in the country, Paul expressed particular displeasure that the Administration has not moved to halt the plan.

The White House has repeatedly said that it would continue to monitor the situation in Egypt, but that halting foreign and military aid is not in the best interest of the United States.

“While we are concerned about events that lead to the removal of President (Mohammed) Morsi from office, the fact is that millions of Egyptians do not see what happened as a coup,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday. Because, he said, Egyptians “amply demonstrated that there should be a change in government.”

While Paul’s bill has an uncertain Congressional future, he has been joined by lawmakers from whom he generally doesn’t get a great deal of support in calling for an end to Egyptian aid until it is clear who is in charge in the nation.

Even vehement Syrian-rebel backer Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said the Presidential Administration should cut off aid.

When Government Doesn’t Work, Private Citizens Should Shame It

What do you usually do when a route you frequently commute is littered with axle-busting potholes? Maybe you call and complain to your local officials, or perhaps they really don’t bother you all that much. If you’ve ever resorted to the former course of action, you’re likely aware that government road crews don’t often move quickly.

Well, a Jackson, Miss., man got fed up with his local streets being littered with potholes, despite promises by elected officials to take care of the problem, and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Ron Chane, who is described by local media as a mild-mannered small-business owner, headed to a local municipal site where road-repair supplies are stored, stole several buckets of asphalt and set about filling more than 100 potholes in his community.

“I’m probably stealing from the city, but there’s not a sign saying ‘Don’t take this and put it in potholes,’” Chane told the Clarion Ledger. “So I’m putting (the asphalt) back where it belongs.”

The Pothole Patchman, as he has become known by locals, also marked each of the holes he repaired with large white lettering saying, “CITIZEN REPAIRED!”

Some city officials, undoubtedly embarrassed by the citizen activist, did call for his arrest for stealing; but no charges have been levied.

“We applaud anyone who commits to making reasonable improvements within their communities, but we do not accept any use of the city’s resources without going through the proper legal channels,” the city’s mayor said in a recent press release without directly addressing Chane’s repair of potholes.

While the city’s mayor may not have** directly addressed what the Pothole Patchman is up to, it seems his neighbors applaud the effort.

Chane’s efforts are a demonstration in civic responsibility that cash-strapped governments throughout the Nation ought to note: Private citizens can provide, often faster and more effectively, many of the same services as red tape-laden bureaucratic agencies.

“I think that kind of thing is fabulous,” Virgi Lindsay, executive director of the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, told local media. “I would like to say ‘thank you very much,’ to this citizen.

“The city cannot do everything,” Lindsay said. “The government can’t take care of everyone, so I applaud any citizen for stepping up to fix the problem.”

Chase said that the idea to fix the potholes himself came as he drove behind a “hippie van” and was repeatedly jarred by potholes on a trip to the local Denny’s in May.

On the back of the van in front of him was a bumper sticker that said, “Quit your (fussing) and do something about it.”

So he did.

Chane said that he has been contacted by Mississippi Department of Transportation officials to talk about the State-owned asphalt he used to fix the holes, and was told MDOT did not plan to prosecute in this case.

After all, it’s not like he was trying to recreate Kramer’s “two lane comfort cruise.”

**Many thanks, Vigilant. It’s comforting that we have such infallible readers.

Watch: Jay Carney Acts As If The President Didn’t Already Interfere In George Zimmerman’s Trial

Asked about President Barack Obama’s infamous “if I had a son” remark during a press conference Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said—as if the damage isn’t already done—said that it isn’t White House policy to comment on matters like the George Zimmerman case in the midst of a trial.

“[Obama's] comments are what they were, but we’re not going to say anything from here,” press secretary Jay Carney said.

Asked by reporters if the Justice Department will be watching the outcome and reporting back to the President, Carney said, “I do not know the answer to that question.”

 

“If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” Obama said in March. “I think [Martin's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and were going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

International Community Continues To Fret Over U.S. Spying

Countries around the world are taking different approaches to address concerns over the United States’ National Security Agency Spying initiatives exposed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden recently.

According to Izvestia, Russian intelligence officials have made steps to going back to using paper documents to communicate certain sensitive information.

Russia’s Federal Guard Service recently ordered 20 Triumph Adler typewriters in order to avoid leaving an electronic trail of certain sensitive information.

“After the scandal with the spread of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the revelations of Edward Snowden, reports of listening to Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to the G20 summit in London, the practice of creating paper documents will increase,” an unidentified FSO official told Izvestia.

According to the report certain Russian agencies such as the nation’s defense ministry, emergency situations ministry and the security services never switched to electronic documents because they never accepted that electronic communication was secure.

“From the point of view of ensuring security, any form of electronic communication is vulnerable,” Nikolai Kovalev, an MP and former head of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, tells Izvestia.

“Any information can be taken from computers,” he says. “Of course there are means of protection, but there is no 100% guarantee they will work. So from the point of view of keeping secrets, the most primitive method is preferred: a human hand with a pen or a typewriter.”

Meanwhile, U.S. allies in the America continent want answers about the spying allegations from Washington.

Via BBC:

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff urged the US to explain, and has ordered an investigation into the claims.

She said if true they would represent “violations of sovereignty and human rights”.

During angry exchanges in parliament on Wednesday, senators suggested Brazil should give Mr Snowden asylum, while others said Brazil should cancel lucrative defence contracts with the US…

…Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the foreign ministry had asked “quite clearly” for an explanation about the spying allegations.

“And we want to know if this is the case, and if it is so, it would obviously be totally unacceptable,” he said.

Officials in Chile and Colombia made similar statements earlier in the week.

Foreign policy analysts say that delicate U.S. relations with certain Nations south of the border should elicit a careful response and investigation into reports of spying from U.S. officials.