Conservative News

College compares libertarian student group to terrorists after free speech event

The Blaze - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:56

Students and faculty at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, have accused student libertarian group Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) of being white supremacists and potential terrorists after holding a free speech event in April.

According to Reason, after the formation of a YAL chapter on the Linfield College campus in April, the group held a series of “speak freely” events.  Keifer Smith, vice president of the chapter, brought an inflatable “free speech ball” where any student or faculty member could write whatever they wanted on it.

“The majority of the things written on there were uplifting things, not political, not inflammatory at all,” Smith told Reason.

Reportedly, the ball had comments such as “you’re awesome” and “have a nice day,” but at one point someone drew the cartoon frog “Pepe” on the ball. Pepe, made popular during the 2016 elections, has been used as a symbol on social media for many who consider themselves alt-right.

Pepe’s appearance quickly caused backlash, and YAL was immediately “deemed an alt-right group” and “white supremacists” by students and faculty, according to Smith.

In response to controversy generated by Pepe’s appearance during the event, the Linfield Advisory Committee on Diversity invited the Linfield YAL chapter to a free speech forum. Smith said that the event was supposed to be a one-hour exchange on the general idea of expression.

Instead, according to Smith, it devolved into a four-hour denunciation of him and the rest of the YAL chapter for their alleged “intolerance.”

The college also canceled an upcoming “speak freely” event at which University of Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson was scheduled to speak. The college administration told YAL that its paperwork had been “turned in a day late,” and also cited a tweet by Peterson promoting a private event for Linfield students and faculty, which the college considered “harassment.”

I'm violating some more safe spaces soon: Linfield College, April 24 https://t.co/CHA1avaLvu

— Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) April 18, 2017

Some students and faculty also took to the college’s student paper, The Linfield Review, to denounce YAL and the idea of free speech.

“The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community,” wrote English professor Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt.

“The agenda of groups like alt-right and campus clubs that are either supported by the alt-right or providing a platform for the alt-right is clear,” he said later. “They want to challenge college campuses for their numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives that provide a legitimate space for ideas and knowledge base that have been historically marginalized and excluded.”

Reason reports that Dutt-Ballerstadt accused Smith and YAL of being funded by “alt-right dark money.”

Linfield’s dean of faculty Dawn Nowacki also wrote in the Linfield Review, admitting that there was no evidence of YAL being racist or misogynistic, but believed they could potentially become terrorists.

“Overt white supremacism, misogyny and hatred of LGBQTI people have not been strongly expressed in the events organized by the Young Americans for Liberty. In fact, these efforts are a lot more subtle,” Nowacki wrote. “Just as becoming a terrorist is a gradual, step by step process, people do not become part of the alt-right overnight. These events represent a kind of soft recruitment into more extremist ideas.”

Linfield’s YAL chapter moved forward with the Peterson speech regardless, choosing instead to hold it off campus. Peterson featured his speech on his YouTube channel.

“I was recently invited to speak at Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon, by the Young Americans for Liberty,” Peterson wrote in the description of the YouTube video. “The talk had been booked for months, I had my plane tickets and reservations, the hall was ready…. But then the Linfield administration saw fit to disinvite me. So I gave my honorarium to the student group and they rented another venue.”

Before the speech starts within the video, Peterson offers his response to being disinvited by the college despite being booked months in advance.

“I think you are treating me and the student group that invited me in a manner that is absolutely reprehensible, as well as cowardly, and underhanded,” Peterson said in his video.

Peterson lambasted the school for its willingness to inconvenience him at his expense — as he had already set aside time and purchased a plane ticket for the event — and using “a plethora of specious reasons,” including the college’s anti-harassment policy to cancel the speech. Peterson said he had harassed or intimidated no one, and added that his tweet saying he would be “violating some safe spaces soon” at Linfield College, was obviously satirical.

“Obviously you were looking for any excuse, no matter how trivial, to cancel the event,” Peterson said.

 

Categories: Conservative News

Another Senator Balks At Health Bill; Now Up To Five

Townhall.com - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:45
And now there's five.
Categories: Conservative News

Dem Congressman: Let's Face It, In Some Parts Of The Country–Nancy Pelosi Is More Toxic Than Trump

Townhall.com - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:45
Here Are The Democrats Who Want To Boot Pelosi
Categories: Conservative News

Nebraska Democratic Party official says he’s ‘glad’ Scalise was shot, wishes Republican was dead

The Blaze - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:20

One Nebraska Democratic Party official lost his post after an audio recording revealed him saying he is “glad” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot last week during the Republicans’ congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

“His whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to [expletive] kick people off [expletive] health care,” Phil Montag, who was a technology chairman for the party, can be heard saying. “I’m glad he got shot.”

Scalise was severely wounded in the shooting carried out by 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, who was a volunteer on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I) 2016 presidential campaign. The GOP lawmaker was shot in the hip and has not yet been released from the hospital, where he has undergone several surgeries.

“I wish he was [expletive] dead,” Montag continued.

Jane Kleeb, chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, confirmed Thursday to KPTM-TV that the audio recording, which was first posted to YouTube, is Montag’s voice. Kleeb said she fired Montag when the tape became public.

“We obviously condemn any kind of violence, whether it’s comments on Facebook or comments in a meeting,” she said. “Our country is better than the political rhetoric that is out there from both the far right and the far left.”

The revelation about Montag’s grotesque comments comes less than one week after another Nebraska state Democratic leader was asked to resign for similarly disturbing comments she wrote on Facebook about last week’s shooting.

Chelsey Gentry-Tipton, chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party’s black caucus, seemed indifferent if not happy about the fact that Scalise was shot.

“Watching the congressman crying on live tv abt the trauma they experienced. Y is this so funny tho?” she wrote in a since-deleted Facebook status, per KPTM.

In another post, she wrote: “Hard to be empathetic towards those that have no empathy for us. The very people that push pro NRA legislation in efforts to pad their pockets with complete disregard for human life. Yeah, having a hard time feeling bad for them.”

Kleeb described Gentry-Tipton’s remarks as “troubling” and said they “show the ugly political divide” currently plaguing the United States. For her part, Gentry-Tipton claimed her comments were “taken out of context,” though she failed to explain how.

Just hours after the horrific shooting in Alexandria, Sanders took to the floor of the Senate to condemn Hodgkinson’s “despicable” actions.

“I am sickened by this despicable act, and let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” he said at the time.

Categories: Conservative News

The shortsightedness of “Denounce and Preserve”

HotAir - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:11

The response to Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, and Mike Lee’s statement over “Obamacare Light” or Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 or McConnellcare or whatever you want to call it has been cynical, at best. AP suggested it was just “kabuki theater,” while The Dallas Morning News pointed out Cruz appears to be trying to get a few more conservative goodies. AP also looked at the idea Paul and others were trying to do “Denounce and Preserve,” to make sure they’d be re-elected in future. It’s a theory suggested by The Atlantic’s David Frum because he believes Tea Party senators, specifically Paul, are in a Catch-22: they may not support Obamacare, but their constituents are okay with some of the results.

Paul also represents a state that has done well out of the Affordable Care Act. Four hundred and forty thousand Kentuckians have gained coverage under the ACA; Kentucky’s uninsured rate tumbled from 20 percent in 2013 to 7.5 percent in 2015.

Even more strikingly, it is Kentucky’s Appalachian Southeast that has seen the biggest gains from the ACA. And it so happens that southeastern Kentucky voted more staunchly for Paul’s 2016 reelection than did any other section of the state.

Paul won 76.6 percent of the vote in Clay County, where 15.6 percent of the total population has gained coverage via the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. He won 81.5 percent of the vote in Jackson County, where 15.1 percent owe their Medicaid to the ACA. He won 84 percent in Leslie County, where 18 percent would lose Medicaid if Obamacare were repealed.

Frum’s theory is Paul is an ideologue, but also a pragmatist who knows what he wants is pretty impossible so…do a moral victory.

Paul’s demand—repeal the ACA and replace it at the same time, even the same day—is obviously unworkable, even aside from the need to rally sufficient votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster. You have to imagine that he and other self-imagined purists appreciate that.

But what is workable is a more familiar play: to strike a heroic attitude of principle while in fact supporting as the least-bad option a law that you nominally oppose. Bob Dole famously advised that the safest position for a politician is to “support the bill that failed; oppose the bill that passed.” One doubts that Rand Paul will be the only Republican to recognize the advantages of denounce-and-preserve over repeal-and-replace.

Frum certainly knows more about the inner working of politics than I ever will, but he’s unfortunately blinded by the notion of pragmatism. Yes, Ronald Reagan famously had the “half a loaf is better than none,” quote, but at what point does pragmatism go too far? There is something to be said about compromise, but there is also something to be said about sticking to one’s guns, especially when it comes to freedom and liberty.

It appears most conservative and libertarian groups are hoping the Senate health care bill will be modified even further. FreedomWorks called the bill, “an amendment to Obamacare,” while backing Cruz, Paul, Lee, and Johnson in their statement on amendments. Heritage Foundation went a step further and suggested the Senate needed to make more changes to the Medicaid formula and more waivers for states. Heritage could be seen as falling in line with Frum’s theory of pragmatism, while FreedomWorks is pushing for more changes. They’re also trying to make sure McConnell and other Senate Republicans keep their promise of repealing the health care law, which isn’t a bad thing.

But how do you repeal Obamacare, and what sort of health system is put in place? Is it better to kill the law through a thousand cuts, or do one’s best imitation of Thor wielding Mjolnir and bash the thing into a bazillion pieces?

This goes back to Frum’s theory of pragmatism and “denounce and preserve.” It takes a spine and a strong set of beliefs to withstand the pressures of government, especially one which is squeezing even tighter personal liberty and free markets. The theory of “getting what you can because you can’t get what you want,” is certainly strong with governmental types, whether they be politician or analyst. It’s easy to become a cynic in politics, especially when one knows the forces aligned against you (whether it be special interests or parties or what have you).

But there is something to be said about idealism and fighting for what you believe, especially when it comes to free markets and liberty for all. It’s possible the best way to do this is slowly expand freedom where you can, which was Michigan Congressman Justin Amash’s defense of his support of the House bill. This could be why piecemeal destruction of Obamacare may be better than one big Norse hammer. It just depends on what’s being modified. If the GOP wants to pass a health care law which leaves most of Obamacare intact, with slight changes, then it shouldn’t be supported. If the GOP wants to do something similar to Paul’s proposal from January, which is imperfect but better than the current bills, then that should probably be what the GOP considers.

It’s also possible cash-only doctors become even more and more of an option for patients to seek treatment. This would further weaken the current health care system, while making sure patients are still able to get medical treatment. It would be difficult for some diseases and illnesses (like cancer, brain surgery, and lung disease), but there are already cash-only options for heart disease and broken bones. It would be interesting to see what happens if a hospital ever decided to go cash-only, if it’s even possible given the standards federal and state government put on them.

One thing I’ve learned is the fact that fixing America’s health care system isn’t going to happen overnight or in my lifetime. There are multiple government programs and court or board rulings which need to be done away with before a truly free market health system will come about. A health system where there is better oversight by patients, physicians, and hospitals on medicine. But that’s thinking long term in a country which typically thinks short term, especially when it comes to individual needs. It also means sticking to one’s ideals, while also being willing to compromise as long as freedom is increased. That’s not being pragmatic; that’s being idealistic and honest.

There are steps the GOP can take to do away with Obamacare while pushing for even more free market medicine. Paul’s bill is probably the best first step, and it deserves a hearing and vote in the Senate. The one released by Senate leadership should probably just be done away with completely. Opposing it isn’t necessarily “denounce and preserve,” especially when a better bill can come about.

The post The shortsightedness of “Denounce and Preserve” appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Leading charity site labels top Christian organizations ‘hate groups’

The Blaze - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:36

Several Christian organizations well known for their defense of traditional marriage have been labeled “hate groups” by GuideStar, one of the United States’ leading charity research groups.

GuideStar, which touts itself as a “neutral” database containing information on more than two million charities, has adopted the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center’s nonprofit designations. The charity site pointed to the “hateful rhetoric” during this “highly politicized moment” in American history as its reason for making the decision, The Associated Press reported.

Profiles for Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and the American Family Association now each feature a banner warning they were “flagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Image Source: GuideStar Screen Shot

Retired Army Gen. Jerry Boykin, vice president of the FRC, told Christianity Today that the new GuideStar policy is “another attack on conservative Christian organizations and individuals.” And in an interview with The Daily Signal, he said GuideStar is “becoming an arm of the ultra-left.”

In a phone interview Friday with TheBlaze, Dr. Chris Gacek, a senior fellow at the FRC, said the thinking behind GuideStar’s decision is nothing new, noting that left-leaning organizations like the SPLC have for years been conducting “guerrilla warfare against their political opponents.”

“This is part of a general operating plan, it seems, on the left and this part of it just kind of fell into place,” Gacek explained of GuideStar’s decision to integrate the SPLC’s classifications.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” designation is particularly controversial among Christian groups, given the liberal, Alabama-based watchdog applies the label to organizations that oppose LGBT agenda items, such as same-sex marriage.

According to its website, the SPLC sees these conservative groups as part of a “dangerous new narrative that portrays Christians who object to homosexuality on biblical grounds as victims of religious persecution.”

Moving forward, Gacek said the only way to defeat groups like the SPLC is to change public opinion about the progressive watchdog.

“These are pretty vicious people,” he said, “and once you unmask them, you can at least point average people in the right direction.”

So far, 46 organizations listed in the GuideStar database feature the SPLC’s banner at the top of their pages, which led dozens of conservative leaders to write a protest letter to GuideStar President and CEO Jacob Harold, voicing their “strong disagreement” with the new policy and describing the SPLC as “a hard-left activist organization.”

Conservatives Leaders’ Letter to GuideStar by The Heritage Foundation on Scribd

The idea that Harold may be sympathetic to the SPLC’s perspective is not all that surprising.

On GuideStar’s website, Harold is described as “a social change strategist,” and on Jan. 23, he tweeted a photo of himself participating in the progressive Women’s March against President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.

pic.twitter.com/aMPGcMXp2c

— Jacob Harold (@jacobcharold) January 23, 2017

In a statement, though, to The Daily Signal, a spokesperson for GuideStar said the charity portal is “reconsidering” how the SPLC data will be displayed on each charity’s profile.

The FRC, a pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage organization that works to “advance faith, family, and freedom … from a Christian worldview,” has a significant past with the SPLC. In 2012, the Christian group blamed the SPLC in part for an attack on its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The letter to Harold noted that James Hodgkinson, the 66-year-old gunman who opened fire on Republican lawmakers during a June 14 baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, “liked” the SPLC on Facebook.

“Does it not concern you that within the past five years, the SPLC has been linked to gunmen who carried out two terrorist shootings in the D.C. area?” the letter read. “With these points in mind, we respectfully request that GuideStar return to its prior, nonpolitical approach to evaluating nonprofit organizations.”

Groups like the Liberty Counsel, which represented Kim Davis, the county clerk who in 2015 made headlines for refusing to sign same-sex marriage licenses, have also voiced their opposition to GuideStar’s use of the SPLC’s “hate group” label.

“The only purpose of providing the SPLC’s false and dangerous ‘hate group’ label is to push a liberal political agenda designed to hurt good organizations,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, told Christianity Today.

And Greg Scott, a spokesman for Alliance Defending Freedom, which was just added to the SPLC’s “hate group” list in February, described GuideStar’s new policy as “so unfair,” calling the decision “highly partisan.”

“Normally,” he explained, “we wouldn’t waste time talking about it, but some mainstream news organizations take what the SPLC says as gospel. We see it more as tabloid.”

The letter was sent to Harold on Tuesday, and the conservative leaders are requesting a response within one week.

Categories: Conservative News

Austria tries paying migrants to leave. The results are mixed

HotAir - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:21

Austria hasn’t been a nation which has been particularly welcoming to the flood of largely Muslim refugees and migrants who have been streaming into Europe. A couple of years ago when the crisis was really kicking into high gear (thanks to ISIS for the most part), Austrians responded in droves by purchasing every shotgun for sale in the country. Earlier this year, faced with camps full of people who had failed to qualify for refugee status, the government moved to give them a bit stronger hint by refusing to provide any food to them. Then, when the EU was setting up “mandatory” quotas for migrants to be accepted by member nations, Austria told them that they weren’t interested in participating.

But even for all of those efforts, Austria still has a fair number of migrants camped out on their turf. In a rather unusual bit of strategy, they tried something new. The government offered to pay them cash if they would pack up and leave. Some took them up on the offer, but thus far the numbers have been far lower than what the government would have liked to see. (Associated Press)

Austria’s Interior Ministry says that 427 migrants have taken advantage of a 1,000-euro ($1,160) premium if they go back to their homeland since the initiative was put into place, but the overall number of voluntary returnees has fallen.

The ministry said 1,855 people overall returned over the first five months of the year, 64 percent less than over the same period last year.

The cash for return offer was launched three months ago. The ministry said Friday that most of those making use of it come from Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran.

A thousand Euros may not sound like a lot in terms of getting someone to relocate, but it’s actually a fairly hefty sum in that region. That’s about a month’s wages in Austria for most of the lower to middle class. And it’s more than three months worth of salary for the vast majority of Iraqis (which is where a lot of these migrants are from). With ISIS largely in retreat and parts of the country returning to some version of normal, you might think that the migrants in Austria who are already being made to feel decidedly unwelcome might jump at that amount of cash if it gave them a nice head start back home.

That’s particularly true when you consider that incidents of firebombings and other attacks on migrant residence centers have been on the rise all year.

Attacks on refugee accommodation have doubled in Austria, seeing homes firebombed, vandals spray Nazi graffiti on walls and a man threaten to “get a gun and shoot the dogs”…

Among the incidents was a firebombing that saw two Molotov cocktails launched at a refugee home in Himberg, Lower Austria, in November. It was one of several reported arsons, including a fire in Rohrbach, Upper Austria, in June, which damaged one accommodation centre so badly it had to be evacuated and rebuilt.

Police said refugees were put at severe risk in August when assailants broke into a storage unit and cut a gas supply hose “to cause a leak” that went unnoticed for more than a week.

Now the Austrian government is talking about doubling the amount of the reward being offered for those who are willing to go home. It’s a considerably less “democratic” approach than you’ll generally find in the west, but it may soon turn into a deal that migrants won’t be able to refuse. It’s also one more sign of the growing schism in the European Union over what to do with all of these people.

The post Austria tries paying migrants to leave. The results are mixed appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Conservative authors dominate HS class summer reading list — that is, until local residents see it

The Blaze - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:09

When local residents got a gander at the summer reading list for an Alabama high school’s Advanced Placement Government/Economics class next year, they noticed a definite trend.

The list from Spanish Fort High School teacher Gene Ponder was filled with conservative authors such as Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, Ron Paul, Chuck Colson, Michael Savage, and former President Ronald Reagan of decidedly right-leaning books.

A (real) summer reading list for students from a public high school in Alabama. Some gems in here. pic.twitter.com/9TQpVPJ3Af

— Jorge Posadist (@EoinHiggins_) June 21, 2017

Some of the titles?

“Liberalism is a Mental Disorder” (Savage), “48 Liberal Lies About American History” by Larry Schweikart, “Guilty: Liberal ‘Victims’ and Their Assault on America” (Coulter), and  “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto” (Levin).

Students were instructed to choose one book and write a report on it, the Miami Herald reported, adding that some titles suggest more moderate content. “SuperFreakonomics” is considered more liberal, the Herald said — but added that there was no explanation as to why it’s the only title with an asterisk next to it.

As it happens, Ponder was a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Alabama in 2010, AL.com reported, adding that he said a main reason for his candidacy was to stop the federal government’s “coercion, intimidation and blackmail” of states. Ponder’s run was unsuccessful.

After residents raised concerns, Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler said in a statement that Ponder removed the list, Gulf Coast News Today reported.

“Mr. Ponder’s reading list that is going around on social media has not been endorsed by the school system,” Tyler wrote, the paper said. “The list has been removed by the teacher. Baldwin County Public Schools has a process to vet and approve reading lists so that a variety of sources are used. I expect all employees to follow our processes, procedures and policies.”

While there was a good bit of outrage over the conservative reading list, not everybody was unhappy.

HERO high school teacher's summer reading list
BANNED
lunatics freak 'cause
STUDENTS MIGHT ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING!https://t.co/6j0iX5JL5T

— penelope maynard (@penelope7usa) June 22, 2017

Categories: Conservative News

California’s travel ban blocks state-funded travel to four more states over LGBT issues

The Blaze - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:51

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) declared Thursday that his state would not be funding any trips to four different states across the country because those states have what he says are “anti-LGBT laws.”

Golden State employees will no longer be able to travel on any state-sponsored trips to Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, and Kentucky, bringing the total number of states banned to eight. California lawmakers passed a bill last year that bans non-essential travel to states that they believe discriminate against the LGBT community, and included in the initial bill were North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

According to Fox News, Becerra said that his actions would ensure that California taxpayer money “will not be used to let people travel to states who chose to discriminate.”

Texas earned the ire of Becerra after passing a law in May allowing faith-based child welfare groups to deny services and adoptions to certain families under circumstances that conflict with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Christian groups applauded the measure, while critics have said the law would leave room for discrimination against LGBT families.

Alabama and South Dakota enacted similar laws, while a law passed in Kentucky in March aimed at protecting religious expression in public schools. The law allows student-led school clubs and organizations the right to refuse members on the grounds of a deeply held religious belief.

Although the ban puts a halt on non-essential travel like conferences or out-of-state training, it does include exemptions for honoring contracts that were authorized before 2017 and travel to enforce California state law.

John Wittman, a spokesman for Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, said that although state employees might be banned from travel, Texas was still attracting many Californians.

“California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas,” Wittman said.

California’s Fresno State University is slated to play football against the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, this season, but no ruling from Becerra’s office has been issued to determine whether public university sports travel is included in the ban.

Categories: Conservative News

Dennis Rodman complains that people don’t see ‘the good side’ of North Korea

The Blaze - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:36

Former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman complained during an interview with ABC News on Friday that people don’t see “the good side” of North Korea.

Rodman, who has traveled to the Communist regime multiple times, became emotional when discussing criticism of his visits to the country, and insisted that the visits are “worth it.”

“What am I getting out of this? I’m going over there out of the kindness of my heart to just to try to help, next thing I know I’m coming back, wow, what did I do that’s so bad?” Rodman said on “Good Morning America” as he choked back tears. “It just sucks.”

North Korea is run by a brutal dictatorship and is often referred to as the Hermit Kingdom because it is so cut off from the rest of the world. The Kim regime has been accused of human rights abuses, including torturing and imprisoning defectors.

But Rodman offered praise for the country.

“People don’t see the good side about that country,” Rodman said, calling it “modernized,” and its people “happy.” He even called North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “a friendly guy.”

“We sing karaoke,” Rodman said. “It’s all fun. Ride horses, everything.”

Rodman said he doesn’t “look at the political side” of Kim Jong Un, adding that his visits to the country are about sports, not politics.

Rodman also suggested that he played a role in the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea last week. Warmbier, who was in a coma at the time of his release, died just days after his return to the United States.

Warmbier, who was a student at the University of Virginia, was arrested after North Korean state-run media said he committed a “hostile act” against the Kim Jong Un regime.

“I was just so happy to see the kid released,” Rodman said. “Later that day, that’s when we found out he was ill, no one knew that. We jumped up and down … Some good things came out of this trip.”

Chris Volo, Rodman’s agent who accompanied the athlete on his trip to North Korea, told ABC News that before they went, “I asked on behalf of Dennis for his release three times.”

“I know being there had something to do with it,” Volo said.

A spokesperson for the Department of State said last week that Rodman’s visit to North Korea had nothing to do with Warmbier’s release. Warmbier’s father also disputed Rodman’s claim.

Elsewhere in the interview, Rodman, who said he is a supporter of President Donald Trump, urged the president to “get on a damn plane,” shake hands with Kim Jong Un, “and try to make peace.”

“You think Donald Trump wouldn’t give his right arm if he could fix that problem?” Rodman asked.

“Donald, come talk to me,” he added. “Let’s try to work this out.”

Categories: Conservative News

Gay marriages still growing, but not as fast

HotAir - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:31

Barely 24 months after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender adults who say they’re married to someone of the same sex has increased to more than 10%. But the rate of growth has slowed significantly since the first year.

In the first year after the court’s Obergefell-Hodges decision, the number of reported same-sex marriages surged from under 8% to 9.6%. Today, a new survey by Gallup finds, the number is 10.2%.

It is still more likely that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are married to an opposite gender partner (13.1%) than a same-sex partner (10.1%). But Gallup finds the gap narrowing.

Gallup also found that as the number of self-reported same-sex marriages increases, the number of same-sex domestic partners has declined — and rather sharply, from 12.8% to 6.6%.

Gallup attributes about half the decline in domestic partnerships to the growth in same-sex marriages. The rest, it states, can be terminated domestic partnerships or cohabitants who no longer consider their relationship a partner.

“As a result of these shifts,” the report claims, “Gallup estimates that 61% of same-sex, cohabiting couples in the U.S. are now married, up from 38% before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June 2015, and 49% one year ago.”

The rate of marriage among older gays is higher than among younger ones. The survey reports that 9.3% of LGBT women say they are married to a same-sex partner, compared to 11.4% of LGBT men.

Results are based on daily tracking data from nearly 353,000 interviews from June 20 last year to June 19 this year. Gallup first began asking gays, who said they were married or in a partnership, the gender of their spouse or partner in January of 2015..

Gallup estimates the number of same-sex marriages will continue to grow as younger gays mature in an age more socially accepting of same-sex marriage and as their economic situations improve as careers develop.

The post Gay marriages still growing, but not as fast appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Rep. Steve Scalise Transferred Out of the ICU

Townhall.com - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:15
Good news.
Categories: Conservative News

DHS Cyber Division Director: Russia Didn’t Alter Vote Counts During 2016 Election

Townhall.com - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:12
no vote tallies were tampered with...
Categories: Conservative News

With Trump assassination comments, we may have reached Peak Johnny Depp

HotAir - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:41

I’m old enough to remember when Johnny Depp was a widely sought after actor with a penchant for playing really offbeat but intriguing characters, commanding top dollar at the box office. What ever happened to that guy?

Well, these days he’s doing public appearances looking even stranger than some of his more memorable characters, muttering in an almost incoherent fashion and suggesting some rather questionable scenarios. His latest seems to be bringing back a literal blast from the past… having an actor assassinate the president. (Page Six)

Johnny Depp insinuated that he wanted to assassinate President Trump during an appearance at a film festival in U.K. by offering to be the next actor to kill a president.

Depp asked the crowd how long it has been since “an actor assassinated a president” while introducing a film at the Cinemageddon film festival in Glastonbury, according to The Guardian newspaper.

“I want to qualify, I am not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it has been a while and maybe it is time,” Depp told the crowd.

Trying to suggest that the comment was “hypothetical” (which he did later) doesn’t really alter the situation he’s now created. But we can read something else into his explanation of the explanation. Depp went on to say, “this is going to be in the press. It will be horrible. I like that you are all a part of it.” When put in that context we can combine his remarks with the fact that he was at a film festival promoting a movie which I’ve never heard of. Perhaps he thought it would grab more attention and result in better PR for his film? He might have thought that, but I’ve yet to hear anyone on the news discussing the movie… they’re just wondering when the Secret Service is going to come calling at his trailer on the set of his next film.

So should we just ignore this as yet another Hollywood idiot doing idiotic Hollywood things? Perhaps not. The dust hasn’t even settled from the most recent incident of left wing violence and, as the Free Beacon reports, a lot of GOP congressmen have either been attacked or received death threats since the shooting in Alexandria.

A total of 30 Republican members of Congress have either been attacked or revealed that they were the victim of a death threat since the beginning of May.

May 8: Wendi Wright, 35, was arrested after stalking Rep. David Kustoff (Tenn.) and trying to run him off the road. After pulling over, Wright “began to scream and strike the windows on Kustoff’s car and even reached inside the vehicle.”

May 9: Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett needed heavy security at a town hall after receiving a series of death threats in May that police “deemed to be credible and real.”

“This is how we’re going to kill your wife,” one message said. Others detailed how they would kill his children, and even his dog.

The list goes on from there, so click through and feast your eyes on the fruits of all of the Trump assassination porn that’s been flooding the media and the internet. We’ve been told for years that you “can’t separate” a climate of hate from violent acts if conservatives are supposedly doing it. Do these rules not apply to Hollywood? Apparently not.

You know, Depp could have gone with a slightly less aggressive and violent bit of imagery if he wishes the President to be taken down. He could, for example, follow in the footsteps of Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon. You don’t see him going around saying someone needs to kill Donald Trump. He just wants him to have a massive stroke and be removed from office on a gurney. See, Johnny? You could at least be as polite as Michael. Perhaps the two of you can go on tour together.

The post With Trump assassination comments, we may have reached Peak Johnny Depp appeared first on Hot Air.

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