Abandon all hope, ye who happen to park anywhere near geometrically challenged-motorist Eleanor Holmes Norton.
A HOH tipster watched in horror Wednesday as the D.C. delegate, 77, awkwardly forced her way into a wide-open spot in the carefully controlled corridor of New Jersey Avenue Southeast sandwiched between the Longworth and Cannon House Office buildings.
“If she parks like that she should not be a member of Congress anymore,” one mystified observer – who wisely recorded more than a minute of the automotive travesty – said as the video was being captured. The tipster said Norton rubbed the correctly positioned, red sports utility vehicle to her immediate left with her improperly angled silver sedan.
Per our tipster, Norton performed the sub-par squeeze-in around the same time the rest of her colleagues were crowding into the House chamber to hear the joint address by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
At around the 40-second mark, an oblivious U.S. Capitol Police officer appears to zoom by on a motorcycle, right past the textbook parking offense.
Once the aide seen assisting Norton from outside the slow-moving vehicle finishes waving her into clearly disastrous position, Norton emerges from the car, clicks her remote-locking device (better safe than sorry) and starts to walk away.
Then, all of the sudden, she doubles back.
Has her conscience gotten the best of her? Is she going to slide a quickly composed apology onto the now-stuck truck’s windshield? Or perhaps a business card?
Norton simply retrieves some forgotten item from inside the car and then heads on her merry way.
Our spy estimates the entire head-scratching episode lasted about half an hour, including the painful insertion process and her 20-minute jaunt into Cannon.
Once done with her business, the tipster said Norton backed out of the space and rolled out onto the unsuspecting District streets.
“She hit the car next to her and did not leave a note, though I couldn’t see any damage,” was our spy’s takeaway from the mid-day drama.
Norton’s office disputes that anything untoward transpired.
“After the Congresswoman parked her car, we assessed the cars on either side to see if there was any damage. We could not find any,” a Norton aide assured HOH. “But we left a note with a business card so the congresswoman could be contacted in case we missed any.”
According to Team Norton, the congressional staffer who owns the truck that was boxed in by the septuagenarian pol reached out to her office about the videotaped scrape.
“The Congresswoman heard from the owner of the only car she was close enough to damage. The owner reported no damage,” a Norton spokesman said via email.
Moonbat hall of fame material.
A man who had occupied a cypress tree for 11 days to block construction of a premier golf course in New Orleans’ large public park has fallen from the tree and injured himself.
The man, identified as Jonathan Boover, who goes by Lloyd, fell out of the tree in City Park on Tuesday morning.
Christopher Lane of the City Park for Everyone Coalition says Boover apparently had not eaten in a day and was disoriented from lack of sleep.
Lane says Boover believed he may have broken an ankle and his nose in the fall.
Sheriff’s deputies had been monitoring Boover’s protest and kept a spotlight trained on him at night.
He was expected to be charged with trespassing.
Boover said he was happy to ‘spend a few days in jail’ if it meant more people would hear about the $24.5 million golf course being built along park along Harrison Avenue.
About 100 trees will be chopped down for the course.
The conservative group Freedom Watch has filed a racketeering lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that accuses her of failing to produce documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The civil suit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, argues that Clinton used her private emails to sell access to other officials in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation.
It alleges that, during her tenure, Clinton withheld documents requested under FOIA regarding State Department waivers given to businesses or individuals doing business with Iran, possibly undermining U.S.-imposed sanctions.
The complaint, which lists Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation as defendants, alleges the Clintons sold access to other U.S. government officials in return for donations to their organization, which they concealed, allegedly, by using a private computer server for her emails operated from their home in Chappaqua, New York.
Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, launched dozens of lawsuits against former President Bill Clinton’s administration.
In the new lawsuit, he alleges that, during Hillary Clinton’s tenure, the State Department “clearly leaked” information to New York Times reporter David Sanger on U.S. and Israeli efforts to counteract Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
“Public reports about plans to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons development programs undermined the effectiveness of those plans by revealing them to Iran and other terrorist organizations and states,” the complaint states.
The civil suit alleges the Clintons “systematically and continuously… conducted a corrupt enterprise” over more than 10 years, allegedly in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, which deals with abuse and misuse of organizations or businesses.
In a statement, Klayman cast his lawsuit as “the first and only hard-hitting case to address the growing email scandal.”
“What Hillary Clinton, her husband, and their foundation have done is nothing new. It is simply part of a criminal enterprise which dates back at least 10 years, all designed to enrich themselves personally at the expense of the American people and our nation. It’s time, however, that they finally be held legally accountable,” Klayman said.
Clinton acknowledged the private server earlier this month, explaining that she deleted more than 30,000 emails her aides deemed personal, and turned over the rest to the State Department for archiving.
The House select committee investigating the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, has asked Clinton to turn over her server to an independent arbiter. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has also demanded Clinton turn over the server but has so far not directed House Republicans to subpoena her records.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after abandoning his post in Afghanistan, then freed five years later in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees in a deal hailed by the White House but blasted by his fellow soldiers, will be charged with desertion, officials told Fox News.
The development comes 10 months after his May 2014 release – which initially was a joyous occasion, with his parents joining President Obama in celebrating the news in the Rose Garden. Bob Bergdahl, who had studied Islam during his son’s captivity appeared with a full beard and read a Muslim prayer, while Bergdahl’s mother Jani embraced the president.
But that euphoria quickly gave way to controversy in Washington as Bergdahl was accused of walking away from his post and putting his fellow soldiers in danger. The trade of hardened Taliban fighters for his freedom raised deep concerns on Capitol Hill that the administration struck an unbalanced and possibly illegal deal.
The military plans to address the case at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Fox News has learned he will be specifically charged with desertion and misbehavior toward the enemy. A senior U.S. official said he will face a court martial and likely trial.
Bergdahl 28, walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured, then released years later by the Taliban in the controversial prisoner exchange.
Gen. Mark Milley, head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, has been reviewing the massive case files and had a broad range of legal options, including various degrees of desertion charges.
A major consideration was whether military officials would be able to prove that Bergdahl had no intention of returning to his unit – a key element in the more serious desertion charges.
The announcement marks a sharp turnaround for the administration’s narrative of Bergdahl’s service and release. After the swap last year, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.”
But as Bergdahl faced criticism from fellow servicemembers for his actions, the administration faced heated complaints from Congress over the Taliban trade itself.
“This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages,” said former Rep. Mike Rogers, (R-Mich.), then the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Bergdahl disappeared from his base in the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktika on June 30, 2009. A private first class at the time, he had three days earlier emailed his parents expressing disillusionment with the war.
“The future is too good to waste on lies,” Bergdahl wrote, according to the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings. “And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American.”
Bob Bergdahl, a former UPS delivery driver in Sun Valley Idaho, replied with a message bearing the subject line, “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
Bergdahl left a note in his tent that said he was leaving to start a new life and intended to renounce his citizenship, Fox News reported last year.
For the next five years, Bergdahl is believed to have been held by the Taliban and Pakistan’s infamous Haqqani network. In one of several hostage videos released during his captivity, he said he was captured when he fell behind a patrol, but fellow soldiers, outraged after the trade was made with the Taliban, accused him of deserting. Some asserted that American servicemembers’ lives were put at risk in the hunt for Bergdahl.
Bergdahl was freed on May 31, 2014, after the White House agreed to trade five high value Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay for him. He was turned over to Delta Force operatives in eastern Afghanistan, near the border village of Khost, while the Taliban members were handed over to authorities in Qatar, which helped broker the swap.
The trade was branded as illegal by lawmakers, who said they weren’t advised beforehand, It was also blasted by critics who said it violated America’s longstanding tradition of not negotiating with terrorists, and from Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers, many of whom view him as a traitor.
There were also concerns – which would prove well-founded – that the Taliban members would return to the fight against the West. Of the five, Mohammad Fazl, the former Taliban army chief of staff; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban intelligence official; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a former Taliban government official; and Norullah Noori and Mohammad Nabi Omari, at least three have attempted to rejoin their old comrades, sources told Fox News.
Then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Bergdahl was a “prisoner of war,” and that the deal did not amount to negotiating with terrorists. He also said concerns about Bergdahl’s deteriorating condition made it imperative that the U.S. move quickly to make the trade.
A Pentagon probe concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl had walked away from his base, but stopped short of accusing him of desertion, reopening the probe after his return.
Bergdhal was promoted to sergeant while in captivity, and had accrued more than $200,000 in back pay by the time he was freed. He was assigned to duty at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, after his return and reportedly refused to speak with his parents.
FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg came under fire Tuesday at a House subcommittee hearing over allegations that Operation Choke Point, a controversial federal law enforcement program, abused its authority by cutting off funding for targeted businesses.
During one exchange, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., suggested Gruenberg step down as head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation after Gruenberg was unable to answer questions about employees involved with Choke Point as well as specific allegations the agency overstepped its authority.
Duffy said the hearing was called to get answers directly from Gruenberg on what he knew, when he knew it and who has been held accountable.
“You are abusing your power and going after small businesses all over America,” Duffy said. He later added, “Bottom line, you are putting people out of business. They haven’t been fired, they haven’t been reprimanded.”
Under Operation Choke Point, banks and other financial institutions were reportedly pressured to cut off accounts for targeted businesses that included gun stores, casinos, tobacco distributors, short-term lenders and other businesses.
Critics claim the program – overseen by the Justice Department, FDIC and other agencies – was used to squeeze legal companies that some politicians considered morally objectionable.
“Our concern is you have agencies in the Obama administration that are using government as a weapon and they going after industries and people that they don’t like,” Duffy, who co-chairs the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said. “This is not the old Soviet Union or Venezuela or Cuba. I think it’s important for all Americans to stand up and push back on policies that are an abuse of government.”
Several members of Congress have openly called Operation Choke Point a blatant abuse of power, and an example of government bureaucrats appointing themselves morality police so they could operate around the law.
In response to the controversy, the FDIC put out a statement that said in part: “It is the FDIC’s policy that insured institutions that properly manage customer relationships are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing services to any customer operating in compliance with applicable law… the FDIC has a responsibility to cooperate with other government agencies and to ensure that the banks we supervise are adhering to laws, including those governing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.”
Initially, the FDIC put out a list of 30 high-risk businesses, but that list has since been rescinded.
The U.S. Consumer Coalition claimed taking down that list only removed a guideline, and without a specific list of businesses, the subjectivity of who gets targeted was increased.
Brian Wise, with the U.S. Consumer Coalition, points out the irony. “By shutting down the bank accounts of these legally operating businesses, what they’re actually doing is forcing these businesses to deal solely in cash, which is completely opposite of what they have said their intention is,” he said. “It’s a whole lot easier to launder money with cash than having to go through a financial institution.”
Wise said questioning the chairman of the FDIC is a good start, but the problem doesn’t end there. “We know that it doesn’t just stop with the FDIC. This is a program that includes the CFPB, FDIC, Department of Justice and may lead all the way up to the president,” he said.