Supreme Court Not Blocking Texas Voter ID Law

Texas' new voter ID law is here to stay, at least for now. The Supreme Court on Friday issued an order stating that they would not consider the law until at least July 20.

Civil rights groups who say the law discriminates against black and Hispanic voters had argued that it should be blocked because it was struck down by a federal court in 2014 and a three-judge appeals court panel last year. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit will hear the case next month.

The justices said they would reconsider their decision on or after July 20 if the appeals court has not decided the case by then. That would give state election officials more than three months to prepare voters for the November elections.

"The court recognizes the time constraints the parties confront in light of the scheduled elections in November 2016," the one-paragraph order stated.

North Carolina's voter ID law was also upheld, and a judge pointed out that it was hard to argue the law was hurting minorities as voter turnout in those groups had increased since the law's passage. Wisconsin also saw record voter turnout despite new ID laws.

Voter ID laws are an easy and quick way to ensure that votes are fairly cast, and in 2016 it's nearly impossible to exist without some form of photo ID. Texas' law should stay.

Total Disaster: USPS Survey Shows That The Entire Workforce Is Abjectly Miserable

We all have cracked jokes about the United States Postal Service, especially about their workers “going postal.” Most postal workers you’ve encountered are probably lethargic, short-tempered, half-asleep, or just plain rude. Well, that could be due to their work environment. These people are miserable, which is what the USPS painfully discovered when they gave Gallup to conduct this survey at the cost of $1.8 million (via Inside Sources):

The topline results were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request after the USPS declined to provide the data to InsideSources when asked in January.

Postal workers reported strong job dissatisfaction, and in comparison to other organizations surveyed by Gallup, USPS employees say they rarely receive recognition for good work; their supervisors don’t care for them as people; they don’t feel their job is important; they lack opportunities to learn and grow, and their fellow employees are not committed to doing quality work.

A spokesperson for USPS says the organization was disappointed with the results. “Clearly, there is much room for improvement.”

This was the first time the survey, known as Postal Pulse, was administered to postal employees. USPS previously surveyed employees on a quarterly rotation for 17 years. Postal Pulse is the first time Gallup has contracted with USPS to conduct a version of its Q12 survey, which since its development in the 1990s has been given to 25 million workers at over 1,100 firms worldwide.

The fact that the USPS has lost $46 billion since 2007 probably isn’t a source for a morale boost either. The USPS said they’re “laser-focused” on remedying the workplace discontent with a crack team of experts, but added that this could be a very long-term project.

Sticker Shock: Obamacare Premiums Could Rise By Double-Digits

Guy mentioned this earlier this week, but Obamacare’s premiums are going to rise—and it’s an absolute nightmare. The groundwork for health providers re-entering the Obamacare market all point to steep premium hikes. This, plus the rather shoddy quality of coverage, has many Americans opting to pay the penalty to remain uninsured because it’s better for them economically. Americans would rather gamble on possible bankruptcy due to a medical emergency than buy into Obamacare. UnitedHealth posted more than $1 billion in losses before pulling out of the Obamacare market in two states. In fact, the 2016 projections for Obamacare enrollees by the Congressional Budget Office were off by 24 million. In the process, millions have lost their health insurance. There’s also the serial failure of the Obamacare exchanges, which has cost taxpayers billions of dollars. It gets worse—we’re looking at double-digit premium spikes for this year (via Associated Press):

Insurers will seek significant premium hikes under President Barack Obama's health care law this summer - stiff medicine for consumers and voters ahead of the national political conventions.

Expect the state-by-state premium requests to reflect what insurers see as the bottom line: The health law has been a financial drain for many companies. They're setting the stage for 2017 hikes that could reach well into the double digits, in some cases.

For example, in Virginia, a state that reports early, nine insurers returning to the HealthCare.gov marketplace are seeking average premium increases that range from 9.4 percent to 37.1 percent. Those initial estimates filed with the state may change.

More than 12 million people nationwide get coverage though the health law's markets, which offer subsidized private insurance. But the increases could also affect several million who purchase individual policies outside the government system.

Going into their fourth year, the health law's markets are still searching for stability. That's in contrast to more-established government programs like Medicaid and Medicare Advantage, in which private insurers profitably cover tens of millions of people.

The health law's nagging problems center on lower-than-hoped-for enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers, and a balky internal stabilization system that didn't deliver as advertised and was already scheduled to be pared back next year.

This year, premiums for a benchmark silver plan rose by a little more than 7 percent on average, according to administration figures. A spike for 2017 would fire up the long-running political debate over the divisive law, which persists despite two Supreme Court decisions upholding Obama's signature program, and the president's veto of a Republican repeal bill.

No wonder why this law is so unpopular.

GOP-led Committee Votes to Require That Women Register for Draft

Since social equality is all the rage, it seems only fitting that months after the Obama administration opened all combat positions to women, they could soon be required to register for the military draft too.

A divided Armed Services Committee backed the provision in a sweeping defense policy bill that the full House will consider next month, touching off a provocative debate about the role of women in the military. […]

The United States has not had a military draft since 1973 in the Vietnam War era, but all men must register with the Selective Service Systems within 30 days of turning 18. Military leaders maintain that the all-volunteer force is working and the nation is not returning to the draft.

Interestingly, Rep. Duncan Hunter, who proposed the measure, didn’t support it. As a former Marine who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hunter introduced the bill to make a point. Although clearly his plan didn’t go as expected.

Hunter, R-Calif., said he offered the measure during the committee's consideration of the policy bill to prompt a discussion about how the Pentagon's decision in December to rescind gender restrictions on military service failed to consider whether the exclusion on drafting women also should be lifted.

That's a call for Congress, not the executive branch, Hunter said. "I think we should make this decision," he said. "It's the families that we represent who are affected by this."

At times, Hunter evoked graphic images of combat in an apparent attempt to convince colleagues that drafting women would lead to them being sent directly into harm's way.

"A draft is there to put bodies on the front lines to take the hill," Hunter said. "The draft is there to get more people to rip the enemies' throats out and kill them."

But if Hunter was trying to sway people against his amendment, his plan did not work.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said she supported Hunter's measure. "I actually think if we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription," she said.

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. and a retired Air Force fighter pilot, said draftees aren't exclusively sent to the front lines. There are plenty of other useful, noncombat positions for them to fill, she said.

When all was said and done the bill passed the GOP-led committee, 32-30. Five Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure.

So while the House Armed Services Committee may officially be in favor of changing the status quo with regard to women being required to register for the draft, the debate on this issue is far from over. 

Bravo, Bloomberg: Former Mayor Rips Political Correctness Culture At University Of Michigan Commencement

When it comes to Second Amendment rights, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a disaster. He’s wrong, not factual, and continues to waste his money in frivolous public relations campaigns pushing gun control. Yet, when it comes to free speech and combating the culture of political correctness that’s destroying American college campuses across the country, we should be right there with him.

Bloomberg delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan, where he said that the “safe space” is “one of the most dangerous places on a college campus.” Here’s a portion of his address [emphasis mine]:

The most useful knowledge that you leave here with today has nothing to do with your major. It’s about how to study, cooperate, listen carefully, think critically and resolve conflicts through reason. Those are the most important skills in the working world, and it’s why colleges have always exposed students to challenging and uncomfortable ideas.

The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas through “safe spaces,” “code words” and “trigger warnings” is, in my view, a terrible mistake.

The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations -- not run away from them. A microaggression is exactly that: micro. And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can insulate ourselves from those who hold different views.

We can’t do this, and we shouldn’t try -- not in politics or in the workplace. In the global economy, and in a democratic society, an open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess.

Of course, there were some precious cupcakes that disagreed stringently with Bloomberg; you can hear them in the background. Ironically, some of these Michigan kids (with their jeers) have just proven his point. All he said was that open minds are what has made America great, and that tolerating views that you find deplorable is the price you pay for living in a free thinking society. It’s time to grow up, kids. The First Amendment is law, and you’re going to have to deal with it. In fact, the mere instance that Bloomberg got some audible boos when he was merely articulating his pro-free speech stance, and how it’s beneficial to American society, both domestically and internationally, is rather frightening. Nevertheless, while I pretty much disagree with the mayor on every issue, I will defend him every time he tells precious cupcakes that their ethos of censorship is wrong.

Mike Lee Defends Cruz: 'I Held My Tongue For Years' on Boehner

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), friend and surrogate to presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), is ashamed by what he heard come out of John Boehner's mouth this week. In case you missed it, the former speaker of the house held nothing back when asked to share his true feelings about Cruz during an appearance at Stanford University. The Texas senator, Boehner said, is “Lucifer in the flesh.”

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life," he added.

Cruz, seemingly unfazed by Boehner's diatribe, concluded the former speaker was simply tapping into his “inner Trump.” Cruz's newly tinted running mate Carly Fiorina also chimed in, calling the former speaker's rant "despicable" during a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt on Friday. 

Boehner may no longer be a government official, but Sen. Lee insists the comments were uncalled for. The senator from Utah recalled how Boehner gave him and his colleagues plenty to complain about - the difference being, they knew better than to engage in such unprofessional behavior.

“I am appalled that John Boehner would do this…I held my tongue for years on John Boehner, even when I disagreed with him.  Because I respected him as a person, and I respected his office enough to not call him out on this personally.  I expressed disagreement with his policy, but I never ridiculed him personally.  The fact that he has done this is appalling, and he should be ashamed of himself, and I demand that he apologize.”

Several Boehner blunders during his tenure as speaker would have justified Lee’s outbursts. For instance, when Boehner removed conservative leaders like Florida Reps. Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent from the Rules Committee, it was viewed as a means of intimidation toward those who didn’t fall in line after the last speaker vote. In 2014, Boehner failed to stop the CRomnibus spending package, which funded all levels of government and did not halt the president’s executive action on immigration. That was just one of several times Boehner punted opportunities to challenge President Obama’s liberal agenda. Instead, he couldn’t wait to share how he “absolutely trusts” the president and enjoys being his golfing partner. 

Boehner and other Washington elites, Lee concluded, are criticizing Cruz because he has dared to challenge establishment politics that has jeopardized conservatism. 

The question now is: Will Boehner's temper tantrum hurt or help Cruz in the election - particularly among conservative voters?

Video: Analyzing the Stakes in Indiana


On Megyn Kelly's show last night, I discussed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's tepid announcement of support for Sen. Ted Cruz, and explained why Tuesday could be Cruz's last stand (via Right Sightings):


The Hoosier State is a must-win state for Cruz, who has played every card in his hand there.  Trump holds a narrow two-point Indiana lead according to the RCP average, but that number is impacted by an extreme outlier poll showing Cruz comfortably ahead.  The truth shall be revealed in three days.

HuffPo Blogger Argues For Revision Of Second Amendment, Says Self-Defense Is Unjust

Seriously, I’m not sure if this is serious or just troll bait. Justin Curmi wrote in the Huffington Post that not only should the Second Amendment of our Bill Of Rights be revised, but also that self-defense is somehow unjust. He concedes that there is a right for people to “carry and have a stockpile of guns,” but the issue for him is defending oneself with a firearm. I’ll just leave this here:

The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights. In addition, one’s mental capacity is a major factor in deciding whether a man or woman has the right to have a firearm. There are two reasons for ensuring mental capacity. First, one of the Five Aims is to ensure domestic tranquility and there can be no tranquility if one does not have the capacity. Second, if one’s brain is distorting his or her reality, they do not have the proper reasoning and deduction skills to use a firearm.

Therefore, if we ponder and meditate on the recent events in news about guns, it would be obvious that the current state is incorrect. A gun for civilians is a weapon for a revolution and not for ordinary use. The belief that a gun is a useful tool to protect one is counterintuitive because guns get into the hands of people who use them for horrible reasons. In addition, there are reasons why cops are trained to use a firearm in stressful situations. It is not to keep their mind at ease or anything of that sort, but to be able to fire accurately at the target in the correct location. It is immensely difficult to fire when under pressure. Moreover, one may argue this is an analogous argument and yes it is because the United States government is lobbied to not study or fund research that observes the effects of guns. This cripples the chance of evaluating a proper policy to deal with gun violence. But, there was one study by ABC, which observed using guns in a classroom. All the participations poorly performed at the mock situation.

You know what really sucks: getting killed. Getting killed because we need to have some half-baked debate about not using a firearm, or any weapon for that matter, to defend oneself because it somehow perverts justice. When you try to murder someone in this country, and the would-be victim has a gun, they have every right to use it. For goodness sake, murder, or the attempt of it, goes against the fabric of any ordered society. And we have laws that permit justifiable homicides should some unhinged member in the community decides to make a conscious decision to murder someone else. We all know this, so what’s the debate? Going by figures, violent crime is at record lows, while more than 100 million guns have been since the outset of Obama’s presidency. Yet, gun homicides dropped 3.9 percent between 2014-2015, and were cut by nearly half between 1993-2010. And gun homicides haven’t spiked commensurately with the rise in gun sales. So, America isn’t a shooting gallery, more guns are in circulation, and more Americans, especially women, are lining up for their concealed carry permits and firearm training courses. The overwhelmingly majority believes in defending oneself from grievous physical harm or death. This question is the embodiment of progressive nonsense, which is so far beyond the realm of seriousness that I truly doubt whether the author is sincere. If it is troll bait, then well done, sir. If not, then civilization is crumbling.

Self-defense is unjust…dude, really!?

Poll: Hillary Leads Trump by 12 Points in North Carolina


Happy Friday. We began the day with one "Trump expands the map!" data point in Arizona, and here's another:


In fairness, Cruz also trails Clinton in this poll, but by a smaller margin. The favorability story is a depressingly familiar one, too. Keep in mind that this is a reddish swing state:

I'll leave you with the latest anti-Trump ad, which highlights his dreadfully weak general election numbers (even in places like Utah and Mississippi), especially among women -- followed by a major outlier survey that finds Cruz ahead of Trump by 16 points in Indiana.  Color me skeptical:




Watch: Trump Protestors Tear Down Barricades, Attempt To Storm California GOP Convention

Earlier this afternoon, anti-Trump protestors tore down barricades near the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, California, where the state’s Republican convention is being held in an attempt to disrupt Donald Trump’s address to attendees. The surge of protestors, which numbered in the hundreds, forced the billionaire to use the back entrance into the hotel that enabled him to deliver his remarks. Police mobilized quickly to prevent protestors from entering the hotel (via CNN):

Hundreds of demonstrators descended on the California Republican Convention Friday to protest Donald Trump ahead of his speech there.

Protesters -- some of whom wore bandanas over their faces and carried Mexican flags -- blocked off the road in front of the Hyatt Regency here, forcing the GOP front-runner's motorcade to pull over along a concrete median outside the hotel's back entrance. Trump and his entourage got out and walked into the building.

"That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made," Trump said once he began speaking at the convention, adding, "it felt like I was crossing the border."

At one point, about two dozen protesters tried to rush barriers near the hotel. Police officers then rushed to the building's doors, successfully blocking the protesters from getting in.

Several physical altercations, including shoving, could be seen between protesters and police officers, who were using batons to push them back.

Given the increased activity of the protestors, two counties worth of police have been reportedly mobilized, numbering between 150-200 officers. A “code 3 (get here ASAP)” was issued around 12:05 Pacific Standard Time, according to sources inside San Mateo County law enforcement, which is also one of counties that has been mobilized. The other being Santa Clara County. This report is subject to change. We’ll keep you updated.

Yet, in the end, the protestors’ goal of disrupting Trump from speaking failed. MSNBC broke the news to them gently.

Ted Cruz And Donald Trump To Meet For A Battle At The Crossroads Next Week

This could be the swan song for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) if he doesn’t have a strong showing in Indiana next Tuesday in the critical Indiana primary. We have conflicting polls coming out of the Hoosier state, where one poll by the American Research Group has Trump up nine points over Cruz, while another by the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics has Cruz up by double-digits over the real estate mogul. A Cruz super PAC is doling out $350,000 for an ad buy that will be carpet bombed across the state featuring the Texas senator’s running mate Carly Fiorina. Indianapolis Star offered endorsements for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Hillary Clinton, though it wasn’t necessarily a shining endorsement—with the paper saying the state of both races (and the choices left for president) are nothing short of disappointing. Earlier today, Cruz picked up a rather lackluster endorsement from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Exit Sandman? Sen. Bernie Sanders predictably did better once the Democratic contests expanded north of the Mason-Dixon line, but Hillary Clinton pummeled him in the I-95 primaries, giving her a delegate lead that is virtually insurmountable. The Sanders campaign seems to be exhibiting signs that it’s in its death throes, axing hundreds of campaign workers and turning to California. The self-described Democratic socialist spoke at a rally in Springfield, Oregon on April 28, where The New York Times reported that the senator’s remarks focused less on Clinton and more on the future of the Democratic Party, which they say shows that the disheveled darling of the progressive left knows the end is near:

The change in his campaign tone — focusing less on attacking Hillary Clinton — comes as the Vermont senator lays off staff members after several tough losses on Tuesday. Though Mr. Sanders remains adamant that he wants to win the Democratic presidential nomination, his shift hints that the senator is looking past the nominating fight and toward a future role in shaping the party.

At a rally Thursday in Springfield, Ore., Mr. Sanders spoke at length about how Democrats had not spent enough time trying to help working-class people obtain adequate health care and higher wages.

“The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side of working people or big-money interests?” Mr. Sanders asked the crowd. “Do we stand with the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor? Or do we stand with Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies? Now our job is not just to revitalize the Democratic Party, not only to open the doors to young people and working people — our job is to revitalize American democracy.”

Thus far, Sanders is the candidate who has spent the most money this cycle, totaling around $166 million. Nevertheless, even Sanders’ lone supporter in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, said that he should drop out if he’s still behind Clinton prior to the Democratic National Convention in July.

GOP Almost Done With Five Stages Of Grief With Trump: The Washington Post reports that the officials, donors, operatives, and leaders within the Republican Party have resigned to the fact that Donald Trump will be their nominee. This also comes after the billionaire claims to have broken the 1,000 delegate mark (UPDATE: CNN has him at 1,002 delegates), meaning that a strong showing in Indiana and California could put him over the top going into the convention come July:

An aura of inevitability is now forming around the controversial mogul. Trump smothered his opponents in six straight primaries in the Northeast and vacuumed up more delegates than even the most generous predictions foresaw. He is gaining high-profile ­endorsements by the day — a legendary Indiana basketball coach Wednesday, two House committee chairmen Thursday. And his ­rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are making the kind of rushed tactical moves that signal desperation.

The party is at a turning point. Republican stalwarts opposed to Trump remain fearful of the damage the unconventional and unruly billionaire might inflict on the party’s down-ballot candidates in November. But many also now see him as the all-but-certain nominee and are exhausted by the prospect of a contested July convention, according to interviews this week with more than a dozen party figures from coast to coast.

“People are realizing that he’s the likely nominee,” said Tim Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor and onetime endorser of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. “The hysteria has died down, and the range of emotion is from resignation to enthusiasm.”

In Colorado — where Cruz outfoxed Trump in a series of clamorous meetings earlier this month to win all of the state’s 34 available delegates — former state party chairman Dick Wadhams said, “Fatigue is probably the perfect description of what people are feeling.”

Battle For The Golden State: That fight has already begun, with everyone making maneuvers for a primary that could seal the deal in the nomination fights on both sides (NYT):

The courtship of Californians officially begins on Friday, with the kickoff of the state Republican Party convention in Burlingame. The event will be studded with political stars this year, as Donald J. Trump is scheduled to give a lunchtime speech and Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio is due to speak in the evening.

On Saturday, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Carly Fiorina, his running mate, have prime speaking slots, giving the freshly minted ticket a full day to make its case.

For California, primary season politics have rarely mattered this much. The state’s 172 Republican delegates are a big prize, but the high costs of campaigning there and its late placement on the calendar usually make it a political afterthought.

Bloody Protests: Last night, Trump protestors unleashed a rather violent melee against supporters of the billionaire real estate magnate, hurling profanities and debris at passing motorists in Costa Mesa, where Trump kicked off his California campaign. Between 15-20 people were arrested by police as a result. Earlier this afternoon, Trump addressed California Republicans at their convention in Burlingame. Protestors broke through barricades and descended by the hundreds to the entrance of the Hyatt Regency; Trump had to enter through the back. We should expect more of these types of protests, especially in states and cities that are Democratic bastions.

Travel Log: Via National Journal: Cruz is in Indiana. Trump is in California. Kasich is holding a town hall event in San Francisco, and will also be at the California Republican Convention. Cruz will address the attendees as well on Sunday. The Times noted that Clinton is hosting two fundraisers in New York.

Contests Ahead: Indiana is on May 3. 

Sen. Tim Kaine: No, I Won't Be Hillary's Running Mate

While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced his potential running mate earlier this week, don't expect Hillary Clinton to join him any time soon. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who was a rumored veep pick, is not planning on joining Clinton's ticket this fall and has denied reports that he will serve as Clinton's running mate.

Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Kaine downplayed rumors that he might be sharing the Democratic presidential ticket with party front-runner Hillary Clinton.

"I really love my job," Kaine said. "I really do."

The Virginia Democrat expressed confidence that Clinton will not only be the party nominee, but win the general election. He also expects to be by her side, just not in the way some many are assuming.

"I have a great feeling that I'm going to be on that podium with Hillary Clinton when she's taking the oath of office, but I'm going to be sitting with the other senators."

Clinton has nearly clinched the nomination over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). She currently leads in the delegate race 2,165 to 1,318.

Disgusting: Anti-Trump Protesters Smash Police Car, Bloody Trump Supporter


And by "protesters," I mean "rioters." You relinquish the right to claim the former mantle -- with its honorable connotations -- when you decide to express your disapproval by destroying property and inflicting physical harm on other people. An ugly scene, courtesy of the ugly Left, in California -- via Fox News and KTLA:


A crowd of several hundred people flooded into the streets outside the Pacific Amphitheater Thursday night where Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump kicked off his California campaign with a huge rally in Costa Mesa...At one point, a protester began jumping up and down on the roof of a Costa Mesa patrol car and broke out the rear window, aerial video showed. The front window of the patrol car was also smashed. Several others then began to try to overturn the vehicle before officers finally moved in. Aerial video showed several people being handcuffed when members of the crowd refused to disperse. The Sheriff's Department later tweeted that approximately 20 arrests were made by Costa Mesa police officers. At least one Trump supporter was hurt during the protest. He was seen being placed into an ambulance with his face bloodied and his head wrapped with bandages.

Here is a Los Angeles Times reporter's video of "protesters" screaming profanities and throwing objects at passing motorists:


This is despicable behavior.  Remember the collective media freakout over violent skirmishes that broke out at Trump rallies?  The press played the video of a white Trump backer punching a black protester in the face on a constant loop.  That coverage was entirely defensible, given Trump's decision to egg on violent acts from his podium, and his subsequent lies about it.  He's also warned that riots might ensue if he loses the nomination at a contested convention, and his supporters and allies have menaced delegates and threatened to publish the location of their Cleveland hotel rooms.  Serious questions and criticisms regarding the tone and methods of Trump's campaign are fair game.  But what explains the comparative MSM blackout when anti-Trump hooligans throw rocks, stomp police cruisers, and send a Trump supporter to the hospital with blood running down his face? Sure, you'll see a report or two here and there, but nothing near the narrative-building, wall-to-wall coverage we witnessed a few months back. Will reporters demand that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders denounce these actions, which were perpetrated by their ideological allies?  Or does the outrage and handwringing only flow in one direction?  Incidentally, Trump's infamous internet mob isn't exactly covering itself in glory this week either, to put it lightly.  The details in this story are appalling:


This breathtaking antisemitism has shocked its target, who says it reminds her of how dissident journalists are treated in Putin's Russia.  How appropriate.  There's a good chance that some of the vitriol is, in fact, emanating from Russia, financed by the Kremlin. Before you go, read this remarkable piece on how Moscow's bought-and-paid-for propaganda network, RT, is boosting Trump -- including co-opting the contemptible conservative-turned-left-winger-turned-pro-Putin-Trump-Admirer Ed Schultz.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence Endorses Ted Cruz

After holding back an endorsement, Indiana Governor Mike Pence has broken his silence and has endorsed Senator Ted Cruz.

The Indiana primary on Tuesday may well be the last stand for the “Stop Trump” movement. If Donald Trump carries the winner-take-all state and all 57 delegates that come with it, his odds of reaching the 1237 delegate threshold to win the nomination outright will increase significantly.

Trump recently asked Governor Pence for his endorsement, but now that Pence appears to be supporting Cruz, his campaign is downplaying the governor’s impact. From Politico:

"Well, we've seen now that endorsements haven't had too much weight in many of these elections," national spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said in an interview with Fox News, following a report from Breitbart that Pence would announce his decision during an Indianapolis radio show later in the day.

…"But at the end of the day, he has been mathematically eliminated, and this would just be an attempt to force some sort of convention which I don't think will happen," Pierson said. "Mr. Trump can still win the 1,237 prior to the convention even if Cruz wins Indiana. So I really don't think it is going to move because people are seeing the writing on the wall."

Governor Pence announced his endorsement on Greg Garrison’s radio show, saying that "I see Ted Cruz as a principled conservative.... I'm pleased to support him." Here's the Governor's remarks on the race:

This could make a tight race in the state even more interesting. A new poll out today shows Trump leading in Indiana with 37 percent, just barely ahead of Cruz at 35 percent.

Missouri Looks to Join Constitutional Carry Club

Idaho recently became the ninth state to adopt constitutional carry, which gives law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry their firearms in public without a permit. Missouri seems to be making their intentions known to become the tenth state, as the state legislature recently voted to grant their residents permitless carry. The Missouri House passed the measure overwhelmingly on April 28, it now works its way to the State Senate (via Southeast Missourian):

An overwhelming majority of Missouri House members, including two local lawmakers, approved a measure to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Republican state Reps. Donna Lichtenegger and Kathy Swan voted for the bill, which passed Tuesday by a vote of 112-37. The measure goes to the Senate.

The bill would allow Missourians to carry concealed weapons without a permit anywhere they can carry openly.

Missouri already allows open carry of weapons without a permit.

Lichtenegger, who co-sponsored the bill, said criminals already have guns.

“Why make it harder for good guys to have a gun?” she said.

Under current law, Missouri residents, ages 19 or older, may apply for a concealed-carry permit. Members or veterans of the military who are at least 18 years old also may apply for such permits.

Applicants first must complete at least an eight-hour firearms safety course and pay a $100 fee to obtain a permit from their local sheriff’s department.

“Not everyone can afford to take a concealed-carry class,” Lichtenegger said.

[…]

The House-passed legislation also would expand the state’s “castle doctrine” by giving house guests, such as baby sitters, the right to use deadly force to defend themselves against intruders as is allowed for those who reside in the home. Lichtenegger said anyone who has permission to be in the house should have the right to defend themselves in such situations.

The Missourian added that concealed carry holders will still be barred from carrying firearms into police stations, jails, airports, schools, amusement parks, churches, or any establishment that prohibits guns on their premises. There’s nothing controversial about that. Lichtenegger said she wished the bill included a provision that would allow campus carry. Nevertheless, we could be seeing another member inducted into the constitutional carry club. We shall see what happens.

D’oh! Bernie Sanders’ Climate Change Agenda Would Actually Increase Carbon Emissions ‘Dramatically’

Sen. Bernie Sanders is a green warrior. That much is clear, but his environmental agenda would be an absolute disaster…for those in the climate change camp. For starters, he wants to tackle natural gas and nuclear power. Nuclear power is responsible for 20 percent of America’s energy. Remove that from the equation with no equitable alternative that could meet the former’s energy needs, and you have to resort to resources that already have an extensive infrastructure. That would be coal—the boogeyman of the environmental left. Foreign Policy delved into Sanders’ paradoxical energy policy and how it has been applied elsewhere in the world, which experienced the same results: higher carbon emissions.

Wouldn’t those proposals drive the country back to coal and oil, and actually undermine your fight against global warming?” Errol Louis, one of the debate moderators, asked Sanders during Thursday’s [April 14] debate in Brooklyn, New York.

“No, they wouldn’t,” Sanders shot back. He called for a massive increase in the use of renewable energy, especially solar power, and said that if the United States took the climate threat as seriously as it did the Nazis in World War II, the country could in a few years radically transform its entire energy system.

[…]

Third Way crunched the numbers and found that getting rid of nuclear power means U.S. carbon emissions would “go up dramatically,” and in the worst-case scenario, could “wipe out a decade’s worth of progress” and return U.S. carbon emissions to levels last seen in 2005. That’s because retired nuclear plants would almost always be replaced by natural gas or coal. Freed said that when the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant was shuttered in 2014, the electricity shortfall was largely made up by burning more coal.

It’s a question that bedevils countries around the world. Germany is phasing out nuclear power as part of its ambitious energy transition, and is betting it can power one of the world’s biggest economies largely with renewable energy. But Germany’s greenhouse-gas emissions rose in the years after the phaseout was reaffirmed in 2011.

Japan shut down all of its nuclear plants after the 2011 meltdown at Fukushima. What made up the electricity shortfall? Crude oil, natural gas, and coal, which together make it a lot harder for Japan to reach its emissions targets.

So, in some odd way, if you’re a coal worker, you might want to Sanders to beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and go on to win in the general because coal is the only alternative if President Bernie decides to axe natural gas and nuclear power. At the same time, the fact that coal and crude oil would be the only secondary protocols to make up for the energy shortfalls due to Sanders’ uber-left green agenda shows how inefficient alternative energy truly is–and why the country should focus on the energy resources, where the United States is (in some sectors) unrivaled in terms of supply. That would be coal, oil, and natural gas. This country is built on those three energy resources, and coal is burning cleaner than ever before. Maybe that’s why it’s looked to, as the future for our energy needs since the world is packed with it (via Wired):

Nowhere is the preeminence of coal more apparent than in the planet’s fastest-growing, most populous region: Asia, especially China. In the past few decades, China has lifted several hundred million people out of destitution—arguably history’s biggest, fastest rise in human well-being. That advance couldn’t have happened without industrialization, and that industrialization couldn’t have happened without coal. More than three-quarters of China’s electricity comes from coal, including the power for the giant electronic plants where iPhones are assembled. More coal goes to heating millions of homes, to smelting steel (China produces nearly half the world’s steel), and to baking limestone to make cement (China provides almost half the world’s cement). In its frantic quest to develop, China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world put together—a fact that makes climatologists shudder.

[…]

GreenGen is one of the world’s most advanced attempts to develop a technology known as carbon capture and storage. Conceptually speaking, CCS is simple: Industries burn just as much coal as before but remove all the pollutants. In addition to scrubbing out ash and soot, now standard practice at many big plants, they separate out the carbon dioxide and pump it underground, where it can be stored for thousands of years.

Many energy and climate researchers believe that CCS is vital to avoiding a climate catastrophe. Because it could allow the globe to keep burning its most abundant fuel source while drastically reducing carbon dioxide and soot, it may be more important—though much less publicized—than any renewable-energy technology for decades to come. No less than Steven Chu, the Nobel-winning physicist who was US secretary of energy until last year, has declared CCS essential. “I don’t see how we go forward without it,” he says.

 Long live coal, Bernie.

Will Ferrell Pulls Out of Movie That Mocked Reagan's Dementia

Actor Will Ferrell has pulled out of a controversial movie that would have mocked President Reagan's battle with dementia. The plot of the movie involved a White House intern convincing President Ronald Reagan that he was an actor playing the role of the president of the United States.

The real President Reagan died of Alzheimer's disease in 2004.

From Page Six:

The 48-year-old comic confirmed Friday that while he had seen the script and considered signing on to star and produce “Reagan”, he was no longer going ahead with the project.

A spokesperson for Will said, “The REAGAN script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”

Entertainment industry bible Variety reported on Wednesday that Ferrell was attached to star as President Reagan in the comedy, which begins at the start of the president’s second term when he begins suffering from dementia. An intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie. Ferrell was also set to produce the political comedy, they added.

Good. A real-life person's struggle with Alzheimer's disease is nothing to laugh at. Ferrell is a talented actor and it'd be a shame to see him stoop to something this low.

Trump: I'm Not Opposed to Nuking ISIS

On the "Today" show on Thursday, Donald Trump said that despite the fact that he found nuclear weapons to be abhorrent, he wouldn't rule out using them against ISIS.

“I don’t want to rule out anything,” he said Thursday on NBC’s “Today.” Trump noted he doesn't want to use nuclear weapons, calling them "a horror."

“The power of weaponry today is the single greatest problem that our world has, and it’s not global warming like our president said, it’s the power of weapons — in particular, nuclear," he said.

“I will be the last to use it. I will not be a happy trigger like some people might be, but I will never, ever rule it out.”

Also on Thursday, basketball coach Bobby Knight boasted that Trump would "drop the A-bomb like Truman."

Reciprocity: Kansas Concealed Carry Permits Now Recognized In New Hampshire

To the 91,000-plus concealed carry holders living in Kansas, there’s some good news coming out of New Hampshire–your permit will now be recognized in the Granite State (via KSN):

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release New Hampshire has notified the Kansas Attorney General’s office that Kansas-issued licenses are now recognized in that state. This brings to 37 the number of states other than Kansas that recognize Kansas licenses.

Since 2013, Kansas has recognized all valid out-of-state permits when the non-resident license holder is traveling temporarily in Kansas. As a result of this, many states that require their licenses to be recognized in Kansas before reciprocally recognizing Kansas licenses have now done so, Schmidt said.

Not exactly an earth-shattering development concerning Second Amendment rights, especially with the Newtown lawsuit that’s to be heard in 2018, but any step towards expanding that right is good news.

The Obamas And The British Royal Family Are Having a Delightful Trash-Talking Session On Twitter

The Invictus Games will be hosted in Orlando, Fl. from May 8 through the 12, and feature athletic competition between wounded military personnel. The first Invictus games were held in the U.K. in 2014. Ahead of the games, the Obamas and the British Royal Family have gotten into a bit of a friendly trash-talk exchange on Twitter, and it's quite delightful.

The Obamas struck first:

Which took Prince Harry, via the Kensington Palace Twitter account, a bit by surprise:

...who then eventually clapped back with this:

"Boom" indeed.

A clever and sweet way to promote a great cause.

The 2017 Invictus Games will be hosted in Canada.

Alabama 11-Year Old Shoots Home Thief, "He Started Crying Like a Little Baby"

Chris Gaither, 11, was alone Wednesday morning in his Alabama home when a would-be burglar decided to enter and steal from the house.

Gaither said he was scared, but quickly realized that there was an imminent threat and grabbed a nine-millimeter hand gun.

“I told him I was going to kill him if he didn’t get out of my house,” Gaither said.

“When he was coming down the stairs, that’s when he told me he was going to kill me, f-you and all that,” Gaither added.

The intruder was on he was out of the home with stolen goods when Gaither opened fire.  

"I shot through a hamper that he was carrying.  It was a full metal jacket bullet. It went straight through the back of his leg. He started crying like a little baby,” he said.

“I hope you learn your lesson coming to this house trying to steal stuff,” Gaither said.

The thief certainly did learn a lesson.  He simply wasn't on Chris's level.

GOP Hits Lowest Approval Rating Since 1992

For Republicans, especially anti-Trump Republicans, this year has been sort of a catastrophe. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the darling of the Tea Party wing, is trailing billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry–all admired within conservative circles, have been steamrolled by Trump. After eight miserable years of President Obama, this was suppose to be an election where the GOP’s deep bench would shine against an aging Hillary Clinton, whose reputation has been further brought into question due to allegations of corruption, cronyism, and the mishandling of classified information. Instead, we have Donald Trump, who is most likely to lead the Republican Party at the top of the ticket come November. So, with the “Never Trump” crowd doing its best to knock Trump off the nominating pedestal, disgruntled conservatives within the Republican Party, and the overall anger directed towards Washington—it’s no surprise that the GOP’s approval ratings have hit its lowest point since 1992 (via Pew Research):

The Republican Party’s image, already quite negative, has slipped since last fall. Currently 33% of the public has a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 62% have an unfavorable view. Unfavorable opinions of the GOP are now as high as at any point since 1992.

In October, 37% viewed the Republican Party favorably and 58% viewed it unfavorably. The decline in favorability since then has largely come among Republicans themselves: In the current survey, 68% of Republicans view their party positively, down from 79% last fall.

Republicans have less favorable view of the GOP. By contrast, public views of the Democratic Party are unchanged since October. Currently, 45% of the public has a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while 50% have an unfavorable opinion.

I guess the silver lining is that Democrats aren’t fairing much better.

California Lawmakers Reject John Wayne Day, Disturbed By His Views On Race

Plans to declare May 26th as John Wayne Day in California have been rejected by the State Assembly over "disturbing views towards race".

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez cited an interview where Wayne defended white Europeans' encroachment on Native American land.

"Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves," the actor said.

Wayne's support for the anti-communist House Un-American Activities Committee and the far right John Birch Society were also brought up.

Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach, sought to declare May 26, 2016, as John Wayne Day to mark the day the actor was born. 

"Opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, the Free Enterprise system and the Fourth of July!" he said in a written statement.

"He stood for those big American values that we know and we love," said Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach.

"Every one of us is imperfect," another Assemblyman said.

Wayne was always known for not being afraid to speak his opinion.  From an interview years ago, Wayne said, "This so-called new liberal group, Jesus, they never listen to your point of view.  And they make a decision as to what you think."

Lewandowski: Trump's Gonna Put Massachusetts in Play, You Guys


No, he won't. But we'll humor you anyway. Go ahead, Corey:


I reacted to this on twitter by chuckling that those must be some powerful drugs he's taking, to which Trump's relentless online mob primarily responded in two ways: First, they furiously accused me of literally accusing Trump's campaign manager of drug use, evincing both profound humorlessness and a devotion to politically-correct "safe spaces." I did not apologize for "triggering" any of the precious snowflakes who pretend to love un-PC insults -- unless and until they're directed at Mister Trump. In which case, they melt down. Second, I was predictably and repeatedly informed that 'TRUMP won Massachusetts in a blowout!' This is true. Trump crushed his opponents in the Bay State's Republican primary, narrowly missing an outright majority amid a much more crowded field at the time. But Massachusetts is Massachusetts. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary on the same night. Her raw vote totals in that race surpassed the top three Republicans' support combined.  So did Bernie Sanders, incidentally, who came in second place.  And since I've been preaching that -- altogether now -- primary turnout doesn't predict general election outcomes, let's layer in a more compelling piece of evidence that Lewandowski's assertion is pure fantasy:


When reason is abandoned, wish-casting and visceral emotions take charge. That's what leads people to vigorously nod along as Team Trump makes tremendous predictions of coming glory, believe them. Piggybacking off of Lewandowski's delusions, the candidate reiterated to an Indiana audience today that he'll have a good chance to win New York State in November.  Over the last nine polls, Trump has trailed Hillary Clinton by roughly 20 points in the Empire State, breaking 40 percent support in exactly zero of them. As Trump & Co. appeal to blind faith about his capacity to "expand the map," actual polling data reveals that Mrs. Clinton is competitive in the reliably Republican states of ArizonaMississippi and Utah.  One team's map is likely to expand in the fall, just not Trump's.  I'll leave you with my analysis of the delegate chase -- which Trump fans will probably enjoy -- as well as new Trumpstablishment hero John Boehner's 'Lucifer' remarks:



‘Bomb’ Suspect Who Threatened Fox45 Baltimore Building Suffered ‘Mental Breakdown,’ Says Father

The man who threatened to blow up the Fox45 building in Baltimore yesterday suffered a mental breakdown, according to his father. The suspect dressed in a badger suit and entered the building, saying he possessed a thumb drive with information related to the Panama Papers. The Papers detailed how the uber-wealthy utilized offshore tax havens. When the suspect, described as a 25-year-old male, arrived at the Fox45 building, he wanted to get this information on air. The news director at the station refused, but told the badger suit man that he could leave the thumb drive with him. The suspect refused to do that. He then threatened to blow up the building.

The building was evacuated when the suspect set his car on fire prior to entering the building with his thumb drive. He conversed with a security guard for about 45 minutes, where the guard said he was angry with the government. We now know that anger was directed at government space policy, and that the thumb drive didn’t have anything earth-shattering—just some information about the sun, black holes, and other areas of astrology.

A Baltimore Police sniper shot the suspect, who refused to take his hands out of his pockets and stop upon being ordered by police. With the suspected bomb still strapped to his chest, a robot was sent in to try to get the suspect to show his hands and comply again with police orders. He eventually showed his hands, and the suspect bomb, a combination of wires, tin foil, and candy bars wrapped around a motherboard, was removed from the scene. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital.

Fox Baltimore’s Shelley Orman, Joy Lepola, Karen Campbell, Amber Miller, and the rest of the news team gave on the ground reports of this bizarre incident. Lepola interviewed the alleged suspect’s father, who said his son had suffered a mental breakdown. It was also confirmed that the suspect was not wearing a panda suit; it was a badger.

Via Fox Baltimore:

The 25-year-old suspect, who investigators identified as a white male from Howard County, was shot by police after forcing an evacuation of the WBFF-TV news station in north Baltimore with a bomb threat.

The man set his car on fire in the station's parking lot before demanding the station air a story he brought with him on a flash drive. Police couldn't confirm the contents of the flash drive, although the station's security guard said it had to do with government conspiracies.

The man, whose name wasn't released Thursday, then threatened to blow up the building after being denied entry to the station's lobby. The man was wearing a surgical mask, sunglasses and what police described as a "panda outfit onesie" with a hood and a red vest-like device underneath. The building was evacuated after it was believed the device was actually a bomb.

[…]

A team of firefighters extinguished the flames coming out of the suspect's sedan's gas tank, while officers blocked off the street before sending in a negotiator.

The man walked outside and was followed by at least four officers in tactical gear. Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said the man had his hands in his pockets with a wire leading down his arm from the red device strapped to his chest.

Smith said the man refused to follow the officers' orders to stop and take his hands out of his pockets.

"When you have a non-compliant individual, you have to do what you have to do," Smith said.

A Baltimore police counter sniper fired and struck the man, who went down in the middle of West 41st Street. Several shots were fired, although Smith couldn't confirm exactly how many.

[…]

Several minutes passed and the man was still lying in the middle of the street after being shot. Medics could not tend to his injuries because he refused to take his hands out of his pockets.

"He was described as conscious and alert, just uncooperative," Smith said. "He was saying no when we were asking him to comply."

Eventually, the man complied to police orders and the robot disarmed him of his vest.