Newt Gingrich, who is not above cultivating a little bit of mythology about himself, used to say that when he was a youngster considering a life in politics, he didn’t want to grow up to be president of the United States — he grew up wanting to be speaker of the House. Which he did, achieving a measure of modest but genuine success in the role: Those weren’t Clinton budget surpluses, but Gingrich surpluses. (Transitory though they were.) Gingrich has a weakness for thinking of himself in world-historical terms, and he may in fact find his final repose in an interesting footnote: the last speaker of the House to be a figure of any significance.
And, of course, he ended up wanting to be president.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced his intention to retire, which has those members of the House Republican leadership who are fool enough to want the job — which is to say, the members of the House Republican leadership — grasping at his gavel. The plot of the Shakespearean succession drama is fixed as the stars: The entertainment wing of the conservative movement prepares to rain brimstone upon Republican whip Kevin McCarthy, the presumptive front-runner among House leaders, or Paul Ryan, a conservative hero until the day before yesterday now cast into the outer darkness for various heresies related to his being an elected lawmaker rather than the host of a radio program. Expect Louie Gohmert or another conservative standard-bearer to shine for a moment before opinion settles on some disappointment or another, and expect the vast majority of the American electorate to go on not knowing who the speaker is or what he does regardless of who is elected.
Bassem Tamimi, father of the infamous Pallywood star “Shirley Temper,” was invited to speak to a classroom of third graders in Ithaca, New York. Legal Insurrection broke the story:
An uproar is brewing in Ithaca, New York, after anti-Israel activists bragged on Facebook how they managed to bring Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi to a third-grade class as part of a presentation on the suffering of Palestinian children at the hands of Israel.
According to the activists, the event took place on Friday morning, September 18, 2015 at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School.
…Tamimi’s connection to Ithaca runs through Ariel Gold, an anti-Israel activist who used to work as a community organizer for the anti-Israel Sabeel Int’l – North America. Gold now self-describes her occupation as a Community Activist “delegitimizing zionism.” Like Tamimi, Gold involves her children (ages 12 and 14) in her anti-Israel activism, promoting them through radio and speaking appearances, as well as Facebook and videos.
Next month, the Obama administration may roll out the most expensive regulation in history, ignoring scientific data that cutting ozone rates will not improve public health.
In the name of fighting asthma, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested permission to decrease the ozone standard  — the amount of ozone allowed in the atmosphere — to a level some scientists say is physically impossible to achieve . One organization estimates the cost to implement these new rules will be $1.1 trillion. Even worse, data shows that as ozone levels in the U.S. have decreased, asthma cases have increased.
This regulation may be the most expensive in history, and bring absolutely no health benefits.
Ozone (O3) is a gas “formed when sunlight falls on nitrogen oxides (naturally formed by bacteria, volcanoes and lightning), together with volatile organic compounds emitted by trees and other natural sources,” as explained by public health professor Tony Cox  in the Wall Street Journal. This gas is also a by-product of cars, trucks, factories, power plants and even a wide range of consumer products. Regulating it more harshly would impact a huge swath of the economy.
Ozone Does Not Cause Asthma
When a trace gas and plant food is denounced as a pollutant, it comes as no surprise that a cabal of climate careerists is calling for sceptics to be charged and, presumably, jailed. Much better to silence doubters than have them draw attention to money-grubbing nepotism and careerist corruptions
The global warming community has stepped up its call for the prosecution of sceptics. The latest: 20 US scientists wrote this month to President Obama calling for prosecutions of sceptics under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), previously used against the mafia and the tobacco industry (for suppressing evidence of dangers of smoking).
This letter has become an own-goal for two of the signatories, who have been double-dipping big-dollar salaries from their government-funded climate foundation, additional to their salaries as professors.
Noted climate scientist Judith Curry[i] responded to the letter:
“What you have done is the worst kind of irresponsible advocacy, which is to attempt to silence scientists that disagree with you by invoking RICO.”
She wrote that the 20 scientists damage not only their own reputations, but also the public perception of scientists as trustworthy sources of information: “Most seriously, the coercion of scientists implied by this letter will discourage objectivity in scientific research and will discourage scientists from entering/staying in the field of climate research.”
Publication day is a proud moment for most authors but it turned into a nightmare for Michel Houellebecq. The French writer’s sixth novel, “Submission,” which will be published in the U.S. next month, had been heralded as his most topical. The book imagines France in 2022 under the rule of an Islamic political party headed by a Muslim president.
On Jan. 7, the day “Submission” came out in France, the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo ran a caricature of the author on its cover. Bleary-eyed and sporting a wizard’s hat, the novelist was portrayed as a lugubrious prophet spouting asides like “In 2015 I’ll lose my teeth” or, more pointedly, “In 2022 I’ll observe Ramadan.”
On the same day two gunmen of the Islamic faith attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people. Mr. Houellebecq, who lost a friend—the economist Bernard Maris—in the attack, has been under round-the-clock police protection since.
The 59-year-old author, who declined to be interviewed for this article, first ran afoul of Islam in 2001 when he described it to the French magazine Lire as “the dumbest religion.” After saying this he was taken to court by four Muslim associations “for insulting a group of people due to their religious beliefs.” The charges were dismissed.
His third novel “Platform,” which was published in 2001, foreshadows today’s headlines. The book features an Islamophobic anti-hero, Michel, who becomes a sex tourist in Thailand. “I had a vision of migratory flows crisscrossing Europe like blood vessels,” the protagonist says. “Muslims appeared as clots which were only slowly reabsorbed.”
Doing its best to minimize damage to the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, the State Department released news that new private server emails that were not turned over by her earlier had been discovered. Bradley Klapper of the AP writes:
The Obama administration has discovered a chain of emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to turn over when she provided what she said was the full record of work-related correspondence as secretary of state, officials told The Associated Press Friday, adding to the growing questions related to the Democratic presidential front-runner’s unusual usage of a private email account and server while in government.
The messages were exchanged with retired Gen. David Petraeus when he headed the military’s U.S. Central Command, responsible for running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They began before Clinton entered office and continued into her first days at the State Department. They largely pertained to personnel matters and don’t appear to deal with highly classified material, officials said, but their existence challenges Clinton’s claim that she has handed over the entirety of her work emails from the account.
There are actually two Hillary Clinton lies revealed by this release. One is that the sworn statement she submitted to a court that she handed over all emails is false. (But there may be Clintonian wiggle room in that statement – see below). The second is a serious lie she propagated about when she started using her private server. Reuters explains:
Ben Carson’s recent statements about Islam and the U.S. presidency have garnered a wide array of commentary. Most of the remarks have been quite critical, with even some conservatives taking Carson to task. Predictably, many of those critical of Carson point to the Constitution’s “no religious test” clause. Also predictably, many who are making this argument completely ignore that Carson was not advocating for such a “religious test.”
Interestingly, every one of the American colonies did have a “religious test.” What’s more, these tests continued long after the United States was formed. The U.S. Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788. An excerpt (Article 7, Section 2) from the 1796 Tennessee constitution reads, “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.”
Article 11, Section 4 of the very same constitution says, “[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.” Within the same state constitution, there resides a religious requirement for holding public office along with a prohibition against a “religious test.” Therefore, we can conclude that, in the era of our founding, many believed that requiring a belief in God for elected officials did not constitute a “religious test.”
To see the emptiness of liberal/Democrat logic, try the following at the next dinner party.
If I vote for Ben Carson, am I still guilty of being a racist, considering the way you hurled that accusation at me when I told you that Obama was a very bad choice because of his ideology and his acquaintances?
If I vote for Carly Fiorina, am I still guilty of a war on women, given that this woman has broken through the glass ceiling, overcome a deadly disease, and still come out fighting?
If you insist that the federal government fund Planned Parenthood even after the uncovering of illegal sales of aborted body parts, I am confused. Wasn’t Obamacare supposed to provide universal coverage for all Americans? Why, then, does the federal government need to continue funding Planned Parenthood?
If you vote for Bernie Sanders, will your house in Chappaqua be available for the government’s use if Sanders decides you have no right to private property anymore? As Thomas Sowell has opined, “what exactly is [the] fair share of what someone else has worked for?”
For the environmentalists who maintain that we have no right to use trees to produce paper towels for bathroom use, did you know that “dryers use electricity which produces a ‘carbon footprint’ that liberals link to global warming”?
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16)
Major newspaper editorials and some columnists have their knickers in a twist over remarks by Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. Appearing last Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Carson was asked by host Chuck Todd whether he believes Islam is consistent with the Constitution. “No, I don’t,” he said. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” Asked whether he could vote for a Muslim for Congress, Carson said Congress is a different story, but that it “depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are.”
Carson critics are quick to mention Article VI of the Constitution, which prohibits a “religious test” for office, but that means no one can be barred from office because of their faith; it does not and could not prevent citizens from voting for or against someone for religious reasons.
Hamburg city officials say that owners of vacant real estate have refused to make their property available to the city on a voluntary basis, and thus the city should be given the right to take it by force.
“The proposed confiscation of private land and buildings is a massive attack on the property rights of the citizens of Hamburg. It amounts to an expropriation by the state [and a] “law of intimidation.” — André Trepoll, Christian Democratic Union.
“If a property is confiscated… a lawsuit to determine the legality of the confiscation can only be resolved after the fact. But the accommodation would succeed in any event.” — Tübingen Mayor Boris Palmer.
Officials in North Rhine-Westphalia seized a private resort in the town of Olpe to provide housing for up to 400 migrants
“I find it impossible to understand how the city can treat me like this. I have struggled through life with grief and sorrow and now I get an eviction notice. It is a like a kick in the stomach.” — Bettina Halbey, 51-year-old nurse, after being notified that she must vacate her apartment so that migrants can move in.
The landlord is being paid 552 euros ($617) for each migrant he takes in. By cramming as many migrants into his property as possible, he stands to receive payments of more than 2 million euros a year from government.