Mike LaChance has been covering higher education and politics for Legal Insurrection since 2012. He also creates content for American Lookout, and is a columnist for Townhall.
Since 2008 he has contributed work to the Daily Caller, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, the Center for Security Policy, the Washington Free Beacon, and Ricochet.
Mike is a Generation X, New England lifer who describes his political views as conservative and libertarian.
You can find him on Twitter @MikeLaChance33
Foreign Government Gifts to Clinton Foundation on the Rise The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency. Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline. In 2009, the Clinton Foundation stopped raising money from foreign governments after Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state. Former President Bill Clinton, who ran the foundation while his wife was at the State Department, agreed to the gift ban at the behest of the Obama administration, which worried about a secretary of state’s husband raising millions while she represented U.S. interests abroad. The ban wasn’t absolute; some foreign government donations were permitted for ongoing programs approved by State Department ethics officials.The panel on Special Report with Bret Baier addressed the issue last night: Considering their prior position on this issue, the Democratic Party's silence is surprising.
West Virginia Train Derails, Sending Oil Tanker Into River Oil from North Dakota's shale fields was still burning in West Virginia a day after a train carrying more than 3 million gallons of crude derailed in a snowstorm, shooting fireballs into the sky. Hundreds of families were evacuated and nearby water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after 19 tanker cars left the tracks and caught fire, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary and burning a nearby house down to its foundation. "There's nothing there," said Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, who toured the scene. "All you can see is a couple of blocks sticking out of the ground. There's some pickup trucks out front completely burned to the ground."The flames caused by the crash were unbelievable: The accident has revived the debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline, a mode of fuel transport proponents claim is much safer.
Eric Holder: ‘We’re Not at a Time of War’ U.S. and coalition forces have conducted nearly 2,300 airstrikes hitting more than 4,800 targets in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, as part of the ongoing campaign to defeat the so-called Islamic State. Three service members have already perished in these ongoing operations against ISIS. But according to Attorney General Eric Holder, “we're not at a time of war.” The comments, during a luncheon at the National Press Club, came just days after the White House sent Congressional leaders a draft bill that would authorize the continuation of the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. President Obama declared an end to the ‘Global War on Terror’ in 2013, but that was before the emergence of the so-called Islamic State and the operation the president launched to fight them. Last week, the White House proposed a war authorization that set out no geographical limits on the use against ISIS and its affiliated groups, which was criticized by some of the left who said it allowed the president too much leeway to conduct military action. Holder made the remarks Tuesday while responding to a question about the Department of Justice's prosecution of journalists over national security matters.Here's a clip of Holder's appearance. You'll notice that while Holder was agitated over questions about the administration's refusal to say radical Islam, he was quite comfortable naming their biggest perceived threat: FOX News.
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Murder of Egyptian Citizens The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens. ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity. This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL. This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL. We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat. We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.It's astonishing how far the Obama administration will go to avoid saying those certain words: not only do they refuse to identify the attackers as Muslims, they won't identify the victims as Christians. Funny how he had no problem specifically mentioning Christians when he was talking about the crusades.
The Killer, the Reporter, and the Southern Poverty Law Center Craig Hicks, the man who murdered three Muslims in North Carolina this week, had a Facebook page. One of the groups he liked on it is the Southern Poverty Law Center. An AlterNet article about Hicks—reprinted today in both Raw Story and Salon—includes several long quotes from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Guess what subject never comes up? No, I don't think the SPLC deserves any blame for the crime. That would be ridiculous. But the SPLC itself has a long history of throwing around blame in precisely that ridiculous way, so it would have been nice to hear how Potok reacts when an event like this lands in his own backyard. Double standards deserve to be challenged, right? By the way: While the AlterNet piece doesn't mention Hicks' apparent fondness for the SPLC, it does mention the fact that his Facebook likes lean liberal. But it dismisses this as unimportant, telling us the significant thing is that Hicks "appears to fit the psychological profile of violent extremists—regardless of their ideological stripes."Patrick Poole of PJ Media recently made this observation:
Rubio Urges Democrats to Not Boycott Netanyahu Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) strongly urged his Democratic colleagues to stand with Israel during his floor speech Thursday, stating they should not boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 address to Congress.Here's the video: Rubio's sentiment has been echoed by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.“Don’t do this to a people that are in the crosshairs of multiple terrorist groups with the capability of attacking them,” Rubio said. “Don’t do this to a nation whose civilians are terrorized by thousands of rockets launched against them at a moment’s notice. Don’t do this to a country that’s facing down the threat of a nuclear weapon annihilating them off the face of the Earth. Don’t do this to a people that are being stigmatized all over the world, even as we speak, who are being oppressed. Don’t do this to a country that in forum after forum has become the subject of de-legitimatization as people argue that somehow Israel’s right to exist is not real."
Yesterday was the worst Twitter day of all time. Or at least the worst that I remember. Some lady no one had ever heard of and who had about 100 followers at the time sent the Tweet above. The tweet went viral.... Whoever started it, plenty of websites picked up on it and ran with it to feed the mob and not miss out on clicks and eyeballs. By the time I saw it, long after she became a hunted woman, my first impression was similar to that of John Nolte at Breitbart.com: Looks like the type of “white privilege” claptrap we read almost weekly at Salon.com or Slate.com. Some liberal white person coming to grips with her privilege and wanting the whole world to know about it.... Racist? You’d need to know a lot more. Maybe shoot her a tweet back and ask what she meant, or look her up and send her an email before proclaiming her to be a racist. But no one could do that. She was on an airplane to visit her native South Africa. For 11 hours. And in those 11 hours she became a hated and hunted woman.... Greg Gutfeld summed it up best:
Ms. Sacco was fired from her job as a result. Here's a video report ABC News provided at the time:
This #HasJustineLandedYet proves one thing: humans never change. We love a good bloodbath.— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) December 21, 2013
As Scott Walker mulls White House bid, questions linger over college exit Scott Walker was gone. Dropped out. And in the spring of his senior year. In 1990, that news stunned his friends at Marquette University. Walker, the campus’s suit-wearing, Reagan-loving politico — who enjoyed the place so much that he had run for student body president — had left without graduating. To most of the Class of 1990 — and, later, to Wisconsin’s political establishment — Walker’s decision to quit college has been a lingering mystery. Not even his friends at Marquette were entirely sure why he never finished. Some had heard that a parent had fallen ill, or maybe there was some financial strain. Others thought he had simply had enough of school. Walker clearly liked college politics more than college itself. He had managed to line up 47 campaign endorsements, including ones from the ski team and the varsity chorus, but he had trouble showing up on time for French. And, after four years, he had faltered on both fronts. He’d lost an ugly race for president. And he apparently had far too few credits to graduate.Allahpundit of Hot Air notes that journalists are already playing the requisite "gotcha" games with Scott Walker from which Democrats are always exempt.
Obama administration won’t release IRS targeting documents The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency’s scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations. The Hill sought access to government documents that might provide a glimpse of the decision-making through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The Hill asked for 2013 emails and other correspondence between the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The request specifically sought emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and Treasury officials, including Secretary Jack Lew, while the inspector general was working on its explosive May 2013 report that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review the political activities of tax-exempt groups. TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request, citing various exemptions in the law. The Hill recently appealed the FOIA decision, but TIGTA denied the appeal. TIGTA also declined to comment for this article.The Department of Justice, which hasn't been politicized in any way, may be partially to blame for the slowness of the investigation.
Staples threatens to fire employees who work more than 25 hours a week Part-time Staples workers are furious that they could be fired for working more than 25 hours a week. The company implemented the policy to avoid paying benefits under the Affordable Care Act, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed. The healthcare law mandates that workers with more than 30 hours a week receive healthcare. If Staples doesn't offer benefits, it could be fined $3,000 in penalties per person. Buzzfeed spoke with several Staples workers who revealed their hours have been drastically cut over the past year. Many reported working as few as 20 hours. The workers started a petition on Change.org asking the company not to "cut part-time hours because of Obamacare."It's terrible that these folks are losing work hours, but it's not unexpected, and it's not the fault of Staples---that's just as far as an employee wants to look when it's suddenly gotten harder to pay the bills and feed their families. You think it's bad now, wait until people start dealing with their tax returns.
What Should We Ask President Obama? BuzzFeed News will interview President Barack Obama Tuesday as the president works to sign Americans up for his signature health care policy, prepares for a final chance to push through other elements of his agenda, and balances an economic recovery with crises around the world. BuzzFeed News has had our share of big stories and big interviews, but this will be our first interview with a sitting president of the United States. (President Bush missed his chance back in the day.) It’s a nice tribute to the work my colleagues have done to take this place from an ambitious, zany experiment to one of the most ambitious new news and media organizations in the world. Separately, and also exciting, our inspired cousins at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures will be shooting a video with President Obama. The BuzzFeed News interview is also an opportunity for our readers, here and across the social web, to give us some ideas. Since its inception, BuzzFeed News has covered everything from the marriage wars to the shooting war in Eastern Ukraine, and our reporters have filed searing dispatches from Ferguson to Freetown. I’m hoping to ask the president about what’s next — and what you think is next. So tell us your toughest questions — in whatever form you think that question is best asked.The reaction on Twitter was swift.
Bookstore Owner Describes How San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Increase Killed His Small Business What happens when the minimum wage is raised to double the current federal level? San Francisco is providing a perfect example–and the results are not all that surprising. Alan Beets, founder of independent bookstore Borderland’s Books, is closing his doors because the city raised the minimum wage to $15. The bookstore, which employs five people, has weathered challenges such as bigger bookstores and online shopping, but the minimum wage hike proved too much to overcome. “It’s not that I can’t afford to pay higher than minimum wage, but I can’t afford to pay minimum wage that gets that high,” Beets said. Raising the minimum wage is a challenge for all small businesses, but the increased cost for owners is especially troublesome for bookstores. Beets said that while other businesses mark up their prices, shifting the cost to consumers, his product, books, has a price labeled on it so he cannot do the same. “The long-term costs just end up getting too high,” Beets said. “About two years from now, I will be running in the red. It will get worse from there.”Here's the video segment: People who support raising the minimum wage never seem to appreciate the effect it has on jobs.
Susan Rice Calls for Climate Action, LGBT Equality in National Security Plan National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the United States must take a longer view on national security, in a speech that focused as much on gender and LGBT equality and climate change as Islamic State terrorism and Russian aggression. “The issues is not simply about when we should have started arming the Syrian rebels or whether we should provide lethal assistance to Ukraine,” Rice said in a speech to the Brookings Institution when introducing President Barack Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy. “It’s about the nature of U.S. leadership for the future. With this national security strategy, we stake out a much larger role for America in shaping the world while anticipating the challenges to come.”... She went on to frame the national security aspects of climate change, which she said the administration is addressing with its “groundbreaking climate commitment with China.” “American leadership is addressing the very real threat of climate change. The science is clear,” she said. “The impacts of climate change will only worsen over time. Even longer droughts, more severe storms, more forced migration.”...
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