See Which Dogs Make the Best White House Guests

Kelsey Harris /

Today is national “Dogs in Politics Day.” Yes–this is a real holiday, and you can thank former President Richard Nixon for this one (and the tribute to some adorable presidential dogs below).

During Nixon’s campaign for vice president alongside Dwight Eisenhower, the then-senator was accused of stealing thousands from his campaign funds for personal use. He defended the charges to the American public in a Sept. 23, 1952 televised speech that made national news not only for its rare face-time with a national candidate, but because of one specific gift he admitted he refused to turn away–Checkers, a Cocker Spaniel sent to his family from Texas.

The speech–later dubbed the “Checkers Speech”–is now believed to be the moment that inspired Dogs in Politics Day.

We love any reason to celebrate the White House pooches, and are grateful for a bipartisan decision most of the nation’s presidents seem to agree on–dogs make the best White House guests.

Bo, left, and Sunny, the Obama family dogs, on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 19, 2013. (Photo: Pete Souza)

Bo, left, and Sunny, the Obama family dogs, on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 19, 2013. (Photo: Pete Souza)

President George W. Bush, accompanied by his dogs Barney and Miss Beazley, arrives on the South Lawn of the White House. (Photo: Evan F. Sisley/Pool/Newscom)

President George W. Bush, accompanied by his dogs Barney and Miss Beazley, arrives on the South Lawn of the White House. (Photo: Evan F. Sisley/Pool/Newscom)

President George Bush plays with presidential dogs Ranger and Millie after an early afternoon jog at the US naval Observatory in 1991. (Photo: Joe Marquette/UPI)

President George H.W. Bush plays with presidential dogs Ranger and Millie after an early afternoon jog at the U.S. Naval Observatory in 1991. (Photo: Joe Marquette/UPI)

President Reagan Nancy Reagan with cats and dog Lucky the Bouvier des Flandres. (Photo: Newscom)

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan with cats and dog Lucky the Bouvier des Flandres. (Photo: Newscom)

President Gerald R. Ford and his daughter, Susan Ford, sit on the floor of the Great Hall in the private area of the White House with their golden retriever Liberty. (Photo: Newscom)

President Gerald R. Ford and his daughter, Susan Ford, sit on the floor of the Great Hall in the private area of the White House with their golden retriever Liberty. (Photo: Newscom)

Although Nixon’s cocker spaniel never lived in the White House, Checkers became a celebrity after then-Senator Nixon mentioned the dog in a televised speech on Sept. 23, 1952. (Photo: Newscom)

Although Nixon’s cocker spaniel never lived in the White House, Checkers became a celebrity after then-Sen. Nixon mentioned the dog in a televised speech on Sept. 23, 1952. (Photo: Newscom)

President Lyndon B. Johnson takes dogs Him and Her on a walk with the press, Aug. 18, 1964. (Photo: LBJ Library/Cecil Stoughton)

President Lyndon B. Johnson takes dogs Him and Her on a walk with the press, Aug. 18, 1964. (Photo: LBJ Library/Cecil Stoughton)

The Kennedy family poses with their dogs at Hyannisport: Irish spaniel Shannon, Welsh terrier Charlie, German shepherd Clipper, and the pups of Pushinka, who was a gift to Caroline from Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. (Photo: Newscom)

The Kennedy family poses with their dogs at Hyannisport: Irish spaniel Shannon, Welsh terrier Charlie, German shepherd Clipper, and the pups of Pushinka, who was a gift to Caroline from Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. (Photo: Newscom)

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's dog, Fala, photographing the photographers at the White House in 1942. (Photo: Newscom)

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dog, Fala, photographing the photographers at the White House in 1942. (Photo: Newscom)

The Hoover family's White House dogs King Tut, Whoopie, and Englehurst Gillette with a White House staffer. (Photo: Newscom)

The Hoover family’s White House dogs King Tut, Whoopie, and Englehurst Gillette with a White House staffer. (Photo: Newscom)

President Calvin Coolidge had everything from lion cubs to a goose in the White House. Two of his most famous dogs, Rob Roy and Prudence Prim are pictured here. (Photo: LOC)

President Calvin Coolidge had everything from lion cubs to a goose in the White House. Two of his most famous dogs, Rob Roy and Prudence Prim, are pictured here. (Photo: LOC)

What the Media Totally Ignored in Emma Watson’s Gender Equality Speech - Daily Signal

What the Media Totally Ignored in Emma Watson’s Gender Equality Speech

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen /

Actress Emma Watson’s U.N. speech on gender equality is all the buzz online, but for the wrong reasons.

Many in the media have spotlighted her focus on the word “feminist” and the negative connotations associated with it–which was just a minor part in the beginning of her speech.

There were two items that most media neglected to cover. The first was Watson’s heavy emphasis on the importance of men, as well as their vulnerabilities.

“To date, I’ve seen my father’s role being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s,” she said.

The remark was glossed over and easily forgiven by the Left, who take issue with the notion that children require both a mother and father.

Perhaps Watson didn’t even realize the stance she was taking, but she said it honestly and no one who disagreed made a peep about it.

She praised men again later in the speech, saying men are victims of inequality too, “imprisoned by gender stereotypes” of aggression, macho-ness and control.

It was fitting–but unexpected–that she chose to highlight how society’s unrealistic expectations for men are important too.

“It is time that both men and women feel free to be sensitive. It is that time that both men and women feel free to be strong,” Watson said.

This message is an important one for all societies, but some countries face far heavier battles than a crisis of self-confidence.

Emma Watson speaks at the UN's He for She event Sept. 20. (Photo: Newscom)

Emma Watson speaks at the UN’s He for She event Sept. 20. (Photo: Newscom)

Watson noted that at current rates, it will be the year 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education and 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years, becoming child brides.

Unfortunately, she only briefly touched on what is perhaps the greatest injustice to women on earth–gendercide.

“My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter,” said Watson.

What she didn’t say is that many girls never get a chance to live because they are female. In fact, as many as 160+ million women aren’t alive today because they were killed in the womb or after birth for being girls.

China is one of the worst offenders, with some provinces reporting a ratio of boys to girls of 130 to 100. Believe it or not, even in the United States, places like Planned Parenthood have advised clients on how to obtain an abortion if their baby is a girl and not a boy.

It’s wonderful that the media–and specifically, feminist sites like Jezebel–praised Watson’s speech, but they shouldn’t ignore the parts that may have hit them the wrong way.

Liberal feminists (yes, there are conservative ones as well) typically ignore gendercide because it hits too close to their abortion rights agenda. And to proclaim all children need fathers these days is politically incorrect.

But these are two extremely important aspects of gender equality and they deserve to be heard too.

 

UK’s Fox: We Must Stop ISIS Before It Becomes ‘University of Jihad’ - Daily Signal

UK’s Fox: We Must Stop ISIS Before It Becomes ‘University of Jihad’

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel /

If the world does not destroy the terrorist group ISIS, former British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said today, “they will become the University of Jihad, ready and willing to export their graduates to wherever they can do the greatest damage.”

Fox, speaking at The Heritage Foundation, also addressed global economics, Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Scottish independence referendum.

His comments about the Islamic State, the jihadist army of radical Sunni Muslims also known as ISIS or ISIL, came as the United States and allies in the region launched the first airstrikes against the terrorists in their home base of Syria early today.

American intelligence officials have said that roughly 15,000 foreign fighters, many from Britain, are in Iraq and Syria as part of various armed groups. ISIS is particularly successful at recruiting from the West, Fox said.

Heritage Foundation President, Jim DeMint and Liam Fox. (Photo: Tommy Gilligan)

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint welcomes  Liam Fox. (Photo: Tommy Gilligan)

ISIS poses an immediate threat to the populations that fall under their control,” he said, adding:

They also pose a risk of further destabilizing the region and potentially taking us to the edge of a Sunni-Shia conflict that threatens to ignite the whole of the Middle East. If left alone, they will become the University of Jihad, ready and willing to export their graduates to wherever they can do the greatest damage.

Fox, a conservative member of Parliament, served as UK defense secretary from May 2010 to October 2011. The Daily Signal pulled the following remarks from his speech at Heritage and the question-and-answer session that followed.

On the fight against ISIS as a broader “battle of ideas and ideology”:

“The real failure of the West has been a failure to understand [the ISIS] psychology and belief system. Everything we stand for [is] an existential threat to their medieval, misogynistic, barbaric values.

“There are those who hate us not because of what we do, but because of what we are. Yes, we should intervene militarily when we have to. [But] this is a battle of ideas and ideology. We have to start winning that battle. Only one of us can triumph, and it must not be them.”

On President Obama’s assembling a global coalition as part of his strategy to fight ISIS:

“It’s a very good idea. Working with a coalition when possible shows this is not just a western-enforced objective…

“But the United Kingdom has not been a part of the strikes. That did not stop the beheading of a British citizen. ISIS sees everything as being driven by the West. We cannot convince ISIS of these distinctions.”

On Russia’s aggression under President Vladimir Putin:

“We have allowed wishful thinking to take the place of critical analysis in far too many situations in recent years, particularly in our dealings with Russia. When we drew red lines over the use of chemical weapons in Syria and then abandoned that unceremoniously, Putin had a very good idea what our response would be to the annexation of Crimea.

“Russia still believes in the old Soviet view that Russia should have a sphere of influence — in other words, a veto on the policy decisions of its neighbors. We take a completely different view and believe that sovereign nations have a complete right to self determination.”

On how to respond to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine:

“ISIS clearly reached a point where military intervention was required. That is not in the cards in Ukraine. Economic sanctions are the best way to get Russia to behave. It’s about getting them to understand that they need the West more than we need them.”

Western military intervention in Ukraine is “not in the cards,” says @LiamFoxMP

On the welfare state:

“There is no doubt that properly targeted welfare that includes incentives and discourages dependency can play a major role in both poverty reduction and in wealth creation. We need, however, to ask whether specific programs are necessary in an indebted economy, whether the same effect could be created in another way and whether the government is best placed to be the provider of these services.”

On the referendum on independence for Scotland and voters’ decision to preserve the union:

“This was a wake-up call to force people to look at our history and future. There were three groups that stand to gain [from a split in the United Kingdom] and one of those was Russia, because you’d have seen a weakening of NATO.

The Scottish independence referendum was a “wake-up call,” says @LiamFoxMP

“The turnout was astonishing, and the results showed that people just thought we are better off being together.”

7 in 10 Americans Think Role of Religion Has Decreased in Public Life - Daily Signal

7 in 10 Americans Think Role of Religion Has Decreased in Public Life

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel / Kate Scanlon /

Americans say the role of religion in public life has diminished, according to a new Pew Research poll.

Pew reports that 72 percent of Americans think religion is “losing its influence on American life,” a growth of five percentage points since the 2010 midterm elections.

But an increased number of Americans think that religion should play a larger role.

pewreligionpoll1

The percentage of Americans who report that they believe churches and other places of worship should be able to “express their views on social and political issues,” is up to 49 percent from 43 percent. Thirty-two percent believe churches should be free to endorse specific candidates, while 63 percent believe they should refrain from doing so.

Those who responded that they felt that there had been “too little” expression of religion from political leaders has grown to 41 percent. The number of Americans who believe it is important for members of Congress to have strong religious beliefs remains at 59 percent.

pewreligionpoll2

By an 18-point margin, Americans are more likely to see the Republican Party as “friendly” to religion than the Democratic Party. The number of Americans who see the Obama administration as friendly to religion has shrunk to 30 percent.

Those who self-identified as being affiliated with a religion were more likely to support an increased role for religion, and those who reported that they weren’t affiliated were more likely to oppose an increased role.

Byron R. Johnson, professor of social sciences at Baylor University and founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, wrote in the 2014 Heritage Foundation Index of Culture and Opportunity that “media accounts suggest a consistent if not dramatic decline of the faith factor in America,” but that these headlines are “misleading, inaccurate and biased.”

The Index indicates the number of Americans who report attending church weekly has held steady over the last 10 years at about 30 percent.

Johnson also noted the number of American atheists has remained steady at 4 percent since 1944, and church membership has reached an all-time high.

These Celebrities Are Really Concerned About the Climate (When They Don’t Need to Fly on Private Jets) - Daily Signal

These Celebrities Are Really Concerned About the Climate (When They Don’t Need to Fly on Private Jets)

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harris /

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world gathered in 156 countries Sunday to raise awareness about climate change in the “People’s Climate March.”

In New York City, more than 300,000 people participated. Oversized puppets, street-wide banners, marching bands, labor unions and even some indigenous groups laced the streets of Manhattan hoping to bring attention to the issue. Among the eclectic crowd were several celebrities.

Leonardo DiCaprio
He’s the newly-designated “U.N. Messenger of Peace” for climate change.

Leonardo DiCaprio marches for climate change

Mark Ruffalo
Ruffalo marched with a clean-water group he supports, the “Waterkeeper Alliance.”

Mark Ruffalo joins the People's Climate March

>>> Climate Marchers Should Read This

Jane Goodall, former Vice President Al Gore, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Gore tweeted out to his followers he was “proud” to be at the march, and encouraged people to “let their voice be heard” on a Climate Reality Project website.

People's Climate March, 092114

Sting
The musician, who marched with his wife Trudie, told a Democracy Now reporter he thinks “we need to really pull our resources to make sustainable energy a reality.”

People's Climate March in New York

Sting, Edward Norton, Mayor Bill de Blasio and an estimated 300,000 marchers attend the People's Climate March

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The “500 Days of Summer” and “Inception” actor marched because he wants to “live a long and lustrous life.”

>>> A Memo to Leonardo DiCaprio on Climate Change

Edward Norton
Norton is also showing his support for climate action in a promotional video by the United Nations for its Climate Summit 2014.

Sting, Edward Norton, Mayor Bill de Blasio and an estimated 300,000 marchers attend the People's Climate March

Evangeline Lilly
The “Lost” actress posted pictures of her march on Instagram throughout the day. “It was a very powerful demonstration that could be felt all through the city,” she wrote.

David Letterman Thinks He Knows Who The White House Intruder Is - Daily Signal

David Letterman Thinks He Knows Who The White House Intruder Is

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harris / Kate Scanlon /

On Monday, David Letterman discussed the recent string of security breaches at the White House.

“This is crazy,” said Letterman. “You want to go to the White House, just hop the fence!”

This month alone, there have been three separate individuals who attempted to jump over the fence, one of whom actually made it inside the front door.

Letterman offered his take: “When I heard this report, I just said, ‘Oh for God’s sake, Hillary, wait your turn.’”

 

Raw Footage of First U.S. Strikes Against ISIS in Syria - Daily Signal

Raw Footage of First U.S. Strikes Against ISIS in Syria

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harris / Kate Scanlon / Gabriella Morrongiello /

Videos released by the U.S. Navy early Tuesday captured raw footage of the military’s first assault on Islamic State targets in Syria.

The broad series of overnight attacks executed by the U.S. military against ISIS included the use of bomber planes, drones, fighter jets and precision-guided missiles.

“We hit what we were aiming at,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby during an interview with CNN.

USS Philippine Sea Launches Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles

USS Arleigh Burke Launches Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets and EA-6B Prowlers Fly Sorties

Why Federal District Court—Not Military Commission—Was Right Court to Try Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law - Daily Signal

Why Federal District Court—Not Military Commission—Was Right Court to Try Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harris / Kate Scanlon / Gabriella Morrongiello / Cully Stimson /

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was sentenced to life in prison today in a New York federal district court.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was convicted in his federal terrorism trial earlier this spring, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who described Ghaith at the sentencing proceeding today as bin Laden’s “propaganda minister” and, according to CNN.com, the “face and voice of al Qaeda in the days and weeks after the 9/11 attacks.”

Ghaith, who was captured in Jordan more than a year ago, then whisked to Manhattan to face American justice, was charged with conspiracy to kill Americans, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Those who claim Ghaith should have been sent to Guantanamo Bay to face justice by a military commission do not recognize that those three charges are not available in a military commissions’ case. And although Ghaith could have been sent to Guantanamo Bay and held as an unprivileged enemy belligerent, that form of detention is temporary.

Sending Ghaith to federal district court to face justice was the right move, and his sentence fits his crimes.

As we continue to capture high-value terrorists, we must weigh the evidence and consider the rules of evidence and criminal procedure in both federal district courts and military commissions, before deciding how and where to handle each situation. Having all options on the table is the best option.

 

In Missouri, Public School Students Are Learning How to Handle Guns Safely - Daily Signal

In Missouri, Public School Students Are Learning How to Handle Guns Safely

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harris / Kate Scanlon / Gabriella Morrongiello / Cully Stimson / Gabriella Morrongiello /

Ready, aim, fire. A new statewide program in Missouri has introduced an after-school lesson on gun safety for public school students.

According to local ABC news affiliate KSPR, the special program brings students of various ages to the Missouri Department of Conservation gun range where they spend several hours discussing gun safety, learning how to properly handle weapons and even practicing on the range.

Mike Brooks, a supervisor at the range, believes that educating children early on can curb their curiosity and decrease the chances of them misusing firearms.

As Russia’s Aggression Increases, Poland Becomes More Crucial - Daily Signal

As Russia’s Aggression Increases, Poland Becomes More Crucial

Kelsey Harris / Ericka Andersen / Josh Siegel / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harris / Kate Scanlon / Gabriella Morrongiello / Cully Stimson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Lee Edwards /

WARSAW — Quite suddenly, what Poland does and doesn’t do has become crucial to the United States and the Western alliance.

As the next-door neighbor of Ukraine and with uncertainty about Russia’s next aggressive move, Poland matters.

Adjoining as it does the three Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — all prime targets of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imperialist design — Poland matters.

As the largest, most prosperous, and most entrepreneurial member of the old Warsaw Pact, Poland matters. As evidence of Poland’s economic viability, it was the only member of the European Union not to fall into recession after 2008.

America and the West need Poland as a leader to stand firm against Putin’s “peace” policy in which, like Stalin, he takes a piece of that country, then a piece of that country.

Based on a 72-hour whirlwind trip and meetings with Polish government officials, former parliamentarians, think tank officials and policy analysts, I can report that Poland is ready for the challenge. I was in Poland as a guest of PAFERE, the Polish American Foundation for Economic Education, which, under the direction of Pawel Budrewicz, is working hard and successfully to bring together Polish think tanks committed to free markets and conservative values. Here are some of Poland’s recent actions in support of a free and independent Eastern and Central Europe.

Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland have signed an agreement to form a joint peacekeeping brigade which will be based in Lublin, Poland, and will include some 3,000 troops.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has been named the new president of the European Council, in which position he can be depended to push for a firm policy against Russian territorial aggrandizement. Tusk is a quiet but strong-willed politician from Gdansk, the birthplace of the Solidarity trade union movement and Poland’s anti-communist uprising against the Soviet Union.

Poland has endorsed the U.S.-NATO decision to implement stricter economic sanctions against Putinist Russia, despite Poland’s dependence upon Russia for much of its energy needs.

Poland understands those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and it is determined there will not be another “Warsaw Pact” run out of Moscow.

Commenting on Tusk’s election as EC president, one British newspaper wrote that it was “a coming of age for Poland.” I would say that in the 25 years since the collapse of Soviet communism, Poland has repeatedly demonstrated its political and economic leadership. It remains for the rest of Eastern and Central Europe to follow her lead at this critical time and for the United States to recognize that Poland has become the cornerstone of a region vital to America’s strategic interests.