Archive for Politics

ISIS video shows beheading of reporter James Wright Foley


I am not showing or linking to the video of the beheading of American reporter James Wright Foley here. He was beheaded by ISIS, who also threatened another American journalist in a statement on the video.

More from ABC News:

A disturbing video posted online appears to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped while covering the Syrian conflict in 2012.

In the video a man who appears to be Foley, dressed in orange, kneels beside an armed man clad in black. Foley delivers a statement condemning U.S. action in Iraq and says that the U.S. government is his “real killers.”

“For what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality,” Foley says in halting speech. “I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope of freedom of seeing my family once again, but that ship has sailed. I guess all in all, I wish I wasn’t American.”

Seconds later, the figure dressed in black brandishes a knife and identifies himself as with the Islamic State, the name the brutal terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took on after its leader declared himself the leader of all Muslims.

“Today your military air force has attacked us daily… Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims,” the figure in black says. He then addresses President Obama directly, saying “any attempt… to deny the Muslims their right to live in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.”

Foley is then killed. The video continues, showing American Steven Sotloff, who has written for national publications like Time, also dressed in orange and on his knees.

ABC News shocked to discover the Pope is Catholic


Johee Choo of ABC News, reporting from South Korea:

During his trip in South Korea today, Pope Francis stopped to pray at a monument for aborted children, a rare gesture as he has been known to avoid such culturally sensitive issues.

Just because Johee Choo was either not paying attention (or is just going with what the media narrative is regarding Pope Francis) doesn’t mean he has ignored “culturally sensitive issues” since he became Pope.

Some (not even close to all) previous statements on abortion made by Pope Francis after he became Pope (there are plenty of others made when he was still a Cardinal) are below. A longer, but still incomplete, list is also online.

June 16, 2013:

All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the ‘Gospel of Life’ but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.

…As a result, the living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.

July 17, 2013

Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

July 28, 2013:

All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

August 6, 2013:

Human life must always be defended from its beginning in the womb and must be recognised as a gift of God that guarantees the future of humanity.

September 20, 2013:

Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person…even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests!

Additionally, there are plenty of other statements by the pontiff on other “sensitive” subjects, including same-sex “marriage” since he took office and while he was still Cardinal.

American Catholics say a special prayer for peace in Iraq in Mass today


A statement from the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops from August 7:

The chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked the U.S. bishops to invite the people of their dioceses to pray for peace in Iraq on Sunday, August 17. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, made the request, August 6, sending the bishops the text of a prayer written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako. Bishop Pates recounted the struggles of Christians and others in Iraq who have faced the destruction, burning and looting of churches, homes and businesses and, under threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) to join their extremist brand of Islam, have fled for their lives. Accordingly, he urged Catholics to let their elected representatives know of their concern that humanitarian assistance reach Christian and other religious minorities who are suffering in Iraq, Syria and other countries.

Patriarch Sako’s prayer:

Lord, The plight of our country is deep and the suffering of Christians is severe and frightening. Therefore, we ask you Lord to spare our lives, and to grant us patience, and courage to continue our witness of Christian values with trust and hope. Lord, peace is the foundation of life; Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us to live with each other without fear and anxiety, and with dignity and joy. Glory be to you forever.

15% of Maryland residents were born outside the US


A recent report by the New York Times showed migration patterns since 1900 by looking at the birthplace of people in each state. Their most updated figures were from 2012. This comes on the heels of a report released earlier this year that said 47% of Maryland residents would leave the state if they could.

The facts revealed indicate that, in 2012, the following was true of Maryland residents:

  • 48% were born in Maryland.
  • 15% were born outside the United States.
  • 9% were born in the District of Columbia.
  • 6%  were born in other states in the south.
  • 5% were born in other states in the northeast.
  • 4% were born in New York.
  • 4% were born in Pennsylvania.
  • 4% were born in other states in the midwest.
  • 3% were born in Virginia.
  • 3% were born in other states in the West.

Some comparative data from other states:

  • 7% of Delaware residents were born in Maryland.
  • 4% of West Virginia residents were born in Maryland.
  • 28% of California residents were born outside the US.
  • 24% of New York residents were born outside the US.
  • 23% of New Jersey residents were born outside the US.
  • 17% of Texas residents were born outside the US.
  • 13% of Virginia residents were born outside the US.

It would appear Maryland residents who are leaving are largely going to West Virginia and Delaware, which would be consistent with conservatives in western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore voting with their feet. Additionally, Maryland has the highest percentage of residents born on outside the US between Florida and New Jersey on the East Coast.

In 1980, 5% of Maryland residents were born outside the US.

Here’s the Maryland graph from the report:



Nikki Haley does the #ALSIceBucketChallenge; challenges Stephen Colbert

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was challenged to do the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS by a professor at the University of South Carolina. Video of her being doused in ice water by her children was posted to her official Facebook page this morning. After that, she challenged three other South Carolinians to do likewise. They included Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, singer Edwin McCain, and television host Stephen Colbert.

Here’s the video:

North Korea fires missiles as Pope Francis arrives in South Korea


Pope Francis is visiting the South Korea this week so Kim Jong -un, leader of North Korea, has decided that country should conduct missile tests.

Yahoo/AP reports:

North Korea fired three short-range projectiles into the sea less than an hour before Pope Francis arrived Thursday for the first papal visit to South Korea in 25 years, South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

The apparent test firing was conducted from Wonsan on the North’s east coast and flew about 220 kilometers (135 miles), according to a ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office policy.

Annual military exercises involving the United States and South Korea start soon.

Latest feminist demand: government-funded tampons for all


I would imagine Susan B. Anthony is spinning in her grave right about now. Jessica Valenti, the author of the piece, recently was tweeting about government subsidies or free tampons for all and now she wrote more in-depth about it for The Guardian:

I was lucky. For too many girls, the products that mark “becoming a woman” are luxuries, not givens. And for young women worldwide, getting your period means new expenses, days away from school and risking regular infections. All because too many governments don’t recognize feminine hygiene as a health issue.

We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.

Granted she does make some good points about some of the issues involved, but her solution is a ham-handed typical one along the lines of the HHS mandate, government-funded abortions, etc.

Of course, this seemingly put her at odds with the crunchy feminists who support reusable feminine hygiene products, a.k.a bleeding with pride, as a form of “menstrual activism.”

Then there’s the “free bleeding” movement:

The idea behind this movement is two different ideas. One, is that a woman’s time of the month should not be considered something unclean and unnatural, [...] The second, being that tampons, pads, and other feminine hygiene products are “man” made inventions, intended to inadvertently rape a woman during her period, thus furthering her victim status as a woman living in a world run by men.

I thought, and confirmed after talking to the women in my life, that the reusable approach was crazy enough. The “free bleeding” movement is even crazier to me. However, those are both generally based on actions that impact the person participating in those actions. Jessica Valenti’s notion that the government should pay for feminine hygiene products(i.e. every taxpayer should pay) is the truly disturbing point of view.

A Note to Politico: Shagging is Dancing

In 2011, the Click blog at wrote about Michele Bachmann campaigning in South Carolina. An excerpt:

Three hours after she made the error, Bachmann mentioned Elvis again, this time talking about his “passing” rather than his b-day. She played the song “Promised Land” and with a little shake, shake, shake of the hips said, “maybe we’ll turn it on at the end and do some shagging up here. If you want to shag a little bit, that’s what we’ll do.”

Translation for the Facebook generation: shagging is an old school dance move.

Fast forward to this week and you’ll see a current reporter for Politico who isn’t as diligent about correcting her cultural ignorance…

The following tweet (reported on by Politico) appeared on the account of Congressman Stephen Fincher from Tennessee and was later deleted:

“God I love this song. And beach music. AND shagging #pandora,” the tweet from Fincher’s verified account read on Tuesday, accompanied by a picture of a Pandora playlist playing the song “I Love Beach Music” by The Embers.

Kendall Breitman went with the easy sensationalistic angle in writing about this. I’m guessing she’s from the generation that only knows the word from Austin Powers movies and didn’t bother to search her own publication’s archives or she would have noticed the Bachmann story from 2011 that I mentioned above.

Her story, “Aide: I sent Stephen Fincher ‘shagging’ tweet”, includes the fact that Elizabeth Lauten, Fincher’s communications director accidentally made the tweet, which was intended for her Facebook account. Anyone who has managed multiple social media accounts can tell you the risk of this happening is something that you have to be careful about, and I’ve even accidentally made some tweets (luckily early morning or on the weekend) and deleted them immediately after realizing it. In that case I was hamstrung by a Blackberry and the app I used then.

Here’s what Breitman wrote about the tweet:

“It had nothing to do with Stephen Fincher,” Lauten said in an interview. “I don’t think he knows what Pandora is; he certainly doesn’t have it.”

Lauten described the situation as “an accident,” saying that she was listening to a Pandora radio station when she decided to share the song with her Facebook friends. When she pressed share, Pandora also shared the post to Fincher’s Twitter account.

Lauten contacted Pandora to revoke access to the account, and once access was revoked the Tweet was automatically deleted. The staffer also insists that “shagging” was not a sexual reference, but a form of dance.
“Shagging is dancing to me, and it was no big deal being a North Carolina girl,” Lauten said.

Breitman leaves it at that and doesn’t apparently do the cursory research on Google, or anywhere else, to find out more about the dance. The fact that a link to Pandora and beach music should have clued Breitman in as well that the British version of the term wasn’t in play.

It appears that Breitman was looking for an easy throwaway story at the beginning of the slow August recess period. That could be understood, but it would have been nice had she actually done a little basic research on the dance and provided that background. At best, it makes her look lazy and just going for the cheap sexual reference that doesn’t even apply in this case.

Some facts on the shag and shagging:

  • In 1989, Shag (a movie) was released starring Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda.
  • The Shag is the State Dance of South Carolina and has been declared the “most popular” dance in North Carolina.
  • Both North Carolina and South Carolina have license plates (North Carolina’s says “I’d rather be shaggin’.”)
  • The dance is a descendant of the jitterbug.
  • The band Alabama, which got its start playing at The Bowery in Myrtle Beach, released a hit song in 1997 titled, “Dancin’, Shaggin’ on the Boulevard.”

Here are the license plates:


The song mentioned in the tweet:

A clip from Shag, the movie:

Here’s the original movie trailer from 1989:

Here’s some beach music for your listening pleasure:

Here’s the Alabama video for the song I mentioned above:

NAACP official compares abortion to right to eat at a lunch counter


Carole Novielli at LifeNews has the details:

“I am proud to appear today on behalf of the country’s oldest and largest civil rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. And one of the most important protections is the right to reproductive freedom. Open and equal access to family planning has been NAACP policy since 1968. We believe the right to reproductive freedom is as basic as the right to eat at the lunch counter. The right to choose is under vigorous and widespread attack providers around the country are forced to pay a cruel terrorism tax to protect themselves from murderers and assassins,” Bond says.

Here’s video of Bond’s remarks:

Mississippi GOP refuses to hear Chris McDaniel’s challenge

The AP reports:

Mississippi’s Republican Party on Wednesday refused to hear challenger Chris McDaniel’s effort to overturn his June 24 GOP runoff loss to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. The party said McDaniel would do better taking his challenge to court.

In a letter to McDaniel’s lawyer, state Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef wrote that a court is needed to “protect the rights of the voters as well as both candidates.”

Nosef wrote that under state Republican Party bylaws, seven days’ notice has to be given before the executive committee can meet. If the notice went out Wednesday, he wrote, the committee couldn’t convene until Aug. 13, only one day before the deadline for McDaniel to file his complaint with a court.

The rest of the story indicates that McDaniel will indeed likely move to file suit.

Read more at Practical Politicking.