Obama Administration Illegal Immigration Prevention Spending in Central America Backfires, Entices Migrants

Immigration-agent

Predictable Catastrophe: Money Squandered as Confusing and Lenient Policies Encourage Border Crossings

The U.S. government paid for a classroom full of computers in El Salvador, but the Salvadoran government never bothered to hire a teacher, investigators said Wednesday — one of a series of bungles in the Obama administration’s plan to flood Central America with U.S. money to try to stem another surge of illegal immigration.

“Carrying out ineffective campaigns could lead to higher levels of migration to the United States, which is not only potentially costly in terms of U.S. taxpayer resources but costly and dangerous to the migrants and their families.”

— The GAO, in its report

In an expansive report on last summer’s surge, the Government Accountability Office said confusing and lenient U.S. policies pushed illegal immigrants to make the crossing, and even cited administration officials who said President Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty for so-called Dreamers did entice some of the surge.

President Barack Obama attempts to respond to Ju Hong (lower left), who began to heckle him about anti-deportation policies Monday at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Barack Obama attempts to respond to Ju Hong (lower left), who began to heckle him about anti-deportation policies at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

“Initially officials blamed dangerous and economically depressed conditions in three key Central American nations for pushing illegal immigrants north, but eventually Homeland Security officials admitted that confusing and lenient policies — at least as far as illegal immigrants were concerned — were serving as a magnet to draw illegal immigrants.”

Trying to get a handle on the flood, Mr. Obama has requested hundreds of millions of dollars to try to bolster society in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the three countries chiefly responsible for the surge, but GAO investigators said corruption or incompetence among the Central American governments may hinder those efforts.

In the U.S., meanwhile, Homeland Security officials poured money into public relations campaigns to try to warn would-be crossers against attempting it, but the government has no idea if those efforts worked, the GAO said.

immigration-train

“The surge, which totaled nearly 70,000 children traveling without a parent in fiscal year 2014, plus more than 60,000 children and parents traveling together, overwhelmed the Obama administration, which was left struggling for answers.”

“Carrying out ineffective campaigns could lead to higher levels of migration to the United States, which is not only potentially costly in terms of U.S. taxpayer resources but costly and dangerous to the migrants and their families,” the GAO said in its report.

Both the State Department and Homeland Security admitted they need to do a better job collecting information and evaluating what they’re doing.

[Read the full story here, at the Washington Times]

The report comes a year after the surge of illegal immigrant children and families reshaped the immigration debate, drawing attention to a still-porous border and helping sidetrack President Obama’s hopes of getting Congress to approve a bill legalizing illegal immigrants already in the country.

The surge, which totaled nearly 70,000 children traveling without a parent in fiscal year 2014, plus more than 60,000 children and parents traveling together, overwhelmed the Obama administration, which was left struggling for answers. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon: The ‘Least Ambitious’ Bureaucrat Could Process Clinton’s Personal Emails Faster

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“Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

David Francis writes: So far, the State Department, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, has released just a small sampling of 55,000 pages of email from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s home internet server. The PANTSUIT-REPORTtiming of the releases have been less than ideal: The first batch was released on the afternoon of May 22, the Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend. The second came late in the evening, on June 30, less than an ideal time for reporters to dig in to find a story.

According to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, the pace of the releases, just like their timing, is also less than ideal.

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“Now, any person should be able to review that in one day — one day,” the judge said at a Wednesday hearing, while reviewing an Associated Press request for the release of just over 60 emails. “Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

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New York Daily News

[Read the full text here, at ForeignPolicy.com, and more at the New York Daily News]

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[Noah Rothman on the Media’s Favorite Framing Device: ‘Republican Reaction’ Stories]

Read the rest of this entry »


Lois Lerner’s Hard Drive vs Industrial Strength AMERI-SHRED AMS-750 HD Shredder

Lois-Hard-Drive

SPOILER ALERT: The AMS-750 HD Shredder WINS!
SMG-REPORT

Alexander Hendrie continues: The House Oversight Committee report cites an officially transcribed
interview with John Minsek, senior investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) unit. Minsek examined the Lerner hard drive in 2011. In the transcribed interview, he notes Lerner’s hard drive contained “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.” The Oversight Committee report states:

am-shred

Detail from amber-shred.com product website

“Using the CI unit’s digital forensic facilities, Minsek opened the hard drive and conducted additional tests. Once he opened the hard drive, Minsek noticed “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.”

Ameri-Shred’s AMS-750HD hard drive shredder will shred 900 to 1800 hard drives per hour, depending on your voltage and shred width. It can be plant based or placed in a truck for mobile hard drive shredding.

So how did the scoring get there?

Last month, testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) revealed that Lois Lerner’s hard drive had “scoring on the top platter of the drive.” The testimony also noted that the IRS technician that inspected the hard drive believed that additional steps could have been taken to recover data, although this did not occur and the hard drive was later destroyed by an industrial strength AMERI-SHRED AMS-750 HD shredder.

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[Read the full story here, at Americans for Tax Reform. For more about industrial strength Ameri-Shred HD shredders, visit ameri-shred.com]SMIDG-LRG

Given these facts, it is logical to question how the “scoring” occurred and whether there was foul play involved. Here it what is known thus far:

– According to TIGTA testimony submitted to the Oversight Committee on June 25, 2014, Lerner’s laptop stopped communicating with the IRS server on Saturday June 11, 2011, between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Hard Drive Shredding Truck AMS-750 HD

Hard Drive Shredding Truck AMS-750 HD – AMERI-SHRED

– According to the same testimony,the laptop was likely physically located in Lerner’s office the moment it stopped communicating with the server: Read the rest of this entry »


Jason Alexander Arrested: ‘Law & Order’ Director Charged with Child Porn Possession

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Natalie Stone reports: Law & Order director Jason “Jace” Alexander was arrested Wednesday in New York on child pornography charges, according to the Westchester County District Attorney.

Alexander, who lives in Dobbs Ferry, was charged with felony counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child after allegedly file-sharing “illegal and obscene performances of sexual conduct by children less than 17 years of age.”

According to the press release from the DA’s office, the office began its investigation July 24 after determining that the IP address associated with the illegal activity was assigned to Alexander’s home.

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July 29, 2015 — Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Jason Alexander (DOB 04/07/64) of 42 Bellair Dr., Dobbs jasonalexanderFerry, New York, was charged today by Felony Complaint with:

  • one count of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class “D” Felony,
  • one count of Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child, a class “E” Felony,

for possessing and file-sharing illegal and obscene performances of sexual conduct by children less than seventeen years of age.

On July 24, 2015, an investigator from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office downloaded child pornography from an IP (internet protocol) address in Westchester County.

The District Attorney’s Office began its investigation and pursuant to a subpoena, it was determined that the IP address was assigned to the defendant’s home.

A search warrant was subsequently executed at the defendant’s home address.

A forensic examination of computers and external hard drives removed from the location revealed digital files of children who are less than sixteen years of age engaged in child pornography.

The defendant was arraigned in Dobbs Ferry Village Court.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s Managing Editor During University of Virginia Rape Hoax Catastrophe, Suddenly Unemployed

Will-Dana

The magazine commissioned an analysis of the article by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and its report in April cited failures at every stage of the reporting process. After the report was made public, Rolling Stone retracted the article.

The magazine has since been the target of lawsuits from an assistant dean at the university and by three members of the fraternity at the center of the article, who filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday.

(read more)

The New York Times


Federal Government Fails At So Much, So Often

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Most Americans think that the federal government is incompetent and wasteful. What causes all the failures? A new study from Cato scholar Chris Edwards examines views on government failure, and outlines five key sources of federal failure. Edwards concludes that the only way to substantially reduce failure is to downsize the federal government: “Political and bureaucratic incentives and the huge size of the federal government are causing endemic failure. The causes of federal failure are deeply structural, and they will not be solved by appointing more competent officials or putting a different party in charge.”

Why the Federal Government Fails,” by Chris Edwards


[VIDEO] George Gilder: Net Neutrality Is a ‘Ludicrous’ Idea That Will Shrink the Economy

“Everything on [the Internet] is changing minute by minute,” says George Gilder, “and the idea of establishing a level playing field, as if all bandwidth is homogeneous, is just ludicrous.”

 


#Texas Attorney General: Office Has Received More #PlannedParenthood Videos

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Melaney Linton, president of that clinic, said in written testimony that one individual was shown an area where tissue is processed after an abortion. She said the video ‘will be difficult for many people to see.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) –  Paul J. Weber reports: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Wednesday that his office has received video taken in a Planned Parenthood clinic he says is consistent with other stealthily recorded footage that has Republicans again taking on the biggest abortion provider in the U.S.

While testifying before a committee of Texas lawmakers, Paxton would not divulge details or discuss how his office got the footage, which has not been publicly released.

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“The unveiling of other covertly recorded videos released this month by an anti-abortion group, showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research, has put the organization on the defensive.”

He also didn’t specify where the video was filmed, but Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast says actors pretending to be from a health research company toured its Houston clinic in April and talked to staff members. Melaney Linton, president of that clinic, said in written testimony that one individual was shown an area where tissue is processed after an abortion. She said the video “will be difficult for many people to see.”

Texas capitol

“Texas is among a handful of Republican-controlled states that have launched investigations, while GOP leaders in the U.S. Senate say they will vote to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood.”

But Linton said the clinic did not break any laws and defended skipping the hearing by the Texas Health and Human Services Committee.

“This committee has made it abundantly clear that it has no desire to hold a responsible, fair, fact-driven hearing. It is clear that this committee cares more about political gamesmanship than the truth,” Linton said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »


Political Warriors Black Robes? Poll: Negative Views of Supreme Court at Record High

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68% of Conservatives Identifies Court as Liberal

Following major, end-of-term rulings on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, unfavorable opinions of the Supreme Court have reached a 30-year high. And opinions about the court and its ideology have never been more politically divided.

“Seven-in-ten Americans (70%) say that in deciding cases, the justices of the Supreme Court ‘are often influenced by their own political views.’ Just 24% say they ‘generally put their political views aside. when deciding cases.”

Currently, 48% of Americans have a favorable impression of the Supreme Court, while 43% view the court unfavorably. Unfavorable opinions of the court, while up only modestly since March (39%), are the highest recorded since 1985.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted July 14-20 among 2,002 adults, finds that 7-29-2015-12-42-28-PMmost of the increase in unfavorable views of the Supreme Court has come among Republicans.

“Most Americans (54%) say that the Supreme Court has the right amount of power, while 36% say it is too powerful.”

Just 33% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the court, while 61% have an unfavorable view. Since March, the share of Republicans viewing the court favorably has fallen 17 percentage points (from 50% to 33%), while the share with an unfavorable impression has jumped 21 percentage points (from 40% to 61%). Republicans’ views of the Supreme Court are now more negative than at any point in the past three decades.

“Only about one-in-ten (7%) thinks the court has too little power”

In contrast, Democrats’ views of the Supreme Court have become more positive since March, though the change has not been as dramatic. Currently, 62% of Democrats have a favorable impression of the court, up from 54% four months ago.

There also has been a major shift in how Americans, especially those at either end of the ideological spectrum, view the Supreme Court’s ideology. The share of the public saying the current Supreme Court is liberal has doubled since March, driven by changing attitudes among Republicans, particularly conservative Republicans.

Overall, 39% of the public views the court as middle-of-the-road, 36% as liberal and 18% as conservative. The share saying the court is liberal has increased from 26% to 36% over the past few months and stands at its highest point in surveys dating to 2007. There has been a ten-point decline in the number saying the court is conservative (18% today, 28% in March), while the share saying it is middle-of-the-road is little changed (39% now, 38% then).

Opinions about the court and its ideology have never been more politically divided

Currently, 68% of conservative Republicans say the current Supreme Court is liberal – up 20 points since 7-29-2015-12-25-38-PMMarch and by far the highest percentage since 2007. About a quarter of conservative Republicans (24%) say the court has a middle-of-the-road approach and 5% see it as conservative.

Liberal Democrats now generally view the current Supreme Court as middle-of-the-road; in March, most saw the court as conservative. Currently, 49% of liberal Democrats say it is middle-of-the-road (up from 31% in March). Three-in-ten (30%) say it is conservative, down from 56% in March. And 17% say the court is liberal, about double the share who said this in March (8%).

Perceptions of the court’s ideology have changed less among those closer to the middle of the ideological spectrum. Moderate and liberal Republicans’ continue to be divided: 42% see the Supreme Court as middle-of-the-road; 40% say it is liberal and 13% say it is conservative. A plurality of conservative and moderate 7-29-2015-12-26-53-PMDemocrats (43%) continue to say it is middle-of-the-road.

The change in independents’ views of the Supreme Court’s ideology mirrors the shift among the public: 41% say it is middle-of-the-road, little changed from 38% in March; 36% see it as liberal (up 11 points) and 18% say it is conservative (down 10 points). The share of Republican-leaning independents who say the court is liberal has risen from 38% to 54%. Just 23% of independents who lean toward the Democratic Party say the same, up a modest seven percentage points since March.

Other findings

Little Change in Views of Same-Sex Marriage, Affordable Care Act. In contrast to opinions about the Supreme Court, views on two issues that were the subject of its high-profile rulings – same-sex marriage and the 2010 health care law – have shown little change. Currently, 54% of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 39% are opposed. In May, before the Court’s ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, 57% favored and 39% opposed same-sex marriage. The public is divided over 7-29-2015-12-26-37-PMthe 2010 health care law: 48% approve of the law and 49% disapprove. In February, 45% approved of the health care law and 53% disapproved.

Few Think Supreme Court Justices Set Aside Their Political Views. Seven-in-ten Americans (70%) say that in deciding cases, the justices of the Supreme Court “are often influenced by their own political views.” Just 24% say they “generally put their political views aside” when deciding cases. The belief that justices are swayed by their own political views spans partisan and demographic groups. The survey also finds that a majority of the public (56%) says the court should consider the views of most Americans when deciding cases; 39% say they should not be influenced by public opinion.

Supreme Court Not Viewed as ‘Too Powerful.’ A majority (54%) says the Supreme Court has the right amount of power, while 36% think it has too much power; 7% say it has too little power. Republicans (45%) are more likely than Democrats (32%) or independents (33%) to view the court as too powerful.

Supreme Court Favorability

Partisanship, ideology and religious affiliation are all factors in views of the Supreme Court. In addition, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage and the 2010 health care law have starkly different opinions about the Supreme Court.

By a 63% to 28% margin, those who favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court. By almost an identical margin (63% to 30%), those who oppose same-sex 7-29-2015-12-26-04-PMmarriage have an unfavorable impression of the court. The association between views of the court and opinions on same-sex marriage is far stronger than in the past.

Opinions of the court among those who approve and disapprove of the 2010 health care law are similarly divided (61% of those who approve of the law have a favorable opinion of the court, compared with just 33% of those who disapprove). Supporters and opponents of the law were less divided last year, but were similarly split following the court’s 2012 term, in which it ruled the law was constitutional.

Since March, the plunge in the Supreme Court’s favorability among Republicans has largely come among conservatives. Just 27% of conservative Republicans have a favorable impression of the Supreme Court. Four months ago, nearly half (48%) did so. Among moderate and liberal Republicans, there has been a smaller, nine-point decline in positive views of the court (45% now, 54% then). Read the rest of this entry »


A Message to Leaders of #Congress From #IRS Commissioner, Public Servant John Koskinen

IMPEACH-ME

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Has Got to Go


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Clinton’s Mysterious Hide-and-Seek Emails

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Alexa Corse  and Shane Harris report: Among the approximately 2,000 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has released from her private account, there is a conspicuous two-month gap. There are no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff during May and June 2012, a period of escalating violence in Libya leading up to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

“That two-month period also coincides with a senior Clinton aide obtaining a special exemption that allowed her to work both as a staff member to the secretary and in a private capacity for Clinton and her husband’s foundation. The Associated Press has sued to obtain emails from Clinton’s account about the aide, Huma Abedin.”

A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast that for the year 2012, only those emails related to the security of the consulate or to the U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya were made public and turned over to a House committee investigating the fatal Benghazi assault. But if that’s true, then neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via email about the escalating dangers in Libya. There were three attacks during that two-month period, including one that targeted the consulate.Hillary-Shrug

“The status of Clinton’s emails has become an explosive political issue ever since The New York Times revealed that the then-Secretary of State was using a private email server to handle her official correspondence. Cybersecurity experts believe the homebrew system opened Clinton and her colleagues to targeting from online spies.” 

That two-month period also coincides with a senior Clinton aide obtaining a special exemption that allowed her to work both as a staff member to the secretary and in a private capacity for Clinton and her husband’s foundation. The Associated Press has sued to obtain emails from Clinton’s account about the aide, Huma Abedin.

The status of Clinton’s emails has become an explosive political issue ever since The New York Times revealed that the then-Secretary of State was using a private email server to handle her official correspondence. Cybersecurity experts believe the homebrew system opened Clinton and her colleagues to targeting from online spies. The State Department and Intelligence Community Inspector Generals have asked the Justice Department to look into possible disclosure of classified information.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Beast]

Regarding the security situation in Libya, there was plenty for Clinton and her team to discuss via email. On May 22, 2012, the International Red Cross’s Benghazi office was hit by rocket-propelled grenades.

Read the rest of this entry »


THE SMIDGEN REPORT UPDATE: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Has Got to Go

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

If the president doesn’t tell Commissioner Koskinen to go, then we in Congress should impeach him.

Ron DeSantis and Jim Jordan write:

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen needs to go.

When it was revealed in 2013 that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for exercising their First Amendment rights, President Obama correctly called the policy “inexcusable” and pledged accountability. He even fired the then-acting IRS commissioner because he said it was necessary to have “new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.”

“A taxpayer would never get away with treating an IRS audit the way that IRS officials have treated the congressional investigation.”

Unfortunately, Commissioner Koskinen, who took over in the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, has failed the American people by frustrating Congress’s attempts to ascertain the truth. A taxpayer would never get away with treating an IRS audit SMIDG-LRGthe way that IRS officials have treated the congressional investigation. Civil officers like Mr. Koskinen have historically been held to a higher standard than private citizens because they have fiduciary obligations to the public. The IRS and Mr. Koskinen have breached these basic fiduciary duties:

• Destruction of evidence. Lois Lerner, at the time the director of the IRS’s exempt-organizations unit, invoked the Fifth Amendment on May 22, 2013, when appearing before Congress; her refusal to testify put a premium on obtaining and reviewing her email communications. On the same day the IRS’s chief technology officer issued a preservation order that instructed IRS employees “not to destroy/wipe/reuse any of the existing backup tapes for email, or archiving of other information from IRS personal computers.”

“John Koskinen has violated the public trust, breached his fiduciary obligations and demonstrated his unfitness to serve. Mr. President, it’s time for Commissioner Koskinen to go. If you don’t act, we will.”

Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Cleta Mitchell on presidential evasions about the targeting of conservative groups, and the status of Congress’s investigation. Photo: Getty Images

Several weeks later, on Aug. 2, the House Oversight Committee issued its first subpoena for IRS documents, including all of smidgen-lieMs. Lerner’s emails. On Feb. 2, 2014, Kate Duval, the IRS commissioner’s counsel, identified a gap in the Lerner emails that were being collected. Days later, Ms. Duval learned that the gap had been caused in 2011 when the hard drive of Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed.

Despite all this—an internal IRS preservation order, a congressional subpoena, and knowledge about Ms. Lerner’s hard-drive and email problems—the Treasury inspector general for tax administration discovered that the agency on March 4, 2014, erased 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 emails. (Congress learned of the discovery only last month.)smdg-tv2

Ms. Duval has since left the IRS and now works at the State Department, where she is responsible for vetting Hillary Clinton’s emails sought by congressional investigations of the Benghazi attacks.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

• Failure to inform Congress. Mr. Koskinen was made aware of the problems associated with Ms. Lerner’s emails the same month Ms. Duval discovered the gap. Yet the IRS withheld the information from Congress for four months, until June 13, 2014, when the agency used a Friday news dump to admit—on page seven of the third attachment to a letter sent to the Senate Finance Committee—that it had lost many of Ms. Lerner’s emails. Read the rest of this entry »


Dispute Continues Over Hillary Clinton Testifying Before Benghazi Panel

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton adjusts her make-up before speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young        TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Clinton’s spokesman said there was a deal, but the committee’s representative said no agreement had been reached

Zeke J Miller reports: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the House Benghazi Committee remain at loggerheads over the conditions under which she would testify before the committee, probing the killing of four Americans in the September 2012 attack in Libya.

“Earlier this week we were pleased for Secretary Clinton to receive an offer from Congressman Gowdy to appear before the committee in a public hearing in October, and yesterday accepted his invitation.”

— Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, in a statement

Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill announced Saturday that Clinton had agreed to testify before the committee in a public hearing in October, but the committee’s communications director, Jamal Ware, said no agreement had in fact been reached.

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“Secretary Clinton’s campaign may want to reach out to her lawyer, Mr. David Kendall, with whom the Committee has had ongoing conversations. As of last night, Mr. Kendall was still negotiating conditions for her appearance.”

— House Benghazi Committee communications director Jamal Ware

“Earlier this week we were pleased for Secretary Clinton to receive an offer from Congressman Gowdy to appear before the committee in a public hearing in October, and yesterday accepted his invitation,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement.

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“Her email arrangement clearly falls within the scope of the Select Committee’s jurisdiction, which is charged by the House under the Resolution to look at Executive Branch efforts to comply with congressional oversight as well as the administration’s response in the aftermath of the tragic attacks in Benghazi.”

—  Jamal Ware

“Secretary Clinton’s campaign may want to reach out to her lawyer, Mr. David Kendall, with whom the Committee has had ongoing conversations,” Ware said. “As of last night, Mr. Kendall was still negotiating conditions for her appearance.” Read the rest of this entry »


Criminal Investigation Sought Into Hillary Clinton’s Emails; Concerns About the Potential ‘Mishandling of Classified Information’

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WASHINGTON— Byron Tau and Felicia Schwartz report: An internal government review of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email archive has revealed that hundreds of those messages contain potentially classified information.PANTSUIT-REPORT

Due to concerns about the potential mishandling of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s personal email server, the inspectors general for the Department of State and intelligence community have asked the Justice Department to consider a criminal investigation, a Justice Department official said.

A memorandum from both inspectors general viewed by The Wall Street Journal found that an investigation discovered “hundreds of potentially classified emails within the collection” of Mrs. Clinton’s emails.

The inspectors general also found that at least one of Mrs. Clinton’s emails already publicly released on the State Department’s website contained apparent classified information.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Mrs. Clinton “followed appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials. As has been reported on multiple occasions, any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted,” a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton said.

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News of the request for a potential criminal investigation was first reported by the New York Times.

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When she was secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton used her own email account that was run through a personal server for all of her work-related correspondence. Read the rest of this entry »


Christopher Monfort Sentenced to Life in Prison for Halloween 2009 Murder of Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton

Christopher Monfort acknowledges his family as he arrives to hear his penalty verdict at the King County Courthouse Thursday July 23, 2015. Monfort killed Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween, 2009.  (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

It took a King County jury about one hour to decide that Christopher Monfort should spend the rest of his life in prison for killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween night 2009.

 reports: A King County jury has spared the life of Christopher Monfort for killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween night 2009.

After deliberating for only about one hour, the jurors sentenced Monfort to life in prison without parole Thursday afternoon in a crowded Seattle courtroom. Members of Brenton’s family and Monfort’s mother were seated in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

“This jury worked exceptionally hard for a very long time and were asked to answer a profound moral question. The facts of this case called out for the jury to consider the full range of punishment options under state law. Our entire community should be grateful to these citizens for their service.”

— King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg

Many had speculated the quick verdict signaled jurors had voted for death, the only other possible sentence for aggravated murder.

After the verdict was announced, Monfort said “I’m happy about that.”

In this undated family photo provided by the Seattle Police Dept., shows Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton.  Brenton was killed in a Halloween night drive-by shooting that also grazed a rookie officer. The 39-year-old training officer from Marysville was hit in the head as he sat in a car reviewing a traffic stop with officer Britt Sweeney. Brenton's memorial service is set for Friday at Seattle's Key Arena.  (AP Photo/ family photo provided by the Seattle Police Dept.) NO SALES SE101  ( / The Associated Press)

In this undated family photo provided by the Seattle Police Dept., shows Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton. Brenton was killed in a Halloween night drive-by shooting that also grazed a rookie officer. The 39-year-old training officer from Marysville was hit in the head as he sat in a car reviewing a traffic stop with officer Britt Sweeney. Brenton’s memorial service is set for Friday at Seattle’s Key Arena. (AP Photo/ family photo provided by the Seattle Police Dept.)

One male juror, who declined to give his name, said, “Now that the trial is over, I don’t think there’s really anything to say, other than it really was a horrible incident filled with sadness, regrettable in every way. I’m very glad the jury was unanimous in all the verdicts that we gave.”

Matt Brenton, Timothy Brenton’s brother, said his family had no expectations before the jury’s verdict was announced.

“Now that the trial is over, I don’t think there’s really anything to say, other than it really was a horrible incident filled with sadness, regrettable in every way. I’m very glad the jury was unanimous in all the verdicts that we gave.”

— Unidentified male juror

“More than anything, no matter what decision they came to, it was the right one for them and we respect it and thank them for their sacrifice,” he said.

Monfort’s mother, Suzan Monfort, said she was flabbergasted by the verdict.

“I’m very relieved and I don’t believe in the death penalty for anyone, or for my son” she said.

The verdict marks the second time in the past two months that King County prosecutors have failed to convince a jury to sentence a high-profile killer to death. In May, a split jury spared the life of Joseph McEnroe, who killed six members of his ex-girlfriend’s family on Christmas Eve 2007. That jury deliberated for 3 ½ days.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg issued the following statement Thursday afternoon: “This jury worked exceptionally hard for a very long time and were asked to answer a profound moral question. The facts of this case called out for the jury to consider the full range of punishment options under state law. Our entire community should be grateful to these citizens for their service.”

The jury of six men and six women convicted Monfort on June 5 of aggravated first-degree murder and three other felonies, rejecting his insanity defense, after hearing nearly four months of testimony in the trial that began in late January. Read the rest of this entry »


Jury Reaches Verdict in First Phase of James Holmes Sentencing Trial

FILE - In this June 4, 2013, file photo, Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes appears in court in Centennial, Colo. The person closest to the murderous thoughts of Holmes before he carried out his attack could take the witness stand the week of June 15, 2015, as the prosecution wraps up its case. Holmes' death penalty trial has revived unresolved questions about whether he could have been stopped. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via AP, Pool, File)

The jurors who convicted Holmes took more time than expected to decide whether prosecutors passed the first legal test for a death sentence.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Jury in the James Holmes Colorado theater shooting trial reached a verdict in the first phase of sentencing on Thursday. Jurors unanimously decided the death penalty can be considered for Holmes and will move on to the next phase of sentencing.

“Prosecutors said they proved several of the required “aggravating factors” in these murders beyond a reasonable doubt: That Holmes harmed an outsized number of victims when he opened fire at the midnight Batman movie premiere; that he killed a child, and that the attack was particularly heinous.”

They said capital punishment is justified because Holmes murdered a large number of victims; caused a grave risk of death to others; committed murder in a heinous, cruel or depraved manner; and laid in wait or ambush.

One factor jurors said prosecutors did not prove was that Holmes intentionally killed a child, but the other “aggravating factors” ensure that jurors will continue to consider whether he should die for his crimes.

HOLMES-GUILTY

The jury only had to find one of those aggravating factors valid in order to make Holmes eligible for the death penalty.

Prosecutors still must clear two more hurdles before Holmes can be sentenced to die.

Jurors began weighing on Wednesday whether Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, who killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a movie theater three years ago, deserved to die.

The jury rejected his claim that he was legally insane when committed the crime, but also had to consider the extent of his mental illness against the enduring pain and heartache that he caused.

The jurors who convicted Holmes took more time than expected to decide whether prosecutors passed the first legal test for a death sentence. Read the rest of this entry »


Payback Time: Department of Justice To Investigate Planned Parenthood Group That Exposed Planned Parenthood


Obama Administration: ‘Hey, About that Requirement to Defend The United States, Let’s Remove it from the Citizenship Oath’

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Katie Pavlich writes: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has “clarified” requirements for individuals becoming naturalized citizens by stripping out the requirement of defending the United States through military service.

“Effective July 21, 2015, new guidance (PA-2015-001) in the USCIS Policy Manual clarifies the eligibility requirements for modifications to the Oath of AllegianceReciting the Oath is part of the naturalization process. Candidates for citizenship normally declare that they will “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States” when required by the law. A candidate may be eligible to exclude these two clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection,” an email from USCIS clarifying the requirements states (bolding is mine).

The new guidance:

 -May be eligible for modifications based on religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.
-Is not required to belong to a specific church or religion, follow a particular theology or belief, or to have had religious training in order to qualify.
-May submit, but is not required to provide, an attestation from a religious or other type of organization, as well as other evidence to establish eligibility. Read the rest of this entry »


Oddly, Planned Parenthood Videos Attract Attention from the Department of Justice

Gold-Plated-Lamborghini-Aventador-LP700-4-@-Miami-International-Auto-Show

“I’m aware of those matters generally from the media, and from some inquiries that have been made to the Department of Justice, and again at this point we’re going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time.”

— Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Peter Sullivan reports: Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday her department is going to review all information surrounding the controversial videos of Planned Parenthood officials taken by an anti-abortion group.

“I’m aware of those matters generally from the media, and from some inquiries that have been made to the Department of Justice, and again at this point we’re going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time,” Lynch said when asked about the videos at a press conference.

DOJ-PP-Hill

Republican members of Congress have been calling on the DOJ to investigate whether Planned Parenthood is in violation of the law after the first video, showing members of the group discussing fetal tissue, surfaced.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and ten other Republican senators sent a letter to the DOJ on Wednesday requesting an investigation. They say that Planned Parenthood could have violated laws that ban profiting off the sale of fetal organs. Read the rest of this entry »


Robot Rights, or Robot Privilege?

Robot-Rights

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Daily Mail Online


Oregon Resident Sentenced for Fraud; Worked as Woman, Collected Disability as Man

“I think of a man, and I take away reason, and accountability.”

PORTLAND, Ore. –  An Oregon resident who transitioned to a woman more than three decades ago continued collecting Social Security disability checks under her male identity, fraudulently raking in $250,000.

Congressional investigators say Social Security has made more than $1 billion in improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work. In a report issued Friday, the Government Accountability Office estimated that 36,000 workers got improper payments from December 2010 to January 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Congressional investigators say Social Security has made more than $1 billion in improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work.  AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Court records show Richelle McDonald was born Richard McDonald in 1945. In 1974, Richard claimed disability because he was unable to work after suffering a serious arm injury when hit by a San Francisco bus. Read the rest of this entry »


Social Justice, Illustrated

social-justice


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