A federal appeals court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for a Delaware school district to include prayer as part of its regular school board meetings. Prayer has been a part of Indian River board meetings since the school district was founded in 1969, and in 2004 the district formalized a policy in which board members rotate in leading a prayer or moment of silence to “solemnify” the meetings. The policy stipulates that the prayers may be either sectarian or non-sectarian, and may be “in the name of a Supreme Being, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah” — or some other religious entity. However, the district was dragged into court over the policy when two families complained that the prayers violated the First Amendment’s supposed separation of church and state. Associated Baptist Press (ABP) reported that the case “stemmed from a lawsuit originally filed in 2005 by a Jewish family claiming they were harassed after speaking out against religious practices including prayers at graduations and board meetings. They claimed their daughter’s graduation was ruined when she, the only Jewish person in her class, had to listen to a minister pray in Jesus’ name.”
For the first time in his presidency, Barack Obama’s poll numbers in heavily Democratic New York have gone negative, with 49 percent disapproving of his job performance compared to only 45 percent who approve. The Quinnipiac University poll last showed the President with a 57 percent approval rating in late June, a drop of 9 points in six weeks. Among Republicans, the poll showed disapproval ratings of 86 percent, up from 74 percent in June, while among Democrats his approval rating dropped from 82 percent to 75 percent. Among independents 58 percent expressed their disapproval, up from 45 percent in June. “The evidence continues to mount,” writes Dan Weil at Newsmax.com, “that President Barack Obama’s re-election bid is in trouble.” The latest daily Presidential Tracking Poll by Rasmussen Reports confirms those results, with their Presidential Approval Index rating at  -22 approval index rating, the lowest of Obama's presidency, and down from a +22 approval index rating at the start of his presidency in 2009. Gallup tracks his job approval on a daily basis where 48 percent disapprove of his job performance, his weakest standing since December of 2009.
Police in Wisconsin will seek hate-crimes charges against a black teenager who confessed that race hatred motivated his attacks on whites at the Wisconsin State Fair on August 4. And newly released 911 tapes indicate that a black security guard at the fair watched while a black flash mob pulverized a white boy. According to the Christian Science Monitor, police in West Allis, Wisconsin, will file hate-crimes charges against others as well. But the Monitor’s reporter also suggests that the teenagers might not be to blame for the bedlam that injured 11 people. Last week, two of Milwaukee’s alderman, both whites, condemned the culture of violence and illegitimacy that is now accepted in the black community. Milwaukee’s Common Council President, Willie Hines, joined them. And Philadelphia’s Mayor lowered the rhetorical boom on black teenagers who have been rampaging through the City of Brotherly Love.
Homosexual activists have once again pressured the head of a trendy company heavily patronized by the “gay” community to back out of a scheduled speaking engagement sponsored by a Christian organization. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was booked to speak August 12 at the annual Global Leadership Summit sponsored by the Chicago-based mega-church Willow Creek. “The annual event draws tens of thousands of viewers via satellite,” noted the Chicago Sun-Times, and boasts such past speakers as former President Bill Clinton, General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and rock-star-turned-“humanitarian” Bono. But when “gay” activists caught wind that Schultz had agreed to address summit attendees about “How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul,” they turned to one of their favorite activist tools, the liberal petition clearinghouse website Change.org, to demand that Schultz renege on his commitment. According to the Chicago Tribune, an “activist” by the name of Asher Huey had “criticized Schultz for agreeing to appear at a church with a long-standing membership in Exodus International, a ministry that believes homosexual behavior is destructive and Christians can ‘grow into heterosexuality.’”
The recently released study of “heavy hitters” by the Center for Responsible Politics showed the amount of money the top 140 political donors gave to Democrats and Republicans from 1989 through 2010. Four of the top six gave $170 million over that period, with $151 million going to Democrats, and less than $3 million going to Republicans (the difference going to unaffiliated or independent political groups). In simple math, Democrats received 89 percent while Republicans got less than two percent. The top all-time political donor is ActBlue, which calls itself “the online clearinghouse for Democratic action,” and claims to have raised nearly $200 million since its founding in 2004 in order to “support thousands of Democratic candidates across the nation.” This far exceeds the amount shown in the study because the numbers in the study are based on figures obtained from the Federal Election Committee, which don’t include small donors giving less than $200. ActBlue is the largest funnel of funds supporting Democrats nationwide and as a result is “a major fundraising tool for Democrats, particularly favored by the netroots and left-leaning bloggers.”
I don’t know Peter Gadiel, and he apparently knows absolutely nothing about me. But that hasn’t stopped him from attacking me in a recent article (Influential Conservative is Dangerously Wrong on E-Verify). His article makes some outrageous statements about me, even to presume he can tell you what motives are in my head when I take a position. Recently, I released an article entitled “E-Verify and the Emerging Surveillance State.” My opposition to E-Verify is that it is a major tool in the creation of a surveillance society; will give the government the power to decide who works and who doesn’t in America; will be a great burden on both worker and business; and will do absolutely nothing to protect us from illegal immigration or terrorism. In short, E-Verify represents another false promise of security and a greater threat to our freedom.
Angered over what they perceive to be a violation of free speech, hackers in California launched an online attack against a California transit agency after it turned off cellphone service at its stations in an effort to prevent a potential protest last week. The hackers are apparently frustrated by efforts taken by police in San Francisco to jam cellphone communications so that protesters could not move forward with their protests. Gawker.com explains: "Protesters had planned to gather at a San Francisco BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] station during rush hour to protest the fatal July shooting of Charles Hill by a BART police officer. But the protest never materialized. One reason, possibly, is the extreme lengths police went to make sure potential protesters couldn't communicate."
The latest ranking of contractors providing services to the federal government reveals that at least nine of the top 10 are tied to the Department of Defense and took in nearly $70 billion of the government’s money in 2010. Leading the pack as it has for the past 17 years is Lockheed Martin, with $17 billion, followed by Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. The top 27 contractors each received at least $1 billion in contracts from the government last year, with Number 100 on the list, Teledyne, getting $170 million. This reflects the enormous growth of government spending in general, and on outside vendors in particular, growing from $207 billion in 2000 to $535 billion last year.
Seattle, Washington, is one of 25 communities that received $20 million from the Stimulus program as part of “Retrofit Ramp Up” — an initiative of the Department of Energy in which stimulus dollars are utilized to make homes more energy efficient. The program was touted as one that would create 2000 “green” jobs in the city of Seattle and retrofit at least 2000 homes. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But there’s just one problem. The program is a massive failure. “Retrofit Ramp-Up,” according to Vice President Joe Biden who announced the program, sought to accomplish the following: It’s about making our homes and our office buildings more efficient and more comfortable and more affordable, replacing windows and doors. I have visited, along with some of the people in the front row, new window and door factories making incredibly -- incredibly energy-efficient windows and doors, which can save billions of dollars over time. Putting in new air conditioning or heating units that are much more efficient. Sealing up cracks and openings where air can leak into and out of your home.
A new U.S. military report — which will give additional credence to those advocating an end to foreign aid and interventionism — reveals that America has been funding her enemies to the tune of $360 million. After a careful examination of combat support and reconstruction contracts, researchers determined that the U.S. tax dollars had ended up with the Taliban and other enemies whom the United States has been fighting for the past decade. The Blaze observes: The losses underscore the challenges the U.S. and its international partners face in overcoming corruption in Afghanistan. A central part of the Obama administration’s strategy has been to award U.S.-financed contracts to Afghan businesses to help improve quality of life and stoke the country’s economy. The investigation into the contracts, led by U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, reveals many connections between the Afghan companies and their subcontractors to groups which the military would classify as “malign actors.”
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