University Of Arkansas Student Arrested After Making False Sexual Assault Allegation

U Of A Student Arrested For Lying About Sexual Assault – Arkansas Matters

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Police arrested 20-year-old Lindsey Sweetin Thursday for filing a false police report about a sexual assault she originally said happened in the Harmon Parking garage on the University of Arkansas campus.

According to a police report, on March 8, Sweetin’s brother called the University of Arkansas Police Department to report that his sister had been sexually assaulted in the garage on March 5.

When police interviewed Lindsey Sweetin, she told them when she was walking back to her car in the deck after class, a man she described as being between 50 and 60-years-old with gray hair approached her and asked if she had any jumper cables.

Sweetin told officers she told the man she couldn’t help, and at that point she said the man “grabbed her and put his hand up her shirt, and then pulled her towards him and put his other hand down her pants and touched her buttocks” and then the man “pushed her against the back of her car and put his hand down the front of her pants, touching her vagina.” Sweetin told officers she sprayed the man with pepper spray and got in her car and drove away.

After the interview, police reviewed video footage from the Harmon Parking Garage during the time that Sweetin said the incident happened. Detectives did not find any men in the video matching the description Sweetin provided them. Detectives also spoke to potential witnesses who were in the garage at that time, and they told officers they did not hear or see anything out of the ordinary.

On March 11, Detective Josh Bowen interviewed Sweetin again at UAPD. Detective Bowen asked Sweetin if she was telling the truth about the incident, and Sweetin said no. When asked why she would lie, Sweetin said she did see a man that matched the description she gave on Dickson Street and he scared her, but that the man never followed her into the Harmon deck.

Sweetin told Detective Bowen she had texted her boyfriend about seeing a man that scared her, and that her boyfriend made a suggestion that something more might have happened, and then the boyfriend told Sweetin’s brother. Police say Sweetin said the story just got worse from there and she “continued to go along with it because she did not know what else to do.”

Sweetin was arrested for Filing a False Police Report, which is a Class D Felony.

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Leftist Corruption Update: How Foreign Cash Made Bill And Hillary ‘Filthy Rich’

How Foreign Cash Made Bill And Hillary ‘Filthy Rich’ – New York Post

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Hillary Rodham Clinton used her clout as secretary of state to do favors for foreign donors who gave millions to her family foundation – and who paid millions more to her husband, Bill, in speaking fees, a new book charges.

Records show that of the $105 million the former president raked in from speeches over 12 years, about half came during his wife’s four-year tenure at the State Department.

The claims in “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” come just a week after she launched her presidential campaign.

They raise questions about shady foreign money flowing into the Clinton Foundation – and what actions Hillary took in her official capacity in exchange for the cash.

“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions,” writes author Peter Schweizer, according to The New York Times, which first reported the story.

“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

Schweizer – a former speech-writing consultant for President George W. Bush – said he found a clear “pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable US policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds.”

One example of an alleged quid pro quo cited by the Times and other sources involved the State Department’s backing of a free-trade agreement with Colombia that benefited a company founded by a big donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary opposed the trade deal when running for president in 2008 because of the South American country’s poor record on workers’ rights.

But then the company, Canadian-based Pacific Rubiales, and its founder, Clinton Foundation board member Frank Giustra, donated “millions” to the foundation, The International Business Times reported.

In 2010, the State Department under Hillary lauded Colombia’s human rights record, allowing Giustra’s company to reap huge profits.

The book also examines lucrative development contracts awarded to foundation donors following the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2010. And it reports that Hillary’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of a small North Carolina mining company that in 2012 got one of only two coveted “gold exploitation permits” from the government of Haiti – the first issued in more than 50 years, according to the website Breitbart.

Bill Clinton himself was paid $1 million by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the State Department was considering the project, Schweizer charges.

Records show that Bill’s earnings from appearance fees – both foreign and domestic – spiked at $17 million in 2012, Hillary’s last year at State.

During Hillary’s four-year stint as secretary of state, the ex-president earned about $48 million of a $105 million speaking haul amassed between 2001 and 2013.

More than half of the $48 million was paid by companies in China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, among others.

The author writes that “of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state.”

Bill Clinton is believed to be the richest living ex-president and one of the 10 wealthiest ever.

Most estimates put the power couple’s combined net worth at $100 million to $200 million.

Some of the fees were paid at the Clintons’ request to their foundation – netting domestic donors a fat tax break. But most went directly to Bill, and the fees make up the family’s main source of income, The Washington Post reported.

Following Hillary’s decision to run for president, the foundation itself announced last week it would accept donations only from Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Norway.

The 186-page book will go on sale May 5, but Hillary wasted no time dismissing it.

“We’re back into the political season and, therefore, we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory,” she said Monday in Keene, NH.

“It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to only be talking about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I wasn’t in the race, but I am in the race and hopefully we’ll get on to the issues,” she added.

Allison Moore, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, responded by bringing up Hillary’s use of a private email account for official business and her deletion of thousands of emails.

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Christians Thrown Overboard Left To Drown By Obama (Kirsten Powers)

Christians Thrown Overboard Left To Drown By Obama – Kirsten Powers

Obama only mentions Christians to lecture them, rather than defend them from persecution.

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What do you call it when 12 men are drowned at sea for praying to Jesus?

Answer: Religious persecution.

Yet, when a throng of Muslims threw a dozen Christians overboard a migrant ship traveling from Libya to Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi missed the opportunity to label it as such. Standing next to President Obama at their joint news conference Friday, Renzi dismissed it as a one-off event and said, “The problem is not a problem of (a) clash of religions.”

While the prime minister plunged his head into the sand, Italian authorities arrested and charged the Muslim migrants with “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate,” according to the BBC.

As Renzi was questioned about the incident, Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested? When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or the eradication of Christianity from its birthplace.

Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as Pew has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing. Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Western leaders – including Obama – will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded. The president’s mumblings about the atrocities visited upon Christians (usually extracted after public outcry over his silence) are few and far between. And it will be hard to forget his lecturing of Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast about the centuries-old Crusades while Middle Eastern Christians were at that moment being harassed, driven from their homes, tortured and murdered for their faith.

A week and a half after Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast speech, 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded for being “people of the cross.” Seven of the victims were former students of my friend and hero “Mama” Maggie Gobran, known as the “Mother Theresa of Cairo” for her work with the poorest of the poor. She told me these dear men grew up in rural Upper Egypt and had gone to Libya seeking work to support their families. They died with dignity as they called out to their God, while the cowardly murderers masked their faces.

Rather than hectoring Christians about their ancestors’ misdeeds, Obama should honor these men and the countless Middle Eastern Christians persecuted before them.

Monday, there was more horrifying news: ISIL terrorists released a video purporting to show more religiously motivated killing. According to CNN, before beheading and shooting two groups of Christians in Libya, a speaker said, “The Islamic State has offered the Christian community (the opportunity to convert to Islam or pay a tax for being Christian) many times and set a deadline for this, but the Christians never cooperated.”

So they kill them.

Indeed, let’s talk more about the Crusades.

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Evil Bitch Alert: ‘Scooby Van’ Clocked Driving 92 MPH Through New Hampshire In Pouring Rain

Scooby Hits The Road At 92 MPH! Secret Service Zooms Hillary To Dinner Through Driving Rain Following Secret Afternoon House Party – Daily Mail

Democratic Presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s security detail led a handful of journalists on two lengthy high-speed chases to homes of influential Democrats on Monday.

Her lone official appearance on her first day in New Hampshire was a carefully stage-managed small-business roundtable in Keene.

But a lunchtime visit to a main-street bakery and two more appointments later in the day were off-the-books and under the public’s radar.

If police radar had been engaged, however, it would have clocked Hillary’s signature black conversion van – ‘Scooby’, for the uninitiated – hitting 92 mph in a driving rainstorm on Interstate 89, where the top speed limit is 65.

No one in the motorcade displayed flashing lights or blasted a siren.

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TRIAL BALLOON: A New Hampshire political operative described Hillary Clinton’s afternoon meeting at this Claremont, NH home as an entree toward an endorsement by Senator Jeanne Shaheen. The home belongs to one of Shaheen’s trusted aides

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OFF TO THE RACES: Clinton returned to her beloved Mystery Machine following her afternoon house party

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FINISH LINE: Clinton’s entourage dined and partied at the home of former New Hampshire state Senate President Sylvia Larsen

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After Clinton emerged from Whitney Brothers, a children’s furniture manufacturer, her black Chevy conversion van raced an hour north to the town of Claremont, hitting 73 in a 55 mph zone.

Two hours later Scooby was on the move to Concord, bookended by a Secret Service detail that parted the puddles and kept the motorcade nose-to-tail – with the caboose car slamming on the brakes time and again.

The Claremont event took Clinton to the home of Bethany Yurek, a constituent services ‘special assistant’ to New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Yurek is not a Washington heavy-hitter, but is part of Shaheen’s inner circle.

A political operative close to Shaheen’s New Hampshire office said the meeting was meant to include a discussion about nudging the senator toward a presidential endorsement.

In the nation’s first presidential primary voting state, an early nod from a sitting senator to a former senator could carry enough weight to ward off Clinton’s potential competitors.

Yurek did not respond to phone messages seeking comment, and Clinton’s campaign made arrangements only for the New York Times to attend.

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SCOOBY SIGHTINGS: On Monday the CLinton campagin-mobile made stops in three New Hampshire towns

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PIT STOP: Scooby’s Secret Service driver gassed up Hillary’s chariot before opening up her engine and pushing it to 92 mph

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MEET MOLLY: Clinton enjoyed the oldest campaign tactic in the book – posing with a baby – on Monday in the New Hampshire town of Keene, and gushed that she wanted to bring the infant home with her

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In Claremont, according to tweets from a Times reporter, the wealthy former secretary of state’s messaging featured progressive-friendly lines about income inequality.

‘The deck is stacked in their favor,’ she said of America’s super-rich. ‘My job is to reshuffle the cards.’

Clinton and her husband, the former president, are themselves among America’s much-derided ‘one per cent’ richest.

She also sounded an alarm about capital gains tax cuts for big banks being the ‘root’ of America’s economic malaise.

That seems calibrated to appeal to Democrats on her left flank – those who are pining for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to enter the race.

Clinton’s Concord stop was a 7:00 dinner event at the sprawling home of former New Hampshire state Senate President Sylvia Larsen.

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GOOD NIGHT’S REST: Clinton and her traveling campaign team stayed Monday night at the Centennial hotel, a Victoria property full of ’boutique furniture pieces and chic art taken from the pages of Vogue’

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TOP AIDE: Huma Abedin, Hillary’s right-hand woman, is on the campaign trail and stayed by Clinton’s side as they stopped at a bakery in Keene on Monday

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Larsen is a longtime Clinton loyalist who endorsed Hillary’s first presidential bid in 2007. She hosted a ‘Ready For Hillary’ house party in February at the same home that hosted the candidate herself on Monday night.

That house is steeped in Clinton lore. When then-Governor Bill Clinton filed his papers to run in the 1992 New Hampshire primary, it was Hillary who delivered the documents to the state capitol.

Her last stop before making that trek in the rain was a gathering of professional women at Larsen’s home.

On Tuesday the Clinton campaign will remain in Concord for a second roundtable event – this time at the New Hampshire Technical Institute, the local community college.

They’ll be well-rested.

On Monday night Clinton and her team stayed at the Centennial hotel in Concord, a Victorian-era complex full of ’boutique furniture pieces and chic art taken from the pages of Vogue,’ according to the hotel’s website.

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Here Are 17 Reasons It’s Impossible For Hillary Clinton To Relate To Normal Americans (Eric Owens)

Here Are 17 Reasons It’s Impossible For Hillary Clinton To Relate To Normal Americans – Eric Owens

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Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton suffered quite a bit of mockery this week as her carefully orchestrated campaign rollout turned into a deluge of punchlines and Chipotle-related mockery.

It’s been great fun – and a refreshing relief from several sad years of reluctance to make fun of President Barack Obama.

At the same time, Clinton is more than a comical candidate who cannot possibly relate to regular, normal Americans. She’s also entitled and out-of-touch.

The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents” by Ronald Kessler lays out episode after episode of rude, insolent, belligerent behavior by Hillary Clinton which demonstrates she is undeserving of the presidency and unfit to represent the United States.

A throng of Secret Service employees and White House staffers spoke very candidly with Kessler, the author of seven New York Times best sellers, for the August 2014 book.

Here are 17 examples of Clinton’s awfulness.

1. – Secret Service agents view protecting Hillary as a form of punishment. As Kessler notes, Clinton frequently declares her deep concern for ordinary Americans. And, in fact, the Wellesley College-educated Democrat has stressed a fuzzy set of populist-progressive principles thus far in her campaign.

However, she has an embarrassingly long history of treating actual Americans terribly when she interacts with them. Her seething anger is so persistent that Secret Service agents and law enforcement personnel have long considered the assignment of protecting her “a form of punishment.”

“Hillary was so mistrustful and vengeful,” on ex-Secret Service agent told Kessler.

“She’s very angry and sarcastic and is very hard on her staff,” a source said. “She is a totally different person behind the scenes than what you see when she is being interviewed.”

“She’s known to snap at agents and yell at agents and dress them down to their faces, and they just have to be humble,” a source explained, “and walk away.”

“Agents don’t deserve that,” a Secret Service agent told Kessler. “They’re there to do a job, they’re there to protect her, they’ll lay their life down for hers, and there’s absolutely no respect for that.”

2. – Hillary is woefully disorganized and habitually late. Showing up on time won’t be a feature of a Hillary Clinton presidency, according to Kessler. “She had children running her campaign,” an agent who was around the 2000 version of Clinton told the author. “She had a lack of organization and a lack of maturity. She could not keep a schedule.”

3. – Hillary likes to tell the people who protect to fuck off. Back when the Monica Lewinsky scandal was in full bloom, Kessler recounts, a uniformed Secret Service was on duty on the South Lawn of the White House when Hillary showed up in the back of a limousine.

“The first lady steps out of the limo, and another uniformed officer says to her, ‘Good morning, ma’am,”‘ the agent told Kessler. “Her response to him was ‘F off.’ I couldn’t believe I heard it.”

4. – Hillary once had a father of four fired because he helped Barbara Bush with a computer problem. The man was a White House usher, Christopher B. Emery. Barbara Bush had contacted Emery when she was having problems setting up a laptop because Emery had helped the former first lady with computer problems a couple times previously.

For offering this assistance to a former White House resident, Hillary successfully demanded that Emery be fired. The family man was unable to find another job for a year.

5. – Hillary hates the military and didn’t want officers wearing their military uniforms in her presence. “She didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military,” former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman told Kessler.

“She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her,” the agent said.

She didn’t want to see police officers in uniform.

“How do you explain that to the police?” a disgusted Secret Service agent asked. “She wanted state troopers and local police to wear suits and stay in unmarked cars. If there were an incident, that could pose a big problem. People don’t know police are in the area unless officers wear uniforms and drive police cars. If they are unaware of a police presence, people are more likely to get out of control.”

The former secretary of state also did not want to see American military officers in their uniforms.

“Hillary didn’t like the military aides wearing their uniforms around the White House,” yet another Secret Service agent recalled. “She asked if they would wear business suits instead. The uniform’s a sign of pride, and they’re proud to wear their uniform. I know that the military was actually really offended by it.”

6. – Hillary once yelled at a guy for changing a light bulb while she was at the White House. Kessler recounts an incident involving an electrician who was changing a light bulb inside the White House. Clinton dressed this man down because she didn’t want any work done inside the 54,896-square-foot residence while she was on the premises.

“She caught the guy on a ladder doing the lightbulb,” Franette McCulloch, an assistant White House pastry chef during the Clinton administration, told the author. “He was a basket case.

7. – Hillary demanded White House workers never speak to her and hide behind the drapes when she appeared. It was a standing rule, according to Kessler.

“No one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another,” former FBI agent Coy Copeland told Kessler. “In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”

“We were basically told, the Clintons don’t want to see you, they don’t want to hear you, get out of the way,” an ex-Secret Service agent told the author. “If Hillary was walking down a hall, you were supposed to hide behind drapes used as partitions. Supervisors would tell us, ‘Listen, stand behind this curtain. They’re coming,’ or ‘Just stand out of the way, don’t be seen.”‘

8. – Hillary once insulted a man by asking him if he shopped at J.C. Penney. The 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner who is running as a compassionate voice for everyday Americans had the encounter in a hallway of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Kessler reports. The subject of her ire was a member of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigative team.

The man addressed Hillary, saying “Good morning, Mrs. Clinton,” FBI agent Copeland told Kessler.

“She jumped all over him,” Copeland told the author. “‘How dare you? You people are just destroying my husband.’ It was that vast right-wing conspiracy rant. Then she had to tack on something to the effect of ‘And where do you buy your suits? Penney’s?’”

The embarrassed Starr investigator told Copeland the story a few weeks after the incident occurred. “He said, ‘I was wearing the best suit I owned,’” Copeland said.

9. – Hillary drove Vince Foster to suicide by belittling him. Foster, White House deputy counsel under Bill Clinton, committed suicide on July 20, 1993. He had been a mentor to Hillary prior to Clinton’s rise to the presidency back when Hillary worked at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Ark.

Hillary ridiculed and vilified Foster in front of White House aides during meetings concerning Hillary’s failed single-payer healthcare scheme. Specifically, according to Kessler, she was frustrated about some legal concerns he had raised.

“Hillary put him down really, really bad in a pretty good-size meeting,” Copeland, who learned of the incident through others, told Kessler. “She told him he didn’t get the picture, and he would always be a little hick-town lawyer who was obviously not ready for the big time.”

“The put-down that she gave him in that big meeting just pushed him over the edge,” the former FBI agent said.

“Foster was profoundly depressed, but Hillary lambasting him was the final straw because she publicly embarrassed him in front of others,” another former FBI agent, Jim Clemente, told the author. “Hillary blamed him for failed nominations, claimed he had not vetted them properly, and said in front of his White House colleagues, ‘You’re not protecting us’ and ‘You have failed us.’ That was the final blow.”

Foster, who left a wife and three children, shot himself in a Washington, D.C. park about a week later.

10. – Hillary orchestrated the mass firings of White House travel office employees for Bill Clinton’s cousin. Clinton presidential assistant W. David Watkins told Kessler that Hillary schemed to fire seven White House travel office employees so Catherine A. Cornelius, Bill Clinton’s third cousin, and some friends of the Clintons could take over the travel business for their own benefit.

“We both know that there would be hell to pay” if “we failed to take swift and decisive action in conformity with the First Lady’s wishes,” Watkins wrote in a memo to then White House chief of staff Thomas F. McLarty.

11. – Hillary wants to be protected by Secret Service agents but she doesn’t want to see the agents. Both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton issued a directive during the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles that Secret Service agents were to avoid being seen.

“We were told they didn’t want to see us,” an agent who was on the Staples Center assignment told Kessler. And so, when either Clinton approached, members of their protection detail were supposed to hide.

More generally, Secret Service agents who protected Hillary say she routinely ignored them and never expressed an ounce of gratitude.

“Hillary never talked to us,” an agent told Kessler. “Most all members of first families would talk to us and smile. She never did that.”

When she did speak to the Secret Service, it was to complain.

“Hillary would cuss at Secret Service drivers for going over bumps,” former agent Jeff Crane told Kessler.

12. – Hillary would fly into a rage whenever her staff failed to bring in a big enough audience to fake spontaneous events. On one of her famous, carefully choreographed listening tours, Clinton’s advance teams planned “‘impromptu’ visits at diners and local hangouts,” a Secret Service agent remembers.

“The events were all staged, and the questions were screened. She would stop off at diners. The campaign would tell them three days ahead that they were coming. They would talk to the owner and tell him to invite everyone and bring his friends,” the agent told the author.

Clinton would become angry if the events did not meet her expectations.

“Hillary flew in to rages when she thought her campaign staff had not corralled enough onlookers beforehand,” the agent said. “Hillary had an explosive temper.”

13. – Hillary once complained about a 4-H Club visit because it would be insufficient for fundraising. When she was running in New York for the U.S. Senate seat she eventually won, Clinton’s staff scheduled a 4-H Club visit in a dairy-heavy region of upstate New York. When the future senator arrived, she was deeply disappointed to see cows and regular people dressed in blue jeans.

Hillary flew into a rage. “She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the f- did we come here for? There’s no money here,”‘ a Secret Service agent then on the scene told Kessler.

4-H clubs are organizations for kids administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.

14. – Hillary stays in the master bedrooms of the homes of her big Democratic donors. During previous runs for electoral office, Clinton would regularly show up late at night at the homes of Democratic powerbrokers and sleep in the main bedroom. “We would show up at their homes at 2 A.M., and she would sleep in the master bedroom,” an agent told Kessler.

She has also been known to berate her staffers for the hotels they choose.

15. – Hillary Clinton regularly leaves the place where she is when Bill shows up. The protection agency is able to track the movements of the leaders and former leaders it is sworn to protect. Frequently, agents have noted, whenever Bill shows up at a place where Hillary Clinton is, Hillary immediately leaves.

“It was funny, because on the radio you’d hear that she went some­ where, and then you’d hear that he went to the same location, and every time he went to her, she would go somewhere else,” a former agent told Kessler.

Also, for the record, Bill Clinton is still cheating on Hillary with a fake-breasted blonde mistress who shows up immediately after Hillary leaves their home in Chappaqua, N.Y. The woman’s Secret Service nickname is “Energizer.”

16. – Hillary’s staffers are bitter little Hillary clones. Secret Service agents say Huma Abedin, a longtime Hillary staffer (and spouse of Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner) is just as nasty as Hillary. In 2008, for example, an agent helped Abedin after she got lost trying to find a presidential debate in Los Angeles.

Abedin was ungrateful for the effort. “She was belligerent and angry about being late for the event,” the agent told Kessler. “No appreciation for any of it, not a thank-you or anything. That was common for her people to be rude.”

On another occasion, Abedin was not wearing proper identification but tried to barge past Secret Service agents, anyway.

“You don’t have the proper identification to go beyond this point,” a female agent reportedly told Abedin.

“Huma basically tried to throw her weight around,” a former Secret Service agent told the author. “She tried to just force her way through and said belligerently, ‘Do you know who I am?”‘

It didn’t work. Abedin was forced to calm down and cooperate so the Secret Service could confirm her identity.

17. – Secret Service agents rebelled against Hillary by making Abedin carry her own damn bags – and Hillary’s, too. Many times, Secret Service agents carry the luggage of first ladies and other members of a president’s entourage. However, it’s not a requirement. With Abedin, “the agents were just like, ‘Hey, you’re going to be like that? Well, you get your own luggage to the car. Oh, and by the way, you can carry the first lady’s luggage to the car, too,’” an agent explained to Kessler. “She’d have four bags, and we’d stand there and watch her and say, ‘Oh, can we hold the door open for you?’ ”

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Shocker! California’s Obamacare Exchange Plagued By Incompetence, Mismanagement

Incompetence, Mismanagement Plague California’s Obamacare Insurance Exchange – Daily Signal

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California’s health insurance exchange, established under the Affordable Care Act, has been held out as a national model for Obamacare. In some ways – not all of them good – it is. Whether it’s falling far short of 2015 enrollment goals or sending out 100,000 inaccurate tax forms, Covered California is struggling with its share of challenges.

Now, several senior-level officials integral to the launch of Covered California – who enthusiastically support the Affordable Care Act – are speaking about what they view as gross incompetence and mismanagement involving some of the $1 billion federal tax dollars poured into the state effort.

‘Somebody Must Have Been Smoking Something’

Consultant Aiden Hill became a “foxhole convert” to Obamacare in July of 2010 when he lost his insurance, had a serious medical issue and couldn’t get a new policy.

“I lived through a health care nightmare. That’s one reason why I took a cut in my pay rate to work for Covered California.”

In March 2013, Hill was hired as project manager over Covered California’s massive $120 million call center effort. In just six short months, it would face an avalanche of customers seeking insurance mandated under the new law.

But five months on the job converted Hill from avid supporter to disenchanted whistleblower. He says the secretive and dysfunctional culture was more interested in cheerleading than real results. After he persistently raised concerns, Covered California abruptly terminated his contract. He says the experience drove him to raise allegations about waste and cover ups at a Covered California board meeting.

Covered California quietly launched an independent investigation into Hill’s grievances. Nine months later, the results were summarized in four sentences stating that evidence did “not support” Hill’s complaints. Hill calls the probe a sham and says the inquiry didn’t include interviews with many witnesses he suggested.

Today, Hill describes himself as disgusted by the process – and soured on Obamacare.

“I really believe that we’ve created a monster – and it’s an unaccountable monster,” Hill told The Daily Signal.

Covered California declined comment on Hill’s allegations.

Other officials integral to Covered California’s efforts concur with Hill’s assessment. One of them headed the largest call center.

“They started this way too late for what they needed to do,” says the official who was hired in April 2013, five months before the website’s launch. He has since left that position and asked not to be named to protect his current job status.

“This program had to touch 58 counties, 11 federal agencies, all medical carriers and all advocates. To have a system that would be integrated seamlessly – somebody must have been smoking something if they thought that was going to happen.”

Disappointing Enrollment

It’s against that backdrop that Covered California finds itself now grappling with a big disappointment: low enrollment growth. California ranked near the bottom in overall growth, with a scant 1 percent increase over last year.

“It’s a tiny fraction of the growth they were expecting,” says an official who helped implement the Affordable Care Act and examined California’s numbers.

As recently as last fall, the official says, California hoped to increase enrollment by 500,000 this year. But only an additional 7,098 have “selected a plan” for 2015.

“Their total enrollment is a step in the right direction but nowhere near what anyone thought it would be for the largest state in the country.”

Covered California would not answer our questions about enrollment figures.

Another telling statistic is Covered California’s poor retention rate. Even though people are required by law to have health insurance, only 65 percent of Covered California’s 2014 customers reenrolled in 2015. The rest dropped off.

Covered California would not address our questions about lackluster retention and growth.

Last month, the agency issued a press release touting a younger and more diverse mix of customers.

“New enrollment for 2015 coverage is strong and has brought in consumers who our marketing and outreach targeted,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee, overlooking the fact that his organization’s retention of last year’s customers was among the lowest in the country.

Hoping for a bump, California followed the lead of the federal HealthCare.gov effort and repeatedly extended this year’s enrollment deadline. The Feb. 15 cutoff was pushed back to Feb. 20 and then Feb. 22. Now, it’s been extended to the end of this month.

“I lived through a health care nightmare. That’s one reason why I took a cut in my pay rate to work for Covered California.”

In March 2013, Hill was hired as project manager over Covered California’s massive $120 million call center effort. In just six short months, it would face an avalanche of customers seeking insurance mandated under the new law.

But five months on the job converted Hill from avid supporter to disenchanted whistleblower. He says the secretive and dysfunctional culture was more interested in cheerleading than real results. After he persistently raised concerns, Covered California abruptly terminated his contract. He says the experience drove him to raise allegations about waste and cover ups at a Covered California board meeting.

Covered California quietly launched an independent investigation into Hill’s grievances. Nine months later, the results were summarized in four sentences stating that evidence did “not support” Hill’s complaints. Hill calls the probe a sham and says the inquiry didn’t include interviews with many witnesses he suggested.

Today, Hill describes himself as disgusted by the process – and soured on Obamacare.

“I really believe that we’ve created a monster – and it’s an unaccountable monster,” Hill told The Daily Signal.

Covered California declined comment on Hill’s allegations.

Other officials integral to Covered California’s efforts concur with Hill’s assessment. One of them headed the largest call center.

“They started this way too late for what they needed to do,” says the official who was hired in April 2013, five months before the website’s launch. He has since left that position and asked not to be named to protect his current job status.

“This program had to touch 58 counties, 11 federal agencies, all medical carriers and all advocates. To have a system that would be integrated seamlessly – somebody must have been smoking something if they thought that was going to happen.”

Disappointing Enrollment

It’s against that backdrop that Covered California finds itself now grappling with a big disappointment: low enrollment growth. California ranked near the bottom in overall growth, with a scant 1 percent increase over last year.

“It’s a tiny fraction of the growth they were expecting,” says an official who helped implement the Affordable Care Act and examined California’s numbers.

As recently as last fall, the official says, California hoped to increase enrollment by 500,000 this year. But only an additional 7,098 have “selected a plan” for 2015.

“Their total enrollment is a step in the right direction but nowhere near what anyone thought it would be for the largest state in the country.”

Covered California would not answer our questions about enrollment figures.

Another telling statistic is Covered California’s poor retention rate. Even though people are required by law to have health insurance, only 65 percent of Covered California’s 2014 customers reenrolled in 2015. The rest dropped off.

Covered California would not address our questions about lackluster retention and growth.

Last month, the agency issued a press release touting a younger and more diverse mix of customers.

“New enrollment for 2015 coverage is strong and has brought in consumers who our marketing and outreach targeted,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee, overlooking the fact that his organization’s retention of last year’s customers was among the lowest in the country.

Hoping for a bump, California followed the lead of the federal HealthCare.gov effort and repeatedly extended this year’s enrollment deadline. The Feb. 15 cutoff was pushed back to Feb. 20 and then Feb. 22. Now, it’s been extended to the end of this month.

Call Center Chaos

The devastating crash of Covered California’s website and call centers on Oct. 1, 2013 was “the canary in the coalmine, an early warning of deep dysfunction,” according to Hill.

Pre-launch testing had proven disastrous. As with the national HealthCare.gov website, “it was breaking at the first click of the button,” says the former call center manager who worked under Hill. “Behind the scenes, states were worried. I know we were worried.”

Covered California contractors projected 10,000 calls the first day. The call center manager says he knew they were way off. “I and my training manager, who had launched call centers before, projected 20,000. We had 21,000 on day one. Our contractors were wrong.”

The HealthCare.gov website was on a parallel trajectory. It, too, suffered under hasty development and failed performance tests days before launch – all while the Obama administration put on a positive public face.

“Everybody knew it wasn’t going to function,” says a third Covered California official. “Calls start coming in and within the first hour, the entire system went down – phone and web.”

“The train was coming off the rails,” adds Hill. “The call center was going into meltdown.”

The meltdown lasted for months and fixes proved costly. Covered California would not provide a tally of expenses, but the agency ended up asking the federal government for an extra $155 million. That put the cost of Covered California at more than $1.06 billion federal tax dollars.

Enrollment Exaggeration?

Covered California’s disastrous debut triggered a house of cards. When the website crashed, consumers were directed to fill out paper applications; they were 33 pages long and took at least an hour to complete. What’s more, they couldn’t be coordinated with the electronic version because of a major design flaw. The forms didn’t match.

But Covered California counted duplicate applications as if they were enrollments, giving the impression that more people had successfully signed up. (The Obama administration did the same with national HealthCare.gov applications.)

For example, Covered California’s Lee publicly touted 30,000 successful enrollments for the first month. Hill says the actual number was closer to 4,000.

“A lot of the information that came out of Covered California was misleading or outright lies,” Hill insists.

Another Covered California official agrees.

“There’s no way he didn’t know he wasn’t telling the truth,” says an official, who still works at the agency and asked not to be identified. “We were fully aware that those numbers were inflated. It was horrible… morale busting. Things were being said that were blatantly untrue.”

The Daily Signal asked for Lee’s side of the story, but Covered California declined to make him available.

Hill says misinformation was aided and abetted by an uninformed press. In the midst of Covered California’s fiasco, he was stunned to read a New York Times article claiming the Golden State was an Obamacare utopia: the crown jewel of the health care reform effort.

On Nov. 24, 2013, Paul Krugman of The New York Times gushed:

What would happen if we unveiled a program that looked like Obamacare, in a place that looked like America, but with competent project management that produced a working website? Well, your wish is granted. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you California… The California authorities have been especially forthcoming with data tracking the progress of enrollment. And the numbers are increasingly encouraging.

That assessment was far from the reality, say the Covered California officials who spoke to The Daily Signal.

Covered California declined to respond to our questions but issued this statement:

Covered California is proud that it has been the portal for nearly four million people to find coverage through one of our participating health plans or through low cost/no cost Medi-Cal; is helping more than a million people access financial assistance to lower their monthly health insurance premiums; through the Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of uninsured in California by half.

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Wind Turbines Killing Many More Birds Than BP Oil Spill Did

Wind Turbines Kill More Birds Than BP Oil Spill – Daily Caller

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It’s been five years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and released 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Environmentalists are highlighting the disaster by pointing to the 800,000 birds that have died because of the spill in the five years since the disaster, but activists have been eerily silent about the fact that way more birds have been killed by wind turbines – a supposedly “eco-friendly” energy source.

The liberal blog Mother Jones reports that 800,000 birds have been killed and the Pelican population in the Gulf has decreased 12 percent. While the 2010 Gulf spill was indeed a horrible disaster, the number of birds that died pales in comparison the number killed in the last five years due to wind turbines.

A 2013 study found that 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats are killed every year by wind turbines – a figure 30 percent higher than the federal government estimated in 2009. These deaths have likely increased as wind power capacity increases across the country.

“I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012,” writes K. Shawn Smallwood, author of the study that was published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Since then, U.S. companies have only installed more wind power thanks to a now-expired tax credit for wind energy. The American Wind Energy Association said there was nearly 66 gigawatts of installed wind capacity in the U.S. as of 2014 – 17 times higher than wind capacity in 2001.

“As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods, especially in the implementation of detection trials, which should be more realistically incorporated into routine monitoring,” Smallwood reported in 2013.

In the time since the 2010 BP oil spill, some 2.9 million birds have been killed by wind turbines, using Smallwood’s figures, compared to only 800,000 that have been killed by the oil spill – the oil spill deaths are based on figures compiled by the news site Climate Desk. It should also be noted that wind turbines routinely kill federally protected birds and eagles.

It’s not exactly clear if 800,000 bird deaths can be attributed directly to the BP spill. In the six months after the spill,the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collected “more than 7,000 birds… in the spill area, of which nearly 3,000 (about 40%) showed visible signs of oiling.”

How many of these birds died? The last FWS report, from May 12, 2011, shows that more than 7,500 birds that were recovered were dead or died shortly after being found – this figure includes birds that had no visible signs of oil on them.

Either way, far more birds have been killed by wind turbines than by the BP oil spill.

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