Hell on Earth: Inside Iran’s brutal Evin prison

It is known as Evin University, but it’s no school — it is one of the world’s most brutal and infamous prisons. And barring intervention by Iran’s religious leaders, it could be the home of American citizen and Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini for the next eight years.

Beatings, torture, mock executions and brutal interrogations are the norm at Evin prison, where for four decades the anguished cries of prisoners have been swallowed up by the drab walls of the low-slung lockup in northwestern Tehran. Standing at the foot of the Alborz Mountains, it is home to an estimated 15,000 inmates, including killers, thieves and rapists. But the prison has also held ayatollahs, journalists, intellectuals and dissidents over the years, and few if any who have survived time in Evin could be surprised by claims of torture and abuse made by Abedini’s supporters.

“To many Iranians, the concept of Evin prison is synonymous with political repression and torture,” Gissou Nia, executive director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, told FoxNews.com. “Today, anyone who is perceived to be a threat to the Iranian regime, including human rights defenders … is kept within the confines of Evin and other notorious prisons in Iran.”

Evin House of Detention was built during the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi — known to Americans as the Shah of Iran. Before he was ousted from power in the 1979 revolution, the prison housed some of the very radicals and sympathizers who would one day rule the Islamic Republic. During the 10-year reign of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, thousands of political prisoners were systematically murdered at Evin, according to Nia. After Khomeini’s death in 1989, Evin continued to serve as a holding pen for some of Iran’s most prominent intellectuals, activists and journalists, earning it the nickname “Evin University.”

Following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election as president in 2005, arrests related to political opposition mounted, reaching a frightening apex during the failed “Green Revolution,” that followed Ahmadinejad’s disputed 2009 re-election.

“Much of the opposition was sent, without pretense, to Evin,” Nia said.

Read more here.

Stunner. Obama White House Takes Credit for Illegal Immigration Deal

The Politico reported:

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday welcomed an immigration deal reached by a bipartisan group of senators and gave credit to President Obama for pressing the issue.

“I think it’s important before we let the moment pass to acknowledge that the progress we’re seeing embodied in the priniciples put forward by this bipartisan group is happening for a reason: I think it’s happening because consensus is developing in the country, a bipartisan consensus, and it’s happening because the president has demonstrated significant leadership on this issue,” Carney said.

He said that when immigration reform failed in 2010, Obama continued to press for it, giving speeches repeatedly and putting out a detailed blueprint for reform.

“He made clear in the campaign last year that this would be a top priority of his in a second term, and he is keeping that commitment by pressing forward today,” he said.

Carney declined to address a key difference between the White House and the senators’ plan, which would allow a path to citizenship only after increased border security.

Can the Republican Party come back, or will a new party emerge?

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: Can the Republican Party come back, or will a new party emerge?

The Glittering Eye: Of course the Republican Party can come back. Right now its major problems are three:

1. Internecine warfare, which Michael Gerson has characterized as a battle between
reformers and rejectionists.

2. An inability to get their voters to turn out.

3. Alienation of the fastest-growing voting bloc (Hispanics).

None of these are necessarily permanent problems, although if the Republican leadership wants to, it can make them permanent.

If it doesn’t come back, we’ll effectively have a one party system. Present structures ensure that no third party will emerge to challenge the Democrats and Republicans.

The Noisy Room: As the Republican Party is currently constituted, no. But to reconstitute itself, it needs new faces, new leadership, new resolve, a fresh review of principle and a better understanding of both its enemies and its friends. It’s possible for a new party to emerge from within the Republican Party, taking over the Republican Party and there are possible advantages to this in that there is much infrastructure that will not need to be recreated, but absent the first option and lacking any uprising from within, then a third party becomes not only possible, but necessary. The Republicans should go the way of the Whigs if they don’t recommit to true constitutional principles and actions.

JoshuaPundit: Ah, the Republicans… there’s a theme song for their current situation.

It’s worth comparing 2012 with 2010 to answer this question.

2010 was an election when the GOP base turned out, sparked by Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint’s energy and fought by the GOP establishment every step of the way. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the buffoonish antics of RNC head Michael Steele spending scads of money on his personal lifestyle and on hopeless RINOs like Carly Fiorina while ignoring candidates like Dino Rossi, Sharon Angle and Ken Buck, who actually could have won with more funding and decent help on their ground game, the Republicans might have actually taken the Senate. There was widespread and open criticism of President Obama and his policies, and the midterm was largely a referendum on both.

2012, was the exact opposite. Mitt Romney was a good and decent man who would likely have made a good president, but he never resonated with the American people and allowed the Obama campaign to hide its own failures by demonizing him. He hid from the GOP’s conservative base like the plague, refused to attack the president in terms that meant much, made a number of unfortunate unforced errors and depended on the economy to carry him over the finish line. A key tip off was when Sarah Palin, one of the most effective communicators of conservatism in the party, was denied a speaking slot at the GOP convention. Aside from a few great moments like the first debate, he never excited the base, because he really didn’t speak their language. The debacle of the third debate and Chris Christie’s photo-op with the president finished Mitt Romney off. So three million Republicans stayed home and President Obama won re-election with an historically low turnout.

Read more here.

8 America Traitors Create Illegal Immigration Bill

Does anyone have a good feeling about this?

The Politico reported:

A powerful group of senators from both parties has reached a deal on the outlines of a comprehensive immigration overhaul, a development that will drive an emotional debate on a hot-button issue unseen in Washington for more than half a decade.

The group is expected to unveil the basics of its proposal at a Monday news conference on Capitol Hill, essentially laying down a marker on the issue one day before President Barack Obama heads to Las Vegas to unveil more details about his own immigration proposal.

According to a five-page document provided to POLITICO, the sweeping proposal — agreed to in principle by eight senators — would seek to overhaul the legal immigration system as well as create a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s roughly 11 million illegal immigrants. But establishing that pathway would depend on whether the U.S. first implements stricter border enforcement measures and new rules ensuring immigrants have left the country in compliance with their visas. Young people brought to the country as children illegally and seasonal agriculture industry workers would be given a faster path to citizenship.

The broad agreement by the influential Gang of Eight senators amounts to the most serious bipartisan effort to act on the highly charged issue since George W. Bush’s comprehensive measure was defeated in the Senate in 2007.

Mayor Bloomberg: ‘Look at the ass on her’

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had his eyes less on the evils of guns and big gulps at a Christmas party last month than on the assets of a female party guest.

In a New York Magazine profile of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, author Jonathan Van Meter recalls how in researching Quinn’s prospects as a candidate for mayor at “a Christmas party for the rich,” he was introduced to Mayor Michael Bloomberg who subsequently ignored praise for his gun-control advocacy to instead admire a woman’s backside.

“Later in the evening, the host interrupted me to point out that the mayor himself had just arrived. Did I want to meet him? Sure,” Van Meter writes. “My friend and I followed the host over, shook Bloomberg’s hand, and my friend thanked him for his position on gun control. Without even acknowledging the comment, Bloomberg gestured toward a woman in a very tight floor-length gown standing nearby and said, ‘Look at the ass on her.’”

Later in the piece Quinn, one of the most prominent lesbians in New York, detailed to Van Meter how Bloomberg insists that women wear high heels. “The mayor has no use for flat shoes,” she said.

Read more here.

If ‘Assault Weapons’ Are Bad…Why Does DHS Want to Buy 7,000 of Them for ‘Personal Defense’?

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking to acquire 7,000 5.56x45mm NATO “personal defense weapons” (PDW) — also known as “assault weapons” when owned by civilians. The solicitation, originally posted on June 7, 2012, comes to light as the Obama administration is calling for a ban on semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines.

Citing a General Service Administration (GSA) request for proposal (RFP), Steve McGough of RadioViceOnline.com reports that DHS is asking for the 7,000 “select-fire” firearms because they are “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters.” The term select-fire means the weapon can be both semi-automatic and automatic. Civilians are prohibited from obtaining these kinds of weapons.

The RFP describes the firearm as “Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) – 5.56x45mm NATO, select-fire firearm suitable for personal defense use in close quarters and/or when maximum concealment is required.” Additionally, DHS is asking for 30 round magazines that “have a capacity to hold thirty (30) 5.56x45mm NATO rounds.”

Republican New York state Sen. Greg Ball also issued a press release this week bringing attention to the weapons purchase request.

Calls made to DHS seeking information regarding whether or not the RFP was accepted and fulfilled were not immediately returned on Saturday.

Read more here.

Obama: Football Players Should wear Dresses and Have Tea Parties While Women Fight Our Wars

“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you, if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” President Barack Obama tells The New Republic.

“And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence,” Obama said. “In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.”

“The NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies,” Obama said. “You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about.”