Number of Americans Renouncing their Citizenship Near Record Highs

circa 1938: Sir Robert Hodgson arriving at Croydon from Paris on an Imperial Airways flight. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

A total of 508 Americans renounced their citizenship in the second quarter of the year, according to information published by the Internal Revenue Service, putting the country on track to lose at least the second highest number of citizens on record.

That brings the total number of expatriates for the year to 1,666, according to data published on Friday, just below the 1,795 who renounced during the same period in 2015. Yet because the number of expatriates tends to increase toward the end of the year, 2016 could still set another record for the number of Americans it sends packing. A total of 4,279 left over the duration of 2015, which was the third consecutive year to set a new annual record.

1936: Passengers enjoying a drink and a game of cards in the cabin of an Imperial Airways plane. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Tax experts have suggested the uptick is due, in part, to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The 2010 law was aimed at forcing nonresident citizens, estimated to be between 2 and 7 million, to report more of their income for tax collection. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Marine Corps Aviation: Today’s Military Readiness Crisis, Tomorrow’s Capabilities

Years of flat budgets amid an increasing operational tempo has thrown Marine aviation into a readiness crisis, forcing pilots to scrounge museum aircraft for parts simply to keep their aircraft flightworthy. Nevertheless, Marine aviators must prepare for high-intensity warfare against increasingly sophisticated foreign adversaries.

A U.S. fighter jet flies over an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. Associated Press

Can the Marine Corps triage aircraft readiness if sequestration continues? How will the Marines integrate next-generation technology as diverse as autonomous vehicles, the revolutionary F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, and a new heavy-lift helicopter into future operational concepts? Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] OH YES HE DID: Did Bill Clinton Fall Asleep During Hillary’s Speech?

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[VIDEO] Bernie Sanders Curbs his Enthusiasm at the DNC 


[VIDEO] Dinesh D’Souza Unveils Hillary Clinton Video Ahead of DNC Speech

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The clip coincides with the launch of a new website where D’Souza answers critics who claim his movie distorts facts. ‘Detractors and several film reviewers have been challenging many of its claims’. Example claim: ‘Democrats had backed slavery and the Ku Klux Klan decades ago’.  This is in dispute, really? (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

5 percent of critics gave ‘Hillary’s America’ a positive review, compared to a favorable review from 82 percent of the audience.

“‘Evita’s foundation funneled money given to the poor into her own bank accounts,’ D’Souza says in the clip. ‘Certainly, the Clintons wouldn’t steal from the poorest of the poor?’”

Hollywood Reporter: Hours before Hillary Clinton is set to accept the Democratic nomination for president, Dinesh D’Souza has releasedscene from his documentary film Hillary’s America that compares the former secretary of state to Eva Peron, the Argentine politician famously accused of money laundering in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita.

The release of the scene coincides with D’Souza launching a website that he says debunks criticisms of Hillary’s America by offering evidence that what he says about her and her party in his movie is historically accurate.

His “evidence” page cites various historical sources and quotes notable figures, like Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson, to make the case that Democrats had backed slavery and the Ku Klux Klan decades ago.

Since D’Souza’s movie opened two weeks ago, detractors and several film reviewers have been challenging many of its claims. The Hollywood Reporter’s reviewer likened the movie to a “highly subjective history lesson” while the Los Angeles Times said it “doesn’t even qualify as effectively executed propaganda.” On Rotten Tomatoes, only 5 percent of critics gave Hillary’s America a positive review, compared to a favorable review from 82 percent of the audience.

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[Read the full story here, at the Hollywood Reporter]

Republican nominee for president Donald Trump, meanwhile, has endorsed the film. Read the rest of this entry »


Barack Obama: ‘My Incredible Journey’

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Byron York writes:

…In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 73 percent of registered voters said the country is on the wrong track, while just 18 percent said it is headed in the right direction. The 73 percent figure is the second-highest in the president’s nearly eight years in office.

The poll was no outlier. These are the wrong-track numbers for the last ten polls in the RealClearPolitics average of polls: 67, 70, 67, 71, 73, 69, 79, 68, 60 and 66.

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And yet, in spite of clear evidence that a majority of Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, the president exhorted the nation, “Thank you for this incredible journey — let’s keep it going.”

Obama spoke as if broad areas of American life are better than ever, even if there remains work to be done. Read the rest of this entry »


Philadelphia Gun Range Owner And Activist Say ‘Black Guns Matter’

“No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates,” said Maj Toure.

There was one shooting every six hours on average last year in Philadelphia. In the past 10 years, more than 14,500 shootings occurred, with at least 2,600 killed by guns — many of whom were black residents.negores-guns-book

“What I can say to the American people from whatever background you are, is exercise your Second Amendment rights. Be open-minded, be objective and learn.”

— Maj Toure

While some see the numbers as a reason to increase gun control, others see things differently.

Yuri Zalzman of North Philadelphia’s The Gun Range and Maj Toure of the activist group Black Guns Matter have come together to try to find solutions.

[Read the full story here, at Here & Now]

Both teach inner-city residents how to properly handle firearms and believe the effort to reduce the number of guns in the city would mean residents would be less safe.

[Check out Nicholas Johnson’s book “Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms” at Amazon]

[Also see – [VIDEO] How the Civil Rights Movement Changed Black Gun Culture]

Here & Now’s Robin Young visited The Gun Range and spoke with Zalzman and Toure about their efforts.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights hang on the wall of The Gun Range in North Philadelphia. (Dean Russell/Here & Now)

The Constitution and Bill of Rights hang on the wall of The Gun Range in North Philadelphia. (Dean Russell/Here & Now)

Interview Highlights: Maj Toure & Yuri Zalzman

On individuals and gun ownership

Maj Toure: “For one they should choose to exercise anything that will defend themselves. If someone has a firearm and you don’t, you lose. That’s it. No different than if someone has a knife and you don’t have the means to defend yourself, you lose.

So I think that the community that I’m from, I think that information is deliberately kept away. It’s made to seem that if you have a firearm you’re either law enforcement or you must be the bad guy. No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates.”

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On police in Dallas being suspicious of black men who were carrying rifles

Toure: “That’s the police officers’ and law enforcement’s responsibility to balance that out. Because there’s one or two or a few bad apples, I wouldn’t say throw the whole bunch out. You cannot group and have a monolithic statement or blanket solution for everyone when people don’t fall in alignment with that particular… I don’t even think it’s even a level of confusion. That’s law enforcement’s responsibility to be better trained and execute their duties in a much more productive way.”

On how Dallas police had to control the situation with the shooterYuri Zalzman: “What we’re talking about is one additional, very unfortunate tragic event. We don’t normally have these situations I think that the discussion should not take place on the fringes, no more than it is pleasant to have a conversation with somebody whose thoughts are at the extremes one way or the other. Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Watch Democrats Try to Convince a Libertarian to Vote for Hillary

With the growing dissatisfaction of the two-party system, more and more Americans are ditching their party identification and turning independent. A 2015 Gallup Governance survey found that 27 percent of the electorate can be characterized as libertarian—outnumbering conservatives (26 percent) and liberals (23 percent).

This makes them a highly coveted voting bloc, and one that Hillary Clinton needs to win over in order to prevent a Donald Trump presidency.

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Reason editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie found delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA to see if they could convince him why libertarians should vote for Clinton in November or if they’re better off with a third option.

Approximately 3 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Trump’s Russia Comment ‘Set a Trap That the Clinton Campaign Fell Into’ 

Charles Krauthammer discusses Donald Trump’s call for Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, and how the Clinton campaign’s response belies a total contradiction.

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[VIDEO] Obama Refers to Himself 120 Times During Hillary Nomination Speech

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Cops in Freddie Gray Case Suing Marilyn Mosby: ‘Ulterior Motives in Charging the Officers’

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The lawsuits allege false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation or false light, and other assertions. They were filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland in 2015 in late April and early May around the time the officers were arrested.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is going from prosecutor to civil defendant in connection with the case of the death of Freddie Gray.

“Marilyn Mosby’s comments in her press conference today confirm that the charges brought against my clients, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter, as well as the other four officers, were politically motivated and not supported by evidence to establish probable cause.”

On Wednesday, Mosby announced that charges against three officers still facing trial were being dropped. Mosby gave only a statement, but had to leave without taking questions because five of the officers in the case have filed lawsuits against her.

People celebrate after State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Photo: David Goldman/Associated Press

People celebrate after State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Photo: David Goldman/Associated Press

Officers Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and William Porter as well as Sgt. Alicia White and Lt. Brian Rice are suing Mosby and Maj. Samuel Cogen of the Baltimore Sheriff’s Office. Cogen was the law enforcement officer who filed charging documents against the officers.

The lawsuits allege false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation or false light, and other assertions. They were filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland in 2015 in late April and early May around the time the officers were arrested.

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Gray died in a hospital on April 19, 2015, a week after police stopped him on a Baltimore street. After his arrest, officers placed Gray in the back of a police van, which made several stops.

When the van arrived at the police station, Gray was unresponsive. His neck was broken and compressed, prosecutors said in court, comparing the spinal injury to those suffered after a dive into a shallow pool.
Demonstrators destroy the windshield of a Baltimore Police car as they protest the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015. Protesters returned to Baltimore's streets Saturday to vent outrage over the death of Gray. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators destroy the windshield of a Baltimore Police car as they protest the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015. Protesters returned to Baltimore’s streets Saturday to vent outrage over the death of Gray. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Rice and Nero had already been acquitted in separate bench trials. So had Officer Caesar Goodson, who apparently has not filed suit. Porter was the first to be tried but his case ended with the jury unable to reach a unanimous decision.

Mosby’s office dropped the charges against Miller, Porter and White on Wednesday.Freddie Gray case: Charges dropped against remaining officers

An attorney for two of the officers said Wednesday that there were ulterior motives in charging the officers.

“Marilyn Mosby’s comments in her press conference today confirm that the charges brought against my clients, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter, as well as the other four officers, were politically motivated and not supported by evidence to establish probable cause,” Michael E. Glass said.

He said his client suffered “extensive pain and suffering.” Porter and White had been suspended without pay until Wednesday. They are now on desk duty after more than a year on leave.

Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in the case, paints himself as minimally involved, according to court documents. Read the rest of this entry »


Dezinformatsiya: Russian Internet Trolls were Being Hired to Pose as Pro-Trump Americans

It’s a brand of information warfare, known as ‘dezinformatsiya,’ that has been used by the Russians since at least the Cold War. The disinformation campaigns are only one ‘active measure’ tool used by Russian intelligence to ‘sow discord among,’ and within, allies perceived hostile to Russia.

 reports: Russia’s troll factories were, at one point, likely being paid by the Kremlin to spread pro-Trump propaganda on social media.

That is what freelance journalist Adrian Chen, now a staff writer at The New Yorker, discovered as he was researching Russia’s “army of well-paid trolls” for an explosive New York Times Magazine exposé published in June 2015.

“The DNC hack and dump is what cyberwar looks like.”

— Dave Aitel, a cybersecurity specialist, a former NSA employee, and founder of cybersecurity firm Immunity Inc., wrote for Ars Technica last week.

“A very interesting thing happened,” Chen told Longform‘s Max Linsky in a podcast in December.

“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff,” he said.

Linsky then asked Chen who he thought “was paying for that.”

“I don’t know,” Chen replied. “I feel like it’s some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing. You know, that’s how I started thinking about all this stuff after being in Russia.”

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St. Petersburg, Russia. Flickr/ranopamas

In his research from St. Petersburg, Chen discovered that Russian internet trolls — paid by the Kremlin to spread false information on the internet — have been behind a number of “highly coordinated campaigns” to deceive the American public.

“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff.”

— Adrian Chen

It’s a brand of information warfare, known as “dezinformatsiya,” that has been used by the Russians since at least the Cold War. The disinformation campaigns are only one “active measure” tool used by Russian intelligence to “sow discord among,” and within, allies perceived hostile to Russia.

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[Read the full story here, at Business Insider]

“An active measure is a time-honored KGB tactic for waging informational and psychological warfare,” Michael Weiss, a senior editor at The Daily Beast and editor-in-chief of The Interpreter — an online magazine that translates and analyzes political, social, and economic events inside the Russian Federation — wrote on Tuesday.

He continued (emphasis added):

“It is designed, as retired KGB General Oleg Kalugin once defined it, ‘to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs.’ The most common subcategory of active measures is dezinformatsiya, or disinformation: feverish, if believable lies cooked up by Moscow Centre and planted in friendly media outlets to make democratic nations look sinister.”

Vladimir Putin

It is not surprising, then, that the Kremlin would pay internet trolls to pose as Trump supporters and build him up online. In fact, that would be the easy part. Read the rest of this entry »


Original cover by Jack Davis from Tales From the Crypt #44, EC Comics, 1954

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Source: 


Europe’s Leaders Can’t Handle The Security Crisis They Created

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 writes: How is your Merkelsommer going? For now, Britain seems to be missing the worst. True, a couple of men of Middle Eastern appearance tried to abduct a soldier near his base in Norfolk for what was unlikely to have been an interfaith dialogue session. But Britain’s geographical good fortune, relative success in limiting weapons and our justified scepticism of the undiscriminating ‘open borders’ brigade mean that we have so far been spared the delights of what Angela Merkel’s growing army of critics refer to as her summer of terror.

It is now a fortnight since Mohammed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ploughed a truck along the Nice seafront, killing 84 people. The following Monday Mohammed Riyad, who said he was from Afghanistan but almost certainly came from Pakistan, screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ while hacking with an axe at his fellow passengers on a Bavarian train. The next day another Mohammed, this time Mohamed Boufarkouch, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and stabbed a Frenchwoman and her three daughters (aged eight, 12 and 14) near Montpelier. Mixing things up a little, that Friday’s shooter in Munich was a child of Iranians called Ali David Sonboly. Skip forward a couple of days and a ‘-Syrian asylum seeker’ with a machete was hacking a pregnant woman to death in Stuttgart. The next day another ‘Syrian asylum seeker’, Mohammad Daleel, carried out a suicide bombing outside a bar in Ansbach, Bavaria. And a little over 24 hours later two men shouting the name of Isis entered a church in Rouen during Mass, took the nuns and congregation hostage and slaughtered the priest with a knife.

Although the public know what is going on, the media seems loath to find any connection between these events. Indeed, the same papers that blame an exaggerated spike in ‘hate crime’ on everyone who voted for Brexit seem unwilling to put the blame for these real and violent attacks on the individuals carrying them out. ‘Syrian man denied asylum killed in German blast’ was the Reuters headline on the Ansbach story, neatly turning the suicide bomber into the victim and the German asylum system into the perpetrator. As Reuters went on: ‘A 27-year-old Syrian man who had been denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when a bomb he was carrying exploded outside a music festival.’ How terrible for him to lose his bomb in such a way.

The more complex story of the Munich shooter allowed everyone to double-down on their favourite explanations for violence. Inadequate welfare provisions, unsuitable town-planning and bullying were all wheeled out to explain why Ali David Sonboly started shooting in a McDonalds. Others were a little too keen to claim him as an Isis warrior, when it seems he wasn’t. The BBC got around the problem by excising the ‘Ali’ and all reports of his religion. Instead, speculation about the shooting happening on the fifth anniversary of Anders Breivik’s terrorist assault in Norway meant that every-one could ignore the Muslim eyewitness who heard Sonboly shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and headline on Breivik instead. Meaning that in Europe in 2016 a child of Iranian parents can be portrayed as a white supremacist, while no amount of Mohameds shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ can be said to have any connection to Islam.

Sections of the media and political class seem determined to stop the public coming to any conclusions. But most of us probably did that a long time ago, and these conclusions are being reinforced on a daily basis.

For the time being, the acceptable thing is to blame Isis. There is sense in that. The German train attacker had an Isis flag at his home, the Ansbach bomber left a video pledging allegiance to the group, and at least one of the Rouen church attackers had tried to travel to Syria to join them. The extent to which the group is involved varies, and they undoubtedly talk up their capabilities, but their ability to inspire as well as direct will be a problem as long as they exist. Read the rest of this entry »


IT’S ON: WikiLeaks Releases Hacked Audio of US Democratic Party Voicemails

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The new release includes 29 voice messages pulled from the emails of high-ranking DNC officials, totaling 14 minutes.

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One file (#16014) involves a Clinton supporter calling to demand that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders be prevented from winning the primary.

The emails released over the weekend showed that officials within the ostensibly neutral organization had a clear bias toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Sanders supporters were outraged, and the embarrassment forced DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign ahead of this week’s convention. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Trump to the Russians: ‘If you’re listening, I hope you find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails’

Vladimir Putin


OH YES SHE DID 24-Year-Old Teacher Mary Beth Haglin: ‘It’s the School’s Fault’ I Had Sex with that Teen Boy

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A substitute teacher accused of having sex with a student is blaming education officials for her illegal indiscretions — claiming they failed to stop her, and “allowed” the relationship to blossom.

“These people all knew what was going on, and yet hey turned a blind eye because they wanted to protect their school. They didn’t want it to get into the limelight.”

In a series of interviews with reporters in Iowa, 24-year-old Mary Beth Haglin admitted to having sex teacher-3with a 17-year-old boy for much of the 2015-16 academic year — and accused Cedar Rapids Community School District of complicity.

“They didn’t ban me. They never actually said they were banning me from school grounds, they never said they were banning me from working at any other school…”

“These people all knew what was going on, and yet hey turned a blind eye because they wanted to protect their school. They didn’t want it to get into the limelight,” Haglin told KGAN-TV, saying she first had sex with the boy last October. “They allowed this to happen. They knew in February.”

“…they never said they were banning me from thus-and-so many feet of any school. They never said any of that.”

Haglin, a sub at George Washington HS, was arrested on Friday and booked for sexual exploitation of a minor.

[Read the full story here, at New York Post]

She faces up to two years behind bars and having to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] White Bernie Supporter (Is There Any Other Kind?) Calls Black Trump Supporter ‘Insane’ at the DNC

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