Thursday, July 28, 2016

Targets Of Political Opportunity

The IRS knew:
According to the documents, Paz and other IRS officials were notified in the late spring and summer of 2011 that agents in the Cincinnati branch were flagging Tea Party and conservative groups for additional scrutiny in their applications for nonprofit status.

In the spring of 2012, official Nancy Marks was tasked with investigating how applications were being processed and to find any problems.

The documents show she told then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller on May 3, 2012 that “Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity.”

Miller responded by throwing "his pencil across the room" and saying, "Oh sh-t," according to the FBI summaries of interviews with officials.
Deeper in it than ever...


They're not going quietly:
They’re operating in part under the Twitter hashtag #DemExit, one that Green Party candidate Jill Stein has deftly been using as she openly appeals to Sanders supporters to join her team outside the Philly convention arena.

“DNC wants your support for lying, undermining, and insulting you. They'll lock you out if you don't comply. #DemExit,” Stein tweeted.

Stein has proven to be a chief agitator, as Bernie Sanders himself rejoins the fold and urges Democrats to get behind Clinton’s campaign. Even the celebrities are split, with liberal Hollywood stalwarts like Susan Sarandon standing with the Sanders crowd this week.

Clinton is set to deliver her nomination acceptance speech Thursday night. Before she does, a group called Black Men for Bernie is hosting a de-registration event outside City Hall. From there, another #DemExit de-registration event is slated for mid-afternoon outside the Wells Fargo Arena, the convention site.
Maybe they're just following his lead...


Could Marilyn Mosby lose her job?
Banzhaf stated:

She had a case which, at the very beginning, she couldn’t reasonably believe. Yet there are now three decisions by the judge throwing out each and every one of her legal theories, saying with regard to most of the key facts she has to prove. It wasn’t that there was little evidence. He said, “No evidence. No evidence. No evidence.” Yet she continued to do it. And it was only the pressure of, I think, the threat of disbarment–two complaints against her; one is mine, and the mounting lawsuits which finally forced her to say, “Okay, I’m not going to keep digging this hole any better. I’m going to get out, and I’m now going to claim that I won because all of these victories have occurred.”

He said, “What do you do when you have a runaway prosecutor? You can’t rely upon the press and public pressure. Obviously, it didn’t work in Baltimore.”
Neither did her agenda...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Foundation Of Guilt

The IRS finally investigates the Clinton Foundation:
The request to investigate the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation on charges of “public corruption” was made in a July 15 letter by 64 House Republicans to the IRS, FBI and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They charged the foundation is “lawless.”

The initiative is being led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who serves as the vice chairwoman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which oversees FTC. The FTC regulates public charities alongside the IRS.

The lawmakers charged the Clinton Foundation is a “lawless ‘pay-to-play’ enterprise that has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years and should be investigated.”
With the Clintons, corruption is always a family affair...

The Twittering Class

Twitter supports free speech, sort of:
We are not and never will be a platform that shows people only part of what’s happening or part of what’s being said. We are the place for news and social commentary. And at its best, the nature of our platform empowers people to reach across divides, and to build connections, to share ideas and to challenge accepted norms.

As part of that, we hope – and we also recognize it’s a high hope – to elevate civil discourse. And I emphasize civil discourse there. Abuse is not part of civil discourse. It shuts down conversation. It prevents us from understanding each other. Freedom of expression means little if we allow voices to be silenced because of fear of harassment if they speak up. No one deserves to be the target of abuse online, and it has no place on Twitter.
Then why did they allow it against a gay conservative?

Hinkley Goes Home?

He's a free lunatic:
Hinckley, 61, no longer poses a danger to himself or others and will be freed to live full-time with his mother in Williamsburg, Va., effective as soon as Aug. 5subject to dozens of temporary treatment and monitoring conditions, U.S. District Judge Paul L Friedman of Washington wrote.

If Hinckley adheres to all restrictions, they could begin to be phased out after 12 to 18 months, removing him from court control for the first time since he was confined to St. Elizabeth's Hospital after the shooting, according to the order.
We'll see if his treatment took or not...

Bill Makes The Case

Bill Clinton tells the tale:
The former president's tenth address to a Democratic convention was by far his most personal, a 42-minute tour through wedding proposals and Halloween parties, the deaths of parents and movie marathons.

Perhaps their worst moments - the Monica Lewinsky scandal, impeachment and legal battles that followed - were conspicuously omitted though hinted at.

"She'll never quit on you," he said. "She never quit on me."

Instead, Bill Clinton cast himself as a passenger in his wife's life, reshaping the story of much of their decades in politics.
B.S.'ing their way through life...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Planned Freedom

Sometimes telling the truth wins:
David Daleiden and his associate Sandra Merritt were indicted for their roles in the release of the videos in January. Misdemeanor charges against Daleiden were dismissed last month.

But Texas District Judge Brock Thomas dismissed the last charge — tampering with government records, a felony — Fox News reported. Prosecutors alleged Daleiden and Merritt used fake driver’s licenses while dealing with Planned Parenthood, the network said, adding that if they had been convicted of the felony charge, each could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

The controversial videos released last summer depicted Planned Parenthood employees appearing to negotiate the price of aborted fetal body parts “per specimen.” Profiting from the sale of human body parts — including those of the unborn — is a felony in the United States. Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood have denied illegal conduct.

In a statement, Daleiden said that the dismissal of the “bogus, politically motivated charges” against them is “a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood’s political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny.”
Real justice trumps social justice...

Dirty Blue Money

What was that about big money in politics?
The current federal election campaign laws require strict separation between a political party and a candidate. The party cannot 1) coordinate with candidates and 2) use party soft money funds raised for “party building activities,” such as efforts to “get-out-the-vote” and generic “issue advertising” to promote a particular candidate.

The WikiLeaks disclosures suggest a deep “coordination” between the DNC and the Clinton campaign, but there is no direct evidence in the initial dump of hacked emails that there were any “coordinated expenditures” between the DNC and Clinton. It is possible, however, that the use of DNC staff man-hours and equipment to aid one candidate in the context of a primary election could have violated the soft-money expenditure ban.

The DNC and Clinton campaign may also be at risk for violating the campaign finance laws of the 50 states. In the 27 states with Republican Attorneys Generals, the DNC and Clinton probably cannot benefit from political loyalties — but most state campaign finance laws are very lax.
As are Hillary's ethics...

The End Of Bernie Mania

They said they wanted a revolution:
Outside, a rowdy protest of several hundred Sanders fans — and their communist fellow-travelers — chanted, “Hell no! DNC! We won’t vote for Hillary!”

Inside, Sanders delegates booed anyone who told them to support the presumptive nominee.

And yet, by the end of the evening, Sanders had thrown in the towel completely — live, on national television.

“This is the end of the road,” one Sanders delegate said to another, glumly, as the Vermont senator wound to a close. Some clung to their resistance, and vowed to keep up the protests every day of the convention — but even they knew that it would merely be symbolic, now.

In fact, it had been symbolic since last October, when Sanders said: “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”

It was too late to start caring about them now. What was it all for? Who knows.
Much ado about noise?

The Zombie Vote

She already has Tim Kaine, but it's not like they'd actually know:

Food Kings

Why don't Democrats like poor people?
The Democratic Party tossed out leftover food after a welcome party for delegates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Sunday, leaving at least one delegate fuming.

“I was a hungry child. Went to bed hungry many a night,” Timothy Baumgardner, a Washington state delegate, told The Post. “I fed people from the garbage.”

He said he asked the caterer whether the food could be donated to the poor, but was told that wasn’t allowed. “Sad,” Baumgardner said.
Let them eat platitudes...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Who Watches The Watchdogs?

Getting the media to actually do their job:
“The media’s love affair with Hillary will reach its apex this week in Philadelphia,” MRC president Brent Bozell said. “They have been in the tank for her since the beginning. We can safely predict that at the Democratic National Convention they will need smelling salts to recover from their fainting spells.”

According to Bozell, the media has been overly protective of Clinton amid myriad scandals and, at best, half-truths ranging from the attacks in Benghazi to her use of a private email server and questionable donations to the Clinton Foundation.

“It’s very simple: Cover Clinton like you’re covering Trump. Nothing more, nothing less,” Bozell said.
But then where would Hillary get her propaganda?

Erdogan's Law

The Second Ottoman Empire is off and running:
Lawyers from the Ankara Bar Association's human rights commission say members have reported the alleged abuses after trying to meet with clients. Other lawyers and human rights organizations have made similar allegations.

In addition to verbal and physical abuse, clients complained about a lack of food and that their hands have been bound for days, said Sercan Aran, deputy head of the commission. The mistreatment is "systematic," he said, while lawyers have been prevented from documenting physical signs of beatings and abuse.

The Turkish government strongly denies the allegations, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stressed in interviews that due process is being followed.

"We are doing everything according to the law," said a Turkish official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in line with government protocol. He said that the law is being upheld and that he "categorically denies" that prisoners have been abused in custody.
You can't make a dictatorship without breaking a few rights...

Sir Internet And The Dragon

In China, Internet reports on you:
Government rules prohibiting the publication of "self-edited" news and information by websites that were not set up by news entities have been widely ignored, with many websites running robust reporting operations.
Websites run by Sina Corp, Inc, Netease Inc, Phoenix New Media Ltd's iFeng and others had engaged in "actions that seriously violated regulations and had a completely vile effect", state media reported, quoting the Beijing municipal arm of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).
The sites were ordered to "rectify" their wrongdoing and slapped with administrative fines, it said.
Who do they think they are-Twitter and Facebook?

Off To A Rough Start

This might be Hillary's coronation, but things are already not going well:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Sign Of The Thumbs

Letting her fingers do the talking?
The hand signal is listed on the illuminati hand signs conspiracy theory website illuminatiRex and described as a 'Merkel-Raute'.

The 'Merkel-Raute' is a reverse variation of the first illuminati 'Roc Sign' - roughly in the shape of a diamond or pyramid - used by celebrities such as actors, Denzel Washington, Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise

Users of the 'Merkel-Raute', as it has become known due to the German's frequent use, have also included other European historical figures including Pope John Paul II and Adolf Hitler.

'The pyramid is an important Illuminati symbol showing their few ruling the many on the bottom type power structure,' the illuminatiRex website states.

'The symbol becomes more powerful when the sign is done over an eye, representing the All-Seeing eye in a capstone floating over an unfinished pyramid.'

'The pyramid sign is seen by many researchers to be THE sign of the Illuminati.'
Sometimes a pair of hands is just a pair of hands...

If You Like Your Scam

Unfortunately, the real thing isn't much better:
Esformes is charged with conspiring with Arnaldo Carmouze, 56, a Palmetto Bay physician’s assistant, and Odette Barcha, 49, a former longtime director of outreach programs at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami. Authorities would not confirm whether that was the local hospital at the center of the alleged scheme.

Esformes is also accused of referring his own network of patients to other convicted healthcare fraud offenders, who swindled Medicare for mental health, prescription drug and home healthcare services and ultimately helped federal investigators target the Miami Beach business executive. According to the indictment, those kickbacks were “disguised” as payments for escort services for Esformes as well as related travel and hotel expenses.

Justice Department officials — along with South Florida’s U.S. attorney, the FBI and Health and Human Services agents — described the Esformes case as one for the record books in the nation’s long-standing battle against healthcare fraud. They noted that while his healthcare network billed $1 billion for fraudulent medical services, Medicare paid Esformes’ skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities about $500 million since 2009.

“This is the largest single criminal healthcare fraud case ever brought against individuals by the Department of Justice,” the criminal division’s assistant attorney general, Leslie R. Caldwell, said Friday during a news conference at the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami.
Actually, I think Obamacare got there first...

The Rehab Dead

Well, even the dead might need treatment:
According to The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Lewis and Trice started running their fraudulent drug program in 2011—and by 2015, they’d allegedly defrauded the state of $60,000. Some of the drug rehab “clients’ listed by Lewis and Trice told police they’d never received treatment from the organization. Others would have been hard to reach in prison. Still others were dead.
The last publicly available tax form for the Mount Hopewell Community Development Corporation, the entity through which the addiction rehabilitation program was operated, dates from two years ago. (The form was marked as received by the IRS in 2015, despite covering the 2013 calendar year.)
In it, Lewis notes that since 2010, the Mount Hopewell Community Development Corporation has received $61,200 in grants for the drug recovery program. It received $14,400 a year from 2010 to 2012, and $18,000 in 2013.
Aside from rehab, group members are also eligible to vote...

The War On Coolants

John Kerry says the greater danger comes from...air conditioners:

True Blue History

How quickly they forget:

Revenge Of The Leakers

Debbie won't do Philly:
A Democratic insider told CNN that Schultz has been dropped from the lineup to “keep the peace” within the party, amid calls from Sanders’ campaign manager for someone at the DNC to be “held accountable” for the anti-Sanders collusion seen in the leaked emails.

That collusion included the leak of a Sanders campaign document to the Wall Street Journal as well as active attempts to harm Sanders’ image with Southern Baptist Democrats by drawing attention to his atheism.

The DNC, and Wasserman Schultz in particular, came under heavy criticism from Sanders during the primaries, during which he accused them of showing favouritism to Hillary Clinton. In this, the WikiLeaks revelations have wholly vindicated him.

According to CNN, Democrat insiders hope that the absence of Schultz will prevent “chaos on the convention floor” from angry Sanders supporters.
They should have thought about that before bad-mouthing them...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bring Out Your Selfies

If you can't trust paramedics:
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that 24-year old Kayla Renee Dubois was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of interception and disclosure of oral communications. Authorities have issued arrest warrants for 33-year old Christopher Wimmer on seven counts of the same charge. The release says Wimmer also faces a misdemeanor battery charge for holding open the eyelid of a sedated patient.

The release says the selfies included 41 patients, three of whom apparently agreed to the photos.

The sheriff’s office began investigating in May after complaints from three other emergency workers. Dubois was fired a week later, and Wimmer resigned the same day.
Patients aren't just there for their entertainment...

The Art Of Hoarding

One person's trash really is another's art:
With more than 4,000 objects from over two dozen collections, “The Keeper” is a sprawling, four-floor exhibit devoted to the art of collecting things, examining not just the method behind the keeper’s madness but the keeper himself.
What does the process of curating and cataloguing objects reveal about the individual collector? What do our collections say about love, loss, the passage of time, and the unpredictable variety of life?
These questions came to mind during the hour or so I spent looking at over 3,000 photographs—almost uniformly black and white—of people with teddy bears.
Collected by Canadian contemporary artist Ydessa Hendeles, most of the photographs hang on walls as part of a floor-to-ceiling installation that looks like a library, with spiral staircases leading up to a mezzanine. Visitors who want to survey every image will likely end up with their cheeks to the floor, scanning photos for harder-to-spot teddy bears as if scanning the pages of “Where’s Waldo.”
It's sort of like Pokemon for art snobs...

Weekend At Jack's

He was just resting:
The restaurant, Hungry Jack’s, issued a statement Saturday confirming the incident at a restaurant near Perth and expressing readiness to cooperate with the investigation. The body of the man, who has not been identified, was discovered Monday morning. He had entered the restaurant on Friday before entering the bathroom, where he was found dead in a stall, according to local media. A police spokesman said the death was not suspicious but police were looking into the circumstances of how the body went unnoticed for so long.
The dining dead?

More Emails, More Problems

Wiki Leaks does it again:
On its web page, Wikileaks said the new cache of emails came from the accounts of "seven key figures in the DNC" and warned that the release was "part one of our new Hillary Leaks series" - an indication that more material might be published soon. Among the officials whose emails were made public were DNC spokesman Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan and finance chief Scott Comer, but other DNC and media figures and even some White House officials communicated with them between January 2015 and last May, Wikileaks said.

The emails include several stinging denunciations of Sanders and his organization before and after the DNC briefly shut off his campaign's access to the party's key list of likely Democratic voters.

The DNC temporarily curtailed Sanders' access to the list in December 2015 because the organization accused the insurgent campaign of illegally tapping into confidential voter information compiled by the Clinton campaign. The Sanders campaign briefly sued the DNC but the party reached an accord with Sanders and the suit was dropped in April.
Team Clinton seems to have a history of email troubles...

Run For The Border

The exodus continues:
No exact figures are available, but the number of Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia is already "quite large," and Colombia should prepare itself for more, Gottwald told AFP in an interview.
"The avalanche is probably going to increase, with or without the reopening of the border," he said.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro closed the countries' border in August 2015 after an attack on an army patrol. He blamed right-wing paramilitaries from Colombia.
The leftist leader briefly reopened it last weekend to allow Venezuelans to stock up on food, medicine and other basic supplies amid severe shortages in Venezuela.
Will the last one to leave Venezuela please turn out the-oh, wait...

The City Of Brotherly Corruption

Hillary will feel right at home:
Philadelphia is no stranger to political malfeasance.

It's where congressmen and other elected officials were caught taking illicit cash payments in the Abscam sting operation in the 1970s. During that investigation, then-Rep. Michael "Ozzie" Myers was caught on tape, saying: "Money talks in this business and bull---- walks."

A state where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were produced is now so rife with political scandal that it scored an F grade in the 2015 State Integrity Investigation.

Over the past decade, former state Sen. Vince Fumo, a Democrat, went to prison for defrauding the state Senate, a South Philadelphia nonprofit and a seaport museum of millions of dollars. Former City Councilman Rick Mariano got prison time for taking bribes.

Jubelier said that it may seem like political infractions are on the rise, but that's only because "everyone's a journalist. All the coverage and the videos and the bloggers." Still, he added, "when you have someone as high up as Chaka Fattah, that levels a boom."
Somebody has to keep them semi-honest...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Listening In

For those in need of a temporary husband:
"For me, the service is a hobby more than anything," says Nishimoto, who first came up with the concept four years ago and who now has a growing network of some 60 men across Japan.

"The initial idea was to improve the image of guys my age, people who might not be spring chickens anymore and not taken so seriously."

And while the 48-year-old professional fashion coordinator is used to renting himself out, he insists conversation is all he offers to between 30 and 40 clients a month, roughly 70 percent of whom are women.

"The people who rent me are just asking me to keep them company for an hour or two, mainly to listen to them," he tells AFP between sessions, giving the example of a woman in her 80s who would book him every week for a walk around the local park.

"I almost became like her son," he says.
No experience necessary...

Clap Off

Hold your applause:
Teachers will be the ones to initiate the silent cheer which is promoted as "a great way to expend children's energy and reduce fidgeting."

The newsletter goes on to explain that "this practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise."

A spokesperson for the New South Wales Education Department points out that the new policy was instituted to "...minimise discomfort to a teacher with a hearing disability that causes acute sensitivity to loud noise."

He also says that the practice will be observed during occasional assemblies, but at other school events, there are no restrictions on clapping and cheering.
Jazz hands, anyone?

Trumping The Media

Naturally, they're not fans:
From Hollyweird:
As much as Hollywood hates Donald Trump, it’s amazing how many of them actually watched the nominee’s highly anticipated RNC speech last night. What’s less amazing were the typical cries of doom and gloom on their Twitter feeds in the wake of Trump’s remarks.

A lot of celebrities had a real problem with how long the speech, which clocked in at over an hour, lasted. Many took to Twitter to vent their frustration. Seinfeld and Veep actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus demanded to know "Is this speech going to end soon? I've had it. "Tremendous problem" #RNCinCLE."
And now the rest. MSNBC:
WILLIE GEIST: Donald Trump painted a picture of an almost dystopian, Mad Max America last night where there’s shoot outs in our streets, where there is terrorism arriving in our stores, where the bridges and roads are crumbling, where the schools have all gone to hell.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I think a lot of people feel that way and certainly the conversations we have had on this show over the past two years have been talking about the decline of America, the decline of our infrastructure.
Maybe because it's true? Finally, the NYT:
With dark imagery and an almost angry tone, Mr. Trump portrayed the United States as a diminished and even humiliated nation, and offered himself as an all-powerful savior who could resurrect the country’s standing in the eyes of both enemies and law-abiding Americans.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” an ominous-sounding Mr. Trump said, standing against a backdrop of American flags. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”
The media can't seem to grasp this, either...

And Now, Germany

Not another one:
Munich police spokeswoman Claudia Kuenzel told The Associated Press there had been "several dead and wounded" in the shooting at Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall. She could not provide exact numbers.

"The shooter or shooters are still on the run" either in or around the mall, she said.

The Bavarian Interior Ministry confirmed at least one dead and multiple people hurt.

Munich police spokesman Thomas Baumann told German news agency dpa the attack started at a fast food restaurant in the mall shortly before 6 p.m. local time. He said police didn't know whether they were dealing with one or multiple shooters.

Public broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk reported that shops in the center of Munich had closed with customers inside. Munich police urged people to avoid public places. "The situation is still unclear," they said on Twitter.
The EU is being destroyed from without, while disintegrating from within...