Sen. Roger Wicker Calls for MS GOP to Unite Behind Primary Winner, Cochran or McDaniel

SOUTHAVEN, Mississippi—He’s endorsed his colleague Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) re-election campaign. But addressing a crowd of 100 Republicans here Tuesday, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) urged party unity, no matter who wins the bitter Senate primary.

“I think we need to be unified after the primary,” Wicker said in a brief interview when asked if the unity message applies to a victory for Cochran’s primary challenger, state senator Chris McDaniel, too.

“I would have supported my opponents in 1994. I think we’re all going to join together on behalf of the Republican nominee. I hope that Republican nominee is Sen. Thad Cochran but we’re going to join together on behalf of whoever is the nominee,” he added.

In a speech to the DeSoto County Republican Club here at the Southaven Public Library, Wicker told three separate stories of the GOP unifying after a brutal primary: for his own House seat in 1994, Rand Paul’s victory in Kentucky in 2010, and Gerald Ford’s 1976 victory over Ronald Reagan.

“I want to tell you a story—three stories,” Wicker told the group of about 100 Republicans—split down the middle between McDaniel and Cochran supporters. “That primary’s going to be over and we’re going to have to pull together as Republicans, Mississippians. We’ve done it before.”

His first story, which was about his own House primary back in 1994, Wicker said, “there were six of us running and then there was a runoff.”

“A runoff is the worst thing—you’re running against your fellow Republican,” Wicker remarked. “It’s just a terrible three weeks. It was for me. I ran against a gentleman named Grant Fox—a hard-charging young lawyer who had been on Thad Cochran’s staff.”

Wicker said his runoff against Fox was bitter.

“You know what? He said some things that I took offense at,” Wicker said. “And I said some things that he felt were completely beyond the scope of [what was fair]. We fought.”

Wicker won by small margin.

“Somehow or another, I ended up beating him with a vast 53 percent of the vote,” he joked, to loud applause from the room.

“I had already made up my mind: If I had lost that race, I was going to get in my car and head to Houston, MS, and endorse him that night,” Wicker continued. “As it was, the shoe was on the other foot. Fox called me and was very nice and said: ‘I’m going to support the nominee of my party. I’m going to help you.’ A few days later, Grant Fox took me around the square in Houston, MS, and vouched for me in every storefront and to every supporter of his. He was a champion and I’ll never forget it even though there still were some things that had bothered us about that campaign. That happens. It’s happening. But we pulled together and we won that race for America.”

Wicker’s seat was a pickup for Republicans that year, helping deliver the House to Newt Gingrich so he could become Speaker. He beat 22-year incumbent Democrat Rep. Jamie Whitten.

“We had the first Republican Speaker ever in 40 years and we passed welfare reform, repealing an entitlement for the first time in history,” Wicker said.

Wicker’s second example of GOP unity was when then-President Ford—who took the White House after a series of resignations, Spiro Agnew first then Richard Nixon, pushed him into the oval office from the House of Representatives—worked with Reagan in 1976 after Ford beat Reagan for the nomination.

“Do you remember 1976?” Wicker asked the room. “Most people don’t because you’re all so young. In 1976, we had a president—Gerald R. Ford—right after Watergate, it was a terrible time. Ronald Reagan decided to challenge him.”

Wicker noted how bloody the battle for the GOP nomination was that year. Interestingly, Cochran backed Ford, and Mississippi’s delegates delivered the nomination to Ford over Reagan. “It came down to the convention,” Wicker said. “Remember that? It came down to the convention—and it’s hard to beat an incumbent president. Well, Ford was nominated. And he was up there to make his acceptance speech and he said, ‘Ronald: come on down, come on down. This crowd wants to hear you one more time.’ Reagan came down and he made a speech and was a gentleman in every sense of the word. We didn’t win that year, but four years later we nominated Ronald Reagan—one of the best presidents ever.”

Wicker’s third story of GOP unity is much more recent. In 2010, he said that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “asked me if I would send a PAC check to a friend of his.”

Wicker is referring to Trey Grayson, the McConnell-backed candidate in Kentucky’s 2010 GOP primary. “Mitch McConnell was supporting this guy [Grayson] and here comes a young fellow, an ophthalmologist out of the clear blue named Rand Paul,” Wicker said. “He won the nomination over Mitch McConnell’s pick. I talked to Mitch McConnell during that day, and McConnell said, ‘Rand Paul’s going to win and he’s going to be a good senator and he knows how to win and I’m going to support him.’ He did, and we won that race. And I like Rand Paul—and you know what he did? This year, he stood by Mitch McConnell because he knows the next Majority Leader of the United States Senate needs to be Mitch McConnell. We need to make Mitch McConnell the offensive coordinator, not longer the defensive coordinator.”

Earlier in his speech to the room, Wicker said he is “enthusiastically supporting” Cochran because he is the “conservative” candidate in the race. Wicker touted Cochran’s NRA and National Right to Life Committee endorsements. But Wicker did not take any shots at McDaniel. In fact, he never even said McDaniel’s name. Wicker also touted Cochran’s seniority in the U.S. Senate and said he’d expect Cochran to be chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee again if he wins. Wicker said such a position would allow Cochran to ensure certain things important to Mississippi are funded, and things that would hurt Mississippi are not funded.

Asked afterward why he didn’t mention McDaniel during his remarks, Wicker told Breitbart News he “just wanted to stick to my positive points tonight about Sen. Cochran’s record.”




Source: Breitbart Feed

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

The International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD) is a Washington-based non-profit organization that, like many working these portfolios, happens to have worrisome ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. 

It is, moreover, engaged in a top priority of what the Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad” – namely, interfaith dialogue. The Brothers cynically engage in such “bridge-building” in order to induce individuals and institutions of other creeds to provide them with political cover, thereby enabling subversive Islamist efforts to insinuate into this country the supremacist shariah doctrine – all in the name of religious freedom.

On May 30th, the ICRD will further display its true colors. It will have as its guests of honor at a gala fundraising dinner two preeminent stealth jihadists – Faisal Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan. The couple gained international notoriety in 2010 when they sought to build a 15-story mosque complex in a building so close to Ground Zero that it was badly damaged in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

The only surprise in all of this is the dinner’s keynote speaker: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI).

Now, I am personally fond of Rep. Rogers. In the land of the blind that is our Congress – which is almost completely bereft of lawmakers who focus on national security, let alone provide leadership in that portfolio – he is the one-eyed man, for sure. He has been willing to tell the truth about the world becoming more dangerous when few in his party, let alone the Democrats in Washington, have done so. A former Army officer and FBI special agent, he has championed a strong defense and sought to stave off the throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater impulses of legislators determined to dismantle the NSA in the wake of the Snowden treachery.

So, I wrote the chairman last week laying out the ties between the ICRD and various American Muslim Brotherhood fronts and leaders. These include: one of the Brotherhood’s preeminent fonts of ideological purity, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT); the American Muslims for Constructive Engagement (AMCE), whose stated mission is to secure “the deliberate appointment of qualified Muslims to key advisory bodies and policy-relevant positions in government in order to shape U.S. policy choices”; and, through the AMCE, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). ICNA, ISNA and CAIR were listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history: U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation, et.al.

Consequently, I urged Chairman Rogers in my 21 May letter to withdraw from the ICRD fundraiser: “While there is certainly no objection to qualified Americans, of any religion, serving in U.S. policy-making positions, it appears that members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a subversive terrorist organization with intimate ties to terrorism, are using the ICRD as a venue for an ongoing influence operation to manipulate U.S. policy. Your attendance at this event would risk further legitimizing this event to the detriment of U.S. national security.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Rep. Rogers has evidenced an inadequate appreciation of the civilization jihad the Muslim Brotherhood is waging inside the United States. (To read the Brotherhood’s secret plan for this jihad, see here.). Notably, in July 2012, he joined Senator John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner in criticizing Rep. Michele Bachmann and four other legislators. They had quite properly written five federal agencies’ inspectors general requesting investigations of the roles being played in shaping U.S. policies by individuals shown to be associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in this country (see: see Part 8 of the free, online course at www.MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com).

This is a particularly bad time for the chairman of the House intelligence oversight committee to have a blind spot with respect to Islamist influence operations. After all, the Obama administration appears determined to admit more Muslim Brothers into this country as they are being rolled up in Egypt. That would be the practical effect of its recent decision to rewrite unilaterally and extra-constitutionally federal immigration statutes by allowing individuals to apply for refugee status if they have only engaged in “limited” material support for terrorism. Last week, a young Egyptian Brotherhood sympathizer, if not member, appears to be the first to have put this opportunity to the test.

In addition, as Adam Kredo observed at the Washington Free Beacon, the Obama State Department is continuing the embrace of Islamists begun while Hillary Clinton was in charge:

The State Department’s Counter Terrorism (CT) Bureau promoted on Friday a controversial Muslim scholar whose organization has reportedly backed Hamas and endorsed a fatwa authorizing the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The CT bureau on Friday tweeted out a link to the official website of Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, the vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a controversial organization founded by a Muslim Brotherhood leader “who has called for the death of Jews and Americans and himself is banned from visiting the U.S.,” according to Fox News.

Mike Rogers is right that the world is becoming more dangerous thanks to the rising capabilities and malevolence of global jihadists. The reality, however, is that the threat is growing in no small part because of the success jihadists are having in undermining our situational awareness and subverting our policies. We need Chairman Rogers for the remainder of his tenure in Congress to be part of the solution to that problem, not compounding it with his own case of willful blindness.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for Breitbart News Network and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio.

A copy of Gaffney’s letter to Chairman Rogers is below:

Frank Gaffney Letter to Chairman Rogers.pdf



Source: Breitbart Feed

Santa Barbara Killer’s Stabbing Victims Were all Asian Males

Elliot Rodger, who went on a shooting spree at the University of California Santa Barbara targeting the school’s “hottest” women, began by stabbing three Asian students, two of whom were his roommates.

Rodger, who was half-Asian himself, repeatedly stabbed to death James Cheng-Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, and their friend who was visiting, Weihan Wang, 20, according to the Contra Costa Times. All three victims hailed from California’s Bay Area. At least one of the murdered men had been scheduled to move out of the apartment in just a few days. 

Disturbed and rejected, Rodgers ranted about race, including references to Asian men, in his 141-page manifesto. He expressed deep jealousy and found it shocking that non-white men, including a “full-blooded Asian,” had successfully won the affections of “white blonde” girls while he, being “half-white” himself, could not. 

The son of the assistant director of The Hunger Games, Rodger had apparently consulted therapists since the age of eight. He reportedly made a citizen’s arrest on Hong for petty theft, accusing the other man of stealing $22 worth of candles from him in January. Hong was booked and released but made the choice to continue living with Rodger, the Times notes.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Will Demographic Shifts Boost Christianity and Hurt Atheism?

A British geneticist is saying that atheism could face a decline in Europe as Christians continue to experience a growth in population while Europe’s atheist populations decline.

Steve Jones, a professor in genetics at University College London’s Galton Laboratory, spoke at this month’s Hay Literary Festival where he pointed out that Europeans have a falling birth rate while Christians in countries like Africa have a rising rate.

Europe, Jones notes, is not doing well at “replacing its population.”

“We atheists sometimes congratulate ourselves that the incidence of religious belief is going down,” he said.

“But religious people have more children,” Jones continued. “Where are people having the most children? It’s in the tropics and in Africa. It’s clearly the case that the future will involve an increase in religious populations and a decrease in scepticism. We may not need more scientists but more theologists.”

The decline in Europe’s population has been a much-discussed topic. Author Joel Kotkin, for instance, wrote, “Europe’s economic disaster is both reflected – and is largely caused by – a demographic decline that, if not soon reversed, all but guarantees the continent’s continued slide.”

Columnist Mark Steyn has also written about this “demographic time bomb” in his 2008 book, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It.

Professor Jones, however, is not one of those militant atheists who oppose religion tooth and nail. In fact, Jones has recently written a book, The Serpent’s Promise: The Bible Retold as Science, that attempts to meld science and religion into a unified theory for how to lead one’s life.

“The Bible is a handbook for understanding Nature and, in its own way, it succeeds,” the book’s publicity release states. “As a factual account, of course, it is out of date, but many of its statements can be rephrased in modern terms.”

Jones also says he recognizes the importance of Christianity. During his comments he said the “New Testament was one of the greatest political documents ever written.” He then said, “Our entire society is based on tenets of the New Testament.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Common Core Change Agents Operating in Texas

Picture a state that rejected the Common Core State Standards, yet strangely, Common Core conferences convene around the calendar with some of the biggest names in progressive education reform.  Yes, that state would be Texas.

In fact, Common Core kick-offs the summer in the Lone Star state when Texas ASCD and ignite14, the “innovate with technology and curriculum conference,” come to the Dallas suburbs on June 16-18.  ASCD will hold their even grander 2014 Conference on Teaching Excellence in late June. 

Ignite14 attendees will get to hobnob with “internationally recognized digital age entrepreneurs” like 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year Jimmy Casas, who hails from a Common Core state, along with  Dr. Andrew Berning, the Waxahachie-based education tech advisor and STEM/STEAM proponent Max Brooks.

STEM is part of the College and Career Ready pathway of the Common Core.  However, in Texas, it is the result of college and career legislation, House Bill 5.  While STEM is short for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Math,” STEAM adds the “arts” to the mix.

The potential saving grace of this shindig is Ewan McIntosh, who has been critical of certain aspects of the Common Core in his blog.  His company, NoTosh Learning is a global education consultancy based in Edinburgh and Melbourne.

Immediately following ignite14, all the Fed Led Ed action will move down to Austin for the Parent Teacher Association’s (PTA) national convention, June 19-22.  This year, Arne Duncan, Fed Led Ed chief, will be the keynote speaker for the Common Core pushing PTA.  

Breitbart Texas reported on how PTA was mysteriously drawn to Texas for this year’s convention.  2014 will mark the first time in its 100-plus year history that PTA will hold its annual extravaganza in Texas.

On June 27-29, it’ll be time to head back to Dallas for the larger ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence.  ASCD is an Alexandria, VA based think tank, the global leader in developing and delivering innovative educational programs according to the website.  ASCD stands for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

ASCD shepherded the Common Core integrated “Whole Child Initiative.”  They’ve also published education materials and books from leading education thinkers.  Their top pick on a short reading list was “The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core.”

Since 1943, ASCD has been around and they claim to be the global leader in developing and delivering innovative learning programs, products and services with 140,000 superintendents, principals, teachers, professors and advocates from more than 138 countries, according to the ASCD website.

Among the sessions at the upcoming three-day bonanza are “Fostering Grit” whose author Tom Hoerr will tout the importance of grit “with the increase rigor intended by the Common Core State,” according to MiddleWeb. 

“Grit” comes from “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century, the infamous U.S. Department of Education document that set off a firestorm for its macabre Clockwork Orange style student engagement tactics that included facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, wireless skin conductance sensors, and pressure mouse, all on page 44.

Another presentation will be Common Core “Habits of the Mind” to help Texas teachers to “reframe your mental maps to focus on the real purposes of 21st Century education,” according to the speakers roundup.

Others will include “Common Core State Standards Have Pushed Us To Redefine What Listening Means in the Digital Age;” “Common Core, Student Inquiry, and Learning for the 21st Century;” “Strategies for Understanding and Addressing the Common Core Tapestry;” “Practical Tools for Enhancing Instruction for Assessment” within the context of the Common Core; “Technology and the English Language Arts Common Core Standards;” “Planning for Excellence for all Learners with the Common Core Standards;” “Aligning the Common Core Standards for Students with Disabilities;” “What Underachievers Want Teachers to Know and do to Achieve Common Core State Standards;” “Common Core Content Literacy Strategies that Rock!;” “Designing Summative Assessments to Meet Common Core Demands;” “A Real-World Application for the English Language Arts Common Core Standards;” “Teaching Writing for Audience and Purpose: Getting to the Core (of the Common Core);” “Lesson Planning for High-Quality Curriculum Aligned with Common Core Standards;” and “Mapping to the Core: Development Integrated Units for 21st Century Learners.”  These are only from Days 1 and 2

On day 3, there will be “Common Core Literacy Skills Across Content Areas,” and “Modernizing the High School English Curriculum to Meet Common Core Standards.” 

Throughout the conference, there will be presentations on differentiated learning strategies, Common Core elementary, middle and high school math and topics like higher-order thinking, data use, standards-based grading, achievement gap, juvenile justice, collaborative teaching planning, project-based learning, flipped classrooms, best practices, blended learning, response to intervention (RTI), and equity, all couched by the Common Core Standards. 

But, of course, they will all be discussing the TEKS.

Jay McTighe, leading Fed Led education writer of such materials as “From Common Core Standards to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas,” and “Unpacking the Common Core Standards Using the UbD Framework” will open the pre-conference on June 26.  UbD stands for “Understanding by Design,” a methodology commended by charter school maven Michelle Rhee and which he co-wrote with Fed Led Ed fanatic Grant Wiggins.

McTighe has also been credited as part of the CSCOPE curriculum design and instructional design teams.  CSCOPE, the controversial Texas education product that made headlines for its questionable curriculum content, has since been rebranded as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Resource System.  Other CSCOPE collaborators include Common Core proponents Robert Marzano and Heidi Hayes Jacobs, who spoke at the 2013 Texas ASCD.

For this year’s conference, Ayinde Rudolph will jet in to present on teaching excellence.  He hails from the Bill and Melinda Gates’ funded “small” school.  Today, he’s the Director of Transformation for the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood.

A promise neighborhood is part of the federal education grant program that offers “cradle to career” services for children and families, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  It’s intended to improve academic performance of students in high-poverty neighborhoods.  According to the Associated Press, then Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) championed the idea of funding promise neighborhoods.  Approximately $160 million has been awarded to at least 20 states, to date.

It just so happens that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s largest teacher’s union, has its own Reclaim the Promise for public education “not as it is today or it was in the past but as we imagine it for our children — to fulfill our collective obligation to help all children succeed” in impoverished neighborhoods as an “economic necessity, an anchor of democracy, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right…” It says so right on the AFT website.

Among the few Texas-centric presentations listed on the ASCD schedule are “Leveraging Assessment (STAAR) and Accountability to Create Systems of Support” and “What did the 83rd Legislature Do To Us?” which calls House Bill 5 “a far reaching bill” that affected assessment, instruction, and accountability.  Tom Jaggard, Education Service Center (ESC) Region 2 Testing Coordinator will reprise his 2013 ASCD presentation on Texas’ changing education system.

Breitbart Texas asked the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Director of Media Relations Debbie Ratcliffe about this conference.  Although she was aware of it, Ratcliffe emphasized that TEA is in no way connected or affiliated with it. 

Certainly, the ASCD event will be brimming over with the Common Core but it’s not the first time.  Last December, Learning Forward came to Dallas.  The main attraction was Linda Darling-Hammond, who was also named among the 2013 Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform by Common Core: Education Without Representation. Here’s why:

Since 2006, Darling-Hammond has been an advisory group member of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) which, along with the National Governor’s Association (NGA) are the founding Fed Led non-profit education partners who hold the copyright to the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Darling-Hammond has consulted for Common Core test provider AIR and pushed for federally mandated equalization in the classroom in her book “A Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our  Future.” 

Darling-Hammond was also credited as a part of the CSCOPE professional development team.  Her personal friend, William Ayers, 1960’s radical turned professor and now Empathy Educates partner petitioned President Obama to replace Arne Duncan with Darling-Hammond. 

Regardless, all the budding change agents flocked into Dallas to see Darling-Hammond speak.  Learning Forward attendees were also treated to “Opening the Common Core State Standards: How to Bring Students to College and Career Readiness,” “Literacy at the Core of all Curriculum,” “Cultural Literacy for the Common Core State Standards,” “Addressing Common Core State Standards Text-Complexity through Professional Learning Communities” and “Mathematics tools for Implementing the Common Core State Standards.”

All in Texas.  All for Texas teachers.

One such teacher hailed from the Frisco Independent School District (ISD), a second grade teacher and a 2011 graduate of Learning Forward’s master degree program, according toMind, Brain, Learning & Teaching With Donna Wilson, PhD.” Wilson blogged about Frisco teacher Diane Dahl. 

“At Learning Forward 2013, we teamed up for an upbeat, practical presentation entitled ‘Toward Joyful Implementation of Common Core State Standards’ for an audience of teachers and unnamed professional learning community members.”

Wilson also wrote “we tied implications from mind, brain, and education research to the practical challenges of implementing the Common Core State Standards with the goal of creating more thoughtful and effective classrooms.

But there is no Common Core in Texas.

No doubt, these kinds of conferences appear to be far removed from the TEKS and there’s more of them coming.  The Leadership and Learning Center will be in Austin this October.  Time for Data Teams 4 Learning Seminar and Common Formative Assessments Seminar by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a proud content provider with McGraw-Hill and Pearson, just a little slice of Apple’s online Fed Led Ed family.

All in Texas.  All for Texas teachers. 

One such teacher hailed from Frisco ISD, a second grade teacher and a 2011 graduate of Learning Forward’s master’s degree program, according to “Mind, Brain, Learning and Teaching with Donna Wilson, PhD.” Wilson wrote about Frisco Teacher Diane Dahl, “At Learning Forward 2013, we (she and Dahl) teamed up for an upbeat, practical presentation entitled ‘Toward Joyful Implementation of Common Core State Standards’ for an audience of teachers and unnamed professional learning community members.”

Wilson also wrote, “we tied implications from mind, brain, and education research to the practical challenges of implementing the Common Core State Standards with the goal of creating more thoughtful and effective classrooms.”

These educator professional development conferences appear to be far removed from the TEKS. Who knows how much of it hinges on mandatory teacher attendance to receive credentialing points that are vital to educators retaining their licenses.  There’s more coming, too. 

The Leadership and Learning Center will descend on Austin in October.  Time for Data Teams 4 and Common Formative Assessments Seminar by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a proud content partner with McGraw-Hill and Pearson for Apple’s online Fed Led Ed family.

But there is no Common Core in Texas.




Source: Breitbart Feed