“Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early“
President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity. [...]
“You’ve got to vote,” Obama repeated over and over at a rally for Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, near Washington. [...]
“There are no excuses. The future is up to us,” Obama said.
A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, however, and a heckler interrupted his remarks.
In the fight against hate speech, subversive propaganda and the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, Federal Government to place monitors in Newsrooms across the country [Darleen Click]
I’m sure the New York Times, LA Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, et al, will welcome such Truthy overlords …
Oh, wait, that would be against the First Amendment, right? Nevermind. Let’s just have the Feds monitor private citizens instead, m’kay?
If you take to Twitter to express your views on a hot-button issue, does the government have an interest in deciding whether you are spreading “misinformation’’? If you tweet your support for a candidate in the November elections, should taxpayer money be used to monitor your speech and evaluate your “partisanship’’?
My guess is that most Americans would answer those questions with a resounding no. But the federal government seems to disagree. The National Science Foundation , a federal agency whose mission is to “promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” is funding a project to collect and analyze your Twitter data.
The project is being developed by researchers at Indiana University, and its purported aim is to detect what they deem “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” including how memes — ideas that spread throughout pop culture — propagate. What types of social pollution are they targeting? “Political smears,” so-called “astroturfing” and other forms of “misinformation.”
Named “Truthy,” after a term coined by TV host Stephen Colbert, the project claims to use a “sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex network models” to distinguish between memes that arise in an “organic manner” and those that are manipulated into being.
But there’s much more to the story. Focusing in particular on political speech, Truthy keeps track of which Twitter accounts are using hashtags such as #teaparty and #dems. It estimates users’ “partisanship.” It invites feedback on whether specific Twitter users, such as the Drudge Report, are “truthy” or “spamming.” And it evaluates whether accounts are expressing “positive” or “negative” sentiments toward other users or memes.
The Truthy team says this research could be used to “mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.” [...]
Some possible hints as to Truthy’s real motives emerge in a 2012 paper by the project’s leaders, in which they wrote ominously of a “highly-active, densely-interconnected constituency of right-leaning users using [Twitter] to further their political views.”
Let me repeat … this is being done by the National Science Foundation.
And scientists wonder why the rubes are questioning their alleged dedication to non-partisanship on a host of issues?
h/t Glenn Reynolds
It’s come to this: Government tells Christian ministers to perform same-sex marriages or face jail, fines [Darleen Click]
Now where are the staunchiest among us who said this would never ever, pinky promise, happen?
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to stop officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from forcing two ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.
City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman. [...]
The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel is across the street from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses. The Knapps, both in their 60s and who themselves have been married for 47 years, began operating the wedding chapel in 1989 as a ministry. They perform religious wedding ceremonies, which include references to God, the invocation of God’s blessing on the union, brief remarks drawn from the Bible designed to encourage the couple and help them to have a successful marriage, and more. They also provide each couple they marry with a CD that includes two sermons about marriage, and they recommend numerous Christian books on the subject. The Knapps charge a small fee for their services.
Coeur d’Alene officials told the Knapps privately and also publicly stated that the couple would violate the city’s public accommodations statute once same-sex marriage became legal in Idaho if they declined to perform a same-sex ceremony at their chapel. On Friday, the Knapps respectfully declined such a ceremony and now face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to perform that ceremony.
“The city somehow expects ordained pastors to flip a switch and turn off all faithfulness to their God and their vows,” explained ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. “The U.S. Constitution as well as federal and state law clearly stand against that. The city cannot mandate across-the-board conformity to its interpretation of a city ordinance in utter disregard for the guaranteed freedoms Americans treasure in our society.”
Let’s do some math!
Of course, cue the three most leftist judges on the panel to snivel about discrimination.
The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election.
A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented.
The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold. The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Early voting in Texas begins Monday.
The Supreme Court’s order was unsigned, as it typically is in these situations. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, saying they would have left the district court decision in place.
“The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters,” Ginsburg wrote in dissent.
Gingsberg’s language is both assumptive and the usual Leftist tact of redefining words to suit political ends. There is no evidence that the intent of the law was to discriminate against anyone other than people attempting to fraudulently vote. And getting an id, something that people need to cash checks, fly on planes, enter certain government buildings, secure employment, etc., is not by any stretch of a reasonable person’s imagination a poll tax.
Anyone think a bunch of Texas could cross the border to the south, show up and vote in Mexico? Yeah, right.
Mexican officials unveiled the voting ID two decades ago to properly identify electors in a country with a history of voters casting multiple ballots and curious vote counts resulting in charges of fraud — most notoriously in 1988 when a computer crash wiped out early results favoring the opposition.
The credential proved so good at guaranteeing the identification of electors that it became the country’s preferred credential, one now possessed by just about every adult Mexican. Its widespread acceptance deepened democracy, too, by giving credibility to the Federal Electoral Institute, analysts say. The agency was created as an independent agency to oversee federal elections.
Leftists want to permanently seize the reins of Government and diluting the votes of legitimate voters is just one of many tools.
If Gingsberg were to resign after the mid-terms, Republicans should refuse to confirm any Obama nomination. Indeed, if the GOP keeps the House and retakes the Senate, no justices at the Federal level nominated by this fundamentally transformative President should be confirmed.
A lady can wish.
I don’t know about you, but I feel sooooooo much better …
About Obama’s new Ebola Czar Ron Klain appointment: What we have here in the CDC is a
competency PR problem [Darleen Click]
It’s all about what is really important to the White House.
President Obama’s new “Ebola czar” Ron Klain is not only a skilled political operator, but a longtime Washington D.C. partisan insider.
Klain’s history of working for key Democrats in Washington suggests that Obama is picking someone that will not just silence some media critics, but members of his own party. His partisan nature, however, is likely to draw fire from Republican critics.
As Chief of Staff for Vice President Joe Biden, Klain was largely responsible for bringing then-TIME reporter Jay Carney to the White House as the Press Secretary for Biden. Carney moved to the Obama administration after Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stepped down in 2011.
Here’s another sterling recommendation for putting Klain at the head of a bureaucracy with a $6.2 billion dollar budget.
As Biden’s chief of staff, Klain had a key role in implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and signed off on one of its most controversial projects: a $535 million loan guarantee to solar panel maker Solyndra.
Democrats are desperate to do whatever they can to cover President Angelyne Obama’s profound incompetence, the latest lie that “GOP budget cuts cause Ebola” is laid waste by Michelle Malkin
So now the federal health bureaucrats in charge of controlling diseases and pandemics want more money to do their jobs. Hmph. Maybe if they hadn’t been so busy squandering their massive government subsidies on everything but their core mission, we taxpayers might actually feel a twinge of sympathy.
At $7 billion, the Centers for Disease Control 2014 budget is nearly 200 percent bigger now than it was in 2000. Those evil, stingy Republicans actually approved CDC funding increases in January larger than what President Obama requested.
What are we getting for this ever-increasing amount of money? Answer: A power-hungry busybody brigade of politicized blame-mongers.
Money, money, it’s always the money. Yet, while Ebola and enterovirus D68 wreak havoc on our health system, the CDC has been busying itself with an ever-widening array of non-disease control campaigns [...]
After every public health disaster, CDC bureaucrats play the money card while expanding their regulatory and research reach into anti-gun screeds, anti-smoking propaganda, anti-bullying lessons, gender inequity studies and unlimited behavior modification programs that treat individual vices–personal lifestyle choices–as germs to be eradicated.
Here’s a reminder of what the CDC does with money that’s supposed to go to real disease control. In 2000, the agency essentially lied to Congress about how it spent up to $7.5 million earmarked each year since 1993 for research on the deadly hantavirus. “Instead, apparently without asking Congress, the CDC spent much of the money on other programs that the agency thought needed the funds more,” The Washington Post found. The diversions were impossible to trace because of shoddy CDC bookkeeping practices. The CDC also misspent $22.7 million appropriated for chronic fatigue syndrome and was investigated in 2001 for squandering $13 million on hepatitis C research.
Graph I made of deaths from Ebola in West Africa as reported by WHO. Days are numbered from start of 2014 on “X” axis and cumulative deaths on “Y” axis. Grid lines are every 21 days and every 200 deaths. Red line is a best fit to the curve. Last date is Oct. 15th.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 16, 2014