Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Claim Over Holder’s Wife Emails Pertaining To Fast and Furious — Cover up Of Crimes — Article 1 of Impeachment Bill — What are They Hiding? — Aiding and Abetting Homicides –Videos

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Story 1: Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Claim Over Holder’s Wife Emails Pertaining To Fast and Furious — Cover up Of Crimes — Article 1 of Impeachment Bill — What are They Hiding? — Aiding and Abetting Homicides –Videos

Fast-and-furious-holder-obamafast-furious-eric-holder

eric-holder-fast-and-furious-gunwalking-documents-political-cartooncartoon_eric_holder_fast_n_furious_n_gun_confiscationJune 21, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoonEric Holder guns what guns Obama Fall Guyexecutive privillege gunexecutive_privilege_holder_fulleric holdersobama_holdersfast and furious

President Obama Evokes Executive Privilege for Eric Holder – 2007 v. 2012

Obama announces Eric Holder’s resignation

Is Obama involved in Fast and Furious, obstructing a congressional investigation or both?

Congress Votes to Hold Eric Holder in Contempt Perjury Lied to House Congress Vote Passes

Jon Stewart Slams Obama Executive Privilege, Fast & Furious, and Eric Holder

Remember Brian Terry, the murdered Border Patrol Agent

Judge Napolitano: Executive Privilege Only Applies If Obama Involved

Mark Levin Explains How GOP Should Handle Holder Contempt Charge & Executive Privilege Claim

Issa on Fast and Furious, Holder Contempt, Obama Executive Privilege on Fox News Sunday

Obama Perpetuates The ’90 Percent Of Mexico’s Weapons Come From The U.S.’ Lie — In Mexico!

Eric Holder – We Must “Brainwash” People Against Guns! – (1995)

Holder on 2nd Amendment

Eric Holder Attacking The Second Amendment To Help Mexico?

“Operation Fast & Furious: The Other Side of the Border” Part 1

“Operation Fast & Furious: The Other Side of the Border” Part 2

“Operation Fast & Furious: The Other Side of the Border” Part 3

Fast and Furious: Management Failures at the Department of Justice – Part 1

Eric Holder Choking on his Testimony

Michael Savage offers concise summary of “Fast and Furious”, describes his own love of guns

Congress: Eric Holder Should Be In Jail!

 

Obama Asserts Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Claim for Holder’s Wife

OCTOBER 23, 2014

Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) a “Vaughn index” detailing records about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. The index was forced out of the Obama administration thanks to JW’s June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)). A federal court had ordered the production over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.

The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal. Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act. The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.

This is the first time that the Obama administration has provided a detailed listing of all records being withheld from Congress and the American people about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The 1307-page “draft” Vaughn index was emailed to Judicial Watch at 8:34 p.m. last night, a few hours before a federal court-ordered deadline. In its cover letter, the Department of Justice asserts that all of the responsive records described in the index are “subject to the assertion of executive privilege.”

The Vaughn index explains 15,662 documents. Typically, a Vaughn index must: (1) identify each record withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption. The Vaughn index arguably fails to provide all of this required information but does provide plenty of interesting information for a public kept in the dark for years about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Based on a preliminary review of the massive document, Judicial Watch can disclose that the Vaughn index reveals:

Numerous emails that detail Attorney General Holder’s direct involvement in crafting talking points, the timing of public disclosures, and handling Congressional inquiries in the Fast and Furious matter.
President Obama has asserted executive privilege over nearly 20 email communications between Holder and his spouse Sharon Malone. The administration also claims that the records are also subject to withholding under the “deliberative process” exemption. This exemption ordinarily exempts from public disclosure records that could chill internal government deliberations.
Numerous entries detail DOJ’s communications (including those of Eric Holder) concerning the White House about Fast and Furious.
The scandal required the attention of virtually every top official of the DOJ and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Communications to and from the United States Ambassador to Mexico about the Fast and Furious matter are also described.
Many of the records are already publicly available such as letters from Congress, press clips, and typical agency communications. Ordinarily, these records would, in whole or part, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Few of the records seem to even implicate presidential decision-making and advice that might be subject to President Obama’s broad and unprecedented executive privilege claim.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton criticized President Obama and his disgraced Attorney General in a statement today:

This document provides key information about the cover-up of Fast and Furious by Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-level officials of the Obama administration. Obama’s executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office. There is no precedent for President Obama’s Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records. Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.

Once again, Judicial Watch has proven itself more effective than Congress and the establishment media in providing basic oversight of this out-of-control Administration. This Fast and Furious document provides dozens of leads for further congressional, media, and even criminal investigations.

On June 28, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives over his refusal to turn over records explaining why the Obama administration may have lied to Congress and refused for months to disclose the truth about the gun running operation. It marked the first time in U.S. history that a sitting Attorney General was held in contempt of Congress.

A week before the contempt finding, to protect Holder from criminal prosecution and stave off the contempt vote, President Obama asserted executive privilege over the Fast and Furious records the House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed eight months earlier. Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request two days later. Holder’s Justice Department wouldn’t budge (or follow the law), so JW filed a FOIA lawsuit on September 12, 2012.

But then the Justice Department convinced U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates to stay our lawsuit, in part to allow ongoing settlement discussions between the Holder’s government lawyers and the House Committee to continue. Unsurprisingly, the “negotiations” between politicians running the House and the Justice Department went nowhere.

Fed up with the interminable delay caused Holder’s gamesmanship and stonewalling, JW renewed its request to the Court to allow our transparency lawsuit to continue. Thankfully, this past July, Judge John D. Bates ended the 16-month delay and ordered the Obama administration to produce a Vaughn index of the alleged “executive privilege” records by October 1. Judge Bates noted that no court has ever “expressly recognized” President Obama’s unprecedented executive privilege claims in the Fast and Furious matter.

Unhappy with having to produce the records prior to the elections, Justice lawyers asked the judge to give them one extra month, until November 3 (the day before Election Day!) to produce the info. Judge Bates rejected this gambit, suggested that the Holder’s agency did not take court order seriously. Rather than a month, Judge Bates gave Justice until yesterday to cough up the Vaughn index. Judge Bates issued his smack down on September 23.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation two days later.

Many share our opinion it was “no coincidence” that Holder’s resignation came “on the heels of another court ruling that the Justice Department must finally cough up information about how Holder’s Justice Department lied to Congress and the American people about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, for which Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives.”

The House had been separately litigating to obtain the records but had gotten nowhere until after Judge Bates ruled that the DOJ finally had to disclose information to Judicial Watch.

On September 9, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, citing Judicial Watch’s success, ordered the Justice Department to produce information to Congress by November 3.

Fast and Furious was a DOJ/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun running” operation in which the Obama administration reportedly allowed guns to go to Mexican drug cartels hoping they would end up at crime scenes, advancing gun-control policies. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico. Guns from the Fast and Furious scandal are expected to be used in criminal activity on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border for years to come.

Guns from the Fast and Furious scandal continue to be used in crimes. Just last week, Judicial Watch disclosed that a Fast and Furious gun was used in gang -style assault on a Phoenix apartment building that left two people wounded. We figured this out from information we uncovered through another public records lawsuit against the City of Phoenix.

Congress officially confirmed the AK-47 was used in the assault that terrorized residents in Phoenix. In an October 16 letter sent from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) to Deputy Attorney General James Cole discloses that “we have learned of another crime gun connected to Fast and Furious. The [Justice] Department did not provide any notice to the Congress or the public about this gun….This lack of transparency about the consequences of Fast and Furious undermines public confidence in law enforcement and gives the impression that the Department is seeking to suppress information and limit its exposure to public scrutiny.”

We have many other active lawsuits over the Fast and Furious scandal:

On October 11, 2011, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ and the ATF to obtain all Fast and Furious records submitted to the House Committee on Oversight.

On June 6, 2012, Judicial Watch sued the ATF seeking access to records detailing communications between ATF officials and Kevin O’Reilly, former Obama White House Director of North American Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council.

On September 5, 2013, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ seeking access to all records of communications between DOJ and the Oversight Committee relating to settlement discussions in the Committee’s 2012 contempt of Congress lawsuit against Holder. The contempt citation stemmed from Holder’s refusal to turn over documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

On May 28, 2014, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ on behalf of ATF Special Agent John Dodson, who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious and was then subjected to an alleged smear campaign designed to destroy his reputation.

 

Obama used executive privilege to shield Holder emails

BY SUSAN FERRECHIO

President Obama used executive privilege to withhold the contents of more than 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder, his wife and his mother that a conservative watchdog group sought in connection with the federal government’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation.

The document, according to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, “details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal.”

Judicial Watch said the White House is withholding the contents of the Holder emails between his wife and mother citing not only the executive privilege, but the “deliberative process” exemption, which is normally used to exclude from public disclosure any information “that could chill internal government deliberations.”

Holder’s wife, Sharon Malone, is a Washington, D.C., gynecologist.

The Republican-led House has been dueling with Holder for years in an effort to get documents and emails related to Fast and Furious.

In 2012, the House voted to find Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the operation and has sued to obtain them. Democrats have accused the GOP of a politically motivated witch hunt against Holder, who recently announced plans to step down.

The Fast and Furious program ran from 2006 to 2011 out of an Arizona division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It involved U.S. agents selling guns to Mexican drug traffickers in an effort to trace the weapons to the drug cartels. But agents lost track of the weapons and some of them were used to kill people, including U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

“Obama’s executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “There is no precedent for President Obama’s Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records. Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.”

“This list of documents was provided in order to fulfill a procedural step in this case,” Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon told theExaminer. “We will make a further submission, related to these same materials, on Nov. 3 in connection to the case brought by the House Oversight Committee.”

Editor’s note: Judicial Watch is representing the Washington Examiner in the newspaper’s federal lawsuit seeking access to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau records under FOIA.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obama-used-executive-privilege-to-shield-holder-emails/article/2555188

 

Operation Fast and Furious Fast Facts

Here’s some background information about Operation Fast and Furious. From 2009 – 2011, under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Phoenix Field Division, along with other partners, allowed illegal gun sales believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels in order to track the sellers and purchasers.

Facts:
An estimated 1,400 weapons were lost by the ATF in Mexico. Two of the missing weapons linked to the operation turned up at the Arizona murder scene of United States Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Whistle-blowing leads to a Congressional investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Attorney General Eric Holder is cited for contempt.

Operation Fast and Furious was one of the operations under Project Gunrunner, part of the Department of Justice’s broader Southwest Border Initiative, an “inter-agency effort to combat Mexico-based trafficking groups.” (DOJ)

“Straw purchasers (also called straw buyers) buy firearms on behalf of others without disclosing that fact on the forms required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.” (DOJ)

The operation lasted approximately 15 months, resulting in grand jury indictments of 34 suspects in drug and firearms trafficking organizations.

Operation Fast and Furious was not the first “gun walking” investigation by ATF; it was preceded by Operation Wide Receiver, which began in 2006.

Timeline:
April 2006 - Official launch of Project Gunrunner.

October 2009 – Operation Fast and Furious begins, based on a review of Project Gunrunner by the ATF Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).

January 2010 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms agents tell the staff of Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the ATF allowed straw buyer Jaime Avila to make repeated purchases of guns after his name had been entered into a “suspect person database” on January 13, 2009.

December 14, 2011 - Border patrol agent Brian Terry is killed in the Arizona desert, and two weapons the ATF allowed to be purchased earlier in 2010 by purported “straw buyer” Jaime Avila are found near the shooting scene. It is unknown whether any of the guns were used as the murder weapon.

January 25, 2011 – The Department of Justice announces the end of Operation Fast and Furious, with the indictments of 34 drug and firearm trafficking suspects.

March 3, 2011 – ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson announces the formation of a panel to “review the bureau’s current firearms trafficking strategies employed by field division managers and special agents.”

April 1, 2011 - Acting Director Melson is issued a subpoena from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

May 3, 2011 – Attorney General Eric Holder testifies for the first time before the House Judiciary Committee that he had first heard of Operation Fast and Furious only over the past few weeks.

June 2011 - Whistleblowers testify before the House Oversight committee. ATF agent John Dodson tells lawmakers, “I cannot begin to think how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.”

July 26, 2011 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a second hearing.

August 30, 2011 – Melson is reassigned to the Justice Department, and is replaced by B. Todd Jones.

October 12, 2011 – Congressional investigators issue a subpoena for communications from Attorney General Holder relating to the federal gunrunning operation.

October 2011 - Investigators uncover memos indicating Attorney General Holder had known about Operation Fast and Furious for close to a year, not a few weeks as he had stated in May 2011.

November 7, 2011 - A federal grand jury in the District of Arizona hands up an 11-count indictment. It alleges that on December 14, 2010, five of the defendants (Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza) were involved in a firefight with Border Patrol agents during which Terry was fatally shot. The men are charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, carrying and using a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The indictment is unsealed on July 9th, 2012.

November 8, 2011 - Attorney General Holder testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee that, “this operation was flawed in concept, as well as in execution.”

February 1, 2012 – The family of ATF agent Brian Terry files a $25 million wrongful death claim against the United States.

February 2, 2012 – Attorney General Holder testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that firings and charges against Justice Department officials who oversaw Fast and Furious are likely to come in the next six months. He also denies any cover-up.

June 12, 2012 – Attorney General Holder testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and rejects calls for his resignation.

June 20, 2012 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recommends that Attorney General Holder be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents relating to the Fast and Furious operation.

June 20, 2012 – President Barack Obama asserts executive privilege over the documents sought by the investigating committee. This prevents future prosecution of Holder.

June 28, 2012 – The House of Representatives votes 255-67 to hold Holder in criminal contempt. This is the first time in American history that the head of the Justice Department has been held in contempt by Congress.

July 31, 2012 - The first of a three-part joint staff Congressional report is released, Fast and Furious: Anatomy of a Failed Operation, which lays blame for the failed gun-running probe on Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson and Deputy Director William Hoover.

July 31, 2012 – ATF Deputy Director William Hoover resigns.

August 13, 2012 – The House Oversight Committee files a civil lawsuit against Holder over Operation Fast and Furious documents.

September 6, 2012 - Mexican authorities arrest Leonel Sanchez Jesus Meza, wanted in the killing of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

September 19, 2012 – Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz releases a report on the operation. The report finds 14 employees of the ATF and the Justice Department responsible for management failures. After the release, former acting ATF head Kenneth Melson retires and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein resigns.

December 13, 2012 – Jaime Avila is sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in buying weapons that were found at the site of the killing of patrol agent Brian A. Terry.

June 17, 2014 – Lionel Portillo Meza, a suspect in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, is extradited from Mexico to the U.S.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/27/world/americas/operation-fast-and-furious-fast-facts/

ATF gunwalking scandal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Weapons recovered by Mexican military in Naco, Sonora, Mexico on November 20, 2009. They include weapons bought two weeks earlier by Operation Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino, who bought 723 guns during the operation.[1]

Gunwalking“, or “letting guns walk“, was a tactic of the Arizona Field Office of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which ran a series of sting operations[2][3] between 2006[4]and 2011[2][5] in the Tucson and Phoenix area where the ATF “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them.”[6] These operations were done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States.[7] The Chambers case[who?] began in October 2009, and eventually became known in February 2010 as “Operation Fast and Furious” after agents discovered some of the suspects under investigation belonged to a car club.[1]

The stated goal of allowing these purchases was to continue to track the firearms as they were transferred to higher-level traffickers and key figures in Mexican cartels, with the expectation that this would lead to their arrests and the dismantling of the cartels.[6][8][9] The tactic was questioned during the operations by a number of people, including ATF field agents and cooperating licensed gun dealers.[10][11][12][13][14] During Operation Fast and Furious, the largest “gunwalking” probe, the ATF monitored the sale of about 2,000[1]:203[15] firearms, of which only 710 were recovered as of February 2012.[1]:203 A number of straw purchasers have been arrested and indicted; however, as of October 2011, none of the targeted high-level cartel figures had been arrested.[6]

Guns tracked by the ATF have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the Mexico–United States border, and the scene where United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed December 2010. The “gunwalking” operations became public in the aftermath of Terry’s murder.[2] Dissenting ATF agents came forward to Congress in response.[16][17] According to Humberto Benítez Treviño, former Mexican Attorney General and chair of the justice committee in the Chamber of Deputies, related firearms have been found at numerous crime scenes in Mexico where at least 150 Mexican civilians were maimed or killed.[18] Revelations of “gunwalking” led to controversy in both countries, and diplomatic relations were damaged.[2]

As a result of a dispute over the release of Justice Department documents related to the scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting member of theCabinet of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012.[19][20] Earlier that month, President Barack Obama had invoked executive privilegefor the first time in his presidency over the same documents.[21][22]

Background

Further information: Project Gunrunner and Mexican Drug War

One 20-year veteran of ATF’s Tucson office told us that before Operation Wide Receiver, all of ATF’s trafficking cases were very similar in their simplicity: ATF would get a tip from an FFL[Federal Firearms Licensee][14] about a buyer who wanted a large number of firearms and information about when the transaction was scheduled to take place, and would set up surveillance and arrest the buyer when he headed southbound or at the border. Sometimes the initial buyer would cooperate with ATF, and agents would arrest the actual buyer when he showed up to take possession of the guns. If the guns went to a stash house, agents would speak with subjects at the stash house or conduct a search of the stash house. This agent told us that ATF interdicted guns as a matter of course and had been “content to make the little cases,” but that Wide Receiver represented a “different direction” from ATF’s typical practice.

—Report by the Office of the Inspector General on the Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, September 2012[1]

ATF “gunwalking” operations were, in part, a response to longstanding criticism of the bureau for focusing on relatively minor gun violations while failing to target high-level gun smuggling figures.[23] U.S. firearms laws currently govern the possession and transfer of firearms and provide penalties for the violation of such laws. “Gun trafficking”, although not defined by statute, essentially includes the movement or diversion of firearms from legal to illegal markets.[24]:Summary A 2009 GAO report on efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico notes that straw purchasing is not in itself illegal, although it is illegal to provide false information in connection with a purchase.[25]

Four federal statutes govern U.S. commerce of firearms domestically and internationally. Many states supplement these federal statutes and have firearms laws of their own that are stricter. For example, some states require permits to obtain firearms and impose a waiting period for firearm transfers. Domestic commerce and importations into the United States are generally regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). The exportation of firearms from the United States is regulated by the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and, to a lesser extent, the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).[24]:3

Defendants are often prosecuted and convicted under provisions of statutes such as the GCA that make it unlawful for certain persons to be in possession of firearms, govern the transaction process of obtaining firearms (e.g., straw purchases), and contain penalties for the use of a firearm in a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, or penalties for knowingly or fraudulently smuggling goods that would be contrary to U.S. law and regulation.[24]:18

In a 2012 case in San Juan, Texas, under existing 1968 Gun Control Act provisions on straw purchasing (Title 18 United States Code, Section 924(a)(1)(A)), straw purchaser Taisa Garcia received 33 months and buyer Marco Villalobos received 46 months, plus two years supervision after release.[26] In another Texas gun trafficking case, Oscar Bravo Hernandez received a sentence of 84 months for buying and sending to Mexico at least 55 firearms from a ring of nine straw purchasers who received sentences from 51 months for the most involved down to three years probation for the least involved.[27]

According to twenty-year ATF veteran Jay Wachtel, letting guns “walk” has been a practice done in a controlled manner that involved surveillance and eventual seizure of the weapons. “The idea was that you would follow it long enough until you were sure you had enough probable cause” to initiate an arrest, Wachtel said.[28]According to ATF field agents involved in Operation Fast and Furious, a part of Project Gunrunner, “ATF agents were trained to interdict guns and prevent criminals from obtaining them” and not to allow guns to walk and then disappear.[11] ATF agents assigned to Phoenix from other districts to work on Fast and Furious were critical of the operation.[29]

Operations

There have been allegations of “gunwalking” in at least 10 cities in five states.[30] The most widely known and controversial operations took place in Arizona under the ATF’s Phoenix, Arizona field division.

2006–2008: Operation Wide Receiver and other probes[edit]

Operation Wide Receiver[edit]

The suspicious sale of AR-15s led to Operation Wide Receiver.[31]

The first known ATF “gunwalking” operation to Mexican drug cartels, named Operation Wide Receiver, began in early 2006 and ran into late 2007. Licensed dealer Mike Detty of Mad Dawg Global informed the ATF of a suspicious gun purchase that took place in February 2006 in Tucson, Arizona. In March he was hired as a confidential informant working with the ATF’s Tucson office, part of their Phoenix, Arizona field division.[31]

With the use of surveillance equipment, ATF agents monitored additional sales by Detty to straw purchasers. With assurance from ATF “that Mexican officials would be conducting surveillance or interdictions when guns got to the other side of the border”,[12] Detty would sell a total of about 450 guns during the operation.[30] These included AR-15s, semi-automatic AK-pattern rifles, and Colt .38s. The majority of the guns were eventually lost as they moved into Mexico.[6][31][32][33]

As the later DOJ OIG Report documented, under Wide Receiver coordination of ATF Tucson with the ATF Mexico City Office (MCO) and with Mexican law enforcement had been haphazard. Discussions of getting tracking devices from Raytheon were not followed up. ATF field agents and the cooperating gun dealer had been told by ATF supervisors that the guns were being interdicted before they could reach Mexico, but only 64 of the 474 guns had actually been seized. The kingpin sought by walking the guns, Israel Egurrola-Leon, turned out to be the target of a larger drug case Operation Iron River run by OCDETF. After Operation Wide Receiver was ended, several attorneys at the Phoenix USAO who reviewed the Wide Receiver cases for prosecution found the cases had been so poorly managed that they were reluctant to bring any of them to trial.[1]

At the time, under the Bush administration Department of Justice (DOJ), no arrests or indictments were made. After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the DOJ reviewed Wide Receiver and found that guns had been allowed into the hands of suspected gun traffickers. Indictments began in 2010, over three years after Wide Receiver concluded. As of October 4, 2011, nine people had been charged with making false statements in acquisition of firearms and illicit transfer, shipment or delivery of firearms.[23] As of November, charges against one defendant had been dropped; five of them had pled guilty, and one had been sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Two of them remained fugitives.[31]

The Hernandez case

Another, smaller probe occurred in 2007 under the same ATF Phoenix field division. The Fidel Hernandez case began when the ATF identified Mexican suspects who bought weapons from a Phoenix gun shop over a span of several months. The probe ultimately involved over 200 guns, a dozen of which were lost in Mexico. On September 27, 2007, ATF agents saw the original suspects buying weapons at the same store and followed them toward the Mexican border. The ATF informed the Mexican government when the suspects successfully crossed the border, but Mexican law enforcement were unable to track them.[4][10]

Less than two weeks later, on October 6, William Newell, then ATF’s Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Phoenix field division, shut down the operation at the behest of William Hoover, ATF’s assistant director for the office of field operations.[34] No charges were filed. Newell, who was Phoenix ATF SAC from June 2006 to May 2011, would later play a major role in Operation Fast and Furious.[4][12]

The Hernandez case was referenced in a briefing paper prepared for Attorney General Michael Mukasey prior to his meeting with the Mexican Attorney General Medina Mora on November 16, 2007. The paper stated, “ATF has recently worked jointly with Mexico on the first-ever attempt to have a controlled delivery of weapons being smuggled into Mexico by a major arms trafficker” and that “the first attempts at this controlled delivery have not been successful.” The paper also stated, “ATF would like to expand the possibility of such joint investigations and controlled deliveries — since only then will it be possible to investigate an entire smuggling network, rather than arresting simply a single smuggler.”[35]

Investigators regarded the Hernandez Case as an example of “controlled delivery” with surveillance and involvement of Mexican authorities rather than “gunwalking” or failure to attempt interdiction.[1][36][37]

The Medrano case[

The 2008 Alejandro Medrano case involved both ATF SAC William Newell and cooperating Tucson gun dealer Mike Detty of Operation Wide Receiver. ATF Phoenix allowed about 100 guns to be taken into Mexico over the objections of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel who became aware of the case. Phoenix ATF SAC Newell acknowledged to ICE “that letting guns cross the border was part of ATF’s plan”. In August 2010, Medrano was sentenced to 46 months, his associate Hernan Ramos received 50 months and their fellow conspirators received prison terms from 14 to 30 months, but the target, a Sinaloa Cartel kingpin, Javier Elenes Ruiz, nicknamed “Rambo,” remained untouched inside Mexico.[36]

2009–2011: Operation Fast and Furious

On October 26, 2009, a teleconference was held at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to discuss U.S. strategy for combating Mexican drug cartels. Participating in the meeting were Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, acting ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Robert Mueller and the top federal prosecutors in theSouthwestern border states. They decided on a strategy to identify and eliminate entire arms trafficking networks rather than low-level buyers.[3][38][39] Those at the meeting apparently did not suggest using the “gunwalking” tactic, but Phoenix ATF supervisors would soon use it in an attempt to achieve the desired goals.[40]

The strategy of targeting high-level individuals, which was already ATF policy, would be implemented by Bill Newell, special agent in charge of ATF’s Phoenix field division. In order to accomplish it, the office decided to monitor suspicious firearms purchases which federal prosecutors had determined lacked sufficient evidence for prosecution, as laid out in a January 2010 briefing paper. This was said to be allowed under ATF regulations and given legal backing by U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis K. Burke. It was additionally approved and funded by a Justice Department task force.[3] However, long-standing DOJ and ATF policy has required suspected illegal arms shipments to be intercepted.[4][5]

FN Five-sevens were among the weapons allowed to walk.[41]

The operation began on October 31, 2009, when a local gun store reported to the Phoenix ATF that four individuals had purchased multiple AK47 style rifles.[42] In November 2009, the Phoenix office’s Group VII, which would be the lead investigative group in Fast and Furious, began to follow a prolific gun trafficker. He had bought 34 firearms in 24 days, and he and his associates bought 212 more in the next month. The case soon grew to over two dozen straw purchasers, the most prolific of which would ultimately buy more than 600 weapons.[3][5][43] The effort would come to be called Operation Fast and Furious for the successful film franchise, because some of the suspects under investigation operated out of an auto repair store and street raced.[3]

Under the previous Operation Wide Receiver, there had been a formal ATF contract with the cooperating gun dealer and efforts were made to involve the ATF Mexico City Office (MCO) and Mexican law enforcement. Under Operation Fast and Furious, at Newell’s insistence the cooperating gun dealers did not have contracts with ATF, and MCO and Mexican police were left in the dark.[1]

According to internal ATF documents, the operation was initially run in conjunction with the Phoenix DEA Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force(OCDETF).[44] On January 26, 2010, ATF formally applied to the Justice Department in Washington for funding through the OCDETF program. When it won approval and received additional funding, Operation Fast and Furious was reorganized as a Strike Force that included agents from ATF, FBI, DEA, and the ICE component of the Department of Homeland Security, which would be run through the U.S. Attorney’s office rather than the ATF. This new Strike Force designation allowed the operation to take advantage of sophisticated surveillance techniques such as federal wiretaps, which would require court orders and interaction from Justice Department officials in Washington, D.C. since federal law requires certain individuals to review evidence and certify the necessity of such techniques.[45]

The dealers involved became concerned as months went by and the same individuals they reported to ATF as suspected straw purchasers returned and repeatedly bought identical weapons. As they later told the DOJ OIG, their previous experience was that after they reported a suspected straw to ATF, they did not see the straw again unless subpoenaed to testify against the straw at trial.[1] One cooperating dealer expressed his concerns in a series of emails in April and June 2010 to GS David Voth, who assured the dealer that ATF was monitoring the suspects using a variety of techniques that he could not discuss in detail.[14]

The tactic of letting guns walk, rather than interdicting them and arresting the buyers, led to controversy within the ATF.[5][46] As the case continued, several members of Group VII, including John Dodson and Olindo Casa, became increasingly upset at the tactic of allowing guns to walk. Their standard Project Gunrunner training was to follow the straw purchasers to the hand-off to the cartel buyers, then arrest both parties and seize the guns. But according to Dodson, they watched guns being bought illegally and stashed on a daily basis, while their supervisors, including David Voth and Hope MacAllister, prevented the agents from intervening.[3]

However, other accounts of the operation insist that ATF agents were prevented from intervening not by ATF officials, but rather by federal prosecutors with the Attorney General’s office, who were unsure of whether the agents had sufficient evidence to arrest suspected straw-buyers.[47] According to some reports, many agents insisted they were prevented from making arrests because prosecutors were unwilling to engage in what could become a potentially contentious political battle over Second Amendment rights during an election year, particularly given the difficult nature of prosecuting straw buyers, and the weak penalties associated with it, even if successful.[47] Instead, prosecutors instructed ATF agents not to make arrests, but rather continue collecting evidence in order to build a stronger case. One tactic proposed for doing so was a wiretap of suspected straw-buyers, in an attempt to link the suspects to criminal activities taking place on the Mexican side of the border.[47] Between March 20 and July 30, 2010, nine wiretaps were sought and approved by Justice Department officials, resulting in a significant delay in concluding the case.[1]:247,274

One of the central targeted individuals was Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta.[45] By December 2009, Celis-Acosta was being investigated by the ATF, which had placed a secret pole camera outside his Phoenix home to track his movements. Around this time, apparently by chance, ATF agents discovered Celis-Acosta was also a potential criminal target of the DEA, which was operating a wire room to monitor live wiretaps in order to track him. On April 2, 2010, Celis-Acosta was arrested on possession of cocaine and found in possession of a weapon purchased by Uriel Patino, who had already purchased at least 434 guns from cooperating gun dealers in the Phoenix area. By this time about a dozen ATF agents regularly surveilled Celis-Acosta as he recruited 20 friends and family to buy guns for him and regularly traveled to Texas to obtain funds from cartel associates to purchase firearms. On May 29, 2010, Celis-Acosta was detained in Lukeville, Arizona with 74 rounds of ammunition and 9 cell phones. He was then released by the chief ATF investigator on Fast and Furious, Hope MacAllister, after he promised to cooperate with her to find two specific Sinaloa cartel associates. After the redetention and arrest of Celis-Acosta in February 2011, the ATF learned that the associates they were after were FBI/DEA paid informants, and one of them was Celis-Acosta’s financier. Since they were informants, they were unindictable under Operation Fast and Furious.[45][48][49][50][51]

Later, the DOJ inspector General concluded: “We did not find persuasive evidence that agents sought to seize firearms or make arrests during the investigative stage of the case and were rebuffed by the prosecutor. … We found that the lack of seizures and arrests was primarily attributable to the pursuit of a strategic goal shared by both the [Phoenix] ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office—to eliminate a trafficking organization—and the belief that confronting subjects and seizing firearms could compromise that goal.”[1]

Weapons bought by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino, seized by Border Patrol and Tucson ATF agents on the Tohono O’odham Reservation from a vehicle headed toward the Mexican border, February 20, 2010.[1]

By June 2010, suspects had purchased 1,608 firearms at a cost of over US$1 million at Phoenix-area gun shops. At that time, the ATF was also aware of 179 of those weapons being found at crime scenes in Mexico, and 130 in the United States.[8] As guns traced to Fast and Furious began turning up at violent crime scenes in Mexico, ATF agents stationed there also voiced opposition.[3]

On the evening of December 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and others were patrolling Peck Canyon,Santa Cruz County, Arizona, 11 miles from the Mexican border. The group came across five suspected illegal immigrants. When they fired non-lethal beanbag guns, the suspects responded with their own weapons, leading to a firefight. Terry was shot and killed; four of the suspects were arrested and two AK-pattern rifles were found nearby.[3] The Attorney General’s office was immediately notified of the shooting incident by email.[52] The rifles were traced within hours of the shooting to a Phoenix store involved in the Fast and Furious operation, but the bullet that killed Terry was too badly damaged to be conclusively linked to either gun.[3] Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler and Deputy Chief of Staff Monty Wilkinson were informed about the guns, but they didn’t believe the information was sufficiently important to alert the Attorney General about it or to make any further inquiry regarding the development.[1]:297

After hearing of the incident, Dodson contacted ATF headquarters, ATF’s chief counsel, the ATF ethics section and the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, none of whom immediately responded. He and other agents then contacted Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa (R–IA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who would become a major figure in the investigation of “gunwalking.” At the same time, information began leaking to various bloggers and Web sites.[3]

On January 25, 2011, Burke announced the first details of the case to become officially public, marking the end of Operation Fast and Furious. At a news conference in Phoenix, he reported a 53-count indictment of 20 suspects for buying hundreds of guns intended for illegal export between September 2009 and December 2010. Newell, who was at the conference, called Fast and Furious a “phenomenal case,” while denying that guns had been deliberately allowed to walk into Mexico.[3][12]

Altogether, about 2,000 firearms were bought by straw purchasers during Fast and Furious.[1]:203[3] These included AK-47 variants, Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles, .38 caliber revolvers, and FN Five-sevens.[41] As of October 20, 2011, 389 had been recovered in the US and 276 had been recovered in Mexico. The rest remained on the streets, unaccounted for.[15] As of February 2012, the total number of recovered firearms was 710.[1]:203 Most of the guns went to the Sinaloa Cartel, while others made their way to El Teo and La Familia.[2][32]

Although most weapons were purchased by suspects under investigation by the program, there have been reports of at least one instance of ATF agents being directly involved in the transfer of weapons. On April 13, 2010, ATF Agent John Dodson, with assistance from Agents Casa and Alt, directed a cooperating straw purchaser to give three guns to Isaiah Fernandez, a suspected gun trafficker, and had taped the conversations without prosecutor approval.[47]

After being instructed by his superiors to obtain approval from prosecutors (albeit retroactively), Dodson’s proposal was later rejected by his immediate superior David Voth, although he later received permission from Voth’s supervisor after submitting a written proposal for the program. On June 1, 2010, Dodson used $2,500 of ATF funds to purchase six AK Draco pistols from local gun dealers, which he then gave to Mr. Fernandez, who reimbursed him for the expense of the guns, plus $700 for his assistance.[47] Two days later, Agent Dodson went on a scheduled vacation without interdicting the weapons. As a result, the weapons were never recovered, no arrests were ever made, and the case was closed without charges being filed.[47]

According to the DOJ OIG report, Agent Dodson, as the undercover posing as a straw buyer, was not expected to surveil the weapons after hand-off to Fernandez. Other ATF agents followed the weapons to a storage facility; then surveillance was terminated without interdiction.[1] The Fernandez case was dropped from Fast and Furious after it was determined that Fernandez was not connected to Mexican cartels and had ceased buying guns for resale.[1][53]

Aftermath and reaction

Fate of walked guns

Since the end of Operation Fast and Furious, related firearms have continued to be discovered in criminal hands. As reported in September 2011, the Mexican government stated that an undisclosed number of guns found at about 170 crime scenes were linked to Fast and Furious.[54] U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R–Calif.–49) estimated that more than 200 Mexicans were killed by guns linked to the operation.[55] Reflecting on the operation, Attorney General Eric Holder said that theUnited States government is “…losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico,”[56] and that the effects of Operation Fast and Furious will most likely continue to be felt for years, as more walked guns appear at Mexican crime scenes.[57]

In April 2011, a large cache of weapons, 40 traced to Fast and Furious but also including military-grade weapons difficult to obtain legally in the US such as an anti-aircraft machine gun and grenade launcher, was found in the home of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, a prominent Sinaloa Cartel member, in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Torres Marrufo was indicted, but evaded law enforcement for a brief time.[58][59] Finally, on February 4, 2012, Marrufo was arrested by the Mexican Police.[60]

On May 29, 2011, four Mexican Federal Police helicopters attacked a cartel compound, where they were met with heavy fire, including from a .50 caliber rifle. According to a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, this rifle is likely linked to Fast and Furious.[2]

There have been questions raised over a possible connection between Fast and Furious and the death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata on February 15, 2011.[61][62] The gun used to kill Zapata was purchased by Otilio Osorio in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas[63] (outside the area of responsibility for the ATF Phoenix field division[64] which conducted Fast and Furious), and then smuggled into Mexico. Congressional investigators have stated that Osorio was known by the ATF to be a straw purchaser months before he purchased the gun used to kill Zapata, leading them to question ATF surveillance tactics[63]and to suspect a Texas-based operation similar to Fast and Furious.[65]

In addition to Otilio Osorio, a Texas-based drug and gun trafficker, Manuel Barba, was involved trafficking another of the guns recovered in the Zapata shooting. The timeline of this case, called “Baytown Crew”, shows guns were allowed to walk during surveillance that began June 7, 2010. On August 20, 2010, Barba received a rifle later recovered in the Zapata ambush and sent it with nine others to Mexico. The warrant for Barba’s arrest was issued February 14, 2011, the day before Zapata was shot.[66] On January 30, 2012, Barba, who claimed to be working with Los Zetas in illegally exporting at least 44 weapons purchased through straw buyers, was sentenced to 100 months in prison.[67]

On November 23, 2012, two firearms linked to the ATF were found at the scene of a shootout between Sinaloa cartel members and the Mexican military. One of the weapons was an AK-47 type rifle trafficked by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino, and the other was an FN Herstal pistol originally purchased by an ATF agent. Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez and four others were killed.[68][69]

Investigations and fallout

In the U.S. Congress, Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA–49), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Chuck Grassley(R–IA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have been leading investigations of “gunwalking” operations.[70] There have also been investigations by the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and others.

2011

On January 27, 2011, Grassley wrote a letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson requesting information about the ATF-sanctioned sale of hundreds of firearms to straw purchasers. The letter mentioned a number of allegations that walked guns were used in the fight that killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.[71] A second letter from Grassley on January 31 accused the ATF of targeting whistleblowers.[72]

On February 4, after review and comment from dozens of officials in the Justice Department Criminal Division, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and ATF Headquarters,[1]:332 Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich sent a response to Grassley regarding his two letters. Weich said claims “…that (the) ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico [are] false. ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”[73][74] On February 28, Attorney GeneralEric Holder requested that the Department of Justice‘s Inspector General begin an investigation of Fast and Furious.[75]

On March 23, President Barack Obama appeared on Univision and spoke about the “gunwalking” controversy. He said that neither he nor Attorney General Holder authorized Fast and Furious. He also stated, “There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made, and if that’s the case then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”[76]

On May 3, Attorney General Holder testified to the House Judiciary Committee that he did not know who approved Fast and Furious, but that it was being investigated. He also stated that he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks,”[77] a claim which would later be questioned[78][79][80] as explained below.

In June, ATF Agent Vince Cefalu, who helped to publicize Fast and Furious, was served with termination papers, in a move by the agency he described as politically motivated retaliation. He had been at odds with ATF management since he filed a complaint over tactics in an unrelated case in 2005. The ATF denied that the firing was retaliation, and Cefalu’s termination letter noted that he leaked documents to the Internet and showed a “lack of candor” in other operations.[81]

On June 14, 2011, a preliminary joint staff report was released by Representative Issa and Senator Grassley.[11] Among the findings: agents were told to stand down rather than interdict weapons, they complained about the strategy and were ignored, and Fast and Furious led to increased violence and death in Mexico.[82] Agents were panicked, certain that “someone was going to die.”[83]

Representative Issa continued to hold hearings in June and July where ATF officials based in Phoenix and Mexico, and at headquarters in Washington, testified before the committee.[84] ATF agent John Dodson stated that he and other agents were ordered to observe the activities of gun smugglers but not to intervene. He testified:[85][86]

Over the course of the next 10 months that I was involved in this operation, we monitored as they purchased hand guns, AK-47 variants, and .50 caliberrifles almost daily. Rather than conduct any enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, we tracked movements of these individuals for a short time after their purchases, but nothing more. Knowing all the while, just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, we still did nothing. …
I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.

A second joint staff report was released by the Republicans on July 26.[41]

In August, three important Fast and Furious supervisors were transferred to new management positions at ATF headquarters in Washington: William Newell and David Voth, field supervisors who oversaw the program from Phoenix, and William McMahon, an ATF deputy director of operations. The transfers were initially reported as promotions by the Los Angeles Times, but the ATF stated that they did not receive raises or take on greater responsibilities.[70][87] In late August, it was announced that Acting ATF Director Melson had been reassigned to the Justice Department, and U.S. Attorney Burke announced his resignation after being questioned by Congressional investigators earlier that month.[88]

In October, documents showing that Attorney General Holder’s office had been sent briefings on Fast and Furious as early as July 2010, prompted questions about his May statement that he wasn’t sure of the exact date, but had known about it for only a few weeks. The briefings were from the National Drug Intelligence Center andAssistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. The Justice Department said that those briefings were about a different case started before Holder became Attorney General, and that while he had known about Fast and Furious, he didn’t know the details of the tactics being used.[80]

On October 31, 2011, after the release of subpoenaed documents, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer stated he found out about gunwalking in Operation Wide Receiver in April 2010, and that he wished he had alerted the deputy or the attorney general at the time.[89][90] The following day, in testimony before the Senate Judicial Committee in a hearing on International Organized Crime, when asked if he had reviewed the letter before it was sent to Senator Charles Grassley on February 4, 2011 denying gunwalking, Breuer replied, “I cannot say for sure whether I saw a draft of the letter that was sent to you. What I can tell you, Senator, is that at that time I was in Mexico dealing with the very real issues that we’re all so committed to.”[91]

On November 8, Holder stated for the first time in Congressional testimony that “gunwalking” was used in Fast and Furious. He remarked that the tactic is unacceptable, and that the operation was “flawed in its concept and flawed in its execution.” He further stated that his office had inaccurately described the program in previous letters sent to Congress, but that this was unintentional. Reiterating previous testimony, he said that he and other top officials had been unaware that the “gunwalking” tactic was being used. Holder stated that his staff had not showed him memos about the program, noting, “There is nothing in any of those memos that indicates any of those inappropriate tactics that are of concern. Those things were not brought to my attention, and my staff, I think, made the correct decision in that regard.”[78][92][93]

That same month, ex-US Attorney Burke admitted to leaking sensitive documents about ATF agent and whistleblower Dodson. Senator Grassley expressed concern that the Justice Department was using Burke as a scapegoat to protect higher officials and vowed to continue his probe.[94]

On December 2, 2011, the Justice Department formally withdrew its statement from February 4, 2011 denying gunwalking due to inaccuracies.[95]

Later that month, documents showed that some ATF agents discussed using Fast and Furious to provide anecdotal cases to support controversial new rules about gun sales. The regulation, called Demand Letter 3, would require 8,500 firearms dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas that “have a significant number of crime guns traced back to them from Mexico” to report multiple rifle sales.[96]

2012

Investigations by Congress and the DOJ Inspector General continued into 2012. In January, Patrick Cunningham, who was the criminal division chief at the Phoenix office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and has since resigned, asserted his innocence and his constitutional right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying.[97] Cunningham worked directly under Burke during Fast and Furious. He was subpoenaed because of the role he might have played in the operation, and in the letter sent from the DOJ to Senator Grassley in February 2011 that claimed the ATF did not allow weapons to be trafficked to Mexico.[98]

On January 31, 2012, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report titled, “Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona”.[36] The report concluded that there was no evidence of involvement by high-ranking appointees at the Justice Department in “gunwalking.” Rather, Operation Fast and Furious was just one of four such operations conducted over five years during the Bush and Obama administrations, and was only “the latest in a series of fatally flawed operations run by ATF agents in Phoenix and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office.”[99]

In May, it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General had begun to investigate Fast and Furious, with a report expected in October. The DHS had Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to the operation after becoming involved in late 2009.[100]

On May 3, 2012, Congressman Issa released a letter to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that included a draft of a resolution to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt.[101] In the letter, Issa described the connection between Operation Fast and Furious and the OCDETF program since at least January 2009, which would involve multiple executive agencies including the ATF, DOJ, DEA, FBI, ICE, and DHS. He questioned how, why, or if oversight by high level Justice Department did not occur in such an important case. He further described the tragic death of Brian Terry, the whistleblowers and their mistreatment, and the damage the operation had to US-Mexico relations.

On June 7, 2012, under the threat of being held in contempt of Congress for not turning over additional requested documents, Attorney General Holder appeared at his seventh Congressional hearing, where he continued to deny knowledge of “gunwalking” by high-level officials. By then, the Justice Department had turned over more than 7,000 pages of documents.[102]

During the June 12, 2012, Senate hearing, Eric Holder stated, “If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the Attorney General that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An Attorney General who I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called Wide Receiver and did nothing to stop them—nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, walked in that instance.” Holder cited a briefing paper on “Wide Receiver”; the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs later clarified that the briefing paper was about the Fidel Hernandez case, prepared for Holder’s predecessor, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey before his meeting with Mexican Attorney General Mora on November 16, 2007.[35] The Hernandez Case had ended October 6, 2007,[103]before Mukasey entered office November 9, 2007.[104] The office further explained, “As Attorney General Holder also noted in his testimony, and as we have set forth in prior correspondence and testimony, he took measures and instituted a series of important reforms designed to ensure that the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious, Wide Receiver, Hernandez, and other matters about which the Department has informed Congress are not repeated.”[35] The later DOJ OIG investigation concluded “Attorney General Mukasey was not briefed about Operation Wide Receiver or gun “walking,” but on a different and traditional law enforcement tactic that was employed in a different case.”[1]

On June 20, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines to recommend that Holder be held in contempt. At issue were 1,300 pages of documents that had not been turned over to Congress by the DOJ. Earlier that day, President Obama had invoked executive privilege over those documents, marking the first time the privilege has been asserted during his presidency.[21][22] Issa contends that the Obama executive privilege claim is a cover-up or an obstruction to the congressional probe. Issa said the department has identified “140,000 pages of documents and communications responsive to the committee’s subpoena.”[105]

On Thursday, June 28, 2012, Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in criminal contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives for refusing to disclose internal Justice Department documents in response to a subpoena. The vote was 255–67 in favor, with 17 Democrats voting yes and a large number of Democrats walking off the floor in protest and refusing to vote. A civil contempt measure was also voted on and passed, 258–95. The civil contempt vote allows the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to go to court with a civil lawsuit to look into the US Justice Department’s refusal to turn over some of the subpoenaed documents and to test Obama’s assertion of executive privilege. Holder dismissed the votes as “the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided—and politically motivated—investigation during an election year,” and the White House called it “political theater rather than legitimate congressional oversight.”[19][20] The National Rifle Association controversially lobbied for Holder to be held in contempt.[106][107][108][109][110][111]

In June 2012, a six-month long investigation by Fortune magazine stated that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, in contrast to most other reports. Agents interviewed during the investigation repeatedly asserted that only one isolated incident of “gunwalking” ever occurred, and was performed independently by ATF Agent John Dodson (who later appeared on CBS News as a whistleblower to denounce the gunwalking scandal) as part of an unauthorized solo action outside the larger Fast and Furious operation.[47]

On July 31, the first part of a new three-part report, Fast and Furious: The Anatomy of a Failed Operation,[37] was released by Republican lawmakers. The report singled out five ATF supervisors for responsibility in Fast and Furious, all of whom had been previously reassigned. The report also said that Fast and Furious resulted from a change in strategy by the Obama Administration. The Justice Department was dismissive of the report, saying that it contained “distortions” and “debunked conspiracy theories,” and that “gunwalking” tactics dated back to 2006.[112] DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, while critical of the report, did credit it for acknowledging that the idea for “gun walking”—allowing illegal sales of weapons on the border—originated under the Republican administration before Eric Holder took office in 2009. Schmaler noted that Holder moved swiftly to replace the ATF’s management and instill reforms.[113] On the same day, ATF Deputy Director William Hoover, who was one of the five blamed in the Congressional report, officially retired.[114] The report included an appendix disputing claims in the Fortune article.[53]Following its publication, Dodson’s lawyer wrote the managing editor of Fortune stating the article was “demonstrably false” and that a retraction was in order.[115] AfterFortune did not retract the article, Dodson sued for libel on October 12, 2012.[116][117]

On September 19,[118] the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz publicly released a 471-page report[1] detailing the results of the Justice Department’s own internal investigations. The Inspector General’s report, which had access to evidence and interviews with witnesses not permitted in previous Congressional reports, recommended 14 federal officials for disciplinary action, ranging from ATF agents to federal prosecutors involved in the Fast and Furious operation.[118] It found “no evidence” that Attorney General Holder knew about Fast and Furious before early 2011.[119] It found no evidence that previous Attorneys General had been advised about gunwalking in Operation Wide Receiver.[1]

While the OIG report found no evidence that higher officials at the Justice Department in Washington had authorized or approved of the tactics used in the Fast and Furious investigations, it did fault 14 lower officials for related failures, including failures to take note of “red flags” uncovered by the investigation, as well as failures to follow up on information produced through Operation Fast and Furious and its predecessor, Operation Wide Receiver.[118][120] The report also noted ATF agents’ apparent frustrations over legal obstacles from the Phoenix Attorney’s Office to prosecuting suspected “straw-buyers,” while also criticizing the agents’ failure to quickly intervene and interdict weapons obtained by low-level suspects in the case.[118] The 14 Justice Department employees were referred for possible internal discipline. The Justice Department’s Criminal Division head Lanny Breuer, an Obama administration presidential appointee, was cited for not alerting his bosses in 2010 to the flaws of Operation Wide Receiver.[121] Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, who was responsible for authorizing a portion of the wiretap applications in Operation Fast and Furious and faulted in the report for not identifying the gunwalking tactics, resigned on the day of the report.[122]

On December 4, 2012, the ATF Professional Review Board delivered its recommendations to high-level ATF managers, who will decide whether to accept them. The recommendations included firing William McMahon, ATF Deputy Assistant Director; Mark Chait, ATF Assistant Director for Field Operations; William Newell, Phoenix ATF Special Agent in Charge; and George Gillett, Newell’s second in command. Two additional ATF employees, Phoenix supervisor David Voth and lead agent Hope McAllister, received recommendations for demotion and disciplinary transfer to another ATF post, respectively.[123][124] It was reported the next day that McMahon had been fired. It was also announced that Gary Grindler, Eric Holder’s chief of staff who was faulted in the OIG report, would be leaving the Justice Department.[120] Later that month, the family of Brian Terry sued seven government officials and a gun shop involved in Operation Fast and Furious for negligence and wrongful death.[125]

2013

Agent John Dodson’s book on his experiences in Operation Fast and Furious was released by Simon and Schuster on December 3, 2013.[126]

Related criminal prosecutions

On July 9, 2012, an indictment charging five men in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was unsealed. The FBI offered a reward of $250,000 per fugitive for information leading to their arrests. The indictment, originally handed up on November 7, 2011, charges Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and other crimes.[127][128] Manuel Osorio-Arellanes pled guilty to avoid the death penalty and is expected to be sentenced in March 2013. As of December 12, 2012, another of the suspects is in custody, and three remain fugitives.[129]

On October 15, 2012, Danny Cruz Morones, one of the twenty individuals indicted as a result of Fast and Furious, was sentenced to 57 months in prison. He was the first of the twenty to be sentenced. He pled guilty to straw purchasing and recruiting others to buy guns. According to prosecutors, he bought 27 AK-47s, and his recruits bought dozens more.[130]

On December 12, Jaime Avila, Jr. received the maximum penalty of 57 months in prison for gun dealing and conspiracy. He pled guilty after two AK-47 type rifles purchased by him were found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death. Federal prosecutors stated that, in addition to gun trafficking, he had recruited others to do the same. He was under ATF surveillance at the time.[129]

Mexican reactions

As more information on Operations Fast and Furious and Wide Receiver was revealed in 2011, Mexican officials, political commentators and media reacted with anger.[131] Mexican officials stated in September that the U.S. government still had not briefed them on what went wrong nor had they apologized.[132]

Due to several failed attempts at coordinating with Mexican law enforcement in the apprehension of suspected arms traffickers in the Wide Receiver and Hernandez cases,[36] and concerns about widespread corruption, details of Operation Fast and Furious were not shared with Mexican government officials, and they were deliberately kept out of the loop after related firearms began turning up at crime scenes and in criminal arsenals in 2010. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the ATF Mexico City Office (MCO) were also kept in the dark. According to Attorney General of Mexico Marisela Morales, the Mexican government was told about the undercover program in January 2011, but they were not provided details at the time.[132]

Morales stated, “At no time did we know or were we made aware that there might have been arms trafficking permitted. In no way would we have allowed it, because it is an attack on the safety of Mexicans.” In addition, she expressed that allowing weapons to “walk” would represent a “betrayal” of Mexico.[132] Morales said that her office would search “to the end” in order to clarify what happened in Fast and Furious.[133] In November 2011, it was reported that the Mexican Attorney General’s office was seeking the extradition of six citizens of the United States implicated with smuggling weapons.[134]

Mexican Senator Arturo Escobar stated after hearing about Operation Wide Receiver, “We can no longer tolerate what is occurring. There must be condemnation from the state,” and that the Mexican Senate condemned the actions of the ATF.[131][135][136]

Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín, president of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, said “This is a serious violation of international law. What happens if next time they need to introduce trained assassins or nuclear weapons?”[137]

Chihuahua state prosecutor Patricia Gonzalez, who had worked closely with the US for years, said, “The basic ineptitude of these officials [who ordered the Fast and Furious operation] caused the death of my brother and surely thousands more victims.” Her brother, Mario, had been kidnapped, tortured and killed by cartel hit men in fall 2010. Later, two AK-47 rifles found among the several weapons recovered after a gunfight between police and cartel members were traced to the Fast and Furious program.[2][132]

Mexican Congressman Humberto Benítez Treviño, a former attorney general, called Fast and Furious “a bad business that got out of hand.”[132] He had also characterized it as “an undercover program that wasn’t properly controlled.”[137]

Like many politicians, Mexican pundits across the political spectrum expressed anger at news of both operations. La Jornada, a left-leaning newspaper, asked “US: ally or enemy?”[138] The paper also argued that after news about Wide Receiver, the Mérida Initiative should be immediately suspended. A right-leaning paper accused the US of violating Mexican sovereignty. Manuel J. Jauregui of the Reforma newspaper wrote, “In sum, the gringo (American) government has been sending weapons to Mexico in a premeditated and systematic manner, knowing that their destinations were Mexican criminal organizations.”[131]

See also

References

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal

 

Executive privilege

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States government, executive privilege is the power claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government to access information and personnel relating to the executive branch. The concept of executive privilege is not mentioned explicitly in the United States Constitution, but the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it to be an element of the separation of powers doctrine, and/or derived from the supremacy of executive branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.[1]The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon, but only to the extent of confirming that there is a qualified privilege. Once invoked, a presumption of privilege is established, requiring the Prosecutor to make a “sufficient showing” that the “Presidential material” is “essential to the justice of the case” (418 U.S. at 713-14).Chief Justice Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch’s national security concerns.

Historically, the uses of executive privilege underscore the untested nature of the doctrine, since Presidents have generally sidestepped open confrontations with the United States Congress and the courts over the issue by first asserting the privilege, then producing some of the documents requested on an assertedly voluntary basis.

Early precedents

Executive privilege is a specific instance of the more general common-law principle of deliberative process privilege and is believed to trace its roots to the English Crown Privilege.[2]

In the context of privilege assertions by US Presidents, “In 1796, President George Washington refused to comply with a request by the House of Representatives for documents related to the negotiation of the then-recently adopted Jay Treaty with the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Senate alone plays a role in the ratification of treaties, Washington reasoned, and therefore the House had no legitimate claim to the material. Therefore, Washington provided the documents to the Senate but not the House.”[3]

President Thomas Jefferson continued the precedent for this in the trial of Aaron Burr for treason in 1807. Burr asked the court to issue a subpoena duces tecum to compel Jefferson to provide his private letters concerning Burr. Chief Justice John Marshall, a strong proponent of the powers of the federal government but also a political opponent of Jefferson, ruled that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for these sorts of court orders for criminal defendants, did not provide any exception for the president. As for Jefferson’s claim that disclosure of the document would imperil public safety, Marshall held that the court, not the president, would be the judge of that. Jefferson complied with Marshall’s order.

In 1833, President Andrew Jackson cited executive privilege when Senator Henry Clay demanded he produce documents concerning statements the president made to his cabinet about the removal of federal deposits from the Second Bank of the United States during the Bank War.[4]

Modern exercises

During the period of 1947-49, several major security cases became known to Congress. There followed a series of investigations, culminating in the famous Hiss-Chambers case of 1948. At that point, the Truman Administration issued a sweeping secrecy order blocking congressional efforts from FBI and other executive data on security problems.[5] Security files were moved to the White House and Administration officials were banned from testifying before Congress on security related matters. Investigation of the State Department and other cases was stymied and the matter left unresolved.

During the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954, Eisenhower used the claim of executive privilege to forbid the “provision of any data about internal conversations, meetings, or written communication among staffers, with no exception to topics or people.” Department of Defense employees were also instructed not to testify on any such conversations or produce any such documents or reproductions.[6] This was done to refuse the McCarthy Committee subpoenas of transcripts of monitored telephone calls from Army officials, as well as information on meetings between Eisenhower officials relating to the hearings. This was done in the form of a letter from Eisenhower to the Department of Defense and an accompanying memo from Eisenhower Justice. The reasoning behind the order was that there was a need for “candid” exchanges among executive employees in giving “advice” to one another. In the end, Eisenhower would invoke the claim 44 times between 1955 and 1960.

U.S. v. Nixon

The Supreme Court addressed ‘executive privilege’ in United States v. Nixon, the 1974 case involving the demand by Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox that President Richard Nixon produce the audiotapes of conversations he and his colleagues had in the Oval Office of the White House in connection with criminal charges being brought against members of the Nixon Administration. Nixon invoked the privilege and refused to produce any records.

The Supreme Court did not reject the claim of privilege out of hand; it noted, in fact, “the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties” and that “[h]uman experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process.” This is very similar to the logic that the Court had used in establishing an “executive immunity” defense for high office-holders charged with violating citizens’ constitutional rights in the course of performing their duties. The Supreme Court stated: “To read the Article II powers of the President as providing an absolute privilege as against a subpoena essential to enforcement of criminal statutes on no more than a generalized claim of the public interest in confidentiality of nonmilitary and nondiplomatic discussions would upset the constitutional balance of ‘a workable government’ and gravely impair the role of the courts under Article III.” Because Nixon had asserted only a generalized need for confidentiality, the Court held that the larger public interest in obtaining the truth in the context of a criminal prosecution took precedence.

“Once executive privilege is asserted, coequal branches of the Government are set on a collision course. The Judiciary is forced into the difficult task of balancing the need for information in a judicial proceeding and the Executive’s Article II prerogatives. This inquiry places courts in the awkward position of evaluating the Executive’s claims of confidentiality and autonomy, and pushes to the fore difficult questions of separation of powers and checks and balances. These ‘occasion[s] for constitutional confrontation between the two branches’ are likely to be avoided whenever possible. United States v. Nixon, supra, at 692.”[7]

Post-Nixon

Clinton administration

The Clinton administration invoked executive privilege on fourteen occasions.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton became the first President since Nixon to assert executive privilege and lose in court, when a Federal judge ruled that Clinton aides could be called to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.[8]

Later, Clinton exercised a form of negotiated executive privilege when he agreed to testify before the grand jury called by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr only after negotiating the terms under which he would appear. Declaring that “absolutely no one is above the law”, Starr said such a privilege “must give way” and evidence “must be turned over” to prosecutors if it is relevant to an investigation.

George W. Bush administration

The Bush administration invoked executive privilege on six occasions.

President George W. Bush first asserted executive privilege to deny disclosure of sought details regarding former Attorney General Janet Reno,[2] the scandal involving Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) misuse of organized-crime informants James J. Bulger and Stephen Flemmi in Boston, and Justice Department deliberations about President Bill Clinton’s fundraising tactics, in December 2001.[9]

Bush invoked executive privilege “in substance” in refusing to disclose the details of Vice President Dick Cheney‘s meetings with energy executives, which was not appealed by the GAO. In a separate Supreme Court decision in 2004, however, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted “Executive privilege is an extraordinary assertion of power ‘not to be lightly invoked.’ United States v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1, 7 (1953).

Further, on June 28, 2007, Bush invoked executive privilege in response to congressional subpoenas requesting documents from former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor,[10] citing that:

The reason for these distinctions rests upon a bedrock presidential prerogative: for the President to perform his constitutional duties, it is imperative that he receive candid and unfettered advice and that free and open discussions and deliberations occur among his advisors and between those advisors and others within and outside the Executive Branch.

On July 9, 2007, Bush again invoked executive privilege to block a congressional subpoena requiring the testimonies of Taylor and Miers. Furthermore, White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding refused to comply with a deadline set by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain its privilege claim, prove that the president personally invoked it, and provide logs of which documents were being withheld. On July 25, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee voted to cite Miers andWhite House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten for contempt of Congress.[11][12]

On July 13, less than a week after claiming executive privilege for Miers and Taylor, Counsel Fielding effectively claimed the privilege once again, this time in relation to documents related to the 2004 death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. In a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Fielding claimed certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests” and would therefore not be turned over to the committee.[13]

On August 1, 2007, Bush invoked the privilege for the fourth time in little over a month, this time rejecting a subpoena for Karl Rove. The subpoena would have required the President’s Senior Advisor to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a probe over fired federal prosecutors. In a letter to Senate Judiciary ChairmanPatrick Leahy, Fielding claimed that “Mr. Rove, as an immediate presidential advisor, is immune from compelled congressional testimony about matters that arose during his tenure and that relate to his official duties in that capacity….”[14]

Leahy claimed that President Bush was not involved with the employment terminations of U.S. attorneys. Furthermore, he asserted that the president’s executive privilege claims protecting Josh Bolten, and Karl Rove are illegal. The Senator demanded that Bolten, Rove, Sara Taylor, and J. Scott Jennings comply “immediately” with their subpoenas, presumably to await a further review of these matters. This development paved the way for a Senate panel vote on whether to advance the citations to the full Senate. “It is obvious that the reasons given for these firings were contrived as part of a cover up and that the stonewalling by the White House is part and parcel of that same effort”, Leahy concluded about these incidents.[15][16][17][18]

As of July 17, 2008, Rove still claimed executive privilege to avoid a congressional subpoena. Rove’s lawyer wrote that his client is “constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony.”[19]

House Investigation of the SEC

Leaders of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission testified on February 4, 2009 before the United States House Committee on Financial Servicessubcommittee including Linda Chatman Thomsen S.E.C. enforcement director, acting General Counsel Andy Vollmer, Andrew Donohue, Erik Sirri, and Lori Richards and Stephen Luparello of FINRA. The subject of the hearings were on why the SEC had failed to act when Harry Markopolos, a private fraud investigator from Boston alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing his persistent and unsuccessful efforts to get the SEC to investigate Bernard Madoff, beginning in 1999.[20]Vollmer claimed executive privilege in declining to answer some questions.[21][22] Subcommittee chairman Paul E. Kanjorski asked Mr. Vollmer if he had obtained executive privilege from the U.S. attorney general.[21] “No … this is the position of the agency,” said Vollmer.[21] “Did the SEC instruct him not to respond to questions?” Mr. Kanjorski asked.[21] Vollmer replied that it was the position of the Commission and that “the answer is no.”[21] The SEC announced Vollmer would “leave the Commission and return to the private sector,” just 14 days after making the claim.[23]

Obama administration

On June 20, 2012, President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege, his first, to withhold certain Department of Justice documents related to the ongoingOperation Fast and Furious controversy ahead of a United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder inContempt of Congress for refusing to produce the documents.[24] Later the same day, the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted 23-17 along party lines to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress over not releasing documents regarding Fast and Furious.[25]

References

  1. Jump up^ Chief Justice Burger, writing for the majority in US v. Nixon noted: “Whatever the nature of the privilege of confidentiality of Presidential communications in the exercise of Art. II powers, the privilege can be said to derive from the supremacy of each branch within its own assigned area of constitutional duties. Certain powers and privileges flow from the nature of enumerated powers; the protection of the confidentiality of Presidential communications has similar constitutional underpinnings.United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) (Supreme Court opinion at FindLaw)
  2. Jump up^ Proper Assertion of the Deliberative Process Principle, S Narayan, p 6
  3. Jump up^ FindLaw’s Writ – Dorf: A Brief History Of Executive Privilege, From George Washington Through Dick Cheney
  4. Jump up^ David and Jeanne Heidler, Henry Clay: The Essential American (2010) p.264
  5. Jump up^ Blacklisted by History, p. 23
  6. Jump up^ Blacklisted by History p.575
  7. Jump up^ Holding, Reynolds. Time, March 21, 2007. Holding, Reynolds (March 21, 2007). “The Executive Privilege Showdown”. Time. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  8. Jump up^ Baker, Peter; and Schmidt, Susan. “President is Denied Executive Privilege”. The Washington Post. July 22, 1998. Retrieved 2007-03-27. Washington Post, May 6, 1998.
  9. Jump up^ Lewis, Neil A. (2001-12-14). “Bush Claims Executive Privilege in Response to House Inquiry”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  10. Jump up^ [1]
  11. Jump up^ “House inches toward constitutional showdown with contempt vote”. Politics (CNN). July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  12. Jump up^ “House Judiciary Reports Contempt Citations to the House of Representatives” (Press release). U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
  13. Jump up^ “White House Rebuffs Congress on Tillman Papers”. Politics (The Seattle Times). August 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  14. Jump up^ “Bush won’t let aide Rove testify to Congress”. Politics (Reuters). August 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  15. Jump up^ “Leahy: Bush not involved in firings”. Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2008-11-30.[dead link]
  16. Jump up^ “Leahy: Rove, others must comply with subpoenas”. CNN. Retrieved 2008-11-30.[dead link]
  17. Jump up^ “Leahy again orders Karl Rove to appear”. Bennington Banner. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  18. Jump up^ “Leahy again demands U.S. attorney info”. Earth Times. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  19. Jump up^ “Rove ignores committee’s subpoena, refuses to testify”. CNN. July 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  20. Jump up^ Henriques, Diana (February 4, 2009). “Anger and Drama at a House Hearing on Madoff”. The New York Times.
  21. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Jamieson, Dan (February 4, 2009). “SEC officials dodge questions; one claims privilege”. InvestmentNews.
  22. Jump up^ Ahrens, Frank (February 5, 2009). “Lawmakers Sink Teeth Into the SEC: Agency Mocked for Not Catching Madoff”. The Washington Post. pp. D01.
  23. Jump up^ “Acting General Counsel Andrew Vollmer to Leave SEC”. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Feb 18, 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  24. Jump up^ Jackson, David (June 20, 2012). “Obama team: ‘Fast and Furious’ documents are privileged”. USA Today. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  25. Jump up^ Madhani and Davis, Aamer and Susan (June 20, 2012). “House panel votes to cite Holder for contempt of Congress”. USA Today. Retrieved 20 June 2012.

President Asserts Executive Privilege in Bid to Forestall Contempt Vote By JOHN H. CUSHMAN Jr. Published: June 20, 2012 NY Times

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_privilege

 

 

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Breaking Bob Grant Dead At 84 –Talk Radio Path Maker — Rest In Peace — Videos

Posted on January 2, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Fiscal Policy, Heroes, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Reviews, Security, Talk Radio, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

bob_grantbob_grant

‘Bob Grant has died. Born March 14, 1929 he was an American radio host whose real name was Robert Ciro Gigante. Grant, who lived in Tom’s River, N.J., died on New Year’s Eve.He was a veteran of radio broadcasting in New York City, and Grant is considered to be a pioneer of the “conservative” and “confrontational” talk radio format who influenced many people after him.He began working in radio in the 1940s at WBBM in Chicago as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War he served in the Naval Reserve. He became sports director at KABC in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a huge following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC in 1964 titled, “Open Line,” “Night Line,” and “Sunday Line.” Many people were avid listeners of his show and it helped the popularity of the format.He was the father of conservative talkradio.He was known to say: “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.”

Bob Grant on “Hannity & Colmes” discusses retiring 1.16.2006 (Sean Hannity)

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Bob Grant, Father of Conservative Talk Radio, Dead at 84

Veteran New York radio personality Bob Grant — widely credited with inventing the conservative talk-radio format — has died at the age of 84.

Grant, who lived in Tom’s River, N.J., passed away on New Year’s Eve, according to the Branchburg Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements.

Grant began his career as a controversial talk show host in 1970, when he joined WMCA in New York and quickly bucked the liberal slant of many of the other hosts.

The gravel-voiced talker’s in-your-face opinions and regular telling off of callers often got him in hot water.

He opened his show stating: “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.”

He slammed uncouth politicians as “craven bootlickers.” He once said of the Second Coming of Jesus: “He’s not coming back. Look, I don’t believe he’s coming back. I think that’s a myth and I say it.”

Grant routinely signed off with the chant “Get Gaddafi,” in a taunt at Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.

In 1973, he called Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal of New York a coward for cancelling an appearance on his show, leading Rosenthal to complain to the Federal Communications Commission.

The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals and was ultimately thrown out after a judge decided Grant had offered Rosenthal equal time.

Grant left WMCA in 1977 to work for WOR, but was fired for controversial remarks he made in 1979.

“A caller phoned in to the show saying he was upset with a woman who was blaming the police for what happened to her sons. [This woman] was the public relations director or community relations director of WCBS newsradio,” he said.

“I stupidly asked the caller if he knew how she got that job. The caller said he didn’t know and I promptly and arrogantly said, “I will tell you how. She passed the gynecological and pigmentation test — that’s how! … WOR was forced to fire me even though I had given the radio giant the biggest overnight ratings they ever had.”

Grant returned to WMCA in 1980, where his producer was Steve Malzberg, now host of “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“I had grown up listening to Bob Grant so this was a dream come true,” Malzberg said.

“He was an extremely nice guy, a wonderful and funny pioneer who overcame many attempts to turn him into a villain. He persevered and did what he love until the very end.”

In 1984, Grant was hired by WABC, which had switched formats from Top 40 music to all-talk. With its strong signal, Grant was heard by millions of listener in the Northeastern United States.

The station began billing him as “America’s most listened to talk radio personality.”

But Grant got in trouble with WABC in 1996 when he made a mean-spirited crack about Commerce Secretary Ron Brown whose plane had crashed in Croatia.

“My hunch is that [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a pessimist,” Grant said. Brown, along with 34 others on board, had been killed.

Grant then moved back to WOR and his show became nationally syndicated. His WOR run ended in 2006.

In 2007, he returned to WABC where he stayed for a year and a half, before leaving to host an Internet radio show titled “Straight Ahead!” He again returned to WABC in Sept. 2009, to host a Sunday talk show, retiring last summer because of poor health.

Grant’s family asks that memorial contributions may be made in his memory can be made to the Young America’s Foundation, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170 or the New York Police and Fire Widows’ & Childrens’ Benefit Fund, Inc., 767 Fifth Ave., 2614C, New York, NY 10153.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Grant-radio-obituary-conservative/2014/01/02/id/544851

Bob Grant

Bob Grant (March 14, 1929 – December 31, 2013) was an American radio host whose real name was Robert Ciro Gigante. A veteran of broadcasting in New York City, Grant is considered a pioneer of the “conservative” and “confrontational” talk radio format.[2][3][4]

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

Grant graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism. He began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM (AM) in Chicago, as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX (AM) in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War, he served in the Naval Reserve. [5] He later became sports director at KABC (AM) in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of early controversialist Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC (AM) in 1964 titled, “Open Line,” “Night Line,” and “Sunday Line.”[6]

Move to New York City (WMCA: 1970–1977)[edit]

Grant came to New York in 1970, where he hosted a talk show on WMCA as the “house conservative”, distinctively out of fashion with both the times and with some countercultural WMCA personalities, including Alex Bennett. His offbeat but combative style (along with Fairness Doctrine requirements of the era) won him seven years on WMCA, with a growing and loyal audience. His sign-off for many years was “Get Gaddafi”, which meant remove Muammar al-Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya, whose anti-Israeli stance was in opposition to Grant’s pro-Israeli feelings.

On March 8, 1973, Grant had scheduled New York Rep. Benjamin S. Rosenthal, who was leading a boycott of meat. Grant later learned that Rosenthal would not appear on his show, and in a discussion with a caller, Grant referred to Rosenthal as a “coward.” Rosenthal then filed a complaint with the F.C.C., and the issue went all the way up to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Straus Communications v. Federal Communications Commission, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, January 16, 1976, Wright, J.[7][8][9] The appeals court ultimately ruled in favor of WMCA and Grant, due to the fact that Grant offered the congressman an invitation to appear on his show, granting Rosenthal equal time.[9]

One of Grant’s most memorable regular callers was Ms. Trivia, who aired her “Beef of the Week”, a series of seemingly trivial complaints. Ms. Trivia was Grant’s guest at a Halloween Festival dinner held at Lauritano’s Restaurant in theBronx, where a young Ms. Trivia, not long out of her teens, revealed herself for the first time to a startled radio audience, many who had expected and assumed, based upon her articulation and intonation, that she would be an elderly, prudish woman. Instead, a statuesque and fashionable Ms. Trivia, wearing an elaborate Victorian costume, was the surprise guest seated next to Grant at the dais table along with several political figures from New York. The following day the majority of calls to the show were for the purpose of obtaining information about the mysterious Mm. Trivia, with Grant in his typical manner finally in exasperation hanging up on the callers, shouting, “THIS IS NOT Mm. TRIVIA’S SHOW!”[10]

A linguistic “hoax” trivia question originated on Grant’s WMCA show in 1975, “There are three words in the English language that end in -gry. Two of them are angry and hungry. What is the third?”[11] While at WMCA, Grant attracted attention in 1975 from a commentary he recorded titled, “How Long Will You Stand Aside.”[12] Grant also released an LP record in 1977 titled, “Let’s Be Heard,” which was a recording of a speech Grant gave before a synagogue in New York. Grant left WMCA in 1977.

WOR AND WWDB[edit]

In 1979, radio host Barry Farber, fought with WMCA station manager Ellen Straus to rehire Grant. Farber broadcast during the 4-7 P.M. weekday timeslot on WMCA. When asked by Straus at a meeting if Farber was willing to give up his airtime for Grant, Farber replied, “Yes he can have my time. I’d rather he have my time than no time at all.”[13] While away from WMCA, Grant went up the dial to New York’s WOR (AM) for a time, where he was fired for controversial remarks. Grant describes the remarks that got him fired from WOR:

I had done my nightly show on WOR and a caller phoned in to the show saying he was upset with a woman who was blaming the police for what happened to her sons. I had read the story the man was referring to and noted that the woman, who was very angry with the police, was the public relations director or community relations director of WCBS newsradio. I stupidly asked the caller if he knew how she got that job. The caller said he didn’t know and I promptly and arrogantly said, “I will tell you how. She passed the gynecological and pigmentation test — that’s how!” Not only did that turn off Roger Ailes, but WOR was forced to fire me even though I had given the radio giant the biggest overnight ratings they ever had.[14]

After being fired from WOR, Grant worked at WWDB in Philadelphia. Grant had gone back to WMCA after working at WWDB in Philadelphia. It was reported upon Grant’s departure that his ratings had slipped to number 23 out of 39 shows during the 4-7 P.M. weekday timeslot.[15]

WABC (1984–1996)[edit]

In 1984, WABC (AM) in New York City hired Grant to join their new talk station. He first hosted a show from 9-11pm, before moving to the 3-6pm afternoon time slot. The Bob Grant Show consistently dominated the ratings in the highly competitive afternoon drive time slot in New York City and at one point the radio station aired recorded promos announcing him as “America’s most listened to talk radio personality.” The gravel-voiced Grant reminded listeners during the daily introduction that the “program was unscripted and unrehearsed”.

Grant’s long stay at WABC ended when he was fired for a remark about the April 3, 1996 airplane crash involving Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Grant remarked to caller named, Carl of Oyster Bay (Carl Limbacher, later of NewsMaxfame), “My hunch is that [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a pessimist.” When Brown was found dead, Grant’s comments were widely criticized, and several weeks later, after a media campaign, his contract was terminated.[16]

Return to WOR (1996–2006)[edit]

After being fired, Grant moved down the dial to WOR to host his show in the same afternoon drive-time slot. Grant’s age began to show while broadcasting at WOR. He was less engaging with the callers, and not as energetic during his broadcasts. For a time, the Bob Grant show went into national syndication, but has been a local only show since 2001. Grant and his WABC replacement Sean Hannity would sometimes throw jabs at each other. Hannity defeated Grant in the ratings from 2001–2006.[17][18]

Grant’s WOR run ended on January 13, 2006. Grant’s ratings were not to blame for his departure, according to the New York Post, which mentioned that the decision was reached because the station’s other shows had niche audiences to garner more advertising dollars.[19] On January 16, 2006, shortly after Grant’s last WOR show, Grant appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show and TV program Hannity & Colmes, where his former competitor paid tribute to him. Having left his options open for “an offer he cannot refuse,” Grant returned to WOR in February 2006, doing one minute “Straight Ahead” commentaries which aired twice daily after news broadcasts until September 2006. On September 8, 2006 Grant again appeared on Hannity’s show to provide a post-retirement update, which led to premature rumors that Grant was returning to WABC.[20][21] Grant then made various isolated radio appearances. He appeared as a guest host on WFNY (now WXRK) on December 7, 2006, and was interviewed by attorney Anthony Macri for Macri’s WOR show on February 24, 2007.

Post-Retirement: Return to WABC and Internet broadcasting[edit]

His guest appearances became more frequent beginning in July 2007. On July 7, 2007, he guest hosted for John R. Gambling, and appeared on Mark Levin’s show (which is networked from WABC) on July 10. Grant, guest hosted for Jerry Agar on July 9, 10, 11 and re-appeared as a fill-in host again for John Gambling on August 20 and 21. Then, on August 22, while appearing on Hannity’s show, he announced that he was returning as a regular host to WABC, in the 8–10 PM slot that at the time was filled by Agar. It would later be revealed, on what was Agar’s final show a few hours later, that he would be starting effective immediately, as Grant took over the final segments of the show. His first full show on ABC since 1996 was on August 23. The story of Grant’s return, as reported by the New York Daily News, had been discovered only a couple of hours before Grant’s official announcement.

Grant’s stint lasted less than a year and a half, until his regular nightly show was pulled by WABC in late November 2008 as part of a programming shuffle stemming from the debut of Curtis Sliwa’s national show, and later Mark Levin’s show expanding to three hours, leaving no room for Grant.[22] Grant did his most recent AM radio work as guest host filling in for Michael Savage on January 21, 2009, Mark Levin on March 23, 2009, and Sean Hannity on July 31, 2009.[22]

During the week of July 6, 2009 Grant began hosting an Internet radio show titled Straight Ahead! which originally ran Monday through Friday from 8 to 9 a.m. Eastern time on UBATV.com.[23] As a webcast, the show differed from Grant’s radio shows, in that the viewer watched Grant as he did his broadcast. The first two months of Straight Ahead! were from inside Grant’s home, and were run with technical assistance from independent filmmaker Ryan O’Leary.[24]New York radio personalities Richard Bey and Jay Diamond were also brought on board to broadcast their own one hour shows. Grant mentioned that he did not get paid to do the UBATV show, but believes that Internet broadcasting is the future.[25][26]

Beginning in September 2009, Grant reduced Straight Ahead! from five days a week down to two (Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m Eastern time). Grant also moved the show from his home to a professional studio. Due to a low number of callers to the show, Grant usually interviewed only guests for the hour. On January 13, 2010, Grant did his last UBATV show. Grant’s last UBATV show and his last WOR show both fell on the date of January 13.

On September 13, 2009, Grant returned to WABC for a third stint at the station, doing a weekly Sunday talk show from 12pm to 2pm. Grant’s return to AM broadcasting has allowed him to continue interacting with his fan base through greater listenership and participation than his previous internet radio show provided. At the close of his first show, he expressly thanked the management of the station for “inviting him back” and said he looked forward to continuing this joint venture every week for the foreseeable future. Grant issued a statement in October 2012 that his October 7 broadcast would be his last, but then rescinded that message after the show, labeling it a “mistake” and an attempt to grab attention. He then took off a short time for medical work, and when he returned to the air, it was for a shortened 1pm to 2pm Sunday show (current as of November 2012). Bob Grant’s last show on WABC was July 28, 2013 when he retired due to ill health.

Grant also prepares weekly columns for his website, www.BobGrantOnline.com. The site was originally sponsored by NewsMax. As of February 19, 2013, Grant has discontinued his editorials.

Characteristics of Grant’s radio shows[edit]

This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately(January 2010)

Grant’s political philosophy generally followed American conservatism, but with some lurches into populism, libertarianism, conspiracy theory, and unorthodoxy (such as being pro-choice and anti-Flag Desecration Amendment). Grant was known for using a number of catchphrases on his show, such as “You’re a fake, a phony, and a fraud!”,[27] “Straight ahead”, “Get off my phone!”, “Anything and everything is grist for our ever-grinding mill”, and his closing line, “Your influence counts. Use it.” His opening line was used as the title of his 1996 book, Let’s Be Heard, a title representing an abbreviated version of his original opener, “And let’s be heard! Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.” Before his daily monologue, Grant would ask the rhetorical question, “And what’s on your mind today, hmmm?”, and would sometimes call women “chickie-poos”. He occasionally referred to women as “broads” and when certain undesirable, lacklustre or contentious women were combative he referenced them as “several miles of bad road”. One of his favorite put-downs was to refer to someone as a “cacazote”. During the 1988 presidential bid of Michael Dukakis, this term took on a natural segue as Grant often referred to him as “Dukacazote”. He also referred to feckless politicians as “craven bootlickers,” especially when elected officials would cave in to political pressures, and Grant accused them of “folding like a cheap camera”. Due to his Italian heritage, Grant frequently used Italian slang words to describe callers or other individuals calling them gavones (crude or uncultured persons), stunads (stupid, thick, dense) or chiacchorones (persons who talk excessively). During his second stint at WOR, Grant often closed his show with the phrase, “Somebody’s got to say these things, it has to be me!” As a resident of Manalapan, New Jersey in the late-1990s, he considered running for statewide office, but eventually decided against it.

Grant occasionally made on-air reference to an always unheard, ethereal Beatrice-like presence à la Dante’s Paradiso section in The Divine Comedy, “The Lady Josephine”, to whom he constantly paid obeisance. His son, Jeff Grant, a traffic reporter with a different station, would call in occasionally. Grant made frequent references to the REO Diner in Woodbridge, New Jersey, his regular haunt.

For many years Grant closed each show with the exclamation, “Get Khadafy!” This was apparently an allusion to the practice of Roman statesman Cato the Elder ending his speeches with a call for the destruction of Carthage even if he had not been discussing Carthage in the speech. When Khadafy was finally killed in the 2012 Libyan civil war, Grant praised the decision.

When once asked by the caller George the Atheist whether he believed in God, Grant replied, “What if I tell you, George, that sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t?” On his July 21, 2005 broadcast, Grant, a baptized and raised Roman Catholic, unequivocally stated to the same caller his opinion on the Second Coming of Jesus: “He’s not coming back. Look, I don’t believe he’s coming back. I think that’s a myth and I say it. I don’t trumpet it but if a person asks — and you know one thing for sure, I’ve been deadly honest, dead-on honest all the time I’ve been on the air talking to people and they ask me questions or they make a comment that elicits a response, they are going to get an honest response. It may always not be ‘correct’ but it’s honest.” Grant has since stated that he is not an atheist.

Like many hosts in the talk radio format, Grant had his battery of usual callers that added interest to the show. John from Staten Island, Jimmy from Brooklyn, Al from Chappaqua, Greg from Chatham, David from Irvington, Dorothy from Montclair, Hal from North Bergen (at the time an undercover FBI agent provocateur posing as a white supremacist, he later went rogue), patients rights activist Eddie Carbone, and the popular Frank from Queens were some of the frequent callers. A few quasi-fictitious characters (played by Grant) were also employed during the show such as, ‘Julian P. Farquar, Dexter Pogue, Rantz Greeb, Paul “needlenose” Monage, and Lucy Shagnasty.

Over the years, Grant has made a number of statements on his shows that critics have described as racist. For example, he was quoted in the Newsday of June 2, 1992, as saying “Minorities are the Big Apple’s majority, you don’t need the papers to tell you that, walk around and you know it. To me, that’s a bad thing. I’m a white person.” In his book, Grant defended this statement by writing that he did not intend to put down other races, but only intended to express that “no one likes to be in the minority,” and that America can only survive by retaining its “humane, west European culture.” Thus, he supports ending bilingualism and multiculturalism, two policies of which he has been highly critical.

On October 15, 2008, Grant said “Did you notice Obama is not content with just having several American flags, plain old American flags with the 50 states represented by 50 stars? He has the ‘O’ flag. […] He had the flag painted over, and the ‘O’ for Obama. Now,…these things are symptomatic of a person who would like to be a potentate — a dictator.” The “O” flag to which Grant referred was, in fact, the state flag of Ohio.

Grant distinguished himself from other conservative talk show hosts by calling for Obama to release his long form birth certificate, prior to Obama releasing it.[28]

Although Grant is generally known as being a conservative, he has been a critic of hard-lined conservative advocates in primary races, including the Tea Party movement’s candidates. This has been a frequent debate topic between Grant and his callers over the past few years. During the fall election of 2010, Grant criticized candidates, such as Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle. Grant endorsed Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio on a July 10, 2010 broadcast for the Florida senate primary. On a May 8, 2011 broadcast, Grant informed his audience that he supported the moderate Jon Huntsman, Jr. for the Republican nomination for president, although he would later go on to supportMitt Romney.[29]

Influences and legacy[edit]

Being largely the innovator of his own particular talk radio style, Grant previously worked with the likes of Barry Gray and Joe Pyne. Pyne would often end each broadcast with “Straight Ahead” which is something Grant picked up, leading many to believe that Grant was the first host to frequently use that line.

Over the years, national radio talk personality Howard Stern has made differing remarks on his admiration for Grant as an early influence. Upon Stern’s arrival in New York, he cited Grant as an influence,[30] but as Stern’s stardom rose, Grant became the subject of ridicule on Stern’s show. During Stern’s prime, he denied being influenced by Grant or having respect for him.[31] Stern has also frequently criticized Grant for changing his act to appease management.[31]Grant told Paul D. Colford, author of the 1996 Stern bio, Howard Stern: King of All Media, about being approached at a public appearance by Ben Stern, Howard’s father, with a teenage Howard in tow. Father introduced son to Grant and told him of Howard’s desire to go into radio. “I looked at this big, gawky kid and I said to him, ‘Just be yourself,'” Grant recalled. Stern has denied Grant’s version of the story.[31] Soon after Grant’s firing from WABC, and before his first WOR show, Grant appeared as a call-in guest on Stern’s radio show. In more recent years, Stern began to praise Grant’s legacy,[32] and called in on his last WOR show in 2006.[33]

Glenn Beck now uses the catchphrase “Get off my phone!” as a spinoff of Grant’s earlier call-in talk show style, as do Tom Scharpling and Mark Levin; similarly, Sean Hannity often uses Grant’s phrase “Straight ahead.”

In 2002, industry magazine Talkers ranked Grant as the 16th greatest radio talk show host of all time.[34]

On March 28, 2007 Bob Grant was nominated for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame.[35]

Radio & Records had planned to issue a Lifetime Achievement Award to Grant during its annual convention in March 2008; however, the award was revoked in January 2008 for “past comments by him that contradict our values and the respect we have for all members of our community.”[36] Several talk radio hosts have spoken out against the decision; Neal Boortz has stated:

I usually try not to miss the Radio & Records talk radio convention… Not this year. Maybe never again. R&R has succumbed to political correctness… I don’t call for boycotts. But I do think it would be wonderful to see talk show hosts refuse to appear at this convention… What we have seen here in this revocation of the award to Bob Grant is simple pandering to political correctness. Nothing more, nothing less.[37]

Sean Hannity, Opie and Anthony, Comedian Jim Norton, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Lionel and Howard Stern opposed the move as well, with Levin stating “I am disgusted with the mistreatment of Bob Grant. I am fed up with the censors, intimidators, and cowards in this business.”[this quote needs a citation] Don Imus deemed the award unimportant, offered to return awards he had received after treating them to his sledgehammer and block of wood, and called Grant’s comments “stupid”, although he also referred to Grant as a “legendary broadcaster.”[38]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Grant_(radio)

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Veterans March To Washington To Take Down Memorial Barricades Move Them To White House To Barricade Obama — H.I.M. Obama Calls Out Blue Shirts — Photos and Videos

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

VETERANS REMOVE BARRICADES FROM MEMORIALS AND BRING THEM TO WH

On Sunday, protesting the barricades placed at memorials around Washington D.C. by the vindictive Obama administration, veterans removed the barricades and proceeded to take them to the White House. Multiple people tweeted photos of the barricades being removed and taken for presidential inspection:

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Law enforcement officers force protesters down from the fence in front of the White House gates in Washington

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Former Marine Thomas Sowell

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Barricades

Veterans remove barricades from World War II Memorial and carry them to the White House, October 13, 2013. Set to the music of “The Home of the Brave,” by Gregory Sidak.

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Washington Barricades

Veterans Take Barriers from WWII Memorial and dump them at White House gates! #T4VETS #T2SDA\

Support the Million Veteran March on Memorials #T4VETS #1MVetMa

Members of the so-called “Million Vet March” descended on Washington, D.C., Sunday to protest the Obama administration’s decision to close the city’s public memorials.

Thousands of demonstrators arrived early in the morning and tore down barricades that had been set up to block people from visiting the popular attractions, WTOP reports.

The group said military personnel and veterans are “being used a political pawns in the ongoing government shutdown and budget crisis,” according to a statement on its website.

The group also said it has no political leaning, but believes that the closing of memorials is “a despicable act of cowardice.”

Mark Levin To Obama: “We’ll March on Washington” if “You Lay One Hand” on those WWII Vets

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FBI And NSA Demands Passwords From Internet Service Providers — Big Brother Is Truly Out-of-Control — Time To Totally Repeal Patriot Act — Photos and Videos

Posted on July 25, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Security, Tax Policy, Taxes, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

Secret demands mark escalation in Internet surveillance by the federal government through gaining access to user passwords, which are typically stored in encrypted form.

The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

“I’ve certainly seen them ask for passwords,” said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We push back.”

A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies “really heavily scrutinize” these requests, the person said. “There’s a lot of ‘over my dead body.'”

Some of the government orders demand not only a user’s password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt, according to a person familiar with the requests. A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password. Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.

“This is one of those unanswered legal questions: Is there any circumstance under which they could get password information?” –Jennifer Granick, Stanford University

A Microsoft spokesperson would not say whether the company has received such requests from the government. But when asked whether Microsoft would divulge passwords, salts, or algorithms, the spokesperson replied: “No, we don’t, and we can’t see a circumstance in which we would provide it.”

Google also declined to disclose whether it had received requests for those types of data. But a spokesperson said the company has “never” turned over a user’s encrypted password, and that it has a legal team that frequently pushes back against requests that are fishing expeditions or are otherwise problematic. “We take the privacy and security of our users very seriously,” the spokesperson said.

Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast did not respond to queries about whether they have received requests for users’ passwords and how they would respond to them.

Richard Lovejoy, a director of the Opera Software subsidiary that operates FastMail, said he doesn’t recall receiving any such requests but that the company still has a relatively small number of users compared with its larger rivals. Because of that, he said, “we don’t get a high volume” of U.S. government demands.

The FBI declined to comment.

Some details remain unclear, including when the requests began and whether the government demands are always targeted at individuals or seek entire password database dumps. The Patriot Act has been used to demand entire database dumps of phone call logs, and critics have suggested its use is broader. “The authority of the government is essentially limitless” under that law, Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who serves on the Senate Intelligence committee, said at a Washington event this week.

Large Internet companies have resisted the government’s requests by arguing that “you don’t have the right to operate the account as a person,” according to a person familiar with the issue. “I don’t know what happens when the government goes to smaller providers and demands user passwords,” the person said.

An attorney who represents Internet companies said he has not fielded government password requests, but “we’ve certainly had reset requests — if you have the device in your possession, than a password reset is the easier way.”

Cracking the codes Even if the National Security Agency or the FBI successfully obtains an encrypted password, salt, and details about the algorithm used, unearthing a user’s original password is hardly guaranteed. The odds of success depend in large part on two factors: the type of algorithm and the complexity of the password.

Algorithms, known as hash functions, that are viewed as suitable for scrambling stored passwords are designed to be difficult to reverse. One popular hash function called MD5, for instance, transforms the phrase “National Security Agency” into this string of seemingly random characters: 84bd1c27b26f7be85b2742817bb8d43b. Computer scientists believe that, if a hash function is well-designed, the original phrase cannot be derived from the output.

But modern computers, especially ones equipped with high-performance video cards, can test passwords scrambled with MD5 and other well-known hash algorithms at the rate of billions a second. One system using 25 Radeon-powered GPUs that was demonstrated at a conference last December tested 348 billion hashes per second, meaning it would crack a 14-character Windows XP password in six minutes.

The best practice among Silicon Valley companies is to adopt far slower hash algorithms — designed to take a large fraction of a second to scramble a password — that have been intentionally crafted to make it more difficult and expensive for the NSA and other attackers to test every possible combination.

One popular algorithm, used by Twitter and LinkedIn, is called bcrypt. A 2009 paper (PDF) by computer scientist Colin Percival estimated that it would cost a mere $4 to crack, in an average of one year, an 8-character bcrypt password composed only of letters. To do it in an average of one day, the hardware cost would jump to approximately $1,500.

But if a password of the same length included numbers, asterisks, punctuation marks, and other special characters, the cost-per-year leaps to $130,000. Increasing the length to any 10 characters, Percival estimated in 2009, brings the estimated cracking cost to a staggering $1.2 billion.

As computers have become more powerful, the cost of cracking bcrypt passwords has decreased. “I’d say as a rough ballpark, the current cost would be around 1/20th of the numbers I have in my paper,” said Percival, who founded a company called Tarsnap Backup, which offers “online backups for the truly paranoid.” Percival added that a government agency would likely use ASICs — application-specific integrated circuits — for password cracking because it’s “the most cost-efficient — at large scale — approach.”

While developing Tarsnap, Percival devised an algorithm called scrypt, which he estimates can make the “cost of a hardware brute-force attack” against a hashed password as much as 4,000 times greater than bcrypt.

Bcrypt was introduced (PDF) at a 1999 Usenix conference by Niels Provos, currently a distinguished engineer in Google’s infrastructure group, and David Mazières, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University.

With the computers available today, “bcrypt won’t pipeline very well in hardware,” Mazières said, so it would “still be very expensive to do widespread cracking.”

Even if “the NSA is asking for access to hashed bcrypt passwords,” Mazières said, “that doesn’t necessarily mean they are cracking them.” Easier approaches, he said, include an order to extract them from the server or network when the user logs in — which has been done before — or installing a keylogger at the client.

Questions of law Whether the National Security Agency or FBI has the legal authority to demand that an Internet company divulge a hashed password, salt, and algorithm remains murky.

“This is one of those unanswered legal questions: Is there any circumstance under which they could get password information?” said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society. “I don’t know.”

Granick said she’s not aware of any precedent for an Internet company “to provide passwords, encrypted or otherwise, or password algorithms to the government — for the government to crack passwords and use them unsupervised.” If the password will be used to log in to the account, she said, that’s “prospective surveillance,” which would require a wiretap order or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act order.

If the government can subsequently determine the password, “there’s a concern that the provider is enabling unauthorized access to the user’s account if they do that,” Granick said. That could, she said, raise legal issues under the Stored Communications Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The Justice Department has argued in court proceedings before that it has broad legal authority to obtain passwords. In 2011, for instance, federal prosecutors sent a grand jury subpoena demanding the password that would unlock files encrypted with the TrueCrypt utility.

The Florida man who received the subpoena claimed the Fifth Amendment, which protects his right to avoid self-incrimination, allowed him to refuse the prosecutors’ demand. In February 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit agreed, saying that because prosecutors could bring a criminal prosecution against him based on the contents of the decrypted files, the man “could not be compelled to decrypt the drives.”

In January 2012, a federal district judge in Colorado reached the opposite conclusion, ruling that a criminal defendant could be compelled under the All Writs Act to type in the password that would unlock a Toshiba Satellite laptop.

Both of those cases, however, deal with criminal proceedings when the password holder is the target of an investigation — and don’t address when a hashed password is stored on the servers of a company that’s an innocent third party.

“If you can figure out someone’s password, you have the ability to reuse the account,” which raises significant privacy concerns, said Seth Schoen, a senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57595529-38/feds-tell-web-firms-to-turn-over-user-account-passwords/

Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping

A measure to end one NSA program was just defeated in the House by a surprisingly narrow margin. Here are other proposals on the table.

    by Kara Brandeisky

Although the House defeated a measure that would have defunded the bulk phone metadata collection program [1], the narrow 205-217 vote [2] showed that there is significant support in Congress to reform NSA surveillance programs. Here are six other legislative proposals on the table.

1) Raise the standard for what records are considered “relevant”

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has reportedly adopted a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act [3], ruling that all the records in a company’s database could be considered “relevant to an authorized investigation.” The leaked court order compelling a Verizon subsidiary to turn over all its phone records is just one example of how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has interpreted the statute.

Both Rep. John Conyers [4], D-Mich., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. [5], have introduced bills requiring the government to show “specific and articulable facts” demonstrating how records are relevant.  Similarly, legislation introduced by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., would require any applications to include an explanation [6] of how any records sought are relevant to an authorized investigation.

2) Require NSA analysts to obtain court approval before searching metadata

Once the NSA has phone records in its possession, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has explained that NSA analysts may query the data without individualized court approvals [7], as long as they have a “reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts [8]” that the data is related to a foreign terrorist organization.

A bill from Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., would require the government to petition the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court every time an analyst wants to search telephone metadata [9]. From there, a surveillance court judge would need to find “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that the search is “specifically relevant to an authorized investigation” before approving the application. The legislation would also require the FBI to report monthly to congressional intelligence committees all the searches the analysts made.

3) Declassify Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions

Right now, court opinions authorizing the NSA surveillance programs remain secret. Advocacy groups have brought several Freedom of Information Act suits [10] seeking the release of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court documents, but the Justice Department continues to fight them.

Several bills would compel the secret court to release some opinions. The Ending Secret Law Act — both the House [11] and Senate [12] versions — would require the court to declassify all its opinions that include “significant construction or interpretation” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under current law, the court already submits these “significant” opinions to congressional intelligence committees, so the bill would just require the court to share those documents with the public.

The bills do include an exception if the attorney general decides that declassifying an opinion would threaten national security. In that case, the court would release an unclassified summary of the opinion, or — if even offering a summary of the opinion would pose a national security threat — at least give a report on the declassification process with an “estimate” of how many opinions must remain classified.

Keep in mind, before Edward Snowden’s disclosures, the Justice Department argued that all “significant legal interpretations” needed to remain classified [13] for national security reasons. Since the leaks, the government has said it’s now reviewing what, if any, documents can be declassified, but they said they need more time [14].

4) Change the way Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges are appointed

Current law does not give Congress any power to confirm Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges. Instead, the chief justice of the United States appoints the judges, who all already serve on the federal bench. The judges serve seven-year terms. Chief Justice John Roberts appointed all 11 judges [15] currently serving on the court – ten of whom were nominated [16] to federal courts by Republican presidents.

A bill introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., would give the president the power to appoint surveillance court judges [17] and give the Senate power to confirm. The president would also choose the presiding judge of the surveillance court, with Senate approval.

Alternatively, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., has offered a bill [18] that would let the chief justice appoint three judges and let the House Speaker, the House minority leader, the Senate majority leader, and the Senate minority leader each appoint two judges.

5) Appoint a public advocate to argue before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Currently, the government officials petitioning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court do not face an adversarial process. Surveillance targets do not have representation before the court, and they are not notified if a court order is issued for their data.

In 33 years, the surveillance court only rejected 11 of an estimated 33,900 government requests [19], though it the government has also modified 40 of the 1,856 applications in 2012.

Two former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges – Judge James Robertson [20] and Judge James Carr [21] – have argued that Congress should appoint a public advocate to counter the government’s arguments. Carr wrote in the New York Times, “During my six years on the court, there were several occasions when I and other judges faced issues none of us had encountered before. […]Having lawyers challenge novel legal assertions in these secret proceedings would result in better judicial outcomes.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has promised to introduce a bill [22] that would provide a “special advocate” to argue on behalf of privacy rights and give “civil society organizations” a chance to respond before the surveillance court issues significant rulings.

The surveillance court can actually invite advocates to argue before the court, as the Supreme Court did when the Obama administration refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

“There’s nothing in law that would prevent the FISA court from hiring an advocate as an additional advisor to the court, except the need to obtain security clearances for that advocate, which would have to be granted by the executive branch,” explained Steven Bradbury, who served as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice from 2005 to 2009.

Bradbury has argued that the surveillance court may not need a permanent public advocate because its legal advisers [23] already fulfill that role.

6) End phone metadata collection on constitutional grounds

The Justice Department has maintained that mass phone metadata collection is “fully consistent with the Fourth Amendment [24].” That reasoning is based on the 1979 Supreme Court decision Smith v. Maryland [25], where the Court found that the government does not need a warrant based on probable cause to collect phone records. The Court reasoned that whenever you dial a phone number, you voluntarily share that phone number with a telecom, and you can’t reasonably expect a right to privacy for information shared with third parties. As a result, the Court ruled that the collection of phone records is not a “search” and does not merit protection under the Fourth Amendment.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced a bill [26] declaring that the Fourth Amendment “shall not be construed to allow any agency of the United States Government to search the phone records of Americans without a warrant based on probable cause” — effectively shutting down the NSA’s phone metadata collection program.

http://www.propublica.org/article/six-ways-congress-may-reform-nsa-snooping

The NSA’s New Spy Facilities are 7 Times Bigger Than the Pentagon

He works at one of the three-letter intelligence agencies and oversees construction of a $1.2 billion surveillance data center in Utah that is 15 times the size of MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and Jets. Long Island native Harvey Davis, a top National Security Agency official, needs that commanding presence. His role is to supervise infrastructure construction worldwide for NSA, which is part of the Defense Department. That involves tending to logistics, military installations, as well as power, space and cooling for all NSA data centers.

In May, crews broke ground on a $792 million computing center at the agency’s headquarters near Baltimore that will complement the Utah site. Together the Utah center and Maryland’s 28-acre computer farm span 228 acres—more than seven times the size of the Pentagon.

During an interview with Government Executive in June, amid the uproar over leaked details of NSA’s domestic espionage activities, Davis describes the 200-acre Utah facility as very transparent: “Only brick and mortar.” A data center just provides energy and chills machines, he says.

About 6,500 contractors, along with more than 150 Army Corps of Engineers and NSA workers, including some with special needs, are assigned to the project. Davis perks up when he talks about the hundreds of individuals with disabilities he has steered into NSA.

But ask him why the facility is so big and what’s inside, and he is less forthcoming. “I think we’re crossing into content. It’s big because it’s required to be big,” says Davis, a 30-year veteran of the spy agency.

At NSA, secrecy is not exclusive to intelligence analysts. Every civil servant in the Installations and Logistics Directorate Davis leads has a security clearance. He earned his in the early 1980s, entering the agency with a master’s degree in business administration, experience managing inventory for a women’s apparel chain, and a yearning for a higher calling than retail.

For security reasons, some of the contractors erecting the data center don’t even know its purpose, other than the equipment needed—nothing about snooping. The 2010 public work solicitation called for a 65-megawatt center with a chiller plant, fire suppression systems, electrical generators and an uninterruptible power supply backup capacity.

Davis lets out that inside there will be supercomputers, or what NSA labels “high performance computers.” These need “different cooling and different power distributions as opposed to something you bought from Best Buy,” he says. The machines, along with whatever other technology is tucked in the facility, are slated to power on by Oct. 1.

Four years ago, the stated purpose of the megaplex near Salt Lake City was to amass foreign intelligence and warnings about hackers.  Officials described it as an extension of President George W. Bush’s 2008 Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, a largely classified, cross-agency program to protect U.S. computer networks against adversaries. Today, it is evident the data plantation will not be linked to any one program. Instead, the systems inside will warehouse counterterrorism information collected in aggregate, including millions of Americans’ phone logs for five years and certain foreigners’ online messages, NSA officials confirm. Spies at other locations will decipher what’s accumulated to thwart terrorist attacks, cyber assaults, and weapons of mass destruction.

The Utah effort is the largest ongoing Defense construction project in the United States. Still, it is only three-quarters the size of the department’s largest in the world—the Medical Center Replacement Project at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Germany.

Harvey Davis, Director of Logistics, NSA, at the agency’s Fort Meade construction site. Photo by Melissa Golden

His Posse

Davis is reluctant to discuss the ratio of contractors to civil service employees in Utah—a week after The Guardian and The Washington Post have reported an NSA contractor leaked Top Secret documents. Prosecutors are pursuing former Booz Allen Hamilton employee Edward Snowden for exposing files about PRISM, the agency’s foreign Internet surveillance program, and domestic call data-monitoring while he was administering NSA data systems in Hawaii.

Compared with the 6,500 contract employees, “there is a smaller number of people on my core project management team,” Davis says. An agency official in the room adds: “We can talk in total numbers here . . . We can’t get into how many are ours, how many are theirs.”

A few days after the interview, when asked why NSA’s reliance on contractors is hush-hush, agency officials released some figures.  Ten people are on Davis’ core team. About 150 employees from the Army Corps of Engineers, along with an undisclosed number of employees from the 1,000-member Installations and Logistics Directorate, are involved with the Utah project. NSA considers the total sum of agency personnel staffed to certain construction projects operational details and would not provide that statistic.  A small workforce of up to 200 government and contract employees—building engineers, systems administrators and maintenance workers—will stay permanently to keep the facility running.

Davis is more eager to discuss the quality than quantity of his employees. Roughly 10 years ago, while working as an NSA human resources director, he encountered an untapped talent pool that he now draws from regularly. “The disabled population is just so thankful to have a job. They would just come in here and you’d have to actually force them to go home,” Davis says. “I have engineers that are hard of hearing, and our workforce all took sign language so they could actually communicate with one another.”

Nobody waters down security clearance exercises to facilitate special needs applicants, he adds. “Somebody who was deaf, we would do polygraph in sign language,” Davis says. “What we look for is qualifications first. We have someone developing software—working on the computers—that is blind. There is really no limitation that we have found as long we can find the skill match.” At least a dozen engineers who have disabilities work in his directorate. Grounds maintenance and snow removal contractors in Utah will be hired through SourceAmerica (formerly NISH), a nonprofit organization that fits agency needs with the skills of job seekers with disabilities.

“He has integrated this into the fabric of the company,” says Joyce A. Bender, past chair of the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities, who met Davis when he decided NSA needed more diversity. “What makes this work at any company is a passionate leader, someone in leadership, whether it’s in the private sector or a federal agency,” says Bender, a Pittsburgh-based consultant who recruits people with disabilities for work in government and industry.

Her firm refers to NSA about 200 individuals annually for positions in finance, linguistics, math and other specialties. Since 2010, about 550 candidates have been hired. “If he says, ‘I’m going to do something,’ you can count on it that he is going to do it,” Bender says of Davis. “He doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He’s very direct and to the point.”

A Leak During Construction

No matter their background or how they came to NSA, civil servants and contract employees alike all serve in silence. “That’s really the culture of this agency, and we’re really not looking for big accolades,” Davis says. “What really makes the people satisfied here is that they did the job and they did it right and they’re doing things within the appropriate manner.” The mentality is that NSA operates in the dark for the safety of Americans. Some citizens, however, argue it should operate in the sunshine a little more for the safety of democracy.

The secrecy dispute is “a distraction and a weakness that has been presented by this guy,” Snowden, who should not have seen such sensitive information in the first place, says one former NSA official. “They’ve got to do some internal homework about how to keep that data separate,” the ex-official says, adding that technical controls are not very difficult to configure. “How the heck did this guy in Hawaii gain access to all that?”

Some human rights advocates are grateful for the exposure of the agency’s surveillance methods. “Communications about millions of innocent Americans are being stored for five years in a government database—whether or not there is any reason to search our call records, and I don’t think our Constitution allows that,” says Alex Abdo, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.

Even some former Pentagon officials say citizens should know NSA’s intentions for the Utah data center. “When you have this much centralization of capabilities, which in government terms can translate into real power—that and resources—it’s important that the public be able to look at these things and figure out what they are doing,” says a cyber official who recently left Defense and now works as a private contractor. The official is not involved in the project and was not authorized to speak on behalf of the department.

A 2012 article in Wired reported that NSA needs the megaplex partially because the Pentagon wants to expand the military global communications network to manage yottabytes of data. “A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude,” the article said. “Should the agency ever fill the Utah center with a yottabyte of information, it would be equal to about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.” NSA officials told Government Executive, however, they do not discuss such operational details.

An Open House

The contents of the NSA computer fortress might be a mystery to the public, but Davis says his project has been open to congressional and industry scrutiny.

“The military construction process by design is a very, very transparent process. We work through the Corps of Engineers,” he says. “It’s a public discourse. When we give out our request for proposal, that’s through FedBizOpps.gov.” But on the website, many of the work descriptions for that project are locked behind a firewall. NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines says the documents are restricted because “they must be accounted for and are only for cleared defense contractors.”

Davis acknowledges the controversy over his project has taken an emotional toll. “We’ve been pressured to disclose what’s been going in the Utah Data Center for quite a while independent of the current events,” he says. “My workforce and the workforce that I work with here [in Utah] take our jobs and our responsibility very, very seriously, and for somebody to say that we’re doing something untoward is a pretty big hit on the morale here.”

No matter the outcome of the debate, the Utah computers are expected to go online within two months. This is where the MBA comes in. From choosing a site, to convincing Congress to agree with blueprints to surmounting a late-in-the-game budget chop, balancing the books is key. “Utah is a wonderful place with abundant and inexpensive power,” Davis says. “Plenty of sources of water for cooling.” NSA applied a mathematical model to select the location. The surrounding environment simplified construction. “Utah, because of the facility and the utilities, just came out far and ahead of everywhere else,” he says. “Lots of good roads. We could get the steel in. We could get the concrete in. We have lots of sand pits nearby,” he says. “We built our own cement slabs in that area. It’s pretty well offset from the road for the security that we need for the data center.”

The price tag for the project is in line with industry standards, according to NSA. “It’s actually relatively cheap and I came in under cost,” Davis says, referring to $100 million in savings gained partly by refusing to let contractors adjust the plan. Penny-pinching became mandatory when governmentwide spending cuts, known as sequestration, kicked in this year.

“One of the biggest cost drivers on a project this size is something called an engineering change proposal. They really number in the tens to hundreds in a project of this size,” but one could “count on a couple of hands the numbers of change orders that we allowed to happen,” he says. “We spent a lot of time honing the requirements tightly up front, making sure we knew what we were building, building it, and not going back and changing it later.” That’s the New York strong arm talking.

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2013/07/nsas-big-dig/67406/

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The Electronic Lynching of George Zimmerman By President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, NAACP and Mainstream Media — Shame On Them — Videos

Posted on July 20, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Crime, Education, Federal Government, history, Homicide, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Raves, Talk Radio, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/crime-clock

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FBI-Crime-Stats

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Preliminary 2012 Crime Statistics
Violent Crime Up, Property Crime Down

06/03/13

UCR 2012 graphicThe new preliminary Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics for 2012 indicate that when compared to data for 2011, the number of violent crimes reported by law enforcement agencies around the country increased 1.2 percent during 2012, while the number of property crimes decreased 0.8 percent.

The final UCR statistics—submitted by approximately 18,000 local, state, campus, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies from around the nation—will be released later this year in the Crime in the United States, 2012 report.

Among the highlights of the preliminary report:

  • Overall, when compared to 2011 figures, the West experienced the largest increase in reported violent crime (up 3.3 percent), and the Northeast experienced the only decrease (down 0.6 percent).
  • The Northeast was the only part of the country where the four violent crime categories saw decreases across the board—murder (down 4.4 percent), forcible rapes (down 0.2 percent), robberies (down 1.4 percent), and aggravated assaults (down 0.1 percent).
  • The largest rise in reported violent crime (up 3.7 percent) was in cities with populations of 500,000-999,999.
  • The West experienced the only increase in reported property crime (up 5.2 percent), while the number of property crimes dropped 1.6 percent in the Northeast, 2.1 percent in the Midwest, and 3.5 percent in the South.
  • The number of reported motor vehicle thefts grew by 10.6 percent in the West while showing declines in the Northeast (down 7.9 percent), the Midwest (down 3.1 percent), and the South (down 2.9 percent).
  • The number of arson incidents—tallied separately from other property crimes because of various levels of participation by reporting agencies—fell 1.2 percent.
 Crime in the United StatesUCR seal

The FBI compiles the volume and rate of violent and property crime offenses for the nation and by state in an annual report. Below are stories and final reports from previous years.

The UCR Program is a nationwide cooperative statistical effort of law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention.

The idea for the program began in the 1920s, when the International Association of Chiefs of Police—recognizing a need for national crime statistics—formed the Committee on Uniform Crime Records to develop a system. After studying state criminal codes and evaluating the recordkeeping practices in use, the committee completed a plan for crime reporting that became the foundation of the UCR Program in 1929. In January 1930, 400 cities in 43 states began participating in the program. That same year, Congress authorized the attorney general to gather crime data; the FBI was designated to serve as the national clearinghouse for the collected information.

The UCR Program’s primary objective is to generate reliable statistics for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management. Over the years, however, these statistics have become one of the country’s leading social indicators and are used by criminologists, sociologists, legislators, municipal planners, the media, and other students of criminal justice for research and planning purposes.

A word of warning, though—don’t draw conclusions from the data by making direct comparisons between cities or individual agencies. Valid assessments are only possible with careful study and analysis of the unique conditions that affect each law enforcement jurisdiction.

Once again, the final Crime in the United States, 2012 report will be available later this year.

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/june/preliminary-2012-crime-statistics

KUHNER: The media lynching of George  Zimmerman

A tragic death was spun to fit a racial narrative

George Zimmerman is innocent. The evidence clearly shows this. Yet the liberal media have already convicted him in the court of public opinion. The result is not only that a man’s life — regardless of the verdict — has been shattered. Race relations have been poisoned, paving the way for possible deadly riots if Mr. Zimmerman is acquitted.

From the outset, liberal media outlets — CNN, MSNBC, NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, the Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Washington Post — put forth one seminal narrative: The shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was a flagrant example of white racism against blacks. Modern-day Sanford, Fla., was transformed into 1960s Selma, Ala. Mr. Zimmerman has been turned into the poster child of a more subtle and polished, but revived Ku Klux Klan. For example, the audiotape of Mr. Zimmerman’s call to a 911 dispatcher on the night of the shooting was deliberately edited by NBC in a pathetic attempt to portray him as a vile racist bent on violence.

The entire mainstream media narrative, however, is based on lies. Trayvon was not killed because he was black. He was shot in self-defense because he repeatedly punched and smashed Mr. Zimmerman’s head on the pavement. The neighborhood-watch captain was trained by police to notice nonresidents, especially those who looked out of place and behaved suspiciously. The Sanford community had suffered a rash of burglaries and other crimes. According to residents (both white and black), the town-house complex has become increasingly unsafe. Hence, the reason — and need — for a neighborhood-watch team.

After spotting Trayvon, who did not live in the neighborhood, Mr. Zimmerman did what any good citizen should do: He called the police. The dispatcher asked for the location of Trayvon’s whereabouts. Mr. Zimmerman followed the teenager, gave the approximate address and street, and attempted to return to his car — until confronted by Trayvon. He then began to savagely beat Mr. Zimmerman, who suffered two black eyes, a broken nose and lacerations in the back of his head. If he had not used his gun, Mr. Zimmerman would likely be dead today.

All of these facts have been corroborated during the trial. A key witness, John Hood, saw Trayvon on top of Mr. Zimmerman hitting him “mixed martial arts-style.” Also, toxicology reports prove that Trayvon had marijuana in his blood and urine that night. Mr. Zimmerman told the dispatcher that the suspect acted like he was “on drugs.” Mr. Zimmerman’s wounds — and the grass stains on his back — were consistent with his story of being on the ground and repeatedly punched by Trayvon.

In other words, rather than the constant media image and picture of an angelic 12-year-old baby-faced boy, Trayvon was the opposite. He was a 6-foot-3 man-child with a history of drug use, who had been suspended several times from school. He even had images of himself on his cellphone smoking marijuana and wielding a gun. He was a wannabe thug, who triggered a deadly altercation. Had Trayvon gone straight back to the home of his father’s girlfriend, he’d be alive today. Instead, he chose to confront and attack Mr. Zimmerman. Ultimately, Trayvon — not Mr. Zimmerman — is to blame for the fatal shooting.

Yet, for the left, none of this matters. Liberals have turned Trayvon into a saint and celebrity cause. He is the alleged victim of racist white America. Here is another gross lie: Mr. Zimmerman is not even white. He is clearly a Hispanic — his skin is brown. He comes from a multiracial — including part-black — family. Hence, to twist reality to conform to their whites-are-racist narrative, the mainstream media manufactured a new racial category: white Hispanic. Only the twisted liberal mind could blame whites for a brown guy fatally shooting a black teen.

Ironically, it is Mr. Zimmerman who is the victim of a racist witch hunt. He never would have been charged with a crime had it not been for vile race-baiters, such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Aided and abetted by President Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the Congressional Black Caucus, these race-arsonists have fueled the flames of racial hatred. Encouraged by media coverage that has played to the most primitive racial sensibilities, many blacks have become passionately convinced Mr. Zimmerman is guilty — not only of murder, but of hating young black men. Law enforcement authorities in Sanford are preparing for bloody race riots should he be acquitted. Pro-Trayvon supporters on social media have already called for mass civil unrest in the wake of a not-guilty verdict.

If — and I stress if — there are race riots following the Zimmerman trial, then Mr. Obama and his media allies will have blood on their hands. They have smeared an innocent man, fanned the dangerous fires of racial division and hijacked a police investigation in order to pursue a political agenda of black victimology. This represents the ominous corruption of our justice system. Trayvon is dead, but his ghost may haunt us for years to come.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator on WRKO AM-680 in Boston

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/12/the-media-lynching-of-george-zimmerman/#ixzz2ZcGl2N1r

Should Black People Tolerate This?

By Walter E. Williams

Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Using the 94 percent figure means that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.The magnitude of this tragic mayhem can be viewed in another light. According to a Tuskegee Institute study, between the years 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites. Black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (8,197) come to 18,515, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home.It’s a tragic commentary to be able to say that young black males have a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities.A much larger issue is how might we interpret the deafening silence about the day-to-day murder in black communities compared with the national uproar over the killing of Trayvon Martin. Such a response by politicians, civil rights organizations and the mainstream news media could easily be interpreted as “blacks killing other blacks is of little concern, but it’s unacceptable for a white to kill a black person.”There are a few civil rights leaders with a different vision. When President Barack Obama commented about the Trayvon Martin case, T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami, told The Daily Caller that “the outrage should be about us killing each other, about black-on-black crime.” He asked rhetorically, “Wouldn’t you think to have 41 people shot (in Chicago) between Friday morning and Monday morning would be much more newsworthy and deserve much more outrage?”

Former NAACP leader Pastor C.L. Bryant said the rallies organized by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson suggest there is an epidemic of “white men killing black young men,” adding: “The epidemic is truly black-on-black crime. The greatest danger to the lives of young black men are young black men.”

Not only is there silence about black-on-black crime; there’s silence and concealment about black racist attacks on whites — for example, the recent attacks on two Virginian-Pilot newspaper reporters set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks. The story wasn’t even covered by their own newspaper.

In March, a black mob assaulted, knocked unconscious, disrobed and robbed a white tourist in downtown Baltimore. Black mobs have roamed the streets of Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities, making unprovoked attacks on whites and running off with their belongings.

Racist attacks have been against not only whites but also Asians. Such attacks include the San Francisco beating death of an 83-year-old Chinese man, the pushing of a 57-year-old woman off a train platform and the knocking of a 59-year-old Chinese man to the ground, which killed him.

For years, Asian school students in New York and Philadelphia have been beaten up by their black classmates and called racist epithets — for example, “Hey, Chinese!” and “Yo, dragon ball!” But that kind of bullying, unlike the bullying of homosexuals, goes unreported and unpunished.

Racial demagoguery from the president on down is not in our nation’s best interests, plus it’s dangerous. As my colleague Thomas Sowell recently put it, “if there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over.” – See more at:

http://cnsnews.com/blog/walter-e-williams/should-black-people-tolerate

What the Media Choose Not to Know about Trayvon

By Jack Cashill

Unnerved by an unspoken mix of political bias and racial queasiness, the major media have chosen to know as little about Trayvon Martin as they know about Barack Obama.

As a case in point, consider this boy vs. man fable spun by the New York Times‘ Charles Blow:

A boy’s blood had been spilled on a rain-soaked patch of grass behind a row of mustard-colored condominiums by a man who had pursued him against the advice of 911 dispatchers. That man carried a 9-millimeter handgun. The boy carried a bag of candy.

Blow was writing seven weeks after Trayvon’s death.  He had no excuse for missing the actual story.  Worse, since he is a writer for the Times, his reporting has helped set the media tone worldwide

The media’s willful ignorance was on display again this past week.  In reporting this news of George Zimmerman’s return to jail, more than a few media outlets showed the dangerously deceptive image of Trayvon as 11-year-old cherub.  They did so in the assumption that the narrative was still theirs to control.  It is not.  The blogs, which have been doing the real detective work on this case, have long since taken control away from them.

The sites I have found most useful are the Daily Caller and theconservativetreehouse.com.  What follows is largely culled from those sites and their independent contributors.  By probing Trayon’s background and parsing his social media chatter, they have put together a picture of a disturbed young man that begins to makes sense of the events that unfolded on that fateful rainy night of February 26.

6:21

Trayvon Martin is seen on the security video through the 7-11 window approaching the store from the direction of the Retreat at Twin Lakes.  He had been staying there at the townhouse of his father’s girlfriend, Brandy Green.  In major media accounts, the helpful Trayvon ventured out in the rain in a mile-plus round trip to buy Brandy’s 14-year-old son, Chad, some Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.  Not likely.

6:22

Trayvon, with his hoodie up, grabs two items from the shelves of 7-11.  One is the Skittles.  The other is Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.  The media avoid the name of the real drink — possibly because of the racial implications of the word “watermelon,” but possibly to avoid probing the real reason for Trayon’s trip.

Trayvon, in fact, had become a devotee of the druggy concoction known as “Lean,” also known in southern hip-hop culture as “Sizzurp” and “Purple Drank.”  Lean consists of three basic ingredients — codeine, a soft drink, and candy.  If his Facebook postings are to be believed, Trayvon had been using Lean since at least June 2011.

On June 27, 2011, Trayvon asks a friend online, “unow a connect for codien?”  He tells the friend that “robitussin nd soda” could make “some fire ass lean.”  He says, “I had it before” and that he wants “to make some more.”  On the night of February 26, if Brandy had some Robitussin at home, Trayvon had just bought the mixings for one “fire ass lean” cocktail.

6:23

Trayvon pays for his purchases.  He then appears to point to an item behind the counter, but the clerk seems to reject that option.  Trayvon turns from the counter with a couple of dollar bills still in his hand.

6:24

Trayvon leaves the 7-11, but we do not see him walk in front of the store window back towards Brandy’s home.

6:25

Three squirrely young men enter the 7-11, all of them with their faces concealed in part or in full.  The clerk had to have been nervous.  One of the three (Curly) takes off his hat and shakes out his long, curly dark hair.  He is likely either white or Hispanic, or, like Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic.”

6:27

Curly appears to be holding the two bills Trayvon walked out with.  He approaches the clerk and buys two cheap cigars from behind the counter and then a third one as an afterthought.

6:28

Curly is the first of three to exit.  The others will follow in a minute.

6:29

Trayvon, turning as he walks, can be seen through the window heading back towards the Retreat at Twin Lakes and Brandy’s house.

7:09

Zimmerman calls police while watching Trayvon near the gated community’s clubhouse, less than a half-mile from the 7-11.  According to “Dee-Dee,” the girl Trayvon was periodically talking to on his cell phone, he was ducking in out of the rain.  She also said he put his hoodie up for the same reason.  In fact, though, Trayvon had his hoodie up inside the 7-11, and he was walking in the rain when Zimmerman spotted him.  The walk to this point should have taken 10 minutes.

It took 40 minutes.  Some background may help explain why.  Earlier that same month, Trayvon had been caught at school holding a bag with marijuana residue and a marijuana pipe.  He was suspended for the third time that school year, this time for ten days.  Trayvon may have been dealing as well.  As one online friend had communicated earlier, “Damn were u at a nigger need a plant.”

Trayvon was partial to “blunts,” street slang for cannabis rolled with the tobacco-leaf wrapper from an inexpensive cigar called a “blunt.”  As a tribute after his death, one friend posted online a photo of a homemade badge honoring Trayvon positioned next to a blunt.

It seems altogether possible that Curly bought at least one of those cigars for the under-aged Trayvon and took those visible dollar bills as payment.  Trayvon waited five minutes outside the 7-11 and did not leave until after Curly came out.  In the 40 minutes before Zimmerman spotted him, Trayvon could have scraped the tobacco out of the cigar, replaced it with marijuana, and smoked his blunt.

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” Zimmerman tells the police.  “Or he’s on drugs or something.  It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”  Trayvon was on drugs or had been recently.  His autopsy showed the presence of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in both his blood and his urine.

It is possible too that Trayvon was up to no good.  “He’s just staring, looking at all the houses,” says Zimmerman.  Trayvon had a history.  On October 21, 2011, he received his second suspension that school year.  A security guard at his school saw Trayvon writing “WTF” on a hallway locker.  In looking through his bag for the marker, the guard found 12 pieces of jewelry, a watch, and a “burglary tool.”

Zimmerman did the prudent thing by reporting Trayvon to the police.  Ever since the Florida real estate bust, the Retreat at Twin Lakes had been troubled by vacancies, foreclosures, and renters of dubious repute.  The community had suffered numerous break-ins and home invasions, the perpetrators of which were all young men, most of them black.  “We report all suspicious persons & activities to the Sanford Police Department,” reads the standard neighborhood watch sign at the community’s gated entrance.  If Trayvon did not fit the bill, no one did.

7:10

“He’s coming towards me,” Zimmerman tells the police about Trayvon, who is now walking towards his truck.  He makes his first firm identification of Trayvon as “a black male.”  Adds Zimmerman, “He’s coming to check me out.  He’s got something in his hands.”  Zimmerman sounds a little anxious: “Please, get an officer over here.”

7:11

After Trayvon passes his truck, Zimmerman says, “Shit, he’s running.”  He is heading towards “the back entrance,” says Zimmerman.  That entrance is in the same general direction as Brandy’s townhouse.  A question that goes unasked is why Trayvon was running.

7:12

When asked by the dispatcher, Zimmerman agrees not to follow Trayvon, and his heavy breathing ends.  “He ran,” says Zimmerman.  Even if running slowly, Trayvon could have made it to Brandy’s house in a half a minute.  It was only 100 yards from the truck.

7:13

Zimmerman is hesitant to give out his address.  “I don’t know where this kid is.”  He looks around to see where Trayvon has gone, fails to spot him, terminates his call, and heads back to the truck.

7:14 – 7:16

These are the missing two minutes.  After receiving a call from Dee-Dee, Trayvon has come back to confront Zimmerman.  Their final confrontation takes place 70 yards from Brandy’s townhouse and only 30 yards from Zimmerman’s truck.  No one hunted Trayvon down.  Although he has kept the drink and candy on his person, Trayvon does not have a blunt with him.

According to the autopsy report, Trayvon was 5’11” tall and weighed 158 pounds, the “ideal healthy weight” at that height being 160 pounds.  He was not the skinny little boy with the Skittles that half of America still believes him to be.  He was at least three inches taller than Zimmerman and only about 20 pounds lighter.

His home life a wreck, his school life in disarray, Trayvon had fallen victim to urban America’s lost boy culture.

This culture, which the media also choose not to see, has been shockingly destructive.  Citing Bureau of Justice statistics, black economist Walter Williams in a recent column notes that “between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims.”  Of these, Williams estimates that roughly “262,621 were murdered by other blacks.”

Trayvon had “statistic” written all over him.  In the past year or so, his social media sites showed a growing interest in drugs, in mixed martial arts-style street fighting, in a profoundly vulgar exploitation of “bitches.”

Trayvon posed for one photo with raised middle fingers, another with wads of cash held in an out-stretched arm.  One YouTube video shows him refereeing a fight club-style street fight.  A cousin had recently tweeted him, “Yu ain’t tell me yu swung on a bus driver,” meaning, if true, that Trayvon had punched out a bus driver.

Zimmerman never saw the cute little boy that the TV audience did.  He saw a full-grown man, a druggy, a wannabe street fighter, the tattooed, gold-grilled, self-dubbed “No_Limit_Nigga.”

Media obfuscation may still work in the court of public opinion — it got Obama elected in 2008 — but it will not work in a court of law.  The truth will out.  When it does, the major media will lose a good chunk of whatever credibility they have left, and our nation may lose a good chunk of its urban real estate.

Trayvon Martin and Lean/Purple Lean/Purple Drank

This is a very interesting part of the TRAYVON MARTIN story that is not getting a lot of press. But it was widely reported that the young lad was simply buying “Arizona Ice Tea and Skittles” from the 7-Eleven store.
Turns out that we parents are unaware that there is a drug drink made from Arizona Watermelon drink and Skittles candy and then mixed with OVER THE COUNTER cough medicine (Robitussen and similar brands) that makes a very potent drug.
Not only is there now all sorts of evidence popping up that Trayvon Martin was abusing drugs, but it also is a warning to parents all over America that simple combinations of commonly available goods can be some serious drugs in the hands of our kids.
The drug is called LEAN or PURPLE LEAN or PURPLE DRANK. It is very likely that Trayvon Martin was on his way to make some more LEAN the night he was shot, the coroner’s report shows that his liver was damaged in a way that is consistent with the use of LEAN/PURPLE LEAN. Martin also may have bought a blunt at the convenience store, they empty the tobacco out of the cigar and fill it with marijuana, and he may have smoked it before his encounter with Zimmerman. Marijuana and Purple Lean are a popular combination with rappers and thugs.
Keep an eye on your kids and grandkids. Those seemingly innocent items such as Arizona watermelon drink and Skittles the young people are toting around or buying at the store may be a lot more dangerous to them than you think.
You should have to be over 18 years old, and you should have to show ID, to be able to buy cough syrup, to prevent our kids from making Lean/Purple Lean/Purple Drank. You cannot prevent the kids from buying Arizona watermelon drink and Skittles.
We will see if it comes out during the trial about Trayvon and Purple Lean, this information needs to get out there. The people who do drugs have known this information all along, now all of the good people need to learn about it, this must not be kept secret, parents need to know.

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/rochester-ny/TLL0M4JC4TMF3VSEQ

Purple drank

Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States, originating in Houston, Texas. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.[1] Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as Sprite soft drink or Mountain Dew and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.

There are numerous slang terms for purple drank, including sizzurp,[2][3][4][5][6] lean,[1][3][4][7] syrup,[3][5][8] drank,[5][9] barre,[5] purple jelly,[4][5] Texas tea,[9] and Tsikuni.[10]

History

Houston, Texas producer DJ Screw popularized the concoction, which is widely attributed as a source of inspiration for the “chopped and screwed” style of hip hop music.[3][11] Originally, the active ingredient of “syrup” was cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine. The concoction first gained popularity in the underground rap scene in Houston,[11] where musician Big Hawk said it was consumed as early as the 1960s and 1970s, becoming more widespread in the early 1990s.[12] Its use later spread to other southern states.[3] Because of usage by rap artists in Houston, it became more popular in the 1990s.[13]

In June 2000, Three 6 Mafia’s single “Sippin’ on Some Syrup,” featuring UGK, brought the term “purple drank” to a nationwide audience.[2] Three 6 Mafia’s single “Rainbow Colors” featuring Lil’ Flip pertains to the consumption of purple drank; the addition of a Jolly Rancher candy to a cup of purple drank creates a spectrum of colors, hence the name.

In 2004, the University of Texas found that 8.3% of secondary school students in Texas had taken codeine syrup to get high.[3] The Drug Enforcement Administration reports “busts” involving syrup across the southern United States, particularly in Texas and Florida.[3]

As of 2011, the price of purple drank in Houston is twice the price in Los Angeles.[13]

Notable deaths from use

Purple drank is confirmed or suspected to have caused the deaths of several prominent users. Respiratory depression is a potentially serious or fatal adverse drug reaction associated with the use of codeine, but mainly the danger lies in the much more potent and CNS-depressing phenothiazine-related antihistamine promethazine. This depression is dose-related and is the mechanism for the potentially fatal consequences of overdose: respiratory or cardiac arrest. As with most CNS depressants, mixing with alcohol greatly increases the risk of respiratory failure and other complications.[14]

DJ Screw, who popularized the codeine-based drink, died of a codeine-promethazine-alcohol overdose on November 16, 2000, several months after the video to Three 6 Mafia’s single debuted.[8]

Big Moe, a DJ Screw protégé whose albums City of Syrup and Purple World were based on the drink and who has been described as having “rapped obsessively about the drug,”[15] died at age 33 on October 14, 2007, after suffering a heart attack one week earlier that left him in a coma.[16] There was speculation that purple drank may have contributed to his death.[17][18]

Pimp C, widely influential Port Arthur, Texas rapper and a member of rap duo UGK, was found dead on December 4, 2007, at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reported that the rapper’s death was “due to promethazine/codeine effects and other unestablished factors.” Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Coroner’s Office, said the levels of the medication were elevated, but not enough to deem the death an overdose. However, Pimp C had a history of sleep apnea, a condition that causes one to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. A spokesman for the coroner’s office said that the combination of sleep apnea and cough medication probably suppressed Pimp C’s breathing long enough to bring on his death.[4][15]

Other notable incidents

In September 2006, Terrence Kiel, a San Diego Chargers player, was arrested during practice for the possession with intent to sell prescription cough syrup for use in making the drink.[3] Kiel was caught trying to ship a case of syrup to a friend via FedEx. Kiel was charged with two felony counts of transporting a controlled substance and three counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance.[19]

On July 8, 2008, Johnny Jolly, a Green Bay Packers player, was pulled over in his car for excessive music. The officers found a Dr Pepper bottle in a holder next to two Styrofoam cups containing soda and ice. The officers said the cups and the bottle all emitted “strong odors of codeine.”[20] The case was dismissed at first,[21] but charges were refiled in December 2009 after the Houston Police Department’s acquired new equipment that allowed the police to test the evidence again. Jolly faced a possible maximum sentence of up to 20 years in jail, but as a first time offender he would be eligible for probation.[22]

On July 5, 2010, former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was arrested at his home in Mobile, Alabama, for possession of codeine syrup without a prescription. He was arrested as part of an undercover narcotics investigation. Russell was booked into city jail and released soon afterwards after making his bail.[23]

On June 11, 2013, just days after being robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco, rapper 2 Chainz was arrested at Los Angeles international airport on charges of possessing marijuana and promethazine and codeine, the primary ingredients of purple drank.[24]

Ingredients

The most popular type of codeine syrup is promethazine-codeine, a prescription cough syrup. The active ingredients are codeine, a narcotic, and promethazine, an antihistamine. When taken in large quantities, both medications can lead to sedation and altered levels of consciousness.[1] The inclusion of the antihistamine is intended to deter abuse, as doses higher-than-recommended can produce extreme somnolence, clinical weakness, and ultimately, fatal hypoventilation (inadequate breathing to sustain life). In lower doses, the antihistamine targets cold symptoms through reducing both swelling and vasodilation; it also acts to potentiate the opiate codeine.

Prescription cough syrups containing hydrocodone are also used to make the drink, though they are less popular.[25] Songs like “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” by Three 6 Mafia refer to Tussionex, a yellow cough syrup containing extended-release hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine (another antihistamine).[26] Other hydrocodone-containing syrups such as Histinex HC, Hycotuss, and Hycodan may also be used, but Hycodan has added homatropine to deter abuse.[27] Syrup also is made with over-the-counter cough syrups such as Robitussin DM, which contain dextromethorphan as the cough suppressant. Although dextromethorphan is used recreationally, it has dissociative effects as opposed to narcotic. Dextromethorphan is a synthetic morphine analog[28] that has been on the market in the United States since the 1950s.[29] It is a cough suppressant in small doses, but in large doses it can result in a disassociative state, with hallucinations, similar to that produced by PCP or ketamine.[25]

Promethazine-codeine contains 10 mg of codeine and 6.25 mg of promethazine per 5 mL.[30]

Some users report that the large amount of sugar in drank causes them to experience weight gain, tooth decay, and other medical symptoms.[17]

Mentions in hip hop

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2010)

In addition to its popularization in the music of DJ Screw and Three 6 Mafia, the mixture has been referenced in lyrics of other rappers. It is the subject of UGK’s “Sippin and Spinnin” and “Purple Drank”, as well as tracks by D12, Eminem, Lil’ Wyte, Big Moe,[31][32] Lil Boosie, Far East Movement, Paul Wall, Esham, Mike Jones, Kanye West, T.I., Rick Ross, Birdman, Future, Lil’ Flip, Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Playaz Circle, Fat Joe, Beanie Sigel,[25] Project Pat, Chamillionaire, Lou Bega, French Montana, Kirko Bangz, Jim Jones, The Game, Slim Thug, Fat Pat, Frayser Boy, Gorilla Zoe, YC (rapper), Z-RO, Youngbloodz, 8Ball, Papoose, Drake, Jae Millz, Meek Mill, Mack Maine, Ace Hood, Juicy J, Gucci Mane,[33] Plies, ASAP Rocky, Tech N9ne, Trae, Young Buck, E-40, Yelawolf, Schoolboy Q, Mac Miller and Ab-Soul, the latter of whom has crafted an ode to lean titled, “Mixed Emotions”.[34]

New Orleans rapper Lil’ Wayne has publicly acknowledged his use of purple drank, and his lyrics frequently mentions drinking purple drank.[9] In the Duffle Bag Boy music video he can be seen holding a Styrofoam cup with “RIP DJ Screw” written on it. In his freestyle to “Throw Some D’s” on his mixtape Da Drought 3 he claims “I’m not a rookie, I’m a pro..methazine fiend” as well as stating “You know what’s in my Styrofoam…what? S-Y-R-UP.” He also mentions the substance in the track “Barry Bonds” from Kanye West’s Graduation album, saying “My drink is still pinker than the Easter Rabbit,” an overt reference to the color of the beverage. Wayne makes a similar reference in DJ Khaled’s song “We Takin’ Over.”[9] On March 15, 2013, it was reported that Wayne had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being discovered “shaking uncontrollably” and “unconscious”. Doctors found a high amount of codeine in his system and his stomach had to be pumped three times. He was said to be in critical condition.[35] The rapper’s associates were quick to deny rumors that he was near death, and he was released on March 18.[36]

Commercial products

Advertising for one commercial product based on purple drank.

Several legal commercial products loosely based on “purple drank” are marketed in the United States. In June 2008 Innovative Beverage Group, a Houston, Texas-based company, released a beverage called “Drank.” The commercial product contains no codeine or promethazine, but claims to “Slow Your Roll” with a combination of herbal ingredients such as valerian root and rose hips as well as the hormone melatonin.[37][38] Similar “relaxation” or “anti-energy” drinks on the commercial market use the names “Purple Stuff”, “Sippin Syrup”, and “Lean”.[39][40][41]

Criticism

These commercial products have been criticized for their potential to serve as gateways to the dangerous illegal concoction.[40][41][42] At a mental health conference in February 2010, Dr. Ronald Peters, Jr., of the University of Texas Health Science Center said of “Drank”: “They’re taking the name, and they’re trying to market it to young people.” He described the beverage as “the worst thing I’ve ever seen on the street since the making of candy cigarettes.”[42]

References

Portal icon Houston portal
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  1. ^ a b c Peters Ronald J. Jr.; Steven H. Kelder, Christine M. Markham, George S. Yacoubian, Jr., Lecresha A. Peters and Artist Ellis (2003). “Beliefs and social norms about codeine and promethazine hydrochloride cough syrup (CPHCS) onset and perceived addiction among urban Houstonian adolescents: an addiction trend in the city of lean.”. Journal of drug education 33 (4): 415–25. doi:10.2190/NXJ6-U60J-XTY0-09MP. PMID 15237866.
  2. ^ a b Walker, Yolanda (2006-10-20). “Drug-laced cough syrup tempts Texas teens”. WFAA. Archived from the original on 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Leinwand, Donna (2006-10-18). “DEA warns of soft drink-cough syrup mix”. USA Today. Retrieved 2006-10-23.
  4. ^ a b c d “Cough syrup cited in rapper Pimp C’s death”. LATimes.com. 2008-02-05. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  5. ^ a b c d e Bryan Robinson, Cough Syrup Abuse in Texas Takes Center Stage, ABC News, August 17, 2005
  6. ^ The Daily Fix The Wall Street Journal, David Roth. July 9, 2010
  7. ^ Richard Klemme, USE OF PROMETHAZINE WITH CODEINE SYRUP: COUGH/COLD EPIDEMIC OR SIGNIFICANT ABUSE?, Texas State Board of Pharmacy Newsletter, Volume XXV , Number 2, Spring 2001. The name “lean” refers to “abusers’ propensity of having difficulty in standing up straight.”
  8. ^ a b Demby, Eric (2001-01-11). “Codeine Overdose Killed DJ Screw, Medical Examiner Says”. MTV.com. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  9. ^ a b c d Shaheem Reid, Lil Wayne On Syrup: ‘Everybody Wants Me To Stop … It Ain’t That Easy’, MTV.com, February 28, 2008
  10. ^ Arizona Officer Safety Bulletin, [1], Public Intelligence, June 24, 2011
  11. ^ a b [2]Corcoran, Michael Joseph (2005). “The Geto Boys and DJ Screw: Where the Dirty South Began”. All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music (1st ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 23–26. ISBN 0-292-70976-5.
  12. ^ Joseph Patel, Chopped & Screwed: A History, page 2, MTV.com. Accessed January 7, 2010.
  13. ^ a b Schiller, Dane. “Purple Drank scheme allegedly made millions for smuggling ring.” Houston Chronicle. Wednesday October 19, 2011. Retrieved on October 23, 2011.
  14. ^ “Alcohol Interactions with Other Drugs”. Alcohol and Other Drugs Program Public Health Division, Health Department of Western Australia. 1999.
  15. ^ a b Kristie Rieken, Cough syrup found in Pimp C’s hotel had no label, Associated Press, February 5, 2008
  16. ^ DJs – Rapper Big Moe Dies, contactmusic.com, 15/10/2007
  17. ^ a b Leslie Casimir, Rapper’s death leads teens to re-evaluate lifestyle; Fans and friends wonder whether drug was a factor in his heart attack, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 20, 2007
  18. ^ Houston rappers remember Big Moe, by Eyder Peralta, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 16, 2007
  19. ^ Chargers safety Kiel arrested on drug charges, USA Today, September 28, 2006
  20. ^ Jolly faces unclear future – Trial on felony charge of drug possession awaits Packers defensive lineman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 11, 2009. The credibility of this statement is questionable. Codeine is odorless, according to Codeine Product Data Sheet, Chemkoo.com, accessed December 12, 2011.
  21. ^ Case against Jolly dismissed, “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel”, July 16, 2009
  22. ^ “540 ESPN Milwaukee”. Espnmilwaukee.com. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
  23. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/nfl/07/05/russell.arrest.ap/index.html?eref=sihp 2010-07-05
  24. ^ http://news.radio.com/2013/06/11/2-chainz-arrested-for-marijuana-possession-at-los-angeles-airport/ 2013-11-06
  25. ^ a b c Maxim W. Furek, “Lean” Abuse Creates Strange Musical Genre, Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals, 20 November 2008
  26. ^ “Tussionex (Hydrocodone and Chlorpheniramine) drug description – FDA approved labeling for prescription drugs and medications at RxList”. Rxlist.com. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
  27. ^ Papich, Mark G. (2010-11-03). Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs: Small and Large Animal. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 9781437701920. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  28. ^ Mason, Robert J.; V. Courtney Broaddus, Thomas Martin, Talmadge King Jr, Dean Schraufnagel, John F. Murray, Jay A. Nadel (2010-06-09). Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 9781437735536.
  29. ^ Miller, Richard Lawrence (2002). “Dextromethorphan”. The encyclopedia of addictive drugs. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. pp. 110‒113. ISBN 0313318077.
  30. ^ “Phenergan with Codeine medical facts from Drugs.com”. Drugs.com
  31. ^ Soren Baker, DJ Screw Protege Big Moe Spills ‘Purple Stuff’, MTV.com, April 19, 2002
  32. ^ Jason Birchmeier, Big Moe Biography, Yahoo! Music, accessed January 8, 2010. “The [title of] the big man’s debut album, City of Syrup (2000), … nodding to Houston’s reputation for drinking codeine-laced syrup, which Moe pours from a Styrofoam cup on the album’s cover.”
  33. ^ Lyrics for “Wasted” by Gucci Mane. The lyrics say “Sippin on purple stuff rolling up stanked” and “Purple codeine sprite paint don’t wasted, Mix it up grandma drank it than tasted, Now grandma sippin syrup leanin wasted…”
  34. ^ http://rapgenius.com/Ab-soul-mixed-emotions-lyrics
  35. ^ http://www.tmz.com/2013/03/15/lil-wayne-seizures-hospitalized-drugs-sizzurp-critical-condition-icu
  36. ^ Duke, Alan (March 19, 2013). “Lil Wayne leaves hospital”. CNN. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  37. ^ “‘Slow Your Roll’ With DRANK From Innovative Beverage Group – the World’s First Extreme Lifestyle Relaxation Beverage”. Yahoo. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2008-09-16.[dead link]
  38. ^ Adventures in Press Releases: The Anti-Energy Drink By Sarah DiGregorio in Edible News, June 4, 2008
  39. ^ ‘Sippin Syrup’ being sold in stores creates controversy, theGrio website, 09/25/2009. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
  40. ^ a b Jemimah Noonoo, Anti-Energy Drink Fuels Concerns Over Marketing, Houston Chronicle, November 28, 2008; retrieved from commercialalert.org website on November 27, 2009
  41. ^ a b Boyce Watkins, Company Makes Money from Deadly Urban Trend: “Sipping Syrup”, AOL Black Voices, September 29, 2009
  42. ^ a b Kim Horner, Anti-energy drink hard for some mental health experts to swallow, Dallas Morning News, February 18, 2010

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ProPublica — IRS Scandal — Targeted Enemies List Includes Tea Party, Patriots, Religious and Conservative Groups — Obama’s Tyranny –Videos

Posted on May 14, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, government spending, history, Inflation, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Taxes, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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paul_steigerobama-white-house

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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/TIGTA-201310053fr-revised-redacted-1.pdf

Glenn Beck Ties Together Benghazi, IRS, & AP Scandals ‘Fundamental Transformation’

Glenn Beck – IRS targeted conservatives

IRS Admits Targeting Conservatives – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – 2013.05.10

Lou Dobbs Rips ‘Nixonian’ Obama For Lying ‘Through His Teeth’ About IRS ‘President Who Has Lost His

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story

ProPublica founder and CEO, Paul Steiger, on the creation of this foundation-funded investigative newsroom, the challenges they faced and their plans for the future. ProPublica is the first online-only organization to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 2

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 3

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 4 Q&A

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 5 Q&A

Jon Stewart Totally DESTROYS Obama Administration Over IRS Scandal | A MUST WATCH

IRS scandal widens

Ex-commissioner on tea party scandal: IRS did “the wrong thing”

Tea Party IRS Investigations Not Politically Motivated? ‘How Stupid Do They Think We Are’

IRS in the spotlight: What’s a 501(c)(4)? By Martina Stewart, CNN

Deceptive Dollars Tied To 501(c)(4) Groups

Mark Levin Dissects Obama, The IRS & The Republican Party in Scandal – Sean Hannity – 5-13-13

Mark Levin Attacks Obama & ‘Impotent’ House GOP Over IRS Scandal ‘Absolutely Unacceptable’

Glenn Beck: Failure to Impeach Over IRS Scandal Means America ‘Already Operating Under Tyranny’

CU President David Bossie on Fox News (02/19/2013)

President Obama Calls IRS Targeting of Conservative, Tea Party Groups ‘Outrageous’

Obama Administration – The I.R.S. Targets Teaparty and Patriot Groups for Review

IRS Gave Higher Scruity to Tea Party, Conservatives According to Document Draft

Political Firestorm Erupts in IRS ‘Tea Party’ Scandal

Tea Party Patriots Jenny Beth Martin Talks ‘IRS Scandal’ with Lou Dobbs – 5-13-13

IRS Caught in the Act – Jenny Beth Martin CBS This Morning 051113

Senator Rand Paul Discusses IRS Scandal & Enemies List with Sean Hannity – 5-13-13

IRS Issues Apology For Targeting Tea Party & PATRIOT Groups! “Definitely 1st Amendment Concerns Here

IRS Targets Tea Party Groups During 2012 Election

Rep. Issa Rips Obama Over IRS Scandal: ‘How Dare The Admin Imply’ They’ll ‘Get To The Bottom Of It’

Progressive Group: IRS Gave Us Conservative Groups’ Confidential Docs

by Wynton Hall

The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.

The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.

ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were “not supposed to be made public”:

The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year… In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)

The group says that “no unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.”

According to Media Research Center Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor, ProPublica’s financial backers include top progressive donors:

ProPublica, which recently won its second Pulitzer Prize, initially was given millions of dollars from the Sandler Foundation to “strengthen the progressive infrastructure”–“progressive” being the code word for very liberal. In 2010, it also received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from the Open Society Foundations. In case you wonder where that money comes from, the OSF website is http://www.soros.org. It is a network of more than 30 international foundations, mostly funded by Soros, who has contributed more than $8 billion to those efforts.

On Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to hold a formal hearing on the IRS conservative targeting scandal. IRS Commissioner Steve Miller and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are slated to testify.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/14/Progressive-Group-Says-IRS-Gave-Them-Confidential-Docs-On-Conservative-Groups

IRS Also Leaked Info About Conservative Groups

Targeting scandal widens

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

More trouble for the IRS: The same office that singled out conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status also leaked confidential information about conservative groups last year, ProPublica reports. How does ProPublica know? Well, because the nine pending applications were leaked to ProPublica in the first place. The investigative site had asked to see the applications for 67 nonprofits and the IRS’ Cincinnati office sent over 31, nine of which had not been approved yet, meaning they were supposed to be confidential.

ProPublica was interested in the applications because it was revealing how social-welfare nonprofits, which don’t have to identify their donors and can spend money on elections as long as social welfare is their primary goal, misled the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status. Among the applications released to ProPublica: Karl Rove’s Crossroads group, which had promised to spend only “limited” money on 2012 elections and ended up spending more than $70 million. Also included were five other groups that all claimed they would not spend any money to sway the elections and spent more than $5 million. ProPublica reported on all six (here and here). Interestingly, the New York Times reported today that Crossroads and other larger groups were not subjected to the same intense scrutiny the IRS applied to small Tea Party groups; click for more on that.

http://www.newser.com/story/167882/irs-also-leaked-info-about-conservative-groups.html

ProPublica

ProPublica is a non-profit corporation based in New York City. It describes itself as an independent non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.[2] In 2010 it became the first online news source to win a Pulitzer Prize, for a piece[3] written by one of its journalists[4][5] and published in The New York Times Magazine[6] as well as on ProPublica.org.[7] ProPublica’s investigations are conducted by its staff of full-time investigative reporters and the resulting stories are given away to news ‘partners’ for publication or broadcast. In some cases, reporters from both ProPublica and the news partners work together on a story. ProPublica has partnered with more than 90 different news organizations, including 60 Minutes, ABC World News, Business Week, CNN, Frontline, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, MSN Money, MSNBC.com, Politico, Reader’s Digest, Salon.com, Slate, This American Life, and NPR, among many others.

History

ProPublica is the brainchild of Herbert and Marion Sandler, the former chief executives of the Golden West Financial Corporation, who have committed $10 million a year to the project.[8] The Sandlers hired Paul Steiger, former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, to create and run the organization as editor in chief. At the time ProPublica was set up, Steiger responded to concerns about the role of the Sandlers’ political views, saying on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer:

Coming into this, when I talked to Herb and Marion Sandler, one of my concerns was precisely this question of independence and nonpartisanship… My history has been doing ‘down the middle’ reporting. And so when I talked to Herb and Marion I said ‘are you comfortable with that?’ They said ‘absolutely’. I said ‘well suppose we did an expose of some of the left leaning organizations that you have supported or that are friendly to what you’ve supported in the past’. They said ‘no problem’. And when we set up our organizational structure, the board of directors, on which I sit and which Herb is the chairman, does not know in advance what we’re going to report on.[9]

ProPublica had an initial news staff of 28 reporters and editors, including Pulitzer Prize winners, Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber, Jeff Gerth, and Marcus Stern, but has since grown to 34 full-time working journalists. Steiger claimed that he received as many as 850 applications upon ProPublica’s start. The organization also appointed a 12-member journalism advisory board consisting of professional journalists.

The newsgroup shares its work under the Creative Commons no-derivative, non-commercial license.

Funding

While the Sandler Foundation provided ProPublica with significant financial support, it has also received funding from the Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and others. ProPublica and the Knight Foundation have various connections. For example, Paul Steiger, President of ProPublica, is a trustee of the Knight Foundation.[10] In like manner, Alberto Ibarguen, the President and CEO of the Knight Foundation is on the board of ProPublica.[11] In 2010, it received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from George SorosOpen Society Foundations.

ProPublica has attracted attention for the salaries it pays its top executives.[12][13] The head of ProPublica, Paul Steiger, was paid $571,687 in 2008, according to the company’s tax filings.[14] The managing editor, Stephen Engelberg, was paid $343,463.[15][16] The large salaries have been widely criticized by other journalists and even some in the non-profit world as excessive.[17][17][18] Steiger is the former managing editor at the Wall Street Journal. Engelberg is a former New York Times editor who co-wrote the non-fiction book Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War, with Times reporter Judith Miller. He was recently elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Awards

In 2010, ProPublica jointly won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting (it was also awarded to another new organization for a different story), for “a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.”[19] It was written by ProPublica’s Sheri Fink and published in the New York Times Magazine[6] as well as on ProPublica.org.[7] This was the first Pulitzer awarded to an online news source.[4][5] That investigation also won a National Magazine Award for reporting.

In 2011, ProPublica won its second Pulitzer Prize.[20] Reporters Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein won the Pulitzer for National Reporting for their series, The Wall Street Money Machine. This was the first time a Pulitzer was awarded to a group of stories not published in print.

ProPublica’s reporters have also received the Selden Ring, George Polk, National Magazine, Society of Professional Journalists, James Aronson, ABA Silver Gavel, Overseas Press Club, Online Journalism, Investigative Editors and Reporters, Society of News Design, Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and Dart Center awards (among others) for their work.

Reception

Praise

ProPublica is also renowned for conducting a large-scale, circumscribed investigation on Psychiatric Solutions, a company based in Tennessee that buys failing hospitals, cuts staff, and accumulates profit.[21] The report covered patient deaths at numerous Psychiatric Solutions facilities, the failing physical plant at many of their facilities, and covered the State of Florida‘s first closure of Manatee Palms Youth Services, which has since been shut down[22] by Florida officials once again.[23] Their report was published in conjunction with The Los Angeles Times.

Criticism

Dave Kopel, a policy analyst for the libertarian Cato Institute and a former columnist for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News, criticized a ProPublica report on hydraulic fracturing as a “one-sided series of facts arrayed to support a point of view”. He argued that a common theme in ProPublica’s work is that “the government is not doing a good enough job in controlling things, particularly things involving big business”.[24] ProPublica later responded to his article, countering those claims and saying quote, “using carefully culled quotations and selected statistics, Kopel asserts ‘indisputably false facts’ in ProPublica’s reporting.” [25]

After fallout from the IRS publicly admitting to targeting conservative tax exempt groups for added scrutiny, ProPublica broke the news that it had requested and received confidential pending applications for groups requesting tax exempt status.

Board members

Investigations

References

This article uses bare URLs for citations. Please consider adding full citations so that the article remains verifiable. Several templates and the Reflinks tool are available to assist in formatting. (Reflinks documentation) (December 2011)
  1. ^ “ProPublicaSite Info”. Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  2. ^ “About Us”. Retrieved 2009-01-11. ProPublica is a Dog Latin term literally meaning “for the public woman”; cf. publica.
  3. ^ “a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.” – Pulitzer.org The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Investigative Reporting, accessed 13 April 2010
  4. ^ a b The Guardian, 13 April 2010, Pulitzer progress for non-profit news
  5. ^ a b ProPublica, Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting: Deadly Choices at Memorial
  6. ^ a b Sheri Fink, New York Times Magazine, 25 August 2009, THE DEADLY CHOICES AT MEMORIAL
  7. ^ a b ProPublica, 27 August 2009, The Deadly Choices at Memorial
  8. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2007-10-15). “Group Plans to Provide Investigative Journalism”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  9. ^ PBS Newshour, 24 June 2008, “Financing Independent Journalism”
  10. ^ Board of Trustees, Knight Foundation
  11. ^ Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO, Knight Foundation
  12. ^ Turner, Zeke. “Shelling Out the Big Bucks at ProPublica | The New York Observer”. Observer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  13. ^ Taylor, Mike (2010-08-10). “ProPublica’s Top-Paid Employees All Made Six Figures in 2009 – FishbowlNY”. Mediabistro.com. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  14. ^ Salmon, Felix Philanthrocrat of the day, ProPublica edition, Reuters Blogs, Sept. 30, 2009
  15. ^ Turner, Zeke. “Shelling Out the Big Bucks at ProPublica”. Observer. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  16. ^ “ProPublica’s Top-Paid Employees All Made Six Figures in 2009 – FishbowlNY”. Mediabistro.com. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  17. ^ a b “Philanthrocrat of the day, ProPublica edition”. Reuters. 30 September 2009.
  18. ^ “Diamonds in the Rough”. CJR. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  19. ^ Pulitzer.org The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Investigative Reporting, accessed 13 April 2010
  20. ^ “A Note on ProPublica’s Second Pulitzer Prize”. ProPublica. 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  21. ^ LA Times – November 2008- Psychiatric care’s perils and profits
  22. ^ Bradenton Herald – May 2010 – Manatee Palms hospital Slammed
  23. ^ “MANATEE PALMS YOUTH SERVICES Facility Profile”. FloridaHealthFinder.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  24. ^ Kopel, Dave (2008-12-27). “Opinion pays its own way”. Rocky Mountain News. Unknown parameter |curly= ignored (help)
  25. ^ response

Claim: Obama Campaign Co-Chair Attacked Romney with Leaked IRS Docs

One of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign co-chairmen used a leaked document from the IRS to attack GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the 2012 election, according to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM, a pro-traditional marriage organization, claims the IRS leaked their 2008 confidential financial documents to the rival Human Rights Campaign. Those NOM documents were published on the Huffington Post on March 30, 2012. At that time, Joe Solmonese, a left-wing activist and Huffington Post contributor, was the president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Solmonese was also a 2012 Obama campaign co-chairman.

Both the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein and HRC described the leak as coming from a “whistleblower.” The Huffington Post used the document to write a story questioning former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s support for traditional marriage. The document showed Romney donated $10,000 to NOM. HRC went a step further than the Huffington Post in its criticism of Romney and accused him of using “racially divisive tactics” in a press release.

Solmonese, then still the HRC’s president, said in the release he felt Romney’s “funding of a hate-filled campaign designed to drive a wedge between Americans is beyond despicable.”

“Not only has Romney signed NOM’s radical marriage pledge, now we know he’s one of the donors that NOM has been so desperate to keep secret all these years,” Solmonese added.

Solmonese resigned his position at HRC the next day and took up a position as an Obama campaign co-chair. He had announced the then-pending resignation from HRC the previous autumn.

NOM announced Tuesday that it will sue the IRS for this alleged leak. Under immense political pressure, Attorney General Eric Holder launched a criminal investigation into the IRS’s actions. Congress will conduct ts own investigation.

In early April 2012, NOM published documents which it said showed this leaked confidential information did not come from a “whistleblower” but “came directly from the Internal Revenue Service and was provided to NOM’s political opponents, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).”

NOM discovered that when HRC published its confidential financial documents, it failed to conceal the source of the documents. “After software removed the layers obscuring the document, it is shown that the document came from the Internal Revenue Service,” NOM asserted in its April 2012 release.

“The top of each page says, ‘THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIPS. OFFICIAL USE ONLY,’” the statement continues. “On each page of the return is stamped a document ID of ‘100560209.’ Only the IRS would have the Form 990 with ‘Official Use’ information.”

NOM president Brian Brown argued in that April 2012 release that the leak was made to benefit President Obama’s re-election campaign against Romney, his GOP challenger. “The American people are entitled to know how a confidential tax return containing private donor information filed exclusively with the Internal Revenue Service has been given to our political opponents whose leader also happens to be co-chairing President Obama’s reelection committee,” Brown said.

“It is shocking that a political ally of President Obama’s would come to possess and then publicly release a confidential tax return that came directly from the Internal Revenue Service,” he declared. “We demand to know who is responsible for this criminal act and what the Administration is going to do to get to the bottom of it.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/14/Obama-campaign-co-chair-attacked-Romney-conservative-group-in-2012-with-leaked-IRS-scandal-documents

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Dereliction of Duty By President and Commander-In-Chief Obama–Sleeping While Americans Died–The Big Coverup and Scandal–The President Lied–Videos

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Crime, Diasters, Federal Government, government, government spending, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Raves, Resources, Rifles, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

panic.panic.button

Obama-AWOL-Benghazi

benghazi-cover-up

Benghazi_VICTIMS-2

Former National Security Adiviser Bud McFarlane: For Obama to Do Nothing is Dereliction of Duty

Know The TRUTH ~ Step By Step ~ Bret Baier’s ~ ‘Death and Deceit in Benghazi’

Obama Confronted on Benghazi – Stutters Through Response!

Mark Levin – Obama’s “Dereliction of Duty”

Rush military caller says that Obama ordered no response to Benghazi attack

BREAKING OBAMA MAY GO TO PRISON AND BE IMPEACHED KILLING OUR OWN

Father Of Murdered Navy Seal in Benghazi, Recounts Days After Attack – Judge Jeanine

Graham Questions Military Leaders on Response to Benghazi Attack

Part II: Graham Questions Military Leaders on Benghazi

Sen. Chambliss at Benghazi SASC Hearing

Panetta: Benghazi was a ‘problem of distance and time’.

No Word from Hillary During Benghazi Attack Panetta, Dempsey did not speak to Clinton

Panetta Defends Pentagon’s Benghazi Response

Senator Blunt Questions Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey About Benghazi Attacks

Rand Paul’s Reaction To Defense Secretary Panetta’s Benghazi Testimony – Fox News

Obama vs Panetta on Attacks in Benghazi – Obama Could have saved American Lives

Senators challenge military leaders on Benghazi attack response

“…The top two Defense Department officials were sharply challenged by lawmakers  Thursday on their insistent claims that nothing more could have been done to  save the four Americans who were killed in the Sept. 11 terror attack in  Benghazi.

Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey were  peppered with questions from Republican senators during a hearing before the  Senate Armed Services Committee. The officials claimed military aircraft and  other assets were too far away to get to the scene in time, and suggested armed  aircraft like F16s could have done more harm than good in a chaotic situation.  The senators, though, pressed the officials for a fuller explanation on why  military assets were not deployed to rescue Americans under attack that night —  in what will likely be their last chance to question the outgoing Defense  secretary.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., disputed testimony that the difficulty in  dispatching assets to the scene was “a problem of distance and time.” He  suggested the “light footprint” in the region and a failure to respond to  threats left the military ill-prepared.

“For you to testify that our posture would not allow a rapid response — our  posture was not there because we didn’t take into account the threats to that  consulate, and that’s why four Americans died,” he said. “We could have placed  forces there. We could have had aircraft and other capacity a short distance  away.”

He continued: “No forces arrived there until well after these murders took  place.”

Dempsey acknowledged having gotten word of a warning from the U.S. consulate  about being unable to withstand a sustained attack, but said the military never  got a request for support from the State Department.

“So it’s the State Department’s fault?” McCain asked, curtly.

“I’m not blaming the State Department,” Dempsey said.

McCain responded: “Who would you blame?”

Dempsey went on to claim that several U.S. posts were facing significant  threats, though McCain said none so much as Benghazi.

Shortly afterward, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pressed Panetta again on why  no forces were deployed until after the attack was over. Dempsey and Panetta  said they talked to President Obama one time that night, but Graham questioned  why there weren’t subsequent follow-up conversations.

“It lasted almost eight hours … did the president show any curiosity?”  Graham asked.

Panetta said there was “no question” Obama “was concerned about American  lives.”

“With all due respect,” Graham responded, “I don’t believe that’s a credible  statement if he never called and asked you, ‘are we helping these  people?'”

The secretary’s testimony on Benghazi was long-sought by Republican  lawmakers. After then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified last month,  Graham had demanded that Panetta be brought before the Senate — threatening to  hold up the nomination of his prospective replacement Chuck Hagel over the  issue.

Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced last week that Panetta  would testify.

Responding to long-running questions about whether more military assets could  have been dispatched to protect those under fire in Libya on Sept. 11, Panetta  in his opening statement claimed there simply wasn’t enough time to do  more.

“There was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military  assets to respond,” he said before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We were  not dealing with a prolonged or continuous assault which could have been brought  to an end by a U.S. military response. … Time, distance, the lack of an  adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more  immediate response.”

Still, he said the Pentagon “spared no effort … to save American  lives.”

Panetta was testifying in what may be his final public appearance on Capitol  Hill as he prepares to leave the department.

Panetta, in his testimony, detailed the military response on the day and  night of the attack.

As Fox News has previously reported, he said an unarmed, unmanned drone was  positioned overhead the Benghazi compound.

But he said armed aircraft like AC-130 gunships would have taken too long to  get there — “at least nine to 12 hours if not more to deploy.”

“This was, pure and simple … a problem of distance and time,” he  said.

Panetta said he also directed that a Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team  stationed in Spain prepare to deploy in addition to a second FAST platoon; a  special operations force in Central Europe prepare to deploy to a staging base  in Southern Europe; and a special ops force in the U.S. similarly prepare to  deploy to Southern Europe.

As for what was happening in Libya, he claimed the “quickest response” was  the Tripoli-based team of six people which was sent to Benghazi.

“Members of this team, along with others at the annex facility, provided  emergency medical assistance and supported the evacuation of all personnel. Only  12 hours after the attacks had begun, all remaining U.S. government personnel  had been safely evacuated from Benghazi,” he said.

Since the September assault, some have questioned whether enough was done to  protect those at the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi. Four Americans,  including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed that night.

There have been questions about the perceived delays CIA officials —  stationed in Benghazi — encountered that night and their frustration that air  support was not sent from nearby Sigonella air base. In recent weeks, Fox News  has learned that the rescue unit that left Tripoli was told that air support  would be above when they landed in Benghazi, but it wasn’t. …”

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/07/panetta-defends-military-response-to-benghazi-attack-at-senate-hearing/#ixzz2KGmLO0Iu

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Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut: School Shooting–20 Children and 8 Adults Killed–Videos

Posted on December 14, 2012. Filed under: Babies, Blogroll, Communications, Crime, Culture, Diasters, Education, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NewtownMap

newtown_shooting

Sandy_hook_Elementary_School

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown CT Tribute

ALLISON N. WYATT, 6
BENJAMIN WHEELER, 6
VICTORIA SOTO, 27, teacher
MARY SHERLACH, 56, school psychologist
LAUREN GABRIELLE ROUSSEAU, 30, teacher
AVIELLE RICHMAN, 6
JESSICA REKOS, 6
CAROLINE PREVIDI, 6
NOAH POZNER, 6
JACK PINTO, 6
EMILIE PARKER, 6
ANNE MARIE MURPHY, 52, teacher
GRACE AUDREY McDONNELL, 7
JAMES MATTIOLI, 6
ANA MARQUEZ-GREENE, 6
JESSE LEWIS, 6
NANCY LANZA, 52, gunman’s mother
CHASE KOWALSKI, 7
CATHERINE HUBBARD, 6
MADELEINE HSU, 6
DYLAN HOCKLEY, 6
DAWN HOCHSPRUNG, 47, principal
JOSEPHINE GAY, 7
OLIVIA ENGEL, 6
RACHEL D’AVINO, 29
DANIEL BARDEN, 7
CHARLOTTE BACON, 6

New Details of Gunman Adam Lanza’s Movement Inside School

Newtown, Connecticut School Shooting: Adam Lanza – Who Was Shooter?

Connecticut School Shooting: President Barack Obama speaks at Sandy Hook Victims Vigil 

Weekly Address: Nation Grieves for Those Killed in Tragic Shooting in Newtown, CT

Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School: What Happened During Newtown, Connecticut Shooting?

Reflecting on Newtown, Connecticut Shooting, Gun Control in America ‘This Week’

Media Rush to Identify Shooter, Get it Wrong

Connecticut Shooter Developmentally Disabled Killed Parents Girlfriend Adam

Adam Lanza: What set him off?

History of Adam Lanza the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooter in Newtown

Why Did NewTown Shooter Adam Lanza The SandyHook Killer Snap?

Newtown, Connecticut Shooting: Motivations Behind Mass Shootings – ABC News

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting – Newtown, Connecticut Administrators, Students Among Victims

Many Dead In Newtown, Connecticut, US School Shooting

Mass Shooting Suspect Kills Own Mother Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown CT.

School Shooting In Newtown, Connecticut

Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown Ct 18 children dead in Conn. school shooting

27 Dead, Including 18 Children, At Sandy Hook School Shooting In Newtown

Mass Shooting Suspect Kills Own Mother Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown

Massacre 29 Dead Including 20 Children Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown, Ct. 12-14-12

School Shooting Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut – School Shooting News Coverage

27 Killed Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Connecticut 18 Children 9 Adults Dead

Obama Breaks Down In Tears As He Speaks About “Children” Killed In Newtown, CT

Mass Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut – Gun Control At Last?

THE SAVAGE NATION (HOUR 1) 12-14-2012 [Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut]

Piers Morgan gun control debate, re Connecticut massacre

Mark Levin-On Gun Control with Author John Lott

Guns versus Crime | John R. Lott, Jr.

JOHN LOTT: MORE GUNS = LESS CRIME – Gun Control Myths

Eric Holder: ‘We Have to Ask Ourselves Some Hard Questions About Gun Rights’

In ’95, Holder called for anti-gun info campaign: ‘Brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way’

NRA: “Assault Weapons”, the Clinton Gun Ban Story 

Obama’s Assault Weapons Ban 

Obama’s Bizarre Anti Gun Rant At The Presidential Debates (FULL) Gun Control

Gun Control explained

John Stossel – Gun Laws That Kill

OBAMA Pushes to ban guns

TOTAL Gun Ban

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! – Gun Control

I am Adam Lanza’s Mother

It’s time to talk about mental illness

“…Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

“You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…”

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.

(Originally published at The Anarchist Soccer Mom.)

Liza Long is an author, musician, and erstwhile classicist. She is also a single mother of four bright, loved children, one of whom has special needs.
 

Newtown tragedy could put mental health in spotlight

Liz Szabo

Could the nation’s mental health services be improved in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting?

“…Families and doctors who treat the mentally ill say they hope that Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will refocus the nation’s attention on improving mental health services.

Police have not yet released details about the motives or mental state of shooter Adam Lanza. But the perpetrators of similar mass murders — at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and a Tucson gathering for Rep. Gabby Giffords, for example — all suffered from serious mental health conditions.

“We wait for things like this to happen and then everyone talks about mental health,” says Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, an associate professor of psychology in the psychiatry department at Georgetown University Medical Center. “But they quickly forget.”

There are hundreds of multiple-casualty shootings every year, says forensic psychologist Dewey Cornell, director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project. People have become so desensitized to the horror, however, that “It’s gotten to the point where only the ones with high body counts make the news,” he says. “It takes a record number, or something extraordinary, to get our attention.”

Yet mental illness destroys countless lives everyday, he says, contributing to domestic violence and child abuse, drug addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Investing in mental health care and reducing its stigma could help prevent future tragedies, he says.

“Mental health has shrunk down to the level of short-term crisis management,” Cornell says. “If we are going to focus on prevention, we can’t think about the gunman in the parking lot and what to do with him. We have to get involved a lot earlier.”

Schools and communities “have cut their mental health services to the bone,” says Cornell. “We’re paying a price for it as a society.” …”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/16/newtown-mental-health/1773479/

Gun prosecutions under Obama down over 40 percent

“…Despite his calls for greater gun control, including a new assault weapons ban that extends to handguns, President Obama’s administration has turned away from enforcing gun laws, cutting weapons prosecutions some 40 percent since a high of about 11,000 under former President Bush.

“If you are not going to enforce the laws on the books, then don’t start talking about a whole new wave of new laws,” said a gun rights advocate.

In the wake of the horrific mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democratic lawmakers have begun preparing a new collection of anti-gun laws, including renewing the assault weapons ban, banning the purchase of high-capacity clips that spring bullets into guns, and tightening rules on who can buy weapons.

Lawmakers are banking that the public will push for new gun controls. But as with other mass shootings, polls find the public split, and blaming the shooter, not the gun. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press on Monday found that public is evenly divided over whether the Newtown shootings reflect broader problems in American society, 47 percent, or are just the acts of troubled individuals, 44 percent.

Figures collected by Syracuse University’s TRAC project, the authority on prosecutions from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, shows that the administration has reduced the focus on gun crimes and instead steered prosecutors and investigators to drug crimes.

Gun prosecutions peaked at 10,937 under Bush in 2004. A current TRAC report shows that the Obama administration is prosecuting about 6,000 weapons cases.

According to an October 2011 TRAC report, “There also has been a shifting emphasis towards drug-related investigations. Since ATF-referred prosecutions peaked in FY 2005, the number of weapons prosecutions actually has fallen by 32 percent, a much higher rate than for ATF prosecutions overall. Making up the difference has been the growing number of drug cases, up by 26 percent during the same period.”

In 2011, the Obama gun prosecutions hit a low for the decade, but there has been a slight uptick in prosecutions this year, said another TRAC report.

Second Amendment advocates said on background that they expect Obama to press ATF to boost prosecutions and use the Sandy Hook case, and other mass shootings, to move gun control to the top of his second term agenda. “It’s in his DNA to push this issue,” said one gun-rights official, speaking on background. “This would be his crowning achievement, if he can ban guns,” added the official.

28 Killed in Connecticut School Shooting

“…A gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked, killing 26 people, including 20 children, law-enforcement officials said, in what could be the worst mass shooting at a U.S. elementary or high school.

The shooter was found dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, located about 65 miles northeast of New York City. State police said another victim was found dead elsewhere in Newtown, putting the total toll at 28.

Law-enforcement officials identified the suspected shooter as Adam Lanza. Officials said the alleged shooter’s mother was a teacher at the school, and she was believed to be among the victims. Earlier, a law-enforcement official incorrectly identified the suspect as Mr. Lanza’s brother, Ryan. Authorities didn’t identify a motive.

The attack at Sandy Hook, a historic village lined with colonial homes in Newtown, began at about 9:40 a.m. and was concentrated around a single classroom, a school bathroom and a hallway, an official said.

Diane Day, a therapist at the school, was sitting with the principal, other staff members and a parent in a routine meeting around 9:30 a.m. when she heard gunshots. “We were there for about five minutes chatting and we heard, ‘pop pop pop,’ ” she said. “I went under the table.”

The principal and school psychologist leaped out of their seats and ran out of the room, Ms. Day said. “They didn’t think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on,” she said.

Without a lock on the door, the school’s lead teacher pressed her body against the door to hold it shut, Ms. Day said. That teacher was shot through the door in the leg and arm. “She was our hero,” Ms. Day said.

Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, said that multiple law-enforcement agencies were engaged in “search-warrant activity.” Lt. Vance said investigators were looking “both in and out of state” for information on the gunman but assured the public that they weren’t at risk.

A federal law-enforcement official said a .223 Bushmaster rifle was found in the back of a vehicle at the scene. Two firearms were recovered near the alleged gunman’s body: a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both handguns.

The scene was chaotic as initial reports of a shooting grew steadily worse. Joe Wasik, whose daughter, Alexis, is in the third grade at the school, said his wife called him a little after 10 a.m. after receiving a text from the town’s automated alert system on her phone. Checking his laptop, Mr. Wasik saw the reports of a shooting and raced to the scene.

“There were cars everywhere,” he said, describing a crush of parents at a nearby firehouse where parents were sent to look for their children among those evacuated from the school.

Alexis, who was standing in the crowd, crying, was “a nervous wreck,” he said. Mr. Wasik said his daughter had sheltered in a closet during the shooting, and he wasn’t sure if she had heard the shots.

Mr. Wasik’s wife took their daughter to a cousin’s house to play in an attempt to take her mind off the shooting. He remained in the firehouse to wait for a friend, who was sequestered in another room at the firehouse—an area for parents whose children were still missing.

Mr. Wasik’s voice was still shaking, hours after the massacre. “Pretty much everyone has dispersed, except for parents with missing children,” he said.

President Barack Obama was notified of the attack around 10:30 a.m. by his counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, John Brennan, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Mr. Obama spoke on the phone with Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy to receive an update on the situation and express his condolences, Mr. Carney said.

Mr. Malloy, in a news conference Friday afternoon, said “you can never be prepared for this kind of incident,” adding that what happened “will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted.”

Mr. Obama delivered an emotional statement from the White House Friday afternoon, tearing up several times as he spoke of the children who were killed. “They had their entire lives ahead of them—birthday, weddings, kids of their own,” Mr. Obama said pausing to wipe tears from his eyes.

Saying he was reacting as a parent of two daughters, he called the shooting a “heinous crime” and vowed to press for meaningful action, regardless of the politics, to prevent more such incidents in the future. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedy in the last few years,” he said.

The death toll at Sandy Hook Elementary, which has nearly 600 students in kindergarten through 4th grade and 42 teachers, exceeds the death at Columbine High School in 1999, which left 12 students and one teacher dead at the hands of two fellow students, who also took their own lives.

In 2007, 33 people including the gunmen were shot and killed on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

Schools nationwide have increased security measures since the fatal shooting at Columbine. Many installed metal detectors, developed detailed crisis plans, implemented policies to keep school doors locked and accessible only by buzzer, and put teachers and staff through training session on how to recognize and deal with threats.

Michael Dorn, executive director of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit that works with thousands of U.S. schools to develop safety plans, said there has been a dramatic improvement in school safety “but so much more” could be done.

A letter sent to Sandy Hook parents earlier this year described a new security protocol put in place at the school. The protocol requires identification for most visitors who must ring a doorbell to gain entry to the school’s front entrance, which is locked after 9:30 a.m.

“If our office staff does not recognize you, you will be required to show identification with a picture ID,” the letter said.

Leigh Libero’s daughter, Joey, would have been in a second-grade classroom Friday morning, but she had a dentist appointment. As Ms. Libero pulled up to the school, she saw just-erected barricades and received an urgent text message from her sister, who works at a television news station in Hartford.

Children were led out the school’s driveway, directly to the firehouse, where parents streamed in “en masse” to locate their children, Ms. Libero said. “This is the perfect New England town,” Ms. Libero said. “You wouldn’t think of this.”

Ms. Libero said parents were trying to determine how the gunman entered the school. The school uses a double-secured door during the day, she said. Visitors approaching the school must press a button to be buzzed in through the outer set of school doors to enter the building.

Carrie Usher, a fourth-grade teacher at Sandy Hook, was having a team meeting with three other teachers while her class worked in the library. They heard gunfire and then the loudspeaker came on with “fighting and crying and maybe some screaming,” sounds of chaos that she said were being broadcast throughout the building.

“The gunfire was just unbelievable it felt like it lasted for five minutes. It wouldn’t stop,” she said.

Three of the teachers jumped out the window of their meeting room, Ms. Usher said, while the fourth remained behind and hid behind bags and boxes. The door opened and someone came in but that person didn’t see the hiding teacher.

Ms. Usher is still uncertain what was broadcast over the loudspeaker. “I think it was fighting,” she said in a phone interview. “I think it was the principal before she was killed put that out there to warn the teachers what was happening. I believe so. We don’t know.” …”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/gun-prosecutions-under-obama-down-over-40-percent-percent/article/2516175#.UM-JbEbCz8B

20 Children Among 28 Dead In Newtown Elementary School Massacre

Gunman Opens Fire Inside Sandy Hook Elementary School Early Friday

“…Twenty children are among 28 people who were killed Friday morning after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

State Police Lt. Paul Vance said 18 children and 6 adults were pronounced dead at that scene. Two other children later died at the hospital. One other person was injured, Vance said.

A 28th victim was found dead at a secondary crime scene, Lance said. He would not elaborate on the details.

Among those dead is the gunman. A source familiar with the investigation identified him as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, CBS News reported. He was found dead inside the building from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, sources told CBS 2.

Law enforcement sources had earlier told CBS News that the gunman was 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, Adam Lanza’s older brother. Ryan Lanza, of Hoboken, New Jersey, is now being questioned by police.

According to an Associated Press report, the confusion over the alleged gunman’s identity occurred when a law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, “mistakenly transposed the brothers’ first names.”

A second official who spoke with the AP said Adam Lanza drove to the scene of the shootings in his mother’s car.  That official also told the wire service Lanza’s girlfriend and another friend are missing in New Jersey.

The AP also reported that a former Jersey Journal staff writer said he spoke with Ryan Lanza, who told the writer his brother may have had his identification.

The shooting has become the second-deadliest school shooting in the nation’s history, exceeded only by the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech that left 33 people dead.

Lance said the shooting occurred in two different classrooms in one section of the school.

One of the adult victims is Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, a teacher at the school, sources told CBS 2.

A law enforcement source told CBS News two pistols, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, were found in the school and a .223-caliber rifle was found in a car.

An emotional President Barack Obama spoke about the massacre at the White House Friday. Fighting back tears, he said he reacted to the news not just as the president, but as a parent.

“The majority of those who died today are children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10-years-old,” he said. “They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

At times, Obama wiped away tears from the corner of his eyes, adding ”Our hearts are broken.”

“As a country, we have been through this too many times,” he said. “These children are our children and we are going to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.”

The president ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff through Tuesday. Conn. Gov. Dan Malloy has also ordered all U.S. and state flags be flown at half-staff.

Malloy arrived in Newtown Friday afternoon. His office said several state agencies are working together to coordinate the state’s response.

Speaking a news conference, Malloy called the shooting “a tragedy of unspeakable terms.”

Gunfire erupted inside the school around 9:40 a.m. Parents said they received an automatic message that there had been a shooting incident in the district and that schools were being placed on lockdown.

An 8-year-old student said he was on his way to the school’s office when he saw the gunman.

“I saw some of the bullets going down the hall and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom,” the boy told CBS 2′s Lou Young.

Vance said several agencies, including local and state police, responded to the scene and immediately began a search of the building.

“The entire school was searched and a staging area was set up,” he said.

tudents and staff were then evacuated from the school. As they were walking out of the building, some of the children were told to close their eyes and walk fast, WCBS 880′s Sean Adams reported.

Students were then taken to a nearby firehouse to be reunited with their parents. Schools in surrounding areas were also placed on lockdown.

Danbury Hospital spokesperson Diane Burke told CBS 2 that the hospital was also put on lockdown as a precautionary measure.

Lisa Bailey, a Newtown resident with three children in Newtown schools, told CBSNewYork.com, “Newtown is a quiet town. I’d never expect this to happen here. It’s so scary. Your kids are not safe anywhere.” …”

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/12/14/police-respond-to-report-of-school-shooting-in-conn/

Gunman kills 20 children, 6 adults at Connecticut elementary school

“…Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, were killed Friday when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside his mother’s kindergarten class at a Connecticut elementary school.

The shooter, who sources identified as Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother in the face at their home in Newtown, Conn., then went to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School where she taught and gunned down her entire class, according to sources. Lanza was found dead inside the school, according to officials. Eighteen of the children and six more adults were dead at the school and two more children died later, according to Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance.

Vance would not confirm the shooter’s name, and earlier in the day there were conflicting reports over the gunman’s identity. Law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com the shooter was Adam Lanza. His brother, Ryan Lanza, 24, was being questioned in Hoboken, N.J., but it was not sure if he faced charges.

“It is not a simplistic scene,” Vance told reporters.

An official with knowledge of the situation said the shooter was armed with a .223-caliber rifle. Four weapons in total were recovered from the scene. The motive is not yet known.

Vance said during an afternoon news conference that police arrived at the scene “within minutes” of a 911 call placed shortly after 9:30 a.m.

“Every door, every crack, every crevice of that school” was checked, Vance said. “The entire school was searched.” He said the shooting occurred inside two rooms in “one section of the school.”

Vance did not give details about the number of victims other than to say they included students and staff, pending notification of the families. He said more information would be released, possibly later Friday.

Vance also said that a “deceased adult” was found at a “secondary crime scene,” though he declined to elaborate.

A federal law enforcement official told Fox News that Lanza’s mother, Nancy, was killed at her home in Connecticut. The vehicle the suspect used in the shooting was registered to his mother.

A source close to the investigation said the shooter’s father, who lives in Stamford, Conn., is meeting with FBI agents.

Robert Licata said his 6-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher.

“That’s when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door,” he said. “He was very brave. He waited for his friends.”

He said the shooter didn’t utter a word.

Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter was in the school and heard two big bangs. Teachers told her to get in a corner, he said.

“It’s alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America,” he said. His daughter was fine.

Mergim Bajraliu, 17, heard the gunshots echo from his home and ran to check on his 9-year-old sister at the school. He said his sister, who was fine, heard a scream come over the intercom at one point. He said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.

“Everyone was just traumatized,” he said.

President Obama was notified of the shooting around 10:30 am ET, White House officials said.

“Our hearts are broken today,” Obama said in a brief address to the nation on Friday. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in these past few years, and each time I receive the news I react not as a president, but as a parent.”

“Most victims were children, between five and 10 years old…They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations weddings, kids of their own,” he said, pausing before wiping tears from his eyes.

Sandy Hook Elementary School has close to 700 students.

Newtown is in Fairfield County, about 45 miles southwest of Hartford and 60 miles northeast of New York City. …”

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Big Government Budgets Boehner Purges Limited Government Tea Party Conservatives From Congressional Committees–Videos

Posted on December 8, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Team Wreckers: Speaker Boehner Tells ‘Tea-Party’ Republicans To Fall in Line! 

Tea Party Backlash: Far Right-Wing ‘Num-Nuts’ Lash Out at GOP Leadership on

Speaker Boehner’s Looming War With The Hard Right Tea-Party Extremists

Boehner punishes conservative David Schweikert – Mark Levin

Rush Limbaugh: John Boehner is purging the GOP of Tea Party conservatives

Boehner Starts War With Tea Party By Removing 4 Members From Key Positions

Justin Amash: GOP leadership is out of step with America

The Tea Party vs. John Boehner

SA@TAC – The State of the Right

What We Believe, Part 1: Small Government and Free Enterprise.

What We Believe, Part 2: The Problem with Elitism

What We Believe, Part 3: Wealth Creation

What We Believe, Part 4: Natural Law 

What We Believe, Part 5: Gun Rights

What We Believe, Part 6: Immigration

What We Believe, Part 7: American Exceptionalism

EAT THE RICH!

Rand Paul Warns Boehner, Cantor: Hope You’re Not Aspiring for Higher Office

PJTV: Will the GOP Allow Obama to Raise Taxes on the Rich?

Background Articles and Videos

Debt Ceiling Crisis: Boehner vs. Tea Party

Tea Party Leaders Cite Member “Concern” about Speaker Boehner’s Leadership

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“I Will Be Held Accountable” –Obama’s Economic Policies Result In Longest Period of Unemployment Since The Great Depression–End The Loafing–Videos

Posted on February 17, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Homes, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Raves, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Obama One Term Proposition: “I Will Be Held Accountable”

Abbot & Costello Explain Obama’s Stimulus Plan For Workers

3 Years is Up, Mr. President. We Can’t Afford Another 4

Unemployment and Obama’s re-election 

Preview: Trapped in Unemployment

Great Depression key figures

Rick Santelli: Here’s What’s Wrong With the Jobs Number

The Unemployment Game Show: Are You *Really* Unemployed?

Unemployment Rate Primer 

Mark Levin Talks About Obama Cooking The Books On The Unemployment Rate

ShadowStats’ John Williams Explains Why It’s All Been Downhill Since 1973

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

http://data.bls.gov

Unemployment Level In Thousands

Unemployment Rate Percent U-3

Total Unemployment Rate Percent U-6

Series Id:  LNS13327709

Seasonally Adjusted Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers

Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed

Type of data:        Percent or rate

Age:  16 years and over

Percent/rates:  Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

 

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1994 11.8 11.4 11.4 11.2 10.8 10.9 10.7 10.5 10.4 10.3 10.1 10.0  
1995 10.2 9.9 9.9 10.0 10.0 10.1 10.1 10.0 10.1 9.9 10.0 10.0  
1996 9.8 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.3 9.4 9.4 9.3 9.5  
1997 9.4 9.4 9.1 9.2 8.8 8.8 8.6 8.6 8.7 8.4 8.3 8.4  
1998 8.4 8.4 8.4 7.9 7.9 8.0 8.1 7.9 7.9 7.8 7.6 7.6  
1999 7.7 7.7 7.6 7.6 7.4 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.4 7.2 7.1 7.1  
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9  
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6  
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8  
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8  
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2  
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6  
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9  
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8  
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.1 11.8 12.7 13.5  
2009 14.2 15.1 15.7 15.8 16.4 16.5 16.5 16.7 16.8 17.2 17.1 17.1  
2010 16.7 16.9 16.9 17.0 16.6 16.5 16.5 16.6 16.9 16.8 16.9 16.6  
2011 16.1 15.9 15.7 15.9 15.8 16.2 16.1 16.2 16.4 16.0 15.6 15.2  
2012 15.1                        

 

High Unemployment  No Future Employment

 

Price discusses CBO Annual Report on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report

President Obama should be held accountable for economic policies not working.

The price for failure to deliver on his promises of hope and change should be defeat in the next election.

Vote for Ron Paul.

Stop the Budget Bandits

Ending Spending: Budget Bandits 

Ron Paul Ad – Believe 

Ron Paul Ad – Secure

Ron Paul Ad – Plan

Ron Paul  – “The one who can beat Obama” 

Background Articles and Videos

The United States is Experiencing the Longest Stretch of High Unemployment Since the Great Depression

“…The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The share of unemployed people who have been looking for work for more than six months—referred to as the long-term unemployed—topped 40 percent in December 2009 and has remained above that level ever since. …”

“…What Are the Consequences of Unemployment?

Households with unemployed workers are adversely affected by joblessness in many ways. For workers who have been displaced through no fault of their own—for example, those who lost or left a job because their plant or company closed or moved—the drop in earnings associated with losing a job during a recession may persist for many years, even when these workers eventually find a new job. Older workers and those with long tenure in their previous job are especially vulnerable because new jobs for those workers typically pay less and offer less potential for earnings growth.

Other types of unemployed workers—for example, people entering the labor market for the first time (typically after completing school)—are also adversely affected by a weak economy. People who start their career in times of high unemployment tend to have persistently lower earnings than their counterparts who begin seeking work under better economic circumstances. In addition to its immediate and lasting effects on earnings and family finances, unemployment is also correlated with deteriorating mental and physical health and with increased mortality. ….”

http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=3333

CBO: Longest Period of High Unemployment Since Great Depression

CBO: U.S. enduring the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression

      By  Alex M. Parker

“…After three years with unemployment topping 8 percent, the U.S. has seen the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, the Congressional Budget Office noted in a report issued today.

And, despite some recent good news on the economic front, the CBO is still predicting that unemployment will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The report also notes that, including those who haven’t sought work in the past four weeks and those who are working part-time but seeking full-time employment, the unemployment rate would be 15 percent.

The CBO made its comments in a report examining the long-term effects of joblessness, and possible policy options to boost employment, including unemployment insurance reforms and job training programs. The report came at the request of Democratic Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, but Republicans quickly jumped on the chance to bash President Obama’s stimulus program, which is also reaching its three-year anniversary today.

“The stimulus is a stark reminder of how the president got the policies he wanted, and how those policies have failed the American people and are making things worse,” said Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling. …”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/02/16/cbo-longest-period-of-high-unemployment-since-great-depression

 

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Ron Paul Hater Mark Levin–a.k.a. Marco Unleaven–Closet Neoconservative Comes Out Of The Closet or Bunker To Hug Marco Rubio–Neoconservative Poster Boy For Neoconservative Progressive Romney’s Vice-President–Video

Posted on January 10, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Immigration, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Raves, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Mark Levin a.k.a Marco Unleaven

“If you want to abolish war, you must eliminate its causes. What is needed is to restrict government activities to the preservation of life, health, and private property, and thereby to safeguard the working of the market. Sovereignty must not be used for inflicting harm on anyone, whether citizen or foreigner.”

~Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government, The Rise of The Total State and Total War, page 139

Armed Chinese Troops in Texas! 

Ron Paul: What if the People Wake Up? 

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Conservative Foreign Policy

Mark Levin To Marco Rubio- It’s Time To Run For President!

SA@TAC – What’s a ‘Neoconservative?’

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffery Lord On Ron Paul Supporters Using Neo Con As An Anti-Semitic Slur

SA@TheDC – Does Attacking Neoconservatism Reflect Racism or Reality?

Mark Levin Compares Ron Paul To A Little Weasel 

Mark Levin Avoids the “Empire” Question 

Mark Levin – Ron Paul Is A Crackpot And His Supporters Are Crackpots

SA@The DC – Ron Paul’s Reaganesque Foreign Policy 

Mark Levin – Who Wrote Ron Paul’s Newsletters In The 1990’s They’re Full Of Racist Statements 

Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – An In Depth and Honest Look–James Kirchick–Gay Neoconservative!–The Hit Man Behind The Smear Attack On Ron Paul–Blacks, Jews, and Libertarians For Ron Paul Respond–Videos

The Compassion of Dr. Ron Paul

Ron Paul Ad – Life

SA@TAC – The Great Neo-Con: Libertarianism Isn’t ‘Conservative’ 

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

“Interventionism generates economic nationalism, and economic nationalism generates bellicosity.

If men and commodities are prevented from crossing the borderlines, why should not the armies try to pave the way for them?”

~Ludwig von Mise, Human Action, pages 828 and 832.

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Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – An In Depth and Honest Look–James Kirchick–Gay Neoconservative!–The Hit Man Behind The Smear Attack On Ron Paul–Blacks, Jews, and Libertarians For Ron Paul Respond–Videos

Posted on January 5, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Expanded, Revised and Updated January 20 and 24, 2012

James Kirchick

James Kirchick lied about Ron Paul four years ago as the following report clearly shows.

Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – An In Depth and Honest Look

Ron Paul- Full Truth About Newsletter FOLLOW-UP Day 2

Author Of Ron Paul Racist Newsletters Revealed

http://truthsquad.tv/?p=1053

Ron Paul’s “Racist Writings” DEBUNKED. Real Author: James B. Powell exposed by Ben Swann & TMOT

“…Reality Check has done it again!!! Ben Swann does some REAL investigative reporting!!! It turns out that the “most racist” newsletter issued under Ron Paul’s name has a byline that has someone else’s name on it… JAMES B. POWELL

The New Republic magazine that issued the original attack against Paul has apparently kept this fact hidden and is refusing to talk to other media outlets about who exactly penned the newsletter. When they originally released PDF scans of the news letter in question, they left off half of the last page which contained the byline of another author. They attributed the article to Paul, knowing full well that he didn’t write it.

Out of the 240 articles in question, only about 9 contain objectionable material. Of those 9, they appeared in sequence, which lends credence to the claim that the racist commentary did indeed come from an editor other than Paul and that Paul didn’t keep that author around for any great deal of time. …”

Ron Paul revealed

Jamie Kirchick interview on NPR. (see Tucker vid for update)

New Republic Author Exposes Ron Paul’s Past Writings!

CNN asks Ron Paul about racist writings he didn’t author

(2008)

Ron Paul quits CNN interview after being asked about racist newsletters

CNN and Fox Both Gunning for Ron Paul: Conspiracy or Reality?

Ron Paul: Damn It, Don’t Ask Bout My Racist Writings

The Bogus Scandal of the Ron Paul Newsletters

Kirchick wants the viewer to think that for twenty years the newsletter was filled with “racist” content when in fact more than 230 of the 240 plus issues of the monthly newsletter contain absolutely no such content and the one special edition of the newsletter that had the most offensive content was written by someone else under a byline which Kirchick fails to disclose. The writer of the special edition was James B. Powel. Kirchick also fails to disclose that he supports an interventionist neoconservative foreign policy that Paul has repeatly been critical of.

Paul takes full moral responsibility for the newsletter under whose name it was published, as he should.

Paul repeatedly denied he wrote the offensive passages in the  newsletter. He deplored the offensive racist passages that appeared in nine issues of the more than 240 monthly newsletters published from 1976 to 1996. He only became aware of these passages ten years latter when he was running for president.

A Rankled Ron Paul Grapples With Radio Caller’s Newsletter Questions

Kirchick continues his smear attack on Paul on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies website in a Jan. 7 article from The New Republic entitled: What Are Ron Paul’s Liberal Fans Thinking?

“For anyone moderately familiar with Ron Paul’s record, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a litany of racists, anti-Semites, conspiracy-theorists, and militia members back his presidential campaign. Paul, after all, has spent decades cultivating the support of the far-right, not least by publishing for years a newsletter steeped in bigotry. (Read my 2008 article “Angry White Man,” for ample evidence.) Much more disconcerting is the fact that so many prominent liberals have been eagerly lining up behind Paul’s candidacy. Unfortunately, this isn’t an aberration, but a telling indication of the skewed political priorities of many on the left. …”

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/what-are-ron-pauls-liberal-fans-thinking/

 Kirchick is now attacking Paul for giving speeches at John Birch Society meetings in an attempt to marginalize him as a member of the radical right.

“…And he continues to speak regularly before the John Birch Society, an organization so reactionary that William F. Buckley Jr. wrote it out of the nascent conservative movement that he was building—in 1962. …”

The John Birch Society is not a reactionary organization but an anti-communist study group. It simply favors a constitutional republic with a non-interventionist foreign policy, opposes foreign aid to all countries, wants all wars to be declared according to the Constitution and wants to get the United Nations out of the United States and the United States out of the United Nations. Paul agrees and supports the John Birch Society.

http://www.jbs.org

Only progressive neoconservatives of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies such as Kirchick would consider the John Birch Society reactionary instead of a patriotic organization.

Why does Kirchick now mention Paul’s long association with the John Birch Society?

The John Birch Society is exposing the neoconservatives for what they really are in their betrayal of the Constitution:

Betrayal of the Constitution  An Exposé of the Neoconservative Agenda

A speech by John McManus of The John Birch Society Monday May 2,  2011 at the Marriott Hotel Albany, NH.

What is The John Birch Society?

Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

“…Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society, predicted today’s problems with uncanny accuracy back in 1958 and prescribed solutions in 1974 that are very similar to Ron Paul’s positions today. …”

A Hard Look at the United Nations

Ron Paul Endorses The John Birch Society

“Dr. Ron Paul, Texas congressman and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, was the featured speaker Saturday evening, October 4 on the final day of the John Birch Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. The topic of his keynote address was “Restoring the Republic:  Lessons From a Presidential Campaign,” in which he lectured the audience on how our republic can be restored with groups such as the John Birch Society (JBS) and his own Campaign for Liberty leading the way.’

Stand up for Freedom  Part 5 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

Stand up for Freedom – Part 6 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

Stand up for Freedom – Part 7 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

The History of NAFTA and the Council on Foreign Relations

“John McManus of the John Birch Society gives you a fascinating briefing on the history of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and NAFTA. You may never look at world events the same after you learn some of these facts.”

Council on Foreign Relations Calls for Bombing Iran

“In this weekly news update for January 16-22, 2012, JBS CEO Art Thompson discusses why the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) wants the U.S. to bomb Iran and how Mitt Romney surrounds himself with CFR members while Newt Gingrich himself is a CFR member.”

Bill Buckley was duped by the communists when he attacked the John Birch Society.

Buckley’s National Review is no longer a libertarian conservative or traditional conservative magazine but largely a  progressive neoconservative magazine. Buckley was building a progressive neoconservative movement that libertarian conservatives and traditional conservative now deplore and want no part of.

The neoconservatives including James Kirchick and Jeffrey Lord and many so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts, commentators, journalists and reporters recently continued the smear attack on Paul by again bringing up the so-called “racist” newsletter issue and implying that Paul is a racist and anti-Semite just before the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

The neoconservatives are right-wing progressives that advocate an aggressive foreign policy of intervention abroad.

Neoconservatives want the United States to have an aggressive interventionist foreign policy that includes the U.S being the world’s policeman, engaging in empire or nation building abroad, providing foreign and military aid to Israel,  and starting undeclared  preemptive wars.

Ron Paul advocates  a strong national defense and a non-interventionist foreign policy that includes the elimination of all foreign aid, bringing the troops home and all wars being declared by Congress as set forth in the Constitution.

Ron Paul 2012 – “We now promote preemptive war.”

Armed Chinese Troops in Texas!

Troops say – If Everyone is saying; Support the troops, why is no one listening..

Paul has been one of the leading critics of the neoconservative interventionist foreign policy of both Presidents Bush and Obama.

CIA Chief Endorses Ron Paul

Ron Paul on foreign policy – Tea Party Debate – Analysis by Michael Scheuer

The Neocon Agenda

Bill Moyers on the rise of NeoCons

Pat Buchanan vs Neo-Cons

Neo-cons: Invasion of the Party Snatchers Part 1

Neo-cons: Invasion of the Party Snatchers Part 2

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

The neoconservatives and their friends in the mainstream media and talk radio are attempting to smear Ron Paul by trying to label him a racist, anti-Semite and isolationist instead of addressing the costs and benefits of an interventionist foreign policy in comparison with a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Mark Levin – Who Wrote Ron Paul’s Newsletters In The 1990’s They’re Full Of Racist Statements

Mark Levin On “Crackpot” Ron Paul

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffrey Lord On Ron Paul And His Supporters Being Neoliberal

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 1

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 2

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 3 

Ron Paul Newsletter Controversy

Doug Wead Responds to Last-Minute Smear Attacks on Ron Paul

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Conservative Foreign Policy

Pro-Israel Lobby  the Media

Illuminating discussion of how Israel is portrayed in the media as sparks fly between Time Magazine political columnist Joe Klein and Assistant Editor of The New Republic James Kirchick. With Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi and Ori Nir.

Israel and GOP join forces to oust Obama and Marginalize Paul

A favorite tactic of both right-wing Republican progressives and left-wing Democrat progressives is to play the race card and if that fails call the person an anti-Semite.

This is right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals playbook.

Alinsky advocated using a personal attack  by identifying a problem, targeting a person, identifying the problem with the person and attacking the targeted person.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives’  problem is a non-interventionist foreign policy.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives’ target is Ron Paul.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives have identified Ron Paul as an isolationist with a non-interventionist foreign policy.

The  Republican progressive neoconservatives are attacking Ron Paul.

From Al Capone to Saul Alinsky to Barack Obama -Methods of Organizing

Rules for Radicals  – Rule #10 

Rules for Radicals – Rule #13 

Mark Levin Compares Ron Paul To A Little Weasel 

SA@TAC – The End of Right-Wing Progressivism? 

Propaganda & Mind Control Report

Mind Control Hate Propaganda, Hate Speech & Crime, Black PR

Against the USA, Naked Communist Conspiracy Theory, NWO, Mind Control Report

The fact that Ron Paul is not a racist, anti-Semite or isolationist is besides the point to these Republican progressive neoconservatives.

Big government progressive neoconservative Republican candidates include Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorium and Rick Perry.

All of the Republican progressive neoconservative candidates support an big government aggressive interventionist foreign policy abroad.

While some of the progressive neoconservatives like to “talk” conservative in their rhetoric, they very much “walk” progressive in their actions for they favor big government budgets at the Federal and state level to support government intervention at home and abroad.

Limited Government Libertarian Conservative Ron Paul vs. Big Government Progressive Neoconservatives Romney, Gingrich, Santorum–Videos

None of the  progressive neoconservative Republican candidates for President are for limited government in terms its size, scope and power that libertarian conservatives such as Paul advocate.

Neocons Shamelessly Attack Ron Paul for Being ‘Anti-Semitic’ 

SA@TheDC – Does Attacking Neoconservatism Reflect Racism or Reality?

SA@TAC – What’s a ‘Neoconservative?’ 

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffrey Lord On Ron Paul And His Supporters Being Neoliberal

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffery Lord On Ron Paul Supporters Using Neo Con As An Anti-Semitic Slur

Experts detail the danger of Israeli lobby in US politics

Mark Levin, Ron Paul Hater, Put in His Place

Mark Levin Avoids the “Empire” Question

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Conservative Foreign Policy

TrueLeaks – David Horowitz calls Ron Paul “A little Satan” 

Ron Paul Is A Sick Racist? = AIPAC Spin Machine Tactics

Ron Paul On Iran And Israel 

Ron Paul: Foreign Policy & Israel

Jews for Ron Paul, by Walter Block of Loyola University, New Orleans MIRROR

“Professor Walter Block is proud to be Jewish and proud to be a close friend of Ron Paul.”

Jews for Ron Paul

American Jew for Ron Paul

Ron Paul Supports Israel vs. Ronald Reagan? “Jews for Ron Paul” 

The Compassion of Dr. Ron Paul

James Williams of Matagorda County, Texas recounts a touching true story. Living in a still prejudiced Texas In 1972, his wife had a complication with her pregnancy. No doctors would care for her or deliver their bi-racial child. In fact one of the hospital nurses called the police on James.
Dr. Ron Paul was notified and took her in, delivering their stillborn baby. Because of the compassion of Dr. Ron Paul, the Williams’ never received a hospital bill for the delivery.
Ron Paul views every human being as a unique individual, afforded the rights endowed by our creator and codified in the Bill of Rights.

Ron Paul Ad “Disarms” MSM’s Racist Campaign of Lies: Gary Franchi Reports

12-29-11 Ron Paul reacts to new ad 

Do Black Americans Believe Ron Paul Is Racist? 

Ron Paul is NOT a Racist Walter Williams defends Dr Paul on Rush Limbaugh Show

Chris Rock supports Ron Paul 2012??

BLACKS FOR RON PAUL 2012!!! 

Seems that  James Kirchick, progressive neoconservative, was smearing Ron Paul four years ago and is now  warning liberals that Paul supports the John Birch Society by speaking at some of its meetings. While not a member of the John Birch Society, I will defend Paul’s good judgement in supporting such an organization.

Looks like the media should check out James Kirchick and his association with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

When are the so called objective journalists and reporters going to do their jobs and connect some of the dots and tell the truth?

When hell freezes over.

NY Times, MSM Attacks Ron Paul & Alex Jones For Living in the Real World 3/3

“…Gingrich-linked smear specialist James Kirchick is presumably nonplussed that his attempt to regurgitate the 15-year-old debunked non-story of Ron Paul’s ‘racist’ newsletters has had absolutely no effect on the polls, but he is forging ahead anyway with further attacks, this time in the form of a New York Times editorial that labels Paul a “paranoid conspiracy theorist” for discussing manifestly provable issues.

As we previously documented in our response to Kirchick’s regurgitation of a story he originally pushed four years ago, the New Republic writer is an apologist for Newt Gingrich and other neo-cons of his ilk.

Kirchick is a proud neo-con who serves as a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, an influential neo-conservative collective funded by numerous noted billionaires. The group’s list of “distinguished advisors” includes former CIA and FBI heads. The group is virtually a lobbying front for the state of Israel, which explains perfectly why Kirchick is so upset with Paul, who has promised to put a stop to the billions in foreign aid the United States sends to Israel every year.

Sitting on the group’s Leadership Council is none other than Newt Gingrich, one of Ron Paul’s main rivals in the Republican primary. Given that association, it’s unsurprising that Kirchick has chosen to dredge up a series of debunked smears at this key time in the election cycle, with Gingrich’s campaign now imploding and Ron Paul’s popularity surging. …”

The neoconservatives at the Weekly Standard published Kirchick’s article.

I wonder why?

Kirchick is a neoconservative!

He is also a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where the neoconservatives gather (see background information below).

The Kirchick and Lord smear attack on Ron Paul was amplified and repeated by several so-called “conservative” radio talk show hosts and/or their fill-in hosts prior to and over the Christmas holidays.

This included Bennett, Hewitt, Levin, Gibson, Medved and Limbaugh just to name a few.

All favored one of the remaining Republican big government  progressive neoconservative candidates–Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry.

They repeated Kirchick’s charges in the two to three weeks prior to the Iowa caucus.

At the time Ron Paul was leading in the Iowa polls and it looked like he would be first in Iowa.

The concerted and organized smear attack of Paul on “conservative” talk radio was successful in that Paul came in  third behind Santorium and Romney by less than 3,900 votes.

Mission accomplished by the progressive neoconservatives, the Israeli lobby and the Likud party.

Not a single one of these so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts support the conservative libertarian advocate of limited government, Ron Paul.

SA@TAC – The Biggest Earmark is Empire

SA@TheDC – ‘Fixing’ Big Government is Not Conservative

SA@TheDC – Russell Kirk and 9/11 

SA@TAC – Identity vs. Philosophy 

I have been a conservative or traditional libertarian since Barry Goldwater ran for President in 1964.

The only truly conservative president that the U.S. has had since then is Ronald Reagan.

Many traditional libertarians that were expecting fiscal responsibility under Reagan with balanced budgets and a smaller Federal government, became very disappointed when Reagan failed to delivery on these promises.

Reagan definitely talked conservative but the economic results were decidedly progressive with growing deficits and increases in the national debt.

Under Reagan the size and scope of the Federal government significantly increased.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/120xx/doc12039/HistoricalTables%5B1%5D.pdf

This is why Ron Paul, an early supporter of Ronald Reagan, left the Republican Party and ran for President in 1988 as the Libertarian Party’s candidate.

In 1988 the Republican Party successful elected a Republican big government progressive  George H.W. Bush that now endorses another Republican big government progressive neoconservative, Mitt Romney.

I view Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry as Republican big government progressive neoconservatives.

I will not vote for any progressive of either political party and especially those who identify themselves as neoconservative.

The  progressive neoconservatives in the Republican Party smeared Ron Paul by playing both the race card and anti-Semite card.

Unfortunately, the progressive neoconservatives were partially successful for many of the listeners of talk radio simply do not know the history of the conservative intellectual movement in America since 1945 and the role the progressive neoconservatives played in smearing Paul.

SA@TAC – The Great Neo-Con: Libertarianism Isn’t ‘Conservative’

If I truly thought Ron Paul was either a racist or anti-Semite, I would not support him.

I will support and vote for Ron Paul.

I will not vote for any Republican big government progressive neoconservative.

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

 RONALD REAGAN, Reason Magazine, Jul. 1, 1975

Background Articles and Videos

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

James Kirchick

last updated: December 27, 2011

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

“…James (“Jamie”) Kirchick is a Prague-based fellow at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a contributing editor at the New Republic. A former writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kirchick has also contributed to various rightist outlets like the Weekly Standard and Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog, as well as numerous mainstream publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Politico.[i]

Among Kirchick’s more widely noted articles is his January 2008 New Republic piece about libertarian leader Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Titled “Angry White Man,” the article sought to throw light on Paul’s track record as he gained national attention as a Republican Party presidential candidate who opposed the war in Iraq. Reviewing the various newsletters that Paul published over the years, Kirchick wrote that they reveal “decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing—but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.”[2]

In late 2011, as Paul’s campaign to be the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee began to gain momentum as a result of surging poll numbers in some primary states, Kirchick published a follow up piece to his 2008 New Republic article. Kirchcik lamented that despite Paul’s “voluminous record of bigotry and conspiracy theories,” his star remains “undimmed.” He added: “Not only do the latest polls place him as the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses, but he still enjoys the support of a certain coterie of professional political commentators who, like Paul himself, identify as libertarians.” Kirchick highlighted support from the likes of blogger Andrew Sullivan as well as numerous other writers. He concluded: “If Paul is responsible for conjuring the apocalyptic atmosphere of a prophet, it’s his supporters who have to answer for submitting to it. Surely, those who agree with Paul would be able to find a better vessel for their ideas than a man who once entertained the notion that AIDS was invented in a government laboratory or who, just last January, alleged that there had been a ‘CIA coup’ against the American government and that the Agency is ‘in drug businesses.’”[3]

Paul responded to the criticism surrounding his association with the newsletter by claiming that at the time he did not read the offending material and that he does not endorse the views espoused therein. His Republican primary opponents attempted to capitalize on the issue. Newt Gingrich said: “These things are really nasty, and he didn’t know about it, wasn’t aware of it. But he’s sufficiently ready to be president? It strikes me it raises some fundamental questions about him.”[4]

Track Record

Kirchick joined the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) in November 2011, which was announced—together with the hiring of the abrasive “pro-Israel” writer Lee Smith—in a November 2011 press release. Said FDD executive director Cliff May, “Lee and Jamie are two of the most probing, incisive and insightful journalists covering the international scene today. They will add important dimensions to FDD’s national security and foreign policy analysis.”[5] …”

“…Kirchick is an erstwhile liberal who apparently had veered to the right by the time he arrived at Yale, where he graduated in 2006. In a 2007 article for the Boston Globe about dating difficulties as a conservative gay man, Kirchick described himself as a “gay recovering leftist,” adding that “there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose.”[6]

In 2006, as a contributor to the Yale Daily News, Kirchick was named Student Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; in 2007, the association named him Journalist of the Year.[v7]

On foreign policy, Kirchick has proved a steadfast critic of the Barack Obama administration as well as of those who oppose one-sided U.S. support for Israel or other militarist Middle East polices. In November 2011, for example,  Kirchick linked hawkishness toward Iran with criticism of the Obama administration’s “reset” of relations with Russia. When Moscow criticized a 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency report about apparent progress in the Iranian nuclear program, Kirchick took to theWall Street Journal to call it “the latest and most devastating blow to Mr. Obama’s ‘reset’ policy,” which he claimed was promoted as a mechanism to bring Russia into the U.S. fold with respect to Iran. Kirchick also criticized the reset initiative more generally, disapproving of the New START agreement on nuclear disarmament, the Obama administration’s decision to cancel planned missile defense bases in Czech Republic and Poland (although he neglected to mention that the sites were moved to Turkey), Washington’s lapse in arms sales to Georgia, and Russia’s admittance to the World Trade Organization.[8] …”

http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/kirchick_james

Ron Paul addresses charges of racism on CNN

Ron Paul – I Am The ANTI Racist – Wolf Blitzer Interview 2008

Ron Paul: ‘Human Flaw’ on Newsletter Oversight

Ron Paul Is NOT A Racist! Disgruntled Former Ron Paul Staffer Eric Dondero

Ron Paul On Racism

Ron Paul’s view on Racism

Ron Paul – Back When He Was Proud of the Newsletter, He Now Disavows (1995)

NAACP Nelson Linder speaks on Ron Paul and racism

Ron Paul is a Racist?

Why Don’t Libertarians Care About Ron Paul’s Bigoted Newsletters?

 James Kirchick

“…Nearly four years ago, on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, The New Republic published my expose of newsletters published by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The contents of these newsletters can best be described as appalling. Blacks were referred to as “animals.” Gays were told to go “back” into the “closet.” The “X-Rated Martin Luther King” was a bisexual pedophile who “seduced underage girls and boys.” Three months before the Oklahoma City bombing, Paul praised right-wing, anti-government militia movements as “one of the most encouraging developments in America.” The voluminous record of bigotry and conspiracy theories speaks for itself.

And yet, four years on, Ron Paul’s star is undimmed. Not only do the latest polls place him as the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses, but he still enjoys the support of a certain coterie of professional political commentators who, like Paul himself, identify as libertarians. Most prominent among them is Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan, who gave Paul his endorsement in the GOP primary last week, as he did in 2008. But he is not alone: Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner recently bemoaned the fact that “the principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media,” while Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic argues that Paul’s ideas cannot be ignored, and that, for Tea Party Republicans, “A vote against Paul requires either cognitive dissonance—never in short supply in politics—or a fundamental rethinking of the whole theory of politics that so recently drove the Tea Party movement.”

“…Kirchick is an erstwhile liberal who apparently had veered to the right by the time he arrived at Yale, where he graduated in 2006. In a 2007 article for the Boston Globe about dating difficulties as a conservative gay man, Kirchick described himself as a “gay recovering leftist,” adding that “there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose.”[6]

In 2006, as a contributor to the Yale Daily News, Kirchick was named Student Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; in 2007, the association named him Journalist of the Year.[v7] …”

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/98811/ron-paul-libertarian-bigotry

The Company Ron Paul Keeps

Dec 26, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 15 • By JAMES KIRCHICK

“…The Republican Jewish Coalition announced this month that congressman Ron Paul would not be among the six guests invited to participate in its Republican Presidential Candidates Forum. “He’s just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and this organization,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the RJC, adding that the group “rejects his misguided and extreme views.”

Paul’s exclusion caused an uproar, with critics alleging that his stand on Israel had earned the RJC’s ire; an absolutist libertarian, Paul opposes foreign aid to all countries, including the Jewish state. “This seems to me more of an attempt to draw boundaries around acceptable policy discourse than any active concern that President Dr. Ron Paul would be actively anti-Israel or anti-Semitic,” wrote Reason editor Matt Welch. Chris McGreal of the Guardian reported that Paul “was barred because of his views on Israel.” Even Seth Lipsky, editor of the New York Sun and a valiant defender of Israel (and friend and mentor of this writer), opined, “The whole idea of an organization of Jewish Republicans worrying about the mainstream strikes me as a bit contradictory.”

While Paul’s views on Israel certainly place him outside the American, never mind Republican, mainstream, there is an even more elementary reason the RJC was right to exclude him from its event. It is Paul’s lucrative and decades-long promotion of bigotry and conspiracy theories, for which he has yet to account fully, and his continuing espousal of extremist views, that should make him unwelcome at any respectable forum, not only those hosted by Jewish organizations. …”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/author/james-kirchick

James Kirchick

“…James Kirchick (pronounced /ˈkɜrtʃɨk/; born 1983) is a reporter, foreign correspondent and columnist. Having attended Yale University, Kirchick also wrote for the student newspaper on the campus, the Yale Daily News.[1] He is a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington;[2] prior to this he was writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.[3]

For over three years, Kirchick worked at The New Republic, covering domestic politics, intelligence, and American foreign policy. In 2008, he exposed racist and conspiratorial newsletters published by Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, a story that gained new prominence in the 2012 presidential election.[4][5] While he remains a contributing editor for TNR, Kirchick’s reportage has appeared in The Weekly Standard,[4] The American Interest, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Columbia Journalism Review, Prospect, Commentary and World Affairs Journal. He writes frequently for newspapers including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,[6] The Los Angeles Times,[7] and Ha’aretz.

Kirchick has worked as a reporter for The New York Sun, the New York Daily News, and The Hill, and has been a columnist for the New York Daily News and the Washington Examiner.

Kirchick is a regular book critic and reviews frequently for Azure,[8] Commentary, the Claremont Review of Books, Policy Review, and World Affairs, among others. A leading voice on gay politics, he is a contributing writer to the Advocate, the nation’s largest gay publication,[9] and a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Excellence in Student Journalism Award and the Journalist of the Year Award.[10][11] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Kirchick

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

“…The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute “working to defend free nations against their enemies”. It was founded shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks to address what it regards as the “threat facing America, Israel and the West”. Its stated objectives are promoting human rights, defending “free and democratic nations”, and opposing terrorism which it defines as “the deliberate use of violence against civilians to achieve political objectives”.[1]

Overview

It conducts “research and education on international terrorism—the most serious security threat to the United States and other free, democratic nations. It advocates United States military intervention in various muslim majority nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, and Palestine.

Board of Directors, advisors and fellows

FDD’s chairman is James Woolsey. FDD’s president is Clifford D. May and its executive director is Mark Dubowitz. Its Leadership Council is composed of prominent thinkers and leaders from the defense, intelligence, and policy communities including Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Bill Kristol, Louis J. Freeh, Joseph Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, Max Kampelman, and Robert McFarlane.

Its Board of Advisors include Gary Bauer, Rep. Eric Cantor, Gene Gately, General P.X. Kelley, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland, Richard Perle, Steven Pomerantz, Oliver “Buck” Revell, Bret Stephens, and Francis J. “Bing” West.[2]

Foundation fellows and senior staff are Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research, Khairi Abaza, Senior Fellow, Tony Badran, Research Fellow, Levant, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Director, Center for Study of Terrorist Radicalization, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Senior Fellow. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow, Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism, Jonathan Kay, Visiting Fellow, Dr. Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar, Andrew C. McCarthy, Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, David B. Rivkin, Jr., Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism[3]

Initiatives

The foundation has initiated the following centers, coalitions, committees and ongoing projects:

  • The Iran Energy Project
  • The Center for The Study of Terrorist Radicalization
  • The Center for Law & Counterterrorism
  • The Coalition Against Terrorist Media
  • The Committee on the Present Danger

It engages in investigative reporting.

The Iran Energy Project

The foundation has promoted the utility of energy sanctions as part of a comprehensive economic warfare strategy against the Iranian regime. To this end, it provides leading research and analysis in support of strong, broad-based energy sanctions, including gasoline, natural gas, and oil sanctions, as part of a comprehensive strategy to end the Iranian regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, and abuse of human rights. The foundation also analyzes the prominent role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran’s energy industry.

It will continue to monitor the Iranian energy sector for new entrants into the Iranian energy trade and any signs that companies which have reportedly left the market have resumed their trade.

The focus on energy sanctions has changed the debate in Washington. No longer a discussion over how to achieve a “grand bargain” with the Iranian regime, the debate now focuses on how to use sanctions to deter an aggressive regime dedicated to pursuing nuclear weapons, supporting terrorism, and repressing its own people.[4]

As the foundation’s Mark Dubowitz noted, “the push for broad-based sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, including steps taken to make it more difficult for Iran to import gasoline, acquire key energy technology, and attract investment for its energy sector, has already had a major impact. Not only are Iran’s gasoline suppliers exiting the market, but energy investors, banks, technology providers, and insurers now face growing pressure to decide between doing business with the Iranian regime and continuing their business relationships in the lucrative U.S. market … President Obama needs to enforce U.S. law and put these companies to a choice.”[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_for_Defense_of_Democracies

Preemptive War Debate (Part 1)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 2)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 3)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 4)

‘Racist newsletter’ timeline: What Ron Paul has said

Ron Paul has had to explain racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in his name in the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s what he’s said over the years.

By Mark Trumbull, Staff writer / December 29, 2011

“…It’s the biggest setback to hit Ron Paul’s candidacy for president: publicity about racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in Mr. Paul’s name in the 1980s and 1990s.

On Thursday he responded at some length to the concerns during an Iowa radio interview, calling the newsletter statements “terrible” but insisting that he wasn’t the one who wrote them. He added that the offensive comments totaled about “about eight or 10 sentences.”

Some journalists who have researched the newsletters say it was a lot more than 10 sentences, and that the Texas congressman’s response on the issue has changed over the years.

Here, in timeline format, are some prominent Paul statements tied to the issue drawn from transcripts, video clips, and news reports. …”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/President/2011/1229/Racist-newsletter-timeline-What-Ron-Paul-has-said

Newsletters Fallout – Hardball (see Tucker vid for update) 

James Kirchick interview, part 1

“…interview with James Kirchick, assistant editor at the New Republic, who wrote a piece in the Advocate, criticizing activists and reporters who exposed Congressman Mark Foley, and criticized me for writing about and focusing on the fact that John McCain’s chief of staff, Mark Buse, is gay.”

James Kirchick interview, part 2 

Another boyfriend of Mark Buse, McCain’s top gay

The New Republic

“…The New Republic (TNR) is an American magazine of politics and the arts published continuously since 1914. A weekly for most of its history, it is published twenty times per year as of 2011, at a circulation of approximately 50,000. The editor as of 2011 is Richard Just.

Political views

Domestically, the TNR as of 2011 supports a largely neo-liberal stance on fiscal and social issues, according to former editor Franklin Foer, who stated that it “invented the modern usage of the term ‘liberal’, and it’s one of our historical legacies and obligations to be involved in the ongoing debate over what exactly liberalism means and stands for.”[2] As of 2004, however, some, like Anne Kossedd and Steven Randall, contend that it is not as liberal as it was before 1974.[3] The magazine’s outlook is associated with the Democratic Leadership Council and “New Democrats” such as former President Bill Clinton and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who received the magazine’s endorsement in the 2004 Democratic primary; so did Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008.[4] Whilst defending federal programs, like Medicare and the EPA, it has advocated some policies that, while seeking to achieve the ends of traditional social welfare programs, often use market solutions as their means, and so are often called “business-friendly.” Typical of some of the policies supported by both TNR and the DLC during the 1990s were increased funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit program and reform of the Federal welfare system. Supply side economics, especially the idea of reducing higher marginal income tax rates, received heavy criticism from senior editor Jonathan Chait.[5] Moreover, TNR is strongly in favor of universal health care. On certain high-profile social issues, such as its support of same-sex marriage, TNR could be considered more progressive than the mainstream of the Democratic Party establishment. In its March 2007 issue, TNR ran an article by Paul Starr (co-founder of the magazine’s main rival, The American Prospect) where he defined the type of modern American liberalism in his article War and Liberalism:

Liberalism wagers that a state… can be strong but constrained – strong because constrained… Rights to education and other requirements for human development and security aim to advance equal opportunity and personal dignity and to promote a creative and productive society. To guarantee those rights, liberals have supported a wider social and economic role for the state, counterbalanced by more robust guarantees of civil liberties and a wider social system of checks and balances anchored in an independent press and pluralistic society. – Paul Starr, volume 236, p. 21-24

Support for Israel has been another strong theme in The New Republic. According to Martin Peretz, owner of TNR, “Support for Israel is deep down an expression of America’s best view of itself.”[6] According to CUNY journalism professor, Eric Alterman, “Nothing has been as consistent about the past 34 years of TNR as the magazine’s devotion to Peretz’s own understanding of what is good for Israel…It is really not too much to say that almost all of Peretz’s political beliefs are subordinate to his commitment to Israel’s best interests, and these interests as Peretz defines them almost always involve more war.”[6]

Unsigned editorials prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq expressed strong support for military action, citing the threat of WMD as well as humanitarian concerns. Since the end of major military operations, unsigned editorials, while critical of the handling of the war, have continued to justify the invasion on humanitarian grounds, but no longer maintain that Iraq’s WMD facilities posed any threat to the United States. In the November 27, 2006 issue, the editors wrote:

At this point, it seems almost beside the point to say this: The New Republic deeply regrets its early support for this war. The past three years have complicated our idealism and reminded us of the limits of American power and our own wisdom.[7]

On June 23, 2006 Martin Peretz, in response to criticism of the magazine from the blog Daily Kos, wrote the following as a summary of TNR’s stances on recent issues

The New Republic is very much against the Bush tax programs, against Bush Social Security ‘reform,’ against cutting the inheritance tax, for radical health care changes, passionate about Gore-type environmentalism, for a woman’s entitlement to an abortion, for gay marriage, for an increase in the minimum wage, for pursuing aggressively alternatives to our present reliance on oil and our present tax preferences for gas-guzzling automobiles. We were against the confirmation of Justice Alito.[8]

The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States. In its May 2007 issue the magazine ran an editorial pointing to the humanitarian beliefs of liberals as being responsible for the recent plight of the American left. In another article TNR favorably cited the example of Denmark as evidence that an expansive welfare state and high tax burden can be consistent with, and in some ways contribute to, a strong economy.[9] Such editorials and articles exemplify the liberal political orientation of TNR.

History

Early years

The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann through the financial backing of heiress Dorothy Payne Whitney and her husband, Willard Straight, who maintained majority ownership. The magazine’s first issue was published on November 7, 1914. The magazine’s politics were liberal and progressive, and as such concerned with coping with the great changes brought about by America’s late-19th century industrialization. The magazine is widely considered important in changing the character of liberalism in the direction of governmental interventionism, both foreign and domestic. Among the most important of these was the emergence of the U.S. as a Great Power on the international scene, and in 1917 TNR urged America’s entry into World War I on the side of the Allies.

One consequence of World War I was the Russian Revolution of 1917, and during the inter-war years the magazine was generally positive in its assessment of the Soviet Union and its communist government. This changed with the start of the Cold War and the 1948 departure of leftist editor Henry A. Wallace to run for president on the Progressive ticket. After Wallace, TNR moved towards positions more typical of mainstream American liberalism. During the 1950s it was critical of both Soviet foreign policy and domestic anti-communism, particularly McCarthyism. That said, the magazine was guilty of publishing a 1947 article entitled “The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich” apparently filled with distortions and innuendos. During the 1960s the magazine opposed the Vietnam War, but was also often critical of the New Left.

Up until the late 1960s, the magazine had a certain “cachet as the voice of re-invigorated liberalism”, in the opinion of Eric Alterman, a commentator who has criticized the magazine’s politics from the left. That cachet, Alterman wrote, “was perhaps best illustrated when the dashing, young President Kennedy had been photographed boarding Air Force One holding a copy”.[6]

Peretz ownership and eventual editorship, 1974–1979

In March 1974, the magazine was purchased for $380,000[6] by Harvard University lecturer Martin Peretz,[10] from Gilbert Harrison.[6] Peretz was a veteran of the New Left who had broken with that movement over its support of various Third World liberationist movements, particularly the Palestine Liberation Organization. Peretz transformed TNR into its current form. Under his ownership, TNR has advocated both strong U.S. support for the Israeli government and a hawkish U.S. foreign policy.[6] On domestic policy, it has advocated a self-critical brand of liberalism, taking positions that range from traditionally liberal to neoliberalism. It has generally supported Democratic candidates for president, although in 1980 it endorsed the moderate Republican John B. Anderson, running as an independent, rather than the Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Harrison continued editing the magazine, expecting Peretz to let him continue running the magazine for three years. But by 1975, when Peretz became annoyed at having his own articles rejected for publication while he was pouring money into the magazine to cover its losses, he fired Harrison. Much of the staff, including Walter Pincus, Stanley Karnow, and Doris Grumbach, was either fired or quit, being replaced largely by recent Harvard graduates lacking in journalistic experience. Peretz himself became the editor and stayed in that post until 1979. As other editors have been appointed, Peretz has remained editor-in-chief.[6]

Kinsley and Hertzberg editorships, 1979–1991

Michael Kinsley, a neoliberal (in the American sense of the term), was editor (1979–1981; 1985–1989), alternating twice with Hendrik Hertzberg (1981–1985; 1989–1991), who has been called “an old-fashioned social democrat”. Kinsley was only 28 years old when he first became editor and was still studying law[6] at George Washington University.

Writers for the magazine during this era included neoliberals Mickey Kaus and Jacob Weisberg along with Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Morton Kondracke, Sidney Blumenthal, Robert Kuttner, Ronald Steel, Michael Walzer, and Irving Howe.[6]

During the 1980s the magazine generally supported President Ronald Reagan’s anti-Communist foreign policy, including provision of aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. It has also supported both Gulf Wars and, reflecting its belief in the moral efficacy of American power, intervention in “humanitarian” crises, such as those in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo during the Yugoslav wars.

The magazine also became known for its originality and unpredictability in the 1980s. It was widely considered a “must read” across the political spectrum. An article in Vanity Fair judged TNR “the smartest, most impudent weekly in the country,” and the “most entertaining and intellectually agile magazine in the country.” According to Alterman, the magazine’s prose could sparkle and the contrasting views within its pages were “genuinely exciting”. He added, “The magazine unarguably set the terms of debate for insider political elites during the Reagan era.”[6]

With the less predictable opinions, more of them leaning conservative than before, the magazine won the respect of many conservative opinion leaders and 20 copies were messengered to the Reagan White House each Thursday afternoon. Norman Podhoretz called the magazine “indispensable”, and George Will said it was “currently the nation’s most interesting and most important political journal.” National Review described it as “one of the most interesting magazines in the United States.”[6]

Credit for its quality and popularity was often assigned to Kinsley, whose wit and critical sensibility were seen as enlivening a magazine that had for many years been more conventional in its politics, and Hertzberg, a writer for The New Yorker and speechwriter for Jimmy Carter.

Hertzberg and Kinsley not only alternated as editor but also alternated as the author of the magazine’s lead column, “TRB from Washington”. Its perspective was described as left-of-center in 1988.[11]

A final ingredient that led to the magazine’s increased stature in the 1980s was its “back of the book” or literary, cultural and arts pages, which were edited by Leon Wieseltier. Peretz discovered Wieseltier, then working at Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and put him in charge of the section. Wieseltier reinvented the section along the lines of The New York Review of Books, allowing his critics, many of them academics, to write longer, critical essays instead of mere book reviews. Alterman calls the hire “probably […] Peretz’s single most significant positive achievement” in running the magazine. During other changes of editors, Wieseltier has remained as cultural editor. Under him the section has been “simultaneously erudite and zestful”, according to Alterman, who adds, “Amazingly, a full generation later, it still sings.”[6]

Sullivan editorship, 1991–1996

In 1991, Andrew Sullivan, a 28-year-old gay Catholic from Britain, became editor and took the magazine in a somewhat more conservative direction, though the majority of writers remained liberal or neoliberal. Hertzberg soon left the magazine to return to The New Yorker. Kinsley left the magazine in 1996 to found the online magazine Slate.[6]

Sullivan invited Charles Murray to contribute a controversial 10,000-word article that contended blacks may be, as a whole, less intelligent than whites due to genetics. The magazine also published a very critical article about Hillary Clinton’s health care plan by Elizabeth McCaughey, an article that Alterman called “the single most influential article published in the magazine during the entire Clinton presidency”. However, this article was later shown to be inaccurate and the magazine would later apologize for the story. Sullivan also published a number of pieces by Camille Paglia.[6]

Ruth Shalit, a young writer for the magazine in the Sullivan years, was repeatedly criticized for plagiarism. After the Shalit scandals, the magazine began using fact-checkers during Sullivan’s time as editor. One was Stephen Glass, who would be found to have made up quotes, anecdotes and facts in his own articles, while he served as a reporter years later.[6]

Kelly, Lane, Beinart, Foer, Just editorships, 1996–present

After Sullivan stepped down in 1996, David Greenberg and Peter Beinart served jointly as Acting Editors. After the 1996 election, Michael Kelly served as editor for a year. During his tenure as editor and afterward, Kelly, who also wrote the TRB column, was intensely critical of President Clinton.[6] Writer Stephen Glass had been a major contributor under Kelly’s editorship; Glass was later shown to have falsified and fabricated numerous stories, which was admitted by The New Republic after an investigation by Kelly’s successor, Charles Lane. Kelly had consistently supported Glass during his tenure, including sending scathing letters to those challenging the veracity of Glass’s stories.[12]

Chuck Lane held the position between 1997 and 1999. During Lane’s tenure, the Stephen Glass scandal occurred. Peretz has written that Lane ultimately “put the ship back on its course,” for which Peretz said he was “immensely grateful.” But Peretz later fired Lane, who only got the news when a Washington Post reporter called him for a comment.[6]

Peter Beinart, a third editor who took over when he was 28 years old,[6] followed Lane and served as editor from 1999 to 2006.

Franklin Foer took over from Beinart in March 2006. In the magazine’s first editorial under Foer, it said “We’ve become more liberal … We’ve been encouraging Democrats to dream big again on the environment and economics […]”.[6] Foer is the brother of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated (2002).

Richard Just took over as editor of the magazine on December 8, 2010.

Other prominent writers who edited or wrote for the magazine in these years include senior editor and TRB columnist Jonathan Chait, Lawrence F. Kaplan, John Judis and Spencer Ackerman.[6]

In 2005, TNR created its blog, called The Plank, which is written by Michael Crowley, Franklin Foer, Jason Zengerle, and other TNR staff. The Plank is meant to be TNR’s primary blog, replacing the magazine’s first three blogs, &c., Iraq’d, and Easterblogg. The Stump, TNR’s blog on the 2008 Presidential Election was created in October 2007.

The magazine remains well known, with references to it occasionally popping up in popular culture. Lisa Simpson was once portrayed as a subscriber to The New Republic for Kids. Matt Groening, The Simpsons’ creator, once drew a cover for TNR.[citation needed] In the pilot episode of the HBO series Entourage, which first aired on July 18, 2004, Ari Gold asks Eric Murphy: “Do you read The New Republic? Well, I do, and it says that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Republic

Likud

“…Likud (Hebrew: הַלִּכּוּד‎ HaLikud, lit. The Consolidation) is the major center-right political party in Israel.[3][4][5][6] It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud’s victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country’s political history, marking the first time the left had lost power. However, after ruling the country for most of the 1980s, the party lost the Knesset election in 1992. Nevertheless, Likud’s candidate Benjamin Netanyahu did win the vote for Prime Minister in 1996 and was given the task to form a government after the 2009 elections. After a convincing win in the 2003 elections, Likud saw a major split in 2005, when Likud leader Ariel Sharon left the party to form the new Kadima party. This resulted in Likud slumping to fourth place in 2006 elections. Following the 2009 elections, the party appears to have mostly recovered from its loss, and now leads the Israeli government under Prime Minister Netanyahu.

A member of the party is often called a Likudnik (Hebrew: לִכּוּדְנִיק‎).[7]

Formation and Begin years

The Likud was formed by an alliance of several right wing parties prior to the 1973 elections; Herut and the Liberal Party had been allied since 1965, and were joined by the Free Centre, the National List and the Movement for Greater Israel. It was given the name Likud, meaning “Consolidation”, as it represented the consolidation of the right-wing in Israel.[8] It worked as a coalition of its factions led by Menachem Begin’s Herut until 1988 when the factions formally dissolved and Likud became a unitary political party. From its establishment in 1973, Likud enjoyed great support from blue-collar Sephardim who felt discriminated against by the ruling Alignment.

The first Likud prime minister was Menachem Begin, who had led the party to victory in the 1977 elections, the first time the left-wing had lost power in Israel’s political history. A former leader of the hard-line paramilitary Irgun, Begin helped initiate the peace process with Egypt, which resulted in the Camp David Accords and the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.

Shamir, Netanyahu first term, and Sharon

The second premier was Yitzhak Shamir, who first became PM in October 1983 following Begin’s resignation. Shamir, a former commander of the Lehi underground, was widely seen as a hard-liner with an ideological commitment both to the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the growth of which he encouraged, and to the idea of aliyah, facilitating the mass immigration of Jews to Israel from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union.

The third Likud premier was Benjamin Netanyahu, elected in May 1996, following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Netanyahu proved to be less hard-line in practice than he made himself out to be rhetorically, and felt pressured by the United States and others to enter negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat, despite his harsh criticism of the Oslo accords and hawkish stance in comparison to Labour.

In 1998, Netanyahu reluctantly agreed to cede territory in the Wye River Memorandum. While accepted by many in the Likud, some Likud MKs, led by Benny Begin (Menachem Begin’s son), Michael Kleiner and David Re’em, broke away and formed a new party, named Herut – The National Movement, in protest. Yitzhak Shamir (who had expressed harsh disappointment in Netanyahu’s leadership), gave the new party his support. Less than a year afterward, Netanyahu’s coalition collapsed, resulting in the 1999 election and Labour’s Ehud Barak winning the premiership on a platform of immediate settlement of final status issues. Likud spent 1999-2001 on the opposition benches.

Barak’s “all-or-nothing” strategy failed, however, and new elections were called for March 2001. Surprisingly, Netanyahu declined to be the Likud candidate for Prime Minister, meaning that the fourth Likud premier would be Ariel Sharon. Sharon, unlike past Likud leaders, had been raised in a Labour Zionist environment and had long been seen as something of a maverick. In the face of the Second Intifada, Sharon pursued a varied set of policies, many of which were controversial even within the Likud. The final split came when Sharon announced his policy of unilateral disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank; the idea proved so divisive both on the Likud and the opposition Labour benches that Sharon announced the formation of a new party, Kadima, from the ranks of both Likud and Labour supporters of unilateral disengagement.

Kadima split

Ariel Sharon’s perceived leftward shift to the political center, especially in his execution of the Disengagement Plan, alienated him from some Likud supporters and fragmented the party. He faced several serious challenges to his authority shortly before his departure. The first was in March 2005, when he and Netanyahu proposed a budget plan which met fierce opposition, though it was eventually approved. The second was in September 2005, when Sharon’s critics in Likud forced a vote on a proposal for an early leadership election, which was defeated by 52% to 48%. In October, Sharon’s opponents within the Likud Knesset faction joined with the opposition to prevent the appointment of two of his associates to the Cabinet, demonstrating that Sharon had effectively lost control of the Knesset and that the 2006 budget was unlikely to pass.

The next month, Labor announced its withdrawal from Sharon’s governing coalition following its election of the left wing Amir Peretz as leader. On 21 November 2005, Sharon announced he would be leaving Likud and forming a new centrist party, Kadima, and that elections would take place in early 2006. As of 21 November seven candidates had declared themselves as contenders to replace Sharon as leader: Netanyahu, Uzi Landau, Shaul Mofaz, Yisrael Katz, Silvan Shalom and Moshe Feiglin. Landau and Mofaz later withdrew, the former in favour of Netanyahu and the latter to join Kadima.

Netanyahu second term

Netanyahu went on to win the Likud Party Chairman elections in December, obtaining 44.4% of the vote. Shalom came in a second with 33%, leading Netanyahu to guarantee him second place on the party’s list of Knesset candidates. Shalom’s perceived moderation on social and foreign-policy issues were considered to be an electoral asset. Observers noted that voter turnout in the elections was particularly low in comparison with past primaries, with less than 40 percent of the 128,000 party members casting ballots. There was much media focus on “far-right” candidate Moshe Feiglin achieving 12.4% of votes, who is the only candidate who aims to see Likud actually pursue the policies presented in its own official charter.

The founding of Kadima was a major challenge to the Likud’s generation-long status as one of Israel’s two major parties. Sharon’s perceived centrist policies have drawn considerable popular support as reflected by public opinion polls. The Likud is now led by figures who oppose further unilateral evacuations, and its standing in the polls has suffered. After the founding of Kadima, Likud came to be seen as having more of a right-wing tendency than a moderate centre-right one. However there exist several parties in the knesset which are more right wing than the post-Ariel Sharon Likud.

Prior to the 2006 election the party’s Central Committee relinquished control of selecting the Knesset list to the ‘rank and file’ members at Netanyahu’s behest.[9] The aim was to improve the party’s reputation, as the central committee had gained a reputation for corruption.[10]

In the election, the Likud vote collapsed in the face of the Kadima split. Other right-wing nationalist parties such as Yisrael Beiteinu gained votes, with Likud coming only fourth place in the popular vote, edging out Yisrael Beiteinu by only 116 votes. With only twelve seats, Likud was tied with the Shas for the status of third-largest party.

In the 2009 Israeli legislative election, Likud won 27 seats, a close second place finish to Kadima’s 28 seats, and leading the other parties. After more than a month of coalition negotiations, Benjamin Netanyahu was able to form a government and become Prime Minister.

A leadership election will be held on 31 January 2012 between Benjamin Netanyahu, Moshe Feiglin, and Vladimir Herczberg. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likud

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

The Warmongering Progressive Neoconservative Republican Establishment Launches Racist, Anti-Semite and Extremist Smear Attack On Ron Paul With Republican Talk Show Hosts–Videos

Who is Jeffrey Lord? Why Is He Attacking Ron Paul on Talk Radio Shows Including: Levin, Medved and Bennett? Big Government Interventionist Neoconservative Republican Establishment Hit Man!

Ron Paul Must Once Again Make A Definitive Statement and Condemnation About 20 Year Old Newsletters–The Neoconservatives and Progressives Are Using Them As A Race Card Smear Attack On Paul–Videos

Ron Paul Hater Mark Levin–a.k.a. Marco Unleaven–Closet Neoconservative Comes Out Of The Closet or Bunker To Hug Marco Rubio–Neoconservative Poster Boy For Neoconservative Progressive Romney’s Vice-President–Video

Judge Andrew Napolitano: What If “They” Are LYING To You About Ron Paul?–Videos

Limited Government Libertarian Conservative Ron Paul vs. Big Government Progressive Neoconservatives Romney, Gingrich, Santorum–Videos

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Who is Jeffrey Lord? Why Is He Attacking Ron Paul on Talk Radio Shows Including: Levin, Medved and Bennett? Big Government Interventionist Neoconservative Republican Establishment Hit Man!

Posted on December 30, 2011. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Security, Talk Radio, Taxes, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The 1% Are Afraid of Ron Paul 2012 Revolt -

NWO Corporate Minions (MSM Whores) Getting Desperate!

How Ron Paul Would Defend America

Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord Precious Delicate Utopian Neocons

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffrey Lord On Ron Paul And His Supporters Being Neoliberal

Michael Medved, Jeffery Lord On Ron Paul’s Neoliberal Reeducation

Mark Levin, Ron Paul Hater, Put in His Place

American Spectator Dead Wrong on Ron Paul

SA@TheDC – “I Like Ron Paul Except on Foreign Policy”

SA@The DC – Ron Paul’s Reaganesque Foreign Policy

SA@TAC – A Conservative Foreign Policy Comeback?

 

SA@TheDC – Conservatism for What?

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Pledge to America

 

Jack Hunter on FOX News 12-29-11

 

Establishment Media Crucifies Ron Paul On Every Front

“As long as nations cling to protective tariffs, migration barriers, compulsory education, interventionism and etatism, new conflicts capable of breaking out at any time into open warfare will continually arise to plague mankind.”

~Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism, pages 150-151

Jeffrey Lord has been attacking Ron Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy on various so-called “conservative” talk radio shows and accuses Ron Paul of not being a conservative.

Really, he must be kidding or simply does not know the history of the conservative movement.

Suggest he read George H. Nash’s book, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945.

SA@TAC – The Great Neo-Con: Libertarianism Isn’t ‘Conservative’

If Lord means that Ron Paul is  not a neoconservative, then Lord is correct.

Ron Paul is definitely not a neoconservative.

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Neoconservatives are right-wing progressives Democrats that became “boat people” and switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s when the Democratic Party nominated George McGovern as their Presidential candidate.

SA@TAC – What’s a ‘Neoconservative?’

 

SA@TAC – Who’s a Republican?

SA@TAC – Is Ron Paul Weird?

Most conservatives and libertarians do not consider neoconservatives as either new or conservative. They are really progressives that want the United States to have an aggressive interventionist foreign policy that supports nation or empire building, the U.S. as policeman of the world and Israel with foreign aid.

Both the progressives and/or neoconservatives that are in the Republican Party establishment are in panic mode that Paul may win the presidential nomination.

I suggest neoconservative Republicans get back in their boats and go back to the Democratic Party, where most of them came from in the first place.

Please take your hitman, Jeffrey Lord, with you.

Big government interventionists pervade the Democratic and Republican party establishments and leaderships.

The Democratic Party is the party of  left-wing progressives that favor the expansion of welfare dependency.

The Republican Party is the party of right-wing progressives that favor the expansion of warfare dependency.

Both favor big government interventionism at home and abroad.

Making government omnipotent with a massive bureaucracy advocating and supporting the warfare and welfare state is the goal of the progressive interventionists of the Democratic and Republican Party establishments.

SA@TheDC – ‘Fixing’ Big Government is Not Conservative

Ron Paul favors limited government and opposes government intervention at home and abroad.

Ron Paul is a conservative traditionalist libertarian that puts faith, family, friends and freedom first.

Paul wants to replace the big government warfare and welfare economy with a limited government peace and prosperity economy.

This is the reason more and more American people are coming to the conclusion that Ron Paul should be President of the United States.

SA@TAC – Constant Conservative Ron Paul

This is the reason Ron Paul is leading in Iowa.

This is the reason Ron Paul will be elected President of the United States.

The Republican Party establishment might talk conservative, but they walk and spend like big government progressives and neocons, which most of them are.

Just look at the Republican Party  budget passed in the House of Representatives. The Fiscal Year 2012 deficit will exceed $1 trillion each year.

This is not limited government.

This is not fiscally responsible.

This is not conservative or libertarian.

The neoconservatives want a war with Iran.

Starting World War III with Iran is the progressive answer to the United States economic problems.

The war on poverty, the war of drugs and the war on terror are all progressive wars of big government interventionists.

The U.S. government led by progressives of both the Democratic and Republican party establishments have lost all three wars that never end.

Those who support big government interventionism at home and abroad are progressive statistist and neoconservatives.

Progressives  are collectivists that oppose individualists with a conservative and libertarian political philosophy.

These progressives are not conservatives.

Do not fall for the neoconservative con men of talk radio that say Ron Paul is not conservative and invite Jeffrey Lord on their shows to smear and discredit Paul.

Most of them are closet neoconservative big government interventionists. This includes talk radio show hosts Levin, Medved, Hewitt and Bennett, just to name a few.

Ron Paul: Iran Sanctions = Act of War

“Interventionism begets economic nationalism. It thus kindles the antagonism resulting in war. An abandonment of economic nationalism is not feasible if nations cling to interference with business. Free trade in international relations requires domestic free trade.”

~Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government, page 66. 

SA@TAC – The End of Right-Wing Progressivism?

This is a massively huge and interventionist government that favors the warfare and welfare dependency of the American people.

 

Gingrich Gone Wild – Might Vote For Obama

SA@TAC – Newt Gingrich is Not a Conservative

Ron Paul Interview w/ Jack Hunter on Foreign Policy & Israel

Jeffrey Lord Doesn’t Know The Founders or Ron Paul

 

Background Articles and Videos

Ron Paul – The Power of Nightmares

Mark Levin Avoids the “Empire” Question

SA@TAC – Joe Sobran’s Conservative Foreign Policy

SA@TAC – Obama Kept Us Safe

Poo Blobs & Jeffrey Lord Try to Say that DropDobbs.com is About Killing Debate, NOT Racist Diatribe

RON PAUL on RUSH LIMBAUGH

Jack Hunter Versus Mark Levin

 

Richard Perle PNAC and AIPAC hawk on why Ron Paul will not win the 2012 election

 

Ron Paul and the Neoliberal Reeducation Campaign

By Jeffrey Lord

“…Neoliberals and Quasi-Cons:

When it comes to foreign policy, Ron Paul and his supporters are not conservatives.

This is important to understand when one realizes that Paul’s views are, self-described, “non-interventionist.”

The fact that he has been allowed to get away with pretending to conservatism on this score is merely reflective of journalists who, for whatever reason, are simply unfamiliar with American history. Ironically, it is precisely because the Paul campaign has not been thoroughly covered that no one pays attention to the historical paternity of what the candidate is saying.

There is no great sin in Paul’s non-interventionist stance (or “isolationist” stance as his critics would have it). There have been American politicians aplenty throughout American history, particularly in the 20th century, who believed precisely as Paul and his enthusiasts do right now. (Paul touts his admiration for the Founding Fathers, but even that is very selective. James Monroe of Monroe Doctrine fame was a considerable interventionist, Washington as a general invaded Canada, and Alexander Hamilton gave rise to Paul’s idea of evil spawn — the Federal Reserve. Interventionists of all types have been with us right from the start.)

The deception — and it is a considerable deception — is that almost to a person those prominent pre-Ron Paul non-interventionist “Paulist” politicians of the 20th century were overwhelmingly not conservatives at all. They were men of the left. The far left.

From three-time Democratic presidential nominee and Woodrow Wilson Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan to powerful Montana Democratic Senator Burton K. Wheeler to FDR’s ex-vice presidential nominee Henry Wallace to the 1968 anti-war presidential candidacy of Minnesota Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy to 1972 Democratic presidential nominee (and Henry Wallace delegate in 1948) George McGovern, non-interventionists have held prominent positions in the American Left that was and is the Democratic Party.

But of particular interest, and here is where the deception by Paulists is so considerable, the Ron Paul view of foreign policy has been the cornerstone of Republican liberals and progressives. Those who, using current political terminology, would be called the RINOs (Republican In Name Only) of their day. …”

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/08/23/ron-paul-and-the-neoliberal-re/1

 

“…Jeffrey Lord is a former member of the Ronald Reagan administration, journalist, author, and political strategist in Pennsylvania.

Lord earned a degree from Franklin and Marshall College.[1] He first worked as a press aide in the Pennsylvania State Senate.[1] He worked for Pennsylvania Congressman Bud Shuster as Legislative Director and Press Secretary and for U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III as Executive Assistant.[1] Later Lord worked as Chief of Staff to Drew Lewis, who was a Co-chair of the Ronald Reagan presidential campaign.[1] He also served in the Reagan White House as an associate political director.[1] In that position he assisted in the judicial nomination process for several nominees, including Robert Bork.[2] He also worked for Jack Kemp during the Presidency of George H. W. Bush.[1]

Lord now works as a journalist, contributing material to The Weekly Standard, The American Spectator, National Review Online, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Harrisburg Patriot-News. He has appeared as a guest on numerous televisions and radio programs.[1] He also works as a political consultant for Quantum Communications, a Harrisburg-based political strategy firm.[1]

He is the author of The Borking Rebellion, about the confirmation of Federal Judge D. Brooks Smith.[1] It received a generally positive review in the Wall Street Journal.[3]

In July 2010, Jeffrey Lord claimed that the “lynching” of a relative of Shirley Sherrod is fallacious.[4]

In August 2011, Jeffrey Lord wrote an article in The American Spectator which was critical of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), and the views of some of Ron Paul’s supporters.[5] It sparked considerable debate within the conservative movement.[6] …”

Jeffrey Lord: When Attacks on Ron Paul Fail, then Attack his Voters

“…

Get this. The reason Ron Paul is polling well in Iowa is because it’s Iowa. Jeffrey Lord is a special kind of dense. He is so dense he doesn’t know he is dense. He keeps repeating the same untruths (that non-interventionism is inherently left-wing) over and over again despite being corrected repeatedly. My reply is below:

I get it. When your attacks on Ron Paul aren’t working, then attack the people who vote for him.

First, you continue with the lie that non-interventionism is inherently left-wing. You have been corrected on this so many times, and I know you read these responses since you reply, that you have no excuse. You are engaging in demagoguery.

Second, you are making the case against yourself and don’t even know it. It is not a coincidence that non-interventionism was the preferred policy of heartland Americans in flyover country. And it is not a coincidence that support for war came from elite internationalists on the East Coast. So if you want to throw your hat in with elitist internationalists then be my guest. I’ll throw mine in with parochial Americans in the Heartland. Lord, you are a shill and you don’t even realize you are a shill. …”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T57yvB4RDHs

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The Warmongering Progressive Neoconservative Republican Establishment Launches Racist, Anti-Semite and Extremist Smear Attack On Ron Paul With Republican Talk Show Hosts–Videos

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Jason Lewis Bashes Gop Establishment for smear campaign against Ron Paul pt 1

Jason Lewis Bashes Gop Establishment for smear campaign against Ron Paul pt 2

Jason Lewis Bashes Gop Establishment for smear campaign against Ron Paul pt 3

SA@TAC – What’s a ‘Neoconservative?’

SA@TheDC – “I Like Ron Paul Except on Foreign Policy”

SA@TAC – Ronald Reagan: Isolationist

SA@TheDC – Conservatism’s Future: Young Americans for Liberty

SA@TAC – Who’s a Republican?

Israel and GOP join forces to oust Obama

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Conservatives and libertarians have been listening to the smear attacks on talk radio by several so-called “conservatives”, mostly neoconservatives and progressives Republicans that favor big government intervention at home and/or abroad.

They are trying to paint Paul as a racist, anti-Semite, and extremist.

Nice try, but the character and record of Ron Paul speaks for itself.

What is extremist is running deficits, where spending exceeds tax revenues, more than $1 trillion for four years in a row and not balancing the budget for another ten years. This is fiscal irresponsibility and madness. Yet this is exactly what both political parties are proposing.

Principled conservatives and libertarians are not buying this smear attack by the Republican establishment and their shills on talk radio.

The Republican Party establishment is cutting their own throats as are those talk radio hosts who lie and mislead the American people about Ron Paul.

The neoconservatives and the progressive Republican Party establishment have become the party of warmongers, not peacemakers.

The Republican Party is the party of government intervention abroad to make the American people dependent upon warfare.

The Democratic Party is the party of government intervention at home to make the American people dependent upon welfare.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been captured by progressive big government interventionists with the Democratic Party establishment largely socialist and the Republican Party establishment largely neoconserservatives.

Both parties have been running massive government deficits and running up the national debt to pay for their excessive welfare and warfare programs.

Just keep it up and you will destroy the Republican Party.

If the establishment does keeps it up, I would urge Ron Paul to run as an independent candidate.

I much prefer Ron Paul to win as a Republican, but the progressive and neoconservatives are revealing themselves as being neither conservative or libertarian, but big government interventionists.

As a conservative and libertarian, I will not vote for another progressive and/or neoconservative Republican including Romney, Gingrich,Perry and Santorium.

Suggest conservatives and libertarians do their own homework and research on the candidates.

Stop listening to Bennett, Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin and Hewitt, just to mention a few of the so-called “conservatives”.

They are really shills for the Republican Party, Republicans first, and not conservatives and/or libertarians first.

Bennett, Hewitt and Levin in particular are misleading you about Ron Paul.

While disappointed, I was not surprised.

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Mark Levin’s Nemesis–Jack Hunter–The Southern Avenger–Ron Paul–Libertarians vs. Neoconservatives–Videos

Posted on August 26, 2011. Filed under: American History, Babies, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Crime, Economics, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“… If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. …”

~ Ronald Reagan

Inside Ronald Reagan, A Reason Interview, Manuel Klausner from the July 1975 issue

Woods, Gutzman and Church correct TAS columnist Jeffrey Lord’s many misstatements of truth aimed at Ron Paul and The Founders.

The Southern Avenger – Mark Levin Doesn’t Like the Southern Avenger

SA@Takimag – Why Mark Levin Hates Glenn Beck

Jeffrey Lord Doesn’t Know The Founders or Ron Paul

American Spectator Dead Wrong on Ron Paul

SA@TAC – Mark Levin’s Constitution

SA@TAC – Was Reagan the Ultimate Hawk?

The Legacy of Ronald Reagan by the Southern Avenger

A Tale of Two Rights by the Southern Avenger

SA@TAC – Joe Sobran’s Conservative Foreign Policy

SA@TAC – Is Ron Paul Weird?

SA@TAC – Constant Conservative Ron Paul

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Pledge to America

SA@TAC – Just Kidding Conservatism

SA@TAC – Wither the Neocons?

SA@TAC – Government Intervention, Left and Right

WI-CFL 2011 Annual Conference – Jack Hunter

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord – Part 1

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord – Part 2

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord – Part 3

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 1 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 2 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 3 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 4 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 5 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 6 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 7 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 8 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 9 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 10 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 11 of 11

While I listen to and like Mark Levin’s radio show, I thought he made a fool of himself by relying on the Jeffrey Lord article to attack Ron Paul and his supporters.

Please do your homework Levin, you are only embarrassing yourself.

I have been a conservative since Barry Goldwater ran for President against Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

I have been in both the traditionalist wing of the conservative movement as exemplified by Russell Kirk and the classical liberal or libertarian wing of the conservative movement as exemplified by Ludwig von Mises, Fredrich A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard and Milton Friedman.

I would describe my own political philosophy as a traditional classical liberal or traditional libertarian.

I am currently part of the tea party movement and support those who want to replace the progressive radical socialists of the Republican establishment who talk like conservatives but walk like progressives–moderate Republicans or RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) or in the past Rockefeller Republicans.

I have also on occasion been called a neoconservative by progressive radical socialists.

I consider the label neoconservative as insulting for I do not consider neoconservatives to be either new or conservative.

They are collectivists or to use Levin’s label, statists, with an interventionist foreign policy. The neoconservatives are the “boat people” of the Democratic Party that sought a new home when George McGovern and the progressive radical socialist took over the Democratic Party. The neoconservatives should get back in their boats and find another home for they are largely responsible for the decline of the Republican Party.

My problem with many of the former Reagan administration civil servants that are now radio talk show hosts including Bill Bennett and Mark Levin is that  they self-identify themselves as conservative and/or classical liberal, but when it comes to foreign policy they are closet neoconservatives that support an active or energetic interventionist foreign policy with it never-ending war on terrorism similiar to the never-ending wars on poverty and drugs.

Under Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic Party become the warfare and welfare party with its wars in Korea and Vietnam to stop communism abroad and the war on poverty at home. Under George W. Bush the Republican party assumed the mantle of the warfare party largely under the influence of the neoconservatives that lead to the war in Iraq.

Like Ron Paul, I believe in a strong national defense but oppose an interventionist foreign policy that includes nation building, policing the world, and preemptive war. When the United States is attacked, Congress should declare war and fight the attackers  until they are utterly and completely defeated. Instead Congress repeatedly allows the President, whether Republican or Democrat, to take the United States into undeclared wars that cost tens of thousands of American lives and wounded and 1,000s of billions of dollars.

It never ceases to amaze me that while radio show hosts like Bennett, Limbaugh, and Levin will go on a rant about government intervention in the economy at home, which I also always agree with, and then they will usually will support a government interventionist foreign policy when a Republican is in the White House and oppose it when a Democrat is in the White House.

While many in their audience will fall for their hypocrisy and failure to connect the dots, I do not.

More and more Americans are waking up to the fact that most wars are a racket and want our troops to be brought home.

The American people want to replace the current warfare and welfare economy and a collectivist state with a peace and prosperity economy with a constitutionalist republic.

The American people want Federal government spending to be dramatically reduced–to live within our means.

The American people want balanced and surplus budgets to be common place and deficit budgets to be a rarity and not a recurring habit of the big spending Democratic and Republican political establishments in Washington D.C.

The United States is financially  bankrupt with a national debt approaching over $15,000 billion and unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid of over $100,000 billion and total public and private assets of about $60,000 billion–this is insolvency!

The United States can no longer afford the warfare and welfare economy.

The United States needs to return to its conservative and libertarian principles of a fiscal responsible Federal government with balanced or surplus budgets and a Federal government that is limited in size and scope.

For decades Ron Paul has been the one consistent and principled conservative/libertarian in the House of Representatives who has been the defender of a constitutional republic.

 Once I too said “I like Ron Paul except for his foreign policy.”, now I fully supportRon Paul especially his non-interventionist foreign policy.

War, Ron Paul, and Conservatism

While I will continue to listen, enjoy and even admire the Bennett, Limbaugh, and Levin talk radio shows, I imagine some day they too will eventually see the wisdom of Ron Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy.

Ron Paul – Imagine – Kinetic Typography

May I suggest they start by reading or rereading Jacob Huebert’s  Libertarianism Today, Bastiat’s The Law, and Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind,

Is There Hope for Liberty in Our Lifetime? | Jacob Huebert

David Hart on Frederic Bastiat

Read Bastiat’s ‘The Law’ in PDF for FREE! Compliments of the Foundation for Economic Education.

http://www.fee.org/pdf/books/The_Law.pdf

Russell Kirk’s Ten Conservative Principles

Ten Conservative Principles

By Russell Kirk

First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.

Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.

Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.

Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence.

Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.

Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability

Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.

Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.

Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.

Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/detail/ten-conservative-principles/

“One must bear in mind that the expansion of federal activity is a form of eating for politicians.”

~William F. Buckley, Jr.

Background Articles and Videos

 Firing Line: Ron Paul and William F. Buckley (1988) – Part 1 of 4

 Firing Line: Ron Paul and William F. Buckley (1988) – Part 2 of 4

 Firing Line: Ron Paul and William F. Buckley (1988) – Part 3 of 4

 Firing Line: Ron Paul and William F. Buckley (1988) – Part 4 of 4

 

Jack Hunter responds to American Spectator smears: Ron Paul and Conservatism

“…In a recent column, Jeffrey Lord warned that Ron Paul’s presidential bid was secretly a “Neoliberal Reeducation Campaign.” Writes Lord: “the Paul campaign is not just a campaign for president. This is a campaign — a serious campaign — to re-educate the American people…” For Lord, Paul’s alleged reeducation mission means passing off liberal ideas as conservative. This is amusing — because this is precisely what self-described conservatives of Lord’s ilk have been doing for years.

Imagine that there never was a President George W. Bush, and when Bill Clinton left the White House he was immediately replaced with Barack Obama. Now imagine Obama carried out the exact same agenda as Bush — Medicare Plan D, No Child Left Behind, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — the whole works. Would conservatives have generally supported Obama as they did Bush — or would they have rightly criticized the most big government president in our history at that time?

Despite his glaringly statist record, did Lord ever consider Bush a “neo-liberal”? …”

http://www.dailypaul.com/176098/jack-hunters-responds-to-american-spectator-smears-ron-paul-and-conservatism-an-exchange

Ron Paul and Conservatism: An Exchange

“…Arguably the loudest conservative critic of Bush was Ron Paul, and this was certainly true during the 2008 election. Yet, as we head toward 2012, many presidential candidates are sounding a lot like Paul. Would Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich be attacking the Federal Reserve if running in 2008? Would Michele Bachmann be questioning the Libyan intervention if carried out by Bush? Would Mitt Romney now be saying it is not the United States military’s role to fight for the independence of other nations — the exact opposite of what he said about our role in Iraq in 2008?

Which brings us to Lord’s main beef with Paul: foreign policy.

Woodrow Wilson is the president most associated with early 20th century liberalism, second only to Franklin Roosevelt. During the Bush years, every self-described conservative who believed, as Wilson did, that it was America’s mission to “make the world safe for democracy” spoke the language, however unknowingly, of an earlier left-wing liberalism. William F. Buckley and George Will explained in a 2005 interview:

WILL: Today, we have a very different kind of foreign policy. It’s called Wilsonian. And the premise of the Bush doctrine is that America must spread democracy, because our national security depends upon it. And America can spread democracy. It knows how. It can engage in national building. This is conservative or not?

BUCKLEY: It’s not at all conservative. It’s anything but conservative…

In 2006, The American Spectator‘s Neal Freeman also described the Bush administration’s post 9/11 liberalism: “the Bush administration began to rumble about ‘regime change’ and ‘going it alone,’ and ‘building a democratic Iraq.’ Call this 9/12 approach whatever you will — utopian, neoconservative, Wilsonian — it could not fairly be characterized as ‘conservative.”

Reflecting a more conventional Republican view likely in line with Lord’s, talk host Sean Hannity said in 2009: “You can’t deny that George Bush was conservative on national security issues.” Well, at varying times, Bill Buckley, George Will, Robert Novak, Jack Kemp, Pat Buchanan, Paul Weyrich and many other conservatives did indeed deny that Bush’s foreign policy was conservative.

So did Ron Paul.

So did some of the most prominent figures in the history of American conservatism — and that’s even leaving out the libertarians. Traditionalists such as Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver and Robert Nisbet were some of the heaviest intellectual hitters at early National Review and each held foreign policy views far closer to what Paul believes than what today’s Republican hawks try to portray as conservatism.

Ronald Reagan even won the Cold War with a foreign policy marginally closer to Paul’s cautious approach than what Bush represented, or as former chairman of the American Conservative Union David Keene notes: “Reagan resorted to military force far less often than many of those who came before him or who have since occupied the Oval Office. . . . After the (1983) assault on the Marine barracks in Lebanon, it was questioning the wisdom of U.S. involvement that led Reagan to withdraw our troops rather than dig in. He found no good strategic reason to give our regional enemies inviting U.S. targets. Can one imagine one of today’s neoconservative absolutists backing away from any fight anywhere?”

No, one can’t imagine it. In fact, if using the definition of 2008 Republican presidential nominee and hardline neoconservative John McCain — Reagan would be considered an “isolationist.”

Ah, but Lord thinks anyone who uses the term “neoconservative” must be anti-Semitic. Is David Keene anti-Semitic? When Ann Coulter asks “Didn’t liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war” is she being anti-Semitic? Is George Will anti-Semitic for writing that the “most magnificently misnamed neoconservatives are the most radical people in this town.”…”

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/08/24/ron-paul-and-conservative-reed#

Ron Paul and the Neoliberal Reeducation Campaign

By on 8.23.11 @ 6:09AM

“…Neoliberals and Quasi-Cons:

When it comes to foreign policy, Ron Paul and his supporters are not conservatives.

This is important to understand when one realizes that Paul’s views are, self-described, “non-interventionist.”

The fact that he has been allowed to get away with pretending to conservatism on this score is merely reflective of journalists who, for whatever reason, are simply unfamiliar with American history. Ironically, it is precisely because the Paul campaign has not been thoroughly covered that no one pays attention to the historical paternity of what the candidate is saying.

There is no great sin in Paul’s non-interventionist stance (or “isolationist” stance as his critics would have it). There have been American politicians aplenty throughout American history, particularly in the 20th century, who believed precisely as Paul and his enthusiasts do right now. (Paul touts his admiration for the Founding Fathers, but even that is very selective. James Monroe of Monroe Doctrine fame was a considerable interventionist, Washington as a general invaded Canada, and Alexander Hamilton gave rise to Paul’s idea of evil spawn — the Federal Reserve. Interventionists of all types have been with us right from the start.)

The deception — and it is a considerable deception — is that almost to a person those prominent pre-Ron Paul non-interventionist “Paulist” politicians of the 20th century were overwhelmingly not conservatives at all. They were men of the left. The far left.

From three-time Democratic presidential nominee and Woodrow Wilson Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan to powerful Montana Democratic Senator Burton K. Wheeler to FDR’s ex-vice presidential nominee Henry Wallace to the 1968 anti-war presidential candidacy of Minnesota Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy to 1972 Democratic presidential nominee (and Henry Wallace delegate in 1948) George McGovern, non-interventionists have held prominent positions in the American Left that was and is the Democratic Party.

But of particular interest, and here is where the deception by Paulists is so considerable, the Ron Paul view of foreign policy has been the cornerstone of Republican liberals and progressives. Those who, using current political terminology, would be called the RINOs (Republican In Name Only) of their day.

Specifically this included the following prominent leaders of the non-interventionist/isolationist camp:

• Liberal Republican William Borah, the Senator from Idaho
• Liberal Republican George Norris, the Congressman and Senator from Nebraska
• Liberal Republican Gerald Nye, the Senator from North Dakota
• Liberal Republican Robert LaFollette Sr., the Senator from Wisconsin
• Liberal Republican Robert LaFollette Jr., the Senator from Wisconsin

To go back and re-read the arguments of these prominent GOP liberals as to why America should not intervene in World War I or World War II, striking dated references, and one would think one were reading the latest Ron Paul press release. George Norris and LaFollette Sr. were both vocal opponents of World War I, for instance, blaming “greed” (LaFollette) and “munition” makers, the early 20th century version of Paul’s attacks on “neoconservatives” or the military-industrial complex. …”

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/08/23/ron-paul-and-the-neoliberal-re

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American People Send A Message To President Obama: Take The $2,400 Billion Increase In National Debt Ceiling By Supporting H.R. 2560 The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011–Or Start Furloughing Non-essential Government Employees–No More Increases To The National Debt Ceiling Or Unbalanced Budgets–Videos

Posted on July 26, 2011. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Enivornment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

U.S. National Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Public Pulse: What Do Americans Really Think about the Debt Ceiling and Government Spending?

 

Americans Still Stuck on Economy as Top Problem in the U.S.

 

Editor-in-Chief Insights: Americans Assess the Debt Debate

 

Is Washington creating our jobs crisis? 

 

H.R. 2560 The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011

http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/bills/112/hr2560

Bill Text Versions
112th Congress (2011-2012)
H.R.2560

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.2560:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c112:1:./temp/~c112pRR36I::

Cut, Cap & Balance! Senators Paul, Lee and Vitter want a Constitutional Amendment

Sen. Toomey holds press conference on bill to protect seniors and active military

Sen. Toomey on Fox and Friends discussing the debt debate

Mark Levin Interviews Congressman Jim Jordan Who Supports Cut,Cap And Balance

The Lee-Toomey-Paul Cut, Cap and Balance Act Press Conference

Sen. Rand Paul Supports Cut-Cap-Balance Pledge

Lee Says Debt Plan Must Have Balanced Budget Amendment

7-21-11 – Ron Paul on the Debt Negotiations & Cut, Cap and Balance

Sen. Rand Paul on Fox Business w/ Lou Dobbs – 07/20/11

Ron Paul on The Lou Dobbs Show: Explains Why he didn’t vote for the Cut, Cap and Balance Bill

Ron Paul on WMAL Morning Majority: Talks about Dept Limit & Cut, Cap, and Balance

Ron Paul Ad – Conviction

Bachmann: “I can not vote to raise the debt ceiling”

Thomas Sowell  

Debt-Ceiling Chicken

“…The national debt-ceiling law should be judged by what it actually does, not by how good an idea it seems to be. The one thing that the national debt-ceiling has never done is to put a ceiling on the rising national debt. Time and time again, for years on end, the national debt-ceiling has been raised whenever the national debt gets near whatever the current ceiling might be.

Regardless of what it is supposed to do, what the national debt-ceiling actually does is enable any administration to get all the political benefits of runaway spending for the benefit of their favorite constituencies — and then invite the opposition party to share the blame, by either raising the national debt ceiling, or by voting for unpopular cutbacks in spending or increases in taxes.

The Obama administration is a classic example. When all its skyrocketing spending bills were being rushed through Congress without even being read, the Democrats had such overwhelming majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives that Republicans had all they could do to get a word in edgewise — even though their words had no chance of stopping, or even slowing down, the spending of trillions of dollars.

Now that the bill is coming due for all that spending and borrowing, Republicans are suddenly being invited in to share the blame for either raising the national debt ceiling or for whatever other unpopular measures will be legislated.

Many years ago, someone said, “If you didn’t invite me to the big take-off, don’t invite me to the crash landing.” This was Obama’s big spending spree, but “bipartisanship” requires Republicans to either split the bill or be blamed if the government shuts down or defaults.

What would happen if there were no national debt-ceiling law?

Those who got the politic