DeVos’ DOE Withdraws Obama’s Title IX “Dear Colleague” Letter, Provides “Interim Guidelines”

Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education announced this week that they would be withdrawing the infamous 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter from the Obama era. The letter drastically changed the procedure and tonality of campus sexual harassment investigations and had a chilling effect on internal sexual harassment investigations on college campuses. While extra provisions were made for the complainants under the rules of Title IX (preventing sexual discrimination against female students) nearly all protections for the accused were stripped away, leading to hundreds of disturbing cases where ultimately the accused was found innocent too late to save their college career. Reason.com many of the worst cases in this article, and it will blow your mind.

DeVos’ DOE vowed to withdraw the letter and so they did. Now they’ve released “interim” guidelines  and (an accompanying Q&A memo) for colleges to follow in their sexual harassment investigations. Naturally, many feminist groups and left-wing media types are hysterically announcing this as end of protections for college women forever.

 

Now they’ll just be able to raped at will! If only we had laws against such a thing.

Of course, it’s not quite that dire. In fact, it isn’t even close to that bleak but one wouldn’t expect left-wing Chicken Littles to actually read and compare the rules. Both documents are dry and heavy with bureaucratic language, as these things tend to be. They are easily accessible and I encourage everyone to and compare for themselves before descending into insanity, but for those who don’t have the time or intellectual curiosity, here is a quick rundown of the nut and bolts of the (2017)  “interim” provisions and how they stack up against the (2011) “Dear Colleague” requirements.

  • 2011-The school has a responsibility to respond quickly and reasonably to any accusations, and to conduct a thorough investigation.
  • 2017- This one remains pretty much the same.

 

  • 2011- Upon receiving a complaint, the school must take immediate action to eliminate the harassment and must provide counseling services and protections from academic consequences (such as missing classes/tests while dealing with an investigation) to the complainant.
  • 2017– The school must provide said services to both parties until an investigation is concluded. (Q&A on Sexual Misconduct on Campus, page 2) Interim measures are individualized services offered as appropriate to either or both the reporting and responding parties involved in an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, prior to an investigation or while an investigation is pending…In fairly assessing the need for a party to receive interim measures, a school may not rely on fixed rules or operating assumptions that favor one party over another, nor may a school make such measures available only to one party. 

 

  • 2011-The school’s investigation must be prompt and impartial
  • 2017-The school’s investigation must be prompt and impartial. DeVos’ guidelines simply emphasize impartiality and a “case-by-case” approach. (Q&A on Sexual Misconduct on Campus, page 4) An equitable investigation of a Title IX complaint requires a trained investigator to analyze and document the available evidence to support reliable decisions, objectively evaluate the credibility of parties and witnesses, synthesize all available evidence—including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence—and take into account the unique and complex circumstances of each case.

 

  • 2011- Any complaints should be officially reported and adjudicated as official Title IX violations (which triggers government intervention), avoiding informal resolutions between a given school and involved parties. Schools should avoid any form of mediation (even on a voluntary basis) involving the accuser.
  • 2017 – Any complaints may be officially reported and adjudicated as official Title IX violations, however individual institutions are free to pursue informal resolutions if all parties agree.

 

  • 2011- The school governing body may without some information about complaints from the accused, including any notice of intent to discipline.
  • 2017 – The school governing body must make all evidence equally available to both parties. (Q&A on Sexual Misconduct on Campus, page 5) The decision-maker(s) must offer each party the same meaningful access to any information that will be used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings, including the investigation report.20 The parties should have the opportunity to respond to the report in writing in advance of the decision of responsibility and/or at a live hearing to decide responsibility.

 

  • 2011- Schools must use the “preponderance of evidence” standard  (i.e., it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred, Dear Colleagues Letter, page 11)
  • 2017 – Schools may use the “preponderance of evidence” standard or the “clear and convincing evidence” standard, otherwise known as “innocent until proven guilty.”

 

All other provisions of the “Dear Colleague” letter remain in tact.

Despite the salacious headlines that are based more in “Trump Derangement Syndrome” than in reality, the new interim guidelines are not designed to weaken victims, but to strengthen the process. In seeking to further protect the rights of victims, Obama’s DOE created new victims – the accused who were being assumed as guilty until proven innocent. As repeatedly detailed by reporters who actually care about the truth, these guidelines led to some pretty horrifically unjust outcomes for young men who were ultimately found innocent of the charges against them. In some cases the charges themselves amounted to little more than a clerical era, and yet innocent people were forced to abandon their education at great personal cost.

No one should be discriminated based on their gender. That is the heart of Title IX. Obama-era regulations created a new victim class, rather than eliminating one.

No, rape isn’t legal and dudes can’t just go around grabbing boobs whenever they want (sorry for the trigger, Brooke Baldwin).

In this country, an accused has all the same rights as an accuser. It is the very foundation of our justice system and a college campus is the last place we should ignore such a reality.

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Suspect in Pam Gellar Beheading Plot Goes With “Fat Loser” Defense

A Massachusetts man is currently standing trial for plotting to behead anti-Islam and women’s rights activist Pamela Gellar after she sponsored a “Draw Muhammad Day” in Garland, TX in 2015. The event ended in a terrifying attack that was not that unpredictable given the past response of some Muslims to similar events and “transgressions.”

HOLD FOR STORY MOVING EARLY RISER SEPT. 20 -- FILE - In this May 7, 2015 file photo, Pamela Geller speaks during an interview at The Associated Press in New York. A trial is set to begin on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 in federal court in Boston for David Wright of Everett, Mass., accused of participating in a 2015 plot for the Islamic State group is to behead Geller, a conservative blogger. The plot was never carried out. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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David Wright and his uncle, along with one other man are accused of plotting to behead Gellar and then carry out more attacks on police officers in the name of Islam and the Prophet Muhammed. The Daily Mail reports:

Prosecutors said Wright, his uncle, Usaamah Rahim, of Boston, and another man agreed to kill Geller in the summer of 2015 after the cartoon contest in suburban Dallas, Texas.

In May of that year, Wright met with Rahim and Nicholas Rovinski, of Warwick, Rhode Island, for more than two hours on a secluded Rhode Island beach and discussed plans to kill Geller, according to the indictment.

Days later, Rahim told Wright he couldn’t wait to attack Geller and decided instead to go after ‘those boys in blue,’ referring to police, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Siegmann told jurors Wednesday.

Wright encouraged his uncle to attack police and die a ‘martyr,’ instructing him to destroy his cellphone and wipe all the data from his computer said Siegmann.

Like any good lawyer would do, Wright’s defense team is claiming that that was all just talk and Wright didn’t reall mean any of it. He wasn’t saying all those things because he’s a radicalized Muslim terrorist, but because he’s a just a fat, lonely loser.

Wright’s lawyers told jurors at a Boston courthouse:

In 2015, David felt very, very fat, very failed, and was living in a world of fantastical ideas. He hid behind screens, looking for an escape, looking for a distraction from who he really was.

Attorney Jessica Hedges told the jury that at the time of his plan, Wright weighed more than 500 lbs, lived with his mother and found acceptance in an online community that shared his growing sense of discontent. She went on to ring the free speech bell, saying:

We can be incredibly angry at what someone reads, what someone says and what someone talks about and not convict them as a criminal for it.

We’ve heard a lot of unthinkable defenses for those who gleefully slaughter innocents in the name of Islam, but the “fat loser” defense takes the sheet cake.

The portly plotter is charged with obstruction of justice, conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and conspiring to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. He faces life in prison if convicted.

 

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Hollywood Hates Us All…and It’s Getting Kind of Boring: 2017 Emmys Edition

I was raised by an avid reader in a home with two television channels…in Canada. A trip to the movies was a rare and exciting adventure. I didn’t see my first VCR until I was eleven years old. I read all the time…everything I could get my hands on.

It wasn’t until I moved to the U.S. that I discovered the joys of cable television in all it’s mind-numbing glory. Once I had a steady job, going to the movies became a regular indulgence. I found I couldn’t get enough of watching stories come to life in front of my eyes, marveling at expert acting and laughing at terrible acting. I’ve never given up my reading habit but I can say proudly that I have fallen in love with film and television, and it has been a passionate and tumultuous love affair ever since.

You see, the entertainment industry doesn’t love me back – a fact I am reminded of every awards season. Although I love the glitz and glamor and fakery of the red carpet, I can no longer stomach the Oscars or the Emmys, or most awards shows.

Sunday night’s 69th Emmy Awards was a perfect example of why Emmy ratings have been steadily dropping for the last four years, despite more ways than ever to watch them. It shouldn’t have been surprising that nearly every single presenter, winner and host segment took the opportunity to jab at President Trump.

It goes without saying that this is just bad business. Hollywooders seem to think the entire country is comprised of people who think and vote just like them. Despite the fact that the country is pretty much a consistent 50/50 split between liberals and conservatives (with slight percentage shifts during election years), they remain convinced that Right Wing Nut Jobs don’t own televisions. It’s hard to maintain a healthy level of growth when you’ve automatically eliminated 50% of your customer base.

In what other industry could you insult, degrade, dehumanize and ridicule your customers and win awards for doing it?

Let’s put the politics of it aside for just a minute. After all, as weird as this whole “Donald Trump is our president” thing is, it isn’t that unusual for the liberal left of Hollywood to devote so much time to denigrating a Republican president.

It’s important to remember that for the most part the people on that stage hold a subtle disdain for the average American. They might not even realize it, but it shows every time most of them are asked about a political issue on the red carpet.

Big Little Lies actress Shailene Woodley admitted to one interviewer she doesn’t watch tv, haughtily declaring herself a “reader”…as if one cannot both enjoy reading and television at the same time. Woodley was keen to show her intellectual superiority to those inferior “watchers”. It didn’t even occur to her to thank people who watched tv, as if she’s never thought about what happens to her bank account and career if people stop watching her.

When Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton reunited on stage as presenters, Tomlin took the time to say that in their classic 1980 film 9 to 5 they played women who “refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot…And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”

Uttered by a woman who has voluntarily worked for decades in an industry run by sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigots. Or is that whole “it’s hard for women over 40 to get good roles” thing just a fancy PR campaign to get us to watch women over 40 on tv?

Atlanta creator Donald Glover was sure to mention how oppressed black people are because of Trump…inexplicably.

“I want to thank Trump for making black people No. 1 on the most oppressed list. He’s the reason I’m probably up here.”

Glover seemed to detect no irony in his own statement as he grasped a golden statue on a stage in front of the most elite players in Hollywood; as he accepted an award for a television show for which he makes more money in one year than most Americans can dream of making in a decade. His tuxedo was probably worth more than the cars of many people watching the show…but yeah, oppression because Donald Trump or some stuff.

The list goes on and on. I hardly have the space to encompass the scope of cluelessness of this one percent of the one percent, but it all adds up to make an experience that fewer and fewer Americans want to participate in.

Perhaps the saddest part is that these celebrities think what they do is so expansive and inclusive when the reality is they have boxed themselves into an ideology and by doing so, excluded most of the hard-working Americans who buy their products. There are so many opportunities missed to tell rich stories of average Americans who don’t think the same, look the same, struggle with the same issues.

Their political jokes run stale, and only serve to illustrate their hypocrisy as they make unsupported pronouncements of the dangers of modern American life from the ivory towers where they store their self-congratulatory awards, safe from the unwashed masses and comfortably hidden behind gated communities and security guards.

I long for the pre-social media days of celebrity, when we could pretend to know what they think and project our own views and values on their manufactured personalities. It was more fun that way. Now it seems every celebrity is dead set on reminding their paying customers that we will never be like them and never be considered as their peers.

Americans like me are tired of being the victim in this abusive relationship. We’re tired of being told we’re nothing without our Hollywood lovers. We’re bruised and bloody and out of patience.

Can we at least get just a simple “Thank you” every once in a while for showing up with our money?

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The New Yorker Reveals the Cover They Would Have Used if Hillary Won

Remember when everyone in the media was pretty much convinced Hillary Clinton would be the next POTUS? Remember how every major mainstream network started out election night with giddy, gleeful anchors who were already discussing what Hillary’s mandates would be after she won the election? Remember how they couldn’t even feign objectivity when their Hillary dreams were crushed?

It seems like those people wouldn’t want to be reminded of just how astonishingly wrong they got everything about Election Night 2016, but perhaps that’s one of the reasons we have a President Trump in the first place – the liberal never seems to learn their lessons.

The New Yorker decided they were gluttons for punishment and released the cover they had planned to run after Hillary’s victory. If you’re with her, it will make you sad. If you’re like the rest of us, it will make you laugh out loud. In their September 13th cover story, The New Yorker writes:

Over the past ten months, many Americans, regardless of how they voted, have contemplated what life would have looked like if Hillary Clinton had been elected President on November 8, 2016. In at least one respect, we can now share a definitive answer. Above is the cover “The First,” by Malika Favre, that The New Yorker would have published had Clinton defeated Donald Trump to become the first female Commander-in-Chief.

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It induces side-splitting laughter to think of The New Yorker editorial staff patting themselves congratulating each other when they gave the final approval of this cover. They must have been so thrilled to think their cover would be a part of American history. It might have even earned a spot in the Smithsonian!

Instead – having made absolutely no plans for a Trump win – they ran this cover.

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Oops.

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BREAKING: Harvard Backs Down over Chelsea Manning

Redstate reported Thursday that former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell had tendered his resignation as a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School for Government. Morell said he could not be a part of a program that would offer Chelsea Manning – a criminal convicted of espionage and leaking classified information – a position as a Visiting Fellow.

Senior leaders in our military have stated publicly that the leaks by Ms. Manning put the lives of US soldiers at risk. Upon her conviction, then Rep. Mike Rogers and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee at the time, praised the verdict, saying ‘justice has been served today’. They added, ‘PFC.Manning harmed our national security, violated the public’s trust and now stands convicted of multiple serious crimes’”

Morell’s resignation letter was passionate and reasonable and detailed why in good conscience he could not serve alongside someone who had willfully endangered so many honorable lives.

Now it looks as though Morell’s letter had at least some effect on Harvard authorities.

The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School released a counter statement from the Dean in which he explained their reasoning behind Manning’s invitation to be a Visiting Fellow at the IOP.

We invited Chelsea Manning because the Kennedy School’s longstanding approach to visiting speakers is to invite some people who have significantly influenced events in the world even if they do not share our values and even if their actions or words are abhorrent to some members of our community.

The letter then goes on to explain that hundreds of “Visiting Fellows” are invited to speak at any given time and often they are only present for a day or even just hours, conceding that perhaps designating Manning as a “Visiting Fellow” lent some undue legitimacy to his actions as a member of the military.

We did not intend to honor her in any way or to endorse any of her words or deeds, as we do not honor or endorse any Fellow.

Douglas Elmendorf concludes his response by admitting that giving Manning that designation was “a mistake for which I accept responsibility…Therefore we are withdrawing the invitation for her to spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak in Forum.”

Elmendorf ends by explaining the decision was not based on any kind of partisan compromise but was meant as a way to realign with the program’s stated missions.

NBC News tweeted out the full letter on Thursday evening. At the time of this publication, Manning’s Twitter feed was void of any mention of the change in plans.

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Looting and Race: The Narrative of Respect Starts In Our Own Community

All the fuss over how we identify black looters versus white looters in the wake of hurricane damage – besides being completely worthless in the advancement of any kind of intelligent discussion – is not only ignorant, but dangerous.

This week we’ve seen Hillary Clinton on her national blame book tour laying responsibility for her electoral thrashing by Donald Trump at the feet of everyone besides herself. Clinton is very keen to let everyone know that if James Comey had just stayed in his lane, she would be president right now.

However, her narcissistic focus on universally abhorred former FBI director ignores a salient truth – there would be no Comey controversy were it not for the emails in the first place. The only reason Comey was a problem for her was because of the problems she and the Democrats created for themselves. No one disputes the existence of the problematic Podesta emails and private servers. Clinton’s only complaint is that Comey reminded people of them.

There is a similar mindset of denial in this whole fuss about the way we describe black looters versus white looters. The initial argument was raised after a reporter filed video of black people in Florida looting a shoe store as Hurricane Irma landed. This was contrasted with a video of white people from Houston who were described as holding “found items”.

Setting aside the facts of each of those situations for just one moment, let’s assume that the accusations are true. Let’s assume that there is a double standard and it was unfair to characterize the black looters as looters and the white people as finders.

So?

So what if it’s an unfair comparison? Is no one going to say anything about the fact that it’s a damn embarrassment as a black person to watch other black people so gleefully and pathetically steal the labor of others when the people around them are at their most vulnerable? We should be talking about how disgusting it is to watch our own people act like thieves and feral animals. We should be talking about how there is an entire segment of our community that seems to think these actions are justified because of oppression, slavery or hypocrisy. Black Lives Matter demands that all Americans display more respect and compassion for black Americans, but has no words at all about the disrespect we show for ourselves. How can we expect the American majority to take us seriously and show us more respect when we refuse to be accountable for the rot in our own communities?

So what if someone fails to see white looters as actual looters? Those ignorant looters in Florida weren’t making some social justice statement. They were stealing…and they belonged to us. If we’re content to saddle every living white American with the actions of their long-dead ancestors than logic follows we must saddle ourselves with the actions of our currently living brethren. We can’t have it both ways. “Look over there!” is not a legitimate defense of embarrassingly criminal actions.

As it turns out, the reporter who described the white Houston “looters” as carrying found items was indeed correct in his assessment. The people he originally pictured were carrying food items they found floating in the water. Aside from that, had the black people in the Florida video been snatching food, the outcry might not have been so serious. It’s a stretch, but maybe even if they had been stealing shoes from a flooded store that might (and it’s a big might; stealing is stealing) be excusable in some form as all the inventory would be written off by insurance anyway.

These morons were raiding a dry, still intact shoe store through the back door because anyone who might be around to stop them had already fled to safer areas. I don’t care if you’re black or white, that’s just repulsive.

If you are looting, you are looter.

If you are a Chinese Christian and you are looting…you are a looter.

If you are a gay Mexican and you are looting…you are a looter.

If you are a black, transgender Sunday school teacher and you are looting…you are a looter.

If you are a white, Muslim, single mother of 12 with Lyme Disease and a gluten allergy and you are looting…you are a looter.

White looters do get called looters, as the reporter who started this whole thing with his original story was sure to let everyone know.

But that’s not even the point. We could refer to all white looters as “purple people eaters” and it wouldn’t do one thing to change the fact that if you steal something, you are a thief. If we aren’t willing to call out the thieves among ourselves, it’s a worthless endeavor to point them out in others.

Let’s grow up a little and clean our own house.

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UC Berkeley Cop Raids Hot Dog Vendor’s Wallet After He Fails to Produce Permit

A hot dog vendor at a UC Berkeley campus received quite a shock over the weekend when a campus officer openly and brazenly took cash directly from his wallet.

UC alum Martin Floris and his kids stopped to buy some food from a hot dog vendor after a Saturday football game when he noticed a campus officer approach the cart and question the vendor about his permit. The man – identified as Juan – did not have a permit. The officer allegedly asked Juan to produce his ID, then snatched the wallet and began rifling through it. That’s when Floris says he knew something was amiss.

‘That’s when I thought something was not right.”

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He pulled out his phone and started recording and can be heard on video saying “That’s not right,” as officer Sean Aranas begins pulling money straight from the shocked vendor’s wallet.

Despite Juan’s and Floris’ objections, Aranas folds the money, dismissing the frustrated onlookers.

‘Yeah, well he doesn’t have a permit. He doesn’t have a permit. Yep, this is law and order in action…Thank you for your support.’

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Floris posted the video to Twitter (language warning).

The UCB officer seized $60 from Juan’s wallet as “evidence”, and issued a citation for operating without a permit.

Floris released the video and outrage spread quickly. An online petition demanding Aranas be fired has over 35,000 signatures and Flores himself set up a GoFundMe account for Juan. So far donations have reached over $50,000.

A UCB spokesperson has said Aranas was assigned to permit enforcement that day and they would investigate the matter further.

‘The officer was tasked with enforcing violations related to vending without a permit on campus. UCPD is looking into the matter.”

Aranas has allegedly had problems in the past, although coming from a UC Berkeley source it’s hard to judge if they’re real or perceived. Remember, this is the same place that is providing counseling for students because a blogger is coming to talk words out of his mouth.

Regardless, Aranas’ actions are rightly considered outrageous and deserve to be discussed at the very least.

Juan may indeed have been operating without the required permit, and Aranas might even have been within his legal right to seize funds but the entire incident brings up two issues:

Are police here to “serve and protect” or humiliate and belittle? Who exactly was Aranas serving by being so rude and stealing a man’s money right from his wallet? Is he protecting the willing consumers engaging in a voluntary transaction? Or is he protecting the pockets of the city of Berkeley, which didn’t get their piece of Juan’s pie…or hot dogs, so to speak?

And that brings us the larger and more important issue – why on earth do feel it necessary to require a piece of paper from the government that tells us we’re allowed to do what we already do? You may be saying right now, “Well, what about health violations? The public has to know this transaction isn’t dangerous to their health!”. My response to that is that if Juan’s hot dogs are making people sick, he’ll stop making money. It doesn’t pay to kill your customers. And if people feel they are willing to take the health risk of buying food from a street vendor rather than a “permitted” establishment, that is their choice and they should have the freedom to make that choice.

This isn’t about keeping the public safe from the tyranny of germs. This is about control. When we give our governments control over whether or not we can sell hot dogs to people, we are also giving them the control over our wallets as officer Aranas so shockingly demonstrated.

As a California resident myself, I’m quite sure Aranas was within his legal rights and just doing his job. This state has no respect for ingenuity, self-determination or the small-businessman. It wouldn’t be surprising to discover Aranas keeps his job and all his benefits.

People should be outraged by this video, but we shouldn’t be making it about this one man so much as it should be about a faceless bureaucracy that has the power to humiliate and rob a peaceful citizen just trying to make an honest living. It’s about making it nearly impossible to make that honest living, and calling it “law and order”.

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Trump is Right on Debt Ceiling Agreement

trump-schumer-pelosi

Trump was right to agree to temporarily extend the debt ceiling.

There’s been a lot of fuss today, including here, about the news that President Trump has partnered with congressional Democrats to temporarily raise the debt ceiling for another three months.

However, I must part with my valued colleagues on their opinion of Trump’s move. Of course, as a conservative I’m loathe to raise debt, raise spending, raise taxes. Mo’ money, mo’ problems and all that. I was disappointed to wake up to the news of Trump’s shift to the left, but rather than reacting right away I dug into the details.

It turns out President Trump might actually know what he’s doing.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi admitted in a press conference Thursday morning that votes are the “currency” of Capitol Hill and POTUS will be looking for some very key votes in the near future.

A favorite Democrat tactic is to link bills and attach pet projects to vital funding packages. This time they used the debt ceiling to force Trump’s hand by connecting it to Hurricane Harvey relief funding. Trump is already being blamed for aiming Hurricane Harvey at poor people (oh, shades of GWB and Hurricane Katrina), not being concerned enough about the hurricane, being too concerned about the hurricane and allowing his so-called trophy wife to wear high heels while touring hurricane ravaged areas. Houston badly needs federal relief at the moment and Mr. Trump can’t afford to delay that help. Nancy Pelosi and her minions colleagues know this.

But several rank-and-file Republicans said they would be open to a short-term extension to allow Congress to negotiate the debt later this year. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) was among those who said the three-month extension proposed by Democrats would be a reasonable timeline to set up broader talks on budget and spending.

“A short term increase in the debt limit so they can handle this is a sensible thing in my view,” Cole said. “Most people understand getting through his immediate crisis and we know we’re going to be making a larger appropriations deal sometime after the first of October.” – The Washington Post

If Trump wanted to secure that funding he had to agree to raise the debt ceiling, as Republicans were already splitting votes on the issue. It’s not ideal, and Paul Ryan rightfully criticized the Democrats for holding the needs of Houston citizens hostage over politics, calling it a “ridiculous idea”.

“We’ve got all this devastation in Texas, we’ve got a hurricane coming toward Florida, and they want to play politics with the debt ceiling? It could put in jeopardy the kind of hurricane response we need to have.”

Paul Ryan

 

Speaker Ryan is right to be outraged, and it is indeed ridiculously shallow and insensitive of the Democrats, something CNN and MSNBC will surely ignore.

This was, however a move that helped Trump save face. It would be very embarrassing if he couldn’t get relief funding but it also allows for a bit of leverage for the President. That is leverage he will desperately need as he heads into tax reform negotiations, which will surely require a bipartisan effort to secure the passing votes. 

On top of it all Trump has been as frustrated as the rest of us by the pace at which the Republican majority has been working. In the corporate world, time is money. In Washington, votes are money…time is just for wasting. POTUS isn’t a conservative and he isn’t a loyal party member. He has no problem letting Republicans know he can and will work around them if they can’t police themselves to avoid “business as usual.”

Mr. Trump was right to agree to a raise in the debt ceiling. The President is now on record as willing to ride the bipartisan train. How much that is worth will be seen as we move into tax reform.

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Photographer Captures Amazing Rare Aerial Footage of North Korea’s Capital City

A Singaporean pilot has been able to record rare footage of North Korea’s capital city, Pyongyang

Aram Pan filmed the famously isolated city as a part of the DPRK360 project, a government supported initiative to film and record images of North Korea. On the website for the project, Pan says the goal is to showcase a side of the country the mainstream media ignores.

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Aram Pan (潘君瀚) is a Singaporean full time photographer and media consultant. During his spare time, he travels to North Korea and captures scenes of the country that the mainstream media generally ignores. He goes by the motto “there are two sides to every coin” and the entire DPRK 360 project is all about looking at North Korea with a different perspective.

As Pan circles the communist capital during daylight hours, a surprisingly modern city is revealed. A massive sports stadium, skyscrapers and huge freeways and overpasses are visible. However, what is most striking is that despite all it’s modernity from the sky the city seems shockingly empty. This is the nation’s capital city and yet few cars can be seen navigating the expansive highways. The rivers show little boat traffic and there aren’t many people to be seen in the streets. In short, Pyongyang looks more like a ghost town than a thriving, capital metropolis.

 

It certainly comes as no surprise that Pyongyang lacks the hustle and bustle of a typical capital city, but to see this kind of footage from such an isolated country is truly fascinating.

DPRK360 also has a Facebook page with some pretty amazing pictures and videos.

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Todd and Sarah Palin’s Prom Pics are Adorably 80s

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her husband Todd have been together for decades. Since that time the couple has accomplished some pretty amazing things together, including raising a family, the governorship of Alaska and even a reality tv series for themselves and their children.

The high school sweethearts recently celebrated 29 years of marriage and daughter Bristol commemorated the occasion with an adorable Instagram “Then and Now” side-by-side featuring Mrs. and Mrs. Palin at their senior prom in 1982.

Happy 29th Anniversary to my parents!! ❤️ #highschoolsweethearts

A post shared by Bristol Meyer (@bsmp2) on Aug 29, 2017 at 6:16am PDT

Sarah Palin channels her inner “Charlie’s Angels” with a fabulous feather cut and modest red gown. Todd Palin rocks the ruffles. Who could have known all those years ago that this couple was destined for fame…and infamy?

Happy Anniversary to the feather-haired couple, and here’s hoping for many more to come.

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Source: Red State