Watch: The Collapse Of The Obama Administration’s No Ransom For Hostages Defense

“We don’t pay ransom for hostages,” said President Obama.

“It is against the policy of the United States to pay ransom for hostages,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

“This was not ransom,” declared State Department Spokesman John Kirby

That united front lasted all of two weeks, when it was discovered that we wouldn’t give Iran the money until the four detained Americans were released. That’s a textbook definition of…ransom. Of course, Republicans are having a field day over this latest failure for Obama’s smart power diplomacy with a state sponsor of terror. The Senate GOP cut this video, where it pretty much lays out how the administration just went against its own policy regarding ransom for hostages. 

I mean this is an administration that couldn’t bring itself to call the Russian invasion of Ukraine...an actual invasion. They called it an “uncontested arrival.” They tried to spin the Iran payment as leverage, not ransom. A non-ransom leverage payment that had strings attached, with the most paramount being that they release the detained Americans before the can take control of the money.

Up is down. Black is white. The world is flat.

Here's The Movie About Barack and Michelle Obama's First Date

In news that doesn't sound at all like something produced by a North Korean propaganda outlet, the film adaptation of Barack and Michelle Obama's first date, titled "Southside With You," hits theaters this Friday.

Here's the trailer:

While I guess the movie looks...fine, I guess, this just seems also more than a little bit absurd. It's also very strange that this movie was filmed and will be released while the Obamas still reside in the White House. Why is there such a rush to try to put the Obama's legacy on film?

This is just a little bit creepy.

Don’t Mess With The Elderly: 91-Year-Old Detroit Concealed Carry Holder Defends Himself From Robber

Don’t mess with the elderly, especially those who are packing heat. One robber in the Detroit area learned that the hard way when he thought a 91-year-old would be easy pickings. Little did he know that he would end up with a gunshot wound to the throat; the police are treating this matter as an act of self-defense (via Detroit News):

A 91-year-old concealed pistol license holder shot a man who was attempting to rob him Monday in Eastpointe, according to police.

The victim was exiting his car around 10:15 a.m. and heading into the Rite Aid on Gratiot near Nine Mile when an unknown suspect in his late 20s approached, Sgt. Martin Campbell said.

“He attempted to rob (the victim) and (the victim) had a CPL and ended up shooting the suspect,” Campbell said. “It’s as simple as that.”

The would-be robber was struck in the neck and fled across Gratiot, where he was arrested by responding officers.

“Two detectives found him walking over there,” Campbell said. “He had a gunshot wound to the neck but he was talking and acting erratic.”

It’s situations like this that have caused an uptick in senior citizen participation regarding firearm training courses, obtaining carry permits, and buying guns.

Whoops: Clinton Featured On Insider Threats Training Slide For U.S. Army

The U.S. Army confirmed that a slide on a training presentation featured Hillary Clinton as a potential domestic threat. Her image was included with Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard Shooter, former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, who shared classified information with his mistress, Paula Broadwell, Eric Snowden, and Chelsea Manning—all of which have been accused or convicted to mishandling sensitive material relating to our national security.

Jacqeuline Klimas reported on this rather awkward moment for The Washington Examiner. The photo of the training slide was posted to the U.S. Army W.T.F.! Moments on Facebook. Klimas added that the slide has been removed; it does not reflect official Army policy; and that local units are given some room to formulate their own training programs:

Maj. Thomas Campbell, a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command spokesman, confirmed that the photo showed a real training slide that was developed 18 months ago and used locally to teach best practices for handling classified information and maintaining operational security. The training slide has since been removed, he said.

"As is common with Army training requirements, the local unit was given latitude to develop their own training products to accomplish the overall training objective. This particular presentation had not been reviewed or approved by the unit's leadership, and does not reflect the position of the Army," Campbell said.

H/T Washington Examiner.

Founder Of Current TV: The Polls Be Damned, Trump Is Going to Win

Well, is this just playful trolling, or an omen not being taken seriously on the Left? Michael Rosenblum, the founder of the left-leaning Current TV, which was sold off to Al-Jazeera, had quite the declaration on The Huffington Post: Donald Trump is going to be elected president of the United States. Granted, he didn’t necessarily say polls be damned, though he might as well since Rosenblum said that this race was lost eons ago when Swamp People, Pawn Stars, and the endless World War II programming came on the History Channel. He says the same for the programming on The Discovery Channel and TLC.

He also hits upon what some on the Left in the polling community fear: that people are lying about their support when they’re sampled. In this instance, scores of white working class whites saying they’re leaning, or will vote, for Hillary Clinton and then pull the lever for Trump:

When the AC Nielsen Company selects a new Nielsen family, they disregard the new family’s results for the first three months. The reason: when they feel they are being monitored, people lie about what they are watching. In the first three months, knowing they are being watched, they will tune into PBS. But over time they get tired of pretending. Then it is back to The Kardashians.

In all, Rosenblum’s argument is that Trump is good entertainment, even when he’s being despicable, while Clinton is “crap TV.”

Trump’s replacement of Paul Manafort with Breitbart’s Steve Bannon shows that Trump understands how Americans actually think. They think TV. They think ratings. They think entertainment.

We are a TV based culture. We have been for some time now. The average American spends 5 hours a day, every day, watching TV. After sleep, it is our number one activity.

[…]

And Donald Trump is great TV. He knows how to entertain. He understands ratings.

Hillary Clinton is crap TV.

She may be smarter, better prepared, a better politician. It won’t matter. She is terrible entertainment. That’s just how it is. Depressing, but true. He is Kim Kardashian. She is Judy Woodruff. Who gets better ratings?

Who would you rather watch for the next four years?

Honestly...

In 1825, the great French gastronom Brillat de Savarind said, “tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are”. Today, in America, we can safely say, “tell me what you watch and I will tell you what you are”.

And what do we watch?

It isn’t The PBS Newshour.

Here’s the problem. We all thought the polls were either lying or being under sampled in 2012, where Obama was leading Mitt Romney. Confident that the American people would see that his second term would be a disaster at home (Obamacare is on the brink of collapse) and abroad (Iran deal), the Right thought Romney would win handily. Election Day was a brutal brick to the face. Yes, Trump is a different kind of candidate. Yes, he’s defied the odds. And yes, even with all of my criticism about him, which you have so eloquently hurled your hate at me over the past few weeks, I’m probably going to vote for him because the thought of Clinton in the White House is just unacceptable. I’m sure more Republicans will come to the same conclusion than sacrificing their vote for a libertarian who supports abortion rights (appalling) or a former CIA agent who has zero chance of winning. Is this a principled vote? No. I admit that. It’s solely being done to stop Clinton, which is going to be the main driver of voter turnout for either side.

On the flip side, regarding the deception with polling, there is an argument for that, though it’s sort of hard to think that this many people are lying in a state, like Virginia, where Clinton is leading by 16 points. That’s a lot of people lying. Then again, as we’ve seen over this cycle, there’s a ton of angry folks out there.

DNC Runs Ad Featuring Breitbart Headlines

The DNC has released a new ad featuring a variety of headlines from Breitbart websites. Last week, Donald Trump's campaign hired former Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon as his campaign chief.

The ad consists of a variety of narrators reading headlines, to the point where they get so "disgusted" by them they cannot read them out loud. (Although it's odd the ad would still display the "offensive" headlines, but I digress.) The ad then says that Trump's hiring of Bannon was an act of "doubling down" on "bigoted rhetoric," and encourages people to register to vote.

Watch here:

Report: Russian Hackers Targeted the New York Times

The FBI is currently investigating a report that Russian intelligence hackers breached the New York Times, gaining access to several reporters' email accounts. Several other news organizations appear to have been the victim of a breach as well.

The Times did not confirm the report, only offering the following statement.

"Like most news organizations we are vigilant about guarding against attempts to hack into our systems," said New York Times Co. spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. "There are a variety of approaches we take up to and including working with outside investigators and law enforcement. We won't comment on any specific attempt to gain unauthorized access to The Times."

This supposed cyber breach comes after Wikileaks hacked the Democratic National Committee earlier this summer, exposing over 20,000 emails. That, too, was rumored to be a cyber breach authored by Russians.

Biden Tells NATO Allies that Trump Doesn't Understand Treaty

Vice President Joe Biden told the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Tuesday that despite Donald Trump’s rhetoric, the U.S. has not turned its back on our “sacred honor” to our allies.

In particular, Biden felt an obligation to defend NATO’s Article 5, a treaty provision that insists an attack on any member in NATO should be treated as an attack on the whole alliance. In July, Trump told the New York Times that as president he would only honor this provision if he feels those countries have “fulfilled their obligations” to the U.S.

Enter the vice president in Riga, Latvia. In a speech to our NATO allies, he assured our NATO allies that Trump does not speak for the U.S., especially since the GOP nominee does not quite grasp the treaty’s fine print.

Biden declared that the U.S. has "never reneged on any commitment we have made" and that "our sacred honor is at stake." But Biden also said that Trump's remarks are "nothing that should be taken seriously, because I don’t think he understands what Article 5 is."

“We are 100 percent committed” to our NATO obligation, Biden added.

President Obama has also questioned Trump’s ability to handle foreign policy, calling him "unfit" for the presidency. This kind of criticism from the White House is rare during a presidential election.

John Bolton: Yes, I'm Voting For Trump and If He's Looking For A Secretary Of State–I'd Deeply Consider It

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton dropped by The Hugh Hewitt Show, where the diplomat said that between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it’s an easy choice: Donald Trump all the way. He also discussed the lack of evidence to suggest that Clinton will be more hawkish on foreign policy than Obama, adding that she’s “comfortable” with the worldview that has given us a disaster in Syria, Libya, and Iran.

Concerning the possible ethics problems the former secretary of state faces from the Clinton Foundation, Bolton said that it just showed how Hillary just ignored every pledge/promise she made upon her confirmation hearing, where she said that no special treatment would be afforded to donors should she be confirmed. Bolton said that exiting and re-entering public life is sort of like a monastery-type mentality. You need to resign or cut connections to every private sector connection you have for the time being. The only acceptable connection to maintain from your former life is your church. Yet, the former ambassador did note that there was a grey area in this regard because regulations didn’t include spouses or children that are also part of the same non-profit, which has been called a slush fund by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation watchdog.

Oh, and of course, Bolton feels like a Clinton presidency would constitute nothing but a third term for Obamaism, albeit a tad more to the left on some issues, like trade. Nevertheless, should Trump win in November, Bolton said he would consider it very seriously since it's a service to the country:

HH: So first question, are you going to vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

JB: (laughing) That, to me, is an easy choice. I am going to vote for Donald Trump. And I think that’s something that a lot of our friends around the country still need to come to grips with. You know, the Republican field for the nomination had 17 candidates, which means there are supporters out there of 16 disappointed candidates. But compared to the prospect of four years of Hillary and Bill back in the White House, or even worse, eight years, really, I hope everybody just thinks about that a little bit more.

HH: Now what do you consider to be the greatest threat of a Hillary Clinton presidency vis-à-vis a Donald Trump presidency?

JB: Well, I think that Hillary will be Barack Obama’s third term. I think that’s certainly true on national security. I think it’s true on domestic issues as well. For those who forgot Hillarycare from 1993-1994, people expert in that subject say in fact it was worse than Obamacare. So she has a readymade substitute for the failing, floundering Obamacare system. My personal worry, obviously, is on national security. There’s an urban legend that Hillary will be tougher, more interventionist, more hawkish than Obama. Honestly, other than her own press flaks’ stories over the years, there’s no evidence for that. I think she’s entirely comfortable with the Obama worldview as is John Kerry as is Joe Biden as is the entire leadership of that party. And I think in the dangerous environment we live in internationally now, we’ve already suffered grave harm in the past seven and a half years in a variety of ways to continue it again for four more, eight years, very, very damaging.

HH: John Bolton, in the last day, we have learned that S. Daniel Abraham, a major donor of the Democratic Party, wanted a meeting with Hillary Clinton. He went through the Foundation. Bono wanted a satellite link to the Space Station. He went through the Foundation. The Crown Prince of Bahrain wanted a meeting with Hillary Clinton. He went through the Foundation. Casey Wasserman wanted a visa for a crook. He went through the Foundation. And Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian billionaire who had to pay the Nigerian government $300 million dollars to avoid being prosecuted for a variety of evil acts, in fact went through the Foundation to connect up with Hillary Clinton’s team at the State Department. What does this record tell you?

JB: Well, it tells me that Hillary and her staff, and the Clinton Foundation, violated every pledge, every promise they made during her confirmation process to keep the activities of the Clinton Foundation from slopping over into the government. You know, just so people understand this, obviously not everybody has worked for the federal government, especially in a senior position. I can tell you, having come out of the private sector several times to serve in government, it’s almost like joining a monastery. You have to renounce every private sector connection that you have, certainly anything that has to do with finances, but a lot of other things – charitable organizations. You have to resign from pretty much everything other than your church. But when Hillary was nominated for Secretary of State, they found the regulations didn’t cover this new emerging area where you’ve got your husband, your daughter, your hangers on all involved in a ostensibly charitable or not for profit organization that’s going to continue once she was at the State Department. So hence all these pledges and promises during the confirmation process, which she routinely ignored. I’d like to know where the legal advisor was at the State Department for these four years. Were they just asleep at the switch as they were on the national security threat caused by her emails? Did the whole department just roll over and say the rules don’t apply to them? I mean, it’s just stunning. And again, from the perspective of anybody else that I’ve ever known working in the government, the separation that you go through is one reason a lot of people don’t want to go into the government. They don’t feel they can cut off their business or their charitable works or whatever. It’s too great a split unless you name is Hillary Clinton.

[…]

HH: Now let me turn to Donald Trump. I have urged him to name his cabinet. I have specifically urged him to name you as his Secretary of State designate. If Donald Trump asked you to serve in that capacity as Secretary of State, would you agree to do so?

JB: Well, number one, with respect to your role, I am deeply grateful, and it’s an honor to be considered. You know, you’ve got to talk to somebody about a job like that. It’s not just enough to take a position so you can put it on your resume. You need to be sure, particularly with the State Department, you’ve got an understanding with the president. He runs foreign policy. Let’s be clear about that. But you have to understand exactly what your role would be and so on, and I think that’s a conversation any responsible person would have. But I’ve been honored, privileged, really, to serve in a number of senior positions at State and Justice over the years. And as you know, it’s an honor to serve the country. So obviously, you’d take it very, very seriously.

HH: So if he called you up and said Ambassador Bolton, come see me in Trump Tower and let’s talk about the Department of State and you possibly leading it, you would be open to that conversation?

JB: I would. I’d just say one thing about your interview with him, which of course, I listened to after I was told about your question, I think what he was saying really was responding when he said he was thinking about it, that what he was responding to your first and broader question about whether a presidential candidate should name some prospective cabinet members before the election. And he had given you an answer where he had laid out the political downsides, which are real, I think, but indicated some interest in still thinking about it. And I think that’s what he was really meaning to say.

This Is Why Hillary Hasn't Held a Press Conference in 262 Days

Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference in nearly a year. In fact, it's been 262 days since the former Secretary of State made herself available to answer questions outside of a handful of individual, controlled interviews. On the campaign trail, traveling press is frustrated and so is the country. 

Why isn't she taking questions? The answer is obvious. Remember what happened during one of her last press conferences? It was a total disaster. 

"Like, with a cloth or something?" 

 

That press conference prompted this, which was genius:

At least one journalism professor is justifying Clinton's lack of press conferences by....pointing out all of the things the press should be asking about.

Clinton isn't holding press conferences because she can't keep the lies straight about her private email server. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has held dozens of them since declaring his candidacy last year.

Russia Still Banned From Paralympics

Russian athletes will not be permitted to compete in the Paralympics after a last-minute appeal was denied. The entire Russian Paralympic team was banned from the Games after reports from the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi showed widespread doping among Russia's athletes. The blanket ban is unprecedented in Paralympic history.

The Court for the Arbitration of Sport declined to overturn the International Paralympic Committee's decision to ban the entire Russian team. Russian authorities have decried the decision as one motivated by anti-Russian politics.

The Court for the Arbitration of Sport upheld the decision made by the International Paralympic Committee following allegations of state-sponsored doping. A statement for CAS found that the IPC "did not violate any procedural rule in dealing with the with the disciplinary process" which led to the suspension of the Russian Paralympic committee.

It added that the decision to ban Russia, "was made in accordance with the IPC rules and was proportionate in the circumstances."

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko told the Tass news agency that the decision was "more political than judicial."

The International Olympic Committee decided against a blanket ban for the Russian teams during the Rio Olympics, instead leaving the decision to ban athletes up to the individual sports federations. The Russian track & field and weightlifting teams were both banned from competition.

The Paralympics begin on September 7 in Rio.

Sarkozy Makes Presidential Run Official

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has made the announcement that he will seek to regain his old job back. He lost his reelection in 2012 to current President Francois Hollande, a socialist with amazingly low poll numbers.

The announcement comes as no surprise to anyone attune to French politics. Sarkozy returned to the limelight in 2014 when he took the lead of Les Republicans, France’s main center-right party. Many then viewed him as being capable of mounting a come-back campaign to Elysee Palace.

Sarkozy’s return comes at a time when his presidential successor, Francois Hollande, is facing voter backlash as terrorism continues to plague the nation. Hollande has been accused of not doing enough to protect French citizens from radical Islam and slow to respond to terrorist threats. His job approval ratings have reached historically low numbers and a multitude of candidates have lined up to oppose him in 2017 – including politicians from the right and left. Hollande’s fellow socialists believe he betrayed them when he embraced market-friendly reforms.

Sarkozy has along the way been hammering the current president to get tough on immigration and buckle down on Islamist militancy. As the attacks have continued, the French have overwhelmingly embraced this sentiment. So much so, Sarkozy may face stiffer opposition to his right.

Marie Le Pen’s National Front party has gone from political oblivion to national prominence. Considered a “far-right” party – a term used to define certain political parties in Europe - National Front has seen its popularity rise significantly on a nationalist message of anti-immigration and zero tolerance on radical Islam.

The French presidential showdown in 2017 may end up being between Sarkozy, Le Pen, and Hollande (assuming he survives his own socialist intra-party fight).

Jim And Jeannie Gaffigan Ended Their TV Show To Raise Their Kids

On Monday, comedians Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan announced that the current season of "The Jim Gaffigan Show" would be the end of the show. The reason, the Gaffigans explained, is that being involved in the show is causing them to spend too much time away from their children, who are more important than a TV show.

The Gaffigans' five children are often the subject of Jim's standup routines.

The ending of the show should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Jim and Jeannie's work. During a speech at Catholic University of America's commencement last May, Jim spoke about how his wife's presence in his life has opened his eyes to the importance of faith, and reminded him of the proper order of his priorities in life.

Before I met Jeannie I had lived across the street from a Catholic church for 15 years. I didn’t notice it. I never went in it once.

Because of Jeannie that same church became the place I was married, the same church my 5 children were baptized in and the church where once a week I’m reminded to keep focused on priorities.

God, family then work.

Props to the Gaffigans for being a beautiful example of Christian marriage and for living out an example of how to keep ones' priorities in order.

Clinton's Lawyers Didn't Have Security Clearance, Why Were They Handling Classified Information?

In July FBI director James Comey confirmed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stored and transmitted top secret, classified information on multiple private email servers. Last year during a press conference at the UN about her email server, Clinton said her attorneys went through all of her emails to separate work related information from her personal business. The problem? Clinton's attorneys don't have the security clearances required to handle the type of highly sensitive, classified information found on the former Secretary's server. 

"They did not," Comey said during Congressional testimony in July when asked whether Clinton's attorneys had the proper clearance to sift through classified information found on the server. "There’s a great deal of concern about an uncleared person, not subject to the requirements we talked about in the read-in documents, potentially having access."

Now, Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is asking Comey to look into why unauthorized attorneys were combing through and separating Clinton's emails without proper security clearance. 

"Just as classified information may not be provided to anyone without an appropriate clearance, classified information must also not be stored on a computer system that is not authorized to store it.  The transfer of classified information from a computer system authorized to store it to one that is not is called spillage," a letter sent to Comey late Monday states.

Clinton attorneys were not only handling classified information, they were doing so on unauthorized computer systems as well.

Chaffetz wants to know the names of everyone who handled Clinton's private server and whether they had proper security clearance to do so from the time it was set up in 2009 until the FBI launched its criminal investigation into the matter last year. He expects the FBI to turnover requested information as soon as possible.

Trump Campaign: On Second Thought, There Isn't Going To Be a Major Speech On Immigration This Week

Donald Trump isn’t flip-flopping on immigration, though he’s not spelled out what he plans to do with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living inside the United States. Trump wants to build a wall, and has positioned himself to be the nation’s sheriff when it comes to enforcing our immigration laws. Yet, a meeting with Hispanic leaders on Saturday, in which some said that the Republican nominee might be open to legalization, got the gears of the rumor mill going. An announcement on this possible pivot was expected to be this Thursday; that’s now been nixed (via Denver Post):

Donald Trump is attending a fundraiser in Colorado on Thursday but will not make a speech on immigration, his campaign now says, despite national media reports announcing the event.

Lydia Blaha, a spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign in Colorado, said he will not hold an event in coordination with the fundraising trip, as first reported by Univision and other media outlets. The campaign was exploring a Denver-area location for the event, but later reversed course. The campaign told supporters in an email “the speech (Trump) was planning on giving is still being modified.”

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s new campaign manager who had drafted a pro-amnesty memo in the past, also couldn’t give a definite answer either in the immigration issue on the Sunday morning talk shows. She gave us a “to be determined” teaser for Trump’s stance on immigration. Conway even mentioned that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) an immigration hawk and one of Trump’s supporters, isn’t for deporting 11 million people. Now, Trump insists he isn’t flip-flopping, but that he’s working on something that’s fair regarding immigration—whatever that means.

So, the debate continues. Did Trump get cold feet on an immigration announcement to avoid torpedoing his streak of good media days by infuriating the pro-Trump Republican base? Or will this new plan be so tremendously luxurious that it cannot possibly be revealed unless he wins the presidency? Whether Trump is shifting on immigration is still up for debate, but the discussion concerning possibly creating a pathway to legalization for illegal immigrants seems to be raging among the Trump team. We shall see if Trump signs off on making TBA and a formal announcement in the coming days. By the way, do you think this debate about what to do on immigration that’s fair is partially one of the reasons why Trump is canceling some of his campaign events? At the same time, Hillary Clinton hasn’t held a press conference all year.

Again, I say, what a year regarding these two choices for president.

WaPo: Despite Attack On Gold Star Family, Veterans Stand Behind Trump

Donald Trump made a horrible comment about Khizr Khan’s wife, Ghazala, after their appearance at the Democratic National Convention. He wondered why Ghazala was silent on stage, maybe she couldn’t say anything —which was an obvious swipe at their religion; the Khans are Muslim. They are the parents of Army Captain Humayun Khan who died In Iraq 12 years ago. It led to many days of horrible news days for the Trump campaign, which saw his numbers tank across the country, especially in key swing states. It was an avoidable media disaster. Yet, veterans are sticking by the Republican nominee, noting that he’s something fresh after 15 years. And that they don’t particularly trust Clinton’s “adventurism” abroad—or at least that’s how the son of former Virginia Senator and 2016 Democratic candidate for president Jim Webb feels about the matter.

The Washington Post’s Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Dan Lamothe wrote that for other veterans, it’s a choice between an “a**hole” and a “corrupt hawk,” with the former being the better decision. Yes, some were mad at Trump for saying that he “always wanted” a Purple Heart, which was given to him by a veteran at a campaign rally, noting that there was probably an active service member with missing body parts watching the same remark. It left a bad taste in some of their mouths. Still, even while angry at the Purple Heart remarks (Gibbons-Neff and Lamothe added that some did feel they were taken out of context), these veterans are lock step behind Trump because he’s the “average Joe” (via WaPo):

“I think there’s a pretty sour taste in a lot of guys’ mouths about Iraq and about what happened there,” said Jim Webb Jr., a Marine veteran, Trump supporter, son of former U.S. senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) and one of McAllister’s platoon mates. “You pour time and effort and blood into something, and you see it pissed away, and you think, ‘How did I spend my twenties?’ ”

“There’s a mentality that they don’t want to see more of that,” he said, adding that he worried that a Hillary Clinton presidency would result in “continued adventurism,” given her record supporting interventions in Iraq and Libya.

Two recent national polls since the Democratic convention show Trump leading Clinton among military veterans — by 14 points in a Fox News poll and 11 points in a McClatchy-Marist poll. By comparison, Clinton shows a 10-point to 15-point margin among all registered voters in both surveys. The demographics of veterans align closely with Trump’s strongest sources of support: More than 9 in 10 are men, and about 8 in 10 are white.

His fans in the military community could prove critical in November in swing states with large military populations, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. In these three states, veterans represented at least 8 percent of the population in 2014, according to data collected by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

[…]

At a recent Trump rally in Wilmington, N.C., just 30 minutes from the back gate of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, David Buzzard, a 26-year-old former Army specialist, said the Republican real estate magnate was not his “ideal candidate.”

[…]

I’d rather have an a–hole in the office who doesn’t have a filter than a pandering, corrupt hawk who has special interests in mind rather than the American public,” said Buzzard, who has the light outline of a scar under his left eye, the faint evidence of a roadside bomb that hit his patrol in 2011 in Afghanistan’s Wardak province.

Now, some of these veterans acknowledged that Trump isn’t the rational choice for them. One of them said he framed his 2016 choice as one where his heart says Trump but his mind is telling him Clinton. Another, a Marine, planned on writing in a third party candidate after jumping off the Trump train due to his remarks about Mexicans and Muslims:

For Webb, writing in a candidate or voting “out of protest,” is not an option. For all of Trump’s perceived flaws, Webb said, he thinks he is the strongest candidate.

“He is bringing a comprehensive re-examination of how we conduct business,” Webb said. “Whether it’s on taxes or it’s how we’re involved in the world, it’s very sorely needed.”

The choice between the a**hole and the corrupt hawk probably best sums up the veterans sticking with Trump, even through his parade of absurdities have only served in tanking his presidential ambitions thus far. Both candidates are weak on a whole host of issues and character questions. Both are widely unpopular.

Yet, Clinton only represents the established order and a political family that was on its way out until opportunity came a knocking. Trump, ironically, is of the same mold—giving money to various politicians across party lines over the years, including Clinton. He’s an insider. He admits that he’s profited from being in the loop, but has vowed to end the gravy train that has kept a rigged system in place. In the battle of Mr. And Mrs. Money bags (and yes, the Clintons are loaded), Trump’s perceived distance from Washington has earned him serious populist brownie points. Regardless, that’s irrelevant.

The son of a former Democratic candidate for president is a die-hard Trumpkin. Hillary Clinton is so horrible that veterans aren’t willing to jump ship en masse, even after the attacks on a Gold Star family due to Clinton’s perception that she’s only in public life for personal gain. Her support for intervention in Libya, a country in which we had zero interest to get involved whatsoever, also seems to make them incredibly uneasy about her judgment in foreign affairs. As with many voters grappling with this decision, we all know what Clinton is going to do. It’s a roll of the dice with Trump—and that mindset seems to be winning out with veterans. Given how Clinton has doled out serial lies about just her email system, which wasn’t approved by the State Department even though she said it was (a lie), is one of the many areas in which the former first lady’s honesty and trust numbers have been gutted. Would you trust Clinton after this, and the whole other ethical fiasco surrounding the Clinton Foundation as well? For veterans, and millions of voters, the answer seems to be a hard “no.”

To Stop The Appearance of Economic Collapse, Venezuela Banned Food Lines Outside Bakeries

Venezuela has pretty much collapsed economically. The country that was the beacon of 21st Century Socialism has devolved into a total disaster zone. Medicine is scarce; food shortages have Venezuelans eating out of dumpsters; and the rolling blackouts have decimated the neonatal intensive care units that have led to a spike in infant deaths in the country’s hospitals. In fact, some of Venezuela’s hospitals lack basic items like gloves and soap. It’s to the point where some locations are operating as if it were the 19th century. So, to avoid the appearance that all socioeconomic life has deteriorated in the country, the government has banned lines outside bakeries because…they’re part of some bourgeois plot to undermine the government. Yeah, sure—and how many drops of acid have we consumed, President Maduro? (Via PanAm Post):

The Venezuelan government has announced it will be fining bakeries that make people stand in lines to buy bread.

The National Superintendency of Fair Prices noted this measure is intended to “dismantle the strategy of generating anxiety” in Venezuelans, as the lines are more of a political decision than they are a reflection of a lack of raw materials.

[…]

Shortages of food and medicine have recently reached 80 percent, according to estimates by the firm Datanalisis. Venezuelans must stand in endless line to obtain ever-scarce resources.

Oh, and to add more to the shortage of food aspect, people are now breaking into zoos to eat the animals. In Caracas, a black stallion was all but devoured by hungry Venezuelans at the Caricuao Zoo; only its head and ribs were left. Oh, and in case you were wondering if life under President Nicolas Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez successor, couldn’t get any worse, Venezuelans are now mandated to leave their current jobs for a period of 60 days to work in the fields. This is meant to help with food production.

Socialism sucks. Period. And it’s totally destroyed the country in case you’ve missed that too.

Democrat Running for Governor in West Virginia Explains Why He Can’t Vote for Hillary

Hillary Clinton wastes no opportunity to remind voters that Republicans are distancing themselves from Donald Trump. What she fails to mention is that Democrats are not thrilled with their choice either. West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice is not supporting Clinton. Because - why else? Her damning comments about the coal industry.

West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice said “I cannot be a supporter of Hillary Clinton” during an appearance Monday on the state’s MetroNews radio network. Justice, a billionaire whose business interests include coal mining and West Virginia’s famed Greenbrier Resort, said he will not support the former secretary of state over her proposed energy policy.

“The reason I can’t be is her position on coal is diametrically, completely wrong in many, many different ways,” Justice said.

Clinton told a town hall audience in March that she intends to "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” West Virginians, who take pride in living in the heart of coal country, did not take kindly to her pledge. Some even said farewell to her after a campaign event ahead of the state's May primary by flashing her the middle finger. That was a telling sign that foreshadowed her eventual defeat to Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Clinton's "apology" appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Environmental Maniacs Telling College Students: Protect Kids From Climate Change By Not Having Them

Population control has always been a staple in arguments made by environmentalists. The claim is "too many" people overload the earth and therefore in order to respect the environment, humans must limit their reproduction. We've seen dozens of magazine covers of the years warning about the consequences of an overpopulated planet. Here's a somewhat recent (2011) one from New York Magazine

This is the message being sent to students on college campuses across the country as they prepare for their life in the real world and think about starting a family. They're also being brainwashed into thinking celebrations of new life should be downplayed or stripped out of society altogether, in addition to being told they should protect their future children from climate change by not having them at all. From NPR

Standing before several dozen students in a college classroom, Travis Rieder tries to convince them not to have children. Or at least not too many.

He's at James Madison University in southwest Virginia to talk about a "small-family ethic" — to question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to "give them grandchildren."

Why question such assumptions? The prospect of climate catastrophe.

For years, people have lamented how bad things might get "for our grandchildren," but Rieder tells the students that future isn't so far off anymore.

He asks how old they will be in 2036, and, if they are thinking of having kids, how old their kids will be.

"Dangerous climate change is going to be happening by then," he says. "Very, very soon."

There's also a moral duty to future generations that will live amid the climate devastation being created now.

"Here's a provocative thought: Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them," Rieder says.
This is the kind of "learning" students are going into massive debt to consume.

There have been a number of dire warnings from the environmentalist movement over the years: global cooling catastrophe, Al Gore warning of cities drowning as oceans rise and global warming that will eventually cause massive world war. 

None of these things have come true.


Oh My God: Is Calling Someone By The Wrong Pronoun A Title IX Violation At WVU?

Princeton University is banning the word “man” from their vocabulary on campus. At West Virginia University, is calling someone by the wrong pronoun a Title IX violation worthy of an investigation? Campus Reform noted that while the website makes it appear that the consequences would be as such; the administration said it’s all a mischaracterization. If so, they better clarify that on their website before the social justice warriors start ratting out students who might have called someone a person, or something (via Emily Larsen):

WVU Title IX Coordinator James Goins, Jr., however, maintains that this is a “misrepresentation of WVU and Title IX policy,” telling Campus Reform that the guidelines are on the website for informational purposes only, and were pulled from the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Goins confirmed that the Title IX office investigates instances of discrimination and harassment, but declared that WVU would “absolutely not” launch a Title IX investigation over a complaint about a student or faculty member using an improper pronoun.

Nonetheless, WVU’s Equity Assurance Office office also provides a guide on proper pronoun usage to help students navigate the labyrinthine landscape of gender-neutral pronouns.

[…]

The guide borrows a chart from the UW-Milwaukee LGBT Resources Center, which outlines a variety of “traditional” pronouns alongside “nonbinary” pronouns such as “(f)ae,” “e/ey,” he, “per,” she, they, “ve,” “xe,” and “ze/zie.” It warns the list is not exhaustive.

“Fae”? As in faerie --> fairies—which are those mythical creatures that don’t exist except in television, movies, and Neverland? That’s being used as acceptable pronouns for people? I don’t know about you, but there’s not enough Wild Turkey in the world for me to drink to call someone “xe.”

Now, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, they’re encouraging their students not to dismiss something as politically correct, which they aptly noted is being used to police language. Jillian Kay Melchior wrote about this at Heat Street. At the same time, they’re also bringing awareness to the impact of words, so “lame,” “man up,” and “welfare queen” are also being targeted in this effort, though the campus says they’re pro-free speech:

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recently warned students not to use the phrase “politically correct,” which it said “has become a way to deflect, say that people are being too ‘sensitive’ and police language,” adding that it is “disconnected from authentic understanding of impact.”

[…]

Proscribed words or phrases on the Just Words posters include: “lame,” which “ridicules and ignores the lives of amputees”; “man up,” which “suggests there is only one way to be a man, also suggests that women can’t be courageous, strong, etc.”; “third world,” which “reinforces hierarchical attitudes toward nations around the world, establishes Westernized (industrialized) countries and cultures as the ‘standard,’ upon which to measure national well-being or economic status”; and “crazy,” which “creates a negative and demeaning perspective of people with mental health diagnoses.”

[…]

Ari Cohn, a free speech lawyer for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, says the University should tread with caution.

“While universities are free to educate students about the impact of certain words or language and encourage them to consider that while speaking to one another, such efforts must be strictly aspirational,” Cohn said. “A university that engages in a campaign like this must be careful and make clear to students that no administrative or disciplinary action will be taken against those who do not agree or comply with the universities views.”

I guess the silver lining is that the school’s administration is eschewing from supporting the political correctness agenda. The problem is that they’re still splashing in that pool, with crap analysis about the “third world.” There’s no polite way to say that your country is poor, unhealthy, and a total disaster. Sorry—there’s no kind way around that. Moreover, at times, the political correctness agenda reassigns phrases to describe such places that actually make them sound worse. Don’t say third world to describe poor countries, call them underdeveloped. That really doesn’t sound any better, folks.

ISIS-linked Stabbing and Attempted Beheading Reported in Virginia

An alarming report out of Roanoke, Virginia suggests a man tied to ISIS stabbed and attempted to behead his victims over the weekend. The suspect, Wasil Farooqui, 20, reportedly yelled "Allah Akbar" when carrying out his attack. The details are chilling.

Farooqui allegedly attack a man and woman at an apartment complex in Roanoke, according to WDBJ-7. Both victims were seriously injured in the attack. Witnesses told authorities that Farooqi was yelling “Allah Akbar.”

Authorities believe that Farooqui may have been trying to behead the male victim, according to ABC News. Investigators said that there was no connection between Farooqui and the victims.

Farooqui is in custody at the Western Virginia Regional Jail as the FBI works with police in an investigation into the attack.

We will provide more information as the investigation gets underway.

Fail: Expert Says Obamacare Might Be on the Brink of Total Collapse

Remember Bob Laszewski? He's the health insurance industry expert whose generally accurate and prescient criticisms of Obamacare over the span of several years have largely been vindicated by events. He's been watching the steady departure of insurers from the law's failing exchanges (here's the latest example) with increasing concern, warning that the entire system risks implosion within the next year if the current trajectory isn't significantly altered. Watch, via CNBC:

If politicians don't fix the Affordable Care Act, then the vulnerable Blue Cross and local HMO plans — which serve as the backbone of Obamacare — must exit, said Robert Laszewski, the President of Health Policy and Strategy Associates. "What the politicians need to do is to understand they have got about a year to fix this," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell." ... "If we don't get some very significant fixes to Obamacare, the math is simple. These plans can't continue the way it's going. And that undermines the coverage that all of these people have gotten," he said. Laszewski has worked in the insurance business for over 40 years, including 25 within the Washington D.C. area, where he started his own consulting business that specializes in market and health-care policy. Clients include hospitals, physician's offices and insurance companies. His concerns for Obamacare stem from what he says are repetitive situations in each state. The issues cited by Aetna over Obamacare losses are now being echoed in multiple states by almost every company, he said. "State after state, we are seeing exactly the same scenario; losses deteriorating … deteriorating conditions and carriers not being able to continue in the long term."

Spoiler alert: "The politicians" aren't going to "fix" Obamacare. Republicans want the whole mess thrown out and replaced, while Democrats' preferred options -- injecting even more taxpayer money into the void, pushing a private market-destroying "public option," or erecting an unaffordable and immoral single-payer regime -- are politically unreachable.  Still, the fact remains that a hugely controversial and expensive law marketed as a legislative panacea with no serious downsides is, in fact, hurting people and betraying the promises made by its supporters.  The New York Times reports that as of next year, nearly one in five Americans on Obamacare will have exactly one "choice" on their so-called marketplace's menu (via John Sexton):

So much for choice. In many parts of the country, Obamacare customers will be down to one insurer when they go to sign up for coverage next year on the public exchanges. A central tenet of the federal health law was to offer a range of affordable health plans through competition among private insurers. But a wave of insurer failures and the recent decision by several of the largest companies, including Aetna, to exit markets are leaving large portions of the country with functional monopolies for next year. According to an analysis done for The Upshot by the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform, 17 percent of Americans eligible for an Affordable Care Act plan may have only one insurer to choose next year. The analysis shows that there are five entire states currently set to have one insurer, although our map also includes two more states because the plans for more carriers are not final. By comparison, only 2 percent of eligible customers last year had only one choice.

That's a big leap in one year. The Times  also makes note of another glaring Obamacare shortcoming, highlighting the ordeal of one consumer who made the grave mistake of taking Nancy Pelosi at her word:

When Obamacare was developed, one goal was to allow middle-class Americans to use the new marketplaces to buy the same kind of health insurance they had at their jobs. People could retire early, or quit a corporate job and become a freelancer, and still have the great care and financial protection that come with high-end plans. But six years into the health law, the reality is that a typical Obamacare plan looks more like Medicaid, only with a high deductible. The typical marketplace plan covers a small number of low-cost doctors and hospitals, and offers fewer frills than employer plans. The recent high-profile exits of many of the national insurers from markets around the country will only heighten the shift...When the first Obamacare plans were released for 2014, many experts and customers were surprised at how many featured very limited numbers of doctors and hospitals. Three years later, and the trend has only intensified...Although the local Blue Cross plans largely remain, many are sharply narrowing the networks offered by their exchange plans.

When Chris Foley, 42, left his career in finance to begin one in stand-up comedy and acting, he assumed his health insurance would look like the coverage he’d received while working for big banks. The transition was a challenge. First, he bought a plan through a New York State program before Obamacare that had skimpier coverage and bigger deductibles than his corporate plan. Then, when he signed up for his first Obamacare plan in 2014, he found that his doctor of 15 years wasn’t covered by any of the options. He needed a colonoscopy last year, and had a hard time finding a doctor who was covered. He was surprised when he was asked to pay $450 out of pocket for a prescription drug at the pharmacy. “I was frustrated; I was pretty angry about not having good coverage,” said Mr. Foley, who said he briefly considered a return to the corporate world.

The joke's on him, not to mention the patrons and employees of America's tanning salons.  And a fresh batch of significantly higher Obamacare premiums will be announced just prior to the November elections.  I'll leave you with another healthcare expert awarding Obamacare a solid 'D' on MSNBC, attributing the downgrade to the program's flaws "getting worse and worse."  The doctor also predicts that other major carriers will ultimately end up following the leads of United Healthcare, Aetna and Humana -- an outcome Laszewski warns would spell the law's downfall:

Hillary Jokes About Her Email Abuse Again With Jimmy Kimmel

Democratic nominee can't stop laughing about how she placed our national security at risk. In her latest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night, Clinton shared how much she relies on FaceTime to spend time with her new granddaughter. That caused Kimmel to quip, "Have you considered using FaceTime instead of email?"

"I think that's actually really good advice," Clinton responded, chuckling.

Clinton also laughed off Republican charges about her supposedly failing health, asking Kimmel to take her pulse while she was talking.

Yet, with her emails in the news again, thanks to new revelations that the State Department offered special access to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state, Kimmel pressed her about a new batch soon to be released. She dismissed those as well.

"The State Department said that they have to release 15,000 emails by the deadline is a couple of days before the debate," Kimmel said. "Are you concerned about that?"

"No," Clinton responded. "Jimmy my emails are so boring. And I’m embarrassed about that. They’re so boring. So we’ve already released, I don’t know, 30,000 plus so what’s a few more."

If they're so boring, then why does Clinton continue to hide from the press? She has no qualms going on TV to joke with late night hosts, but the presidential candidate has not had a real press conference in 262 days.

DOJ: Forcing People to Stay in Prison Because They Can’t Afford Bail Violates Constitution

In Calhoun, Georgia, a man named Maurice Walker was arrested for being a pedestrian under the influence. It is a misdemeanor, yet the city kept Walker behind bars for nearly a week because he couldn't afford bail. In a court filing on Thursday, the Department of Justice has decided that this is a violation of the Constitution.

"Bail practices that incarcerate indigent individuals before trial solely because of their inability to pay for their release violate the Fourteenth Amendment," the Justice Department said in a friend of court brief, citing the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection.

The city of Calhoun, however, along with the Georgia Sheriff's Association, are fighting back, arguing the Constitution does not guarantee bail, it only bans excessive bail.

"It thus simply cannot be that any defendant arrested for any crime must be immediately released based on a bare assertion of indigence," the group said.

Set bail amounts may negatively affect poor people, but is the solution to release individuals before they've answered for their crimes?

Oh: Here's Why the State Dept Is Now Warning Americans Not to Travel to Iran

The State Department - the same agency that assured us that $400 million cash payment to Iran wasn't ransom for four American prisoners they had held hostage - is now warning Americans not to travel to the country.

“U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel,” the warning adds. “U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country.”

At particular risk, the warning notes, are Americans with dual citizenships, as well as former Muslims who converted to other religions. 

It's more than mere talk. Another American was captured by Iranian authorities just last week.

Isn't this the same country President Obama has applauded for signing the White House's nuclear deal last summer?

Of course, it became immediately clear Iran was not interested in improving relations with the U.S. Soon after signing the dotted line on the nuclear accord, Iran captured 10 of our American sailors, tried to send weapons to Yemen and showed no signs of slowing down its ballistic missiles testing. These developments finally got Obama to admit Iran was not honoring the "spirit" of the deal.

Yet, all must have been forgotten on the one-year anniversary of the agreement in July, when both Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry couldn't say enough about how the deal had made the world safer and proved what can happen when nations practice a bit of "principled diplomacy."

So, to sum up the White House's assessment, there was no ransom and Iran has proven to be a diplomatic partner - but travel there at your own risk.