Sen. Joni Ernst Wore Bread Bags on Only Pair of Shoes as a Child When it Rained

Sen. Joni Ernst Wore Bread Bags on Only Pair of Shoes as a Child When it Rained

Sen. Joni Ernst Wore Bread Bags on Only Pair of Shoes as a Child When it Rained (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

#BREADBAGS: Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) delivered the rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Sounds like Tina Fey has found a new character to lampoon. Ernst said as a child, her mother put “bread bags” over her only pair of shoes when it rained. Um, this tops Ann Romney’s poverty story.

By the way, she’s trending on Twitter:

President Obama: “Shadow of Crisis has passed, State of the Union is Strong”

President Obama:  "Shadow of Crisis has passed, State of the Union is Strong"

President Obama: “Shadow of Crisis has passed, State of the Union is Strong” (Photo Credit: RT Video Screengrab)

President Obama delivers his seventh State of the Union address and wasted no time in highlighting the falling unemployment rates, falling gas prices and the end of combat in Afghanistan. President Obama said, “The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.”

He unveiled a new initiative:  “I’m launching a new nationwide Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes.”

Here’s an excerpt of the SOTU speech:

At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production — we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?

Will we approach the world fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing? Or will we lead wisely, using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our planet?

Will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another — or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled America forward?

In two weeks, I will send this Congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan. And in the months ahead, I’ll crisscross the country making a case for those ideas.

So tonight, I want to focus less on a checklist of proposals, and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us.

It begins with our economy.

Seven years ago, Rebekah and Ben Erler of Minneapolis were newlyweds. She waited tables. He worked construction. Their first child, Jack, was on the way.

They were young and in love in America, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

“If only we had known,” Rebekah wrote to me last spring, “what was about to happen to the housing and construction market.” As the crisis worsened, Ben’s business dried up, so he took what jobs he could find, even if they kept him on the road for long stretches of time. Rebekah took out student loans, enrolled in community college, and retrained for a new career. They sacrificed for each other. And slowly, it paid off. They bought their first home. They had a second son, Henry. Rebekah got a better job, and then a raise. Ben is back in construction — and home for dinner every night.

“It is amazing,” Rebekah wrote, “what you can bounce back from when you have to…we are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.”

We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times. America, Rebekah and Ben’s story is our story. They represent the millions who have worked hard, and scrimped, and sacrificed, and retooled. You are the reason I ran for this office. You’re the people I was thinking of six years ago today, in the darkest months of the crisis, when I stood on the steps of this Capitol and promised we would rebuild our economy on a new foundation. And it’s been your effort and resilience that has made it possible for our country to emerge stronger.

We believed we could reverse the tide of outsourcing, and draw new jobs to our shores. And over the past five years, our businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs.

Michelle Obama Guests at SOTU Include Watts Police Cpt. Phillip C. Tingirides

Michelle Obama Guests at SOTU Include Watts Police Cpt. Phillip C. Tingirides

Michelle Obama Guests at SOTU Include Watts Police Cpt. Phillip C. Tingirides (Photo Credit: White House/Pete Souza)

The White House released the lists of invitees who will sit in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box during the State of the Union address. The guests include:

Watts Police Captain Phillip C. Tingirides:

“Once a hotbed of crime since its eponymous race riots of 1965 and a surge of gang violence in the 1990s, the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles has seen a 50 percent reduction in violent crime in recent years.”

“That’s thanks in large part to the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) — a program that Captain Phillip C. Tingirides, a 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, is spearheading. The CSP facilitates cooperation between the police department and Watts housing development residents scarred from decades of distrust — including encouraging dialogue at community meetings with police who personally engage with residents.”

Malik Bryant, Student (Chicago)

“But this past Christmas, 13-year-old Malik Bryant from Chicago wrote Santa with a very different request.”

“All I ask for is for safety,” he wrote. “I just wanna be safe.”

Malik’s neighborhood of Englewood has one of the highest rates of violent crime in Chicago. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Malik’s mother explained how he isn’t always able to leave his house and go hang out with his cousins, “because he has to cross gang lines and walk past all these gang members on some of those blocks. And all he ever hears on the news about our neighborhood is shootings, gangs and violence.”

State Senator Catherine Pugh (Marylyand)

“Senator Catherine Pugh isn’t just Maryland’s Senate Majority Leader: She’s a small business owner who knows first-hand how important it is that employers take care of their employees.”
“Senator Pugh has passed over 100 bills since being elected in 1999, and she’s been a tireless advocate on behalf of working families.”
Prophet Walker (California)
Co-founder of Watts United Weekend
“Prophet Walker was serving a six-year sentence for robbery when he made a choice to turn his life around. Walker — now 27 — began a program in his prison that provided fellow inmates with the opportunity to complete a two-year college degree.”
“After he was released, Prophet graduated with a degree from Loyola Marymount’s Engineering school, working as a construction engineer and still finding time to serve the southern California community.”
“Prophet is the co-founder of Watts United Weekend — a program that provides weekend camp retreats for hundreds of people weekly, strengthening trust between law enforcement, community members, parents, and kids from local housing projects.”
See FLOTUS’ full guest list here.

Report: Law Enforcement Agencies Deploy Radar That Can “See” Inside Homes

Report: Law Enforcement Agencies Deploy Radar That Can "See" Inside Homes

Report: Law Enforcement Agencies Deploy Radar That Can “See” Inside Homes

Big brother is watching…. About 50 law enforcement agencies have deployed radars that allows officers to “see” inside homes. This news practice is raising a lot of concern about how far government surveillance will go.

Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.

The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving. Source: USA Today

Fox’s Shepard Smith: Some States that Fought Integration, Fighting Same-Sex Marriage

Fox's Shepard Smith: Some States that Fought Integration, Fighting Same-Sex Marriage

Fox’s Shepard Smith: Some States that Fought Integration, Fighting Same-Sex Marriage (Photo Credit: Google Maps)

Every now and then, someone of Fox News makes sense. Shepard Smith compared the states resisting same sex marriage in the U.S. to those states who wanted to keep segregation in tact in the U.S. during the Civil Rights Movement. This comes as the U.S. Supreme Court will hear four different cases challenging same-sex marriage in four different states — Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

Smith said, “Not in every case, but in most cases, the same states which were fighting integration are fighting this as well.”

“Those states which always seem to be behind the curve for reasons which are explainable and understandable. Those are the places where this is going to turn out to be the most difficult, especially if the Supreme Court stays with what has seemed to be a trend toward inclusion and away from discrimination.”

He addressed Wall Street Journal editor John Bussey’s comment that “there’s still disagreement on this issue within the American population, saying, “There’s still disagreement on segregation.”

Rep. Randy Weber Apologizes for Comparing Obama to Hitler Over Paris Rally No-Show

Rep. Randy Weber Apologizes for Comparing Obama to Hitler Over Paris Rally No-Show

Rep. Randy Weber Apologizes for Comparing Obama to Hitler Over Paris Rally No-Show (Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

OPINION — RANDY WEBER HITLER COMMENT:  Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) apologized for tweeting “Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for right reasons,” in a dig against his no-show at the Paris peace rally last weekend. Um, why make the outrageous comments in the first place? SMH.

By the way, Rep. Weber, it’s Adolf Hitler, not Adolph Hitler.

Randy Weber’s apology:  

I need to first apologize to all those offended by my tweet. It was not my intention to trivialize the Holocaust nor to compare the president to Hitler. The mention of Hitler was meant to represent the face of evil that still exists in the world today. I now realize that the use of Hitler invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate.”

The terrorist attacks in Paris should remind us of the evil that still exists. Hitler was the face of evil, perpetrating genocide against six million Jews and millions of other victims. Today, we are facing the evil of Islamic extremists who are attempting to instill fear and murdering the lives of innocent people from Paris to Nigeria to Jerusalem and all over the world. The President’s actions or lack thereof is my point of contention. Islamic extremists have shown they are not going away, and instead are hungry for more blood.

After World War II, the world made a commitment to ‘Never Again’ allow terror free reign. As demonstrated by the Paris Peace Rally, we must all –Christians, Jews, Muslims, leaders around the world and those willing to fight for freedom – unite and stand strong together against radical extremism in any form.

Um, this is the GOP-controlled House of Representatives that John Boehner leads. First Rep. Steve Scalise and now this dumbass…..

By the way, Randy Weber’s offensive Hitler tweet is still up but we opted for a screengrab.

Rep. Randy Weber's Hitler tweet

Rep. Randy Weber’s Hitler tweet

Did President Obama Really Snub France by Being a No-Show at Rally?

Did President Obama Really Snub France by Being a No-Show at Rally?

Did President Obama Really Snub France by Being a No-Show at Rally? (Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey)

Did President Obama really snub France by being a no-show at the Paris peace march in response to the terrorist attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket? The freak-out is hitting a fever pitch. I will admit, it looks bad. Really bad. Considering the French are our allies. I don’t understand why Attorney General Eric Holder chose to skip the rally even though he was in Paris? Viens mec!

Vice President Joe Biden, at the very least, should have been dispatched to Paris. He showed up for the funeral of fallen NYPD police officer Rafael Ramos, to show that the Obama administration stands with the NYPD. Why not show that the Obama Administration stands with France? I won’t go as far as to say President Obama should have gone because there could have been some real security concerns. But he could have dispatched Eric Holder, Secretary of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden to stand in for the U.S.

The Obama Administration opted instead to send US Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. No disrespect to Ms. Hartley, but she was an Obama campaign bundler, which isn’t akin to a high level diplomat. Collecting $800,000 in campaign donations doesn’t make her an expert on foreign affairs.

Here’s another take from Politico:

Indeed, Obama’s public reactions to the attacks in Paris last week have been muted. His initial response Wednesday to the killing of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices was delivered as he sat calmly in an armchair in the Oval Office speaking about the “cowardly” acts and defending freedom of the press. Two days later, as a gunman took hostages and went on to kill four people in a kosher grocery, Obama took a few seconds away from a community college proposal rollout in Tennessee because he said with events unfolding, “I wanted to make sure to comment on them” — but neither then nor afterward specifically condemned that attack.

[…]

Miller said he could see only two explanations for not sending the president, vice president or even first lady Michelle Obama to Paris: either that there was a deep terror threat, or that Obama might be secretly planning a larger event with NATO allies — bigger than the visit that British Prime Minister David Cameron (who was in Paris Sunday) will be making to the White House at the end of the week. But there’s no sign of such an event being organized, and Miller said there’s no reason to believe one is coming.

President Obama Catches Republicans Off-Guard with Free Community College Plan

President Obama Catches Republicans Off-Guard with Free Community College Plan

President Obama Catches Republicans Off-Guard with Free Community College Plan (Photo Credit: White House/Pete Souza)

BOOM…

Once again President Obama caught Congressional Republicans off-guard with yet another plan — two years of free community college education for “anybody who’s willing to work for it.”

President Obama said, “It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anyone in the world.”

Of course, the usual chorus of do-nothing Republicans will call Obama an “elitist” and a “Socialist” for wanting the best for Americans.  The proposal will need to be approved by Congress, so we will see how this plays out. All I can say is President Obama has the Republicans on offensive once again. Um, so much for their victory lap, which has been mired by Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s connection with ex-KKK grand wizard David Duke.

Here’s more from the White House:

If all 50 states choose to implement the President’s new community college proposal, it could:

  • Save a full-time community college student $3,800 in tuition per year on average
  • Benefit roughly 9 million students each year

Under President Obama’s new proposal, students would be able to earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree, or earn the technical skills needed in the workforce — all at no cost to them.


The requirements:

  • What students have to do: Students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing their program.
  • What community colleges have to do: Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either 1) academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or 2) occupational training programs with high graduation rates and lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.
  • What the federal government has to do: Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.

 

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Fired Over Inflammatory Anti-Gay Book

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Fired Over Inflammatory Anti-Gay Book

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Fired Over Inflammatory Anti-Gay Book (Photo Credit: 3 G Publishing)

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed fired Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran over inflammatory comments he made in a self-published book, entitled, “Who Tod You That You are Naked?” The book has been criticized by many as anti-gay and discriminatory.

Cochran was recently returned from suspension over the book.

Cochran’s book contained passages that referred to “uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion,” describing homosexuality among behaviors that are “vile, vulgar, and inappropriate” and “defile their body-temple and dishonor God.” Source: Think Progress

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Mayor Reed “said he decided to terminate Cochran not just because the fire chief didn’t consult him before publishing the book, but also spoke out about his suspension despite being told to remain quiet during the investigation into his leadership.”

“LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation, and deserve to be respected for their positions without hate and discrimination,” he said. “But Christians also have the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation and be respected for their position without hate and without discrimination. In the United States, no one should be vilified hated or discriminated against for expressing their beliefs.” Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Kasim Reed also said “he believes Cochran opened up the city to the potential for litigation over future discrimination claims,” the AJC reports. There is no other way to say it, Kelvin Cochran used poor judgment by writing this book and continuing to spew venom despite being told to remain silent until the investigation was concluded. Another bad manager gets fired…..

GOP Rep.-Elect Mia Love Backs Steve Scalise Amid Uproar Over David Duke Connection

GOP Rep.-Elect Mia Love Backs Steve Scalise Amid Uproar Over David Duke Connection

GOP Rep.-Elect Mia Love Backs Steve Scalise Amid Uproar Over David Duke Connection (Photo Credit: ABC News Video Screengrab)

Hypocrite is the only word that comes to mind with regard to Rep.-elect Mia Love (R-UT), the GOP’s first black female lawmaker, backing incoming House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise keeping his leadership position after David Duke connection came to light. Would she feel the same way about giving then-candidate Barack Obama a pass when Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ugly rhetoric was disclosed?

I guess Mia Love is okay with waving the Confederate flag….

Mia Love backs Steve Scalise

Mia Love backs Rep. Steve Scalise amid uproar over David Duke connection (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Love told ABC News Sunday morning that she stands behind Scalise, who has been under fire for speaking at an event in 2002 that was affiliated with ex-KKK grand dragon David Duke.

Rep. Love said, “I believe he should remain in leadership.” She added, “There is one quality that he has that is very important in leadership, and that’s humility. He’s actually shown that in this case. He’s apologized, and I think we need to move on and get the work of the American people done.”

“This was twelve years ago,” Love said. “It’s interesting that it’s coming out now.”

Love continued, “These groups are awful.” “The last thing I want to do is give them any sort of publicity or credibility. As far as I’m concerned with Representative Scalise, he has been absolutely wonderful to work with, he’s been very helpful for me, and he has had the support of his colleagues.”