(Video) Rick Perry serves a heaping helping of red meat at CPAC

**Posted by Phineas

Texas Governor Perry spoke this morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and, well, got the crowd more wound up than any amount of coffee ever could. Enjoy:

smiley cheering

After his poor performance in the 2012 primary debates, there was some speculation that pain meds he had been taking to get him through back surgery had affected him. Whatever the reason, he looks to be well over it, now.  This was a great speech and he hit all the notes near and dear to a limited-government conservative’s heart. The Washington Examiner quotes the conclusion:

“My fellow conservatives, the future of this country is upon you, it belongs to you,” Perry roared. “You have the power to change America, you have the power to speak to our newest hopes in addition to our age-old dreams, you are the path to the future, a light on a distant shore and you represent the renewed hope that America can be great again!”

PS: I didn’t see a teleprompter, did you?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

 

(Video) Senator Rubio makes a fool out Senator Harkin over Cuba

**Posted by Phineas

This is truly a popcorn-worthy use of your time, my friends.

Background: Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), one of the leading progressives in the Senate, took a trip to Cuba recently. Perfectly legal, members of Congress can go on such fact-finding missions when they wish. The senator must have visited an alternate-Earth Cuba, however, because, when he came back, he had nothing but praise for the Communist dictatorship:

It makes sense that as chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Tom Harkin would want to check out how other countries are doing when it comes to public health. So he spent last week in Cuba, where he saw all sorts of things that made quite the impression on him.

Cuba is a “poor country, but they have a lower child mortality rate than ours,” the Iowa Democrat said to reporters Wednesday. “Their life expectancy is now greater than ours. It’s interesting—their public health system is quite remarkable.”

This was all a bit much for Marco Rubio (R-FL), himself the son of Cuban refugees who had to flee the island to escape that wonderful health system, and so much else. (1) So, in a speech before the Senate, he proceeded to mop the floor with Harkin’s useful idiocy. From the Miami Herald:

This wasn’t some Cold War-era fulmination about Castro’s regime.

Rubio’s speech was about current events: the protests in Venezuela, the Maduro government and the ties it has with the Castros, who repress their own people and helped inspire the suppression in Caracas.

Venezuela is becoming the new Cuba.

For 14 minutes and 16 seconds, Rubio gave the best oration of his political career, speaking largely off the top of his head and with only the barest of notes. Rubio sometimes dripped with sarcasm or simmered with indignation as he made the case to Congress that the United States needs to continue Cuba sanctions and punish Venezuela.

Enjoy:

My only question is at what point did Harkin sneak out in embarrassment?

I know Rubio has lost his luster with conservatives because of his support for the Senate immigration bill last year. Indeed, he’s fallen well-off my own short list, as I came to question his judgment. But, in this speech on tyranny in Cuba and Venezuela, on the fecklessness of the Obama administration’s policy in the region and the fatuousness of Castro apologists such as Tom Harkin, all I can say is “Viva, Marco!”

RELATED: More at Hot Air.

Footnote:
(1) If you want to read one of the best books about what life under the Castro brothers has really been like, I recommend Armando Valladares’ memoir, “Against All Hope.” I’m tempted to send Tom Harkin a copy.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Suicide-bombing instructor blows up his own class

**Posted by Phineas

Former ISIS faculty member

Former ISIS faculty member

As you can imagine, I’m shedding rivers of tears over this news.

Tears of laughter:

A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said.

The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which is fighting the Shiite-dominated army of the Iraqi government, mostly in Anbar Province. But they are also linked to bomb attacks elsewhere and other fighting that has thrown Iraq deeper into sectarian violence.

Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials. Stores of other explosive devices and heavy weapons were also kept there, the officials said.

I bet that taught them a lesson they’ll never forget.

I wonder if a jihadi qualifies for his 72 virgin goats if he dies in the dumbest way possible?

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Alabama Chick-fil-A location hands out free sandwiches to stuck motorists

Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A: Great food and awesome people.

Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes files this report about a Chick-fil-A in Alabama that decided to brave hazardous conditions to help out motorists stuck on the highway during yesterday’s snowstorm by giving them free chicken sandwiches:

Icy interstates and highways soon became clogged with cars and trucks. Thousands of motorists soon found themselves stranded with nowhere to go – including many stuck on Highway 280.

But a good number of those stranded motorists were able to find shelter in the storm thanks to the kindness and generosity of Chick-fil-A restaurant employees and the restaurant’s owner, Mark Meadows.

Once the snow started accumulating, Meadows closed the restaurant and sent his staff home. But a few hours later, many of them returned – unable to get to their homes.

“Our store is about a mile and a half from the interstate and it took me two hours to get there,” manager Audrey Pitt told me. “It was a parking lot as far as I could see.”

So Audrey left her car on the side of the interstate and joined a flock of bundled up drivers trudging through the snow.

“At one point there were more people walking than driving,” she said.

Some of the drivers had been stuck in their cars for nearly seven hours without any food or water. So the staff of the Chick-fil-A decided to lend a helping hand.

“We cooked several hundred sandwiches and stood out on both sides of 280 and handed out the sandwiches to anyone we could get to – as long as we had food to give out.”

The staffers braved the falling snow and ice, slipping and sliding, as they offered hot juicy chicken breasts tucked between two buttered buns. And Chick-fil-A refused to take a single penny for their sandwiches.

The meal was a gift – no strings attached.

For the frozen drivers, it was manna from heaven.

“They were very excited and extremely thankful,” she said. “People were thankful to get something to put in their stomachs.”

[…]

But Chick-fil-A’s generosity didn’t stop there.

“We opened up our dining room to anyone who wanted to sleep on a bench or a booth,” Audrey told me.
And this morning, the weary staff members fired up their ovens and began preparing chicken biscuits. The only thing that is closed – is Chick-fil-A’s cash register.

“We’re not open for business,” she said. ‘We’re just feeding people who are hungry.”

What awful, hateful employees …

Happy 69th anniversary, George HW and Barbara Bush

George HW & Barbara Bush

Praying for many more happy years to come.

Fox News reports that Monday marked the 69th anniversary for the couple, the longest marriage for a Presidential couple in history:

he longest-running presidential love story just celebrated another anniversary.

President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush marked their 69th wedding anniversary Monday, extending the couple’s record for the longest presidential marriage in the nation’s history.

They set the record in 2000 when they surpassed John and Abigail Adams’ 54-year union.

“They don’t think of it in terms of ‘we’re the longest,’” Jim McGrath, President George H.W. Bush’s spokesman, told FoxNews.com on Monday. “They’re just so clearly still in love and devoted to one another. They’re two people, but they’re really one person.”

The romance began when the two met during a Christmas dance at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., back when the future president was 16 years old. The two were engaged a year and a half later, right before President Bush shipped out overseas to fight in World War II as a naval pilot.

A few years later, in Sept. 1944, Bush was shot down and nearly killed during a mission over the Pacific, which resulted in his being sent back home in time for Christmas. Soon after, Bush and the then Barbara Pierce were married in Rye, N.Y. on Jan. 6, 1945. They would have six children, including future President George W. Bush.

Years later, Barbara Bush would tell her children that she married the first man she ever kissed.

I so love their story.  Here’s to many more years together of love, contentment, enjoyment of life. God bless ‘em.

Perspective: Building the #Obamacare web site vs winning WWII

**Posted by Phineas

"First they stormed Normandy, then their own memorial"

And yet Obama can’t build a working web site.

Via Twitchy, FOX’s Bret Baier read an email from a viewer on his show and then posted it to his web site. Obama and his fans liked to compare him to FDR. I wonder how they’ll like it now:

“Putting things in perspective: March 21st 2010 to October 1 2013 is 3 years, 6 months, 10 days.  December 7, 1941 to May 8, 1945 is 3 years, 5 months, 1 day.  What this means is that in the time we were attacked at Pearl Harbor to the day Germany surrendered is not enough time for this progressive federal government to build a working webpage.  Mobilization of millions, building tens of thousands of tanks,  planes, jeeps, subs, cruisers, destroyers, torpedoes, millions upon millions of guns, bombs, ammo, etc. Turning the tide in North Africa,  Invading Italy, D-Day,  Battle of the Bulge, Race to Berlin – all while we were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific!!  And in that amount of time – this administration can’t build a working webpage.”

Boom.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Wishing the Rev. Billy Graham a very happy, blessed 95th birthday

Rev. Billy Graham

Rev. Billy Graham

North Carolina’s favorite son and world-renowned man of faith Rev. Billy Graham turns 95 today:

His eyes are clouded, his voice grainy and his famous wavy hair has turned snow-white.

But age has not robbed Billy Graham of his power – softer now – to preach the Gospel.

As the Charlotte-born evangelist turns 95 Thursday, millions of TV watchers and churchgoers will witness what could be his final public message.

Speaking into a camera at his log cabin-like home in Montreat, Graham calls for a spiritual reawakening in America and says that the cross of Christ “demands … a new lifestyle in all of us.”

“With all my heart, I want to leave you with the truth,” the grandfatherly Graham says about God. “He loves you, willing to forgive you of all your sins.”

Graham’s new but familiar words, recorded over the last year, are featured in a DVD that’s part of a national evangelical effort called “My Hope America, with Billy Graham.” The 28-minute program, which also includes archival footage of the younger Graham, will be shown at 10 p.m. Thursday on Fox News.

In the coming days, nearly 500 local TV stations will also show the program – including Charlotte’s WBTV (channel 3), which will air it Friday at 8 p.m. And more than 25,000 churches around the country are participating in the “My Hope” effort. Pastors of those churches are providing copies of the DVD to members who have been trained to host watch gatherings in their homes.

The Observer also reports that ‘[a]bout 800 people, including celebrities, are expected to attend a private party for him at Asheville’s Omni Grove Park Inn’ tonight.   May God continue to bless him,  and continue to bless us with this wonderful, deeply inspiring and amazing man. Happy birthday, Reverend.

You can’t kill a Gurkha. You can only make him mad, which is a bad idea.

**Posted by Phineas

"Made for hunting Taliban"

“Made for hunting Taliban”

(Image via Wikipedia)

You’d think the Taliban would have learned from their last encounter with Her Majesty’s Nepalese soldiers, but, no, there’s always someone who thinks “this time, it will be different.”

And that, my friends, is the definition of madness:

Acting L/Cpl [Tuljung] Gurung, who serves with the Royal Gurkha Rifles, was on duty at Patrol Base Sparta, in Nahr-e Seraj, at 4am on March 22 when he spotted two Afghans running towards his sangar, or watchtower.

When he challenged them to stop, the insurgents opened fire with an AK47 assault rifle.

One of the rounds struck him on the helmet, knocking him to the ground. Groggily getting to his feet, he saw a grenade bounce into the tower.

Fearing it would explode, the married Gurkha picked it up and hurled it away a split-second before it detonated, the force of the blast throwing him to the floor.

But as the dust and debris settled, Acting L/Cpl Gurung came face-to-face with one of the Taliban who was climbing into the 3 metre high sangar.

Lacking room to aim his rifle, the soldier drew his 18inch kukri and tenaciously took on the insurgent in hand-to-hand combat.

During the fight, the pair plunged to the ground outside the base. In a life-or-death struggle, Acting L/Cpl Gurung continued to lash out with the blade.

He said: ‘He was quite a bit bigger than me. I just hit him in the hand, body, I just started to hit him.

‘I just thought, “I don’t want to die. If I am alive I can save my colleagues”.

‘I thought, “Before he does something I have to do something”. I was like a madman.’

Faced with his ferocity, the Taliban turned and fled. Acting L/Cpl Gurung’s citation said he had displayed the ‘highest levels of gallantry and courage’.

When you look in the dictionary under “badass,” you’ll find a picture of a Gurkha.

For his courage and loyalty, Lance Corporal Gurung was awarded the Military Cross, Britain’s third-highest medal. I’d say his comrades owe him a round or two in the pub, too.

RELATED: The Gurkha who took on 40 train robbers, armed only with his kukri knife.

via Craigé

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

WWII veterans push through #HarryReidsShutdown barricade to visit WWII memorial

Probably one of the most awesome stories you’ll read … EVER.  First heard about it on Leo Shane III’s Twitter feed. Here’s his full story – via Stars and Stripes:

WASHINGTON — Wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside barricades to tour the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, in defiance of the government shutdown which closed all of the memorials in the nation’s capital.

The four bus loads of veterans — visiting from Mississippi as part of a once-in-a-lifetime Honor Flight tour — ignored National Park Police instructions not to enter the site as lawmakers and tourists cheered them on.

“We didn’t come this far not to get in,” one veteran proclaimed.

The scene was both emotional and comical at once. After it was clear they had lost control of the situation, Park Police officials stood aside, telling press that they had “asked for guidance on how to respond” to the breach of security.

As 80-something veterans slowly walked around the massive war memorial, Park Police stood quietly to the side, advising other tourists that the site was technically still closed. But they made no moves to stop the wishes of the war heroes.

Also cool is how some members of Congress helped our Greatest Generation with their plan to not let the barricades deter them:

As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, distracted a Park Police representative, other lawmakers and their staff helped topple the metal fences. A bagpiper on hand for the event led the men past the crowd and into the heart of the memorial, attracting a large, applauding crowd.

Love it!!  This is just the kind of news we need after weeks of back and forth yelling and bickering over something easily resolvable if the Senate would simply stop playing politics. God bless our veterans!

Govt shutdown

Not for WWII veterans they aren’t! Click the link for more pictures.
(Photo via Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)

 

In which Ted Cruz grinds Dick Durbin under his heel

**Posted by Phineas

I’ve been critical of the Cruz-Lee strategy to defeat Obamacare, but there’s no denying that Senator Cruz’s 21-hour speech in opposition was, quite simply, marvelous. A tour de force of constitutionalism, wit, grace, and stamina. Like Rand Paul, Cruz is someone I can disagree with, while still greatly admiring him.

But somehow I missed what would have been my favorite part, in which Ted Cruz made the loathsome Dick Durbin look like the fool he is:

In the last hour, even as he said he grew “weary” as his time arguing against ObamaCare was coming to a close, he found himself in a debate with the able and smart Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin on the Congress’s generous health-care plan.

Durbin complained that Cruz wanted to deny health care to the uninsured; did he not, Durbin asked, enjoy the benefits of the generous congressional health-care package himself?

Cruz said he wouldn’t answer Durbin until Durbin first replied to three questions Cruz had posed. Durbin, with an “a-ha” gesture, responded by saying it was clear Cruz was simply refusing to answer his embarrassing question.

He’d walked into Cruz’s trap. For then Cruz said, no, Senator, I’m eligible for the congressional plan — but I’m not enrolled in it.

Durbin thought he had Cruz cornered by bringing up his reliance on the absurdly generous health package for Congress. But since Cruz doesn’t rely on it, Durbin humiliated himself in what was supposed to be his gotcha moment.

Despite his marathon of speaking and standing and arguing, after nearly a day on his feet, Cruz — there is no other term for it — squashed Durbin like a bug.

In the last hour of this marathon, Ted Cruz was still sharp enough to set a trap for Durbin and snap it shut.

Well played, Senator. Well played. smiley cheering

via The Morning Jolt

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)