Is Joe Biden Mentally Ill Or Just Plain Stupid? (Video)

Brainless Idiot Joe Biden Tells Boston Bombing Survivors “It Was Worth It” – Gateway Pundit

Jumping Joe Biden was in Boston today on the anniversary of the Marathon bombings. Biden told the survivors of last year’s terrorist attack – “It was worth it.”

“To those quote “survivors,” My God, you have survived and you have soared. It was worth… It was worth it. I mean this sincerely, just to hear each of you speak. You’re truly, truly inspiring. I’ve never heard anything so beautiful with what all of you just said.”

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Twitchy has reaction.

More… Patty added:

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Sources Inside Obama’s BLM And LVMPD Say Feds Planning Raid On Bundy Home (Audio)

Exclusive: Sources Inside The BLM And Las Vegas Metro Say Feds Are Planning A Raid On Bundy Home – Ben Swann

As reported yesterday, hundreds of federal agents are still at the Bundy Ranch and the area continues its status as a no-fly zone. Despite major media reports that the Nevada Bureau of Land Management is retreating, the remaining activity that still surrounds the ranch illustrates a different scenario.

Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.

According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.” Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.

“If they do that kind of raid, I don’t believe there’s any way that could happen without bloodshed,” Mack told Swann.

Mack spoke about the tactic that protesters could use by putting women at the front of the line facing the federal agents to make them think carefully before opening fire.

“I would’ve gone next. I would’ve been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here,” said Mack.

Mack said that he had been told by Bundy that the federal government is actively shutting down the ranching industry, specifically in Clark County. He also revealed that there used to be 53 ranches in Clark County. All of those ranchers have been put out of business, except for Bundy who is still trying to hold on. “Every American should be outraged by it,” said Mack. The ranch has been in Bundy’s family since 1877.

Mack decried Nevada governor Brian Sandoval for declaring this situation unconstutional while doing nothing to stop it. “He could have called in the state’s national guard, could have called in the sheriff’s office, could have called in highway patrol, and he’s done nothing except assail what’s going on. That’s easy, that’s cowardly.”

Sheriff Mack also called out media including radio host Glenn Beck who he says is siding with the BLM on this issue.

“I can’t believe that there are some Americans, and some media like Glenn Beck, that are supporting the BLM in this and it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

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Armed Guards Surround Bundy, Supporters Fear Imminent Threat – KLAS

Local rancher Cliven Bundy may have his cattle back, but his supporters say they are still preparing for an imminent threat.

Militia groups from all over the country say they are flocking to the Bundy ranch to protect the family from a feared federal government raid.

The Bureau of Land Management allowed Bundy to release his cattle Saturday, after they felt threatened.

Bundy now has a whole contingent of armed guards surrounding him 24 hours a day.

“They’re just there, trying to make sure something crazy doesn’t happen to him,” Bundy’s son Ammon Bundy said.

His security detail and family feel he is someone to be protected because of what the federal government could do.

“There were snipers on the hills and armed guards and you know, military forces with cameras all over.” Ammon Bundy said.

Cliven Bundy fears that the government could gather up again because they never reached a formal deal.

He is also trying to determine whether federal agents damaged any of his cattle before they released them.

The BLM only allowed the family to open up the gate of the pen where the animals were being held because officers were afraid of violence. As of now, no one has cleared him to take back his cattle for good.

Taking the stage to address supporters Monday, Bundy was quickly obscured behind his guards. The detail told 8 News NOW they are now patrolling the area 24 hours a day looking for federal snipers.

“You never know, you never know,” Ammon Bundy said.

According to the BLM, Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze public land illegally for the past 20 years. Following two court orders, the feds started rounding up the cattle last week.

The agency also says Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees for trespassing on federal lands since the 1990s.

Saturday, the BLM agreed to pull out of the area but hundreds of protesters flooded a BLM holding station, aiming to release hundreds of Bundy’s cattle.

Monday, Bundy says he never told his supporters to flood a federal cattle pen, using weapons. Members of Bundy’s security details say more militia groups are on their way and will be there for weeks to come.

Ammon Bundy says he was awake last night fearful the feds were going to come in and arrest his family.

No law enforcement have talked about arresting anyone in this dispute, and there is still no clear resolution to the fact that Bundy is grazing cattle on federal land without paying fees.

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Harry Reid On Bundy Ranch Situation: ‘It’s Not Over’ – National Review

Clive Bundy may have prevailed over the weekend in his standoff with the Bureau of Land Management regarding his Nevada ranch and disputed ranch, but that’s just the first phase, according to Harry Reid.

“Well, it’s not over,” he told Reno’s KRNV. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and just walk away from it, so it’s not over.”

Last week, the BLM began rounding up Bundy’s cattle amid controversy over whether he owed the federal government millions in grazing fees for his cattle being on their land. Bundy and his supporters, who gathered in Bunkerville, Nev., say that the rancher and his family have had rights to the land for over a century.

With tensions high, the BLM and federal agents backed off on Sunday, prompting some to think Bundy had prevailed. Reid’s comments may mean the government’s withdrawal was temporary, or that it will take a different approach to addressing the situation.

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*VIDEO* A Tax Day Message From Your Virtual President Bill Whittle


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*VIDEO* Prevent Electile Dysfunction With WINTEREGG


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Click HERE to visit J.D. Winteregg’s official campaign website.

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Harry Reid: Koch Addict (Video)

One-Trick Pony – Washington Free Beacon

Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has a big problem. Or an infatuation, depending on how you look at it.

The Senate Majority Leader has gone to incredible lengths to demonize a pair of anti-cancer philanthropist brothers named Charles and David Koch, to the extent that he’s mentioned them 134 times in a series of strange diatribes on the Senate floor.

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Nearly all of those mentions have occurred since Feb. 26, when he first went off on the Kochs as an unsubtle means of rallying support for the flailing Democratic Party’s hopes to retain a majority.

The Koch brothers, Reid sternly warns, are “radical.” They are “un-American.” They promote “lies.” They’re trying to “buy” the country.

Strange then, that Reid once accepted money from a Koch lobbyist, if he’s so convinced of their plans to destroy the nation he loves.

Strange then, in spite of his insistence that the Kochs are out of the mainstream, that Charles and David poll better than Reid does with the American public.

Strange then, that he risks getting into trouble with the law due to his unrelenting smear campaign, as it’s possible he violated Senate rules by using his taxpayer-funded website to bash the Kochs.

Then again, Harry Reid is a strange senator.

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Leftist High School Administrators Suspend Teacher Because His Students’ Science Projects Were Gun-Like (Video)

Teacher Suspended Over Science Project That Looked Like A Gun – Tell Me Now

Another mind-numbing example has surfaced of the left’s fight to ban all guns, things that resemble guns, things that might make you think of guns and people who utter the world gun. This time though, a good teacher has been removed from the classroom and consequently, students are suffering.

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Greg Schiller is a well-respected science teacher at Grand Arts High School in Los Angeles. As his class was preparing for the annual science fair, two students’ projects were brought to the attention of administrators which caused a ridiculous amount of concern over nothing.

The two students were working on projects which the school staff apparently deemed to be gun-related and now Mr. Schiller has been accused of placing his students in an unsafe environment. He was immediately placed in ‘teacher jail’, which is basically his removal from the classroom with pay.

One of the gun-like science projects was an air cannon similar to the one which was featured in a White House science fair back in 2012. Obama was captured on tape firing marshmallows out of it along with the student who built it. You would think that if the Secret Service deems it safe enough to be fired in the presence of the President, there’s really not much to worry about – unless flying marshmallows haunt your dreams.

The other project was an electromagnetic battery powered coil gun.

Mr. Schiller never had the opportunity to see either one of the projects and both students have been disqualified from the science fair.

That, however, is perhaps not even the worst of it. While Mr. Schiller is banned from his classroom, his students have been forced to prepare for their Advanced Placement exams without the help of his expertise. Of course, their substitute has not been of much help, being that they have no background in science, and serves primarily as a glorified babysitter.

If the students cannot pass their exams without the help of Mr. Schiller, they risk rejection from better colleges in the near future. It all seems like undue consequences over a couple crafty science fair projects.

Students have organized a protest in support of their well-liked teacher. They plan to wear duct tape covering their mouths in a vow not to speak until Mr. Schiller is released from ‘teacher jail’. Their effort is commendable, but it probably will not do much to sway the views of disillusioned gun-grabbers.

Let us know how this most recent report of anti-gun shenanigans makes you feel in the comments section!

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President Asshat Decries “Bogus” Voter Fraud Complaints After 35,570 Double Votes Counted In NC

Obama Decries “Bogus” Voter Fraud Complaints After 35,570 Double Votes Counted In North Carolina – Gateway Pundit

The North Carolina Board of Elections discovered THOUSANDS of residents who voted in both North Carolina and another state in the 2012 elections.

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The investigation also found 81 deceased voters that had voter activity since they died.

But you wouldn’t know this from Barack Obama’s speech on Friday.

Obama decried “bogus” accusations of voter fraud in his speech Friday to the Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The Hill reported:

President Obama labeled complaints about voter fraud “bogus” and accused Republicans of cynically trying to prevent Americans from accessing the polls in a fiery speech Friday at a civil rights forum hosted by Al Sharpton.

Obama argued that attempts in some states to impose new voter identification restrictions were actually efforts by Republicans to make “it harder, not easier to vote.” And the president said that while voter fraud should be prevented, it rarely occurred.

“So let’s be clear, the real voter fraud is the people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud,” Obama said.
Obama sad that the efforts betrayed a weakness within the Republican Party, saying his opposition needed to restrict poll access to remain competitive.

“If your strategy depends on fewer people showing up to vote, that’s not a sign of strength, it’s a sign of weakness,” Obama said.

“What kind of political platform is that?” he added. “Why would you make that part of your agenda, preventing people from voting?”

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*VIDEO* Enter ‘The Donald’: The Man You Love To Hate – Or Hate To Love – Whichever


Sure, he’s an opportunistic, self-promoting assclown, but he’s also a brilliant, free-market capitalist, so at least he’s got a one-up on most of the Republicans in Congress. Just sayin’.

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……………………….Click on image above to watch video.

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*VIDEO* Words Of Wisdom From Pastor Rafael Cruz, Father Of Senator Ted Cruz


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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: Disarming The Warriors


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Leftist Incompetence Update: Kathleen Sebelius Can’t Even Get Her Farewell Address Right (Video)

A Fitting End To A Disastrous Reign… Sebelius Loses Page To Her Farewell Speech – Gateway Pundit

A Fitting End to a Disastrous Reign -

Today outside the White House Kathleen Sebelius bid farewell to the president, officials and guests after resigning as head of Health and Human Services. And, as she bid farewell, she looked down at her notes and told the audience,

Unfortunately, a page is missing.”

And with that she departed the Rose Garden for the last time.

Farewell, Kathleen Sebelius. Better luck in your next endeavor.

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*VIDEO* Andrew Klavan: The Revolting Truth About Obamacare


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Westboro Batshit Church Gets Chased Out Of Oklahoma Town In Under 10 Minutes

Westboro Baptist Church Gets Chased Out Of Town In Under 10 Minutes – Conservative Tribune

You’d think that with the death of Pastor Fred Phelps the Westboro Baptist Church would grow a little quieter for a while, but they have kept their obnoxious and hateful protest speeches going strong.

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They recently showed up in Moore, Oklahoma, the site of a deadly F5 tornado that killed 24 and injured 377 just last year, urging them to “repent” for their “sins” that God was “punishing” them for.

The townspeople would have none of it. They immediately ran WBC protesters out of town… in less than 10 minutes.

Via E! Online:

The WBC was set to protest Moore, Okla. this week. They’ve protested the town thrice before, and this time they were arriving with their “God Hates Fags!” signs, because, as they explain:

God has given Moore, Oklahoma many chances to repent…On 5/2/13, God struck Moore with an EF5 tornado, killing 24, injuring 377 others, including many of your children…Not once did a single voice [besides WBC] say, Repent! Mourn for your sins! Obey God! Because you phony salt-of-the-eart-small-town-pseydo-patriot-pretend-Christians LOVE YOUR SIN MORE THAN YOUR LIFE, AND HAVE NOTHING BUT HATE IN YOUR HEARTS FOR EACH OTHER.

They also claim that Moore mocked the recent death of former WBC leader Fred Phelps. But what WBC obviously did not expect was to be met with another protest: Thousands of Moore residents gathered with their own signs and flags. A protest against the protest.

The WBC’s protest was supposed to be 30 minutes – they had a permit to “picket the slow learners” (their words) outside Central Junior High. That’s right: They were picketing a middle school (but would anything about WBC surprise you at this point?)

They only made it eight minutes in before “hastily getting into their cars and driving away” as Moore citizens pressed the protest lines, Huffington Post explains. The end of the short-lived protest was captured in this video by Matt Ramsey.

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Fantastic. The citizens of Moore are patriots for running these hateful, bigoted, anti-military, anti-American protesters out of town. If we had more people stand up and do what these townspeople did, Westboro would have a tough time descending on just anywhere with their signs and their vile speech to intimidate and demean others.

Share this article on Facebook and Twitter if you’re glad to see Westboro run out of town, and hope others would do what these townspeople did.

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And The Federal Neo-Nazism Continues

Last Man Standing – Washington Free Beacon

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A two-decades-old battle between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has resulted in officials armed with machine guns surrounding the ranch and forcibly removing the owner’s cattle, according to the rancher’s family.

Cliven Bundy, the last rancher in Clark County, Nev., has been fighting a “one-man range war” since 1993, when he decided to take a stand against the agency, refusing to pay fees for the right to graze on a ranch run by his family for centuries.

After years of court battles, the BLM secured a federal court order to have Bundy’s “trespass cattle” forcibly removed with heavy artillery, the family said.

“The battle’s been going on for 20 years,” Bundy told the Washington Free Beacon. “What’s happened the last two weeks, the United States government, the bureaus are getting this army together and they’re going to get their job done and they’re going to prove two things. They’re going to prove they can do it, and they’re gonna prove that they have unlimited power, and that they control the policing power over this public land. That’s what they’re trying to prove.”

Bundy said the government has brought everything but tanks and rocket launchers.

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“They’re carrying the same things a soldier would,” he said. “Automatic weapons, sniper rifles, top communication, top surveillance equipment, lots of vehicles. It’s heavy soldier type equipment.”

His wife, Carol Bundy, said that roughly 200 armed agents from the BLM and FBI are stationed around their land, located about 75 miles outside of Las Vegas. Helicopters circle the premises, and the airspace and nearby roads remain blocked.

“We’re surrounded,” Carol Bundy said. “We’re estimating that there are over 200 armed BLM, FBI. We’ve got surveillance cameras at our house, they’re probably listening to me talk to you right now.”

A National Park Service spokesman denied there were armed guards rounding up the cattle in a conference call on Tuesday. However, she confirmed that there was “security” in place, citing threats to the contractors who are removing the cattle.

“Contractors are here and they are in place to round-up the cattle and to bring them to the impound area,” Christie Vanover said. “As for security, there [is] security in place, but that is merely to protect the contractors.”

“As you know, we have received threats and the contractors have received threats,” Vanover said. “Our personnel here and throughout the park service and throughout the BLM have received threats, as well. So security is in place to merely protect the contractors so that we can complete this operation.”

As of Monday, officials have seized 234 of Bundy’s 908 cattle. Impounding the cattle alone could cost the government as much as $3 million.

“They just brought a load down today,” she said. “They kind of harass us as well. When we leave they follow us.”

This afternoon eight helicopters surrounded the family after they began taking pictures, according to Bundy’s daughter, Bailey. Their son, Dave Bundy, was arrested for taking pictures on state road 170, which has been closed, and is being held by BLM.

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The BLM said they took Dave Bundy into custody following his “failure to comply with multiple requests by BLM law enforcement to leave the temporary closure area on public lands.”

Carol Bundy said five officials took Dave and “threw him on the ground.”

“One put his knee on his head, the other put his boot on his head and pushed him into the gravel,” she said. “He’s got quite a bruised head. Just bruised him up pretty good.”

Environmentalists are praising the government’s forceful actions, which are being taken to protect the “desert tortoise.”

“We’re heartened and thankful that the agencies are finally living up to their stewardship duty,” said Rob Mrowka, a Nevada-based senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Gold Butte area has been officially designated as critical habitat for threatened tortoises – meaning the area is essential to their long-term survival as a species.”

“[Cliven] Bundy has long falsely believed that Gold Butte is his ranch,” added Terri Robertson, president of Friends of Sloan Canyon.

The BLM designated 186,909 acres of the Gold Butte off-limits for the “critical desert tortoise” population in 1998. Bundy had already lost his grazing permit five years earlier for refusing to pay fees for the land, which his family has ranched since the 1870s.

The “federal grazing fee” is $1.35 per “Animal Unit Month,” or the amount of forage needed per animal, each month. Bundy said he owes roughly $300,000 in back fees, while the BLM asserts he owes over $1 million. The BLM defended the removal because Bundy did not “voluntarily” give up his cattle.

“We’ve tried to do this through the legal and we’ve tried to do it through the political, and what we’re at right now, I guess we’re going to have to try to stand,” Cliven Bundy said. “We the people have to stand on the ground and get our state sovereignty back, and also take some liberty and freedoms back to where we have at least access to this land.”

“The story is a lot about the cattle, but the bigger story is about our loss of freedom,” Carol Bundy added. “They have come and taken over this whole corner of the county. They’ve taken over policing power, they’ve taken over our freedom, and they’re stealing cattle.”

“And our sheriff says he just doesn’t have authority, our governor says he doesn’t have authority, and we’re saying, why are we a state?”

“I’m a producer,” Cliven Bundy said. “I produce edible commodity from the desert forage, and all of these things are governed under state law. So, in other words, this type of government has eliminated all of our state law, eliminated our state sovereignty, and has took control over our public lands and even took control over our Clark County sheriff. They’ve taken the whole county over. The whole state, almost.”

“This is just about power of the government,” Carol Bundy said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R.) voiced his concern about so-called “First Amendment Areas,” designated locations set up by the BLM where citizens can protest the removal.

“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

“To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately,” he said. “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”

Sandoval also said his office has received numerous complaints about the BLM’s conduct, including road closures and “other disturbances.”

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Your Daley Gator Neo-Nazi IRS News Roundup (Video)

Boom! Emails Implicate Top Democrat In Colluding With IRS To Target Conservative Group – Gateway Pundit

Conservative activist and founder of True the Vote, Catherine Engelbrecht, filed an ethics complaint against far left Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in February. Engelbrecht accused Cummings of harassment and intimidation.

Catherine Engelbrecht testified before Congress in February.
She was visited by FBI, IRS, ATF, and OSHA after she filed for tax exempt status for her voters rights group.

Engelbrecht said her testimony before Congress and Cummings,
“Frankly, to sit before my accuser and be silent in the face of what he did was unconscionable.”

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Today, Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) accused Elijah Cummings of colluding with the IRS to target True the Vote.

National Review reported:

The war between Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa and the committee’s ranking member, Elijah Cummings, rages on.

Issa on Wednesday accused the Maryland Democrat of colluding with the Internal Revenue Service in its targeting of the conservative nonprofit group True the Vote, whose founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, said she received multiple letters from Cummings in 2012 and personal visits from the IRS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives. Engelbrecht’s True the Vote is one of the many conservative groups that claims to have been improperly targeted by the IRS while it scrutinized the applications of tea-party groups.

In a letter signed by his five subcommittee chairmen, Issa raised the possibility that Cummings coordinated with the IRS, “surreptitiously” contacting the agency to request information about True the Vote.

E-mails unearthed in the course of Issa’s investigation into the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of right-leaning groups show that in January 2013, a member of Cummings’s staff contacted the IRS asking for any publicly available information on True the Vote. The matter was discussed by IRS officials that included Lois Lerner, the former exempt-organizations chief who retired in the wake of the targeting scandal. One of Lerner’s deputies, Holly Paz, subsequently sent the organization’s 990 forms to Cummings and his staff – not an illegal disclosure of taxpayer information, though sources say the exchange of such information was not routine.

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Issa: IRS Coordinated With Dems To Attack Tea Party Group – Washington Times

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa on Wednesday accused his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, of coordinating with the IRS to attack one of the tea party groups that was targeted by the tax agency for intrusive scrutiny and long delays.

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Mr. Issa and five other top Republicans said they have just last week been given emails showing Mr. Cummings sought information from the IRS about True the Vote, a conservative tax-exempt organization that drew the ire of liberals for pushing states to eliminate potentially bogus names from their voter rolls.

Mr. Issa said the IRS employees appear to have discussed confidential taxpayer information as they debated how to respond to the request from Mr. Cummings – though it’s unclear what response they ended up giving to the Maryland lawmaker, who is the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee.

“It is unclear whether the IRS shared True the Vote’s confidential taxpayer information with you or your staff through either official or unofficial channels,” Mr. Issa said, though he stressed that the IRS didn’t convey any of the information to the GOP, nor did they even alert Republicans of the request for information. Mr. Issa indicated he thought that was hypocritical since Mr. Cummings has repeatedly accused Republicans of refusing to share their requests or information they received.

Mr. Cummings‘ office didn’t immediate reply to a request for comment on the accusation.

At one point in public testimony earlier this year, Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for True the Vote, wondered allowed whether congressional staffers “might have been involved in putting True the Vote on the radar screen of some of these federal agencies.”

Mr. Cummings vehemently denied that, calling it “absolutely incorrect and not true.”

But Mr. Issa laid out a series of questions that Mr. Cummings asked of True the Vote, which he said were so similar to the questions the IRS asked that they raised questions of coordination. The questions involved the computer software True the Vote uses, its training procedures and a list of jurisdictions the group has targeted for cleaner voting rolls.

“The timeline and pattern of inquiries raises concerns that the IRS improperly shared protected taxpayer information with your staff,” Mr. Issa wrote.

True the Vote applied for status as a 501(c )(3). The founders also created another organization, King Street Patriots, which applied for 501(c )(4) status. Catherine Engelbrecht, who founded both organizations, said soon after their creation, she, the groups and her business were subjected to multiple investigations, audits and inquiries from federal agencies ranging from the FBI and IRS to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Wednesday’s letter marks the latest escalation in what’s become a bitter relationship between the two men. Mr. Issa last month cut off Mr. Cummings’s microphone at a hearing with former IRS employee Lois G. Lerner, and Mr. Cummings demanded and received an apology.

Then, over the last week, Mr. Issa accused Mr. Cummings of trying to work out a secret deal with Ms. Lerner, and Mr. Cummings vehemently denied that.

The two men will likely clash again Thursday when the committee is slated to meet and consider holding Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer the committee’s questions. She has asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Mr. Cummings argues Mr. Issa botched the proceedings and tainted any contempt finding, and he is backed by more than two dozen lawyers who have issued memos or quotes saying contempt shouldn’t happen in this case.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cummings released a report from the Congressional Research Service arguing that there is no historical precedent for the House to find Ms. Lerner in contempt.

In the report, CRS went back to the 1950s, when then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy was investigating communists in the U.S. government. In an instance that appears to be similar to Ms. Lerner’s exchange with Mr. Issa, a witness testifying to Mr. McCarthy asserted her innocence and then refused to answer follow-ups.

A federal court upheld the woman’s right to remain silent.

“Sixty years ago, Joe McCarthy tried-and failed-to hold an American citizen in contempt after she professed her innocence and asserted her rights under the Fifth Amendment. I reject Chairman Issa’s attempts to re-create our committee in Joe McCarthy’s image, and I object to his effort to drag us back to that shameful era in which Congress tried to strip away the Constitutional rights of American citizens under the bright lights of hearings that had nothing to do with responsible oversight and everything to do with the most dishonorable kind of partisan politics,” Mr. Cummings said.

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GOP Says IRS’ Lois Lerner Targeted Crossroads – Political

House Republicans on Wednesday accused former IRS official Lois Lerner of breaking agency rules by aggressively urging denial of tax-exempt status to Crossroads GPS, the giant political nonprofit founded by Karl Rove.

The House Ways and Means Committee released emails showing the former chief of the tax-exempt unit took a special interest in Crossroads GPS in early 2013 – inquiring with IRS officials why they hadn’t been audited. Around the same time an email suggested she might be applying for a job with a pro-President Barack Obama group, Organizing For Action, though it is unclear if she was joking.

Democrats decried the release, calling it an election year gimmick to win over the party’s political base. One campaign finance group came to the defense of Lerner, who has denied any wrongdoing, calling the probe a partisan witch hunt.

The Republican committee letter calls her actions an “aggressive and improper pursuit of Crossroads… but no evidence [that] she directed review of similarly situated left-leaning groups.”

The documents were released after a rare, closed-door Ways and Means markup, where the panel voted 23-14 along party lines to send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting he take the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division to court – though the department already has an ongoing investigation.

The scandal, spurred when Lerner publicly acknowledged extra scrutiny of tea party groups followed by a critical inspector general report, has surged back into the spotlight in recent months as congressional committees finish their investigations.

Lerner became a lightning rod for Republicans after she pleaded the Fifth and refused to testify before a House panel. The original inspector general report found that the targeting was inappropriate but found no evidence of partisan motivations.

Republicans want her charged for improperly influencing the IRS to take action against conservative organizations; disclosing confidential taxpayer info, a felony; and impeding an investigation.

Democrats cried foul play, accusing Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) of releasing private taxpayer information, and said its protests have nothing to do with holding Lerner accountable.

“This executive session isn’t about any of us condoning the mismanagement at the IRS tax-exempt division,” top panel Democrat Sander Levin (D-Mich.) said after the public was dismissed from the hearing, according to a release. “It now seems clear that Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee have decided that they do not want to be left behind in the Republican campaign to declare this a scandal and keep it going until November.”

Lerner’s lawyer William Taylor III said he had not heard from Ways and Means on the issue, and maintained his client’s innocence.

“Ms. Lerner has done nothing wrong,” Taylor, a partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP said in a statement. “She did not violate any law or regulation. She did not mislead Congress. She did not interfere with the rights of any organization to a tax exemption. Those are the facts.”

Camp defended the release.

“We have a right and obligation to protect the American people and to oversee the IRS and to hold them to account for their actions,” he said. “This was a career employee at the IRS so we have to make sure the signal goes out that this can’t happen again.”

The Justice Department said it will review the letter and noted it is already probing the matter.

“It remains a high priority of the Department,” Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce said.

The actions come a day before the House Oversight Committee will vote to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions on the controversy.

Advocates for reform of campaign finance rules say the scandal obscures an important policy debate about whether such politically active groups deserve tax-exempt status in the first place.

Crossroads spent $176 million during the 2012 election cycle – 99 percent of the time to back Republicans and bash Obama and Democrats. Its nonprofit arm spent about $70 million.

Paul S. Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center, which advocates stricter campaign finance rules, said it is perfectly appropriate for Lerner to advocate denial of tax-exempt status if it was based on agency review of facts. He called the data dump part of a witch hunt against a career civil servant.

“If she was pushing for a denial based on facts that had been ascertained by her agency, that sounds to me that she was doing her job,” said Ryan, who attended one of the meetings cited in the letter. He said Lerner did not reveal any sensitive taxpayer information and in fact he left the meeting frustrated.

He also said the focus on Crossroads and not for example, the pro-Obama Priorities USA, was understandable given that the latter had raised scant funds at the time, compared to Crossroads.

So-called tax-exempt social welfare groups, organized under section 50(c) 4 of the tax code, are barred from using a significant amount of their resources for political purposes, though the standard is murky after an IRS regulation later changed the benchmark.

The documents released Wednesday include those that suggest Lerner was misleading when asked about the timeline of when she found out that “tea party” was a trigger word on a be-on-the-lookout list for groups that should get extra IRS scrutiny.

In an interview with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Lerner said she first learned of the BOLO on June 29, 2011.

But the panel has evidence that she knew that “tea party” cases were being treated differently as early as April 2010, when the whole shebang started, although whether she knew of the list is unclear.

On April 28, 2010, Lerner received an email alerting her that “there are 13 tea party cases out in EO Determinations.”

A few months later, on Aug. 3, 2010, Lerner asked her assistant to print the sensitive case report that detailed how the tea party groups were being handled. A few months later, in early 2011, she would write to her colleagues that the “Tea party matter [is] very dangerous.”

That was when she instructed the Cincinnati IRS officials handling the cases to send them to IRS counsel in Washington, D.C., where they would end up sitting for years, virtually untouched.

The documents also show that Lerner met with a group named Democracy 21, which made several complaints about Crossroads between 2010 and 2012. That Jan. 4, 2013 meeting included the Office of Chief Counsel and the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy, according to the committee letter.

Before that, Lerner sent emails asking what happened to the Crossroads application, including whether the group had been audited or selected for audit.

When IRS official Tom Miller said it had not, she sent an email to IRS officials asking why: “I reviewed the information last night and thought the allegations in the documents were really damning, so wondered why we hadn’t done something with the org,” she wrote, later adding: “You should know that we are working on a denial of the application, which may solve the problem because we probably will say it isn’t exempt.”

The week later she followed up on her instructions: “As I said, we are working on the denial for [Crossroads], so I need to think about whether to open an exam. I think yes, but let me cogitate a bit on it.”

Steven Law, Crossroads GPS president in a statement said “it is now apparent that Ms. Lerner was directly and improperly involved in targeting our application, which may explain why we are still awaiting final action on our 501(c)(4) certification.”

The letter also charged that Lerner targeted conservative groups Americans for Responsible Leadership, Freedom Path, Rightchange.com, America is Not Stupid and A Better America after a January 2013 ProPublica story ran, accusing the “dark money groups” of lying to the IRS and over-engaging in politics when they aren’t supposed to.

Lerner forwarded the email to her colleagues and asked to meet on the groups. Ultimately three of the groups were selected for an audit.

A little later that month, Lerner seemed to be considering a job at a left leaning social welfare organization, Organization For Action.

But it’s unclear if she was serious or joking in her email to an IRS employee in response to a news story about the new group: “Oh – maybe I can get the DC office job!”

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House Ways And Means Committee Votes To Refer Lois Lerner For Criminal Charges – Townhall

The House Ways and Means Committee has voted to 23-14 along party lines to refer former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for prosecution. Although the details about exactly what charges will be have not yet been released, lawmakers are arguing Lerner has not been truthful with Congress or the IRS inspector general and leaked confidential tax information.

Last time a referral like this happened, it was to Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens, who was pursued by the Department of Justice for lying to Congress but was exonerated in court.

This is a test for the Department of Justice and the Obama administration. What’s more important? Baseball and steroids? Or the most powerful federal agency abusing its power to target innocent conservative groups?

Last summer President Obama called the targeting “outrageous” and promised to hold people responsible and accountable for what happened. If the Justice Department refuses to pursue charges against Lerner, it’s fair to say one reason is because they don’t want information leading back to the administration coming out in court.

Tomorrow the House Oversight Comittee will vote on whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.

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Email: Lois Lerner Joked About Working For Pro-Obama Non-Profit Group – Big Government

Former IRS director Lois Lerner, the center figure in the scandal surrounding conservative and Tea Party groups once joked about getting a job with Organizing for Action while investigating the reorganization of President Obama’s former campaign operation into a 501(c)(4) group.

Lerner, the director of Exempt Organizations, emailed a colleague about OFA on January 24, who noted that they would primarily operate out of Chicago – but would have an office in Washington D.C.

“Oh – maybe I can get the DC office job!” Lerner emailed back.

See an image of the email below as provided by the House Ways and Means Committee.

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IRS Employees Accused Of Donning Pro-Obama Gear, Urging Callers To Vote For Him – Fox News

IRS workers in several offices have been openly supporting President Obama, including by donning pro-Obama paraphernalia and urging callers to reelect the president in 2012, according to allegations contained in a new government watchdog report.

A report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, released Wednesday, cited accusations that workers at a Dallas IRS office may have violated federal law by wearing pro-Obama items like shirts, stickers and buttons. The Hatch Act forbids Executive Branch workers from engaging in partisan political activity.

The report comes as two House committees move to take action against former IRS official Lois Lerner regarding the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

The report, further fueling allegations of bias at the agency, claimed that several accusations were made against the Dallas office claiming pro-Obama gear was “commonplace” there. Employees allegedly wore Obama shirts, buttons and stickers to work and had Obama screensavers on their IRS computers.

The report said it was unclear whether this activity happened before or after the 2012 election, but an advisory was issued to Dallas employees that such activity was prohibited.

Another example cited in the report states an IRS employee in Kentucky also violated the law by touting her political views to a taxpayer during the 2012 election. According to the report, the employee told the caller she was “for” the Democrats because “Republicans already [sic] trying to cap my pension and… they’re going to take women back 40 years.”

The employee then told the taxpayer that she was not supposed to disclose her views “so you didn’t hear me saying that.” The report says the employee admitted violating the Hatch Act and will serve a 14-day suspension.

However, the Kentucky example was not the only IRS employee found to be urging taxpayers over the phone to vote for Obama. The report cites another unnamed customer service representative, who was accused of telling multiple callers in 2012 they needed to vote for Obama.

According to the report, the employee told the callers a chant based on Obama’s last name that touted his campaign and urged them to reelect him. The report does not say where the employee was located, but says the Office of Special Counsel is seeking “significant disciplinary action” against him.

The accusations come as a House committee on Wednesday voted to formally ask the Justice Department to consider criminal prosecution against Lerner. A separate committee will vote Thursday on whether to hold her in contempt of Congress for twice refusing to testify on the targeting scandal.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is an independent government watchdog that investigates claims of wrongdoing by federal employees.

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Amazing: Electrical Stimulator Allows Paralyzed Men To Move Again (Video)

‘The Wind On My Legs’: Stimulator Helps Paralyzed Men Move Again – NBC News

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Four men paralyzed after bad spinal cord injuries can all move their legs again, thanks to an electrical stimulator.

Astonished researchers say they’d hoped for some result, but nothing like what they got. They think the stimulator is retraining the mens’ nerves to work with the brain again, despite the terrible damage.

“This is wonderful news. Spinal cord injury need no longer be a lifelong sentence of paralysis,” said Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, one of the National Institutes of Health. “It is just downright marvelous.”

Rob Summers, now 28, was the first patient implanted and his case made international headlines in 2011 when he was first able to stand using the stimulator. Summers now exercises for three hours a day and says his life has been transformed.

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“It has changed my life on a day-to-day basis,” said Summers, who was paralyzed from the chest down after a hit-and-run driver plowed into him as he stood in his own driveway. “It’s given me the ability to travel alone and come and go as I please.”

Summers says he does an hour of abdominal exercises daily, reversing the gradual wasting of muscles that normally comes with paralysis.

“I can now feel soft touch, hard touch. I can feel pinpricks,” Summers, who lives in Portland, Ore., told NBC News. “I can feel the wind on my legs.”

None of the four men can walk again, but researchers believe the stimulator is retraining the damaged nerves in their spinal columns to communicate once again with the brain. They’re not sure why – it may be some connection remained after their injuries or it is slightly possible the nerves are re-growing.

“We have uncovered a fundamentally new intervention strategy that can dramatically affect recovery of voluntary movement in individuals with complete paralysis even years after injury,” the researchers, led by Dr. Susan Harkema of the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Louisville, write in their report, published in the journal Brain on Tuesday.

Because all four men tested have regained movement, including two who were completely paralyzed, it’s likely that many people who believed they were permanently paralyzed may be able to move again, says Reggie Edgerton, distinguished professor of integrative biology and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who developed the approach.

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“It tells us that the information from the brain is getting to the right place in the spinal cord, so that the person can control, with fairly impressive accuracy, the nature of the movement,” said Edgerton. “We don’t have to necessarily rely on regrowth of nerves in order to regain function. The fact that we’ve observed this in all four patients suggests that this is actually a common phenomenon in those with complete paralysis.”

The stimulator was originally developed by Medtronic to treat chronic pain. It’s a pacemaker-sized device implanted under the skin of the abdomen, connecting to electrodes placed near the spinal cord. When turned on, it delivers a low pulse of electricity.

For patients with chronic pain, the electricity interrupts the pain signal before it can reach the brain. The researchers adapted it to try on patients with paralysis.

“The next generation will be more precisely controlled and noninvasive,” says NIBIB’s Pettigrew, whose institute helped pay for the research, along with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

Pettigrew says the results are no flash breakthough. They are based on decades of work. He says researchers are already working with a fresh batch of volunteers and will report new findings soon.

“It is why we come to work every day,” Pettigrew said.

The next step is to try and make the approach work without having to implant electrodes, Pettigrew said. The hope would be for an external device, with electrodes simply stuck onto the skin to stimulate the nerves.

“The implications of this study for the entire field are quite profound and we can now envision a day where epidural stimulation might be part of a cocktail of therapies used to treat paralysis,” said Susan Howley, executive vice president for research at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

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The accident cost Summers a promising possible career in baseball. He’d been a top pitcher for Oregon State University and he was struck a month after his team won the college world series.

But he’s happy now that going out to dinner is no longer an ordeal that required hours of preparation. He’s strong enough now to hop into his wheelchair and just go.

“Not only has this benefited me with the confidence to go out and do what I want to do… I can continue to live my life as I choose and not be restricted or limited,” Summers said. His doctors say he has regained continence, sexual function and even the lost ability to sweat.

“I truly believe this is the greatest thing out there,” Summers said.

Summers says he can feel the device working. “The best way to describe it is like a strong tingling sensation,” he says, almost like a limb feels after it’s “fallen asleep.” “It almost feels like pins and needles.”

The three other men whose cases are described in the report are all in their 20s and 30s now and, like Summers, had been paralyzed for years before trying the device.

Kent Stephenson of Mount Pleasant, Texas, was 21 when he was paralyzed in a motocross accident in 2009. He cannot move his leg without the stimulator, but with it on can pull his leg up to his chest, straighten it, and slowly lower it again.

Andrew Meas of Louisville was injured when his motorcycle and a car collided in 2007, while Dustin Shillcox of Green River, Wyo. was 26 when a company van he was driving blew out a tire and wrecked. Stephenson and Meas both have resumed outdoor activities such as snow machining and fishing.

Each has a little different level of function with the device. “I have mentored all the other guys using it,” Summers says. “We have been like a brotherhood bonding on this.”

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Game-Changer: U.S. Navy Turning Seawater Into Fuel (Video)

Could You Soon Be Filling Up With Seawater? US Navy Reveals ‘Game Changing’ Fuel Created From Water – Daily Mail

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The US Navy has developed a radical new fuel made from seawater.

They say it could change the way we produce fuel – and allow warships to stay at sea for years at a time.

Navy scientists have spent several years developing the process to take seawater and use it as fuel, and have now used the ‘game changing’ fuel to power a radio controlled plane in the first test.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as ‘a game-changer’ because it would allow warships to remain at sea for far longer.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.

The predicted cost of jet fuel using these technologies is in the range of $3-$6 per gallon, and with sufficient funding and partnerships, this approach could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years.

Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution, the Navy says.

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Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: ‘It’s a huge milestone for us.

‘We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it.

‘We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel,’ added Cullom.

‘Basically, we’ve treated energy like air, something that’s always there and that we don’t worry about too much.

‘But the reality is that we do have to worry about it.’

They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes.

The predicted cost of jet fuel using the technology is in the range of three to six dollars per gallon, say experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who have already flown a model airplane with fuel produced from seawater.

Dr Heather Willauer, an research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, said:

‘For the first time we’ve been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously, that’s a big breakthrough,’ she said, adding that the fuel ‘doesn’t look or smell very different.’

Now that they have demonstrated it can work, the next step is to produce it in industrial quantities.

But before that, in partnership with several universities, the experts want to improve the amount of CO2 and hydrogen they can capture.

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‘We’ve demonstrated the feasibility, we want to improve the process efficiency,’ explained Willauer.

Collum is just as excited.

‘For us in the military, in the Navy, we have some pretty unusual and different kinds of challenges,’ he said.

‘We don’t necessarily go to a gas station to get our fuel, our gas station comes to us in terms of an oiler, a replenishment ship.

‘Developing a game-changing technology like this, seawater to fuel, really is something that reinvents a lot of the way we can do business when you think about logistics, readiness.’

A crucial benefit, says Collum, is that the fuel can be used in the same engines already fitted in ships and aircraft.

‘If you don’t want to reeengineer every ship, every type of engine, every aircraft, that’s why we need what we call drop-in replacement fuels that look, smell and essentially are the same as any kind of petroleum-based fuels.’

Drawbacks? Only one, it seems: researchers warn it will be at least a decade before US ships are able to produce their own fuel on board.

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What The Hell Is That Thing? Two Texans Believe They’ve Captured El Chupacabra (Video)

A Couple Of Texans Have Captured What They Say Is El Chupacabra – Red Alert Politics

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El Chupacabra may not be just a legend, if we’re to believe a family in Texas that has captured what it claims to be the mythical, bloodsucking, ugly thing.

Sunday night, Arlen Parma called his wife Jackie Stock outside to look at what he found in their tree in Ratcliffe, Texas.

“He called me to come and look, and I said, ‘Bubba, that looks like a baby chupacabra,’” she said, according to KABC.

The descriptions of the creature over the years are not far off from the animal that was found in Stock and Parma’s yard. The small, canine-like animal with claws and fangs sits back on its hind legs and eats with its hands.

As legend has it, ”El Chupacabra” (“goat sucker”) is a small, beastly creature that has been described to look like a kangaroo or deformed coyote with fangs. The legend took off when goats and other animals started turning up dead, blood drained, and fully intact in Puerto Rico in the 1990s.

Parma is convinced that the creature he captured may in fact be the chupacabra.

“I hunted coons for 20 years with dogs and I ain’t never seen nothing looks like that right there,” he said. “A coon don’t make that noise, or a possum. What makes that noise? I guess a chupacabra does, I don’t know.”

Wildlife expert Brent Ortego is crashing the party, unconvinced that this critter is a chupacabra. Ortego, who is a wildlife diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, believes that the creature is some sort of canine.

“It’s never been proven to be a unique species. It was always something out there that allegedly either caused harm or threatened to cause harm to people or their livestock,” Ortega says about it.

Chupacabra or not? Watch the video below and decide.

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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle Speaks At ‘Americans For Prosperity’ Event In Tallahassee, Florida


Note: This is one of the best speeches by one of the most serious-minded, articulate and intellectually sound speakers you will ever hear.

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Sign The White House Petition To Overturn “Gun Free Zone” Directive On Military Bases

Let Our Military Personnel Be Able To Defend Themselves: Petition Underway To Overturn “Gun Free Zone” Rule On Military Bases – Weasel Zippers

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Obama gave a short speech after the Fort Hood shooting yesterday, speaking about the military at Fort Hood. ‘They serve with valor, they serve with distinction and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,’ Obama said.

Yet, it is the very rules that he enforces that leave the military unsafe. Due to military directive, military bases are “gun free zones” where regular military are not allowed to carry firearms. This leaves them open to attack and unable to defend themselves. In recent years, we have seen attacks and attempted attacks on military bases: the first Fort Hood shooting on November 5, 2009, by terrorist Nidal Hassan, the shooting at the Navy Yard in September 2013, and this latest shooting at Fort Hood. In May of 2007 the FBI arrested six radicalized Islamist men who were plotting to attack Fort Dix. Because bases are gun free zones, terrorists or those meaning to do harm, know they have at least several minutes to kill people before police can arrive to stop them.

There are actually multiple petitions that people have started, but this is the one that seems to have the most signatures so far.

Our hearts are saddened to learn of yet another shooting on a military installation in the United States. Yet again, service members who train regularly to responsibly handle firearms were murdered on base and were unable to defend themselves.

Concealed carry policies provide not only an appropriate means for self defense against violence, but also a proven deterrent. Our military installations have become “soft” targets for those who would harm our military members. Lawful, concealed carry by responsible service members could have prevented or lessened the severity of these incidents.

The DoD should set forth CCW regulations permitting service members in good standing who have received firearms training to carry concealed firearms on DoD installations.

A petition last year asked the White House to make itself “gun free” since it seems to believe that is the best way to protect people. The White House rejected that petition, exposing their fundamental hypocrisy. Apparently, the White House believes its occupants are entitled to protection that children and our military are not.

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End ‘Victimization Zones’ On Military Bases – Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham

When I started Open Carry Texas last year, my focus was on educating the public about the benefits of an armed society. I hear all the time from proponents of gun control that “in this day and age” it’s so important to restrict access to firearms to prevent people from using them to commit evil atrocities. The problem with this philosophy is that gun control laws only victimize law abiding citizens by making them defenseless.

By definition, criminals don’t obey laws, no matter how altruistic and holistic those laws may be.

For years on my personal blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, I spoke out against so-called gun-free zones. My first awareness about the pitfalls of these victimization zones, as I call them, came in 1991. Originally hailing from Temple, Texas, the Luby’s shooting hit home for me. I was only in high school at the time, but recognizing that a member of my family could have been in that restaurant on Oct. 16, 1991, I was acutely aware of the impact that shooting had on my stance on gun control.

Then, in 1993, Army Regulation 190-14 (Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement and Security Duties) was updated with new rules on what, when and how soldiers could carry firearms on military installations. The policy banned all manner of carry except for “DA personnel regularly engaged in law enforcement or security duties.”

It became the Army’s policy that “the authorization to carry firearms will be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or Department of the Army assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried.” Naturally, this policy was implemented prior to Sept. 11, 2001.

Since that Army policy went into effect and other services followed suit there have been nearly two dozen shootings at military installations. I vividly remember shortly after arriving to my new unit at Fort Stewart, Ga., when Private First Class Craig Jones walked into the orderly room of his unit and shot Sergeant Michael Santiago in the chest and arm, killing him. This was in March 2002.

In September 2008, a soldier at Fort Hood shot and killed his lieutenant before committing suicide. Specialist Armano Baca shot Sgt. Ryan Schlack in July 2009 on the same base. Since guns were banned on military installations, there have been shootings on Fort Drum, Fort Carson, Fort Bragg, Fort Knox and many other military installations!

In November 2009, I was out-processing Redstone Arsenal, Ala., en route to my new assignment on Fort Hood, Texas. At the same time, Army Maj. Nidal Hassan walked into a deployment center on Fort Hood and opened fire on his fellow soldiers, killing 13 and injuring 30 others.

And all of these shootings happened in gun-free zones. Every single one of these shootings happened at a place where the very people trained to deal with armed attackers were defenseless against an armed attacker.

No one can say for certain these incidents would disappear were soldiers allowed to carry personal firearms. However, it can be said with a certainty that any future tragedy will be executed unopposed as long as soldiers are not at least given the opportunity to defend themselves. There’s a saying that it’s better to have a gun and not need it, than not have a gun and need it.

After every one of these tragedies, we as a nation wring our collective hands trying to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent the next shooting. And each time, the simple idea of allowing troops to carry concealed firearms never seems to cross our minds. Why not?

I believe that one reason we are hesitant to allow troops to carry in uniform is because we think arming soldiers will lead to more such shootings. Many people said the same thing about Texas when we were debating the concealed handgun law. Critics said there would be blood in the streets. But, this isn’t backed up by logic, fact, or even experience.

Right this second, virtually every soldier in Afghanistan is carrying a loaded weapon, whether it be a pistol or a rifle. At the very least, they are carrying an unloaded weapon with ammunition readily available and at their disposal. No one can honestly say that being deployed is less stressful than being back home in a garrison environment. Yet, in spite of the prevalence of firearms in the hands of nearly every single troop in a stressful combat environment, the existence of fratricide is practically non-existent.

It would be the height of hypocrisy to suggest that soldiers are more or less capable of managing their emotions with a firearm in one environment over another. The fact remains that in spite of the 1993 regulation and policy, service members are carrying guns onto military installations and killing unarmed victims; victims that may have had a chance to live if they were permitted an opportunity to defend themselves. Even when not carrying guns on military installations, many service members are carrying them off base without feeling the urge to shoot the first person that looks at them cross-eyed.

How many more of my brothers and sisters must die before we, as a nation, wake up and put an end to these ironically titled “gun-free zones”? How many more examples of innocent, unarmed citizens being slaughtered by men with evil intent must we endure? Why do we disarm the very people who are the most well-trained in the use of firearms in defensive and offensive situations?

I am not arguing that the military simply abolish its policy altogether and just allow everyone and their mother to carry a firearm onto a military installation – though I don’t see why not. After all, there is a constitutional amendment that recognizes that right. But, I’ve never been one to identify a problem without a solution.

The military should initiate a policy that, at a minimum, allows soldiers with concealed handgun licenses to carry their firearms on them. The Department of Defense could even institute its own concealed handgun licensing requirement so at the very least it knows which soldiers are armed and whether they are qualified. To combat the constant stream of motorcycle deaths, the Army instituted a program that requires soldiers to be trained and certified prior to riding a motorcycle onto a military installation.

Why not train and certify soldiers in order to permit them to carry a concealed handgun on post? Those who are trained and certified would be required to renew their certifications annually or whenever they move to another military installation. Guns brought onto military installations are already registered, so make that another aspect of the licensing requirement. If a soldier wants to carry a different handgun, he/she must be re-certified with the new handgun they wish to carry.

Whatever we do, it’s obvious that what we are currently doing doesn’t work. It’s not working in gun-free shopping centers; it’s not working in gun-free schools; it’s not working in gun-free cities; and it doesn’t work in gun-free military installations.

In December 2012, NRA Executive Director Wayne Lapierre, eloquently stated: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or a minute away?”

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens. Gun owners who jump through the hoops to become licensed gun owners are even less likely to commit crimes. In Texas, only .18 percent of gun owners have committed ANY crime at all. Hardly any of those crimes were committed with a gun. The time to end gun free zones is now, no matter where they exist.

C.J. Grisham is president and founder of Open Carry Texas, a Texas-based organization dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms and has over 19 years of active military service. He has been writing about gun rights on his blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, since 2005. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army or any branch of the government.

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Petition To Allow Military Personnel To Carry Concealed Weapons – Liberty Federation

Petition To: All Members of Congress & President Obama

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Military service members must be allowed to carry concealed firearms on all Federal and State installations. Had concealed carry been permitted, service members could have potentially stopped the shooters at Fort Hood and the Washington Naval Yard. We must stop denying our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines the right and ability to defend themselves when targeted in mass shooting events.

We demand that you immediately pass legislation that allows for military service members the right to carry concealed weapons on all Federal and State facilities where they are either based or currently assigned.

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