Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence Sings 'The Hanging Tree'

Just got back from "Mockingjay Part I."

It's good. Really good. Makes me think.

In any case, here's London's Daily Mail, "Listen to Jennifer Lawrence sing The Lumineers' song The Hanging Tree for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1."

Obama 'Dangerously Close to Totalitarianism'


Given the president's end-runs around Congress, his shredding of the Constitution and his assault on the authority of the courts, a second term free of electoral restraints may be a frightening prospect.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, raised the question on Neil Cavuto's "Your World" show Wednesday. And while it seems fanciful in light of the safeguards built into our democracy and its institutions, it recognizes the threat posed by the president's policies and actions if left unchecked.

"I think the president is dangerously close to totalitarianism," Napolitano opined. "A few months ago he was saying, 'The Congress doesn't count, the Congress doesn't mean anything, I am going to rule by decree and by administrative regulation.'

"Now he's basically saying the Supreme Court doesn't count. It doesn't matter what they think. They can't review our legislation. That would leave just him as the only branch of government standing."

Dana Loesch Gives Emperor Amnesty a Lesson in Scripture

At Twitchy, "Dana Loesch gives Pres. Obama a scripture lesson":

Here are the passages. Romans 13:1:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

And Titus 3:1:

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good...

Maybe the president should name a Bible czar to help him out of the tricky predicament he’s put himself in with his selective quoting of verse to fit his political agenda?

Islamic State Gains Support in Pakistan

This is truly a nightmare omen for trends in global terrorism. The world's worst terror state throwing its weight behind the world's newest source of Islamic terrorism.

At the New York Times, "Allure of ISIS for Pakistanis Is on the Rise":
LONDON — Across Pakistan, the black standard of the Islamic State has been popping up all over.

From urban slums to Taliban strongholds, the militant group’s logo and name have appeared in graffiti, posters and pamphlets. Last month, a cluster of militant commanders declared their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State.

Such is the influence of the Islamic State’s steamroller success in Iraq and Syria that, even thousands of miles away, security officials and militant networks are having to reckon with the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Its victories have energized battle-weary militants in Pakistan. The ISIS brand offers them potent advantages, analysts say — an aid to fund-raising and recruiting, a possible advantage over rival factions and, most powerfully, a new template for waging jihad.

Although the Islamic State is not operational in Pakistan, just its symbolic presence is ample cause for concern. It is there, after all, that Al Qaeda was founded in the 1980s, followed by other extremist ideologies that easily found the means and support to carry out international attacks...

Background Checks Abandoned in the Left's Open-Borders Executive Amnesty Push

From Michelle Malkin, "Refresher course: When White House promises immigration “background checks,” they lie."

The Realist Creed

A nice piece. Well done.

From Robert Kaplan, at Real Clear World.

Forget Assault Prevention: Dispensing Common Sense Advice Puts You at Risk of 'Victim-Blaming'

From Ashe Schow, at the Washington Examiner, "Colleges struggle with protecting students without being accused of victim-blaming."

Leftists put people in danger. Sad.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Deep Denials, Missed Chances on Newtown Murderer Adam Lanza

This makes me sick. Nancy Lanza especially. She practically deserved to die for her gross negligence toward her son's psychiatric care.

At LAT, "New report on Newtown shooter: Parental denial, breakdowns, missed opportunities":
In February 2007, Yale clinicians identified in Adam Lanza what they believed were profound emotional disabilities and offered him treatment that could give him relief for the first time in his troubled life.

But Adam was angry and anxious, and he didn't want to go. His mother, Nancy Lanza, constantly placating her son, was inclined to pull away from the treatment, prompting a psychiatric nurse to reach out to his father, Peter Lanza, in an urgent email.

"I told Adam he has a biological disorder that can be helped with medication. I told him what the medicines are and why they can work. I told him he's living in a box right now and the box will only get smaller over time if he doesn't get some treatment."

Nancy Lanza rejected the Yale doctors' plan. Adam was 14.

Six years later, Adam, now an emaciated recluse and fixated with mass killers, murdered his mother and massacred 20 children and six educators before turning a gun on himself at the elementary school he once attended in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown.

A report released today by the Office of the Child Advocate pointed to the Yale episode as one of dozens of red flags, squandered opportunities, blatant family denial and disturbing failures by pediatricians, educators and mental health professionals to see a complete picture of Adam Lanza's "crippling" social and emotional disabilities.

While the report does not draw a line between the events in Adam Lanza's young life and the massacre, it points out repeated examples where the profound anxiety and rage simmering inside Lanza was not explored in favor of attempts to manage his symptoms.

For example, at the apex of Adam's increasing phobias and problems coping with middle school, he went to a pediatrician and was repeatedly prescribed a lotion to soothe hands rubbed raw by excessive washing and a laxative to ease constipation brought on by a dangerous loss of weight. Yet, the authors note that there was no effort during these visits to address the underlying causes. A visit to a hospital emergency room was cut short before there was a chance for clinicians to explore Adam's problems at greater depth and schedule him for long-term treatment because Nancy Lanza said that being at the hospital was making Adam anxious.

"This shooting could have been stopped at any point along the trajectory of (Adam Lanza's) life," said Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was one of the first-graders killed in classrooms in the Sandy Hook School.

"Red flags were evident, yet procedures were not in place to effectively deal with the issues. This is a systemic concern," Lewis said.

Lewis has started a foundation in her son's honor called the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation to create and promote social and emotional learning programs for school-aged children.

VIDEO: An Imperial Presidency

From the Republican National Committee:

Obama Hecked During Amnesty Speech in Las Vegas

You gotta love it.

Indeed, I turned on the TV this afternoon just as Emperor Obama was getting blasted by these assholes.


At National Review, "Never Enough: Immigration Activist Heckles Obama During Amnesty Victory Lap."

Immigration Debate Explodes Despite Voter Desire for Change

Well, you think?

At the Los Angeles Times:
Far from settling matters, President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration all but ensures at least two more years of fierce and angry debate over one of the most contentious and polarizing issues facing the country.

It is a debate that presents opportunity and political risk to both parties, but especially Republicans, who are deeply divided among themselves and badly need to mend relations with a Latino and Asian American population growing bigger and more politically powerful each day.

And, with the loudest, most strident voices likely to dominate the discussion, it is a debate that will continue to mask a broad consensus among Americans, who want compromise and a fix to a decades-old problem — fashioned by Congress and the president working in tandem — rather than more of the partisan brick-throwing that has escalated over the past several days.

Exit polls this month found that nearly six in 10 voters supported legislation that would go further than Obama’s plan by establishing a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million people in the country illegally — a striking ratio for a largely white, GOP-leaning electorate that swept Republicans to power across the country on Nov. 4.

Even here in Arizona, a state known for taking one of the hardest lines on illegal immigration, there is a strong desire to see the political skirmishing end.

“People want a solution,” said Chuck Coughlin, a GOP strategist who has advised two of the state’s top Republicans, Sen. John McCain and Gov. Jan Brewer, who have sometimes worked at cross-purposes on the issue. “They’re tired of the partisan stalemate and the finger-pointing by both sides.”

Immigration is a uniquely difficult and emotional issue, freighted with the weight of family ties and two broad, sometimes conflicting impulses. The United States, as the president suggested in his speech Thursday night, is both a land of laws and a nation of immigrants; squaring that circle and finding agreement somewhere in the middle has exceeded both the imagination and capacity of elected leaders for a generation.

Obama was never going to placate all sides by going it alone, a move he says was forced upon him by hostile, intransigent Republicans in Congress. What he has done, though, has heightened tensions in the short term and cast the conflict forward into the race to succeed him, placing every White House hopeful on the spot for the next two years.

Because Obama’s actions are not binding on his successor “the next president is going to have to decide whether to continue these policies after 2017,” said Matt Barreto, a University of Washington political scientist who conducts extensive polling among Latinos nationwide. “Whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Chris Christie or Marco Rubio, they’re all going to have to take a position, because it’s a policy that the next president, through his or her executive power, will be overseeing.”

The danger Democrats face is alienating the white working-class voters who have never much cared for the president and who could view the influx of newly hirable immigrants as unwelcome job competition.

Moreover there are voters of all stripe who recoil from the notion of rewarding — or at least excusing — those who break the law, which is how many critics portrayed the outcome of Obama’s single-handed move...
Still more.

Rose McGowan for Flaunt magazine

At Egotastic!, "Forty and Faptastic Actress Rose McGowan Took it All Off, for Flaunt Magazine."

Obama's Executive Amnesty is Both Abuse of Power and Failed Policy Reform

At WSJ, "I, Barack":
His unilateral order will encourage more migrants to come in hope of a future amnesty, without matching the ebb and flow of migration to America’s changing labor market demands. His order also offers no prospect of future citizenship, creating a laboring class with less of a stake in American institutions—and less incentive to assimilate.

The politics of immigration is already fraught, and Mr. Obama’s order will make it worse. He is empowering the most extreme anti-immigrant voices on the Republican right, which may be part of his political calculation.

Mr. Obama wants Democrats to get political credit with Hispanics for legalization, while goading the GOP into again becoming the deportation party in 2016. Hillary Clinton would love that, which explains why Bill Clinton is already backing Mr. Obama’s order. Mark this down as one more way in which this President has become the Great Polarizer.

The polls show the American people are uneasy about Mr. Obama’s unilateral law-making, and liberals should be too. Mr. Obama is setting a precedent that Republican Presidents could also use to overcome a Democratic majority. How about an order to the IRS not to collect capital-gains taxes on inflated gains from property held for more than a decade? That policy would be broadly popular and also address a basic lack of fairness.

Mr. Obama’s rule-by-regulation has already been rebuked more than once by the Supreme Court. His “I, Barack” immigration decree is another abuse that will roil American politics and erode public confidence in the basic precepts of self-government.

Kenneth Turan Reviews 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1'

A good review, although having to wait a year for a conclusion to the trilogy is a buzz-killer.

At LAT, "Review 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' is just a place-holder."

And watch, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Final Trailer – “Burn”."

I'm taking my younger son to see it tomorrow.

A Dangerous Move by the President

From David Gergen, at CNN, "Obama's dangerous move on immigration":
One can argue whether this executive order is legal, but it certainly violates the spirit of the founders. They intentionally focused Article One of the Constitution on the Congress and Article Two on the president. That is because the Congress is the body charged with passing laws and the president is the person charged with faithfully carrying them out.

In effect, the Congress was originally seen as the pre-eminent branch and the president more of a clerk. The president's power grew enormously in the 20th century but even so, the Constitution still envisions Congress and the president as co-equal branches of government -- or as the scholar Richard Neustadt observed, co-equal branches sharing power.

For better or worse, Americans have always expected that in addressing big, tough domestic issues, Congress and the president had to work together to find resolution.

For a president to toss aside such deep traditions of governance is a radical, imprudent step. When a president in day-to-day operations can decide which laws to enforce and which to ignore, where are the limits on his power? Where are the checks and balances so carefully constructed in the Constitution?

If a Democratic president can cancel existing laws on immigration, what is to prevent the next Republican from unilaterally canceling laws on health care?

A bad way to start with new Congress

Coming on the heels of midterm elections that were a clear call for a change of course in Washington, starting in the White House, this is also a discouraging way to open the final years of this presidency. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds that by 53-40%, Americans feel positive about the election results; by 56-33%, they want Congress to set policy for the country, not the President; by 57-40% they favor a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants but by 42-32%, they disapprove of Obama overhauling immigration through executive order. Why isn't the White House listening to the public?

In retrospect, it would have been far better if coming out of the elections, the President had said he had promised he would act through executive order before the end of the year, but in light of the election results, he would work with the new Congress for six months. If there were no legislation, he would act on his own.

That would have been a much fairer proposition, would have started out with Republicans on better footing, and would have rallied the public behind him if the GOP refused to cooperate.

Sadly, we instead have an action from the White House that will cast a dark shadow over prospects for legislative cooperation, falls short of what the immigrant population had hoped and steers us into deep, unknown waters in our governance.

Tom Hanks Interview on 'CBS This Morning'

He's made a lot of great movies.

A good guy too, despite his leftist inclinations.

Here, in two parts: "Tom Hanks: Being an actor was a solitary pursuit," and "Tom Hanks: 'I was not intimidated by being the new kid'."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

High-Tech Presents for Students

At Amazon, Shop Amazon's Electronics Holiday Gift Guide - High-Tech Presents for Students.

Blacks Arrested Up to Ten Times More

This is interesting, despite the leftist spin.

From Brad Heath, at USA Today, "Racial gap in U.S. arrest rates: 'Staggering disparity'":
When it comes to racially lopsided arrests, the most remarkable thing about Ferguson, Mo., might be just how ordinary it is.

Police in Ferguson — which erupted into days of racially charged unrest after a white officer killed an unarmed black teen — arrest black people at a rate nearly three times higher than people of other races.

At least 1,581 other police departments across the USA arrest black people at rates even more skewed than in Ferguson, a USA TODAY analysis of arrest records shows. That includes departments in cities as large and diverse as Chicago and San Francisco and in the suburbs that encircle St. Louis, New York and Detroit.

Those disparities are easier to measure than they are to explain. They could be a reflection of biased policing; they could just as easily be a byproduct of the vast economic and educational gaps that persist across much of the USA — factors closely tied to crime rates. In other words, experts said, the fact that such disparities exist does little to explain their causes.

"That does not mean police are discriminating. But it does mean it's worth looking at. It means you might have a problem, and you need to pay attention," said University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris, a leading expert on racial profiling.

Whatever the reasons, the results are the same: Blacks are far more likely to be arrested than any other racial group in the USA. In some places, dramatically so.

At least 70 departments scattered from Connecticut to California arrested black people at a rate 10 times higher than people who are not black, USA TODAY found.

"Something needs to be done about that," said Ezekiel Edwards, the head of the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project, which has raised concerns about such disparate arrest rates. "In 2014, we shouldn't continue to see this kind of staggering disparity wherever we look."

The unrest in Ferguson was stoked by mistrust among black residents who complained that the city's police department had singled them out for years. For example, every year, traffic stop data compiled by Missouri's attorney general showed Ferguson police stopped and searched black drivers at rates markedly higher than whites.

A grand jury is considering whether Officer Darren Wilson should face criminal charges for shooting a teen, Michael Brown. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday as authorities braced for more unrest after the grand jury's decision is announced.

Such tensions are not new. Nationwide, blacks are stopped, searched, arrested and imprisoned at rates higher than people of other races. USA TODAY's analysis, using arrests reported to the federal government in 2011 and 2012, found that those inequities are far wider in many cities across the country, from St. Louis to Atlanta to suburban Dearborn, Mich...

House Republicans Hire Law Professor Jonathan Turley for #ObamaCare Lawsuit

This is interesting.

At IBD, "Turley Joins Republican Challenge to Obama's Lawlessness."


RELATED: "Obama's Executive Amnesty Threatens Constitutional Crisis."

Young Immigrants' Amnesty May Not Extend to Parents

Oh, the perilous path of Democrat Party identity politics.

At the New York Times, "Deportation Reprieve May Not Include Parents of Young Immigrants":
WASHINGTON — Every time Berzabeth Valdez heads out to work from her mobile home on the outskirts of Houston, it crosses her mind that she might not come back.

Ms. Valdez, 48, is a Mexican immigrant who has been living in Texas for 11 years without legal papers, and so without a driver’s license. For her commute to her job as a restaurant manager, she keeps her taillights in working order and never speeds.

“We are terrified of the police,” Ms. Valdez said. “One traffic ticket could end in deportation. I could lose my whole life, everything I have gained for my family.”

One of Ms. Valdez’s daughters grew tired of living with those fears and joined an organization of young undocumented immigrants. The youths, who call themselves Dreamers, won protection from deportation from President Obama in 2012 and continued to press him to extend those measures to others here illegally.

​On Thursday, ​Mr. Obama ​will announce changes to the immigration enforcement system that ​will allow as many as five million immigrants to remain and work legally. But ​the youths ​will face a bittersweet ending, ​because White House officials have decided to leave out their parents, according to advocates familiar with the plans.

“It’s getting so hard to call my mom,” said María Fernanda Cabello, 23, Ms. Valdez’s activist daughter. “I’ve had to tell her, ‘There is a victory coming, and I don’t know if you’re part of it.’ ”

​Mr. Obama ​​will grant ​deportation reprieves to undocumented parents whose children are American citizens and legal permanent residents​ ​if they have lived in the country for five years​​ and have not committed serious crimes, administration officials said. ​Officials say the president can exercise prosecutorial discretion to avoid breaking up families of children entitled to be in the country and to steer enforcement agents toward deporting criminals and foreigners who pose national security threats. ​

But ​some​ senior​ ​administration ​officials have argued that it would be more difficult both legally and politically to make the case for including parents of immigrants in the existing program for young people who came when they were children, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Since that program is based on executive action by Mr. Obama, the youths have deportation deferrals and work permits but no green cards or any other visa or formal immigration status, which only Congress can confer. Their parents’ claim for relief is weaker, the officials said.

The president is facing angry opposition from Republicans to his new initiatives. Calling Mr. Obama’s plans “executive amnesty,” Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, an outspoken adversary, accused him of seizing sole power to decide who can live and work in the United States. “Surrendering to illegality is not an option,” Mr. Sessions said.

Republicans are considering different ways to stop funding for the president’s new measures and for the existing DACA program.

Even after receiving their own reprieves, the youths played a large role in bringing a reluctant president to take more sweeping action unilaterally. They mobilized law professors to build Mr. Obama’s legal case. Early this year, when the president was urging activists to pressure Republicans in the House to take up an immigration bill passed by the Senate, young immigrants decided there was little chance the House would act. Instead, they dogged Mr. Obama, interrupting his speeches and staging street sit-ins at his events.

The hints that their parents could be excluded by the White House have stunned many youths.

“It’s really hard to process when we’ve been pushing so hard for this,” said Ms. Cabello, an organizer in Texas for United We Dream, a national network of youth groups. “I cry every time I think about it.”

The White House ​will ​expand the current DACA program by eliminating the age cap for eligibility, which now excludes those over 30, or adjusting other requirements, measures youth leaders said they would welcome.

According to estimates by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization, about 3.3 million undocumented parents have children who are citizens or legal residents and have been living here for at least five years. Many families have some children born in other countries and some who are citizens born in the United States, and the number of eligible immigrants would increase only to 3.4 million if the parents of youths in the DACA program were included.

But for young people in families with no American-born children, it is bitterly frustrating that they have to continue to worry whenever their parents go out the door.

In October, Ms. Valdez recalled, her car was rammed in a rear fender while she was stopped at a red light. An apologetic American driver explained that she was wearing a new pair of high heels and had been unable to press the brake in time.

“Let’s just forget about it,” Ms. Valdez said, eyeing her crumpled fender, and she left to avoid calling the police...
PREVIOUSLY: "Forty-Eight Percent Oppose Obama's Executive Amnesty for Illegal Aliens," and "Barack Broke That — Democrats Now in Worse Shape Than Before Obama Took Office!"

Two-Thirds Say U.S. Is On Wrong Track Post-Midterms, Poll Shows

More from that new NBC/WSJ poll, "'Like It Never Happened': Public Shrugs at Midterm Results, Poll Shows."

PREVIOUSLY: "Forty-Eight Percent Oppose Obama's Executive Amnesty for Illegal Aliens."

Alessandra Ambrosio Arm Workout

Just a few weeks now until the fashion show.