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THEHILL – Greens: Obama climate legacy at risk over Arctic drilling – 08/30
President Obama will visit Alaska on Tuesday in the midst of a fight with environmental groups, who arguing he is putting his climate legacy is at risk by allowing Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic waters off the state’s northern coast. Obama is going to Alaska to inspect the effects of climate change on one of the nation’s most vulnerable ecosystems. In the final quarter of his presidency, Obama intends to use the dramatic backdrop to highlight his administration’s efforts to combat global warming — an issue he’s looked to address through broad and controversial new regulations and international accords. It’s a legacy Obama has done much to burnish in his second term, but one green groups argue will be jeopardized by the new Alaska drilling. One group — Credo Action — has launched a website highlighting Obama’s trip, and warning it threatens to become his “Mission Accomplished” moment. “President Obama is heading on a trip to Alaska to talk about climate change,” the group says on its website. “There is no clearer symbol of the self-defeating hypocrisy of his policies on energy and climate.”
NEWSMAX – Ben Carson Edging Closer to Trump in Iowa Poll – 08/30
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has emerged as a leading Republican presidential candidate in Iowa and is closing in on frontrunner Donald Trump in the state that hosts the first 2016 nomination balloting contest. The latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows billionaire Trump with the support of 23 percent of likely Republican caucus participants, followed by Carson at 18 percent. When first and second choices are combined, Carson is tied with Trump. Trump finds himself in a vastly better position than when the previous Iowa Poll was taken. He has become a credible presidential candidate to many likely Republican caucus-goers. The real estate mogul is rated favorably by 61 percent and unfavorably by 35 percent, an almost complete reversal since the Iowa Poll in May. He finds his highest ratings among those planning to attend the caucuses for the first time (69 percent) and limited-government Tea Party activists (73 percent). Just 29 percent say they could never vote for him, a number cut in half since May.
THEHILL – Court overturns ruling against NSA – 08/28
A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a lower court ruling against the National Security Agency’s controversial collection methods. The ruling from the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the lower court’s decision, which in December declared that the NSA’s bulk phone data collection was likely unconstitutional. Earlier this summer, Congress voted to effectively end that program and replace it with a system in which the government obtains a court order and searches private companies’ records for a narrower set of information. An opposing federal appeals court also declared the NSA program illegal this year, setting up a split with the D.C. Circuit.
PATRIOT POST – Veto Fight Over Iran Deal? Too Risky, Hints Obama – 08/27
Congress was always getting a bum deal when it agreed, thanks to the efforts of Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), to vote to disapprove the agreement with Iran instead of voting to approve it. That means Barack Obama needs only a third of Congress to back his foreign policy wheedling, instead of the usual two-thirds. Obama is only a handful of Democrat votes short from being able to block Congress’ attempt at rejection. But that political path may be too messy for Obama, because a high-profile veto fight may call into question the wisdom of the deal, both here and abroad. So he’s decided to circumvent the political process and lobby Senate Democrats to filibuster the Iran vote, Politico reports. “Is that where they really want to be?” Corker said in an interview. “Do they really want to vote to block consideration of … probably the biggest foreign policy endeavor?” The only significant group supporting this deal now is Democrats in Congress too partisan to oppose Obama. In response to a letter sent by 36 military officers supporting the deal, about 200 retired admirals and generals signed a letter to Congress saying, “The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies.” Despite the outcry from the military, bipartisan distrust and opposition from a majority of Congress and the American people, Obama may still get what he wants. Funny what you can do with a tireless minority.
CONSERVATIVEHQ – Has Glenn Beck Lost it Again? – 08/27
Glenn Beck says he would never vote for Donald Trump and that he’s a constitutionalist, not a Republican. Beck normally has a good ear for what’s going on in the conservative grassroots, but his near-endorsement of establishment spare prince Marco Rubio over country class message carrier Donald Trump shows a strange disconnect from the millions of constitutional conservatives who would run, not walk, from the Republican Party if a candidate like Rubio, Jeb Bush or John Kasich becomes the GOP’s 2016 presidential nominee.
NEWSMAX – Report: Huma Abedin Email Includes Classified Intel From Three Agencies – 08/26
There was one email found among those on Hillary Clinton’s server that was sent from her aide Huma Abedin that included classified information from three different federal agencies, Fox News is reporting. That email is what caused the FBI to launch its investigation into Clinton’s server, Fox News learned. The email was sent in April 2011 and included classified intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). This is a violation of an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, which defines rules for “classifying, safeguarding and declassifying national security information.” It specifically says that only the intelligence agency where the classified information was sent is able to declassify it.
THEBLAZE – Ted Cruz Says GOP Leaders Are Bluffing on Defunding Planned Parenthood — Here’s How He Wants to Prove It – 08/26
With the threat of a government shutdown hanging over their heads, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) doesn’t trust Republican leaders who proclaim they want to defund Planned Parenthood. So the Republican presidential hopeful called for backup Tuesday from more than 1,000 pastors and religious leaders and urged them to “preach from the pulpit” to garner public support for an amendment attached to November’s federal budget bill. “We have a moment where we can stand together and act, and all we need is for our elected leaders to actually do what they said they would do,” Cruz said, according toHuffington Post. “They campaigned promising to defend the right to life. Now is the moment where we distinguish word from action.” Senate Republicans already held a vote on Planned Parenthood that called for the termination of federal funds which the Democrats were able to block earlier this month. With an amendment attached to the budget, another government shutdown could occur — a move that would resonate throughout the 2016 election.
NEWSMAX – Does Secret Meeting Signal Biden-Warren Ticket? – 08/24
Political pundits are abuzz with the possibility of a Joe Biden-Elizabeth Warren 2016 ticket in the wake of an unannounced meeting between the two on Saturday. Biden, 72, has told friends that if he does run for president, he will serve only one term, making an early announcement of his vice-presidential running-mate a strong possibility. If elected, he would be the oldest incoming president. The vice president left his home in Delaware to meet with the Massachusetts senator at his official residence at the Naval Observatory for about two hours, CNN reported. The two supposedly discussed only policy issues over lunch, but speculation is growing about whether Biden might be looking to tap Warren, her state’s senior Senator, as his running mate for next year’s election. Many Democratic activists still would like to see her name somewhere on the ballot — as does at least one Biden confidant, The Boston Globe reported.
THEHILL – Fiorina supporters slam ‘ludicrous’ CNN debate methodology – 08/23
A CNN spokesperson could not be reached for comment. Hughes said “the polls used should at least reflect the most recent attitudes of voters — to not do so is ludicrous.”Two separate CNN and Fox News polls released earlier this week showed Fiorina in the middle of the pack of the crowded field with 5 percent in each poll. Fiorina lacked significant national name recognition and was hovering at about 1 percent in most polls before the first debate. Officially, Fiorina campaign spokeswoman Anna Epstein said that they “aren’t weighing in on this topic right now.” “We’re in New Hampshire this week and Iowa next week,” she said, noting Fiorina’s aggressive campaign schedule in the early primary and caucus states. Hughes criticized the emphasis on national polling, saying that they “support returning control to those who vote in the early primary states.”
WND – 48-HOUR DEADLINE: KOREA ABOUT TO EXPLODE? – 08/21
WASHINGTON – Communist North Korea is threatening a military response to South Korea’s psychological warfare broadcasts across the Demilitarized Zone as the U.S. military conducts joint exercises with its ally. A Defense Department source who requested anonymity told WND that preparations are being made to evacuate non-combat U.S. military personnel and other citizens from South Korea. About 28,500 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are stationed in South Korea. The South Korean capital, Seoul, is less than 30 miles from the heavily fortified DMZ. Pyongyang has given South Korea a deadline of Saturday at 5 p.m. local time (4 a.m. Eastern Time) to stop sending the messages via loudspeaker across the DMZ, warning of “surprise operations” along the border. Tensions between the two countries on the Korean Peninsula escalated after a landmine went off Aug. 4 on the South Korean side of the DMZ, wounding two soldiers. North Korea has denied responsibility and refused South Korean demands for an apology. In response, Seoul resumed cross-border broadcasts via loudspeaker for the first time in more than a decade. Pyongyang declared it regarded the broadcasts as a declaration of war
NEWSMAX – Report: Email by Hillary Aide Huma Abedin Triggered FBI Inquiry – 08/21
Two emails containing classified information from two people in Hillary Clinton’s inner circle jump-started the FBI investigation into her use of a private email setup during her time as secretary of state, according to a new report. Fox News reports that emails from Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and aide Jake Sullivan passed through Clinton’s private email server. The messages were about military intelligence information a year before the 2012 Benghazi attack, and about the aftermath of the Benghazi attack. Fox News reports that it confirmed via the intelligence community inspector general the material in the emails was classified when it was sent.
NEWSMAX – Government Probe Into Clinton Emails Likely to Broaden – 08/21
The Justice Department probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server has so far been limited to investigating whether classified information was leaked during her tenure as secretary of state, but the inquiry will likely widen as authorities take a look at how other former government officials may have been affected. According to NPR, agents will begin questioning close associates of Clinton at the State Department and beyond. “I think that the FBI will be moving with all deliberate speed to determine whether there were serious breaches of national security here,” Ron Hosko, the former head of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, told NPR.
THEHILL – Fiery Bush takes aim at Trump – 08/21
Jeb Bush sought to go on offense against Donald Trump by hammering him Thursday for his rhetoric on immigration and by arguing that the real estate mogul is unelectable and not conservative. Speaking to reporters after a town hall meeting Thursday in Keene, N.H., Bush defended the immigrant experience as quintessentially American and branded Trump’s language on the issue as divisive. “We’re a diverse country, that’s a virtue, that’s a strength of our country, and I’m proud of the fact that my children have a Mexican-American mom as American as anybody else, loves this country as much as anybody else, believes in the shared values of this great country and my children are blessed to have that heritage,” Bush said. Bush called the rhetoric on immigration that has dominated the GOP primary “bombastic” and “hurtful” to the immigrant population.
NEWSMAX – Hillary’s Emails Violated Policy: Federal Judge – 08/21
Hillary Clinton violated federal policy by storing her work emails on a private server during her tenure as secretary of state, a federal judge said Thursday. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said Clinton’s use of a private server had made it more difficult for the State Department to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, Politico reported. “We wouldn’t be here today if this employee had followed government policy,” Sullivan said during the Thursday hearing, in an apparent allusion to Clinton. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a press release that he “couldn’t agree more” with the judge’s statement, adding that “Today’s court hearing highlights the blatant disregard for federal records laws.”