Bobusnr

Uncatagorized

Archive for the tag “current-events”

Why Bridgegate made headlines but Obama’s IRS scandal didn’t


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://nypost.com

 

Posted by:JOHN PODHORETZ

John Podhoretz

 

Why Bridgegate made headlines but Obama’s IRS scandal didn’t

Photo: Illustration by Leah Tiscione

Most government scandals involve the manipulation of the system in obscure ways by people no one has ever heard of. That is why George Washington Bridgegate is nearly a perfect scandal — because it is comprehensible and (as they say in Hollywood) “relatable” to everyone who has ever been in a car. This is the reason this one is not going to go away so easily, even if one accepts the contention that Gov. Chris Christie had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Government officials and political operatives working for Christie, for weird and petty reasons, chose to make traffic worse. That’s the takeaway. When they are reminded of the fact that people working on Christie’s behalf thought it was a good political game to mire tens of thousands of their fellow Americans in the nightmarish gridlock that is a daily dreaded prospect for tens of millions, they will be discomfited by that and by the politician in whose name it was done.

And yet, you know what is also something everybody would find “relatable”? Politicians who sic the tax man on others for political gain. Everybody has to deal with the IRS and fears it. Last year, we learned from the Internal Revenue Service itself that it had targeted ideological opponents of the president for special scrutiny and investigation — because they were ideological opponents.

That’s juicy, just as Bridgegate is juicy. It’s something we can all understand, it speaks to our greatest fears, and it’s the sort of thing TV newspeople could gab about for days on end without needing a fresh piece of news to keep it going.

And yet, according to Scott Wheelock of the Media Research Center, “In less than 24 hours, the three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they’ve allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service controversy.”

Why? Oh, come on, you know why. Christie belongs to one political party. Obama belongs to the other. You know which ones they belong to. And you know which ones the people at the three networks belong to, too: In surveys going back decades, anywhere from 80% to 90% of Washington’s journalists say they vote Democratic.

Scandals are not just about themselves; they are about the media atmosphere that surrounds them. They are perpetuated and deepened by the attention of journalists, whose relentless pursuit of every angle keeps the story going. That is exactly what has been missing from the IRS scandal from its outset; Republicans in Congress have been the dogged pursuers, not the press.

There was plenty of material. Just as journalists remain skeptical today about who exactly might have gotten the idea for the lane closures, they could have been asking without letup who got the idea to dig into conservative tax-status applications. Several officials at the IRS resigned, retired and took the Fifth, just as was the case with Christie-aligned Port Authority officials.

It’s pretty clear the questions about how high up Bridgegate went are going to be pursued far more diligently than they have been in the IRS case.

What gives?

There is a fundamental misunderstanding among conservatives about the causes of partisan media bias — the reason there is unequal coverage of scandals of this kind. It exists not because there is a conscious effort to soft-pedal bad news for politicians you like and to push hard on bad news for politicians you don’t.

It’s actually more personal — more relatable, shall we say—than that.

Journalists know the Obamans. Intimately. They know them from college, they know them from work, they know them from kids’ soccer. They’re literally married to them.

To the journalists, the Obamans don’t look like crooks and cheats. Far from it. For them, it’s like looking in a mirror.

In September, Elspeth Reeve of The Atlantic Wire took note of 24 major journalists who have taken posts at senior levels in the Obama administration. All of them have worked for decades in various news organizations, thus creating personal ties and bonds of affection with literally hundreds of working reporters and editors.

The journalists are not covering up for their friends and their spouses. They just believe the people they know could not be responsible for behaving badly, or cravenly, or for crass political advantage —and the tone they strike when such things are discussed is often one of offense, as though it is a sign of low character to believe otherwise. It would be, well, like believing the journalists themselves were crooks.

It’s fair to say that most conservatives don’t know people in the Obama administration, and they dislike and disagree with its policies. When they look at it, their dislike and lack of any personal connection make it easier for them to see officials mired in scandal and tush-covering cover-up. This is a direct analogue to the way liberals — of whom journalists comprise a central cohort — viewed the George W. Bush and Reagan administrations.

They saw people with whom they disagreed and who they thought were bad for the country and so found it much easier to believe they were acting out of malign motive and doing evil.

Christie may be entirely innocent of all wrongdoing. Or there may be some connection, even a very tenuous and suggestive one. But there will be little let-up now.

For in the end, because Christie is a Republican. Christie isn’t them.

Advertisements

SEE A SHRINK, LOSE YOUR GUN


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.wnd.com

 

Posted by:BOB UNRUH

New ‘rules’ would suspend 2nd Amendment even for ‘outpatient’ treatment

author-image

In an end-of-week “information dump” often resorted to by political leaders to publicly release information they would like overlooked, President Obama formally has launched his much-feared expansion of the use of mental health diagnoses to crack down on gun ownership.

The Obama Department of Homeland Security already is on record casting aspersions on the mental ability of returning veterans, third-party candidate supporters and people with pro-life bumper stickers – calling them potential “right-wing extremists.” It was also caught, through the IRS, targeting conservative organizations that might be critical of Obama.

So critics of the administration long have warned the move would come. On Friday, it did.

Obama announced that his Department of Justice is proposing a rule change that would “clarify” that being committed to a mental institution – a key red flag under gun ownership rules – would include receiving nebulous “outpatient” services from a professional, such as a psychiatrist.

The president said his Health and Human Services agency is issuing a rule to pierce the privacy protections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act so there would be “express permission” for “entities” to hand over to the federal government certain medical records – that is, “information necessary to help keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands.”

WND reported six months ago on alarms raised by various groups over this issue.

At the time, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, warned that the administration was widening the door for those subject to a “mental” deficiency definition, looking for ways to send people to a mental institution for “mental defectiveness or mental illness” or “for other reasons.”

“The phrase ‘for other reasons’ is overly broad and vague,” EPIC said. “Although the DOJ has illustrated that drug use is an example of ‘commitments for other reasons,’ the nebulous language would grant the DOJ sweeping authority to prohibit individuals from possessing firearms, a constitutionally protected right.”

The privacy advocates warned: “Until the DOJ clearly defines and enumerates the types of formal commitments that can bar gun ownership, HHS should not amend its regulations to release sensitive mental health information to the DOJ.”

The Obama administration’s gun-control agenda accelerated after the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012. It then began to press for “closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” a ban on “military-style” weapons and some ammunition magazines, as well as “making schools safer” and improving mental health services.

See the real details about the Second Amendment in the Whistleblower issue on “Firearms and Freedom: Why the Second Amendment is more important than ever.”

But the vague generalities used to describe the plans have worried privacy advocates and Second Amendment supporters.

‘Wrong hands’

On Friday, Obama announced his executive actions to “keep guns out of the wrong hands.”

“Too many Americans have been severely injured or lost their lives as a result of gun violence,” his statement said. “While the vast majority of Americans who experience a mental illness are not violent, in some cases when persons with a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, the result can be tragedies such as homicide or suicide.”

That, he wrote, explains the need for the DOJ rule “to clarify who is prohibited from possessing a firearm” and the HHS rule change is “to address barriers preventing states from submitting limited information … to the federal background check system.”

His statement noted that Obama already has directed federal agencies to hand over criminal records and other “information” about those who are prohibited from having guns “for mental health reasons.”

And he spent $20 million to “improve incentives for states” to hand over background check information to the federal government. He’s proposing to spend $50 million on that in 2014.

At the Washington Times, commentator Michael E. Hammond said, “The real agenda of the gun-hating Obama administration is to strip gun rights from law-abiding Americans, even if the result is to discourage people from seeking counseling.”

He asked: “Do you really think a hunter or gun owner feels somehow less violated when, as a result of sharing his deepest secrets in confidence, his name is turned over to government as either a dangerous or incompetent person and – as has happened – a SWAT team is sent to his house to seize his guns?”

It was just a year ago that Obama announced 23 executive actions aimed at curbing gun rights. Then Congress handed him a massive defeat, refusing to go along with some of the more reaching plans to curb gun ownership.

The federal government admits it already has banned from gun ownership those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, have been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity, or otherwise have been determined through an adjudication process to have a severe mental condition.

Judicial records

The mental health records come from the judiciary, not the health system.

Now the federal government wants access to all such records from health care providers, too.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center said the best way to handle the federal government’s plans would be to leave in place the protections provided for consumers under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s Privacy Rule, which doesn’t allow such discussions of diagnoses or treatment.

EPIC said at the time if changes are made, there need to be clear protections.

“HHS should assign liability to states that disclose excess mental health data for NICS purposes,” the comments said. “HHS should mandate states notify NICS as soon as possible but no [later] than 10 business days of an incorrect or outdated mental illness record.”

Said EPIC: “There are not enough adequate privacy protections in place, under state law or otherwise, for data collected by state entities for reporting to the NICS. … Many states do not have privacy laws that explicitly address privacy protection of mental health records and availability to the NICS.”

WND also has reported on another anti-gun strategy, which is a possible explanation for why the Obama administration has failed to launch legal action against Colorado and Washington, where voters have voted to legalize marijuana under their state laws, even though federal law doesn’t allow it.

Some have asked if there something about the idea of legalizing marijuana that Washington likes. The idea may have been borne out recently when the Congressional Research Service released its report on the “State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues.”

As attorneys Todd Garvey and Brian Yeh wrote in the report, Washington has flexibility regarding drug prosecution, stating: “The extent to which federal authorities will actually seek to prosecute individuals who are engaged in marijuana-related activities in Colorado and Washington remains uncertain. President Obama himself has suggested the prosecuting simple possession is not a priority, while the Department of Justice has said only that ‘growing, selling or possession any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.’”

What is more certain, they wrote, is that federal firearms regulators will be aggressive about banning anyone who uses marijuana from buying – or possessing – a weapon.

“With the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington, it seems likely the ATF will … consider a recreational user of marijuana to be a prohibited possessor of firearms regardless of whether the use is lawful under state provisions,” they wrote.

The attorneys said the ATF specifically has stated “any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”

They further wrote, “These individuals are to answer ‘yes’ when asked on the firearms transfer form if they are unlawful users of a controlled substance.”

Targeting veterans

Also, the government has been using its interaction with veterans to designate many of them – by the tens of thousands – incapable of handling their own financial affairs and, therefore, banned from having guns.

A lawsuit was just filed by the United States Justice Foundation against the Veterans Administration for snatching veterans’ gun rights without “due process” or any “factual or legal basis.”

WND has published reports about how returning veterans were being deprived of their Second Amendment rights without a court-based adjudication competency process, based on arbitrary VA agency decisions.

The problem arises when the agency wants to appoint a fiduciary – someone to advise a disabled veteran or one receiving certain government benefits – to help with the management of the benefits.

The government then routinely notifies the FBI’s NICS system, a federally maintained list of those whose competency has been challenged. That means they no longer can purchase a gun or even keep the one they may have.

Michael Connelly, executive director of the USJF, told WND the initial lawsuit is to compel the VA to respond to two requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

“The information requested included Veterans Benefits Administration rules, regulations and criteria for making ‘determinations of incompetency due to a physical or mental condition of a benefit recipient,’” the legal team explained.

“The USJF has received numerous complaints from military veterans around the country who are being declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and then told that they can no longer purchase or own firearms or ammunition,” said Connelly. “This determination is being made without due process protections for the veterans and the basis for the incompetency ruling is often arbitrary and without a factual or legal basis.”

Just a month ago, WND columnist Jeff Knox warning about Obama’s newly announced strategy.

A front

“The strategy is to use the wide acceptance of the idea that the mentally ill should not have access to firearms as a front for prohibiting a broad array of ‘normal’ people from possessing guns or ammunition. As with most things, the devil is in the details. What is mental illness? Who is mentally ill? How mentally ill must one be to warrant revocation of a fundamental human right? Who makes that determination? Who is ‘normal,’ and how ‘normal’ do they have to be to own guns? We all know people who have dealt with some mental health issues or who people consider a bit odd, but who are also fully functional, completely rational, good people who would never harm anyone. The new anti-rights strategy is to cast doubts on those people and deny them their rights to own guns and ammunition.”

Knox also reported his sources confirm the strategy of using “emergency” legislation to “pass draconian bills with no hearings, no committee votes and no public input” that would further “control” firearms.

“While this anti-rights sneak attack is just getting under way, you can be sure it is well-planned and well-funded, so expect to see a flood of bills dealing with mental health in general and firearms access by the mentally ill in particular introduced in Congress and state legislatures nationwide in the coming months,” Knox wrote.

“These bills will be promoted as ‘common sense,’ but they will contain definitions so broad that hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of regular folks who have been or are being successfully treated for common, minor, mental and emotional issues will be denied their right to arms as ‘mental defectives.’ People suffering from mild depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, even women treated for PMS, could be lumped in with violent schizophrenics and the criminally insane.”

And be banned from having a firearm.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/see-a-shrink-lose-your-gun/#1QYva5tgeF6sQxsw.99

SHOCKING EVIDENCE HITLER ESCAPED GERMANY


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.wnd.com/

 

Posted by:Jerome R. Corsi’s

Newly declassified FBI, U.S. intel files raise startling questions

Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun

WASHINGTON – Everyone knows Adolf Hitler committed suicide by gunshot in his underground bunker on April 30, 1945.

At least, that has been the conventional wisdom.

Now comes WND senior staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi’s new book, “Hunting Hitler: New Scientific Evidence That Hitler Escaped Germany.”

Examining declassified FBI and U.S. military intelligence files, Corsi makes a compelling case that U.S. investigators suspected from the beginning Hitler had escaped. For political purposes, the evidence indicates, they were willing to go along with the cover story that in the final days of World War II, Hitler married his mistress Eva Braun, and the two took their lives in a joint-suicide ritual just before the Soviet Army entered Berlin.

But the truth is, no one actually saw Hitler commit suicide. There are no photographs documenting a joint suicide of Hitler and Eva Braun, and the bodies of the two were never recovered or preserved for positive identification.

In 2009, Corsi pointed out, Nicholas Bellatoni, the Connecticut state archaeologist, was allowed by the Russian Federation State Archive in Moscow to examine skull fragments the Russians have claimed for decades are proof Hitler committed suicide.

Bellatoni’s startling findings prompted Corsi to investigate further.

“What caused me to question Hitler’s suicide was Bellatoni’s DNA analysis that proved conclusively the skull fragments belonged not to Hitler, but to a 40-year-old woman unrelated to Eva Braun,” Corsi said.

In “Hunting Hitler,” Corsi posits Hitler made his way to Argentina with the help of U.S. intelligence agents that had been secretly working with the Nazis since 1943. Allen Dulles, then an agent of the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, the predecessor agency to the CIA, was communicating secretly with top Nazis from his office in Bern, Switzerland, Corsi said.

Corsi brings to light many troubling questions, including:

  • Why were the Americans unable to obtain physical evidence of Hitler’s remains after the Russians absconded with his body?
  • Why did both Stalin and Eisenhower doubt Hitler’s demise?
  • Why did nobody in Hitler’s bunker hear any shots fired?
  • Did U.S. intelligence agents in Europe, including the OSS and Allen Dulles (who later headed the CIA under President Eisenhower), aid Hitler’s escape, as they did with so many other Nazis?
  • Argentinean media reported Hitler arrived in the country and it continued to report his presence. Why have the findings not made it to the US?

Corsi relies on autopsy reports, interrogation transcripts, documents from Soviet archives, CIA reports, extensive research in the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., and in College Park, Md., and more to back up his case.

Did U.S. intelligence help Hitler get away?

His evidence is shockingly abundant, and his clear argument lends credence to a new theory that disembowels the double-suicide narrative.

“The story Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide was a cover story, designed by U.S. intelligence agents at the end of World War II to facilitate the escape not only of Hitler and Eva Braun, but also of top Nazi war criminals such as Adolf Eichmann who was discovered in 1960 hiding in Argentina,” Corsi argued.

He presents documentary evidence Allen Dulles’ wartime mission in Switzerland included helping Martin Bormann, Hitler’s secretary, to funnel billions of dollars of Nazi ill-gotten financial gain out of Germany and invest in the U.S. and Argentinian stock markets to provide a financial cushion to survive in hiding after the war.

In the National Archives at College Park, Corsi discovered a clipping from the U.S. military newspaper “The Stars and Stripes” published Oct. 8, 1945, reporting a shocking statement made by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, then the supreme commander of the Allied Forces.

The short piece read: “There is ‘reason to believe’ that Hitler may still be alive, according to a remark made by Gen. Eisenhower to Dutch newspapermen. The general’s statement reversed his previous opinion that Hitler was dead.”

Corsi asks why Eisenhower’s shocking claim has gone largely unreported in U.S. newspapers and history books even until today.

Was Hitler on the U-530?

Tracing Hitler’s escape route, Corsi found in the National Archives documentary evidence Hitler got to Argentina in a German submarine, the U-530 that mysteriously surfaced outside the harbor at Mar del Plata under the command of Otto Wermuth and his executive officer, Karl Felix Schuller, after having spent weeks making surreptitious drops of passengers along Argentina’s Atlantic shore.

Hidden away in the National Archives, Corsi found a U.S. naval intelligence report written July 18, 1945, by the Naval Attaché in Buenos Aires who notified Washington there was reason to believe U-530 had landed Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in the south of Argentina before the submarine journeyed on to surrender at Mar del Plata.

Corsi had newspaper reports translated of Hitler and Braun being welcomed by wealthy Nazi sympathizers among Argentina’s large German community. The Germans there had constructed a mansion hidden away in the dense mountain forests of Bariloche to provide the Nazi führer with comfort and security in his elder years.

Argentine newspaper report

Corsi writes: In 1943, architect Alejandro Bustillo, at the request of German supporters of Hitler then living in Argentina, designed and constructed an elaborate resort residence for Hitler and Eva Braun, Residencia Inalco, located in a remote area between San Carlos de Bariloce Villa La Angostura, bordering the Nahuel Haupi Lake, outside the city of Bariloche, in the province of Río Negro, Argentina.”

In southern Argentina in the region of the Andes adjoining Chile, he writes, “the surroundings and the Hitler residence were selected and designed to have a distinct feel of Hitler’s Obersalzberg retreat above the town of Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. Hitler moved into the residence in June 1947.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/shocking-evidence-hitler-escaped-germany/#IMS7lfwoJYpXjGQv.99

AL SHARPTON’S CHICAGO TOWN HALL ERUPTS INTO REVOLT AGAINST MACHINE POLITICS


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.breitbart.com

 

Posted by:

Sharpton-Town-Hall-Breitbart

On Thursday, a town hall meeting hosted by Al Sharpton and the National Action Network to address gun violence exploded into a revolt against “Chicago Machine” politics, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the aldermen in City Hall, with panel and audience members calling to vote out their elected officials.

One 82-year-old preacher even called for Tea Party style meetings in some of Chicago’s south side communities such as Altgeld Gardens and Trumbull Park.

 “This was a historic event,” Paul McKinley of V.O.T.E. (Voices of the Ex-Offender) and former 2nd Congressional District GOP nominee to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. told Breitbart News. “Not because of Al Sharpton coming to town,” he continued. “This was first time since electing Mayor Harold Washington in the eighties that all of these grassroots groups and community organizers have come together under one roof to talk about the problems plaguing our community.”

While the stated goal for Sharpton was to bring the many different groups together to discuss solutions to the city’s violence epidemic, he may not have gotten the types of responses he was looking for. Calls for more gun control laws and getting guns off the streets were nonexistent and not mentioned by residents throughout the session.

Instead, attendees offered solutions addressing the problems facing their community as a whole rather than just taking on “gun violence” itself. Audience members addressed the need for jobs and solving the foreclosure crisis plaguing Chicago’s south and west sides. Perhaps the loudest message—and one that Reverend Al or the Chicago media have yet to report on—echoed by several different people in attendance as well as panel members was that it is time for the black community to start voting differently.

“The manner in which we have been voting needs to change,” Wendy Pearson, an activist against Chicago school closings, told the room. “I’m here to say to you that we have been trained to vote in a specific manner… we need to start looking at the manner in which our elected officials have been voting… if they have not voted in a manner that is beneficial to you, yours, and your community, then you need to start voting them out.”

McKinley told the room, “Stop blaming just anybody for the violence in the city of Chicago. Blame the right people, not just white people, but the right people. Because it’s not just white folks a part of this, but it is on the fifth floor. The fifth floor took your schools, the fifth floor just took your jobs that he said that he gave to the ex-offender… and every single alderman was a part of this criminal process.”

McKinley called on President Obama to help the grassroots by discontinuing aid and government grants that go through Chicago’s political machine to “name-brand-blue-ribbon-negro-organizations” such as the NAACP and Urban League. McKinley told Breitbart News those groups “are poverty pimps, and are part of the problem and not the solution.”

VIDEO HERE: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/21/Al-Sharpton-s-Chicago-Town-Hall-Erupts-into-Revolt-against-Machine-Politics

Harry Reid: Government Needs to Steal More from the Middle Class


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.infowars.com

 

Posted by:Kurt Nimmo

If Reid really cared about poor people and a dwindling middle class, he would help us get rid of the Federal Reserve

dees-bank

Corporatists and banksters controlling government and the money supply is the problem. Illustration: David Dees

Senate Majority Leader, Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, wants the government to steal more money from the middle class and dole it out to the victims of the Federal Reserve created economic depression.

“Even as the economy creates jobs, too many Americans find themselves on the sidelines watching as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class are getting squeezed and squeezed,” Reid said on Thursday.

“There is no greater challenge this country has than income inequality. And we must do something about it.”

Reid’s solution to income inequality is to tax and borrow more and give money to the unemployed. Democrats like to tell you this money will come from the super rich. But they know the super rich don’t pay taxes. From offshore tax havens to shell games, foundations and equity swaps, the rich rarely if ever pay taxes. Large multinational corporations with teams of lawyers don’t pay taxes either. GE, for instance, avoided paying taxes by socking $108 billion overseas.

So when Harry Reid talks about redistributing more money to the unemployed, he’s talking about taxing the middle class. He’s also talking about taxing the small businessman who can’t afford fancy tax lawyers and does not have the option to move money to the Cayman Islands or Lichtenstein.

According to recent Small Business Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, around 85 percent of all new jobs are created by small business. If Harry Reid and the Democrats raise taxes on small business, the net result will be less capital for business and less jobs created. Higher taxation leads to business cutting expenditures and laying off people. Harry Reid and the Democrats will create even more unemployment and misery.

There is, however, an upside to Reid’s demand, at least for Democrat career politicians. It will create more Democrat voters. Many of them will not have jobs. But they will vote for Democrats in order to continue receiving unemployment insurance and food stamps. Amnesty is basically the same thing. It will create millions of new Democrat voters.

If Reid and the Democrats really cared about poor people and a dwindling middle class, they would get rid of the Federal Reserve, throw out the bankers who designed the last so-called recession, and restore honest money instead of fiat currency based on nothing and exploited by fractional reserve criminals.

Corporatists and banksters controlling government and the money supply is the problem. Harry Reid knows this. His top election donors include JP Morgan Chase, AT&T, MGM, Comcast and big gambling casinos.

That’s who he answers to. Not the American people.

 

Louisiana governor defends ‘Duck Dynasty’ star


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com

 

Posted by:Carrie Dann

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal jumped to the defense of Phil Robertson, the star of the A&E megahit “Duck Dynasty” who was indefinitely suspended from the program Wednesday after making graphic statements about homosexuality.

In a statement, Jindal praised Robertson and his family as “great citizens” of his home state, where the lucrative show is filmed, and he slammed the “politically correct crowd” for criticizing his comments.

“I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV.  In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive,” Jindal said. “But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.  In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

At first glance, the Indian-American convert to Roman Catholicism with a national political profile and the crossbow-wielding, bearded patriarch of a television show about a duck-hunting call business wouldn’t seem to be completely natural allies.

But some conservative Christians are arguing that Robertson, a self-described “Bible-thumper,” was singled out for expressing a religious belief that homosexuality is wrong.

Asked in an interview with GQ what he believes in sinful, Robertson replied “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

Robertson also described the mechanics of homosexuality in explicit terms, saying that a woman’s anatomy is “more desirable” than a man’s.

“I’m just thinking: There’s more there!” the reality star said. “She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

In a statement, Robertson said he is committed to speaking about the teachings of the Bible. 

“My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together,” he said. “However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

A&E Networks said that Robertson’s “personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”

GLAAD, a top advocacy organization for the LGBT community, called the comments “vile and extreme” and said Robertson’s statements are “ littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”

Jindal was not the only prominent GOP political figure to weigh in on the controversy.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin expressed her support for Robertson in a Facebook post.

“Free speech is an endangered species. Those “intolerants” hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us,” she said.

And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz posted on his Facebook page that Americans should be “deeply dismayed” about Robertson’s treatment.

“Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job,” he said. “In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him–but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.”

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com

 

Ten Broken Obamacare Promises


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.heritage.org

 

Posted by:Alyene Senger

Since the passage of Obamacare in 2010, many of the President’s famous promises have been routinely broken. As he so ironically threatened in 2009, “If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.”[1] To that end, here are 10 promises of Obamacare that have already proved to be broken.

Promise #1: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”[2]

Reality: Millions of Americans have lost and will lose their coverage due to Obamacare.

Obamacare has significantly disrupted the market for those who buy coverage on their own by imposing new coverage and benefit mandates, causing a reported 4.7 million health insurance cancelations of an existing policy in 32 states.[3]

For those with employer-sponsored insurance in the group market, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance by 2018.[4]

Moreover, the Administration itself has admitted that employers would not keep their existing health plans. Federal regulations written in 2010 estimated that 51 percent of small and large employers would lose their “grandfathered status” by 2013—meaning a majority of employers would not keep their existing health plans.[5]

Promise #2: “[T]hat means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.”[6]

Reality: Many Americans might not be able to keep their current doctor without paying extra.

Many plans offered on Obamacare’s exchanges have very limited provider networks, decreasing the chances consumers will be able to keep their current doctor without paying more money.[7] Furthermore, many Americans who purchase coverage on their own have had their existing health plans changed or canceled due to Obamacare, resulting in some people being unable to keep their current doctors without paying additional money to do so.

Due to the significant payment reductions included in Obamacare, seniors with Medicare Advantage plans may be forced to find new doctors. The largest provider of these plans, UnitedHealth, has recently reduced its provider networks in several states.[8]

Promise #3: “In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.”[9]

Reality: Premiums for people purchasing coverage in the individual market have significantly increased in a majority of states.

A Heritage analysis shows that, on average, consumers in 42 states will see their premiums in the exchanges increase, many by over 100 percent.[10]

For people with employer-sponsored coverage, costs also continue to increase. For families, premiums from 2009 to 2013 have increased by an average of $2,976.[11]

Promise #4: “[F]or the 85 and 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened. And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.”[12]

Reality: Obamacare imposes certain new benefit mandates on those with employer-sponsored coverage—a majority of Americans.

These mandates increase the cost of coverage. In fact, federal regulations written in 2010 assumed “that the increases in insurance benefits will be directly passed on to the consumer in the form of higher premiums. These assumptions bias the estimates of premium changes upward.”[13]

But higher premiums not only cost people more money; they have other impacts on coverage as well. For instance, as a response to the direct cost increases associated with Obamacare, UPS dropped coverage for spouses of employees if they are offered coverage through their own employers.[14]

Promise #5: “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.”[15]

Reality: Obamacare contains 18 separate tax hikes, fees, and penalties, many of which heavily impact the middle class.

Altogether, Obamacare’s taxes and penalties will accumulate over $770 billion in new revenue over a 10-year period.[16] Among the taxes that will hit the middle class are the individual mandate tax, the medical device tax, and new penalties and limits on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.[17]

Promise #6: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future.”[18]

Reality: Obamacare’s new spending is unsustainable.

Obamacare was passed into law relying on a wide variety of unrealistic budget projections. A more realistic assessment reveals that it will be a multi-trillion-dollar budget buster. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated the cost of Obamacare over the long term if certain cost-containment measures were overridden. Under that alternative scenario, which assumes that “historical trends and policy preferences continue,” the GAO found that Obamacare would increase the primary deficit by 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).[19]

Senator Jeff Sessions (R–AL) and the Senate Budget Committee staff, who commissioned the GAO report, translated the 75-year percentage estimate into today’s dollar amount, which would be $6.2 trillion over the next 75 years.[20]

Promise #7: “[W]hatever ideas exist in terms of bending the cost curve and starting to reduce costs for families, businesses, and government, those elements are in this bill.”[21]

Reality: Health spending is still rising and is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.8 percent from 2012 to 2022.[22]

While growth in health spending has been slower recently compared to the past, that is largely due to the sluggish economic recovery. Indeed, Obamacare’s new entitlements will help drive greater health spending in 2014 and beyond.[23]

Promise #8: “I will protect Medicare.”[24]

Reality: Obamacare cuts Medicare spending.

Obamacare makes unprecedented and unrealistic payment reductions to Medicare providers and Medicare Advantage plans in order to finance the new spending in the law. The cuts amount to over $700 billion from 2013 to 2022.[25] If Congress allows these draconian reductions to take place, it will significantly impact seniors’ ability to access care.[26]

Promise #9: “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American.”[27]

Reality: Millions of Americans will remain uninsured.

Despite spending nearly $1.8 trillion in new spending from 2014 to 2023, the law falls far short of universal coverage. Indeed, Obamacare is projected by the CBO to leave 31 million uninsured after a decade of full implementation.[28]

Promise #10: “So this law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.”[29]

Reality: Obamacare has not increased insurer competition or consumer choice.

In the vast majority of states, the number of insurers competing in the state’s exchange is actually less than the number of carriers that previously sold individual market policies in the state.[30] And at the local level, for 35 percent of the nation’s counties, exchange enrollees will have a choice of plans from only two insurers—a duopoly. In 17 percent of counties, consumers will have no choice—a monopoly—as only one carrier is offering coverage in the exchange.[31]

—Alyene Senger is a Research Associate in the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

 

Report: Obamacare provision will allow ‘forced’ home inspections by gov’t agents


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from: http://www.examiner.com

Posted by::Joe Newby

Obamacare allows forced government home inspections

Win McNamee/Getty Images

 

 

Citing the Heath and Human Services website, a report posted Wednesday at the Freedom Outpost says that under Obamacare, government agents can engage in “home health visits” for those in certain “high-risk” categories.

Those categories include:

Families where mom is not yet 21;
• Families where someone is a tobacco user;
• Families where
children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities, and
• Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forces who have had multiple deployments outside the United States.

According to HHS, the visits fall under what is called the “Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program” allegedly designed to “help parents and children,” and could impact millions of Americans.

Constitutional attorney and author Kent Masterson Brown said that despite what HHS says, the program is not “voluntary.”

“The eligible entity receiving the grant for performing the home visits is to identify the individuals to be visited and intervene so as to meet the improvement benchmarks,” he said. “A homeschooling family, for instance, may be subject to ‘intervention’ in ‘school readiness’ and ‘social-emotional developmental indicators.’ A farm family may be subject to ‘intervention’ in order to ‘prevent child injuries.’ The sky is the limit.”

Joshua Cook said that while the administration would claim the program only applies to those on Medicaid, the new law, by its own definition, has no such limitation.

“Intervention,” he added, quoting Brown, “may be with any family for any reason. It may also result in the child or children being required to go to certain schools or taking certain medications and vaccines and even having more limited – or no – interaction with parents. The federal government will now set the standards for raising children and will enforce them by home visits.”

According to Cook, the program will require collection of a massive amount of private information including all sources of income and the amount gathered from each source.

One of the areas of emphasis mentioned by HHS is the “development of comprehensive early childhood systems that span the prenatal-through-age-eight continuum.”

Last session, Cook added, South Carolina State Rep. Bill Chumley introduced a measure that would make the forced home visitations illegal in his state. The measure passed in the House but died in the Senate.

In 2011, he noted, HHS said $224 million would be allocated to support these home visiting programs.

http://www.examiner.com

 

AP Interview: Obama’s brother writes about abuse


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:Associated Press

 

Posted by:KELVIN CHAN

Photo By Kin Cheung/AP

In this Dec. 17, 2013 photo, Mark Obama Ndesanjo, U.S. President Barack Obama’s half-brother, holds his self-published book “Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery” during an interview in Hong Kong. President Barack Obama’s half-brother is publishing the autobiography that details the domestic abuse that served as the theme for his earlier semiautobiographical novel, which featured an abusive parent patterned on their late father.

  • HONG KONG (AP)President Barack Obama’s half brother is publishing an autobiography that details the domestic abuse that served as the theme for his earlier semiautobiographical novel, which featured an abusive parent patterned on their late father.

Mark Obama Ndesandjo also recounts his sporadic but intense encounters with his brother over the years in “Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery.” The self-published book, to be released in February, also tries to set the record straight on some points in the president’s bestselling 1995 memoir, “Dreams From My Father.” In that book, Obama seeks to learn more about their father, a mostly absent figure, after learning of his death in a car crash in 1982 at age 46.

Ndesandjo’s book comes four years after his novel, “Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love in the East.” As in his first book, Ndesandjo wanted to raise awareness of domestic abuse by using his family’s story, although he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that the president’s relatives have not universally welcomed his airing of private matters in public. Ndesandjo spoke ahead of a news conference to launch the book in Guangzhou on Thursday.

When asked how he would describe his relationship with his brother, he said, “Right now it’s cold and I think part of the reason is because of my writing. My writing has alienated some people in my family.”

Even though he felt their relationship was distant, “I hope that my brother and I can really hug each other after he’s president and we can be a family again,” said Ndesandjo, who resembles Obama. Like the president, Ndesandjo also has a white American mother, Ruth Ndesandjo, a Jewish woman who was Barack Obama Sr.’s third wife.

Ndesandjo, 48, has lived for 12 years in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen, next door to Hong Kong. He moved there to teach English after losing his job when the U.S. economy cratered following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and now works as a consultant. Ndesandjo, who is married to a Chinese woman, learned to speak Chinese and immersed himself in the study of Chinese culture, including poetry and brush calligraphy. Trained as a classical pianist, he gives lessons as a volunteer at an orphanage.

Some of the book’s profits will go to charities for children, including Ndesandjo’s own foundation, which uses art to help disadvantaged kids.

In his new book, Ndesandjo recalls alcohol-fueled beatings meted out by his father to his mother. He recounts one incident in which his father held a knife to his mother’s throat because she took out a restraining order against him.

His parents met when Obama Sr. was a graduate student at Harvard University and moved in 1964 to Kenya, where Mark and his brother David were born. David later died in a motorcycle accident.

Obama Sr. had earlier divorced President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, after Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Mark Ndesandjo’s mother later divorced the senior Obama and married another man, whose surname both mother and son also took.

Ndesandjo and Obama did not grow up together. Ndesandjo was brought up in Kenya but moved to the U.S. for college, earning a bachelor’s degree in physics at Brown University, a master’s in the same subject from Stanford University and an MBA at Emory University.

The book recounts Ndesandjo’s first encounter with Obama, who was visiting Kenya in 1988. They did not hit it off.

“Barack thought I was too white and I thought he was too black,” Ndesandjo said. “He was an American searching for his African roots, I was a Kenyan, I’m an American but I was living in Kenya, searching for my white roots.”

The 500-page book includes an appendix listing a number of alleged factual errors in Obama’s 1995 memoir, “Dreams from my Father,” such as quotes incorrectly attributed to Ndesandjo’s mother.

“It’s a correction. A lot of the stuff that Barack wrote is wrong in that book and I can understand that because to me for him the book was a tool for fashioning an identity and he was using composites,” Ndesandjo said.

“I wanted to bring it up because first of all I wanted the record to be straight. I wanted to tell my own story, not let people tell it for me,” he said.

http://www.chron.com

 

Schumer: Veterans Should Take a Pay Cut But Congress Should Not


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://joeforamerica.com

 

Posted by:The Daily Sheeple

Chuck_Schumer

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believes that it’s time that US military veterans do their part for America by taking a cut to their retirement benefits.

Because, of course, veterans haven’t done enough for the country.

Members of Congress, however, should take no such cuts. According to the rather despicable gun-control advocating Senator Schumer, the government officials have sacrificed enough.

Civilian federal employees have been cut, cut, cut. I think there was a feeling, if you’re going to cut them further, which was done, that the military retirees should have about an equal amount. It’s small,” the New York Democrat told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.

“I think (Rep.) Paul Ryan and (Sen.) Patty Murray looked everywhere they could to try and find compromise. Everybody had to take a little,” Schumer said.

“They’re going to have to pay a tiny, little bit into it, which they never have,” he added.
But Schumer maintained members of Congress should not be forced to take a pay cut. He said they have already sacrificed, since they have not seen a pay raise “in a long time,” and explained most of them are paying more for healthcare insurance.

“We have taken pretty big cuts,” he said. (source)

Let’s tally up the numbers to put things in perspective:

  • The average pension for a retired veteran was $9,669 in 2011. (source)
  • The salary for a US Senator is $174,000. (source)

Just so this statistic is perfectly clear, the members of Congress bring in over 17 times the amount that retired vets do.

Despite this, veterans under the age of 62 will be looking at a 1% per year cut in their benefits. Members of Congress will not be looking at any reduction.

More BS from Dems

Kimberly Paxton, a staff writer for the Daily Sheeple, is based out of upstate New York.

Read more at http://joeforamerica.com/2013/12/schumer-veterans-take-pay-cut-congress/#Ox1I0DF6Er6wGSwb.99

 

If You Use Facebook You Need to Read & Share This! They Are Killing Free Information


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.theminorityreportblog.com

 

Posted by:Steve Foley

FB-300x300

Recent changes made to Facebook’s algorithm now limits the amount of reach a single page has to 1%, if you are really lucky, 2%. What this means is, the freedom to share quality information is being limited to those who have money to pay Facebook to share their content. This is bad news for people who want to have an influential voice in the world.

The need for people to band together and work together is becoming greater with changes like this.

According to Facebook themselves:

“Your brand can fully benefit from having fans when most of your ads show social context, which increases advertising effectiveness and efficiency.”

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”

“We’re getting to a place where because more people are sharing more things, the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it.”

What this means is if you have a meaningful message and you want to freely and organically share it across Facebook, you can’t anymore unless you want to pay for it. Perhaps it was FB realizing that anyone could reach a lot of people easily that made them see the potential for profit should those people still want to reach people, or maybe this is their way of trying to clean up Facebook. Either way, this is going to do nothing but cripple pages ability to reach their audience who they worked a long time to build.

What Does This Mean For Meaningful Content?

It means the days of using Facebook to create larger movements against corporations like Monsanto are going to be greatly limited. Protests, marches, awareness campaigns and the spread of life changing and meaningful content across Facebook is now going to be limited to a tiny portion of networks unless they are willing to pay a pretty coin to have it seen. It is likely now that businesses with big bucks are going to be appearing in news feeds more as they are going to be the few with enough advertising capital to handle Facebook’s new methods.

The Need For Backlash

Since this happened, bloggers and page admins all over the world have been creating a backlash about it and this needs to continue. Facebook needs its users to participate with the platform for FB to have any value, if they keep doing things like this it is going to force people to other social platforms, so if backlash is created, Facebook will have no choice but to adjust their numbers back to what they were.

Here’s what you can do:

1. When you find good content you want to see shared, ‘Like’ it, comment on it and share it. This helps get it out there and push it the extra mile.

2. Share this meme which speaks out about this problem. This way, we can all have a voice about the issue and work towards getting it changed.

If we want to continue to make an impact and join together easily as people in sharing a message to the world, we have to work together. Whether this means working around these adjustments or creating a new social media platform that a large part of the world uses, something needs to be done.

AUTHOR

Steve Foley

A former U.S.Marine, he is the Creator of The Minority Report Network. He is also the Founder and Managing Editor of the Network’s flagship site,http://www.theminorityreportblog.com, Former Director of New Media for Liberty.com, Former Director of New Media for Liberty First PAC, and the Former Chief Managing Editor of 73Wire.com. Steve is a well respected national conservative blogger who’s dedicated the past several years of his life advancing conservatism online. Recently Steve was instrumental in the development of Liberty.com, Liberty First PAC, The Patriot Caucus, the national campaign trail and grassroots news site73wire.com.

 

MYSTERY GROWS: JOURNALIST DIED PREPPING OBAMA EXPOSÉ


English: November 2008 U.S. Presidential Elect...

English: November 2008 U.S. Presidential Election map, winner county by county Red = McCain, Blue = Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:

 

Posted by:JEROME R. CORSI

Major probe tied to agent suspected of sanitizing president’s passport records

author-imageJEROME R. CORSI

hastings-crash

NEW YORK – Before his death in a fiery car crash, Michael Hastings was preparing to publish a major investigative piece tied to the undercover agent who is suspected of sanitizing President Obama’s passport records prior to the 2008 presidential election.

The mystery has only deepened since the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office ruled that drugs in his system at the time of the June 18 crash, including amphetamines and marijuana, likely did not contribute to the crash.

Hastings, 33 years old at the time of his death, wrote for Gentleman’s Quarterly, Rolling Stone and Buzzfeed, reporting on national security issues.

His June 2010 article in Rolling Stone featuring remarks highly critical of the Obama administration made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal — then the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan — led to President Obama relieving McChrystal of command.

Reported drug use

The autopsy two months after Hastings’ death found small amounts of amphetamine in his blood, suggesting he may have taken methamphetamine several hours before his death. Traces of marijuana also suggested Hastings had smoked the drug hours before he had taken the methamphetamine.

Hastings died when his Mercedes, traveling at a high rate of speed, crossed into the median on a deserted Highland Avenue at 4:20 a.m. and struck a tree. The automobile burst into flames, charring Hastings’ body so badly that it took several days to make a positive identification.

Los Angeles newspapers have suggested Hastings had become obsessed with Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s massive domestic surveillance capabilities and with disclosures the Department of Justice had obtained of the phone records of Associated Press reporters.

His neighbor and close friend, Jordanna Thigpen, told the LA Weekly that just before his death, Hastings’ behavior had become erratic because of his increasing concerned that helicopters commonly seen in the Hollywood Hills were spying on him and that his Mercedes had been tampered with.

“He was scared, and he wanted to leave town,”          Thigpen told the newspaper.

She recalled that the night before his death, Hastings asked Thigpen if he could borrow her Volvo because he was afraid to drive his own car.

Fox News reported family members told investigators that Hastings, who supposedly had been “sober” for 14 years, had begun using drugs the month before his death. The drugs included the hallucinogenic DMT, although it was not detected in a blood report conducted after the crash.

Fox News further reported a family member told investigators Hastings was seen passed out at home about three hours before the crash and that he had been smoking marijuana the night of the crash.

Investigators told Fox News that Hastings was found after the crash with a medicinal marijuana identity card in his wallet and that he apparently was using the drug to ease post-traumatic stress disorder experienced after his assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A security video that captured Hastings’ car crash showed a flash of light before the car hit the tree, raising suspicions Hastings’ death may have been caused by an explosion.

San Diego 6 News has reported that a witness in a nearby business is claiming the explosion occurred before Hastings’ car hit the tree. An explosion before impact, which would slow down the vehicle, would explain the minimal damage observed on the palm tree. Other physical evidence at the crash site also is not consistent with a high-speed, out-of-control impact.

Security Video of crash

 

Brennan and the CIA

On Aug. 12, Kimberly Dvorak reported for San Diego 6 News that Hastings at the time of his death was working on an exposé on CIA director John Brennan.

In July, a source provided the station with an email hacked from “super secret CIA contractor” Stratfor’s President Fred Burton and subsequently posted on WikiLeaks that suggested Brennan was in charge of the Obama administration’s surveillance of investigative journalists.

Michael Hastings and Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett at President Obama’s election-night victory party in 2012 (Photo: John V. Santore)

Though rumors persist that Hastings was near completion of a new exposè on Brennan to be published shortly in Rolling Stone, the magazine so far has not published any such piece.

Obama’s passport records sanitized

WND has previously reported that Brennan played a controversial role in what many suspect was an effort to sanitize Obama’s passport records prior to the 2008 presidential election.

On March 21, 2008, during the 2008 presidential campaign, two unnamed contract employees for the State Department were fired and a third unnamed State Department contract employee was disciplined for breaching the passport file of Democratic presidential candidate and then-senator Barack Obama.

The Washington Times on March 20, 2008, noted that all three had used their authorized computer network access to look up and read Obama’s records within the State Department’s consular affairs section that “possesses and stores passport information.”

Contacted by the newspaper, State Department spokesman Sean McCormick attributed the violations to non-political motivations, stressing that the three individuals involved “did not appear to be seeking information on behalf of any political candidate or party.”

“As far as we can tell, in each of the three cases, it was imprudent curiosity,” McCormick told the Washington Times.

Exactly how the State Department came to that conclusion, McCormick did not disclose.

By the next day, the story had changed.

The New York Times reported March 21, 2008, that the security breach had involved unauthorized searches of the passport records not just of Obama, but also of then-presidential contenders Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

Again, the New York Times attributed the breaches to “garden-variety snooping by idle employees” that was “not politically motivated.”

Like the Washington Times, the New York Times gave no explanation to back up its assertion that the breaches were attributable to non-political malfeasance.

Still, the New York Times report said then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had spent Friday morning calling all three presidential candidates. Rice had told Obama that she was sorry for the violation. She said she “told him that I myself would be very disturbed if I learned that somebody had looked into my passport file.”

The newspaper quoted Obama saying he appreciated the apology but that he expected the passport situation “to be investigated diligently and openly.”

According to the New York Times report, Obama’s tone of concern was obvious.

“One of the things that the American people count on in their interactions with any level of government is that if they have to disclose personal information, that is going to stay personal and stay private,” Obama told reporters. “And when you have not just one, but a series of attempts to tap into people’s personal records, that’s a problem, not just for me, but for how our government is functioning.”

The New York Times noted that the files examined were likely to contain sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, addresses and dates of birth as well as passport applications and other biographical information that would pertain to U.S. citizenship. Only at the end of the article did the paper note that State Department spokesman McCormick had emphasized the most egregious violation appeared to have been made against Obama.

Obama was the only one of the three presidential candidates involved who had his passport file breached on three separate occasions. The first occurred Jan. 9, 2008, followed by separate violations Feb. 21 and March 14. Moreover, all three of the offending employees had breached Obama’s files, while the passport files of McCain and Clinton had been breached each only once.

The Brennan connection

The New York Times noted the two offending State Department contract employees who were fired had worked for Stanley Inc., a company based in Arlington, Va., while the reprimanded worker continued to be employed by the Analysis Corporation of McLean, Va.

The newspaper gave no background on either corporation other than to note that Stanley Inc. did “computer work for the government.”

John Brennan was sworn in as CIA director in March

At that time, Stanley Inc. was a 3,500-person technology firm that had just won a $570 million contract to provide computer-related passport services to the State Department, while Brennan, who then headed Analysis Corp., was serving as an adviser on intelligence and foreign policy to Obama’s presidential campaign.

By Saturday, March 22, 2008, the Washington Times reported that the State Department investigation had focused on the contract worker for the Analysis Corporation, because he was the only one of the three involved in breaching the passport records of both Sens. Obama and McCain, the two presidential candidates whose eligibility as “natural born” citizens under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution were in question.

Consistent with the claim that the motive for the passport breach merely was mischief, the three State Department contract employees received relatively light penalties. Two were fired and one was reprimanded.

Although at the time the State Department promised a full-scale investigation, the public was kept in the dark.

In July 2008, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General issued a 104-page investigative report on the passport breach incidents, stamped “Sensitive But Unclassified.” The document was so heavily redacted, it was nearly worthless to the public. Scores of passages were blacked out entirely, including one sequence of 29 consecutive pages that were each obliterated by a solid black box that made impossible the determination even of paragraph structures.

One investigative reporter, Kenneth Timmerman, said a well-placed but unnamed source told him that the real point of the passport breaches was to cauterize the Obama file, removing from it any information that could prove damaging to his presidential eligibility.

According to this theory, the breaches of McCain’s and Clinton’s files were done for misdirection purposes, to create confusion and to suggest the motives of the perpetrators were attributable entirely to innocent curiosity.

Brennan tilts toward Islam

WND has reported that in a speech delivered Aug. 9, 2009, to the Center for Strategic and International Studies that is archived on the White House website, Brennan commented that using “a legitimate term, ‘jihad,’ meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal” to describe terrorists “risks reinforcing the idea that the United States is somehow at war with Islam itself.”

Brennan advised that U.S. foreign policy should encourage greater assimilation of the Hezbollah terrorist organization into the Lebanese government.

WND further reported that in a July 2008 article in The Annals, a publication of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Brennan argued it “would not be foolhardy, however, for the United States to tolerate, and even to encourage, greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system, a process that is subject to Iranian influence.”

Continued Brennan: “Hezbollah is already represented in the Lebanese parliament and its members have previously served in the Lebanese cabinet, reflections of Hezbollah’s interest in shaping Lebanon’s political future from within government institutions. This involvement is a far cry from Hezbollah’s genesis as solely a terrorist organization dedicated to murder, kidnapping and violence.”

At the August 2009 press conference for the CSIS, Brennan declared: “Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ‘80s and has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization.”

Middle Eastern terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah frequently maintain civilian units of doctors and lawyers to emphasize their outreach with local politicians and to increase their political acceptance in the international arena.

Conceivably, the Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, better known by the Turkish acronym IHH, would fit into Brennan’s definition of the charitable side of organizations such as Hezbollah, despite IHH’s ties to al-Qaida. The links to the terror organization have been amply documented by experts such as former investigating judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who led the French judiciary’s counter-terrorism unit for nearly two decades before retiring in 1977.

Despite this history, IHH is not included on the State Department’s current list of 45 groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations, which names both Hezbollah and Hamas.

In his speech to the New York University law school students posted on YouTube by the White House, Brennan included a lengthy statement in Arabic that he did not translate for his English-speaking audience.

Noting that he was as an undergraduate with the American University in Cairo in the 1970s, Brennan proceeded to use only the Arabic name, “Al Quds,” when referring to Jerusalem. He said that during his 25 years in government, he spent considerable time in the Middle East, as a political officer with the State Department and as a CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia.

“In Saudi Arabia, I saw how our Saudi partners fulfilled their duty as custodians of the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina,” he said. “I marveled at the majesty of the Hajj and the devotion of those who fulfilled their duty as Muslims of making that pilgrimage.”

WND previously reported Brennan participated in a meeting with Muslim law students facilitated by the Islamic Society of North America, a group that was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the prosecution of the founders of the Holy Land Foundation of Texas. The founders were given life sentences “for funneling $12 million” to Hamas, the group currently in political control of the Gaza.

WND further reported that at the meeting with Muslim law students, Brennan declared himself a “citizen of the world” who believed the U.S. government should never engage in “profiling” in pursuit of national security.

    Read more at

http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/mystery-grows-in-journalists-death-prepping-obama-expose/#fczrUjvR8tf8cOTI.99

Chinese Naval Vessel Tries to Force U.S. Warship to Stop in International Waters


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://freebeacon.com

 

Posted by:Bill Gertz

 

 

 

Landing ship sailed dangerously close to U.S. guided missile cruiser

USS Cowpens

The USS Cowpens / AP

A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials.

The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which recently took part in disaster relief operations in the Philippines, was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to officials familiar with the incident.

“On December 5th, while lawfully operating in international waters in the South China Sea, USS Cowpens and a PLA Navy vessel had an encounter that required maneuvering to avoid a collision,” a Navy official said.

“This incident underscores the need to ensure the highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap.”

A State Department official said the U.S. government issued protests to China in both Washington and Beijing in both diplomatic and military channels.

The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. The carrier had recently sailed from the port of Qingdao on the northern Chinese coast into the South China Sea.

According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop. The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters.

Then a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course in what the officials said was a dangerous maneuver.

According to the officials, the Cowpens was conducting a routine operation done to exercise its freedom of navigation near the Chinese carrier when the incident occurred about a week ago.

The encounter was the type of incident that senior Pentagon officials recently warned could take place as a result of heightened tensions in the region over China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently called China’s new air defense zone destabilizing and said it increased the risk of a military “miscalculation.”

China’s military forces in recent days have dispatched Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, as well as KJ-2000 airborne warning and control aircraft, to the zone to monitor the airspace that is used frequently by U.S. and Japanese military surveillance aircraft.

The United States has said it does not recognize China’s ADIZ, as has Japan’s government.

Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew through the air zone last month but were not shadowed by Chinese interceptor jets.

Chinese naval and air forces also have been pressing Japan in the East China Sea over Tokyo’s purchase a year ago of several uninhabited Senkaku Islands located north of Taiwan and south of Okinawa.

China is claiming the islands, which it calls the Diaoyu. They are believed to contain large undersea reserves of natural gas and oil.

The Liaoning, China’s first carrier that was refitted from an old Soviet carrier, and four warships recently conducted their first training maneuvers in the South China Sea. The carrier recently docked at the Chinese naval port of Hainan on the South China Sea.

Defense officials have said China’s imposition of the ADIZ is aimed primarily at curbing surveillance flights in the zone, which China’s military regards as a threat to its military secrets.

The U.S. military conducts surveillance flights with EP-3 aircraft and long-range RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.

In addition to the Liaoning, Chinese warships in the flotilla include two missile destroyers, the Shenyang and the Shijiazhuang, and two missile frigates, the Yantai and the Weifang.

Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said it is likely that the Chinese deliberately staged the incident as part of a strategy of pressuring the United States.

“They can afford to lose an LST [landing ship] as they have about 27 of them, but they are also usually armed with one or more twin 37 millimeter cannons, which at close range could heavily damage a lightly armored U.S. Navy destroyer,” said Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Most Chinese Navy large combat ships would be out-ranged by the 127-millimeter guns deployed on U.S. cruisers, except China’s Russian-made Sovremenny-class ships and Beijing’s new Type 052D destroyers that are armed with 130-millimeter guns.

The encounter appears to be part of a pattern of Chinese political signaling that it will not accept the presence of American military power in its East Asian theater of influence, Fisher said.

“China has spent the last 20 years building up its Navy and now feels that it can use it to obtain its political objectives,” he said.

Fisher said that since early 2012 China has gone on the offensive in both the South China and East China Seas.

“In this early stage of using its newly acquired naval power, China is posturing and bullying, but China is also looking for a fight, a battle that will cow the Americans, the Japanese, and the Filipinos,” he said.

To maintain stability in the face of Chinese military assertiveness, Fisher said the United States and Japan should seek an armed peace in the region by heavily fortifying the Senkaku Islands and the rest of the island chain they are part of.

“The U.S. and Japan should also step up their rearmament of the Philippines,” Fisher said.

The Cowpens incident is the most recent example of Chinese naval aggressiveness toward U.S. ships.

The U.S. intelligence-gathering ship, USNS Impeccable, came under Chinese naval harassment from a China Maritime Surveillance ship, part of Beijing’s quasi-military maritime patrol craft, in June.

During that incident, the Chinese ship warned the Navy ship it was operating illegally despite sailing in international waters. The Chinese demanded that the ship first obtain permission before sailing in the area that was more than 100 miles from China’s coast.

The U.S. military has been stepping up surveillance of China’s naval forces, including the growing submarine fleet, as part of the U.S. policy of rebalancing forces to the Pacific.

The Impeccable was harassed in March 2009 by five Chinese ships that followed it and sprayed it with water hoses in an effort to thwart its operations.

A second spy ship, the USNS Victorious, also came under Chinese maritime harassment several years ago.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, when asked last summer about increased Chinese naval activities near Guam and Hawaii in retaliation for U.S. ship-based spying on China, said the dispute involves different interpretations of controlled waters.

Locklear said in a meeting with reporters in July, “We believe the U.S. position is that those activities are less constrained than what the Chinese believe.”

China is seeking to control large areas of international waters—claiming they are part of its United Nations-defined economic exclusion zone—that Locklear said cover “most of the major sea lines of communication” near China and are needed to remain free for trade and shipping.

Locklear, who is known for his conciliatory views toward the Chinese military, sought to play down recent disputes. When asked if the Chinese activities were troubling, he said: “I would say it’s not provocative certainly. I’d say that in the Asia-Pacific, in the areas that are closer to the Chinese homeland, that we have been able to conduct operations around each other in a very professional and increasingly professional manner.”

The Pentagon and U.S. Pacific Command have sought to develop closer ties to the Chinese military as part of the Obama administration’s Asia pivot policies.

However, China’s military has shown limited interest in closer ties.

China’s state-controlled news media regularly report that the United States is seeking to defeat China by encircling the country with enemies while promoting dissidents within who seek the ouster of the communist regime.

The Obama administration has denied it is seeking to “contain” China and has insisted it wants continued close economic and diplomatic relations.

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to seek a new type of major power relationship during a summit in California earlier this year. However, the exact nature of the new relationship remains unclear.

School Bans Christmas, Trees, Even Red and Green


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://godfatherpolitics.com

 

Posted by:Tad Cronn

Progress report from the front lines of the war on Christmas — you know, the war that according to atheists, leftists and the lamestream media doesn’t exist?

An elementary school in Frisco, Texas, under the pretense of not offending anyone, has banned talk of Christmas or the wearing of red and green from its annual “Winter Party.”

Not only is the school being politically hyper-correct, it’s also breaking Texas’ “Merry Christmas Law,” which was passed to prevent just this sort of liberal nonsense.

In an email, Nichols Elementary School’s PTA told parents that children attending the Winter Party would be forbidden from mentioning Christmas or any other religious holiday, wearing red or green, or displaying Christmas trees.

The issue has drawn the ire of state Rep. Pat Fallon, whose district includes the school.

Fallon said he has received numerous emails and phone calls from parents as well as from teachers asking about their rights.

Fallon responded to the issue in an email sent to every teacher and official in the school district. “Texas law clearly permits Christmas-themed celebrations, events and displays,” he wrote. “The district may also display scenes or symbols with traditional winter holidays (e.g. nativity scenes, Christmas trees, menorahs, etc.)”

When challenged on the Scroogesque anti-Christmas rules, the school district at first disavowed any knowledge, then said it was the PTA. It turns out the superintendent had allowed school principals to make their own decisions on the subject, and it seems to be the Nichols principal who is behind this.

After meeting with parents over the issue, the principal decided to stand by her Draconian rules, claiming she doesn’t want anyone to be offended by a stray bit of Christmas. Presumably by “anyone,”  she means anyone other than the hundreds of families who no doubt celebrate Christmas, because she’s definitely offended those folks already.

Fallon told FoxNews, “When Gov. Perry signed ‘The Merry Christmas Bill,’ clearly that didn’t solve the issue. The battle rages on. It’s distressing.”

Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/13525/beginning-look-lot-like-christmas-wars/#V9xFl8izCqiJl1wz.99

Republicans and Tea Party Activists in ‘Full Scale Civil War’


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://abcnews.go.com

 

Posted by:ABBY D. PHILLIP

Abby D. Phillip

Bipartisan Budget Deal Creates Rift in GOP


PHOTO: Speaker of the House John Boehner answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol November 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Boehner and company

Years of growing friction between the Republican Party leaders and its Tea Party faction has erupted into what one conservative said today was “full-scale civil war.”

House Speaker John Boehner, whose strategies have been repeatedly thwarted by Tea Party revolts in recent years, was blunt today when asked whether he thought the ultra-conservatives should get in line.

“I don’t care what they do,” Boehner replied.

and this is the reason folks want you out of the leadership

The speaker lashed out at Tea Party activists.

“Well, frankly, I think they’re misleading their followers,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters today. “I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be.”

“And frankly, I just think that they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner said.

Boehner’s frustration is perhaps matched by the fury among tea party conservatives who believe they have been betrayed by conservative leaders in Washington.

“It’s just another example of D.C. elitism. They think they know what’s best for the rest of the country and they want us to just sit down and shut up,” Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, told ABC News today.

Wednesday brought a double dose of betrayal from Republican leadership, in the tea party’s view.

The budget proposal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-W.I., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., was warmly embraced by Republican leadership.

The tea party followers believe the deal was inadequate, but they were also angered when Boehner slammed outside groups for their ” ridiculous” criticism of the deal.

Boehner said today he has decided to take his conference in a different direction after conservatives in his party pushed a showdown to defund Obamacare that led to a government shutdown — and some of the Republican Party’s worst approval ratings in public polling.

“You know, they pushed into this fight to defund ‘Obamacare’ and to shut down the government,” Boehner said. “Most of you know, my members know, that wasn’t exactly the strategy that I had in mind.”

“But if you recall, the day before the government reopened… one of these groups stood up and said, well, we never really thought it would work,” he added. “Are you kidding me?”

Relations were further strained when Republican leaders on Wednesday fired high level staffer Paul Teller, who often served as the liaison between members of Congress and outside activists.

“It’s sad that this conflict has broken out into full-scale civil war, but this moment has been festering for years,” wrote Daniel Horowitz, the policy director of the Madison Project, a conservative group that has sought candidates to challenge Republican incumbents in primaries, in a statement. “There can be no reconciliation between those who seek power for power’s sake and those who seek to serve in order to restore our Republic.”

Teller, the executive director of the Republican Study Committee, an independent research arm for House Republicans, was reportedly accused of leaking private lawmaker-only information to these outside groups.

Brent Bozell, chairman of For America, a Tea Party group that undersigned a letter to Republican leadership Wednesday night from more than 30 Tea Party groups angry over Teller’s dismissal, said that his removal was an act of war.

“They were just out to get rid of him in a declaration of war on conservatives which is really, really stupid,” Bozell said. “They’re trying to intimidate conservatives and this one is going to backfire on them.”

“They’ve now made it personal,” he added. “It is now a personal attack on conservatives.”

Issa to Sebelius on Healthcare.gov Probe: Failing to Turn Over Info is Criminal Obstruction of Justice


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://townhall.com

 

Posted by:Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich


In a letter sent late Wednesday, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa reminded Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime.

Issa’s Committee has been looking into the details of how Obamacare was implemented, along with the major problems with Healthcare.gov and has requested a number of documents from HHS, none of which he’s received. The documents requested pertain to companies hired by HHS to build and operate Healthcare.gov.

“The Department [HHS] subsequently instructed those companies not to comply with the Committee’s request. The Department’s hostility toward questions from Congress and the media about the implementation of Obamcare is well known. The Department’s most recent effort to stonewall, however, has morphed from mere obstinacy into criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation,” Issa wrote.

The letter details a contract between HHS and Creative Computing Solutions, Inc. (CCSI) forcing the company to get approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services before cooperating with Congress, making it nearly impossible for lawmakers to get documents from the company directly. CCSI has been citing the contract as the reason why they cannot turn over requested documents to Congress. In the letter, Issa indicated this refusal by CCSI under the thumb of HHS could be criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation.

“The Departmen’t instruction not to cooperate with congressional investigations relies on language in the contract with CCSI which precludes contractors from sharing certain data with third parties. Moreover, the Department explicitly forbids the release of documents without authorization from CMS. That argument — that the language in the contract between the Department and a private company supersedes Congress’ constitutional prerogative to conduct oversight — is without merit,” Issa wrote. “In fact, it strains credulity to such an extent that it creates the appearance that the Department is using the threat of litigation to deter private companies from cooperating with Congress. The Department’s attempt to threaten CCSI for the purpose of deterring the company from providing documents to Congress places the officials responsible for drafting and sending the letter on the wrong side of federal statues that prohibit obstruction of a congressional investigation. Obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime.”

Issa instructed Sebelius to inform HHS officials to immediately stop directing employees and contractors not to turn over Healthcare.gov documents to Congress. He also reminded Sebelius that a subpoena was issued to her on October 30, 2013 and requires a response.

“Private citizens and companies cannot contract away their duty to comply with a congressional request for documents,” Issa said. “Furthermore, the Department’s instruction to CCSI and other contractors not to respond to congressional document requests runs afoul of a federal statute that prohibits interfering with an employees’ right to furnish information to Congress. Under that statute, any effort to enforce a contract that prevents a federal employee — or in this case, a contractor — from communicating with Congress is unlawful.”

Thursday, the Oversight Committee will hold a hearing about Obamacare’s impact on premiums and provider networks as millions continue to see skyrocketing insurance rates, loss of health insurance and a loss of preferred doctors.

 

Congressmen Want to Bring Obama to Court for Not Faithfully Executing Laws


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from: http://www.weeklystandard.com

 

Posted by:DANIEL HALPER

30 members support the House Resolution calling for civil action.

Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, a Republican, is sponsoring a resolution in the House of Representatives that would, if adopted, direct the legislative body “to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.” In other words, Rep. Rice wants to take President Obama to court for not faithfully executing the laws.

“President Obama has adopted a practice of picking and choosing which laws he wants to enforce. In most cases, his laws of choice conveniently coincide with his Administration’s political agenda. Our Founding Fathers created the Executive Branch to implement and enforce the laws written by Congress and vested this power in the President.  However, President Obama has chosen to ignore some of the laws written by Congress and implemented by preceding Presidents,” Rice wrote in a letter to fellow House members to ask them to co-sponsor this resolution.

“This resolution allows the House of Representatives to bring legal action against the Executive Branch and challenge recent actions, inactions, and policies.”

The “legal action against the President” would be, according to an aide for Rep. Rice, “for ignoring Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution.” Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states,

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers;he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

The resolution alleges that President Obama and his administration have abused executive power and failed to execute the laws of the United States faithfully.

Thus, the resolution calls for “CIVIL ACTION.—The House of Representatives shall bring a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge any of the following policies or actions:

(1) The policy of the Department of Health and Human Services that, with respect to health insurance coverage that is renewed for a policy year during the period beginning January 1, 2014, and ending October 1, 2014, health insurance issuers may continue to offer coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled for being out of compliance with various requirements of title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act and corresponding portions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as announced by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services on November 14, 2013.

(2) The 1-year delay in the application of the reporting requirements of sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (and related requirements of section 4980H of such Code), as provided under Department of the Treasury Notice 2013–45, as announced by the Department of the Treasury on July 2, 2013.

(3) The policy of the Department of Homeland Security to exercise prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who came to the United States as children, as announced by the Department of Homeland Security on June 15, 2012.

(4) The authorization, approval, renewal, modification, or extension of any experimental, pilot, or demonstration project under section 1115 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315) that waives compliance with a requirement of section 407 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 607) through a waiver of section 402 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 602).

In plain English, and in the words Rice used to ask fellow members to sign onto the resolution, the complaints are:

1.       President Obama recently announced an “administrative fix” in regard to cancelled healthcare plans due to Obamacare.  Of course he plans to provide a “fix” which will substantially alter his signature legislation without involving Congress.

2.       Over the summer, President Obama’s Administration announced a one-year delay in Obamacare’s employer mandate without involving Congress.

3.       Last year, President Obama’s Administration granted temporary status to illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children without involving Congress.

4.       In June 2012, President Obama’s Administrative provided a waiver initiative for the welfare work requirement under TANF without involving Congress.

So far, 29 members of Congress are co-sponsoring Rice’s Resolution: Bachmann (MN-06), Bridenstine (OK-01), Chaffetz (UT-03), J. Duncan (SC-03), DeSantis (FL-06), Franks (AZ-08), Gowdy (SC-04), Harris (MD-01), Lamborn (CO-05), LaMalfa (CA-01), Marino (PA-10), McClintock (CA-04), Meadows (NC-11), Nunnelee (MS-01), Pittenger (NC-09), Posey (FL-08), Tom Price (GA-06), Ribble (WI-08), Salmon (AZ-05), Sanford (SC-01), Schweikert (AZ-06), Stewart (UT-02), Stockman (TX-36), Walberg (MI-07), Weber (TX-14), Wenstrup (OH-02), Williams (TX-25), Joe Wilson (SC-02), and Yoho FL-03.

Here’s full resolution, which is expected to be filed with the House clerk’s office very soon:

RESOLUTION

Directing the House of Representatives to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.

Whereas President Obama and officials in his administration have frequently overstepped the limits placed on executive branch power by the Constitution;

Whereas because of President Obama’s continuing failure to faithfully execute the laws, his administration’s actions cannot be addressed by the enactment of new laws, be- cause Congress cannot assume that the President will execute the new laws any more faithfully than the laws he has already ignored, leaving Congress with no legislative remedy to prevent the establishment of what is in effect an imperial presidency; and

Whereas it is therefore necessary and appropriate for Congress to turn to the courts to ensure the faithful execution of the laws as required by the Constitution: Now, therefore, be it Resolved,

SECTION 1. DIRECTING CIVIL ACTION BY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN RESPONSE TO CERTAIN EXECUTIVE BRANCH ACTIONS.

(a) CIVIL ACTION.—The House of Representatives shall bring a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge any of the following policies or actions:

(1) The policy of the Department of Health and Human Services that, with respect to health insurance coverage that is renewed for a policy year during the period beginning January 1, 2014, and ending October 1, 2014, health insurance issuers may continue to offer coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled for being out of compliance with various requirements of title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act and corresponding portions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as announced by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services on November 14, 2013.

(2) The 1-year delay in the application of the reporting requirements of sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (and related requirements of section 4980H of such Code), as provided under Department of the Treasury Notice 2013–45, as announced by the Department of the Treasury on July 2, 2013.

(3) The policy of the Department of Homeland Security to exercise prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who came to the United States as children, as announced by the Department of Homeland Security on June 15, 2012.

(4) The authorization, approval, renewal, modification, or extension of any experimental, pilot, or demonstration project under section 1115 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315) that waives compliance with a requirement of section 407 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 607) through a waiver of section 402 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 602).

(b) NO ADDITIONAL FUNDS PROVIDED TO BRING ACTIONS.—Any amounts obligated or expended by the House of Representatives to carry out this resolution during a fiscal year shall be derived from existing appropriations for salaries and expenses of the House for that fiscal year, and nothing in this resolution may be construed as authorizing an increase in the amount of budget authority available to the House for that fiscal year.

 

NEW BENGHAZI CLAIM: MYSTERY MAN WITH SLAIN AMBASSADOR


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.wnd.com

 

Posted by:AARON KLEIN

Report adds another layer of intrigue to attack on U.S. mission

author-image

benghazi-mission

JERUSALEM – A four-page incident report written by a private contractor that provided security to the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, adds yet another layer of intrigue to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

The report, for the first time, claims that another American aside from Ambassador Christopher Stevens was being treated at the Libyan hospital reportedly controlled by the Ansar Al-Sharia terrorist group.

The American was described in the report by the private Blue Mountain Group as being “black” and shot in the hand. The report says the man was presumed to be “one of the ambassador’s close protection team as both were black.”

The State Department’s Accountability Review Board report, or ARB, detailed what it claimed was the official version of events during and after the attack. The ARB report does not mention any other American at the hospital with Stevens.

The ARB report states only that Stevens’ body was transported from the hospital to the Benghazi airport. The ARB does not describe how Stevens’ body was released from a hospital said to be under Ansar Al-Sharia’s control.

The Blue Mountain report raises questions about who was holding Stevens’ body, whether the ambassador was kidnapped and whether any other American was present at the hospital.

The State Department confirmed the report leaked to the news media in recent days matches the version sent to the U.S. government by the Blue Mountain Group.

The Washington Post said the incident report was written by the man interviewed by “60 Minutes” last week, identified by the pseudonym Morgan Jones, who is the author of a new book on Benghazi.

The Post revealed what it said was Jones’ real name, Dylan Davies.

The incident report, written in the first person allegedly from the perspective of Davies, contradicts key elements of Davies’ account in his book and in his “60 Minutes” interview.

Davies, however, told the Daily Beast he did not write the report, nor had he ever seen it. The report was not signed by anyone.

The report states Davies returned to his villa immediately after the attack while Davies writes in his book he attempted to reach the Benghazi compound but couldn’t do so because of Ansar al-Sharia roadblocks.

The incident report says Davies learned of Stevens’ death from a Blue Mountain guard who had apparently secretly gone to the hospital and had taken a photo of the ambassador’s body. Davies writes in his book, however, he was the guard who infiltrated the hospital and verified Stevens was dead.

Davies said the Blue Mountain incident report matches a version he told to a superior at his firm. He told the Daily Beast he failed to report his own personal involvement in going to the hospital and the fated compound since a top Blue Mountain executive had asked him to stand down.

While most of the news coverage surrounding the Blue Mountain report focuses on how the version conflicts with the story told by Davies in his book, far more telling may be the details of the report itself.

The Blue Mountain incident report relates that Davies learned of Stevens’ death from another contractor who had gone to the hospital. The report, for the first time, claims a second American was at the hospital.

“I asked (blank) if any other Americans were at the hospital and he said yes, a black man who had been shot in the hand. I presumed that this was one of the Ambassador’s close protection team as both men were black.”

The report does not relate the fate of the other American it said was at the hospital.

The ARB report – reviewed in full by WND – does not mention any other American as being at the hospital.

The ARB details how Stevens’ guard, identified in the State-sanctioned report as “ARSO 1,” brought the ambassador and officer Sean Smith into a bathroom while smoke engulfed the building during the attack.

“ARSO 1” escaped through a window, states the ARB, believing Stevens and Smith were following him, and later re-entered the building to search for Stevens and Smith. He made it to the roof of the compound, where he radioed for assistance.

The ARB relates “ARSO 1” was rescued by a small team that made it back to the nearby CIA safe house.

The ARB states Stevens was taken to the hospital by what it claimed were “Good Samaritans” who found his body in the compound. The ARB doesn’t explain how the supposed Good Samaritans made it past the Ansar al-Sharia checkpoints.

The ARB briefly relates that Stevens’ body was later “brought to the airport in what appeared to be a local ambulance at 0825 local.”

Stevens kidnapped?

There have been questions about whether Stevens was kidnapped.

The questions reached a fevered pitch in June when Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, who was identified by U.S. officials speaking to the Washington Free Beacon as a known weapons experts for al-Qaida, wrote on a jihadi website that Stevens was killed by lethal injection after plans to kidnap him during the Benghazi assault went awry.

A detail provided in testimony by Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Libya, may require further investigation in light on the claim.

Hicks, a Benghazi whistleblower, said the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was told Stevens was taken to a hospital controlled by Ansar Al-Sharia, the group originally believed to have been behind the Benghazi attack.

Stated Hicks: “We began to hear also that the ambassador has been taken to a hospital. We don’t know initially which hospital it is, but we – through David’s reports we learned that it is in a hospital which is controlled by Ansar Sharia, the group that Twitter feeds had identified as leading the attack on the consulate.”

Hicks was referring to David McFarland, the U.S. Tripoli embassy’s political section chief.

Hicks said he received a call from the Libyan prime minister informing him of Stevens’ death. Prior to the phone call, he said, the embassy received several other calls from a cell phone that had been with the ambassador, claiming to have Stevens’ body.

Hicks repeated the assertion that Stevens was being held in a hospital controlled by Ansar al-Sharia.

“Before I got the call from the prime minister, we’d received several phone calls on the phone that had been with the ambassador saying that we know where the ambassador is, please, you can come get him,” stated Hicks.

“And our local staff engaged on those phone calls admirably, asking very, very good, outstanding, even open-ended questions about where was he, trying to discern whether he was alive, whether they even had the ambassador, whether that person was with the ambassador, send a picture, could we talk to the ambassador?”

He continued: “Because we knew separately from David that the ambassador was in a hospital that we believe was under Ansar Sharia’s call, we – we suspected that we were being baited into a trap, and so we did not want to go send our people into an ambush. And we didn’t.”

Stevens reportedly was pronounced dead in the Benghazi Medical Center. The center fell into the hands of the rebels during the U.S. and NATO-supported revolution that overthrew the regime of Muammar Gadhafi.

The jihadist rebels reportedly routinely received treatment at the hospital.

The Free Beacon reported today that al-Bajadin’s claim was not immediately being rejected by U.S. law enforcement officials probing the death of Stevens.

In the March 14 posting on the Ansar al-Mujahideen Network, an al Qaida-linked jihadi website, al-Bajadin claimed Stevens was given a lethal injection that was overlooked during the medical autopsy on his body.

Al-Bajadin wrote “the plan was based on abduction and exchange of high-level prisoners.”

“However, the operation took another turn, for a reason God only knows, when one of the members of the jihadist cell improvised and followed Plan B,” he wrote.

Al-Bajadin explained that a lethal injection is given in “more than one place in the human body that autopsy doctors ignore when they see that the symptoms are similar to another specific and common illness.”

“Anyone who studied the art of silent assassination that spies applied during the Cold War would easily identify these parts of the body,” he said.

The terrorist wrote that he waited until now to reveal the botched kidnapping and lethal injection because “the cell” behind “the infiltrative and secret operation is now completely safe from intelligence bureaus.”

With additional research by Joshua Klein.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/new-benghazi-claim-mystery-man-with-slain-ambassador/#d2J1tFolpH4KTWjR.99

NEW REVELATION EXPLAINS WHY NO BENGHAZI AIR SUPPORT?


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.wnd.com

 

Posted by:AARON KLEIN

Benghazi Whisteblowers attorney speaks out

author-image

JERUSALEM – Does a new claim from an attorney representing Benghazi whistleblowers explain why air support was never sent to the doomed Benghazi facility the night of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack?

The claim may also help to explain why it took hours for an American-provided C-130 cargo plane to take off from Tripoli for the short flight to Benghazi to help evacuate survivors.

Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. Attorney who represents Benghazi whistleblowers, stated 400 surface-to-air missiles were “taken from Libyaduring the attacks and that the U.S. fears the missiles can be used to down aircraft.

DiGenova told WMAL radio in Washington, D.C., he “does not know whether [the missiles] were at the annex, but it is clear the annex was somehow involved in the distribution of those missiles.”

WND was first to report that in a largely unnoticed speech to a think tank seven months before the Benghazi attack, a top State Department official described an unprecedented multi-million-dollar U.S. effort to secure anti-aircraft weapons in Libya after the fall of Muammar Gadhafi’s regime.

The official, Andrew J. Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, explained that U.S. experts were fully coordinating the collection efforts with the Libyan opposition.

He said the efforts were taking place in Benghazi, where a leading U.S. expert was deployed.

Now diGenova is connecting the missiles to the Benghazi attack

He said his information “comes from a former intelligence official who stayed in constant contact with people in the special ops and intelligence community.”

He stated the Obama administration is worried the missile can target airliners.

“They are worried, specifically according to these sources, about an attempt to shoot down an airliner,” he claimed.

He continued: “And it’s pretty clear that the biggest concern right now are 400 missiles which have been diverted in Libya and have gotten in the hands of some very ugly people.”

Anti-aircraft missiles in the hands of the Libyan rebels or other jihadists would have served as a major threat to any incoming U.S. aircraft sent to aid the American targets during the Benghazi attack.

Such missiles also may have threatened the cargo plane that sat on the tarmac for hours in Tripoli before finally being dispatched in the early morning hours.

The State Department had stated the plane took off only after securing it from the Libyan transitional government.

MANPADS prompted Benghazi attacks?

Shapiro conceded that the Western-backed rebels did not want to give up the weapons, particularly Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS, which were the focus of the weapons collection efforts.

The information may shed light on why the U.S. special mission in Benghazi was attacked Sept. 11, 2012.

According to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND, the Benghazi mission was a planning headquarters for coordinating aid, including weapons distribution, to the jihadist-led rebels.

After the fall of Gadhafi, the arming efforts shifted focus to aiding the insurgency targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Two weeks after the Benghazi attack, WND broke the story that murdered U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself played a central role in arming rebels and recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.

In November 2012, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.

Speaking to WND, Middle Eastern security officials further stated that after Gadhafi’s downfall, Stevens was heavily involved in the State Department effort to collect weapons from the Libyan rebels.

The weapons were then transferred in part to the rebels fighting in Syria, the officials stated.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., last March disclosed in an interview with Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi to keep weapons caches, particularly MANPADS, from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Fox News host Bret Baier asked Graham why Stevens was in the Benghazi mission amid the many known security threats to the facility.

Graham replied, “Because that’s where the action was regarding the rising Islamic extremists who were trying to get their hands on weapons that are flowing freely in Libya.”

The senator stated, “We were desperately trying to control the anti-aircraft missiles, the MANPADS that were all over Libya, that are now all over the Mideast.”

‘Biggest MANPADS collection effort in U.S. history’

Now, Shapiro’s largely unnoticed remarks Feb. 2, 2012, may shed further light on the activities taking place inside the attacked Benghazi facility.

Of note is that the U.S. facility itself was protected by the February 17 Brigades, which is part of the al-Qaida-allied Ansar Al-Sharia group. That group also was in possession of a significant quantity of MANPADS and was reluctant to give them up, Middle Eastern security officials told WND.

In his speech seven months before the Benghazi attack, Shapiro stated that “currently in Libya we are engaged in the most extensive effort to combat the proliferation of MANPADS in U.S. history.”

Shapiro was addressing a forum at the Stimson Center, a non-profit think tank that describes itself as seeking “pragmatic solutions for some of the most important peace and security challenges around the world.”

Shapiro explained Libya had “accumulated the largest stockpile of MANPADS of any non-MANPADS producing country in the world.”

Shapiro related how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed to providing $40 million dollars to assist Libya’s efforts to secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.

Of that funding, $3 million went to unspecified nongovernmental organizations that specialize in conventional weapons destruction and stockpile security.

Inside Benghazi facility

The NGOs and a U.S. team coordinated all efforts with Libya’s Transitional National Council, or TNC, said Shapiro. The U.S. team was led by Mark Adams, a State Department expert from the MANPADS Task Force.

Tellingly, Shapiro stated Adams was deployed in August 2011, not to Tripoli where the U.S. maintained an embassy, but to Benghazi.

The only U.S. diplomatic presence in Benghazi consisted of the CIA annex and nearby facility that were the targets of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

Shapiro expounded on the coordination with the TNC.

“A fact often overlooked in our response to events in Libya, is that – unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan – we did not have tens of thousands of U.S. forces on the ground, nor did we control movement and access,” he said. “This meant we did not have complete freedom of movement around the country. Our efforts on the ground therefore had to be carefully coordinated and fully supported by the TNC.”

He said the rebels were reluctant to relinquish their weapons.

“Many of these weapons were taken by militias and anti-Gadhafi forces during the fighting,” he said. “Furthermore, because many militias believe MANPADS have some utility in ground combat, many militia groups remain reluctant to relinquish them.”

Shapiro said the U.S. efforts consisted of three phases.

Phase I entailed an effort to rapidly survey, secure and disable loose MANPADS across the country.

“To accomplish this, we immediately deployed our Quick Reaction Force, which are teams made up of civilian technical specialists,” he said.

Phase 2 efforts were to help aid the Libyan government to integrate militias and veterans of the fighting, including consolidating weapons into secure facilities and assisting in the destruction of items that the Libyans deemed in excess of their security requirements.

Such actions were likely not supported by the jihadist rebels.

The third phase would have seen the U.S. help ensure the Libyans met modern standards, including updating storage facilities, improving security and implementing safety management practices.

The U.S. efforts clearly failed.

In April, the United Nations released a report revealing that weapons from Libya to extremists were proliferating at an “alarming rate,” fueling conflicts in Mali, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere.

With additional research by Joshua Klein.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/new-revelation-explains-why-no-benghazi-air-support/#idx1a8M8LcZFVDX9.99

 

ATF uses rogue tactics in storefront stings across nation


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.jsonline.com

 

Posted by:John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge

Illustration by Lou Saldivar

Documents, interviews show agents employed tactics similar to those used in Milwaukee

Backfire: Interview with felon Gary Renaud

Backfire: Judge Karin Immergut on ATF’s tattoo tactic in Portland

Chart


Problems in Milwaukee ATF sting reflected around country

Backfire

A Journal Sentinel investigation uncovered mistakes and failures in an undercover sting in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – stolen guns, sensitive documents lost, wrong people charged and a burglary of the sting storefront.

Go to section.

Aaron Key wasn’t sure he wanted a tattoo on his neck. Especially one of a giant squid smoking a joint.

But the guys running Squid’s Smoke Shop in Portland, Ore., convinced him: It would be a perfect way to promote their store.

They would even pay him and a friend $150 apiece if they agreed to turn their bodies into walking billboards.

Key, who is mentally disabled, was swayed.

He and his friend, Marquis Glover, liked Squid’s. It was their hangout. The 19-year-olds spent many afternoons there playing Xbox and chatting with the owner, “Squid,” and the store clerks.

So they took the money and got the ink etched on their necks, tentacles creeping down to their collarbones.

It would be months before the young men learned the whole thing was a setup. The guys running Squid’s were actually undercover ATF agents conducting a sting to get guns away from criminals and drugs off the street.

The tattoos had been sponsored by the U.S. government; advertisements for a fake storefront.

The teens found out as they were arrested and booked into jail.

Earlier this year when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed a botched ATF sting in Milwaukee — that included agents hiring a brain-damaged man to promote an undercover storefront and then arresting him for his work — ATF officials told Congress the failed Milwaukee operation was an isolated case of inadequate supervision.

It wasn’t.

The Journal Sentinel reviewed thousands of pages of court records, police reports and other documents and interviewed dozens of people involved in six ATF operations nationwide that were publicly praised by the ATF in recent years for nabbing violent criminals and making cities safer.

Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives employed rogue tactics similar to those used in Milwaukee in every operation, from Portland, Ore., to Pensacola, Fla.

Among the findings:

■ ATF agents befriended mentally disabled people to drum up business and later arrested them in at least four cities in addition to Milwaukee. In Wichita, Kan., ATF agents referred to a man with a low IQ as “slow-headed” before deciding to secretly use him as a key cog in their sting. And agents in Albuquerque, N.M., gave a brain-damaged drug addict with little knowledge of weapons a “tutorial” on machine guns, hoping he could find them one.

■ Agents in several cities opened undercover gun- and drug-buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.

■ As they did in Milwaukee, agents in other cities offered sky-high prices for guns, leading suspects to buy firearms at stores and turn around and sell them to undercover agents for a quick profit. In other stings, agents ran fake pawnshops and readily bought stolen items, such as electronics and bikes — no questions asked — spurring burglaries and theft. In Atlanta, agents bought guns that had been stolen just hours earlier, several ripped off from police cars.

■ Agents damaged buildings they rented for their operations, tearing out walls and rewiring electricity — then stuck landlords with the repair bills. A property owner in Portland said agents removed a parking lot spotlight,damaging her new $30,000 roof and causing leaks, before they shut down the operation and disappeared without a way for her to contact them.

■ Agents pressed suspects for specific firearms that could fetch tougher penalties in court. They allowed felons to walk out of the stores armed with guns. In Wichita, agents suggested a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back — and provided instructions on how to do it. The sawed-off gun allowed them to charge the man with a more serious crime.

■ In Pensacola, the ATF hired a felon to run its pawnshop. The move widened the pool of potential targets, boosting arrest numbers.Even those trying to sell guns legally could be charged if they knowingly sold to a felon. The ATF’s pawnshop partner was later convicted of pointing a loaded gun at someone outside a bar. Instead of a stiff sentence typically handed down to repeat offenders in federal court, he got six months in jail — and a pat on the back from the prosecutor.

“To say this is just a few people, a few bad apples, I don’t buy it,” said David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and an expert on law enforcement tactics and regulation. “If your agency is in good shape with policy, training, supervision and accountability, the bad apples will not be able to take things to this level.”

READ MORE: Flawed sting in Milwaukee included use of brain-damaged man, burglary of storefront, automatic machine gun stolen from agent.

The ATF refused the Journal Sentinel’s request for an interview with Director B. Todd Jones or other agency officials to address findings of the investigation. Instead, the agency provided a written statement that failed to answer any questions, and spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun suggested reporters read ATF news releases issued after the stings.

In an email, Colbrun wrote that the ATF — the primary agency entrusted with enforcing the nation’s gun laws — uses storefront stings to target violent criminals.

“Long-term undercover investigations are one of many tools used by ATF in locations that have high levels of violence occurring in the demographics and a mechanism is needed to rid the area of a large volume of individuals (as) opposed to a handful of individuals,” she wrote.

It’s impossible to know the scope of the problems within the $1.2 billion agency.

The agency won’t say how many undercover storefronts it operates every year or disclose their locations. Agency officials don’t publicize all of the busts. Court records in many districts are sealed by judges or otherwise unavailable to the public. If an operation is flawed, as in Milwaukee, there may be no publicity at all.

Concerns about planning and oversight of undercover operations date to at least the late 1990s when the ATF was part of the Treasury Department. Discussions were held by top officials not only from Treasury but from the Department of Justice and others in hopes of bringing ATF investigations in line with other federal agency standards.

“It was a source of frustration for everybody,” said Rory Little, a former longtime federal prosecutor who participated in the meetings.

Nearly 20 years later, many of the same problems exist.

But because much of the agency’s work is done secretly, the public hasn’t known.

Problems with storefront stings surfaced publicly earlier this year when the Journal Sentinel followed up on a tip from a Milwaukee landlord that the ATF had damaged his building and left behind sensitive documents revealing details about undercover agents and their operation.

The newspaper’s investigation found the operation, dubbed Fearless Distributing, was marred by far more than the landlord knew. A machine gun and other weapons had been stolen from an agent’s car, the storefront was burglarized, agents arrested the wrong people and hired the brain-damaged man, who had an IQ of 54, to set up gun and drug deals.

The machine gun has not been recovered.

Members of Congress from both parties demanded answers, sparking an internal investigation by the ATF and a review by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General. Eight months later, the ATF has not released its findings and the Justice Department investigation is not complete.

In a briefing with congressional staffers, ATF officials acknowledged the failures in Milwaukee but indicated they were isolated incidents. At the same time, agency officials admitted they had no written procedures, policies or guidelines for running such undercover operations. They promised to create a written policy.

For years, agents have been setting up everything from phony pawnshops and tattoo parlors to recording studios and thrift stores with no official protocol.

It’s no surprise that, with few rules and little oversight, stings have gone astray, said a veteran ATF agent who asked that his name not be published because he was not authorized to speak on the issue and feared retribution.

Many of the problems stem from poor management in the field divisions coupled with pressure on agents to make cases and prove their worth, he said.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to reporting to Congress for budget reasons, the numbers are all that count,” the agent said. “It is hard to define in a meaningful way to Congress that arresting one person with a long criminal history of 15 felonies is better than arresting 15 people with one felony each.”

The way it works

The storefronts generally sell items such as hip-hop clothing and shoes, cigarettes and drug paraphernalia.

ATF agents offer their goods at steep discounts, hoping to generate traffic. Cigarettes might sell for $2 below retail. Hundred-dollar jeans might go for $10.

When it comes to pawnshops, agents might buy just about anything, paying top dollar, and welcome stolen items.

No matter the type of store, they wire the places with high-resolution cameras and build secret closets with recording equipment.

Growing scraggly beards and speaking street lingo, agents work to build trust among potential targets, spreading the word they are looking to buy guns and drugs. They print up fliers and pump neighbors for leads.

And then they make deals, dishing out cash for pistols and shotguns, heroin and ecstasy, sometimes repeatedly from the same “customers.”

After several months, sometimes a year, they shut down and bust those who came in and conducted illegal business. They tally up the weapons seized and tout the number of defendants — the more the better — displaying guns and drugs before local TV cameras and print journalists, showcasing their work.

With defendants caught on camera, the cases typically lead to guilty pleas and swift convictions. Seldom do the cases go to trial.

Instead,they quickly disappear from public attention.

“There is enough crime out there, why do you have to manufacture it?” said Jeff Griffith, a lawyer for a defendant in Wichita. “You are really creating crime, which then you are prosecuting. You wonder where the moral high ground is in this.”

To be sure, the operations have led to hundreds of convictions and long prison sentences for offenders, some with violent records.

In Albuquerque, for example, a man who was twice indicted on first-degree murder charges, once for killing a man in prison, was later busted in a storefront sting for being a felon in possession of weapon.

But in many cases examined by the Journal Sentinel, the people charged in the stings had minor criminal histories or nonviolent convictions such as burglary or drug possession.

In several of those cases, defendants still got stiff sentences, but others resulted in little or no punishment. In Wichita, nearly a third of the roughly 50 federal cases charged led to no prison time. Defendants got probation or had their case dismissed, records showed. One was acquitted by a jury.

Not the results federal agents typically trumpet.

Former prosecutors and other experts say the success of storefront stings should be measured by the capture of high-level targets, not street-level criminals looking to make a quick buck.

“For street crime in the federal system, we want cases to take us beyond the immediate person into a more significant, dangerous group,” said defense attorney Rodney Cubbie, former head of the organized crime unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee. “It seems like these cases stop with the particular individual. That is a waste of federal resources.”

Cubbie called the stings ineffective and lazy law enforcement. He and others said it’s unsurprising that stings failed to take down criminal organizations or nab many major offenders. Federal stings work best when they are tailored to a specific person or group, they said.

“To open a storefront and just have an ad hoc potluck kind of a hope that maybe you’ll find somebody who might commit crimes in your presence, that makes no sense to me,” said defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Milwaukee mob boss Frank Balistrieri. “They got a bunch of table scraps, that’s what they got, when it comes down to it.”

Agents ensnare ‘slow-headed’ man

Tony Bruner was looking for a job when he noticed a new store opening a few blocks from where he lived with his grandmother in a lower-income neighborhood in Wichita just east of Interstate 135.

With an IQ in the mid-50s — considered extremely intellectually deficient — Bruner hadn’t been able to hold down a job. His 2009 felony burglary conviction didn’t help. Still he was under pressure from his probation agent and grandmother to find work.

Bruner hadn’t heard of Bandit Trading, but the thrift shop full of hip-hop clothes and shoes looked like a good prospect when he walked in.

The 20-year-old Bruner was just what undercover agents running the store were looking for.

Agents could see Bruner was intellectually disabled. On a video of one of their first meetings in November 2010, agents referred to him as “slow-headed,” according to Griffith, Bruner’s attorney.

“It was essential to have someone like Tony or your low-IQ guy in Milwaukee for this operation,” Griffith said. “These 30-something bearded and tattooed white guys aren’t going to knock on doors in the hood and say ‘Do you have guns?’ They had to get someone to do it for them.”

Agent Jason Fuller hired Bruner to hand out cards in the neighborhood; do odd jobs, such as clean up the parking lot; and watch out for police. The agents paid him in cigarettes, clothing from the store and cash — $20 to $50 in commission to find them electronics and other goods. And they took him to McDonald’s when he was hungry.

Eventually they asked him to find guns.

Bruner said he didn’t have any but he would try to find some. He ended up brokering dozens of gun sales.

And then, they arrested him on more than 100 counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon.

“I thought I was doing, I was just doing my job. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” Bruner told the judge. “And they tricked me into believing I was doing a good job. And they’d tell me I was doing a good job, pat me on the back, telling me, ‘You’re doing a good job.’ We’d hug each other and stuff like that, and they treated me like they cared about me. I told ’em I had a felony, I’m trying to stay out of trouble.”

While other defendants suspected the store was a front — one was captured on video saying, “You are straight-up police!” Bruner kept telling the people in the neighborhood that the agents were his guys, “his bosses.”

Glenda Thomas, Bruner’s grandmother, said the ATF officers duped him. She warned him to stay away — just like a grandmother in Milwaukee warned her brain-damaged grandson about Fearless Distributing.

“Those guys kept preying on him about everything — giving him a shirt, a pair of pants, shoes, and a pair of shorts —that’s how they paid him,” Thomas told the Journal Sentinel.

“I told him, I said, ‘Tony, those people are not real. Why would they pay you to look out for a police car?’ I said, ‘Tony, you need to stop messing around with them.’ He said, ‘Oh, Grandma, those are my friends.'”

The judge found Bruner legally competent to proceed in his case.

Bruner told the judge he worried he would be killed in prison because the government made it look like he was working with the agents, and most of the defendants believed it.

He was sentenced to three years in prison. The judge told him he was getting a big break because he could have gotten 10 to 12 years.

Advocates for the developmentally disabled called the ATF’s tactics disturbing.

People with mental disabilities “have a responsibility to be law-abiding citizens like anyone else,” said Leigh Ann Davis, a program manager for the Arc, a national advocacy organization for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. “The question that comes into play is ‘How much do they know they were committing a crime, and were they used?'”

People working in the justice system — from street cops to federal judges — need to give additional consideration to circumstances involving people with disabilities, Davis said. “This is a population of people that are easy to get to do things. They are easy prey…. They can’t make good judgment calls. That’s a serious issue if an ATF agent comes up and wants to be your friend.”

Anything for a Buck snags ‘Little Squirrel’ in Pensacola

Jeremy Norris wasn’t a felon. He wasn’t prohibited from owning or selling weapons when he put his guns up for sale in March 2010 in a local weekly newspaper.

The unemployed 24-year-old Norris — who lived with his parents and girlfriend — got into trouble when he answered a phone call from someone inquiring about the guns.

He didn’t know the caller was working for an undercover federal sting. Norris has an IQ of 76, defined by experts as diminished mental capacity, bordering mental retardation.

In hours of ATFsurveillance video, Norris can be seen stumbling around, at one point with his girlfriend leading him around by the back of his shirt, according to Norris’ attorney Jennifer Hart.

Norris didn’t have a car, so ATF agent Craig Saier — assigned to a fake pawnshop called Anything for a Buck — went to him. And he brought along the operation’s top asset, a felon named Gary Renaud.

Anyone who sold to Renaud — knowing he was felon — could be criminally charged.

That first day, Renaud bought guns from Norris — but because he never said he was a felon, Norris could not be charged with a crime.

The next time was different. Renaud told Norris he was a felon. Norris sold him a gun anyway. And Renaud and agents went back.

Again and again. Each time paying far more than retail for the guns. So much that sometimes Norris, his parents and his girlfriend went to gun stores, bought firearms and sold them to Renaud at the storefront for a profit the same day, according to court documents.

The agents called Norris “Little Squirrel.” Surveillance video captured one of them saying, “I can use his desperation against him,” according to court documents.

“They were abusive to him,” Hart said in an interview. “These are federal agents. Jeremy was like shooting fish in a barrel for them. Jeremy Norris is mentally retarded and the agents in this case used that to take advantage of him.”

Renaud told the Journal Sentinel that nobody took advantage of Norris. Although he and agents joked that Norris was “half retarded,” he knew what he was doing, Renaud said.

READ MORE: After sting is over, Renaud commits a gun crime — and gets a break from prosecutors.

“He was money-hungry,” he said, adding Norris was willing to do anything to get money for drugs. “He wanted them drugs and he wasn’t afraid to let anybody know it, either.”

Citing Norris’ low IQ, the judge sentenced him to probation.

Norris was not the only mentally diminished defendant involved in the Anything for a Buck operation.

John Molchan, a state prosecutor in Florida, said his office reviewed and prosecuted several of the storefront cases. He said they decided not to pursue cases against a number of low-mental-functioning defendants.

They didn’t even arrest those people, Molchan said, noting prosecutors have great discretion when deciding whether to charge in such cases.

“I tell all the assistants, ‘Do the right thing.’ What is the right thing when dealing with someone who is not as gifted as everybody else?” Molchan said. “There is a great deal of responsibility placed on us to deal with that kind of problem.”

Attorney says defendant got ‘tutorial’ on gun

Guillermo Medel was a heroin addict and drug dealer hoping to make some cash to support his habit when a friend brought him to Jokerz Traderz pawnshop in a strip mall in a working-class neighborhood on San Mateo Blvd. in Albuquerque.

The 28-year-old Medel, who had been convicted of felony drug possession and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, carried a revolver for protection but had never dealt in guns, according to court records.

When undercover ATF agents running the store offered him $400 for his gun, he saw an opportunity. He didn’t sell it then — he said he needed it — but over time he developed a relationship with the agents, bringing them guns he would get from trading drugs on the street.

When they asked for a machine gun, Medel thought he had one for them.

One problem: he didn’t know what a machine gun was.

Medel had brain damage. Hit by a drunken driver when he was 7, Medel had spent months in the hospital and never fully recovered.

Agents took advantage of that and his drug addiction when they offered such high prices for guns, Medel’s attorney, Brian Pori, said in court.

Pori told the Journal Sentinel he is “certain that the agents were aware that Guillermo was a drug-addicted, brain-damaged street hustler who never trafficked guns in his life.”

“He wouldn’t know how to use a machine gun to save his ass,” Pori said.

Pori said agents gave Medel a “tutorial” in the back room of the pawnshop to help him distinguish a machine gun from a semiautomatic weapon.

ATF agent Brandon Garcia acknowledged in court Medel didn’t know how to identify a machine gun. Garcia said he “field tested” the machine gun in front of Medel to determine whether it was a machine gun but wasn’t teaching Medel how to use it.

“And even though he saw me do it he still doesn’t know how to do it,” Garcia said in a March 2, 2011, hearing.

Garcia denied knowing Medel was brain damaged.

Ultimately Medel brought them a fully automatic machine gun, the only one seized in the sting. Medel was sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

In another case stemming from the Albuquerque sting, federal charges were dismissed against a defendant with “an extensive psychiatric history.”

Beating a path to storefronts with stolen goods

Aside from ensnaring mentally disabled people in their stings, ATF storefronts in several cities stimulated a market for stolen goods, boosting the appeal of theft and burglary.

In Phoenix, James Arthur Lewis was charged with selling 11 weapons to agents at an undercover storefront. Lewis “obtained most of the firearms during residential burglaries he committed in late 2010,” according to a May 16, 2012, U.S. Department of Justice news release.

In Pensacola, Roderick Jones committed seven burglaries in six weeks, stealing generators, air compressors, leaf blowers, oxygen tanks and pressure washers from workers’ trucks, reaping more than $2,000 from Anything for a Buck.

Warren Phillips did the same thing, breaking into cars and homes, snagging GPS devices, satellite radios and even a U.S. Navy-owned computer, racing immediately to the undercover pawnshop to make quick cash, as much as $500 at a time, according to police reports.

On several occasions, Phillips told the agents the goods were stolen. And one time he sold them back a DVD player that he had actually stolen from them.

Maurice Rembert, too, knew about Anything for a Buck and on a June afternoon in 2011 grabbed a bike outside of a Walgreens and rode it straight to the store for $25.

One of the larger thefts linked to the operation was that of engagement and wedding rings, worth $15,000, that were stolen four months after the store opened.

“It requires no great thinking to know if you accept stolen goods in a pawnshop … people are going to sell you stolen goods,” said Harris, the professor from Pittsburgh. “You’re asking people who frequent that place to rob and burglarize their neighbors.”

It’s unclear how many of the stolen items were returned to their rightful owners. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office put thousands of items on display at an open house after the bust and invited the public to come in to claim their belongings. Laptops, GPS devices, tools and jewelry filled the room.

According to local news accounts at the time, just 23 items — not including guns — were returned to 10 people. The sheriff’s office refused to answer Journal Sentinel questions.

An undercover operation in Atlanta, a smoke shop called ATL Blaze, experienced similar problems. Some defendants came to the store as many as 20 times after stealing weapons and other goods.

Some guns were stolen from police squad cars. ATF agents said in court documents they tried to deter such thefts by paying less for police guns.

The burglaries associated with ATL Blaze caused other problems for local law enforcement. Sheriff’s deputies and local police — unaware the weapons had already been recovered by federal agents — scrambled around to solve the burglaries, spending untold resources interviewing witnesses.

At times, they never solved the case. And the weapons never made it back to the owners.

A Hi-Point pistol stolen from a car just after Christmas in 2010, for example, was still listed as stolen by the Fulton County Police Department when the Journal Sentinel contacted the department last month. ATF agents bought the gun at their secret storefront a week after it was taken.

“If the ATF recovered this weapon, it should be in our system.” said Lt. G.T. Johnson, of the department. “We have not received any notification that it was recovered.”

The lack of communication not only affects the clearance rate for the police department but also is a problem for whoever has the gun now, Johnson said.

Molchan, the state prosecutor in Pensacola, said there were worries at the outset that the sting might encourage more burglaries, but agents in charge concluded the risk was worth it.

“That is one of the concerns that you have going into something like this,” he said. “That is certainly worrisome.”

And it’s not just residents that got hit by the thieves. Anything for a Buck itself was ripped off, just like the agency’s Fearless storefront in Milwaukee. The Pensacola sting was burglarized at least twice, records show.

“I remember hearing that and kind of laughing about it, ‘We got burglarized,'” Molchan said.

Despite those problems, Molchan said he thinks the operation was successful.

“We did accomplish getting the bad guys off the street and incarcerated them,” he said. “Certainly no operation is perfect, but overall we view it as a major success.”

Armed felons allowed to leave stores

In Milwaukee, agents let a felon with a violent history leave their undercover store armed with a gun, saying he needed it for retaliation.

It wasn’t the only time federal agents let armed felons leave their sight.

In Albuquerque, agents said they didn’t know one man was a felon when they let him leave with a revolver. It took them two weeks to figure it out.

In Wichita, agents running Bandit Trading let felons leave the store with guns at least three times.

In the case of Keandre Johnson, prosecutors noted in a news release after the bust that he sold 16 guns to agents. The news release didn’t mention that agents turned away one of his guns because it was not sawed-off.

Johnson and his friend Jeremy Love brought a shotgun into Bandit Trading in mid-2011, but the agents weren’t happy with it, according to attorneys for the men.

The agents told Johnson they wanted a “shorty” — meaning a sawed-off shotgun. Having such a gun — more deadly at close range and easier to conceal — is illegal and can mean additional prison time. Johnson left with the gun to go saw it off, but then called the agents to ask what kind of saw to use, said Steve Gradert, attorney for Johnson. The agent told him how to do it, Gradert said.

In another case, Johnny E. Griffith brought in two AK-47s to sell. But agents only had enough money to buy one, according to court documents. Griffith, a felon, was allowed to leave with the other. Agents never recovered it.

ATF officials acknowledged to Congress in April that Operation Fearless in Milwaukee had no counter-surveillance set up to monitor or take down targets when they left the store — even armed felons threatening to shoot someone. They called the failure the result of poor judgment and planning.

“It’s basic police work,” said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University and a former federal prosecutor. “The agency needs to develop experts and come up with some protocol.”

Landlord left with the bill

Beyond letting armed felons loose on the streets, ATF stings examined by the Journal Sentinel shared another similarity. They left unhappy landlords in their wake.

As agents did in Milwaukee, their Portland counterparts damaged a building and stuck the landlord with the bill.

Jan Gilbertson, who owns the building where agents set up Squid’s Smoke Shop, said she had no idea she was leasing to federal agents. She found out from news reports after they had made the bust and cleared out.

And when she saw what they had done to her building, it all made sense.

The agents cut holes in the walls for cameras, damaged the carpet and left behind junk.

Worst of all, they tore out a large spotlight and in the process punctured a new $30,000 roof that then leaked and had to be repaired.

The security deposit didn’t cover it and the agents were nowhere to be found, she said.

“They know what they’re doing when they do it and not telling you anything and then they disappear. It’s not like they come back and fix it,” she said. “It is the U.S. government. It’s real difficult to figure that all out. What do you do? … It ended up being a real bad situation for us.”

Portland sting across from school

The ATF opened Squid’s Smoke Shop in 2010 in an aging strip mall near a tax service, hairdresser and a coffee shop — and across the street from H.B. Lee Middle School.

ATF agents said the location near a school — which allowed enhanced penalties for selling in a safe zone — was an accident.

Agent Ben Ziesemer told defense attorney Kathleen Dunn he didn’t realize it was across the street from the school. When they toured the property, he said he entered the building through a different door and didn’t see the school.

Ziesemer, who ran the store and went by the name “Squid,” also said it was the only place in that part of town that they could find that offered month-to-month rent, Dunn said. But Gilbertson, the owner, told the Journal Sentinel the ATF signed a one-year lease.

Those charged with dealing drugs and weapons near a school can’t use ignorance of their location as a defense, experts said. If agents didn’t realize they were near the school, it is a damning indictment of the planning of the operation.

“That won’t hold water,” said Little, the former prosecutor who is now a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. “It shows they are not doing their homework. If you’re not doing your homework to find everything you can, you’re as bad as the criminals.”

Squid’s was one of at leasta half-dozen storefronts opened in safe zones, the Journal Sentinel investigation found.

Laws that increase penalties for selling guns or drugs within 1,000 feet of a school include an exception for law enforcement officers who are acting in their “official capacity.”

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney David Hannon, who prosecuted 17 people on state charges, most with selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, said the operation was a benefit to Portland and that area of the city. He called the sting an effective tool against illegal activity and said there were advantagesto having it close to a school.

“We might not have been aware of all the activity next to a school without the undercover operation in place,” he said.

James Shanks, 54, who has lived in the area for nearly five years and had two sons attending Lee Middle School at the time, was not happy to learn the ATF set up a gun- and drug-buying operation nearby.

“I think it is OK to do it, but did they have to put it there? Couldn’t they find somewhere else?” he said. “It’s too close to the school. When you have kids around guns, anything can happen.”

Agents suggest — and pay for — tattoo

With a school nearby and an Xbox video game console to play for free, Squid’s frequently drew a crowd that included juveniles.

At least three juveniles were arrested and charged in children’s court in the sting. Squid’s was among at least four ATF storefronts investigated by the Journal Sentinel where kids were ensnared in the operation.

“These are kids who don’t have positive adult connections in their lives and if someone takes an interest in them it’s going to be extremely influential,” said Mark McKechnie, executive director of Youth, Rights & Justice, which represented three juveniles in Portland. “I think we were all just disturbed that they (ATF agents) seemed to be focusing on low-hanging fruit.”

Glover and Key, both 19 at the time, were regulars at Squid’s. Glover lived right around the corner and spent hours at a time playing video games with Squid and people he thought were store workers.

One day the idea of getting a tattoo came up, Glover told the Journal Sentinel.

Glover said he was reluctant, but that he was persuaded by the guys at Squid’s, who he thought were his friends.

“It was like, ‘Now you guys are honorary members of the club,'” Glover said. “We was young at the time … I was so naive.”

After they got the tattoos, he said agents took pictures and posted them on the phony storefront’s Facebook page and website.

“They humiliated us,” he said. “They were making a mockery of us.”

Glover was ultimately charged with trading an ounce of marijuana for clothing at the store. The charge included selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Little, who spent eight years as a federal prosecutor in California and a year as associate deputy attorney general in Washington, D.C., said he had never heard of such out-of-bounds behavior by federal agents.

“That’s about as far over the line as you can imagine,” Little said. “The government shouldn’t be encouraging people to permanently disfigure their bodies.”

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Karin Immergut, who handled Glover’s case, chided the agents as well, asking the state prosecutor to “send a message back (to the ATF)” about the tattoos.

“It’s really a bad idea,” she said. “They should not be recommending that.”

In federal court, a prosecutor who handled several of the ATF cases, including Key’s, tried to explain to a judge why the agents employed the tactic.

The agents said they thought Key and Glover were testing them to see if they were law enforcement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Kerin said in a January 2012 sentencing hearing.

Key and Glover supposedly did this by suggesting they all smoke marijuana.

Kerin said the agents then proposed Key and Glover get tattoos as a way to get them off their trail.

The explanation didn’t make sense to U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman, a former federal prosecutor.

“I guess I don’t make the connection,” Mosman said. “They’re concerned that if, among other things, they don’t smoke marijuana with this guy that they’ll be given up as law enforcement, so they think a way to derail that is to suggest that he get a tattoo?”

Kerin tried again to explain.

“Mr. Key and Mr. Glover were trying to identify them as law enforcement or possibly testing to determine if they were law enforcement.”

The judge cut in: “I think I understand that part. I just don’t understand why you put someone off your trail by suggesting they get a tattoo. How does that help?”

Kerin didn’t answer directly. He said agents were looking for people to promote the store. They paid one person to hold up a sign on the street. Others to get tattoos.

They told their customers: “Hey, we’re looking for people to advertise, we’re looking for people to get tattoos,” Kerin said.

“That simply is not a legitimate law enforcement tactic,” said Key’s attorney, Alison Clark. “This wasn’t simply just a suggestion: ‘Hey, you would look really great if you had a tattoo.’ This was suggested and paid for by the government.”

The severity of Key’s mental disability was not listed in the documents, but the prosecutor left no doubt he was intellectually challenged.

“The one thing we do agree on is the Court can and should take the defendant’s low-intellectual functioning into account in determining a proper sentence in this case,” Kerin wrote in a sentencing memo.

Mosman sentenced Key to 18 months in prison for selling a sawed-off shotgun and arranging for prostitutes to come to a party being thrown by the undercover agents.

He then asked Key if he wanted the squid tattoo removed.

“Yes,” Key told the judge.

Mosman ordered the tattoo be removed after Key was released from prison.

“And I require the ATF to pay for the removal,” he said.

***

HOW WE REPORTED THIS STORY

In the wake of a flawed storefront sting in Milwaukee, reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sought to examine similar operations around the country. The ATF refused to provide a list of past stings. Reporters discovered the stings, in part, through tips, court records, news coverage and news releases issued by the ATF, the U.S. Department of Justice and local law enforcement. Reporters limited their examination to stings that were publicized since 2010.

Using the online federal court records system, Pacer, the reporters pieced together the cases and then combed through thousands of pages of documents — indictments and criminal complaints, plea agreements and sentencing transcripts. Where transcripts were not available online, the Journal Sentinel ordered them. In some districts, nearly all documents related to stings were either sealed by judges or unavailable.

The reporters also reviewed hundreds of pages of state court records, police reports and other records in several states. In addition, the reporters interviewed dozens of defense attorneys, prosecutors, defendants and their families, people who lived and worked near the stings, legal experts and insiders at the ATF and other law enforcement agencies.

***

What could go wrong?

■ Agents pay for tattoos to promote store

■ Mentally disabled used, then charged

■ Stings near schools and churches

■ Felons hired to boost arrest numbers

■ High gun prices spur thefts

■ Buildings damaged, landlords unpaid

■ Felons leave storefronts with guns

***

INFORMATION NOT RELEASED

The ATF has refused to release its internal investigation into the failures of its flawed Fearless Distributing sting in Milwaukee. The report has been sought by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and members of Congress since its completion earlier this year.

The internal review was launched after a Journal Sentinel investigation revealed numerous foul-ups in the operation. For nine months, the ATF also has refused to provide any documents to the Journal Sentinel, which has filed a dozen requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act, including the cost of the operations and rules on agents keeping guns in their vehicles.

In late November, Department of Justice attorney Anne D. Work affirmed the ATF’s position that its entire internal report on the closed Milwaukee operation should be kept secret and not released to the public. Work wrote that releasing the investigation “could reasonably be expected to interfere with (law) enforcement proceedings.”

Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/atf-uses-rogue-tactics-in-storefront-stings-across-the-nation-b99146765z1-234916641.html#ixzz2n20DtK3d
Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter

Post Navigation

Brittius

Honor America

China Daily Mail

News and Opinions From Inside China

sentinelblog

GOLD is the money of the KINGS, SILVER is the money of the GENTLEMEN, BARTER is the money of the PEASANTS, but DEBT is the money of the SLAVES!!!

Politically Short

The American Reality Outside The Beltway

My Opinion My Vote

America needs saving

America: Going Full Retard...

Word: They are acting. They are creating. They are framing their reality around you. And we … we bark at the end of our leashes. Our ambition for freedumb is at the end of our leash.

hillbillysurvival

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

I am removing this blog and I have opened a new one at:

http://texasteapartypatriots.wordpress.com/

Reclaim Our Republic

Knowledge Is Power

Lissa's Humane Life | In Honor of George & All Targeted Individuals — END TIMES HARBINGER OF TRUTH ~ STANDING FIRM IN THE LAST HUMAN AGE OF A GENOCIDAL DARKNESS —

— Corporate whistle blower and workers’ comp claimant, now TARGETED INDIVIDUAL, whose claims exposed Misdeeds after the murder of my husband on their jobsite by the U.S. NWO Military Industrial Complex-JFK Warned Us—

Linux Power Wordpress.com

Just another WordPress.com weblog

redpillreport.wordpress.com/

The ‘red pill’ and its opposite, ‘blue pill,‘ are pop culture terms that have become symbolic of the choice between blissful ignorance (blue) and embracing the sometimes-painful truth of reality (red). It’s time for America to take the red pill and wake up from the fog of apathy.

The Mad Jewess

Mirror Site For Reflection

Freedom Is Just Another Word...

Rules?? What Are rules? I don't need no stinking rules!!!

sharia unveiled

illuminating minds

JUSTICE FOR RAYMOND

Sudden, unexplained, unattended death and a families search for answers

THE GOVERNMENT RAG BLOG

TGR Intelligence Briefing | Sign up for newsletter to receive notifications | Visit us at http://thegovernmentrag.com

Flyover-Press.com

Dedicated to freedom in our lifetimes

News You May Have Missed

News you need to know to stay informed

Automattic

Making the web a better place

%d bloggers like this: