The Conversation


'43' Writing Biography on '41'

Jul 30, 2014 4:59 PM PT

Forwarded to me from a friend:

Dear Bush Family and Friends,

Later tonight, Crown Publishers will announce a biography of President George H. W. Bush ("41") by his son, President George W. Bush ("43"). We wanted you to hear it from us first.

The book will be released this fall, on November 11. As 43 says: plenty of historians will analyze 41's presidency, and over time some of those books will even be objective. This book is not -- it's a love story about a great man.

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Sticks and Stones, Lois

Jul 30, 2014 3:16 PM PT

It's not every day that Lois Lerner calls you an asshole. I guess we got lucky today.

The Hill reports:

Former IRS official Lois Lerner cursed conservatives in emails released on Wednesday, leading House Republicans to intensify their push for criminal charges.

Lerner, in an email conversation with an undisclosed person, suggested that listeners to conservative talk radio were “a--holes.”

She followed that up by saying: “So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists [sic]. It's our own crazies that will take us down.”

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Alison Lundergan Grimes Not Quite Sure What the Iron Dome Does Exactly

Jul 30, 2014 12:08 PM PT

Democrat US Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes may need to brush up on her foreign policy chops, because she seems to have stumbled badly in her response to a question about Israel's Iron Dome at a recent political event in Kentucky. 

Grimes, currently the Secretary of State, was asked about congressional efforts to aid Israel’s missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome. Her answer gives the impression that she thinks the Iron Dome is Israel's underground tunnel defense system.

“Obviously, Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and she has the right to defend herself,” Grimes said. “But the loss of life, especially the innocent civilians in Gaza, is a tragedy. The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.”

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Foreign Affairs

Terrorists are rolling in dough these days

Jul 30, 2014 11:47 AM PT

We're still trying to grapple with the newest, richest terror state in history seizing a fortune in cash, plus military equipment, from conquered Iraqi territory.  Now we learn Europe has been pouring millions of ransom dollars into the hands of hostage-taking terrorists.  The New York Times writes that "kidnapping Europeans for ransom has become a global business for al-Qaeda, bankrolling its operations across the globe."

While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by The New York Times found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken in at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just last year.

In news releases and statements, the United States Treasury Department has cited ransom amounts that, taken together, put the total at around $165 million over the same period.

These payments were made almost exclusively by European governments, who funneled the money through a network of proxies, sometimes masking it as development aid, according to interviews conducted for this article with former hostages, negotiators, diplomats and government officials in 10 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The inner workings of the kidnapping business were also revealed in thousands of pages of internal Qaeda documents found by this reporter while on assignment for The Associated Press in northern Mali last year.

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Media Bias

MSNBC Obsessed with Impeachment, Mentions It Every 22 Minutes on Average

Jul 30, 2014 11:24 AM PT

A new survey of cable news transcripts by Five Thirty Eight finds that MSNBC mentions impeachment more than four times as often as Fox News.

Nate Silver compiled data via a Lexis-Nexis search of the two networks' use of the word "impeach" or "impeachment" over the past several months. What he found was a huge upswing at MSNBC since June. He produced the following chart:

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Democrats Warn Obama Over Executive Overreach on Immigration

Jul 30, 2014 10:22 AM PT

Democrat Senators Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas have both now warned Barack Obama against taking “any steps without the approval of Congress" when it comes to dealing with the current illegal immigration crisis. 

“I’m not for government by executive order. He needs to have statutory authority before he acts,” said Pryor. Meanwhile, via Politico, a spokeswoman for Hagan said, “this is a problem that needs to be solved legislatively and not through executive action.” 

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Democrats Push Obama Act Unilaterally On Immigration Reform

Jul 30, 2014 10:16 AM PT

The push to grant amnesty for millions of illegal aliens living in the U.S. has officially kicked off, as DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has now said that Presidente Obama should use his executive powers to give work permits to those illegals.

“The irresponsible thing to do is to do nothing,” the Florida congresswoman said today at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington. “The president should do within the boundaries of his executive authority what he can do if Congress refuses to act.”

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Foreign Affairs

Erdogan 'Glad to Return' Jewish Group's Award

Jul 30, 2014 10:09 AM PT

One of President Obama's closest friends on the world stage, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would be "Glad to return" an award given to him by a Jewish American group in 2004. The American Jewish Congress asked for it back because of the virulently anti-Semitic comments he's been making regarding the conflict in Gaza.

Turkey’s US ambassador writes to Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, on Erdogan’s behalf saying that because of Israel’s actions in Gaza and “the regrettable stance” of the American Jewish Congress, Erdogan “will be glad to return the award.” The letter is dated July 27 and made available Tuesday.

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Foreign Affairs

School of Rockets: terrorists take advantage of the U.N.

Jul 30, 2014 9:13 AM PT

I see one of Joel's ten winners and losers from the Gaza War is the United Nations, dumped into the "loser" column because Hamas rockets have been found in schools built by the U.N. Relief Works Agency.  The first time one of these classroom ammo dumps was discovered, the U.N. feigned comical "Captain Renault" surprise that terrorists had been caught making use of its facilities.  

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