Stevie Wonder was one of many high profile performers at gospel legend Andraé Crouch’s funeral in Los Angeles on Jan 21. But some funeral attendees were surprised when Wonder made political statements at the event instead of focusing on the Grammy-winning singer’s life and accomplishments.
“Stevie Wonder took the opportunity to say that Obama’s goal of inclusiveness was largely thwarted because of hatred towards him because of his skin color,” a source told FOX411. “And that he supports freedom of speech, but we should make laws against people criticizing religion.”
Wonder’s remarks from the event can be heard in the video below around the 1:20 mark. There, Wonder says: “We live in a time where I believe we have a president that truly wanted to see the world come together, to see this nation come together, but yet too much, too many people are judging their dislike of him based on the color of his skin. And I know there are some who say no that’s not true, but I’m telling you what I see.”
“Yes, I truly believe in freedom of speech, I really really do believe in that,” he added. “But I think if we don’t put some limits to us being able to give praise to that one that we hold sacred, we got a problem.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the U.S. Congress in March could damage the Obama administration’s attempts to broker a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons development, the senior U.S. House of Representatives Democrat said on Wednesday.
“Such a presentation could send the wrong message in terms of giving diplomacy a chance,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi during a news conference on the sidelines of an annual retreat for Democratic lawmakers.
But Pelosi stopped short of saying that the invitation to Netanyahu should be withdrawn by House Speaker John Boehner.
(KP) – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) chief Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi has called the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar a fool and illiterate warlord.
Al-Baghdadi has said that Mullah Omar does not deserve a spritual or political credibility, according to a report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty which cited reports by the Times.
The report further added that the ISIS terrorist group has claimed to have more achievements during the past two years while comparing the campaign by the Taliban group in the past ten years.
Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi was declared the head of the new caliphate by ISIS under the name of Caliph Ibrahim. The group demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world and called to swear loyalty to to al-Baghdadi.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House.
The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.
The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named, and the White House declined to comment. The remarks were the latest fallout after Mr. Dermer, without the White House’s knowledge, worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to arrange the speech, which is scheduled for March.
Spain’s ambassador to the UN is blaming Israel for the death of a Spanish UN peacekeeper during the Israeli military’s battle with Hezbollah after the terror group attack an army convoy, killing two IDF soldiers and wounding seven.
“It was because of this escalation of violence, and it came from the Israeli side,” Spanish Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi told reporters.
The UN peacekeeper has been identified as Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, 36, and UN officials have said only that the cause of his death is under investigation.
The clashes began when Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at a military convoy in the border area, prompting Israel to respond with air and ground strikes.
The 36-year-old Spanish corporal serving in the UN interim force UNIFIL in southern Lebanon was killed in the exchange of fire.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, defending proposed budget cuts for higher education, took a swipe at university professors who he said could be “teaching more classes and doing more work.”
“Maybe it’s time for faculty and staff to start thinking about teaching more classes and doing more work and this authority frees up the [University of Wisconsin] administration to make those sorts of requests,” Walker (R) said Wednesday on Iowa radio station WTMJ.
Walker’s comments came as he spoke about his proposed budget, which would cut $300 million over the next two years from the University of Wisconsin system.
Walker said his proposal would hold the university accountable and “puts the ball clearly in their court.” […]
Politico unable to hide its liberal bias drops this dig against Walker (as if it matters):
Walker, who does not have a college degree of his own, noted that he has a child at the University of Wisconsin.
Voters will side with the GOP if they fight President Obama’s effort to print work permits for millions of migrant workers, according to a new poll.
The large poll shows that 47 percent of the 1,593 respondents approve of Obama’s overall performance — but also shows lopsided opposition to his amnesty among the critical independent voters and lower-income voters that the GOP needs to persuade and turn out in 2016.
Just 19 percent of 691 people who earn less than $50,000 a year strongly support Obama’s amnesty move, while 40 percent strongly oppose. One in six of 693 blue-collar respondents, or 15 percent, strongly supported Obama’s decision, while 47 percent strongly opposed it.
The Paragon Insights poll gives cautious GOP senators an armory of darts in their pending effort to pin Democrats to Obama’s unpopular amnesty policy.
President Obama, Vice President Biden, Gov. Wolf and Mayor Nutter will be among the guests speaking to fellow Democrats in Philadelphia this week as House Democrats hold a policy retreat in the city.
Member of the House Democratic caucus will be making their way to the Sheraton in Society Hill Wednesday afternoon as they meet to develop a policy and political strategy for the next two years amid diminished numbers in Congress. They will be greeted by speeches from Nutter and Wolf – whose win was one of Democrats’ few bright spots on Election Day.
The meetings come as House Democrats try to build a new message that can better connect with voters over the next two years and leading up to the 2016 elections.[…]
Obama will speak to the caucus Thursday and Biden Friday. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will also address the group. The meetings and most of the speeches will be closed to the press and public.
The retreat, held at the start of every new Congress, is usually held in a rural setting somewhere near Washington, though several Democrats said there had been requests in recent years for a city setting.
“American Sniper” is tops at the box office, but don’t expect to see former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura lining up at a theater for it.
Ventura, a former Navy SEAL, won $1.8 million in a defamation lawsuit last year against the estate of the late Chris Kyle, the SEAL protagonist of the movie, which has sparked debate over whether snipers should be considered heroes. Ventura said Wednesday he won’t see the film partly because Kyle is no hero to him.[…]
Ventura also dismissed the movie as propaganda because it conveys the false idea that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. “It’s as authentic as ‘Dirty Harry,'” he said, referring to fictional movie series starring Clint Eastwood, the director of “American Sniper.”
“A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. There is no honor in lying,” Ventura told The Associated Press from his winter home in Baja California, Mexico. He also noted that the movie isn’t playing there. […]
The former wrestler is now working on the second season of his online-only political talk show “Off the Grid” at Ora.tv, which he records in Mexico, where he lives in a solar-powered home with a satellite Internet connection.
The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission will release its long-awaited report Thursday, which will propose fundamental changes to military benefits including ending the 20-year retirement, according to the Military Times, citing sources familiar with the report.
The plan calls for Congress to create a hybrid system of smaller defined-benefit pension along with more cash-based benefits and lump-sum payments. A significant portion of retirement benefits would come in the form of government contributions to 401(k)-style investment accounts, those familiar with the report told Military Times.
In addition to the 401(k) for troops serving less than 20 years, the commission will suggest promising a pension to troops who serve a long-term career, but one that would be more modest than what military retirees receive today, a defense official briefed on the plan told the Times.[…]
According to the Times, the commission will also propose:
a change in health care benefits for current military families and retirees — Tricare customers could move into the health care coverage provided to federal employees;
a new health care allowance for troops designed to cover some expenses, such as doctor-visit co-pays and eyeglasses.
a new four-star medical command to oversee military health care, a significant break from the tradition of each service operating its own health care system.
keeping current commissary benefits, to include continuing to sell products at cost plus 5 percent surcharge. A separate DOD budget proposal is expected to call for increasing prices to operating costs.
consolidating the commissary and exchange systems. Initially, they would keep their separate branding — Navy Exchange, Defense Commissary Agency, etc. — but eventually would be combined.
building more child development centers on military bases.
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York issued a memo advising staff not to address any students as “Mr., Mrs. or Ms.” beginning this spring because some could find it disrespectful.
The policy is intended to “ensure a respectful, welcoming and gender-inclusive learning environment . . . and to accommodate properly the diverse population of current and prospective students,” according to the memo, signed by interim provost Louise Lennihan.
School spokeswoman (wait – can I call her that?) Tanya Domi said the initiative was also part of the school’s “working within a regulatory framework to comply with Title IX legal principles,” which forbid discrimination based on sex at any institution receiving federal funding.
Obama’s “free stuff” version of America still going strong.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of children in the United States relying on food stamps for a meal spiked to 16 million last year, according federal data, signaling a lopsided economic recovery in which lower income families are still lagging behind.
The roughly one in five children who received food stamps in 2014 surpassed pre-recession levels, when one in eight or 9 million children were on food stamps, according to the U.S. Census survey of American families released on Wednesday
Republicans in Congress have sought to cut back on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or food stamp program as part of a larger plan to balance the budget.
Early last year lawmakers proposed $40 billion in cuts from the program over 10 years. The final farm bill signed into law trimmed $8.6 billion from the program, eliminating benefits for about 850,000 people, according to estimates by anti-hunger advocates.