Ferguson Overnight: Calm Before Storm of Arrests, Violence, Urine Thrown at Police

Ferguson Overnight: Calm Before Storm of Arrests, Violence, Urine Thrown at Police

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Protests in Ferguson over the Mike Brown shooting were calm until right after midnight, when reporters outnumbered protesters, and a bottle thrown at police sparked arrests and violence. Here are some tweets and other media from people in attendance:

State Trooper Captain Johnson had another very early morning press conference where he said there were 47 arrests, including one due to a threat made to kill police. He also claimed one individual arrested was from Austin, Texas, and had been arrested three times there already.

While some believed the protests would worsen after St. Louis police shot and killed another black man earlier today, community “peacekeepers” helped quell the furor.

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Forget English. Forget Spanish. What the Rest of People in Your State Speak – Some are Really Wild.

English, obviously, is the most popular language in every state. But what’s the second most popular? And the third?

Slate came up with some maps that show us. Take a look at this:Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 7.23.55 PMSpanish is the 2nd-most popular language in 43 states – or 50 if you’re the President – and 7 others have either French, German, Yupik, or Tagalog.

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Now we’ve run into some diversity, that’s for sure. Nationwide, the U.S. Census reports that over 300 different languages are spoken. Time to brush up with some Rosetta Stone?

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Compare Rick Perry’s Mugshot with That of His Highly Intoxicated Accuser Rosemary Lehmberg

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Texas Governor Rick Perry looked anything but beaten or intimidated as he entered an Austin courthouse to be booked on abuse of power charges. Contrast and compare Perry’s expression to the mugshot of his then (and maybe still) highly intoxicated accuser, Rosemary Lehmberg:

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It’s hands-down obvious who wins the mugshot PR battle (no word yet on the court battle). Perry defiantly addressed a boisterous crowd of supporters gathered outside the Texas courthouse:

His comments, from the Washington Free Beacon:

I’m here today because I did the right thing. I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high, and not only were the actions that I took not only lawful and legal, but right. And if I had to do so, I would veto funding for the integrity unit again. You think any governor, Democrat or Republican, would expect this important unit with jurisdiction over state officials, be led by someone who lives up to the high standard of conduct and personal integrity. And this issue is far bigger than me. It is about the rule of law, about the constitution that allows not just a governor but every citizen to speak their mind free of political interference or legal intimidation. [cheers and applause ] This indictment is nothing but an attack on the constitutional powers of the governor. There are important fundamental issues at stake, and I will not allow this attack on our system of government to stand. I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. and we will prevail. and we’ll prevail because we’re standing for the rule of law. [ cheers and applause ]

The mugshot, released a few hours later, shows a smiling Perry. One gets the impression Rosemary Lehmberg might soon wish she had not poked this bear.

One last still from Lehmberg’s DWI arrest video expresses how she feels:

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It’s sure for the Perry camp, the feeling is mutual.

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9 Left-Leaning Publications and Democrats Who Slammed the Political Witchunt Against Rick Perry

After Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) was indicted on abuse of power charges last week, Republicans came out strong, branding the charges as political. The reaction was expected to fall along party lines, but many left-leaning authors, celebrities, and publications have gone on record with their (negative) opinions of Perry’s indictment.

Here are some of the top “Um, what are you doing, Rosemary” quotes:

  1. “The two statutes under which he was indicted are reminiscent of the old Soviet Union — you know, abuse of authority. The idea of indicting him because he threatened to veto spending unless a district attorney who was caught drinking and driving resigned, that’s not anything for a criminal indictment. That’s a political issue.” - Alan Dershowitz
  2. “I’m no Rick Perry fan but the indictment doesn’t identify a law he violated. Looks like politics not felony.” - Mia Farrow, actress, deleted tweet
  3. “This is the stupidest thing I’ve seen, I think, in my entire career. I hope some judge throws it out right away. It’s not just kind of funny and ridiculous, but it’s an infringement on individual liberty. He’s got a First Amendment right… it’s easy to joke about this, but this is a serious thing. It is ridiculous that he was indicted for this. Ridiculous.”Mark Halperin, Bloomberg
  4. “But it is a perversion of the criminal justice system, a classic case of prosecutorial abuse, to indict Perry as a way of deciding the wisdom of his veto. Voters should decide that, not a prosecutor….Democratic Party leaders should publicly ask Texas Democrats who have rushed to public judgment of Gov. Perry to withdraw their comments . . . and apologize.”Lanny Davis, former Special Counsel to President Clinton
  5. “To describe the indictment as ‘frivolous’ gives it far more credence than it deserves. Perry may not be much smarter than a ham sandwich, but he is exactly as guilty as one.” – Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine columnist
  6. “Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy.” – David Axelrod, former advisor to President Obama
  7. “But bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony, and the indictment handed up against him on Friday — given the facts so far — appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution.” – New York Times Editorial
  8. “Perry…has been charged with misusing his office and coercing a public official. Sounds serious, until you look at the flimsy, two-page indictment. The case rests on a highly dubious legal argument: Perry can exercise his rights of free speech to seek Lehmberg’s resignation, and he can exercise his power of the line-item veto over use of state funds. But, supposedly, he can’t do them in tandem.” USA Today editorial
  9. “Even ThinkProgress thinks the Perry indictment looks fishy. Texas Democrats: I think you just messed up big time.” – Timothy Noah, MSNBC.com contributor

In the polarized environment of modern-day America, we’re not used to such intellectual honesty. It’s refreshing to see that we’re debating about principle, and not just basing opinions on political party, for a change.

Report: Man Robbing Store With Knife Shot and Killed by Police Near Ferguson, Missouri

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A man was shot and killed by police about 2.5 miles from where Michael Brown died around 1 p.m. today.

Exact details are still to come, but according to Fox2Now, the deceased had just robbed a convenience store and he was holding a knife. HotAir reports that he charged at police with knife in hand, saying, “Shoot me, kill me now.” Social media is filling in the gaps…

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The More Teachers Learn About Common Core, The More They Hate It

Over the past few years, most states have been implementing the Common Core education standards. However, as they become more implemented and as people learn more about Common Core, it becomes much less popular, especially among teachers.

The Daily Signal has more:

The poll by Education Next, a journal from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, found that public support for the Common Core standards in reading and math dropped from 65 percent last year to 53 percent now.

 

Opposition to the education standards doubled, from 13 percent to 26 percent.

 

The number of teachers who oppose Common Core plummeted: Last year, 76 percent of teachers supported the national standards, with 12 percent opposed. Today, 46 percent of public school teachers say they support Common Core, with 40 percent opposed.

Here’s a graph of the results, courtesy of The Daily Signal:

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Last year, a Gallup poll found that 62% of Americans had never heard of Common Core. Since then, Common Core has become more a hot topic of discussion in statehouses all over the country.

It’s not good for the proponents of Common Core that as more people learn about it, more people turn against it. It would be reasonable to expect more states to follow the lead of Oklahoma, Louisiana, Indiana, and South Carolina and opt out of Common Core - especially as more teachers start using it.

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Who Is Leading The Riots In Ferguson? The Residences Of Those Arrested Provide Interesting Clues

With the riots continuing in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of Michael Brown by the police, the question is starting to be asked: Who is instigating the riots?

From CNN:

Of 78 people arrested overnight, about one in four came from outside the St. Louis area, according to the St. Louis County jail. Nearly all the arrests were for refusal to disperse. Two people, both locals, were charged with unlawful use of a weapon. And one man, from Rockton, Illinois, was charged with interfering with an officer.

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Among those arrested are residents of Chicago, Brooklyn, Washington, San Francisco, Austin, Des Moines, and Huntsville, Alabama, according to jail records.

It’s important to note that not everyone arrested is actually guilty of wrongdoing, because so far everyone from reporters to mere spectators have been arrested, or have been threatened with arrest.

However, the focus is starting to fall on one Chicago-based activist, Greg “Joey” Johnson, and one organization in particular, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

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A blog called “The Missouri Torch” has been exposing the role of Johnson and other out-of-town communist agitators in promoting violence.

Here’s a video of Johnson urging the crowd to defy the recent curfew:

As for the Revolutionary Communist Party itself, it released a statement yesterday calling for – you guessed it - rebellion, through its official publication, Revolution Newspaper.

Thankfully, at least some locals have had enough of the out-of-town agitators and want them to go home. After all, the Ferguson residents are the ones who will have to deal with the aftermath once this situation calms down.

The hope is that once these out-of-town people are marginalized or go home, the protests will remain peaceful and in accordance with the law.

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ISIS Executes American Photojournalist Who Has Been Missing Since 2012 In Most Horrific Way

In 2012, American photojournalist James Wright Foley was abducted by unidentified gunmen in Syria.

Since his abduction, Foley’s parents launched a campaign to get their son back but unfortunately saw little response. Then, in a turn of the events that would break any parent’s heart, it turned out the unidentified gunmen who captured Foley were members of ISIS.

ISIS recently posted a video with Foley in an orange jumpsuit and forced him to read a chilling letter before beheading him.

Mediaite reports:

In the footage ISIS terrorists force him to read a letter urging Americans to rise up against his “real killer,” “the U.S. government.” In addition, Foley says the U.S. airstrikes against ISIS “hammered the final nail into [his] coffin.”

The Miami New Times reported that ISIS is also threatening to kill Time journalist Steven Joel Sotloff unless Obama stops attacking the Islamic State.

Bringing these terrorists to justice transcends partisan politics. We can only hope that President Obama weighs his decisions carefully and thoughtfully. And that Foley’s parents are able to receive all the comfort needed at this time of tragedy. May he “Rest in Peace.”

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New Report: During Physical Confrontation with Brown, Police Officer Sustained Serious Injury

The controversy in Ferguson, Missouri has been inflamed endlessly in a week of mainstream media speculation that the “gentle giant” Michael Brown, an 18-year-old also nicknamed “Big Mike,” had been needlessly accosted by a Ferguson police officer named Darren Wilson who had stopped him on the street.

The first version of the story is that the Ferguson police officer shot Brown while his hands were up in the air. Later, it turns out that Brown and an accomplice named Dorian Johnson had robbed a local convenience store, and video surveillance footage showed Brown stealing cigarillos and shoving a man as he left the door. It came out later that there was marijuana in Brown’s system.

According to Brown’s accomplice Dorian Johnson, Brown was shot once at close range and once in the back while he was running away. It came out in the first of three autopsies, this one performed privately by Dr. Michael Baden, that Brown was not shot in the back.

St. Louis Dispatch reported Christine Byers stated earlier that more than a dozen sources had backed up the police’s version of events, which is that a violent altercation led the officer Darren Wilson to fear for his life. (Byers has recently backtracked the verbage of that claim.)

As a friend of Wilson told KFTK’s Dana Loesch, Brown had assaulted Wilson and struggled for the police officer’s gun, and after having fled, Brown “froze” and turned around to “bumrush” Wilson. That is when the fatal shots supposedly occurred, including one to the apex of Brown’s head.

KMOV reported that the officer Darren Wilson had sustained injuries to his head, according to the police:

The officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri was injured in the alleged altercation, according to Ferguson Chief of Police Tom Jackson.

 

Jackson, who spoke on the phone with News 4′s Laura Hettiger Wednesday morning, said the officer “was hit” and the “side of his face was swollen.”  The chief did not say if the officer suffered any broken bones.

According to a new report by Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, the officer did sustain a broken one, an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket”:

Local St. Louis sources said Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket.” This comes from a source within the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and confirmed by the St. Louis County Police.

Gateway included an illustration of such an orbital blowout fracture:

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There appears to be no double-sourcing on the report at this time; but if true, it provides further information as to the severity of Wilson’s head injuries, as reported earlier by KMOV and CNN. Wilson was treated for a head injury by medical professionals.

Another witness, Piaget Crenshaw, told CNN regarding a video she captured shortly after the Brown shooting that there had been a “tussle” at Wilson’s police vehicle.

The video she captured does not show Wilson to be necessarily in physical pain at the time, but he was also certainly in a state of shock. [Graphic video below.]

As reported earlier on IJReview, due to a story broken by Conservative Treehouse, a different witness at the scene of the shooting of Michael Brown suggests that the 6’4″ 292 pound Brown had turned to the police officer and “kept coming towards him” when he was shot.

If these reports are true, the mainstream media once again need to explain why they incited riots in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson with selectively edited coverage that either misled people or failed to provide a fuller picture of the controversy over what actually happened in the tragic shooting.

This article was co-authored by Kyle Becker and was edited after publication.

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27 Images From Ferguson: The Story of a City Marred By Violent Riots, Police Militarization, and Conflict

Regardless of your opinion of the events involving the death of Mike Brown, what is happening in Ferguson is a tragedy. A family lost a son, local businesses have been looted during violent riots, and the police force looks like it’s more fit for downtown Kabul circa 2004 than a St. Louis suburb.

It started with a family mourning the controversial loss of their son just before he was about to begin attending college. 

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But what may have started as protests quickly evolved into riots and looting throughout a community, leaving local businesses that had nothing to do with the controversy burned and broken.

 

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Then came the curfews, tear gas, State Troopers, and National Guard.

 

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Many in the community who were not committing crimes and destroying local businesses did not and do not understand the level of force shown by authorities.

 

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What’s left is a community in ruins, distrust of police, and a controversy unsettled.

 

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These are the iconic images that will define the troublesome story America will not soon forget…

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

You Know It’s Gotten Bad When Egypt Gives the U.S. This Advice on the Ferguson Protests

Though it’s not clear whether Egypt was taunting America or was genuinely concerned, you know it’s bad when the war-torn African nation is urging restraint regarding the violence in Ferguson.

Egyptian Streets reports that the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson released a statement advising the U.S. to respect the right of people to peacefully assemble, and noted that “Egypt is closely following the ‘mounting protests’ in Ferguson.”

The statement is similar to earlier comments made by United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon. The irony is palpable, considering how Americans have advised Egypt in the past.

via Egyptian Streets:

The latest statement by Egypt echoes similar statements by the United States calling on Egyptian authorities to exercise restraint and to respect the right of people to freely and peacefully assemble.

The paper notes that relations between the two countries remain strained since the violent coup of President Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt might be relishing a little too much in this opportunity to “advise” the United States, but this much is clear: America shouldn’t allow a situation to devolve to the point where other countries feel compelled to provide us with advice on how to manage our own towns and citizens.

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‘All Because She Wouldn’t Convert’: Monstrous New Details of ISIS Barbarism From Iraqi Survivors

The spotlight may have shifted away from the failed foreign policy of the current administration, but the monstrosities continue in the regions controlled by ISIS terrorists.

Very jarring and disturbing details are emerging from witnesses to the horror:

“They put women and children under the ground. They were alive. I still hear their screams. They were trying to keep their heads up to keep breathing,” said car repairman Dawud Hassan, 26.

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“Iraq is finished for me. We had houses, shops, they all burnt our things. We have nothing. We want to cross to Turkey but the peshmerga is not letting us. We will not stay there, we want to go to Europe.”

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It is not clear if Iraqi government forces or peshmerga will manage to claw back territory and then hold it – something that could help Yazidis believe in their country again.

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Islamic State is getting more ambitious. It has already grabbed much of the north and resources such as oil fields that will help fund its self-proclaimed caliphate.

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Some Yazidis, like Hassan, 22, a student, shake their heads in disbelief when recalling how only foreign Kurdish fighters from Turkey or Syria extended a lifeline in the face of Islamic State.

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“They tied the hands of one woman to the back of a car and her legs to another car and they split her into two,” he said beside makeshift tents as women cried.

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“Have you seen anything like this? This is all because she is not Muslim and did not want to be converted. We barely made it.”

Meanwhile Obama and Hillary are showing true leadership by passing the buck back and forth instead of taking responsibility for the crisis in Syria and Iraq. In fact, the CIA Director appointed by Obama said just months ago that the caliphate was a a feckless and absurd delusion, and that they weren’t going to waste resources on it.

Feel safer now?

After a Heart-Breaking Loss, This Little League Coach Delivered an Inspirational Speech for the Ages

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As Little League fever picks up around the country and the world, millions have watched with eager anticipation as boys (and one girl!) between the ages of 11 to 13 battle their hearts out for the title of World Champions.

For the players of the Cumberland American All-Stars from Rhode Island, their dream ended on Monday night with a heartbreaking 8-7 loss to Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West.

But Dave Belisle just gave a new meaning to the title of “Coach” when he talked to his players following the game. Captured on ESPN, Belisle spoke from the heart about the pride he felt for his team.

via ESPN:

You’re going to take back for the rest of your life what you provided for a town in Cumberland. You had the whole place jumping. You had the whole state jumping. You had New England jumping. You had ESPN jumping.

 

Because you wanna know why? They like fighters. They like sportsmen. They like guys that don’t quit. They like guys that play the right way.

His inspirational speech left many of his players in tears.

Belisle has earned accolades from all over the sports world for his speech, but something tells me that the time spent coaching his team is his most treasured prize. It’s something not only his youngsters, but all America, could learn from.

Profile of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Beltway Democrat Wonders Why There are So Many White Elected Officials in Ferguson

Eleanor Homes Norton, the Democratic representative in Congress for the non-voting District of Columbia, is quite adept at providing the entertaining sound bite. Most recently she asserted that Congress doesn’t have the right to know about everything going on in government.

Today’s comments on MSNBC might even top that. Speaking with host Jose Diaz Balart, she called the racial mix of elected officials in Ferguson, MO, “troublesome”:

Here you have the mostly white police force in a mostly black community. But I’m perplexed about why most of the elected officials are white as well. Is there something about the way elections are done in Missouri or in the county? That’s troublesome.

 

Usually when you get a minority community or a community that becomes mostly minority, you get some diversity of representation. So you may have an elected leadership, as well as a police force, that does not feel that they are truly representative of the community and that’s poison.

 

Hey, black community. You see what happens when you don’t have your own elected officials out there, people who have had experiences similar to your own. I don’t understand that. Again, there may be something about the way the election are conducted in that county. But if I were in that community, the first thing I would be doing is organize voters to go to the polls in November.

These comments beg for some questions:

  1. Does she think that the voters did not get the elected officials they voted for?
  2. Would not whites representing blacks, assuming that’s the way the votes were cast, be diversity of representation? What about white districts represented by black Congressmen? Is that okay with her?
  3. If the current officials are not “your own,” exactly whose are they?
  4. Does she really think that stirring up more racial grievances is the answer for what is going on in Ferguson?

Obviously, the goings on in Ferguson are a horrific mess, but isn’t it possible that comments like these from our nation’s elected “leaders” keep fanning the flames instead of putting them out?

Watch What Happens When 5 People Who Swear They Are Anti-Gun Shoot One For The First Time

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Anyone who has ever shot a gun can maybe admit to being a little nervous the first he or she does it.

But what if one is already vehemently anti-gun?

Buzzfeed took five such people to the Los Angeles Gun Club so we could all see what the first-time shooting experience is like for someone who says he doesn’t like guns and wants stricter gun control.

After learning the how-to’s and about safety precautions, the five each donned eye pro and ear pro, and tried their hand first with a Beretta handgun, followed up with a shotgun.

One participant’s take? “I felt kinda badass.”

Though not all are converts, experiencing shooting a gun at least challenged some of their beliefs. And regardless of our opinions on guns, we can applaud them for going outside their comfort zone.

Warning: Some adult language.

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Jake Tapper of CNN Trolled at Ferguson Rally with Banner That Should Get Attention of Homeland Security

During live coverage of the ongoing conflict in Ferguson, Missouri, CNN reporter Jake Tapper was seen marching with and interviewing protesters. But it wasn’t the interview that made people stop what they were doing to get a better look.

Someone marching behind Tapper appears to be holding a sign which reads “ISIS here” – in reference to the terrorist group which has been ravaging large areas on Iraq and Syria ever since the U.S. military left.

While the sign was likely a ploy for attention, it was still shocking to see. People on Twitter were quick to point out the eerie image.

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Some wanted to know why Tapper didn’t address the sign – though it’s entirely likely he just never saw it. As you can see in the video below, the man holding the sign – whose face is obscured by it – joined the march after Tapper began the interview.

This isn’t a matter of goofing around on TV as an expression of free speech, it’s potentially against the law to show “aid and comfort” to sworn enemies of the United States, such as the terrorist organization ISIS/IS.

With a similar report last week of a member of ISIS allegedly showing up near the White House, let’s hope that our government is properly investigating these threats – regardless of whether they are serious or not.

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How Trey Gowdy Reacts to the Ice Bucket Challenge Makes You Think He Has Ice Water Running in His Veins

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy was called out by Florida Rep. Dennis Ross to complete the ultra-viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but it was his reaction that reminds us who Trey Gowdy is.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R- New Hampshire) was clearly nervous and fazed by the ice.

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That’s a face that just learned how cold ice water is!

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Even former Secret Service agent and Republican candidate for the U.S. House Dan Bongino was startled as the ice started flowing.

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One of the best athletes on the planet should be able to handle a little ice water, right? Sike.

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Bill Gates’ Ice Bucket Challenge made him look like he forgot he was the richest man in the world, if only for a second.

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But how about Trey Gowdy, the former federal prosecutor and one of the fiercest members of Congress? 

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NOTHING FAZES TREY GOWDY. PERIOD. YOUR TURN, REP. CHAFFETZ – YOU HAVE LESS THAN 24 HOURS.

P.S. The Ice Bucket Challenge against ALS is reported to have raised over $15.6 million to date, so let’s certainly make sure to continue with the ice buckets…

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But make sure you donate too!

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Some News Outlets Take It Way Too Far, Publish Detailed Info On Officer Darren Wilson’s Home

As soon as the name of the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was released on Friday, there was a scramble in newsrooms across the country to find out anything and everything about Officer Darren Wilson.

But some news outlets may have taken it a bit too far, as Atlanta Daily World reports: It turns out that some are effectively drawing a map to Officer Wilson’s family’s home.

The Gateway Pundit reports that CNN went so far as to broadcast video of the house and its street number.

In the video report, CNN reporter Ed Lavandera is seen walking in the street where Wilson lives. The CNN video shows a wide view of Wilson’s house and then pans around the street to show its relative position in the neighborhood. While Lavandera does not name the street, he gives its approximate location.

But CNN didn’t have to name the street, because the Washington Post already did – and included a description of the house.

After receiving heat from viewers and police supporters, CNN removed the video.

And Britain’s Daily Mail not only published pictures of Officer Wilson and a detailed description of his home, they also attacked the character of his late mother, which appears to have no bearing on the issue whatsoever.

As the Washington Post points out, Officer Wilson’s house is constantly under surveillance by unmarked police cars, but he took his family out of town shortly before his name was given to the press.

Given the violence in Ferguson, could anyone blame him?

Ben Carson Challenges Al Sharpton to Debate – With Predictable Results

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Dr. Ben Carson told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Monday that his May 2014 offer to publicly debate Al Sharpton on racial issues in America still stands:

“I had an opportunity to speak with Rev. Sharpton a couple months ago at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. I said, ‘We want the same kinds of things, but we have very different approaches to achieving them.

 

What do you think about a public debate to talk about the various ways that we can get this done?’”

Carson said that while Sharpton initially seemed enthusiastic about the challenge, he hasn’t heard back from the reverend since. A spokesman said Sharpton was unaware of the offer, but that Carson has an “open invitation” to come on Sharpton’s MSNBC show anytime.

Is Sharpton dodging Carson, or looking for home court advantage?

Two Trains Carrying Hazardous Materials Collide on Same Track and Cause Massive Explosion

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Two Union Pacific freight trains collided outside Hoxie, Arkansas, about 90 miles northwest of Memphis, Sunday morning, killing two crew members and injuring two others.

The trains were both carrying over 14 different kinds of highly toxic chemicals, which exploded on impact, igniting a large fire which lasted for several hours before being extinguished.

While there were many chemicals on the trains, an official says that isn’t the reason why the trains exploded. One of the trains was carrying alcohol as well as chemicals, and it is thought that the alcohol, combined with the train’s engine, is the reason for the explosion.

After the collision, over 500 people from the surrounding area were immediately evacuated as a precaution because of the high levels of toxic chemicals aboard.

Buddy Williams, director of the Office of Emergency Services in Lawrence County, said the trains collided at 2:36 a.m. “It was a pretty violent hit. There are cars everywhere,” he said.

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Officials are still unsure exactly how the trains ended up on the same track. The first train consisted of two locomotives and 86 cars, while the second train had two locomotives and 92 cars.

“We will be looking at train signal information, train braking, track information, train operations and how the crew operated the trains” during the investigation, said Mike Hiller, the NTSB investigator in charge of the probe.

The evacuated residents were able to return to their homes on Sunday afternoon.

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As Obama Goes It Alone, Special Interests Gather for Smoky Backroom Deals. And You’re Not Invited.

President Obama is relegating political decision-making to smoky backroom deals. And you’re not invited.

According to the New York Times, the president has promised that more unilateral action is forthcoming, and activists and businesses are crowding up to the White House’s backdoors in order to see what political privileges are being dispensed. The Old Grey Lady noted:

Mr. Obama’s increasingly expansive appetite for the use of unilateral action on issues including immigration, tax policy and gay rights has emboldened activists and businesses to flock to the administration with their policy wish lists. It also has opened the president, already facing charges of executive overreach, to criticism that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, with the potential to reward political backers at the expense of other interests, including some on the losing side who are threatening to sue.

Various groups have been invited to the White House to give their views, completely in private and invisible to the press, Congress, and the nation. Favored, progressive constituencies are helping the administration decide among themselves what the standards will be on one of the biggest issues facing our country.

The New York Times’ Julie Hirschfeld Davis spared the niceties and called this deal-making out for what it was: “Policy Made Behind Closed Doors as Obama Acts Alone: As President Obama increasingly turns to unilateral action, activists and businesses are coming forward with wish lists.”

There are three huge problems with this practice:

  1. Dangerous precedent. Lawmaking cannot just be about “our guy getting to do what he wants,” because today’s “our guy” isn’t always going to be there. Be careful what you wish for, as the next “our guy” may be writing policy with which you may vehemently disagree.
  2. Concentrated power. Historically, the administrative branch executes policy voted on in Congress. 535 elected representatives hash out details and necessary compromises. The genius of the Constitutionally-mandated process ensures that change is slow and difficult. As a result, power is dispersed. Policies created and implemented by the executive branch are not subject to such controls.
  3. Corruption and cronyism. Imagine what would have to be done or whom one would have to know in order to be invited to give one’s “views.” Once invited, the opportunity for self-dealing is massive. Paybacks and kickbacks and playing-field tilting would be the rule. And imagine not being one invited: you are out.

Lord Acton pointed out, “And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Is this the kind of government we want? Regardless of your political perspective, this is not what our country’s founders intended, and with a little bit of reflection, hopefully not what its current citizens want as well.

Dr. Ben Carson’s Voice of Reason on Ferguson: ‘We’ve Got To Start Being Objective’

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Dr. Ben Carson paid a visit to Hannity on Monday to discuss the shooting of Michael Brown and the mayhem that has followed, night after night, ten days running. As is usually the case, Carson was a voice of reason.

Hannity asked Dr. Ben why events like the shooting of Brown and Trayvon Martin attract so much media attention, while the rampant and ongoing shootings in Chicago, for example, do not:

“We’ve got to start being objective. We’ve got to stop picking and choosing who the villains are and who the good guys are, and we have to start looking at things objectively.

 

That’s the only way that we ever make progress and particularly, you know, in the black community, I think we have to be honest with ourselves.”

In an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor last week, Carson expressed his sympathy for the Brown family, but said that people need to be careful about jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts:

“We need to recognize that police are individuals too. They have feelings also. We need to hear from this police officer.

 

They are trained to shoot to kill, or to shoot to stop. We need to understand, why did he shoot to kill instead of shooting to stop.”

Irrespective of the events in Ferguson, following Dr. Ben Carson’s advice would serve us well in an America where we all too often are more anxious to point fingers and blame the other guy than in finding solutions.

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Police Sources Tell Reporter That More Witnesses Are Coming Forward To Confirm Officer’s Account

On Friday, someone claiming to be a friend of Officer Darren Wilson, the policeman involved in the shooting death of Michael Brown, gave an account that was very different from other stories we had heard.

In “Josie’s” version of events, Wilson asked Brown and Dorian Johnson, 22, to move out of the street, before they became confrontational. When Wilson heard about the strong-arm robbery on the radio, he tried to get out of the car, and Brown slammed his door shut.

And, then he opened the car again. He tried to get out. He stands up. And then Michael just bum-rushes him and shoves him back into the car. Punches him in the face and then Darren grabs for his gun.

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Michael grabbed for the gun. At one point he got the gun entirely turned against his hip. And he shoves it away. And the gun goes off.

That account was confirmed by several sources in Ferguson speaking with CNN’s Don Lemon, who told him that it matched Officer Wilson’s account.

And Monday night, St. Louis Dispatch reporter Christine Byers tweeted that that recounting of events has been backed up by even more people on the ground in Ferguson.

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This description of events contradicts Johnson’s account, who claimed Brown had his hands up when Wilson shot him in the back.

This information came after one of the most violent nights in the St. Louis suburb. Earlier that day, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) had lifted the midnight curfew the state had imposed on the city for the previous two nights, The Hill reports.