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August 1, 2014

U.S. Centers for Disease Control brings Ebola to the U.S.

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta plans to treat an American aid worker in Africa who has been diagnosed with Ebola, officials at the hospital said Thursday.

Two American aid workers are suffering from Ebola in Liberia. However, the hospital said it could not identify the expected patient due to privacy laws.

It would be the first time the disease is brought into the country.

The officials say the hospital has a special isolation unit that was built in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that's used to treat people with certain serious infectious diseases.

The unit is physically separate from other areas, and hospital officials say staff are trained and fully prepared to care for the patient. The patient's identity hasn't been released because of privacy laws. More   Ebola 'moving faster than efforts to control it': WHO warn virus could spread to other countries causing 'catastrophic' loss of life

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July 31, 2014

Border crisis bill dies in House

Emergency legislation meant to address the border crisis abruptly was abandoned Thursday afternoon in the House, after Republican leaders were unable to round up enough support to pass it.

Fox News is told lawmakers plan to leave for the August recess without voting on the measure. Sources said GOP leaders were "way short" of the votes they needed, with conservative lawmakers joining Democrats in refusing to back the package.

The Senate still has a border bill on its plate, but without action in the House it appears Congress cannot approve any border legislation at least until after the five-week recess.

A joint statement from House Republican leaders said the "situation shows the intense concern within our conference -- and among the American people -- about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president's refusal to faithfully execute our laws." More

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Sheila Jackson Lee: Congresswoman Who Co-Sponsored Bush Impeachment Bill Says Democrats Never Tried To Impeach Bush

During a floor speech on Wednesday night, Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee voiced her opposition to the House Republican lawsuit against President Barack Obama and said that Democrats had never moved to impeach former President George W. Bush when he was in office.

“A historical fact that President Bush pushed this nation into a war that had little to do with apprehending terrorists,” Jackson Lee said. “We did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority.”

It’s an odd thing for Jackson Lee to say, because it was just six years ago that she helped lead a movement to impeach Bush by co-sponsoring a bill accusing him of high crimes and misdemeanors.  More

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CIA director apologizes to Senate leaders for searching their computers

CIA Director John Brennan apologized to Senate intelligence committee leaders after his inspector general found that CIA employees acted improperly when the CIA searched Senate computers earlier this year.

Agency spokesman Dean Boyd said in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday that Brennan has convened an accountability board that will investigate the conduct of the CIA officers and discipline them, if need be.

The Justice Department has so far declined to pursue criminal charges against the employees, who searched the computers for information gathered in the course of a Senate investigation into the CIA's interrogation techniques.

The CIA inspector general concluded "that some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between" the committee and the CIA in 2009 regarding access to a shared classified computer network, Boyd said. More

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July 30, 2014

State Department approved 215 Bill Clinton speeches that earned him $48 million, raising ethics questions

A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch and released Wednesday in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act case, State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton's proposed speeches did not object to a single one.

Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S. More

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Emails reveal IRS official Lois Lerner called conservatives 'crazies' and 'assholes' as Eric Holder comes under new pressure to investigate

Former senior IRS official Lois Lerner had deeply held political biases while she was in a position of authority, according to Republican lawmakers who unveiled emails on Wednesday showing her referring to conservatives as 'crazies' and 'assholes.'

Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder to demand what he called 'a serious investigation' – something he said has been lacking.

Camp wants Holder to appoint an outside special counsel to probe the culture of the IRS and explain why hundreds of conservative groups were subjected to intrusive questioning and years-long delays when they applied for nonprofit tax benefits – steps that were not taken against liberal organizations.  More

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House Border Bill Is a ‘Surrender To a Lawless President’

Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) denounced the House Republican border bill as a “surrender to a lawless president” because the legislation does not include any language to prevent President Obama from expanding his unilateral legalization of illegal immigrants.

Here’s the statement:

The Obama Administration has openly declared its plan to implement a unilateral executive amnesty for 5–6 million more illegal immigrants. This unlawful amnesty—urged on by congressional Democrats—would include work permits, taking jobs directly from millions of struggling American citizens.

Any action Congress might consider to address the current border crisis would be futile should the President go forward with these lawless actions. Congress must speak out and fight against them. It must use its spending power to stop the President’s executive amnesty.  More

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July 29, 2014

The American people have risen up overloading the phone lines on Capitol Hill

The American people have risen up in response to a rallying cry from Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), overloading the phone lines on Capitol Hill to pressure their members of Congress to fight against President Obama’s planned executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

“I was on hold with the Capitol Hill switchboard about a minute or so each time I called my Representative and my two Senators,” Catharine Trauernicht, a Tea Party activist in Virginia, told Breitbart News Monday. “Typically, my calls are answered right away, but I always know that citizens have sprung into action when the switchboard recording comes on and says, ‘All of our operators are assisting other callers at this time.’”

When called by Breitbart News Monday at about 1:30 p.m., the Capitol Hill switchboard line was similarly busy.

“This shows the American people are going to resist,” a Sessions aide told Breitbart News. “The crescendo will grow. They are only beginning to be heard. They will get louder in the coming days.” More

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Illegal immigrants protest outside White House, with little fear of repercussions

Illegal immigrant demonstrators were protesting outside the White House on Monday – but don’t expect America’s immigration officers to intervene.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official indicated that even if the protesters end up getting arrested by D.C. police, they’d have to be serious criminals for ICE to get involved.

“Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case,” the official told FoxNews.com.

Under a policy that’s been in effect for several years, ICE focuses deportation mostly on serious criminals and – in some cases -- those caught in the act of crossing the border. The agency prioritizes deportation for felons, repeat offenders, gang members and others with a serious criminal record. But the agency largely gives a pass to other undocumented residents. More

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July 27, 2014

Federal judge rules DC ban on gun carry rights unconstitutional

A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Saturday overturned the city’s total ban on residents being allowing to carry firearms outside their home in a landmark decision for gun-rights activists.

Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the right to bear arms extends outside the home, therefore gun-control laws in the nation’s capital are “unconstitutional.”

“We won,” Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, told Fox News in a phone interview. “I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right." More

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July 26, 2014

White House: Republicans May Push to Impeach Obama If They Get the Chance

The notion of impeaching President Barack Obama got substantial attention Friday from two White House officials, who both said senior Republicans wanted to see it happen. But they couldn’t name any senior Republicans when pressed.

“I do believe that the speaker said on a number of occasions that there would not be steps taken by Republicans to shut down the government over health care,”

Further, White House press secretary Josh Earnest expressed doubt about whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was sincere when he said impeachment is not on the table.  More

July 25, 2014

Military bars troops from attending Vacation Bible school honor

Bible Baptist Church in Carthage, Missouri is a small country church bursting with American pride. Old Glory is posted in the sanctuary. And every morning at summer youth camp, the teenagers pledge allegiance and sing the national anthem.

Patriotic holidays are big doings at Bible Baptist. On Memorial Day, the church ladies put out quite a spread – fried chicken, potato salad. Veterans would wear their uniforms and the preacher would salute them during the morning worship service.

“We are a very patriotic church,” Pastor Kent Hogan told me. “We love America. We love this country.”

So it was not that big of a surprise when the church decided to honor the military during their annual Vacation Bible School. The theme was “God’s Rescue Squad.” And each day of the week, the church invited local “rescue squads” to visit with the boys and girls. More

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July 24, 2014

Troop leader: Border agent held U.S.Boy Scout at gunpoint

A Boy Scout troop from the nation’s heartland is demanding answers and a U.S. senator is expressing outrage after a group of scouts was detained by Border Patrol agents and one child was held at gunpoint.

Jim Fox, the leader of the Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111, said the incident occurred earlier this month at a checkpoint along the Alaska – Canada border. The scouts and their leaders were on a 21-day trek from Iowa to Alaska – a trip that had been three years in the planning.

As their vans were moving through a checkpoint into the United States, one of the scouts snapped a photograph. Agents stopped the van and ordered all the passengers to get out. They told the underage photographer that he had committed a federal crime.

“The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and ten years in prison,” Fox told Des Moines television station KCCI.

During the search, one of the scouts tried to retrieve a bag from the roof carrier. When he turned around, Fox said a border guard had a loaded pistol pointed at the child. More

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ObamaCare getaway: 5 US territories released from health care law

The Obama administration is coming under fire for once again making a unilateral change to ObamaCare -- this time, quietly exempting the five U.S. territories and their more than 4 million residents from virtually all major provisions of the health care law.

The decision was made a week ago, and was a long time coming. For months, the territories have been complaining that the law was implemented so poorly in their regions that it destabilized their insurance markets.

Until now, the Department of Health and Human Services claimed its hands were tied. But last Wednesday, the department reversed course.

The about-face has some questioning the department's authority to suddenly grant 4.1 million Americans an out from ObamaCare. It follows a cascade of prior unilateral actions delaying and nixing parts of the law for certain groups -- actions which in part prompted House Republicans to launch a lawsuit against President Obama challenging his use of executive power. More

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Obama Weighs Giving Refugee Status to Youths in Honduras

Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal.

If approved, the plan would direct the government to screen thousands of children and youths in Honduras to see if they can enter the United States as refugees or on emergency humanitarian grounds. It would be the first American refugee effort in a nation reachable by land to the United States, the White House said, putting the violence in Honduras on the level of humanitarian emergencies in Haiti and Vietnam, where such programs have been conducted in the past amid war and major crises.

Critics of the plan were quick to pounce, saying it appeared to redefine the legal definition of a refugee and would only increase the flow of migration to the United States. More

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July 23, 2014

Now IRS head says backup tapes found in Lerner probe

The head of the IRS confirmed Wednesday that investigators looking into missing emails from ex-agency official Lois Lerner have found and are reviewing "backup tapes" -- despite earlier IRS claims that the tapes had been recycled.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before a House oversight subcommittee, stressed that he does not know "how they found them" or "whether there's anything on them or not." But he said the inspector general's office advised him the investigators are reviewing tapes to see if they contain any "recoverable" material.

The revelation is significant because the IRS claimed, when the agency first told Congress about the missing emails, that backup tapes "no longer exist because they have been recycled." More

Insult: US Secretary of State Kerry, Aides Undergo Metal Detector Screening Before Meeting With Egyptian President

Egypt - An unusual screening process occurred involving Kerry and his State Department team as they were subjected to a metal detector before meeting with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Egyptian presidential palace.

Reuters reports that Kerry and his aides were checked with a metal detector. Security personnel reportedly raised a handheld metal-detector wand to Kerry’s suit jacket before waving him through.

Kerry’s aides were also subjected to the handheld wand and were told to walk through a metal detector.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter that they are focused on trying to reach a cease-fire agreement. More

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Lois Lerner’s Hard Drive Was ‘Scratched’ Then ‘Shredded’

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive was “scratched” and the data on it was still recoverable. But the IRS did not try to recover the data from Lerner’s hard drive, despite recommendations from in-house IRS IT experts to outsource the recovery project.

The hard drive was then “shredded,” according to a court filing the IRS made to House Ways and Means Committee investigators.

The IRS claims that it lost Lerner’s emails from 2009 to 2011 including emails to and from the White House, when her computer crashed in the midst of the agency’s conservative targeting program. The IRS also claimed in a transcribed interview that many other IRS employees who worked under Lerner in her Washington, D.C. department and its Cincinnati-based affiliate also experienced computer crashes that deleted their emails, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20.” More

Investigators obtain ObamaCare coverage, subsidies using fake identities

Undercover government investigators were able to obtain thousands of dollars in taxpayer subsidies under ObamaCare using fake identities, according to findings being presented to Congress on Wednesday.

The probe by the Government Accountability Office has raised fresh concerns about the ability of the sprawling health care program to prevent or intercept costly fraud schemes. In the case of the GAO investigation, 11 out of 12 applications submitted using "fictitious identities" were accepted, resulting in subsidized health coverage.

"For each of our 11 approved applications, we paid the required premiums to put policies into force, and are continuing to pay the premiums. For the 11 applications that were approved for coverage, we obtained the advance premium tax credit in all cases," the report said. More

July 22, 2014

Welfare Cash for Weed in Colorado

For the past six months, welfare beneficiaries in Colorado have repeatedly withdrawn their cash benefits at marijuana retailers and dispensaries, according to a new analysis by National Review Online. Such apparent abuses have caught the eye of Colorado’s executive and legislative powers alike, and the state has launched an effort to curb them.

At least 259 times in the first six months of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, beneficiaries used their electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards to access public assistance at weed retailers and dispensaries, withdrawing a total of $23,608.53 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash, NRO’s examination found. More

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Company That ‘Saved’ HealthCare.gov Faces Questions of Cronyism

Jarred by the defect-riddled rollout of the Obamacare website, Obama administration officials signed up a technology company to rid HealthCare.gov of its bugs.

Now, though, congressional Republicans are scrutinizing that outfit for a potential conflict of interest because its sister company, UnitedHealthcare, is among insurance companies selling plans to Americans through online marketplaces, or “exchanges.”

“If I was a competitor, I would be extremely concerned about this company having access to confidential information that we’ve had to give to the government,” Heritage Foundation legal scholar Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal. More

Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare subsidies illegal

In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped nearly 5 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are illegal.

A judicial panel in a 2-1 ruling said such subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov.

The decision threatens to unleash a cascade of effects that could seriously compromise Obamacare's goals of compelling people to get health insurance, and helping them afford it.

The Obama Administration is certain to seek a reversal of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which does not immediately have the effect of law. More

IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives

Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.

The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for “media destruction” services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.

Congressional investigators of the IRS targeting of conservative groups have been hampered by the unexplained destruction of emails and other records of Ms. Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division and a central figure in the scandal.  More