Chris Christie And Carly Fiorina Are Folding Up Their Tents

Chris Christie To End Presidential Campaign – CBS News

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After a sixth place finish in New Hampshire’s Republican primary on Tuesday, Chris Christie is calling it quits.

The New Jersey governor made the decision after conferring with major donors. He concluded that he did not have the financial support to continue his campaign, reports CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, citing a senior campaign source.

Christie spent significant campaign resources on the New Hampshire primary, wooing voters and banking on the state’s famous friendliness to governors running for the GOP nomination. Last week, Christie received plaudits for his debate takedown of rival Marco Rubio in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he slammed the Florida senator for his automaton-like answers to moderators’ questions.

But on Tuesday night, Christie finished with just single-digit support, behind Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Rubio. After a poor showing in Iowa, Christie is the only candidate left running who has so far accumulated zero delegates.

Christie addressed his backers at a primary night event in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Thanking volunteers and supporters, Christie said he did “not regret one minute” of the time spent in the early-voting state.

“I have both won elections that I was supposed to lose and I’ve lost elections I was supposed to win. And what that means is you never know and it’s both the magic and the mystery of politics – that you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do,” he said. “We leave New Hampshire tonight without an ounce of regret, not for the time we’ve spent, and for the thousands of people tonight in New Hampshire who will have voted for us. We thank each and every one of them.”

Of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Christie said he “deserves congratulations” for winning the support of Granite State voters.

Trump, for his part, told “CBS This Morning” that Christie had called to congratulate him, and said in an interview on Fox News, “Frankly, Chris is somebody that maybe wouldn’t have to get out. I think somebody like Jeb Bush has far less talent than Chris, and he’s still in so you know, it’s one of those things.”

The New Jersey Republican announced Tuesday that he would be heading back to his home state, instead of continuing on to campaign in South Carolina, the last primary state before March’s Super Tuesday contests.

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Related article:

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Carly Fiorina Is Dropping Out Of The Race – Mediaite

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Carly Fiorina is dropping out of the presidential race.

After a weak showing in New Hampshire last night, Fiorina becomes the second candidate, after Chris Christie, to bow out today.

Here’s the full statement she posted to Facebook:
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This campaign was always about citizenship – taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected. Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I’ve said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I’m not going to start now. While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.

Our Republican Party must fight alongside these Americans as well. We must end crony capitalism by fighting the policies that allow it to flourish. We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.

To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you’re a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn’t shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.

As I have said to the many wonderful Americans I have met throughout this campaign, a leader is a servant whose highest calling is to unlock potential in others. I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential.

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How Are The Early Democrat Primaries/Caucuses Shaking Out?


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IOWA

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of January 31, 2016)
Hillary Clinton: 47.9%
Bernie Sanders: : 43.9%

RESULTS (February 1, 2016)
Hillary Clinton: Votes – 70,047 (49.84%) —— Delegates Won: 23
Bernie Sanders: : Votes – 69,692 (49.59%) —— Delegates Won: 21

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NEW HAMPSHIRE

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of February 8, 2016)
Bernie Sanders: : 54.5%
Hillary Clinton: 41.2%

RESULTS (February 9, 2016)
Bernie Sanders: Votes – 142,042 (60.01%) —— Delegates Won: 15
Hillary Clinton: Votes – 90,679 (38.31%) —— Delegates Won: 9

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NEVADA

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of December 27, 2015)
Hillary Clinton: 50.0%
Bernie Sanders: 30.5%

RESULTS (February 20, 2016)
Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders:

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SOUTH CAROLINA

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of January 23, 2016)
Hillary Clinton: 62.0%
Bernie Sanders: 32.5%

RESULTS (February 27, 2016)
Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders:

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How Are The Early GOP Primaries/Caucuses Shaking Out?


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IOWA

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of January 31, 2016)
Donald Trump: 28.6%
Ted Cruz: 23.9%
Marco Rubio: 16.9%
Ben Carson: 7.7%
Jeb Bush: 4.1%
John Kasich: 2.9%
Carly Fiorina: 2.6%
Chris Christie: 2.4%

RESULTS (February 1, 2016)
Ted Cruz: Votes – 51,666 (27.64%) —— Delegates Won: 8
Donald Trump: Votes – 45,429 (24.30%) —— Delegates Won: 7
Marco Rubio: Votes – 43,228 (23.12%) —— Delegates Won: 7
Ben Carson: Votes – 17,394 (9.30%) —— Delegates Won: 3
Jeb Bush: Votes – 5,238 (2.80%) —— Delegates Won: 1
Carly Fiorina: Votes – 3,485 (1.86%) —— Delegates Won: 1
John Kasich: Votes – 3,474 (1.86%) —— Delegates Won: 1
Chris Christie: Votes – 3,284 (1.76%) —— Delegates Won: 0

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NEW HAMPSHIRE

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of February 4, 2016)
Donald Trump: 31.2%
Marco Rubio: 14.0%
John Kasich: 13.5%
Ted Cruz: 11.8%
Jeb Bush: 11.5%
Chris Christie: 5.8%
Carly Fiorina: 4.8%
Ben Carson: 2.8%

RESULTS (February 9, 2016)
Donald Trump: Votes – 92,417 (35.13%) —— Delegates Won: 10
John Kasich: Votes – 41,814 (15.90%) —— Delegates Won: 3
Ted Cruz: Votes – 30,417 (11.56%) —— Delegates Won: 2
Jeb Bush: Votes – 29,188 (11.10%) —— Delegates Won: 2
Marco Rubio: Votes – 27,776 (10.56%) —— Delegates Won: 0
Chris Christie: Votes – 19,812 (7.53%) —— Delegates Won: 0
Carly Fiorina: Votes – 10,967 (4.17%) —— Delegates Won: 0
Ben Carson: Votes – 5,969 (2.27%) —— Delegates Won: 0

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SOUTH CAROLINA

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of January 23, 2016)
Donald Trump: 36.0%
Ted Cruz: 19.7%
Marco Rubio: 12.7%
Jeb Bush: 10.0%
Ben Carson: 8.7%
John Kasich: 2.0%

RESULTS (February 20, 2016)
Donald Trump:
Ted Cruz:
Marco Rubio:
Jeb Bush:
Ben Carson:
John Kasich:

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NEVADA

POLL PROJECTIONS (Average As Of December 27, 2015)
Donald Trump: 33.0%
Ted Cruz: 20.0%
Marco Rubio: 11.0%
Ben Carson: 6.0%
Jeb Bush: 5.0%
John Kasich: 0.0%

RESULTS (February 23, 2016)
Donald Trump:
Ted Cruz:
Marco Rubio:
Ben Carson:
Jeb Bush:
John Kasich:

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*VIDEO* Vermin Supreme Makes Last-Minute Pitch To Democrat Voters In New Hampshire

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*PODCAST* The Andrew Klavan Show

THE MEDIA LEVEL THEIR GUNS AT CRUZ AND RUBIO


……………………………Click on image above for podcast

MORE:

THREE REASONS OBAMA VISITED A TERRORIST MOSQUE

TRUMP’S NO TOUGH GUY, HE JUST PLAYS ONE ON TV

IOWA MAKES CAUCUSES GREAT AGAIN

IOWA: HOW SCREWED ARE WE?


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*PODCAST* The Ben Shapiro Show

#BEYONCEHALFTIMESOBLACK



MORE:

HILLARY CLINTON IS A FLAMING GARBAGE HEAP

TRUMP FINALLY GOES NUCLEAR

THE GREATEST IOWA CAUCUSES EVER

IOWA IS TONIGHT – I HATE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING


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President Asshat Bullied Bank To Pay Racial Settlement Without Evidence

Obama Bullied Bank To Pay Racial Settlement Without Proof: Report – New York Post

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Newly uncovered internal memos reveal the Obama administration knowingly exaggerated charges of racial discrimination in probes of Ally Bank and other defendants in the $900 billion car-lending business as part of a “racial justice” campaign that’s looking more like a massive government extortion and shakedown operation.

So far, Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached more than $220 million in settlements with several auto lenders since the agency launched its anti-discrimination crusade against the industry in 2013. Several other banks are under active investigation.

That’s despite the fact that the CFPB had no actual complaints of racial discrimination – it was all just based on half-baked statistics.

A confidential 23-page internal report detailing CFPB’s strategy for going after lenders shows why these companies are forking over millions of dollars in restitution and fines to the government despite denying any wrongdoing.

The high-level memo, sent by top CFPB civil-rights prosecutors to the bureau’s director and revealed by a House committee, admits their methods for proving discrimination were seriously flawed from the start and had little chance of holding up in court. Yet they figured they could muscle Ally, as well as future defendants, with threats and intimidation.

“Some of the claims being made in this case present issues, such as use of [race] proxying and reliance on the disparate-impact doctrine, that would pose litigation risks meriting serious consideration prior to taking administrative action or filing suit in district court,” the Oct. 7, 2013, memo addressed to CFPB chief Richard Cordray acknowledges.

“Nevertheless,” it added, “Ally may have a powerful incentive to settle the entire matter quickly without engaging in protracted litigation.”

At the time, the Detroit-based bank was seeking permission from the Federal Reserve to remain a financial holding company. Without regulatory approval, Ally risked losing key business lines, primarily its insurance subsidiaries.

“Protracted litigation” would present “a high hurdle” to Ally retaining such status, the CFPB lawyers conspired.

Prosecutors also sought to use the Community Reinvestment Act as leverage against Ally. At the time, the FDIC was reviewing the bank’s compliance with the anti-redlining law.

They huddled with FDIC and Federal Reserve officials to get them on board with their scheme; and the Fed assured them it would look favorably upon “a prompt and robust” settlement by Ally, while the FDIC confirmed that a quick resolution would help Ally pass its CRA exam.

So CFPB applied the screws to Ally, saying it had “statistical evidence” showing its participating dealers were “marking up” loan prices for blacks and Hispanics vs. whites (by an average of $3 a month). Ally fought back, insisting non-discriminatory factors, such as credit history, down payments, trade-ins, promotions and rate-shopping, explained differences in loan pricing. After conducting a preliminary regression analysis, the bank found these factors alone accounted for at least 70 percent of the “racial disparities” the government was claiming.

CFPB admits in the memo that it never considered these or other legitimate business aspects of the car deals it investigated: “Such factors were excluded as controls from the markup analysis.”

Also in its initial rebuttal, Ally complained CFPB’s entire case was based on “disparate impact” statistics, not actual complaints by consumers, and that those estimates relied on guesswork about the race of the borrowers. (The auto industry does not report borrower race, so CFPB tried to ID race by last name and ZIP code, a so-called “proxy” method that is wildly inaccurate.)

“The evidence of discrimination on the basis of race and national origin is strictly statistical,” the agency confessed in a report footnote.

With all these machinations hidden from public view, Cordray held a press conference to announce “the federal government’s largest auto-loan discrimination settlement in history.” He claimed that 235,000 minorities had been harmed by Ally, even though he didn’t know the race of a single borrower or whether they had actually been harmed.

“He had no idea how many actual victims there were because their whole case rested entirely on statistical estimations they admitted internally were inaccurate,” said a senior staffer for the House Financial Services Committee, which recently obtained the internal documents from CFPB.

In fact, CFPB still has not been able to definitively ID the race of any borrower it claims Ally victimized – which is why it has taken more than two years to send remuneration checks to alleged victims. Desperate to find them, the bureau recently had to mail 420,000 letters to Ally borrowers to coax at least 235,000 into taking the money, and to allow Cordray to save face.

Checks started going out this month to the fictitious victims – just in time for the election. So what if some recipients are white? They will all no doubt thank Democrats for the sudden, unexpected windfall of up to $520 in the mail.

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Thanks Barack… Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750M In Obamacare Subsidies

Senate Report: Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750 Million In Obamacare Subsidies – Weasel Zippers

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Didn’t Obama say illegal aliens would not be getting subsidies?

Via Fox News:
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Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.

The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums. It found that as of June 2015, “the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.”

Keep reading

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Obamanomics Update: President Asshat Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017

Obama Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017; New Taxes And Spending – CNS

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President Barack Obama is unveiling his eighth and final budget, a $4 trillion-plus proposal that’s freighted with liberal policy initiatives and new and familiar tax hikes – all sent to a dismissive Republican-controlled Congress that simply wants to move on from his presidency.

The budget will be released Tuesday morning, the same day as the New Hampshire primary when it’s likely to get little attention. It comes as the deficit, which had been falling over the duration of Obama’s two terms, has begun to creep up, above the half-trillion mark.

The White House is countering the worsening deficit outlook with a proposed $10-per barrel tax on oil that would finance “clean” transportation projects. It also is sure to propose taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Long gone are proposals such as slowing the automatic inflation increase for Social Security benefits and other ideas once aimed at drawing congressional Republicans into negotiations on a broader budget deal.

Now, Obama has broken out a budget playbook filled with ideas sure to appeal to Democrats: A “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer; increasing Pell Grants for college students from low-income backgrounds; renewed incentives for GOP-governed states to join the expanded Medicaid system established under the health care law, and incentives to boost individual retirement accounts.

The $10-per-barrel tax hike proposal comes as the price of crude has dropped to the $30 per barrel range.

“We’re going to impose a tax on a barrel of oil – imported, exported – so that some of that revenue can be used for transportation, some of that revenue can be used for the investments in basic research and technology that’s going to be needed for the energy sources of the future,” Obama said. “Then 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, we’re going to be in a much stronger position when oil starts getting tight again, prices start going up again.”

Republicans, however, immediately rejected the idea after its release last week and it will meet the fate of prior dead-on-arrival proposals such as increasing capital gains taxes on the wealthy, imposing a fee on big banks, and cutting the value of charitable deductions for upper-income taxpayers. Higher cigarette taxes and a minimum 30 percent rate for wealthier filers have also gone nowhere.

Obama’s proposed tax increases also mean that he can present relatively reasonable deficit estimates without having to go for painful cuts to benefit programs such as Medicare, health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, food stamps, and Medicaid health care for the poor.

The budget deficit, after hitting a whopping $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year, dropped to a relatively manageable $439 billion last year. But a softening economic outlook, combined with a round of tax cuts and increased spending enacted by Congress last year, will make the deficit problem about $1.5 trillion worse over the coming 10 years, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimate.

CBO’s “baseline” deficit – what it expects would occur if Congress does nothing – would now total almost $10 trillion over the coming decade.

The White House hasn’t revealed what, if anything, Obama will propose to address the worsening deficit picture. In its budget roll-out, the White House has instead focused on new spending initiatives. The plan is also likely to call for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, highly unlikely in an election year.

On Monday, Obama proposed $1.8 billion to combat the Zika virus, asking for the money immediately as emergency spending on top of the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that passed in December. The virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. While most people experience either mild or no symptoms, Zika is suspected of causing a devastating birth defect – babies born with abnormally small heads – and the funding is aimed at fighting its spread both abroad and in the U.S.

Obama has largely shifted his focus elsewhere. After winning a higher income tax rate in 2013 on couples earning more than $400,000 per year, Obama and Republicans have battled over relatively small increases to the less than one-third of the budget passed by Congress each year. Republicans seeking higher spending for the Pentagon have been forced to accept Obama’s demands for additional funds for domestic agencies.

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*AUDIO* Mark Steyn And Howie Carr Discuss The Presidential Primaries (02/05/16)

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What If The Democrats Held A Debate And Nobody Watched It?

Last Night’s Democrat Debate Was The Lowest Rated One To Date – Weasel Zippers

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Nobody wants to watch Communists argue over who’s the rightful heir to Marx.

Via CNN:
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MSNBC’s feisty debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton received high marks from political observers, but not high ratings from ordinary viewers.

It was the lowest-rated debate of the 2016 election cycle by far, according to preliminary Nielsen data. The debate had a 3.3 household rating in Nielsen’s metered markets.

The prior low was a 6.0 household rating for ABC’s Democrat debate on the Saturday night before Christmas.

Keep reading

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Obamanomics Update: All U.S. Job Gains Since December 2007 Have Gone To Foreign-Born Workers

All Job Gains Since December 2007 Have Gone To Foreign-Born Workers – Zero Hedge

With the Fed on the verge of a full relent and admission of policy error, the Fed’s “data (in)dependent” monetary policy once again takes on secondary relevance as we progress into 2016. However, even with the overall job picture far less important, one aspect of the US jobs market is certain to take on an unprecedented importance.

We first laid out what that is last September when we said that “the one chart that matters more than ever, has little to nothing to do with the Fed’s monetary policy, but everything to do with the November 2016 presidential elections in which the topic of immigration, both legal and illegal, is shaping up to be the most rancorous, contentious and divisive.”

We were talking about the chart showing the cumulative addition of foreign-born and native-born workers added to US payrolls according to the BLS since December 2007, i.e., since the start of the recession/Second Great Depression.

As usually happens, it is precisely this data that gets no mention following any job report. However, with Trump and his anti-immigration campaign continuing to plow on despite the Iowa disappointment, we are confident that the chart shown below will soon be recognizable to economic and political pundits everywhere.

And here is why we are confident this particular data should have been prominently noted by all experts when dissecting today’s job report: according to the BLS’ Establishment Survey, while 151,000 total workers were added in January, a number which rises to 615,000 if looking at the Household survey, also according to the same Household survey, a whopping 567,000 native-born Americans lost their jobs, far less than the 98,000 foreign-born job losses.

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Here is a chart showing native-born non-job gains since the start of the depression:

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Alternatively, here are foreign-born worker additions since December 2007:

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Putting the two side by side:

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And the bottom line: starting with the infamous month when it all started falling apart, December 2007, the US has added just 186,000 native-born workers, offset by 13.5x times more, or 2,518,000, foreign born workers.

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If Trump wins New Hampshire and South Carolina, and storms back to the top of the GOP primary polls, expect this chart to become the most important one over the next 10 months.

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One Dead, 15 Injured In Manhattan After Massive Crane Plummets At Least 15 Stories Onto Parked Cars

Massive Construction Crane Collapse In Lower Manhattan Smashes Line Of Cars And Leaves At Least One Pedestrian Dead, 15 Injured – Daily Mail

One 38-year-old pedestrian has died after a construction crane collapsed in lower Manhattan at 8:24am, leaving at least 15 more injured, authorities said.

The crane, at 57 Worth Street between Church Street and West Broadway in Tribeca, was swinging a wrecking ball when it fell between 15 and 18 stories, clipping buildings as it fell on at a line of parked cars.

One victim, who was trapped in a vehicle, has been rescued, authorities say. At least two are seriously injured,and three have been taken to Bellevue Hospital Center.

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It is unclear why the crane fell, but a permit was issued for it to move generators and air conditioning equipment at the former Wester Union building at 60 Hudson Street.

The crane was parked on Worth Street, and the incident occurred as the crane was being lowered in order to secure it during the snowy and windy conditions.

Officials had already directed people away from the area as they were lowering the crane.

Mayor Bill deBlasio said it was a sad situation, but added: ‘Thank God it was not any worse. It’s something of a miracle that there wasn’t more impact.’

The NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association was across the street, and members of the union rushed out, making them the first on the scene.

Vice President Bob Ganley of the association said: ‘It was surreal. It was like a war zone when it first happened.’

One witness told ABC7: ‘I could hear the bending of metal. I think it hit the side of the building.

‘I didn’t know what was happening because it was happening so fast.’

CBS Local reported another witness said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. The other day, I was just thinking I hope this doesn’t fall and then it happened. It bounced off two buildings and crushed every single car on that block.’

Other witnesses said the collapse ‘felt like a bomb’ or an earthquake.

The cab of the crane can be seen completely flipped over on Worth Street as ambulances and firefighters are on the scene

The stability of nearby buildings is being checked since the collapse may have affected a water and gas main.

ConEdison is on the scene, since a gas odor was detected at 57 Worth Street, authorities say.

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Subways are bypassing the Franklin Street and Chambers Street stops. Buses and traffic are bypassing the area, with officials advising drivers to avoid roads south of Canal Street.

Mayor deBlasio will be arriving to hold a press conference.

The crane has ‘Bay Crane’ listed on the side. It is a crawler crane mounted on caterpillar tracks and not a tower crane. Authorities say the crane was revewed yesterday morning and approved.

Three people have been taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, two of them are in serious condition.

DeBlasio added it would take at least several days to get things in the immediate area ‘back to normal’.

This is the first crane collapse in the city since 2008.

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Federal Dumbassery Alert!

Congress Wants To Turn The US Postal Service… Into A Bank – Zero Hedge

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It’s news that seems ripped from the pages of The Onion. Or perhaps Atlas Shrugged.

But incredibly enough it’s actually true: earlier this week, Congress proposed a new law authorizing the US Postal Service to provide banking and financial services.

It’s called the “Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions, and Lending” Act, abbreviated as… wait for it… the POSTAL Act.

And it provides explicit authorization for them to provide banking services including checking and savings accounts, money transfers, and “other basic financial services as the Postal Service deems appropriate in the public interest.”

Bank of the Post Office. It’s incredible when you think about it.

The US Postal Service hasn’t turned a profit in a decade.

As a matter of fact, its total accumulated losses now exceed $51 billion, easily ranking it among the least successful companies in history.

And the only way USPS can continue to maintain its operations is with regular bailouts from the American taxpayer.

The statistics are just horrendous. Mail volume is down dramatically, which means that revenue continues to fall.

Yet the Postal Service’s expenses and pension costs keep growing, along with its debt.

Just like the US government, the US Postal Service has its own debt ceiling that’s set by Congress.

USPS reached this debt ceiling back in 2012 and has remained at that level for years.

The only way they survive is by moving liabilities off-balance sheet and regularly going back to Congress with hat in hand.

Wow, talk about a responsible financial partner – this sounds like EXACTLY the place we should want to deposit our hard-earned savings!

Seriously, why would these people even consider an idea so absurd as to let an organization with a history of failed operations take over people’s savings?

Simple. It’s a cheap source of capital.

The Postal Service desperately needs cash. So what better way to raise capital than to sucker unsuspecting Americans into opening up Postal bank accounts?

When you deposit money in a bank, you are effectively loaning the bank your money.

In exchange, they pay you a whopping 0.01% interest.

This is what almost all banks do – they borrow money from depositors and (hopefully) make credible investments and loans with other people’s money.

Except in this case, the Postal Service needs to ‘borrow’ depositors’ savings to cover losses from its other operations.

There’s a term for this. It’s called a Ponzi Scheme.

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Government Incompetence Update: TSA Cannot Verify Employees’ Criminal Histories

Disclosure: TSA Cannot Verify Employees’ Criminal Histories – Washington Free Beacon

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Government oversight officials informed Congress on Wednesday that the Transportation Security Administration continues to operate in disarray, failing to record basic security details for thousands of employees and not tracking official IDs and badges that allow access to the most sensitive areas of an airport.

Lawmakers described the security agency as operating “in chaos” and expressed frustration with Obama administration officials as they informed the House Oversight Committee about a range of security shortfalls that continue to endanger the nation’s 450 commercial airports.

TSA’s inability to properly screen and track employees has been well documented for years. However, the administration has failed to enact multiple reforms aimed at tightening security and making it more efficient, lawmakers said.

TSA still cannot verify their employees’ criminal histories and immigration statuses, according to disclosures made by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general.

“Even 15 years” since the 9/11 terror attacks, “we still see a system that has not complied with the laws we have passed multiple times… and we see failures,” said Rep. John Mica (R., Fla.), chair of the House Transportation Subcommittee.

Following the discovery last year of 73 aviation employees who also were listed on the nation’s terror watch list, TSA has struggled to implement reforms aimed to remedy these security gaps, Mica said.

“TSA employees are not properly vetted,” he said. “We’ve found that tens of thousands of incomplete records are even lacking full names. They [TSA] had 14,000 immigrants listed in the database that did not have alien registration numbers and 75,000 of these records lacked passport numbers. This is not acceptable.”

Officials additionally could not account for “hundreds and thousands of IDs” that had gone missing, including TSA security badges, airport identity badges, and officer identification.

“Everything you can imagine stolen, or missing, or unaccounted for,” Mica said. “Here we are in 2016, 15 years after 9/11, and we don’t know who’s going in and who’s going out. There’s no way to ensure it.”

John Roth, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general, provided a list of security flaws and inefficiencies in the TSA’s employee screening process.

In addition to still not having full access to the U.S. terror watch list, TSA is incapable of verifying employees’ criminal records.

“TSA is considerably challenged when it comes to verifying workers’ criminal histories and immigration status,” Roth said. “TSA does not recurrently vet airport workers’ criminal histories after they are initially cleared to work, but rely on individuals to self-report disqualifying crimes.”

Most employees do not follow this policy, he said.

“TSA cannot systematically determine whether individuals have been convicted of disqualifying crimes,” Roth said, noting that commercial airports also do not hold onto these records. “Due to the large workload involved, this inspection process looked at as few as one percent of all aviation workers applications.”

Additionally, the records TSA uses for vetting individuals is “not reliable, as it contains incomplete or inaccurate data,” Roth said.

At least 87,000 active aviation workers, or 10 percent of the total workforce, do not have social security numbers listed in their records, according to Roth.

An additional 75,000 active employee credentials listed the worker as a non-U.S. citizen but did not include passport numbers. Of that number, 14,000 workers also did not list an alien registration number, meaning they could potentially be undocumented.

“TSA did not have appropriate checks in place to reject records from such vetting,” Roth said. “Without complete and accurate info TSA risked credentialing and providing unescorted access to secure airport areas for a worker who could potentially harm the nation’s air transportation system.”

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Seven More Hitlery E-mails Too Secret To Release

Seven More Hillary Server E-mails Too Secret To Release In Any Form – Hot Air

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The State Department has decided to withhold seven more e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and nonsecure homebrew system as too sensitive to release even in redacted form. That brings the total number of such messages to 29, and one member of Congress who has seen them is aghast at what may have been exposed:
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“There are more than 22, and it’s not just one or two more,” Rep. Chris Stewart told the Washington Examiner, referring to the 22 emails deemed top secret by the State Department last week. “It’s a more meaningful number than that.”

Stewart said the State Department has classified seven additional emails as “top secret.” The agency will now withhold 29 emails from the public due to their sensitive content.

“These were classified at the top secret level, and in some cases, above that,” he said.

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Yesterday, Stewart told Fox News what kind of information went through the server – and it’s every bit as bad as one would imagine:
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“They do reveal classified methods, they do reveal classified sources, and they do reveal human assets,” he said during an appearance on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” earlier in the day.

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Be sure to watch it, as Stewart uses a hypothetical that should have eyebrows raised. “My heavens,” he tells Martha McCallum, “if I received an e-mail saying, ‘here are the names and addresses and phone numbers of ten of our undercover agents in Pakistan,’ I would know … that was classified. I wouldn’t look for a heading.” Stewart then says that his hypothetical isn’t what was found in the e-mails, but clearly Stewart believes it to be as obvious as the hypothetical suggests. And if these messages disclosed human assets, as Stewart explicitly accuses in this interview after having seen the e-mails, then it would be obvious that they could not be transmitted through or retained within an unauthorized and non-secure system.

It’s no surprise, then, that the House Oversight Committee will start an investigation into exactly what went wrong and how much damage has been done to American intelligence by the State Department – and perhaps to put some pressure on the Department of Justice:
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House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz says he’s forging ahead with an investigation into the federal government’s record keeping – a probe he acknowledges could put Hillary Clinton in the cross hairs.

But Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have been clear: They believe the FBI and Justice Department should handle the investigation into Clinton’s use of personal email for government business, and that congressional involvement could disrupt the criminal probe and appear overly partisan. Taking that cue, the House Science Committee, which had planned its own investigation into Clinton’s email server, on Wednesday opted to delay its inquiry and defer to the FBI, an aide on the panel told POLITICO.

As for Chaffetz, Ryan (R-Wis.) is giving him the green light to proceed – with caution. The speaker authorized Chaffetz to investigate systematic problems within his committee’s broad jurisdiction, while making clear his preference that Chaffetz steer clear of Clinton personally.

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A House probe will put the FBI’s efforts under a microscope, whether Chaffetz chooses to avoid taking on Hillary directly or not. It will also send a signal to the DoJ that simply running out the clock will not suffice. Chaffetz could choose to work on this as a probe to determine the amount of damage done by the mishandling of classified information at State – methods that had to be changed, opportunities lost, agents who had to be recalled, or even sources who might have dried up or vanished altogether. Making the damage clear will undercut any claims from Clinton and the White House of “no harm, no foul,” but more importantly will actually emphasize the need to properly protect national-security data pour encourager les autres.

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*VIDEO* Juan Ellis Bush Begs His Audience For Applause

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Another Record-Setting January For Gun Sales In U.S.

January Gun Sales Set Yet Another Record – Washington Free Beacon

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The FBI conducted more gun-related background checks this January than in any other January since the system was created.

With 2,545,802 checks processed through the National Instant Background Check System, January 2016 beat the previous record, set in January 2013, by 50,326 checks. Though January’s number represents a drop from the all-time single month record set in December 2015, it is also marks the ninth month in a row that has set a record. It is also the third month in a row with more than two million background checks.

The number of background checks conducted by the FBI is widely considered the most reliable estimate for gun sales in the country since all sales conducted through federally licensed gun dealers and some sales conducted by private parties are required by law to obtain a check.

However, the number is not a one-to-one representation of gun sales. Many private sales are not included in the system. Also, in some cases a single background check can apply to the sale of multiple guns. Some states use background checks for their gun carry permitting process, which does not involve the sale of a gun.

The new record comes in the wake of President Obama’s executive action targeting gun sales. The White House had signaled that those selling even one firearm in their lifetime could be subject to federal licensing requirements, though it was later revealed that the written guidance issued by the ATF was at odds with the administration’s public comments.

A steady stream of comments supportive of gun control by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may also have contributed to record sales.

A move by Virginia Democrats to unilaterally eliminate gun carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states also received national attention in January. The policy was instituted by the state’s attorney general after the party failed to recapture the state Senate despite millions from gun control advocates. The backlash to the plan was strong enough that the state’s Democratic governor reversed it in a deal with Republicans.

The Second Amendment Foundation said the continued spike in gun sales was in line with other indicators from around the country.

“The Boston Globe reported last week that tens of thousands of new gun licenses were issued in Massachusetts last year,” Alan Gottlieb, the group’s founder, said in a statement. “In New Jersey, with tough gun laws, applications for gun purchases last year nearly tripled over what they were in 2005. One Missouri county reported a three-month back-up in processing permit applications. A county sheriff in North Carolina is so overwhelmed, he’s asking that citizens make appointments.”

“Add to this the fact that scores of sheriffs and police chiefs have encouraged citizens to arm themselves. Suddenly, gun ownership sounds like a very good idea to people concerned about personal safety,” Gottlieb said.

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President Asshat Continues His Shame-The-Infidels Tour In Baltimore

Obama Visits Mosque: ‘Islam Has Always Been Part Of America’ – Big Government

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President Obama spoke warmly about Islam during his speech at a mosque today, highlighting the contributions that Muslims had made to the fabric of American society.

“Islam has always been part of America,” he said, detailing the beginnings of the religion among African slaves brought to America. He also pointed out that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Virginia statute for religious freedom that the “Mohammedan” should have his faith protected in the United States.

Obama met with Muslim leaders during a visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, before delivering a speech there. This is Obama’s first visit to a mosque as president – although George W. Bush also visited a mosque in New York City after the attacks of 9/11.

During his speech, he praised the religion for being a religion of peace – not the hate preached by groups like ISIS.

“The very word Islam comes from ‘Salam’ – peace,” he said. “The standard greeting is ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’ – ‘Peace be upon you,’” he explained. “Like so many faiths, Islam is rooted in a commitment to compassion and mercy and justice and charity. “Whoever wants to enter paradise, the prophet Mohammad taught, let him treat people the way he would love to be treated,” he said as the audience applauded.

“For Christians like myself, I’m assuming that sounds familiar,” he continued.

Obama has frequently defended Muslim Americans – even meeting with leaders at private event at the White House last year. This is the biggest public display of support for the Muslim American community – cited by White House aides as a response to the anti-refugee and anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail from Republicans like Donald Trump.

Obama reminded the audience that political opponents of Thomas Jefferson accused him of being a Muslim. “So I was not the first,” he said lightly as the audience laughed. “It’s true. Look it up. I’m in good company.”

Obama pointed out that the founding fathers also supported the religion of Islam.

“Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Koran,” he said. “Benjamin Franklin wrote, that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

He also recalled the history of mosques in America – pointing out that the oldest surviving mosque was in Iowa and that the first American mosque was built in North Dakota.

Obama also urged Christians to defend Muslim-Americans when their religion was under attack.

“If we’re serious about freedom of religion – and I’m speaking now to my fellow Christians, who remain the majority in this country – we have to understand, an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths,” he said.

He demanded that Americans stop profiling Muslims and treating them differently because of their faith – criticizing political rhetoric for inflaming hatred against the Muslim community.

“We have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias and targets people because of religion,” he said.

He specifically addressed young Muslim Americans, urging them not to grow cynical.

“Let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States, you fit in here. Right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America too,” he said.

According to photos on Twitter of the speech, the audience in the mosque was segregated – men in one section and women in a special balcony.

As Obama concluded his speech, he said, “May God’s peace be upon you and God Bless the United States of America.”

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Rick Santorum Takes His Ball And Goes Home

Rick Santorum Dropping Presidential Bid – CNN

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Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is ending his presidential bid, two Republican sources told CNN.

He is expected to make the announcement Wednesday night and will endorse a candidate.

Santorum won the 2012 Iowa caucuses and ended that race with the second-most number of delegates to eventually GOP nominee Mitt Romney. But he was unable to capture any momentum this year, despite extensive barnstorming efforts in Iowa.

He is the third Republican presidential candidate to drop out after Monday’s caucuses. Mike Huckabee ended his campaign that night, and Rand Paul suspended his campaign Wednesday morning.

The Santorum sources did not say whom Santorum would endorse. When asked about a possible endorsement, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he hasn’t spoken to the former Pennsylvania senator on Wednesday.

“I think he’s fantastic,” Rubio told CNN’s Dana Bash.

Santorum faced a drastically different landscape this year than he did in 2012. A crowded field of 17 Republicans and lackluster early polling kept him off the main debate stage for each of the GOP debates. He also faced competition for the hearts evangelical voters, particularly from Ted Cruz.

His retail politics were also no match for the media-centric, playbook-defying campaign of Donald Trump, the brash billionaire who left little room for candidates to win a moment in the spotlight.

Still, Santorum’s campaign was poised to learn from elements that overshadowed his bid in 2012, when the Pennsylvanian focused on social issues almost to a fault. He made a pointed effort to not get dragged down by controversial comments about homosexuality – which included a comparison to bestiality – that helped hamstring his earlier bid.

Without abandoning his socially conservative views, Santorum devoted more time to talking about his economic plans to revitalize American manufacturing and leaned heavily on his foreign policy knowledge to make the case he could best serve as president in an age of heightened global threats from terrorist groups like ISIS.

Santorum will endorse a candidate for the nomination, two GOP sources said. He, along with Huckabee, previously appeared with Trump at the billionaire’s event for veterans that was held opposite the Fox News debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday.

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