PJ Tatler

The PJ Tatler

Dumb: KC IRS Employee Steals Co-Worker’s Credit Card, Goes on Shopping Spree While on the Clock

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

A crooked IRS employee who works in the Kansas City Internal Revenue Service campus could be a leading contender for the Darwin Award according to taxpayer Anjeanette Payne: ”Dumb, that is really dumb. She should be on world’s dumbest criminals.”

What did Weisha Jackson do that had Kansas Citians shaking their heads in disgust when the news of her nefarious exploits broke on Tax Day?

The victim, who didn’t want to be identified, said Jackson initially stole cash from his wallet while he was on break, but eventually she went for his credit card, and that’s when her crime spree hit a snag. She apparently booked a vacation and went on a shopping spree while on the clock at the IRS — with her fellow employee’s stolen credit card information.

Via KCTV 5:

According to court documents, Jackson used that stolen credit card using an IRS IP address to book more than $1,600 in Expedia flights in her name and pay her KCP&L and T-Mobile bills. That made it easy for investigators to track the theft.

Video surveillance shows Jackson used the stolen card to buy $299.75 from Foot Locker at Oak Park Mall.

Security cameras showed she also tried to use the card at Victoria’s Secret, but it was declined.

A spokesperson for the Kansas City IRS would not tell KCTV 5  whether or not  Jackson was still employed at their facility because there was still an ongoing investigation.

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Hillary PAC Harasses Lone Activist for Campaign Parody

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

Lone Minnesota activist Dan McCall has taken to expressing his frustration with the political system by crafting parodies of government agencies and political candidates. Last year, he dodged attacks from the National Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, each of which objected to his use of their agency logos in parody material.

Now McCall faces the wrath of those little-guy loving populists over at the Ready for Hillary PAC. Despite premising her campaign as an effort to empower the middle class, Hillary Clinton’s supporters have sicced their lawyers on McCall for expressing his First Amendment right.

hillary oligarchy

The law stands on McCall’s side, as demonstrated in the previous NSA/DHS settlement. In light of that, the actions from Ready for Hillary PAC demonstrate disingenuous contempt for a lone citizen’s lawful political expression.

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BREAKING: Al-Qaeda Seizes Commercial Airport on Yemen Coast

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula just captured an airport for their own personal use, according to multiple reports coming out of Yemen.

The Riyan Airport on the Gulf of Aden coast near Al Mukalla is serviced by two Yemeni commercial carriers, Felix Airways and Yemenia.

AQAP seized Al Mukalla, a seaport city of about 300,000 people, at the beginning of this month. They freed terrorists being held in a prison there.

The seizure of the airport comes after a drone strike killed AQAP Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, a former Guantanamo detainee who became an AQAP spiritual leader after being released to Saudi Arabia in 2006. Al-Rubaish was placed in the Saudis’ terrorist rehab program but escaped to Yemen.

AQAP issued a eulogy for al-Rubaish on Tuesday, saying he “died as a result of a cowardly Crusader strike which killed him with a number of his brothers Monday night.”

“On his path, the people of knowledge walk on and follow on his footsteps, and others should follow in his footsteps. And this is his blood and his body parts today shout and scream for the people of knowledge and da’wah to come to the fields of sacrifice and jihad,” the statement from the terror group said. “Come to the fields of education and da’wah, come to where the plants grow and raises the foundation and raises the edifices of the high deen. Come to where knowledge is pure and models are made for your Ummah.”

AQAP’s leader, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, is also the general manager of “core” al-Qaeda and has the ability to call terror attacks around the world.

“We have said, when it comes to our counterterrorism strategy, we continue to actively monitor terrorist threats emanating from Yemen and we have capabilities postured in the area to address them,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday, not confirming the report of the AQAP mufti’s death. “As we’ve said, we will continue to take action to disrupt any imminent threat to the United States and our citizens.”

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Lonely in the Golden State? Dial 1-800-HOOKERS

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Not that you can’t right this minute, but if this lawsuit succeeds, it’ll have the added advantage of being legal:

Two lawyers have filed a high-profile case that seeks to legalize prostitution in California. Lou Sirkin and Brian O’Connor of Cincinnati-based Santen & Hughes, filed the case last month in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of an organization representing prostitutes known as the Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education & Research Project. It named three current or former prostitutes and a man with a disability who wants to be able to legally hire prostitutes as other plaintiffs in the case.

Their argument centers on people’s right to do what they want as long as it’s legal. “It’s legal to have sex, so why should it be illegal to pay for it?” the argument goes. O’Connor compared it to having the freedom of the press but making it illegal to sell newspapers.

“It’s really a constitutional issue, we think,” Sirkin said. “We’re talking only about consenting adults here. Our whole theory is that any law based on morality has no place in this country. Morals are different for different people. Legislation should not be determined by morality. Because you exchange a dollar rather than dinner, why should it be made illegal?”

You knew that “morality” argument was coming, right? But that seems to me the weakest argument; right now, it’s perfectly legal in California to hire a woman for sex as long as she is a performer in a porn film; you just can’t explicitly hire her to have sex with you. Long ago, when I lived in San Francisco, there was an organization of hookers known as COYOTE: Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics. Looks like they won.

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Christie on GOP Nod: ‘The Game Hasn’t Even Come Close to Beginning’

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kept quiet as his Bridgegate scandal died down, but with three senators in the 2016 presidential campaign he appears ready to vie for the GOP nomination.

Christie said he won’t decide on running for the Oval Office until after June 30, his state’s budget deadline. But he’s been working the ground in New Hampshire with town halls and hand-shaking in diners.

“If I run, I will beat her,” Christie declared on Hugh Hewitt’s show when asked about Hillary Clinton.

States he thinks he could win that Mitt Romney did not? “I think Pennsylvania’s a state that is very much in play. I think New Mexico is a state that’s very much in play. I think the state that I’m in today, New Hampshire, is a state that would be very much in play. And so you know, let’s start off with those three,” he said. “And Colorado, by the way, a fourth, Colorado, would be very much in play.”

Christie stressed that he was re-elected in his home state, which hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate in 42 years, with 61 percent of the vote, 51 percent of the Hispanic vote, 22 percent of the African-American vote, and 56 percent of women voters.

“Those are the type of numbers we’re going to have to run up across the country to be able to have the type of sweeping victory you want to have to maintain a Republican House and Senate, and have a Republican president. You don’t have to theorize that with me. You’ve seen I’ve done it in what is one of the bluest states in America after governing as a conservative for four years,” he said.

“…We understand that the mainstream media in this country is liberal, and they put forward liberal causes, and they support liberal candidates. And in light of that kind of atmosphere, we’ve elected Ronald Reagan. We’ve elected George Bush 41. We’ve elected George Bush 43. There is no reason we can’t do that when we have the best candidate. We can overcome that. And I’m not going to be one of those people who is going to whine and moan and complain about the media.”

Entitlement reform is the linchpin of Christie’s early campaigning, as he proposes “a modest means test that only affects those with non-Social Security income of over $80,000 dollars a year, and phases out Social Security payments entirely for those that have $200,000 dollars a year in retirement income.”

“These programs were set up to try to prevent poverty. Someone making $200,000 dollars or more is not in danger of being in poverty,” he said.

The payroll tax would be eliminated for anyone who’s working after the age of 62 under Christie’s plan and the retirement age would be raised to 69. “We have to have a reasonable phase in period the same way we have to have a reasonable phase in period for the elevation of the retirement age,” he said.

“I’m going to come forward in the next two months with four major policy addresses like the one I gave today. Today was the first one. And as you saw, it was very direct, very specific, very substantive. The next three topics are going to be on national security and national defense, and taxes and economic policy, and on a national energy policy, because we need to have a national energy policy to confront the issue you discussed, and lots of other issues regarding energy policies going forward. So stay tuned, and we’ll talk about that when we talk about the national energy policy.”

Christie, who predicted that the eventual GOP nominee will be a governor, was asked on NBC this morning if his moment as a serious GOP presidential contender has passed.

“I don’t know and neither do you,” he said. “…I’ve been the frontrunner before. It’s a place where the bull’s-eye is on your back and everybody’s shooting at you. So that’s OK. I’m fine with exactly where I am right now, because I haven’t changed. Because all that other stuff’s artificial. And so the game really begins. And the game hasn’t even come close to beginning.”

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Time to Disband the National Football League

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

First of all, it’s a complete waste of a grownup’s time and money. Second, it’s boring. Third, it’s dangerous. And fourth:

Former San Francisco 49ers running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison. Prison officials said Monday that Phillips’ cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison was found lifeless over the weekend and later pronounced dead.

Phillips, 39, was once one of the nation’s top college football players at Nebraska. Aside from the 49ers, Phillips also played for the St. Louis Rams and the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. He also played in NFL Europe, the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Phillips was considered by many the best overall player heading into the NFL 1996 draft, but he fell to the Rams with the number six pick following his suspension for an alleged assault on his girlfriend. His career was marked by frequent run-ins with coaches and off-field problems, including accusations of assault and brief stays in jail.

And fifth:

Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez looked on impassively Wednesday as he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, a new low for a young man who once enjoyed a $40 million pro-football contract and now stands convicted in the 2013 murder of onetime friend Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez, 25, appeared to shake his head “no” earlier as jurors in the Massachusetts trial found him guilty of first-degree murder. He was also found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

“They got it wrong,” Hernandez said as he was being transported from the courthouse to a state prison, according to a law enforcement source close to the case. “I didn’t do it.”

Back in 1976, Chuck Noll, then the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, referred to a “criminal element” in the NFL. Two years later, this happened:

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It’s been all downhill since. As the old saying goes, is the game worth the candle?

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Doomed Jeb Bush Candidacy Gets Kiss of Death from Older Bro

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Please, Jeb, take the hint and go away:

Jeb Bush’s candidacy has a problem, says brother George. “Me.”

“It’s an easy line to say, ‘Haven’t we had enough Bushes?’ After all, even my mother said, ‘Yes,’” the former president told an audience of 7,000 health IT experts here on Wednesday. “That’s why you won’t see me out there, and he doesn’t need to defend me, and he’s totally different from me. The role of family is not to be a political adviser or a policy adviser — there are plenty of those around — the role is to say, ‘Hey man, I love you.’

I said to Jeb, ‘Hang in there; you can do the job. Will you win? I hope so but I don’t know. But if he does he’d be a damn good president I’ll tell you that.” The elder Bush said the campaign trail will be grueling — as it should be — but his brother has an edge.

“It’s going to be a hard test for everyone, but it should be. You want to see these candidates under pressure, see them fail and succeed so you have a better idea how they’ll handle the pressures of the job. Jeb has actually run something, called a state. That’s a skill that comes in handy where you’re in charge of a very complex multifaceted organization.”

Maybe, but… about that last name…

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IRS Wants More Money to Correct Problems in Agency

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

After it was revealed to the public that the IRS was wasting money on Star Trek-themed training videos, pricey exercise equipment and targeting law-abiding Americans, the agency’s boss, John Koskinen, was on the Hill yesterday begging Congress for money to fix the agency

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Here’s your obligatory eye roll from Lucille Bluth:

lucille

Writes Fox News, “Koskinen testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, that budget cuts have stripped the agency from being able to effectively help taxpayers. He said the lack of funding has led to longer waits for taxpayers turning to IRS help centers.”

“Customer service, both on the phone and in person, has been far worse than anyone would want,” he said. “It’s a simple matter of not having enough people to answer the phones and provide service at our walk in sites, as a result of the cuts to our budget.”

How much money was wasted in labor targeting the tea party?

Koskinen said the agency was “dismayed” by the lines forming outside the agency’s help centers and reports of wait times on the phone of 30 minutes +.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) sent a letter on Tuesday asking for details on some of the agency’s more ridiculous spending.

$4.3 million on “market research,” $8,000 on a stair climber and $4 million on office furniture for managers.

Thousands of dollars were also spent on “decorative and give-away items” such as bathtub toy boats, Thomas the Tank Engine rubber wristbands and kazoos.

It seems obvious that the IRS isn’t capable of being responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money … so they should get nothing more.

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Think Promising to Cut Taxes Will Help Conservatives? Think Again

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Because the dirty little secret is, most people don’t pay much of anything in federal taxes. Even worse, they look at their “refund” — which is actually an interest-free overpayment loan to the government — as found money; for them, April 15 is not Tax Day, it’s the second coming of Christmas:

“Get your billions back, America.”

That H&R Block admonition–a clever ad campaign–shows the inherent conflict with the Republican Party’s anti-tax philosophy. For most Americans, April 15 is not a day to pay taxes. It’s a time to get a refund. An industry has sprung up to help Americans spend their refunds even before they have arrived.

This dynamic makes it hard for Republicans to pass comprehensive changes to the tax code, especially for individuals. There’s simply not a great appetite among most voters to change a tax code that doesn’t require them to pay all that much. A Pew Research Center study found that 53% of Americans believe they pay the right amount in taxes. Only 40% believe they pay more than their fair share.

But there is also a widely held perception that at the federal level, the tax system is broken. Sixty-four percent of Americans believe that corporate America doesn’t pay enough in taxes, even though the U.S. has the world’s highest corporate tax rate.

That was one of the many flaws of the Willard Mitt Romney candidacy: nobody except the those who actually pay taxes cares. And by those who actually pay taxes I mean almost nobody:

The Top 50 Percent of All Taxpayers Paid 97 Percent of All Income Taxes; the Top 5 Percent Paid 57 Percent of All Income Taxes; and the Top 1 Percent Paid 35 Percent of All Income Taxes in 2011.

Also remember that the income tax (a “progressive-era” amendment) doesn’t tax wealth, it prevents the middle class from ever accumulating wealth. That’s why rich Democrats like John Kerry, who married his money, or the Kennedys, who inherited it, don’t give a fig about the income tax. And why you’re never likely to see meaningful tax reform.

 

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Semi-Lifelike Robot, Running for ‘President,’ Invents Fake Family History

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

That would be Hillary!, of course — a woman so dishonest and phony that she’s cannot seem to the tell the truth about anything:

Speaking in Iowa Wednesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States, a story that conflicts with public census and other records related to her maternal and paternal grandparents. The story of her grandmother specifically immigrating is one Clinton has told before. Clinton’s sole foreign-born grandparent, Hugh Rodham Sr., immigrated as a child.

“Her grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants,” a Clinton spokesman told BuzzFeed News. “As has been correctly pointed out, while her grandfather was an immigrant, it appears that Hillary’s grandmother was born shortly after her parents and siblings arrived in the U.S. in the early 1880s.”

“She has always thought of them as immigrants” — summing up the Clintons and the rest of the Mendacious Left in a nutshell. They feel something is true (mostly because it’s politically useful to them), ergo, it is true. Good for Buzzfeed for blowing her latest whopper apart. Not that it will make the slightest bit of difference in the worshipful way the rest of the media is going to treat her pathetic, doomed “candidacy.”

 

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Spring Break, Rape — and Why It Sucks Not Being a Liberal

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

GavinMcInnes


From TheRebel.media.

Gavin McInnes was laughed at when he said Spring Break wasn’t safe anymore.

Then a girl was gang raped.

On the beach.

On video.

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Welp…Now We Know How Hillary Feels About Common Core

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

[Begins at 5:33]

During a campaign event at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton was finally asked to say something about Common Core — which promises to be a prominent issue in the 2016 campaign. Of course, it wasn’t a reporter who asked Clinton about the wildly unpopular educational standards, it was a teacher and Common Core supporter who said it is “painful” for her to see the standards attacked.

Clinton agreed wholeheartedly. “You know when I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful,” she said.

[Not to be confused with the Benghazi attack, which she said was "very, very painful."]

She defended the standards, saying they were the result of a “bipartisan effort … actually, nonpartisan project.”

“It wasn’t politicized. It was about coming up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was. That there wouldn’t be two tiers of education,” Clinton said.

She speculated that Iowans were more supportive of Common Core because “Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time. And you see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. A lot of states, unfortunately, haven’t had that. So [they] don’t understand the value of a core, in this sense a common core.”

[Perhaps what they don't understand is why every state needs the same standards with the same tests and why the federal government needs to be involved.]

“I was a senator and voted for Leave No Child Behind (sic) because I thought every child should matter,” Clinton said. “And [it] shouldn’t be ‘you’re poor or you’ve got disabilities so we’re going to sweep you to the back, don’t show up on test day because we don’t want to mess up our scores.’” Instead, Clinton said every child should have the same opportunities.

[Has she not heard of the Atlanta testing scandal where teachers were sent to prison for leaving poor and disabled children behind by falsifying their test scores?]

So in summary, Clinton supports a federally mandated one-size-fits all set of standards for every school in the country. It’s good that we got this cleared up early on in the campaign. Common Core promises to be a tremendous populist and crossover issue for Republicans — as long as they don’t choose a pro-Common Core candidate like Jeb Bush or John Kasich.

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Netanyahu: World ‘Lulled Into Slumber on Bed of Illusions’ Decades After Holocaust

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

bib_yadvashem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned at this evening’s Yad Vashem ceremony to mark Yom HaShoah that the civilized world has been “lulled into slumber on a bed of illusions” this many years after the Holocaust.

“In the years before World War II, the free world tried to appease the Nazi regime, to gain its trust, to curry its favor through gestures,” Netanyahu said at the Holocaust Memorial Day event. “There were those who warned that a compromising policy would only whet Hitler’s appetite, but these warnings were ignored due to the natural human desire for calm at all costs.”

The prime minister spokes of those who like to repeat the phrase “never again,” vowing that the Holocaust’s lessons have been learned.

“They declare: ‘We will not turn a blind eye to the expansion aspirations of a violent tyranny.’ They promise: ‘We will oppose evil things as soon as they begin.’ But as long as these announcements are not backed by practical actions – they are meaningless,” Netanyahu said.

“Did the world truly learn a lesson from the inconceivable universal and Jewish tragedy of last century? I wish I could tell you that the answer to this was positive.”

He warned that “just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilization and to establish a ‘master race’ as ruler of the world while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region and then spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state.”

“Iran is advancing in two directions: The first is developing the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons and accumulate a stockpile of ballistic missiles, and the second – exporting the Khomeinist revolution to many countries by heavily using terrorism and taking over large parts of the Middle East,” he continued. “Everything is out in the open – it is all taking place in broad daylight, in front of cameras. And yet, the blindness is immense. ”

Netanyahu solemnly noted the “determination and lessons that were acquired in blood seventy years ago are now dissipating, and the darkness and fog of denying reality are taking their place.”

“The bad deal that is being made with Iran demonstrates that the historic lesson has not been internalized,” he said. “Instead of demanding a significant dismantling of the Iranian nuclear program and conditioning the removal of the limitations imposed on it on the cessation of its aggression, the superpowers are leaving Iran with its nuclear capabilities, and even allowing it to expand them many times over regardless of its steps in the Middle East and around the world.”

Iran’s rulers “continue to encourage subversion and terrorism, and disseminate destruction and death” as the world sleeps.

“The powers turn a deaf ear to the crowds in Iran shouting: ‘Death to America; Death to Israel.’ They turn a blind eye to the scenes of execution of those who oppose the regime and members of minority populations. And they hold their peace in the face of the massive arming of terrorist organizations,” Netanyahu said. “At the most, they make a halfhearted statement for the record. ”

“We will not allow the State of Israel to be a passing episode in the history of our nation!”

The White House has not yet issued a statement on Yom HaShoah, which ends Thursday evening.

Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu met with 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Avraham Niederhoper. He gave Niederhoper a copy of Rabbi Phil Chernofsky’s book And Every Single One Was Someone, which features one word — Jew, six million times.

“I keep it here to remember, not only to remember, but to prevent,” Netanyahu said. “What they did to you, they want to do to us. Today it is possible to fight; then it was not.”

(Photo: Israeli prime minister’s office)

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‘I’m Not Going to Hurt Them’: Rubio Would Attend a Gay Wedding

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said his personal opposition to same-sex marriage wouldn’t stop him from attending a gay wedding.

Rubio told Jorge Ramos, a host for Univision and Fusion, “if it’s somebody in my life that I care for” who was walking down the aisle, “of course I would” attend.

“I’m not going to hurt them simply because I disagree with a choice they’ve made or because I disagree with a decision they’ve made, or whatever it may be,” he added. “Ultimately, if someone that you care for and is part of your family has decided to move in one direction or another or feels that way because of who they love, you respect that because you love them.”

Rubio compared the dilemma to the Catholic Church’s prohibition on divorce and remarriage without an annulment.

“I’m a member of the Catholic faith that teaches, for example, that divorce is wrong,” Rubio said. “But if someone gets divorced, I’m not going to stop loving them or having them a part of our lives.”

On Tuesday, Rubio was asked on CNN about a Pew poll showing 61 percent of Republican voters under the age of 30 support same-sex marriage.

“That is an issue that will largely be determined at the state level, since marriage laws have always been defined by the states,” the senator said. “I’m — not, for example, ever supported a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage because I believe states define marriage in their laws. And if in fact people feel that way, as that poll says, then they can petition a state legislature to change the law.”

“But the second point I would make is, I don’t — I think there’s still a significant number of Americans that believe that the definition of marriage should be that of one man and one woman, as it has been for thousands of years… They’re a large minority. In essence, there are still parts of this country that believe that way,” Rubio continued.

“But irrespective of it, we’re in a republic. If you want to change the marriage laws of your state, go to your state legislature and get your legislators to change it. I don’t believe the court system is the appropriate way to do it. And I don’t believe Washington and the Supreme Court is the appropriate way to do that.”

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The Incredible, Disgusting TSA Groping Conspiracy

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Two Denver TSA screeners have been fired for assisting another TSA employee in sexually assaulting male passengers.

CNN:

Here’s how police say the scheme worked: When the male TSA officer noticed a man he found attractive, he would alert a female TSA officer.

The female officer would then tell the screening machine that a female passenger — not a male — was walking through. And that information would trigger a machine to register an anomaly in the groin area, prompting the male TSA officer to pat down the passenger, police said, citing a TSA investigation.

But during the patdown, the male TSA officer used the palms of his hands to touch the passenger’s front groin area and buttocks, which violates TSA policy.

All this came to light after an anonymous tip from a TSA employee in November. The agency launched an investigation, and investigator Chris Higgins monitored the two TSA officers in question, Denver police said in a report.

Higgins watched the plan being carried out on February 9. He interviewed the female TSA officer, who said she had done this with her colleague at least 10 other times, police said.

Both of the TSA officers investigated have been fired, TSA special agent Charles Stone told police. Authorities did not release their names.

The TSA called the incident deplorable.

“These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable,” the agency said in a written statement to CNN.

“All allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated by the agency. And when substantiated, employees are held accountable.”

But it’s unlikely criminal charges will be filed because there is no identifiable victim. The TSA said it has been trying to identify the passenger in the February incident but to no avail.

The TSA said no passengers have come forward with similar cases so far at the Denver airport.

Now how do you suppose they came up with such a clever scheme? Do you think that perhaps they heard of similar methods to get their rocks off at other airports?

And what was the motivation of the two TSA screeners who facilitated these attacks? Did they think it was funny? Did they themselves get a sexual thrill out of their co-workers’ groping? It boggles the mind.

Almost all people would too embarrassed to report this kind of attack by TSA employees. And perhaps they’re not even sure it’s an attack. Most of us are very trusting of law enforcement and especially airline security employees. I think there’s a good chance this kind of attack — on both men and women — occurs far more often than we can imagine and the victims simply dismiss it as intrusive, but part of the price we pay to be safe in the air.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

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Forget the Scandals — Here’s the One Thing That Would Utterly Demolish Hillary’s Presidential Hopes

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
Project_Yoga_Richmond_2

By Eli Christman via Wikimedia Commons

 

What is it going to take for voters to turn on Hillary? I suspect it’s not going to be Benghazi, Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, or her husband nailing the interns in the Oval Office. Sadly a large percentage of the electorate is shallow and celebrity obsessed — they rarely wander into the deep weeds of political intrigue. But fear not, all is not lost. I do think there is one thing that would be guaranteed to sink Clinton in our shallow, cult-of-celebrity culture: Pictures of Hillary doing those “yoga routines” she said were in the emails she deleted from her servers.

Imagine a picture of a sweaty, haggard-looking 67-year-old Clinton in yoga pants appearing on every Facebook feed, mobile device, and news outlet in the country. It would be a devastating blow to her campaign. (Think I’m exaggerating? See: Dukakis in the tank, Nixon in the first televised debate, and Howard Dean’s Rebel Yell for other examples of campaign-ending memes.)

But this raises some questions. If you were in sole possession of the hypothetical picture of Hillary in yoga pants, would you leak it to the press and/or her opponent’s campaign? Is all fair in love and war — and campaigns? Would it be unfair to leak it because Hillary is a woman and she will be judged more harshly on her appearance? Could you throw a middle-aged woman under the bus (or Scooby van) if it meant saving the country? Do the ends justify the means?

I’m not sure I could do it. I know campaigns are dirty and almost nothing is off-limits these days, but I still think we ought to keep personal attacks out of these contests.

How about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.

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Why Isn’t Tax Day a Holiday?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by James Jay Carafano

Tax Day is upon us.

That makes some people happy. “I am proud to pay taxes and make an investment in my community,”  declares Ali Mickelson a Colorado tax policy analyst. The National Constitution Center calls Tax Day a “Civic Holiday.”

There is a song celebrating tax day!

Is this really a day to celebrate?

The average American shells out 28 percent of their income in taxes (almost 2/3 of  that for federal income tax). For that hefty price tag we get some services, but get tons of regulations which wind up costing even more than the taxes.

Americans, griped Senator James Lankford in a hearing on the Hill, “spend their time and treasure completing forms and federal requirements….”

The cost of complying with just federal regulations costs us $1.882 trillion.

And, the red tape keeps rising.

That’s why many are as excited about tax day as the Red Wedding.

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‘Unscripted’: The Return of Hillary’s Plants

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Spring is in the air and for those of us who love to garden that means only one thing: Plants!

And according to David Martosko, the U.S. politics editor for the Daily Mail, a full garden was on display at Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first campaign stop in Iowa which her campaign dubbed an “unscripted event.”

Hillary Clinton’s astroturf candidacy is in full swing in Iowa.

Her Tuesday morning visit to a coffee shop in LeClaire, Iowa was staged from beginning to end, according to Austin Bird, one of the men pictured sitting at the table with Mrs. Clinton.

Bird told Daily Mail Online that campaign staffer Troy Price called and asked him and two other young people to meet him Tuesday morning at a restaurant in Davenport, a nearby city.

Price then drove them to the coffee house to meet Clinton after vetting them for about a half-hour.

The three got the lion’s share of Mrs. Clinton’s time and participated in what breathless news reports described as a ’roundtable’– the first of many in her brief Iowa campaign swing.

Bird himself is a frequent participant in Iowa Democratic Party events. He interned with President Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign, and was tapped to chauffeur Vice President Joe Biden in October 2014 when he visited Davenport. 

‘What happened is, we were just asked to be there by Troy,’ Bird said Wednesday in a phone interview.

‘We were asked to come to a meeting with Troy, the three of us, at the Village Inn.’

The other two, he confirmed, were University of Iowa College Democrats president Carter Bell. and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland employee Sara Sedlacek. 

‘It was supposed to be a strategy meeting,’ Bird recalled, ‘to get our thoughts about issues. But then all of a sudden he says, “Hey, we have Secretary Clinton coming in, would you like to go meet her?”‘

‘And then we got in a car – Troy’s car – and we went up to the coffee house, and we sat at a table and then Hillary just came up and talked with us.’

Bird said ‘we all were called.’

‘I mean, Troy asked us all to do – to go to a meeting with him. And we didn’t really know what it was about. I mean, he did. He knew.’

News reports described Bird as a “student” even though he is a hospital government-relations official who interned with Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign and, judging from his Facebook page,  an enthusiastic Democrat political activist and ardent Hillary Clinton supporter.

Martosko notes that “it’s unclear how many Iowans featured in photographs with Clinton that rocketed around the country on Tuesday were planted.”

Who knew Hillary had such a green thumb? Well — anybody who was paying attention in 2007/2008 when her campaign was repeatedly castigated by the right for using plants at her campaign stops.

Here’s an example  from November 2007:

One day after Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign confirmed that a staffer planted a question for the presidential candidate at a recent campaign stop, another person has come forward with a similar story.

Geoff Mitchell, a minister who recently moved to Hamilton, Ill., from Iowa, told ABC News that he was approached this spring by Clinton’s Iowa political director Chris Haylor to ask Clinton a question about war funding.

…Mitchell said he introduced himself to Haylor because he had heard of him before and knew that he had worked on Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh’s campaign. Before the campaign event, Haylor asked Mitchell if he would pose a specific question about Iraq. The question was about how Clinton would be tough on President Bush about funding the Iraq war, Mitchell said. The event, however, ran out of time before reaching a question-and-answer period.

Old habits are hard to break, I guess.

 

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Oh, for God’s Sake: A Hunger Strike to Force Confirmation of Loretta Lynch?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Groups referring to themselves as “civil rights advocates” are beginning a hunger strike because the Senate has not confirmed Eric Holder’s replacement for attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

Actually, these groups have as much to do with “civil rights” as my cat Snowball has with quantum physics. Real civil rights groups call for a hunger strike because of injustice or oppression. These clowns are going on a fake hunger strike so they can act as Democratic Party partisans.

Politico:

The advocacy group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, along with female civil-rights leaders, are staging the hunger strike, in which groups of fasters will alternate days abstaining from food until Lynch is confirmed to replace Eric Holder at the Justice Department. Dubbed “Confirm Loretta Lynch Fast,” the new tactic is designed in the mold of actions by civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez, organizers said.

Um…no. The tactic is designed in the mold of Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers. How can you possibly refer to the “action” as a hunger strike when no one is going to go hungry?

“As long as the Senate refuses to take fifteen minutes to confirm someone for Attorney General that they have already confirmed twice for U.S. Attorney,” National Action Network and its allies “will do everything in our power to draw attention to this completely unfair and unnecessary delay to vote to confirm Loretta Lynch,” Sharpton, who founded NAN, said in a statement Wednesday.

The group’s executive director, Janaye Ingram, added: “We stand with Loretta Lynch and are so in support of this cause that we are willing to sacrifice our daily meals to impress upon the U.S. Senate that it’s time to call a vote.”

Those brave souls who went on hunger strikes in southern jails in the 1960s to protest the injustice of their incarceration are spinning in their graves — as are the thousands all over the world who have used hunger strikes to draw attention to oppression and tyranny.

How dare these fake “civil rights” advocates use a fake hunger strike as a purely partisan political weapon. What’s worse is that they are diluting the power of the hunger strike by making a mockery of it. Who ever heard of a hunger strike on alternating days? There will be no suffering, no self-denial. The symbolic power of the hunger strike is vastly diluted by this faux “action.”

The politics involved is roiled by the Democrat’s attempt to strip abortion provisions from the human sex trafficking bill:

The long-going partisan spat over the trafficking legislation took a even sharper rhetorical turn earlier Wednesday when the Senate’s two top leaders fought over the impasse in dueling speeches.

McConnell accused Democrats of choosing to aid doctors who serve Medicare patients, while shunning sex trafficking victims. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shot back that his counterpart’s complaints were “illogical” and devoid of facts.

The sweeping Medicare payments package that the Senate passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday night contains so-called “Hyde amendment” language that would bar funding for community health centers from being used on abortions. The abortion provision in the trafficking bill is similar, but instead of applying those restrictions to taxpayer funds, it would be for fines paid from trafficking offenders — which Democrats say goes too far.

It is the prerogative of the majority to set the agenda for the Senate and McConnell is playing hardball with  obstructionists who care more about abortion than sex trafficking. Democrats believe that because Lynch is a black woman that they can play the race card to get both the abortion restrictions removed and Lynch confirmed.

It’s not surprising to see Al Sharpton behind this bit of political theater. A fake reverend running a fake hunger strike generating fake outrage for a fake cause.

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Iran Parliament Releases Nuke Deal Fact Sheet: Sanctions Gone on Day One, ‘Conventional’ Inspections

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Complaining that the White House released a fact sheet on the nuclear framework with facts the Islamic Republic didn’t agree to, the Iranian parliament’s Nuclear Committee released the country’s own fact sheet today.

It stresses that, despite the back and forth with Washington over when sanctions relief would be seen, the deal they agreed to includes “immediate termination of all sanctions in a single step and on the first day of the implementation of the final agreement.”

The fact sheet, released as an “exclusive” by the semi-official Fars News Agency, says the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action period “should be limited to five years, in which about 10,000 active centrifuges operating at Natanz and Fordo now will continue nuclear fuel production by enriching uranium below the 5% grade.”

“During the five-year period, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to keep the excess centrifuges installed at Natanz and Fordo or will gradually dismantle them, and at the end of the 5-year period, it will replace all the existing centrifuges, including the active or inactive ones, with the new generation of (IR-N) centrifuge machines with the help of the new spaces and infrastructures which will have been already prepared and will use them without any limitation.”

The amount of enrichment, the sheet says, “should be specified based on the country’s practical needs and the number of 10,000 centrifuges has also been specified on this basis.”

“The 5-year period in this factsheet has been has been specified with respect to the date when Iran’s nuclear fuel contract with Russia for the Bushehr nuclear power plant will end; hence, the rules and limitations for the components of the enrichment cycle should be set in such a way that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be able to supply the fuel needed for the power plant after the end of the contract with Russia,” it continues. “Operation of 10,000 centrifuges and developing and having a 10-ton enriched uranium stockpile will enable the Islamic Republic of Iran to supply the fuel needed for the Bushehr power plant in the year when the fuel supply contract with Russia (28-30 tons) ends.”

“…If the country would need 20%-degree (enriched) uranium, the nuclear fuel production line for purity levels lower than 5% will be altered to enrich uranium to the 20%-grade after connecting the centrifuge cascades to each other again.”

Inspections will be approved “at conventional levels similar to all other countries.”

“Given the Islamic Republic of Iran’s opposition to the world arrogance, endorsing and implementing the Additional Protocol will provide the world arrogance (a term normally used for the US and its western allies) with legal grounds to stage their preplanned plots against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” it states.

Not only does Iran insist that P5+1 countries, the EU and the UN Security Council will cancel all sanctions on day one, but they must agree to “avoid imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.”

The White House has brushed off consistent contradictions from Iran about the nature of the nuclear framework as merely rhetoric for domestic consumption.

“Clearly the Iranians, for their own purposes, are emphasizing different elements of that framework agreement,” Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told MSNBC on Tuesday.

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Rep. Ted Yoho Introduces Resolution to Define Impeachable ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors’

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

A Florida congressman, fed up with President Barack Obama’s flagrant abuses of executive power, introduced on Monday a resolution to establish standards defining impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” within the meaning of Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution as applied to the president of the United States. The last straw for Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) was Obama’s executive amnesty in November, in which he granted millions of illegal aliens employment-authorization documents. A federal judge in Texas blocked the president’s amnesty program in February with an injunction, but not before the administration granted  3-year amnesties to 100,000 illegal immigrants. 

Congressman Yoho gave the following statement about his resolution:

Many of the people I have the honor of representing are tired of executive overreach and the circumvention of legislative process.  It is a dangerous precedent to set when the President begins to rule by fiat and takes on the role that is specifically reserved for Congress.

“Today’s resolution addresses this issue and begins to set a standard to define what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors.

“Let me be clear, this resolution isn’t directed at any one president and doesn’t favor one party or the other. Essentially, it will put all Presidents – current and future, both Democrat and Republican – on notice that Congress will finally begin holding them accountable.

“I swore to uphold the Constitution and defend the rule of law, regardless of who the President is. This is but a first step in reigning in an overreaching executive and restoring the balance of power in our government – the way our founders intended.”

“If we had a chief executive that would faithfully execute the laws … this wouldn’t be an issue, and we could get on with America’s business,” Yoho said. “But when you have to play like a babysitter and say, ‘No you can’t do that’ over and over and over again, the American people are tired of it.”

The bill’s introduction is considered “the most aggressive move toward impeachment by any House Republican.”

The resolution, which cites the Federalist Papers in its “findings” section, lists “failing to take care that the laws be faithfully executed through signing statements or systematic policies of non-enforcement” and “substituting executive agreements for treaties” as two of eleven potential high crimes and misdemeanors the House would be declaring “impeachable.”

Other impeachable offenses would include initiating war without congressional authorization, spending funds in defiance of appropriations laws, and refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents of testimony “issued for a legitimate legislative purpose.”

In a recent interview, Yoho cautioned the Obama administration to tread carefully going forward, saying, “We are laying a red line. This is the Rubicon. They are forewarned: do not cross this line.”

 

 

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86% Say No to Hillary in MSNBC Poll

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

According to a new Rasmussen poll, nearly six in 10 voters believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next president. But perception is not reality, as an MSNBC poll seems to indicate.

The poll, which appeared on the MSNBC website on Tuesday morning, shows that 86% of MSNBC readers who responded would not vote for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming presidential election. Only 13% responded in the affirmative and a mere 2% said “maybe.”

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The poll, while not scientific, strongly suggests that progressives do not prefer to have a baggage-laden career politician as their party’s standard bearer in 2016.

 

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‘Stop Treating the Kuffar’: ISIS Trying to Lure Western Doctors

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

A British jihadist who left the United Kingdom to join ISIS is urging doctors practicing in the land of the “kuffar” in the West to come to the Islamic State and treat patients there.

The message from Abu Sa’eed Al-Britani was posted on a file-sharing site this month and comes as ISIS has been murdering Iraqi doctors in occupied territory who refused to treat the jihadists. Mosul is home to the second-oldest medical school in Iraq.

“Alhamdulillah, in this blessed land, the land of Tawheed, the land of the Khilafah, the land of Jihad, we strive and struggle with our blood and sweat to establish a land where the Muslims may live in peace and security. Many brothers have attained martyrdom in the process and many are waiting. And from amongst those waiting are those who are crippled and maimed, laying in hospital beds without proper treatment,” Al-Britani, believed to be a former grocery employee from southern England, says in part of his “Message of the Mujahid” series.

“When the jihad in Sham started, many doctors fled the country to live in Turkey or other countries. This caused an insufficient number of remaining doctors to treat the wounded,” he continues. “I have been to the hospitals up and down the State and so many hospitals lack not only manpower but also doctors who are qualified for their jobs. I have seen many trainees training others on how to treat wounds, and many errors are committed by these untrained, unqualified, inexperienced helpers.”

“…I can narrate so many incidents I saw and heard of here in Sham which just shows the great importance of qualified doctors that are needed. It has happened to so many brothers here that they get different answers/solutions from different doctors. One doctor will say I do not need surgery while another will say I do. This is too common and majority of the injured brothers can testify to this.”

Al-Britani speaks of hospitals getting “packed out with brothers being unattended.”

“The huge number of injured brothers makes it difficult on the few doctors to attend to everyone. Likewise, during heavy fighting, the doctors do not get sufficient sleep and their schedules are re-arranged, and circumstances force them to do overtime; and when a doctor is tired he tends to forget. Such slips can have major impacts,” he says.

Still, ISIS is open to medical students as well as board-certified doctors.

“You do not need to be an expert in your field to make a difference here, even someone with a year or two of studies is a big help. As I mentioned previously, we have brothers here who have not studied anything, yet due to the lack of doctors they help out in the hospitals, and many times, even help in major surgeries and operations,” Al-Britani continues. “…I do not wish to sound harsh, but my brother please fear Allah as He should be feared, stop treating the Kuffar and come treat the wounds of your brothers.”

“You may be getting a high wage in the west, but what about the high rewards in the hereafter? The wage here may not be as much as you get in the west but do we live for this life or do we live for the hereafter? Is money more important than the life of your Muslim brother?”

Al-Britani goes on about ISIS members who have been disabled or died due to shoddy medical treatment, including “nerves accidentally cut” and others “left alone and abandoned by their Muslim doctors at the time when they need them the most.”

“Remember this well: Allah is testing them through their injuries, but Allah is also testing you to see how you will react… Will you betray your brothers or will you come to their aid? Your brothers are here, laying in hospital beds waiting for your response.”

Al-Britani has also advertised other jobs for people who want to help ISIS but don’t want to fight, including bomb-maker, teacher, administration positions, fitness instructor and press officer.

A Saudi doctor who made headlines for running off to join ISIS, Faisal bin Shaman al-Aanzi, was killed last year.

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BOMBSHELL: Afghan Colonel Was Paid $250,000 to Kill U.S. Air Force Personnel, Pentagon Cover-Up Ensued

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

A bombshell revelation has emerged about the incident responsible for the greatest U.S. Air Force loss of life during the War on Terror, the deadliest “green-on-blue” attack during U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

On April 27, 2011, Afghan Air Force Colonel Ahmad Gul gunned down eight U.S. Air Force personnel and a civilian contractor inside the Afghan Air Force headquarters, including investigators who had just arrived in the country to examine rampant corruption in the Afghan military.

Multiple Air Force and CENTCOM investigations claimed to find no motive for the attack, leaving the families of those killed with no answers.

Now, a senior U.S. official has gone on the record claiming that a United Nations team tracked substantial payments to the killer and his family made days just prior to the incident.

These revelations appear in the season finale of For The Record, which airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on The Blaze TV.

For the past year, I have worked as a consultant with the For The Record documentary investigative team looking into the Kabul airport massacre and the Pentagon’s handling of the matter. Last November, I appeared on an episode of the program noting that the Pentagon’s multiple explanations for the attack didn’t match their own forensics. Here’s a trailer for that For The Record episode, “Insider Attack”:

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A follow-up report on the Pentagon’s handling of the spike in “green-on-blue” incidents appeared in January, after the killing of U.S. Army Major General Harold Greene in August last year. He is the highest-ranking U.S. official killed during the War on Terror. The report noted that U.S. personnel who warned of a potential escalation of insider attacks were punished by their superiors:

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Tonight’s For The Record episode includes an interview with one of the top U.S. officials charged with combating illicit financing in Afghanistan. He reveals the payoffs made to Col. Ahmad Gul:

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Sara Carter, senior investigative reporter for The Blaze, reported today on the stunning revelation that this official’s team tracked $250,000 in payments to the killer:

A final investigation by U.S. Central Command did find circumstantial evidence that Gul may have been involved in a criminal network, but that evidence was not pursued and a large portion of the investigation still remains classified, according to CENTCOM.

But a six-month investigation by For the Record suggests that Gul murdered the airmen at the behest of someone or a criminal network, according to numerous sources and military documents.

For the Record learned that a joint investigation conducted by then-U.S. Task Force 2010, charged at the time with tracing terror financing in Afghanistan and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, found that Gul had received a large deposit in a family bank account and that all of his debts were wiped clean just one week before the killings.

Thomas Creal, who served as the lead expert for Task Force 2010, investigated the killer’s finances and found evidence he says overwhelmingly points to Gul’s connection to criminal networks.

This report has never been made public.

“There was extensive corruption inside the Afghan military and investigations were cut short, hampered by ranking personnel at the State Department and military,” Creal said. “The insider killings don’t need to continue. We can take steps to mitigate these suicidal hits but we can’t do it if evidence is ignored.”

The Pentagon cover-up began almost immediately after the massacre, most likely to avoid embarrassing revelations of rampant corruption by our Afghan “allies.” The initial report had to be followed up by a second and third report after the lies in the first began to be challenged — including the first report’s claim that Gul had committed suicide after the attack, but was later found to have died from gunshot wounds to the chest from two different weapons.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the effect found in their own reports, the Pentagon claimed to find no conclusive evidence of Taliban involvement — even though the terror group immediately claimed credit for the attack.

This resulted in bizarre reporting on the Pentagon’s findings, such as an Air Force Times article entitled “Motive in Kabul shooting deaths remains elusive” that reported:

Witnesses told investigators that Gul became increasingly radical in his religious views in the years leading up to the shooting and was deeply angry at the U.S. invasion of his home country — even saying on more than one occasion that he “wanted to kill Americans”

The Afghan shooter who smeared “God is one” in blood on the walls of the Afghan Air Force headquarters during the rampage a was a distinctly different man from several decades earlier.

According to testimony from those who knew Gul, in the late ‘80s, the Afghan native drank, liked to party and wasn’t terribly religious. But just a few years later, in about 1995, that changed when Gul started to follow the teachings of the Taliban.

He attended mosque for every prayer time and grew a beard. He also “developed an authoritarian approach when seeing other individuals that did not practice Islam to his liking,” according to one person who knew Gul at the time…

In 2006, Gul decided to move to Pakistan and started attending a local mosque, where he met an “unknown prominent figure” who is believed to have radicalized him. There were also rumors that Gul wanted to be a suicide bomber.

When Gul decided to move back to Afghanistan in 2008, people asked him why he would go back.

“[Gul] responded he ‘wanted to kill Americans,’” investigators said.

But the Pentagon concluded that his possible motive remained elusive.

More explosive details from this investigation will be revealed during tonight’s For The Record’s season finale episode, “Insider Attack: The Kabul Massacre,” at 8 p.m. ET on TheBlaze TV.

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Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Yahoo! Sports:

A jury found Aaron Hernandez guilty of murder in the first degree for the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, ending forever his life of NFL fame and fortune.

A Bristol County jury of seven women and five men deliberated for 36 hours over seven days before reaching a unanimous verdict on the former New England Patriots star. They said the murder rose to first degree due to Hernandez acting with extreme atrocity or cruelty. The conviction carries a sentence of automatic life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hernandez, 25, stood stone-faced as the verdict was read, only to collapse into a chair as the guilty charges piled on. Behind him, his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins wept uncontrollably on the shoulder of Teri Hernandez, Aaron’s mother. Lloyd’s family, who during the trial made a daily pilgrimage to this old mill town 50 miles south of Boston, wept and embraced as the verdict was read.

This is a tragic end to what could have been an outstanding life and career. It’s also a lesson about associating with the wrong people. Wealth, testosterone and youth can be a deadly mix. One or two wrong choices and lives can end literally and figuratively (see: Len Bias).

The NFL tries to mitigate this with training for rookies, but it’s something that is still far beyond its control. Unless, of course, it assigns personal monitors to all of its players. Never put anything past Roger Goodell.

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Day After Obama Removes Cuba from Terror Sponsor List, Terror Group Sponsored by Cuba Kills 10

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by David Steinberg

Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would be removing Cuba from the U.S. State Sponsors of Terror list as part of his push to normalize relations with the communist dictatorship. But just hours later, a terror group long fostered by Cuba — even today, the Castro brothers are harboring several wanted members of the group — murdered 10 Colombian soldiers and wounded 17 others in a terror attack on a military base.

Reported Agence France Presse:

Ten Colombia soldiers killed in apparent FARC attack

Ten soldiers were killed and 17 injured in western Colombia Wednesday, in a dawn attack on an army garrison that officials blamed on leftist FARC guerrillas.

The attack occurred in a small town in Cauca province, governor Temistocles Ortega told Blu radio, adding that four of the injured soldiers are in serious condition.

The Cauca region has been a stronghold for the rebel fighters, who are in peace talks with the Bogota government to end more than a half-century of hostilities.

“This is precisely the war that we are trying to end,” President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter.

The FARC in December declared a unilateral ceasefire, which it has said was meant to advance the negotiations, which have been under way since November 2012.

The Colombian government last month temporarily halted air raids against the Marxist rebels.

The five-decade-long conflict has killed more than 200,000 people and uprooted more than five million.

Yesterday, in an article titled “Why Cuba Was, And Must Remain, On Terror List,” PJ Media’s Henry Gomez reported that Cuba has not changed its policy of fueling and defending leftist terror whatsoever since they were initially placed on the list. Wrote Gomez:

The Castro brothers continue to harbor international terrorists from Spain’s Basque separatist group ETA and Colombia’s Marxist rebels FARC, as well as American domestic terrorists from groups like the Black Liberation Army.

Nothing has really changed on this front. It’s estimated that 70 U.S. fugitives are being harbored by Cuba, including Joanne Chesimard (AKA “Assata Shakur”), a convicted cop killer.

Apologists for the Castro regime try to argue that Cuba does not meet the criteria of state sponsor of terrorism via technicalities. They insist that the Basque terrorists in Cuba are a matter for Spain to resolve bilaterally with Cuba, and that the FARC terrorists don’t count because Cuba is hosting peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government, and that Chesimard doesn’t qualify as a terrorist because she didn’t kill a civilian, conflating a police officer with a member of uniformed armed forces in a declared war.

Needless to say, the straws they grasp at paint no more of a flattering picture of the totalitarian dictatorship they defend, which is in its sixth decade.

Gomez is correct in his description of the apologists’ behavior as “grasping at straws.” Harboring terrorists matches the qualifications required for the list, as this act was specifically included in every yearly report dating back to Cuba’s being placed on the list in 1982. 

For example, see this State Department report from 2012:

Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982. Reports in 2012 suggested that the Cuban government was trying to distance itself from Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) members living on the island by employing tactics such as not providing services including travel documents to some of them. The Government of Cuba continued to provide safe haven to approximately two dozen ETA members.

In past years, some members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were allowed safe haven in Cuba and safe passage through Cuba. In November, the Government of Cuba began hosting peace talks between the FARC and Government of Colombia.

There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.

The Cuban government continued to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States. The Cuban government also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has identified Cuba as having strategic anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism deficiencies. In 2012, Cuba became a member of the Financial Action Task Force of South America against Money Laundering, a FATF-style regional body. With this action, Cuba has committed to adopting and implementing the FATF Recommendations.

 

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Scott Backs Body Cameras as ‘Greater Protection’ for Cops and Citizens

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) threw his support in principle behind a legislative effort in his home state to require that all state and local police officers in South Carolina wear body cameras.

“I believe that having law enforcement officers wear body cameras provides greater protection for both law enforcement officers and citizens,” Scott said in a statement this morning. “As the South Carolina Legislature begins consideration of S.47, a number of important questions must be asked and answered in regards to implementation of a body camera program. I look forward to a robust debate on those questions and making progress on this matter.”

“As the debate begins in South Carolina, I will continue to look at possible federal solutions in regards to this issue as well,” Scott vowed. “I am committed to working with communities, law enforcement, public officials and others to improve the interaction between police officers and communities throughout the nation.”

Scott quickly spoke out after the slaying of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old man fleeing from a traffic stop who was shot in the back by former North Charleston officer Michael Slager.

“The horrific video that came to light yesterday is deeply troubling,” the senator said April 8. “It is clear the killing of Walter Scott was unnecessary and avoidable, and my prayers are with the Scott family as they go through this ordeal. The swift action taken by [South Carolina Law Enforcement Division] and the relevant authorities upon receiving the video shows the severity of this terrible event.”

“With several protests planned today, I join community leaders in North Charleston in calling for peace. I understand the hurt, the frustration and the anger many are feeling today. But violence solves nothing,” Scott added. “We must come together as a community, as a state, and as a nation in working to bring our communities together and rebuild trust.”

The senator was born and raised in North Charleston and is no relation to the victim.

Walter Scott’s family has also called for peace and there have been no violent protests in the city.

The senator attended a memorial service for Walter Scott on Saturday, along with Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.). Sanford said afterward that Congress would pursue “legislative remedies,” according to The New York Times.

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Saudi Connection to 9/11 Still Being Covered Up in Washington

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

What a surprise: the desert dictatorship of the House of Saud, which pretty much owns both American political parties as well as a bunch of oil-producing sand, is very likely complicit up to its eyeballs in the attacks of Sept. 11 — and we just sit here and take it:

Just 15 days before the 9/11 attacks, a well-connected Saudi family suddenly abandoned their luxury home in Sarasota, Fla., leaving behind jewelry, clothes, opulent furniture, a driveway full of cars — including a brand new Chrysler PT Cruiser — and even a refrigerator full of food. About the only thing not left behind was a forwarding address. The occupants simply vanished without notifying their neighbors, realtor or even mail carrier.

The 3,300-square-foot home on Escondito Circle belonged to Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of then-King Fahd. But at the time, it was occupied by his daughter and son-in-law, who beat a hasty retreat back to Saudi Arabia just two weeks before the attacks after nearly a six-year stay here. Neighbors took note of the troubling coincidence and called the FBI, which opened an investigation that led to the startling discovery that at least one “family member” trained at the same flight school as some of the 9/11 hijackers in nearby Venice, Fla.

The investigation into the prominent Saudi family’s ties to the hijackers started on Sept. 19, 2001, and remained active for several years. It was led by the FBI’s Tampa field office but also involved the bureau’s field offices in New York and Washington, and also the Southwest Florida Domestic Security Task Force. Agents identified persons of interest in the case, establishing their ties to other terrorists, sympathies with Osama bin Laden and anti-American remarks. They looked into their bank accounts, colleges and places of employment. They tracked at least one suspect’s re-entry into the US.

The Saudi-9/11 connection in Florida was no small part of the overall 9/11 investigation. Yet it was never shared with Congress. Nor was it mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report. Now it’s being whitewashed again, in a newly released report by the 9/11 Review Commission, set up last year by Congress to assess “any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission.” Though the FBI acknowledges the Saudi family was investigated, it maintains the probe was a dead end.

Sure it was. That’s why the House of Bush hustled the Saudis — including bin Laden’s own relatives — out of the country pronto. As CBS reported at the time:

Two dozen members of Osama bin Laden’s family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, according to the Saudi ambassador to Washington. One of bin Laden’s brothers frantically called the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington looking for protection, Prince Bandar bin Sultan told The New York Times. The brother was sent to a room in the Watergate Hotel and was told not to open the door.

Most of bin Laden’s relatives were attending high school and college. The young members of the bin Laden family were driven or flown under FBI supervision to a secret place in Texas and then to Washington, The Times reported Sunday. Many were terrified, fearing they would be lynched after hearing reports of violence against Muslims and Arab-Americans. They left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks.

That would be the same “prince” Bandar who’s been identified as one of the chief financiers of the murder of 3,000 Americans.

Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, who in 2002 chaired the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, maintains the FBI is covering up a Saudi support cell in Sarasota for the hijackers. He says the al-Hijjis’ “urgent” pre-9/11 exit suggests “someone may have tipped them off” about the coming attacks. Graham has been working with a 14-member group in Congress to urge President Obama to declassify 28 pages of the final report of his inquiry which were originally redacted, wholesale, by President George W. Bush.

“The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” he said, adding, “I am speaking of the kingdom,” or government, of Saudi Arabia, not just wealthy individual Saudi donors.

Sources who have read the censored Saudi section say it cites CIA and FBI case files that directly implicate officials of the Saudi Embassy in Washington and its consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks — which, if true, would make 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war by a foreign government. The section allegedly identifies high-level Saudi officials and intelligence agents by name, and details their financial transactions and other dealings with the San Diego hijackers. It zeroes in on the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Embassy, among other Saudi entities.

A national tragedy has become a national disgrace, abetted by top members of both parties. Oddly enough, their names are Bush and Clinton — the same two families that may well run “against” each other in next year’s presidential elections. Think about that.

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Administration Reasoning: Castros Said ‘Many, Many, Many’ Times They Don’t Like Terrorism

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Senior administration officials told reporters that several factors went into rescinding Cuba’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism, including the Castros telling them “many, many, many” times that they don’t like terrorism.

President Obama yesterday submitted to Congress notice of the administration’s intent to remove Cuba’s terrorist designation.

“After a careful review of Cuba’s record, which was informed by the Intelligence Community, as well as assurances provided by the Cuban government, the Secretary of State concluded that Cuba met the conditions for rescinding its designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

“As the president has said, we will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. That determination is based on the statutory standard – and the facts – and those facts have led the president to declare his intention to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation,” Earnest said. “More broadly, the United States will continue to support our interests and values through engagement with the Cuban government and people.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes sniped at critics on Twitter, “Put simply, POTUS is acting to remove #Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list because Cuba is not a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

Congressional critics say otherwise. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who keeps a running list of Cuba’s activities that sponsor terrorism, warned just a week ago that the White House was putting “alarming” pressure on the State Department to rush the removal of the terrorist designation.

A senior administration official told reporters on a conference call after the White House announcement that “the Cubans have for a long time shown us many, many, many speeches by their leaders, both Fidel and Raul, in which they have rejected terrorism.”

“Many instances, in fact, of terrorist acts that they have decried publicly, I think the latest probably being the Charlie Hebdo incident in France,” the official added. “But certainly, there are lots of incidents that they can point to. And in terms of commitments for the future, they point to both statements by their leadership and ratifications of international treaties, and the assurances that they gave us.”

That official acknowledged the review time was “well within the period of time that the president gave to us,” but insisted the process was “extremely rigorous.”

Another official called “the pledge or the assurances that they will no longer support acts of terrorism in the future” an “important component of this evaluation.”

Congress has 45 days from the receipt of Obama’s report to block the removal of the terrorist designation. Obama could then veto that.

Menendez said the administration’s action gives “no explanation, no justification, and no comfort” to the family of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, who was “murdered in cold blood” by Joanne Chesimard — on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted Terrorists list and harbored by Havana.

“This decision to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism sends a message that you can continue to be complicit as Cuba has – with North Korea and China – in the smuggling of jets, missiles, and other weapons in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions – and do it with impunity,” Menendez said. “This decision to remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism allows Basque terrorists wanted by Spain, and members of FARC wanted by Colombia, to see Cuba as a place of refuge.”

“How can we say Cuba is not a State Sponsor of Terrorism when the Castro regime continues to harbor dozens of other American fugitives: cop killers, plane hijackers, bomb makers, arms traffickers? For Cuba to be removed from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, it must demonstrate changed behavior through verifiable actions, not empty rhetoric. Cuba remains as repressive today as ever and is undeserving of this potential newfound designation.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) noted that the Obama administration’s policy toward Cuba has been “ask, and you shall receive.”

“This is being done only for political reasons and not in accordance with the law,” she said. “For months, the Obama administration deceived the American people by conveying that opening embassies and the SST designation were not linked in these misguided talks. But this unwise decision to remove Cuba from the SST list illustrates that the Obama administration is willing to concede to the demands of the Castro brothers in order to set up an embassy in Cuba. Removing Cuba from the terrorist list does not help the Cuban people as they are still left oppressed and without even basic human rights while emboldening its oppressors.”

Ros-Lehtinen stressed that recently “Castro thugs beat U.S. citizens and Cuban pro-democracy activists in Panama and now the regime is being rewarded for such actions by being removed from the SST list.”

“This removal will only undermine U.S. national security and send a signal to the Cuban people that, instead of disapproving of the Castro regime’s methods, the U.S. is rushing to embrace two decrepit tyrants in their twilight,” she said. “Sadly, President Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terror list is based on politics and not facts.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the decision “sends a chilling message to our enemies aboard that this White House is no longer serious about calling terrorism by its proper name.”

“This is yet another example of President Obama viewing the world through rose-colored glasses,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said. “President Obama is trying to find redeeming qualities in the Cuban regime regardless of the facts. But the facts are clear, there has been no change in the nature of the Castro brothers’ regime.”

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Hillary’s Insatiable Lust for Power: NY Times Applies Lipstick to Pig Sloppily

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Scott Ott

What are Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most obvious character traits?

If you said humility and willingness to learn rapidly from past mistakes, you’re correct, as we find in Wednesday’s edition of the New York Times. But under the surface one can’t help but hear a tinge of sarcasm, even from the official organ of the DNC.

If [Mrs. Clinton's] latest reinvention seems forced, that could be beside the point. The line between genuine regret and conveying contrition for the purposes of political rehabilitation may be blurred for the Clintons. But the impulse is unmistakable: Do what it takes to correct flaws, real or perceived.

Throughout the Times‘ chronicle of Clinton reinventions, the former and future presidents appear as two pluripotent peas in a pod, glad to morph from legume to squash to pulled pork if needed.

But news analyst Jonathan Martin can’t bring himself to come right out and say that Hillary and Bill Clinton will do anything to seize, and to cling to, power. No principle too precious. No friend too dear. No boot too filthy to lick.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The New York Times tries to put democratic lipstick on an autocratic pig, but does so sloppily.

You may have noticed an undercurrent, even in the obsolete media, that despite Barack Obama’s assertion to the contrary, Hillary Clinton is not, in fact, “likeable enough.” But because she’s the only game in town at the moment, the sycophants and hawkers of centralized remote-control government dutifully mouth the rebranding message emanating from the Clinton camp.

She changed her name to help her husband make a comeback in Arkansas. In the Senate, she made nice with Republicans, and even with untouchable House members. She voted to authorize President G.W. Bush’s use of force in Iraq, and co-sponsored a bill to criminalize flag burning. She swallowed her pride to accept Obama’s appointment as secretary of State, and then graciously endured her virtual banishment from American soil as she logged nearly a million flight miles and returned with nothing to show for it (but four flag-draped caskets and the U.S. Benghazi consulate in ashes. Of course, “what difference at this point does it make?”)

Her maiden campaign video is all about YOU, as is her road-trip from New York to Iowa, in what looks like an NSA mobile surveillance unit. She is now of the people, for the people and, for the first time in decades, among the people.

At first glance, the New York Times seems committed to putting democratic lipstick on a self-serving autocratic pig. But a careful reading shows the cosmetic applied rather sloppily — perhaps intentionally so.

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Gun-Grabbers Fail at Attempt to Stop Wal-Mart from Selling Firearms

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

A plan to strong-arm Wal-Mart into using “tighter oversight” for the sale of firearms with high-capacity magazines has failed.

Yesterday, a federal appeals court lifted an injunction that would have forced Wal-Mart to let shareholders vote on an anti-gun proposal put forward by shareholders with a political agenda. Specifically, the proposal would tighten oversight on the sale of guns with high-capacity magazines.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Stark issued an injunction stating, according to Guns.com, “Wal-Mart wrongly excluded the church, a major shareholder, at its annual meeting and granted Trinity an injunction preventing the company from excluding the proposal from proxy materials for its 2015 annual meeting.” That injunction was lifted by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The church filed the lawsuit in April 2014 after the retail giant refused to bring the proposal to shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission said it would not punish Wal-Mart for excluding it.”

If they had succeeded, shareholders could conceivably flood the company or any other company with idiotic proposals about what merchandise ought to sold.

Trinity Church, based in Manhattan, has $2B in assets and intended for other shareholders to consider that “sale of certain products can have momentous consequences.”

On the side of Trinity Church is the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which argued “Among the hundreds of thousands of items Wal-Mart sells, assault rifles with high-capacity magazines stand apart because of their capacity to kill large numbers of people in a very short period of time. They would doubtless be appropriate for consideration under any policy involving products sold which might impact safety of the general public and the reputation of Wal-Mart.”

If you don’t like the merchandise Wal-Mart sells, don’t invest in the company. I suspect the church didn’t just invest in Wal-Mart to get a big return on their investment, but rather they wanted to force this issue into the courts and stop the country’s largest retailer from selling certain firearms.

“This ruling was less a victory for gun owners than a victory for corporations,” Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, told Guns.com. “Courts have long been reluctant to force public companies to put political and social issues up for a shareholder vote. Whether the issue is liberal or conservative, courts generally give big companies autonomy to decide whether to allow votes on such proposals.

“Still, gun buyers benefit from the ruling because Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest retail outlet and will continue to sell guns,” said Winkler.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Tax Day! Post-9/11 Police State Attacks Maryland Dairy Farmer

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Since we’re busily importing Muslim “refugees” by the boatload into places like Minneapolis and Buffalo and Lewiston, Me., can we declare the “War on Terror” over and stop terrorizing our own real-American citizens? Or is that too much to ask of the bullying bureaucrats of the Bush-Obama administrations?

Randy Sowers always expected the government to show up one day and ask where all the cash he was depositing at his bank came from. He thought he had the right answer: from his business selling eggs and milk at farmers markets.

But under a federal law designed to target money laundering, Sowers and his Maryland dairy farm lost a big chunk of that income — $29,500 — to the government. Three years later, he hasn’t gotten any of it back and almost certainly never will. In the court of public opinion, however, South Mountain Creamery has become a potent symbol for the movement against civil asset forfeiture. Sowers’s case is perfect for libertarians trying to stir up opposition to government seizures of cash. It appeals to conservatives, liberals and anyone who likes baby cows.

And who doesn’t love baby cows? The feds, that’s who:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stefan Cassella, who handled the case, helped draft Justice Department asset-forfeiture policy and launched an entire forfeiture unit in Maryland. Cassella quite literally wrote the book on goverment seizures: “Asset Forfeiture Law in the United States, 2nd Edition.” The single review on Amazon gives the book one star and asks, “How do you sleep at night?”

Sowers was not accused of money laundering or attempting to hide illegal profits. Federal agents who showed up at his farm in February 2012 told him that they thought he was an honest businessman. But he had run afoul of federal law requiring banks to report deposits of more than $10,000 and making it a crime to evade the reporting requirement by “structuring” cash into smaller amounts.

The law is aimed at fighting money laundering, terrorism financing, tax evasion and other fraud, and its use against small businesses has become a target for critics of government overreach.

That’s what the law is aimed at — of course, what it actually hits are people like the Sowerses. When you will not fight an enemy frankly bent on your destruction, then it’s almost inevitable that you will turn on the people you are supposed to protect. After all, all that federal power has to go somewhere, doesn’t it?

Based on Freedom of Information Act requests, the libertarian Institute for Justice has reported that the Internal Revenue Service has seized almost a quarter-billion dollars in such cases from 2005 to 2012, about half of which was never returned. A third of those cases, like the Sowers case, did not involve allegations of criminal activity beyond the structured deposits themselves.

Rep. Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, said he has told the Sowers story to senior citizens in his suburban Chicago district — and watched as their jaws dropped. “This is not a meth lab,” he said. “This is not a mafia front group. There’s no drug ring. These are people who have been in the dairy business a long time.”

Read the whole thing and prepare to have your blood boiled. Three felonies a day… think of that while you file your taxes today.

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Sanders Mocks Hillary’s Scooby Van: ‘I Can’t Think of an Interest of More Significance’

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) mocked Hillary Clinton’s “Scooby van” tour and the horde of press following it while stressing that America has no idea what she’s running on.

“I’m sure there is great national interest about the Scooby van; I can’t think of an interest of more significance to the American people,” Sanders quipped yesterday on MSNBC.

The self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist wants the focus turned to issues such as super PACs and Keystone. “I would hope very much that serious debate on serious issues is what we do in any campaign,” he said.

Sanders promised to give a decision on his own presidential aspirations “pretty soon.”

“If I run, I want to run a serious campaign. I want to make sure that we have the financial resources to do it,” he said, noting that his money comes from small donors, “not billionaires.”

The “most important issue” for a candidate to focus on, he said, “is are we prepared to take on the billionaire class which has so much power over our economic and political life.”

Meanwhile, “Why don’t you tell me what Hillary Clinton is campaigning on? Do you know?”

“You don’t know and I don’t know and the American people don’t know,” Sanders said.

This morning on MSNBC, Sanders declared “no president, not Hillary, not Bernie Sanders, not anybody, will succeed unless there is a mass mobilization of millions of people who say enough is enough, Koch brothers and billionaires can’t have it all.”

“I’ve known Hillary Clinton for many years and I like Hillary Clinton very much and clearly this is a very capable person, but she has to answer some very significant questions.”

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Surprise: British Muslims Fight for Islam, Not for Queen and Country

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

But you probably guessed that already; they’re only “British” because they hold a passport, not because they’re “Britons.” The New York Times takes a sympathetic look at the “plight” of the poor jihadis in the upcoming Sunday edition:

At the International Center for the Study of Radicalization (I.C.S.R.), an innovative institute at King’s College London, a handful of researchers have been charting, following and, in some cases, interacting directly with foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq — through text-messaging and smartphone apps — in hopes of understanding their motivations and their worldview. The center now monitors some 700 of the 20,000 foreign fighters from 90 countries around the world. (Foreigners make up half of ISIS’s total fighting force.) An estimated 4,000 are from Western nations, some 600 to 700 from Britain alone. More British Muslim men have joined ISIS and the Nusra Front than are serving in the British armed forces.

Many of the fighters from Britain — as well as those from Finland, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands — came from comfortable middle-class homes. Many were university students or graduates; a surprising number were women, too. But they didn’t appear to fit a typical profile, which confounded counterterrorism experts and Western governments. Some, like Ifthekar, seemed driven by romantic notions of jihad. Others, like Mohammed Emwazi, who later became known as Jihadi John, the ruthless executioner of Western journalists and aid workers in the ISIS videos, fully embraced the violence of the Islamic State. Emwazi was also a Briton, and also the son of a comfortable middle-class family, with a degree in computer programming. And then there were still other cases in which entire families made their way to Syria or Iraq: pregnant women; young children; even the family pets…

Some of the jihadists were hardened radicals who would become suicide bombers in Syria or Iraq. Others, he discovered, were much more fanciful. There was, for example, the foreign fighter from Mexico who constantly complained that it was impossible to find good Mexican food in Syria. There was the blind man from the Netherlands, who told a recruiter that because he was blind he couldn’t fight; the recruiter told him to come anyhow: “We’re a state,” he said, “and we need people to build that state.” And then there was the young man from Britain, who was already packed but had one last question before he left: Was hair gel available in Syria?

I looked around at the various flags that festoon the I.C.S.R.’s walls. They told the story of the three generations of Western fighters who had embraced jihad — going back to the 1980s and the war in Afghanistan. There were banners of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Free Syrian Army and ISIS, interspersed with posters of angry young men, some holding Kalashnikovs, others staring sternly ahead. The black, white and green flag of the U.S.-trained Free Syrian Army, Maher told me, took forever to find; he finally came upon one in a Turkish border town on the Syrian frontier. The black-and-white banner of ISIS, conversely, was available everywhere.

Everything within the ummah, nothing outside the ummah. They know what they’re fighting for. Do we?

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Freshman Senator’s Vanity Candidacy Puts GOP Senate Majority in Peril

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Nice work, Marco:

Marco Rubio on Monday became the third Republican senator to announce a bid for president and the first of the group to leave behind a competitive seat. Rubio vacating his seat in Florida in favor of national ambition gives the GOP another potentially strong White House contender. But it presents new challenges for Senate Republicans pushing to hold their newly acquired majority by leaving an expensive open seat in a state at the heart of the presidential election.

Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, a prolific fundraiser from South Florida, is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination… Republicans have turned their sights to the congressional delegation, particularly Tom Rooney, a four-term Republican from central Florida. Rooney, who told CQ Roll Call two weeks ago the race wasn’t even on his radar, said in a Monday phone interview he now believes he can win the open seat and has a meeting scheduled at the National Republican Senatorial Committee Thursday.

“We could screw this up,” Rooney told CQ Roll Call. “There is a very clear scenario where Patrick Murphy, who is a moderate Democrat, is going to inherit a bloodied Republican nominee who is not going to be able to get their act together to beat him.”

Democrats could have a primary on their hands, as well. While Murphy is the favorite of national Democrats, Rep. Alan Grayson, a liberal firebrand, is also considering a bid. Grayson, who recently annulled his marriage of 25 years after a public court battle, has the ability to self-fund his campaign.

Democrats, who must net five seats to ensure a majority, were already targeting the seat. President Barack Obama carried the state by razor-thin margins in 2008 and 2012, and having Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of the ticket looks at this point like a positive for Senate Democrats.

Rubio’s incumbency and fundraising capabilities made him a slight favorite for re-election. But as an open seat, the race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.

A disgraceful move that tells us all we need to know about Rubio, who has next to no chance to win the nomination. There are too many skeletons in his closet, and his self-aggrandizing antics with the Gang of Eight on immigration indicate he is basically a single-issue candidate. We’ve already seen how much narcissistic damage a one-term senator with delusions of grandeur can do.

The GOP’s continuing inability to think strategically could cost it dearly next year.

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