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
Obama condemns those who seek to 'hijack religion' President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that "no god condones terror." "We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends," Obama said during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He singled out the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, calling the militants a "death cult," as well as those responsible for last month's terror attacks in Paris and deadly assault on a school in Pakistan... Obama had a more non-denominational message for the audience that also included prominent leaders of non-Christian faiths. The president said that while religion is a source for good around the world, people of all faiths have been willing to "hijack religion for their own murderous ends." "Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ," Obama said. "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. "So it is not unique to one group or one religion," Obama said. "There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith."Charles Krauthammer reacted on Special Report. Video via National Review:
Holder Fires Back at GOP: ‘There’s Been No Politicization of This Justice Department’ Last week the Senate held confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, but a lot of the questions from Republicans centered around the current occupant of that office, with one even going so far as to ask Lynch if she is Eric Holder. Today, Holder himself held a news conference in which he started out by saying, “For the record, I am Eric Holder.” From there, the attorney general went after Republican critics in possibly one of the last (if not the last) press conferences of his tenure leading the DOJ. He said it’s “a little irresponsible for people on the hill to say that policy differences that we have with them… can be characterized as political.” Holder insisted that “there’s been no politicization of this Justice Department” and said such an accusation is “totally inconsistent with the facts.”Here's a video of Holder's statement:
Merkel refuses to write off Greece's debt In her first interview since Syriza won the Greek election last weekend, Angela Merkel has made it clear the debt stands but she hopes they stay in the eurozone. The far-left party stormed to victory last weekend with 36 per cent of the vote, promising to ditch austerity and renegotiate the country's £180billion bailout from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - also known as the troika. Their finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has said this troika of global institutions is "rotten" and has refused to work with them to renegotiate bailout terms. Syriza is now beginning to roll back on the austerity measures imposed by the EU on the previous administration in exchange for the loans. However this morning the German Chancellor said that while Europe will continue to show solidarity with Greece and other nations hit by Europe's debt crisis, the debts must be repaid in full. Speaking to Hamburger Abendblatt, she said: "I do not envisage fresh debt cancellation. "There has already been voluntary debt forgiveness by private creditors, banks have already slashed billions from Greece's debt."It's amazing what can happen when a politician is told he can't spend money he doesn't have. The Tsipras administration, which knows it doesn't have the negotiating power (or money) to defy reality has quickly adopted a new position.
Obama budget: Tax on overseas profits to pay for U.S. roads and bridges President Obama's budget request set for release Monday includes plans for a six-year, $478 billion public works program that would be paid for with a one-time 14 percent tax on overseas corporate profits. Details of Obama's budget plan released in recent days have been widely rejected by congressional Republicans. But finding a way to enact a new federal infrastructure spending plan has been an unattainable goal on Capitol Hill for several years. Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) hoped to pass a new highway bill shortly after the GOP took control of the House in 2011 but has struggled to build support among skeptical conservatives. According to a document shared by administration officials on Sunday, Obama's plan to rebuild the nation's airports, bridges, highways and railroads would be paid for by imposing a 14 percent tax on up to $2 trillion in profits that companies have accumulated overseas over a number of years to avoid paying corporate income taxes. That's far lower than the current top corporate tax rate of 35 percent. The one-time tax on the repatriation of foreign profits differs from other proposals to offer a "tax holiday" for companies that would pay a much lower tax rate voluntarily to help fund new road construction projects. Obama opposes such tax holidays.One has to wonder if there are more "shovel ready" jobs available this time.
Some Motorists Wait Months For DMV Appointments After Immigrants Law Goes Into Effect The Department of Motor Vehicles is so overwhelmed with requests for new driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations that it can take up to three months to get an appointment or a half-day wait in the lobby. A DMV spokesman told KCAL9 Political Reporter Dave Bryan there has been a crush of applications for new licenses for undocumented immigrants, a program that began earlier this month. The spokesman said the DMV is working to address the problems, but some people are having to take a day off of work to handle a 15-minute transaction. At the Hollywood DMV office, where they handle drivers license issues, the long lines outside and packed waiting areas inside are testimony to the long, grueling process that California drivers have to endure before getting service. For example, Jose Quiroz’s DMV ordeal spanned two days of waiting patiently with his family to have his license renewed. “Yesterday, I was here for four hours standing outside, and when I got to the front line they said that they were not taking us in no more,” Quiroz told Bryan. “And now I am back here again, because I am here to fix my license, and I have been here five or six hours.”Here's the video report:
The FBI is looking for Ghazi Nasr Al-Din and believes he could be in South Florida He was just added to the bureau’s seeking information terrorism list. The agency wants to talk to him about his fundraising efforts with Hezbollah contributors. Hezbollah is an Islamic militant group. Nasr Al-Din is 5 foot 7 and weighs about 175 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes and an olive complexion. He speaks Arabic and Spanish and he has dual citizenship in Lebanon and Venezuela. If you see him call the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800- 225-5324) or contact your local FBI office.Here is the the official FBI wanted poster:
Senator John McCain Calls Out Protesters Who Swarmed Henry Kissinger Sen. John McCain earned some applause inside a Senate Armed Services hearing this morning after he erupted at protesters of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, calling them “low-life scum.” “I've been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” said McCain, R-AZ. Protesters from the group CodePink swarmed behind Kissinger as he arrived alongside two other former Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright and George Shultz, for a hearing on U.S. national security strategy. They held up signs calling Kissinger a criminal and chanted “arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes” -- citing some of his more controversial decisions during the Nixon and Ford administrations. “You know, you're going to have to shut up, or I'm going to have you arrested,” McCain said as Capitol Hill Police tried to remove the protesters. “Get out of here you low-life scum.”CSPAN captured the entire exchange on video:
Democrats see new chance to attack Kochs after $1 billion spending announcement Forget Jeb, Rand and Ted. For Democrats, it’s all about Charles and David. The announcement this week that the vast political network backed by the wealthy industrialist Koch brothers aims to spend nearly $1 billion on the 2016 elections has reignited Democratic hopes of casting the brothers as electoral villains and linking them closely to Republican candidates. It’s a campaign strategy that yielded little success for the party in 2014, a banner year for the GOP. But Democratic officials and operatives say they are hopeful that their anti-Koch message will have more potency in a presidential election year.Sally Kohn, who somehow has a job writing for CNN, jumped right on the bandwagon:
A better way for the Kochs to spend their millions Here comes spendageddon! To influence the 2016 elections, oil barons Charles and David Koch have pledged that their political network will spend $889 million, media reports say. Basically -- wrap your head around this if you can -- the ultra-conservative Koch brothers want to keep their business and personal taxes as low as possible and keep regulations on the energy industry as low as possible. And if they get their way, that $889 million in money donated by the Kochs and others to the groups they founded, will turn out to be just a drop in the bucket, a small investment for which they stand to gain much more in tax breaks and free pollution.I fail to see how the libertarian Kochs, who favor gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana, qualify as "ultra-conservative"; but I'm clearly not as smart as Ms. Kohn.
Scott Walker Wows 'Em in Iowa Scott Walker wowed them in Iowa at whatever this thing was, this Republican, slash, conservative, just wowed them. And you know me, folks, if you have spent any time listening to this program in the last two years, you know that I believe Scott Walker is the blueprint for the Republican Party if they are serious about beating the left. Scott Walker has shown how to do it. And apparently he showed up and he made a speech on Saturday that had people telling them it reminded them of the speech I gave at CPAC... Scott Walker has shown the Republican Party how to beat the left. Scott Walker has the blueprint for winning and winning consistently and winning big in a blue state with conservative principles that are offered with absolutely no excuses. The left, the Democrat Party, threw everything at Scott Walker trying to destroy him. They did everything they could. He not only withstood it all, he survived and triumphed over all of it. They broke rules. They got close to breaking laws. They were threatening his family personally, and he remained undeterred.Some bloggers are pretty excited about Walker. @rdbrewer from Ace of Spades HQ is already making campaign posters:
Greece's First Radical Left Prime Minister Sworn In Tieless and eschewing the traditional religious swearing-in ceremony, but with a surprise coalition deal in the bag and a sanguine international reception, radical left leader Alexis Tsipras took over Monday as austerity-wracked Greece's new prime minister. Hours earlier, the 40-year-old's Syriza party trounced the outgoing, conservative government in Sunday's national elections, on a platform of easing social pain and securing massive debt forgiveness. Although Syriza fell tantalizingly short of a governing majority in the 300-seat parliament, Tsipras moved quickly Monday to secure the support of 13 lawmakers from the small, right-wing populist Independent Greeks party, raising his total to 162. "''We have the required majority," Tsipras told Greek President Karolos Papoulias, shortly before being sworn in as prime minister, the youngest Greece has seen in 150 years and the first incumbent to take a secular oath rather than the religious one customarily administered by a Greek Orthodox official.Fans of Tsipras are celebrating, but his victory presents a whole new set of problems.
Man Who Escaped ISIS: They Want to Plan an Attack ‘More Brutal’ than 9/11 The Islamic State is “happy” about the air strikes by the United States because it validates their efforts in emerging as a global threat, says a man who escaped after a month with the group. Ahmad Rashidi was captured by the Islamic State when he went to Syria from London to retrieve the two daughters of a family friend; the teenage girls had fled England to marry Islamic State fighters. When Rashidi found one of the girls, her husband accused him of being a spy and he was taken prisoner and tortured. He later won the favor of his capturers by telling them he was a doctor; Rashidi is, in fact, a first-year medical student. While embedded with the Islamic State for a month, Rashidi gained access to their computers and communications. He told NBC News’s Richard Engel that the group communicates with its contacts “every day” and is not worried about the West’s response to its attacks. In fact, the Islamic State was “happy” about the American military’s response of air strikes because it proved to the group’s leaders that they were considered as important a threat as al-Qaeda. “They want to be more . . . better than al-Qaeda,” he told Engel. “This is why they need to do something more brutal than the World Trade Center.”Here's the video: Speaking of Syria, there are new developments in American policy.
Obama, Clinton tensions build over email lists ahead of 2016 New tensions are emerging in the relationship between allies of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. At issue is the fate of the political equivalent of gold dust — the enormous email list, comprised of many millions of supporters and donors, that the Obama team has compiled over the course of his two presidential campaigns. The Clinton camp would dearly love to get its hands on the list, but there is no promise as yet that the president’s aides will comply. There are “large concerns” about the lists among Clinton supporters, one Hillary ally told The Hill. To the Clintons and their friends, it’s near unthinkable that a Democratic president — who has plenty of reasons to want a member of his party to succeed him — would withhold such a valuable commodity. But Team Obama has long believed that the president’s support is built upon the bedrock of his personal qualities rather than mere party identification. His people are loath to be seen as treating the passion of his supporters in a cavalier fashion. “There’s a lot of data — voter data, massive email lists — that Obama built and there are a lot of people who want to make sure that he spreads that wealth,” the Clinton ally said. “They want to make sure he doesn’t take it in a suitcase back to Chicago and move on. No one wants to see it disappear or have it used just to build a library.”Democrats are probably hoping everyone has forgotten how ugly the conflict between Hillary and Obama became during the 2008 Democratic primary. There's plenty of evidence that the rift never healed.
The Megyn Kelly Moment Kelly, who is now 44, grew up in Ailes’s America, in a middle-class suburb of Albany called Delmar. She was the youngest of three children, worked as a fitness instructor and went to Mass most Sundays. Her father was an education professor at the State University of New York at Albany, and her mother ran the behavioral-health department at a Veterans Administration hospital. As a teenager in the late 1980s, she lived in a mall rat’s bubble of tall hair, leg warmers and Bon Jovi; one of the popular kids, she was the type who also had friends among the other groups at Bethlehem Central High School, with names like the Dirties (hackeysack-playing stoners) and the Creamies (choir geeks). Reality intruded early. Ten days before Christmas, when Kelly was 15, her father died of a heart attack. He had canceled some of his life-insurance coverage just two months earlier. Money had been tight, and Kelly’s mother had to worry about the mortgage and other expenses. In her senior yearbook, Megyn listed her future hopes in three words: “College, government, wealth.” Kelly took a high-school aptitude test that, in a perhaps rare moment of accuracy for such tests, suggested that her ideal career was news. She applied to Syracuse in hopes of attending its well-regarded communications program; she was accepted to the school but rejected from the program, so she majored in political science instead.It's a very long piece but worth reading in full. Of course, not everyone on the left is happy about Kelly's success.
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