NSA Whistle-blower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM
A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.
The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind); destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.
William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope’s Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.
On January 22, 2015: (Berlin, Germany) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is proud to announce that retired NSA Technical Director and GAP client, William “Bill” Binney, will accept the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award today in Berlin, Germany. The award is presented annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) to a professional who has taken a strong stand for ethics and integrity. http://whistleblower.org/press/nsa-wh…
NSA Whistle-blower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post
Former NSA Head Exposes Agency’s Real Crimes
Edward Snowden, v 1.0: NSA Whistleblower William Binney Tells All
“Where I see it going is toward a totalitarian state,” says William Binney. “You’ve got the NSA doing all this collecting of material on all of its citizens – that’s what the SS, the Gestapo, the Stasi, the KGB, and the NKVD did.”
Binney is talking about the collection of various forms of personal data on American citizens by the National Security Agency (NSA), where he worked for 30 years before quitting in 2001 from his high-placed post as technical leader for intelligence. A registered Republican for most of his life, Binney volunteered for military service during the Vietnam War, which led to his being hired by the NSA in the early ’70s.
In 2002 – long before the revelations of Edward Snowden rocked the world – Binney and several former colleagues went to Congress and the Department of Defense, asking that the NSA be investigated. Not only was the super-secretive agency wasting taxpayer dollars on ineffective programs, they argued, it was broadly violating constitutional guarantees to privacy and due process.
The government didn’t just turn a blind eye to the agency’s activities; it later accused the whistleblowers of leaking state secrets. A federal investigation of Binney – including an FBI search and seizure of his home and office computers that destroyed his consulting business – exonerated him on all charges.
“We are a clear example that [going through] the proper channels doesn’t work,” says Binney, who approves of Edward Snowden’s strategy of going straight to the media. At the same time, Binney criticizes Snowden’s leaking of documents not directly related to the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens and violation of constitutional rights. Binney believes that the NSA is vital to national security but has been become unmoored due to technological advances that vastly extend its capabilities and leadership that has no use for limits on government power. “They took that program designed [to prevent terrorist attacks] and used it to spy on American citizens and everyone else in the world,” flatly declares Binney (33:30).
Binney sat down with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie to discuss “Trailblazer”, a data-collection program which was used on American citizens (1:00), why he thinks the NSA had the capability to stop the 9/11 attacks (7:00), his experience being raided by the FBI in 2007 (12:50), and why former President Gerald Ford, usually regarded as a hapless time-server, is one of his personal villians (41:25).
NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All: The Program | Op-Docs | The New York Times
William Binney: NSA had 9/11 foreknowledge
NSA Whistleblower Supports 9/11 Truth – William Binney and Richard Gage on GRTV
“The NSA Is Lying”: U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails Says NSA Whistleblower
William Edward Binney is a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) turned whistleblower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency. He was a high-profile critic of his former employers during the George W. Bush administration.
Binney continues to speak out during Barack Obama‘s presidency about the NSA’s data collection policies, and continues interviews in the media regarding his experiences and his views on communication intercepts by governmental agencies of American citizens. In a legal case, Binney has testified in an affidavit that the NSA is in deliberate violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Binney grew up in rural Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1970. He said that he volunteered for the Army during the Vietnam era in order to select work that would interest him rather than be drafted and have no input. He was found to have strong aptitudes for mathematics, analysis, and code-breaking, and served four years from 1965–1969 at the Army Security Agency before going to the NSA in 1970. Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst and ending as Technical Director prior to becoming a geopolitical world Technical Director. In the 1990s, he co-founded a unit on automating signals intelligence with NSA research chief Dr. John Taggart. Binney’s NSA career culminated as Technical Leader for intelligence in 2001. Having expertise in intelligence analysis, traffic analysis, systems analysis, knowledge management, and mathematics (including set theory, number theory, and probability), Binney has been described as one of the best analysts in the NSA’s history. After retiring from the NSA he founded “Entity Mapping, LLC”, a private intelligence agency together with fellow NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe to market their analysis program to government agencies. NSA continued to retaliate against them, ultimately preventing them from getting work, or causing contracts they had secured to be terminated abruptly.
Binney sitting in the offices ofDemocracy Now! in New York City, prior to appearing with hosts Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, and guest Jacob Appelbaum. Photo taken byJacob Appelbaum.
In September 2002, he, along with J. Kirk Wiebe and Edward Loomis, asked the U.S. Defense Department to investigate the NSA for allegedly wasting “millions and millions of dollars” on Trailblazer, a system intended to analyze data carried on communications networks such as the Internet. Binney had been one of the inventors of an alternative system, ThinThread, which was shelved when Trailblazer was chosen instead. Binney has also been publicly critical of the NSA for spying on U.S. citizens, saying of its expanded surveillance after the September 11, 2001 attacks that “it’s better than anything that the KGB, the Stasi, or the Gestapo and SS ever had” as well as noting Trailblazer’s ineffectiveness and unjustified high cost compared to the far less intrusive ThinThread. He was furious that the NSA hadn’t uncovered the 9/11 plot and stated that intercepts it had collected but not analyzed likely would have garnered timely attention with his leaner more focused system.
After he left the NSA in 2001, Binney was one of several people investigated as part of an inquiry into the 2005 New York Times exposé on the agency’s warrantless eavesdropping program. Binney was cleared of wrongdoing after three interviews with FBI agents beginning in March 2007, but one morning in July 2007, a dozen agents armed with rifles appeared at his house, one of whom entered the bathroom and pointed his gun at Binney, still towelling off from a shower. In that raid, the FBI confiscated a desktop computer, disks, and personal and business records. The NSA revoked his security clearance, forcing him to close a business he ran with former colleagues at a loss of a reported $300,000 in annual income. In 2012, Binney and his co-plaintiffs went to federal court to get the items back. Binney spent more than $7,000 on legal fees.
During interviews on Democracy Now! in April and May 2012 with elaboration in July 2012 at 2600’s hacker conference HOPE and at DEF CON a couple weeks later,Binney repeated estimates that the NSA (particularly its Stellar Wind project) had intercepted 20 trillion communications “transactions” of Americans such as phone calls, emails, and other forms of data (but not including financial data). This includes most of the emails of US citizens. Binney disclosed in an affidavit for Jewel v. NSA that the agency was “purposefully violating the Constitution”. Binney also notes that he found out after retiring that the NSA was pursuing collect-it-all vs. targeted surveillance even before the 9/11 attacks.
Binney was invited as a witness by the NSA commission of the German Bundestag. On July 3, 2014 the Spiegel wrote, he said that the NSA wanted to have information about everything. In Binney’s view this is a totalitarian approach, which had previously been seen only in dictatorships. Binney stated the goal was also to control people. Meanwhile, he said it is possible in principle to survey the whole population, abroad and in the US, which in his view contradicts the United States Constitution. In October 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the NSA began with its mass surveillance, he said. Therefore, he left the secret service shortly afterwards, after more than 30 years of employment. Binney mentioned that there were about 6000 analysts in the surveillance at NSA already during his tenure. According to him, everything changed after 9/11. The NSA used the attacks as a justification to start indiscriminate data collection. “This was a mistake. But they still do it”, he said. The secret service was saving the data as long as possible: “They do not discard anything. If they have anything they keep it.” Since then, the NSA has been saving collected data indefinitely. Binney said he deplored the NSA’s development of the past few years, to collect data not only on groups who are suspicious for criminal or terrorist activities. “We have moved away from the collection of these data to the collection of data of the 7 billion people on our planet.” Binney said he argued even then, to only pull relevant data from the cables. Access to the data was granted to departments of the government or the IRS.
Similar in name to the Medal of Freedom, but much closer in meaning and precedence to the Medal for Merit: the Presidential Medal of Freedom is currently the supreme civilian decoration in precedence, whereas the Medal of Freedom was inferior in precedence to the Medal for Merit; the Medal of Freedom was awarded by any of three Cabinet secretaries, whereas the Medal for Merit was awarded by the president, as is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Another measure of the difference between these two similarly named but very distinct awards is their per-capita frequency of award: from 1946 to 1961 the average annual incidence of award of the Medal of Freedom was approximately 1 per every 86,500 adult U.S. citizens; from 1996 to 2011 the average annual incidence of award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom was approximately 1 per every 20,500,000 adult U.S. citizens (so on an annualized per capita basis, 240 Medals of Freedom have been awarded per one Presidential Medal of Freedom).
President John F. Kennedy established the current decoration in 1963 through Executive Order11085, with unique and distinctive insignia, vastly expanded purpose, and far higher prestige. It was the first U.S. civilian neck decoration and, in the grade of Awarded With Distinction, is the only U.S. sash and star decoration (the Chief Commander degree of the Legion of Merit – which may only be awarded to foreign heads of state – is a star decoration, but without a sash). The Executive Order calls for the medal to be awarded annually on or around July 4, and at other convenient times as chosen by the president, but it has not been awarded every year (e.g., 2001, 2010). Recipients are selected by the president, either on his own initiative or based on recommendations. The order establishing the medal also expanded the size and the responsibilities of the Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board so it could serve as a major source of such recommendations.
Medal andaccoutrementsincluding undress ribbon, miniature, and lapel badge.
Graphical representation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction
The badge of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is in the form of a golden star with white enamel, with a red enamel pentagon behind it; the central disc bears thirteen gold stars on a blue enamel background (taken from the Great Seal of the United States) within a golden ring. Golden American bald eagles with spread wings stand between the points of the star. It is worn around the neck on a blue ribbon with white edge stripes.
A special grade of the medal, known as the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, has a larger execution of the same medal design worn as a star on the left chest along with a sash over the right shoulder (similar to how the insignia of a Grand Cross is worn), with its rosette (blue with white edge, bearing the central disc of the medal at its center) resting on the left hip. When the medal With Distinction is awarded, the star may be presented depending from a neck ribbon and can be identified by its larger size than the standard medal (compare size of medals in pictures below; President Reagan’s was awarded With Distinction).
Both medals may also be worn in miniature form on a ribbon on the left chest, with a silver American bald eagle with spread wings on the ribbon, or a golden American bald eagle for a medal awarded With Distinction. In addition, the medal is accompanied by a service ribbon for wear on military service uniform, a miniature medal pendant for wear on mess dress or civilian formal wear, and a lapel badge for wear on civilian clothes (all shown in the accompanying photograph of the full presentation set).
Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]
Published on Dec 30, 2013
Through a PRISM, Darkly
Everything we know about NSA spying
From Stellar Wind to PRISM, Boundless Informant to EvilOlive, the NSA spying programs are shrouded in secrecy and rubber-stamped by secret opinions from a court that meets in a faraday cage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl explains the known facts about how the programs operate and the laws and regulations the U.S. government asserts allows the NSA to spy on you.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil society organization, has been litigating against the NSA spying program for the better part of a decade. EFF has collected and reviewed dozens of documents, from the original NY Times stories in 2005 and the first AT&T whistleblower in 2006, through the latest documents released in the Guardian or obtained through EFF’s Freedom of Information (government transparency) litigation. EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl’s lecture will describe how the NSA spying program works, the underlying technologies, the targeting procedures (how they decide who to focus on), the minimization procedures (how they decide which information to discard), and help you makes sense of the many code names and acronyms in the news. He will also discuss the legal and policy ramifications that have become part of the public debate following the recent disclosures, and what you can do about it. After summarizing the programs, technologies, and legal/policy framework in the lecture, the audience can ask questions.
Speaker: Kurt Opsahl
Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]
Location: Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH); Am Dammtor; Marseiller Straße; 20355 Hamburg; Germany
Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”
Inside the NSA
Ed Snowden, NSA, and Fairy Tales
AT&T Spying On Internet Traffic
For years the National Securities Agency, has been spying on each & every keystroke. The national headquarters of AT&T is in Missouri, where ex-employees describe a secret room. The program is called “Splitter Cut-In & Test Procedure.”
NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All – Op-Docs: The Program
The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.
NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post
He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks
William Benny – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)
‘After 9/11 NSA had secret deal with White House’
The story of Whistleblower Thomas Drake
Whistleblowers, Part Two: Thomas Drake
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013
Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower
The Truth About Edward Snowden
N.S.A. Spying: Why Does It Matter?
Inside The NSA~Americas Cyber Secrets
NSA Whistleblower Exposes Obama’s Dragnet
AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-1/2
AT&T Whistleblower Urges Against Immunity for Telecoms in Bush Spy Program
The Senate is expected to vote on a controversial measure to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act tomorrow. The legislation would rewrite the nation’s surveillance laws and authorize the National Security Agency’s secret program of warrantless wiretapping. We speak with Mark Klein, a technician with AT&T for over twenty-two years. In 2006 Klein leaked internal AT&T documents that revealed the company had set up a secret room in its San Francisco office to give the National Security Agency access to its fiber optic internet cables.
AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-2/2
Enemy Of The State 1998 (1080p) (Full movie)
Background Articles and Videos
Stellar Wind was the open secret code name for four surveillance programs by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau. The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Stellar Wind was succeeded during the presidency of Barack Obama by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications.
The program’s activities involved data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity. William Binney, a retired Technical Leader with the NSA, discussed some of the architectural and operational elements of the program at the 2012 Chaos Communication Congress.
There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data are collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.
During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to Mueller, approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but “it’s that other 1% that we’ve got to be concerned about”. One of the known uses of these data were the creation of suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, about people suspected of terrorist activities. It was one of these reports that revealed former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, even though he was not suspected of terrorist activities.
In March 2012 Wired magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a vast new NSA facility in Utah and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail,” naming the official William Binney, a former NSA code breaker. Binney went on to say that the NSA had highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon. The article suggested that the otherwise dispatched Stellar Wind is actually an active program.
PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007.[Notes 1]PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN. It is operated under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The existence of the program was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013.
A document included in the leak indicated that the PRISM SIGAD was “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.” The President’s Daily Brief, an all-source intelligence product, cited PRISM data as a source in 1,477 items in 2012. The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been requiring the telecommunications company Verizon to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.
According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum. Clapper issued a statement and “fact sheet” to correct what he characterized as “significant misimpressions” in articles by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers.
Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US
Details of information collected via PRISM
PRISM is a “Special Source Operation” in the tradition of NSA’s intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s. A prior program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, was implemented in the wake of the September 11 attacks under the George W. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and had its legality questioned, because it was conducted without approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). PRISM was authorized by an order of the FISC. Its creation was enabled by the Protect America Act of 2007 under President Bush and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which legally immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with US intelligence collection and was renewed by Congress under President Obama in 2012 for five years until December 2017. According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 “specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U.S. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant” when one of the parties is outside the U.S.
PRISM was first publicly revealed on June 6, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Washington Post and The Guardian by American Edward Snowden. The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles. The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including (date of joining PRISM in parentheses) Microsoft (2007), Yahoo! (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), Paltalk (2009), YouTube (2010), AOL (2011), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012). The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.”
The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the United States, because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States. The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.
According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be United States citizens, but in the process, communication data of some United States citizens are also collected unintentionally. Training materials for analysts tell them that while they should periodically report such accidental collection of non-foreign United States data, “it’s nothing to worry about.”
Response from companies
The original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers.
Initial Public Statements
Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports. Statements of several of the companies named in the leaked documents were reported by TechCrunch and The Washington Post as follows:
Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began
Microsoft: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”
Yahoo!: “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.” “Of the hundreds of millions of users we serve, an infinitesimal percentage will ever be the subject of a government data collection directive.”
Facebook: “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”
Google: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data.” “[A]ny suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”
Apple: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”
Dropbox: “We’ve seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”
In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.The Washington Post suggested, “It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.” “[I]n context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination.
“If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.
Slide showing two different sources of NSA data collection. The first source the fiber optic cables of the internet handled by the Upstream program and the second source the servers of major internet companies handled by PRISM.
On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant. Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with VentureBeat said, “I certainly appreciate that Google put out a transparency report, but it appears that the transparency didn’t include this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were subject to a gag order.”
The New York Times reported on June 7, 2013, that “Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations.” The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely. In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort. The dialogues have continued in recent months, as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has met with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel. These details on the discussions provide insight into the disparity between initial descriptions of the government program including a training slide which states “Collection directly from the servers” and the companies’ denials.
While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by FISC is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission. Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said. Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information. Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or secure FTP.
Post-PRISM Transparency Reports
In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.
On June 14, 2013, Facebook reported that the U.S. Government had authorized the communication of “about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range.” In a press release posted to their web site, Facebook reported, “For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000.” Facebook further reported that the requests impacted “between 18,000 and 19,000″ user accounts, a “tiny fraction of one percent” of more than 1.1 billion active user accounts.
Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal)” which impacted “a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base”.
Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be “a step backwards” from its previous, more detailed practices on its site transparency report. The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.
Response from United States government
Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats. The statement read in part, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.” He went on to say, “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.” Clapper concluded his statement by stating “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.” On March 12, 2013, Clapper had told the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans. In an NBC News interview, Clapper said he answered Senator Wyden’s question in the “least untruthful manner by saying no”.
Clapper also stated that “the NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, because collecting it (in) a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. The information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. The program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.”
On June 8, 2013, Clapper said “the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.” The fact sheet described PRISM as “an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”
The National Intelligence fact sheet further stated that “the United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.” It said that the Attorney General provides FISA Court rulings and semi-annual reports about PRISM activities to Congress, “provid[ing] an unprecedented degree of accountability and transparency.”
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said on June 7 “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.” He also said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”
In separate statements, senior (not mentioned by name in source) Obama administration officials said that Congress had been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009.
In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens’ telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published. Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification, and others said that they had not been aware of the program. After statements had been released by the President and the Director of National Intelligence, some lawmakers began to comment:
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
June 9 “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation,”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
June 9 “These programs are within the law”, “part of our obligation is keeping Americans safe”, “Human intelligence isn’t going to do it”.
June 9 “Here’s the rub: the instances where this has produced good — has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks, is all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this.”
June 11 “It went fine…we asked him[ Keith Alexander ] to declassify things because it would be helpful (for people and lawmakers to better understand the intelligence programs).” “I’ve just got to see if the information gets declassified. I’m sure people will find it very interesting.”
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), member of Senate Intelligence Committee and past member of Homeland Security Committee
June 11 “I had, along with Joe Lieberman, a monthly threat briefing, but I did not have access to this highly compartmentalized information” and “How can you ask when you don’t know the program exists?”
Representative John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House of Representatives
June 11 “He’s a traitor” (referring to Edward Snowden)
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), principal sponsor of the Patriot Act
June 9, “This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.” “President Obama’s claim that ‘this is the most transparent administration in history’ has once again proven false. In fact, it appears that no administration has ever peered more closely or intimately into the lives of innocent Americans.”
Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), a Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
June 9 “One of the things that we’re charged with is keeping America safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. I think we have done both in this particular case,”
June 9 “Within the last few years this program was used to stop a program, excuse me, to stop a terrorist attack in the United States we know that. It’s, it’s, it’s important, it fills in a little seam that we have and it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event that they may believe is ongoing in the United States. So in that regard it is a very valuable thing,”
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
June 9 “I don’t think the American public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.” “I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security (Agency) is collecting,” “It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here. That is what I’m aiming for. Let’s have the debate, let’s be transparent, let’s open this up”.
Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)
June 10 “We have no idea when they [ FISA ] meet, we have no idea what their judgments are”,
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
June 6 “When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act,”
June 9 “I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit.”
Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
June 9 “We will be receiving secret briefings and we will be asking, I know I’m going to be asking to get more information. I want to make sure that what they’re doing is harvesting information that is necessary to keep us safe and not simply going into everybody’s private telephone conversations and Facebook and communications. I mean one of the, you know the terrorists win when you debilitate freedom of expression and privacy.”
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has not acknowledged, denied or confirmed any involvement in the PRISM program at this time. It has not issued any press statement or release relating to the current situation and uncertainty.
Applicable law and practice
On June 8, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence issued a fact sheet stating that PRISM “is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program”, but rather computer software used to facilitate the collection of foreign intelligence information “under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).” Section 702 provides that “the Attorney General [A.G.] and the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.” In order to authorize the targeting, the A.G. and DNI need to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to Section 702 or certify that “intelligence important to the national security of the United States may be lost or not timely acquired and time does not permit the issuance of an order.” When asking for an order, the A.G. and DNI must certify to FISC that “a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.” They do not need to specify which facilities or property that the targeting will be directed at.
After getting a FISC order or determining that there are emergency circumstances, the A.G. and DNI can direct an electronic communication service provider to give them access to information or facilities to carry out the targeting and keep the targeting secret. The provider then has the option to: (1) comply with the directive; (2) reject it; or (3) challenge it to FISC.
If the provider complies with the directive, it is released from liability to its users for providing the information and reimbursed for the cost of providing it.
If the provider rejects the directive, the A.G. may request an order from FISC to enforce it. A provider that fails to comply with FISC’s order can be punished with contempt of court.
Finally, a provider can petition FISC to reject the directive. In case FISC denies the petition and orders the provider to comply with the directive, the provider risks contempt of court if it refuses to comply with FISC’s order. The provider can appeal FISC’s denial to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and then appeal the Court of Review’s decision to the Supreme Court by a writ of certiorari for review under seal.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the FISA Courts had been put in place to oversee intelligence operations in the period after the death of J. Edgar Hoover. Beverly Gage of Slate said, “When they were created, these new mechanisms were supposed to stop the kinds of abuses that men like Hoover had engineered. Instead, it now looks as if they have come to function as rubber stamps for the expansive ambitions of the intelligence community. J. Edgar Hoover no longer rules Washington, but it turns out we didn’t need him anyway.”
Involvement of other countries
The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.
Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment, said that commenting on PRISM “would undermine CSE’s ability to carry out its mandate”. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada’s standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating “We have fallen too far behind,” Stoddart wrote in her report. “While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest.” And, “when push comes to shove,” Stoddart wrote, “short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations.”
Germany did not receive any raw PRISM data, according to a Reuters report.
Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussed the Business Insider article about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM program – Verint Systems and Narus.
In New Zealand, University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe said that “under what was unofficially known as the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand and other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain, dealt with internal spying by saying they didn’t do it. But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information.”
In the United Kingdom, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has had access to the PRISM program on or before June 2010 and wrote 197 reports with it in 2012 alone. PRISM may have allowed GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material.
The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (June 2013)
The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility on this issue,” and lamented that “for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public’s calling and texting habits now reside in a N.S.A. database.”
Republican and former member of Congress Ron Paul said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk…. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.” Paul denounced the government’s secret surveillance program: “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing…. We need to know more about what the government is doing.” He called Congress “derelict in giving that much power to the government,” and said that had he been elected president, he would have ordered searches only when there was probable cause of a crime having been committed, which he said was not how the PRISM program was being operated.
In response to Obama administration arguments that it could stop terrorism in the cases of Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt of The Guardian said in regards to the role of PRISM and Boundless Informant interviews with parties involved in the Zazi scheme and court documents lodged in the United States and the United Kingdom indicated that “conventional” surveillance methods such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services initiated the investigation into the Zazi case. An anonymous former CIA agent said that in regards to the Headley case, “That’s nonsense. It played no role at all in the Headley case. That’s not the way it happened at all.” Pilkington and Watt concluded that the data-mining programs “played a relatively minor role in the interception of the two plots.” Michael Daly of The Daily Beast stated that even though Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Inspire and even though Russian intelligence officials alerted U.S. intelligence officials about Tsarnaev, PRISM did not prevent him from carrying out the Boston bombings, and that the initial evidence implicating him came from his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and not from federal intelligence. In addition Daly pointed to the fact that Faisal Shahzad visited Inspire but that federal authorities did not stop his attempted terrorist plot. Daly concluded “The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.” In addition, political commentator Bill O’Reilly criticized the government, saying that PRISM did not stop the Boston bombings.
In a blog post, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, compared the NSA’s programs, including PRISM, to a 1980s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers; the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders. The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show’s first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a “faux scandal.” George Takei, an actor who had experienced Japanese American internment, said that due to his memories of the internment, he felt concern towards the NSA surveillance programs that had been revealed.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital-rights group based in the U.S., is hosting a tool, by which an American resident can write to their government representatives regarding their opposition to mass spying.
On June 11, 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NSA citing that PRISM “violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy”.
Reactions of Internet users in China were mixed between viewing a loss of freedom worldwide and seeing state surveillance coming out of secrecy. The story broke just before US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California. When asked about NSA hacking China, the spokeswoman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said “China strongly advocates cybersecurity”. The party-owned newspaper Liberation Daily described this surveillance like Nineteen Eighty-Four-style. Hong Kong legislators Gary Fan and Claudia Mo wrote a letter to Obama, stating “the revelations of blanket surveillance of global communications by the world’s leading democracy have damaged the image of the U.S. among freedom-loving peoples around the world.”
Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, called PRISM “a violation of EU laws”.
Protests at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
The German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Peter Schaar, condemned the program as “monstrous”. He further added that White House claims do “not reassure me at all” and that “given the large number of German users of Google, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft services, I expect the German government […] is committed to clarification and limitation of surveillance.” Steffen Seibert, press secretary of the Chancellor’s office, announced that Angela Merkel will put these issues on the agenda of the talks with Barack Obama during his pending visit in Berlin.
The Italian president of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance dragnet “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.
William Hague, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, dismissed accusations that British security agencies had been circumventing British law by using information gathered on British citizens by Prism saying, “Any data obtained by us from the United States involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards.” David Cameron said Britain’s spy agencies that received data collected from PRISM acted within the law: “I’m satisfied that we have intelligence agencies that do a fantastically important job for this country to keep us safe, and they operate within the law.” Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said that if the British intelligence agencies were seeking to know the content of emails about people living in the UK, then they actually have to get lawful authority. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office was more cautious, saying it would investigate PRISM alongside other European data agencies: “There are real issues about the extent to which U.S. law agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens. Aspects of U.S. law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to U.S. agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own Data Protection Act. The ICO has raised this with its European counterparts, and the issue is being considered by the European Commission, who are in discussions with the U.S. Government.”
Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident, said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”
Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur who owned Megaupload, which was closed by the U.S. federal government, said “We should heed warnings from Snowden because the prospect of an Orwellian society outweighs whatever security benefits we derive from Prism or Five Eyes.” The Hong Kong law firm representing Dotcom expressed a fear that the communication between Dotcom and the firm had been compromised by U.S. intelligence programs.
Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from Edward Snowden.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said “We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.”
A parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, gathers up metadata as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. BLARNEY’s summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”
A related program, a big data visualization system based on cloud computing and free and open-source software (FOSS) technology known as “Boundless Informant”, was disclosed in documents leaked to The Guardian and reported on June 8, 2013. A leaked, top secret map allegedly produced by Boundless Informant revealed the extent of NSA surveillance in the U.S.
ThinThread is the name of a project that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun. The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued three weeks before the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority. The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.
ThinThread was dismissed and replaced by the Trailblazer Project, which lacked the privacy protections. A consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was awarded a $280 million contract to develop Trailblazer in 2002.
Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail. It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.
NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.
The people who filed the IG complaint were later raided by armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. While the Government threatened to prosecute all who signed the IG report, it ultimately chose to pursue an NSA Senior Executive — Thomas Andrews Drake — who helped with the report internally to NSA and who had spoken with a reporter about the project. Drake was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. His defenders claimed this was retaliation. The charges against him were later dropped, and he agreed to plead guilty to having committed a misdemeanor under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, something that Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (which helped represent him) called an “act of civil disobedience”.
Trailblazer was chosen over a similar program named ThinThread, a less costly project which had been designed with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens. Trailblazer was later linked to the NSA electronic surveillance program and the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.
In 2002 a consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was chosen by the NSA to produce a technology demonstration platform in a contract worth $280 million. Project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The project was overseen by NSA Deputy Director William B. Black, Jr., an NSA worker who had gone to SAIC, and then been re-hired back to NSA by NSA director Michael Hayden in 2000. SAIC had also hired a former NSA director to its management; Bobby Inman. SAIC also participated in the concept definition phase of Trailblazer.
Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. 
The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” 
In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.” The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.
In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule. In 2006 the program was shut down, after having cost billions of US Dollars. Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.
The new project replacing Trailblazer is called Turbulence.
According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”
In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying. A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy. Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter. Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed. She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.
Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.
In 2003, the NSA IG (not the DoD IG) had declared Trailblazer an expensive failure. It had cost more than $1 billion.
In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative. Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.
In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun. Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.
In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917, part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”. The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.
In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
Boundless Informant is a big data analysis and data visualization system used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to give NSA managers summaries of NSA’s world wide data collection activities. It is described in an unclassified, For Official Use Only Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) memo published by The Guardian. According to a Top Secret heat map display also published by The Guardian and allegedly produced by the Boundless Informant program, almost 3 billion data elements from inside the United States were captured by NSA over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.
Data analyzed by Boundless Informant includes electronic surveillance program records (DNI) and telephone call metadata records (DNR) stored in an NSA data archive called GM-PLACE. It does not include FISA data, according to the FAQ memo. PRISM, a government codename for a collection effort known officially as US-984XN, which was revealed at the same time as Boundless Informant, is one source of DNR data. According to the map, Boundless Informant summarizes data records from 504 separate DNR and DNI collection sources (SIGADs). In the map, countries that are under surveillance are assigned a color from green, representing least coverage to red, most intensive.
Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US.
Intelligence gathered by the United States government inside the United States or specifically targeting US citizens is legally required to be gathered in compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court).
NSA global data mining projects have existed for decades, but recent programs of intelligence gathering and analysis that include data gathered from inside the United States such as PRISM were enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under President Obama in December 2012.
Boundless Informant was first publicly revealed on June 8, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Guardian. The newspaper identified its informant, at his request, as Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
According to published slides, Boundless Informant leverages Free and Open Source Software—and is therefore “available to all NSA developers”—and corporate services hosted in the cloud. The tool uses HDFS, MapReduce, and Cloudbase for data processing.
Legality and FISA Amendments Act of 2008
The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Section 702 is referenced in PRISM documents detailing the electronic interception, capture and analysis of metadata. Many reports and letters of concern written by members of Congress suggest that this section of FAA in particular is legally and constitutionally problematic, such as by targeting U.S. persons, insofar as “Collections occur in U.S.” as published documents indicate.
The ACLU has asserted the following regarding the FAA: “Regardless of abuses, the problem with the FAA is more fundamental: the statute itself is unconstitutional.”
Senator Rand Paul is introducing new legislation called the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 to stop the NSA or other agencies of the United States government from violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution using technology and big data information systems like PRISM and Boundless Informant.
ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS and Five Eyes). It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.
ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.
The system has been reported in a number of public sources. Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001, and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.
Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.
The UKUSA intelligence community was assessed by the European Parliament (EP) in 2000 to include the signals intelligence agencies of each of the member states:
the Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom,
the National Security Agency of the United States,
the Communications Security Establishment of Canada,
the Defence Signals Directorate of Australia, and
the Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand.
the National SIGINT Organisation (NSO) of The Netherlands
The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.
The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic. During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication, and could be intercepted at great distances. The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”
The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber. The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%. Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video. Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.
One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIX Internet exchange point in Frankfurt. A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.
Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.
See also: Industrial espionage
Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes. Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie. An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.
In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.
Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.
According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits. The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.
The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.” The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).
Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK. At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.
The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:
Likely satellite intercept stations
The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:
Hong Kong (since closed)
Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (Geraldton, Western Australia)
Menwith Hill (Yorkshire, U.K.) Map (reportedly the largest Echelon facility)
Misawa Air Base (Japan) Map
GCHQ Bude, formerly known as GCHQ CSO Morwenstow, (Cornwall, U.K.) Map
Pine Gap (Northern Territory, Australia – close to Alice Springs) Map
Sugar Grove (West Virginia, U.S.) Map
Yakima Training Center (Washington, U.S.) Map
GCSB Waihopai (New Zealand)
GCSB Tangimoana (New Zealand)
CFS Leitrim (Ontario, Canada)
Teufelsberg (Berlin, Germany) (closed 1992)
Other potentially related stations
The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 57 ff) as ones whose roles “cannot be clearly established”:
Ayios Nikolaos (Cyprus – U.K.)
BadAibling Station (BadAibling, Germany – U.S.)
relocated to Griesheim in 2004
deactivated in 2008
Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado)
Fort Gordon (Georgia, U.S.)
Gander (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada)
Guam (Pacific Ocean, U.S.)
Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center (Hawaii, U.S.)
Lackland Air Force Base, Medina Annex (San Antonio, Texas)
Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.
Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T. The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, who has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore “the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic.” Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.
The room measures about 24 by 48 feet (7.3 by 15 m) and contains several racks of equipment, including a Narus STA 6400, a device designed to intercept and analyze Internet communications at very high speeds.
The very existence of the room was revealed by a former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, and was the subject of a 2006 class action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T. Klein claims he was told that similar black rooms are operated at other facilities around the country.
Room 641A and the controversies surrounding it were subjects of an episode of Frontline, the current affairs documentary program on PBS. It was originally broadcast on May 15, 2007. It was also featured on PBS’s NOW on March 14, 2008. The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.
Basic diagram of how the alleged wiretapping was accomplished. From EFF court filings
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. A different case by the EFF was filed on September 18, 2008, titled Jewel v. NSA.
PRISM: A clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) which can target customers of participating corporations outside or inside the United States
Main Core: A personal and financial database storing information of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data mostly comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, as well as other government sources.
Story 1: 6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged — Obama’s National Police Force For The 21st Century! — Videos
We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
Breaking News – Specific charges, profiles of Freddie Gray officers
6 Baltimore Cops Charged In Freddie Gray’s Death
Sheriff Clarke: Baltimore is “George Zimmerman, Duke Lacross all over again..”
SHARPTON CALLS FOR DOJ TO TAKE OVER POLICING
Judge Nap: Gov’t Cannot Be Confronted By Blue Wall of Silence in Freddie Gray Case
Napolitano: There’s a ‘Serious Absence of Leadership’ in Baltimore
Judge Nap: Arrest of Black Man Who Died From Spinal Injury ‘Unconstitutional’
DOJ Targets Racism in Police Forces – CNN.com
Will Police Departments Face Scrutiny After DOJ Ferguson Report?
Al Sharpton called to Baltimore by Mayor
Al Sharpton Calls For Nationalization Of Police In Wake Of Baltimore Riots (Limbaugh responds)
OBAMA RIPS US POLICE: Target Poor, African Americans
What They Won’t Tell You About Baltimore Riots
BALTIMORE RIOTS – Maryland Governor Activates 5,000 National Guard Troops. Martial Law Coming?
Bishop Jackson to Rev. Sharpton: ‘March Right Back to N.Y. & MSNBC’
Sheriff David Clarke: Al Sharpton Should ‘Go Back into the Gutter He Came From’
Baltimore Mayor Hand Picked by Obama for Task Force, Plan to Nationalize Police
BALTIMORE MAYOR NAMED IN OBAMA NATIONAL POLICE FORCE DOCUMENT. FALSE FLAG
Obama Civilian Security
Obama National Police Force
Heads Up! Obama Just Federalized Police Forces In 6 US Cities
Glenn Beck Digs into Obama’s Civilian National Police Force
President Obama Meets with the Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Radley Balko on the Militarization of America’s Police Force: VICE Meets
Gestapo Hitler’s Secret Police
LARKE: FREDDIE GRAY CHARGES ‘DUKE LACROSSE CASE ALL OVER AGAIN’
by IAN HANCHETT
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) declared the charges brought against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray “George Zimmerman and the Duke Lacrosse case all over again” and said “these cops are political prisoners,” offered up as human sacrifices, thrown like red meat to an angry mob” on Friday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.
Clarke said of the charges, “it’s a miscarriage of justice. This neophyte prosecutor stood up there and made a political statement, Neil, and I say that because she’s chanting or voicing some of the chants from this angry mob. Her job is to tune that out. She said, I hear the voices. She’s not supposed to hear anything as she reviews this case that is not consistent with the rule of law and our system of justice. Look, I’m an experienced and a veteran homicide detective. I’ve had — I’ve participated in charging conferences. There is no way I have ever gotten a criminal charge within 24 hours after taking over all the reports and evidence to a prosecutor. A prosecutor who is thorough needs several days to sift through hundreds of pages of reports. They usually want to interview some of the witnesses themselves, in person, and they have to sift through all of the evidence, piece by piece, and they have to wait for some of the forensics evidence to conclude, to come back and that’s why I say on a minimum, three to four days. She just got this case yesterday. This is political activism. She’ll never prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, and I’m not going to silently stand by and watch my brother officers, offered up as human sacrifices, thrown like red meat to an angry mob, just to appease this angry mob.” And that “she rushed this thing through.”
After his interview was cut off to carry a Fraternal Order of Police press conference live, he continued, “she knows she’s not going to be able to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This is George Zimmerman and the Duke Lacrosse case all over again. A politically active district attorney or state’s attorney, you can tell the emotion in her voice, she almost did this with glee. And that’s why I believe, like they [the FOP] do…she needs to remove herself from the case. I hope the state’s attorney general gets involved in this, and sees the error of her ways. The smart thing for her to do is recuse herself and name a special prosecutor.”
He added that “there may be and probably are, some civil torts here, but what little I know, and I don’t know all the facts, but I’m listening to the emotion in their voice, and listening to those political statements that she made at the end of that news conference, that’s political activism, it’s wrong, it’s probably in violation of her code of ethics as a lawyer. And again, I’m going to take my time with this, but I’m not going to sit idly by, and I want to call out to every law enforcement officer in the country to pay attention to this. Because, I see a pattern, at least demands from an angry mob, that we be offered up as human sacrifices. We don’t do that in our system of justice in the United States just to please an angry mob. And I sense from what I heard her say, Neil, that that’s what is going on here.”
Clarke concluded, “there are some things I find in this case — what little I know — that are problematic from a procedural standpoint, but Neil, it doesn’t make it criminal. These cops are political prisoners. I’m calling them political prisoners because this state’s attorney, stood up there and made a political statement at the end, talking about she hears the voices, and no justice and no peace.”
Being educated in social work and community organizing, I have long suspected that Obama’s deception runs much deeper than many may realize. I have argued in other articles that blacks in America are deliberately being impoverished so they can easily be called upon to protest against the system; after all, that is the job of the community organizer, to stir up hate and discontent. This isn’t really a far fetched idea seeing as though some of the most impoverished cities in the country have been governed by Democrats for decades. I wrote in my article “Critical Projection Theory,” that the real reason Democrats push the race card so much is to hide their true history as the real oppressor of minorities in America. Watching events unfold as they have, I have to say I am more convinced of this than ever before. Are we witnessing the Hegelian Dialectic at play here?
This week in New York, another white police officer was not indicted for the death of another black man, and protests have been called. This is the case where the police officer in question choked Eric Gardner to death on the sidewalk July 17th of this year. To be honest with you, after watching the video I find myself wondering why he wasn’t indicted. In my opinion this looks like a clear cut case of police brutality. Is it possible that the same communist agitators that flamed the Ferguson riots have manipulated events concerning the jury’s decision not to indict, in order to encourage more resentment? While it may seem like a far fetched idea, it is in fact, the way “psychopolitical operatives” (communists) operate. This could very well be an expert application of the Hegelian Dialectic at work;create the problem, cause a crisis and then offer the solution. In this case the solution Obama wants may be a nationalized police force.
It isn’t hard to come to this conclusion when you remember what Obama said about a civilian security force that is better funded and more “well trained” than the military. Alleged racism in the police precincts across the country gives Obama and his communist cohorts the perfect excuse. We even have the U.N. expressing concerns about racially charged police brutality in America. The facts about white police killing blacks, as Janna B. reported, matter little because their is an agenda, and that agenda is disarming America and creating a national gestapo.
Public Law 87-297, State Department Publication NO. 7277, which is called The Arms Control And Disarmament act, calls for the complete and total disarmament of America. In fact, the first target of this plan is the United States military. If you haven’t noticed, our military has been decimated over the past couple of years. The plan then calls for disarming the public. Is it possible that disarming the police forces is also on the agenda? There would have to be a level of “psychological disarmament” before police forces across the countries would accept being under federal control; however, once this was accomplished they would certainly lack any ability to push back against the enveloping arms of the federal leviathan.
While much of this seems like crazy speculation, you have to remember that a great deal of what Obama accomplished was at one point, considered to be the same. The man keeps pushing for more and more and honestly, the less the cowardly Republicans do to stop him, the more he will push. I realize that sometimes many people will think I’m reaching far out there to come to conclusions that may never come to pass. The truth is, I hope they are right; however, when I see the racial divide Obama has created, and videos that appear to represent his own personal army in training, I get a little concerned. Keep your eyes open America, the next two years promise to be the most trying.
Marilyn Mosby Charges 6 Baltimore Police Officers in Death of Freddie Gray
Maryland State Attorney for the city of Baltimore Marilyn Mosby announced on Friday morning that Freddie Gray‘s death in police custody was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, and that there is sufficient probable cause to file criminal charges against the six officers involved.
The six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray will now face criminal charges ranging from murder to manslaughter to assault. The driver of the police van was charged with second-degree murder, while three officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter. Other officers were also charged with assault in connection with the murder.
Officers Charged In Freddie Gray’s Death, State’s Attorney Said Arrest Was Illegal
May 1, 2015 3:45 PM
City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby says Freddie Gray received his critical injuries in Baltimore police custody and has charged all six officers involved in his death.
The city state’s attorney outlined where they say the officers went wrong from the moment they arrested Gray all the way to the time they took him out of the van and realized he wasn’t breathing.
On April 12, when 25-year-old Freddie Gray first made eye contact with a city police officer and ran away, officers chased him down and arrested him at 1700 Pressbury Street.
Bystanders then began recording the arrest, watching as Gray was placed in the police van. The prosecutor faults the three arresting officers for not properly restraining or seatbelting Gray in the van, calling his arrest illegal to begin with.
“Lt. Rice, Officer Nero and Officer Miller failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest, as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray,” Mosby said.
The van made its first stop at Baker Street, where Gray was removed, put in flex cuffs and leg shackles and, again, not properly restrained. It is here prosecutors believe he was injured.
“Following transport from Baker’s Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being restrained, handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained by his feet inside the Baltimore Police Department wagon,” she said.
That van stopped again at the intersection of Mosher and Freemont Street. The driver got out and observed Gray, but gave him no medical aid—and Gray still wasn’t in a seatbelt. The van made a third stop at Dolphin and Druid Hill Street, where Gray said he couldn’t breathe and asked twice for medical attention.
“However, despite Mr. Gray’s request for a medic, both officers assessed Mr. Gray’s condition. At no point did they restrain Mr. Gray per BPD general order, nor did they render or request medical attention,” she said.
The van then headed to North Avenue and Pennsylvania, where it stops to pick up Donta Allen. At that time, Gray was already unresponsive, according to Mosby. The officers did not get him medical help; he was still not properly secured in the van. Finally, the van drove to the Western District Police Station, where officers first removed the other prisoner from the van, before realizing that Gray had stopped breathing and was now in cardiac arrest.
“The findings of our comprehensive, thorough, and independent investigation coupled with the ME’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Mosby said.
She charged all six officers in the death of Gray and said his arrest was illegal.
Mosby described the morning’s event:
She said Lt. Brian W. Rice along with Officer Garret Miller & Officer Edward M. Nero were on bike patrol when they made eye contact with Gray. Gray ran from Rice and Rice dispatched he was involved in a foot pursuit. Other officers got involved.
Gray surrendered to Miller and Nero and the officer handcuffed him behind his back, Mosby said. Gray asked for an inhaler because he “could not breathe,” but the officers did not get him medical attention.
They found a knife clipped inside his pants packet — the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law, she said.
The officers then restrained Gray in a “leg lace,” and held him down until the transport van arrived, while he “flailed and screamed.”
The officers failed to find probable cause for Gray’s arrest, Mosby said. When the police transport van arrived, he was placed into the wagon driven by Officer Caesar B. Goodson, but without a seatbelt.
“At no point was he secured by a seatbelt while in the wagon contrary to a BPD general order,” she added. “Despite stopping for the purpose of checking on Mr. Gray’s condition, at no point did he seek nor render any medical assistance for Mr. Gray.”
Gray was then removed from the wagon at Baker Street, places flex cuffs on his wrists and leg shackles on his ankles — while they completed paperwork. He was then placed back into the wagon’s floor head first and stomach down — without a seatbelt.
“Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the BPD wagon,” Mosby said.
After leaving Baker Street, the officers stopped again to check on Gray’s condition, but they did not seek medical attention for Gray. Again, Goodson drove off without buckling Gray into the van.
The van stopped once again, this time Officer William G. Porter met up with Goodson and checked on gray. Gray asked for medical attention stating he couldn’t breathe. Porter asked Gray if he needed a medic and although Gray insisted he did, the officers allegedly placed him back on the bench and decided he did not need a medic.
Then Porter left to assist with another arrest on West North avenue and Goodson shortly followed with Gray in the back of the police van to help transport another suspect. When they arrived at that located they Sgt. Alicia White, Goodson and Porter saw Gray was unresponsive on the floor of the back of the wagon.
White spoke to the back of Gray’s head and was advised he needed a medic, but Mosby said she made no effort to determine his condition.
The officer did not get Gray medical attention until they returned to the Western District station.
Mosby said the officers are being charged with a number of counts of manslaughter, assault and misconduct. One officer will even be charged with a count of murder.
Officer Caeser B. Goodson, Jr. was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of manslaughter by vehicle and misconduct in office.
Officer William G. Porter was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Lt. Brian W. Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Officer Edward M. Nero charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Officer Garret Miller charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Sgt. Alicia White involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Warrants have been issued for the arrest of the officers.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No Justice, No Peace,’ your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,” Mosby added.
The officers could face up to 20 years in prison for the charges. The driver — Goodson — could face up to 63 years in prison. They are expected to turn themselves in later today.
As groups take to the streets of Baltimore to celebrate the news, several officials reacted to the findings.
The Baltimore Police Fraternal Order of Police No. 3 issued a letter to Mosby Friday morning on behalf of the officers involved saying that the death was not the officers’ faults and they also requested a special prosecutor citing conflicts of interest with Mosby’s office.
“Each of the officers involved is sincerely saddened by Gray’s passing. They are all committed police officers who have dedicated their careers to the Baltimore City Police Department,” the letter states, “And that has been lost in all the publicity.”
“All death is tragic,” the FOP states. “And death associated with interaction with police is both shocking and frightening to the public.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings reacted to the charges filed against the officers in a press conference Friday afternoon.
“Let the wheels of justice roll, and it’s good that they are rolling, instead of standing still,” Cummings said. “”One of things that I’m determined to do and I’m hoping we’re able to do is make Baltimore a model for the nation.”
Gov. Larry Hogan who has been working from Baltimore this week due to the state of emergency also commented on Mosby’s findings:
“We finally get the process moving forward, but it’s a process. The criminal justice system is gonna work it’s way through, we believe in the criminal justice system. It’s just one component of what’s going on down here. There’s the Freddie Gray case, there’s the safety of the people of Baltimore, and then there’s the longer term issues,” Hogan said. “My role in the process is to try to keep folks safe.” … “I know emotions are running high. We want to keep the peace, keep the calm. We’ve got a lot folks out there demonstrating tonight and tomorrow and we want to continue to have the kind of success we’ve had over the past three days of keeping people calm.”
Hogan said he doesn’t have a timeline for when curfew will be lifted.
On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, was taken into custody by the Baltimore Police Department for allegedly possessing a switchblade; however, Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn J. Mosby subsequently stated “The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law”. While being transported in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center. Gray died on April 19, 2015. His death was ascribed to injuries to his spinal cord. On April 21, 2015, pending an investigation of the incident, six Baltimore police officers were temporarily suspended with pay.
The circumstances of the injuries were initially unclear; eyewitness accounts suggested that the officers involved had partaken in unnecessary use of force against Gray while arresting him—a claim denied by an officer involved.Commissioner Anthony Batts reported that the officers did not buckle him inside the van when being transported to the police station—a report supported by a medical investigation which found that Gray had sustained the injuries while in transport.
On May 1, 2015, Baltimore prosecutors ruled that Gray’s death was a homicide, and that his arrest was illegal because the alleged switchblade was a legal-sized pocket knife. The prosecutors stated that they had probable cause to file criminal charges against the six police officers who were believed to be involved in his death. One officer was charged with second degreedepraved-heart murder, and others were charged with crimes ranging from manslaughter to illegal arrest.
Freddie C. Gray was the 25-year-old son of Gloria Darden. He had a twin sister, Fredericka, as well as another sister, Carolina. At the time of his death, Gray lived in the home owned by his sisters in the Gilmor Homes neighborhood. He stood 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) and weighed 145 pounds (66 kg).
Gray had a criminal record, mainly for misdemeanors and drug-related offenses. He had been arrested a total of 22 times in Maryland, primarily for possession and distribution of illegal narcotics. Gray had been involved in 20 criminal court cases, five of which were still active at the time of his death.
Arrest and death
Police encountered Freddie Gray on the morning of April 12, 2015, in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore, an area known to have high levels of home foreclosures, poverty, drug deals and violent crimes. According to the charging documents submitted by the Baltimore police, Gray attempted to flee “unprovoked” on foot, but police on bicycles chased and tackled Gray, found what they claimed was a switchblade in his pocket, and took him into custody at 8:40 a.m. Two bystanders captured Gray’s arrest with video recordings, showing Gray being dragged into the van by officers. A bystander with connections to Gray stated that the officers were “folding” Gray—with one officer bending Gray’s legs backwards, and another holding Gray down by pressing a knee into Gray’s neck. Another witness told the Baltimore Sun that they had witnessed Gray being beaten with batons.
According to the police timeline, Gray was placed in a transport van within 11 minutes of his arrest, and within 30 minutes, paramedics were summoned to take Gray to a hospital. The van made four confirmed stops while Gray was detained. At 8:46 a.m., Gray was unloaded in order to be placed in leg irons because police said he was “irate.” A later stop, recorded by a private camera, shows the van stopped at a grocery store. At 8:59 a.m., a second prisoner was placed in the vehicle while officers checked on Gray’s condition, and 27 minutes later the van made its final stop so paramedics could transport an unconscious Gray to the hospital. He was taken to the University of MarylandR Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in a coma. The statement of charges filed by Officer Garrett Miller against Gray accused him of possessing a switchblade. Miller wrote, “The defendant was arrested without force or incident.” Officers also reported “that he suffered a medical emergency during transport”. The media has suggested the possibility of a so-called “rough ride“—where a handcuffed prisoner is placed without a seatbelt in an erratically driven vehicle—as a contributing factor in Gray’s injury.
In the following week, according to the Gray family attorney, Gray suffered from total cardiopulmonary arrest at least once but was resuscitated without ever regaining consciousness. He remained in a coma, and underwent extensive surgery in an effort to save his life. According to his family, he lapsed into a coma with three fractured vertebrae, injuries to his “voice box”, and his spine “80% severed” at his neck. Police confirmed that the spinal injury led to Gray’s death. The attorney also disputed the claim that Gray had been in possession of a switchblade, and stated that it was actually a “pocketknife of legal size”. He died on April 19, 2015, a week after his arrest.
The Baltimore Police Department suspended six officers with pay pending an investigation of Gray’s death. The six officers involved in the arrest were identified as Lieutenant Brian Rice, 41 (18 years on the force), Sergeant Alicia White, 30 (5 years on the force), Officer William Porter, 25 (5 years on the force), Officer Garrett Miller, 26 (3 years on the force), Officer Edward Nero, 29 (3 years on force), and Officer Caesar Goodson, 45 (16 years on the force). On April 24, 2015, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, “We know our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.” Batts also acknowledged police did not follow procedure when they failed to buckle Gray in the van while he was being transported to the police station. The U.S. Department of Justice also opened an investigation into the case.
On April 30, 2015, Kevin Moore, the man who filmed Gray’s arrest, was arrested at gunpoint following “harassment and intimidation” by police. Moore stated to have cooperated with police and gave over his video of Gray’s arrest for investigation. He claimed, despite aiding in the investigation, his photo was made public by police for further questioning. The same day, medical examiners reported Gray sustained more injuries as a result of him slamming into the inside of the transport van, “apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van”. 
On May 1, 2015, the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office ruled that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide, and that they had probable cause to file criminal charges against the six officers involved. Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, said that the Baltimore police had acted illegally and that “No crime had been committed” (by Freddie Gray). Mosby said that Gray “suffered a critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside the BPD wagon.” It was also ruled that the arrest of Gray was false imprisonment, because he was carrying a pocket knife of legal size, and not the switchblade police claimed he had possessed at the time of his arrest.
Officer William G. Porter: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct in office
Lt. Brian W. Rice: Involuntary manslaughter; two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
Officer Edward M. Nero: Two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
Officer Garrett E. Miller: Two counts of second degree assault; two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
Sgt. Alicia D. White: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct 
As of May 1st, five of the six officers were in custody.
Response to charges
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said there was no place in the Baltimore Police department for those police officers who “choose to engage in violence, brutality, racism and brutality. Gene Ryan, president of the police union chapter said that despite the tragic situation, “none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray.”
Protesters at a police station near the site of Gray’s arrest on April 25
Public reaction to the death has drawn parallels to the response to the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, as part of a larger string of controversial uses of force by police officers in the United States. As of April 30, 2015, 22 demonstrations had been held nationwide in direct response to Gray’s death or in solidarity with Baltimore.
On April 18, 2015, hundreds of people participated in a protest outside the Baltimore Police Department. Three days later, on April 21, 2015, according to Reuters, “[h]undreds of demonstrators gathered in Baltimore”, protesting Gray’s death.The next day, Gene Ryan, the president of the local lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, expressed sympathy for the Gray family, but criticized the “rhetoric of protests” and suggested that “the images seen on television look and sound much like a lynch mob.” William Murphy, attorney for the Gray family, demanded an “immediate apology and a retraction”. Ryan defended his statement two days later, while admitting that the wording was poor.Charles M. Blow of The New York Times, reminded of a column he wrote several years ago, said that comparing protests to lynch mobs was too extreme because it inflames racial tensions by belittling the significance of the history of lynching in the United States.
On April 25, 2015, protests were organized in downtown Baltimore, and the protests turned violent as protesters threw rocks and set fires. At least 34 people were arrested, and 15 officers were injured. On April 27, rioting and looting began after the funeral of Gray, with two patrol cars destroyed and 15 officers reported injured. Protesters looted and burned down a CVS Pharmacy location in downtown Baltimore.
At a press conference, Baltimore’s mayor announced there would be a citywide curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. School trips were canceled until mid-May, and Baltimore’s city schools were closed on April 28. In addition, both the University of Maryland campus in downtown Baltimore and the Mondawmin Mall were closed early.
Protests outside Baltimore also took place in other U.S. cities. In New York City, 143 people at Union Square were arrested on April 29, 2015 for blocking traffic and refusing to relocate. On the same day, outside the White House in Washington, D.C., nearly 500 protesters converged without an incident. In Denver, eleven people were arrested as protesters were involved in physical altercations with officers. Other protests in response to Gray’s death took place in cities including Philadelphia,Minneapolis, and Portland.
Story 1: Divide and Conquer Obama Blames Baltimore Police and Black Thugs For Rioting, Looting and Burning — Jobs For Millions of Illegal Aliens — Black Thugs and Criminals Need Not Apply — The Big Fail Of The Welfare State — What’s Going On – What’s Happening Brother — More Black Gang Thugs Coming To Baltimore! — The Fire Next Time –Videos
Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On – What’s Happening Brother”
“What’s Going On”
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring somelovin’ here today – YaFather, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring somelovin’ here todayPicket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going onIn the mean time
Right on, baby
Right onMother, mother, everybody thinks we’re wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today
OhPicket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Tell me what’s going on
I’ll tell you what’s going on – Uh
Right on baby
Right on baby
Obama: Violence in Baltimore is ‘counterproductive…
President Obama On Baltimore Riots FULL SPEECH ‘We, as a Country, Have to Do Some Soul-Searching’
The Reasons Why Democrats Are the Party of Slavery and Victimization | ZoNation
Liberals Must Stop Enabling Crime | ZoNation
The Class of 2015: Book Burners Afraid of Matches | Bill Whittle
The Leftism of today’s college campuses will lead to the Fascism and Socialism of a Hitler or a Stalin. These Occupy-ers are essentially book burners.
The Hard Line | Ed Berliner commentary, “Telling it Like it is”
‘Thugs’ Riot in Baltimore Over Freddie Gray’s Death
Baltimore Riots LATEST UPDATES : Baltimore Burning | Night Of Riots | Violent Protests VIDEO
Baltimore riots: man cuts fire hose caught on video, sabotages rescue efforts – TomoNews
Baltimore Burning, Fire Hoses Cut, Chaos over Freddie Gray
BALTIMORE RIOTS – Mass Civil Unrest in Baltimore. Stores Looted & Burned. Martial Law Coming?
Baltimore Riots Protestors are Burning and Looting Baltimore
Baltimore Riots Looting Tears Gas Clash Protesters Freddy Gray Protest Erupts Police Car RAW FOOTAGE
Baltimore Protest Turns Violent
The Truth About Slavery: Past, Present and Future
Will America Descend into Civil War?
James Baldwin Debates William F Buckley 1965
In 1963, there was a noted change in Baldwin’s work with The Fire Next Time. This collection of essays was meant to educate white Americans on what it meant to be black. It also offered white readers a view of themselves through the eyes of the African-American community. In the work, Baldwin offered a brutally realistic picture of race relations, but he remained hopeful about possible improvements. “If we…do not falter in our duty now, we may be able…to end the racial nightmare.” His words struck a cord with the American people, and The Fire Next Time sold more than a million copies.
That same year, Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time magazine. “There is not another writer—white or black—who expresses with such poignancy and abrasiveness the dark realities of the racial ferment in North and South,”Time said in the feature.
Baldwin wrote another play, Blues for Mister Charlie, which debuted on Broadway in 1964. The drama was loosely based on the 1955 racially motivated murder of a young African-American boy named Emmett Till. This same year, his book with friend Richard Avalon, entitled Nothing Personal, hit bookstore shelves. The work was a tribute to slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Baldwin also published a collection of short stories, Going to Meet the Man, around this time.
In his 1968 novel Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone, Baldwin returned to popular themes—sexuality, family, and the black experience. Some critics panned the novel, calling it a polemic rather than a novel. He was also criticized for using the first-person singular, the “I,” for the book’s narration.
By the early 1970s, Baldwin seemed to despair over the racial situation. He witnessed so much violence in the previous decade—especially the assassinations of Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.—because of racial hatred. This disillusionment became apparent in his work, employing a more strident tone than in earlier works. Many critics point to No Name in the Street, a 1972 collection of essays, as the beginning of the change in Baldwin’s work. He also worked on a screenplay around this time, trying to adapt The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley for the big screen.
While his literary fame faded somewhat in his later years, Baldwin continued to produce new works in a variety of forms. He published a collection of poems, Jimmy’s Blues: Selected Poems, in 1983 as well as the 1987 novel Harlem Quartet. Baldwin also remained an astute observer of race and American culture. In 1985, he wrote The Evidence of Things Not Seen about the Atlanta child murders. Baldwin also spent years sharing his experiences and views as a college professor. In the years before his death, he taught at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hampshire College.
Baldwin died on December 1, 1987, at his home in St. Paul de Vence, France. Never wanting to be a spokesperson or a leader, Baldwin saw his personal mission as bearing “witness to the truth.” He accomplished this mission through his extensive body of work.
Homeland Security Working Overtime to Add ‘New Americans’ by 2016 Election
Sources at the Department of Homeland Security report to PJ Media that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is reallocating significant resources to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.
President Obama’s amnesty by edict has always been about adding new Democrats to the voter rolls, and recent action by the Department of Homeland Security provides further proof. Sources at the Department of Homeland Security report to PJ Media that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is reallocating significant resources away from a computer system — the “Electronic Immigration System” — to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.
This effort is part of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.”
PJ Media has obtained an internal “Dear Colleague” letter written by Leon Rodriguez, the “director and co-chair of the Task Force on New Americans.” The letter refers to a White House report called “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents.”
Leon Rodriguez has a tainted history — not only was he a central player in the radicalization of Eric Holder’s Civil Rights Division, he also “undertook a purportedly illegal search” of a government employee’s computer in Montgomery County, Maryland. (Messy details are at the Washington Post.)
The Rodriguez letter states:
This report outlines an immigrant integration plan that will advance our nation’s global competitiveness and ensure that the people who live in this country can fully participate in their communities.
“Full participation” is a term commonly used to include voting rights. To that end, resources within DHS have been redirected toward pushing as many as aliens and non-citizens as possible to full citizenship status so they may “fully participate” in the 2016 presidential election. For example, the internal DHS letter states one aim is to “strengthen existing pathways to naturalization and promote civic engagement.”
Naturalization plus mobilization is the explicit aim of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.” Multiple sources at DHS confirm that political appointees are prioritizing naturalization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Empirical voting patterns among immigrants from minority communities demonstrate that these new voters will overwhelmingly vote for Democrat candidates. If the empirical rates of support for Democrats continued among these newly naturalized minority voters, Democrats could enjoy an electoral net benefit of millions of new voters in the 2016 presidential election.
Other DHS sources report that racial interest groups such as La Raza (translated to “The Race”) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association have been playing a central and influential role in rewriting the administration’s immigration policies — both the public policies as well as internal and largely unseen guidelines.
One DHS official who disagrees with the administration’s policies told me DHS “intends to ‘recapture’ ‘unused’ visas from years past to grant more visas and LPR [green card] status. In addition to this ‘visa blizzard,’ the agency will allow folks to jam in applications during the blizzard, knowing that the visa applicant/beneficiary is not eligible for the visa.”
This means that DHS is not only rushing green card holders toward citizenship before the next election, but also jamming previous visa holders toward green card status. These policies and priorities add to the brazen public positions of the president toward enforcing immigration laws.
Bloods and Crips Team Up to Protest Baltimore’s Cops
Things are apparently so bad in Baltimore that even the city’s gang adversaries—along with the Nation of Islam—are joining forces.
Editor’s Note: Hours after this story published, the Baltimore Police Department issued a warning about a “credible threat” against law enforcement from gangswho they say have formed a partnership to “take out” officers. A police spokesman declined to say whether the threat is related to Freddie Gray’s death.
Before protests over Freddie Gray’s death turned chaotic, an unlikely alliance was born in Baltimore on Saturday: Rivals from the Bloods and the Crips agreed to march side by side against police brutality.
The alleged gang members are pictured on social media crowding together with Nation of Islam activists, who told The Daily Beast they brokered the truce in honor of Gray, who died last week after suffering spinal injuries while in police custody.
In one photo, a gang activist in a red sweatshirt crouches to fit into a group photo with rivals decked out in blue bandanas.
“I can say with honesty those brothers demonstrated they can be united for a common good,” said Carlos Muhammad, a minister at Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 6. “At the rally, they made the call that they must be united on that day. It should be commended.”
The detente was only a small part of the demonstration drawing 1,200 people to Baltimore’s City Hall, but it raised eyebrows among activists. Are things so bad that even Baltimore’s gang adversaries are joining forces to combat law enforcement?
“We can unite and stop killing one another, and the Bloods and the Crips can help rebuild their community.”
“We can unite and stop killing one another,” Muhammad told The Daily Beast, “and the Bloods and the Crips can help rebuild their community.”
DeRay McKesson, an organizer known for his work in Ferguson, also confirmed the street-crime ceasefire. He live-tweeted Saturday’s mostly peaceful demonstration, which later descended into clashes with police and smashed storefronts and cop cars, and alerted followers of a possible respite in gangland.
“The fight against police brutality has united people in many ways that we have not seen regularly, and that’s really powerful,” McKesson told The Daily Beast. “The reality is, police have been terrorizing black people as far back as we can remember. It will take all of us coming together to change a corrupt system.”
Still, it’s not the first time gangsters called a truce to focus on another foe. In August, the MadameNoire web publication reported on two former Bloods and Crips rivals in St. Louis—now protesting against police in Ferguson, Missouri—who held a sign in red and blue letters: “NO MORE CRIPS. NO MORE BLOODS. ONE PEOPLE. NO GANG ZONE.”
“Young black men are dying from the police and they are dying from the gangs too,” one activist said. “But this is a bigger problem, so we took it upon ourselves to focus our energy on making a better solution for the community we live in.”
On Sunday, Baltimore police announced that 35 people were arrested and six police officers were injured in demonstrations.
The unrest prompted a mayoral press conference on Saturday evening, when Gray’s twin sister Fredericka made her first public statements. “My family wants to say, can you all please, please stop the violence?” she pleaded. “Freddie Gray would not want this.”
But before Fredericka spoke, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thanked those who were discouraging violence—and even singled out Nation of Islam’s peacekeeping efforts.
“I want to also thank the Nation of Islam, who have been very present in our efforts to keep calm and peace in our city,” she said.
On Friday, authorities acknowledged that Gray, 25, should have received medical attention immediately following his April 12 arrest. Gray suffered deadly injuries during transport, though it’s unclear what happened. His spine was severed, he fell into a coma, and died a week later.
Funeral services will be held for Gray today. Muhammad told The Daily Beast he expects Bloods and Crips members to join Nation of Islam to support mourners.
“This is our part in helping to keep peace and to keep protesters in a situation where they’re not in confrontation with police,” Muhammad said.
The Baltimore Police Department said Monday that it considers threats to “take out” cops from the Bloods, Crips, and the Black Guerilla Family (among other gangs) to be a credible threat. “Law-enforcement agencies should take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their officers,” the a Baltimore PD press release said. KateBriquelet reports that the Bloods andCrips have quit fighting each other in order to team up and protest police in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray.http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/04/27/baltimore-pd-gang-threats-credible.html
As dusk comes to Baltimore, officials hope for peace but see angry protesters
Protests remained largely peaceful in Baltimore as dusk began to fall over the riot-racked city Tuesday, but police said they noticed an increasingly angry tone among demonstrators as thousands of police and National Guard troops readied to enforce a 10 p.m. curfew.
About 2,000 National Guard troops and more than 1,000 police officers have deployed to the streets of Baltimore, according to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. The city has been under a state of emergency after stone-throwing and arson erupted Monday hours after the funeral of a black man who suffered a mortal injury while in police custody.
“Maintaining law and order, protecting innocent lives and property is our No. 1 priority,” Hogan, who has temporarily moved his office from the Capitol in Annapolis to Baltimore, said at a televised news conference. “We’ve got a long night ahead of us.”
As darkness fell, Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk told reporters that in one group of demonstrators that had gathered on the streets, “There has been an increase in the level of anger and frustration in the crowd, and that is starting to grow. … We hope for peace.”
In a late afternoon news conference, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the city had been relatively calm Tuesday, and she thanked residents and community leaders who helped clean up the debris from Monday night’s riots.
“Today I think we saw a lot more of what Baltimore is about,” she said. “We saw people coming together to reclaim our city.”
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said protests had been peaceful. Officers arrested a few looters on the east side of the city Tuesday morning and one or two demonstrators who were part of a large march that moved down Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is where we live. This is where we worship,” Batts said. “This is where our kids go to school, so don’t destroy it.”
Earlier, officials tallied the toll since unrest began Monday afternoon: 235 arrests, including 34 juveniles; 15 structure fires; 144 vehicles destroyed; and more than 20 police officers injured. At least one civilian was reported in critical condition, but no other details were given.
At the news conference, Batts said nearly all of the officers, some who suffered hand injures when deflecting rocks and bottles, had been treated and released. One was hospitalized overnight with a serious head injury but is expected to recover.
In earlier remarks, Kowalczyk said police would enforce a curfew, set to begin at 10 p.m. and run until 5 a.m., but would use common sense. Those seeking medical care and returning from work were exempt from the curfew, he said.
He defended the police response.
“When we deployed our officers yesterday, we were deploying for a high school event,” Kowalczyk said. “I don’t think there’s anyone that would expect us to deploy with automatic weapons and armored vehicles for 13- 14- and 15-year-olds.”
He added: “What we saw last night was a group of people take advantage of a situation, a very unfortunate situation, and use that to tear down their own neighborhoods.”
Hogan, the governor, said after touring the stricken areas earlier in the day, “This violence isn’t accomplishing anything. It’s counterproductive.”
He pledged that violence would be dealt with forcefully and that the city would not have to endure a repeat of Monday night.
“This is not the Baltimore we love,” the governor said.
As residents prepared for the start of the weeklong curfew, much of the city remained closed Tuesday. Schools and many businesses were shuttered, and the Baltimore Orioles postponed a second straight game against the Chicago White Sox. The Orioles and White Sox will play their regularly scheduled game Wednesday, but it was moved from the evening to the afternoon, and no fans will be admitted, Major League Baseball announced.
Camouflage-clad National Guard troops, armed with assault rifles, surrounded major public spaces such as City Hall and the Inner Harbor with a show of force that included heavy-duty military vehicles.
The governor said thousands of officers and troops were on the streets, with more expected. He thanked fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey for sending 150 state troopers, among the dozens from surrounding cities and states.
Baltimore residents struggled to shake off the nightmarish violence that began hours after Freddie Gray was buried.
Baltimore police commissioner served in California, dealt with Oakland unrest
Gray died April 19 of a severed spine, a week after he was taken into custody by Baltimore police. Officials are investigating the events, which drew early small and peaceful protests that escalated over the weekend and turned Baltimore into a battle zone Monday.
At a Washington news conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Obama said the issues of relations between African Americans and police were larger than the looters, whom he condemned.
“There’s no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday,” Obama said. “It is counterproductive. When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement – they’re stealing. When they burn down a building, they’re committing arson. And they’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities that rob jobs and opportunity from people in that area.”
But the president also defended the right to protest and called for a broader discussion of how the nation deals with racism and police.
“We can’t just leave this to the police. I think there are police departments that have to do some soul-searching. I think there are some communities that have to do some soul-searching. But I think we, as a country, have to do some soul-searching. This is not new. It’s been going on for decades.”
Meanwhile, some parts of Baltimore tried to return to a semblance of normalcy.
Holding brooms and shovels from their own homes, Baltimore residents showed up in droves to clean up the riot debris: shattered windows, rocks, ashes.
On a sunny Tuesday morning, the mood was much more cordial toward police, who were repeatedly offered bottled water as they stood guard over damaged retail shops. But there was a pervasive feeling that the goodwill could sour at any time.
“The anger you saw is about decades of pain and abuse in our community,” said Megan Kenny, 38, an education provider in the city. “The movement isn’t going to end. I mean, how do you end racism?”
Kenny and her boyfriend, Paul Mericle, 31, who works for Baltimore public schools, took the opportunity of an unexpected day off to join residents along North Avenue to clean up debris.
“People have been up cleaning since before dawn,” Mericle said in the shadow of EZ Mart Tobacco and Convenience, which had been ransacked with shelves emptied.
Across the street, a big rig with a green trailer sat with piles of garbage bags as people with dust trays and snow shovels walked by.
Farther down the street, though, was a stark reminder of the tension. The CVS on North and Pennsylvania avenues sat smoldering as lines of county police stood with defensive shields. Opposite them was a crowd – one man with a bullhorn – talking about the death of Gray. As more residents began massing on the east side of Pennsylvania, police began handing out more shields out of a small trailer to the police.
“The violence isn’t over,” said a Baltimore police officer who was not authorized to speak publicly on the rioting. “We have a long way to go with the community here. We have a lot of wounds to heal.”
Rawlings-Blake spoke of healing as she toured the damage. She said public transportation would be up and running and that she was working to make sure that “most government services can operate normally.”
Speaking at the West Baltimore CVS, Rawlings-Blake said: “What happened last night means that more people are struggling…. We worked very hard to get CVS to come here.”
Hogan said state insurance officials would work on helping residents. As the rioting ended, questions have continued about whether the city and state moved quickly enough to stop the violence. The governor was careful not to assign any blame to city officials, whom he praised.
Hogan said the state had prepared to mobilize the National Guard and issue an emergency declaration on Monday afternoon as television broadcast the first images of the confrontation between teenagers and police. The formal declarations came about 6 p.m., seconds after they were requested by the city, he said.
Asked if the mayor should have called for help sooner, Hogan replied that he didn’t want to question what Baltimore officials were doing: “They’re all under tremendous stress. We’re all on one team.”
During comments as she toured the damaged areas of her city, Rawlings-Blake pushed back against her critics. “There are always going to be armchair quarterbacks that have never sat in my seat,” she told reporters. “This isn’t the first emergency that I’ve had to deal with, and I know you have to put in the work and manage the crisis on the ground.”
Batts, the police commissioner, said late Monday that the city simply didn’t have enough officers to maintain control of all the neighborhoods, as looting and fires spread from one end of the city to the other.
“They just outnumbered us and outflanked us,” he said. “We needed to have more resources.”
He said the extra manpower arriving late Monday and Tuesday would help the police regain control of neighborhoods and enforce a weeklong curfew. Batts said he was dismayed by scenes of Baltimore’s teenagers looting and burning.
“This is not protesting. This is not your 1st Amendment rights,” he said.
He praised one woman who was filmed smacking her teenage son on the head and pulling off his hood. “I wish we had more parents that took charge of their kids out there tonight.”
Story 1: Black Thug Gangs On Rampage in Baltimore — “A Space To Destroy” — Really — Arrest Them All — Failed Progressive Policies On Parade — Who Is Your Daddy? — Welfare State! — Videos
“It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Baltimore Mayor: We Give Protesters Space to Destroy | Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Press Conference
FNN: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Responds to Riots, Sets Curfew
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake talks about riots
Baltimore Mayor Refuses Inciting, Giving Protesters ‘Space to Destroy’ |Press Conference VIDEO
Reaction To Rioting In Baltimore
Baltimore Riot Police Finally Respond as CVS Pharmacy Burns To the Ground Freddie Gray
Baltimore Bank Looting – People Loot Baltimore City Bank in Riots Freddie Gray Protest VIDEO
A look at the epicenter of the Baltimore riots in the US
FOOTAGE FREDDY GRAY BALTIMORE RIOTS POLICE CAR SMASHED WHILE DRIVING
Baltimore police clash with protesters after Freddie Gray funeral | Mashable
Baltimore Riot VIDEO Baltimore Protesters Attack Police and Attack Police Car for Freddie Gray
Blacks Riot In Baltimore Attack Whites And Police Do Nothing
Baltimore police officer loses his cool at the Freddy Gray protest.
Freddie Gray DIES After Baltimore Cops BREAK His SPINE In BRUTAL Police BEATING!!
Freddie Gray Protesters in Baltimore drop F-Bomb on Live TV!
Liberals Must Stop Enabling Crime | ZoNation
Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed
In Please Stop Helping Us, Jason Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And so it goes with everything from soft-on-crime laws, which make black neighborhoods more dangerous, to policies that limit school choice out of a mistaken belief that charter schools and voucher programs harm the traditional public schools that most low-income students attend.
Why Black Conservatives Are Hated By Liberals
John Stossel – The State Against Blacks
Walter Williams: Up From the Projects
Thomas Sowell — Dismantling America
Sheriff David Clarke: Failed Liberal Policies Behind Ferguson, Baltimore Riots
Baltimore Mayor Let Rioters And Vandals Run Rampant
Baltimore riot video: The gentrified crowd under attack.
RT Reporter Attacked By Youths in Baltimore- Baltimore Riots Looting Protesters Freddy Gray Protest
Baltimore Riots Looting Protesters Freddy Gray – Protest Erupts In Chaos A Police Cars [RAW FOOTAGE]
Scenes Of Chaos In Baltimore As Thousands Protest Freddie Grays Death
Cummings Downplays Baltimore Riots
Baltimore Police Commissioner: Racism Causes Pain, Violence in the Community
Walter E Williams – Black Families and The Welfare State
Race and Crime
Mass Incarceration in the US
Who Is Your Daddy? (1990) HD
You Belong to Me! (1990) HD
Kindergarten Cop loving scene
Police targeted, stores looted in Baltimore riots
Rioters looted stores and pelted police with rocks in Baltimore on Monday after the funeral of an African American man whose death in custody has reignited outrage over US police conduct towards blacks.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in the port city of 620,000 and activated the National Guard as rioters prowled in small groups, ransacking shops and trashing police vehicles. Other cars were set on fire.
At least seven officers were injured in the violence, and police said one was “unresponsive.”
Local and state police in riot gear struggled to restore order as the rioters veered off in different directions, refusing to heed dispersal orders.
“We have seven officers injured during the course of this. They have broken bones; one is unresponsive,” Baltimore police spokesman Captain Eric Kowalczyk told reporters.
“You’re going to see tear gas… We’re going to use appropriate methods to ensure that we’re able to preserve the safety of that community.”
NBC affiliate WBAL reported there had been at least one arrest, and the Baltimore Orioles baseball team postponed its evening game against the Chicago White Sox.
– ‘Absolutely inexcusable’ –
Rioting erupted soon after Gray was buried — possibly spurred by a cryptic message on social media declaring an after-school “purge,” which is street slang for random acts of lawlessness.
Fear of unrest prompted the University of Maryland’s downtown campus, corporate offices and the city’s famous Lexington Market to shut down early.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the rapidly evolving situation by his newly sworn in Attorney General Loretta Lynch and city mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the White House said.
Thousands had converged on New Shiloh Baptist church in Baltimore’s poverty-ridden Sandtown neighborhood earlier Monday to pay final respects to Gray, who died on April 19 of severe spinal injuries apparently sustained during his arrest a week earlier.
His death was the latest in a string of high-profile confrontations between African Americans and police, including the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last year.
Gray’s grieving family had explicitly asked for no protests.
“Today of all days, the family was clear this was a day of sacred closure,” pastor Jamal Bryant of the city’s Empowerment Temple mega-church, who delivered the eulogy, told reporters as the violence spiralled.
“So for us to come out of the burial and walk into this is absolutely inexcusable. I’m asking every young person to go back home.”
– Weekend unrest –
On Saturday, 34 people were arrested, and six police officers injured, when violence erupted after an orderly rally for Gray outside Baltimore city hall.
In the hours before Monday’s riots, police announced they had received a “credible threat” that criminal gangs in Baltimore had “entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers.”
At the funeral, Gray’s body was in a white casket next to a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap and a sign reading “Peace y’all.”
Crowds swayed to hymns at the service, chanting, “Justice shall prevail, peace will prevail” in the church, where a photo of Gray — who had a record of petty drug offenses, in a grim part of Baltimore notorious for crime, poverty and joblessness — was displayed among floral wreaths.
Supporters, many dressed in all white, filled the building’s 2,200 seats and hundreds of others stood, with the words “Black lives matter and all lives matter” projected on the wall.
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson denounced the “epidemic of murders in the country.”
“We have become too violent, too full of hate,” Jackson told reporters before the service. “We need training, employment, housing, access to health, a reconstruction project. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction.”
– Tensions high –
Tensions have been on the rise in Baltimore since Gray’s death, which his family’s lawyers say was caused when 80 percent of his spine was severed following his arrest.
Six officers have been suspended with pay pending the outcome of a police investigation that is to be submitted to state prosecutors by Friday.
The US Justice Department, which was already looking into Baltimore’s use of force, has also opened its own civil rights probe.
Police confirmed Gray requested medical help and an inhaler after he was detained and acknowledged that he should have received medical attention sooner.
They also revealed that Gray, contrary to policy, was not buckled into his seat in a police van, which made at least three unexplained stops on its way to the city’s Western District station, now the scene of nightly protests.
Gray’s arrest was caught on video by bystanders, and he can be heard howling in apparent pain as his limp body is dragged into the van.
Officers Injured, Baltimore Businesses Shut Down Amid Violent Riots
Several officers have been injured as a large riot continues to grow violent Monday afternoon in Baltimore.
Baltimore Police sprayed mace at rioters, but say a large group of teenagers is continuing to throw bricks, rocks and other items at officers.
WNEW’s Karen Adams reports police have arrested two people so far. The protests started in the area of Mondawmin Mall have spilled into nearby streets and neighborhoods.
Police say the group has refused to follow orders and the department is continuing to deploy resources into the neighborhoods near the mall. Officers are also using fire extinguishers to put out small fires that rioters started.
Sometimes a protest is just a riot camouflaged in self-righteousness. It might not start that way, and the actors might not think that it is. But nonetheless, sometimes it is.
A few miles from my apartment, the Miami neighborhood Liberty City has yet to shake the aftereffects of the 1980 riots that sprang from the acquittal of four officers in the killing of a black man. In California, neighborhoods and property values remain scarred from the Watts Riots in 1965 and the Rodney King Riots in 1992. More recently in Ferguson, Mo., the long-term consequences of a few nights of looting and burning are starting to be felt by residents and property owners.
What no one expected is what Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake admitted in a press conference on Sunday: that she asked the Baltimore Police Department to “give those who wished to destroy space to do that.”
“We work very hard to keep that balance [between free speech and destructive elements], and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate,” she said.
Overall, Baltimore police said 34 arrests were made during Saturday’s main demonstration, and six officers were allegedly injured.
Several downtown storefronts were smashed, and some police cars were damaged.
But overall, the most of the damage was cosmetic, and it might not cost the city or property owners a fortune to fix. Either that, or it might have been worth the calculation from city officials to sacrifice a little public property for the sake of allowing protesters to vent their anger, hopefully quelling unrest in the long run.
Despite her comments about creating a “space” for more destructive elements in protests, Mayor Rawlings-Blake expressed disappointment on Sunday night at the “outside forces” who she said were “inciting some of the ‘shut this city down’ sort of messaging,” according to the Baltimore Sun.
Then, she made a call for peace, which might not be too far away. Gray will be buried on Monday, and the Baltimore Police Department’s full report on Gray’s death should be released before next weekend.
It could be very well that protests in Baltimore have already reached their peak of violence and destruction. Considering how volatile the situation looked going into last weekend, if it all pans out, there could be a case for other leaders to handle widespread protests like this differently.
Because sometimes, punching the punching bag really does take your anger away. And on the flip side, telling you not to punch the punching bag can only make you angrier.
—Today, Howard Libit, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy, issued the following statement regarding Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s comments on the rights of protesters:
“What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate. The police sought to balance the rights of the peaceful demonstrators against the need to step in against those who were seeking to create violence.
The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement.”
This clarification is regarding comments made by Mayor Rawlings-Blake during a recent press conference. The mayor’s original quote follows (emphasis and clarification added):
“I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also [as a result] gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.”
Death of Freddie Gray
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about a person who has recently died. Some information, such as the circumstances of the person’s death and surrounding events, may change as more facts become known. Initial news reports may beunreliable.
Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, died of a spinal injury on April 19, 2015. A week earlier, police had taken Gray into custody in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Within an hour of his arrest, police had transported him to a trauma clinic, and he was in a coma.
The incident has led to protests in Baltimore. Six Baltimore police officers have been suspended with pay.
Freddie Gray was 25 years old, and had two sisters. As children, he and his sisters were found to have lead poisoning in their blood levels. According to a 2008lawsuit against a Sandtown-Winchester housing complex where Gray and his sisters lived, the lead poisoning caused medical, behavioral, and educational problems for the children. Terms of the settlement were not publicly revealed. At the time of his death, Gray lived in the Gilmor Homes neighborhood. He stood 5 feet and 8 inches tall and weighed 145 pounds. Gray had a criminal record, mainly for drug-related offenses.
Police encountered Freddie Gray on April 12, 2015, in an area of Baltimore a police spokesman said was known for drug deals and violent crimes. He ran; according to court documents Gray “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence”. Police chased and tackled Gray, found a switchblade in his pocket, and took him into custody at 8:40 a.m.
Two bystanders captured Gray’s arrest with video recordings.
According to the police timeline, Gray was in a transport van within 11 minutes of his arrest, and within 30 minutes “units request paramedics to the Western District to transport the suspect to an area hospital.” He was taken to the University of MarylandR. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, in a coma within an hour of being taken into police custody.
The statement of charges filed by Officer Garrett Miller against Gray accused him of possessing a switchblade. Miller wrote, “The defendant was arrested without force or incident.” Officers also reported “that he suffered a medical emergency during transport”.
In the following week, according to the Gray family attorney, Gray died, was resuscitated, remained in a coma, and underwent extensive surgery in an effort to save his life. According to his family, he lapsed into a coma after his spine was “80% severed” at his neck, he had three fractured vertebrae, and his larynx was injured. He died the following Sunday, April 19, 2015.
Protestors at a police station near the site of Gray’s arrest
The Baltimore Police Department suspended six officers pending an investigation of Gray’s death. On April 24, 2015, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, “We know our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.” Batts also acknowledged police did not follow procedure when they failed to buckle Gray in the van while he was being transported to the police station.
By April 21, 2015, according to Reuters, “[h]undreds of demonstrators gathered in Baltimore” to protest Gray’s death.
On April 25, 2015, protests were organized in downtown Baltimore. Protesters marched from the Baltimore City Hall to Inner Harbor. After the final stage of the official protest event, some protesters became violent. They damaged at least five police vehicles, and several people shoved police officers and threw various objects at the police. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said most protesters were respectful but a “small group of agitators intervened”. Rawlings-Blake said of those who destroyed property while protesting Gray’s death, “… we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well…” At least 35 people were arrested, and six officers were injured.
A photographer for Baltimore City Paper, who filmed the protest, reported having been beaten by two police officers in riot gear. Thereafter, City Paper published a video on its website documenting the violence. A Reuters photographer with visible press credentials, who filmed the beating from a public sidewalk, was detained and received a citation for “failure to obey orders”.
On April 27, 2015, some lootings happened, some police vehicles put on fire and stones thrown into officers.
From 1990 to 1998, Rawlings-Blake served on the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, and in 1993, she served as the Annapolis lobbyist for the Young Democrats of Maryland.
In 1997, Rawlings-Blake began serving as an administrative law attorney with the Baltimore City office of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, which offers free civil legal services to Maryland’s low-income residents. She went on to serve as a staff attorney with theMaryland Office of the Public Defender in its Southern District (District 1, Baltimore City) from 1998 to 2006.
Baltimore City Council
In 1995, Rawlings-Blake became the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council. She represented the council’s District 5 from 1995 to 2004 and District 6 from 2004 to 2007 (following a redistricting of the council).
From 1999 to 2007, Rawlings-Blake served as vice president of the Baltimore City Council.
City council president
Rawlings-Blake became President of the Council on January 17, 2007, when then-City Council President Sheila Dixon became mayor. The Charter of Baltimore City states that, “If it becomes necessary for the president of the City Council to fill the unexpired term of the mayor…the City Council, by a majority vote of its members, shall elect a new president for the unexpired term.”
On June 14, 2007, Rawlings-Blake announced that she would seek a full four-year term as council president. Her platform included improving education and reducing crime in the city. Rawlings-Blake won the Democratic primary with 49 percent of the vote. In the general election, Rawlings-Blake defeated her only opponent with 82 percent of the vote.
Mayor of Baltimore
On January 6, 2010, then-Mayor Sheila Dixon announced, following her conviction for embezzlement, that she would resign from office, effective February 4, 2010. Per the Charter of Baltimore City, in the case of a mayoral vacancy, the sitting city council president shall automatically succeed the vacating mayor and serve the remainder of the term. Consequently, following Dixon’s resignation on February 4, 2010, Rawlings-Blake became mayor of Baltimore City.
Rawlings-Blake went on to seek a full term as mayor, and in November 2011, she was elected to her first full term as mayor, receiving 87 percent of the vote in the general election.
Rawlings-Blake has stated that her goal as mayor is to grow Baltimore by 10,000 families.
Political positions and policies
On February 6, 2013, Baltimore City released a 10-year fiscal forecast, which the City had commissioned from independent financial consulting firm Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM) at Rawlings-Blake’s direction. The report outlined a number of fiscal obstacles facing the City in subsequent years.
To address the challenges outlined in the fiscal forecast, Rawlings-Blake presented Change to Grow: A Ten-Year Financial Plan for Baltimore, the City’s first long-range financial plan. Among other major reforms, the plan outlined proposed changes to Baltimore City’s employee pensions and benefits system, City tax structure, and overall municipal operations. By implementing elements of this plan, Baltimore City has been able to extinguish $300 million from a cumulative budgetary shortfall forecasted at approximately $750 million.
At the time Rawlings-Blake took office, Baltimore City had approximately 16,000 vacant buildings, resulting from a half-century of population decline. In November 2010, in an effort to reduce urban blight caused by vacant structures, Rawlings-Blake introduced the Vacants to Value (V2V) initiative. The initiative’s strategies include streamlining code enforcement and disposition of City-owned vacant properties, offering incentives targeted at home buyers who purchase previously vacant homes, supporting large-scale redevelopment in deeply distressed areas, and targeting demolition to improve long-term property values.
In 2013, Baltimore Housing won the Urban Land Institute’s Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards for the V2V initiative. V2V has also been recognized by the Obama Administration, the Clinton Global Initiative, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, ABCD Network, and the Financial Times.
In 2015, Rawlings-Blake became the first mayor to appear in Chicago, saying “I am honored to be the first mayor to appear in Chicago—one of the most historic shows in Broadway history—and I want to reassure the cast and crew that I am already hard at work rehearsing my lines. I always love to show off the ‘razzle dazzle’ of Baltimore’s flourishing cultural scene, from expanding our Arts & Entertainment Districts, to growing Baltimore’s downtown theater corridor and all that jazz. I cannot wait to make my big debut in an amazing show like Chicago.” She appeared in a one night performance on March 4, 2015, as an ensemble performer throughout the night. The mayor later thanked the Nation of Islam for what she said was “for helping quash violence” despite NOI’s leaders calls to “Teach your baby how to throw the bottle if they can’t bite.”
Awards and honors
In in 2007 and 2011, Rawlings-Blake was honored by the Daily Record as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.
She is a recipient of the Fullwood Foundation Award of Excellence (2010), the National Forum for Black Public Administrators’ Distinguished Leadership Award (2012), the Maryland State Senate‘s First Citizen Award (2013), and the Baltimore Black Pride ICONS We Love Award (2013).
In 2014, Vanity Fair included Rawlings-Blake in its list of the Top 10 Best-Dressed Mayors.
Story 1: The Mass Extinction of The Iran Nuclear Weapons Program — There Time Is Up — Celebrate Independence Day, July 4, 2015 With A Joint United States and Israel Air Strike Destroying All of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Related Capability — All We Are Asking Is Give Bombing A Chance — Just Do It! — Corker Bill Is An April Fool’s Joke Or Corker Con Job On The American People — Shame On The US Senate Trashing The Treaty Clause of U.S. Constitution — Vote The Republican Traitors Including Bob Corker Out of Office! — Profiles in Deceit — Videos
Give Peace a Chance – John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band [Original video]
Former Amb. Bolton: ‘Momentum Is On Iran’s Side’
Obama Says He’ll Walk Away From Deal If Iran Can Make A Nuclear Bomb
28 Times Obama Said He’d Prevent Iran from Getting a Nuclear Weapon | SUPERcuts! #184
October 15 2014 Breaking News What is Obama position on Israel and a Nuclear Iran?
Bill O’Reilly Bob Corker On Humiliating Obama On Iran Deal Senate Vote
US Senate Panel Approves Legislation on Nuclear Deal With Iran
Michele Bachmann: Confronting President Obama
Michele Bachmann asked Obama to Bomb Iranian Nuclear Facilities and he Laughed
Iran 2-3 Weeks Away From Nuclear Bomb Capability, Says Fmr Head Of U.N. Nuclear Watchdog
US to Israel: We are Prepared to Attack Iran
USA will not support Israel if they attack Iran
Israeli PM claims Iran 6 weeks away from building nuclear weapon
The Corker Bill Isn’t a Victory — It’s a Constitutional Perversion
by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
As the Framers knew, we are unlikely to outgrow human nature. So what happens when we decide we’ve outgrown a Constitution designed to protect us from human nature’s foibles?
The question arises, yet again, thanks to Senator Bob Corker. The Tennessee Republican, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is author — along with Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) — of a ballyhooed bipartisan bill that is being touted as the derailment of President Obama’s plan to trample congressional prerogatives en route to a calamitous “deal” that will facilitate jihadist Iran’s nuclear-weapons ambitions. (I use scare-quotes because the so-called deal is still a work in regress.)
So guess who now supports this stalwart congressional resistance to our imperial president? Why none other than . . . yes . . . Barack Obama! You think maybe, just maybe, the Corker bill isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be? You’d be right. When you read the legislation, it becomes apparent that Senator Corker is simply channeling his inner Mitch McConnell.
Back in 2011, the Senate’s then-minority leader was flummoxed by the national debt. No, not by its enormous size. Afraid of being lambasted by the media for slowing the gravy train, he wanted to help Obama raise the debt by many additional trillions of dollars; but equally fearing the wrath of those who’d elected him precisely to slow the gravy train, he wanted to appear as a staunch opponent of such profligacy.
Senator McConnell’s problem was that meddlesome Constitution. On the theory that government borrowing and spending are best controlled by the elected officials most directly accountable to the taxpayers who foot the bill, the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, ultimate power over the debt.
This is inconsistent, of course, with a scheme to impose more crushing debt on the country without being held accountable for it. Consequently, the Constitution was thrown overboard.
McConnell and other GOP leaders hatched a plan under which Obama would appear to raise the debt unilaterally. Congress could then respond with a “resolution of disapproval.” As McConnell knew, either Democrats would defeat the resolution or Obama would veto it. That was $4 trillion ago. McConnell’s chicanery gave big-spending Republicans a windfall: They succeeded in extending our tapped-out country’s credit line but still managed to vote against the extension — i.e., they could tell the voters back home that they opposed something that actually could not have happened without their support.
American taxpayers did not fare quite as well. We are now on the hook for $18 trillion, soon to be several trillion more. If, as is inevitable, interest rates begin to approach modest historical norms, the government’s budget will be consumed by debt service. Our nation, having taken on lavish obligations of social welfare and global defense, will face a crisis that is at least transformative, if not existential.
A nuclear Iran would be a threat that is similarly transformative. To know that, we need only listen to the White House tut-tutting about how “unrealistic” it would be to expect the mullahs to renounce their support for terrorism in exchange for sanctions relief.
In Washington, you see, insisting that Iran act like a normal country is nutter stuff, but trusting Iran to enrich uranium only for peaceful purposes is totally logical. MORE IRAN COULD U.S. WEAKNESS INVITE UNPLANNED MILITARY CONFRONTATION WITH IRAN? CONGRESS SHOULD TRY TO KILL THE IRAN DEAL NOW DEM REP. SAYS IRANIAN ‘DEATH TO AMERICA’ CHANTS COULD BE READ IN ‘A COUPLE OF WAYS’
So Beltway Republicans are ready to put up a fight, right? About as much of a fight, it seems, as they were ready to make against mounting debt.
Cravenly elevating their own political interest over the national interest, many on the GOP side of the political class calculate that it is more important to avoid blame for frustrating Obama — this time, on his delusional Iran deal — than to succeed in actually frustrating Obama. But alas, that annoying Constitution is again an obstacle to shirking accountability. It does not empower the president to make binding agreements with foreign countries all on his own — on the theory that the American people should not take on enforceable international obligations or see their sovereignty compromised absent approval by the elected representatives most directly accountable to them.
Thus, the Constitution mandates that no international agreement can be binding unless it achieves either of two forms of congressional endorsement: a) super-majority approval by two-thirds of the Senate (i.e., 67 aye votes), or b) enactment through the normal legislative process, meaning passage by both chambers under their burdensome rules, then signature by the president.
The Corker bill is a ploy to circumvent this constitutional roadblock. That is why our post-sovereign, post-constitutional president has warmed to it.
Because it would require the president to submit any Iran deal to Congress, it is drawing plaudits for toughness. But like McConnell’s debt legerdemain, it’s a con job. Once the deal is submitted, Congress would have 60 days (or perhaps as few as 30 days) to act. If within that period both houses of Congress failed to enact a resolution of disapproval, the agreement would be deemed legally binding — meaning that the sanctions the Iranian regime is chafing under would be lifted. As Corker, other Republican leaders, and the president well know, passage of a resolution of disapproval — even if assured in the House with its commanding Republican majority — could be blocked by the familiar, lockstep parliamentary maneuvering of just 40 Senate Democrats. More significantly, even if enacted in the Senate, the resolution would be vetoed by Obama. As with the resolutions of disapproval on debt increases, it is nearly inconceivable that Obama’s veto would be overridden.
To summarize, the Constitution puts the onus on the president to find 67 Senate votes to approve an international agreement, making it virtually impossible to ratify an ill-advised deal. The Corker bill puts the onus on Congress to muster 67 votes to block an agreement. Under the Constitution, Obama’s Iran deal would not have a prayer. Under the Corker bill, it would sail through. And once again, it would be Republicans first ensuring that self-destruction is imposed on us, then striking the pose of dogged opponents by casting futile nay votes.
This is not how our system works. Congress is supposed to make the laws we live under. It is the first branch of government, not a rubber-stamping Supreme Soviet. We seem to have forgotten that the point of the Constitution is not to accomplish great things; it is to prevent government from doing overbearing or destructive things. The achievement of great things was left to the genius and ambition of free people confronting challenges without stifling constraints.
The Constitution’s constraints can indeed be stifling. Quite intentionally so: They are there to prevent legacy-hunting ideologues and feckless fixers from rolling the dice with our lives.
That a lawless president would undertake to eviscerate these constraints is to be expected. But is he really much worse than an entrenched political class that anxiously forfeits its powers to stop him?
The Barack Obama administration has estimated for years that Iran was at most three months away from enriching enough nuclear fuel for an atomic bomb. But the administration only declassified this estimate at the beginning of the month, just in time for the White House to make the case for its Iran deal to Congress and the public.
Speaking to reporters and editors at our Washington bureau on Monday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged that the U.S. has assessed for several years that Iran has been two to three months away from producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. When asked how long the administration has held this assessment, Moniz said: “Oh quite some time.” He added: “They are now, they are right now spinning, I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000. Plus all the . . . . R&D work. If you put that together it’s very, very little time to go forward. That’s the 2-3 months.”
Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed to me Monday that the two-to-three-month estimate for fissile material was declassified on April 1.
Here is the puzzling thing: When Obama began his second term in 2013, he sang a different tune. He emphasized that Iran was more than a year away from a nuclear bomb, without mentioning that his intelligence community believed it was only two to three months away from making enough fuel for one, long considered the most challenging task in building a weapon. Today Obama emphasizes that Iran is only two to three months away from acquiring enough fuel for a bomb, creating a sense of urgency for his Iran agreement.
Back in 2013, when Congress was weighing new sanctions on Iran and Obama was pushing for more diplomacy, his interest was in tamping down that sense of urgency. On the eve of a visit to Israel, Obama told Israel’s Channel Two, “Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.”
On Oct. 5 of that year, Obama contrasted the U.S. view of an Iranian breakout with that of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who at the time said Iran was only six months away from nuclear capability. Obama told the Associated Press, “Our assessment continues to be a year or more away. And in fact, actually, our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.”
Ben Caspit, an Israeli journalist and columnist for Al-Monitor, reported last year that Israel’s breakout estimate was also two to three months away.
A year ago, after the nuclear talks started, Secretary of State John Kerry dropped the first hint about the still-classified Iran breakout estimate. He told a Senate panel, “I think it is fair to say, I think it is public knowledge today, that we are operating with a time period for a so-called breakout of about two months.”
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told me administration officials appeared to be intentionally unspecific in 2013, when the talking points used the 12-months-plus timeline. “They weren’t clear at all about what this one-year estimate meant, but people like me who said let’s break it down to the constituent pieces in terms of time to build a bomb were rebuffed,” he said. Albright’s group released its own breakout timetable that focused solely on the production of highly enriched uranium, not the weapon itself. It concluded Iran was potentially less than a month away.
When USA Today asked a spokeswoman for the National Security Council about Albright’s estimate, she responded that the intelligence community maintained a number of estimates for how long Iran would take to produce enough material for a weapon.
“They have made it very hard for those of us saying, let’s just focus on weapons-grade uranium, there is this shorter period of time and not a year,” Albright told me. “If you just want a nuclear test device to blow up underground, I don’t think you need a year.”
This view is supported by a leaked document from the International Atomic Energy Agency, first published by the Associated Press in 2009. Albright’s group published excerpts from the IAEA assessment that concluded Iran “has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device based upon (highly enriched uranium) as the fission fuel.”
Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst who is now an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution, told me that most of the technical estimates about an Iranian breakout were not nearly as precise as they are sometimes portrayed in the press. “The idea there is such a thing as a hard and fast formula for this is nonsense,” he said. “All the physicists come up with different answers depending on what inputs they use.”
In this way, Obama’s new, more alarmist figure of two to three months provides a key selling point for the framework reached this month in Switzerland. When Obama announced the preliminary agreement on April 2, he said one benefit was that if it were finalized, “even if it violated the deal, for the next decade at least, Iran would be a minimum of a year away from acquiring enough material for a bomb.”
Hence the frustration of Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “We’ve been researching their claim that a deal would lengthen the breakout time for Iran from two to three months to a year,” he told me of the administration. “We’re just trying to confirm any of their numbers and we can’t confirm or make sense of what they are referencing.”
Nunes should hurry. The Iranian nuclear deal is scheduled to breakout in less than three months.
Congress and White House strike deal on Iran legislation
A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to give Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 negotiating deadline, in a compromise with the White House that allows President Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the pact before it can be completed.
The bipartisan bill is likely to move quickly to the full Senate after the Foreign Relations Committee voted 19 to 0 to approve the measure. It would give Congress at least 30 days to consider an agreement after it was signed, before Obama could waive or suspend any congressionally mandated sanctions against Iran.
During that period, lawmakers could vote their disapproval of the agreement. Any such resolution would have to clear a relatively high bar to become law, requiring 60 votes to pass and 67, or two-thirds of the Senate, to override a presidential veto.
The compromise avoided a potentially destructive showdown between the White House and Congress, as well as a possible free-for-all of congressional action that Obama has said could derail the negotiations while they are underway. It followed extensive administration lobbying on Capitol Hill, including phone calls from Obama and a closed-door Senate meeting Tuesday morning with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and other senior officials.
While the administration was “not particularly thrilled” by the final result, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said before the vote, it was “the kind of compromise that the president would be willing to sign.”
Congress and White House strike deal on Iran legislation deal(1:09)
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise Tuesday on a bill that would give Congress a say on any deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. (AP)
In passing the legislation, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) hailed the “true emergence” of bipartisanship on a crucial foreign policy issue, and he congratulated Congress for approving sanctions legislation in the first place that “brought Iran to the negotiating table.”
“Despite opposition from the White House all along,” Corker said in a statement released after the vote, he was proud of unanimous committee support for a measure that “will ensure the American people — through their elected representatives — will have a voice on any final deal with Iran, if one is reached.”
Responding to Jack Goldsmith on the Corker Bill & the Nature of Obama’s Iran Deal
by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY April 20, 2015 12:24 PM
I have great respect and admiration for Jack Goldsmith, especially when it comes to his mastery of international law and its complex interplay with constitutional law. At the Lawfare blog, Professor Goldsmith has penned a thoughtful critique of my weekend column, in which I objected to the Corker bill – the legislation proposed by Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and others that would govern congressional review of President Obama’s anticipated executive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Goldsmith claims that I have distorted both the Corker bill and the Constitution. Goldsmith and I have a fundamental disagreement about what Obama’s Iran deal is intended to accomplish – and as I shall explain, this is a situation where the de facto has to take precedence over the de jure. But let me state upfront that I do not question that the president (as I have argued many times) has plenary authority over the conduct of foreign affairs and that, as Thomas Jefferson opined, exceptions to that principle must be narrowly construed. Nor do I, as Goldsmith implies, blame the Corker bill for any deficiencies in the current statutory regiment of Iran sanctions. Indeed, I have argued that the president’s waivers of Iran sanctions are different in kind from, to take some prominent examples, his waivers of Obamacare provisions and of certain enforcement aspects of the federal immigration and narcotics laws. The latter are lawless (though the administration attempts to rationalize them by an untenable interpretation of the prosecutorial discretion doctrine). The former are entirely lawful and written into the sanctions bills themselves. The problem for Obama is that his sanctions waivers cannot be permanent – the pertinent statutes do not allow for that. (I use the word permanent advisedly. The word binding, which I might otherwise use, has a legal connotation that, as we shall see, can be confusing here.) That is, there are statutory sanctions that would apply to the Iranian government and (mainly) entities that do business for or with it if the president had not waived those sanctions; the statutes that prescribe the sanctions enable the president to waive them for fixed terms; they do not enable the president to provide permanent sanctions relief. That is a central issue in the administration’s negotiations with Iran (which are taking place within in the P5 + 1 framework – but obviously the U.S. is the principal player). Iran wants permanent sanctions relief. The president wants to give the regime permanent sanctions relief, but he does not have that authority. This, I think, moves us toward the nub of my disagreement with Goldsmith. He argues: the agreement the President is negotiating with Iran is by design not legally binding under international law and thus does not even implicate the domestic constitutional framework for approving binding international agreements. [Emphasis in original.] I have never suggested that the Constitution prevents presidents from making executive agreements with other governments. (Indeed, I wrote favorably about the Cotton letter, which made exactly this point.) I thus agree, in the abstract, that the president’s merely making an agreement with Ayatollah Khamenei would not be de jure binding under international law. But this omits two critical, concrete facts applicable to this particular negotiation: (a) The only deal the Iranians are interested in is one that is permanent – regardless of whether it can be said to be legally binding – i.e., they want complete sanctions relief, regardless of whether it is by obtaining (1) a guarantee that the sanctions will not be re-imposed (if not by law then by an arrangement that makes “snap-back” of the sanctions illusory as a practical matter); or (2) a substantial payday just for signing the agreement that makes the possibility of re-imposition even more illusory. (b) Obama’s intention is to submit the deal he cuts with Iran to the U.N. Security Council, where it would be endorsed by a resolution. Now, you can say all you want that what the president is trying to accomplish here is not technically a “legally binding” international agreement that enjoins our government from re-imposing sanctions. But the practical reality is that Obama is crafting an agreement that is structured to give Iran the equivalent of permanent sanctions relief (by providing so many carrots now that the sticks will no longer matter) and to give other nations the grist to argue that the Security Council resolution makes the agreement binding even if it does not have binding effect under U.S. law. The Iranian foreign minister has already made that contention in response to the Cotton letter. And, as Obama calculates, even if the agreement is not “legally binding,” it becomes very difficult politically for the U.S. to take a contrary position once other nations have acted in reliance on a Security Council resolution (by lifting their own sanctions and conducting significant commerce with Iran). The way Goldsmith describes the president’s Iran negotiations and the Corker bill, one has to conclude that the ongoing debate about the former is much ado about nothing and that the latter is a complete waste of time. By Goldsmith’s lights, Obama is simply exercising the discretionary waiver authority he indisputably already has, and he is not trying to strike any sort of “binding” arrangement. One wonders why so much effort over something of such apparently fleeting consequence. And for Senator Corker’s part, his bill is not designed to do anything Congress could not already do in its absence: It can approve, disapprove or take no action on Obama’s deal, and whatever it chooses to do would be subject to his veto. So what’s the big deal? The big deal only becomes apparent if you acknowledge the reality of what Obama is trying to accomplish: Permanent lifting of the sanctions in conjunction with illusory restrictions that will pave Iran’s way to becoming a nuclear-weapons power despite current American law and U.N. resolutions designed to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-weapons power. Just as I do not believe the president is, in fact, only trying to make a non-binding agreement, I do not believe the Corker bill is a case of congressional idling. If the agreement is seen as, in effect, of such potentially lasting significance that it should be treated as a binding treaty, then the Constitution would require Obama to find 67 Senate votes to approve it. As I argued in the column, the Corker bill reverses this: requiring opponents of the agreement to find 67 votes to kill it. In effect, I take Goldsmith to be arguing that the Constitution’s treaty clause can be reduced to a nullity by simply calling an international pact an “executive agreement” rather than a “treaty.” As unappealing as that contention sounds, there is a good deal of history and practice to support it. This reflects a reality I’ve often addressed: We are more a political society than a legal one. The Constitution does not resolve with exactitude the division of authorities between the two political branches; nor does it vest the judiciary with clear authority to resolve inter-branch disputes. As a result, presidents trying to achieve particular results in particular circumstances, take whatever seems to be the path of least resistance. Sometimes Congress squawks, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, there is debate over whether the agreement in question should be treated as a treaty, but I cannot say there is a firmly established legal test for when an agreement is so consequential that it must be treated as a treaty. I don’t think the framers intended it to be a legal determination – it’s a political one. On that score, I’ve pointed out that the framers assumed impeachment would be a real remedy if a president, in dealing with a foreign country, tried to do something dangerous or treacherous – especially if it involved cutting the Senate out of the loop. Over time, impeachment has become an illusory check on the president, so it should not surprise us that presidents are less concerned about offending Congress by proceeding unilaterally when they calculate there is little political risk in doing so. All that said, I do not contest, and never have, that there is constitutional license for the president, in his nearly plenary authority over international affairs, to make international agreements (which last only as long as the president chooses to honor the agreement). And Goldsmith is right that I don’t question congressional-executive agreements: If the president can make an executive agreement with another government, and Congress is persuaded to enact – by the normal process – any legislation necessary to implement the agreement, what is there to object to (as long as the agreement does not violate the constitutional rights of the states and individuals)? The treaty clause, however, is one of the most important, constitutionally explicit restraints on the president’s power over foreign policy. A transformative agreement that significantly impacts American sovereignty and the constitutional or statutory rights of Americans should go through the Constitution’s treaty process – and even a ratified treaty (much less an executive agreement) cannot trump the Constitution (as the Supreme Court held in Medellin v. Texas (2008)). One last point. Using an example of something I wrote several years ago in support of presidential authority to waive sanctions against countries that run afoul of U.S. prohibitions on trade with Iran, Goldsmith contends that I have reversed my position on presidential authority over foreign policy. I haven’t. As noted above, the sanctions-waivers we are actually dealing with here are authorized by statute, so this is not a situation where Congress has enacted sanctions that have no waiver provisions and that the president can attempt to trump only by relying on his constitutional authority over foreign affairs. But if we were in such a situation, I would argue that there are some things a president could unilaterally waive over Congress’s objection, and some that he could not. If Congress tried to impose sanctions directly on foreign governments, I think the president would have a very strong case. If Congress imposed sanctions on private corporations and individuals that did business with certain foreign governments, I think the president would have a less strong case – perhaps a lot less strong. It might also matter whether it was wartime or a time of some true national emergency. I believe, in any event, that it is out of deference to the president’s considerable constitutional authority over the conduct of foreign affairs that sanctions laws (and some other laws that implicate foreign affairs) contain explicit presidential waiver provisions. Congress does not want to provoke a constitutional dispute that may be detrimental to achieving policy ends that, very often, both political branches support. That is all the more reason, to my mind, that when an international agreement is of great consequence to American national security, the president should not provoke a constitutional dispute by attempting to act unilaterally. The president should treat the agreement as a treaty – and so should the Senate.
Story 1: Breaking News: An American With A Mission: 61 Year Young Mailman Lands on West Front of Capitol To Deliver 535 Airmail Letters To Representatives and Senators In Congress Demanding Campaign Finance Reform — Mission Accomplished — Nice Landing — Videos
Witness Captures Capitol Landing !!! RAW VIDEO !!!
VIDEO – 61 Yr Old Man Lands Gyrocopter on Lawn of U.S. Capitol w/ Letters to Congress – Doug Hughes
Man Lands Gyrocopter on US Capitol Grounds
U.S. Capitol Police converged Wednesday on a small manned aircraft that has landed on the west front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Police have taken the pilot into custody.
“The U.S. Capitol Police is investigating a gyro copter with a single occupant that has landed on the grassy area of the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Capitol Police continues to investigate with one person detained and temporary street closures in the immediate area,” said Capitol Police Lt. Kimberly Schneider in a statement to CNN.
According to White House spokesman Eric Schultz, the President has been briefed on the situation.
The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the pilot is a mailman from Florida who planned the flight to protest the Supreme Court decision in Citizens’ United case and the influence of outside money in politics. He told the Times that he wanted to deliver mail to lawmakers outlining his complaints.
The paper is reporting it called Secret Service and Capitol Hill police before he flew. The reporter who spoke before the flight has been tweeting from Washington as the postal worker landed.
The Capitol Police, however, have not disclosed his identity. They did say he is in custody for questioning and they’re seeking to find out whether the landing was due to a mechanical issue or some other issue.
A friend of the pilot who says he’s known the man for years tells CNN that “there’s nothing on the helicopter that is dangerous” and that the this flight was meant to send a message to Congress about campaign finance reform.
“He has no weapons or anything else,” said Michael Shanahan. “I know him personally. He’s like a pitbull when he has an idea. He wants to wake up the country.”
Shanahan said the pilot called him before he took off.
“He’s upset that politicians can be bought and sold at auction, and I agree with him. That’s the point he’s trying [to make]” Shanahan added.
“Happy he made it alive. I want to thank the people who decided not to kill him.”
According to the FAA, this is restricted airspace and the individual did not get special permission to fly in this airspace. And a U.S, Defense official tells CNN NORAD was not involved. FAA would have contacted them for any military assets to be activated in response to this, and that contact was never made.
The building is no longer in lockdown, and the Senate Sergeant at Arms tells CNN that everything is under control.
At the moment of its landing, however, the Capitol was thrown into chaos.
Outside of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing room, a half-dozen police were running through the hallways, speaking into their radios about a lockdown. In the room waited Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who had stopped by for a photo op and was posing a challenge for officers discussing safe ways to get the prime minister out of the building if necessary.
Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul was on the first floor of the Capitol with aides when the building was briefly locked down, but he hadn’t heard about the incident until CNN asked him. He decided to go outside and see the aircraft for himself, and Capitol Police let him through, despite the lockdown.
Gyrocopter’s Flight to the US Capitol: How It Unfolded
Helicopter Lands on U.S. Capitol Hill Ground, Pilot Arrested | Gyro Copter Bomb Search
Helicopter Lands on U.S. Capitol Hill Ground, Pilot Arrested | Gyro Copter Bomb Search |VIDEO
Gyrocopter flies into restricted airspace near Capitol
Pilot in Custody After Landing Small Aircraft On Capitol Building Lawn
Ultra light Autogyro / Gyrocopter
A helicopter carries mail to an airport for delivery by air in Washington DC, Uni…HD Stock Footage
Money in Politics: What’s the Problem?
Milton Friedman on Money in Politics
“Tyranny of the Status Quo” – Politicians
The Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman
High court rules 5-4 against cap on campaign money
What You Probably Haven’t Heard About Citizens United
3 Reasons Not To Sweat The “Citizens United” SCOTUS Ruling
Debating the high court’s campaign finance decision
Campaign Finance Reform and the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision
The Lawyer Who’s Killing Campaign Finance Reform – Legally Speaking
Miller Center – Bradley A. Smith Opening Statement
Campaign Finance — Stossel in the Classroom
Bradley A. Smith on Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech
Sen. Cruz Q&A with Bradley Smith on Campaign Finance Reform
A Debate On Campaign Finance Disclosure
Former FEC Chairman Brad Smith on Camapaign-Finance Reform–and why John McCain Won’t Shake His Hand.
Gyrocopter Lands on West Front of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested
By JOHN PARKINSON
A small helicopter landed on the Capitol’s West Front Wednesday afternoon in Washington, and one person has been detained, according to US Capitol Police.
“The U.S. Capitol Police is investigating a gyrocopter with a single occupant that has landed on the grassy area of the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol,” Capitol Police Public Information Officer Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider said in a statement. “The U.S. Capitol Police continues to investigate with one person detained and temporary street closures in the immediate area.”
Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
PHOTO: A small helicopter sits on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, April 15, 2015.
The man in the gyrocopter was delivering a political message to the Capitol, law enforcement sources tell ABC News.
The FBI is on the scene and Capitol Police are in the process of clearing the gyrocopter of any hazards using a robot.
“I have got a plane, a gyro-plane. And I’m going to fly it, I’m going to violate the no-fly zone, non-violently,” Hughes, 61, said in a video posted on the Tampa Bay Times website today. “I’m going to land on the Capitol Mall.”
His aim: To draw attention to the issue of campaign finance reform. Hughes had been contemplated the plan for more than two years, according to the newspaper.
“No sane person would do what I’m doing,” he reportedly said.
PHOTO: A gyrocopter is seen after landing on the lawn of the US Capitol, April 15, 2015. The pilot was arrested.
Tampa Bay Times reporter Ben Montgomery, who first reported Hughes’ bizarre plot, says the mailman-turned pilot planned to fly through restricted airspace to deliver 535 letters, one to each member of Congress, protesting campaign finance laws.
“He pulled it off, he did exactly what he said he was going to do,” Montgomery told ABC News. “Honestly, I didn’t think he’d make it anywhere close to here.”
“This is a guy who thought for two and a half years about doing an act of civil disobedience — I’m glad he wasn’t hurt,” the reporter said. “He was hoping not to die, but he knew he’d get arrested.”
According to a White House official, President Obama, who recently landed in North Carolina, has been briefed.
Mailman’s friend warned Secret Service about plan to land gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn
The Capitol Police bomb squad searched and cleared the gyrocopter, saying “nothing hazardous” was found.
“We are preparing to move the gyrocopter from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to a secure location,” the department said in a statement.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: ST. PETERSBURG — Doug Hughes’ close friend and co-worker, Mike Shanahan, said today that the Ruskin mailman is not a terrorist and did not mean any harm with his protest.
And just hours before Hughes landed in Washington, Hughes’ friend said he called a Secret Service agent to notify him of the possibility of the gyrocopter flight.
“He’s not a suicide bomber, he’s a patriot,” said Shanahan, 65, of Apollo Beach. The whole stunt centers around Hughes’ effort to change campaign finance laws, “or the lack thereof,” according to Shanahan.
About a year ago, Shanahan said, Hughes told him of the idea to deliver letters to legislators by gyrocopter. Not long after, they were both questioned by a Secret Service official in Florida, he said. Wednesday morning, Shanahan said, Hughes called his friend and said he was in Washington, ready to take off.
He passed along the website on which he would livestream his flight, but Shanahan, not adept with computers, could not find it.
So, he said, he pulled out the phone number he had saved from the Secret Service agent he spoke to months ago. He dialed. No answer, but he said he left a message. No call back. He still was not certain if the protest was actually going to happen.
“I didn’t want to get all of D.C. in an uproar and it turn out he was just practicing or something or he was just pulling my leg,” Shanahan said.
Though Hughes was arrested, Shanahan said he was relieved his friend was alive.
“I was scared to death they were going to kill him,” Shanahan said. “My thanks goes out to whomever it was who decided not to pull the trigger.”
—Zachary T. Sampson, Times Staff Writer
UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: WASHINGTON — Doug Hughes, the 61-year-old mailman from Ruskin, successfully landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol today.
He was promptly arrested.
Witnesses said the sirens and cars came immediately after Hughes touched down. They said he was composed, calm and surrendered immediately.
Shortly before 2 p.m., police officials were inspecting his gyrocopter with dogs. Investigators moved witnesses a block away from the Capitol.
“We heard him coming. There are a lot of helicopters in D.C. but I could tell this one was smaller,” said Gil Wheeler, 53, a pilot from Las Vegas. “It came right down the middle of the lawn. You can tell he knows how to fly that thing.”
Wheeler added that Hughes’ protest move, urging campaign finance reform and a halt to corruption in the government, raises questions about our country’s national security apparatus.
“This is just another question for Homeland Security,” Hughes said. “We still have a lot of questions to ask.”
Richard Burns, 27, who said he works for a marijuana lobby group in Washington, stood in wonder and solidarity.
“I don’t know whatever it was he was doing but I support him.”
The Capitol was briefly placed on lockdown during Hughes’ landing.
UPDATE 1:33 p.m.: It appears as though Hughes has landed on the lawn of the Capitol. Tweets from Washington congressional reporters indicate Capitol Police hustled out of the building and confronted Hughes at the gyrocopter.
UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: The Tampa Bay Times called the U.S. Secret Service in Washington D.C. to see if they were aware of Hughes’ plans. Public information officers there said they had not heard of the protest. They referred a reporter to Capitol Police. A public information officer did not immediately answer. A sergeant in the watch commander’s office said: “He hasn’t notified anybody. We have no information.”
• • •
About 1 a.m. one night last spring, a Secret Service agent accompanied by a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy rang Doug Hughes’ doorbell. Lights went on inside his spare little house in Ruskin. The plainclothes agent showed his badge. Hughes stepped outside and closed the door behind him.
The agent asked him questions about his plan to save America, he said, and Hughes was honest in his replies, if not totally forthcoming with details. Yes, he did own a gyrocopter. Yes, he keeps it in a hangar at the small airport in Wauchula. Yes, he had talked of doing something big to bring attention to the issue of campaign finance reform. No, he was not planning to crash into any buildings or monuments in Washington, D.C.
I’m not a violent person, Hughes remembers saying. All I want to do is draw attention.
Someone inside his circle of secrecy had reported him, telling the Secret Service that Hughes was talking about committing a daring act of civil disobedience that also happened to be a federal crime.
The Secret Service won’t confirm the agent’s visit because there was no arrest. But Hughes says he was questioned for about 45 minutes, and he has an agent’s business card. Two days later, Hughes said, the same agent showed up at the post office where Hughes works and asked more questions . He also talked to one of Hughes’ colleagues with whom he had discussed his plan. The colleague told the Tampa Bay Times that he, too, answered questions. Hughes even gave the agent permission to talk to his doctor, to assure him he wasn’t suicidal or homicidal.
And then, for months, nothing. That was it, Hughes said. No other questions. No other contact. So Hughes, who sees himself as a sort of showman patriot, a mix of Paul Revere and P.T. Barnum, put his plan into action.
He bought a burner cell phone and a video camera, and tested a livestream video feed from his gyrocopter ( tbtim.es/gpa). He built a website offline that explains who he is and why he’s doing what he’s doing. He bought $250 worth of stamps and stuffed 535 two-page letters into 535 envelopes, each addressed to a specific member of Congress:
“I’m demanding reform and declaring a voter’s rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson’s description of rights in the Declaration of Independence,” he wrote in his letters. “As a member of Congress, you have three options. 1. You may pretend corruption does not exist. 2. You may pretend to oppose corruption while you sabotage reform. 3. You may actively participate in real reform.”
He also learned how to fly.
Late last week, he loaded the gyrocopter onto a trailer and headed for an undisclosed location outside the nation’s capital.
If you’re reading this, Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Ruskin, has taken flight. His stated intent: to buzz through the air at 45 miles per hour at about 300 feet up in an ultralight gyrocopter toward Washington, D.C., toward protected airspace, where, if his plan works, he’ll land on the lawn of the United States Capitol building and deliver the mail.
Of course, Doug Hughes might be shot out of the sky. He knows this. He has thought about it day and night for more than two years, wrestling with the tiniest details of his insane plan.
“No sane person,” he said, “would do what I’m doing.”
He decided he wanted someone to tell his story in the event he was hurt or arrested. After the Secret Service visit, he sought out a Tampa Bay Times reporter and explained his plan and motivation. He says he has no intention of hurting anybody and that he doesn’t want to be hurt either.
“I don’t believe that the authorities are going to shoot down a 61-year-old mailman in a flying bicycle,” he said. “I don’t have any defense, okay, but I don’t believe that anybody wants to personally take responsibility for the fallout.”
He has thought through every scenario he can muster.
“Somebody will realize that they’ve got to modify the playbook and they’ll probably scramble a helicopter,” he said. “They’ll scramble a Blackhawk from Quantico, and there’s a 50-50 chance that a Blackhawk at full throttle will overfly me and realize that he’s missed and he’ll have to come back. Again, I’m going to fly low and slow and these guys are going to have a full head of adrenaline. Eventually, I’m hoping the Blackhawk will catch up with me about the time that the authorities realize that I’m not a threat and knocking me down is not a politically savvy move, and I anticipate having an escort all the way in. I’m hoping for a friendly escort.”
He knows what’s at stake. He figures he’ll lose his job of 11 years. And he could lose his tidy little house across from a pond with a fountain. And he could lose his freedom; he expects to be arrested for landing his flying machine near the steps of the Capitol. That means losing, at least temporarily, his Russian-born wife and his polite 12-year-old daughter who plays the piano and wins awards at the science fair. He has kept them in the dark, he said, for fear they’d be implicated.
Hughes is a slender, soft-spoken, pedantic man, with thinning gray hair and hearing aids. He has no criminal record and it’s rare to hear him curse. But he says he needs the show, the very dramatic public act of civil disobedience, to hijack the news cycle and focus the nation’s attention on a topic that in most quarters makes eyes glaze over: campaign finance reform. Money, he says, has corrupted the democracy.
At the root of Hughes’ disdain is the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court decided campaign contributions were a form of “political speech” and struck down limits on how much corporations and unions could give to political contenders. The decision changed the game. Campaign spending went through the roof. In Hughes’ mind, there was a parallel spike in favor-dealing and the government is now practically owned by the rich. Hughes likes to point out that nearly half the retiring members of Congress from 1998 to 2004 got jobs as lobbyists earning some 14 times their congressional salaries.
“We’re heading full-throttle toward a breakdown,” he said. “There’s no question that we need government, but we don’t have to accept that it’s a corrupt government that sells out to the highest bidder. We can have a government that works for the people, that answers to the people, that can only take money from the people in small amounts.”
But nobody seems to care. At least, nobody thinks it can be fixed. Polls have shown that 96 percent of Americans said they believe that it’s important to reduce the influence of money in politics, but only 9 percent think that it is likely to happen.
Hughes thinks the answers are out there, and they’re non-partisan. He points to reform thinkers like political activist Cenk Uygar and Harvard legal theorist Lawrence Lessig, who launched a political action committee to end political action committees. The motto: “Embrace the irony.”
“I’m not promoting myself,” Hughes said a few weeks ago. “I’m trying to direct millions of people to information, to a menu of organizations that are working together to fix Congress.”
How do you get people to look? How do you shake up voters and wrest their attention from the faux political scandals of the day?
His idea began to blossom 2½ years ago, after his son, John Joseph Hughes, 24, committed suicide by driving his car head-on into another man, killing them both. “Police: Suicidal driver caused deadly crash,” read the headline in the Leesburg newspaper. He was crushed by grief, and disappointed that his son had killed himself — and someone else — to make a stupid, worthless point.
“Something changed in me,” Hughes said. With mourning came a realization. The years Hughes spent thinking about and writing about mundane political issues were for naught if he didn’t have a way to make a point. His political frustrations and grief merged. He doesn’t condone what his son did, but it offered a lesson.
“He paid far too high a price for an unimportant issue,” Hughes said. “But if you’re willing to take a risk, the ultimate risk, to draw attention to something that does have significance, it’s worth doing.”
He has always wanted to fly. Growing up in Santa Cruz, Calif., he used to ride his bike to Sky Park and watch the planes come and go, and read books about the Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk.
At first he thought about using an ultralight fixed-wing plane, but that felt too threatening. He finally found the gyrocopter, which has un-powered helicopter blades on top for lift but gets its thrust from a propeller on the back. The cockpit, if you can call it that, is wide open. “This is as transparent a vehicle that I could come up with,” Hughes said. “You can literally see through it.” He can land the craft in a space the size of half a basketball court.
Hughes set up a delayed email blast to alert every breaking news desk at every TV station and newspaper he could find, as well as the Secret Service. He has provided journalists a link to a website which, if the technology holds up, should be broadcasting a live stream video of his flight ( tbtim.es/gpa), called Project Kitty Hawk. He hopes this public broadcast will deter the authorities from shooting him out of the sky.
His biggest fear all along, he said, was losing his nerve.
“I have thought about walking away from this whole thing because it’s crazy,” he said. “But I have also thought about being 80 years old and watching the collapse of this country and thinking that I had an idea once that might have arrested the fall and I didn’t do it.
“And I will tell you completely honestly: I’d rather die in the flight than live to be 80 years old and see this country fall.”
Doug Hughes is in the air, trying to deliver the mail.
Times staff writer Zachary T. Sampson and researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Ben Montgomery at email@example.com or (727) 893-8650. Follow @gangrey on Twitter.
This is the text of the letter that Doug Hughes wants to deliver to members of Congress:
Consider the following statement by John Kerry in his farewell speech to the Senate —
“The unending chase for money I believe threatens to steal our democracy itself. They know it. They know we know it. And yet, Nothing Happens!” — John Kerry, 2-13
In a July 2012 Gallup poll, 87% tagged corruption in the federal government as extremely important or very important, placing this issue just barely behind job creation. According to Gallup, public faith in Congress is at a 41-year record low, 7%. (June 2014) Kerry is correct. The popular perception outside the DC beltway is that the federal government is corrupt and the US Congress is the major problem. As a voter, I’m a member of the only political body with authority over Congress. I’m demanding reform and declaring a voter’s rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson’s description of rights in the Declaration of Independence. As a member of Congress, you have three options.
1. You may pretend corruption does not exist.
2. You may pretend to oppose corruption while you sabotage reform.
3. You may actively participate in real reform.
If you’re considering option 1, you may wonder if voters really know what the ‘chase for money’ is. Your dismal and declining popularity documented by Gallup suggests we know, but allow a few examples, by no means a complete list. That these practices are legal does not make them right! Obviously, it is Congress who writes the laws that make corruption legal.
1. Dozens of major and very profitable corporations pay nothing in taxes. Voters know how this is done. Corporations pay millions to lobbyists for special legislation. Many companies on the list of freeloaders are household names — GE, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Verizon, Citigroup, Dow …
2. Almost half of the retiring members of Congress from 1998 to 2004 got jobs as lobbyists earning on average fourteen times their Congressional salary. (50% of the Senate, 42% of the House)
3. The new democratic freshmen to the US House in 2012 were ‘advised’ by the party to schedule 4 hours per day on the phones fund raising at party headquarters (because fund raising is illegal from gov’t offices.) It is the donors with deep pockets who get the calls, but seldom do the priorities of the rich donor help the average citizen.
4. The relevant (rich) donors who command the attention of Congress are only .05% of the public (5 people in a thousand) but these aristocrats of both parties are who Congress really works for. As a member of the US Congress, you should work only for The People.
1. Not yourself.
2. Not your political party.
3. Not the richest donors to your campaign.
4. Not the lobbyist company who will hire you after your leave Congress.
There are several credible groups working to reform Congress. Their evaluations of the problem are remarkably in agreement though the leadership (and membership) may lean conservative or liberal. They see the corrupting effect of money — how the current rules empower special interests through lobbyists and PACs — robbing the average American of any representation on any issue where the connected have a stake. This is not democracy even if the ritual of elections is maintained.
The various mechanisms which funnel money to candidates and congress-persons are complex. It happens before they are elected, while they are in office and after they leave Congress. Fortunately, a solution to corruption is not complicated. All the proposals are built around either reform legislation or a Constitutional Amendment. Actually, we need both — a constitutional amendment and legislation.
There will be discussion about the structure and details of reform. As I see it, campaign finance reform is the cornerstone of building an honest Congress. Erect a wall of separation between our elected officials and big money. This you must do — or your replacement will do. A corporation is not ‘people’ and no individual should be allowed to spend hundreds of millions to ‘influence’ an election. That much money is a megaphone which drowns out the voices of ‘We the People.’ Next, a retired member of Congress has a lifelong obligation to avoid the appearance of impropriety. That almost half the retired members of Congress work as lobbyists and make millions of dollars per year smells like bribery, however legal. It must end. Pass real campaign finance reform and prohibit even the appearance of payola after retirement and you will be part of a Congress I can respect.
The states have the power to pass a Constitutional Amendment without Congress — and we will. You in Congress will likely embrace the change just to survive, because liberals and conservatives won’t settle for less than democracy. The leadership and organization to coordinate a voters revolution exist now! New groups will add their voices because the vast majority of Americans believe in the real democracy we once had, which Congress over time has eroded to the corrupt, dysfunctional plutocracy we have.
The question is where YOU individually stand. You have three options and you must choose.
Story 1: The Key To Identity Politics: Ignorance and Apathy of Voters — I Don’t Know and I Don’t Care — I Am A Woman and Will Vote For Hillary Clinton — I am Hispanic and Will Vote For Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz — I am Fat and Will Vote For Chris Christie — I am White and Will Vote For Rand Paul — I am Rich and Will Vote For Jeb Bush — I Make Stupid Remarks and Will Vote for Joe Biden — The Tyranny of Ignorance and Apathy — Garbage In — Garbage Out — Videos
Is The Best We Can Do?
George Carlin – It’s a big club and you ain’t in it
C.W. McCALL – CONVOY 1975 (Audio Enhanced)
Hillary Clinton Road Trips to Iowa
The Blues Brothers – Aretha Franklin
Exploring Liberty: The Problem of Political Ignorance
Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law and is also a regular contributor at The Volokh Conspiracy, a group law blog.
Francis Fukuyama: Identity Politics
Hillary: ‘Let’s Keep Fighting’ For Women
Marco Rubio: Election Is ‘A Generational Choice About What Kind Of Country We Will Be’
Christie Proposes Income Cap on Social Security
Rand Paul on Civil Rights Act of 1964 – May 20, 2010
If Jeb Bush Is In, Who Will Win Wall Street’s Money?
Joe Biden Says Dumb Things
Blues Brothers 2000: Aretha Franklin – R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Respect)
C.W. McCall – I Don’t Know And I Don’t Care
George Carlin – Voting
The Best of George Carlin: Exposing our government and fall of humanity one joke at a time
Story 2: Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East — Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video
Sen. Marco Rubio announces presidential run
Sen. Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid • 4/13/15 •
Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid
Sen Marco Rubio announces presidential bid
Michelle Malkin calls out Marco Rubio for “posing as a Tea Party spokesman”
Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz fight on the Senate floor
Laura Ingraham Confronts Marco Rubio Over Immigration Reform: ‘Stop Dividing The Republican Party’
Ann Coulter blasts immigration bill, Rubio – Rubio is the Jack Kevorkian of the Republican Party
Ann Coulter trashes Marco Rubio
Brit Hume and Laura Ingraham argue about Marco Rubio
Mark Levin grills Marco Rubio on immigration proposal
A Conversation with Senator Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio (American Neocon) on Iran “No option should be off the table”
Marco Rubio Is a Polished Performer, but He’s Out of Position
Why You Should NOT Vote For Marco Rubio In 2016
Marco Rubio Grills Hillary Clinton About Benghazi (Testimony)
Mark Levin: “I despise the neocons! I am not a neocon!”
Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea (Cato Institute Book Forum, 2011)
Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned
Rubio jumps into White House race with jab at Hillary Clinton
By Ben Kamisar
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday entered the race for the White House, telling donors on a conference call that he is “uniquely qualified” to lead the Republican Party into battle against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it,” Rubio told the donors, according to The Associated Press.
Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.
“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call.
“Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”
Rubio is expected to officially launch his candidacy Monday evening in Miami against the backdrop of the Freedom Tower, a setting that will give him a chance to tout his heritage as the son of Cuban parents who fled to America in the 1950s.
The Florida senator, who is serving in only his first term, is entering an increasingly crowded GOP field that already includes Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.). A host of other candidates are waiting in the wings, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
It had long been thought that Rubio would not run for the White House against Bush, given their personal history and shared base of support in the Florida Republican Party.
But much like Obama in 2008, Rubio appears willing to gamble his political future on the notion that his party will be looking for a fresh face, particularly given the GOP’s difficulty in attracting minority voters in the last two presidential elections.
If elected, Rubio would become the first Hispanic president in American history.
Rubio told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday that he believes he’s “absolutely” the best candidate for the Oval Office.
“I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction,” he said.
Rubio is trying to generate buzz for his presidential campaign the day after Clinton jumped into the racewith an online video where she declared her desire to be the “champion” of “everyday Americans.”
While Clinton’s rollout could overshadow Rubio’s, it could also play to his advantage by allowing him to draw a contrast with the former secretary of State, who has been a presence on the national stage for nearly three decades.
Thus far in the race, Rubio is polling outside the top tier of Republicans hopefuls.
But Rubio, a staunch conservative who was deemed a rising star after his election victory in 2010, is very well liked among Republican voters. Recent numbers from Democratic Public Policy Polling found that 55 percent had a favorable view of him, the highest of any potential GOP candidate.
Still, in order to win the nomination, Rubio will have to assure conservatives who were turned off by his involvement in the Senate’s failed immigration reform effort in 2013.
Rubio helped write a bill with Democrats that passed the Senate but died in the House after an outpouring of conservative opposition.
He has tried to make amends for his role crafting that bill, telling activists in February that he’s “learned” from the experience that securing the border must come first.
“You can’t just tell people you’re going to secure the border. … You have to do that, they have to see it, they have to see it working, and then they’re going to have a reasonable conversation with you about the other parts, but they’re not going to even want to talk about that until that’s done first,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Rubio is expected to make foreign policy one of the centerpieces of his campaign, and has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Obama’s move to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Following his campaign launch, Rubio will return to Washington for Senate business, including a high-profile Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran.
On Friday, he’ll head to New Hampshire for a full day of campaigning in the critical primary state.
Sen. Marco Rubio has been cultivating a relationship with Mitt Romney and his intimates, landing some of the 2012 Republican nominee’s top advisers and donors and persistently courting others as he readies an expected 2016 presidential campaign.
In a crowded field of contenders, the imprimatur of Romney could help clear Rubio’s path into the top tier. Since Romney announced in January that he would not run for the White House again, he and Rubio have had at least two lengthy phone calls in which Romney encouraged and mentored the 43-year-old Florida senator about the political landscape, according to a Romney associate.
Rubio and Romney have built a warm and trusting rapport, in contrast to the frostiness that exists between Romney and the two current GOP front-runners, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. When Romney said in January that it was time to turn to the “next generation of Republican leaders,” it was widely interpreted as a swipe at Bush and a boost to a fresher face, such as Rubio.
In one-on-one meetings and communications with members of Romney’s inner circle, Rubio has impressed them with what they see as his compelling personal story, his depth and positions on policies, and his respect for Romney and his legacy in the Republican Party.
For Rubio, winning over key elements of the Romney coalition could give him a stronger foundation for a competitive campaign. But the support from Romney’s team alone would not guarantee Rubio success against Bush’s well-funded juggernaut or Walker’s grass-roots appeal.
Rubio has signed up two prominent former Romney officials in recent weeks. Rich Beeson, Romney’s 2012 national political director, has been tapped as Rubio’s likely deputy campaign manager, while Jim Merrill, Romney’s longtime New Hampshire strategist, is on board to play the same role for Rubio.
“For me, his substance, his skill and his story really stuck out,” Merrill said. “I always said if Mitt had decided to run again, I’d be with him. But when he decided not to go, I took a careful look at the field, and Marco represents the next generation of Republican leadership.”
Rubio’s courtship has been particularly intense with Spencer Zwick, who served as national finance chairman of Romney’s $1 billion campaign and is seen as the keeper of the Romney flame. Zwick said in an interview that the senator solicits advice from him regularly in phone calls, e-mails and text messages.
Rubio asks Zwick about how to assemble a campaign infrastructure and win the nomination, about lessons learned from Romney’s 2012 loss. Both fathers of young children, the two men talk about their families, too.
Zwick said he remains unaffiliated in the 2016 sweepstakes, but heaped praise on Rubio.
“Have you watched him speak?” Zwick asked. “This guy gives a message about the American dream that is compelling. People can say, ‘Oh, it’s the same speech every time,’ but you know what? Ronald Reagan did that, too, and it happened to work.”
Zwick called Rubio “an astute politician and a genuine person,” saying he “is universally well-liked by donors.”
Still, Bush has established himself early as the 2016 field’s fundraising dynamo, signing up many of Romney’s biggest bundlers, especially in New York and Florida, where he threatens to squeeze Rubio out.
A handful of former senior Romney aides and advisers have fanned out to work for an array of likely candidates besides Rubio, including Bush, Walker, former Texas governor Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The biggest Romney fundraiser helping Rubio is Wayne Berman, a fixture in GOP fundraising circles and a co-chairman of Romney’s 2012 national finance committee. Many Romney loyalists — including friends and associates from Bain Capital, the Mormon Church or the Salt Lake City Olympics — have stayed unaffiliated and are looking for signals of Romney’s preference.
Romney is unlikely to endorse a candidate anytime soon and has invited most of the GOP 2016 field to his annual policy summit with top donors and business leaders in June in Park City, Utah, where Romney has a home.
Rubio also has roots in the Mountain West. Although he was born into the Catholic Church, Rubio lived for several years of his childhood in Las Vegas and, during that time, was baptized in the Mormon Church. In his teen years, he and his family returned to Florida and rejoined the Catholic Church, although many of Rubio’s cousins remain affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Some Romney loyalists harbor bad feelings about several candidates. Privately, they say Bush was not as active in his support as they expected in 2012 and that they think he tried to muscle Romney out of the 2016 race in January.
They hold a grudge against Walker for sharply criticizing Romney in his 2013 book, “Unintimidated,” for doing “a lousy job” connecting with voters. And many Romney insiders were steamed at Christie for his high-profile embrace of President Obama, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore in the final week of the campaign.
By contrast, Romney’s allies almost universally praise Rubio, who was vetted as a possible vice-presidential pick and worked on Romney’s behalf during the campaign. They singled out his prime-time speech — introducing Romney — at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
“He was an exceptional surrogate,” said Matt Waldrip, a former Romney finance aide and Zwick associate. “When he went to events, people showed up. He packed the house, whether fundraising or otherwise. He did whatever we asked him to,
clearly interested in helping the cause and helping the ticket.”
On Tuesday, Rubio met at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington for an hour with Lanhee Chen, Romney’s former policy director, who remains an adviser and friend. Chen said he was impressed by Rubio’s preparation for the meeting, which focused on foreign and domestic policy, as well as his depth on the issues.
“Senator Rubio has spent the last several years developing thoughtful conservative policy solutions, and he has a personal story that makes those solutions even more compelling,” Chen said.
Rubio’s camp has been in touch with other Romney associates, includingPeter Flaherty, a former Boston prosecutor who for years was Romney’s chief liaison to conservative movement leaders. Those talks have been informal, and Flaherty, like Chen and Zwick, remains uncommitted to a 2016 candidate.
“It’s elbow grease,” said one Romney confidant who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Rubio’s outreach. “Marco’s actually picking up the phone and calling people, saying, ‘Listen, I want to introduce myself and tell you who I am and what I stand for.’ It’s good politics.”
Terry Sullivan — who ran Romney’s South Carolina primary campaign in 2008 and for years has been a top Rubio adviser — has been helping him facilitate his outreach into Romney’s world. Sullivan is executive director of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC and is his likely campaign manager. Rubio’s Senate chief of staff, Alberto Martinez, was a Florida-based adviser to Romney’s campaign in 2012.
Rubio is expected to formally launch his presidential bid next month, although aides stressed this week that no final decision has been made on the timing or venue. His advisers are preparing for a long and steady race, with a focus on laying the groundwork in the early-voting states.
Although he has been overshadowed recently by Bush and Walker, Rubio has generated some buzz among Republican insiders. His speeches at recent donor conclaves, including at the Club for Growth last month in Palm Beach, Fla., drew rave reviews.
Rubio has said he can raise the funds needed to mount a serious presidential bid. Norman Braman, a billionaire South Florida auto dealer, is expected to donate as much as $10 million to Rubio and his anticipated super PAC.
Rubio has his own national donor network, which he began cultivating in his upstart 2010 Senate campaign. The group includes donors who participate in the political network organized by industrialists Charles and David Koch, whose California meeting Rubio addressed in January.
But Rubio is making inroads elsewhere, too. He dined alone last week in Washington with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Romney in 2012.
Story 1: Queen Hillary — Radical Hag in Drag — Clinton Is The One — Game of Thrones — Hillary Clinton Scandals: The Gift That Keeps On Giving — Phony Psychopath President — Obama’s Third Term — Give Me A Break — Run Jerry Run — California Governor Jerry Brown — Videos
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Hillary Clinton Election Video Cold Open – SNL
Hillary Clinton Cold Open – SNL
Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton
Reagan, Clinton, Ford, Bush I and Bush II Explain it all to Obama
Hillary Clinton: ‘I’m Running for President’
Hillary Clinton announces presidential run
Hillary Clinton Camp Announces Her 2016 Presidential Run
Finally: Hillary Makes 2016 Run Official
Hillary Clinton says she’s running for president in 2016
Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016
Romney: ‘Hillary Clinton Is Just Not Trustworthy’
Benghazi Gate – Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton – Question & Answer
Rand Paul asks Hillary Clinton About Involvement in Transferring Weapons to Turkey out of Libya
Clinton on talking points: ‘What difference at this point does it make?’
‘What Difference, Does it Make?’ – Hillary Clinton at Benghazi Hearing
PJTV: Afterburner: What Difference Does It Make?
PJTV — Young Hillary Clinton Supporters Struggle to Name Her Achievements
Genius Quotes of Frank Underwood, House of Cards Seven Minutes
Bill Clinton Loves ‘House Of Cards & ‘Scandal’ | Overheard On The Hill | msnbc
THE CLINTON MURDERS
Will Jerry Brown Challenge Hillary? Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!
Bill Clinton Versus Jerry Brown 1992
Why Is Hillary Clinton Even Running?
Victor Davis Hanson
I. Who Else?
One, there is no other credible Democrat who could run for presidency. The senior party leadership — Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Dianne Feinstein — is shrill and buffoonish. They all have either tried before and failed, or are ossified has-beens — or both. There are no up-and-coming governors with distinguished records of executive success. There are no young charismatic Democratic senators — other than the well-preserved, 65-year-old Harvard populist Elizabeth Warren — out to make a name, who can speak well and mirror image a Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Mario Rubio. Congressional-district gerrymandering that encourages ethnic chauvinism and hard-left polarization has almost ensured that there will not be another minority star, like Barack Obama, who can win crossover votes and statewide office as a springboard to the White House.
II. Her Turn
Two, Hillary Clinton, like a Walter Mondale, Bob Dole or John McCain, believes that it is finally her turn. In her case she lost in 2008 and loyally served the man who defeated and often humiliated her (“you’re likable enough, Hillary” Obama condescendingly remarked during a debate of Democratic presidential candidates in January of 2008).
She feels that she was robbed of a sure nomination by the upstart Obama, who cut in front of the line with his inane “hope and change” banalities and subtle race carding, as if racial chauvinism must always trump gender pandering. She blew a huge lead in the primaries, licked her wounds, and now it is time for the party to unite loyally behind her the way she did with Obama.
III. First Woman
Three, she thinks she can win largely on the issue of being the first woman president in the manner that Barack Obama milked his racially iconic status in lieu of a record. Her supporters believe that they can reignite the old wars: the Republican war on women, war on minorities, war on immigrants, war on the environment, war on the poor, war on everybody — and thereby galvanize the supposedly oppressed, as in 2008-2012, to register, turn out, and vote in lockstep in record numbers. Thereby they will more than make up for the millions of independents and white, blue-collar so-called Reagan Democrats that she will lose by such racial and gender histrionics.
V. Money, Money, Money…
Four, Hillary Clinton assumes that she can buy her way to the White House and trump even the Obama shakedowns of the one-percent elite. No one grubs money better than the Clintons, who have turned a so-so presidential foundation into a money-laundering machine for their global jetting and politicking.
Both Bill and Hillary have an uncanny insight into the very wealthy of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, the Upper West Side, and the Florida coast. They understand the formula: when many of the rich become very rich they no longer worry about high tax rates, either on the assurance that they have the capital and know-how to avoid them, or in the belief that that a 50% federal and state rate could hardly eat away much of their enormous pile. Huge federal redistributionist policies may fail and hurt the minorities and poor, but for now they are felt to be about the only insurance that the gates of the rich will not be stormed or their private schools and neighborhoods flooded.
The Clintons rightly sense that the one-percenters in certain fleeting moments feel awfully bad about their privilege. Thus they will feel much better about indulging their endless material appetites, if they give large tax-deductible contributions to the spread-the-wealth, help-the-helpless shtick of elite Democrats. The lifestyles of Hill and Bill over the last two decades reassure wealthy liberals that it is OK to wallow in the material good life as long as you pay occasional penance for such indulgence — and there is no better atonement than helping Hillary Clinton out in 2016 to speak truth to power. After all, with students facing $1 trillion in aggregate debt, Clinton marched into UCLA, check-listed some liberal nostrums for 30 minutes and walked away with $300,000 without a complaint — or about $165 in scarce university dollars for each second of her pieties. In other words, Hillary is running because she has invested enough in the past that the money will be harvested as never before in a presidential race.
‘Everyday Americans need a champion': Wealthy Hillary Clinton finally enters formal race to be president with video telling middle class voters ‘the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top’ of the economy
‘Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times,’ says the multimillionaire politician in a launch video
Her chief of staff stepped on her big moment with an email to donors saying, ‘I wanted to make sure you heard it first from me’
Clinton’s press office left an embarrassing typo in its press announcement, saying that she had ‘fought children and families all her career’
Official campaign website is full of biographical material but includes no policy statements or issue platforms
Republican Party fires its opening salvo: ‘Americans need a president they can trust and voters do not trust Hillary Clinton’
Hillary will start her ‘listening tour’ in Iowa and New Hampshire without huge fanfare, and then have a more formal launch event in May
Wunderkind campaign manager, 35, was a child when she was first lady and didn’t live through her defining White House scandals
By DAVID MARTOSKO
Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for president, leaning on a message of middle-class rescue and claims that America’s economy is ‘still stacked in favor of those at the top,’ according to a campaign video that went online Sunday afternoon.
‘I’m getting ready to do something,’ Clinton says in the brief ad, following a series of clips of ordinary-looking Americans describing what they’re ‘getting ready’ for.
‘I’m running for president,’ she says.
‘Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.’
That message is a daring one, given Clinton’s wealth. When she left the U.S. State Department in 2013, her financial disclosure report showed that her combined net worth with her husband was between $5.2 and $25.5 million. Millions more rolled in when she published her memoirs.
She famously claimed last year that she and former president Bill Clinton were ‘dead broke’ whenthey left the White House in 2001 – when they moved into a palatial home in a tree-lined New York City suburb.
Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta pushed a similar ‘middle-class’ message, but stepped on her announcement with his own email to a group of donors.
HILLARY’S TURN: Mrs Clinton is launching a second bid for president and would become America’s first female commander-in-chief if things go her way
PITCH: The former First Lady announced her run with a video that showed her interacting with citizens
DIVERSITY: The video makes a point of featuring same-sex couples, Hispanic citizens, parents and the elderly
SOFT LAUNCH: Hillary Clinton chief of staff John Podesta pre-empted Hillary’s big moment with an email to donors saying that the former first lady was running for the White House
SECOND TIME’S THE CHARM? Hillary crashed and burned in 2008 when Barack Obama, a little-known senator, streaked past her in Iowa and never looked back
‘I wanted to make sure you heard it first from me — it’s official: Hillary’s running for president,’ Podesta wrote.
He said the former secretary of state ‘is hitting the road to Iowa to start talking directly with voters. There will be a formal kickoff event next month.’
‘We need to make the middle class mean something again,’ Podesta’s email closed. ‘We can do this.’
From her mother’s own childhood – in which she was abandoned by her parents – to her work going door-to-door for the Children’s Defense Fund to her battling to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, she’s fought children and families all her career.
Clinton’s press office left an embarrassing typo in its press announcement, saying that she had ‘fought children and families all her career’
Podesta leads the Podesta Group, one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying firms. He was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama until February.
Clinton, too, is part of the upper-crust of America’s wealth pool, earning millions since she left public office.
The campaign’s internal schedule had called for a 12:00 p.m. tweet linked to a video, revealing the worst-kept secret in America to more than 3 million online followers. In reality, the big reveal was nearly two and a half hours late.
Clinton is entering the 2016 race without a splashy announcement of the kind that Republicans are staging for cheering throngs this month.
That strategy will help her skirt the kind of uncomfortable media questions that tend to dog anyone named Clinton.
There will be no press conferences, no grand speeches until at least early May, and few interviews.
Also missing: Her campaign website includes a lengthy biography but no discussion of issues, no policy platforms and no staked-out ideological territory.
Hillary for America, the official campaign organization, said in a statement that Clinton is ‘committed to spending the next 6 to 8 weeks in a “ramp up” period where her team will start to build a nation-wide grassroots organization, and she will spend her time engaging directly with voters.’
‘In May, once her supporters in all 50 states are organized for house parties or to watch over live-streams,’ the statement said, ‘Hillary will hold her first rally and deliver the speech to kick off her campaign.
In a sign of her campaign’s fundraising trajectory – her insiders are said to be eyeing a staggering $2.5 billion war chest – a political action committee called HillaryPAC had its first solicitation email out 18 minutes before the campaign’s own press release.
That announcement to reporters, perhaps finished in haste, included an embarrassing mistake in the omission of a key word.
Hillary, it said, has ‘fought children and families all her career.’
‘I’m running for President': Hillary Clinton enters 2016 race
BAGGAGE: Mrs. Clinton’s time in the Obama administration may be her albatross, including her stewardship of the State Department before, during and after the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya
TRANSCRIPT: HILLARY’S LAUNCH VIDEO – ‘GETTING STARTED’
Most of Clinton’s video announcement is composed of hopeful stories told by ordinary Americans – exactly the image she wants to project:
WOMAN TENDING A GARDEN: ‘It’s spring, so we’re starting to get the gardens ready, and my tomatoes are legendary here in my own neighborhood.’
MOTHER #1: ‘My daughter is about to start kindergarten next year, and so we’re moving so she can belong to a better school.’
LATINO MAN: ‘My brother and I are starting our first business.’
MOTHER #2: ‘After five years of raising my children, I am now going back to work.’
YOUNG WOMAN: ‘Every day we’re trying to get more and more ready and more prepared.’
HER HUSBAND: ‘Baby boy, coming your way.’
FEMALE STUDENT: ‘Right now I’m applying for jobs. It’s a look into what the real world will look like after college.’
SAME-SEX COUPLE: ‘I’m getting married this summer to someone I really care about.’
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILD: ‘I’m gonna be in the play, and I’m going to be in a fish costume. [Sings] From little tiny fishes…’
OLDER WOMAN: ‘I’m getting ready to retire soon. Retirement means reinventing yourself in many ways.’
WOMAN: ‘Well, we’ve been doing a lot of home renovations.’
HER HUSBAND: ‘But most importantly, we just want to teach our dog to quit eating the trash.’
WOMAN: ‘And so we have high hopes for 2015 that that’s going to happen.’
FACTORY WORKER: ‘I’ve started a new career recently. This is a fifth generation company, which means a lot to me. This country was founded on hard work, and it really feels good to be a part of that.’
HILLARY CLINTON: ‘I’m getting ready to do something too. I’m running for president. Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.
‘Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. So you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead, and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong.
‘So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote, because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.’
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic favorite, has a storied and rocky relationship with the press, one that sometimes brings out snippiness, mistrust and a temper that her handlers are loath to provoke.
But ‘Hillary’ sports a one-name celebrity ID, like Madonna or Beyonce; she doesn’t need the TV time to build name-recognition.
Republicans were quick on the trigger with their opening salvos.
‘Americans need a president they can trust and voters do not trust Hillary Clinton,’ Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
‘Over decades as a Washington insider, Clinton has left a trail of secrecy, scandal, and failed policies that can’t be erased from voters’ minds.’
‘The Clintons believe they can play by a different set of rules and think they’re above transparency, accountability, and ethics,’ Priebus said. ‘Our next president must represent a higher standard, and that is not Hillary Clinton.’
Ted Cruz, the fire-breathing Texas GOP senator who was the first major party candidate to join the race, blasted her in a Web video of his own.
‘Hillary Clinton represents the failed policies of the past,’ he said in the brief online ad, referring dismissively to the ‘Obama-Clinton foreign policy.’
‘There’s going to be a very clear choice to make in 2016. Does America want a third Obama term or are we ready for strong conservative leadership to make America great again?’
Carly Fiorina reacts to Hillary Clinton’s President announcement
Hillary Clinton camp announces her 2016 presidential run
With an announcement on social media, she picks up where she left off 7 years ago.
By ANNIE KARN Hillary Clinton on Sunday formally announced her second run for the White House, declaring on a new campaign website that “everyday Americans need a champion.” As part of the eagerly anticipated digital launch, Clinton debuted a slogan “New Adventures. Next Chapters.” and posted a video that hit on what are expected to be major themes of her campaign — middle-class empowerment and social equality issues.
Clinton’s camp previewed other parts of her kick-off. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, on Sunday emailed supporters and alumni of Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, saying that Clinton is hitting the road in Iowa to talk to voters. He also said that there will be a formal kickoff event next month.
The announcement marks an end to the first, awkward phase of Clinton’s roll-out — a non-campaign that has frustrated Democrats who were anxious for her to turn the ignition switch on a presidential run that the party is deeply invested in. “For months I’ve been getting calls from people who donate good money, asking when are we having an event, who are we writing a check to,” said Jay Jacobs, a prominent New York Democrat, and a longtime Clinton friend and fundraiser. “It’s completely topsy-turvy. The groundswell has been percolating for so long. This thing had to get going, I can’t imagine we could have waited much longer.” Clinton is the first candidate in the thin Democratic field to formally announce a 2016 run, and is unlikely to face any real challenge until the general election. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – the most likely candidates to run in a primary – would face a steep uphill climb against Clinton. Two party stalwarts who might pose a bigger threat, Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have given few signals they are planning to enter the race. The Republican field is shaping up more quickly, with Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul holding splashy events in recent weeks to declare their campaigns. Sen. Marco Rubio is due to hold his own kick-off event at the Freedom Tower in Miami on Monday evening, which threatens to be overshadowed by the intense media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s launch. For the past year, the former secretary of state has been treated like a candidate while lacking the structure around her to support one. That has led to some rusty moments as Clinton has sometimes painfully re-entered public life, outside of the State Department’s protective bubble. The missteps began on her high-profile international book tour. When pressed during an interview with Diane Sawyer last June about why she was spending her time delivering highly paid speeches, Clinton delivered a tin-eared answer: She said that she and President Bill Clinton were “dead broke” when they left the White House. Clinton — who has raked in more than $5 million on the paid speaking circuit since leaving Foggy Bottom and earned a reported $14 million advance on her latest book deal — admitted later that she regretted the comment and that it was “inartful.” But it fueled an emerging GOP storyline that she is out of touch with ordinary Americans. She was the subject of bruising headlines again last month after the New York Times reported that Clinton had relied solely on a private email server during her tenure at the State Department. Supporters were willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she wasn’t hiding official documents. But they were less forgiving of her clunky response.
“It took eight days to provide a pretty straight forward simple answer,” said one Clinton insider, referring to her press conference at the United Nations, where she finally addressed the issue. “All of us thought, why didn’t you give that
a day and a half after?”
Other Clinton backers considered the past year a useful proving ground. “She was bound to be rusty,” one insider said. “She’d been insulated and protected.” Clinton’s time on the paid speaking circuit has enabled her to hone a campaign stump speech: in recent months, she has been highlighting her decades-long record fighting for women’s rights and supporting equal pay and legislation like paid sick leave. The speeches, in controlled environments filled with supporters, have provided Clinton with the opportunity for a soft launch before entering the fray. As expected, Clinton’s formal entrance into the race immediately unleashed Republican attacks. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who is expected to launch his own campaign in the coming weeks, released a video Sunday morning linking Clinton to Obama’s presidency. “We must to do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies,” Bush said. “Better than their failed, big-government policies that grow our debt and stand in the way of real economic growth and prosperity.” Rand Paul also jumped in, jabbing at both Clinton’s use of private email and the foreign money that has freely flowed to the Clinton Foundation. “It’s going to be hard for her to say she’s for women’s rights when she’s accepting money from sort of stone-age sort of regimes that really abuse the rights of women,” said Paul on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” She faces some skepticism from the left, too, for her perceived closeness to Wall Street and her husband’s deregulatory moves during his presidency. On Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a progressive who managed Clinton’s successful 2000 Senate campaign, declined a chance to endorse her. “Like a lot of people in this country, I want to see a vision,” de Blasio said on Meet the Press. When asked if he was endorsing Clinton, he demurred: “Not until I see — and I would say this about any candidate — till I see an actual vision of where they want to go.” In assembling a campaign team and vision — for an effort many close to Clinton estimate will raise and spend $1.5-to-$2 billion — Clinton has been careful to learn from the mistakes that marred her 2008 bid against Barack Obama. In a mission statement handed out to the team Saturday, campaign manager Robby Mook outlined how important it will be for the team to operate as a unified team, and as a diverse “family.” The memo’s point was clear: Mook and senior staffers are determined to set a collaborative tone — a sharp contrast from the last campaign, when Clinton’s operation was crippled by infighting and discord among the top aides. The memo also reminded staffers of one of the campaign’s animating themes: that the election “is not about Hillary Clinton and not about us — it’s about the everyday Americans who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families.” That point was lost during the 2008 run, which carried the scent of coronation and when even Clinton’s first official announcement had a imperious and self-centered ring to it: “I’m in, and I’m in to win.” Even as Clinton seeks a fresh start, she has many supporters who have been waiting for her to run again since the day she lost. “There are 18 million people who have been ready since June 3, 2008,” said Jeffrey Campagna, who served on Clinton’s 2008 finance committee and LGBT steering committee. The official announcement “means everybody can press send — everybody has mailing lists, everybody has social networks.” President Obama, Clinton’s one-time rival, offered support Saturday at a press conference in Panama. “She was a formidable candidate in 2008,” Obama said. “She was a great supporter of mine in the general election. She was an outstanding secretary of state. She is my friend. I think she would be an excellent president. And I’m not on the ballot. So I’m not gonna step on her lines.” He added: “The one thing I can say is she’s going to be able to handle herself very well in a conversation or debates around foreign policy. And her track record with respect to domestic policy is I think one that cares about working families.” Many of Clinton’s allies admit they would have preferred a shorter campaign, and would have liked to delay her official entry into the race for as long as possible, but they realize that has become impossible as the anticipation of her run got ahead of her. “The race has already begun, the coverage has already begun, she has to be part of the debate right now,” said New York labor leader Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a labor group that endorsed Clinton in 2008. “It’s going to be long and intense.” Clinton’s official announcement also marks the official end for Ready for Hillary, the independent super PAC that for two years has been building grassroots support for Clinton’s run. “People have wanted it to be real for two years,” said Tracy Sefl, a senior advisor to Ready for Hillary. And while some supporters have expressed skepticism in recent days about a digital launch, fearing it would do little to humanize Clinton, Sefl said she supported the approach. “There is something symbolic and also very real about going to the middle of the country to talk about the middle class and issues that people care about, which don’t have to do with Beltway/Acela corridor stuff,” she said. “She’s going to the middle of the country to talk about the middle class. It seems perfect.”
Second shot: Hillary Clinton running again for president
By KEN THOMAS and LISA LERER Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, announcing her much-awaited second campaign for the White House. “Everyday Americans need a champion. I want to be that champion,” she said. As she did in 2007, Clinton began her campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination with a video. But rather than follow it with a splashy rally, she instead plans to head to the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, looking to connect with voters directly at coffee shops, day care centers and some private homes. “So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote. Because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey,” Clinton said at the end of a video, which features a series of men, women and children describing their aspirations. This voter-centric approach was picked with a purpose, to show that Clinton is not taking the nomination for granted. Only after about a month of such events will Clinton will give a broader speech outlining more specifics about her rationale for running. The former secretary of state, senator and first lady enters the race in a strong position to succeed her rival from the 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama. Her message will focus on strengthening economic security for the middle class and expanding opportunities for working families. The campaign is portraying her as a “tenacious fighter” who can get results and work with Congress, business and world leaders. Clinton’s strategy, described ahead of the announcement by two senior advisers who requested anonymity to discuss her plans, has parallels to the approach Obama took in 2012. He framed his re-election as a choice between Democrats focused on the middle class and Republicans who sought to protect the wealthy and return to policies that led the country into recession. Clinton will face pressure from the progressive wing of her party to adopt a more populist economic message focused on income inequality. Some liberals remain skeptical of Clinton’s close ties to Wall Street donors and the centrist economic policies of her husband’s administration. They have urged her to back tougher financial regulations and tax increases on the wealthy. “It would do her well electorally to be firmly on the side of average working people who are working harder than ever and still not getting ahead,” said economist Robert Reich, a former labor secretary during the Clinton administration who has known Hillary Clinton for nearly five decades.
The GOP did not wait for her announcement to begin their campaign against her. The party’s chairman, Reince Priebus, has outlined plans for a broad effort to try to undermine her record as secretary of state while arguing that her election would be like giving Obama a “third term.” Republicans have jumped on Clinton’s use of a personal email account and server while she was secretary of state, as well as her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in his own online video, said Sunday: “We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies.” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who launched his presidential campaign last week, also pointed to the Clinton family’s foundation, which has drawn criticism from Republicans for raising money from foreign governments. Paul said it was hypocritical for the foundation to accept money from Saudi Arabia, which places public restrictions on the movement and activity of women, while Clinton carries forward with her long-standing effort to improve in women’s rights. “I would expect Hillary Clinton if she believes in women’s rights, she should be calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia,” Paul said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Instead, she’s accepting tens of millions of dollars.” Clinton is the first Democrat to get into the race, but there are some lower-profile Democrats considering challenging her, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. The party’s nominee will have to overcome history to win election. In the last half-century, the same party has held the White House for three consecutive terms only once, during the administrations of Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150412/us–dem_2016-clinton-26aa04a860.html The 2016 campaign is likely to be the most expensive in history, with total spending on both sides expected to well exceed the $1 billion spent four years ago. This weekend, Clinton campaign fundraisers escalated their outreach to Democratic donors, who largely back her bid, with a flurry of phone calls urging them to donate as soon as possible. Clinton’s formal entrance into the race also triggered the start of more aggressive fundraising by Democratic outside super political action committees such as Priorities USA Action that have been reorganized to promote her campaign. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150412/us–dem_2016-clinton-26aa04a860.html
WHEN my brother Michael was a Senate page, he delivered mail to John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, who had offices across the hall from each other.
He recalled that Kennedy never looked up or acknowledged his presence, but Nixon would greet him with a huge smile. “Hi, Mike,” he’d say. “How are you doing? How’s the family?”
It seemed a bit counterintuitive, especially since my dad, a D.C. police inspector in charge of Senate security, was a huge Kennedy booster. (The two prominent pictures in our house were of the Mona Lisa and J.F.K.) But after puzzling over it, I finally decided that J.F.K. had the sort of magnetism that could ensorcell big crowds, so he did not need to squander it on mail boys. Nixon, on the other hand, lacked large-scale magnetism, so he needed to work hard to charm people one by one, even mail boys.
Hillary Clinton has always tried to be more like the Democratic president she lived with in the White House, to figure out how he spins the magic. “I never realized how good Bill was at this until I tried to do it,” she once told her adviser, Harold Ickes. But she ends up being compared with the Republican president she investigated as a young lawyer for the House Judiciary’s Watergate investigation.
Her paranoia, secrecy, scandals and disappearing act with emails from her time as secretary of state have inspired a cascade of comparisons with Nixon.
Pat Buchanan, a former Nixon adviser, bluntly told Jason Zengerle recentlyin New York magazine: “She reminds me of Nixon,” another pol who’s more comfortable behind the scenes than grinding it out in the arena.
As Hillary finally admits the axiomatic — she wants to be president — she will take the Nixon approach, trying to charm people one by one in the early states for 2016, an acknowledgement that she cannot emulate the wholesale allure of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.
That reality hit her in 2008, when throngs waited hours to get in to hear The One. “Enough with the speeches and the big rallies,” a frustrated Hillary cried out to a Cincinnati crowd.
Hillary’s team plans to schedule low-key events where she can mingle with actual voters. “I think it’s important, and Hillary does, too, that she go out there as if she’s never run for anything before and establish her connection with the voters,” Bill Clinton told Town & Country for a cover story.
The Big Dog, who got off his leash last time in South Carolina, said he will start small as well, noting: “My role should primarily be as a backstage adviser to her until we get much, much closer to the election.”
Democratic strategists and advisers told The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan and Dan Balz that “the go-slow, go-small strategy” plays to her strengths, “allowing her to meet voters in intimate settings where her humor, humility and policy expertise can show through.”
As the old maxim goes, if you can fake humility, you’ve got it made. Butseeing Rahm and Hillary do it in the same season might be too much to take.
President Obama has said: “If she’s her wonderful self, I’m sure she’s going to do great.” But which self is that?
Instead of a chilly, scripted, entitled policy wonk, as in 2008, Hillary plans to be a warm, spontaneous, scrappy fighter for average Americans. Instead of a woman campaigning like a man, as in 2008, she will try to stir crowds with the idea of being the first woman president. Instead of haughtily blowing off the press, as in 2008, she will make an effort to play nice.
SECOND SHOT: HILLARY CLINTON RUNNING AGAIN FOR PRESIDENT
BY KEN THOMAS AND LISA LERER
Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, announcing her much-awaited second campaign for the White House. “Everyday Americans need a champion. I want to be that champion,” she said.
As she did in 2007, Clinton began her campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination with a video. But rather than follow it with a splashy rally, she instead plans to head to the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, looking to connect with voters directly at coffee shops, day care centers and some private homes.
“So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote. Because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey,” Clinton said at the end of a video, which features a series of men, women and children describing their aspirations.
This voter-centric approach was picked with a purpose, to show that Clinton is not taking the nomination for granted. Only after about a month of such events will Clinton will give a broader speech outlining more specifics about her rationale for running.
The former secretary of state, senator and first lady enters the race in a strong position to succeed her rival from the 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama.
Her message will focus on strengthening economic security for the middle class and expanding opportunities for working families. The campaign is portraying her as a “tenacious fighter” who can get results and work with Congress, business and world leaders.
“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion,” she said in the video.
“So you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong.”
Clinton’s strategy, described ahead of the announcement by two senior advisers who requested anonymity to discuss her plans, has parallels to Obama’s approach in 2012. He framed his re-election as a choice between Democrats focused on the middle class and Republicans who sought to protect the wealthy and return to policies that led the country into recession.
Clinton will face pressure from the progressive wing of her party to adopt a more populist economic message focused on income inequality. Some liberals remain skeptical of Clinton’s close ties to Wall Street donors and the centrist economic policies of her husband’s administration. They have urged her to back tougher financial regulations and tax increases on the wealthy.
“It would do her well electorally to be firmly on the side of average working people who are working harder than ever and still not getting ahead,” said economist Robert Reich, a former labor secretary during the Clinton administration who has known Hillary Clinton for nearly five decades.
The GOP did not wait for her announcement to begin their campaign against her. The party’s chairman, Reince Priebus, has outlined plans for a broad effort to try to undermine her record as secretary of state while arguing that her election would be like giving Obama a “third term.”
Republicans have jumped on Clinton’s use of a personal email account and server while she was secretary of state, as well as her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in his own online video, said Sunday: “We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who launched his presidential campaign last week, also pointed to the Clinton family’s foundation, which has drawn criticism from Republicans for raising money from foreign governments.
Paul said it was hypocritical for the foundation to accept money from Saudi Arabia, which places public restrictions on the movement and activity of women, while Clinton carries forward with her long-standing effort to improve in women’s rights.
“I would expect Hillary Clinton if she believes in women’s rights, she should be calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia,” Paul said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” `’Instead, she’s accepting tens of millions of dollars.”
Clinton is the first Democrat to get into the race, but there are some lower-profile Democrats considering challenging her, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
The party’s nominee will have to overcome history to win election. In the last half-century, the same party has held the White House for three consecutive terms only once, during the administrations of Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
The 2016 campaign is likely to be the most expensive in history, with total spending on both sides expected to well exceed the $1 billion spent four years ago. This weekend, Clinton campaign fundraisers escalated their outreach to Democratic donors, who largely back her bid, with a flurry of phone calls urging them to donate as soon as possible.
Clinton’s formal entrance into the race also triggered the start of more aggressive fundraising by Democratic outside super political action committees such as Priorities USA Action that have been reorganized to promote her campaign.
Many voters will hold their noses but still pull the lever for Clinton. As Hillary Clinton famously said, “What difference at this point does it make?”
The difference is that half of Americans believe the other half are insane if they vote the Clintons back into the White House. The sane voters know that Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy and represents all that is wrong with Washington.
We know that she carries more baggage than an airport luggage carousel. Hillary is a 20th-century politician, and as of yesterday her lame new 21st-century video message is, “I’m hitting the road to earn your vote because it’s your time, and I hope you’ll join me on this journey.” (Perhaps instead she should run for president of Greyhound?)
Even our Democratic friends cannot name a single real accomplishment by Hillary Clinton.
We all know that if she were a man, she would be long past her political expiration date. But despite all that (topped off by her botched announcement), here are five reasons why Hillary Clinton is likely to be elected the 45th president of the United States. Any one of these five factors gives her a huge advantage over whoever the Republican nominee may be, and, taken together, they make her victory almost inevitable (barring some major campaign catastrophe).
First Female President Hillary’s official announcement video was devoid of a clear campaign message — but does she really need one other than, “It’s time for a woman president”?
Running as a historic candidate will be her default position — with her mantra being that “It’s time,” rather than that it’s her time. And she will downplay, of course, the fact that her last attempt was hijacked by the first African-American nominee. Writing as a Republican baby-boomer woman, I cannot emphasize enough how emotionally rewarding it would be for Democratic and Independent baby-boomer women to elect the first female president.
Older women feel this way too — my 89-year-old mother in her nursing home recently spoke these exact words: “It’s time for a woman president.” And those raised on girl power — women aged 50 and younger, who twice helped elect President Obama — are the most rah-rah for “It’s time.” For the record, in 2012 53 percent of all voters were women. In that election, President Obama won this group by an 11-point margin — 55 to 44 percent — over GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Hillary is banking on surpassing those numbers just by having her name on the ballot. Therefore, any Republican pundit or pollster who downplays the true meaning and potential of Hillary’s historic candidacy is being untruthful, or has his head in the sand. The Electoral College Is the GOP’s Worst Enemy Our constitutionally mandated Electoral College has evolved to a point where it is slanted in favor of the Democratic party’s nominee. If Hillary is indeed the 2016 Democratic nominee, all she has to do to win the necessary 270 electoral votes is sustain the historic equation outlined in my November National Review piece “Breaking the Blue Barrier.”
That equation is: 1992 + 1988 + Florida = a Democrat in the White House. That first number represents the ten states with a total of 152 electoral votes that have been won by every Democratic presidential nominee since 1992.
The second number represents the nine states with a total of 90 electoral votes that have been won by every Democratic presidential nominee since 1988. Together, those states command 242 electoral votes.
Thus, if Hillary follows the Electoral College precedent that has held since 1992 and also wins Florida, with its 29 electoral votes (or any combination of states yielding 28 votes), Bill Clinton would be elected First Dude. (Mothers, hide your daughters!) Florida, need I remind you, was won by Obama, though by small margins, in both 2008 and 2012, ensuring that in 2016 Mrs. Clinton will become a de facto resident of the Sunshine State. Obama’s Third Term
There has been much talk about Hillary either winning or losing Obama’s “third term.” My theory is that she will find a way to take only what she needs and jettison the rest. And what she needs is Obama’s winning voter coalition of women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, voters aged 18 to 44, voters with incomes under $50,000, and those belonging to a union. It is no coincidence that Hillary’s high command is stacked with seasoned veterans from Obama’s two campaigns who are adept at delivering these voter groups.
Additionally, the CEO of Hillary 2016 is John Podesta, who was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and who was “counselor to the president” in Obama’s White House until he stepped down in February. Podesta, known as one of Washington’s fiercest political operators, was also the mastermind behind Obama’s excessive use of executive orders. Now, Republicans, get ready for some astounding news: President Obama’s current job approval rating stands at 45.3 percent, with a 50.3 percent disapproval rating, according to Real Clear Politics.
These are highly respectable approval numbers for a seventh presidential year, which explains the following paragraph from yesterday’s New York Times: “Mrs. Clinton and her team have decided that, on balance, the risk of lining up near Mr. Obama’s record is worth taking.
Rather than run from Mr. Obama, she intends to turn to him as one of her campaign’s most important allies and advocates — second only, perhaps, to her husband, the other president whose record will hover over her bid.” This brings us to Hillary’s advantage number four: Bill Clinton’s Third Term Revolting as that sounds to Republican ears, here is a Washington Post headline from March 13: “Bill Clinton is incredibly popular. How much will that help Hillary’s 2016 campaign?”
The piece reported: “Bill Clinton is almost certainly the most popular person in American politics. A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll showed that 56 percent of people have a positive view of the former president while just 26 percent hold a negative one.”
The article continues, referring to Bill Clinton: “‘The campaigner in chief is always more an asset than anything,’ said Jef Pollock, a New York–based Democratic pollster. ‘He’s good for money, he’s good for strategy, and he’s good for turnout. That’s the holy trinity of good campaigning.’”
Therefore, Hillary will have the unusual advantage of running for both Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s “third term.” Watch her switch back and forth between the achievements (real or imagined) of the former and current presidents whenever it makes good political sense.
In turn, the 42nd and 44th presidents will each campaign and fundraise for Hillary in places and to groups where they are most popular. You can just hear each of them say, “A vote for Hillary is a vote for me,” and the crowd will go wild. Republicans and the General-Election Curse In five out of the past six presidential elections, starting with 1992, Republicans have lost the popular vote.
The key for a 2016 GOP victory will be to nominate a candidate who can attract a winning coalition of voter groups beyond those won by Mitt Romney in 2012.
Here are the groups won by Romney over Obama:
• Whites: 59 to 39 percent • Men: 52 to 45 percent
• Voters aged 45 to 64: 51 to 47 percent • Voters aged 65 and over: 56 to 44 percent
• College graduates: 51 to 47 percent (interestingly, Romney lost postgraduate-educated voters to Obama 42 to 55 percent)
• Voters with incomes between $50,000 and $90,000: 52 to 46 percent.
• Voters with incomes of $100,000 and over: 54 to 44 percent. MORE HILLARY CLINTON ON THE ROAD WITH HILLARY CLINTON SNL’S HILLARY ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO SPOOF INCLUDED A BILL CAMEO HOW TO DEFEAT HILLARY
The trouble is that older, whiter, richer male college graduates — the kind of voters who show up for midterm elections and vote Republican — are overwhelmed by the sheer number of female, younger, poorer, less educated, and less white voters who tend to flood the polls in presidential-election years.
And, as I mentioned earlier, Clinton will target these same voter groups as she tries to assemble the coalition that gave Obama his two victories.
Finally, anything can happen, and much will, between now and November 8, 2016. However, these five factors will likely form the foundation of Hillary Clinton’s victory (even though many of her voters will be holding their noses). In addition, many low-information voters will pull the Clinton lever because they have been led to believe that a Republican alternative is far more dangerous than letting Bill and Hill back in the White House.
Now, friends, please don’t shoot the messenger. Just tell me why I am wrong.
Story 1: Rand Paul Running — Libertarian and Fiscal Conservative Republicans and Independents Will Vote For Him — Big Government Republicans, Neoconservatives and Progressive Democrats Demonize and Fear Him — Can He Beat Senator Ted Cruz? — Time Will Tell — Two Clues For Rand Paul — Videos
Freedom lies in being bold.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Rand Paul 2016 Speech – Senator Rand Paul Announces Running For U.S. President |FULL SPEECH
One-On-One With GOP Presidential Candidate Kentucky Rand Paul America & Israel – Hannity
RAND PAUL Explains LIBERTARIANISM
Rand Paul: Republicans Can Only Win if “They Become More Live and Let Live”
Why is Rand Paul the right choice for America? Rand Paul 2016.
Three Clues For Rand Paul
FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)
America faces one of the greatest perils to her future: our broken economic engine. A simple tune-up won’t fix the problem. The FairTax would fuel economic growth, investment, and job creation throughout the nation. Learn why the FairTax will fuel our economic engine and create jobs.
“The Case for the Fair Tax”
John E. Linder
Former U.S. Representative
Co-author, “The Fair Tax Book”
Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
The Truth About Immigration: What They Won’t Tell You!
The Presidential Contenders: Rand Paul
Pence on the Fair Tax
The Presidential Contenders: Gov. Mike Pence
Scoring the Immigration Reform Bill: An Analysis of the CBO’s Numbers
Milton Friedman on Libertarianism (Part 4 of 4)
TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism
Milton Friedman – Welfare State Dynamics
Milton Friedman – Illegal Immigration only helps when its Illegal
Dan Mitchell explains the fair tax
Flat Tax vs. National Sales Tax
How does the FairTax affect the economy?
How is the FairTax collected?
Why is the FairTax better than a flat income tax?
If people bring home their whole paychecks how can prices fall?
How does the “prebate” work?
Are any significant economies funded by a sales tax?
Will the FairTax hurt home ownership with no mortgage interest deduction?
Krauthammer’s Take: Rand Paul is the 2016 Candidate Closest to Obama on Foreign Policy
Judge Napolitano: Why Taxation is Theft, Abortion is Murder, & Gov’t is Dangerous
Ferguson and Napolitano – When “Fiscal” Conservatives Agree – Americas Debt Crisis
Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson and U.S. Federal Court Judge Andrew Napolitano would seem to be at odds on many topics. One they agree with is the spending of the U.S. government and the lack of fiscal responsibility. See how they explain the debt problem in the U.S. and the ways in which this crisis is harming america. Is the Obama administration oblivious, or not caring, when it comes to borrowing money to support social programs and defense spending? Will the Democrats and Republicans come together in time to defeat the massive overspending and budget deficit? See what these two men have to say.
Libertarianism | Murray N. Rothbard
Murray Rothbard: Six Stages of the Libertarian Movement
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
Why Neocons Won’t Be Too Pleased With Rand Paul’s Speech
Rand Paul takes aim at “war hawk” Hillary Clinton – Fox News Special Report
The Secret To Rand Paul’s Success
Judge Napolitano: Rand Paul Can Lead Us To An Era Of Prosperity, Happiness & Small Government
Who is the ideal presidential candidate?
Transcript: Read Full Text of Sen. Rand Paul’s Campaign Launch
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul launched his presidential campaign in Louisville Tuesday.
I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to take our country back.
We have come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank, the special interests that are more concerned with their personal welfare than the general welfare.
The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped.
Less than five years ago I stood just down the road in home town in Bowling Green and said those same words. I wasn’t supposed to win, no one thought I would.
PHOTOS: ON THE ROAD WITH RAND PAUL
Charles Ommanney for TIME
Senator Rand Paul talks to voters at the Horry County Republican Party in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Sept. 30th, 2014.
Some people asked me, then why are you running? The answer is the same now as it was then. I have a vision for America. I want to be part of a return to prosperity, a true economic boom that lists all Americans, a return to a government restrained by the Constitution.
A return to privacy, opportunity, liberty. Too often when Republicans have won we have squandered our victory by becoming part of the Washington machine. That’s not who I am.
That’s not why I ran for office the first time just a few years ago. The truth is, I love my life as a small-town doctor. Every day I woke up, I felt lucky to be able to do the things I loved. More importantly, I was blessed to be able to do things that made a difference in people’s lives.
I never could have done any of this, though, without the help of my parents who are here today. I’d like you to join me and thank my mother and dad.
With my parents’ help, I was able to make it through long years of medical training to become an eye surgeon. For me there is nothing that compares with helping someone see better. Last August I was privileged to travel to Guatemala on a medical mission trip together with a team of surgeons from across the U.S.
We operated on more than 200 people who were blind or nearly blind from cataracts. I was grateful to be able to put my scrubs back on, peer into the oculars of the microscope, and focus on the task at hand, to take a surgical approach to fix a problem.
One day in Guatemala, a man arrived and told me that I’d operated on his wife the day before. His wife could see clearly for the first time in years, and she had begged him to get on the bus, travel the winding roads and come back to our surgery center. He too was nearly blind from hardened cataracts.
After his surgery, the next day, his wife sat next to me. As I unveiled the patch from his eyes, it was a powerful emotional moment for me to see them looking at each other clearly for the first time years to see the face they loved again.
As I saw the joy in their eyes, I thought, “This is why I became a doctor.”
In that moment, I also remembered my grandmother, who inspired me to become an eye surgeon. She spent hours with me as a kid. We would sort through her old coin collection, looking for wheat pennies and Indian heads. But as her vision began to fail, I became her eyes to inspect the faintness of the mint marks on the old weather-worn coins.
I went with my grandmother to the ophthalmologist as she had her corneas replaced. I was also with her when she received the sad news that macular generation had done irreparable harm to her eyes.
My hope… my hope that my grandmother would see again made me want to become an eye surgeon, to make a difference in people’s lives.
I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been able to enjoy the American Dream.
I worry, though, that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters. As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, “What kind of America will our grandchildren see”?
It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame.
Big government and debt doubled under a Republican administration.
And it’s now tripling under Barack Obama’s watch. President Obama is on course to add more debt than all of the previous presidents combined.
We borrow a million dollars a minute. This vast accumulation of debt threatens not just our economy, but our security.
We can wake up now and do the right thing. Quit spending money we don’t have.
This message of liberty is for all Americans, Americans from all walks of life. The message of liberty, opportunity and justice is for all Americans, whether you wear a suit, a uniform or overalls, whether you’re white or black, rich or poor.
In order to restore America, one thing is for certain, though: We cannot, we must not dilute our message or give up on our principles.
If we nominate a candidate who is simply Democrat Light, what’s the point?
We need to boldly proclaim our vision for America. We need to go boldly forth under the banner of liberty that clutches the Constitution in one hand and the Bill of Rights in the other.
Washington is horribly broken. I fear it can’t be fixed from within. We the people must rise up and demand action.
Congress will never balance the budget unless you force them to do so. Congress has an abysmal record with balancing anything. Our only recourse is to force Congress to balance the budget with a constitutional amendment.
I have been to Washington, and let me tell you, there is no monopoly on knowledge there.
I ran for office because we have too many career politicians. I believe it now more than ever.
We limit the President to two terms. It’s about time we limit the terms of Congress!
I want to reform Washington. I want common sense rules that will break the logjam in Congress.
That’s why I introduced a Read the Bills Act.
The bills are thousands of pages long. And no one reads them. They are often plopped on our desks only a few hours before a vote.
I’ve proposed something truly extraordinary — Let’s read the bills, every page!
The bills are 1,000 pages long and no one reads them. They are often plopped on our desk with only a few hours before a vote, so I propose something truly extraordinary. Let’s read the bills every day.
From the time I was a very young boy I was taught to love and appreciate America. Love of liberty pulses in my veins not because we have beautiful mountains or white sand beaches, although we do, and not because of our abundance of resources. It’s more visceral than that. Our great nation was founded upon the extraordinary notion that government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized.
America, to me, is that beacon. We are unique among the nations that our — that our country stands for freedom. Freedom nurtured our country from a rebellious group of colonies into the world’s greatest nation.
When tyranny threatened the world America led the way to rid the world of Nazis and fascist regimes. Resolutely we stood decade after decade against Communism, the engine of capitalism finally winning out against the sputtering, incompetent engine of socialism.
We won the Cold War.
America and freedom are so intertwined that people literally are dying to come here. The freedom we have fostered in America have unleashed genius and advancement like never before. Yet our great nation still needs new ideas and new answers to old problems.
From an early age I worked. I taught swimming lessons, I mowed lawns, I did landscaping, I put roofs on houses, I painted houses. I never saw work though as punishment. Who always gave me a sense of who I am.
Self-esteem cant be given; it must be earned.
Work is not punishment; work is the reward.
Two of my sons work minimum wage jobs while they go to college. I am proud of them as I see them realize the value of hard work. I can see their self-esteem grow as they cash their paychecks. I have a vision for America where everyone who wants to work will have a job.
Many Americans though are being left behind. The reward of work seems beyond their grasp. Under the watch of both parties, the poor seem to get poorer and the rich get richer. Trillion-dollar government stimulus packages has only widened the income gap.
Politically connected crones get taxpayer dollars by the hundreds of millions and poor families across America continue to suffer. I have a different vision, an ambitious vision, an ambitious vision, a vision that will offer opportunity to all Americans, especially those who have been left behind.
My plan includes economic freedom zones to allow impoverished areas like Detroit, West Louisville, Eastern Kentucky to prosper by leaving more money in the pockets of the people who live there.
Can you imagine what a billion-dollar stimulus could do for Detroit or for Appalachia? I’m convinced that most Americans want to work. I want to free up the great engine of American prosperity.
I want to see millions of Americans back at work. In my vision for America, we’ll bring back manufacturing jobs that pay well. How? We’ll dramatically lower the tax on American companies that wish to bring their profits home.
More than $2 trillion in American profit currently sits overseas. In my vision for America, new highways and bridges will be built across the country, not by raising your taxes, but by lowering the tax to bring this American profit home.
Even in this polarized Congress, we have a chance of passing this. I say let’s bring $2 trillion home to America, let’s bring it home now.
Liberal policies have failed our inner cities. Let’s just get the facts straight. They have failed our inner cities. Our schools are not equal, and the poverty gap continues to widen. Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas. He described them as two starkly different American experiences that exist side-by-side.
In one in America, people experience the opportunity of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the other America, people experience a daily ugliness that dashes hope and leaves only the fatigue of despair.
Although I was born into the America that experiences and believes in opportunity, my trips to Detroit, to Appalachia, to Chicago have revealed what I call an undercurrent of unease.
It’s time for a new way, a way predicated on justice, opportunity and freedom.
Those of us who have enjoyed the American dream must break down the wall that separates us from the other America. I want all our children to have the same opportunities that I had. We need to stop limiting kids in poor neighborhoods to failing public schools and offer them school choice.
It won’t happen, though, unless we realize that we can’t borrow our way to prosperity. Currently some $3 trillion comes into the U.S. Treasury. Couldn’t the country just survive on $3 trillion?
I propose we do something extraordinary. Let’s just spend what comes in.
In my vision for America, freedom and prosperity at home can only be achieved if we defend against enemies who are dead set on attacking us.
Without question we must defend ourselves and American interests from our enemies, but until we name the enemy, we can’t win the war.
The enemy is radical Islam. You can’t get around it.
And not only will I name the enemy, I will do whatever it takes to defend America from these haters of mankind.
We need a national defense robust enough to defend against all attack, modern enough to deter all enemies, and nimble enough to defend our vital interests. But we also need a foreign policy that protects American interests and encourages stability, not chaos.
At home, conservatives understand that government is the problem, not the solution.
Conservatives should not succumb, though, to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow succeed in building nations abroad.
I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable and unencumbered by overseas nation-building.
I envision a national defense that promotes, as Reagan put it, peace through strength.
I believe in applying Reagan’s approach to foreign policy to the Iran issue. Successful negotiations with untrustworthy adversaries are only achieved from a position of strength.
We’ve brought Iran to the table through sanctions that I voted for. Now we must stay strong. That’s why I’ve cosponsored legislation that ensures that any deal between the U.S. and Iran must be approved by Congress.
Not — not only is that good policy, it’s the law.
It concerns me that the Iranians have a different interpretation of the agreement. They’re putting out statement that say completely the opposite of what we’re saying. It concerns me that we may attempt, or the president may attempt, to unilaterally and prematurely halt sanctions.
I will oppose any deal that does not end Iran’s nuclear ambitions and have strong verification measures.
And I will insist that the final version be brought before Congress.
The difference between President Obama and myself, he seems to think you can negotiate from a position of weakness. Yet everyone needs to realize that negotiations are not inherently bad. The trust (inaudible) verify is required in any negotiation, but then our goal always should be and always is peace, not war.
We must realize, though, that we do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send it to Pakistan.
Let’s quit building bridges in foreign countries and use that money to build some bridges here at home.
It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting “Death to America” in countries that receive millions of dollars in our foreign aid.
I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America.
To defend our country, we do need to gather intelligence on the enemy. But when the intelligence director is not punished for lying under oath, how are we to trust our government agencies?
Warrantless searches of Americans’ phones and computer records are un-American and a threat to our civil liberties.
I say that your phone records are yours. I say the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business.
Is this where we light up the phones?
The president created this vast dragnet by executive order. And as president on day one, I will immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance.
I believe we can have liberty and security and I will not compromise your liberty for a false sense of security, not now, not ever.
We must defend ourselves, but we must never give up who we are as a people. We must never diminish the Bill of Rights as we fight this long war against evil. We must believe in our founding documents. We must protect economic and personal liberty again.
America has much greatness left in her. We are still exceptional and we are still a beacon for the world. We will thrive when we believe in ourselves again.
I see an America strong enough to deter foreign aggression, yet wise enough to avoid unnecessary intervention.
I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.
I see an America with a restrained IRS that cannot target, cannot harass American citizens for their political or religious beliefs.
I see our big cities once again shining and beckoning with creativity and ingenuity, with American companies offering American jobs. With your help, this message will ring from coast to coast, a message of liberty, justice and personal responsibility. Today begins the journey to take America back.
To rescue a great country now adrift, join me as together we seek a new vision for America. Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America.