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AG Holder Orders Second Autopsy in Brown Murder Case

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

In a highly unusual move, Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a second autopsy on Michael Brown, the unarmed man who was shot by police officer Darren Wilson.

The media reports I’ve read about this announcement have been strikingly incurious about the obvious — something  Jazz Shaw points out:

Their own spokesperson is using the phrase “extraordinary circumstances” here, so that seems to be an acknowledgement that the normal protocols are in flux. I’m not suggesting that this is illegal – unless somebody can cite a specific instance to make that case – but what is there about the death of Michael Brown that makes this a federal case? If you sweep aside the wall to wall media coverage and celebrities flocking to Ferguson, this is a case of one person who was shot during a confrontation with a local police officer, allegedly on the heels of a low dollar value robbery at a convenience store. Nobody crossed state lines that I’m aware of. And when you look at it in that perspective, there are many such cases around the country every year. (Many more than we would like to see, it should go without saying.)

No federal crime has been committed so how can there be a federal investigation? There’s no way the feds would step on St. Louis County’s toes and file federal civil rights violations against Officer Wilson. They would allow the murder investigation and prosecution to go forward before stepping in.

This is a blatantly political move by Obama/Holder, capitalizing on a racially explosive situation to score points with the black community — a constituency they believe is vital to Democrats if they are to hold the Senate.

Here’s part of DoJ’s statement announcing the additional autopsy:

“Due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family, Attorney General Holder has instructed Justice Department officials to arrange for an additional autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner. This independent examination will take place as soon as possible,” the statement said.

The first autopsy was conducted by the state of Missouri and the justice department release said it would take that investigation into account.

“Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation,” the release said.

I’m sure we all sympathize with the Brown family in wishing for an impartial and disinterested look at the evidence. But just because they ask for federal assistance, does that mean they get it? If other families in similar circumstances asked, would Holder comply?

That’s why the Justice Department involvement smacks of partisan politics to me. In this, the most politicized DoJ since Nixon, we’ve come to expect this kind of cynical manipulation of the law for political purposes.

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Capt. Ron Johnson Gives a Rousing, Heartfelt Speech at Michael Brown Rally in Ferguson

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson gave a rousing and heartfelt speech at a rally today at a Ferguson church for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old man who was shot by police a week ago. In a rally attended by the parents of Brown and a lineup of nationally known civil rights leaders, Johnson, who has become the face of the law enforcement effort in Ferguson, was greeted with a standing ovation by the crowd of approximately 1500 people.

Capt. Johnson began by speaking to Michael Brown’s family. “I want you to know my heart goes out to you and I say that I’m sorry. I wear this uniform and I should stand up here and say that I’m sorry,” Johnson said. The crowd cheered and again gave Johnson a standing ovation.

“This is my neighborhood,” Johnson continued. “You are my family, you are my friends, and I am you.” He vowed to protect the community’s right to protest.

He said his heart was full seeing a church full of people clapping and cheering. “This is what the media needs to put on TV.”

Johnson admitted that the last 24 hours had been tough for him, saying that he had met some members of Michael Brown’s family. “They brought tears to my eyes,” Johnson said. “And shame to my heart,” he added.

He said, however, that his daughter had encouraged him with the story of Peter and Jesus in the New Testament. “When Peter failed, Jesus picked him back up,” his daughter told him.

He promised to stay with the community of Ferguson “as long as it takes.” Capt. Johnson said, “Because when this is over I’m going to go into my son’s room — my black son, who wears his pants sagging, wears his hat cocked to the side, got tattoos on his arms, but that’s my baby.” Johnson paused for another standing ovation.

“And we all ought to be thanking the Browns for Michael,” he continued. “Because Michael’s gonna make it better for all of our sons so they can be better black men. It will be better for our daughters so they can be better black women. Better for me so I can be a better black father. And we know they’re going to make our mamas even better than they are today.”

Johnson encouraged the community to pray and allow the death of Mike Brown to make them better. “I love you, I stand tall with you, and I’ll see you out there,” Johnson concluded.

Watch video on the next page.

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Gross Media Irresponsibility in Showing House of Accused Officer

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

This is really, really, stupid. And a shocking disregard for someone’s safety.

Jim Hoft is reporting that several news media outlets are brazenly broadcasting in front of the house of accused Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

CNN broadcast a report Friday that showed the house, including the street number, of the Ferguson police officer who police say shot Mike Brown. The officer has been in hiding due to death threats since the shooting last Saturday. His name, Darren Wilson, was just released Friday morning.

Another news outlet apologized for broadcasting video of Wilson’s home while others have virtually drawn a map to Wilson’s house for those bent on vengeance.

Yahoo News named the community Wilson where Wilson resides and published a photograph of the officer.

The UK Daily Mail also named the community, posted photos of the officer and gave a description of the house.

USA Today also named the community and reported a local police presence.

The Washington Post named the street where Wilson lives.

In the video report, CNN reporter Ed Lavandera is seen walking in the street where Wilson lives. The CNN video shows a wide view of Wilson’s house and then pans around the street to show its relative position in the neighborhood. While Lavandera does not name the street, he gives its approximate location.

Every news report says neighbors told them Wilson has not been home for several days.

A version of the video being aired by CNN affiliate Newschannel 13 in Orlando, Florida (and likely other affiliates around the country including the St. Louis market) shows a brief close-up of the house number by the front door such that someone could freeze and enlarge the image to get the address.

The version of the report available online at CNN has that footage edited and replaced with a close-up of a front window of Wilson’s house.

What are these people thinking? If you saw that raucous press conference given by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon yesterday, and heard the tenor of the black community in Ferguson, you know what residents are screaming about when they chant for “justice.”

And yet, the media, with sublime idiocy, makes it fairly easy for someone familiar with the town of Ferguson to find Officer Wilson’s residence.

While it’s true that Wilson was not at home at the time, eventually he is going to be back. Residents of Ferguson have demonstrated over the last few nights that some of them may be crazy enough to practice a little vigilantism, and deal out their own version of “justice” for Michael Brown.

More: AG Holder Orders Second Autopsy in Brown Murder Case

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Marine Denied Entry into Six Flags Because of ‘Offensive’ T-Shirt

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

You’ve got to hand it to the anti-gun nuts in this country. Despite their minority status, they are winning.

The latest example of that is this Fox News story of a Marine who thought he’d spend a relaxing day at Six Flags in New Jersey with his family. Upon his arrival at the gate, he was told he could not enter the park.

The problem? He was wearing an “offensive” T-shirt. Here’s a pic of the illegal piece of clothing:

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Apparently, the image of a gun proved too much for Six Flags to endure. They can’t go around allowing their patrons to see a picture of a gun. Who knows? It may give impressionable children the idea that guns are OK, instead of evil fire sticks that turn people into homicidal maniacs.

The account is hard to believe:

A marine was denied entrance to a New Jersey amusement park last weekend – all because of his T-shirt.

Mario Alejandro planned a trip to the amusement park with his wife and children, but was turned away at the security gate because of his shirt.

The shirt says, “Keep calm and return fire,” and has an image of a red, white and blue M-16. Alejandro is a marine, and was part of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“When we got through the metal detector, the guy stopped me. You can’t come in with that shirt,” said Alejandro. “I started laughing. ‘You are joking, right?’ He said, ‘no, that shirt is offensive.’”

Alejandro, a marine who was part of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, said the shirt was a Father’s Day gift, purchased from a non-profit group that supports the Marines. He said he refused to take it off on principle.

The amusement park would not budge on its policy and although Alejandro’s family went in, Mario chose not to.

In a statement, Six Flags said it does not “allow guests to wear t-shirts with images of assault rifles in our parks.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience we caused this guest, however we stand by our policy, which does not permit clothing with vulgar, offensive or violent language or images. our goal is to maintain a fun, safe and family-friendly environment,” it said.

Six Flags has every right to deny entry to anyone they wish. Now, if it were me, I would ban people wearing T-shirts with the image of broccoli on it. I think broccoli is offensive. Its taste, smell, texture — ick. Then again, I wouldn’t impose my personal feeling of what is “offensive” on everybody else. That’s sorta how it works in America — at least the America I remember. Now? Who knows?

Yep — it’s that silly. Is the gun shown firing? No. In fact, it isn’t even a realistic picture of a gun. The idea that a picture of anything is “offensive” is bat guano crazy — which is a pretty good description of the owners of Six Flags

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Iraq Appears to be Getting Its Act Together

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

The ousting of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears to have energized the Iraqi government and finally forced the factions to face reality and unite.

A joint Kurdish, Iraqi army, and US operation to retake the Mosul Dam from Islamic State is the most visible manifestation of this newfound drive for more unity. And there is news that Sunni tribesmen have pledged to support the new government of Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, and say they will join the fight against Islamic State.

I suspect the Sunnis will have very little patience with the new government, but recognize the threat to them from Islamic State is as grave as the danger the terrorists pose to Bagdhdad.

Reuters:

Tribal leaders and clerics from Iraq’s Sunni heartland offered their conditional backing on Friday for a new government that hopes to contain sectarian bloodshed and an offensive by Islamic State militants that threatens to tear the country apart.

One of the most influential tribal leaders said he was willing to work with Shi’ite prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi provided a new administration respected the rights of the Sunni Muslim minority that dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Ali Hatem Suleiman left open a possibility that Sunnis would take up arms against the Islamic State fighters in the same way as he and others joined U.S. and Shi’ite-led government forces to thwart an al Qaeda insurgency in Iraq between 2006 and 2009.

Yet amid the signs that political accords were possible in the fractious nation, some 80 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority were “massacred” by Islamic State insurgents, a Yazidi lawmaker and two Kurdish officials said on Friday.

Abadi faces the daunting task of pacifying Iraq and particularly the vast desert province of Anbar. It forms much of the border with Syria, where the Islamist fighters also control swathes of territory.

Sunni alienation under outgoing Shi’ite premier Nuri al-Maliki goaded some in Anbar to join an Islamic State revolt that is now drawing the United States and European allies back into varying degrees of military involvement in Iraq to contain what they see as a militant threat that goes well beyond its borders.

The United Nations Security Council blacklisted the Islamic State spokesman and five other militants on Friday and threatened sanctions against those backing the insurgents, giving U.N. experts 90 days to report on who those people are.

While Abadi continues to bring the fractious Baghdad politicians together and form a government, the joint mission to retake Mosul Dam is in full swing. In what are described as “massive” air strikes, US planes attacked dozens of Islamic State positions near the dam.

Washington Post:

“The attack has started from the eastern side of the dam,” said Mahmood Haji, an official with the Kurdish ministry of interior, who said that the nearby villages of Telskuf and Batnaya were back under Kurdish control. He said Kurdish forces, known as pesh merga, and Iraqi counterterrorism forces, had reached the “borders” of the dam, but roadside bombs planted by the militants were slowing their progress. Brig. Gen. Azad Jalil, a pesh merga commander based near Mosul, confirmed that the ground offensive had begun. Mobile phone networks in the area were down.

Kurdish forces have gone on the offensive since U.S. airstrikes began in the area on Aug. 8, following a major rout of their forces, including at the dam. However, they have still struggled to maintain control of the more than 600-mile-long border they share with the extremists, with Islamic State seizing Jalula from Kurdish forces last week.

U.S. jets and drones carried out a total of nine airstrikes near the dam and the Kurdish city of Irbil on Saturday night, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. The strikes destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle, it said.

Al-Abadi has his work cut out for him, but with Sunnis and Kurds offering their support, there’s a real chance he will succeed in setting up a unity government that can face the challenges posed by Islamic State.

As for America, make no mistake; we are back in another Iraq War. We may debate whether this action was inevitable or not. But President Obama appears to have ordered an escalation of our involvement, as the Navy and Air Force carry out nearly 100 missions a day. Special Operators are almost certainly on the ground already, lasing targets and offering counsel to the Peshmerga.

The big question mark is what will the Islamic State do if they’re about to lose the dam? Will their nihilistic, bloodthirsty mindset unleash a humanitarian and economic catastrophe with the destruction of the dam? Are they that crazy?

Yes, they are. But the destruction of the dam would also mean the destruction of much of the territory they already control. Whether their bloodlust is more powerful than their self-interest will be revealed soon.

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Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s Drinking Problem and Abuse of Power, By the Staggering Numbers

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The indictment of Gov. Rick Perry by a grand jury in Travis County, Texas, is part of a power struggle that originates with a serious crime, albeit not one committed by Gov. Perry.

That crime, as everyone knows by now, is drunk driving, and it was committed by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

When Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, Democrat, was arrested and charged with drunk driving on April 12, 2013, her blood alcohol level measured .23.

That is just shy of three times the legal limit in Texas, which is .08.

According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Lehmberg must have consumed about 10 alcoholic drinks in one hour to achieve a .23 blood alcohol rating.

District Attorney Lehmberg also had an open bottle of vodka in her car, violating Texas’ longstanding open container law.

During processing after her arrest, Lehmberg denied that she was drunk, despite that .23 blood alcohol level, and the fact that she had been reported to police for driving the wrong way down an Austin street.

You can watch Lehmberg attempt to abuse her power in the video of her processing in jail after her arrest. Lehmberg is belligerent and violent in the video, and had to be restrained. When Lehmberg asks the officers if they have called “Greg,” she is referring to Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton, who she assumed would spring her from jail despite the overwhelming evidence that she had committed drunk driving.

Lehmberg’s taunt at the officers to “call Greg” is at the 1:49 mark in the video.

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At one point, a female officer tells Lehmberg “You’ve been arrested for DWI.”

“That’s y’all’s problem, not mine,” Lemberg retorts, a clear threat given her position as Travis County DA.

The officers also stated that Lehmberg attempted to scratch an officer. She could therefore have been charged with assaulting an officer of the law.

Depending on circumstances, assaulting a police officer can be a 1st degree felony, carrying a penalty of five years to life in prison if convicted.

Lehmberg’s drunk driving arrest capped a year of spending heavily on alcohol, according to receipts of her purchases from Twin Liquors stores from January 2012 to April 2013, the month of her arrest.

Austin’s KEYE-TV posted a PDF of all of those receipts.

From January 2012 to April 2013 — 15 months — Lehmberg made 59 purchases of alcohol at various Twin Liquors stores, a rate of nearly one purchase a week.

She bought 76 bottles of alcohol. According to the receipts, Lehmberg prefers Ciroc vodka. Lehmberg routinely purchased 1.75 liter bottles of vodka, at a price of nearly $60 each. On occasions, she bought more than one 1.75 liter bottle of Ciroc at a time.

Those 76 bottles add up to 24.7 gallons of alcohol purchased over 15 months. The last purchase in the KEYE-compiled list was on April 2, 2013 — 10 days before her arrest for drunk driving, and the subsequent attempt to abuse her power by trying to intimidate the officers who processed her in jail. Lehmberg purchased vodka on that day. An open bottle of vodka was found in her car during her arrest.

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Missouri Governor Announces Ferguson Curfew at Raucous Press Conference

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson and ordered a curfew beginning Sunday at midnight until 5 a.m. in an attempt to curb the ongoing looting and protests in response to the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer last week.

Nixon, surrounded by community leaders at a Ferguson church, announced the curfew during a “press conference” that was more like a gathering of community activists. Nixon was shouted down at several points during his remarks and during the Q & A as members of the community demanded the immediate indictment of the police officer involved in the shooting and demanded that the police stand down and cease their strong-arm tactics against the protesters.

Nixon would not say how long the curfew would last and would not say whether journalists would be arrested for curfew violations. He did say there would be a “staging area” available for the media to ensure “transparency.”

Many in the crowd made it clear that the protests would continue until “justice” was meted out for the shooting. “This poor child…this 18-year-old young man was killed in cold blood. That’s why people have been in the streets,” shouted one woman from the back of the room. 

A fragile peace was shattered early Saturday morning as looters again robbed businesses while police in riot gear watched, mostly without intervening. Some protesters tried to stop the looters on their own, guarding stores and businesses to protect them from theft and property damage. Police have been under fire for the use of excessive force in opposing the protesters in Ferguson, utilizing armored vehicles, tear gas, and rubber bullets to control the crowds.

While Gov. Nixon praised the “courage and resolve” of protesters who tried to stop the looting, New Black Panther leader Malik Shabazz asked for “rules of engagement” between police and protesters and said the police wouldn’t be able to enforce the curfew. “We gotta do it ourselves. They go out there, it’s over,” Shabazz said.

Congressman Lacy Clay (D-MO) said at the meeting that he has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to take over the investigation into the shooting, asking him to investigate it as a civil rights violation. “Let the Feds prosecute. You’re not going to get a fair trial in St. Louis County,” Clay said.

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Iraqi Vets Unload on Obama

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

The Daily Signal asked several Iraq War vets their feelings about what’s going on in that country recently. Needless to say, most of them were not very happy with President Obama’s policies — past and present.

Chief Warrant Officer Amber Barno served two tours in Iraq:

I think Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq was completely botched. He left behind a weak government and an Iraqi military that was unable to defend itself. Obama’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq almost instantaneously with no sort of residual force to help them defend their own nation has consequences. There are real-world consequences to messing up the withdrawal as we’re now seeing with the [terrorist group] Islamic State, with their ability to have such significant advances into Iraq.

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It is disappointing. Thousands of American soldiers who served in Iraq made life-altering sacrifices. Some came home with physical or invisible wounds that they still have to deal with. It’s disheartening, and now we’re having to deal with the consequences of an early, too soon, withdrawal. The withdrawal was not managed properly.

The president was more concerned with a rapid withdrawal than ensuring all we fought for in Iraq was preserved. To see that and almost a decade of work, lives, and sacrifices put into Iraq be swept away in a few months of ISIS coming in and grasping control, it is extremely frustrating to watch that.

Sergeant Dennis Joslyn served two tours:

When ISIS first rolled in, the United States should have taken action, and it would have ended the uprising. Now, thanks to Washington’s inability to act, that time has passed. Airstrikes can aid, drops are too little too late.

I am not advocating redeploying American soldiers. I think this is a problem that should be handled by the Arab League as we have no [Status of Forces Agreement] with Iraq at this time. It is my belief that had the president ordered these air missions sooner, none of this would have happened.

Sergeant Ryan served one tour in the army and 3 as a civilian:

I think we left too early and for political reasons. I support the airstrikes. I don’t want to go back, but if the [Islamic State] isn’t eliminated, they’ll eventually come to the U.S.

ISIS is a real threat. I put most of the blame on the Iraqi government and its corruption and tribally/ethnically/religiously fractured society for the current mess. But blame doesn’t get anything done. ISIS has the money, manpower and resources to attack the U.S. and are making their intentions known.

If we don’t handle it now, I think we’ll regret it later. Leaving a stabilization force like we did in Germany, Japan and Korea would have helped, but the withdrawal was politically motivated and political decisions in wartime don’t always work out so well.

You’ve probably read reactions of other Iraq War veterans who are remarkably uniform in their criticism of the president and belief that only a comprehensive policy will stabilize the situation.

Some, like Special Operations Master Sergeant Jason Beardsley, express frustration with the administration for a preventable situation:

It’s frustrating to watch because we had the mechanisms in place to prevent that. And, of course, the withdrawal just allowed for that [power] vacuum to overwhelm those mechanisms. This is a tough thing to watch, and it is frustrating for service members to process that. We’ve spent multiple deployments facing some of the same threats on the ground, and now we see those threats strategically expanding because we just left the area.

While a a majority of civilians — and, admittedly, many soldiers who served in Iraq — believe the effort we made was in vain, there are many like the veterans above who disagree and want to see the US make a bigger effort to retrieve the situation.

For their sake, and all those who served, let’s hope we do.

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Perry Gives Defiant Statement on Indictment

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivered a defiant statement today on the indictment handed down against him Friday afternoon.

Perry called the act an “outrageous” “abuse of power,” and detailed why he uses his veto power as governor to try to restore the public’s trust to the Public Integrity Unit.

That unit, based in the Travis County District Attorney’s office, is headed by DA Rosemary Lehmberg.

Lehmberg had been caught driving while intoxicated in April 2013, with a blood alcohol limit three times the legal limit.

Lehmberg had also been caught with an open bottle of vodka in her car, violating Texas’ open carry law.

Upon her arrest, Lehmberg threatened the arresting officers with political retaliation, a clear abuse of her power.

Lehmberg refused to resign.

Perry used his veto power as governor. Lehmberg appointed an Obama appointee to deliver an indictment against the governor, and he obliged. The complaint itself originated with the Soros-funded, far left Texans for Public Justice.

The indictment, Perry said, uses “partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state’s constitution.”

Perry vowed to bring the case to a swift conclusion.

Lehmberg herself is currently facing a lawsuit for abuse of power. The lawsuit alleges that she unjustly fired an employee who refused to help her bury a case.

Update: Read Gov. Perry’s full statement on the next page.

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Axelrod Calls Perry Indictment ‘Sketchy’

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

I think anyone in America with an ounce of political acumen knows that the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry was motivated by politics. This is especially true when you consider the source of the indictment: the office of the Travis County district attorney whose Public Integrity Unit was the target of Perry’s veto.

You would hope — but not really expect — that even Democrats would recognize the injustice being perpetrated. That’s why when President Obama’s former chief political advisor, David Axelrod, tweets that the indictment appears to him to be “sketchy,” it is a pleasant surprise.

Fox News:

Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry after being indicted this weekend got support Saturday from one of the country’s most powerful Democrats– former President Obama political adviser David Axelrod– who tweeted that the charge seems “sketchy.”

Perry, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate with potential 2016 aspirations, was indicted Friday for allegedly abusing his veto power during a dispute with a public-corruption prosecutor over her drunken driving arrest.

The indictment claims Perry broke the law when he threatened to veto $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit run by the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, after she pleaded guilty to drunken driving in April 2013 and refused to resign.

“Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy,” Axelrod tweeted.

Alexrod joined Texas’ junior Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday in giving his support to Perry, while other high-profile lawmakers have largely remained silent on the politically-charge issue.

The outspoken first-term senator defended his fellow Republican’s integrity. He also called the indictment “highly-questionable” and argued that the Travis County District Attorney’s Office that indicted Perry has a “sad history” of engaging in politically-motivated prosecutions.

“Rick Perry is a friend, he’s a man of integrity,” said Cruz, who also appears to have 2016 White House aspirations. “I am proud to stand with Rick Perry. The Texas Constitution gives the governor the power to veto legislation. And a criminal indictment predicated on the exercise of his constitutional authority is, on its face, highly suspect.”

Perry vetoed the money after Lehmberg, a Democrat, refused to resign.

With the video of Lehmberg’s drunken misbehavior and disrespecting of police during her drunk driving arrest in mind, here’s what some Texas Democrats are saying when they call on Perry to resign:

The Texas Democratic Party has already called on Perry to resign, calling the situation “unbecoming” of a Texas governor.

“Governor Rick Perry has brought dishonor to his office, his family and the state of Texas. Texans deserve to have leaders that stand up for what is right and work to help families across Texas,” party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.

How “becoming” was Lehmberg’s behavior during her arrest? Did she bring “honor” to her office by trying to bully the police? Did she stand up for “what is right” when she had to be restrained during her rant-filled booking where she threatened police officers?

Congratulations, Texas Democrats. You are defending a falling-down drunk who disgraced herself, her office, and the state of Texas during an arrest that may have saved her own life as well as others. How, in good conscience, could any governor of either party  not try and force her to do the right thing and resign? How could anyone take the office of Public Integrity Unit in the state seriously when it was headed up by such a creature as Rosemary Lehmberg?

The questions answer themselves.

Any other Democrats out there willing to show a little courage and stand up to the bullying of  your fellow Democrats in Travis County?

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Tensions Mount as Russian Aid Convoy Remains Stuck at Border

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

Bryan Preston reported yesterday on the claim by the Ukraine government that it had destroyed part of an Russian armored column that had crossed the border. The White House says it cannot confirm the incident occurred, but NATO says it has proof of the Russian incursion and subsequent artillery barrage by Ukraine.

Skirmishing between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists continued near the border today, but it doesn’t appear to be a widening of the conflict. Instead, a tense situation continued at the border post where more than 260 Russian military trucks (painted white with all insignia removed) filled with humanitarian aid awaits the outcome of talks in Berlin between the two country’s foreign ministers.

Voice of America:

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists skirmished near the Russian border Saturday but there was no sign of the conflict widening a day after Kyiv said it partially destroyed an armored column that had crossed the border from Russia.

The report of the attack on the column Friday triggered a sell-off in the U.S. dollar and on European stocks, with markets fearful it could change the Ukraine conflict into an open confrontation between Moscow and Western-backed Kyiv.

But Moscow made no threat of retaliation, instead saying it was a “fantasy” that its armored vehicles entered Ukraine. In Washington the White House said it could not confirm that Russian vehicles had been attacked on Ukrainian soil.

Meanwhile, hundreds of trucks in a Russian aid convoy remained idled near the Ukrainian border, The Associated Press reported, as complicated procedures drag on for allowing them into eastern Ukraine to help civilians suffering amid fighting.

On the ground Saturday, the conflict returned to the pattern it has been following for several weeks. Kyiv said military equipment was entering from Russia, and the rebels said they had attacked Ukrainian troops.

A Reuters reporter in Donetsk, one of two rebel strongholds in the east, said the sound of explosions was audible in the city center.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto was to arrive in Kyiv later Saturday for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, aimed at finding a negotiated solution. Niinisto met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday and afterwards spoke of the possibility of a truce, although it was not immediately clear how that would happen.

Ukraine is adamant that no Russian vehicles or people will be allowed to cross the border. The Red Cross has offered to transport the aid in their own vehicles, but Putin is stalling. A meeting between the two sides in Berlin today probably won’t move the needle on the conflict very much.

Bloomberg:

Ukraine’s Pavlo Klimkin and Russia’s Sergei Lavrov will hold talks with their German and French counterparts to ease the standoff. The former Soviet neighbors are also trading accusations over a stalled humanitarian convoy from Moscow amid fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Any breakthrough on the humanitarian convoy of about 275 trucks, now waiting about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the border in the Rostov region, might help ease tension over the separatist conflict, which Ukraine says is being fueled by Russia. Talks between the two sides and the international Red Cross, which has been asked to oversee the delivery, will continue today, spokeswoman Galina Balzamova said by phone.

“A quick resolution of the crisis remains unlikely,” Otilia Dhand, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence in London, who specializes in eastern Europe, said by e-mail. “The new round of talks in Berlin might at best bring a slight detente and potentially avert a further escalation over the next days.”

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The International Committee of the Red Cross said it’s deploying additional staff to Russia and Ukraine in preparation for aid delivery. Both sides asked the Geneva-based organization to assist.

“We still need assurances from all parties to the conflict staff will be allowed to perform tasks safely, with due respect for humanitarian principles,” Laurent Corbaz, the Red Cross’s head of operations for Europe, said in an e-mailed statement. “Given complex logistics, security challenges involved, this aid operation will take some time, we call on authorities of both countries to do all they can to resolve outstanding issues quickly.”

An aid shipment sent by the Ukrainian government was handed to the Red Cross, said Iryna Herashchenko, Poroshenko’s envoy to eastern Ukraine.

Those trucks can’t sit on the side of the road forever. Putin is unlikely to force a crossing, although there are many in NATO who believe the trucks are a ruse anyway — a pretext for Putin to invade. A denial of entry by Ukraine would give Putin all the excuse he needs to go in.

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Soros, Unions and Radicals Behind Action to Fuel the Flames in Missouri

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by Michelle Horstman

afl-cio-

 

In an attempt to link immigration issues to the ongoing Mike Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri, NDLON (National Day Laborer Organizing Network) posted the following, linked from Twitter:

NDLON ‏@ndlon 6h

Why the fight for #ImmigrantRights includes the fight for #MikeBrown & Ferguson #NMOS14 http://ndlon.org/en/pressroom/press-releases/item/1078-ferguson/1078-ferguson …

Their link takes us to the following announcement:

NDLON Calls for Immigrants and Latinos to Join Protests Against Police Brutality, for Justice in Ferguson

August 15th, 2014 – Phoenix, AZ
In response to the events related to the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO  and the violent police response to the outpouring of protest, Marisa Franco, lead of the #Not1More Campaign for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, issued the following statement:

“As a movement that is fighting criminalization to stop deportations and detention, Latinos and immigrants have a duty to stand alongside those who have been fighting it far longer.  On the streets of Ferguson, people have bravely sounded an alarm on the crisis of violence besieging the Black community. 

As we defend our own families, we must answer the call not simply to be in solidarity but because the problems our communities face and the solutions we seek are linked together.

Last night, across the country, thousands held their words in a moment of silence to remember the life of Mike Brown and in a pledge to never be silent again in the face of injustice.  We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends and we urge those within the immigrant rights movement to attend the rallies and protests in the coming days.  Black lives matter and any movement against dehumanization must affirm and defend that truth.

Mike Brown is not the first but the latest in an epidemic of violence.  We say, not one more Black person murdered by police, not one more struggle fought alone, not one more life criminalized as we continue our struggle for not one more deportation.”

A partial list of upcoming events can be found at: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/solidarity-actions-for-mike-brown and by following #BlackLivesMatter, #NMOS14, and #MikeBrown on twitter.

The list of action sites they refer to is found here: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/solidarity-actions-for-mike-brown .  The Action Network organizing these nationwide protests aka Corporate Action Network, is directed by Mark Fleischman, former SEIU Vice-president, along with many other professional organizers:

Having spent 25 years in the labor movement, primarily as an organizing director for large union campaigns, most recently Mark served as Vice President of the Service Employees International Union.

NDLON is supported by the CCR, Center for Constitutional Rights.

According to DiscoverThe Networks, The CCR was founded by pro-Castro radicals in the 60′s.

All four founders were longtime supporters of communist causes, were well known for their pro-Castro politics, and, as David Horowitz and Peter Collier write in their 1989 book Destructive Generation, state that the CCR founders “had long histories of public support for communist causes,” and that by “representing such paramilitary groups as the Baader-Meinhof gang and the Black Liberation Army,” they “had attempted to justify terrorist acts and criminal violence by indicting America and its democratic allies as partners in a system of economic oppression and social injustice.”[1]

Further, Vadum explains CCR’s passionate anti-Americanism: “CCR lawyers … ritualistically denounce the U.S. for its supposed hegemony and imperialism, denying that America has a right to defend itself and regulate its borders. … [To them,] America is a land of breadlines, racism, and totalitarian tyranny.” As a result of this worldview, CCR historically has geared its efforts toward opposing and undermining American interests wherever possible.

DTN further shows that their funding includes Soros’ Open Society Institute, Tides and CAIR.

It did not surprise to find that Obama and Eric Holder also have ties to CCR, and CCR defended Guantanamo detainees including Sufyan Ben Qumu, who was implicated in the Benghazi attack (HT: JammieWearingFool):

    The major law firms working on detainee cases do not downplay their connections to Ratner; to the contrary, many embrace him. One firm listed in CCR’s 2008 annual report as part of its “Global Justice Initiative” is Jenner & Block, where Obama associate attorney general Thomas Perrelli served as managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office.According to Jenner’s website, the firm has worked with CCR, which it describes as “spearheading the coordinated efforts of all counsel” in Guantánamo cases. Jenner and Ratner also share a client: Jose Padilla.

    Another firm working with CCR is Covington & Burling, Eric Holder’s law firm for eight years before he became Barack Obama’s attorney general. The firm’s website proudly notes that in 2008 it received the Center for Constitutional Rights’s “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year” award. According to the American Lawyer, Covington & Burling lawyers spent 3,022 hours on Guantánamo litigation in 2007, more than on any other pro bono effort that year.At an average rate of $400 per hour, that comes to more than $1.2 million in donated legal services. Other well-known law firms working with CCR in its Global Justice Initiative include Morrison & Foerster; Wilmer Hale; Sullivan & Cromwell; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; Holland & Hart; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman; Shearman & Sterling. And there are many, many others.

NDLON, supported by CCR, also joined forces with the AFL/CIO back in 2006 and they are still affiliated.

Landmark Partnership Marks New Chapter in American Social Justice Movement
A new national partnership agreement signed today by the AFL-CIO and the largest network of worker centers serving low-wage, often immigrant workers will help promote and advance the workplace rights of all workers, both organizations said.

To sum it up, you have a group organizing “stir the racial pot” protests nationwide. That union affiliated group is supported by the very radical CCR who has close connections to Obama, Holder and are funded by money from Soros and Tides, among others. Since Obama and Holder seem to be very familiar with these people and groups, they might want to just give them a call and suggest that fanning the flames of racial unrest might not be in the best interest of the country.  Then again, the best interest of the country does not appear to be CCR’s priority.

 

SOROS, UNIONS & RADICALS BEHIND ACTION TO FUEL THE FLAMES IN MISSOURI

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Battleground Texas Fundraises Off of the Perry Indictment

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

More evidence that the indictment of Gov. Perry is a coordinated Democratic political strike at a potential Republican presidential contender.

Battleground Texas sent out this fundraising letter within hours of the announcement that Perry had been indicted.

bgtx-perry-indictment

 

They couldn’t beat him at the ballot box. So the Texas Democrats will try to put Rick Perry in jail.

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Meet Rosemary Lehmberg, Travis County District Attorney (And Drunk Driver)

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is the footage of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s arrest.

She was busted for drunk driving on April 12, 2013. She denied that she was driving drunk.

There was an open bottle of vodka in Lehmberg’s car on the night of her arrest, in violation of the state’s open container law.

In the video, Lehmberg taunts the arresting officers and even threatens them. One of the officers describes action that took place off camera, in which Lehmberg kicked doors and acted violently.

Lehmberg pleaded guilty to drunk driving, but refused to resign as Travis County DA. She remains the DA to this day.

The Travis County DA’s office, incredibly, runs the Public Integrity Unit — which has statewide jurisdiction.

Gov. Perry’s veto threat concerned that office, and restoring its image after Lehmberg’s arrest and refusal to step down.

Perry has been indicted by a special prosecutor answering to Lehmberg, for trying to restore the Public Integrity Unit’s image.

See the video on the next page.

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Travis County’s Politicized DA Gets Perry Indicted (Updates: Perry Responds) – Obama’s Henchman Cackles

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is ridiculous.

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A grand jury has handed up an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry in connection with the investigation into an effort to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign.

Perry wanted Lehmberg to resign because she had been busted for drunk driving. It’s not good to have a drunk driver, captured on camera abusing the officers who arrested her, heading up the Public Integrity Unit.

At the center of the issue is a complaint about intimidation stemming from Perry’s threat to veto of $7.5 million in state funding to the Public Integrity Unit run by Lehmberg’s office. The threat came after she pleaded guilty to drunk driving and served a 45-day sentence; Perry called on her to step down but she refused to resign her position. Perry then vetoed the funding for the PIU.

A grand jury was called to determine whether or not Perry broke the law when he threatened to veto the funding. As a result they issued indictments on two felony charges: abuse of official capacity and coercion of public servant. If found guilty on the charges, Perry could be sentenced to a maximum 109 years in prison.

The office is funded by the state. As governor, Perry has veto power. Full stop.

This indictment is political. Every bit as political as the kangaroo court charges that former District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, lodged against numerous Republicans over the years — both because that office is politicized, and Travis County is full of guttersnipes and fools.

But that doesn’t mean that the charges will get thrown out. The legal jeopardy to Perry is quite real.

Earle got former Rep. Tom Delay, Republican, convicted on crimes that were not even committed in Travis County, and were not even crimes at the time they were supposedly committed.

Those convictions were eventually thrown out, but not before Earle had totally destroyed Delay’s career and tainted the entire Republican Party — which was the goal all along.

More: This is the official Perry wanted to depart the Public Integrity Unit, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Her drunk driving arrest really ought not to send Gov. Perry to prison, but this is Travis County we’re talking about. The threat to him is real.

YouTube Preview Image

Update: This is the same playbook the Democrats ran against Delay, no doubt about it. On the heels of the indictment, Texas Democrats are already calling for Perry to resign. These are the same people who have looked the other way while the DA, Rosemary Lehmberg, has remained in office even after her drunk driving escapades.

The Democrats will get a mugshot of Perry before long. They will use that to destroy his reputation and taint all Republicans.

It’s a hail Mary pass for the Wendy Davis campaign, of course. These people cannot win in this state on issues. So they are politicizing the legal system in on of their few strongholds.

Update: Perry responds (h/t Business Insider):

Not long after news of the indictment broke Friday evening, Perry’s office released a statement maintaining his innocence and declaring he “will ultimately prevail.”

“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” said Mary Anne Wiley, Perry’s general counsel. “We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.”

Update: Any doubt that this entire episode is political?

 

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PLO Envoy — ‘Israel’s annihiliation has begun’

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Palestinian Liberation Organization are supposed to be the moderates among the Palestinians.

They say nice things about peace to Western ears. They say something else entirely to their friends in Iran, the Times of Israel reports.

The annihilation of the state of Israel has begun, said the official Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) envoy to Tehran, Salah al-Zawawi.

“The US and the western countries have created a fake regime in Palestine to get rid of it and have supplied it with the most advanced weapons and are seeking to create an Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates,” Zawawi, whose organization dominates the Palestinian Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as saying by the Iranian semi-official news agency Fars on Tuesday.

“Israel’s annihilation has begun and the new generation in Iran will certainly witness our victory over Israel,” he said during a gathering in Tehran in support of Gaza on Tuesday.

Hamas was there was as well, and called on the Iranians to help make their rockets more advanced.

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Russia ‘Guarantees’ Hagel That Convoy Really Wasn’t a Little Invasion

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel hopped on the phone with his Russian counterpart today after Ukraine military forces took out part of a column of Russian armored vehicles that crossed into their country.

Hagel spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu “to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a readout of the call late Friday afternoon. “Specifically, Secretary Hagel requested clarification regarding the Russian humanitarian convoy. Minister Shoygu ‘guaranteed’ that there were no Russian military personnel involved in the humanitarian convoy, nor was the convoy to be used as a pretext to further intervene in Ukraine.”

“He acknowledged that the goods would be delivered and distributed under the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Kirby continued. “Minister Shoygu assured Secretary Hagel that Russia was meeting Ukraine’s conditions.”

The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent tweeted last night that he and the Telegraph’s correspondent “just saw a column of APCs and vehicles with official Russian military plates cross border into Ukraine.”

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen confirmed to reporters on Friday that a “Russian incursion” had taken place overnight.

“It just confirms the fact that we see a continuous flow of weapons and fighters from Russia into eastern Ukraine and it is a clear demonstration of continued Russian involvement in the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine,” Rasmussen said.

“Russia’s continued unlawful incursions into Ukraine are further evidence of Vladimir Putin’s malicious plan for usurping large portions of Ukrainian territory. Russia continues to provide illicit arms and other lethal material to separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine, and recent attempts to utilize ‘humanitarian convoys’ to transport troops and military supplies into Ukraine have only escalated this conflict. This slow motion invasion of Ukraine by Russia is abhorrent and the United States and Europe need to renew our support for the Ukrainian government,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

“The president’s approach to this situation has failed to deter Putin from once again invading a sovereign country. The Obama administration should stop dithering and immediately deliver lethal assistance that has long been requested by the Ukrainian government,” Rubio continued.

“Along with our European allies, the U.S. should quickly impose additional sanctions to effect the Russian economy, targeting all transactions with key Russian sectors, including energy. Finally, Europe and America need to move expeditiously to begin to stem Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. This is a long term project, but Putin’s goals are now more clear than ever and drastic action will be necessary to strip Putin of his ability to intimidate Europe.”

Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked President Obama yesterday to share intelligence with Ukraine and send weapons.

“President Putin, undeterred by international condemnation, has provided heavy weapons to separatists, including tracked and armored vehicles and the advanced missile and radar systems that took down MH-17. In light of these developments, we should supply the Ukrainian military with appropriate defensive weapons such as anti-tank weapons to help them reclaim their territory,” McCain and Donnelly wrote.

“…We must stand decisively in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The future of Ukraine should be determined in Kiev, not Moscow. Our enhanced support will send a strong message to President Putin that efforts to expand or cement Russia’s influence through foreign aggression will not succeed and that Russian-backed rebels must resolve their political differences through the peaceful means offered in good faith by their democratic government.”

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Swisher Sweets Theft May be Key Detail in Brown Shooting Case

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Today, Ferguson police released surveillance video that apparently shows 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. stealing about $43 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars from a local convenience store. During the robbery, Brown (or someone who looks like him) is seen roughing up the owner, in what police are calling a strong-armed robbery.

Brown’s family are calling the release a “character assassination,” but their attorney confirmed in a press conference this afternoon that the man in the video does appear to be Michael Brown Jr. That is also confirmation that Brown violently robbed the store, shortly before his confrontation with police officer Darren Wilson. That can tell us quite a bit about Brown’s state of mind at the time of the fatal confrontation.

Brown was an aspiring rapper, and has a page of his raps on SoundCloud. He rapped as Big’mike. The URL of his rap page is https://soundcloud.com/bigmike-jr-brown. The page is adorned with this photo, which is known to be of the Michael Brown Jr. who was killed last Saturday.

brown-soundcloud

His SoundCloud page includes raps by him, and by an associate, Luh Vee.

brown-rap-page

The raps include some references to gangs in the tags.

This rap, by Luh Vee, on Brown’s page, has the tag #rolling60s. That’s a reference to the Crips street gang.

luhvee-rap

 

Another rap on the page has the tag #ablocc. Blocc is another reference to the Crips.

But Brown probably wasn’t an actual gang member. Gateway Pundit has posted images of him flashing Bloods gang signs. The Bloods and the Crips are enemies.

Brown’s rap associate, Luh Vee, is on Facebook and posted this photo about 20 weeks ago.

luhvee-pot

 

What do we learn from that photo?

An associate of Michael Brown, his rap ally, was in favor of hollowing out Swisher Sweets cigarillos, and stuffing them with pot to smoke or possibly to sell.

This is a thing.

Swisher Sweets are among the cheapest cigars available. The amount Brown is alleged to have stolen, about $43, is enough for between 80 and 100 of the cigars. Why steal them in bulk?

While you think about that, look at this. Brown has a 21-year-old cousin named Anthony Livingston. He is mentioned here.

Livingston also posts on Facebook. Here’s his cover photo.

brown-cousin-smoking

 

None of this says that Brown’s killing by Officer Wilson was justified. We still don’t know exactly what happened that day. But the narrative of the gentle giant heading to college that has dominated the past week may be far from complete, and his actions prior to the confrontation may be extremely relevant.

Update: Dorian Johnson’s attorney has confirmed that he and Brown robbed the store.

 

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Dem Lawmakers Talking About Upping ‘Participation in the Electoral Process’ After Ferguson

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The No. 3 Democrat in the House said that lawmakers are discussing how to use the community outrage in Ferguson, Mo., as a springboard for get-out-the-vote efforts.

Assistant Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told MSNBC today that he’s been discussing the events in Ferguson, Mo., with Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio).

“We are going to really look into what the Congressional Black Caucus can do at the local level, going in there with our Congressional Black Caucus Institute, and probably having some discussions with local communities, helping them to get organized, helping them to understand the relationship between the treatment they get from elected officials and their participation in the electoral process. That participation — participation seems to be very low in that area,” Clyburn said.

“The people are there. But for some strange reason, they are not participating. And we’ve got to do something about that, because we are not going to solve these problems if we stay out of the arena.”

Clyburn said he was “thinking this morning about all of this rhetoric about being tough on crime.”

“It’s one thing to be tough on crime. I’m tough on crime. But it’s something else to be death on blacks. And that’s what seems to be happening,” he said.

“When I think about the chokehold up in New York — a guy crying out for 10 or 11 times that ‘I can’t breathe,’ and with three or four other people piled on top of him, the police officer could not find the wisdom to stop choking the guy until he could not breathe anymore — to me, that’s deliberate. And we have to look at this — a lot of bad people carrying badges. Most of them are good people. And I support police officers. But we’ve got to find a way to weed these people out.”

The lawmaker added that “hopefully, this will jump-start a movement that will have people all over this country taking a hard look at their communities, the treatment they are getting from elected officials, and whether or not that is going to start them to participating at a greater level as we go forward.”

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GOP Lt. Gov. in Missouri Says Holder’s Ferguson Response Thus Far ‘Praiseworthy’

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Republican lieutenant governor stressed to Fox News that he has seen nothing from the Justice Department’s involvement yet in the Michael Brown shooting case to give him cause for concern.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who has come under fire from members of the Congressional Black Caucus for not expanding their investigation to the entire police department in Ferguson, Mo., met yesterday morning with President Obama in Massachusetts, where Obama is on vacation, to discuss the case.

“The federal civil rights investigation into the shooting incident itself continues, in parallel with the local investigation into state law violations,” Holder said in a statement Thursday. “Our investigators from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s office in Missouri have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses on the scene at the time of the shooting incident on Saturday. Our review will take time to conduct, but it will be thorough and fair.”

Holder spoke by phone with the parents of the slain teenager this morning.

“I think it’s entirely praiseworthy that he would speak to the parents. I don’t find any basis for criticism there,” Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R-Mo.) said.

“We know that the Department of Justice has in the past, in some previous cases, put their thumb on the scales of justice,” Kinder added. “I, to this point so far, I have not seen that, and I hope we don’t see that as this process goes forward.”

“People have the right, a right we will defend, to peaceably assemble in the streets, but we do not decide these questions in the streets. This is America. We have legal processes.”

Kinder stressed he was “delighted” to hear the county prosecutor announce yesterday that the Brown shooting will be taken to a grand jury.

“Missouri is different than many other states in that prosecutors have the option of charging on what we call their own information, that is, their own decision. or they can charge by taking to a grand jury,” he said. “And in that case, it is not the prosecutor doing the charging, but it is the people empaneled in a grand jury. The people of St. Louis county, therefore, will be heard from in the grand jury process. And I applaud the prosecutor for announcing that he will take this to a grand jury.”

Kinder didn’t object to the police releasing the name of the shooter, six-year police veteran Officer Darren Wilson.

“We all knew that the officer’s name would have to be released. The only question was when,” the lieutenant governor said.

“And what we have here is a necessity to protect him and his family. He has not been charged with a crime as we is sit here and discuss this. He may be down the road,” Kinder said. “If he is, he is entitled to all the protections that our jurisprudence system offers any criminal defendant, should he be charged as a criminal defendant, and that includes the presumption of innocence and the right to a defense and counsel and everything else.”

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Armed Services Chairman Promises to Review If Military Equipment ‘Being Used as Intended’ by Cops

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Congress would review how the Pentagon transfers surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies.

The statement from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) comes after criticism, including from Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), that the SWAT reaction to the protests and rioting in Ferguson, Mo., resembled a police state more than a suburb.

“Congress established this program out of real concern that local law enforcement agencies were literally outgunned by drug criminals,” Levin said today. “We intended this equipment to keep police officers and their communities safe from heavily armed drug gangs and terrorist incidents.”

“Before the defense authorization bill comes to the Senate floor, we will review this program to determine if equipment provided by the Defense Department is being used as intended,” he added.

At yesterday’s Pentagon briefing, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby was asked whether the concern over increased militarization of domestic police forces would give the Defense Department pause about the oversight of the program or its future.

“There is a law enforcement support program that the Defense Department administers which provides to law enforcement agencies around the country surplus military equipment, gear, arms, ammunition, vehicles. This is a useful program that allows for the reuse of military equipment that otherwise would be disposed of that can be used, again, by law enforcement agencies to serve their citizens,” Kirby replied.

“So it’s a — so the program serves a purpose. That said, it is up to law enforcement agencies to speak to how and what they gain through this system. And I’m not going to inject the Pentagon into this discussion. How this equipment is used to serve local citizens, again, is up for local law enforcement agencies to speak to.”

More: 

GOP Lt. Gov. in Missouri Says Holder’s Ferguson Response Thus Far ‘Praiseworthy’

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Teen Caught Smuggling Illegal Aliens Into Texas

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In Obama’s America, the young man is not a law-breaking coyote, he’s just a budding entrepreneur.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) game wardens arrested Jose Eduardo Esparza-Vasquez on a human smuggling charge on Saturday.

The 17-year-old is accused of using a raft to smuggle immigrants along the Rio Grande in Hidalgo County.

The teen smuggler is still in custody, but ValleyCentral’s story doesn’t specify what happened to the illegals he was smuggling.

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The Bad News: There’s a Huge Asteroid Zooming Toward Earth. The Good News…

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

We have about 35 generations to figure out what to do about it.

Scientists have moved closer to being able to stop a huge asteroid colliding with the Earth and potentially wiping out human life.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have discovered that blowing the space rock up could make the collision worse by causing several devastating impacts.

Instead, small changes could be made to its surface to disrupt the forces keeping it together and cause it to break up in outer space.

They were studying asteroid 1950 DA, which has a one in 300 chance of hitting the planet on 16 March, 2880.

Although the odds seem small, it is the most likely asteroid to collide with Earth and the odds are higher than being shot dead in the US.

So we’ve got a few hundred years.

But — our politicians won’t even fix Social Security, despite the fact that it’s on course to blow up before the millennials need it. What are the odds that our idjits in charge can focus on a threat that’s more than 800 years away?

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What We Learned, and What We Didn’t Learn, From Today’s Disclosures in Ferguson (Updated)

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Ferguson police released half of the story of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday.

Police released this photo set of a man who appears to be Brown engaging in a strong-arm robbery of less than $50 worth of cheap cigars.

brown-robbery

 

Later, police released the full robbery video.

 

At the time that this robbery occurred, according to police, Officer Darren Wilson was on a routine “sick call” trailing an ambulance. Wilson received a call about the robbery, and went to investigate.

That was at 12:01 PM. Three minutes later, Wilson confronted Brown, and shot and killed him.

The disclosure that Brown was a suspect in a violent robbery goes directly to his and Officer Wilson’s state of mind in the fatal moment.

Up to today, the narrative has been that Brown was minding his own business when a police officer confronted him, a scuffle ensued, and the officer killed Brown. That narrative may no longer be operative.

Brown had graduated high school and was days away from going to college.

But, if that is him in the stills of the robbery, then college was not the only thing on his mind.

If — I stress if — that is Brown in the robbery, then he had a violent side we have not heard about yet. If that is Michael Brown, the 6’4″, 292-pound man had just jeopardized his entire future for some cheap cigars. He was not minding his own business at all.

When Officer Wilson confronted Brown, then, the officer had reason to expect violence. The suspect had just engaged in a violent robbery. The officer did not truly know whether the suspect was armed or not, but the officer could see that Brown was very large and could pose a physical threat.

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Rooting For A Meteor Strike: Gore Sues Al Jazeera

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Al on Al hate.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore sued Al Jazeera, the satellite network controlled by the Qatari royal family, over a $500 million deal to purchase his network, Current TV, according to filing in state court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” David Boies, a lawyer for Gore, said in a statement today. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”

Buying Gore’s channel and rebranding it gave Al Jazeera America access to about 43 million U.S. homes.

It really is difficult to pick a side here. Both are anti-American and have way too much money. The only real difference is that Al Jazeera is more open about the anti-American thing.

Either way, the terrorists will win here.

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Ukraine Reportedly Destroys Part of Russian Armor Column

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Ukraine says that a Russian armor column entered Ukraine territory Thursday night “under cover of darkness.”

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, told a news briefing that Kiev’s forces had picked up a Russian military column crossing the border under cover of darkness.

“Appropriate actions were undertaken and a part of it no longer exists,” Lysenko said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko briefed British Prime Minister David Cameron on the incident and told him a “significant” part of the Russian column had been destroyed, according to statement from Poroshenko’s office.

Britain summoned Russia’s ambassador to ask him to clarify reports of a military incursion into Ukraine.

Russia denies sending any of its forces into Ukraine.

At the same time, President Obama was on his way to out-golf Tiger Woods.

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Maliki Calls It Quits

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Iraq’s troublesome PM is stepping down.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has resigned, in a move observers hope will end a political crisis in Baghdad.

Haider al-Abadi, a deputy speaker of parliament, has been asked by Iraq’s president to form a government.

Mr Maliki’s earlier refusal to resign after eight years in power had been blamed for deepening the crisis. The UN and US have welcomed his resignation.

The government has been unable to stop Islamist fighters from seizing vast areas in northern Iraq.

In addition to that, Maliki had deployed elements of the Iraqi army around Baghdad to protect his own hold on power. That opened the possibility of civil war, while the IS is still rampaging in the north.

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Is Nancy Pelosi About to Break Campaign Fundraising Law?

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

According to Politico, Nancy Pelosi is holding a meeting in Napa Valley with a number of distressed Democrats.

Heavyweights like Google’s Eric Schmidt are also on hand, along with billionaire leftist Tom Steyer. If they were Republicans, Democrats would accuse Schmidt and Steyer of trying to buy elections.

The event, which kicks off today, is not a fundraiser.

Pelosi is also bringing in a handful of vulnerable Democratic lawmakers to mix and mingle with some of her biggest supporters. Getting picked to attend is considered an opportunity to schmooze with potential mega donors. Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.), Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Patrick Murphy (Fla.) and New York candidate Domenic Recchia are all slated to give brief remarks.

On Saturday, the issues conference and political update begins with welcome remarks by Pelosi. DCCC WomenLEAD Co-Chair Lois Frankel (Fla.) and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) will also speak, along with House Majority PAC executive director Ali Lapp.

House Majority PAC’s presence is problematic. As a super PAC, the Democrats are legally forbidden from coordinating with them.

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s Matt Gorman comments: “As if voting with Nancy Pelosi in Washington wasn’t bad enough, House Democrats are now wining and dining with the former speaker in Napa less than 3 months before Election Day. If that’s not politically toxic, I don’t know what is.”

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Ferguson Police Chief Names Officer Involved in Michael Brown Shooting (Updates)

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Ferguson, MO police Chief Thomas Jackson held a press conference moments ago.

Jackson took no questions, but did identify the officer involved in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown as Darren Wilson.

Jackson said that Wilson has been on the Ferguson police force for six years, and has had no disciplinary actions taken against him during that time. He said that Wilson was treated for injuries sustained Saturday, but did not specify the nature of those injuries.

More: Jackson also released a packet of information, including an incident report for a strong-armed robbery shortly before Brown’s shooting, at about noon Saturday. The suspect was apparently stealing a box of Swisher Sweet cigars, and was identified as Brown. Officer Wilson was investigating that robbery. He stopped Brown. The shooting happened after that.

Update: Police also released security camera photos taken during the robbery. They alledgely show Brown pushing the clerk as he and Dorian Johnson rob the store. Johnson was walking with Brown when the altercation with police occurred. Now we learn that both he and Brown were suspects in a robbery.

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Here is the police report from the robbery. A video is also expected to be released today.

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Cochran/McDaniel Divorce Is Heading To Another Court Phase In Mississippi

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The herpes of political stories.

The Tea Party-backed U.S. Senate candidate defeated in the June Mississippi Republican primary filed a legal challenge contesting his loss on Thursday, days after his own party declined to look into his allegations of electoral misdeeds.

State Senator Chris McDaniel’s judicial petition to take up his complaint marks a new stage in a contest against incumbent Thad Cochran – once viewed nationally as a key test of Tea Party clout in challenging the Republican establishment.

“This challenge is not about the candidates,” McDaniel said in a written statement. “It is about the integrity of Mississippi’s election process.”

Since McDaniel’s loss to the six-term incumbent by roughly 7,700 votes in a June 24 runoff, his camp has insisted that he was done in largely by a cynical campaign to turn out black Democrats to vote against him.

McDaniel is asking a state court judge to review his complaint, which includes allegations of improper voting in the runoff by those who cast ballots in the Democratic primary earlier in June as well as the mishandling of election records by poll workers.

Anyone who has read more than three posts of mine know that I am not a huge fan of the Republican establishment. I wanted McDaniel to win this without going to a runoff because it would just wake up the Barbour/Cochran machine in Mississippi, which it did.

Most of what is going on now, however, seems to be so much flailing. Every time someone in the McDaniel camp says there is going to be a bombshell revelation it turns out to be varying degrees of nothingburger.

Most of the dismantling of the GOP hierarchy that needs to be done has to start at the party officials and money movers end of things, not so much with the elected officials. Neuter the Haley Barbours pulling strings behind the scenes and it becomes much easier to elect higher quality people to Congress.

This fight may end up making a point but I don’t know if anyone is putting money on McDaniel ending up on the ballot. He just seems to be caught up in something that he can’t stop.

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Comrade Durbin Asks Illinois Company Not To Run From Oppressive Taxation

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Take your medicine!”

A senior U.S. senator said on Thursday he has written to Hospira Inc and urged the drug and medical device maker not to move its tax domicile abroad to save on U.S. taxes.

Citing recent reports that Hospira plans to buy the medical nutrition unit of France’s Danone SA, Dick Durbin said in a statement he told Chief Executive Officer Michael Ball that Hospira should not “turn its back on American taxpayers and consumers by taking advantage of a tax loophole called ‘inversion.’”

The statement from the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate came amid growing concern in Washington with inversion transactions, which allow U.S. corporations to shift their tax home-base to a different country and cut their U.S. tax bills.

Of 52 inversions and similar deals done since 1983, 22 have occurred just since 2008, with 10 more being finalized and many more said to be in the works.

Hospira is based in Lake Forest, Illinois, Durbin’s home state. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dickie D. was joined by Comrades Wyden, Levin and Schumer in expressing horror over the fact that U.S. companies will do whatever they legally can to minimize their tax burdens.

It’s pathetically amusing to see Big Tax advocates attempting to make a moral case for their backbreaking treatment of businesses and individuals. Sadly, until average Americans understand that these same lawmakers who want to bury big corporations with tax obligations will also do the same to individuals nothing will change.

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Troops, Cartels Clash In Reynosa Today

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Reynosa is right across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas. This afternoon the city’s downtown and northwest side were disturbed by armed clashes between government forces and drug cartel gunmen, according to ValleyCentral.

Authorities are asking Reynosa residents to be careful following reports of a series of shootouts between armed men and soldiers.

Reynosa residents turned to the social media network Twitter to report the first rounds of gunfire in the Colonia Rodriguez around 1 p.m. Thursday.

Many residents reported gunfire as well as soldiers and armed men clashing in the streets in neighborhoods in and around downtown Reynosa.

The northwest side is the side closest to McAllen.

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New Caption Contest: Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned, Obama Dances While the World Burns

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Obama dance 3

Credit: Photo from the event tweeted by Elliott Schwartz

 

From Glenn Beck, but widely reported, was this photo of President Obama dancing the night away at Ann Jordan’s 80th birthday party held at Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard.

Well, considering the state of our union and the world, the optics of Obama’s vacation dance moves are so out of rhythm that even the French government was critical.  The French Foreign Minister was quoted as saying, “When people are dying, you must come back from vacation.”  Ooh la la, that must have hurt!

Here is a list of questions that demand answers from PJ Media’s brain trust of loyal caption contest followers:

What is the name of the song that is playing?

What is the name of the dance President Obama is doing?

What is the woman to the left of Obama laughing about?

Who is Obama’s dance partner?

Of course an overall photo caption is also needed.

Extra bonus: General “thought bubbles” from the lights above. (This is too good a visual opportunity to pass up.)

So have fun with this contest, or a least as much fun as Obama has being president as he goes from party to golf course to fundraiser to (fill in the blank.)

 

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Pentagon on N. Korea Missiles: ‘Pope Worries About a Higher Authority Than Kim Jong-un’

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Pentagon today brushed off North Korea’s latest saber-rattling just before Pope Francis touched down in South Korea for a five-day visit.

Pyongyang fired five short-range missiles into the sea east of the Korean peninsula.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said he wouldn’t “speak to North Korean intentions,” such as whether it’s a precursor to the firing of longer-range missiles.

“I think it’s an exercise in futility to try to figure out what it is Kim Jong-un does and why. Some people are saying that these five rockets were fired in conjunction with the pope’s visit,” Kirby said. “My guess is the pope worries about a higher authority than Kim Jong-un.”

“So I’m not going to speculate about what they did or why. What I’ll say is what I’ve continued to say almost every week. North Korea needs to meet its international obligations. It needs to pay more attention to feeding its own people and educating its own citizens than further destabilizing the peninsula.”

Kirby added that “regardless, our commitment, our treaty commitments, one of the five of seven treaty alliances we have is to the South Korean government.”

“We take very seriously our treaty commitment there on the peninsula and to security on the peninsula,” he said. “Nothing’s going to change about that, and it’s not going to affect our desire, ability and intent to continue to exercise and work on interoperability with our South Korean counterparts.”

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Conyers: Ferguson ‘Reminiscent of the Violent Altercations That Took Place During the Civil Rights Movement’

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee said the expected removal of local police from handling the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., is “an important step towards restoring peace and allowing for an independent, thorough investigation to take place.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) charged that “serious and sweeping civil rights violations may have taken place” in the St. Louis suburb.

“The tragic killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the events that have transpired since the shooting in Ferguson are reminiscent of the violent altercations that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. Countless African Americans endured unwarranted hostility and excessive force from law enforcement while exercising their right to peaceful assembly and civil resistance,” Conyers said in a statement.

“It is a great travesty to find ourselves again witnessing the blatant violation of our right to peaceably assemble in Ferguson.”

Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) told Bloomberg that Gov. Jay Nixon (D) would announce once he arrived to the city that the St. Louis County police would be removed from the situation.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said it was time to “de-militarize this situation — this kind of response by the police has become the problem instead of the solution.”

“I obviously respect law enforcement’s work to provide public safety, but my constituents are allowed to have peaceful protests, and the police need to respect that right and protect that right,” McCaskill said.

Her GOP counterpart, Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), said in a statement that he spoke with Attorney General Eric Holder about “the continued investigation in Ferguson, and I continue to monitor what I believe is close coordination between county and federal authorities.”

“It’s important to remember that this tragedy began when a young man lost his life, and I support local and federal officials in their efforts to conduct open, transparent, and parallel investigations into what happened here,” Blunt said in reference to the police shooting of an 18-year-old last weekend. “Michael Brown’s memory, his family, and his community are not well-served by more violence.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) even weighed in, with a reference to the arrest of two journalists in a McDonald’s last night. “In the wake of this terrible tragedy, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Michael Brown,” he said. “I strongly support a full and thorough investigation of the events surrounding his death, and subsequent actions, including the detention of journalists covering this heartbreaking situation.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said it’s “crucial” that the House and Senate Judiciary Committees hold hearings when Congress returns from recess “on the continued incidents of the killing of African American males by law enforcement.”

“The killing of African American young males is becoming an epidemic in America. We have seen this story before with Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and now Michael Brown and these are just some of the names who have fallen victim of excessive policing,” Jackson Lee said. “…Added to that should be continued questions on the overall killing of African American young males such as the cases of Trayvon Martin and Alfred Wright.”

“I will be reviewing the President’s initiative of My Brother’s Keeper which will lay the framework dealing with omnibus legislation I plan on introducing that will deal with the epidemic of the killing of so many African American males,” she added. “This must stop now. Mothers and fathers are crying too often.”

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