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Taupe and Change? Hilarious Twitter reactions to Obama's tan suit

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Tongues are wagging over President Barack Obama's audacity to wear taupe.

The sight of Obama discussing possible U.S. military action in Syria in a light-colored suit lit up Twitter on Thursday, and the reviews of his unusual fashion choice were less than fashionable.

Many tweets poked fun at slogans that are closely associated with Obama.

"Taupe and change," says one tweet. "The audacity of taupe," says another, tweaking the title of one of Obama's best-selling books.

"Yes, we tan," says a third.

Gallows humor even came into play, with one tweeter suggesting the death penalty for whoever chose the suit for Obama to wear.

Obama typically wears dark suits.

In 2009, he was panned for wearing "mom jeans" to throw the first pitch at the All-Star Game.

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Parade float depicts outhouse as 'Obama's Presidential Library'

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A Fourth of July float in Norfolk, Nebraska has sparked controversy with its depiction of President Obama.The float features a smiling skeletal version of the  president wearing overalls hanging out outside of an outhouse labeled the Obama Presidential Library. According to ABC News,  resident Liz Guthrie says the crowd was laughing and clapping as the float went by. Her boyfriend Lance Harvey said he thought the float was simply political satire. The Nebraska Democratic Party wasn't quite so amused.

"There is a level of respect for the office of the Presidency which should not be crossed," Dan Marvin, NDP Executive Director, said according to KLKN-TV.  Many residents condemned the parade float as a 'racial statement.'  Parade committee member Rick Konopasek said the float was the most popular of the parade and had been awarded an honorable mention. The Associated Press reports that parade organizers plan to meet this week to discuss the float and "whether any policy changes should be made for the future."

Newspaper apologizes for endorsing Obama

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The editorial that appeared last week says “Sometimes, you have to admit you're wrong. And, we were wrong.”

The article, which is entitled ‘Obama earned the low ratings,’ goes on to say that the Obama presidency has them “yearning for the good ol' days when we were at least winning battles in Iraq.”

The Billings Gazette says they admit that they didn’t think that things could get much worse than the presidency of George W. Bush, but that the number of “bungled or blown” policies by President Obama led them to the decision to apologize.

The Gazette points to the bungled rollout of ObamaCare, the Bowe Bergdhal prisoner exchange, the growing scandal at the Veterans Administration, and wiretapping by the National Security Agency as examples of such policies.

Read the entire article here

Eric Cantor learns the hard way that you can’t ignore the tea party

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Eric Cantor lost his Republican primary in a huge upset last night for one reason and one reason only:

He didn’t listen.

The lesson learned last night is that despite all the bluster from the political establishment about the tea party being dead, Republicans simply cannot afford to ignore them.

Yes, Cantor was the face of the Republican establishment thus making him a prime target. But so is Mitch McConnell, who, for all his faults, actively tried to to satisfy the conservative base and make friends with more popular Republican leaders.

Like Cantor, McConnell also had a tea party challenger. But he survives.

Cantor ignored the conservative grassroots. His constituents complained they never saw him. Instead of working with the tea party and libertarian members of his party, as McConnell tried to, Cantor denounced them and fought with them.

Yes, Cantor’s advocacy for immigration reform might have (or might not have) played a significant role in his defeat, but it is just one part of a larger narrative in which the old Republican guard continues to be out of touch with a changing GOP. Tea party Republicans Rand Paul and Congressman Justin Amash have talked about immigration reform too, but they remain popular with the grassroots. It’s what you mean by “immigration reform” that matters.

It’s how you talk to your own party that matters.

The Republican nominee for Virginia’s 7th congressional district, the libertarian-leaning Dave Brat, ran on a platform opposing Cantor’s version of immigration reform, crony capitalismNSA metadata collection and the indefinite detention of American citizens, to name just a few issues.

On each, the tea party stood with Brat and on the opposite side of Cantor. With Brat only spending about $120,000 and Cantor spending over $5.4 million, the conservative grassroots still won.

And the establishment lost. Huge.

In his predictions for the 2014 elections, Karl Rove wrote at the Wall Street Journal in December, “Every Republican senator and virtually every representative challenged in a primary as insufficiently conservative will win.”

Last night, the Republican House Majority Leader lost in a pretty dramatic fashion because he was seen as insufficiently conservative.

In the past Republican leaders have found that loyalty to Republican presidents, as Cantor was to Bush, or opposition to Democratic presidents, as Cantor did often with Obama, was enough to satisfy their base.

But mere partisanship won’t cut it anymore. The GOP base is becoming more substantively conservative than it was a decade ago thanks in large part to a tea party movement, that for all its faults, is as fed up with the Republican status quo as much as they are the Democrats. This is something many Republicans still working off of a 2000-08 playbook will continue to learn, possibly the hard way.

Remember, “Bush’s brain” Karl Rove thought Mitt Romney was going to win too.

Last night the conservative grassroots took down the House Majority Leader. They couldn’t have asked for a bigger scalp than John Boehner’s right hand man. Those who say that the tea party is dead really have no idea what they’re talking about.

The conservative base does have a voice and it intends to use it, this year, in 2016 and beyond.

And Republican leaders had better start listening.

See more at Rare.us

Jack Hunter is a contributing editor at Rare. Follow him on Twitter @jackhunter74.

Pat Sajak calls global warming activists 'unpatriotic racists'

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"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak's recent tweet is ruffling more feathers than that time Vanna accidentally turned over an unlit letter:

Sajak, who has been hosting the show since 1981, is a long-time supporter of conservative political causes. He later tweeted:

Sometimes it's fun to poke a stick in a hornets' nest just to hear the buzzing.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) May 20, 2014

Florida lawmaker slams Common Core, claims homosexual agenda

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A Florida lawmaker has expressed opposition to the hiring of a company to produce a new state test based on Common Core Standards. 

In March, The Florida Deportment of Education hired the American Institute of Research, or AIR, to produce a new test based on Common Core Standards at a cost of $220 million. Rep. Charles Van Zant has spoken out against Common Core, and expressed opposition to the hiring of AIR. According to the liberal blog Think Progress, days after the nonprofit research group was selected, Van Zant voiced a claim against AIR at an education conference in Orlando."Click the link to what they’re doing with youth, and you will see what their agenda really is," he told the audience. "They are promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda."The video was originally posted on YouTube in April. In it, Van Zant references a page on the AIR website that serves as a guide for educators regarding gay and lesbian youth, called 2-S. 

>> Read more trending stories  "These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. I’m sorry to report that to you," he said.Van Zant confirmed Monday he spoke at a conference in Orlando earlier this year, but was not aware of the group's claims, and wanted to review them before commenting further. AIR and the author of the 2-S guide did not return calls for comment.The group Equality Florida issued a statement that read in part,"It is reprehensible whenever an elected official conjures up homophobic scare tactics for political gain. His assertion that an educational program seeks to 'make children gay' is simply absurd."

Photos: Celebrity vaccine skeptics

Reports: Holder hospitalized for shortness of breath

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The Justice Department says Attorney General Eric Holder has been taken to the hospital as a precaution after experiencing faintness and shortness of breath at work.

CNN reported on air he was resting comfortably at the hospital.

Holder became the first African-American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General when he was nominated by President Barack Obama in December 2008 and installed on March 27, 2009.

As a result of the Fast and Furious investigation, on June 20, 2012, he became the only cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress.

Holder previously served as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and a U.S. Attorney. 

He is married to obstetrician Dr. Sharon Malone and the couple has three children.

THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY. Check back soon for further information.

High-end restaurant adds Obamacare surcharge to every order

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At Republique restaurant in Los Angeles, you can order trendy sounding dishes such as Butternut Squash Agnolotti and Duck Liver Mousse with Pickled Asian Pear.

Diners at the high-end eatery, about 6 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, likely expect to pay a bit more for the funky fare, but what's been surprising many customers is a 3 percent surcharge added to every bill to cover employee health care costs under the Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Social media and restaurant review sites have been abuzz with the story since it was reported by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez on Tuesday. 

The Times talked to Republique co-owners Bill Chait and Walter Manzke, who is also the chef. They said they knew the charge would drive some customers away, but thought it was necessary to keep all 80 employees at full time.

Under the Affordable Care Act, companies with 50 or more full-time employees will have to provide health insurance to their workers. The owners opted for the surcharge instead of cutting back staff or creating several part-time jobs to get around the law.

According to TV station KTLA, many people voiced complaints about the policy on Yelp.

“We spent $150 for two of us and you want me to pay an extra 3 percent. Because I can afford to eat here then I should be able to afford that fee? Absurd,” one customer wrote.

The restaurant issued a statement to KTLA regarding the surcharge.

“It directly benefits all the staff, kitchen and front of the house. Moreover, it enables us to make all of our staff full time and to provide them with insurance instead of excluding them as they would be if they were part-time employees.”

Homeland Security seeking license plate tracking system

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Is it a key new tool to get criminals off the streets -- or a way for the government to invade your privacy?

The Department of Homeland Security wants to create a nationwide database with every American's license plate number according to a posting the agency issued looking for vendors to build the tracking system. But there are few details about what privacy safeguards would be put in place.

Under the plan, an officer could snap a picture of your plate with an iPhone and immediately be notified if it's on a list of "target vehicles." The license plate readers alert police if the driver is a wanted criminal or driving a stolen car. 

While such a system is already in place in several spots around the country, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants a nationwide database.

Privacy advocates say it's another way the government is monitoring the movement of citizens.

Devices such as license plate readers and cellphone trackers "can tell whether you stayed in a motel that specializes in hourly rates, or you stopped at tavern that has nude dancers," David Fidanque, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, told the Associated Press. "It's one thing to know you haven't violated the law, but it's another thing to know you haven't had every one of your moves tracked."

Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), told the Washington Post the database “could only be accessed in conjunction with ongoing criminal investigations or to locate wanted individuals.”

According to Christensen, such a system would reduce the amount time required for surveillance and would give agents a greater ability to locate potential threats to public safety.

“It is important to note that this database would be run by a commercial enterprise, and the data would be collected and stored by the commercial enterprise, not the government,” she told the Washington Post.

In some states, the use of this technology is getting nasty. In Utah, a company that makes automated license plate readers sued the state government over a new law there intended to protect drivers' privacy.

Florida driver Justin Davis thinks this would be an invasion of privacy. 

"It’s becoming too much," Davis told Orlando TV station WFTV. "(The tracking system) could be used to pull somebody over or harass them."

In 2012, WFTV reported Orlando police had scanned more than 38,000 plates, but only 557, or 1.4 percent, were connected to criminals.

Privacy advocates warn that a federal database collecting license plate information could be a slippery slope.

“People who trust the government might say, ‘What matters, I have nothing to hide,’” said Jim Harper with the Cato Institute. “People who don't trust the government might worry because they worry about a future where the government isn't as friendly as it is today.”

—The Associated Press contributed

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