Jesean Morris, 20, who was wanted in Nebraska for violating the terms of his parole, was arrested Friday after he posted to Facebook a video of himself dumping a bucket of ice water on his head. A tipster who saw the online post and recognized the house shown in the video provided Omaha police with Morris’ exact address, Officer Aaron Thompson told NBC News. Two officers then went to the house and arrested Morris, 20.
The suspect allegedly gave the cops a false name and birth date, knocked out a safety partition in the police cruiser, and spit in the one of the officer’s face, according to an incident report. Morris was booked into jail on the warrant and on suspicion of criminal impersonation, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.
So…he acted like Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, more or less.
After Monday’s bombshell about the federal government’s system-wide email back-up system broke, there was yet another bombshell.
The IRS “recycled” — destroyed — Lois Lerner’s hard drive in June 2011, just 10 days after Rep. Dave Camp had sent a letter to the IRS inquiring about the targeting of conservative groups that Lerner knew about and may have orchestrated.
The IRS destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry device, too. Even though there is no suggestion that it ever “crashed,” as the agency claims about her hard drive.
Even worse, the IRS destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry after it knew of the crash, and while the congressional investigation was underway.
The Blackberry would have contained all of Lerner’s emails.
The New York Observer picks up the story:
In two elusive and nebulous sworn declarations, we can glean that Ms. Lerner had two Blackberries. One was issued to her on November 12, 2009. According to a sworn declaration, this is the Blackberry that contained all the emails (both sent and received) that would have been in her “Outlook” and drafts that never were sent from her Blackberry during the relevant time.
With incredible disregard for the law and the Congressional inquiry, the IRS admits that this Blackberry “was removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.” This is a year after her hard drive “crash” and months after the Congressional inquiry began.
The IRS did not even attempt to retrieve that data. It cavalierly recites: “There is no record of any attempt by any IRS IT employee to recover data from any Blackberry device assigned to Lois Lerner in response to the Congressional investigations or this investigation,” according to Stephen Manning, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Strategy & Modernization.
Lerner was issued another Blackberry for Valentine’s Day 2012—also after she came under fire for her targeting of conservative groups.
The IRS was engaged in criminal destruction of evidence. It is engaged in a game of running out the clock and extending the investigation as long as possible now. Lerner’s current Blackberry is apparently in the possession of the Inspector General of the Treasury. Even that Blackberry might have access to Lerner’s old emails. If she used “ghost” accounts, as the head of the EPA did, the Blackberry may show evidence of that too.
We’re learning all of this not because of any congressional investigation, by the way, but because Judicial Watch has gone to court and gotten a judge, Emmet Sullivan, who is not taking the Obama administration’s spin at face value.
Always late to the party, except when it’s an actual party.
The U.S. has started flying surveillance drones over Syria after President Obama authorized the missions, two senior Defense officials told Fox News, in a move that could pave the way for eventual airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the country.
A decision still has not been made, at least publicly, to launch airstrikes in Syria. But the Obama administration would likely need additional intelligence on possible targets should the president take that step.
Sources told Fox News that Obama approved surveillance missions in Syria for the first time over the weekend; they have since begun.
Why is Obama just now doing this? Or, why is he publicizing that he is just now doing this? He is letting the PR get ahead of strategy, supposing that there is a strategy. The world doesn’t need to know when the US is conducting drone flights over ISIS and when it isn’t. But a president with flagging poll numbers who is even taking golf grief from Maureen Dowd needs to look like he’s working on something other than his tee shot.
The ISIS crisis is headed to a bizarre probability — that the United States will end up conducting airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria that will aid the Assad regime that Barack Obama declared “had to go” not too long ago.
Of course, Obama wanted to intervene in Syria’s civil war early on, to oust Assad, an intervention which would have ended up helping the Islamists — some of whom are now ISIS.
No Big Deal. But 66% of Democrats Support Prosecuting Rick Perry for Doing What Governors Are Constitutionally Allowed to Do.
Two out of three Democrats apparently have no idea what constitutional powers a governor has, and have no idea what the legal system is for (and what it’s not for).
It’s not for jailing people because you do not like them.
I blame the teachers unions.
YouGov’s latest research shows that the public is far more divided over the prosecution of Rick Perry than commentators. 40% of Americans approve of the decision to persue criminal charges against Perry, while 37% disapprove. Opinions on the man himself are similarly split, though opinions tend to be unfavorable (39%) rather than favorable (31%).
Most Democrats (66%) support prosecutors charging Perry with abuse of power, while only 13% disagree. Independents tend to disapprove (42%) rather than approve (32%) of the charges, while Republicans overwhelmingly (67%) oppose the prosecution.
Looking at these numbers, the wrong person could come along and as long as they have a D attached to their name, they could get away with just about anything…
Judicial Watch just dropped a bombshell in the IRS targeting investigation.
Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.
We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.
This is a jaw-dropping revelation. The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner’s missing emails. There are no “missing” Lois Lerner emails – nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion. The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be – but dishonestly withheld this information. You can bet we are going to ask the court for immediate assistance in cutting through this massive obstruction of justice.
“Jaw-dropping” is right.
The IRS has been telling a tale about the emails not only of Lois Lerner but also several other key IRS targeting scandal figures. That tale has been coming from no less than the current director of the IRS.
In disclosing that Lerner’s (and others’) emails still exist, the DOJ also said, essentially, that it thinks searching for those emails would be too much work.
Would that excuse fly with the DOJ or the IRS, or would they frog-march anyone who used that excuse straight to a squad car?
To date, most of the fighting between Russia’s proxies and Ukraine has been in the north. That changed today.
KIEV, Ukraine – A column of Russian tanks and armored vehicles has crossed into southeastern Ukraine, away from where most of the intense fighting has been taking place, a top Ukrainian official said Monday.
Col. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security Council, told reporters that the column of 10 tanks, two armored vehicles and two trucks crossed the border near Shcherbak and that the nearby city of Novoazovsk was shelled during the night from Russia. He said they were Russian military vehicles bearing the flags of the separatist Donetsk rebels.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday he had no information about the column.
Russia’s move comes as the Ukrainian government forces have retaken territory from the pro-Russian separatists/proxies. Russia tried to obtain a cease-fire which would essentially have left the proxies in control of the territory they had taken.
Russia sent another convoy of trucks into the north on Friday, and is said to be readying another convoy of Trojan horses — 200 of them.
The Islamic State may have achieved something that no terrorist group before them has managed — they may be a fully fledged combined-arms capable fighting force powered by the use of indigenous natural resources it controls.
Over the past few months, as if to defy President Barack Obama’s characterization of them as “jayvee,” ISIS spread swiftly from Syria deep into Iraq, sweeping through territory that had been controlled or at least patrolled by the Iraqi army.
That army proved to be so weak that its personnel fled their posts. ISIS scooped up American vehicles and weapons left behind by the Iraqi security forces. By July, the Islamic State had reportedly taken 52 155mm M198 Howitzer artillery guns. They have a range of up to 20 miles and can be used in conjunction with GPS for fine targeting. US airstrikes in recent weeks have focused on ISIS artillery, among other things, suggesting that US airmen are targeting some of those former US guns.
It’s also possible that in addition to picking up US vehicles and weapons, ISIS picked up some undeclared Syrian chemical weapons.
Over this past weekend, ISIS attacked and took over a Syrian air base in Raqqa. That has been widely reported. What has not been widely reported is that leading up to the assault, ISIS used drone aircraft for surveillance of the base. Whether or not ISIS captured any usable aircraft at the base (and apparently, they did), and whether they have any trained pilots to operate them or not, the Islamic State already has drone aircraft at its disposal.
The success of the mission in Syria shows that ISIS can coordinate the movements of its ground troops on foot and in vehicles, and its airborne drones. That is a combined-arms capable force. They only thing they’re missing is a navy, but they don’t need that where they are currently operating. If things continue on their current path, ISIS could steal a navy either from Iraq or Syria.
In addition to all of that, ISIS now controls an area that is larger than Britain. It is sparsely populated compared to Britain — about 4 million in ISIS territory versus about 64 million in Britain — but ISIS territory is oil-rich.
A Businessweek article compares ISIS to the “Taliban with oil fields.” The Islamic State may be raking in $2 million a day in revenue from oil sales alone, making it a self-financed and largely self-sufficient terrorist entity that happens to be armed chiefly with captured American-made weaponry. Additionally, ISIS is not as vulnerable to sanctions as previous terrorists groups have been.
“The Islamic State is probably the wealthiest terrorist group we’ve ever known,” said Matthew Levitt, a former U.S. Treasury terrorism and financial intelligence official who now is director of the counterterrorism and intelligence program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They’re not as integrated with the international financial system, and therefore not as vulnerable” to sanctions, anti-money laundering laws and banking regulations.
In contrast, the late al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was from a wealthy family and enjoyed a network of foreign patrons, and his funding sources were squeezed by financial intelligence officers. The Islamic State “makes their money primarily — if not entirely — locally,” said Patrick Johnston, a counterterrorism specialist at the Santa Monica, California-based Rand Corp.’s Pittsburgh office and co-author of a forthcoming analysis of declassified documents on the Islamic State’s finances.
In addition to all that, an unknown number of ISIS fighters are citizens of the West and carry western passports.
In the days following ISIS’ beheading of American journalist James Foley, rumors that President Obama dragged his feet on the military mission to rescue him have surfaced. Well, those rumors surfaced once the administration leaked the mission itself.
The mission failed, according to the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a briefing last week, because the terrorists had moved their captives.
Toby Harnden reports that the US had developed good intelligence regarding where ISIS was holding Foley. But President Obama delayed the mission by a month.
Pentagon sources said Foley and the others might well have been rescued but Obama, concerned about the ramifications of US troops being killed or captured in Syria, took too long to authorise the mission.
Anthony Shaffer, a former lieutenant-colonel in US military intelligence who worked on covert operations, said: “I’m told it was almost a 30-day delay from when they said they wanted to go to when he finally gave the green light. They were ready to go in June to grab the guy [Foley] and they weren’t permitted.”
Another US defence source said: “The White House constantly goes back and forth on these things. These people are a bunch of academics who endlessly analyse stuff and ordering up another deep-thinking paper but can’t decide what to order for lunch.”
According to Harnden’s report, when US forces arrived they did find a swarm of terrorists there. The captives themselves had been moved to another location.
ISIS emailed a threat to Foley’s life on August 13, five days after President Obama ordered airstrikes on ISIS positions in Iraq. The emailed threat said that Foley would die in retaliation for the airstrikes.
Harnden also reports that President Obama has not viewed the video of Foley’s beheading. Obama was “briefed on its contents” as he flew to Martha’s Vineyard for vacation and several rounds of golf. Obama did make a public statement on the brutal murder, minutes before he made his way to the golf course again.
Over at Hot Air, Allahpundit wonders why Obama would drag his feet on this mission for a month. Obama wasn’t facing re-election, and unlike the bin Laden mission, the mission to rescue Foley would have been in enemy territory — meaning that it carried fewer potential diplomatic downsides. True enough.
Obama reportedly dragged his feet on the bin Laden mission, too. This president seems to be very uncomfortable with command, and with authorizing missions that showcase the power and prestige of the US military. Plus, as the military types note above, Obama is an academic and not a leader. He voted “present” by habit in the Illinois Senate and was a partisan backbencher in the US Senate. Barack Obama is much more comfortable ordering verbal strikes on Republicans than he is ordering air and SEAL strikes on our actual enemies.
Late last week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team signaled its intent to file a formal challenge to the August 15th indictment against him. They made good on the promise today, filing a writ of habeas corpus.
A press release from the governor spells out the nature of the challenge:
AUSTIN — Today, Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team filed a pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus seeking to bar the prosecution of Gov. Perry on multiple constitutional grounds.
“Thus, for reasons of constitutional magnitude, including the separation of powers doctrine fundamental to our democratic system of government, Governor Perry should have the same opportunity for relief through habeas corpus in this case if the provisions are merely void as applied as he would have if they were facially unconstitutional,” Governor Perry’s legal team noted in the writ. “Subjecting any sitting Governor to a criminal prosecution and injecting the judiciary into a political dispute would be an unprecedented assault on this cherished separation of powers, and would impose an intolerable and incalculable chilling effect on the free exercise of legitimate constitutional powers by future governors.”
The Texas Tribune has more, including this line from the lawyers’ brief: “This court should not hesitate to dismiss both counts of the indictment and bar the prosecution, immediately if not sooner.”
The Perry team is cashing in on last week’s mugshot. RickPAC is selling this brilliant mugshot T-shirt in its online store.
It’s tempting to knee-jerk condemn all this, but look — a guy carrying an umbrella could be a supervillain.
(CBS/WROC) ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A gun scare on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus is over, with the sheriff’s office saying an umbrella had been mistaken for a rifle.
According to WROC, sheriff’s office gave the all clear at around 9:15 a.m. Friday.
The Great Umbrella Scare put the campus on lockdown. And the police are taking no chances with the budding, umbrella-carrying supervillain.
Authorities were able to track the first year photography student to his residence hall. Stella says he was cooperative and showed authorities an umbrella he had with a samurai-style handle that was mistaken for that rifle.
Stella said the RTS bus driver did exactly what he was supposed to do.
“The good thing is with the RIT alert system we are able to reach out to everybody, all the key stakeholders on campus, to let them know there is a situation,” said Stella.
“It makes me feel safer. I like the whole system we have,” said Kelsey Full, student.
Stella says authorities confiscated the umbrella and the student will only get that back at the end of the school year.
Riddle me this: What right to authorities have to confiscate a harmless umbrella?
According to a press release, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has added a very big — and very Democratic — name to his legal team.
AUSTIN – Today, lead attorney Tony Buzbee announced the addition of Mark Fabiani to Governor Rick Perry’s legal team. Mark Fabiani joins Buzbee, Ben Ginsberg, Justice Tom Phillips, Bobby Burchfield and David Botsford.
“I’m proud to join Gov. Perry’s outstanding team which has been assembled to fight back against this attack on the rule of law,” Mark Fabiani said. “As we move forward to protect the Texas Constitution and the First Amendment rights of any governor, I am confident this prosecution will be revealed to be contrary to the law and wholly meritless.”
Mark Fabiani is arguably one of the most partisan Democrats in the country. He was on President Bill Clinton’s legal team, and was also on Vice President Al Gore’s legal team during the Florida recount. He is partners with Democrat operative Chris Lehane in a strategic communications company.
Fabiani’s addition to the Perry legal team sends a strong signal that, while Texas Democrats, the Democratic National Committee and some others are still touting the August 15th indictment of the governor, some national Democrats want to be seen fighting against it.
Gov. Perry has gotten very good at trolling Democrats during his 14 years in office. Fabiani’s addition to the legal team raises Gov. Perry’s troll level to master.
Illinois was the 50th state to grant concealed handgun permits. The state only allowed them because a court ordered it to.
So far, here’s the news: Concealed carry permits have surged, and crime has dropped, according to the Washington Times.
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”
As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses. By the end of the year, Mr. Pearson estimates, 100,000 Illinois citizens will be packing. When Illinois began processing requests in January, gun training and shooting classes — which are required for the application — were filling up before the rifle association was able to schedule them, Mr. Pearson said.
More guns, less crime. There’s even a book about that.
A Disturbing Pattern: Eight Times that Democrats Used Court Shenanigans Against Republicans They Couldn’t Beat at the Ballot Box
The indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on August 15, 2014 has drawn criticism from pundits, politicians and papers all over the country. Some Democrats have disavowed the indictment, going as far as to claim that launching courtroom attacks against their opponents in the GOP is just not how Democrats operate.
But is that the case? Or have Democrats shown a disturbing pattern of using courtrooms to go after Republicans who pose a threat to them?
The following eight cases suggest that Democrats will wield ethics complaints and courtrooms as weapons against Republicans at strategic moments.
Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle brought several charges against newly elected Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) in 1993. Hutchison had previously won statewide election as state treasurer, and was a rising star in Texas politics. She won a special election by landslide to replace Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D), who had been nominated to serve in the Clinton administration.
Even in 1993 there was talk that Hutchison was a future governor. As a woman with considerable poise in front the press, Hutchison represented a clear and present danger to the Democrats who hoped to build on Gov. Ann Richards’ success statewide. Hutchison came along at a time when Texas was shifting from a reliable Democratic state to a swing state, to becoming the Republican bastion it is today. A conservative, attractive woman who could even charm the hostile Texas media, Hutchison posed a grave threat to the Democrats at a pivotal moment.
Earle’s indictment, built through the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, alleged that Hutchison engaged in felony misconduct and ordered state employees to destroy evidence while she was state treasurer. Hutchison was essentially indicted over Christmas cards.
Hutchison’s attorneys won a change of venue out of heavily Democratic Travis County, to Fort Worth. The case fell apart at trial.
Result: Full acquittal. The change of venue pulled the flimsy case out of Travis County to Fort Worth, where Earle had to give it up. Hutchison won re-election in 1994 and would go on to serve as senator until she retired and Sen. Ted Cruz (R) replaced her in 2012.
The Democrats were by no means finished with legal shenanigans to try to keep their grip on Texas. Republicans finally won the state House in 2002 for the first time since Reconstruction. That empowered them to draw up the state’s electoral map for the very first time, and in the 2003 legislative session, they did just that, with the help of Rep. Tom DeLay. Democrats knew that they would lose the vote that would adopt the Republicans’ new map — a map drawn within the constraints of the law, but which no longer guaranteed the Democrats a majority in the state’s US House delegation.
Eleven Democrats responded by running off to Oklahoma to deny the House the quorum it needed to pass the map as long as they could.
Democrats would get around to punishing DeLay directly a few years later. Read on.
Gov. Rick Perry’s attorney, David Botsford, met with special prosecutor Mike McCrum in the chambers of Visiting Judge Bert Richardson today to discuss the August 15 indictment of the governor. Richardson appointed McCrum to investigate Perry’s veto, and McCrum led the grand jury in indicting the governor.
The Texas Tribune reports that Botsford informed the judge that he will file a challenge to the indictment on August 29. Botsford said that the challenge will be based on the First Amendment — Perry’s right to free speech — and his constitutional veto power.
As things stand, Perry has been indicted by a grand jury, which included at least one partisan Democratic Party activist, for telling the people of Texas what he intended to do, and then carrying out the action he described. We live in strange times when transparency and standing by your word, in order to remove a prosecutor who was guilty of drunk driving, have become indictable offenses.
On Thursday, Travis County Judge Julie Kocurek raised the stakes in the case, threatening Perry for — again — speaking, and invited anyone in the county to file another complaint against him which could open up yet another grand jury investigation. Heavily Democrat Travis County has no shortage of people who might file such a complaint just to harass the Republican governor. Texans for Public Justice, the Soros-funded group that filed the original complaint, exists for that very purpose.
The prosecutor says that he doesn’t expect Gov. Perry to go to trial on the August 15 indictment until next year. That would drag the case into the time Perry might be running for the GOP presidential nomination for the 2016 election.
This is a good read on Obama’s habit of squeezing presidentin’ in between parties, fundraisers and rounds of golf, by Matthew Continetti at the Beacon.
Attacking the president for vacation is usually the job of the out party. But these days it is the job of all parties. Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, ISIL, Ebola, child migrants on the border, racial strife in Ferguson, an American murdered by the caliphate—critics say the president who danced to every song at Ann Jordan’s birthday party seems remote and aloof from, and even mildly annoyed by, such concerns.
I disagree. Not with the judgment that Obama is detached, dialing it in, contemptuous of events that interfere with his plans. I disagree with the idea that this August has been different, in any meaningful way, from the rest of Obama’s second term. For this president, the distinction between “time off” and “time on” is meaningless. For this president, every day is a vacation. And has been for some time. He is like Cosmo Kramer of Seinfeld. “His whole life is a fantasy camp,” George Costanza says of his friend. “People should plunk down $2,000 to live like him for a week.” Imagine what they would pay to live like Obama.
Uncomfortable with all of the golf on Martha’s Vineyard? It is but a fraction of Obama’s habit. Since 2009, the president has played more than 185 rounds, typically with Wall Street cronies such as Robert Wolf and sports celebrities such as Alonzo Mourning, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wilbon. So devoted to golf is Obama that he wears Game Golf, which tracks how well a golfer shoots. Game Golf is not something you wear as a lark. You use it to study and hone your game. The hours on the course are just the start; there are also the hours spent analyzing results at home. Obama is not golfing like an amateur. He’s golfing like a man who wants to join the PGA tour.
That’s a lot of golf. More golf in six years than even some avid golfers will play in a couple of decades. And chances are, they’re nowhere near as busy as the President of the United States.
Obama came into the presidency promising that he would give all of himself to the job, and his outside interests would go away.
Now, his outside interests rule and being president seems to have gone away. He’s quick with a quip about whatever is happening in the sports world, and he can appreciate fine, expensive foods with the richest. But don’t ask him about foreign policy or any of his administration’s scandals. He only learns about those from the news — when they bother to report on them.
Pentagon Details Russian Incursion into Ukraine, IS Threat, and a Disturbing Incident with a Chinese Fighter
Earlier Today, Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby delivered a press briefing on Russia, Ukraine and the ongoing Islamic State threat in Syria and Iraq.
Adm. Kirby criticized Russia for sending a column into Ukraine’s territory under the guise of humanitarian aid. He said that the Russians have massed more than 10,000 troops on the Ukraine border, and that they are combined-arms capable, very ready and very capable. Russia, Kirby said are continuing to add troops to the forces massed border region. Kirby also accused Russia of directly assisting the separatists in Ukraine with armor and anti-aircraft missiles. It was a Russian anti-aircraft missile fired by separatists that shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine.
Kirby also detailed an incident involving a US P-8 anti-submarine aircraft and a Chinese fighter jet over international waters near Asia on August 19. The P-8 was on a “routine mission” according to Adm. Kirby. Kirby said that the Chinese fighter brought its wingtips to within 30 feet of the American aircraft, and it rolled in front of the P-8′s nose to show its weapons load to the US pilot. The Chinese aircraft made three close passes, and Kirby described its actions as “very dangerous” and “unprofessional.” Kirby said that the US government has made its concerns about the incident known to the Chinese government.
The Chinese incident follows several in which Russian bombers have penetrated US airspace.
Kirby revealed that US air forces have conducted 93 airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq, but at the same time insisted that there is no military solution to the threat that IS poses. “Good governance,” Kirby said, is what will ultimately defeat the Islamist terrorist group.
The Islamic State has thousands of fighters, and uses American weapons and vehicles that were left behind when Iraqi army units abandoned them. IS’s spread has only been slowed by military action so far — Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting it on the ground, and US airstrikes damaging it from above.
Under media questioning, Adm. Kirby admitted that the State Department has requested 300 more security forces for its facilities in Baghdad. The Pentagon, Kirby said, is evaluating that request but has made no decisions. He said that he knows of “no specific threat stream” that cause the State Department to make the request. The US currently has about 1,000 troops in Iraq, acting as security forces and advisers with no combat role.
Kirby also addressed the use of military vehicles by local police, an issue that has grown more prominent during the unrest in Ferguson, MO. Kirby said that most of the equipment that the Pentagon transfers to local police is not tactical, but office equipment and communications. He did acknowledge that the Pentagon provided two Humvees to the Ferguson Police Department, but they were “soft skinned,” not armored. He said that most of the gear in Ferguson that appears to be military gear from the Pentagon is not military gear and did not come from the US military.
You can watch the entire briefing here.
Daily Caller has a story on this remarkable video of Sen. Harry Reid speaking before the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. In it, Sen. Reid engages in ethnic humor. First he jokes about Asians being smarter than everyone else — a racial stereotype, albeit a positive one. Later, he jokes that he “can’t keep his Wongs straight.” That joke has a bit more bite. Would Reid joke to a white audience that he can’t keep his Smiths straight? Is he suggesting that all Asians look alike?
I’m asking as the husband of a Japanese woman…
Sen. Reid has a history of making racial remarks, as when he noted that Barack Obama was a viable black presidential candidate because he is “clean and articulate.” He had to apologize directly to Obama for that one.
The Senator’s efforts did not help his chosen candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor. He sought the Asian Chamber’s endorsement for Democrat Lucy Flores. But the Chamber backed Republican Mark Hutchison instead.
More: This shouldn’t go without a mention. Democrats in Kentucky have been attacking Sen. Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao — because she is Asian.
And, during his first run for governor, Louisiana Democrats launched a series of racist attacks on Bobby Jindal by referring to his given name, Piyush.
More: Reid has a long history of making racist and, frankly, idiotic remarks. That very history prompts the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake to grant him “gaffe immunity.”
A Republican with a similar history — there aren’t any, by the way — would be driven from office.
Travis County Judge Julie Kocurek is trying to shut Gov. Perry up. Or throw even more legal problems his way.
A Travis County grand jury indicted Perry last week, on two counts that criminalize free speech and the governor’s constitutional veto power.
The governor spoke out about the charges against him, as is his right, on Saturday.
Perry said, “I am confident that we will ultimately prevail, that this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is, and those responsible will be held accountable.”
That last part has Judge Kocurek fuming.
A state district judge from Austin said Thursday that she intends to protect members of the grand jury that indicted Gov. Rick Perry from any threats — veiled or direct — from the governor or anyone else.
Judge Julie Kocurek, the judge of the 390th District Court, said Perry’s comments Saturday, a day after the indictment, could be construed as a threat and a possible violation of the law. Kocurek, as the administrative presiding judge of all criminal courts in the county, said that “no one is above the law,” and the public needs to know that grand jurors are legally protected from any threat. “I have a duty to make sure that our members of the grand jury are protected,” Kocurek said. “I am defending the integrity of our grand jury system.”
Perry was clearly referring to the Travis County DA’s office and the Public Integrity Unit, through which he was indicted, in his Saturday comments, not the grand jury. The Travis County Public Integrity Unit has engaged in political prosecutions for decades. Under DA Ronnie Earle, it even went after Democrats now and then if they had crossed Earle. The Perry indictment follows the Delay and Hutchison cases and is seen by most as revenge by Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg, who was caught drunk driving in April 2013. Perry’s veto threat was aimed at restoring the PIU’s credibility by getting Lehmberg to step down. She refused. Democrats backed her, because if she resigned, Perry would get to appoint her replacement.
Perry’s whole involvment has been an attempt hold Lehmberg and the Travis County DA’s office accountable. Not the grand jury. No one has threatened anyone on the grand jury, though revelations after the indictment have suggested that politics played a role in their decisions.
Judge Kocurek is a former Republican, appointed to the bench in 1999 by Gov. George W. Bush. She later switched parties. Her misunderstanding of Perry’s obvious statement looks forced and convenient. It may be a set-up to use the law to muzzle the governor as he faces the charges.
The Texas Penal Code that outlaws obstruction and retaliation says that anyone who “intentionally or knowingly harms or threatens to harm” a grand juror can face a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
If a citizen files a complaint against Perry for violating the statute, the governor could face another grand jury investigation.
Watch Soros-funded Texans for Public Justice rush in to file a complaint.
As I keep saying, Travis County’s judiciary, its district attorney’s office and its jury pool are so tainted that he cannot receive a fair trail there.
Your own private property is no longer safe.
ALBANY—Two farmers in rural Rensselaer County must pay $13,000 in fines and restitution after they rebuffed a lesbian couple who inquired about getting married at their farm, a state agency ruled.
Jennifer McCarthy and her now-wife Melisa (nee Erwin) found Liberty Ridge Farm, which overlooks the Hudson River in Schaghticoke, several miles north of Troy, on the internet and hoped to rent it for their wedding ceremony and reception. Cynthia Gifford, who along with her husband offer a corn maze, market and events at the 100-acre farm, told Melisa McCarthy her same-sex marriage would cause “a little bit of a problem” because the Giffords have a “specific religious belief regarding marriage,” according to court papers.
McCarthy and her wife brought a complaint in conjunction with the New York Civil Liberties Union, saying Liberty Ridge Farm was a public accommodation and the Giffords’ actions were unlawfully discriminatory under state law.
While the McCarthys never entered into a rental contract for the facility, an administrative law judge ruled Gifford “implicitly rescinded the invitation” when she learned Melisa McCarthy’s spouse-to-be was also a woman.
No contract is no protection. The mere inquiry is enough to cost thousands.
“The policy to not allow same-sex marriage ceremonies on Liberty Ridge Farm is a denial of access to a place of public accommodation,” Judge Migdalia Pares wrote. She said the Giffords should pay $3,000 to the women—$1,500 each—for “mental anguish each suffered as a result of respondents’ unlawfully discriminatory conduct.” Citing “the goal of deterrence” as well as the Giffords’ clear stance against same-sex weddings, Pares fined the Giffords an additional $10,000.
So, the judge is proactively punishing thoughtcrime.
My prediction that the current trajectory of this issue will end up with churches declining to support any weddings in their facilities is looking better and better.
The goal here, for some but by no means all same-sex marriage supporters, is to destroy the church or drive it underground. We’re a long way from that, but not as far as most seem to think. They’re making progress.
Discovery Channel’s lone remaining science series, MythBusters, has lost 60% of its cast. The show announced Thursday night that that episode would be the last to feature Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.
MythBusters started out with just the two main cast members, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, special effects gurus who used their science knowledge and engineering chops to test common pop culture myths. The show was fine in those early days, but MythBusters really took off when it grew to the current cast. The trio joined the full cast of MythBusters 10 years ago. They brought a new chemistry to the show, and Byron brought a little nerd sex appeal too.
Now the era of five hosts busting multiple myths per show is over. And it sounds like money is at the root.
“I guess you guys are finding out the news right about now. After a decade of theMythBusters, we are no longer with the show,” Kari said in a series of tweets. “Thank you to all the fans who have supported us. The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world. I love you all @MythBusters. I am sad for an ending but there will be exciting new adventures for us.”
Chances are, budget cuts are to blame. Discovery Channel has all but dropped science programming in favor of reality shows about gold and cars, bogus documentaries about sharks, along with its survival hit Naked and Afraid. The reduced MythBusters probably isn’t going to last long now.
Rick Reed is a Democratic attorney in Austin, TX. A criminal defense attorney, he has analyzed the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry.
Reed knocks out one misconception about the indictment right off the bat. According to Reed, it does not allege two felonies. Rather, it alleges that Gov. Perry committed one felony and one misdemeanor.
I won’t quote the analysis, as it suffers if any part is taken out of context. It’s brief at just four pages, and it’s a good read for a legal analysis. You can read the entire analysis here.
The final paragraph deserves a quote, though:
“Whether this indictment will die a quick death from a judicial ruling granting a motion to quash or one prolonged by a jury trial ending in acquittal, only time will tell. One thing, however, is certain: it cannot survive both judicial and juror scrutiny.”
My only quibble with that is, if the indictment gets past a judge, a jury made of Travis County’s finest is literally capable of anything. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison escaped the Travis County DA’s flimsy charges against her in 1993 by getting her trial moved to Fort Worth. The jury took about 30 minutes to acquit her. Rep. Tom Delay’s trial stayed in Austin, and he lost — even though the law and the facts were clearly on his side. A judge later agreed and threw the convictions out on appeal. By then, Delay’s career was destroyed and the Democrats had flogged him hard enough that they took over control of the US House of Representatives.
Some disclosure on this analysis is probably in order. After Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s arrest for drunk driving, Rick Reed filed charges against her for abusing her power. The charges alleged, correctly, that Lehmberg threatened the processing officers when she tried to get Sheriff Greg Hamilton involved. The evidence of abuse of power was crystal clear. Yet a grand jury refused to indict Lehmberg, despite the clear and unambiguous evidence of her abuse of power, which was captured on video tape.
So Reed is not new to any of this. The grand jury’s failure to indict Lehmberg, and another grand jury’s evident eagerness to indict Perry, provide ample evidence that Rick Perry cannot get a fair trial in that county. The jury pool is beyond tainted against him. It is poisoned against him.
More: While we’re on the subject of the indictment and the Public Integrity Unit, the question has come up several times — How did a county DA get such widespread jurisdiction over elected political figures all over the state?
The answer: Former DA Ronnie Earle asserted jurisdiction on his own. Earle is no longer there, having retired in 2008. Lehmberg is his successor. After indicting Perry, the PIU’s days in Travis County may be numbered. There will be a strong push in the next session of the legislature to disband it or move it to the state attorney general’s office. The incoming lieutenant governor, state Sen. Dan Patrick, sponsored a bill to do just that in the last session, but it failed due to some political games in the state House.
There’s no question that ISIS believes that it as at war with the US. It keeps saying so.
And the US has launched several dozen airstrikes against them, while we are also arming and advising the Kurds who are fighting them on the ground. We’re also advising the Iraqi security forces. ISIS just beheaded an American journalist and is threatening to murder another one.
But the State Department, represented here by Marie Harf, doesn’t believe that those facts constitute “war.”
At a briefing Thursday, a reporter brought up anti-American comments from ISIL leaders: “I mean, even they are announcing, ISIL people in their message, whatever, the recorded message, other messages, that now we are in a war with America.”
“This is not about ISIL versus the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf objected. “They are killing anyone who gets in their way: Sunnis, Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Iraqis, Syrians, anyone who gets in their way — and now an American.”
“So this is not about what the United States is or isn’t doing,” Harf continued. “This is about ISIL stated a commitment to murder, rape, enslave people who don’t agree with their ideology and who get in their way.”
“But they are announcing that it’s a war against America,” the reporter pressed. “Right or wrong, that’s what they are saying.”
Harf maintained, “Well, they can say whatever they’d like, but what I am making clear is that’s not what ISIL represents. And they don’t represent any religion. They are at war with everybody they come into contact with.”
They’re not at war with the westerners they keep recruiting. They have about 1500 British citizens they have come into contact with, who have joined ISIS.
What’s the game here that State is playing?
I’m on the record that Harf is cute, but that she’s a terrible spokesperson for the US. Terrible. She gets snarky and defensive when reporters ask her legitimate questions, and she is of a mind that hashtags have replaced tanks and airplanes in modern warfare.
It would be nice if that were true. But it’s a fantasy to believe that it is. Hashtags won’t even get you through a game of Risk.
Here, Harf is not speaking on her own. She is delivering the official message. She is representing what Secretary of State John Kerry believes, who is supposed to be in sync with what President Obama believes. But he may not be. Obama isn’t exactly fully on task these days, unless the task is working on his putting game.
So Kerry believes that it’s not in our interests not to admit that we’re at war with ISIS — the worst thing to hit the world since al Qaeda.
Kerry also tweeted yesterday that ISIS should be “crushed.”
How and why should we crush an entity that we’re not even at war with?
The phrase “union thugs” was invented for people like the Teamsters, who have been threatening TV star Padma Lakshmi and her Top Chef crew.
The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you fucking whore!”
“She was scared,” said a Top Chef crewmember who witnessed the incident, which occurred in June while filming an episode for the upcoming 12th season of Bravo’s popular skein, which premieres October 15. “He was screaming at her aggressively and violently.”
“As any employee of our show walked on or off set, the picketers verbally attacked us, calling the gays ‘fags,’ the blacks ‘niggers’ and most of the women ‘sluts and whores,’ ” the crewmember said. “It got worse as the day went on. They chased us down the sidewalk when we had to run from one end of the location to the next in the middle of our busy work day. They threatened to kill us, beat us, and said that they would find us and force us out of the city. Needless to say, we were terrified. I’m a strong person, but being called names and yelled at and harassed for 12 hours while working, I started to crumble. I was scared and worried for my safety.”
More at the link.
One obvious solution to all this presents itself. Ms. Lakshmi should move production to a right-to-work state, like, just spitballin’ here, Texas. She and the jobs the show brings would be more than welcome here, and the Teamsters…not so much.
You lose, Eric Holder. And Barack Obama.
WASHINGTON – A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.
In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The Justice Department says the documents should remain confidential and President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege in an effort to protect them from public disclosure.
It would be nice to see this investigation go somewhere. It’s not at all clear how, assuming their side of the story is correct, the government could have tracked firearms in Mexico’s drug war without actually tracking them.
It is clear that while Fast and Furious was in full swing, Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were blaming that war on our Second Amendment. Coincidence? That doesn’t seem likely.
The Daily Mail rounds up media reaction to President Obama’s habit of interrupting his golf rounds with the occasional foray into being President of the United States.
It’s not pretty.
President Barack Obama teed off again on Thursday, just 24 hours after pictures of his wide grin on the golf course drew condemnation in the wake of the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley.
‘Admit it,’ a White House pool reporter emailed the press corps. ‘You all made small-dollar bets that POTUS would be playing golf today. And … you would be right!’
‘We are at the Farm Neck Golf Club at 1:13 pm. and POTUS is hitting the links again.’
The president drew fire Wednesday after reacting to Foley’s on-camera slaying for just five minutes, and then gripping his driver.
He had told a global audience minutes earlier that ‘when people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.’
Then he was seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour round at Farm Neck on Martha’s Vineyard.
ABC News political director Rick Klein told Fox host Greta van Susteren three hours earlier that the White House is ‘well past the point of caring about the so-called “optics” of things like this. And the president himself clearly doesn’t … care about the way it looks.’
‘Golfing today is in bad taste,’ tweeted Vox editor-in-chief Ezra Klein, a long-time Obama backer.
Even little Ezra Klein gets it.
The president has been breaking speed records for getting to the golf course after commenting on some serious issue. He made the trip in just 7 minutes the other day.
It would be one thing is this was a typical August, but August 2014 is anything but. Ferguson MO has been embroiled in race riots, the Middle East is swarming with ISIS, who just beheaded an American, and there’s a shooting war brewing between Ukraine and Russia.
The president is supposed to set the tone. He just doesn’t care about that, or about the country that he’s supposed to lead.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took questions from the media today regarding the mission that the US military mounted to rescue hostages captured by the Islamic State.
Word of that mission leaked after IS terrorists beheaded American journalist James Foley.
Hagel described the mission as “flawless” despite the fact that it failed to rescue any hostages.
CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: As to your question as to whether this was a failure of intelligence. No. The fact is you all know intelligence doesn’t come wrapped in a package with a bow. It is a mosaic of many pictures of many factors. Te enemy always has a say in everything. The fact is, you have to work that reality in to any decision you make, but the underlying objective was to do everything we could as the president has said to rescue these hostages, knowing their lives were in danger, clearly in danger. It’s the responsibility of our government and our leaders to do all we can to take action when we believe there might a good possibility or chance to make a rescue effort successful. This operation, by the way, was a flawless operation but the hostages were not there.
As many pointed out on Twitter, the fact that the terrorists had already moved the hostages is a pretty large flaw in the operation. The intelligence was behind events on the ground.
The Government Accountability Office has handed down its verdict over whether the swap of terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl was legal. The question centers on whether the administration was in the right, legally, when it failed to give Congress 30 days notice that terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay would be released.
The Department of Defense (DOD) violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees. Section 8111 prohibits DOD from using appropriated funds to transfer any individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay unless the Secretary of Defense notifies certain congressional committees at least 30 days before the transfer. As a consequence of using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD also violated the Antideficiency Act.
Open and shut. Where’s the indictment?
Is the political indictment of Gov. Rick Perry already backfiring on Democrat governor hopeful Wendy Davis?
Gov. Perry’s official courthouse portrait immediately became the Mugshot Seen ‘Round the World. Instead of becoming a liability, it became a badge of honor. It will probably be on campaign T-shirts, mugs and shot glasses (the Rick Perry “MugShot” is irresistible) before long.
Perry followed that visit up with a trip for ice cream, sealing the win on what the Democrats hoped would be a terrible day for him and the beginning of the end of the Perry era.
The case itself is already ripping the heart out of what’s left of the Texas Democratic Party. The lead investigator has destroyed, as in burned to the ground and salted the earth, the TDP’s narrative that Perry battled Travis County drunk driving DA Rosemary Lehmberg in order to scuttle an investigation into a Texas anti-cancer agency, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Not true, says Chris Walling, lead investigator on that case. So, that’s done and dusted.
The CPRIT allegations have been swirling for a while. Back in May, Democrat governor hopeful Wendy Davis was trying to tie the CPRIT investigation around the neck of Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republicans’ nominee for governor. The leftwing Texas Observer dutifully transcribed her attack.
On Tuesday, Davis appeared at the Austin Tex-Mex restaurant Juan in a Million to level some of the same criticisms. “Greg Abbott allowed our cancer institute to become a piggy bank and allowed his donors to siphon off millions of tax dollars from cancer patients and from taxpayers,” she told a crowd of supporters. “When Abbott served on the oversight board of our state’s cancer research institute, he wasn’t looking out for cancer patients. He was looking out for his political donors.”
That was an appalling misuse of a fine restaurant and an Austin institution. Juan in a Million has even been featured on Man Vs. Food. Davis is without excuse for using it as a platform for such a scurrilous attack. A reliable witness tells the Tatler that Davis didn’t even eat the restaurant’s world famous fare during the stop. That’s practically a crime by itself.
Abbott, like Perry, was never tied to the CPRIT investigation and was not a target of it. Never. Despite what Davis said.
Now that the indictment has become a fiasco for the Democrats, Wendy Davis is dodging questions about it, reports the Dallas Morning News Trailblazers blog.
Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth and Democratic nominee for governor, even avoided answering a question about Perry’s link to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, an agency embroiled in scandal.
Davis wants some distance now, but it’s too late for that. Perry’s indictment is world news, and even the likes of the New York Times think that it’s bogus. Liberal professor Alan Dershowitz even compared it to show trials in the Soviet Union.
Davis undoubtedly took her cue to launch the CPRIT attack from Matt Angle’s Lone Star Project. He posted a hit piece on CPRIT the day after Davis’ comments at Juan in a Million.
Here’s how this works. Matt Angle is the out-of-state operative who controls the Democrats’ shadow party in Texas. He lives in Washington, operating off of millions of dollars left to him by the late Fred Barron, the Dallas lawyer who helped John Edwards hide his awful behavior.
Let’s push the pause button on politics, to note the decline and fall of what was a great civilization.
Have you seen this show, Dating Naked? It follows similar cable fare such as Discovery’s Naked and Afraid. These shows have “naked” in the title, which is a dead giveaway of what they’re about.
They’re about regular people getting naked for basic cable. Duh. That ought to be clear. It’s censored but still R rated stuff.
Dating Naked is a twist on earlier highbrow fare like Love Connection. Only, the daters are naked together on the first date. And they have a full crew around them shooting every word and every move in every contrived situation. And there are editors who will go over every frame of footage to condense hours of nakedness into a 30-minute show, with the naughty bits blurred out to keep the show’s maturity rating below the Hustler level.
When a person signs on to appear on Dating Naked, they’re taking enormous risks. But those risks are pretty obvious.
For one, a whole lotta people are gonna see you naked. If there’s even one mistake, one innocent error, a whole lot more people are gonna see you naked.
And what if any of the raw footage leaks onto the forever Internet? Game over for whatever might be left of your privacy and dignity.
The risks weren’t obvious to Jessie Nizewitz, 28. Her naughty bits weren’t blurred for a couple of seconds that aired. So she wants an apology, and by the way, millions of dollars. Because of all the hurt it caused her.
Jessie Nizewitz, 28, says she was repeatedly promised by the producers that her private parts would be “blurred out” during the show’s third episode in May.
So she stripped down to her birthday suit with wet beach sand covering parts of her body and performed a WWE-style wrestling move on her date while the producers egged her on, according to the $10 million suit filed in Manhattan by her high- powered lawyer, Matthew Blit.
“I felt lied to, manipulated and used. I was horrified,” Nizewitz told The Post, explaining that she was brought to tears.
When the episode aired on July 31, Nizewitz became the butt of jokes on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr, the papers state.
“…butt of jokes…” We see what you did there, New York Post.
Even the runway model’s family caught an eyeful.
“My grandma saw it. I saw her this week and she didn’t have much to say to me. She’s probably mad. My parents are just annoyed,” Nizewitz lamented.
She says that the seconds of accidental clarity cost her a budding relationship with a boyfriend. Seeing her prancing around butt naked but mostly blurred on national TV — not a problem!
“He never called me again after the show aired. I would have hoped we could have had a long-term relationship. He was employed, Jewish, in his 30s and that’s pretty much ideal,” Nizewitz said.
You know what’s not ideal? Starting off a relationship with a lovely young woman who you really like, only to turn on the TV and see that she’s willing to romp around naked in front of her grandma and your family and everyone else, for a few thousand bucks.
To some people — horrible prudes stuck in the Victorian era, no doubt — that might even be a deal-breaker.
Lead Investigator: Perry Was Not Under Investigation When He Tried to Get Travis County’s Drunk DA to Resign
The Texas Democratic Party and its operatives have tried to build a defense of their indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
According to that narrative, Perry tried to get Lehmberg removed because the Travis County Public Integrity Unit was circling around the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. There were allegations of crony corruption in CPRIT. According to the Democrat narrative, the suspicion of crony corruption had the PIU looking into Perry and several close associates. So, according to this narrative, Perry wanted to push Lehmberg out as Travis County district attorney, so he could appoint her successor and get that investigation killed off.
The Austin American-Statesman, no friend of Gov. Perry, already shattered that narrative earlier this week. The timeline of the CPRIT investigation does not match the timeline of Perry’s effort to rid Travis County of its drunk-driving, abusive DA.
Now one of the Travis County DA’s investigators has given a sworn statement in the case that ought to kill the Democrats’ narrative with fire.
Chris Walling was a criminal investigator with the Public Integrity Unit. Not only that, he was the primary investigator who was looking into the CPRIT case.
Walling submitted an affidavit on Wednesday, and in that affidavit he says:
“At no time in CPRIT investigation was Governor Rick Perry or anyone from the Governor’s office a target. At no time did I ever obtain evidence that suggested any wrongdoing on behalf of Governor Rick Perry or the Governor’s office. At no time did the evidence that I obtained as investigator ever suggest any wrongdoing on the part of any appointed Board Member of CPRIT. Any suggestion that Governor Rick Perry or anyone associated with him was being investigated is untrue; and, based on my investigation, there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever that suggests wrongdoing on the part of any individual other than the individual ultimately indicted by a grand jury.”
It’s obvious, but probably worth clarifying anyway, that Walling is not referring to the indictment of Perry there. He is referring to the lone indictment of a staffer in the CPRIT case.
Walling’s statement not only destroys the Democrats’ partisan narrative of the case, it destroys the indictment of Perry itself.
Walling’s affidavit addresses what he told the special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, about CPRIT.
“Special prosecutor Michael McCrum contacted me to interview me about the CPRIT investigation. During the interview, Mr. McCrum questioned me about Governor Rick Perry’s potential involvement in the CPRIT situation. I made it clear to him that there was absolutely no evidence even suggesting wrongdoing on the part of Governor Perry and in no uncertain terms that, after a lengthy investigation, no evidence was found to suggest wrong doing on the part of the Governor, the Governor’s office, nor any Board Member of CPRIT.”
Walling also says that he did not have any active investigation during or after the veto of PIU that targeted Gov. Perry or anyone from his office.
Walling’s affidavit raises a huge question: Did McCrum take his testimony to the grand jury? Did the grand jury ever hear this obviously exculpatory testimony?
Early on in the latest Israel-Hamas war, which was started by the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, many on the medialeft tried their best to exonerate Hamas of that crime.
Hamas itself has now debunked that.
“There was much speculation about this operation, some said it was a conspiracy,” [senior Hamas leader] Saleh al-Arouri told delegates at the International Union of Islamic Scholars in Istanbul on Wednesday, according to a recording of the meeting posted online by organizers.
“The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Qassam Brigades in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron,” he said, referring to Hamas’s armed wing.
“This was an operation from your brothers in Qassam undertaken to aid their brothers on hunger strike in (Israeli) prisons,” he added.
Jewish seminary students Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, were abducted while hitchhiking in the Israeli occupied West Bank on June 12 and killed.
So they did it. Case closed.
USA Today reports on AG Eric Holder’s trip to Ferguson, MO. Holder offered comments that, like Gov. Jay Nixon’s comments calling for a “vigorous prosecution” before there has even been an investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown, will probably end up inflaming rather than calming.
“I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man,” Holder told Ferguson residents at a community meeting. “I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. … ‘Let me search your car’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.”
As the attorney general, Holder is supposed to set aside his own prejudices and biases and act solely based on evidence and the law. But as attorney general, Eric Holder has shown a stubbornness and a bitterness over the years that have contributed to his politicization of the entire Justice Department.
“The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now,” Holder told a group of community leaders assembled at a local community college. “The world is watching because the issues raised by the shooting of Michael Brown predate this incident. This is something that has a history to it, and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.”
What about this case? What about the robbery that Brown did before the shooting? What about how that may have impacted his state of mind when Officer Wilson approached him? What about the reports that Brown attacked Officer Wilson?
What about the facts of this case?
Bringing evidence and prejudice — there’s that word again — from other cases will not stand up in a fair trail in a court of law. But it doesn’t sound like Eric Holder is interested in a fair trial.
Democrats even in Texas hate guns, and they really really hate Rick Perry, so the malicious indictment of him is a win-win. Anyone under felony indictment is deprived of certain gun rights, and that now includes the governor of Texas.
As an indictee, Perry’s state-issued Concealed Handgun License, assuming he still has one — his office didn’t know as of Tuesday afternoon — will be suspended until the case against him is decided. (Cue the cheering coyotes.)
The indictment’s impact on Perry’s gun rights was brought to my attention by a former Democratic state legislator who seemed happy to point it out.
“I’m surprised that you haven’t analyzed the most significant and immediate impact of the governor’s indictment,” ex-state Sen. Steve Carriker, D-Roby, told me in an email including the applicable federal law.
Carriker also was most helpful in providing the official federal “Firearms Transaction Record Part 1” form, which must be filled in by firearms purchasers. Question 11b asks “Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year?” (An information is a formal accusation of a crime by a prosecutor.)
For Perry that’s now a big ol’ yes. And yes means no new guns or ammo.
Gov. Perry is a victim of this prosecution but he isn’t exactly defenseless here. He has state-provided body guards most of the time. He does like to jog on his own, though, and can no longer carry the gun that commemorates his duel with a coyote. I once ran into him ambling about by himself at a little function in downtown Austin, no bodyguards to be seen anywhere. He just walked in as if he were an average guy. But I never doubted that he was packing. You can always count on him, Jerry Patterson and, well, most other prominent Texas Republicans to have their CCL up to date and in use.
You can see from the tone of the Austin American-Statesman story above, and the comments within it, that some in the media and the Texas Democrats are happy about depriving the governor of his rights. They like it.
Don’t think they would be any less happy about depriving you of yours, if you happen to disagree with them. The Democrats would indict every single Republican in the entire state if they thought they could get away with it.
Secretary of State John Kerry offered remarks in reaction to the Islamic State’s murder of American journalist James Foley today. The State Department tweeted the highlights.
ISIL must be destroyed/will be crushed.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) August 20, 2014
For the record, yes, IS/ISIS/ISIL should be crushed. Tellingly, neither Kerry nor President Obama has offered a plan and they are not gathering a coalition of the willing to get the job done. Obama went back to golf this afternoon.
Crushing IS would be right. But it’s not a proportional response to the murder of one American.
Hamas routinely kidnaps Israeli citizens, murders them and leaves their bodies by the side of the road. Hamas launches rockets into Israel with the purpose of killing Israelis and creating the feeling of dread and terror among them.
The international community, of which Kerry and Obama are members in good standing, always calls on Israel to respond “proportionally” to Hamas terrorism and rocket attacks.
Responding proportionally to terrorism is…what, exactly? So far, it’s destroying tunnels and perhaps airstriking a few terrorist leaders, but the group itself is left intact enough to come back and wage terror war another day. It’s not effective in getting rid of the problem of terrorism.
In fact, if we take “proportional’ literally, Israel should respond to Hamas by kidnapping innocent Palestinians and by launching random bombs on houses, schools and hospitals in Gaza. But that’s not what the “international community” means.
No one in the “international community” is calling on the United States to respond to IS beheading an American “proportionally.” At least not yet.
Why not? Hm.
Doesn't sound like a proportional response. Or is that standard only for The JooooZ? RT @JohnKerry ISIL must be destroyed/will be crushed.
— John Nolte (@NolteNC) August 20, 2014
Is this Fox report “selective release of sensitive information,” as AG Eric Holder says, or is it a case of the Ferguson PD moving information out to explain more of what happened when Officer Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown?
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture, and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told FoxNews.com.
“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”
According to the well-placed source, Wilson was coming off another case in the neighborhood on Aug. 9 when he ordered Michael Brown and his friend Dorain Johnson to stop walking in the middle of the road because they were obstructing traffic. However, the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence, the source said..
“They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car to tell them to move,” the source said. “They shoved him right back in, that’s when Michael Brown leans in and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face.
Look, the PD has motivation to defend its officer — especially with MO Gov. Jay Nixon (D) irresponsibly calling for the officer’s “vigorous prosecution” without apparently knowing any more about the case than anyone else does. Nixon, a lawyer, surely knows that the correct word to use there was “investigation,” not “prosecution.” One follows the other, if the evidence warrants it.
But this does line up with the bit about Wilson grabbing Brown’s throat. Brown was too tall for a seated officer in the squad car to grab his throat. But if Brown was outside the car attacking Wilson through the window inside the car, then he would have been bent over at some point, and Wilson may have grabbed his throat in the course of the altercation.
Needless to say, if Officer Wilson sustained these severe injuries, then Brown wasn’t the angel that many portrayed him as in the early days after his death. He had robbed a store — we know that for a fact — and that robbery may have had gang and drug ties.
The source claims that there is “solid proof” that there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm, resulting in the gun going off – although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger. Brown started to walk away according to the account, prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze. Brown, the source said, raised his hands in the air, and turned around saying, “What, you’re going to shoot me?”
At that point, the source told FoxNews.com, the 6 foot, 4 inch, 292-pound Brown charged Wilson, prompting the officer to fire at least six shots at him, including the fatal bullet that penetrated the top of Brown’s skull, according to an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Brown’s family.
Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket in the fracas, and was left dazed by the initial confrontation, the source said. He is now “traumatized, scared for his life and his family, injured and terrified” that a grand jury, which began hearing evidence on Wednesday, will “make some kind of example out of him,” the source said.
With Eric Holder in town now and Gov. Nixon circling as well, with the Justice Brothers making their demands and the media in a full tornado frenzy, that is the way to bet.
h/t Right Scoop