A Texas high school silenced its Valedictorian’s microphone during his speech when he diverted from his pre-approved remarks and instead spoke about the Constitution.
Joshua High School graduate Remington Reimer, who was accepted into the Naval Academy, had his microphone silenced during his speech right after he told fellow graduates that school officials apparently threatened him with the move the day before, MyFoxDFW.com reported.
Colin Radford, a fellow graduate told MyFoxDFW.com that Reimer was “talking about getting constitutional rights taken away from him, and then he said “just yesterday they threatened to turn my microphone off,” and then his microphone went off.”
While national polls haven’t shown a shift in the public’s opinion of President Barack Obama’s performance, recent controversies have, in my view, significantly changed the political landscape.
And changes in the landscape have led the Rothenberg Political Report to change its Senate ratings.
For the past few years, the public’s focus has been on Republicans’ opposition to the president’s agenda, their desire to shrink (even cripple) government and their conservatism. But the IRS scandal, along with controversies involving the attack in Benghazi and the Justice Department’s collecting of journalists’ telephone records, has change the political narrative.
While the Oklahoma tornado tragedy will dominate media coverage for the next few days, the new political narrative that will re-emerge when journalists return to politics involves questions about what the administration knew, said and did.
The new focus on the Obama administration puts it on the defensive and should boost enthusiasm on the political right throughout this year.
While we don’t know how long the focus will stay on the administration — or whether Republicans will stumble over the investigations or matters of public policy — between now and the November midterms, it is undeniable that recent events have altered, at least for now, the trajectory of the 2014 elections.
Given the different natures of midterm electorates, the new political narrative increases the risk for Democratic candidates in red states, where Democrats must win independent and, in many cases, Republican voters to be successful.
In a letter sent yesterday to the University of Montanathat explicitly states that it is intended as “a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country,” the Departments of Justice and Education have mandated a breathtakingly broad definition of sexual harassment that makes virtually every student in the United States a harasser while ignoring the First Amendment. The mandate applies to every college receiving federal funding—virtually every American institution of higher education nationwide, public or private.
The letter states that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’” including “verbal conduct” (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an “objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation”—if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished.
This result directly contradicts previous Department of Education guidance on sexual harassment. In 2003, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) statedthat harassment “must include something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols or thoughts that some person finds offensive.” Further, the letter made clear that “OCR’s standards require that the conduct be evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position, considering all the circumstances, including the alleged victim’s age.”
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it will no longer use the terms “mother” and “father” when collecting information about a student’s legal parents when those parents apply for federal student aid. Instead of using the words “mother” and “father,” the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) will use “Parent 1″ and “Parent 2.”
The announcement states that the changes to the 2014-2015 federal student aid form “more accurately and fairly assess students’ need for aid” and that “Gender-specific terms fail to capture income and other information from one parent when a student’s parents are in a same-sex marriage under state law but not federally recognized under the Defense of Marriage Act.”
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics…. [that] provide[s] an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is swatting down criticism from GOP ranks that he isn’t conservative enough, saying in an interview airing Friday that he’s a “damn good Republican.”
“Is it a fair question to ask that if you ran as a Republican for president of the United States, what Republican Party do you see that would support your candidacy out there right now? How would you survive a primary process on the current set-up of the Republican Party?” NBC’s Brian Williams asked Christie, who is considered to be mulling a 2016 run.
“Listen, I think very well. I’ll worry about the presidency if and when I ever decide to run for it. But if you’re saying to me, ‘How do I feel as a Republican?’ I’m a damn good Republican and a good conservative Republican who believes in the things that I believe in,”
A Riverton High School math teacher and coach of the sophomore girls’ basketball team has been arrested and charged with raping a student.
Courtney Louise Jarrell, 22, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with object rape, a first-degree felony, and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
Jarrell, who had been on administrative leave since the allegations were brought up about a month ago, also submitted her resignation from the school on Friday, said Jordan School District spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf.
Jarell’s attorney said she resigned in order to focus on her defense, and that she intends to enter a not guilty plea.
Between February and March of this year, Jarrell had illegal sexual activity with a 17-year-old girl who attends the school, according to charging documents. Prosecutors say the activity happened at Jarrell’s house.
A college professor has been arrested for a profane rant at pro-life students at the University of Buffalo.
Professor Laura Curry screamed at students, yelling at them: “Where does it say I can’t use the f**k word in public. I can swear because that’s part of my vocabulary. That’s part of my First Amendment rights.”
According to a report by Fox News, Curry, an adjunct instructor of media study, was lashing out at the University’s Students for Life organization. The group had erected a pro-life display featuring images that offended Curry.
“I can swear in public because that is profane,” she said referring to the display. “That image is swearing to me. That is profane to me.”
Brevard Community College (BCC) has fired a professor after a school investigation concluded she required students to sign a pledge to vote for President Obama in the run-up to the 2012 election.
Brevard Community College has fired Professor Sharon Sweet who forced her students to sign this pledge.
The school’s spokesman John Glisch, said the Board of Trustees voted Wednesday morning to terminate mathematics professor Sharon Sweet with an overwhelming vote.
“The board voted 3-1, with one member absent, to dismiss professor Sweet,” Glisch told Campus Reform Wednesday afternoon.
“The termination took effect immediately, ending pay and benefits for Sweet who had been suspended with pay under provisions of the United Faculty of Florida collective bargaining agreement with the college, pending the board’s decision,” the school added in a press release.
A Texas mom is furious after discovering that her son’s school is teaching students that the United States is partly to blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people.
Kara Sands, of Corpus Christi, Texas, took to her Facebook and posted photos of the test administered by Flour Bluff Intermediate School. The test reportedly covered content in a video fifth-grade students watched in class.
Of all the questions about the 9/11 attacks, Sands was most disturbed by question three:
“Why might the United States be a target for terrorism?” The answer? “Decisions we made in the United States have had negative effects on people elsewhere.”
The school was using the stunningly controversial lesson, a part of Safari Montage, to supplement the controversial CSCOPE curriculum system that has come under fire recently, Sands told TheBlaze. CSCOPE also includes lessons asking students to design a flag for a “new socialist nation” and calls the Boston Tea Party an “act of terrorism.”
New national science standards that make the teaching of global warming part of the public school curriculum are slated to be released this month, potentially ending an era in which climate skepticism has been allowed to seep into the nation’s classrooms.
The Next Generation Science Standards were developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nonprofit Achieve and more than two dozen states. The latest draft recommends that educators teach the evidence for man-made climate change starting as early as elementary school and incorporate it into all science classes, ranging from earth science to chemistry. By eighth grade, students should understand that “human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming),” the standards say.
The 26 states that helped write the standards are expected to adopt them. Another 15 or so have indicated they may accept them—meaning climate change instruction could make its way into classrooms in 40-plus states.
Too many pro-family groups, and even pro-family state legislators on our side, are reluctant to talk honestly in these critical situations, and it hurts us all terribly. They’re afraid of sounding “harsh” or “hurtful.” Instead, when publicly discussing this document they talk about “invasion of privacy,” “threat to students’ safety,” the “very broad” new rules, the “confusion” it brings and other weak platitudes. But not MassResistance.
When Camenker was called up things were different. He told the Board and the Commissioner:
Since posting [the document] on our website, I’ve been on several national radio shows and have gotten phone calls from as far away as Europe. Every parent hates this. I’m not exaggerating to say that the Legislature and this Board have become an international laughingstock over this.
“Gender identity” and the other so-called “queer theory” constructs you reference are all medical quackery, despite the so-called experts you may have worked with.
But as lunatic as this law is, it’s actually fairly narrow regarding the schools. It just adds gender identity to the laundry list for non-discrimination regarding courses of study and privileges. As your guidelines admit the minimum requirement is updating policies and handbooks.
But instead of stopping there, you’ve extended it in absurd and ridiculous directions.
Children self-diagnosing their “gender identity” — without parents involvement?
Changing children’s first names, and the pronoun people have to use for them?
Changing their sex designation in official school records?
Discussion of “gender transition” – including hormones and body mutilation surgeries?
Transgender diversity training for kids and staff – with no tolerance for anyone’s natural discomfort?
Removing “gender” from school activities and instruction?
Discouraging kids from wearing gender-different clothing?
And using the outrageously unscientific “GLSEN climate survey” to defend it all.
This is your vision of Massachusetts schools? It’s insane.
First of all, a person’s biological sex does not change. And all the diversity training about “assigned sex at birth” won’t make any difference.
But more importantly: You’re doing a lot of harm. The mental health profession recognizes this as gender identity disorder. Encouraging it in children, instead of giving them help, causes big emotional problems down the road, not to mention the trauma to other students . . .
When Johns Hopkins University shut down its transgender clinic [their hospital's chief psyciatrist] Dr. Paul McHugh said, “I have witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment — prolonged distress and misery — We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it.”
You need to revisit this. And not with a bunch of radical activists and so-called experts, but with normal, sensible people.
And if you don’t, the outrage from parents will not stop.
Camenker also held up the book “Paper Genders” written by Walt Heyer, an ex-transgender who lived as a woman for many years. The book describes the horrible effects that behavior (and transition procedures) had on him and others he knows. He also submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Legislature. A copy of the book was given to the Board to read.
Conservatives should welcome the decline of academia as we know it. I, for one, will celebrate its death by engaging in the same activity that characterized my four years at what some call its pinnacle– drinking a lot of Coors Light.
There is still nostalgia among conservatives, especially older ones who have forgotten what college is really like, for the idea of higher education as a rigorous venue for intellectual growth, an environment of exciting and vibrant ideas shared by wise, caring educators dedicated to the pursuit of truth.
Today, it is nothing of the sort.
For the vast majority of traditional, liberal arts students, college is a four-year blur of cheap alcohol and tawdry hooks-ups, with their few sober moments characterized by interaction with pony-tailed TAs spouting off about “patriarchal paradigms” and trying to pick up on cute sophomores. Worse, this bacchanalia will saddle the participants with a couple hundred thousand in student debt that they get to carry off into real life, where they will discover that the only thing their degrees in Comparative Norwegian Feminist Literature qualify them for is exciting careers in the world of artisanal coffee retailing.
Call it the College-Progressive Complex. The first part consists of the schools themselves, with their herds of administrators, professors and impoverished grad students chasing the brass tenure ring. Think of it as a liberal tick, sucking blood and growing fatter off the efforts of Americans who actually produce something while contributing nothing to society except the clearly secondary contributions of those few in the fields of science and mathematics.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is refusing to fight to prevent the Senate “Gang of Eight” from allowing illegal aliens convicted of drunk driving from being granted legalized status, or amnesty.
When Judicial Watch asked a MADD spokesperson if they would stand up against provisions in the bill that allow illegal aliens convicted of drunk driving to get amnesty, and therefore keep driving on America’s roads, that spokesperson simply responded that MADD “doesn’t get involved in immigration matters.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Breitbart News that MADD’s refusal to fight against convicted drunk drivers here is ludicrous. “We know already that Obama is releasing criminal illegal aliens onto the streets,” Fitton said in an email. “This new amnesty will further harm the public safety. In many states, a misdemeanor results in a citizen losing the right to vote. Yet under this amnesty bill, a ‘misdemeanor’ won’t stop an illegal alien from getting legal status and citizenship.”
As Watchdogwire’s Marinka Peschmann detailed in an early June article, there are provisions in the Gang of Eight bill that allow drunk driver illegal aliens to get amnesty.
“On page 608 drunk drivers are welcome too if they have only been busted three times before the Gang of Eight’s bill is enacted,” Peschmann wrote, before citing the specific section of the bill text.
John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he might lose his job as House speaker over immigration reform, but he insisted he will not bring a bill to the House floor that does not have majority support of both Republicans and Democrats.Following the Republican conference meeting on Tuesday, Boehner was asked: “Rep. Rohrabacher said that if you bring immigration reform to the floor without the support of the GOP conference you will lose your job (as speaker). Do you think that’s accurate?”
“Maybe,” Boehner said after a long pause, to laughter from reporters.
“I think this immigration issue’s been kicked around in this town now for 15 years,” he said. “That’s why I said the day after the election it was time for Congress to do its work.”
Boehner said he is “increasingly concerned” that President Obama and Senate Democrats are shutting out Republican amendments to the Senate bill, which passed a cloture vote last week, 82-15. That clears the way for senators to vote on various amendments.
“I’m increasingly concerned that the White House and Senate Democrats would rather have this as an issue in the 2014 election rather than a result,” Boehner said. “It was the president who said that he wanted a robust vote coming out of the Senate to help move this process along. And yet here’s the president and the Senate Democrats working to limit the number of Republican votes that this immigration bill is likely to get. I think that’s unfortunate.”
Boehner said Republicans will hold a special conference meeting on July 10 to discuss immigration reform in the House.
It is true that the Court held that Arizona’s Proposition 200 (passed in 2004) requiring documentary proof of citizenship was invalid as contrary to the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requirement that states “accept and use” the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) voter registration form which merely requires that a registrant affirm citizenship.
But, this ruling essentially was procedural.
The Court held if Arizona wanted to require additional documentary proof of citizenship it needed to follow the administrative procedures under the NVRA to obtain approval to alter the instructions to the federal form. In fact, in 2005 Arizona had requested such approval, the EAC split 2-2, but Arizona failed to appeal. The Court held that nothing prevented Arizona from requesting approval again, and appealing if denied. The Court practically invited Arizona to try again.
After Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “ObamaCare,” many wondered if there could be a yet-unknown reason why the Republican-nominated justice made the unexpected decision.
On the Glenn Beck radio program Tuesday, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) explained why he believes Roberts was intimidated into changing his vote late in the process, as laid out in his new book Why John Roberts Was Wrong About Healthcare.
Lee’s argument is not based on the NSA or its monitoring of the nation’s communication. Rather, Lee said, there are indications that Roberts originally intended to vote against the act, but that a public “campaign of intimidation” made him change his mind.
First, the senator claimed “the opinion was written in a way to suggest he switched his vote,” and that the dissenting opinion reads like it was originally written as the majority. He added that several news outlets reported that Roberts did change his vote, based on insider information.
Not only that, he said, but the court performed an unusual feat of “legal gymnastics” in upholding the legislation, particularly with regard to whether the fines incurred are or are not taxes. They had to re-write sections of the the bill not once, but twice.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said late Tuesday that he supports securing the United States border with Mexico with a double-tiered fence but voted against an amendment to the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill that would have required exactly that.
Rubio and his fellow Gang of Eight Republicans helped the Democrats kill an amendment from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) that would have required the double-tiered fence be built, as current law requires, before amnesty was granted to America’s at least 11 million illegal immigrants. The only other Republican to vote against the amendment was Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
“I support Senator Thune’s efforts to require completion of double layered border fencing,” Rubio said in a statement after voting against the amendment. “Properly deployed, these fences have proven highly effective in limiting illegal crossings. That is why the current bill requires $1.5 billion be spent specifically on a border fence plan.”
President Obama’s nonstop fundraising for congressional Democrats is building a huge campaign war chest for next fall, but there is little hope that his party will win back control of the House and make Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaker again, according to an exhaustive new analysis.
But the report from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics also shows that Obama may suffer the fewest losses of House seats for a second-term president since Ronald Reagan in 1986, itself a big victory.
“While it would be foolish to rule out any outcome, there is no indication at this point that the Republican House majority is in jeopardy,” said Kyle Kondik, the House analyst on Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball team.
His report suggest that the Republicans will boost their numbers by five seats in 2014. The average loss by the president’s party in the sixth year of an administration since 1946 is 21 seats. Dwight D. Eisenhower lost a high of 48 in 1958, Reagan lost five in 1986, and Bill Clinton picked up 5 in 1998.
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.
James Owens, a spokesman for Nadler, provided a statement on Sunday morning, a day after this article was published, saying: “I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.” Owens said he couldn’t comment on what assurances from the Obama administration Nadler was referring to, and said Nadler was unavailable for an interview. (CNET had contacted Nadler for comment on Friday.)
Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, being able to listen to phone calls would mean the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.
RUSH: Hold it just a second. I’m serious. I don’t understand. There’s gotta be something I’m missing. The question is real: Why do all of these Republicans — you know the names — why are they supporting something that’s gonna eliminate their party? Why are they supporting something that’s going to render them an ineffective minority for as far as the eye can see? If they want to be Democrats, quit the Republican Party and join the Democrat Party. Why do they want — it’s almost as though — well, I can’t answer it. It doesn’t make any sense to me.
RUSH: So why are the Republicans so eager to render themselves a permanent minority status by agreeing to amnesty, immigration reform, which is gonna result in millions more instant new Democrats, against which the Republicans will be hopelessly uncompetitive. Why would they do it? You want to take a stab? Snerdley says they see that they’re gonna be permanently defeated anyway by a rising Hispanic population if they don’t do this. It’s what they fear. Maybe.
There’s a theory, there’s an answer to the question that you know and I know, and it revolves around their hatred — too strong a word — the Republican Party is embarrassed of its base. How many times have I sat here and reminded you of this? The Republican Party, I’ve told you stories. I’ll repeat one. Hamptons, 1992, 1993. My first ever trip to the Hamptons, a dinner party at the home of a famous American, Republican. After dinner, out on the deck, a guy comes up to me — a name you’d know. Not gonna tell you who — punches me with his finger in the chest, “What are you gonna do about the Christians?”
Remember, now, this my first trip there. I’m with these people for the first time in my life, and I’m really sizing it all up and wondering why I’m really there. I mean, these are very wealthy, powerful Republicans. This guy’s pounding me in the chest, “What are you gonna do about the Christians?” I said, “What are you talking about?” “Abortion! They’re killing us! Pro-lifers are killing us, and they listen to you.” Some of the same people have done the same thing to me on gun control. “You have got to tell these people to back off on guns. You’ve got to tell these pro-lifers to just quiet down.”
I’ve heard them say they get embarrassed going to Republican conventions with the pro-life crowd that’s also there. My first experience of that was in Houston in 1992. The pro-life contingent there was huge, and I remember the way I was treated by that group, making other Republicans nervous. The bottom line is that the Republican Party is embarrassed by its own base. The Republican Party is ashamed of its base. They accept the Democrat caricature of the Republican base. Southern, hayseed hicks, pro-lifers, pickup-truck-driving, gun-rack-in-the-back-window people, chewing tobacco and going to church and talking about God all the time.
But they really see ‘em as a bunch of zealots when it comes to abortion. And all these guys I’m talking about have wives who nag ‘em about it, don’t want any part of the pro-life crowd, embarrassed to be with them at the conventions. So the theory goes that this is a way to get rid of the Republican base. Supporting amnesty and having the Democrats win big-time elections after this is a way for the party to finally get rid of its base. Now, you say, “Well, replace it with what?”
Don’t ask me, but I’m guessing, I assume that some Republicans think that there’s a new group of people that would become their base. If they just got rid of these pro-lifers, if they just got rid of this religious crowd, if they just got rid of the Christians, if they just got rid of these gun nuts, the bitter clingers, as Obama calls ‘em. If the Republicans just got rid of those people, a lot more people would like Republicans, and maybe some of the people voting Democrat would then vote Republican, ’cause some of the people voting Democrat would love to vote Republican since they also don’t like the hicks and they also don’t like the hayseeds and the religious people.
There you have a possible theory. But even when you drill that down, when you drill deep down into that one, you still ask how in the world — the Republican base is 24 million votes. The Republicans aren’t gonna win anything without them. That was demonstrated in 2008. It was demonstrated in 2012. It was demonstrated in 1992, and it was demonstrated in 1996. You don’t win without them. So if they drive their current base away, what is the current base gonna do? Just sit there and not participate anymore?
How is voting for amnesty going to cause the base to leave the party? Isn’t it gonna maybe inspire the base to want to finally take it over? There will be some third-party advocates, but if that happens the Republicans are dead, double dead politically, if a third party forms. But it is believable and understandable that the Republican establishment and their consultants and all that really don’t like a lot of the base. They don’t like conservatives, be they Christians, be they pro-lifers, be they so-called gun nuts. They didn’t like Reagan, as you know.
RUSH: I suspect, ladies and gentlemen, the answer to my question, aside from the brilliant expose I just provided, the answer to my question is all about money. And so the answer to why would these people sit by and allow this party to become a permanent minority status and be insignificant and ineffective, to answer that question, find out how in that arrangement a bunch of people get rich, and you will get the answer to your question. And if you want, we’ll explore that next week. I’ll be more than happy to take a tour down that theory, see where it takes us.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is bullish about the chances of an immigration reform bill passing the Senate — and he says Republicans need to pass it to avoid falling further into a “demographic death spiral” that could hurt their chances in the next two big election cycles.
“If we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016,” Graham said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
“We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party, and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don’t do that, it really doesn’t matter who we run, in my view.”
With the Supreme Court only days away from major rulings on same-sex marriage, President Obama faces the prospect of having to make his own difficult decisions about the definition of wedlock.
Gay rights advocates are already pressing Obama to immediately broaden the federal government’s recognition of legally married same-sex couples if the court strikes down a ban on providing federal benefits to them.
The question for Obama turns on whether the federal government should extend full benefits to gay couples living in states that don’t recognize their marriages.
Obama would face rare, concrete decisions on the politically combustible question of same-sex marriage — an area he has largely left to the purview of courts and state legislatures.
Advocates have pressed the issue of benefits with White House aides in recent months, according to people familiar with the discussions. The advocates have pushed for a uniform standard that would make the most benefits available to legally married couples across the board. Officials have not signaled what Obama would do.