The mainstream media can't get enough of Lena Dunham. The American public has a far different take on the 20-something star.
The ratings for Dunham's HBO series Girls continue to shrink in season three, and they never were impressive in the first place.
Now, the weekend's new Saturday Night Live featuring Dunham as host drew lousy ratings despite plenty of hype.
Last night, the Dunham-hosted SNL with musical guest The National averaged a 4.1 household rating in the metered markets and a 2.1 in adults 18-49 in the markets with Local People Meters. That was down 11% in households and down 19% in 18-49 from last week’s show hosted by Jim Parsons. These are SNL‘s second-lowest results of the season in both households and 18-49.
The media narrative tells us Dunham is the voice of her generation, a whip-smart writer and performer who speaks for millions. The reality, alas, is dramatically different.
The SNL episode in question covered for President Barack Obama in the Crimea crisis while lauding the actions of Planned Parenthood.
The New York Police Department's Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) will join Minnesota police unions' lawsuit against NFL gun ban.
According to the New York Post, SBA president Edward Mullins said the NFL's policy barring off-duty officers from carrying guns into games "is a violation of any state laws that allow off-duty cops to carry their guns in public places."
Mullins added: "The NFL is telling us that highly trained law enforcement officers shouldn't be allowed to enter stadiums with their guns."
On February 18th Breitbart News reported that the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) was suing over the NFL's policy. MPPOA says the gun ban "violates state law, and could put the public and officers in danger."
Off-duty officers in Texas will still carry guns into the state's two NFL stadiums. As state officials say, "Texas state law overrides the NFL policy."
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at email@example.com
It’s rarely said that Mexican cartel kingpins have nine lives, and most people involved in the drug business know that their predicted life spans are dramatically shortened by their chosen line of work. But it’s even more rare for a capo to actually fulfill the common legend attributed to so many narco leaders slain in the drug war—that he was actually living in the shadows after his presumed death, and possibly still running the show.
This is exactly what happened with Nazario “El Mas Loco” (or “El Chayo”) Moreno Gonzalez. On March 9, 2014, the Associated Press reported that Moreno was killed in a confrontation with Mexican marines in the Michoacán municipality of Aguililla, and that a forensic team had confirmed his identity. The problem is that he was supposedly killed by the Mexican military in December 2010.
Moreno was the evangelical and revered leader of the drug cartel known as La Familia Michoacana when they formally emerged on the scene in 2006. They had violent tendencies from the beginning, announcing their intentions to rid the state of Michoacán of kidnappers and extortionists by rolling five severed heads across a dance floor in a Uruapan, Mexico dance club that year—with an attached note, of course. They were a cult of personality centered on the quasi-religious teachings of Moreno, who actually developed a sort of bible, or manifesto, for the cartel that outlined what they should believe and how they should behave.
This indoctrination was very effective in recruiting people to Moreno’s cause, both voluntarily and coercively. Although La Familia initially eschewed methamphetamine as evil and the scourge of their communities, it wasn’t long before Moreno and his following evolved into some of the busiest meth traffickers in the business. They initially formed a coalition with the brutally violent Los Zetas cartel for protection, and to help their business expand their small corner of southwest Mexico. Their tendency toward extreme violence only grew with increased exposure to Los Zetas’ experience with beheadings and dismemberments.
Then in December 2010, “El Mas Loco” (which means “the craziest one” in Spanish) was reportedly killed in a firefight with Mexican authorities. His body was never retrieved, which led immediately to rumors that he was never actually killed, despite all the formal pronouncements my former President Felipe Calderón’s government. However, his presumed death led to dramatic changes within the organization—specifically, a split that would plunge Michoacán and neighboring states into heightened levels of violence that would persists for years.
After Moreno’s death, the popular Borderland Beat blog reported that control of La Familia was left in the hands of Enrique “La Chiva” Plancarte Solís and José de Jesus “El Chango” Mendez. By early 2011, a conflict started between the two. After the dispute ended, Plancarte and Servando “La Tuta” Gómez renamed the original cartel loyal to Moreno as the Knights Templar to fight Mendez’s breakaway faction, which kept the La Familia name. The activities of La Familia remained very low profile, while the Knights Templar were announcing to society that they were a new “vigilante group.”
In late June 2011, Mendez was arrested by Mexican authorities without incident. The Mexican government touted this arrest as the end of La Familia, while drug war observers began to speculate on what would become of the cartel. Some believe the Knights Templar would absorb what was left, and that would be accomplished with minimal bloodshed. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. La Familia continued to survive through alliances with other cartels and sheer determination, and conflicts with the Knights Templar ensured the blood continued to run in the streets of Michoacán.
Over the next two years, both the Knights and La Familia expanded their operations into the neighboring states of Jalisco, Guerrero, and even into the State of Mexico. The violence perpetrated by the Knights in Michoacán and Guerrero has gotten so bad that it has inspired a popular uprising of vigilante groups. These militias are made up of mostly local men and women who are tired of the violence, and have armed and organized themselves in an attempt to drive the Knights out of their communities. The Mexican government, mostly unable to control the Knights’ activities on their own, has actually begun to enter into formal agreements with some of the militias.
But now, it looks like while all of this has been going on, “El Mas Loco” has been the Wizard behind the curtain. Two main questions arise from this discovery: who knew he was alive all along, and what measure of control—if any—has Moreno had over the actions of The Knights Templar?
To be sure, the narco landscape in Michoacán has changed considerably since Moreno’s first “death.” The communities actually supported the original La Familia under Moreno because they felt protected under his leadership. The evangelical aspect of the organization resonated with a largely religious populace that may have not necessarily been satisfied with the guidance of the Church. La Familia also provided a good deal of support and social services to Michoacán communities with their considerable drug wealth. In turn, the community provided the most valuable commodity of all in the drug war—silence. When the police or military would ask questions about La Familia, everyone conveniently became blind and deaf.
Working under the assumption that the uppermost levels of the Knights Templar knew Moreno was alive, and were perhaps receiving guidance from him, his actual death could be a considerable blow to morale. It’s important to remember that the original La Familia—which was comprised of the Knights—practically worshipped Moreno and his teachings. Losing him for real is not the same as losing a kingpin who was more of a corporate boss, or even a close friend.
This being said, Moreno knew how crucial it was to maintain ultimate secrecy. It’s possible that only a few top and most loyal Knights leaders knew where he was. As such, it would have been difficult for Moreno to be involved at any operational level without risking discovery. His role, if any, would likely have been that of a personal advisor to La Tuta and maybe a few others.
Unfortunately, this means that the day-to-day operations of the Knights will likely be unaffected by Moreno’s actual death. It might actually serve as an inspiration, as his followers could be invigorated by the loss of their spiritual leader at the hands of the Mexican military. News of his veritable death will probably paint former President Calderón in a bad light for failing to take to the trouble to confirm the initial killing, or to find the body. It will also be another huge boost for current President Enrique Peña Nieto, coming hot on the heels of the marines’ capture of the Sinaloa cartel’s notorious leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán just two weeks ago.
Now we wait and see how events will unfold in Michoacán and neighboring Guerrero state. Will the Knights start to crumble in the face of a united front posed by the military, police, and vigilantes? Or will they fight even harder to honor their now-deceased leader? Only time—and sadly, the body count—will tell.
ABC News's Jonathan Karl mocked Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) belief that Obamacare could be repealed while President Barack Obama is in office if the law and the president should get even more unpopular.
Cruz, who tried to defund the Obamacare law even before the disastrous rollout and the multiple waivers that have since been granted, said he believed "every single word" of the law could be repealed in an interview that aired on ABC's This Week on Sunday.
When Karl said that it was safe to assume that the law cannot be repealed while Obama was in office, Cruz did not accept his assumption, arguing instead that there was one scenario in which it could happen. Cruz said politicians on both sides of the aisle are unified by wanting to preserve "their own hide." If Democrats could face a situation in which they "stand with Obamacare and lose" or "listen to the American people and have a chance at staying in office," the law could be repealed with or without Obama's permission.
“That’s the one scenario where we can do it in 2015. If not, we’ll do it in 2017," he said.
After Cruz called Karl out by saying the media treats that as a "bizarre proposition," Karl interjected to say that it was, indeed, "bizarre."
Cruz responded that Obamacare is the "most unpopular law in the country" and millions have lost their jobs while premiums have skyrocketed. Cruz said fighting against that law and for the American people is the way to win elections.
Watch Karl's interview with Ted Cruz below:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wowed the beltway elite and even Democrats during Saturday's annual Gridiron event, showing why the Ivy Leaguer has confounded and been vilified by many with whom he shares the same intellectual pedigree.
The annual D.C. roast is hosted by the exclusive Gridiron Club, which is composed of D.C.'s mainstream and "elite" journalists.
Cruz has degrees from Princeton and Harvard, which those in the permanent political class covet, and he can do their social rituals better than they can. Yet Cruz refuses to be co-opted by them politically, instead choosing to be a staunch conservative who represents the grassroots that sent him to Washington to fight against both political and media establishments.
Politico's Mike Allen said that Cruz, "crushed his speech – even Dems said he knocked it out of the park." In an appearance with Secretary of State John Kerry and Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, the Florida gubernatorial candidate who wants to be loved by the permanent political class, Cruz called himself the "anti-Crist" in what could be the perfect description of Cruz's brand of politics.
He also made fun of his filibuster and tense relationship with the GOP leadership:
And when Leader McConnell wants something, who am I to say no?… Twenty-one hours and 19 minutes [in the filibuster] – hearing nothing but my favorite sound. We’re talking Biden territory. And so typical of how this town works, they cut me off just as I was coming to my point.
He also said his relations with McCain have greatly improved because "This week… he’s only once demanded a public apology from me. As wackobirds go, that’s pretty good." He also poked fun at his having been born in Canada, mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and compared his Cuban dad to Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL), who was also from Cuba:
By the way, does anyone know the record for the longest speech ever at this dinner? I looked it up, and in the late 1800s, New York Senator Chauncey DePew enthralled his audience until well past midnight. So LOOSEN UP THOSE WHITE TIES, settle back, and what do you say we make Gridiron history? [Applause]
...[I]n front of conservative and tea-party audiences, I am hailed as the anti-Obama. But tonight, I’m the anti-Crist.
Canadians are so polite, mild-mannered, modest, unassuming, open-minded. Thank God my family fled that oppressive influence before it could change me.
I might add that Canadians are also extremely efficient. No red tape at all in handling my application to renounce citizenship. They had that thing approved before I even sent it in. The simple truth is that for a very brief time my family lived on the plains of Calgary. That does not make me a Canadian. Although Elizabeth Warren says that it does make me an Algonquin Indian. Of course, my family is Cuban… At first, when he got here, my dad washed dishes for 50 cents an hour. He was so low on the totem pole where he worked that even Marco Rubio's father bossed him around.
Cruz also blasted Obama's executive orders and his disregard for the law: "We are still a nation of laws. You just have to check with Barack Obama every day to see what they are."
Former Sen. Rick Santorum hit all the major issues and talked about the need for Republican unity at CPAC Friday, and gives every appearance of testing the waters for a presidential run in 2016.
Shortly into his speech, Santorum winged Sen. Ted Cruz and several other Tea Party favorites. The former Senate Republican Conference Chairman cautioned that Republicans “need to be really careful not to attack those on our side out of a sense of purity unless absolutely necessary.”
Santorum also faulted the GOP for its messaging, recasting issues in populist terms such as speaking about creating manufacturing and blue-collar jobs rather than dwelling on tax cuts for employers or emphasizing cutting government. “We have to let people know that we think good jobs are better than food stamps.”
A devout Roman Catholic, he noted that Pope Francis has not modified a single doctrine of the Catholic Church but draws vastly larger crowds than his predecessor. The 2012 presidential candidate credits the pontiff’s large crowds to his connecting with the common man.
He then turned to broad, long-term cultural trends, echoing the frustrations of many in terms of what society needs to instill in the next generation: “What do we say America is?”
“Who are we? Do we remember the pilgrims as real human beings... who suffered horribly?” asked Santorum. “They suffered religious persecution… they lost spouses and children.”
According to the senator, these stories are part of our national identity and teach the principles that propelled the United States to such success. “Americans used to know these stories… about our greatness.”
Santorum cast America’s history in faith-based terms: “God had his hand on this country.” Citing one of the pivotal moments in American history, he gave as an example of this providence George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas Night in 1776, an attack that historians agree seemed an almost impossible feat yet one which turned the course of the Revolutionary War.
Santorum also rallied to the defense of people of faith who are increasingly besieged by political and media elites, mainly on the coasts but increasingly even in the heartland. Santorum lambasted those who deride people of traditional Christian faith as “crazy evangelicals,” noting that these were the people who led the anti-slavery movement, and that a century later, the civil-rights era was sparked by another serious Christian named Rosa Parks.
Quoting the well-known line from Abraham Lincoln, Santorum pivoted to current social issues with, “We should not pray that God is on our side, but that we are on God’s side.”
He then struck a chord that just in the past few months has become vitally important to people of observant faith, speaking of First Amendment rights of conscience. He sided with business owners who are being sued for conducting their businesses consistent with their faiths, emphasizing that government “can’t tell us what we do when we leave church.”
He specifically referenced recent lawsuits and fines being imposed on Christian-owned businesses that decline on First Amendment grounds to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies or give free birth control or abortion-inducing drugs to employees under Obamacare.
Though the senator did not mention these specifics, the Supreme Court is going to hear two challenges to this Obamacare regulation on Mar. 25 and also decide this month whether to hear a case from a Christian photographer who declined to take a job making a celebratory photo-shoot of a same-sex commitment ceremony.
Santorum insisted, “The government must say out of the marketplace of ideas and beliefs.” Making the point that such precedents could later be used to coerce people to act against their beliefs on any issue – not only religious beliefs but political beliefs as well – he added, “It threatens to undo all freedoms for every American.”
Rick Santorum didn’t make any announcements at CPAC, but it’s likely we just heard what would be the broad themes of a second presidential campaign.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.
Some nonprofit organizations whose stated purposes have nothing to do with farming have enjoyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in farm subsidies over the past ten years, according to a FoxNews.com report.
1. The Three Year Economic Saving Program, which supervises Muhammad farms, is owned by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The farm is located in Georgia, but the government subsidies, nearly $160,000, have gone to Farrakhan’s home in Chicago since 2002. The program, which was incorporated on Sept. 12, 2001, has been listed as “Not in Good Standing” by Illinois’s secretary of state since last September. The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State said the program was “involuntarily" dissolved by the State of Illinois on Feb. 1.
The Illinois Attorney General Office said it has no record of the program's ever being a charity. Adam Andrzejewski, founder of OpenTheBooks.com, asked, “'Not in good standing' doesn’t seem to trouble the Cincinnati office of the IRS. Why is Farrakhan’s charity allowed to receive federal money? This is no longer about farm policy, it’s merely a transfer mechanism from one set of Americans who pay taxes to another set who know how to game the system.”
The Muhammad Farms website states that donors to the program can make “tax deductible contributions” to the Three Year Economic Saving Program. However, neither Muhammad Farms, the Nation of Islam, nor the Three Year Program have a listing on the IRS’s public database of 990 forms, the forms that can testify that the program or company has true nonprofit tax-exempt status. The Three Year program may be evading filing such forms by claiming it is a religious program, which would make it exempt. The Freedom of Information Act states that nonprofits are required to show their 990 forms for the past three years if requested, but the Nation of Islam would not return phone calls when the forms were requested.
2. Seven waterfowl habitat foundations based in Chicago that aim to protect waterfowl at the Putnam County, Illinois, Dixon Waterfowl Refuge have received roughly $3.4 million in taxpayer funds. Each foundation has amassed more than $50,000 in subsidies. The foundations are part of the Wetlands Initiative, which states that it is “dedicated to restoring the wetland resources of the Midwest.” All of the foundations are based in the same downtown Chicago high-rise office; they share the same agent and IRS 990 filer and gather their subsidies from the same USDA county office.
Despite the fact that the foundations claim to be based on protecting waterfowl, none of the ducks each foundation is named for is endangered. They include the Pintail, Ringbill, Blue-Wing Teal, Green-Wing Teal, Wood, Mallard, and Gadwall ducks. Not only are those ducks not endangered, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as being “of the least concern.” When queried, the Wetlands Initiative's finance manager would not answer why there were seven separate foundations.
3. The National Audubon Society, located in downtown Manhattan, has collected almost $763,000 in the last ten years, with its payment recipients located in eight separate states.
Since 1995, only $114,000 of the foundation’s $932,801 in farm subsidies have been allocated for crop and livestock payments; the rest has been used for conservation. FoxNews.com could confirm that of the $114,000, only one farm affiliated with the Society, Aullwood Farm in Dayton, Ohio, received payments, which amounted to no more than $3,224. The National Audubon site lists no centers or sanctuaries in Minnesota, but that state’s chapter has still obtained over $6,000 in subsidies over the past ten years. The foundation’s 990 form states that 26 “key employees” together accumulate a total of more than $8 million each year, with the National Audubon Society’s president earning at least $460,000.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WS) is preparing to appear at an Obamacare educational event with Planned Parenthood in her Milwaukee district.
Apparently Moore is not one of those Democrats shying away from Obamacare and intends to stand up loud and proud for the disastrous law at an event planned for Monday.
The event is being organized to help residents sign up for Obamacare and apply for financial assistance.
Moore, an African American, is also joining with the likes of abortion clinic operator and advocate Planned Parenthood. This group and others have been responsible for ending millions of African American births across the country, something that many call a genocide of sorts. In New York City, for instance, in 2012 there were more black babies aborted than born.
Moore tweeted about the event on March 7, informing constituents that they can "learn more" about Obamacare:
According to the event flyer there are a myriad of abortion groups and left-wing organizations co-sponsoring the event. Some of these groups are the United Way, Covering Kids & Families Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health. These groups and others join HealthCare.gov and Planned Parenthood as sponsors.
President Barack Obama is inserting himself into yet another television program, this time the reboot of a classic science series.
Obama will introduce the first episode of Cosmos at 9 p.m. EST tonight on Fox as well as other Fox-owned channels--FX, FXX, National Geographic Channel, Fox Sports 1, FMX, Fox Sports 2, Nat Geo Wil, Nat Geo Mundo and Fox Life.
In the video message, Obama invites a new generation to embrace the spirit of discovery and inspires viewers to explore new frontiers and imagine limitless possibilities for the future.
The 13-episode Cosmos, produced by Cosmos Studios and Fuzzy Door Productions, tells the story of how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time. Ann Druyan, Seth MacFarlane, Cosmos Studios president Mitchell Cannold and Brannon Braga are executive producers, with Jason Clark co-executive producing.
Obama, along with many in the Democratic party, maintain they embrace science unlike their GOP rivals. Yet Obama's position toward the country's space program has drawn some heavy criticism from space experts, and his most recent attempt to blame bad weather on global warming was contradicted by one of the administration's most vocal supporters. The president's penchant for using "climate change" arguments to support his policies often comes out as more pragmatic politics than actual science.
Amane Gobena of Ethiopia won the "gender" challenge on Sunday at the Los Angeles Marathon. Gobena won $50,000 for finishing "first" in the race and another $25,000 for being the first woman to cross the finish line.
Gebo Burka of Ethiopia won the men's race and had the fastest time, at 2:10:37, but since the women get a 17:41 head start, Gobena finished 41 seconds ahead of Burka with a time of 2:27:37. Burka won $25,000 for winning the men's race.