Poll: DeMaio ahead of Peters by 7%

In California’s contentious 52nd congressional district, incumbent Democrat Representative Scott Peters will square off against former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio in November’s general election. A new Union-Tribune and 10 News poll of 750 registered voters puts DeMaio at 51% and Peters at 44% reported 10 News.

SurveyUSA, which conducted the poll, determined 554 of the 750 voters surveyed were listed as likely to vote in the November election.

Each candidate received similar backing from their respective party bases, DeMaio 82% from Republicans and Peters 87% from Democrats; however, moderates chose Peters over DeMaio 54% to 43% according to 10 News.

Voters who backed Republican candidate Kirk Jorgensen in the primary for the seat were surveyed as backing DeMaio 5:1, while supporters of former Republican Representative Brian Billbray surveyed, back DeMaio 11:1. Voters that have backed Representative Peters in the past, stay with him 11:1 in this poll. The 10 News report further breaks down results for individual demographics among those surveyed among men/women, conservatives/liberals, education, affluence and union/non-union.

San Diego’s Registrar of Voters reports all June 3, 2014 Primary Election ballots as having been counted; however, election results are not yet official. Unofficial results show Peters with 53,925 votes while DeMaio received 44,951 votes. The two will move on to battle it out in November’s general election. Jorgensen took home 23,586 of the votes and candidate Fred Simon won 5,040 votes.

DeMaio ran for mayor of San Diego in 2012, but was overtaken by Bob Filner. Filner did not last long as Mayor as he was driven from office as a barrage of women came forward with sexual harassment claims. In a special election to replace Filner, DeMaio chose not to renew his candidacy for Mayor and put his efforts to become the next Representative for the 52nd Congressional District. 




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Obama to Sign Executive Order Banning Gay Discrimination by Federal Contractors

Barack Obama allowed his White House to release the news that he is planning to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against their employees on the basis of sexual orientation.

Ahead of his appearance in New York on Tuesday at a Democratic fundraising gala with gay-rights supporters, and eager to shift the news cycle away from foreign affairs, Obama appears intent on pleasing the LGBT movement. A White House official confirmed Obama’s plans, stating:

Following on his pledge for this to be a year of action to expand opportunity for all Americans, the President has directed his staff to prepare for his signature on an Executive Order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The action would build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This is consistent with the President’s views that all Americans, LGBT or not, should be treated with dignity and respect.

The official admitted there is no date set for Obama’s signature; Obama is reserving the right to sign whenever he chooses. Gay rights groups have been pressuring him to sign the order for months, but so far he has eschewed doing so. Interestingly, the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights advocacy group, has admitted that most of the largest federal contractors already refuse to discriminate based on sexual orientation, leading to speculation that the announcement was intended simply to energize a part of the Democratic voting base in 2014.

In the Senate, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been passed, which prevents discrimination against all Americans, but the House has waited, largely because GOP members are concerned that a flurry of lawsuits could follow. They are also concerned about infringing on employers’ religious liberties.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the Senate, released a statement and intoned:

With this announcement, the arc of history bends a little farther toward justice. Discrimination simply has no place in American workplaces. This executive order will allow millions more Americans to go to work empowered with the right to do their jobs free of harassment or discrimination. Most Americans don’t know that it’s still legal in many states to fire someone for their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s because it not only defies common sense, it goes wholly against who we are as a nation. No more excuses. It’s way past time for Speaker Boehner to allow ENDA to have a vote in the House.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) echoed Merkley, saying Obama’s intention was a “significant step in our nation’s progress on civil rights.” She added, “Democrats in Congress remain steadfast in our commitment to passing the Employee Non-Discrimination Act into law that will permanently extend these protections to all Americans. It’s time for Republicans to join us.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest took the opportunity to blast the GOP, asserting, “An executive order along these lines would not be a substitute for robust congressional action. Unfortunately, this is yet another example of Republicans blocking Congress on the kind of issue that has pretty strong support all across the country.”

Obama has been targeting select constituencies this year with actions that bypass Congress; in February, he hiked the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors.

A study released by gay-rights advocates reveals that twenty-one states and the District of Columbia already have laws on the books prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has lost support among some gay rights groups because it exempts religious organizations, including hospitals and large charities.




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UK Cabinet Reshuffle Rumours: Who is Daring to Dream of High Office?

In the days before the last cabinet reshuffle, there were a number Conservative Party MPs absolutely convinced that they were in line for a promotion. 

“Have you heard anything?” one texted me hopefully, chancing that someone in his phonebook would be able to confirm he had got the call up. Yet on reshuffle day, as the aspiring ministers watched their colleagues on television going into Downing Street for their chat with the Prime Minister, the phone never rang. Despite being so utterly sure that they were about to be put on the government payroll, each and every one of them had been overlooked.

How had they been so wrong? Which ill-informed journalist had provided them with duff information? Actually, it was the Tory whips. 

In the weeks prior to that day of disappointment, while David Cameron was working out who to promote, Tory MPs were told to attend a one-on-one meeting with a whip. At the meeting, they were told that they should expect to be offered a job, that they were upmost in the Prime Minister’s thinking, that they should go back to the backbenches and prepare for high office. 

So, eagerly anticipating their almost-promised promotion, the MPs behaved impeccably over the next few weeks. The Prime Minister was the greatest leader this country had ever had. The Chancellor is working miracles with the economy. “Have I told you about our long term economic plan?”

As one told me afterwards, they had been conned. Sensing the opportunity to use the hubris of hopeful backbenchers to instil some discipline, Downing Street dangled just enough under their noses to buy their good behaviour. It was a tactic that worked in the short term, but left the victims more than a bit miffed.

So, this time round, who is daring to dream?

Michael Gove has been fascinating to watch in recent weeks. First embroiling himself in an almighty row with Theresa May, then this week observing his former special adviser publicly attack the Prime Minister.

There is speculation about his restlessness. Surely the only job Gove, who outside of his education brief is also a published expert on Islamic extremism, would consider is Foreign Secretary. There was a suggestion earlier in the year that William Hague was coming to the end of his Westminster career and could make way for a long-term replacement before the election. Gove would be the chief candidate. Still, a change in such key government roles is unlikely with just eleven months until polling day.

A few months ago, Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps was the favourite for the chop. The Huffington Post‘s Mehdi Hasan claimed to have exclusively revealed that Shapps would be sacked. However, the Tories’ impressive ground operation in Newark, in which Shapps was instrumental, and the party’s resounding victory in that by-election means surely he will keep his job. Again, a change in this position would be a surprise.

Ken Clarke, minister without portfolio, may not be so safe. More than once this year Clarke invoked the wrath of Downing Street, going on television and the radio without the party’s permission and failing to keep to the party line. Cameron may well have decided he has had enough. A year out from the election might be a good time to promote a younger face to a senior role.

Another minister with a made up job title, Baroness Warsi, has been less than a team player in recent months. She has criticised the PM over his failure to promote enough women to the Cabinet and for the number of Old Etonians in senior government positions, also appearing less than enthusiastic at his robust response to the Trojan horse schools scandal. Getting rid of the Baroness would be a popular move among many in the party, though losing one of his only female and Asian faces may prove too much of a disincentive for Cameron to pull the trigger.

This all means a host of junior promotions are more likely than any major change around at the top. Cameron reportedly wants a woman in every government department, and indeed the names being pushed hardest for promotion are Liz Truss at the Department for Education and Esther McVey at the Department for Work and Pensions. Best bet for a non-female promotion is Matt Hancock, a trusted lieutenant of George Osborne is coming across as increasingly likeable.

The outsider being touted among Tory MPs over the last week is Priti Patel. From a cynical perspective Patel ticks plenty of boxes, but she also has a huge amount to offer in her own right as one of the most talented, hard-working, sound backbenchers around. It would also bring a rebel in from the cold. Sensible and a right-winger with a huge amount of potential, Patel could well be the one to watch.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Palestinians Celebrate Hamas Kidnappings of Three Israeli Children

Palestinians have taken to the streets of Gaza City to celebrate the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers on Thursday night south of Jerusalem. The abductions have galvanized Israelis as few events have in recent years, resulting in unprecedented manhunts throughout the West Bank in search of the missing high school boys.

As Israelis recoiled in horror at news of the abductions of three teenage boys by terrorists, Palestinians responded with celebration and joy, passing out candies and sweets and taking to the Internet to wallpaper Palestinian social media sites with celebratory messages and poses of solidarity with the kidnappers.

A Facebook campaign to support the terrorists for the kidnapping launched within hours of the abductions. Almost immediately, a trend among Palestinian Facebook users took hold to replace their profile pictures with poses of three fingers representing the three kidnapped Israeli youths. Slogans like “Hebron_Uprising” spread rapidly.

It wasn’t just Palestinian users of social media who have supported the kidnappings. Women and children took to the streets of Gaza City in several celebratory demonstrations, congratulating the kidnappers and urging more such acts.

Palestinians in Judea and Samaria were urged by leaders of terrorist groups to impede Israeli efforts to find their missing boys. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad both issued official statements calling upon Palestinians to kidnap more Israeli children so as to hold them hostage for ransoms of cash or convicted Palestinian terrorists now in Israeli jails.

The kidnappings initiated a massive IDF manhunt to find not just the boys but the terrorists who kidnapped them. As of Sunday night, Israeli forces reported having arrested at least 150 Palestinian suspects thought connected to the kidnappings. Forty suspects, including several unnamed Hamas operatives, were arrested late Sunday.




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Council on American-Islamic Relations Seeks to Undermine the Land of the Free

The fact pattern and references to anti-Islamic “hate speech” sound depressingly similar to so many other cases abroad. Yet this incident occurred courtesy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Chicago chapter, showing how precious and precarious American free speech rights are. 

A Chicago suburb chapter of ACT! For America, an anti-sharia group, screened on May 17 the film Geert Wilders Warning to America at the Des Plaines Public Library (DPPL) after having met there since fall 2013. In the film, the Dutch politician Wilders addresses an American audience with his well-known thesis that “Islam is not a religion, Islam is a totalitarian ideology.” Amidst interspersed images of Islamic atrocities worldwide, Wilders, among other things, demands an end to construction in Western societies of mosques and Muslim schools, the latter termed by him a “fascist institution.”

Library parking lot flyers advertising the film drew opposition from CAIR-Chicago and the Islamic Community Center (ICC) of Des Plaines against the film screening. The library, a “safe haven for knowledge, education, and enlightenment… is now being tarnished,” CAIR-Chicago executive director Ahmed Rehab stated. Rehab worried about perceptions of the library endorsing the event. ICC board president Fazal Mahmood also questioned the appropriateness of a publicly-funded library as the film’s venue.

“I’m just practicing common sense not to let hate spark in our community,” Rehab said. Rehab “believed there should be limits on freedom of speech when it harms or incites someone else,” yet nonetheless conceded ACT!’s speech rights. “I understand and respect freedom of speech, but where do you stop?” Mahmood also said. 

Media reports also persistently noted ACT! for America’s “hate group” listing by the Southern Poverty Law Center without, however, mentioning SPLC’s leftist partisanship. Also unmentioned were CAIR’s deeply disturbing, numerous associations with precisely the kind of people against whom Wilders warned, including CAIR’s status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case over financing of terrorism. Rehab himself has had such connections while asserting “Jewish control over the media” and that the “history of the Jewish film producers in particular have shown that they predate on weak minorities by default.”

“Personally, leadership at DPPL finds the materials being shared by ACT! for Des Plaines reprehensible, bigoted and Islamaphobic and we in no way agree with the hateful sentiments they express,” Library Director Holly Sorensen said in a statement. However, Sorenson noted that American free speech law obligated the library as a public forum to host the screening. “It is our hope the controversy this event generates will expose the areas within our community where bigotry and racism exist and we fully support our Islamic community’s efforts to peacefully fight this prejudice.”

ACT! for Des Plaines founder Sara Schmidt denied hating Muslims but rather radicals “who want to destroy our way of life, who want to take over our country… and make us all Islam” are what concern Schmidt. “They don’t have the right to do that and they have devious ways to do that.” Schmidt cited a recent lawsuit by the American Islamic Center against the Des Plaines City Council after truck traffic zoning and safety issues prompted denial of a building permit for a community center.

In the end, the screening passed without event, although ICC members there to present questions and protest actually constituted the majority of the audience. Schmidt invited the gathered Muslims to collaborate against “Islamic extremists” and then showed the Wilders film. Most of the audience dissipated before a second showing.

“Americans enjoy more freedom than Europeans,” Wilders stated during a May 12, 2011, address in Nashville, Tennessee; “you cannot imagine how we envy your First Amendment.” While Europeans and Canadians “are dragged to court for telling the truth about Islam,” Americans “are still allowed to tell the truth.” “The day when America follows the example of Europe and Canada and introduces so-called ‘hate speech crimes’… America will have lost its freedom.”

The Des Plaines nonevent confirms Wilders. Accusations of “hate” and “Islamophobia,” including a partisan position from a public official theoretically committed to impartiality, did not stop a public gathering. Wilders appeared on screen in Des Plaines while opposing Muslim and non-Muslim views received an open airing without any legal repercussions. 

Wilders’ Nashville warning, though, shows how easily sentiments against “hate” can harden into laws dictating speech crime and punishment. America’s legal walls protecting free speech create what has been called the world’s “last bastion” of free speech concerning Islam. Yet often self-proclaimed minders of public morality like CAIR in Des Plaines and elsewhere remain ever ready to undermine and outflank these protections in America’s land of the free. Such subversion would simultaneously weaken freedom and the ability to discuss threats to it. “We have to be able to speak up or we’ve lost it,” Schmidt rightfully observed.

This article was sponsored by the Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.




Source: Breitbart Feed