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September 30, 2014

Northeast loses 40% of House seats as people flee high-tax states

The Northeast, once the nation’s political engine that produced presidents, House speakers and Senate giants including the late Edward M. Kennedy, is losing clout in Washington as citizens flee the high-tax region, according to experts worried about the trend.

The Census Bureau reports that population growth has shifted to the South and the result is that the 11 states that make up the Northeast are being bled dry of representation in Washington.

Critics blame rising taxes in states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut for limiting population growth in the Northeast to just 15 percent from 1983 to 2013, while the rest of the nation grew more than 41 percent.

The biggest impact comes in the loss of congressional representation.

Deep in a recent report, for example, the American Legislative Exchange Council tabulated how the drop in population relative to the rest of the nation cut the region’s power in Washington. While the states from Pennsylvania to Maine had 141 House members in 1950, they are down to 85 today, a drop of some 40 percent. More

Feds Pay $91,318 for Bat Population Survey

Virginia – President Obama was counting strokes on the golf course at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia last Saturday, but the day before a $91,318.76 contract was awarded to count something quite different at Fort Belvoir: bats.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will conduct the “Bat Population Survey” as part of Fort Belvoir’s Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys.

At least part of the reason for the population survey is to determine if the “little brown bat” or other bats should be placed on the endangered species list.

Were this to happen, the listing could impact “mission related activities” and “development” on the Army base. More

Issa accuses Secret Service of giving 'false' account of White House breach

House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa blasted the Secret Service Tuesday over the security breach earlier this month where an intruder broke into the White House -- and accused the agency of giving a "false" account of what happened.

In his opening statement, Issa, R-Calif., confirmed emerging reports that the intruder made it all the way into the East Room. Issa said that was contrary to an "early, false report" that claimed the intruder only made it just inside the door.

"An intruder walked in the front door of the White House, and that is unacceptable. Commonsense tells us that there were a series of security failures -- not an instance of praiseworthy restraint," Issa said.

He claimed the intruder breached at least five rings of security. Urging the Secret Service to fix its problems, he warned that the next breach could be a "planned attack by a terrorist organization."

"The fact is, the system broke down," Issa said. More

OBAMA HAS MISSED OVER HALF HIS SECOND-TERM DAILY INTEL BRIEFINGS

A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama. More

September 29, 2014

Obama faces backlash after blaming intel community for missing ISIS

One wouldn't be surprised if President Obama's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, woke up Monday morning checking for tire tracks after his boss effectively threw him under the bus for having "underestimated" the threat posed by the Islamic State militant group.

But Obama's remarks in a "60 Minutes" interview drew immediate objections from lawmakers and the intelligence community.

In the interview, Obama was asked how the Islamic State was able to gain so much territory. "Our head of the intelligence community Jim Clapper has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," the president said.

Clapper previously had admitted that U.S. analysts both underestimated the Islamic State, or ISIS, and "overestimated" the ability of the Iraqi army to fight them. More

September 26, 2014

Perry prosecutor accused of bilking taxpayers

AUSTIN — A Houston lawyer is alleging the prosecutor handling the indictment against Rick Perry is over-charging taxpayers for his services, breaking the same law the governor stands accused of violating.

In a criminal complaint sent Monday to the Travis County district attorney’s office, Houston criminal defense attorney David Rushing says special prosecutor Michael McCrum is abusing his official capacity by billing the county $300 per hour, or more than three times the highest possible rate set by a state law.

Travis County’s guidelines for the law, however, make it possible for an attorney in McCrum’s situation to earn less or more per hour if the circumstances are unusual. Perry, who has characterized the case against him as politically motivated, is the first Texas governor to be indicted in nearly a century.

“These attempts of character assassinations against our great governor here is bad enough on its own, but when you really analyze it, it’s not just a political game but lining the defense’s pockets at the taxpayers’ expense,” Rushing told the Chronicle. More

Official: 70% of families from the immigration surge never showed up for follow-up appointments

WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands of young families caught crossing the border illegally earlier this year subsequently failed to meet with federal immigration agents, as they were instructed, the Homeland Security Department has acknowledged privately.

An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments.

The ICE official made the disclosure in a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration advocates participating in a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies. The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of Wednesday's meeting and separately interviewed participants. More

September 25, 2014

Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and five and a half years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly "adamant" about his desire to leave soon for fear he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama's second term.

Holder already is one of the longest serving members of the Obama cabinet and ranks as the fourth longest tenured AG in history. Hundreds of employees waited in lines, stacked three rows deep, for his return in early February 2009 to the Justice Department, where he previously worked as a young corruption prosecutor and as deputy attorney general — the second in command — during the Clinton administration. More

NEARLY 2.5 MILLION IMMIGRANTS FROM 'PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM COUNTRIES' RESIDE INSIDE U.S. RIGHT NOW

Approximately 2.5 million immigrants from “predominantly Muslim countries" reside inside the U.S. right now, a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies found.

The four-page report, which details which countries and world regions from which immigrants in the U.S.—both legal and illegal—came to this country, found that since 2000 nearly a million more immigrants from such Muslim countries came to the U.S.

In 2000, there were 1,518,755 immigrants from Muslim countries in the U.S. In 2010, That number stood at 2,184,664, and in 2013 it stands at 2,480,407.

Between 2010 and 2013, there was actually a greater increase in the number of immigrants from the Middle East than from Central America. During that timeframe, 207,758 more immigrants moved to the U.S. from the Middle East, whereas only 113,744 immigrants came from Central America.

The report found that despite the staggering growth of immigration from the Middle East, the regions that sent even more immigrants to the U.S. in the past few years are South Asia, East Asia, and the Caribbean. South Asia, which includes India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, sent 372,546 more immigrants to the U.S. between 2010 and 2013, whereas East Asia—which includes China, Korea and Vietnam—sent 364,909 more immigrants to the U.S. during that timeframe. From the Caribbean, 223,011 more immigrants entered the U.S. between 2010 and 2013. More

September 24, 2014

Obama Brings Up Ferguson at U.N.

In his United Nations speech, President Obama will bring up the summer shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

"I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true," Obama will say,according to prepared text of his address.

"In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear." More

Conspiracy To Destroy Rush Limbaugh Is Small, Organized, Deceptive

The recent campaign to silence conservative radio legend Rush Limbaugh is led by ten liberal activists engaged in a more than four-year long effort to destroy Limbaugh by targeting his advertisers, including a Media Matters executive vice president.

A former Kent State university professor even targeted a small businessman advertising on Limbaugh’s show using her official university email account.

Information compiled by Limbaugh’s team — and first provided to The Daily Caller — demonstrates that nearly 70 percent of the tweets targeting Limbaugh’s advertisers come from the same ten Twitter users, all of whom are actively involved in the “Stop Rush” campaign, which keeps a database of all of Limbaugh’s advertisers. More

September 22, 2014

The Hillary Letters: Clinton, Saul Alinsky correspondence revealed

Previously unpublished correspondence between Hillary Clinton and the late left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky reveal new details about her relationship with the controversial Chicago activist and shed light on her early ideological development.

Clinton met with Alinsky several times in 1968 while writing a Wellesley college thesis about his theory of community organizing.

Clinton’s relationship with Alinsky, and her support for his philosophy, continued for several years after she entered Yale law school in 1969, two letters obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.

The letters obtained by the Free Beacon are part of the archives for the Industrial Areas Foundation, a training center for community organizers founded by Alinsky, which are housed at the University of Texas at Austin.

The letters also suggest that Alinsky, who died in 1972, had a deeper influence on Clinton’s early political views than previously known. More

Top-level turnover makes it harder for DHS to stay on top of evolving threats

An exodus of top-level officials from the Department of Homeland Security is undercutting the agency’s ability to stay ahead of a range of emerging threats, including potential terrorist strikes and cyber attacks, according to interviews with current and former officials.

Over the past four years, employees have left DHS at a rate nearly twice as fast as in the federal government overall, and the trend is accelerating, according to a review of a federal database.

The departures are a result of what employees widely describe as a dysfunctional work environment, abysmal morale, and the lure of private security companies paying top dollar that have proliferated in Washington since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The department’s terrorism intelligence arm, for example, has cycled through six directors during the Obama administration, decimating morale and contributing to months-long delays in releasing intelligence reports, according to interviews and government reports. More

September 21, 2014

Rand Paul blisters Obama and Clinton, calls for GOP diversity

Fewer than 50 days before an election that may give Republicans control of the Senate as well as the House, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Saturday skipped past those contests entirely to focus on one in which he may play a more central role — the 2016 presidential race.

Paul, the featured speaker at the California Republican convention, made no mention of the party’s national advantages this year. He blasted President Obama and potential Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton as insufficient present or future commanders-in-chief. He insisted that the GOP must dramatically expand its reach in order to win presidential contests — a strategy that coincides with his pre-presidential efforts.

He accused Obama of confounding the Constitution when he expanded Obamacare, moved against overseas targets without specific congressional authorization, and announced plans — since delayed — to use executive action to change the nation’s immigration laws. More

September 18, 2014

IRS CHIEF: 'Hard Drive Crashes Continue As We Speak'

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner John Koskinen testified Wednesday that the IRS did not save any of the information on Lois Lerner’s destroyed Blackberry and that there is no outside system to store agency emails.

“Hard drive crashes continue as we speak,” Koskinen admitted at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing when asked if any computers had recently crashed under his watch.

Koskinen admitted that destroying records would be an act “not consistent with the law,” but maintained that there’s no evidence that the IRS intentionally destroyed records. More

Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most.

Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two recent public flubs: criticizing the White House’s handling of the border crisis and comparing the tea party to wife beaters.

The perception of critics is that Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda. More

September 17, 2014

‘Incredibly serious’: Cover-up claims in spotlight ahead of Benghazi hearing

Allegations that Hillary Clinton allies may have tried to shield the former secretary of State in the wake of the Benghazi terror attack are coming to the forefront ahead of the first public hearing of the special congressional committee probing the attack and its aftermath.

Speaking with Fox News, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the select committee, on Tuesday made clear he eventually plans to call former acting CIA director Mike Morell to testify – alleging the former boss “intentionally scrubbed” the so-called talking points that were the basis for the administration’s flawed public narrative about the attack.

Gowdy made clear he would question Morell on why he allegedly removed information damaging to Clinton’s State Department. (Morell now works for Clinton’s former spokesman, Philippe Reines.)

Gowdy also responded to new and separate allegations from a former State Department official that Clinton confidants hid politically damaging files from the supposedly independent board probing the attack. Gowdy called the allegations “incredibly serious,” but stressed that they are only allegations at this stage. More

September 16, 2014

The War on Poverty Has Been a Colossal Flop

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau will release its annual report on poverty. This report is noteworthy because this year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s launch of the War on Poverty. Liberals claim that the War on Poverty has failed because we didn’t spend enough money. Their answer is just to spend more. But the facts show otherwise.

Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

One third of the U.S. population received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013.

The federal government currently runs more than 80 means-tested welfare programs. These programs provide cash, food, housing and medical care to low-income Americans. Federal and state spending on these programs last year was $943 billion. (These figures do not include Social Security, Medicare, or Unemployment Insurance.) More

September 15, 2014

Ex-official claims Clinton allies scrubbed Benghazi documents in secret session

A former State Department official has told lawmakers that Hillary Clinton allies privately removed politically damaging documents before turning over files to the supposedly independent board investigating the Benghazi terror attack.

The account from Raymond Maxwell, former head of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), was first published in The Daily Signal. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, confirmed to FoxNews.com on Monday that Maxwell told him and other lawmakers the same story when they privately interviewed him last year about the attacks and their aftermath.

Chaffetz said that Maxwell claimed Clinton's chief of staff and deputy chief of staff were overseeing the document operation, which allegedly took place on a weekend in a basement office of the State Department.

"What they were looking for is anything that made them look bad. That's the way it was described to us," Chaffetz said. More

September 13, 2014

Nancy Pelosi: Civilization ‘In Jeopardy’ If GOP Takes Senate

On the one hand, California U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi claims that Democrats are not “fear-mongers;” on the other hand, she believes civilization is doomed if Republicans take control of the Senate from Democrats in November.

The former speaker of the House made those dramatic, incongruous statements on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” which aired live from Washington, D.C. Friday.

Maher asked Pelosi about recent polling which shows that the GOP is likely to take over the upper chamber and asked, given gridlock in Washingon, why it matters that Democrats keep control.

“It would be very important for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate,” Pelosi told Maher. “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”

Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the Senate. Republicans have 45. Two independents caucus with Democrats. More

September 12, 2014

DEBUNKED: 5 QUOTES FROM OBAMA’S ISIS SPEECH

On the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President Obama gave a primetime speech about the growing ISIS terrorist threat and his plan to address it. The speech, predictably, left Americans scratching their heads at several points, unsure what kind of alternate reality our President is living in.

1. “ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents.” Since this day, 13 years ago, America began fighting a war against radical Islam. Radical Islam does not represent all of Islam, but it is Islamic. Denying that fact impairs our ability to understand our enemy, and making pronouncements such as this does not engender more positive feelings towards America by Muslims worldwide. Immediately after taking office President Obama gave a now famous speech in Cairo, which the White House deemed a “new beginning.” The year before taking office, Pew conducted its annual survey to gauge worldwide impressions of America abroad. In 2008, favorable ratings for America for those living in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and Turkey were 22 percent, 19 percent, 19 percent and 12 percent respectively. In the most recent poll, the citizens of those same countries viewed America favorably 10 percent, 14 percent, 12 percent and 19 percent respectively. More

September 11, 2014

TED CRUZ: HATRED, BIGOTRY, OPPOSITION TO ISRAEL LED TO ME LEAVING EVENT

Cruz, the keynote speaker at the new "In Defense Of Christians" organization's dinner in Washington DC, had offered the crowd--a number of whom were Christians from the Middle East, including Palestinian Christians--public support for Israel. After doing so, some members of the crowd booed at Cruz, and they persisted until he left the stage, noting their hatred and saying he can't stand with them if they don't stand with Israel.

"Tonight, in Washington, should have been a night of unity as we came together for the inaugural event for a group that calls itself 'In Defense of Christians.' Instead, it unfortunately deteriorated into a shameful display of bigotry and hatred," Cruz said in a statement provided to Breitbart News. "When I spoke in strong support of Israel and the Jewish people, who are being persecuted and murdered by the same vicious terrorists who are also slaughtering Christians, many Christians in the audience applauded. But, sadly, a vocal and angry minority of attendees at the conference tried to shout down my expression of solidarity with Israel." More

September 10, 2014

Armed Patriots: private citizens out to secure the U.S. border

BROWNSVILLE Texas – With binoculars in hand, an assault rifle slung over his chest and a Glock pistol on his hip, a man named Will scans the banks of the Rio Grande looking for anyone trying to cross from Mexico into Texas.

Will is a member of the Patriots, a group of heavily armed private citizens who use displays of force to intimidate people attempting to cross the border illegally. Since early summer the Patriots have patrolled an area near Brownsville, Texas.

“If you spot them and shine your light on them, that lets them know that you’re there,” said the 25-year-old construction worker from Indiana who flew to Texas for a stint with the Patriots. “Nine times out of 10, they’re not going to come over.

The Patriots Information Hotline, a networking call center, estimates that 22 groups of “armed patriots” have sprung up along the border from Texas to California this year. More