News/Politics 3-12-15

What’s interesting in the news today?


More trouble in Ferguson overnight.

From MSN/TheGuardian  “Two police officers have been shot in Ferguson, Missouri, as a small demonstration wound down in the city gripped by unrest since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old last year.

One officer from St Louis County and another from Webster Groves were struck soon after midnight on Wednesday as they stood outside the Ferguson police headquarters, St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said at a press conference early on Thursday morning.

“These police officers were standing there and they were shot, just because they were police officers,” said Belmar, who added that the officers sustained serious gunshot wounds.

The Webster Groves officer, a 32-year-old who has worked in the department for five years, was shot in the face, according to Belmar. The St Louis County officer, who is 41 and a 17-year law-enforcement veteran, was shot in the shoulder, he said.

Sergeant Brian Schellman, a spokesman for St Louis County police, told the Guardian that both officers were being treated in hospital. “No update yet on condition,” said Schellman. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reported police sources saying both were expected to survive.

Belmar said the shots appeared to have been aimed at the police as they were fired “parallel with the ground” and did not appear to have ricocheted. “I would have to make an assumption that these shots were directed exactly at my police officers,” he said.”


1. The State Dept. has been the target of the “worst ever” cyber attack. But don’t worry, I’m sure Hillary’s private email server is totally secure. 🙄

From HotAir  “At one point in Hillary Clinton’s slightly less than marathon press conference on Tuesday, the former secretary of state insisted that there were no security breaches of her personal “homebrew” email server. How could she possibly know this? The secretary of state’s emails represent a high-value target for cyber hackers operating out of foreign intelligence agencies, and a breach is unlikely to leave a trace of any activity that the layman or even a cyber-intelligence professional would notice. Just ask the State Department.

“Overlooked in the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, is the fact that suspected Russian hackers have bedeviled State Department’s email system for much of the past year and continue to pose problems for technicians trying to eradicate the intrusion,” CNN reported on Tuesday.

As a matter of fact, the State Department is currently investigating what federal law enforcing officials are characterizing as the “worst ever” cyber-attack on America’s diplomatic establishment. “The attackers who breached State are also believed to be behind hacks on the White House’s email system, and against several other federal agencies, the officials say,” the CNN report continued.”

“This report noted that even the State Department’s .gov addresses are not entirely secure, and that attacks on unclassified email systems can expose sensitive information to foreign intelligence services. Capture enough sensitive information, and a competent espionage service can piece together classified material. This is not an inconsequential matter.

We know as a result of the infamous Romanian hacker “Guccifer” that Clinton received messages from her longtime private advisor Sydney Blumenthal via email. How do we know? Blumenthal’s emails were compromised, and that hack revealed that he had shared a variety of private intelligence assessments as well as personal communications with Clinton while she served as the nation’s chief diplomat. It’s possible that none of the emails Clinton provided to the State Department included her correspondence with Blumenthal, according to a FOIA request from Gawker.

“The Clinton camp’s claims about the email account being above-board is also contradicted by the State Department’s response to Gawker’s inquires two years ago,” Gawker’s J.K. Trotter observed. “[T]he State Department replied to our request by saying that, after an extensive search, it could find no records responsive to our request.””


2. Maybe McConnell isn’t as clueless as he acts.

From NationalJournal  “After weeks of Democrats questioning his unwillingness to schedule the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, the Senate majority leader announced at a press conference Tuesday that the Senate will vote to confirm her next week. There’s just one catch: Members will have to get past legislation that includes a controversial abortion rider first. “This is bad,” Jessica Brady, a spokeswoman for Judiciary Committee Democrats, said Tuesday.”

“To get their vote on Lynch, Democrats will have to get off of the trafficking bill. And, so far, Republicans aren’t showing any willingness to remove the controversial abortion language.

Democrats are furious that McConnell’s top deputy, Republican Whip John Cornyn, snuck—in their telling—a provision into a bipartisan human-trafficking bill that would prevent any of the funds reserved for trafficking victims from being used on abortions or Plan B contracepton (known as the morning-after pill).

Cornyn argued Tuesday that the legislation including the abortion language was posted publicly on Jan. 13. It earned a dozen Democratic cosponsors and passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously without a single Democratic member or aide flagging the abortion language. It was on page four.

 Democrats discovered the problem Monday night, sending staffers and members into a frenzy. The abortion language was not included in a list of changes made to last year’s trafficking bill sent to Democrats by Republican staffers, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin said Tuesday. As a result, the language went unnoticed.”


3. The Obama admin has some ‘splainin’ to do.

From Breitbart  “The judge who blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration has ordered the Justice Department to answer allegations the government misled him about part of the plan.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has ordered federal government lawyers to appear in his court March 19 in Brownsville. The hearing is in response to a filing last week in which the government acknowledged some deportation reprieves were granted before Hanen’s Feb. 16 injunction.”


More here, from MSN/Reuters  “On Monday, Hanen said in a one-page order that the court will not rule on any pending motions at least until a court hearing set for March 19, where government attorneys will have to explain a filing that said some 100,000 people had been given three-year periods of deferred action prior to the judge’s injunction.

Hanen, who has previously criticized U.S. immigration enforcement as too lax, based his Feb. 17 ruling on an administrative law question, faulting Obama’s administration for not giving public notice of his plans. He also cited ways that Texas would be harmed by the action but used no other states as examples.

The decision was an initial victory for 26 states that brought the case alleging Obama had exceeded his powers with executive orders that would let up to 4.7 million illegal immigrants stay without threat of deportation. Obama’s orders bypassed Congress, which has not been able to agree on immigration reform.”


4. They’ve learned nothing.

From TheWashingtonTimes  “Nearly seven years after it was bailed out from the housing market crash, mortgage giant.

Fannie Mae is still engaging in behavior that could precipitate future financial crises and taxpayer losses, a government watchdog warns in a report to be released Wednesday.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency inspector general said its latest concerns involve Fannie Mae’s “haphazard” decision to fill a critical auditor position with an employee who lacked proper qualifications and suffered from a conflict of interest.

Unless Fannie Mae’s leaders and the audit committee that allowed the hiring do their jobs better, there is a “substantial risk” the mortgage company “will operate in an unsafe and unsound manner, suffer losses and expose U.S. taxpayers to further financial risks,” the inspector general said.

The watchdog also had harsh words for the FHFA, the federal agency that oversees Fannie Mae, saying its own leadership failed to act on concerns about the hiring of the auditor position, choosing instead to stay silent.”


5. A brief modern history of Congressional “treason.”

From HotAir  “Over the last couple of days, media outlets and some Democrats have lost their minds over the letter signed by 47 Republican Senators, sent to Iran to warn them that President Obama does not have the authority to create a lasting agreement without the participation of Congress. The New York Daily News ran a headline calling them “traitors,” a charge that has been bandied about on social media without any sense of either its legal sense or the history of Congressional influence on foreign policy. A petition on the White House website to arrest the 47 Senators has gathered over 136,000 signatures, in an apparent attempt of the ignorant to publicly self-identify.

Obviously, this situation requires a little history and perspective, as well as a civics lesson on the nature of co-equal branches of government, and on how this latest “treason” stacks up. The US and the Soviet Union conducted a 44-year “cold war” that often turned hot in places like Korea and Vietnam, and yet as Noah pointed out yesterday, Senator Ted Kennedy encouraged the Soviets to interfere in the 1984 election. Noah also mentions Nancy Pelosi’s trip to visit Bashar Assad in 2007 against the Bush administration’s express desires. But there are even more instances that speak more directly to Congressional interference with executive branch efforts on foreign policy.

Joe Scarborough pointed out one example this morning on Twitter from the Reagan era. The Reagan administration wanted to block Soviet influence in the Western hemisphere by backing rebellions against Communist dictators, especially in Nicaragua. Reagan supported the contras against Daniel Ortega, a policy which Democrats opposed and for which they later passed the controversial Boland Amendment in an attempt to restrict Reagan’s options in foreign policy (and which led to the Iran-Contra scandal.) Before Boland, though, 10 Democrats in the House — including Edward Boland (D-MA) — wrote a letter to Ortega called the “Dear Commandante” letter pledging their support to his government. See if this sounds familiar:

The 10 authors include Jim Wright of Texas, the majority leader; Edward P. Boland of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and other senior Democrats in the foreign policy field. The letter tells Mr. Ortega that it was written ”in a spirit of hopefulness and goodwill” and voices regret that relations between Nicaragua and Washington are not better.

The writers stress that they all oppose further money for rebel campaigns against the Sandinista Government. In a veiled reference to the Reagan Administration, the letter says that if the Sandinistas do hold genuine elections, those who are ”supporting violence” against the Nicaraguan leaders would have ”far greater difficulty winning support for their policies than they do today.””


News/Politics 10-31-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. They won’t happy unless they can spy on your phone.

From NationalJournal  “The Obama administration is ramping up its campaign to force technology companies to help the government spy on their users.

FBI and Justice Department officials met with House staffers this week for a classified briefing on how encryption is hurting police investigations, according to staffers familiar with the meeting.

 The briefing included Democratic and Republican aides for the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the staffers said. The meeting was held in a classified room, and aides are forbidden from revealing what was discussed.

It’s unclear whether the FBI is planning a similar briefing for Senate aides.”


2. Yes, vote fraud is a myth, but non-citizens are still voting.

And O’Keefe strikes again.

From NationalReview Could non-citizen voting be a problem in next week’s elections, and perhaps even swing some very close elections?

A new study by two Old Dominion University professors, based on survey data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, indicated that 6.4 percent of all non-citizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election, and 2.2 percent in the 2010 midterms. Given that 80 percent of non-citizens lean Democratic, they cite Al Franken ’s 312-vote win in the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race as one likely tipped by non-citizen voting. As a senator, Franken cast the 60th vote needed to make Obamacare law.

North Carolina features one of the closest Senate races in the country this year, between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis. So what guerrilla filmmaker James O’Keefe, the man who has uncovered voter irregularities in states ranging from Colorado to New Hampshire, has learned in North Carolina is disturbing. This month, North Carolina officials found at least 145 illegal aliens, still in the country thanks to the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, registered to vote. Hundreds of other non-citizens may be on the rolls.”


3. Here’s more.

From PJMedia   “An election integrity watchdog group is suing the state of Maryland, alleging that it has discovered massive and ongoing fraudulent voting by non-U.S. citizens in one county. But because of the way that the non-citizens are able to cast votes in elections, the fraud is likely happening in every single county and subdivision across the state. The group believes that the illegal voting has been happening for years.

The group, Virginia Voters Alliance, says that it compared how voters in Frederick County filled out jury duty statements compared with their voting records. The group’s investigation found that thousands of people in Frederick County who stated that they are not U.S. citizens on jury duty forms went on to cast votes in elections. Either they failed to tell the truth when they were summoned for jury duty, or they cast illegal votes. Both are crimes. The same group previously found that about 40,000 people are registered to vote in both Virginia and Maryland.”

Nope. No fraud here. 🙄


4. Yes please! Democrats can blame Harry Reid’s rule change if it happens. 🙂

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he would be willing to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority if he takes over as majority leader in January, his spokesman told the Washington Examiner on Thursday.

The announcement comes just days before Tuesday’s midterm congressional election, in which Republicans have a strong chance of seizing the upper chamber from the Democrats and putting the Kentucky senator in charge.

“Leader McConnell is and has always been committed to the full repeal of Obamacare, and he’ll continue to lead efforts to repeal and replace it with patient-centered reforms that enable greater choice at lower costs. He knows it won’t be easy, but he also believes that if Republicans are fortunate enough to take back the majority we’ll owe it to the American people to try through votes on full repeal, the bill’s most onerous provisions, and reconciliation,” McConnell spokesman Brian McGuire wrote in an emailed statement.”


5. Not shocking.

From FoxNews As many as 20 to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees — some of whom were released within the last three years — are suspected by intelligence and Defense officials of having joined forces with the Islamic State and other militant groups inside Syria, Fox News has learned. 

The development has cemented fears that the U.S. military would once again encounter militants taken off the battlefield. 

The intelligence offers a mixed picture, and officials say the figures are not exact. But they are certain at least some of the released detainees are fighting with the Islamic State, or ISIS, on the ground inside Syria. Others are believed to be supporting Al Qaeda or the affiliated al-Nusra Front in Syria. 

A number of former detainees also have chosen to help these groups from outside the country, financing operations and supporting their propaganda campaigns. “


News/Politics 4-10-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

First, the self-imposed media blackout of the Kermit Gosnell trial continues. From TheWashingtonTimes

“The trial details are nothing short of sensational: A doctor accused of  killing seven newborns and a young woman at a filthy Philadelphia clinic strewn  with body parts and described as a “slaughterhouse.”

It’s big news in Philadelphia, but nationally, not so much. The lack of  coverage is a problem for a growing chorus of conservative and media critics,  who allege that the scant national media attention can be attributed not to the  courtroom drama but the politics of abortion.”

MRC also reports that there has been no network coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NPR or PBS, and just one brief mention on CNN.”

“Forbes columnist Mike Ozanian said that the  controversy surrounding Rutgers  University basketball coach Mike Rice, who  was shown on video abusing players and using vulgar language during practice,  had received far more national attention than the Gosnell  trial.”


Next, a question. Educating or indoctrinating? From FoxNewsRadio

“Boibeaux’s son is an eighth grader at Northeast Middle School. On Monday his social studies teacher gave students a worksheet titled, ‘The Second Amendment Today.’

“The courts have consistently determined that the Second Amendment does not ensure each individual the right to bear arms,” the worksheet states. “The courts have never found a law regulating the private ownership of weapons unconstitutional.

The worksheet, published by Instructional Fair, goes on to say that the Second Amendment is not incorporated against the states.

“This means that the rights of this amendment are not extended to the individual citizens of the states,” the worksheet reads. “So a person has no right to complain about a Second Amendment violation by state laws.”

According to the document, the Second Amendment “only provides the right of a state to keep an armed National Guard.”

Wow. Lies and misinformation sold as education.


And we have another as well. This one’s not just for indoctrinating, it’s also got personal benefit for the “educator”. From CampusReform

“A professor at a public university in Texas is under investigation from school administrators for allegedly forcing students in her graphic design class to create anti-gun posters for a personal anti-gun campaign she had launched.

Midwestern State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Betty Stewart confirmed to Campus Reform Friday the school has launched an investigation into professor Jennifer Yucus’ conduct after a student filed an official complaint on Thursday.

According to the complaint, obtained by Campus Reform, the professor compelled students in her graphic design class to create artwork opposing firearms on campus and opposing pro-gun legislation currently pending before the Texas state legislature.

The professor then used the artwork students created online to publicize an anti-gun petition entitled “MSU is anti-Concealed Carry on Campus” and on a now deleted Facebook page opposing firearms, says the complaint.


Meanwhile, 15,000 people whose opinion should matter in the gun debate have responded to the proposed gun legislation. From DirectorBlue

“A March 2013 survey of 15,000 police officers covering proposed gun control legislation and attitudes about concealed carry laws had some surprising results:

The survey, which was conducted in early March 2013, received 15,000 responses from law enforcement professionals. It found that the overall attitude of law enforcement is strongly anti-gun legislation and pro-gun rights, with the belief that an armed citizenry is effective in stopping crime. Response percentages varied only slightly when analyzed by rank and department size. Among the results:

• 86 percent feel the currently proposed legislation would have no effect or a negative effect on improving officer safety

• Similarly, 92 percent feel that banning semi-automatic firearms, or “assault weapons,” would have no effect or a negative effect on reducing violent crime.

And 91% support concealed carry among non-felons. Now you know why Obama only uses the police for props, and doesn’t ask them to speak at his anti-gun events.


The First Lady, who has no clue on such matters, takes her husband’s gun control show to the murder capital of the US. Yes, Chicago, the town her husband helped make what it is today with his failed democrat policies. From TheWashingtonTimes

“First Lady Michelle Obama will take the White House’s legislative  push for  gun control to her  hometown of Chicago Wednesday where she  will address a  luncheon on youth violence.

Mrs. Obama’s remarks will focus on urging Chicago business leaders to  invest  in opportunities for youth across Chicago’s neighborhoods.”


Our govt continues it’s not so thrifty, actually mostly wasteful spending.

From HotAir

“Those $85 billion in sequester cuts over which the Obama administration has been trying their darndest to whip everyone into a national freakout, insisting that employees will need to be furloughed, air traffic control towers are going to be shut down, and the White House can’t afford historical tours? Practically peanuts compared to the amount of money the federal government drops on redundant and wasteful spending according to the third annual installment of a Government Accountability Office report, says Sen. Tom Coburn:

These are among the findings in a new Government Accountability Office report that found 162 areas where services are duplicated or money is being wasted in the federal government. The annual cost of duplicative or wasteful programs is estimated at roughly $250 billion, according to fiscal hawk Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. …

“That’s 250 billion dollars a year, that’s three times what the sequester was,” Coburn said. “Just in waste, in duplication, in stupidity, and lack of efficiency and effectiveness by the federal government. (It) makes you want to pull your hair out.” …


Since we’re on the subject of how taxpayer money is spent/wasted……..

Sequester? Sure. The Blue Angels are the next symbolic victim. From USAToday

“The Navy announced Tuesday that it was canceling the remaining Blue Angels 2013 performances, citing “budget realities.”

Blue Angels canceled. But don’t worry, the pretty people still get their 10th party on your dime. And it least us commoners get to watch this one. From WhiteHouseDossier

“Tonight’s special White House “celebration” of Memphis soul music marks the tenth time President and Mrs. Obama have been treated to an exclusive East Room “command performance” of American music featuring major stars, past and present.

While the performances are televised and celebrate the nation’s culture, some may wonder whether during an era of soaring deficits it is wise to stage what are also in effect private parties for the first couple.

And with this evening’s event, the performances are officially part of the “sequester-free zone” at the White House. As is well known, the daily White House tours did not make the cut.”

Like I keep saying, priorities.


This one will make you go Hmmmm…… From TheWeeklyStandard

“The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, is asking the feds to investigate whether a closed campaign meeting was illegally wiretapped by his political opponents. The issue arises after the liberal outlet Mother Jones published “A recording of a private meeting between the Senate GOP leader and campaign aides.”

In a statement to the press, McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, says the feds are getting involved. “Senator McConnell’s campaign is working with the FBI and has notified the local U.S. Attorney in Louisville, per FBI request, about these recordings,” says Benton. “Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent. By whom and how that was accomplished will presumably be the subject of a criminal investigation.”

The federal wiretapping law thought to have been violated reads, “It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception.”

And surreptitious recording also violates Kentucky law, where this meeting took place:” 

More from Politico

““Senator McConnell’s campaign is working with the FBI and has notified the local  U.S. Attorney in Louisville, per FBI request, about these recordings,” McConnell  campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement. “Obviously a recording device  of some kind was placed in Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent.  By whom and how that was accomplished presumably will be the subject of a  criminal investigation.””

“On Tuesday morning, Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, published an audio recording of McConnell staffers discussing  opposition research they could use against actress Ashley Judd, who was  considering running against veteran senator in the 2014 Senate race. Judd  announced last week that she would not make the race.”

“Someone on the tape is heard saying:

“She’s clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced. I  mean it’s been documented. Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her  autobiography about, you know, she’s suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was  hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the ’90s.””