The Obama administration released thousands of illegal immigrant children to sponsors with criminal records, including arrests on charges of child molestation, human trafficking and homicide, a top senator charged Tuesday.
If true, it would be a stunning black mark on President Obama’s immigration record, according to analysts, who said the first job of the government was to protect the children from dangerous situations – and it apparently failed.
At least 3,400 children were placed in homes where sponsors had criminal records, said Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, citing information from a whistleblower.
“Allegedly, proper screening is not taking place and children are paying the price,” the Iowa Republican said in a letter demanding answers about the procedural breakdown from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
HHS didn’t deny the numbers but said it does try to prohibit those with “serious” criminal records from sponsoring children and does conduct some level of background checks on all sponsors.
The accusations were made just as the Border Patrol confirmed another surge of illegal immigrant children along the southwestern border, with nearly 5,000 unaccompanied minors and 6,000 more women and children traveling together streaming across in October.
Those are huge increases over last October, when 2,500 unaccompanied children and fewer than 2,200 family members traveling together were caught at the border.
Customs and Border Protection officials said they were “closely monitoring this situation” and blamed smugglers for enticing would-be migrants to make the perilous journey by promising they can earn “permisos,” or free passes, once they reach the U.S. The permisos are the court appearance documents that the Border Patrol issues before releasing them into the interior of the U.S., where they can easily disappear.
In the case of unaccompanied children, the Border Patrol turns them over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of HHS. That office then houses the children in dormitories until sponsors can be found for them.
But the pressure to handle tens of thousands of children at a time overwhelmed the office last year. As a result, the office handed over children to sponsors who were not properly vetted, according to Mr. Grassley and other analysts.
“They were so overwhelmed with cases they were more interested in processing them quickly than in making sure it was done safely,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “They seemed to be operating under this delusion these were harmless kids being reclaimed by well-meaning relatives and there was nothing to worry about. And that is truly delusional.”
She said conducting background checks has become routine even for youth sports coaches and library volunteers and it’s stunning that the Obama administration doesn’t require that for someone who is taking full custody of a child.
HHS spokeswoman Andrea Helling said the department does try to vet the people it allows to sponsor children.
“It is not the practice of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to place unaccompanied children with sponsors who have serious criminal convictions. The safety of the children is our primary concern, and any allegation of even potential harm is taken seriously and will be investigated,” she said.
Under the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law, children caught crossing the border illegally without parents are deemed “unaccompanied alien children,” or UACs. They are supposed to be processed quickly by the Border Patrol and then turned over to HHS, which puts them in juvenile homes until they can be reconnected with relatives or placed in foster families.
That often meant placing them with relatives who themselves were in the U.S. illegally.
HHS, faced with nearly 10,000 children a month at the peak last summer, cut corners, including no longer requiring that all sponsors go through fingerprint checks. Fingerprints are required if a sponsor is not a parent or legal guardian, and in cases in which a child is considered particularly vulnerable.
HHS does conduct a background check that includes running a sponsor’s name through criminal databases, and they listen to see whether a sponsor “self-reports” a criminal history during the vetting process.
As of August, HHS also now conducts follow-up visits 30 days after a child is released to a sponsor. In May, HHS began accepting calls to its hotline for children or their sponsors to report on disruptions, including conflicts that could endanger the safety of a child.
Immigrant rights advocates involved in monitoring the children’s cases could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
But last year, at the height of the surge, one nonprofit estimated that as many as 10 percent of the children were sent to live in unacceptable or dangerous conditions.
Mr. Grassley said Tuesday that the whistleblower, whom he did not identify, raised his concerns with the Obama administration in August, yet the children identified as having been put in jeopardy have not been removed from those homes.
The whistleblower saw information on just a subset of 29,000 children, and 12 percent of them were placed in homes where sponsors had records. Extrapolating across the nearly 110,000 unaccompanied children caught at the border over the past two years, that could mean nearly 13,000 children may have been placed in dangerous situations.
Just when you think Obama’s Iran deal couldn’t get any worse, his own State Dept. reveals that Iran didn’t sign the deal nor is it ‘legally binding’. It’s just a set of ‘political commitments’ or something:
NRO – President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter. Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement.
Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose – and ramp up – our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.
Of course we couldn’t trust Iran in the first place, but for Obama, who touted this deal as the only way to keep Iran from getting nukes, to not even get their signatures attesting to their ‘commitment’ to this so-called deal seems ludicrous. And for his State Department to then say it’s not legally binding? Just what assurances did Obama think he was getting from the Iranians to even make the guarantees he made and his numerous statements defending this deal?
Here’s the letter obtained by the NRO:
There are Muslim terrorists all over the world committing atrocities towards those they hate, whether it be Jews, Christians, other religious minorities, or even other Muslims with whom they disagree. And they are doing it in the name of the Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, using the Qu’ran to justify their evil acts.
We’re not just talking about ISIS. Nor Al-Qaeda. Just look in Israel where Muslims are coming out of the woodwork to stab Jews to death.
But somehow these terrorists who call themselves Muslims, who profess belief in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad and who say they are adherents to Islam, are actually NOT Muslims according to Hillary Clinton.
Since when is Hillary Clinton a foremost expert on Islam? Because her good friend is Huma Abedin and believes all Muslims are like her?
The ISIS caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has a DOCTORATE in Islamic studies. Yet Hillary claims he’s not a Muslim? He’s not Islamic?
Just another reason this lying criminal and Muslim propagandist should never win the presidency.
A group of 400 U.S. servicemen stationed in Ireland received an unexpected surprise while eating lunch at an airport.
Los Angeles-based philanthropist Shlomo Rechnitz was on his way to Israel with his family when he spotted the servicemen eating standard bagged lunches, while other passengers ate at trendy restaurants. Rechnitz went straight to the commander, insisting he pay for all the servicemen to get lunch wherever they wanted.
The commander asked why.
In a video captured of the event, Rechnitz explained exactly what prompted his generosity.
“The reason is that… you guys risk your lives to protect me and my family,” Rechnitz tells the crowd of servicemembers. “If I get to go out and see a whole bunch of Army soldiers and Marines. That’s something that makes me proud. I’m on my way to Israel actually now. I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“I’ll take it off my taxes, don’t worry,” he added.
The servicemen applauded.
Just when she thought she had skated by on Benghazi and her email infractions, it now appears that Hillary Clinton’s woes on these issues may be far from over.
There is a largely unknown security scandal emerging, which centers not on the doomed U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, but on the American Embassy in Tripoli about 400 miles away.
This scandal, combined with classified information on Clinton’s private server and sensitive material looted from the dangerously unprotected Benghazi compound, may spell trouble in Hillary Clinton-land, especially in regard to the presidential candidate’s national security credentials.
The larger stack of evidence, presented here by Breitbart Jerusalem, shows the astonishing scope of the Clinton State Department’s apparent failure to protect highly sensitive – at times classified – national security secrets.
In at least one case, sensitive information was likely obtained by our terrorist enemies in Libya, as a federal indictment charges.
In another case, classified communications equipment and hard drives housed at a dangerously insecure U.S. embassy reopened by Clinton were protected, embarrassingly, by a female office manager and other staffers – not by U.S. marines.
Forget Benghazi… take a look at Tripoli embassy security
The U.S. diplomatic facility in Tripoli was first upgraded to embassy status in 2006. Due to security concerns, Clinton temporarily shut it down during the 2011 revolution that toppled Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. In September 2011, after Gadhafi fell, the embassy was reopened.
The story begins in 2012, immediately after the embassy received notice of the first assault on the Benghazi mission.
Largely ignored in the firestorm surrounding the Benghazi attacks is the fact that – like the Benghazi mission – the U.S. embassy in Tripoli did not meet the State Department’s minimum security standards for a diplomatic outpost established without a security waiver from the Secretary of State.
These security standards were established by the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999, or SECCA, which was passed in the aftermath of two embassy bombings in Africa in 1998.
Rep. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), a Benghazi investigator who was the fifth highest ranking member of the House GOP leadership, declared on the House floor on January 15, 2014:
It was known in the State Department and at the highest levels that neither facility in Libya – the one in Tripoli or the one in Benghazi – met the minimum physical security standards set after our embassy was attacked in Kenya in 1998. Who made the decision to put so many American diplomats in those facilities that did not meet that standard?
Eric Allan Nordstrom, a former regional secretary officer in Tripoli who is now the supervisory special agent with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, confirmed that the Tripoli embassy did not meet the minimum standards.
At an October 10, 2012 congressional hearing on Benghazi, Nordstrom said:
Neither the buildings in Benghazi nor the buildings in Tripoli met those standards, nor was there a plan for the next phase of construction, what was called the interim embassy, would they meet the standards either. That interim embassy was scheduled to be on the ground for approximately 10 years. That was a major cause of concern, and that was the main physical security issue that we continued to raise.
Contrary to a misleading claim propagated by Clinton herself, there was no Marine Security Guard (MSG) contingent protecting the Tripoli embassy during the 2012 attacks. They were only deployed in the aftermath of the fatal Benghazi assault.
In her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices, Clinton claims there were marines guarding the Tripoli embassy:
So while there were Marines stationed at our embassy in Tripoli, where nearly all of our diplomats worked and which had the capability to process classified material, because there was no classified processing at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, there were no Marines posted there.
But the former head of Africa Command, General Carter Ham, testified before Congress on June 26, 2013 that “There was no Marine security detachment in Tripoli.”
Breitbart Jerusalem has confirmed with the press office of the U.S. Marines that no marine contingent was deployed in Tripoli on September 11, 2012.
These details are relevant because the primary duty of the MSG is to protect classified information and equipment vital to U.S. national security.
So who was safeguarding the classified information processed by U.S. officials in Tripoli under Clinton’s watch? In one case, it seems, one guard was a female office manager.
‘She was smashing hard drives with an ax’
In May 2013, Gregory N. Hicks – the No. 2 at the Tripoli embassy the night of the attacks – testified before Congress that about three hours after the first attack on the Benghazi mission, his staff in Tripoli was alerted to Twitter feeds asserting the terror group Ansar al-Sharia was behind the attack. Other tweets warned of a pending attack on the embassy in Tripoli.
Hicks described a scene in which the office staff began to destroy classified materials for fear of an attack.
“We had always thought that we were… under threat, that we now have to take care of ourselves, and we began planning to evacuate our facility,” he testified.
“When I say our facility, I mean the State Department residential compound in Tripoli, and to consolidate all of our personnel… at the annex in Tripoli.”
Hicks said he “immediately telephoned Washington that news afterward and began accelerating our effort to withdraw from the Villas compound and move to the annex.”
He recalled how his team “responded with amazing discipline and courage in Tripoli in organizing withdrawal.”
Continued Hicks: “I have vivid memories of that. I think the most telling, though, was of our communications staff dismantling our communications equipment to take with us to the annex and destroying the classified communications capability.”
“Our office manager, Amber Pickens, was everywhere that night just throwing herself into some task that had to be done. First she was taking a log of what we were doing,” he said.
“Then she was loading magazines, carrying ammunition to the – carrying our ammunition supply to… our vehicles, and then she was smashing hard drives with an ax.”
The vivid scene, however, was not mentioned once during Clinton’s Benghazi testimony last month or during her testimony on the subject in 2013. This despite Clinton being directly asked about the response by the Tripoli embassy during last month’s testimony.
The dramatic incident in Tripoli was also not referenced in the State Department’s own Accountability Review Board probe of the Benghazi attack.
Terror kingpin obtains sensitive documents… why not classified?
Major questions linger about why Hillary Clinton’s State Department did not classify the reportedly sensitive documents and material that ran through the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi. The material was clearly not adequately protected, as the assault on the mission summarily exposed.
During Clinton’s Benghazi testimony to lawmakers last month, Clinton claimed that unlike the Tripoli compound, Benghazi did not house classified material. She conceded that some unclassified material was left behind after the attacks.
It is instructive to focus on what materials were housed in Benghazi, especially in light of a November 2012 report by Fox News quoting sources in Washington and on the ground in Libya, including a witness, confirming computers were stolen during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
Also, two days after the compound was looted, the London Independent reported documents inside the U.S. mission were said to “list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups.”
And the Washington Post three weeks later reported documents inside the U.S. mission contained “delicate information about American operations in Libya.”
The Post revealed that one of its own journalists visited the vacated facility weeks after the attack and personally found scattered across the floors “documents detailing weapons collection efforts, emergency evacuation protocols, the full internal itinerary of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s trip and the personnel records of Libyans who were contracted to secure the mission.”
Stevens’ itinerary at times also reportedly passed through Clinton’s private email server, including his exact whereabouts and movements while he was stationed in the Libya danger zone.
The 2012 Fox News report also divulged that after the U.S. mission was looted, some of the Libyans employed there received death threats via text message. It is unclear whether the threats were prompted by the stolen documents and computers.
Some of the sensitive information was obtained by the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist group, which was implicated in the Benghazi attacks.
Breitbart Jerusalem reviewed the 21-page, 18-count federal indictment against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the Benghazi-based leader of Ansar al-Sharia.
The extensive indictment charges that Khatallah stole “documents, maps and computers containing sensitive information” from the Benghazi mission. The charge sheet further accuses Khatallah of conspiring to “plunder property from the Mission and Annex, including documents, maps and computers containing sensitive information.”
In other words, according to the federal indictment, Khatallah was partially motivated to storm the Bengahzi compound in order to obtain sensitive documents – materials that were ripe for the plundering in the unsecured Benghazi mission.
Echoing her e-mail controversy, during her Benghazi testimony last month Clinton was confronted about her seemingly ambiguous definition of sensitive and classified materials stored at the Benghazi mission.
One particular exchange on the matter may be telling:
CLINTON: We know it through our own investigation about what documents were at Benghazi, and there were no classified materials, to the best of our information.
POMPEO: Yes, ma’am. Do you know if there was sensitive information?
CLINTON: I suppose it depends on what one thinks of as sensitive information. There was information there and some of it was burnt, either wholly or partially. Some of it was looted. And some of it was recovered eventually.
POMPEO: Madam Secretary, do you know where that material that was looted went? Do you know into whose hands it fell? And do you know the nature and contents of that material? You seem very confident it wasn’t classified. I don’t share your confidence. But nonetheless, do you know where that material went?
CLINTON: I think that it – it is very difficult to know where it ended up. But I want to just reiterate the point that I made. This was not a facility that had the capacity to handle classified material. And there was, to the best of our information, Congressman, no classified material at the Benghazi facility.
POMPEO: Ma’am, the fact that it wasn’t capable of handling classified material doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any classified material there. Is that correct?
CLINTON: Well, the procedure is not to have classified material at such a facility. And again, to the best of our knowledge, there was not any there.
POMPEO: Yes, ma’am. You’re not supposed to have classified e- mail on your private server either.
CLINTON: And I did not, Congressman.
Iraq War veteran Joe Leal knows firsthand the difficulties associated with readjusting to domestic life after combat.
“You hear this, ‘We support the troops,’ and there’s commercials out there where troops will be walking down the airport and people will clap, like, ‘Thank you for your service,’” Leal says. “But what happens after they take the uniform off?”
That concern – coupled with a booming Los Angeles homeless veteran population – prompted Leal to launch the Vet Hunters Project, a grassroots movement of veterans helping other ex-servicemen and women.
On this Veterans Day, The Daily Signal takes a closer look at the organization and the lives it’s changing.
Please support this fantastic organization.
Warnings about terrorists infiltrating the ranks of the Muslim boat people washing ashore daily on Europe’s beaches are no longer just warnings.
For the second time in the past few months, a known terrorist with direct ties to an international terror organization has been caught trying to enter Italy posing as an asylum seeker.
Tunisian-born Ben Nasr Mehdi was discovered among 200 refugees in a migrant boat off the coast of Sicily on Oct. 4. He was first arrested in Italy in 2007 and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for plotting terror attacks with a group that has since been linked to ISIS. He tried to return to Italy last month in a boat that was attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya.
But authorities tried to hide the story, fearing their political opponents would use it to create “panic” among the population, the German channel n-tv reported. The story finally got out several weeks after Mehdi was detained last week.
“This is a totally predictable story to everyone but Angela Merkel and her supporters in Europe (which group includes most of the EU governments and media),” wrote blogger Thomas Lifson for the American Thinker.
“President Obama plans to admit tens (or hundreds) of thousands of these ‘refugees’ to the United States. It is obvious to anyone but a progressive that infiltration of terrorists is an irresistible opportunity for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and everyone else who wants to do us harm in the name of Allah.”
Obama plans to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year and 75,000 more refugees from Somalia, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq and other countries.
The fact is, Obama is bringing far more than 10,000 Syrian Muslims to America.
The United Nations already has 20,000 Syrians processed and in its pipeline destined for more than 180 U.S. cities and towns, according to the U.N. refugee agency’s website.
This, despite repeated warnings by the FBI that it is unable to screen the Syrian refugees for connections to terrorism. WND reported the latest warning Oct. 22 from FBI Director James Comey, who testified before the House Homeland Security Committee.
Among Syrian refugees, 97 percent are Muslim and the vast majority of those are Sunni Muslim, a religious faith shared with ISIS, al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida, al-Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and many other jihadist groups.
Although he gave a false name, migration officers identified Mehdi through finger print records, according to the Independent.
Mehdi, 38, was interrogated and then deported to Tunisian authorities.
If he had not already been arrested and convicted, he would not have had fingerprints in the terrorist database.
The United Nations is working on a global ID system for refugees that would collect biometric data and is rolling it out in a few test areas in Asia and Africa, WND reported Oct. 30. It was also reported in that article that at least 7,000 Muslim male refugees have disappeared and are unaccounted for after arriving in German refugee camps. They never checked in and were never identified.
The news of another top terrorist infiltrating Europe comes a week after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Urban publicly called out billionaire philanthropist George Soros as stoking the migrant crisis in an attempt to degrade what’s left of the nation-state system in Europe.
Soros practically admitted as much in a op-ed for Project Syndicate.
Italian authorities have said they regard Mehdi as one of the most dangerous terrorists to have operated in Italy, the Independent reported. He is considered to be an explosives expert and a contact for organizations such as al-Qaida that recruit jihadists from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Italy’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano, had previously insisted there was no evidence that Islamic terrorists were sneaking into-Europe aboard migrant boats, despite warnings from right-of-center politicians that the wave of migration from North Africa represented a serious security threat. Alfano has said, however, that Italian security forces are constantly monitoring for such threats.
An ISIS operative told BuzzFeed earlier this year that the terror group already had 4,000 trained fighters inside Europe who had entered as asylum seekers. That was in May, and many critics of Europe’s open doors policy are saying the number of established terror cells is likely growing steadily across the continent and could be activated at any time.
In April, UKIP leader Nigel Farage told the European Parliament that terrorists would try to exploit the crisis. He told MEPs: “When ISIS says they want to flood our continent with half a million Islamic extremists they mean it, and there is nothing in [the Common European Asylum Policy] that will stop them.
“I fear we face a direct threat to our civilization if we allow large numbers of people from that war torn region into Europe.”
The following month, Italian authorities arrested Abdel Majid Touil, a Moroccan accused of being involved in a terror attack on the Bardo museum in Tunisia. He had smuggled himself into Italy on a migrant boat in February.
Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has until now insisted there is no evidence that Islamist terrorists are smuggling themselves into the country among the thousands of migrants, but his ministry has admitted that Ben Nasr Mehdi is exceptionally dangerous.
When police arrested him in 2007, they found explosive detonators, poisons and guerrilla warfare manuals. Prosecutors said he had been part of a group that was setting up militant cells that had recruited potential suicide bombers.
Authorities intercepted phone calls in which he indicated he had supplied instructions and contacts to terrorists in Damascus, thus marking him out as a senior operative.
European leaders are becoming increasingly worried about the potential terror threat from the migrant crisis. Last month, German Interior Minister Thomas de Mazière said his country had become a “focus of international terrorism,” thanks to migration. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has also expressed similar fears.
Yale students are out in force today in protests against racism stemming from remarks the administration made about… Halloween costumes. Just so you are clear, that is not a typo. As we previously reported at Right Scoop, the kids are pretty fired up about Halloween costumes.
Today they are out by the hundreds. You might think it is crazy to be this upset about Halloween costumes, but that is only because you don’t realize there was an email.
Tensions at Yale University hit a boiling point yesterday after an email about Halloween costumes created a week-long controversy on campus.
Students called for the resignation of Associate Master of Silliman College Erika Christakis after she responded to an email from the school’s Intercultural Affairs Council asking students to be thoughtful about the cultural implications of their Halloween costumes. According to The Washington Post, students are also calling for the resignation of her husband, Master of Silliman College, Nicholas Christakis, who defended her statement.
The idea that someone suggested that their Social Justice Warrior freakouts about costumes might be absurd has caused them to react totally reasonably by screaming in people’s faces and staging enormous pro-Halloween censorship protests. We shall overcome!
The entire thing has grown to epic proportions, as The Atlantic notes.
As you may imagine, and much like at Missouri, a huge part of the argument is about “Safe Spaces,” which is fast becoming the most absurd Orwellian euphemism for fascistic suppression of speech yet.
This is the American higher education system, folks. And soon the Democrats are going to make it “free” of charge, paid for by people with jobs who have better things to do than cry like infants about Halloween costumes they don’t like.
From July 8, 2015:
Amid Monday’s resignation of University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe, students formed a human blockade to keep out reporters.
Students protesting on the Columbia, Missouri, campus embraced efforts to establish a “safe space,” free of the media attempting to exercise its First Amendment right to cover a public event.
In addition to the “safe space” sign to warn reporters from doing their jobs, students also linked arms to form a human blockade against the press:
The move by students to keep out members of the press came as a shock to many, but left many others confused.
…I’m sick today, but I don’t think that’s why this has me confused https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
11:53 AM – 9 Nov 2015
A good way to (1) deter media from quoting one idiot to mischaracterize group; (2) completely undermining that goal. https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
12:05 PM – 9 Nov 2015
Should make for interesting discussions at the esteemed Missouri j-school. https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
12:04 PM – 9 Nov 2015
If you were wondering where Occupy went, we found it. https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
11:58 AM – 9 Nov 2015
“Safe space.” https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
12:16 PM – 9 Nov 2015
This is insane. https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
12:19 PM – 9 Nov 2015
This is a big, big problem. Hey @newseum, what do you have to say about this? #Missouri #FreeSpeech https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
11:58 AM – 9 Nov 2015
12:06 PM – 9 Nov 2015
“But please, press, next time we need a message to gain traction, come back!” https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
11:51 AM – 9 Nov 2015
What utter crap. https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
11:50 AM – 9 Nov 2015
At the home of one of finest journalism schools in the world, folks. What are we doing wrong? https://twitter.com/hochman/status/663760271781924864…
12:09 PM – 9 Nov 2015
It’s disappointing to see this response from college students, especially ones at a school with a highly regarded journalism program.
America has always prized the freedom of the press to report the news in the fairest way possible, and when students prevent that from occurring, they threaten the democratic process.
In the wake of a supposed racial controversy, the President of the University of Missouri has resigned.
The entire controversy began when a student, Jonathan Butler, began a hunger strike over alleged racial incidents. This weekend, Missouri football players decided to kind of sorta join the strike a bit. This morning, cowed faculty meekly walked out. Now the President has resigned.
The Daily Caller lays out Butler’s beef:
In a letter to school officials posted on his Facebook page, Butler indicated that he began his hunger strike because someone in a pickup truck allegedly shouted a racist insult at a black student government member, because state law prevents Planned Parenthood from performing on-campus abortions and because someone drew a swastika with human feces in a dormitory bathroom.
Some observers have suggested that the bathroom swastika may be a hoax. Why, law professor blogger Ann Althouse has asked, for example, would any dedicated racial supremacist create a swastika out of human feces?
Butler admits in the letter that none of the incidents he cites are Wolfe’s fault. Nevertheless, Butler has concluded, “as a collection of incidents at the university, they are his responsibility to address.”
This summer, prior to Butler’s decision to go on a hunger strike because of racism allegations, the graduate student’s substantially different agenda focused on a change in University of Missouri policy which ended subsidized health insurance for graduate students. To Butler’s chagrin, school officials also stopped offering certain grad student tuition waivers and tore down some graduate student housing.
At RedState, Leon Wolf takes the protesting football players to pieces in a blistering list of why they are complete posers. You should read all four points, but the conclusion is perfect.
At the end of the day, this isn’t a courageous strike against racism. It’s a lazy strike against practicing for a bad football team. The fact that the media isn’t reporting it this way is evidence of the media’s own laziness.
Nevertheless, under the pressure, the President has stepped down.
The Legion of Black Collegians and others (including football players) associated with the boycott at Missouri stemming from racial tension on Saturday published a list of demands they want met before things return to somewhat normalcy.
Here’s the list in its entirety:
1. We demand that University of Missouri System President, Tim Wolfe, writes a hand-written apology to Concerned Student 1-9-5-0 demonstrators and holds a press conference in the Mizzou Student Center reading the letter. In the letter and at the press conference, Tim Wolfe must acknowledge his white privilege, recognize that systems of oppression exits, and provide a verbal commitment to fulfilling Concerned Student 1-9-5-0 demands. We want Tim Wolfe to admits his gross negligence, allowing his driver to hit one of the demonstrators, consenting to the physical violence of bystanders, and lastly refusing to intervene when Columbia Police Department used excessive force with demonstrators.
2. We demand the immediate removal of Tim Wolfe as UM system president. After his removal, a new amendment to thd UM system policies must be established to have all future UM system president and Chancellor positions be selected by a collective of students, staff, and faculty of diverse backgrounds.
3. We demand that the University of Missouri meets the Legion of Black Collegians’ demands that were presented in the 1969 for the betterment of the black community.
4. We demand that the University of Missouri creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and administration. This curriculum must be vetted, maintained, and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff and faculty of color.
5. We demand that by the academic year 2017-18, the University of Missouri increases the percentage of black faculty and staff members campus-wide by 10 percent.
6. We demand that the University of Missouri composes a strategic 10-year plan on May, 1 2016 that will increase retention rates for marginalized students, sustain diversity curriculum and training, and promote a more safe and inclusive campus.
7. We demand that the University of Missouri increases funding and resources for the University of Missouri Counseling Center for the purpose of hiring additional mental health professionals, particularly those of color, boosting mental health outreach and programming across campus, increasing campus-wide awareness and visibility of the counseling center, and reducing lengthy wait times for prospective clients.
8. We demand that the University of Missouri increases funding, resources and personnel for the social justice centers on campus for the purpose of hiring additional professionals, particularly those of color, boosting outreach and programming across campus and increasing campus-wide awareness and visibility.
A man accused in a fatal hit-and-run on Tuesday is an illegal alien who has been deported at least six times since 2001.
Santa Ana, California police say Ramon Jaime Horta was driving on a suspended license when he allegedly struck and killed 24-year-old Marcello Bisarello, the Orange County Register reports.
Bisarello was sitting on a street curb around 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon when he was struck by a driver of a “swerving” van police say was intoxicated.
He died at the scene while Horta fled and was pursued by a witness. He was apprehended a short time later.
“He has previous DUI convictions so it is possible the charges can be upgraded to second-degree murder if he was given a Watson Advisement,” police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna says, referring to a document a convict signs acknowledging the dangers of drinking and driving.
A witness claims Horta didn’t realize he had hit someone.
“I parked next to him and told him, ‘Hey, stop the car and give me your keys and throw them through the window. You run over a person,’” Cesar Guzman tells ABC 7. “And he was like, ‘What? I didn’t do anything.’ And then after that he actually like stopped the car. He threw the keys through the window.”
According to NBC 4, Horta has a lengthy rap sheet:
Ramon Jaime Horta was convicted in 2001 for sale and possession of a controlled substance and driving on a suspended license, according to Orange County Superior Court records.
He got nine months in jail and was deported by immigration officials.
In 2008, the Santa Ana man pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. He was sentenced to two years in state prison. This happened after he already been deported in 2002 and 2006.
All told, Horta was deported in 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2012. He was booked into Orange County jail and held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to the Register.
Lock your doors or learn your lesson, that’s the message from New Haven police.
Officers in East Rock are starting a pilot program.
“Cars will be checked for visible valuables,” said New Haven City Spokesperson Laurence Grotheer.
If they see a valuable Grotheer says they’ll take it if you car doors are unlocked. They’ll leave a note and you can pick it up at the police station property room.
“I think it might work,” said Audrey who lives in the neighborhood.
“It seems odd,” said Kristen Zalota who lives in East Rock. “It’s an interesting way to combat crime I guess.”
It seems a little invasive, I’m uncomfortable with the idea,” said Corey Hassell.
Grotheer says there’s a *caretaker* provision in state law that allows them to do it.
“There is an exemption in standard search warrant provisions to allow for this caretaker action,” said Grotheer.
With the holidays coming officers typically see a spike in car burglaries. That’s what they hope to stop with this pilot program. When I asked about some feeling it’s invasive Grotheer says they should tell the police.
“I suppose that would be part of the feedback we would get and the trial would reflect that. The results of this pilot program,” said Grotheer.
New Haven civil rights attorney John Williams says police are the ones who should learn a lesson here.
“What they’re doing here is in my judgement is not questionable a 4th amendment violation. They ought to get sued. I hope they do get sued,” said Williams.
He says this pilot program is against search warrant federal laws.
Williams saidm “In effect what they’re doing is stealing these people’s property. They have no right to enter their car at all because just because it’s not locked doesn’t mean it’s not your private property.”
Grotheer says all laws are open to interpretation.
New Haven police did not respond to our requests for interviews.
The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling.
That legislation allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants above the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling that had been in place.
The website that reports the exact tally of the debt said the U.S. government owed $18.153 trillion last Friday, and said that number surged to $18.492 on Monday.
The increase reflects an increasingly common pattern that can be seen in the total U.S. debt level when the debt ceiling is reached.
At the end of 2012, for example, the government hit the debt ceiling, and the Treasury Department was forced to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the government afloat until the ceiling could be increased again. Those measures included decisions to delay issuances of certain debt instruments.
When the ceiling was finally lifted a little more than a month later, the debt jumped $40 billion in a day as the pressure to stay under the ceiling eased, and after nine days, the U.S. was $100 billion deeper in debt.
In February 2013, the debt ceiling was suspended until mid-May. Extraordinary measures were again used through mid October, and the official debt burden hovered in place for more than six months. When the debt ceiling was suspended again in October, the debt exploded by $300 billion the next day.
This time around, the national debt has been frozen at its ceiling of about $18.1 trillion since late January, longer than nine months. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the government had somewhere around $370 billion worth of extraordinary measures to use this time around.