Michigan Drops Recall Effort After Wisconsin Victory

Another reason why Wisconsin was so important:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in Tuesday’s recall vote is yielding dividends for another Midwestern Republican governor.

A group that sought to force a recall of Michigan’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday it’s calling it quits, citing a lack of support and the chilly political climate in the wake of the Wisconsin vote.

Michigan Rising, an independent group that had set a goal of gathering 1 million signatures on petitions to force a recall vote on Mr. Snyder, said Thursday it will stop its recall campaign immediately. The organization’s leaders said in a web post that as of June 4 it had collected only 2,079 names on 655 petitions, well short of a target of 200,000 signatures by June 1.

“It has become abundantly clear that Michigan Rising was not going accomplish its goal of recalling Governor Snyder,” Michigan Rising’s communications director Bruce Fealk said in a statement. “The results in Wisconsin crystallized how difficult a task it is to recall a sitting governor, even when the unions and the Democratic Party play a significant role in the effort.”

A Date With The TSA *UPDATED: TSA’s Own Rules

While leaving the Providence, Rhode Island gathering for the Franklin Center where the first annual Breitbart Awards were held, we were detained by the TSA and my husband was subjected to intrusive screenings based on the claim that he was covered in “nitrates.”

We fly frequently and when told to walk through the hotly debate Backscatter machines, we opt out for patdowns. I walked through the metal detector but Chris was directed to the bodyscanner, at which point he opted out.

He was subjected to the standard pat-down: back of the hands, check your waistband, run hands up and down the inside of the leg stopping at the groin. When the agent went to check his gloves he claimed that something on his gloves “set off the alarm” at which point informed us that Chris would be subjected to another pat-down and his luggage searched.

They directed us over to the side of the security area and searched his luggage; they also swabbed everything in it. It was at this point they began talking about “nitrates,” a reason often in the news because of the propensity for false-positive results in such tests. They asked him if he fired a gun or handled gas today. We explained to them that we had not been to a range in a few weeks and did not go in the clothes he was wearing or take with us our carry-on luggage. They zipped up his luggage and directed us to a private room.

He was not given the choice as to whether or not he wanted a private or public screening for the second, more invasive pat-down.

At this point we were becoming annoyed as we’d been detained for around 25 minutes minutes already (the entire screening process took about 45 minutes) and were concerned that we would miss our flight. I flipped on my camera after we had been escorted into the private room and kept it vertical, rather than horizontal, to look less confrontational.

The TSA agent informed us, as he snapped on his blue latex gloves, that he would be performing another pat-down, this time using the front of his hands, and he would be touching Chris’s “groin.” It was at this point I began asking questions. He became aggravated and asked for me to turn off my camera. I asked once more about photos and video for clarification, and he stated that the reason I could not film them touching my husband’s genitals through his shorts was due to “security reasons.” The other agent in the room spoke into his shoulder walkie about security. I complied and turned off my phone. When I asked for the agent’s name a second time, he informed me that if I would like, he would call security. The agent demanded that I put my phone away entirely and get it out of my hands and would not start the intrusive screening procedure until I had done so.

He performed the pat-down which began as routine, except that he used the front of his hands. He then bent down and specifically targeted Chris’s crotch. Using the front of his hands, he pressed against his genitals and swept his hands across the crotch three times across, and then pressed at the top of his genitals and wiped his hands down three times.

Make no mistake: outside of the airport this would be considered molestation.

They claimed that the alarm went off again after this second intrusive pat-down and that it was, again, due to “nitrates.” They were going to have to hold us further and were not sure whether we would make our flight. I informed them that I planned to speak out publicly about it, which aggravated them, but I wanted them to know that this process was unacceptable.

They called over a supervisor and huddled together to discuss the situation. They were considering not allowing him to board, from the muted discussion I heard. It was at this point, per the supervisor from my understanding, that they agreed to release him, having found nothing on his person and no reason to suspect him. As mentioned before, the entire screening process took around 45 minutes.

We ran to our gate and fortunately made it as the last group boarded.

One of the agents suggested that perhaps he got whatever tipped off the alarm from the cab — but I was also in the cab, I reminded them. For the sake of the argument, had we been terrorists, their screening would have failed as their metal detectors would not have detected any explosive materials on me, and their bodyscanners do not detect such materials; if either of us had ill intent one of us would have been allowed on the flight. The TSA’s policy of nonsensical random screenings, which look for items rather than behavior, can be easily exploited, which is why our country has a bloodier history with sky-terror than, say, Israel, which focuses on behavior in their security protocol.

The citizenry should not have to put up with such a violation of their civil rights, airline customers should not suffer the harassment of being felt up or molested to fly the skies, and the government should not forces private airline companies to subject their customers such intrusions. Airlines should have the right to privatize their security and the federal government needs more intelligent means of thwarting sky-terrorism than fondling citizens.

More from Twitchy here.

*UPDATE: Jimi971 notes this:

TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might.

 

Taking photographs may also prompt airport police or a TSA official to ask what your purpose is. It is recommended that you use the Talk To TSA program on tsa.gov to contact the Customer Support Manager at the airport to determine its specific policy. Or, if you are a member of the press, you should contact the TSA Office of Public Affairs.

I’m curious to know what Rhode Island’s regulations are concerning the taping of TSA agents performing intrusive screenings.

Day Two of Netroots: Is the Tea Party Racist, Van Jones?

A full day of making friends.

I had admitted Marxist Van Jones sign his Occupy-heavy book at which time I also asked him if he thought the tea party was still racist.

“I’m not sure that I ever said the tea party was racist,” he explained.

He’s called libertarians, conservatives, and others as much before:

“They say they’re Patriots but they hate everybody in America who looks like us.  They say they love America but they hate the people, the brown folk, the gays, the lesbians, the people with piercings, ya know ya’ll.”

After his short book signing, he showed me several parts of his book wherein he discussed the tea party and proceeded to tell me that he never said that the tea party was racist except that they are racist.

“I never said they they were racist, but I do think they have racial anxiety,” he said. In his book he writes:

Tea Partiers were media savvy and found support with the media; they focused on scaring the bejeebers out of elected officials; they had the ability to pivot from protest to electoral politics; they capitalized on the racial anxiety surrounding the election of the first African American president …”

Jones writes that the tea party was:

“not particularly big or new, but they were newly presented and newly branded. They punk’d the world, Ashton Kutcher-style.

Not particularly big? Is Jones unaware that well over a million tea partiers marched in Washington DC in 2009? Is he unaware of how many congressional seats the tea party has flipped, how the movement is to credit for the GOP majority in the House? There is no measure of equal, or close-to-equal success from the Occupy movement — this much he begrudgingly admitted. There is, however, a massive rap sheet from the Occupy movement. They don’t have legislative or any successes otherwise, but they have defecated on cop cars, spray painted landmarks, and were caught on camera trying to cover up rapes which happened at their encampments. No “anxiety” about anything there that bears mentioning?

Gateway Pundit finally got to meet his hero.

Occupiers … occupied outside while the one-percenters conferenced inside. A one day pass to Netroots was around $100, weekend pass ran about $450. Why not spread the wealth and let all attend for free? Occupy Netroots! This poor, oppressed Occupier had a $6,000+ Segway.

We marched with the Occupiers as they led us down one of the main streets where we could find a good spot for lunch. With Tabitha Hale of the Franklin Center:

Manwich: The two factions of the Democrat party: the Former “first black” President and the current “first gay” President.

Andrew Marcus of “Hating Breitbart” and a recipient of one of the first Breitbart Awards, a.k.a. Brandon Darby according to some kooky Kossacks, in front of the Democrat Socialists’ table.

From my Netroots swag bag: a made in China iPhone case (look for the union label!) in front of the plethora of labor sponsors listed in their literature. Also interesting the manufacturing country on a product for an abortion advocacy group.

Gateway Pundit notes the empty room to which panelist Paul Krugman spoke.

The conference had all the energy of a tomb, when participants weren’t discussing their dismay over the way in which Obama and Democrats abandoned them in Wisconsin. The attendance seemed anemic. I’m not sure how it compared to attendance at past Netroots conferences, but you would think in an election year when their embattled incumbent needs as much defense as possible that they would see greater numbers.

Sherrod Brown Dodges Obamacare Question At Netroots

This afternoon at Netroots I attempted to ask the embattled Senator Sherrod Brown about his campaign, specifically his record as the deciding vote for Obamacare. Ohio voters passed an amendment to their constitution outlawing the Democrats’ health care law by a wide margin in 2011:

Ohioans overwhelmingly rejected the healthcare mandate provisions of Obamacare.

They did this by handily passing an amendment to the state’s constitution that reads, in part, as follows:

No federal, state, or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.

My own state’s senator, Claire McCaskill, championed Obamacare while Missourians overwhelmingly (by over 70%, 3-1 in every county) passed the Healthcare Freedom Act which excluded Missourians from the penalties of Obamacare, including jail time and fines.   I wondered how Brown was going to reconcile this troubling disparity in his state.

Unfortunately, while the Senator stood and asked questions from a number of progressive attendees, when I finally had an opening to ask my question, he refused.

“Senator, do you have a moment for a question?”

“Not for you,” he remarked, pointing at me, before rushing off with his assistant.

Later, Al Gore Tweeted “Awesome.”

He later deleted it, but not before I and others screencapped it.

Twitchy called Brown’s behavior “rude and dismissive.” Mediaite attempted to pass it off as a “botched interview attempt” which would only make sense if I had “botched” politely asking Brown for a moment of his time.

Brown can’t rely on Gore to bail him out of his situation and he would do well to not run from honest, politely asked questions from those who simply want answers.

*UPDATE: The Socialist Party spokesman at Netroots said Brown “understands things better than most.”

*MORE: Shark Tank gets a few minutes with Brown (who thought he was speaking with a friendly).

When O’Keefe Met Shuster

We met David Shuster in the lobby of our hotel the other evening before we met for drinks the following day. He walked past the post-reception for the Brietbart Awards in the hotel bar and as luck had it, said hello as I was speaking with James O’Keefe. It only seemed natural to introduce the two, even though O’Keefe is currently suing Shuster. One big happy family!

*UPDATE: The following day we had drinks with Shuster to see if he had two heads and a forked tongue like he did on Twitter. He did not. O’Keefe is still suing him.