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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Marlboro Kicks Some Ash

Philip Morris makes a device to heat—rather than burn—tobacco.

On a tree-lined street of stately 19th century palazzi in central Milan, there’s a storefront with glossy parquet floors, subdued blue lighting, and walls displaying large-format color portraits of trendy young people. The space - which looks like it might be an art gallery or chic hair salon - is Marlboro's latest marketing campaign.

The shop is what cigarette maker Philip Morris International calls an embassy for iQOS, a €70 ($79) device that gives a nicotine hit by heating tobacco instead of burning it. Since November 2014 the company has set up about 10 such outlets in Italy and Japan where visitors can sample Marlboro HeatSticks, which users say are more like smoking than e-cigarettes and offer a stronger buzz. Andre Calantzopoulos, chief executive officer of Philip Morris, told investors in February that the technology puts the industry “on the cusp of a revolution” that may improve public health with a safer alternative to smoking, while adding as much as $1.2 billion in profit.

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Will Batman v Superman Be the Billion-Dollar Blockbuster Warner Bros. Needs?

To shake off its malaise, Warner tries a forced marriage of DC superheroes.

Dawn of Justice was met with some harsh early reviews. The critics weren’t kind to the Caped Crusader (Ben Affleck), the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill), or director Zack Snyder. One saved his venom for an unseen villain, the studio that made the film, Warner Bros. The movie is “a sleek, stylish commercial by a studio desperate to birth a new cash cow post-Harry Potter,” wrote the Miami Herald’s film critic.

For Warner, more is riding on the movie than on any other single release this year. It’s important not only for the money it could pull in, but also because it could be a steppingstone to cultivate a dedicated audience for future films from its DC Comics franchise. “Success is giving the fans an experience that’s so enjoyable and entertaining for them that we deepen their commitment to DC as a whole, and so the movies keep growing,’’ says Greg Silverman, a co-head of Warner’s film studio.

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Obama: 'We See High-Profile Attacks in Europe, But They're Also Killing Muslims'

(CNSNews.com) - President Obama told reporters in Argentina Wednesday that while we're seeing "high-profile attacks in Europe," Islamic State terrorists also are "killing Muslims throughout the Middle East -- people who are innocent, people who are guilty only of worshiping Islam in a different way than this organization."

The president said his "number one priority" is to "defeat ISIL," but he wants do it in an "intelligent way," which requires continuous adjustment -- seeing "what works and what doesn't."

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Obama Says Climate Change Is a 'Major' Problem, But ISIS 'Not an Existential Threat'

(CNSNews.com) - "Groups like ISIL can't destroy us, they can't defeat us," President Obama told reporters in Argentina on Wednesday. "They're not an existential threat to us," he said.

A few sentences later, he described climate change as a "major" problem.

On a day when morgues and hospitals in Brussels were still trying to identify the dead and the grievously injured, Americans among them, Obama described the terrorists as "vicious killers and murderers who have perverted one of the world's great religions, and their primary power, in addition to killing lives, is to strike fear in our societies, to disrupt our societies."

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Obamacare Was Supposed to Lower Health Care Costs, But Has It?

Hawking the Affordable Care Act (ACA) six years ago, President Barack Obama said, “Every single good idea to bend the cost curve and start actually reducing health care costs [is] in this bill.”

Team Obama projected that their version of health care reform—replete with the bells and whistles of “investments” in health information technology, health care delivery and payment reforms—would translate into big cost reductions for individuals, families and businesses. In his iconic health care “talking points,” the president said that the “typical” family would see a yearly $2,500 savings in their health costs.

Has Obamacare Reduced Costs?

Those family cost savings, of course, have not materialized.

In year six, even with lower than anticipated enrollment in the health insurance exchanges and the refusal of 21 states to participate in the law’s Medicaid expansion, the health care cost curve is still on an upwardly mobile trajectory.

It is fueled by sharp increases in both public and private health care spending.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data show that total per capitahealth insurance spending will rise from $7,786 in 2016 to $11,681 in 2024. Looking at the future of employer-based health insurance costs, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that job-based premiums are poised to increase by almost 60 percent between now and 2025.

Obamacare’s cheerleaders have allowed their exuberance to outrun their supply lines. Medicare trustee Charles Blahous best summarized the problem:

“Given how the ACA’s advocates touted the law as ‘bending the cost curve down and reducing the deficit’ while occasionally in the same sentence crediting it with expanding coverage to ‘more than 94 percent of Americans’, many Americans could be forgiven for not understanding that those two goals were in conflict.”

Obamacare cannot deliver the impossible (even if it were good public policy­— and it isn’t).

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PRESIDENT OBAMA "You should be practical and just choose from what works."

Student’s Artwork in City Building Depicts Cop in KKK Hood, Sparking Outrage

Artwork showing a white police officer clad in a Ku Klux Klan hood and pointing a gun at a small black child in a hoodie, hands raised, has outraged community members and prompted a meeting between city officials and the artists’s mother.

The piece, which was part of a Denver Public Schools outreach program and had been displayed in a city building, has sparked “concerns from the community,” according to astatement from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

“Students were asked to select a master work of art, research it and re-contextualize it,” the release explains. “After learning of the negative impact of her work, the student has asked that it be taken down.”

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Whoopi Goldberg to Ben Carson: Why Support ‘Racist’ Trump? ‘That’s How Hitler Got In’

Thursday on ABC’s “The View,” former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson defended his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump against co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s charges of racism and sexism.

Whoopi Goldberg asked, “Sir, I hate to ask this question, but you have aligned yourself with a man who has bashed women, made countless racist remarks, and you’re Ben Carson. Why would you — why would you align yourself with that is this this?”

Carson answered, “Well, you know, you have to look at the good and the bad. There’s no perfect person.”

Goldberg said, “No, I know that.”

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Korean-American in NKorea Confesses to Stealing Secrets

A Korean-American man detained in North Korea has confessed to stealing military secrets and plotting subversion with South Koreans, the North's official news agency and foreign media reported on Friday.

North Korea, which has been criticized for its human rights record, has in the past used detained Americans to extract high-profile visits from the United States, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

Kim Dong Chul, who has previously said he was a naturalized American citizen and was arrested in North Korea in October, admitted to committing "unpardonable espionage" under the direction of the U.S. and South Korean governments and deeply apologized for his crimes, the North's KCNA news agency said.

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Chelsea Clinton: Obamacare Has Created 'Crushing Costs'

Barack Obama Disgraces Himself Once Again

Barack Obama has spent the last week reminding Americans that he's unfit to lead. While terrorists ran wild in Europe, the commander in chief who won't command cheerfully took in a baseball game with communist murderers. As the death toll mounted, he danced the tango while being courted by Argentinian kleptocrats who have bankrupted their country. Afterwards, he poured gasoline on the dumpsterfire that we call his presidency. While speaking at a town hall in Buenos Aires, Obama said the following:

President Barack Obama downplayed the differences between capitalism and communism, claiming that they are just “intellectual arguments.”He urged those at a town hall event in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday to “just choose from what works.”

Obama said, “So often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist.”

“And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist, you know, that’s going to take away everybody’s property. And I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be prObama then said, “You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works.”

In the late '80s, Ronald Reagan toured the crumbling Soviet Union and made the case for human liberty to those who had spent decades suffering under tyranny, bringing hope to people who previously had none. He made the case to the world that there was an economic system that cherished human liberty, and a system that promised tyranny. Today, Obama's message to the political prisoners of Cuba and the beleaguered debtors of Argentina is "oh, you're suffering? it's all the same to me."

Mr. President: Cubans fleeing for their lives on anything that might float would beg to differ.

Source: AAN

IRS slows down tax return processing to address fraud

The Internal Revenue Process took three times as long to review and process tax returns in fiscal 2015, but a fraud prevention company says the slowdown is geared toward security.

In fiscal 2015, the average tax return took the IRS 21 days to process, compared to only 7 days in previous filing years. But iovation, a fraud-and-abuse company whose clients work with the IRS during tax season, said in a study launched Wednesday that new fraud prevention efforts at the IRS account for the longer processing windows.

“In this case, it’s extending the review time and doing verification and validations of the personal information, verifying the identity of the individual and ensuring that it’s a valid return. So from a federal government perspective, this is a good thing because it will decrease their fraud rates. It won’t eliminate them, but certainly they’re going to be experiencing less fraud,” Scott Olson, iovation’s vice president of product, said in an interview with Federal News Radio.

While iovation commended the IRS for its slow-and-steady approach, Olson said budget and workforce cuts have also led to slower response rates.

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Subject: Justice indicts 7 Iranian hackers for attacks on US infrastructure

The Justice Department indicted seven Iranian nationals on several charges of hacking American critical infrastructure, including attacking U.S. financial systems and gaining illegal access to the networks of a dam in upstate New York.

The indictment unsealed Thursday brings charges against Ahmad Fathi, 37; Hamid Firoozi, 34; Amin Shokohi, 25; Sadegh Ahmadzadegan, a.k.a. Nitrojen26, 23; Omid Ghaffarinia, a.k.a. PLuS, 25; Sina Keissar, 25; and Nader Saedi, a.k.a. Turk Server, 26.

The seven men worked for two Iranian cybersecurity companies — ITSecTeam (ITSEC) and Mersad Company (MERSAD) — that served as contractors for the Iranian government. All seven men allegedly have ties to the government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger: Moderate Muslims Key to Stopping Terrorism in US

Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Thursday that moderate Muslims are critical to fighting the spread of terrorism in the United States and around the world.

"We have to understand that moderate Muslims are our best allies in this fight," the Illinois Republican told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "They're the ones that have the ability to notice if somebody at a mosque, for instance, is acting out of place or if somebody that lives next to them in the neighborhood maybe has some weird materials coming in and out of the house.

"This is a time we need to be opening dialogue with the moderate Muslims in order to get the intelligence you need, because you can't do it all from satellites and from looking at encrypted things," he said.

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Home Constructed for Sole Purpose of Concealing Mexican Drug Tunnel

Federal officials in California are examining a 400-yard, cross-border drug tunnel. They captured 1,500 pounds of marijuana and made six arrests this week after law enforcement monitored the construction of a house that drug traffickers had built simply to conceal the tunnel opening.

“This house and tunnel were constructed under the watchful eye of law enforcement,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement Wednesday. “For the builders, the financiers and the operators of these passageways, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We will seize your drugs and your tunnel before you even have a chance to use it.”

According to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement release, the tunnel uncovered in Calexico, California is the first California-Mexico border tunnel discovered since 2006. The circumstances represent the first time drug traffickers are known to have purchased a parcel of land and had home constructed on top of it for the “sole purpose” of hiding the tunnel exit.

The drug traffickers allegedly purchased a parcel of land in a residential section of Calexico for $240,000 last April. The house was built by December for approximately $86,000. According to law enforcement, the agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) used court-approved wire taps to monitor the construction project in October and November.

“According to the case affidavit, the property owners told the construction contractor to leave a space for a floor safe when pouring a cement foundation for the house.

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The New Push By Dems to Give Illegals Jobs

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., has introduced legislation to give illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as youths and are exempt from deportation the ability to work on Capitol Hill.

The legislation, titled The American Dream Employment Act, would change the law preventing the House and Senate from employing anyone who is neither a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident seeking naturalization. Under current law, individuals allowed to work in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, cannot be hired by any branch of the federal government.

"Telling these young people they cannot work in the seat of our government is like telling them they deserve something less than the American dream. That's the wrong message to send — especially from an institution like Congress that could really benefit from their unique abilities and perspectives," Kirkpatrick, who is running for Senate as a challenger to Republican Sen. John McCain in Arizona, said in a statement.

Her legislation would create a new exemption for DACA recipients to work for congressional offices. The bill would not affect any other federal agency or department.


Source: Washington Examiner

Former ISIS fighter from Belgium: Islam is on the march in Europe

Brussels: Another wake-up call

Another day, another city, yet the script that started unfolding in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 and that shocked the world on 9/11 in New York is the same — jihadi killers let loose on unsuspecting “infidels”.

On Tuesday, Belgium’s capital of Brussels fell in line with London, Madrid and Paris as western capitals brought to their knees by jihadi terrorists seeking the annihilation of western civilization.

If the actions committed by the soldiers of international jihad were predictable, the reaction of western leaders was also familiar to ordinary, anxious citizens of North America and Europe – cowardice wrapped in political correctness.

When jihadis struck New York, president George Bush saw it as his duty to defend Islam and save it from any serious critique.

“Islam is a religion of peace,” he declared as his White House pandered to American Islamists.

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DNC Chair Squirms When Asked This About the FBI

No matter how bad your day may be, at least you don’t have to answer whether your presumptive presidential nominee should cooperate with the FBI’s criminal probe of her.

So be glad you’re not Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who found herself caught on national television between Hillary Clinton and federal law enforcement.

The Washington Examiner reports:

"Those are questions you'd have to ask each of Hillary Clinton and anyone associated with Hillary Clinton," Schultz said when asked about the possibility on Fox Business. "I'm doing my job as a member of Congress, first and foremost, representing my district, and making sure we can get ready while this primary is unfolding, to make sure we can launch our nominee from Philadelphia," she said, referencing the site of the upcoming Democratic national convention.
Schultz conveniently neglected to mention she is also Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and is the person in charge of coordinating a billion-dollar nationwide effort to elect Hillary Clinton president.


Source: AAN

New ISIS Video Calls For Jihad

They want a jihad? Let's give them a jihad...

Islamic State released a video on social media on Thursday calling on its followers to claim victory and wage jihad after deadly blasts in Brussels this week that the group said it had carried out.

In the footage, Islamic State noted that Belgium was part of a coalition fighting militants in the Middle East.

It featured the training of Belgian militants suspected in the Nov. 13 shooting and suicide bombing rampage by Islamic State that killed 130 people in Paris.

"The crusaders aircrafts, including Belgium’s, continue to bomb Muslims in Iraq and the Levant in the night and day," said the video.

"Every Muslim who is well aware of the history of Islam, knows that the holy war against infidels is an integral part of Islam, and those who read history would know."

Whomever wins this election, it's important to note that Americans will have a choice between a guy who wants to bomb the hell out of ISIS, a guy who wants to see if we can make sand glow, and a woman who was responsible for the descension of Libya into complete and utter chaos. Two of these are good choices. One of them could endanger the continued existence of Western Civilization.


Source: AAN

Federal Appeals Court Slams IRS, Demands Documents

In a blistering rebuke of the IRS, a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court has ordered the tax-collecting agency to quit stalling and produce the names of organizations it targeted based on their political leanings.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit gave the IRS two weeks to turn over the documents sought as part of a class-action lawsuit brought by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots.

“The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws … The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” the opinion said.

Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self-Governance which is funding the class-action lawsuit, applauded the court's bold comments.

“We are very pleased that the 6th Circuit had smacked down the IRS and its thuggish DOJ lawyers,” Meckler told FoxNews.com.

Tuesday’s angry reprimand by the federal appeals court is in response to the IRS’s writ of mandamus.

“The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote.

“We deny the petition.”

The panel of judges gave the IRS two weeks to start handing over the documents.

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Subject: Obama’s War on Coal Is Driving up Energy Costs, Disproportionately Affecting the Poor

In June of 2013, former science advisor to the Obama administration Daniel Schrag told the New York Times that:

“The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

The president’s war is working.

According to a recently released report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), more than 80 percent of the nearly 18 gigawatts of electric generating capacity retired in 2015 was conventional steam coal. This represents 4.6 percent of the nation’s coal capacity at the start of 2015.

The Energy Information Administration gives two primary reasons for the recent decline in coal. First is that companies have switched fuel because of the abundance of inexpensive natural gas from fracking. The other reason for coal’s demise is much more problematic: Burdensome regulations devoid of any significant direct environmental benefit.

One such regulation is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxic Standards rule, which went into effect in April of 2015. A study done by National Economic Research Associates included indirect costs and found the rule has an economic cost of $25.6 billion per year.

The EPA credits this regulation with 30 percent of coal retirement in 2015. The rule requires approximately 600 facilities to cut mercury emissions by a substantial amount. The EPA predicted this rule will have an annual cost of $9.6 billion to the U.S. electricity sector —what’s worse is that other studies have been estimated to have an even more significant effect.

More here

We Want The Truth

Cartels Cut Hole in Unmanned Border Fence, Drove Through

(CNSNews.com) – National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee Wednesday that cartels cut a hole in a 10-mile stretch of border that had been unmanned for two days and drove two vehicles through it.

“One key way to determine whether the cartels are winning is to analyze key data of entries to arrests,” Judd said.

“Of those 157, 74 were arrested, 54 were known to have evaded arrest and furthered their entry into the United States, 17 were able to evade arrest and make it back to Mexico, and 12 were still outstanding and unaccounted for. That’s a 47 percent arrest rate. That’s not very good, but it’s not the Border Patrol agents’ fault. We’re just simply overmanned,” Judd said.

“Yesterday, I received an email from an agent in Arizona, and that email said that there was a 10-mile stretch for two days – and this is documented on the reports from the Border Patrol management - 10 mile stretch of border that was unmanned for two days,” Judd said. “Criminal cartels were able to go to the fence, cut a hole in the fence, drive two vehicles through that hole and escape.”

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Hillary Flunks Economics Exam

With the Democrat presidential nomination all but assured, is Hillary Clinton trying out her standup comedy chops?

Or is she just stunningly ignorant of basic economics?

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton claimed Tuesday there is “no evidence” to prove raising the minimum wage costs jobs.

“I also want to raise the minimum wage, and I support the effort here in Washington state to do that,” Clinton said at a rally in Everett, Washington. “There is no evidence that the minimum wage being increased costs jobs, so I’m supporting what you’re trying to do here, and I want to raise it across the country.”

Clinton favors a $12 per hour minimum wage, 20 percent less than the $15 an hour desired by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). Clinton herself acknowledged last year she was hesitant to support a $15 minimum wage “because there are different economic environments. And what you can do in L.A. or in New York may not work in other places.”
Despite her vocal support of a mandatory $12 minimum wage for all employers, her own campaign relies on unpaid labor from volunteers and does not require a minimum $12 hourly wage for vendors


Source: AAN

Endorse This: Rudy Giuliani Says Hillary Clinton "A Founding Member Of ISIS"

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who said he would “probably” endorse a special someone before the New York presidential primaries — “it won’t be Hillary Clinton. I seriously doubt it will be Ted Cruz” — said in an interview with Bill O’Reilly that “Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS.”

An unusually baffled Bill O’Reilly asked him to explain. “By being part of an administration that withdrew from Iraq. By being part of an administration that let Maliki run Iraq,” Giuliani said, “So you forced the Shiites to make a choice, [and] by not intervening in Syria at the proper time.”

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This Muslim Woman's Hateful Act Towards Israel Caught on Tape

This will make you absolutely sick:

A French TV station captured footage of a woman wearing a hijab ripping up an Israeli flag at a makeshift memorial for the victims of Tuesday’s bombings in Brussels.

The images were captured by the RTL television network and disseminated on the web and social media.

The incident took place at the vigil that was set up in the central Brussels landmark Place de la Bourse.

Europe is burning. As their nations continue to swell with refugees, they should note well the regard that their newest residents have for other faiths, and proceed accordingly. Their citizen's lives depend on it.


Source: AAN

Charlotte Transgender Rule Nixed; Other Cities Reined in

Sparked by backlash to Charlotte's ordinance allowing transgender people to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity, the North Carolina legislature reined in local governments with a broad bill that prevents cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination rules. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the legislation Wednesday night, dealing a blow to the LGBT movement after success with protection in cities across the country.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly took action Wednesday to invalidate Charlotte's ordinance after city leaders last month approved the broad anti-discrimination measure. Critics focused on language in the ordinance involving transgender people and restrooms.

McCrory, who was the mayor of Charlotte for 14 years and had criticized the local measure, signed the legislation that he said was "passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette."

Although 12 House Democrats joined all Republicans present in voting for the bill in the afternoon, later all Senate Democrats in attendance walked off their chamber floor during the debate in protest. Remaining Senate Republicans gave the legislation unanimous approval.

"We choose not to participate in this farce," Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue of Raleigh said after he left the chamber.

Senate leader Phil Berger of Eden said the Democrats' decision to leave was a "serious breach of their obligation to the citizens that voted to elect them."

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Inside the Secret Plot to Deny Trump the Nomination

It's on: the race to deny Donald Trump the delegates necessary to take the nomination has begun. Behind the scenes, Republican insiders are making moves. As Politico notes:

When South Dakota's Republican activists convened in Pierre to pick their delegates to the Republican National Convention, they got an unexpected visitor.

Merle Madrid, senior aide to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, had flown in from Columbus to make an appeal: If the convention fails to elect front-runner Donald Trump on the first ballot, consider Kasich on the second — even if the state’s Republican voters sent them there to back Trump or Ted Cruz.

Madrid was polite and earnest, but, according to interviews with 17 of the state’s 29 delegates, he came up empty.

"Kasich will not get my vote no matter what he does. That ain’t gonna happen," said delegate Allen Unruh, a Sioux Falls chiropractor and tea party activist.

Madrid’s visit to South Dakota on Saturday marked one of the earliest signs that the shadow campaign for the Republican nomination has begun. Kasich and Cruz are scrambling to secure commitments from bound delegates to break off on a second ballot and vote against Trump. In many cases, that means asking delegates to buck Republican primary voters in the name of settling on a nominee.

The fight will heat up in April, when a slew of states — including Arizona, Colorado and North Dakota — begin selecting their own slates of delegates, using methods ranging from statewide and congressional district conventions to meetings of state party leaders to county-level votes or caucuses.

Will this work? While recent polls have shown Cruz and Kasich both do better in a general election against Hillary Clinton, bucking the will of conservative primary voters could be a nightmare for a GOP that has failed to turn out votes in the last two presidential elections.


Source: AAN

Are You a Criminal Employee at the VA? No Problem

Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear yet another surreal story out of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The amount of malfeasance this agency ignores would be entertaining if not for the fact that our veterans are on the bad end of the deal. Today we report on Elizabeth Rivera, an employee at the Puerto Rico VA. The Daily Caller recounts the details of her transgressions: “Rivera was driving around Puerto Rico in the middle of the night on a Monday with Rolando Rio Febus and robbed a couple at gunpoint. Rivera was charged with armed robbery and her companion with armed robbery and gun charges.”

Rivera, who later pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, was eventually fired, but — you guessed it — the termination was only temporary.

Rivera’s union friends at the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) had her reinstated by exposing a colleague’s criminal record.

“Employees said the union demanded her job back and pointed out that Tito Santiago Martinez, the management-side labor relations specialist in Puerto Rico, who is in charge of dealing with the union and employee discipline, is a convicted sex offender. Martinez reportedly disclosed his conviction to the hospital and VA hired him anyway, reasoning that ‘there’s no children [sic] in [the hospital], so they figure I could not harm anyone here.’”

As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw points out, “The union defense is brilliant here. A previous employee was also convicted of serious charges and is still employed, so it would be grossly unfair to fire anyone else who is similarly sent to jail..."

More here

BREAKING: Suicide Bomb Kills 29 at Football Stadium

While the President is on dancing, and his national security team is bragging about killing another "top ISIS official"(another head on the Hydra, we're sure) ISIS is going about its business: savagery. Yesterday, the terror group carried out another vicious attack:

BREAKING:
In the latest terror attack linked to the Islamic State, at least 29 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a football stadium south of Baghdad Friday, Iraqi security officials told The Associated Press.

Nearly 60 other people were reported hurt.

Fox News has learned ISIS immediately claimed responsibility for the blast. The terror group also said it was behind the bombings in Belgium Tuesday, which killed 31 people and wounded 270 others.

Security officials tell the AP Friday’s bombing took place during a match in the small stadium in the city of Iskanderiyah, 30 miles from Baghdad. Medical officials confirmed the death toll.

Even as the Pentagon announced U.S. Special Operations forces have killed ISIS’ second-in-command, ISIS continues on its roll.

It was just three days ago that the radical Islamic group murdered at least 30 and injured 300 in multiple attacks in Brussels. And just last night, French authorities arrested someone involved in an “advanced stage” terror plot. It appears all but certain that more attacks are in the works — the question is where and when. The group warned earlier this week, “What will be coming is worse.”


Source: AAN

GOP Senators Move to Block Obama’s Gun Ban for Veterans

Republican Senators are moving to block an Obama gun ban that will otherwise prevent over a quarter of a million military veterans from owning guns.

The gun ban for veterans is being handled the same way as Obama’s gun ban for Social Security beneficiaries. Those who cannot manage their own finances are being labeled with a mental health moniker and added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as being prohibited from purchasing firearms.

In July 2015 Breitbart News reported that Obama’s gun ban against Veterans had already been administered behind the scenes for an unknown amount of time. The Los Angeles Times pointed to the example of 30-year-old U.S. Marine Steve Overman. He required help with his finances because of “weakened..memory and cognitive ability” resulting from a roadside bomb in Iraq. The “VA eventually deemed him 100% disabled and after reviewing his case in 2012 declared him incompetent, making his wife his fiduciary.” Because of this, he had to get his guns out of his house–taking them a relative’s home–in order to avoid losing them.

The Hill now reports that “more than 257,000 former members of the military” are facing a similar plight as Overman.

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Subject: Remember How Trump Threatened Ford? Well Look at the HUGE Announcement They Just Made

When the Ford Motor Co. decided to move jobs south to Mexico so that it could pay its workers less, billionaire businessman Donald Trump was furious. He made trade inequalities and Ford’s betrayal of American workersa central issue of his campaign.

And, without his even being in the Oval Office, it worked.

In an interview with CNBC, Ford CEO Mark Fields said that the automaker would be “here to stay.” He also said he had outlined his company’s plans in a letter to Trump.

While he didn’t offer specifics about whether Ford would be rolling back it’s $2.5 billion expansion of the company’s operations in Mexico, it was clear that Fields was committed to addressing Trump’s complaints directly.

“Ford Motor Co. is here to stay in the United States,” Fields said.

“We’re very proud as a company of what we do in terms of contributing to economic development here in the U.S.,” he added.

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Daily Beast: Marco Rubio Allies Spread Cruz Affair Story

Rumors of Sen. Ted Cruz's alleged adultery have been circulating for months – and allies of former GOP presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio were allegedly involved in spreading the accusations, The Daily Beast reports.

According to the news site, which cites unnamed GOP and media sources, reporters at the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, Bloomberg News and ABC News had all heard versions of the sex scandal.

The conservative Breitbart News also was pushed to run a story on the alleged affairs, an unnamed source tells the Daily Beast – and was given a video by a person "allied" with Rubio but not associated with his official campaign.

Breitbart didn't run a story because the video didn't provide any direct evidence of an affair, the source tells the Daily Beast.

More here

California poll: Trump leads GOP; Clinton, Sanders close

Donald Trump leads among likely California Republican primary voters months ahead of the state's June 7 contest, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are within single digits, according to the results of a survey from the Public Policy Institute of California released Wednesday evening.

The survey was conducted from March 6 to March 15, the final day of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign. Rubio is thus included in the overall results, which find Trump with 38 percent support, followed by 19 percent for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and 12 percent each for the Florida senator and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Roughly 10 percent said they would vote for someone else, while 9 percent said they did not know.

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Easter Sunday Buffet

H A P P Y  E A S T ER
BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY... tomorrow!
PUBLIC HOUSE ~ Easter Buffet
Buffet Seating Begins at 11:00am
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Debates

This week Kathy Szeliga participated in 2 debates and did an incredible job. She proved what we all know; That she is the only candidate who is capable of defeating the Democrats in November.

To watch the first debate click the link:

http://foxbaltimore.com/news/your-voice-your-future/maryland-republican-senatorial-debate-to-air-on-fox45

The second debate will air on April 2nd on WJZ from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

Lastly, She is participating in a final debate with the Baltimore Jewish Council and Baltimore Sun on Monday the 28th. If you'd like to attend please sign up here:

http://associated.fedweb.jewishfederations.org/page/s/maryland-candidate-s-forum-for-u-s-senate.

I would like to personally thank the folks who helped work with Kathy to make sure she was prepared.
Jonathan Wetzel

Kathy for Maryland

Richard Perle: We Should Keep Eye on Radical Mosques

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is right in suggesting the United States should do more to fight radical Islam inside the United States, former assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle tells Newsmax TV.

"He's certainly right in arguing that we need to do much more than we are now doing," Perle said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show." "We need to concentrate resources where the threat is."

The question of how the United States deals with Muslim immigrants is a more difficult and complicated question, Perle said.

"It's certainly right that we should be very careful about who we're admitting to the United States," he said. "That means much better control over our border because border can be penetrated by Latin American, Central American workers [and] can also be penetrated by terrorists."

Terrorists will sneak in with refugees or across the southern and northern borders, he said, and it is vital to keep an eye on the mosques that preach a radical form of Islam.

Many mosques in the United States and Europe fit that bill, he said, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is "making a very serious mistake" if he thinks monitoring them is a bad idea.

De Blasio on Wednesday called Cruz's statement "demagoguery."

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School District to Begin Distribution of Satanic Materials to Children

After coming under fire from atheist groups for the distribution of free Bibles, the Delta County School District (DCSD) has approved the circulation of atheistic, secular and Satanic literature to middle and high school students.

Several atheist organizations, including The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) and the Satanic Temple, applied to distribute their literature as a challenge to the school district’s “open forum” policy that allows any group to distribute non-curricular literature to students, as long as it conforms to policy guidelines.

Kurt Clay, the Assistant Superintendent of the Delta School District, said if they are going to make literature for things such as Boy Scouts, 4H or other organizations available, they have to allow all types of information to be available to students.

“This is the other side of that,” explained Kurt Clay, the Assistant Superintendent. “The policy says we cannot discriminate what is handed out, we just have to follow the process.”

More here

ObamaCare Boy Is Now a Pseudogirl

Remember the black kid who stood by as a prop as Obama signed the healthcare system into federalized oblivion? He continues to serve as a symbol of what moonbattery is doing to us:

Marcelas Owens … was the chubby 11-year-old African-American boy who stood next to President Barack Obama as he signed Obamacare into law at a White House ceremony on March 23, 2010. He was the miniature health care activist in the black vest dwarfed by powerful lawmakers in a famous photo of that moment. He was a modern-day Peter Pan, perpetually frozen in childhood even as the news cycle moved on.

But so has Marcelas. As supporters prepare to mark the sixth anniversary of Obamacare’s signing, Marcelas is marking another rite of passage — as a transgender teen. After years of questions, [he] is starting to tell family and friends what [he] has long known: Though born male, [he]’s long identified as a female.

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12 REASONS KIDS FROM THE '60S AND '70S SHOULDN'T BE ALIVE RIGHT NOW

DO YOU EVER LOOK BACK ON YOUR CHILDHOOD AND THINK, "HOW DID I MAKE IT OUT ALIVE?"

If you grew up in the 1960s or 1970s, then you know how relaxed everything used to be. Our parents never forced us to wear seatbelts, we pretty much ate whatever we wanted, and were given way more responsibiity than we should have been given. It's a little sad kids today won't get to experience half the things we did, but looking back, there's a good reason why they won't.

Were these 12 things we did as kids kind of dangerous? Yeah, maybe some of it was.

PLAYING WITH DANGEROUS TOYS

Parents were a lot more liberal with what they would let us play with. Forget about choking hazards, we're talking hot plates, noxious odors and sharp metal objects. It's a wonder how we made it out of the decade intact.

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Watch: Hannity, Ramos Face Off Over Immigration, Trump - 'I Don't Need Lectures From You, Jorge'

Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” host Sean Hannity took on Univision’s Jorge Ramos on the issue of immigration and the candidacy of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who has taken an hawkish approach on the issue of immigration on the campaign trail.

Ramos attacked Trump for his declaration that the border should be sealed in the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks in Brussels. Ramos also suggested Hannity had not sufficiently defended his colleague Megyn Kelly from Trump’s criticisms.

Hannity accused Ramos of misrepresenting the GOP front-runner.

“You don’t care about the 640,000 Texans,” Hannity said. “You’re taking his comments out of context, you’re calling him racist, you’re calling him bigoted, and you totally misrepresent what he said, and you think you’re the superior reporter? I don’t really need lectures from you, Jorge Ramos.”

More, with videos.

Liberals Gather In Force To Show Their Support For Jim Ireton

The guy is in a dream world thinking he's going to garner anywhere near enough votes to run for Congress.

However, when you have NOTHING BETTER TO DO, visiting residents in Ocean Pines who get free cake and cookies will line up in masses, (above). It's rumored they all turned their hearing aids off and agreed to smile and it worked. They all got Silk and Cookies.

Thanks for the laughs Jimmy. We're smiling too. 

Subject: Brussels Nuclear Alert - Security Officer Found Dead With Pass Missing

According to reported officials have cancelled the guard's pass amid fears that terrorists were planning a dirty bomb strike on a nuclear power facility. Follow all of today's developments on the Brussels terror attacks

A security officer at a Belgian nuclear plant has reportedly been found dead with his work pass stolen. This disturbing development, revealed by the newspaper Derniere Heure on Saturday and not yet confirmed by officials, follows concerns that the Brussels bombers wanted to build a radioactive dirty bomb — but apparently shelved the plan after security was stepped up at Belgium’s nuclear plants following intelligence warnings.

The security officer was murdered on Thursday evening as he walked his dog in the city of Charleroi, but news of the killing only emerged on Saturday. His pass was quickly cancelled, according to officials.

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Giuliani suggests Hillary ‘founding member of ISIS’

Says Trump, Cruz 'would take the war' to Islamist terrorists

Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, slammed Hillary Clinton during a recent Fox News broadcast, telling host Bill O'Reilly and the millions of watchers the former secretary of State is a big reason why ISIS exists.

"I mean, Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS," he said, the Hill reported.

The 'Stop Hillary' campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: 'Clinton for prosecution, not president'

He said Clinton had ample opportunity to deal with the terror group during her State Department tenure, but she refused and will instead go down in history as "part of an administration that withdrew from Iraq," he said.

"By being part of an administration that let Maliki run Iraq ... into the ground," Giuliani said, the Hill reported, "[she] forced the Shiites to make a choice, by not intervening in Syria in the proper time."

O'Reilly suggested Clinton wasn't really that culpable for the rise of ISIS because she never held the power to force President Obama to do something he didn't want to do. But Giuliani said it's such politicking that makes her a poor choice for president.

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Subject: Indiana Abortion Restrictions Put Focus On Gov. Mike Pence

Gov. Mike Pence is once again at the center of a national debate over a divisive issue.

He must decide by Thursday whether to sign a controversial bill that further restricts abortion in Indiana, which already has some of the most restrictive laws in the nation.

The measure, House Enrolled Act 1337, would make Indiana the second state to prohibit a woman from seeking an abortion because her baby was diagnosed with a disability such as Down syndrome. It also would prohibit abortions when they are sought based on the gender or race of a baby, and would require the remains of miscarried or aborted babies to be interred or cremated.

The proposal has garnered national headlines and incited heated rhetoric from those on both sides of the issue. Supporters say it will protect unborn babies who can’t protect themselves. Opponents say it’s an effort to increase abortion costs and shame women for utilizing a legal medical procedure.

But questions remain about whether the bill will have much of a practical impact on the decisions women make or on Indiana's abortion rate, which has declined 20 percent in the past five years and is below the national average.

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Why It’s Good Business To Embrace Video In Digital-Marketing Campaigns

Businesses that want potential customers to linger longer on their websites have an easy tool for making that happen – video.

It turns out, giving website visitors text to read or photos to look at isn’t enough to keep them engaged. But add a video and they’ll hang around, on average, an extra two minutes.

“That’s time they are spending with you and not with your competitors,” says V. Michael Santoro, one of the developers of Vaetas (http://vaetas.com/), an online video-marketing syndication network. “The longer they stay with you, the greater odds are they will make a buying decision you’ll like.”

Of course, many companies have incorporated videos into their websites for years because they already understood the advantage. For one thing, web pages with video are more likely to rank on the first page of Google searches, according to Forrester Research.

But even businesses already using videos may not realize how effective they can be, says John S. Rizzo, Santoro’s co-developer for Vaetas.

“Everyone has heard the saying a picture is worth 1,000 words,” Rizzo says. “Well, Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research suggests a one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words.”

Here’s how McQuivey arrived at that figure. Many videos contain 30 frames per second. If each frame is worth 1,000 words, you have 30,000 words a second. Multiply by 60 seconds and it’s 1.8 million words.

Regardless of whether McQuivey’s estimate represents a true measure, it’s obvious that small and medium-sized businesses need to embrace video in their digital-marketing campaigns the way larger corporations do, Santoro and Rizzo say.

Research verifies the difference video can make. For example:

• Email marketing. When marketers include a video in an email, the click-through rate increases 200 to 300 percent, Forrester Research reports. Put the word “video” in the subject line and open rates are boosted 19 percent.
• Mobile devices. Online video accounts for 50 percent of all mobile traffic, and that figure is growing. A study by technology company Cisco reports that by 2020, 75 percent of mobile traffic will be video.
• Customer activity. Video significantly influences purchase decisions. For example, 64 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video, according to comScore Inc., a company that measures consumer behavior. Also, 71 percent of consumers surveyed by Animoto, an online video maker, said watching a corporate video left them with a positive impression.

“Video has gotten easier to create and use, which is probably why it’s become so much a part of our society,” Santoro says. “If businesses don’t take advantage, they miss out on a chance to increase sales and be even more successful in the marketplace.”

HUD Mandates ‘Affordable Housing’ in Affluent Baltimore Suburbs

(CNSNews.com) - The Obama administration has started its push to expand low-income housing into "higher opportunity areas."

The Department of Housing and Urban Development last week announced a "landmark" settlement agreement with Baltimore County that will serve as a catalyst to "promote housing mobility" and "address residential segregation."

The goal is to move low- and very-low-income people out of the city and into the suburbs.

“Every person deserves a fair shot at opportunity, and that starts with a decent, safe, and affordable place to call home,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in the March 15 announcement. “This agreement sets Baltimore County on a path to stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone can enjoy equal access to opportunity."

The agreement stems from a complaint filed with HUD in 2011 by the Baltimore County branch of the NAACP; a fair housing group; and three individuals who claimed Baltimore County had failed to "affirmatively further fair housing."

To settle that complaint, HUD is requiring Baltimore County to spend $30 million ($3 million annually for ten years) to create 1,000 affordable housing units, either through new construction or rehabilitation.

In addition, the county must provide 2,000 Housing Choice Vouchers to help families gain access to "higher opportunity neighborhoods."

The units will be geographically dispersed in "neighborhoods that provide access to opportunity." The 46-page settlement includes a chart (Exhibit F) listing the 116 relatively affluent census tracts surrounding Baltimore City where most of the 1,000 housing units must be located.

More here

Subject: Hillary Clinton: A Career Criminal

Illegal Immigrants Receiving Health Benefits, Despite Legislation

Illegal immigrants are receiving health benefits in dozens of counties across the country despite legislation that rules out that possibility, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A survey by the newspaper has found that of 25 counties with the most illegal aliens, 20 are helping them get basic health services.

Those include: doctor visits, prescription drugs, lab tests and surgeries.

The services usually are inexpensive or free to participants..

Read more

2 Wicomico County fires ruled arson

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating two fires in Wicomico County it has ruled as being deliberately set.

The office said in a news release that the first fire was reported about 3:15 a.m. Friday in a two-story house in Salisbury. Officials say the blaze caused $100,000 in damage.

Fire officials say the second fire was reported about 5:10 a.m. Friday in a wood frame mobile home in Parsonsburg. Damage was estimated at $3,000.

Investigators are asking that anyone with information about the fires contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Source

Why Does My Alcohol-Free Product List Alcohol As An Ingredient?

When shopping for personal care products like antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer, many customers look for brands that don’t contain skin-drying alcohol. So what happens when you pick up an item that’s clearly marked “alcohol-free,” but upon closer inspection, the ingredients list includes at least one “alcohol” component?

Let Me Out Here Honey, DO WHAT THE SIGN SAYS!


Not A Bad Idea


Son, Is The Emergency Brake On?


You Know You Did


4 Steps For Raising Happy Children

If you ask young parents how to best raise children, they’ll give a variety of answers.

But ask them what they ultimately want for their children, and the answer is always the same. Parents want their kids to be happy in life.

“Raising children to be happy later in life is not about the luck of the draw,” says Rabbi Roger E. Herst (rogerherst.com), who regularly engages with parents on the subject. “Happy adults are people who make good decisions. Therefore, if you want your kids to be happy, encourage them to improve their decision-making so they can develop into happy people.”

Herst, author of “A Simple Formula for Raising Happy Children,” offers tangible steps parents can take on the matter.

1. Never make a decision children can make themselves. If parents want children to make good decisions that yield success and happiness as an adult, they must let them practice trial and error. Unilateral decisions made by parents obstruct the decision-results perspective for kids, who need practice. Don’t worry about sheltering them from failure, which work best as lessons when a child is able to own their decisions.
2. Lead and show by example; kids imitate more than they listen. For young parents with very small children, it may not have dawned on them that the “Do as I say, not as I do” idiom doesn’t work for child rearing. “Eat your vegetables because they’re good for you” doesn’t work alone. However, a father who participates in vegetable eating, and shows approval when a child eats them, will see more veggie consumption.
3. Ask your children for their advice. This is an exercise to encourage independent thought. Asking children for their advice lets them know you care about and respect their perspective, which tells them that their voice matters. It also lets them know they are responsible for their opinions, which have impact on the real world, and not just in their minds.
4. Practice negotiation. A child often doesn’t play by the rules of gentlemanly negotiation, which feature an adversarial element. The younger they are, the less they think that their parent’s interests are the same as the child’s interest. Start by offering an alternative to their wish if you’d prefer an alternative to their request. If they don’t like your suggestion, ask questions to yield a sensible middle ground. Good parents are not tyrants.

“I recommend encouraging a child’s decision-making as their personalities start to emerge – perhaps in the first year of life,” Herst says.