Immigration rights groups in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday accused Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of overstepping his bounds as a local official by using anti-identity theft laws to target undocumented immigrants in workplace raids.
Puente Arizona, an immigrant rights groups, filed the lawsuit in federal court, along with two women who were arrested by Arpaio’s deputies last year and a local minister who contends the sheriff is squandering his tax dollars by conducting the operations.
The lawsuit represents the latest challenge by advocates for immigrants against Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County who bills himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and has become a divisive figure in the national immigration debate.
Arpaio is the only local law enforcement official in Arizona enforcing state laws that make it illegal for a person to use information belonging to someone else, such as a Social Security number, to obtain employment, said Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which is one of the groups representing the plaintiffs.
The illegal immigration “debate” has so many upside down components that it is almost a full time job cataloging them. The most glaring, however, are the push by eager-to-pander politicians on both sides of the aisle to remove the word “illegal” from all discussions and calm entertaining by so many of the idea that enforcing laws on the books is a bad thing.
Arpaio is eccentric and a little goofy at times but what he’s doing here is a little something called…his job.
If I stole somebody’s Social Security number and used it for any kind of gain these “rights” groups would be the first to scream for me to be arrested. Now they want people whose very presence here is illegal to be able to continue to break the law with impunity.
At least their disregard for the rule of law is consistent.
Libya condemned the United States on Wednesday for snatching a man suspected of masterminding the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, describing the arrest as a violation of Libyan sovereignty.
President Barack Obama authorized Sunday’s operation in which U.S. special forces captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah in Libya for transfer to the United States.
The action is very sensitive for the weak Libyan government which is under pressure from various militias, Islamists and armed tribesmen who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 but defy state authority in the vast desert country.
In the first official reaction from Tripoli, Justice Minister Saleh al-Marghani said Khatallah should be returned to Libya and tried there.
“We had no prior notification,” Marghani told a news conference. “We expect the world to help us with security. We expected the United States to help us, but we did not expect the United States to upset the political scene.”
He said Khatallah had been wanted by Libyan authorities for questioning but they had been unable to arrest him due to the security situation.
Diplomats say Libya has done next to nothing to make arrests over the 2012 consulate attack in which four Americans died, as the government has little sway in Libya’s second-largest city.
Hey, whaddya know-the people in charge here have done next to nothing too! In fact, had there not been yet another doozy of a scandal (it’s like this administration has a vending machine dispensing them now) to deflect attention away from, this arrest probably wouldn’t have happened.
Honestly, after the last few years it is practically impossible to keep up with which regime in various countries in the Middle East we are supposed to play nice with on any given day. If it’s that difficult for those of us who keep up with the news, imagine who hard it is for President Obama.
When this happened last week, there was a lot of talk about court challenges to the ruling.
But this is California, where the teachers’ unions so thoroughly and completely own the progressive whack-jobs in Sacramento that they can make them dance at will.
A union-backed bill in the California legislature would expand tenure protections for public school teachers to include other employees, despite a court ruling last week that the practice is unconstitutional and hurts students.
The measure comes as officials in the most populous U.S. state continue to wrestle with whether to appeal the ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, which overturned five laws meant to protect teachers’ jobs, saying the protections make it too hard to fire ineffective teachers and inadvertently lead to placing the worst teachers at schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
“The issue remains that there are a number of teachers, nurses, counselors – folks who take care of kids every single day – who don’t have basic protections,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s author. “So while we may have a future compromise or fight over the dismissal process, this about having some basic protections.”
Her bill, which passed the Assembly and was set for a vote Wednesday in the Senate’s education committee, would require small school districts to grant tenure to credentialed teachers after three years on the job. Districts with fewer than 250 students are not currently required to grant tenure. It also would require all districts to grant tenure to vocational education teachers, nurses, psychologists and counselors after three years.
Only in the diseased minds of public employee union loons is guaranteed employment after three years a “basic protection.” And there will be no “future fight over the dismissal process,” because these tenure laws which shouldn’t even exist below the university level are all about making teachers as close to unfireable (if it’s not a word, it is now) as possible.
These are the same teachers’ unions who kept this pervert in a job for so long it has cost his school district $30 million in lawsuit settlements so far. But it’s just the taxpayers’ money, so they’re not worried.
Crush the public employee unions. It’s the only way to completely get rid of the infestation.
It's only a matter of time until Daniel Snyder is forced to do the right thing and change the name.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 18, 2014
Given the quickness of his response, it’s obvious he’s rather gleeful about all of that government force, which I’m sure he plans more of in the near future.
(h/t Blazing Cat Fur)
The Vancouver school board has voted to enact new guidelines and practices to support transgender students in schools.
Amid a deeply divided audience, trustees voted 7-2 Monday night in favour of the controversial amendments, with former NPA trustees Ken Denike and Sophia Woo in opposition.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” Denike told reporters after the vote, saying the process was compromised by a lack of consultation with some parents, particularly those who did not speak English.
Denike stressed his opposition did not stem from homophobia, noting he and Woo supported the original 2004 policy supporting LGBTQ students in schools.
The new amendments laid out details on how schools can improve inclusivity for students who identify as gender-variant or transgender.
The policy allows transgender students to be addressed by the name that corresponds with their own gender identity and allows them to use washrooms of their choice or, in sex-segregated activities such as physical education, to be included in the group in which they identify.
There is a vast difference between being tolerant and barking, “Inclusive!” as part of some ill-informed indoctrination. Strangely enough, I talked about this earlier today before I even read about this as a guest on this week’s Trifecta on PJTV. You will have to watch to see my less-than-charitable response to see how I would have handled this situation had it ever come up when my daughter was in grade school.
Canada has become a country that lives in perpetual fear of its Thought Police, even more so than what we are experiencing here.
But that fear WILL migrate south soon if we don’t push back.
Bottom line on this one: your school-aged children shouldn’t have to literally be exposed to the genitalia of the opposite sex in a school bathroom. How many kids are going to feel extremely uncomfortable about going to the restroom because the PC idiots have an overwhelming lust to pretend the smallest fractions of society are mainstream?
And what are the odds that this overreaching accommodation will actually create backlash, as so many misbegotten feel-good policies like this do?
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has renewed calls for pension reform as state lawmakers consider how to close a budget gap with just two weeks until the start of the new fiscal year.
The state is facing a shortfall of at least $1.5 billion for Corbett’s proposed $29.4 billion budget for fiscal 2015, according to some estimates. Pennsylvania has about $50 billion of unfunded long-term pension liabilities.
“We need you to act and we need you to act now,” Corbett said during a televised news conference on Tuesday.
Last year, Corbett introduced a bill that would have scaled back increases in pension contributions from the state and Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Republican governor estimated that could have saved $175 million in fiscal 2014 and helped ease budget pressures.
But that would also have widened the gap. To offset those reduced contributions, his previous plan would have cut future benefits for current employees – something likely to be challenged in court – and moved new hires to a 401(k)-style plan.
Weird how all of the states suffering this way are big union states, huh?
Of course it will be challenged in court, Big Labor bleeds its members and (in the case of public unions) the taxpayers dry and can afford to fire an unending supply of legal salvos.
The problem is really the unions themselves, and that is what is going to have to be fought out in court one day in the states that aren’t bright enough to go the Scott Walker route and fix things.
The U.S. Senate’s chief tax law writer on Tuesday vowed to work on overhauling the federal tax code by August 2015, citing a move by Medtronic Inc to shift its tax home base to Ireland as a spur to congressional action.
Senator Ron Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he wants to cut the corporate income tax rate to 24 percent from 35 percent, chiefly by eliminating loopholes. Wyden has advocated this proposal for years. Multinational companies have been clamoring for a tax cut.
The Oregon Democrat said there will be an opening for tax reform between now and Congress’ August 2015 break. After that, lawmakers will be consumed by 2016 presidential election-campaign politics, he said.
“There is a prime 15-month window from now until the August recess of 2015,” he said at a Wall Street Journal conference.
“We do need to go after some of these loopholes,” Wyden said. “You go in there, clean those out, and use the money to hold down the rates.”
Wyden is one of the few lawmakers in the U.S. Congress to have a comprehensive plan for rewriting the tax code. He first offered it as legislation in 2010. Congress has not thoroughly recrafted the loophole-riddled tax code since 1986.
I’m so old I remember when this kind of thing was a real priority for Republicans. They’re paying it some lip-service this year but it’s difficult to take the Debt Ceiling Punters seriously when it comes to anything having to with real fiscal responsibility.
Hey, if a Democrat can get the ball rolling maybe, just maybe, the Republicans can keep it going if they take back the Senate.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he was confident relations with Brazil were on the road to recovery after he assured President Dilma Rousseff that Washington has changed the way it conducts electronic surveillance.
U.S.-Brazil relations have been largely on ice since documents leaked last year by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed that Washington had spied on Rousseff and other world leaders.
A day after watching the U.S. soccer team’s victorious debut in the World Cup in the northeastern Brazilian city of Natal, Biden traveled to the capital to meet with Rousseff in hopes of turning the page on the espionage spat.
Biden said he and Rousseff had a “candid” talk about the episode and Internet surveillance, and that he was “confident” the hour-long discussion would help thaw relations between the hemisphere’s two biggest economies.
True, there is some work to be done here despite the fact that we were told the whole world would love us if we just elected The Lightbringer to bathe the planet in soothing words and hugs. I’m not sure any sober person is comforted by the words, “Biden’s on it,” though.
Sheriff’s detectives in rural northeast Ohio have made the county’s biggest drug seizure ever as part of an investigation that could have ties to Mexican drug cartels.
Investigators in Geauga County, east of Cleveland, raided a home in a secluded neighborhood in Newbury Township last week and seized 6 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 2.2 pounds of black tar heroin, 100 pounds of marijuana and $128,000 in cash.
A sheriff’s department official says deputies arrested four people and that a number of loaded firearms were found during the raid. The official says it’s possible the ring had ties to Mexican drug cartels.
The official says it appears that some of the home’s occupants made regular trips back and forth to California.
Worry not, kids, Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep says this kind of stuff bolsters the economy.
The Democrats’ push for the horribly misnamed “immigration reform” is built entirely upon pretending that the violent drug cartel component of the ILLEGAL immigrant problem doesn’t exist. Their fairy tale says that the only people streaming across the border are plucky types who just want to make a living and the children.
This is the kind of problem that used to be unique to border states but has been allowed to expand and move because we have practically made it illegal to enforce immigration laws.
They arrived in various states of blond, portly and pinstriped to the basement audition suites of the Second City training centre.
At least 40 candidates for Toronto’s next top mayor, the fictional variety, auditioned for a role in the upcoming production Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of a Ford Nation, which is slated to have a two-week run in September.
The casting call attracted serious actors, neophytes, fans of the Rob Ford spectacle and even one man who briefly played a part in the ongoing, non-fiction version of the political drama as it began to play out last year.
If this guy were an American he would either have been born a Kennedy or they would have adopted him by now.
Republican Senator John McCain on Monday said he was concerned by recent revelations of U.S. government-industry “cronyism” in developing Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet, and said the $398.6 billion program still had “major problems.”
McCain, a key member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he had long been troubled by the Pentagon’s payment of 85-percent or higher award fees to Lockheed on the F-35 program despite cost increases and schedule delays, adding the background to those decisions was “disturbing.”
Former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last month said the Pentagon’s F-35 program manager told him he had kept the fees high because he liked the Lockheed executive in charge, and the company official had said he would be fired if the fees fell below 85 percent.
The schedule delayed, high cost jet is one of the planes replacing ground troops’ favorite, the A-10.
Ironically, one of the main selling points for the new jet is efficiency and cost. OK, that’s not really ironic when the federal bureaucracy is involved, it’s pretty much business as usual.
There is an outside chance McCain is finally coming to the defense of his constituents, many of whom have claimed he’s been absent on this backyard issue. The A-10s are the primary reason Davis-Monthan AFB is still in business in my hometown and there is a lot of worry that their demise could spell doom for the base.
A New York lawmaker wants to grant many of the rights of citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants and non-citizen residents, including the right to vote in local and state elections, under a bill introduced on Monday.
The New York Is Home Act is the first bill in the United States that would provide such broad rights to non-citizens who can show they have lived and paid taxes in New York for at least three years, according to the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Gustavo Rivera.
“Nearly 3 million people in the state of New York currently reside here and make New York their home, but can’t fully participate in civic, political, and economic life,” Rivera, a Democrat who represents the Bronx in New York City, said in a telephone interview.
He described the bill as a response to the stagnation of immigration reform efforts in the U.S. Congress.
The “stagnation” exists because most efforts at “reform” are just veiled attempts to do exactly what this bill aims to do: make something that is illegal for a good reason legal just to mint new voters.
Since the national efforts keep stalling (for now) look for more of these state efforts and look for them to be this brazen.
California lawmakers approved a $156.4 billion budget on Sunday, sending the plan that includes funding for a controversial high-speed rail project and preschool education for low-income children to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to be signed.
The state Senate voted 25-11 two hours after the Assembly approved the spending plan, a compromise deal that sets aside money for a so-called rainy day fund in line with Brown’s vision of fiscal restraint.
“This budget is not perfect, but after a very dark time, we are stepping out into the light,” said Senator Mark Leno during floor deliberations.
The vote followed months of political wrangling among Democrats seeking to restore spending on social programs cut during the recession.
The train is not a “social program” in any twist of even the most diseased imagination. It is pure folly (note: I am not opposed to privately funded high speed rail). Jerry Brown occasionally does things that indicate he might be a moderate Democrat, then he goes right back to his magic money choo-choo toy. He’s like a college kid who has a few extra bucks in his pocket for the first time since he got to school and just can’t wait until he gets to blow it.
This state has a few extra cents rattling around in the coin jar at the moment but is still facing crippling unfunded liabilities because of its ridiculous public employee guaranteed benefits. Let someone else pay for Moonbeam’s basement toys.
The media message to Clinton was clear last week: You can’t lose your cool when dealing with the press. You can’t try to intimidate reporters. And you certainly can’t try to bluster them off tough questions. Those are the guidelines established for Clinton if she plans to run to become the country’s first woman president.
Who is allowed to do all those things? Chris Christie, for one.
Prior to the eruption of his lane-closing controversy in January, the Republican governor of New Jersey and presidential hopeful had spent four years basking in the Beltway media glow specifically because of his eagerness to unleash combative, insulting bromides, including some against the press. It showed he was authentic!
This attempt that has been going on for several months to make it seem as if the media is unfair to Her Madameship is going to be fun to watch. Few people not named “Barack Obama” have been as coddled by the media as Mrs. Clinton. The very people who pretend she is a feminist icon all the while ignoring that she’s in this position thanks to the men in her life are saying that some among their ranks are unfair to her.
Cute, but no.
A federal judge in Nevada has ordered a competency evaluation for a woman charged with throwing a shoe at former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during an April speaking appearance in Las Vegas, according to court papers released on Thursday.
Alison Michelle Ernst is accused of getting past security at an event at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel where Clinton was speaking and hurling a soccer shoe and several papers at Clinton from the audience.
A video of the incident posted on the website of CBS News shows Clinton ducking as a shoe flies over her head.
“Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil?” Clinton said. “Thank Goodness she didn’t play softball like I did.”
Softball, huh? You don’t say…
Anyway, back to the competency thing: I’m tired of its overuse. She got past security. Crazy people rarely get past breakfast in a functional manner. The fact that your crime was juvenile and stupid doesn’t make you crazy, it makes you an idiot. A criminal idiot.
After reaching Merced on Wednesday, activists marching from Los Angeles to Sacramento to oppose “big money corruption” in political campaigns are scheduled to arrive in Turlock on Friday and then walk into Modesto on Saturday.
About two dozen marchers held signs and waved flags as part of the “480-mile March for Democracy,” a trek organized by 99Rise, a group “sick of seeing (American) democracy serve only the interests of the 1 percent,” according to its website.
Marchers oppose recent Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United v FEC that removed limits on campaign donations. “It made the problem of money in politics much, much worse,” said Kai Newkirk, co-founder of 99Rise.
Allowing corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money gives them an uneven say in politics, he said, and flies in the face of the principal “one person, one vote.”
In a post from earlier today, I only semi-jokingly mentioned the eventual return of the Occupy commies. In reality, they’ve never gone away. It was always an astroturfed “movement” and there are pockets of it being kept active until the puppet masters need a bigger reboot (2016, maybe?).
The talking points are scripted, predictable, and full of more manure than a five acre lawn on fertilization day. In California, “big money” actually means the California Teachers Association, a vile, deep pocketed group that has been gleefully trying to send the state’s economy to Third World status for decades. It is an absolute joke to pretend that some nefarious corporation is signing checks willy-nilly and exerting more influence than the CTA. Yes, there are many public employee unions participating in the active destruction of the Golden State, but it is the CTA that makes them all dance.
Keep on marching, you well-trained chimps. Don’t call when you find that the unions don’t care about you either.
You’ll be JIDDY after seeing this! (h/t The Truth Revolt)
Two outsize egos are sparring over a Chicago landmark, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel complaining that Donald Trump has put an “architecturally tasteless” sign on the city’s second-tallest building – a display of giant letters spelling out the real estate tycoon’s name.
“Mayor Emanuel believes this is an architecturally tasteful building scarred by an architecturally tasteless sign,” spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said on Thursday.
Trump is installing the 20-foot-high (6-meter-high) letters on the 96-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in the nation’s third-largest city. The sign was nearly complete Thursday afternoon.
When two blowhards such as these go after each other I always root for…ok, I don’t root for either. I just get popcorn and hope they wear each other out.
In humans the ‘eureka moment’ is a commonly known feeling that occurs when we solve a particularly troubling problem.
But new research suggests that we’re not the only animals to experience this – dogs, too, gain pleasure from solving a tricky task.
In a series of experiments, scientists found dogs were happier when they earned a reward by performing a task, rather than just being handed a treat.
Ah, the satisfaction of a well-earned reward.
Here is an idea: the next time the Occupy kids want to show up for another stink-in (it’ll happen) or some spoiled brats don masks for a violent protest against a G20 meeting, sick some dogs on them.
Then give the dogs the treats they earn after taking care of the whiners.
Google’s ambitions to connect the world is set to launch into the stratosphere. Satellite builder Skybox Imaging announced Tuesday that the search giant, map maker and Project Loon creator has agreed to an acquisition deal worth $500 million. The deal hasn’t closed yet, so additional details are scarce at this point.
OK, I know that privacy is largely an illusion these days, as long as I want to use a smart phone, anyway. Still, there’s something about Google building its own satellites that makes my love/hate relationship with it a smidge more hate-y.
Odds are on the NSA being the first to call and congratulate when the deal closes.
Senators emerged from a classified, closed-door briefing on the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Tuesday seemingly less convinced than ever about the wisdom of swapping five high-level Taliban prisoners for the Army soldier after he spent years in captivity.
At the session, senior Defense Department and military officials briefed members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, again presenting a united front in their support of the prisoner exchange, said Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the committee’s chairman.
But they appeared to make little headway in defusing the festering political controversy that has again pitted the administration against Republicans — and some Democrats — who question President Obama’s judgment on national security.
Eternal hack Carl Levin defended Team Lightbringer but there wasn’t unanimous support from the other Democrats on the committee.
But even some fellow Democrats would not join in the defense.
“Was it a good deal or a bad deal?” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia. “In my mind it’s still a bad deal. I still can’t explain it back home to my fellow West Virginians why these five who they’ve tried repeatedly to get some exchange for over the last 10 years, why these five all of the sudden all were released.”
It’s gotten so bad for the administration that the lefty blogs have stopped calling the outrage over the swap “political” and “partisan” this week.
There has been a lot of speculation about what the president has to do to make this go away. My money is on a brand new scandal to deflect from this scandal, which came about to deflect from the last scandal.
A top Iranian defense official’s claim that a U.S. military base in the Indian Ocean is now within missile range served both as a threat to American interests and a revelation that, if true, Tehran has doubled its striking distance.
“In the event of an irrational attack by the U.S., America’s military bases will not be safe from our missiles, whether in Bahrain or at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean,” the senior official, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) adviser Mojtaba Zonnour, was quoted as saying to Iran’s “Defa Moghadas,” or Holy Defense.
Is it just me, or does “Hope and Change” seem to be working out far better for the Iranians than anyone else? While The Idiot King tiptoed around these psychopaths and the press pretended that Iran’s new leader is “moderate” they’ve just continued to become more dangerous. Oh, it’s not so bad if you just pretend they have decent intentions, which seems to be the administration’s plan. Those of us here in a reality-based existence, however, know that this story can’t end well as it is currently being written.
Maybe it’s time for the administration to bust out a hashtag on Twitter to show Iran it is serious.
The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee defeated an amendment to a defense spending bill on Tuesday that would have preserved funding for the U.S. fleet of A-10 “Warthog” aircraft.
The Pentagon, facing budget cuts, decided to eliminate all 283 of the tank-killer jets, saying it would save $3.7 billion over the next five years plus another $500 million in planned aircraft upgrades.
The committee voted 23-13 against the amendment to the annual appropriations bill, which was introduced by U.S. Representative Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican.
While busy funding God knows what else with taxpayer money, the detached loons on Capitol Hill are ignoring the people who lay everything on the line to preserve our freedom:
The 40-year-old, slow-flying Warthog is enormously popular among soldiers and Marines. The heavily armored aircraft can withstand ground fire while loitering for long periods above a battlefield spraying 30mm armor-piercing, depleted-uranium cannon rounds at tanks and other targets.
My good friend and Desert Storm vet Col. Kurt Schlichter summed up this insanity succinctly in a recent Memorial Day post:
The Taliban hates the A-10 with a cold fury. You can’t get higher praise. Naturally, the geniuses in Washington want to get rid of it and replace it with zillion dollar supersonic jets that are utterly unsuited for the job of frontline air support. Why? They claim we just can’t afford the plane we already have.
So, when some lieutenant is in contact out in the field, and the jihadi swarms are advancing to overrun his platoon, we can just tell him that we had many, many more important things to spend our money on besides ensuring that he and his troopers aren’t massacred.
But student loans or something, right Washington?
Normandy veteran Bernard Jordan, who staged his “great escape” from his nursing home to attend the 70th anniversary celebrations of D-Day in France, could be honoured with the freedom of his home city.
Mayor of Brighton and Hove Brian Fitch is proposing that the city council grants the accolade – which has previously been given to a select few including First World War hero Henry Allingham, Olympic champion Steve Ovett and Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi – to the 89-year-old.
He will be writing to the local authority’s chief executive Penny Thompson and a special council meeting could be held next month to agree the proposal.
Mr Fitch said: “The fact that he wanted to go to the 70th anniversary of D-Day and couldn’t get on the official party and was determined to make his own way shows the sort of spirit many people had when they were part of D-Day which was to help liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.
“And at the age of 89 he hasn’t lost any of that spirit and I think he has been an inspiration to all ages.”
This guy and the 93 year old who parachuted onto Utah Beach to commemorate the anniversary show that they aren’t really the “take no for an answer” types.
With so few of the Greatest Generation left, we should be honoring them every chance we get.
Two more Smart cars were tipped overnight in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks and Cole Valley neighborhoods, according to police.
The latest tippings of the small two-seat cars were reported at 3:41 a.m. at Clayton Street and Parnassus Avenue and at 5:38 a.m. in the 1300 block of Clayton Street, near 17th Street, according to police.
These incident follow a series of tippings reported about two months ago.
Three Smart cars were tipped early one morning in April within a 10-block radius near Bernal Heights.
The prank is considered felony vandalism, according to police.
“Felony vandalism” seems a bit arbitrary. If graffiti is now “street art” couldn’t Smart Car tipping be considered “street sculpture”?
Off to work on my business proposal for my new Smart Car anchor manufacturing company…
Bit of a change from the usual scumbag fare in Windy City politics.
It’s the kind of political corruption allegation that makes even hardened Chicagoans roll their eyes and exhale a heavy sigh that says, “here we go again.”
A state representative is caught on tape secretly meeting with a shady character, pocketing an envelope full of cash. The politician in question laughingly refers to the $7,000 alleged bribe as “cheddar,” as he talks about being paid off in a way that won’t come back on him.
Just another day of greedy graft in a state that’s put two former governors from both parties behind bars for corruption in the span of less than a decade?
As a Chicago jury deliberates the fate of Chicago Democratic State Rep. Derrick Smith on federal bribery and extortion charges, this time around it might not be as clear cut as it first appeared. Defense attorneys and some legal observers have raised questions about the FBI’s tactics and whether Smith was pushed so hard into taking the bribe that it amounted to entrapped.
Federal prosecutor Marsha McLellan, in her closing argument today, told jurors that Smith, 50, “took advantage of his office to put cash in his pockets.”
The government alleges he took the bribe from a felon-turned-government-informant identified in court only as “Pete.” In exchange, Smith was to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of a day care center operator in his district who was seeking a state grant.
The day care facility was real but the $50,000 grant wasn’t. It was concocted by the feds after the informant, who has a long criminal record and had been a low-level but trusted aide working on Smith’s campaign, claimed he could convince the then-freshman state representative to take a bribe.
The undercover recordings show Smith was extremely reluctant at first to take cash from the informant, and that he resisted and rebuffed “Pete’s” attempts to bribe him several times.
So the defense is, “But hey, he REALLY didn’t want to!”
But then he did.
We are headed down this same relativistic path with our bureaucratic goons at the federal level. Chicago just provides a kind of training manual.
Ongoing tensions over how to handle social inequality in San Francisco sparked an a rare outburst among venture capitalists Monday.
Facebook Inc executive-turned-venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya called for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to resign due to a “very stupid city government,” spurring fellow venture capitalist Ron Conway to jump to his feet and start yelling.
“How dare you!” shouted Conway from the rear of the auditorium at the end of a discussion on inequality at Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing conference, held at an exclusive resort just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
The city’s role in bolstering technology, including giving tax breaks to Twitter Inc and other companies, has come under fire in recent months as complaints rise about income inequality. Many city residents blame a growing wealth gap on large technology industry salaries.
That the biggest collection of shiftless hippies in America is mad that some of their neighbors have ridden hard work and the tech boom to wealth is so dripping with schadenfreude that it’s almost better than Netflix.
It is, however, disgusting that the press keeps reporting their complaints as if they are valid. This nonsense deserves nothing but nonstop mocking.
In some cities, ridesharing services like Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber are just starting to take hold. But in San Francisco, they’re already clobbering the taxi industry. The president of DeSoto Cab Co., one of the biggest cab companies in the city, said in a recent interview that he would be surprised if San Francisco’s cab industry survives another 18 months.
The warning was published in a San Francisco Examiner article about the retirement of Chris Hayashi, the head of SF’s taxi industry. She said an interview with the Examiner that she’s retiring because she’s ready and not because “Travis [Kalanick, founder and CEO of Uber] has kicked my ass.”
If the cab companies want to remain viable, they need to stop the heavy-handed approach and adapt to their new competitors. It is already happening in some cities (including here in Los Angeles), where cab companies have partnered with an app that mimics Uber’s.
Los Angeles tried to shut down the alternative services and it didn’t work. Uber and Lyft are presently ignoring the state of Virginia’s order.
If you don’t want to get run over, do your job better. Welcome to capitalism.
An 89-year-old WW2 veteran disappeared from his nursing home without saying where he was going and went to France for the D-Day commemorations.
The former mayor of Hove, Bernard Jordan, left the home at 10:30 BST on Thursday, and was reported missing to Sussex Police that evening.
Staff later discovered he had joined other veterans in France and was safe and well at a hotel in Ouistreham.
Later it emerged that Mr Jordan was on a ferry back to the UK.
There is just a level of badassedness to these WWII guys that we are never going to see again. They are all very old now but the men who stopped Hitler aren’t going to let age stop them.
May God bless all of them.
Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson warned VA administrators on Friday that intimidation or retaliation against anyone who calls attention to problems within the veterans’ health system will not be tolerated.
Federal investigators are examining allegations that VA supervisors retaliated against 37 employees who filed “whistleblower” complaints. It included some who complained about improper scheduling practices at the heart of a growing scandal within the VA system.
At a news conference Friday after a visit to a San Antonio VA facility, Gibson said the department will follow laws that forbid whistleblower retaliation.
He said employees of any organization need to feel they can speak out and Gibson warned against anything that would create a climate that would stifle that source. “I think that is wrong. It is absolutely unacceptable.” Gibson said.
Laws protecting those who would expose corruption in the federal bureaucracy are in place because there is just so much of it to expose. Sadly, the bureaucratic ethos is all about job preservation, consequences be damned.
Quickly identifying and firing those accused of retaliating would be a good place to start to show they’re taking this seriously.
North Korea said Friday it had detained a US tourist for “hostile activities” after he reportedly left a bible at a hotel, bringing to three the number of Americans held by the reclusive regime including missionary Kenneth Bae.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a brief report that Jeffrey Edward Fowle was being questioned by authorities after violating visa regulations.
“US citizen in custody for committing anti-DPRK (North Korea) hostile activities”, KCNA said in its headline accompanying the story.
The United States confirmed the arrest, although State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said she could not name the detainee for privacy reasons.
The world knows we have a weak, befuddled president and a secretary of state with an IQ somewhere between a walnut and 50, so there is a very real possibility that these kinds of announcements will become commonplace.
I’m so old I remember when they said the whole world was going to love us if we elected Barack Obama.
The United Negro College Fund on Friday announced a $25 million grant from the Koch brothers, the much-maligned libertarian philanthropists that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has denounced as “un-American.”
The Associated Press reports:
The UNCF, known for its iconic motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” is seven decades old and supports historically black colleges and universities and provides scholarships.
From the donation, $18.5 million will go toward nearly 3,000 merit-based scholarships to African-American undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students, and $6.5 million will go toward general support for historically black colleges and universities and the UNCF.
There are few things more delicious than watching reality smack around a carefully crafted progressive lie. While Harry Reid is spending all of his time portraying the Koch brothers as Satan incarnate, they quietly give to a variety of charities, as well as to Democrat candidates and have long been supporters of same sex marriage.
Here is hoping the Thought Police don’t talk the UNCF into refusing the money.
The drama of the HealthCare.gov Ad Hoc team is now a modern tech fable: a small cadre of young geeks from Silicon Valley and President Obama’s election campaign parachute into the federal bureaucracy to rescue the site and help exceed the goal of 8 million insured households nationwide. But even as they worked 80-hour weeks to salvage the botched creation of thousands of technocrats employed by 55 different contractors, another drama was occurring in stealth. Members of the Ad Hoc team were already looking ahead to the next version, recruiting a second wave of programmers drawn from startups as well as larger companies like Google.
That team, officially dubbed Marketplace 2.0, is creating core features of the next generation of HealthCare.gov that will debut when the next enrollment period begins November 15. Key upgrades include a simpler interface for a majority of users, a more robust plan comparison tool, and a new login system rebuilt from the ground up. The effort doesn’t deal with components like rating engines, tax credits and financial management; instead it focuses on making it easier for applicants to connect with insurance plans. Officials at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services outlined the key pieces for WIRED:
Application 2.0: This is the new front end for the application, including a component that determines an applicant’s eligibility for a plan. Though the underlying logic is the same as the recent one developed by the Ad Hoc team and used by more than 5.45 million people in the first go-round, the 2.0 team aims to create a simpler, more efficient user interface designed to boost the percentage of visits that lead to health plan subscriptions. Officials estimate that about 35 to 40 percent of applicants with more complicated household situations will still have to use the more painstaking process from the 2014 enrollment period. But these officials see the new system eventually handling a broader range of scenarios. Application 2.0 is also designed to work more effectively when applicants use mobile devices. More than a fourth of those who enrolled in the first sign-up period came to the site through mobile devices.
The administration might want to rethink making the website and mobile apps functional. The tech difficulties gave them a lot of cover for all of the awful things happening that were central to the law, like premiums going up and policies being canceled. Obama partisans hit television news barking “Web site!” like a trained chihuahua choir and drowning out the more serious problems.
As we roll towards the second round of open enrollment, the news isn’t improving much.
The site may be more functional for Round Two, but will anybody like what they find out from it?
The usage of checks as a payment system has plummeted in the U.S. in recent years. In 2000, checks were used in more than 40 billion transactions, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Products Office. That number is down to less than 20 billion, according to the Fed’s most recent numbers, which are based on a survey conducted in October 2012.
When it comes to American payment preferences, checks run a distant fourth. (At least when you measure the overall number of transactions. Checks are used for about 19 percent of the value of all purchases, slightly higher than debit or credit cards.)
I wouldn’t even mind people using them at the grocery store (much) if they would just manage to get the checkbook out and start filling out the check before everything was rung up and bagged. Instead, it’s always an adventurous trip through a big purse just to find the checkbook after the bagging is done, as if the payment portion of the trip to the store was a surprise.
This is the kind of thing I should be doing from a chip in my head already. And I want my Jetsons hover car.
Frustrated senators fumed that they have more questions than answers after listening to a detailed administration briefing on the trade of five Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, with one going so far as to threaten impeachment if President Obama uses this as an opening to shutter Guantanamo.
“If [President Obama] just tried to empty that jail, people would be calling for his impeachment,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.
Officials from the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies briefed lawmakers late Wednesday in an attempt to ease the mounting criticism surrounding the deal to free Bergdahl, who was held in captivity by the Taliban for five years.
However, many said the briefing did little to quell their concerns, the most pressing of which is that the five traded Taliban leaders could return to the battlefield.
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., said when asked if the officials thought the five released Gitmo prisoners would attack Americans, they said they did not know.
“But there will be hell to pay if we find they go on to kill Americans,” Kirk said.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he left the briefing with more questions than answers. Republican Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss agreed.
“I don’t see how anybody can walk out of there with any kind of comfortable feeling that the administration from a notification standpoint, and I emphasize that, did what they should have done or what they had the opportunity to do. I mean, it was like they didn’t trust Dianne (Feinstein) and me,” he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on “On the Record.”
Even though prominent Democrats have been questioning this “deal”, the leftmedia is still trying to portray any misgivings about it as a right wing media (read: Fox News) partisan attack.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot today. Why would the administration and its press monkeys behave any differently. This formula has been working for almost six years. Just a week ago, the VA scandal was going to be the thing that finally got to them. Now they’ve done this to distract from that. As this continues to go off the rails, they’ll go out and screw something else up as a distraction.
There is no limit to the amount of incompetence in Team Lightbringer but there is also no end to the MSM devotion that will keep them covering for their beloved Idiot King.