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March 2, 2015

FEDS RAID TEXAS POLITICAL MEETING

In a deliberate “show of force,” federal and local police forces raided a political meeting in Texas, fingerprinting and photographing all attendees as well as confiscating all cell phones and personal recording devices.

Members of the Republic of Texas, a secession movement dedicated to restoring Texas as an independent constitutional republic, had gathered Feb. 14 in a Bryan, Texas, meeting hall along with public onlookers.

They were debating issues of currency, international relations and celebrating the birthday of one of their oldest members. The group, which describes itself as “congenial and unimposing,” maintains a small working government, including official currency, congress and courts.

According to MySanAntonio.com: “Minutes into the meeting a man among the onlookers stood and moved to open the hall door, letting in an armed and armored force of the Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, agents of the Texas district attorney, the Texas Rangers and the FBI.  More

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February 28, 2015

Daily Beast retracts story on Scott Walker

Another major media outlet has apologized after getting a story about Scott Walker wrong. Last week, it was the New York Times; now, it’s The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast has retracted an article from one of its college columnists that claimed that the Wisconsin governor’s budget would cut sexual assault reporting from the state’s universities.

The post, published Friday, cited a report from Jezebel that wrongly interpreted a section of the state budget to mean that all assault reporting requirements were to get cut altogether.

In fact, the University of Wisconsin system requested the deletion of the requirements to get rid of redundancy, as it already provides similar information to the federal government, UW System spokesman Alex Hummel told The Associated Press on Friday.  More

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February 26, 2015

Treasury used unauthorized $3 billion for Obamacare

The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations.

At issue are payments to insurers known as cost-sharing subsidies. These payments come about because President Obama’s healthcare law forces insurers to limit out-of-pocket costs for certain low income individuals by capping consumer expenses, such as deductibles and co-payments, in insurance policies. In exchange for capping these charges, insurers are supposed to receive compensation.

What’s tricky is that Congress never authorized any money to make such payments to insurers in its annual appropriations, but the Department of Health and Human Services, with the cooperation of the U.S. Treasury, made them anyway. More

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Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle

Washington DC – It’s starting. As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.

The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that 30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.

“The Obama administration was unable to ban America’s most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it’s trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop. “The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama’s latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.” More

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Today's Stupid Quote by John Kerry

John Kerry:"Despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century."

The top U.S. intelligence official on Thursday gave a drastically different assessment than Secretary of State John Kerry of the terror threat -- declaring 2014 the deadliest year for global terrorism ever recorded, after Kerry claimed that threat was diminishing.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying on Capitol Hill, catalogued the growing terror-fueled violence in stark terms.

"When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled," Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He offered statistics that would appear to challenge other administration officials' claims that the country and world are safer today.  More

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February 25, 2015

Defense cuts degrading military, US no longer able to fight 2 wars at same time

The United States military does not currently have the ability to fight two major wars simultaneously, according to a new report, a significant reduction from the capacity enjoyed by defense officials for decades.

The Heritage Foundation’s "2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength" concludes that the armed forces “would be ill-equipped to handle two, near-simultaneous major regional contingencies (MRC).” The two-MRC goal was largely attained during the Cold War, when U.S. forces engaged in a conflict every 15 to 20 years while maintaining ground forces in other regions to ensure stability and deter aggressors.

That strategy enables the U.S. military to defeat one adversary in a conflict while preventing another aggressor—seeking to take advantage of the United States’ preoccupation with the first conflict—from defeating it in a separate theater.

But this strategy is no longer feasible, according to the report. More

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Iran attacks replica US ship in military drill

Iran’s armed forces launched a speedboat attack on a giant model of a US aircraft carrier on Wednesday as the Revolutionary Guard staged military exercises in the Gulf.

The aim of the drill was to practise how to sink an American carrier, at least two of which patrol the Gulf at any given time.

A helicopter and speed boat circle a damaged replica of a US aircraft carrier

Exercise “Great Prophet Nine” showed how the naval wing of the Revolutionary Guard would launch a “swarm” attack, seeking to overwhelm the carrier’s defences by dispatching numerous speedboats to converge on the vessel from all directions. More

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February 21, 2015

Giuliani stands by Obama comments - Getting death threats

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said his office has received death threats since his controversial comments accusing President Barack Obama of not loving America.

"My secretary has received some death threats," Giuliani said in a brief interview by phone. But the former mayor emphasized the majority of the voice mails left at his office were supportive of his remarks. Giuliani did not say whether he alerted police to the threatening calls. CNN cannot confirm whether the threats were made.

As for his initial remarks that ignited the firestorm, spoken at a private dinner for Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker, a potential 2016 presidential contender, Giuliani offered no apologies.

"I don't regret making the statement. I believe it," Giuliani said. "I don't know if he loves America," he added.

"I don't feel the same enthusiasm from him for America," he continued during the interview.

Giuliani said he didn't mind that his comments became public. At the dinner, he said, were well-known members of the news media, including CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow who, Giuliani said, was the event's moderator.  More

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February 20, 2015

Foundation donors lobbied Hillary's State Dept.

Hillary Clinton's ties to large corporations have come under more scrutiny after it was revealed that dozens of companies that have donated millions to her family's foundation also lobbied the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the 60 companies who lobbied Clinton's State Department between 2009 and 2013 donated over $26 million to the Clinton Foundation in that period. The donors include instantly recognizable names like General Electric, Exxon Mobil, and Boeing.

The Journal also reports that at least 44 of the 60 companies participated in philanthropy projects valued at $3.2 billion set up by the Clinton Global Initiative, which is a wing of the foundation. At least 25 of the companies also contributed to 15 public-private partnerships created by Clinton and coordinated by the State Department. More

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February 18, 2015

Woman Lost Her Health Insurance Three Times Under Obamacare

Dec. 26, 2014, was strike three for Pamela Weldin.

The day after Christmas, Weldin, of Minatare, Neb., had logged on to Facebook to find a message from a friend of hers. Included in the note was a link to an article from the Omaha World-Herald announcing that CoOportunity Health, a nonprofit health insurance company offering plans in Nebraska and Iowa, had been taken over by state regulators.

The insurer, one of 23 Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, started with the backing of the federal government and received $145 million in loans from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But, CoOportunity’s expenses and medical claims would far exceed its revenue for 2014. More

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February 16, 2015

New York Times quietly corrects Scott Walker error

New York - In hindsight, perhaps the headline ‘Scott Walker Needs An Eraser’ wasn’t the best idea.

In a recent column about the Wisconsin governor, a conservative Republican, New York Times columnist Gail Collins wrote that Walker had cut state aid to education, causing teacher layoffs in 2010.

February 13, 2015

REPORT: OBAMA ‘STALLED’ AFTER BEING TOLD LOCATION OF ISIS-HELD US HOSTAGES

President Obama wasted nearly a month before launching a rescue mission after British intelligence provided his administration the possible location of American hostages held by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), reports The Daily Beast.

The American captives were identified as Kayla Mueller, James Foley, and Steven Sotloff. All three are now dead.

ISIS jihadists beheaded journalists Foley and Sotloff. ISIS claims American aid worker Mueller was killed by a Jordanian airstrike, a claim that the Pentagon vehemently denies.

British intelligence pinpointing where ISIS was holding its American captives in Syria reached the Obama administration in June 2014, but the White House stalled and failed to take action.

It took the administration nearly a month before launching a rescue mission to save American captives Mueller, Foley, and Sotloff.

By the time Obama took action to recover the hostages on July 4, 2014, the captives had been taken to a different location.  More


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Obama amnesty creates loophole for illegal immigrants to vote in elections

President Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty will make it easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections, state elections officials testified to Congress on Thursday, saying that the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole.

While stressing that it remains illegal for noncitizens to vote, secretaries of state from Ohio and Kansas said they won’t have the tools to sniff out illegal immigrants who register anyway, ignoring stiff penalties to fill out the registration forms that are easily available at shopping malls, motor vehicle bureaus and in curbside registration drives.

Anyone registering to vote attests that he or she is a citizen, but Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said mass registration drives often aren’t able to give due attention to that part, and so illegal immigrants will still get through. More


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February 12, 2015

IRS to pay back-refunds to illegal immigrants who didn’t pay taxes

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday that even illegal immigrants who didn’t pay taxes will be able to claim back-refunds once they get Social Security numbers under President Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty.

The revelation — which contradicts what he told Congress last week — comes as lawmakers also raised concerns Mr. Obama’s amnesty could open a window to illegal immigrants finding ways to vote, despite it being against the law.

“While we may disagree about whether your deferred action programs were lawfully created and implemented, we are confident that we can all agree that these programs cannot be permitted to impair the integrity of our elections,” Republican members of Congress from Ohio wrote in a letter to Mr. Obama Wednesday, ahead of a hearing on the issue in the House on Thursday. More

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IRS apologizes for seizing bank accounts of small businesses

WASHINGTON — Pressured by Congress, the IRS said Wednesday it is changing its policies and apologizing for seizing banks accounts from otherwise law-abiding business owners simply because they structured bank transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements.

Their alleged crime: routinely making bank deposits of less than $10,000. That allowed the business owners to avoid reporting requirements designed to catch drug dealers and money launderers.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress that the IRS is changing policies to prevent the seizures, as long as the money came from legal means.

"To anyone who is not treated fairly under the code, I apologize," Koskinen told the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. "Taxpayers have to be comfortable that they will be treated fairly." More

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February 10, 2015

Obama administration won’t release IRS targeting documents

The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups.

Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency’s scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations.

The Hill sought access to government documents that might provide a glimpse of the decision-making through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The Hill asked for 2013 emails and other correspondence between the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The request specifically sought emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and Treasury officials, including Secretary Jack Lew, while the inspector general was working on its explosive May 2013 report that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review the political activities of tax-exempt groups.

TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request, citing various exemptions in the law. The Hill recently appealed the FOIA decision, but TIGTA denied the appeal. TIGTA also declined to comment for this article. More

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February 8, 2015

Official temperature records systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. 

In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.

This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognised by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record.  More

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February 7, 2015

From a Marine Corps Colonel in Afghanistan

Opinion - From a Marine Corps Colonel in Afghanistan:

"So with all the kindness I can muster, I give this one piece of advice to the next pop star who is asked to sing the national anthem at a sporting event: save the vocal gymnastics and the physical gyrations for your concerts.

Just sing this song the way you were taught to sing it in kindergarten - straight up, no styling. "Sing it with the constant awareness that there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines watching you from bases and outposts all over the world.

Don't make them cringe with your self-centered ego gratification.

Sing it as if you are standing before a row of 86-year-old WWII vets wearing their Purple Hearts, Silver Stars and flag pins on their cardigans and you want them to be proud of you for honoring them and the country they love - not because you want them to think you are a superstar musician.

They could see that from your costume, makeup and your entourage.

Sing 'The Star Spangled Banner' with the courtesy and humility that tells the audience that it is about America, not you.

And please remember, not everything has to be sung as a Negro spiritual. We're getting a little weary of that. Francis Scott Key does not need any help."

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February 5, 2015

THE WHITE HOUSE WON’T REVEAL WHO ATTENDED OBAMA’S SECRET MEETING WITH MUSLIM LEADERS

President Obama met with American Muslim leaders this afternoon, according to the White House schedule, but so far the administration is unwilling to reveal who attended the meeting, which was closed to the press.

The White House released a readout of the meeting explaining that Obama discussed “a range of domestic and foreign policy issues” including Obamacare, police fairness, anti-Muslim discrimination, and the upcoming Summit on Countering Violence Extremism.

“The President discussed the need to continue countering ISIL and other groups that commit horrific acts of violence, purportedly in the name of Islam,” the readout continued.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended the meeting during his daily press briefing, pointing out that it wasn’t “unusual” for the president to meet with “a wide variety of communities from across the country.”

“Sometimes that includes religious leaders; sometimes that includes leaders that are involved in academia or other specific issue areas,” he explained. More

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February 4, 2015

Past Bush immigration remarks shock conservatives

During a "Family Reunion" conference hosted by the Hispanic Leadership Network in April 2013, Jeb Bush spoke freely on the promise immigrants hold for America and his views on reform.

He said, during a discussion with Univision, that it was "ridiculous" to think that DREAMers, children brought to the U.S. by their parents illegally, shouldn't have an "accelerated path" to citizenship.

Then, the former Florida governor was speaking to a friendly audience of establishment Republicans, after re-inserting himself in the immigration reform with the release of a controversial book on the issue a month prior.

But as he moves towards a probable presidential run, and the far less friendly terrain of the GOP primary fight, the comments, which were shared with CNN by Democratic tracking firm American Bridge, are certain to deepen already developing headaches for him — on both the left and especially the right, as conservatives react in a mixture of bewilderment and eye-rolling when confronted with some of Bush's resurfaced lines on immigration. More

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The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment


Here's something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don't know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%.

Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment. More

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January 29, 2015

Senate approves Keystone pipeline bill, in face of White House veto threat

WASHINGTON – The Senate passed legislation Thursday approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a looming veto showdown with the White House.

The legislation passed on a 62-36 vote, after lawmakers spent weeks considering amendments. The House passed a similar bill earlier this month, though there are slight differences that have to be ironed out before the bill can go to President Obama's desk.

The vote nevertheless marked the first time the Senate has voted to approve the controversial Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline. Nine Democrats joined with 53 Republicans to back the measure.

“Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said before the vote. “It would support thousands of good American jobs and as the president’s own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact.” More

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January 27, 2015

Keystone votes fail in Senate

Republicans’ Keystone XL pipeline push was stopped short by the first Senate filibuster of 2015 as Democrats blocked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bid to end debate on the bill.

The new Senate majority will now extend its debate on approving Keystone — a measure that was seen as an easy GOP win just weeks ago — as Democrats pressed McConnell to hold more amendment votes as proof of his commitment to a more open process in the chamber than their own party used while it was in power.

A pair of 53-39 votes against ending debate on Keystone might have reached the 60-vote threshold they needed, however, had two absent pro-pipeline Democrats voted with the GOP Monday night, and winter storms not prevented some Republicans from reaching Washington. More

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