Archive for BigGovernment

David Cameron Cuts Vacation Short After 'Shocking and Depraved' ISIS Video

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U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron cut his summer vacation short on Wednesday, returning to London after the release of a shocking ISIS video showing the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley.

In a statement on Wednesday, Cameron’s office described the video of Foley’s execution as “shocking and depraved.”

The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond addressed the possibility that the ISIS terrorist featured in the beheading video could be a British national.

“We’re absolutely aware that there are significant numbers of British nationals involved in terrible crimes, probably in the commission of atrocities, making jihad with IS and other extremists organizations,” Hammond told the BBC.



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Looting Decimates Small Businesses in Ferguson

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FERGUSON, Missouri—It’s not easy running a business with riots going on. In the ten days since Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, the small businesses that line the streets have suffered a major financial blow from the constant rioting, vandalism, and looting, owners said.

Looters and vandals have smashed windows of store fronts, spray painted graffiti, stolen property, and burned down businesses. Some stores re-opened with plywood plugging up their smashed windows. The words “open for business” are often spray painted on the plywood, but many customers are too afraid to even come.

 

One such sign for “Yolo! Botique” says in spray-painted letters the store is “OPEN!” and instructs would-be looters the facility is “BLACK OWNED.”

“The first time [my store was hit] it was Saturday, early morning. I had shop lifters. You just don’t know what to expect. Is there going to be another one? Is there going to be another break in?” Sonny Dayan, a small business who owns a shop in a small strip mall on West Florrissant Avenue in Fersguson, MO, told Breitbart News on Tuesday. Dayan’s cell phone store, like others around it, is boarded up with hand-made signs telling the public they are still open.

“Our patients are canceling left and right because they don’t want to come on our street,” the owner of a medical facility told Breitbart News. “It’s affecting our bottom line for the past week. We’re going on the 8th day now.”

The same business owner was concerned about releasing her businesses name for fear of retribution by protesters who may burn down the facility like she says they had already done to a friend’s place of business. Additionally, the shop owners are concerned the damages done may not be covered by their insurance.

 

“I have the best insurance but I heard rumors they may try to play the social unrest card and say that I’m not covered and say that this is a civil unrest and therefore I’m not covered,” Dyan said.

The medical facility owner agreed saying, “Several of these businesses and we checked ours –there’s a cause in it that says there’s no coverage for anything pertaining to a riot act. So any of the damage is coming out of the [business owner].”

She added, “So It’s not enough that we’ve suffered for nine days and lost about 70 percent of the business and can’t pay our rent and can’t get anybody here to help us. So what else can we observe here as small business owners?”



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Poll Finds 'Common Core' Toxic, Teacher Support Plummets

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A poll released on Tuesday by pro-Common Core Education Next (EdNext) confirms that support for the Common Core standards has declined in general, and that teacher support for the controversial standards has especially dropped dramatically since last year, with 76 percent of teachers having supported them in 2013 but only 46 percent in favor of them this year.

Explaining that “sometimes sharp changes in opinion do occur,” the poll’s researchers state their findings show that “the share of the public that say it favors the Common Core State Standards slipped noticeably between 2013 and 2014,” and that “teacher opposition has more than tripled, from 12 percent to 40 percent.”

The poll of 5,000 adults surveyed during the spring finds that while more than two-thirds of them say they support the notion of shared academic standards, when asked about the “Common Core” standards in particular, support plummeted by 15 percentage points. Support for nameless standards was given by 68 percent of respondents, but only 53 percent were supportive when the words “Common Core” were used in the survey question.

In the 2013 survey, 65 percent of respondents were supportive of the “Common Core” standards.

The pollsters placed the survey question about common standards in the section of the poll titled, “Accountability.” The question is as follows:

As you may know, in the last few years states have been deciding whether or not to use [the Common Core, which are] standards for reading and math that are the same across the states. In the states that have these standards, they will be used to hold public schools accountable for their performance. Do you support or oppose the use of the Common Core standards in your state?

“The words ‘Common Core’ elicit greater antagonism than does the concept of common standards itself,” conclude researchers Michael B. Henderson of the Public Policy Research Lab, Paul E. Peterson, editor-in-chief of Education Next, and Martin R. West of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The poll results found that, when political party is a factor, much of the decline in support of the Common Core standards is observed among Republicans.

Support among Republicans, according to the poll, has fallen from 57 percent last year to 43 percent in 2014, while Democrats remain at almost two-thirds in support of the Common Core standards.

“Significantly, the pronounced partisan polarization evoked by the phrase Common Core disappears when the question does not include those seemingly toxic words,” write the researchers, who observed that 68 percent of Republicans still supported generic common standards, an outcome that is identical to that of Democrats.

Sounding a lot like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), however, who sounded the call to “rebrand,” but not “retreat” from the Common Core standards, the poll’s authors seem to slip into what is now typical pro-Common Core reasoning for the failure of the standards. The authors blame “partisan” politics for Common Core’s lack of popularity as well as “misconceptions” on the part of the standards’ opponents.

“When people oppose a label but not the basic concept to which it is attached, it may mean they have heard the label but understand it to refer to something else, possibly something more far-reaching,” they write condescendingly of Common Core opponents who are presumed to be confused in some way.

Though Neal McCluskey, associate director of Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom, notes that poll results showing “the direction [sic] in which opinion has moved speaks volumes about the serious trouble the Core is in,” he is quick to observe the “spin” of EdNext’s pro-Common Core poll.

“Just like last year, the question [above] gives a misleading description of either the Core or national standards generically…” McCluskey writes. “Like last year, the question completely ignores major federal coercion behind states’ adopting the Core, as well as the fact that the Core itself is only part of what’s necessary to ‘hold public schools accountable.’”

“And how many people would come out against something as seemingly positive as holding schools ‘accountable?’” McCluskey adds. “The devil is in how, exactly, that would be done.”

McCluskey concludes, “Common Core reality is far more complicated than simplistic survey questions can handle.”



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DREAMer Who Killed Two Girls In Hit And Run Won't Be Deported, Still Protected By DACA

A beneficiary of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program who killed two children in a hit and run accident has been released from jail and will be able to return to the the protections of the program, according to OregonLive.com.

Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child and was shielded from deportation by DACA, was convicted of two counts of felony hit and run after she killed two Forest Grove, Oregon stepsisters — Anna Dieter-Eckerdt and Abigail Robinson ages 6 and 11 respectively — playing in a leaf pile last October.

Last week, as OregonLive.com reported Tuesday, a judge dismissed a deportation case against Garcia-Cisneros and as a result of the ruling, her attorney says she is able to go back under the protections of DACA — meaning she can obtain a work permit and Social Security number.

The DACA program is what allowed Garcia-Cisnero to obtain a driver’s license.

A U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement spokesman told the Oregon publication that “it is within [the department's] discretion to look into whether or not a case should be charged again.” 

The children’s parents said they forgave Garcia-Cisneros and urged the judge to sentence her to probation — which he did — earlier this year. 

Garcia-Cisneros remained in jail due to the immigration case against her. 

“Today is like any other day without our girls. Through our grief we have chosen to love and celebrate the joy that they have brought into our lives and the lives of so many others,” Susan Dieter-Robinson, Dieter-Eckerdt’s mother and Robinson’s stepmother, said in a statement to Portland’s KGW following the dismissal of the deportation case. 

“We don’t want Anna and Abigail’s lives to be remember by the tragedy but rather by the love story they are all teaching us to live,” she added. 

According to KGW, Garcia-Cisnero will still be on probation for her criminal conviction until January 2017. 



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Overnight Hostage Situation Continues in Chicago Suburb Home

Two adults and two children are still being held hostage by two suspects in a Chicago suburban home on Tuesday as the situation continued overnight into this morning.

The standoff is now in it’s seventeenth hour according to local news reports.

Tuesday evening, four of the children — two one-year-olds, a two year old, and an 11-year-old — were released by the armed suspects in the house.

The situation began after police officers responded to a possible burglary and exchanged gunfire with the two suspects, wounding two police officers. The suspects took the individuals in the house hostage as police surrounded the home.

Over 200 police officers are now involved in the hostage situation, and the entire block of the neighborhood has been evacuated, according to City of Harvey Spokesman Sean Howard who spoke to the press early Wednesday morning.

The 11-year-old child that was released has been giving officers important information about the suspects as well as a nurse inside the building.

“There’s a nurse inside who obviously we consider a hero at this point, she’s been very helpful to us,” Howard said to reporters this morning.

The two police officers who were shot during the situation were both in “good shape” and at home with their families, according to Howard.

Two schools in the area have been closed in response to the situation, according to police officials.



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Spike Lee Hopes 'Things Will Really Blow Up' if Ferguson Officer Is Acquitted

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After a week of rioting and confrontations in Ferguson, Missouri, filmmaker Spike Lee said he hoped that “things will really blow up” if Officer Darren Wilson is tried and the people of Ferguson are unhappy with the verdict. 

Lee made his incendiary remarks on Tuesday’s Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, saying that, even though he does not have the facts, “something smells bad in Ferguson, and it’s not just tear gas.”

“And I’m not saying that people should burn down stuff and riot and loot,” Lee told host Anderson Cooper. “But this is not the first time we’ve seen this. And I just hope that things will really blow up if the people aren’t happy with the verdict of this upcoming trial.”

Cooper let Lee’s inflammatory comments slide without even asking a follow-up question or calling him out.

Lee also pushed conspiracy theories, saying he could not believe that “when the police finally say who this officer is, the same day they release this video tape [of Michael Brown engaging in a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store].” He then alleged that “Josie” called into a radio station on Monday just when the autopsy results showing that Michael Brown was shot six times were released. 

In fact, “Josie” actually made her remarks last week, before the autopsy results were revealed. “Josie” also claimed that Michael Brown bumrushed officer Wilson multiple times, punched him in the face, discharged his gun, and then taunted him. At least 12 witnesses have reportedly corroborated Wilson’s alleged version of the story. A witness on the scene was captured in a YouTube video saying that Brown “doubled back” before charging Wilson in the moments before Wilson fired at him, corroborating what “Josie” said. The autopsy results showed that all of the bullets entered Brown from the front, which Lee never mentioned. Cooper did not bring up these points, either, and Cooper, whose network first widely played what “Josie” said, also did not jump in to tell Lee that “Josie” did not call into the radio station the previous day. Nevertheless, Lee continued, asking, “Who knows who the hell she is?”

“Is she reading a script?” Lee asked before saying that “all of a sudden, everyone’s taking her words–which is really a third person witness–as Gospel.”

“How can that be? How can you call a radio station and say this is what’s happened?” he asked incredulously. “How do you do that?” 

When Cooper asked Lee if he thought all of this was orchestrated, Lee replied, “Oh, yes.” 

“It’s orchestrated, Anderson,” he said. “There’s a playbook. They are doing what they want to do. They’re there to protect their own.” Lee said he “will not believe that it’s a coincidence that the day the autopsy comes out … all of a sudden this lady calls into a radio station … and that’s what the officer says. Of course, she’s reading from the same script, I think.”

Lee said President Barack Obama did not usher in a “post-racial era” and equated the riots and unrest in Ferguson to what happened in Los Angeles after Rodney King, the Liberty City riots, Detroit in the 1960s, Harlem, and cities that saw rioting after Martin Luther King’s assassination. 

Lee said that people “get to a tipping point” where “they can’t take it anymore.” 

Though all of the facts are not yet out, and a grand jury has not even heard the evidence in the case, Lee implied that Brown was killed because he allegedly stole cigars or was high on marijuana. 

“I don’t think you should be killed in this country because allegedly you steal some cigarillos,” Lee said. “I don’t think you should be killed in this country if there’s marijuana in your system.” 



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Uber Hires Obama Adviser David Plouffe as 'Campaign Manager'

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California-based ridesharing company Uber has enlisted former Obama campaign manager and senior adviser David Plouffe to guide the company’s “political campaign” as their new senior vice president of policy and strategy.

Plouffe will reportedly be taking direct aim at the taxi industry “cartel” and downing their created “monopoly” over other transportation network companies (TNCs), according to a statement he made on the company’s blog.

Uber’s CEO Trevis Kalanick welcomed Plouffe on the blog and described him as “someone who believed in our cause, who understood how to build a meaningful brand, [and] who knew how to scale a political campaign,” in addition to knowing “how to get the support on the ground to win.”

Plouffe is slated to start his new position in late September and “will be managing all global policy and political activities, communications, and Uber branding efforts,” Kalanick noted.

Part of Plouffe’s mission will seemingly be to bridge the gap between the political and business sectors, and will afford the tech company’s growing positioning and influence as a leading TNC with at least one foot directly in with the revolving doors on Capitol Hill.

Part of Plouffe’s statement can be found here:

Uber has the chance to be a once in a decade if not a once in a generation company. Of course, that poses a threat to some, and I’ve watched as the taxi industry cartel has tried to stand in the way of technology and big change. Ultimately, that approach is unwinnable. But I look forward to doing what I can right now to ensure drivers and riders are not denied their opportunity for choice in transportation due to those who want to maintain a monopoly and play the inside game to deny opportunity to those on the outside.



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Judge Blocks Bobby Jindal's Order Suspending Common Core in Louisiana

A Louisiana district judge sided with Common Core advocates Tuesday by lifting Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order that suspended contracts with PARCC, one of the federally funded Common Core test consortia.

In his ruling on the plaintiffs’ petition for preliminary injunction, Judge Todd Hernandez asserted there existed a “preponderance of the evidence” that the governor’s plan to exit his state from the Common Core standards and their aligned tests would cause “irreparable harm” to students, teachers, administrators, and parents who have been preparing for implementation of the standards for several years.

“Plaintiff’s harm is time and the loss thereof,” the judge wrote. “With each passing day teachers and parents lose time preparing students for high stake testing, and there is a lot riding on the student’s successful performance on these tests.”

Jindal’s Chief of Staff Kyle Plotkin issued a statement immediately following the ruling.

“We think this judge is wrong on the facts and the law,” Plotkin said. “Hopefully, he will reconsider this preliminary ruling at the full trial. In the meantime, we will seek a stay of this ruling and an expedited writ to appeal to the First Circuit.”

According to the Advocate, however, Stephen Kupperman, the lead plaintiffs’ attorney, said the judge’s ruling was “well rooted in evidence.”

“We think it is the right decision for the citizens of this state,” he continued.

State Superintendent of Education John White said Hernandez’s ruling allows teachers and students to continue raising expectations in Louisiana.

“It enables our state to set its aspirations high and to compete with states across the country. Our students are just as smart and capable as any in America,” White said. “We’ve been working for four years to teach them to the highest standards anywhere. Today’s ruling continues that progress.”

Plotkin said the administration wants “to make sure every other agency head in state government knows this judge is wrong. It’s not open season on breaking the procurement law.”

Hernandez’s ruling came in a case brought against the Jindal administration by the charter school foundation Black Alliance for Education Options (BAEO), which argued that Jindal’s executive order was illegal. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) later joined the lawsuit against Jindal as well.

In June, Jindal issued an executive order based on his claim that the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) – one of the consortia that are developing tests aligned with the Common Core standards – did not allow a competitive bidding process, which is required by Louisiana state law. The governor said the state was unable to comply with the June 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Louisiana and PARCC because of its failure to allow for a competitive bidding process.

As KATC.com reported in June, Louisiana’s Division of Administration (DOA), which oversees state contracts, maintained several areas of concern with how the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) procured its contracts with PARCC.

“In 2003, LDOE competitively bid and awarded State educational assessment consulting services to Data Recognition Corporation (DRC),” wrote Interim Office of Contractual Review (OCR) Director Pamela Bartfay Rice in a letter to White and LDOE. “LDOE appears to now be asserting that the existing sole source contract with DRC can be utilized to subcontract with another assessment vendor, PARCC, for future common assessments.”

In short, Rice was suggesting that White attempted to link PARCC, actually a second assessment contractor, to a prior contract in which DRC was the only available contractor.

“If this judge’s ruling stands, it would cause chaos in state government and bring us back to the old days in Louisiana when it was OK to give no-bid contracts to your friends,” warned Plotkin. “The judge took the arguments from Common Core proponents hook, line and sinker.

Plotkin addressed the pro-Common Core argument that the standards do not dictate curriculum.

“But how could it create chaos months out before a test if it’s just about standards?” he asked. “What the proponents of Common Core have proved in this case is that Common Core is about controlling curriculum.”

On Friday, Louisiana district Judge Tim Kelley rejected a request from 17 state lawmakers to block the continuing implementation of the Common Core standards.



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Bush In 2006: Withdrawal Would Turn Iraq Into Terrorist State

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During a speech in August of 2006, the Associated Press reports that then-President George W. Bush warned of what now sounds like a premonition of what would happen in Iraq should the U.S. prematurely withdraw our troops, “If we leave Iraq before the job is done, it will create a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East, a terrorist state much more dangerous than Afghanistan was before we removed the Taliban, a terrorist state with the capacity to fund its activities because of the oil reserves of Iraq.”

What Bush warned of 8 years ago is exactly what has happened. Although Iraq was — in his words — “a success,” President Obama still ensured that success would be liquidated by prematurely withdrawing American troops. The result has been, as Bush predicted, “a terrorists state in the heart of the Middle East … more dangerous than [pre-9/11] Afghanistan.”

The Islamic State in question has been formed by ISIS, a savage group of Islamists who are on a rampage to expand their territory and exterminate the oldest Christian sects on the planet. Tuesday ISIS released a video that shows one of their barbarians cutting the head off a man reported to be American journalist James Foley.

During a speech to the CENTCOM Coalition Conference the following year in 2007, Bush again warned of the consequence of a premature Iraq withdrawal. Here he is apparently responding to intense pressure from both the media and Democrats to cut and run:

Withdrawal would have emboldened these radicals and extremists. It would have confirmed their belief that our nations were weak. It would help them gain new recruits, new resources. It would cause them to believe they could strike free nations at their choice.

Withdrawal would have increased the probability that coalition troops would be forced to return to Iraq one day, and confront an enemy that is even more dangerous. Failure in Iraq should be unacceptable to the civilized world. The risks are enormous.

Even though he’s been president for nearly six years, with the help of his lapdog media, Obama can run around blaming everyone else for the rise of ISIS. But there’s one thing Obama can’t do…

Say he wasn’t warned.

First Vietnam.

Now Iraq.

Democrats lose won wars.

That’s what they do.

Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC               



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Valerie Jarrett: President Obama 'Doing His Job' Handling Ferguson Unrest

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President Obama is doing his job, according to White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is now defending his handling of the Ferguson shooting and the civil unrest that has followed.

“He’s doing his job and there’s no magic wand,” she said. “And there are no words that he can speak, alone, that will stop the violence.”

Obama spoke publicly about Brown’s death on three different occasions after leaving for his August vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, calling for patience in the investigation and peace in the community. 

Jarrett spoke at length to Politico’s Todd Purdum for an article examining why Obama is unable to give the African American community the passionate personal response for which some are looking.

“The circumstances determine the reaction, and it isn’t appropriate for the president to speak up emotionally in the midst of an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department,” she explained.

Jarrett argued that Obama’s influence in the situation was limited, particularly with the looters and rioters who have descended on the Ferguson community at night.

“The people who are misbehaving are probably not the people who are listening to his remarks,” she said, referring to his recent calls for peace in Ferguson.

She explained that Obama also wanted to remind law enforcement officials of their constitutional limits, while sending a message to the rioters.

Jarrett concluded:

I think the President’s goal is to add his voice in a way that is calming, so the violence ends, and to send a message to the government officials on the ground about what his expectations are in terms of freedom to assemble, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press — and also to signal to the people who have been looting and shooting that that’s not an acceptable way to honor the death of a young man.



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