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Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing “poor judgment.”
Mr. Reisner put the apology on Facebook, where a page calling for a boycott of his properties, the gay-friendly Out NYC hotel and his Fire Island Pines holdings, had gotten more than 8,200 “likes” by Sunday evening.
“I am shaken to my bones by the emails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake,” wrote Mr. Reisner.
Mr. Reisner is now apologizing? For what exactly? For associating with someone who holds different views? Is that not tolerance? Is Reisner saying he is sorry for being tolerant? Of course it is. Here is more of his groveling cowardice
“I was ignorant, naïve and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights,” Mr. Reisner said.
“I’ve spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz’s statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgment. Again, I am deeply sorry.”
In other words, he is begging the forgiveness of the Fascists who would destroy him professionally for committing the sin of speaking with someone who is a Conservative. If Reisner possessed any testicles, this is what his response would have been.
“To those upset over my meeting with Senator Cruz, I say practice the tolerance you preach. If freedom of association, and the exchange of ideals, and ideas upsets you, then you have serious issues, and are, in fact, a bigot. If you wish to bully me, you will fail. If you wish to silence or intimidate not only those with who you disagree, but even those who would speak to them, then you believe in neither freedom of speech, or association. I will continue to meet, and do business with who I choose, and for those offended by that, you may take whatever action you like. I, for one, will not bow to you!”
But, of course, he folded like a tent
The Social Security Administration has told Congress that more than half a million illegal immigrants have received new Social Security numbers, under President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive action allowing younger immigrants to stay in the United States and work.
Obama imposed his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan, also known as DACA, in 2012, and in doing so gave younger illegal immigrants legal protection and the ability to work. More than 600,000 immigrants have applied under the program, and in March, Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) asked how many of these immigrants also received Social Security numbers.
The Social Security Administration has told Congress that more than half a million illegal immigrants have received new Social Security numbers, under President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive action allowing younger immigrants to stay in the United States and work.
Obama imposed his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan, also known as DACA, in 2012, and in doing so gave younger illegal immigrants legal protection and the ability to work. More than 600,000 immigrants have applied under the program, and in March, Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) asked how many of these immigrants also received Social Security numbers.
The Obama administration says about 541,000 illegal immigrants now have Social Security numbers under President Obama’s 2012 executive action on immigration. Image via Shutterstock
At the time, they thought as many as 90,000 had received Social Security numbers, but Acting Social Security Administration Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said it was several multiples of that number.
“By the end of fiscal year 2014, we had issued approximately 541,000 original SSNs to individuals authorized to work under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy since its inception,” she wrote.
Colvin said her agency did not have any data on how many immigrants might have applied for Social Security numbers who did not get one.
Colvin said her agency has “rigorous procedures” for processing these requests, and that applicants must show proof of identity and the ability to work. “We will not issue an SSN if an individual has insufficient or unacceptable documentation,” she wrote.
The two senators also asked how many illegal immigrants have received Social Security numbers under Obama’s more recent immigration action late last year. That action expanded DACA, and created a new program to let parents and legal guardians of legal residents stay in the country and work.
But Colvin said the answer to that question is, “none,” because a federal court has shut down that program for now. “We would only issue SSNs to these individuals if DHS began to accept and adjudicate applications and grant work authorization and documentation evidencing such authorization,” she wrote.
Still, her answers will likely draw criticism from Republican opponents of Obama’s actions, since they show that more than half a million illegal immigrants now have access to federal benefits like retirement and disability benefits.
Critics of Obama’s plan have criticized the plan because low-income immigrants with no net tax liability could gain as much as $3 in Social Security benefits for every $1 they pay into the system, which means Americans will now be subsidizing these immigrants.
Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked in an official congressional inquiry from former House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) about whether she used a private email for government work as far back as 2012.
The letter from Issa to Clinton, sent on Dec. 13, 2012 and obtained by Breitbart News after an explosive New York Times expose on it late Tuesday evening, specifically asks eight detailed questions about government record-keeping.
“Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal e-mail account to conduct official business?” the first question reads. “If so, please identify the account used.”
The next two questions asked about whether she or other senior agency officials used text messages or alias email accounts to send or receive government work messages – and the fourth question asks for specific details on the agency’s policies on such accounts.
“Please provide written documentation of the agency’s policies regarding the use of non-official e-mail accounts to conduct official business, including, but not limited to, archiving and record keeping procedures, as well as disciplinary proceedings for employees in violation of these policies,” Issa asked Clinton.
The next question follows up on that. “Does the agency require employees to certify on a periodic basis or at the end of their employment with the agency they have turned over any communications involving official business that they have sent or received using non-official accounts?” Issa asked Clinton.
The next question asks about social media accounts before the final two of the eight questions to Clinton hone in yet again on agency policies.
“What agency policies and procedures are currently in place to ensure that all messages related to official business sent or received by federal employees and contractors on private, non-governmental e-mail accounts or social networking platforms are properly categorized as federal records?” the seventh question to Clinton from Issa reads.
“Have any agency employees been subject to disciplinary proceedings for using non-official e-mail accounts to conduct official business since January 20, 2009?” the final question from Issa to Clinton reads. “If so, please provide a list of names, dates of proceedings, and final outcomes.”
An identical version of Issa’s letter to Clinton was also sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Attorney General Eric Holder, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, NASA administrator Charles Bolden, GSA administrator Daniel Tangherlini, Small Business Administration administrator Karen Mills, and Office of Management and Budget director Jeffrey Zients.
At this time, it is unclear if any other of the agencies responded to Issa’s inquiry. But thanks to a New York Times report from Michael S. Schmidt on Tuesday evening, it is now known that the State Department – through Thomas B. Gibbons, the acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs – responded to Issa’s letter after Clinton left office.
Clinton resigned from the State Department on Feb. 1, 2013 – as Schmidt wrote on Tuesday evening, “seven weeks after the letter [from Issa] was sent to her.”
Gibbons waited several more weeks, until March 27, 2013, to respond to Issa’s letter on the State Department’s behalf. Gibbons did not answer in that letter whether Clinton used a personal email address, and it’s unclear based on the Times report – which does not include the full text of the letter Gibbons sent back to Issa – how specific he was in answering any of the other questions Issa had for Clinton and her State Department.
“When Mr. Issa received a response from the State Department on March 27, all he got was a description of the department’s email policies,” Schmidt wrote.
From the two sections of the letter Schmidt did quote in his piece, however, it is clear that Clinton was in violation of the State Department policy that employees should not be using personal email addresses to conduct official business.
Any employee who had a personal account, Gibbons wrote in the letter according to Schmidt’s report, “should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.”
Gibbons added, according to Schmidt, that “employees may use personal email on personal time for matters not directly related to official business, and any employee using personal email ‘should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.’”
Schmidt also paraphrased another portion Gibbons’ letter by writing that the “State Department offered training on its record management programs to its employees.”
State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach on Tuesday, Schmidt wrote, “declined” to “answer questions about why it had not addressed Mr. Issa’s question about whether Mrs. Clinton or senior officials used personal email accounts.”
“The department responds to thousands of congressional inquiries and requests for information each year,” Gerlach told Schmidt instead of answering specific questions. “In its March 2013 letter, the department responded to the House Oversight Committee’s inquiry into the department’s ‘policies and practices regarding the use of personal email and other forms of electronic communications’ with a letter that described those policies in detail.”
There are several major takeaways from this development, as it breathes brand new life into the scandal rocking Clinton as she just launched her 2016 presidential campaign this week.
The first is that she was clearly aware that her private email account was a serious issue as far back as during her time at the State Department.
Secondly, she deliberately decided to not respond to the inquiry – waiting for officials at the State Department to do so well after she resigned, and even further after the deadline for a response. The actual deadline was Jan. 7, 2013.
The third major takeaway is that after Clinton was made aware this was an issue, she deleted upwards of 30,000 emails that she or her staff deemed to be private and not government-related. Since the full text of Gibbons’ response to Issa at this time is unavailable, it’s unclear what the official policy was – according to him – for preserving or archiving such records, or ensuring as Issa put it proper categorization of such messages.
At her widely panned press conference at the United Nations last month, Clinton herself claimed that it is a government official’s personal responsibility to determine what messages are worthy of keeping records of and which ones are not.
“In going through the emails, there were over 60,000 in total, sent and received. About half were work-related and went to the State Department and about half were personal that were not in any way related to my work,” she said in response to a question about that angle of the scandal. “I had no reason to save them, but that was my decision because the federal guidelines are clear and the State Department request was clear. For any government employee, it is that government employee’s responsibility to determine what’s personal and what’s work-related. I am very confident of the process that we conducted and the e-mails that were produced. And I feel like once the American public begins to see the e- mails, they will have an unprecedented insight into a high government official’s daily communications, which I think will be quite interesting.”
It’s absolutely clear at this time, however, that she deleted emails after receiving Issa’s inquiry.
In fact, in a document released in early March 2015 – in response to the widespread media scrutiny she was receiving – the “Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton” made clear the decisions about which emails to delete and which ones to keep was made after a 2014 correspondence with senior State Department officials, well after Issa’s letter.
“Following conversations with Department officials and in response to the Department’s October 28, 2014 letter to former Secretaries requesting assistance in meeting the Department’s record-keeping requirements, Secretary Clinton directed her attorneys to assist by identifying and preserving all emails that could potentially be federal records,” the Clinton document reads. “This entailed a multi-step process to provide printed copies of the Secretary’s work-related emails to the Department, erring on the side of including anything that might potentially be a federal record. As the State Department has said, Secretary Clinton was the first to respond to this letter.”
Kurt Bardella, a former senior adviser to Issa when he was chairman of the committee–who, in the interest of full disclosure, now serves as a communications aide for Breitbart News Network–but served with Issa at the time this letter was sent to Clinton, said there are more questions than answers that are coming from this development.
“The fact is in December of 2012, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was directly asked if she used a private e-mail account,” Bardella said. “Why did the State Department wait until after Secretary Clinton left office to respond to the Issa letter? Were Secretary Clinton’s efforts to deliberately conceal her official activities through use of her private e-mail prompted by then-Chairman Issa’s request? As is status-quo with the Clintons, there are far more questions than answers and it’s likely that these revelations of her secrecy are just the tip of the iceberg.”
Clinton has been oddly secretive in her first few days as a presidential candidate. In an interview with Breitbart News earlier on Tuesday, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus argued that Clinton’s campaign rollout has been deliberately underwhelming, and she is “hiding” because she is afraid of answering any real questions from press or voters about her email scandal.
“The reason why she didn’t give a speech is because she can’t avail herself to the media,” Priebus said. “She cannot get herself in a situation where she’s going to have to deal with a question about Benghazi or about the emails or about her speeches or about the Clinton Foundation or about her disastrous tenure as Secretary of State. She wants to be able to have a few days and a couple weeks of peace and change the subject from what’s been plaguing her and the only way she can do that is by hiding and that’s what she’s doing: Hiding.”
The IRS admitted this week to leaking the National Organization for Marriage‘s confidential information to far left groups.
The IRS will pay the National Organization for Marriage $50,000.
The conservative group National Organization of Marriage accused the IRS of leaking documents to the Obama Campaign in 2012. A top Obama campaign official Joe Solomese used the information to attack Mitt Romney during the 2012 election. The Huffington Post used the leaked documents in a story questioning former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s support for traditional marriage. The document showed Romney donated $10,000 to NOM.
The IRS agreed this week to pay only $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage after leaking confidential information to a leading gay marriage group.
Two years after activists for same-sex marriage obtained the confidential tax return and donor list of a national group opposed to redefining marriage, the Internal Revenue Service has admitted wrongdoing and agreed to settle the resulting lawsuit.
The Daily Signal has learned that, under a consent judgment today, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information to a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, that is NOM’s chief political rival.
“Congress made the disclosure of confidential tax return information a serious matter for a reason,” NOM Chairman John D. Eastman told The Daily Signal. “We’re delighted that the IRS has now been held accountable for the illegal disclosure of our list of major donors from our tax return.”
The Daily Signal is seeking comment on the settlement from the IRS and Justice Department.
In his order entered this morning, District Judge James C. Cacheris granted the settlement of NOM’s suit against the IRS, which was represented by the Department of Justice.
In February 2012, the Human Rights Campaign posted on its web site NOM’s 2008 tax return and the names and contact information of the marriage group’s major donors, including soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That information then was published by the Huffington Post and other liberal-leaning news sites.
HRC’s president at the time, Joe Solmonese, was tapped that same month as a national co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
NOM released this statement today.
“It has been a long and arduous process to hold the IRS accountable for their illegal release of our confidential tax return and donor list, which was ultimately given to our chief political rival by the recipient,” said John Eastman, NOM’s chairman and a member of the ActRight legal Foundation team that brought the lawsuit against the IRS on NOM’s behalf in October, 2013. “In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information. Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information.”
NOM said that an investigation revealed that its 2008 tax return and list of major donors was released to Matthew Meisel, a gay activist in Boston, MA. Email correspondence from Meisel revealed that he told a colleague that he had “a conduit” to obtain NOM’s confidential information. While testifying under oath in a deposition in the litigation, Meisel invoked the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination and refused to disclose the identity of his conduit. Documents obtained during the litigation prove that Meisel then provided NOM’s tax data to the Human Rights Campaign (whose president was a national Co-Chair of the Obama Reelection Campaign). The information was also published by the Huffington Post.
A million dollar donor to Obama’s 2012 campaign and 14 of his affiliates have been indicted for involuntary manslaughter and fraud but you probably won’t hear about it much in the mainstream media.
Here’s a local report:
Eric Lach of Talking Points Memo has followed the donor for a long time:
A California grand jury has indicted Kareem Ahmed, a major donor to President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and 15 of Ahmed’s associates in an alleged multimillion-dollar insurance kickback scheme.
Ahmed, the president and CEO of a company called Landmark Medical Management, is accused of masterminding the scheme and faces charges including conspiracy, insurance fraud, and, most dramatically, involuntary manslaughter, according to one of two sealed indictments issued by an Orange County grand jury both dated June 17 and obtained this week by TPM.
The first of the two indictments accused Ahmed of developing topical cream formulas “based on the profitability of the ingredients,” and then giving doctors who treated workers’ compensation patients illegal financial incentives to prescribe the creams. The scheme, which ran from 2009-2013, also involved filing false claims with multiple insurance companies, the nine-count indictment alleges.
In an earlier report, Lach said that Ahmed told him, “I have the White House on notice,” when he found out the reporter was going to write an article about him, long before any indictment came down. Nice friends you got there, Obama.
Notice also the sweet photo of Ahmed with Michelle Obama:
Apparently they are not on the “path to defeat,” who knew?
WASHINGTON (AP) – A surge in the number of aggressive al-Qaida affiliates and like-minded groups the Middle East and North Africa poses a serious threat to U.S. interests and allies, the State Department said Wednesday in reporting a more than 40 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide between 2012 and 2013.
The department also singled out Iran as a major state sponsor of terrorism that continues to defy demands it prove its atomic ambitions are peaceful even as Washington pursues negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.
In its annual global terrorism report, the department said that losses in al-Qaida’s core leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan “accelerated” the network’s decentralization in 2013. That has resulted in more autonomous and more aggressive affiliates, notably in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, northwest Africa, and Somalia, it said.
“The terrorist threat continued to evolve rapidly in 2013, with an increasing number of groups around the world – including both AQ affiliates and other terrorist organizations – posing a threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests,” according to the strategic assessment of the “Country Reports on Terrorism.”
The report identified a 43 percent increase in the number of terrorist attacks in 2013 from 2012, according to statistics provided by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
FLASHBACK November 1, 2012: Obama Has Touted Al Qaeda’s Demise 32 Times Since Benghazi Attack – CNS
President Barack Obama has described al Qaeda as having been “decimated,” “on the path to defeat” or some other variation at least 32 times since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to White House transcripts.
This comes despite Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magarief, members of Congress, an administration spokesperson, and several press reports suggesting that al Qaeda played a role in the attack.
Recently, on Nov. 1 in Green Bay, Wis., Obama said, “Thanks to sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.
Fox News reported Monday about an Aug. 15 emergency meeting of personnel at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi over concerns of al Qaeda training camps in the area.
An Aug. 16 cable from Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed on Sept. 11, was sent to the Office of the Secretary of State and briefed on the emergency meeting, saying, “on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi… these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia to Takfirist thugs,” Fox News reported the communication as saying.
One day after the Benghazi attack that occurred on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Obama spoke at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Sept. 12.
“A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead,” Obama said in Las Vegas.
On Sept. 13 in Golden, Colo., Obama said, “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and we did. I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan – and we are. And while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” He repeated that line again on Sept. 17 in Cincinnati and again that day in Columbus, Ohio.
The next day at a fundraising event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, Obama brought up the first 9/11 and used “decimated,” indicating past tense.
“We’ve got choices about war and peace,” Obama said. “I ended the war in Iraq, as I promised. We are transitioning out of Afghanistan. We have gone after the terrorists who actually attacked us 9/11 and decimated al Qaeda.”
On Sept. 20, speaking at the University of Miami, Obama said, “We’ve decimated al Qaeda’s top leadership in the border regions around Pakistan, but in Yemen, in Libya, in other of these places – increasingly in places like Syria – what you see is these elements that don’t have the same capacity that a bin Laden or core al Qaeda had, but can still cause a lot of damage, and we’ve got to make sure that we remain vigilant and are focused on preventing them from doing us any harm.”
On Sept. 21 in Woodbridge, Va. and Sept. 23 in Milwaukee, Obama again said, “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.”
Off the campaign trail on Sept. 25, Obama spoke to the United Nations General Assembly and said, “Al Qaeda has been weakened, and Osama bin Laden is no more.”
The next day, campaigning in Bowling Green, Ohio, Obama again said, “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.” That same day at Kent State University, Obama used the same line. Obama said the same thing on Sept. 27 in Virginia Beach, Va.
On Sept. 28 at the Hilton in Washington, Obama said, “We said that we would go after al Qaeda, and they are on the run and bin Laden is dead.”
Obama went back to saying the terrorist organization was on the “path to defeat” on Sept. 30 in Las Vegas, Oct. 4 in Denver and Oct. 4 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
On Oct. 5, Obama again said, “al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is no more.”
At a fundraising event Oct. 9 in San Francisco, Obama said, “and today, al Qaeda is on its heels and Osama bin Laden is no more.” He made the same statement on Oct. 11 at the University of Miami and later that day at a campaign event at the J.W. Marriott in Miami.
On Oct. 18 in Manchester, N.H., Obama returned to the “path to defeat” line, which he repeated Oct. 19 in Fairfax, Va.
Obama said Oct. 23 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., “al Qaeda’s core leadership has been decimated.” He repeated the same line at a campaign event in Delray Beach, Fla. that day.
That day in Dayton, Ohio, Obama said, “That’s why, working with Joe Biden and our national security team, we’ve been able to decimate al Qaeda.”
By Oct. 24, he returned to the dominant “path to defeat” theme, before going back to “decimated” the next day in Cleveland, where the president said, “I said we’d refocus on the terrorists who actually carried out the 9/11 attacks – and al Qaeda is decimated and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
Obama returned to Las Vegas to again say “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.” He said the same thing Oct. 25 in Richmond, Va., again that day in Tampa and on Oct. 27 in Nashua, N.H.
But officials from the United States and Libya have suggested they believe al Qaeda was involved in the deadly Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Stevens.
During a Sept. 16 interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” host Bob Schieffer asked Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magarief, “And you believe that this was the work of al Qaeda and you believe that it was led by foreigners. Is that – is that what you are telling us?”
Mohamed Yousef El-Magarief responded, “It was planned – definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who – who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their – since their arrival.”
Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the director of National Intelligence, said on Sept. 28, “It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate. However, we do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”
A Congressional Research Service Report on Oct. 18, said, “Libyan General National Congress President Mohammed Yusuf al Magariaf has linked Al Qaeda to the attacks in interviews and stated his view that the attacks were planned to correspond with September 11 and avenge Al Libi’s death. Al Qaeda’s regional affiliate-Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)-released a statement praising the September 11, 2012 attack, but did not claim credit for planning or helping to execute it.”
In the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, “One program would support the creation of Libyan Special Operations Forces ‘to conduct special operations missions, including counterterrorism operations to fight Al Qaeda and its affiliates,’” the CRS report said. The Obama administration budget was defeated in both the House and Senate earlier this year.
Several members of Congress have cited al Qaeda’s involvement with the attack.
A letter from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) to President Obama on Sept. 25, said, “Furthermore, last May an al Qaeda affiliated terror cell, the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades, claimed responsibility for an attack on the International Red Cross office in Benghazi.”
On Oct. 11, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“According to public reports, in the hours following the attack, U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications from jihadists affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia and members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate,” King wrote. “The intercepts reportedly indicated Ansar al Sharia jihadists conspired with AQIM in the attack and acted as subordinates to mid-level AQIM members during the operation.”
House Foreign Relations Committee Chairwoman Ilema Ros-Lehtinen (R- Fla.) wrote an Oct. 15 letter to Clinton.
“Moreover, it remains problematic that the security concerns of diplomats in the field may go unheeded by the State Department. Recent news reports indicate that Ambassador Christopher Stevens had expressed concern about security threats in Benghazi as attacks on Western targets increased and his name along with those of certain Western European ambassadors, appeared on an al Qaeda hit list,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote.
A Sept. 27 Washington Post story headlined, “Attack on U.S. Consulate in Libya determined to be terrorism tied to al Qaeda,” quoted an unnamed U.S. intelligence official saying, “There are people who at least have some association with AQIM,” but added, “It’s not so direct that you would say AQIM as an organization planned and carried this out.”
The North Carolina State Board of Elections has found thousands of instances of voter fraud in the state, thanks to a 28-state crosscheck of voter rolls. Initial findings suggest widespread election fraud.
765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.
35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.
155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.
The second point is key, as double voting is election fraud under state and federal statutes. Punishment for double voting in federal elections can include jail time.
In October 2012, Project Veritas produced video showing a Barack Obama campaign worker helping a voter register to vote in both Texas and Florida.
The Interstate Crosscheck examines 101 million voter records in more than two dozen participating states.
The findings, while large, leave open the question of just how widespread double voting might be since 22 states did not participate in the Interstate Crosscheck.
In addition to the above, the crosscheck found that more than 13,000 deceased voters remain on North Carolina’s rolls, and that 81 of them showed voter activity in their records after death.
North Carolina officials are now calling for tighter election security.
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply – raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline – from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September – might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.
Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.
And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee – that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.
“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.
The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.
Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.
Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews – meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.
Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I’m told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.
Philadelphia filled the gap with fake interviews.
“It was a phone conversation – I forget the exact words – but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told me.
Census, under contract from the Labor Department, conducts the household survey used to tabulate the unemployment rate.
Interviews with some 60,000 household go into each month’s jobless number, which currently stands at 7.3 percent. Since this is considered a scientific poll, each one of the households interviewed represents 5,000 homes in the US.
Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said.
By making up survey results – and, essentially, creating people out of thin air and giving them jobs – Buckmon’s actions could have lowered the jobless rate.
Buckmon said he filled out surveys for people he couldn’t reach by phone or who didn’t answer their doors.
But, Buckmon says, he was never told how to answer the questions about whether these nonexistent people were employed or not, looking for work, or have given up.
But people who know how the survey works say that simply by creating people and filling out surveys in their name would boost the number of folks reported as employed.
Census never publicly disclosed the falsification. Nor did it inform Labor that its data was tainted.
“Yes, absolutely they should have told us,” said a Labor spokesman. “It would be normal procedure to notify us if there is a problem with data collection.”
Census appears to have looked into only a handful of instances of falsification by Buckmon, although more than a dozen instances were reported, according to internal documents.
In one document from the probe, Program Coordinator Joal Crosby was ask in 2010, “Why was the suspected… possible data falsification on all (underscored) other survey work for which data falsification was suspected not investigated by the region?”
On one document seen by The Post, Crosby hand-wrote the answer: “Unable to determine why an investigation was not done for CPS,” or the Current Population Survey – the official name for the unemployment report.
With regard to the Consumer Expenditure survey, only four instances of falsification were looked into, while 14 were reported.
I’ve been suspicious of the Census Bureau for a long time.
During the 2010 Census report – an enormous and costly survey of the entire country that goes on for a full year – I suspected (and wrote in a number of columns) that Census was inexplicably hiring and firing temporary workers.
I suspected that this turnover of employees was being done purposely to boost the number of new jobs being report each month. (The Labor Department does not use the Census Bureau for its other monthly survey of new jobs – commonly referred to as the Establishment Survey.)
Last week I offered to give all the information I have, including names, dates and charges to Labor’s inspector general.
I’m waiting to hear back from Labor.
I hope the next stop will be Congress, since manipulation of data like this not only gives voters the wrong impression of the economy but also leads lawmakers, the Federal Reserve and companies to make uninformed decisions.
To cite just one instance, the Fed is targeting the curtailment of its so-called quantitative easing money-printing/bond-buying fiasco to the unemployment rate for which Census provided the false information.
So falsifying this would, in essence, have dire consequences for the country.
The big drop in the unemployment rate a month before the presidential election brought cries of disbelief and conspiracy theories from Jack Welch and other critics of the Obama administration Friday. But the Labor Department was quick to dismiss such claims.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers… these Chicago guys will do anything… can’t debate so change numbers,” tweeted Welch, the former CEO of General Electric (GE, Fortune 500).
Welch did not respond to a request for further comment. In an interview later in the day on MSNBC, he admitted that he had no evidence that the jobs numbers were manipulated, but said they “defy logic.”
The unemployment rate fell to 7.8% in September, down from 8.1% a month earlier. The drop was due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ survey of households showing that 873,000 more people had jobs than in the previous month. That was the biggest one-month gain in more than nine years.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis criticized the conspiracy theories Friday.
“This is a methodology that’s been used for decades. And it is insulting when you hear people just cavalierly say that somehow we’re manipulating numbers,” Solis told CNN’s Richard Quest.
Welch wasn’t alone in raising questions about the jobs numbers.
Americans for Limited Government, a conservative group that has been a steady critic of the Obama administration, issued a statement that said the numbers the BLS “used to calculate the unemployment rate are wrong, or worse manipulated. Given that these numbers conveniently meet Obama’s campaign promises one month before the election, the conclusions are obvious. Anyone who takes this unemployment report serious is either naive or a paid Obama campaign adviser.”
iReport: Are you reluctantly taking a part-time job?
Conn Carroll, a senior writer at the conservative Washington Examiner suggested a slightly less nefarious form of manipulation of the data.
“I don’t think BLS cooked numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect,” he tweeted. “Would love to see the partisan breakdown of the 873,000 Americans who say they got new jobs.”
BLS denied there was any manipulation of the data or anything out of the ordinary about the unemployment rate calculation.
“No political appointee is involved in the collecting, processing and analyzing of the data,” said Thomas Nardone, the associate commissioner for employment and unemployment statistics.
Nardone said the Council of Economic Advisers doesn’t get the numbers until Thursday afternoon, and that the Secretary of Labor he rself doesn’t see them until Friday morning.
Even some conservative economists defended the BLS’s integrity and legitimacy of the numbers.
“The jobs #’s may look fishy to some, but if you step back, it’s just a plow horse economy lumbering along,” tweeted Brian Wesbury, chief economist at First Trust.
H/T The Daily Caller
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
Was it preventable? A senior Saudi official says his country warned the U.S. about Tamerlane Tsarnaev in 2012, advising the federal government that he planned an attack on a major U.S. city
Did she know? Janet Napolitano (R) sits atop the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that allegedly received a detailed letter from the Saudi kingdom about Tsarnaev (L) and three Pakistani jihadis
The Saudis’ warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government. ‘It was very specific’ and warned that ‘something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,’ the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.
It ‘did name Tamerlan specifically,’ he added. The ‘government-to-government’ letter, which he said was sent to the Department of Homeland Security at the highest level, did not name Boston or suggest a date for his planned attack.
If true, the account will produce added pressure on the Homeland Security department and the White House to explain their collective inaction after similar warnings were offered about Tsarnaev by the Russian government.
A DHS official denied, however, that the agency received any such warning from Saudi intelligence about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
‘DHS has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi government regarding information on the suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombing prior to the attack,’ MailOnline learned from one Homeland Security official who declined to be named in this report.
The White House took a similar view. ‘We and other relevant U.S. government agencies have no record of such a letter being received,’ said Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the president’s National Security Council.
As many as 4 million Muslims make pilgrimages annually to the Grand mosque in the city of Mecca. Tsarnaev sought to join them for an ‘Umrah’ journey, a trip that happens outside of the month reserved for the annual Hajj
The letter likely came to DHS via the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the agency tasked with protecting the Saudi kingdom’s homeland.
A Homeland Security official confirmed Tuesday evening on the condition of anonymity that the 2012 letter exists, saying he had heard of the Saudi communication before MailOnline inquired about it.
An aide to a Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee speculated Tuesday about why the Obama administration contradicted the knowledgeable Saudi official.
‘It is possible the Department of Homeland Security received the information from the Saudi government but never passed it on to the White House,’ the GOP staffer said. ‘Communication between DHS and the White House’s national security apparatus isn’t always what it should be.’
‘I can easily see it happening where one hand didn’t know what the other was doing because of a turf war.’
‘Just like the different agencies in the Boston JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force] want credit for breaking the Tsarnaev case,’ the aide added, ‘they sometimes jealously guard the very intel they should be sharing the most freely. Sometimes it makes no sense at all.’
Obama said Tuesday that an inter-agency review would leave no stone unturned in an effort to learn whether government agencies could have done more to prevent the Boston bombings
House Homeland Security Committee chairman Mike McCaul plans to announce on Wednesday an investigative hearing to probe what U.S. intelligence knew prior to the Boston attacks, two senior Republican sources told MailOnline.
Separately, President Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. government will launch a wide-ranging inquiry into the sharing of information among the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies of the federal government.
‘We want to leave no stone unturned,’ the president said in a rare White House press conference.
The internal review will be led by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and several inspectors general.
‘This is not an investigation,’ Clapper’s spokesman Shawn Turner said in a prepared statement. ‘This is an independent review of information-sharing procedures. It is limited to the handling of information related to the suspects prior to the attack.’
It is not yet clear whether information from Saudi Arabia will be involved in Clapper’s inter-agency review.
Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the three people killed in the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15
Chaos: The bombing left thousands running for their lives and sent more than 200 to hospitals, including some whose limbs were torn off their bodies by the force of the blasts
Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz appeared on CNN Tuesday afternoon, upbraiding the Obama administration for presuming that the federal government’s handling of intelligence prior to the Boston bombings was appropriate and effective.
‘As soon as the bombing happened we had officials, locally and from the feds, saying, “Oh, this was an isolated case, there was just one person involved.” We didn’t know that,’ Chaffetz said.
The ‘starting point’ for a federal investigation, he said, must be, ‘This is unacceptable, we will not stand for it, we will get to the bottom of it, and we will not rest until we figure it out.’
‘Mr. President,’ he said, addressing Obama, ‘the starting point should be an intolerance that this thing happened.’
GOP momentum? House Homeland Security Committee chair Mike McCaul (L) plans to convene a hearing to investigate the government’s failure to prevent the Boston bombings. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), who serves on that committee, said on CNN that an inquiry should not presume all is well
The high-ranking Saudi official whom MailOnlne interviewed at length provided a wealth of detail about the warning he says his government sent to the United States. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk publicly about foreign intelligence, or about Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic relationship with the United States.
He suggested that the Saudi Ministry of Interior sent the letter out of an abundance of caution in order to be helpful to the United States, even though its intelligence on Tsarnaev wasn’t yet fully developed.
‘With Saudi Arabia it’s always code red,’ he said. ‘There’s no code orange, or code yellow. Always red.’
The Saudi government, he added, alerted the U.S. in part because it believed American authorities should be inspecting packages that came to Tsarnaev in the mail in order to search for bomb-making components.
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz (L) met with President Obama in January. His counterpart in the Saudi foreign ministry, Prince Saud bin al-Faisal (R), had an unscheduled meeting with Obama in the Oval Office just two days after the Boston bombings
The written warning also allegedly named three Pakistanis who may be of interest to British authorities. The official declined to provide more details about the warning to the UK, but said the two governments received the same information.
The Ministry of Interior, he said, sent the letters in 2012, likely after Tsarnaev returned from Russia to the United States in July.
President Barack Obama’s published schedule indicates that he met in the Oval Office with Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Interior minister, on January 14, 2013.
The Saudis denied Tsarnaev entry to the kingdom when he sought to travel to Mecca in December 2011 for a pilgrimage known as an Umrah – one that is undertaken during months that don’t fall within the regular Hajj period of the year.
That rejected application came one month before he traveled to Russia, where U.S. intelligence sources believe he acquired training enabling him to construct and detonate the bombs that he and his younger brother placed hear the Boston Marathon’s finish line.
The younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is in federal custody at a prison medical facility.
Celebration turned to mourning on April 15 after Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar allegedly detonated two powerful bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 200
The Saudi official speculated that Tsarnaev’s residence in the United States might have made it more difficult for him to gain entry into the kingdom.
‘U.S.-based Muslims who become radicalized and want to visit Mecca create an unusual problem,’ he said, compelling the Saudi government ‘to carefully examine applications.’
In the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal met with Secretary of State John Kerry on April 16, and then had an unscheduled meeting with President Obama on April 17.
‘This is the DNA of the Saudi government,’ said the Saudi official, referring to officials in the royal court in Riyadh. ‘This is how they work. They sent the letter, but that wasn’t enough. They then sent the top guy to meet personally with the president.’
He dismissed the idea that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was likely trained by al Qaeda while he was outside the United States last year.
The Saudis’ Yemen-based sources, he explained, said militants referred to Tamerlan dismissively as ‘the volunteer.’
‘He was a gung-ho, self motivated jihadi who wasn’t tasked by a larger group,’ he said.
‘There is no reason for anyone in Afghanistan to have in his thinking a scenario like this,’ the official added, referring to pressure-cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon. ‘He took the initiative. That’s why they call him “the volunteer.”‘
‘The Boston thing is beneath them,’ he said of al Qaeda. ‘They don’t think like this. This is like a firecracker to them. They want something big.’
Richard Reid (L) was apprehended after a failed attempt to blow up an airliner with bombs concealed in his shoes. The Saudi government provided specific intelligence about Reid to the U.S., and now it has been revealed that they wrote to the American government about Tamerlan Tsarnaev (R) in 2012
Tamerlan may have boasted about his plans online, the Saudi official said, offering an explanation for how Yemen-based sources first learned of him. Islamist militants have well-developed social networks that can enable news to migrate quickly across vast distances.
The Saudi government sometimes tracks such radicals by launching fake jihadi websites to attract extremists. The Ministry of Interior then tracks them electronically, often across the world, and shares information with governments it considers friendly, including the United States.
‘The Saudi Arabian government is doing everything it can to wipe out these people and treat America as a true friend,’ the official said.
The Saudi intelligence services have a long history of providing credible information to America and Great Britain about looming threats.
‘This is the fourth time the Saudi Arabian government has given the U.S. specific intel’ about a possible terror plot, the official said, citing prior warnings about Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber who repeatedly tried to light a fuse in his shoe to bring down American Airlines flight 63 bound for Miami in December 2001.
He also cited the 300-gram ‘ink-cartridge bombs’ planted on two cargo planes headed for the United States from Yemen in October 2010. Those explosives were intercepted in Dubai, and at an East Midlands airport in Great Britain.
The terror: A Boston firefighter carried an injured girl away from the scene after the Boston Marathon bombings. In all, Tsarnaev is believed to have killed three Americans, including an eight-year-old boy
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s namesake was a 15-century Central Asian warlord who referred to himself as ‘the sword of Islam.’ Sometimes spelled ‘Tamerlane’ in English, he was known for his cruelty.
When he conquered Baghdad, he reportedly made a pyramid of human skulls from unfortunate residents of that city.
Although still revered in Chechnya and throughout Central Asia, the original Tamerlane is sometimes vilified in modern-day Saudi textbooks.
The federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, which takes in money via a federal payroll tax and pays it out in disability benefits, ran a record $31.2 billion deficit in calendar year 2012, according to the Social Security Administration.
That means the trust fund has run a deficit in each of the first four years of the Obama presidency.
For fifteen straight years before Obama took office – from 1994 through 2008 – the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran a surplus. In 2007, for example, it ran an $11 billion surplus and in 2008 it ran an $889-million surplus.
In 2009, however, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund dipped into the red and has not returned to the black since then. In fact, each year since then the annual deficit has increased.
In 2009, the disability trust fund ran a $12.2 billion deficit; in 2010, it ran a $23.6 billion deficit; in 2011, it ran a $26.1 billion deficit; and in 2012, it ran a $31.2 billion deficit.
These deficits in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund have coincided with a massive run-up in the number of American workers taking federal disability payments.
In January 2009, when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, 7,442,377 workers took disability payments, according to data published by the Social Security Administration. In March 2013, 8,853,614 took disability payments. The 1,411,337 additional workers taking federal disability payments since Obama took office represents an increase of about 19 percent in the number of Americans claiming a disability.
Employed workers pay a 0.9 percent payroll tax for federal disability insurance and their employers pay an additional 0.9 percent. Self-employed workers pay the entire 1.8 percent themselves.
The aggregated revenue from the disability payroll tax is counted by the government as the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. When the value of the disability benefits paid by the government exceeds the value of the disability tax revenue received by the government, the trust fund runs a deficit.
The U.S. Treasury needs to borrow money–and increase the federal debt – to fund disability payments that exceed disability payroll taxes. As of the close of business on Tuesday, the federal debt equaled $16,804,876,955,116.78 – or about $146,090 for each of the 115,031,000 households the Census Bureau now estimates there are in the United States.
The Obama disaster continues…
Democrats must be very proud.
The Obama economy grew by a pathetic 0.4% in the final quarter of 2012.
The AP reported:
The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster but still anemic rate at the end of last year. However, there is hope that growth accelerated in early 2013 despite higher taxes and cuts in government spending.
The economy grew at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was slightly better than the previous estimate of 0.1 percent growth. The revision reflected stronger business investment and export sales.
Analysts think the economy is growing at a rate of around 2.5 percent in the current January-March quarter, which ends this week.
Steady hiring has kept consumers spending this year. And a rebound in company stockpiling, further gains in housing and more business spending also likely drove faster growth in the first quarter.
The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance program paid out $10.3 billion in benefits in 2012 to people who should not have received the money, according to the Department of Labor (DOL).
The data provided on the government website, paymentaccuracy.gov, shows those payments amount to 11.42 percent of all the unemployment insurance checks handed out – an increase from 11.36 percent in 2011 and in excess of the government’s “target” for overpayments of 9.66 percent.
The DOL states that most of the data reported on its paymentaccuracy website was for the federal government’s fiscal year, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, but that some data may have come from calendar year tabulations, which is why the department “used the term fiscal reporting year to best describe the time period in which the most current information was reported.”
The data also show that improper unemployment insurance payments increased steadily between 2009 and 2012, from 10.3 percent to 12 percent, respectively.
That percentage dropped 0.6 percent between 2011 (12 percent) and 2012 (11.4 percent), according to the DOL, which consequently forecasts that improper payments will fall below 10 percent in 2013 and 2014.
As reported by CNSNews.com, statistics released by DOL show that of the $10.3 billion in improper payments, the states improperly paid more than $5 billion for the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. (See DOL spread sheet on states payments.xls)
The “program contents” portion of the website states that 70 percent of the $10.3 billion that was paid out in 2012 was done so through one of three scenarios: “individuals did not meet their active work search requirements, continued to claim UI benefits after they had returned to work, or were ineligible for benefits because they voluntarily quit their jobs or were discharged for misconduct.”
An estimated 2.85 percent of state and federal improper unemployment payments were the result of fraud, according to the DOL.
The government website states that unemployment “helps cushion the impact of economic downturns and brings economic stability to communities, states, and the nation by providing temporary income support for laid off workers.”
The website also promotes the government’s efforts to end this trend.
“The reduction of improper payments in the UI program is a top priority of the Department of Labor,” the website states.
And the government is spending more money to that end.
“In fiscal year 2012 the Department awarded $169.9 million in supplemental funding to 33 states for the prevention, detection, and recovery of improper UI benefit payments; improve state performance; address outdated Information Technology (IT) system infrastructures necessary to improve UI program integrity; and enable states to expand or implement Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) programs,” the website states.
There were 405 Coalition deaths in Afghanistan in 2012. 310 of the 405 deaths were Americans.
Meanwhile in Chicago…
There were 532 homicides in 2012.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel 72% of U.S. Casualties in Afghan War Under Obama’s Watchx, in part, to the broader problem of illegal guns.
A police officer leaves Noah Foods December 28, 2012 in Chicago, Ill. Nathaniel Jackson, believed to be the 500th murder victim of the year in Chicago, was shot in the head and killed outside the store on December 27. (NY Daily News)
Instapundit points to this bit of happy news culled from John Hanger, a Democrat who is running for governonr of Pennsylvania, where has been secretary of the state department of the environment and a commissioner of the public utility commission:
U.S. energy related carbon emissions in 2012 will fall below 5,300 million tons or down about 12%, compared to the peak emissions of 6,023 million tons in 2007. Through this September, carbon emissions have been down every month in 2012, when compared to each of the first 9 months of 2011 and 2010. No other country matches that record. http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec12_3.pdf.
U.S. GDP has grown every quarter since July 1, 2009, and today our economy is bigger than it was in 2007, the peak carbon emission year. Yet, even with an economy in 2012 that is bigger than in 2007, our carbon emissions will be 12% lower than they were in 2007…
Only the USA has had a shale gas boom and only the USA has cut substantially its carbon emissions since 2006… the shale gas boom substantially decreased US carbon emissions. Moreover, US electricity prices in 2012 have barely increased and natural gas prices have plummeted.
Hanger further notes that the U.S. is at around 1995 levels for energy-related carbon emissions. And note that lower emissions aren’t simply an artifact of the rotten economy (which however bad it is is larger than in 2007).
The shale gas boom is a product of fracking, a technology which has not only been around for decades but has apparently been found to be safe in a controversial and not-officially-released analysis prepared for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has been sitting on the report while deciding whether to allow expansive fracking in the Empire State.
Back in 2011 – long before Matt Damon’s anti-fracking movie Promised Land was even a glimmer in the bank account of eventual funders in the oil-rich UAE – Reason’s Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey explained fracking (including how much greens used to love it until its success and safety record starting imperiling interest in subsidizing solar and wind tech).
Honorable Mentions: Bill Ayers, Bob Beckel, Joy Behar, Eric Boehlert, Margaret Cho, Candy Crowley, Code Pink, Lena Dunham, Dianne Feinstein, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Kathy Griffin, Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson, Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Bill Press, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Jon Stewart, and Jeremiah Wright.
20) Chris Hayes: He’s a smarmy, politically correct beta male who would probably be irritating even if he wasn’t talking about politics. If you had to pick the MSNBC host most likely to hold Rachel Maddow’s purse while she shops, it would be Hayes.
Defining quote: “(It’s) very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words ‘heroes.’ I feel… uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.” – Chris Hayes
19) Mike Malloy: He’s one of the biggest liberal radio hosts, which is kind of like being one of the world’s fastest Sumo wrestlers. That begs the question: If Malloy says something insane and no one hears it, should we care?
Defining quote: “These teabag bastards, who by the way, I just wish they would all go away, or like in Passover, I just wish there was an angel of the Lord that would pass over, instead of killing the first born in all the households of Egypt, just wipe out all the teabaggers. Just, you know, the terrible swift sword, just (Malloy emulates sound of sword cutting repeatedly through the air) lop their heads off.” – Mike Malloy
18) Meghan McCain: The GOP and Meghan McCain have the same sort of great love we’ve seen between Chris Brown and Rihanna. Who’d have ever thought that the Republican Party’s pale imitation of Paris Hilton would still hate us after all this time besides – well, everybody?
Defining Quote: “…I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting for change from inside the Republican Party… If I don’t see some changes in the next four years, I’m going to consider registering as an Independent in 2016.” – Megan McCain
17) Joe Biden: Crazy Uncle Joe showed his nasty side this year in his weird, ugly debate performance against Paul Ryan. He also accused Republicans of wanting to bring back slavery, perhaps because, Joe being Joe, he doesn’t know that the GOP has always been against slavery while he’s a member of the party that went to war to keep it in place.
Defining quote: “They want to put y’all back in chains!” – Joe Biden
16) Melissa Harris-Perry: She’s a fine example of how far someone with no common sense, no appreciable talent and nothing of interest to say can rise on the Left as long as she’s willing to obsess over race. Thanks for making her famous enough to be on this list, MSNBC!
Defining Quote: “The land on which they [the Founders] formed this Union was stolen. The hands with which they built this nation were enslaved. The women who birthed the citizens of the nation are second class… This is the imperfect fabric of our nation, at times we’ve torn and stained it, and at other moments, we mend and repair it. But it’s ours, all of it. The imperialism, the genocide, the slavery, also the liberation and the hope and the deeply American belief that our best days still lie ahead of us.” – Melissa Harris-Perry
15) Piers Morgan: Yes, there’s nothing that Americans love more than snobby Brits coming over to our country to tell us Yanks how we’re not living up to the high standard of “Soccer Hooligan Land”. Maybe that’s part of the reason more than 102,000 Americans have signed a petition asking that Piers Morgan be deported (If only!).
Defining quote: “President Bush used to talk about the jobs Americans can’t do, why do we need to bring in some snooty foreigner with some annoying accent to just go on and tell Americans everything. Can’t Americans point out what’s wrong with their country on their own? Has it come to this – that we’ve got to import a special worker class to tell you Americans everything that sucks about America? That’s now a job for foreigners?” – Mark Steyn
14) Touré: You could replace Touré with a tape recorder that says “That’s racist” over and over and no one would notice the difference. If he was really as brilliant, sophisticated and nuanced as he obviously thinks he is, then his entire career probably wouldn’t be based on calling things “racist” on television.
Defining Quote: “That really bothered me. You notice (Romney) said anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama, the ‘otherization,’ he’s not like us. I know it’s a heavy thing, I don’t say it lightly, but this is ‘niggerization.’” – Touré
13) Elizabeth Warren: The state of Massachusetts continued its great tradition of electing the most amoral radical left-wing hack it can find by choosing Elizabeth Warren, a woman who built her academic career around being a fake Indian. On the other hand, Elizabeth Warren is the first fake Indian ever elected to the Senate; so she deserves a little credit for that.
12) Paul Krugman: At a time when there are Western European nations sliding into default and America is following in their footsteps, Krugman is the most prominent voice on the Left calling for a massive increase in spending. One day, when the country finally does go belly-up, Krugman will probably move to Belgium where he’ll declare that we went broke because our deficits weren’t big enough.
Defining quote: Paul Krugman: “If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat and inflation and budget deficits took a secondary place to that, this slump would be over in eighteen months. And then if we discovered, woops we made a mistake, there aren’t actually space aliens, we’d be a better…”
Kenneth Rogoff: “So, we need Orsen Wells is what you’re saying…”
Paul Krugman: “No, there was a Twilight Zone episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. This time we don’t need that we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus.”
11) Harry Belafonte: Belafonte is a scary dude who’d probably be putting people in camps if he were actually in charge of anything. It’s bizarre because he used to be this guy who sang happy little pop songs and now he talks like an aspiring Pol Pot.
Defining quote #1: “(Obama needs to) Work like a 3rd world dictator & just put all these guys in jail.” – Harry Belafonte on Republicans
10) The Non-Fox Media: The Mainstream Media has always been liberal, but under Barack Obama we’ve reached the point where it’s hard to tell where media ends and the Democrat campaign machine begins. You could replace most reporters at papers like the Washington Post and New York Times with Obama staffers like Jim Messina and David Axelrod and the stories wouldn’t read any differently.
Defining Quote: “When you watch the President like that, I always feel he’s got so many pluses, doesn’t he? In a sense, he’s personable, he’s handsome, he can be funny. You know, abroad he has this great image for America. A lot of things are just perfect about Barack Obama.” – Piers Morgan, CNN
9) Andrew Sullivan: Sully has gone from a widely respected commentator to an increasingly hysterical and gross conspiracy theorist. On the other hand, since he’s planning to put his site behind a pay wall, a lot less readers will be reading gems like this next year…
Defining Quote: “Palin’s tweet made me come in my pants.” – Andrew Sullivan
8) Michael Moore: Moore is a smart, talented, eloquent guy who hates our country, hates our political system, hates people who disagree with him and hates the system that made him a success, but he’s never figured out that he’d be the first guy up against the wall if he got the revolution he wants – or maybe he has figured it out and he’s just playing to the Communist-wannabe crowd. Either way, it’s amusing to see a guy who has amassed a net worth of 50 million dollars making movies catering to the Occupy crowd and railing against capitalism.
Defining Quote: “I hate to say it, but killing is our way. We began America with genocide, then built it with slaves. The shootings will continue. It’s who we are.” – Michael Moore
7) Michael Bloomberg: Bloomberg seems to spend most of his time railing against the twin evils of guns and 32 oz. sodas. He’s living proof that C.S. Lewis was right when he said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Defining quote: “Last week, Nanny Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, rivaled his own personal best for worst mayoral performance since that snowstorm a couple of years back. This is a man who spends his days micro-managing the amount of soda New Yorkers are allowed to have in their beverage containers rather than, say, the amount of ocean New Yorkers are allowed to have in their subway system – just as, in the previous crisis, the municipal titan who can regulate the salt out of your cheeseburger proved utterly incapable of regulating any salt onto Sixth Avenue. Imagine if this preening buffoon had expended as much executive energy on flood protection for the electrical grid and transit system as he does on approved quantities of carbonated beverages. But that’s leadership 21-century-style: When the going gets tough, the tough ban transfats.” – Mark Steyn
6) Jamie Foxx: While promoting his N-bomb-packed new movie Django, Jamie Foxx managed to offend Republicans, white people and Christians. Mel Gibson after a couple of bottles of wine ain’t got nothing on Jamie Foxx.
Defining quote #1: “First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama.” – Jamie Foxx
Defining quote #2: “Every single thing in my life is built around race.” – Jamie Foxx
Defining quote #3: “I play a slave. How black is that? I have to wear chains. How whack is that? But don’t worry. I get free. I save my wife and I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?” – Jamie Foxx
5) Harry Reid: On the one hand, it’s great to see that the farmer from the American Gothic painting is doing so well. On the other hand, Reid still achieved a new low in American politics (which is saying something) when he, as the Senate Majority Leader, very publicly accused Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes for a decade based on what he claimed were anonymous sources.
Defining quote: “I am not basing (the claim Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes) on some figment of my imagination. I have had a number of people tell me that. I don’t think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes.” – Harry Reid
4) Debbie Wasserman Schultz: She’s the Caps Lock key of American politics because she sounds like this all the time: “THE REPUBLICANS ARE HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD PEOPLE WHO WANT TO EAT YOUR BABY AFTER THEY FINISH THEIR WAR ON WOMEN AND THEY’RE LYING IF THEY DENY IT!” The fact that someone as utterly unappealing as Schultz is in every single way could not only be elected to Congress, but could be the Chair of the Democratic National Committee is probably a sign of the apocalypse.
Defining Quote: “If you go back to the year 2000, when we had an obvious disaster and – and saw that our voting process needed refinement, and we did that in the America Votes Act and made sure that we could iron out those kinks, now you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally – and very transparently – block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. And it’s nothing short of that blatant.” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz
3) Chris Matthews: He’s nasty to Republicans, a cringing dog when he’s dealing with powerful Democrats, habitually obnoxious – and his ratings are perpetually awful. At this point, the mystery isn’t so much, “How is he still on the air?” – it’s who in the world is watching the show?
Defining quote: “I am so proud of the country, to re-elect this President… A good day for America. I’m so glad we had that storm [Hurricane Sandy] last week, because I think the storm was one of those things – no, politically I should say, not in terms of hurting people – the storm brought in possibilities for good politics.” – Chris Matthews
2) Barack Obama: Sure, he’s dishonest, nasty, corrupt, lazy, hyper-partisan, arrogant and the most hopelessly unqualified and incompetent man ever to occupy the Oval Office – but you have to hand it to him, he’s really great at shifting the blame to other people. Michelle Obama could walk in on Bo buck naked with his secretary and within an hour, she’d be cursing George W. Bush for putting their marriage in jeopardy.
1) Sandra Fluke: It takes a certain kind of perverse skill at being a victim to ask Congress to spend thousands of dollars subsidizing your birth control, pretend to be upset when people naturally make “She’s a slut” jokes afterwards and to parlay that into a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention. Of course, since Fluke doesn’t seem to have any other talent and even most liberals seem to secretly find her a little cringeworthy, being called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh will probably turn out to be the high point of her entire life. That would to be an entirely fitting punishment for someone so perfectly obnoxious.
Defining quote: “A 30 year old ne’er do well who’s demanding that the government give her free stuff she should be paying for herself is an all too apt symbol of what Barack Obama has spent his last four years doing.” – John Hawkins
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills –
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints –
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons –
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals –
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers –
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts –
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans –
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants –
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions –
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots –
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings –
Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers –
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos –
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers –
Saint Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks –
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins –
——— 2012 Picks Record So Far ——— 186 Right – 69 Wrong ———
——— Week 16 Picks ——— 12 Right – 4 Wrong ———
——— Week 15 Picks ——— 12 Right – 4 Wrong ———
——— Week 14 Picks ——— 12 Right – 4 Wrong ———
——— Week 13 Picks ——— 11 Right – 5 Wrong ———
——— Week 12 Picks ——— 11 Right – 5 Wrong ———
——— Week 11 Picks ——— 12 Right – 2 Wrong ———
——— Week 10 Picks ——— 10 Right – 3 Wrong ———
——— Week 9 Picks ——— 12 Right – 2 Wrong ———
——— Week 8 Picks ——— 11 Right – 3 Wrong ———
——— Week 7 Picks ——— 12 Right – 1 Wrong ———
——— Week 6 Picks ——— 6 Right – 8 Wrong ———
——— Week 5 Picks ——— 11 Right – 3 Wrong ———
——— Week 4 Picks ——— 14 Right – 1 Wrong ———
——— Week 3 Picks ——— 7 Right – 9 Wrong ———
——— Week 2 Picks ——— 10 Right – 6 Wrong ———
——— Week 1 Picks ——— 10 Right – 6 Wrong ———
——— 2011 Picks Record ——— 179 Right – 77 Wrong ———
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.’
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore –
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore –
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door –
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; –
This it is, and nothing more,’
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,’ said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you’ – here I opened wide the door; –
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!’
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!’
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,’ said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore –
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; –
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door –
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door –
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore –
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door –
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.’
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered –
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before –
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.’
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.’
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore –
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,’ I cried, `thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! –
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted –
On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore –
Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore –
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore –
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting –
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!