Crime fighting jumps the shark: Cops want to take explicit pics of teen to prove teen sent explicit pics

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DISCLAIMER: I will assume that if you are reading this you haven’t heard about the news story I’m about to cover. This is safe to assume, since if you had heard about it, you would have been rendered blind with rage and likely deceased after flinging yourself into traffic or off the nearest tall building out of utter despair for the state of our criminal justice system and society at large. As we progress, I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that you have survived the rest of this post without the aforementioned or other life-threatening afflictions or injuries.

Police, prosecutors, and a judge in Virginia have colluded (trust me on this, that’s the right word) to require a 17-year-old boy to be photographed by police in a state of sexual arousal in order to prove that he is guilty of sending similar images to his 15-year-old girlfriend. At this point, you would be excused for laughing this off as the far-fetched plot of a Law & Order: SVU episode or sadistic snuff film. Well, hold on to your hats. It gets worse. The judge has issued a warrant for the requested photos, which may be “staged” by injecting the “suspect” at a hospital in order to induce the required erection, the teenage boy (not the cops…) would be charged with a felony and listed as a sex offender, and the cops already took photos of the boy’s offending member when he was arrested.

Leftists are absolutely shocked that conservatives actually revere the Constitution

In a recent article, the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne whined that “For too long, progressives have allowed conservatives to monopolize claims of fealty to our unifying national document.” He goes on to talk about how conservatives and TEA Party-types walk around with their pocket Constitutions and cite its passages in defense of their political positions, and declares it is high time that liberals use the Constitution to rebut conservative political arguments.

Reading the article, I was reminded of a recent debate with a liberal friend who was blasting the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, saying that it was setting a dangerous precedent to allow people to exempt themselves from laws based on religious objections, in this case “denying” women of their birth control. In response, I asked him to cite the passage of the Constitution which guarantees women the “right” to taxpayer-funded birth control. He responded by saying that the Constitution is not the only source we rely on to determine what government can and should do.

Actually, that is the ONLY thing that we can rely on to determine the proper role of government.

And therein lies the massive gulf between the conservative and liberal understandings of the Constitution. Liberals see the Constitution as a “living” document which can be amended by judicial interpretation to bring it more in line with societal and cultural preferences, a document infinitely malleable with endless interpretations.

Barack Obama’s horrible economic policies are the reason why the U.S. economy has taken so long to recover from the recession

President Barack Obama wants you to know that he saved the United States economy from the throes of the Great Recession. He says his “pretty smart policies” have left the country “better off.” Or something:

President Obama bragged the nation was “better off now than we were five years ago” while touting the economic recovery in a campaign-style speech on Wednesday in Denver, arguing administration officials have made some “pretty smart policies.”

“The decisions we made early on not only stopped the slide, but they built a new foundation for our economy, and they’re paying off,” Obama proudly declared during an economic speech intended to rally a reticent Democratic base.
[…]
“Despite what you may hear, there is no doubt we are making progress,” Obama said. “By almost every measure, we are better off than when I took office.”

Yeah, it only took six years to recover the 9 million jobs lost during the recession. That doesn’t account for the “shortfall of nearly 7 million jobs” needed just to keep up with population growth over the same time period, according to James Pethokoukis. What’s more, the labor participation rate  — the percentage of Americans working or looking for work — has remained at 62.8 percent over the last few months, matching a 35-year low.

States that raised their minimum wages have seen a huge loss in job growth since the beginning of the year

The thirteen states that saw minimum wage increases on January 1 have kept a combined 129,200 workers out of employment opportunities since the beginning of the year, according to data published this week by the American Action Forum.

The bulk of the minimum wage hikes were automatic inflation adjustments already mandated by state legislatures. Four state legislatures, however, took specific action to raise their minimum wages, the increases of which range from 45 cents to $1 per hour.

“While many assume that it would come out of profits of large companies, in reality it only affects restaurants and retail businesses that have narrow profit margins,” Ben Gitis, a policy analyst at the American Action Forum, explains in the study. “They have no choice but to either reduce their current employment levels or put off plans to expand and make new hires. As a result, the cost of the minimum wage comes out of the pockets of unemployed workers who are denied an opportunity to work.”

The study looks specifically the impact of these minimum wage increases in the restaurant and retail industries. States that raised their minimum wages have seen an anemic 0.6 percent net-job growth in these two industries since the beginning of the year, while states that kept their laws unchanged saw a 2 percent increase in net-job growth.

Gitis concedes that an unusually cold winter may have had an impact on overall job growth, but notes that states that raised their minimum wages “experienced relatively warm weather” than states in which wage laws remained unchanged. He also points out that other factors may have come into play.

Unprecedented: Media assails Obama’s “politically-driven suppression of the news”

Obama Transparency

President Obama announced to the world in a Google Hangout in February 2013 that his administration was “the most transparent administration in history.” But Americans and the press aren’t fooled. Josh Hicks at the Washington Post noted the Obama administration’s transparency problems back in March of this year:

An Associated Press analysis of federal data found that the Obama administration has grown more secretive over time, last year censoring or outright denying FOIA access to government files more than ever since Obama took office.

The administration has also cited more legal exceptions to justify withholding materials and refused to turn over newsworthy files quickly, and most agencies took longer to answer records requests, according to the AP study.

Now that Obama’s transparency claims have been thoroughly debunked, and — as the AP analysis reveals — the administration is actually becoming more secretive, what will the press do?

For most of Obama’s time in office, the press has been incredibly lenient, covering Obama favorably when possible. Accuracy in Media called the media’s coverage of Obama a “love affair” in a post last year, and Fred Barnes likened press coverage to a “four-year honeymoon” around the same time.

Harry Reid has apparently forgotten that Clarence Thomas is an African-American

During a press conference yesterday in Washington, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) criticized the “five white men” who voted to extend religious freedom protections to owners of held businesses in the Hobby Lobby case.

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period — sooner rather than later — is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” said Reid. “This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous and we are going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote. And if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think they’re going to be treated unfavorably come November for the elections.”

Reid and Democrats are trying to play up the Hobby Lobby decision as a wedge issue in the election to get their base out to the polls this fall. Whatever. That’s one of the few cards they have to play while everything else is burning down around them.

Why the Obama Administration absolutely hates school choice

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov. Scott Walker decided to give their two cents on the school choice issue on Politico Magazine. While it was a charming piece, it seriously was lacking in one very important issue.

Yes, it is true that the Obama administration, particularly the Department of Justice, has been doing everything that it can to prevent needy children from increasing their educational opportunities through the expansion of school choice programs.

Facts and numbers are still hard for Democrats to figure out, and they love lying about them when they don’t fit their agenda. No, school choice does not hurt minority children — usually it is the lifeline they need to move up in the world.

And there lies the problem for Democrats.

I’m generally certain that Jindal and Walker are completely aware of the fact that the real issue here has nothing to do with racism or civil rights. What I can’t understand is why they chose to play in the liberal court on this issue.

The real problem that this administration has with school choice is that it could result in a reduced number of potential voters for Democrats in the future. This is about political power, not helping poor children or improving education.

What we need to remember is that public education as we know it today has deep roots in the “Great Society” of Lyndon B. Johnson. While there are many quotes from Johnson’s many speeches that offer a vision of an America without racism, and wonderful educational opportunities for all, that doesn’t necessarily show the whole picture.

HealthCare.gov is so difficult to use even “highly educated” millennials can’t figure it out

The epically disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, ongoing backend problems and 2.6 million data inconsistencies are just a few parts of the story about the federal Obamacare exchange. Another problem, one that hasn’t received enough attention, is that the website is so damn difficult to maneuver that even millennials, young people who’ve grown up in the digital age, can’t figure it out:

A team of doctors, lawyers, health economists and health policy experts from the University of Pennsylvania recruited 33 volunteers and observed them as they struggled to sign up for health insurance on the highly touted website. These volunteers should have been in pretty good shape: With ages ranging from 19 to 30, they were all members of a Web-savvy generation. In addition, the study described the young adults as “highly educated.”

But when they got to HealthCare.gov, they ran into problems. Some of them had anticipated that they could type in their preferences – what services they wanted to have covered, how much they wanted to spend on premiums, how much flexibility they want in picking their doctors – and get a list of options that met their criteria. (It could have been the health insurance equivalent of using Yelp to find a sushi bar near Santa Monica that has outdoor seating and takes reservations.)

Police who abuse their power must be held accountable, but a cop who brutally killed a 13-year-old boy won’t face any charges

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In October 2013, a 13-year old boy carrying a pellet gun in Santa Rosa, California was shot eight times by a sheriff’s deputy. On Monday, the local district attorney decided he would face no charges for the brutal killing.

In 2010, a Houston man was beaten by multiple HPD officers. It wasn’t until video surfaced in 2013 (and the department requested their censorship for fears of “civil unrest”) that one officer was given probation for the beating, though another was acquitted.

In 2011, a California truck driver was beaten nearly to death by highway patrol for the aggressive, life-threatening offense of asking to read the traffic ticket he had been issued. The absurdly overreacting officer still has his job.

Just this month another California patrol officer was recorded beating a woman into the ground for literally walking along the side of the road (pictured above). He is currently on administrative (presumably paid) leave pending an investigation.

Here’s how big government Republicans and Democrats are colluding to save the crony Export-Import Bank

Congress may avoid a straight up or down vote on reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, according to Politico. The Bank’s supporters in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, are talking about attaching reauthorization to the upcoming Continuing Resolution, which would keep the federal government funded through the election:

High-level discussions between the two chambers are in their infancy, and senior aides caution there is no deal in the immediate offing. But there are forces in both chambers pushing to renew the Export-Import Bank and pass an extension of the Highway Trust Fund before the election.

The House will go first, and plans to extend the Highway Trust Fund sometime in the next two weeks, keeping the program funded until early 2015, Republican sources said. That would give Congress more time to debate a more permanent solution for federal highway funding.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is considering attaching a short-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank to a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30. It would be meant as a dare to House Republicans to shut down the government over the bank in the weeks before Election Day. House Republican leadership has discussed this possibility, but has not decided how they would react if Reid goes in that direction, according to senior House Republican sources. Reid and House Speaker John Boehner met Tuesday.

House Republicans have also discussed passing a so-called CR to keep the government open before August as a way to increase their leverage with the Senate.

 


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