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BORDER MELTDOWN – OBAMA DELIVERS 290,000 ILLEGALS TO U.S. HOMES

BY NEIL MUNRO
Barry and George
This is insanity. Not to mention the diseases that are now being spread across the United States on planes and buses by this transportation process.

Via Daily Caller:

The vast majority of 50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months have been successfully delivered by federal agencies to their relatives living in the United States, according to a New York Times article.

A second New York Times article reports revealed that officials have caught an additional 240,000 Central American migrants since April, and are transporting many of them to their destinations throughout the United States.

The deluge of 290,000 illegals — so far — are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.

Experts say that President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to close the loopholes and is unlikely to deport more than a small percentage of the illegals, despite the high unemployment rates among American Latino, African-American and white youths, and the strapped budgets of many cities and towns.
The president’s policy has caused protests by frightened citizens in towns such as Murrieta. But Obama’s allies — such as La Raza, an ethnic lobby for Latinos — are eager to escalate the conflict and to paint the protestors as racists. Those protests may escalate before the November elections.

The Central American parents of the 50,000 youths and children are using a 2008 law to ensure their children are transported to them for free by a relay of border patrol and Department of Health and Human Services officials. The youths are delivered to the border patrol by smugglers, dubbed coyotes, in exchange for several thousand dollars.

Half of the 50,000 Central American youths were delivered by taxpayer-funded employees directly to their parents now living in the United States, and another third were delivered to people who said they were close relatives, said the July 3 article.

That new data was included in the 19th paragraph of a 20-paragraph July 3 article.

Top immigration officials choose to not check if the relatives or parents who pick up the children are in the country legally.

Both New York Times articles described the border-crossing illegal aliens as “immigrants.” In fact, “immigrants” is the term for people who legally migrate into the United States.

The 240,000 strong-group largely consists of many mothers and young children, most of whom are now being flown and bussed to destinations near where they wish to settle. That new 240,000 number was included in the seventh paragraph of a 24-paragraph article.

Few of the illegal immigrants are high-school graduates, or have skills that would allow them to earn more than they cost to federal, state and local taxpayers.

Officials have not said where they’ve delivered the adults or youth illegals, but pro-American activists are keeping track of some locations, including San Diego, Calif.

Officials have defended the administration’s catch-and-release policy, which critics say is inviting more Central Americans to cross the border in the hope of being arrested by the border patrol.

“When you have a noncriminal [border-crossing ] mother, they are going to be released,” David Jennings, the head of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency in southern California. “The most humane way to deal with this is to find out where they are going and get them there,” he said at a town meeting held in Murrieta, Calif., according to the New York Times.

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Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/05/border-meltdown-obama-delivering-290000-illegals-to-u-s-homes/#ixzz36tytXlrG

The Veterans Scandal Is Only the Start

By WILLIAM A. GALSTONVA

The recent revelations about the Department of Veterans Affairs point to serious problems. But the root of the scandal is not what self-serving bureaucrats failed to do or tried to cover up; it is a federal budget that prevents us from meeting even the national needs on which our polarized political parties can agree.

Whatever the disagreements about the long wars of the past decades, Democrats and Republicans agree that we must fully honor the debt we have incurred to the tiny fraction of the population that does the fighting for the rest of us. Yes, the budget for the VA has risen sharply since 2002. But the number of returning veterans has risen even faster. Many live with grievous wounds from which they would have succumbed in previous conflicts. Many others struggle with the multiple effects of repeated deployments. Aging Vietnam-era patients require more care, and new responsibilities such as coping with Agent Orange add to the VA’s burden.

In 2002, reports the Financial Times, 46.5 million veterans made outpatient visits to VA facilities. In 2012, the number of such visits had risen to 83.6 million. Between late 2010 and the summer of 2013, average waiting times for veterans’ claims soared from 100 days to 375 days.

Roughly 42%—$66 billion—of the VA’s budget is subject to annual appropriations. That’s the nub of the problem. Our inability to agree on a sustainable approach to long-term fiscal policy has led, by default, to a relentless squeeze on discretionary spending that will hobble us at home and abroad. Last week, for example, the House Armed Services Committee approved an appropriations bill incompatible with long-term restraints in current law. Buck McKeon (R., Calif.), the committee chairman, admitted as much. He was, he said, hoping that “some miracle happens” so that we “get money . . . next year that we don’t have now.” He won’t.

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The Congressional Budget Office’s latest budget projections showed that between 2013 and 2024, discretionary spending—defense and nondefense—is scheduled to fall from 7.2% of GDP to 5.1%, the lowest share since at least 1962. With only five cents out of each dollar of national income, we are supposed to defend the country, care for veterans, address the needs of children and the poor—and invest in the research, education and infrastructure on which America’s future depends. It can’t be done.

Not so fast, say the critics: As the economy expands, even a smaller share can yield increased resources. That’s true in principle, but not in current practice. Last February, the CBO calculated the cost of maintaining appropriations, adjusted for inflation, at 2014 levels over the next decade. That total exceeded currently enacted limits by $735 billion.

Ten years from now, the funds available for the military and domestic programs will buy less than they do today. Meanwhile, costs in both categories are likely to rise faster than the rate of inflation. “Doing more with less” is a catchy slogan, but it only diverts attention from the real problem: the contradiction between our needs and the resources we commit to meet them.

The current structure of the federal budget makes this outcome inevitable. By 2015, federal revenues will recover from the Great Recession and stabilize at about 18% of GDP over the next decade. By 2024, however, we are on track to spend fully 17% of GDP on just two items—mandatory programs and interest on the debt—leaving almost nothing for discretionary spending. It only gets worse in the following decade.

That’s a formula for endlessly increasing deficits and an ever-rising ratio of debt to GDP. After bottoming out at $469 billion next year, the CBO projects, the annual deficit will begin to rise again and will exceed $1 trillion by the early 2020s. After doubling from 35% to more than 70% during the Great Recession, debt as a share of GDP will near 80% by 2024. Although we reached a truce in the budget wars, we’ve only postponed the problem.

We know roughly how many veterans the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will add to the VA’s rolls, and we can estimate what they will cost per capita. Non-magical thinking would budget the amount required to meet their needs. We would have an honest public debate about the size and shape of the armed forces in coming decades, and we would appropriate what is necessary to make that blueprint a reality.

We would ask ourselves how much the government should invest in areas that promote growth, and we would stop pretending that shortfalls won’t have consequences. We would also stop pretending that meeting the needs of the poor would be cheaper if we transfer programs to the states, and that cutting waste, fraud and abuse would solve our problems. And then, finally, we would be forced to confront the fiscal and economic consequences of putting revenues and mandatory programs on autopilot.

Feds ignite suspicion with explosive buying spree

by Steve Peacock

Explosion

Two days after WND uncovered a U.S. State Department plan to buy hundreds of pounds of plastic explosives and thousands of containers of liquid explosives, the agency – which refuses to comment on the discovery – awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts for the blasting supplies.

The explosives, including hundreds of pounds of C4, originally were to be shipped to Sterling, Virginia, home to the Diplomatic Pouch and Mail Unit, or DPM/U. The unit is tasked with sending secure pouches and crates to U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, as previously reported.

The original contracting documents still mention the DPM/U shipping destination and list a State Department contracting office address in Dun Loring, Virginia, site of a diplomatic-security field office.

But the new contract awards suddenly identify the contracting office address as 1701 N. Ft. Myer Dr., Arlington, Virginia – headquarters of the Office of Security Management within the State Department Construction, Facility and Security Management Directorate.

The directorate is a division of State’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, or OBO, whose mission is to provide “safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff as they work to achieve U.S. foreign policy objectives.”

The State Department thus far has awarded contracts in two explosives-procurement actions. Both went to the Arkansas-based Omni Explosives.

Omni will get $320,000 via Contract Award No. 10524H1636 to provide State with 450 pounds of C4 M112 explosives, nearly 2,600 containers of liquid and aluminum-powder explosives, 188 feet of “linear-shaped charges” and more than 8,000 blasting caps and other equipment. The award satisfies Solicitation No. FY14-GC-273.

State will pay Omni an additional $30,000 via Contract Award No. 10524H0257 for another 225 pounds of C4 plastic explosives, five pounds of C2 “sheet explosives” and 144 bottles of high-energy liquid explosives.

Accompanying the order, which satisfies Solicitation No. FY14-GC-281, are thousands of feet of detonating cord plus 18,000 feet of military-grade safety fuses and hundreds of blasting caps and fuse igniters.

State has not yet awarded contracts in Solicitation No. FY14-GC-282, which seeks yet another combination of C4 block, sheet and liquid explosives with accompanying caps, igniters and related blasting equipment. Nor has it awarded a contract for “explosive entry systems,” “blasting tubes” and inert C4 and dynamite via Solicitation no. FY14-GC-272.

The State Department in the meantime appears ready, for reasons unknown, to privatize some of its diplomatic pouch-service functions.

Within days of awarding the contracts for the explosives, which are to be delivered to the Sterling diplomatic facility, the Office of Logistics Management in State’s Bureau of Administration revealed its need for contractors “to provide technical, management, and labor necessary for Diplomatic Pouch and Mail Support Services at various Department of State Facilities in the Metro DC area.”

The ultimate destination for the explosives remains shrouded in secrecy, as State has failed to explain its intentions for the destructive materials.

Indeed, WND’s entreaties to State’s Office of Press Relations initially were met with laughter.

That inquiry was then stonewalled by a State spokesperson’s purported puzzlement about what WND wanted to know about the explosives.

Among other questions, State was asked to explain how the blasting equipment fits with its mission to “shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.”

State has not responded, despite putting in writing this and other questions, such as: “For what purpose is the department making these purchases? How – and where and by whom – will these explosives be used?”

State also recently published a bid request on a combined package of products ranging from explosives-storage lockers to hundreds of cans of spray paint.

It separately issued a similarly varied solicitation seeking several “ARMAG type” explosives-storage boxes – two eight-feet tall and another two that are 12-feet high – that meet all Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms “specifications for fire, weather and theft resistance.”

The solicitation also listed items such as binoculars, whistles, four 100-feet parachute cords and one roll of yellow, crime-scene marking tape.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/feds-ignite-suspicion-with-explosive-buying-spree/#ioVYP51iTTvYHWkg.99

Flight 370 Passenger Philip Wood Allegedly Sends Message from U.S. Military Base in Indian Ocean

There are rumblings that the passengers of Malaysian Flight 370 may be alive and incarcerated at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. If this proves to be true, then a likely scenario is that this was a false flag pulled off by the U.S. Government.
Please keep in mind that there are those out there who create conspiracy theories and accompanying evidence as a hobby. With modern technology, it is getting easier and easier to do. This may or may not be one of those times.

The story is that missing Flight 370 passenger Philip Wood, an IBM employee and Texas native, was able to send a picture and message to an internet message board.

Below is an excerpt from jimstonefreelance.com:
The story is that missing Flight 370 passenger Philip Wood, an IBM employee and Texas native, was able to send a picture and message to an internet message board. Below is an excerpt from jimstonefreelance.com:
1395192158752
This image, which appears black was posted as taken in a dark cell by IBM engineer Philip Wood. SAVE IT TO YOUR DESKTOP. RIGHT CLICK IT. SELECT PROPERTIES. CLICK DETAILS, THAT REVEALS THE EXIF. Shills are saying I did not post the Exif. Shills pray for people to be stupid. NOTHING PROVES IT BETTER THAN THE ACTUAL IMAGE. THAT IS WHY I POSTED THE ACTUAL IMAGE. The picture is black because the cell was too dark, but a critical piece of information was embedded in the Exif data, the coordinates to Diego Garcia, where the picture was taken. And it’s real; this is NOT a hoax. The coordinates in the picture indicate that the photo was taken within 3 miles of what Google officially gives for Diego Garcia. It is NOT EXACTLY what comes up on Google. It is off a couple miles, so NO ONE GOOGLED THIS, thus helping to confirm its authenticity. I don’t know how big the island is, but if it has a runway, that certainly fits.
The picture posted with the following text: “I have been held hostage by unknown military personal after my flight was hijacked (blindfolded). I work for IBM and I have managed to hide my cellphone in my ass during the hijack. I have been separated from the rest of the passengers and I am in a cell. My name is Philip Wood. I think I have been drugged as well and cannot think clearly.”
ASTEROID IMPACT LEVEL UPDATE: SCAMMERS ARE SAYING THERE NEVER WAS A PHILIP WOOD WORKING FOR IBM. BUT HIS LINKEDIN DESTROYS THAT LIE AND CONFIRMS THE STORY:

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/03/flight-370-passenger-philip-wood-allegedly-sends-message-u-s-military-base-indian-ocean/#7vHUS0r2VR7lmcgh.99

Historic: 1st State Adopts Plan to Rein in Feds

state-led-conventionThe plan to put the brakes on Washington’s expansion of the federal government is under way.

Convention of States confirmed that the Georgia legislature on Thursday passed the organization’s application “to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”

State Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, told the organization he is “pleased that the Georgia legislature has given voice to the frustrations of millions of Georgians.”

“Enough is enough. It is time to impose fiscal and other restraints on our runaway federal government. We urge other states to join us,” said Macon, the primary sponsor of the resolution.

“We Georgians have become the hope of the nation today,” said Jacqueline Peterson, the Georgia state director for the Convention of States Project. “Many thanks to our state legislators for standing for liberty. May God bless us, every single one!”
The idea is to have an Article V Convention of States, the one process the U.S. Constitution gives to citizens to bypass the White House, Congress and even their own governors to establish a new path for the nation.

The new president in 2017 would face new limits on executive orders, Commerce Clause actions, a balanced federal budget and a ban on using international treaties to govern inside the U.S. if the state-based movement is successful.

There could even be term limits for Supreme Court justices and Congress, and a mandatory sunset of all existing federal taxes.

The ideas are being discussed in legislatures where a Convention of the States has been proposed.

The Convention of States Project, launched by Citizens for Self Governance, is working to have state lawmakers call such a convention through the Constitution’s Article V.

Thousands of Americans already have signed on in support of the idea that Americans, themselves, need to address Washington’s massive spending, over-regulation and takeover of authority from states.

State lawmakers in Alaska, Alabama, Florida and elsewhere also are now looking at plans that if approved would be submitted to Congress in support of a convention.

Michael Farris, who has been know for years as the face of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, now is on the front line of seeking a convention in which state delegates would meet, agree on a path for the country and then tell Congress what will happen.

Tell Congress?

Exactly that, if the amendments are proposed at the convention and ratified by the states.

The organization proposes a convention for “the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”

“We believe the grassroots is the key to calling a successful convention,” the promoters say. “The goal is to build a political operation in a minimum of 40 states, getting 100 people to volunteer in at least 75 percent of the state’s legislative districts. We believe this is very doable. Only through the support of the American people will this project have a chance to succeed.”

Among the issues that could fall under the single subject would be a balanced budget amendment, a new definition of the General Welfare Clause, a redefinition of the Commerce Clause, a ban on the use of treaty provisions inside the U.S., limits on executive orders, term limits for Congress and the Supreme Court, federal tax limits and a sunset of all existing federal taxes.

“Of course, these are merely examples of what would be up for discussion,” the promoters say. “The convention of states itself would determine which ideas deserve serious consideration, and it will take a majority of votes from the states to formally propose any amendments.”

Farris told WND he expects support for a convention to be gathered over a period of two to three legislative cycles.

The timing would align with the 2016 presidential election.

Farris said it definitely would throw a wrench in the works.

“In my opinion, a good wrench,” he said. “We are convinced that Washington, D.C., is broken and that it will never, ever fix itself.”

He said all three branches need fixing.

“The judiciary legislates, the legislative branch, the Congress uses power it never was intended to have, and the president misuses power worse that George III ever thought of,” he said.

He earlier told WND that Washington, D.C., “will never voluntarily relinquish power.”

“If we allow Washington, D.C., to continue on its current course of big government, it will utterly destroy American liberty. Debt is the most tangible method of destruction. But big government complete with spying on the American public, the improper use of executive orders, over-regulation, etc., etc., will most certainly destroy American liberty relatively soon.”

Farris said trying to elect more conservatives hasn’t worked, and there really shouldn’t be a fear that the Constitution would be opened up to destruction. After all, any change would have to be approved by voters in 38 states.

“The Founders gave us Article V for the very purpose of creating structural change when the federal government abuses its power,” Farris said. “State legislatures control this process from beginning to end. Governors are irrelevant. Congress can only name the time and place. State legislature name the delegates and give them their instructions.

“We will either get good amendments or we will get nothing,” he continued. “The people who must approve the work product – state legislatures – are the ones who name the delegates. They are also the ones who give the convention its subject matter.”

Would anyone be interested in the idea of removing federal officials?

“State legislatures currently have no power to impeach federal officials from their states. This is not a viable option. This would, however, be a proper amendment to suggest at the Convention of States we are proposing. I like the idea of giving the state governments the power to impeach congressman and senators from their states,” Farris said

Another possibility?

“The federal courts regularly refuse to rule on constitutional issues they want to avoid by calling them ‘political questions’ or by claiming that no one has standing to sue … One of my ideas for an amendment would be to automatically grant state legislatures standing to challenge any action of the federal government as violating its constitutional limitations,” he said.

There also could be a fix to the problem of an entrenched Supreme Court.

“I [would] propose reconfiguring the Supreme Court after the model of the European Court of Human Rights. There are 46 nations in that court’s jurisdiction, and every nation appoints one judge. We should expand the Supreme Court to 50 justices and have the states appoint the justices for a specific term (six or eight years) with no right of reappointment. That one change would do more to ensure a constitutional government than anything I know,” Farris said.

The Convention of States Project contends that “who decides what the law shall be is even more important than what is decided.”

“The protection of liberty requires a strict adherence to the principle that power is limited and delegated,” the organization explained.

Even the Supreme Court has acknowledged the federal government has overreached, stating in a 1992 case: “The federal government undertakes activities today that would have been unimaginable to the Framers in two senses; first, because the Framers would not have conceived that any government would conduct such activities; and second, because the Framers would not have believed that the federal government, rather than the states, would assume such responsibilities.”

The organization has posted online details of how state legislatures can advance the project.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/historic-1st-state-adopts-plan-to-rein-in-feds/#Ogbx1zsICbXWlZ81.99

Islamic Iran Sends Threatening Message to Obama: Iranian Warships Patrolling Off US Atlantic Coast

IRAN MANEUVERS
A senior Iranian naval commander says his country has sent several warships to the Atlantic Ocean, close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time.

The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying Saturday that the vessels have already begun the journey to the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa.

“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” Haddad reportedly said, according to Fars, a semi-official Iranian news agency.

Iranian officials said last month that the fleet consisted of the destroyer Sabalan and the logistic helicopter carrier Khark, which will be on a three-month mission. The ships are carrying some 30 navy academy cadets for training along with their regular crews.

Haddad says the fleet is approaching U.S. maritime borders for the first time. The Islamic Republic considers the move as a response to U.S. naval deployments near its own coastlines. The U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet is based in nearby Bahrain — across the gulf from Iran.

Iran has regularly deployed warships to the Gulf of Aden off the eastern coast of Africa to fight privacy and protect commercial ships.

It has also sent its warships to Syrian waters in recent years.

In 2012, Iran said it aims to put warships in international waters off the U.S. coast within the next few years, and extend its reach as far as Antarctica.

First IRS, now FBI shafts tea party

DC_tea_party
WASHINGTON — “It appears that the FBI is in the pocket of the Department of Justice and the White House.”
by Garth Kant

That’s how attorney Cleta Mitchell described to WND the news that the FBI doesn’t plan to file criminal charges against anyone at the IRS for targeting conservative groups.

Mitchell has represented about a dozen conservative groups that were subjected to dubious, invasive and extra scrutiny by the IRS while applying for tax-exempt status.

She expressed a sarcastic skepticism that the Justice Department would ever fully investigate the IRS.

“To quote Faye Dunaway in the last scene in ‘Chinatown,’ when she yells at Jack Nicholson ‘… he OWNS the police.’”

“Therein lies the problem,” concluded the high-powered Washington attorney.

Tea-party advocates are upset the FBI does not seem interested in getting the story from the victims, only the purported victimizers.

Attorney Cleta Mitchell
“I can confirm that the FBI has not contacted me, any of my clients, or any other organizations who were victimized by the IRS,” Mitchell told WND.

“Some investigation,” she wryly added.

That was the identical experience of perhaps the most powerful person in the conservative grassroots movement, Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella organization supporting thousands of local organizations and millions of members.

“It’s amazing that this is the result of the supposed investigation,” she told WND. “The FBI never once contacted us. They never contacted any of our attorneys.”

“Tea Party Patriots and I are in touch with locals leaders around the country every single day – none of those people were contacted by the FBI,” said an exasperated and incredulous Martin.

Despite evidence from the Treasury Department that the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, law-enforcement officials leaked word to the Wall Street Journal that investigators didn’t find the kind of political bias or “enemy hunting” that would amount to a violation of criminal law.

“What kind of investigation is this – where you don’t even talk to and interview the people who were victimized in the crime?” wondered Martin.

WND asked her, as far as you can tell, is there actually an investigation?

“I never saw an investigation,” she said. “If there was, they were not talking to the people who were most affected. We were never contacted, and I’ve heard of no one who has been contacted.”

Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin
That echoed what Mitchell told the Wall Street Journal.

“As far as I can tell, nobody has actually done an investigation. This has been a big, bureaucratic, former-Soviet-Union-type investigation, which means that there was no investigation,” she said. “This is a deplorable abuse of the public trust, but I am not surprised.”

Sources told the paper the FBI discovered a mismanaged bureaucracy at the IRS merely bungled enforcement rules about tax-exemption applications it didn’t understand.

However, the evidence points to a much greater targeting of conservative groups than progressive organizations.

The audit of the targeting practice by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found only “30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words ‘progress’ or ‘progressive’ in their names were processed as potential political cases.”

“In comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with tea party, patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the time frame of our audit.”

The IRS even admitted that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status were inappropriately given close scrutiny between May 2010 and May 2012, which delayed approvals for months, and sometimes years.

“The evidence shows us that conservative groups were not only flagged, but targeted and abused by the IRS,” said Sarah Swinehart, spokeswoman for the House Ways and Means Committee.

The American Center for Law and Justice, or ACLJ, which represents 41 organizations in a federal lawsuit against the IRS, said the investigation is nothing more than a “sham” designed to protect those responsible.

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ
“From Day 1, it was apparent the Obama administration was never really interested in getting to the truth. This latest revelation directly conflicts with the facts and evidence in our case – that our clients were deliberately singled out and targeted because of their conservative political beliefs.” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.

After seven months, the FBI actually did contact the ACLJ late in December requesting interviews with several of their clients. But just days ago, the ACLJ said it would re-evaluate that request after it was revealed that a top Obama supporter in the Department of Justice was named to head-up the criminal investigation.

“The appointment of Barbara Bosserman – a major political donor – to oversee the criminal probe is a significant conflict of interest,” said Sekulow. “What’s amazing is that her short tenure at the helm – just a matter of days – apparently was long enough to conclude no criminal charges will be filed against those responsible for the targeting scheme.”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, released a statement that was also critical of the appointment of Bosserman, because “congressional investigators independently discovered that a high-dollar contributor to the Obama administration failed to recuse herself.”

“These revelations further undermine the credibility of the Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department under his leadership. Given the circumstances, there is little reason for the American people to have confidence in this investigation,” they concluded.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was as incredulous as anyone over the news.

“How can the Department of Justice say that no charges will be filed when its investigation into the targeting of conservative groups isn’t finished?”

Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/first-irs-now-fbi-shafts-tea-party/#U83uwMUTT2LfBm4q.99

10 Things You Might Not Realize You’re Paying For Through Washington’s Budget Deal

Washington is currently considering a $1.1 trillion appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014. The 1,582-page mother of a document sets the spending priorities (not limits) for a variety of government agencies and initiatives. Here are a few you may not know about:

#1 – “Increased Intelligence Collection” Efforts Against Notorious Ugandan Guerilla Leader Joseph Kony: $30 million

#2 – Equipment for School Cafeterias: $25 million

#3 – Marketing Campaign to Prevent Domestic Terrorism: $3 million

#4 – National Endowments for the Arts and National Endowment for Humanities – $146 million

#5 – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – $10.5 million

#6 – HIV/AIDS Programs – $2.3 billion

#7 – Department of Education’s “First of the World” Initiative – $75 million

#8 – Veterans Affairs Employee Training and Overtime Pay – $100 million

#9 – Amtrak – $1.39 billion

#10 – Architect of the Capitol’s Office – $602 million

Read more at http://visiontoamerica.com/16627/10-things-you-might-not-realize-youre-paying-for-through-washingtons-budget-deal/#YSCcmDR7bqXuyshj.99

Conservative Groups To Boehner: You Want A War? You Got It.

Boehner at the 113th Congress in WashingtonHouse Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) lashed out against “outside” conservative organizations this week for criticizing an $85 billion bipartisan budget compromise that many conservatives feel doesn’t do enough to cut spending. Now, conservative groups are ramping up their criticisms of the Speaker.
The lawmaker didn’t name any specific groups during a critical press conference Thursday, but it is well known that organizations like Heritage Action and Club for Growth have called out Boehner for his willingness to meet Democrats’ demands in the past. The House Speaker said that the “outside” groups, which have strongly supported many Tea Party candidates, have gone too far this time.
In a statement, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin responded, saying that Boehner has declared war on the American people for trying to hold politicians accountable.
She said:
Speaker Boehner thinks ‘outside groups’ are the problem? Does he really think the American voters who are involved in the tea party, who got him elected, should not demand accountability of their elected representatives?
The Speaker’s anger and ire is misdirected towards the wrong people. President Obama is choosing whether to enforce laws in the country or not by whim. He changes policy through press conferences and tweets. He rewrites law by fiat. Members of Congress renege on their pledges not to spend more or increases taxes on hardworking Americans.
Martin also issued a stern warning to Boehner, the “ruling class politician” who only pretends to be conservative while remaining a “tax-and-spend liberal”:
Frankly, Mr. Speaker, continuously making promises and then breaking them is how you lose credibility with the American people. Pitting your colleagues against their constituents is how you lose credibility with your conference. Not upholding conservative principles is how you lose credibility with the voters who will find someone else if you are not willing to do your job.
Meanwhile, Heritage Action said that Boehner is simply trying to pick a fight because a political quarrel will serve to distract Americans from a serious conversation about inadequacies in the budget proposal.
“The Speaker is trying to turn this into a boring fight between outside groups and himself so we are not having a policy debate about whether or not this is a good deal,” Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said Friday.
Needham added, “This deal increases spending, this deal increases taxes. And that is bad for the county and that is what we want to be focused on.”
Furthermore, according to Needham, Boehner is giving conservatives a taste of what to expect when immigration reform debates begin next year.
Responding to Boehner’s charge that certain conservative groups knew the government shutdown strategy wouldn’t be a success for the GOP in repealing Obamacare, but pushed conservative lawmakers to support it nonetheless, Needham said: “The Speaker is being absurd.”
Needham noted that Heritage hasn’t even been working to totally repeal Obamacare in recent months, which he sees as impossible as long as President Barack Obama is in office.
“If I thought we could repeal Obamacare I would have spent the month of August on a ‘repeal Obamacare’ tour. We spent it on a defund tour,” he said.
Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), one of the authors of the controversial budget deal, sought to soften Boehner’s criticism along with conservative blowback on Friday.
“He was frustrated that these groups came out in opposition to our budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement,” Ryan said, according to The Hill.
Ryan went on to try to distance himself from Boehner’s stance.
“I was frustrated, too,” he said. “But I think these are very important elements of our conservative family. I would prefer to keep those conversations within the family. And I think he was just basically voicing his frustration with their opposition before we had reached our agreement.”
He added: “I think these taxpayer groups are indispensable to keeping taxpayer interest accounted for, keeping people accountable. And we sometimes have difference of opinions on tactics. We all believe the same thing with respect to our ultimate goal.”

Debtors Prison Making Comeback in US: Authoritarian Local Governments Throwing People in Jail

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

As if out of a Charles Dickens novel, people struggling to pay overdue fines and fees associated with court costs for even the simplest traffic infractions are being thrown in jail across the United States.

Critics are calling the practice the new “debtors’ prison” — referring to the jails that flourished in the U.S. and Western Europe over 150 years ago. Before the time of bankruptcy laws and social safety nets, poor folks and ruined business owners were locked up until their debts were paid off.

Reforms eventually outlawed the practice. But groups like the Brennan Center for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union say it’s been reborn in local courts which may not be aware it’s against the law to send indigent people to jail over unpaid fines and fees — or they just haven’t been called on it until now.

Advocates are trying to convince courts that aside from the legal questions surrounding the practice, it is disproportionately jailing poor people and doesn’t even boost government revenues — in fact, governments lose money in the process.

“It’s a waste of taxpayer resources, and it undermines the integrity of the justice system,” Carl Takei, staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Prison Project, told FoxNews.com.

“The problem is it’s not actually much of a money-making proposition … to throw people in jail for fines and fees when they can’t afford it. If counties weren’t spending the money jailing people for not paying debts, they could be spending the money in other ways.”

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law released a “Tool Kit for Action” in 2012 that broke down the cost to municipalities to jail debtors in comparison with the amount of old debt it was collecting. It doesn’t look like a bargain. For example, according to the report, Mecklenburg County, N.C., collected $33,476 in debts in 2009, but spent $40,000 jailing 246 debtors — a loss of $6,524.

Fines are the court-imposed payments linked to a conviction — whether it be for a minor traffic violation like driving without a license or a small drug offense, all the way up to felony. Fees are all those extras tacked on by the court to fund administrative services. These vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, with some courts imposing more than others.

As states and counties grapple with shrinking budgets and yearly shortfalls, new fees are often imposed to make up the difference, though they can be quite overwhelming to individuals passing through the system — 80 percent of whom qualify as indigent (impoverished and unable to pay), according to the Brennan Center. Florida, for example, has added 20 new fees since 1996, according to the center. North Carolina imposes late fees on debt not paid and surcharges on payment plans.

More and more, courts are dragging people in for fines and fees that have ballooned due to interest imposed on the initial sums. Some owe money to the public defender’s office for the representation they received during their time in court. Others incur hundreds of dollars in fees while they’re incarcerated — for everything from toilet paper to the beds inmates sleep on.

The tab for the average offender could be as low as $250 or as high as $4,000. Both the ACLU and Brennan have been targeting big states with multiple jurisdictions they say are flouting U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 1970, 1971 and 1983. Those rulings essentially say courts cannot extend or impose a jail sentence for unpaid fines and fees if individuals do not have the ability to pay.

At the very least, according to the high court, the courts must inquire and assess whether a person is indigent and might benefit from an alternative method of payment, like community service, before sentencing.

Debtors prizon“Even though a lot of jurisdictions do have statutes on the books that allow judges to waive fines and fees, it doesn’t always happen,” explained Lauren Brooke-Eisen, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Justice Program.

Much of the time, probation or the conviction itself will hinder individuals from finding employment (Brennan estimates that some 60 percent are still unemployed a year after leaving jail). But another incarceration over debt could either ruin the job they managed to get or make it even harder to find one.

Many jurisdictions have taken to hiring private collection/probation companies to go after debtors, giving them the authority to revoke probation and incarcerate if they can’t pay. Research into the practice has found that private companies impose their own additional surcharges. Some 15 private companies have emerged to run these services in the South, including the popular Judicial Correction Services (JCS).
In 2012, Circuit Judge Hub Harrington at Harpersville Municipal Court in Alabama shut down what he called the “debtors’ prison” process there, echoing complaints that private companies are only in it for the money. He cited JCS in part for sending indigent people to jail. Calling it a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket,” Harrington said many defendants were locked up on bogus failure-to-appear warrants, and slapped with more fines and fees as a result.

Repeated calls to JCS in Alabama and Georgia were not returned.

Defenders of the collection programs say the money is owed to the state and it’s the government’s right to go after it. “When, and only when, an individual is convicted of a crime, there are required fees and court costs,” Pamela Dembe, president of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, which oversees Philadelphia, said in a statement to reporters in May. An earlier review by the courts found an estimated 400,000 residents owed the city money. “If the defendant doesn’t pay, law-abiding taxpayers must pay these costs.”

Meanwhile, there’s evidence that groups like the ACLU are prompting reforms.

For example, the ACLU released “The Outskirts of Hope,” on court practices in Ohio. The report told the story of one couple, John Bundren and Samantha Reed, who both had racked up court fines. Bundren’s, which traced back to underage drinking and public intoxication convictions from his teenage years, totaled $3,000. They paid her fines before his, and Bundren ended up spending 41 days in jail because he couldn’t pay his own.

The ACLU found that seven out of 11 counties they studied were operating de facto debtors’ prisons, despite clear “constitutional and legislative prohibitions.” Some were worse than others. In the second half of 2012 in Huron County, 20 percent of arrests were for failure to pay fines. The Sandusky Municipal Court in Erie County jailed 75 people in a little more than a month during the summer of 2012. The ACLU says it costs upwards of $400 in Ohio to execute a warrant and $65 a night to jail people.

As a result of the study, the Ohio State Supreme Court has begun educating judges and personnel on the statutes and constitutional restrictions of collecting fines and fees, Bret Crow, spokesman for the state court, told FoxNews.com. It is also developing a “bench card,” intended as a reference guide for county judges.

More recently in Colorado, the state ACLU completed a report on “pay or serve” programs throughout the state. In the case of Wheatridge and Northglenn counties, the penalty was one day in the clink for every $50 owed; in Westminster, every offender got an automatic 10 days in jail.

The report also found that one jail racked up more than $70,000 in costs for incarcerating 154 people over a five-month period in 2012 — and only managed to collect $40,000 in overdue fines and fees in that time.

Mark Silverstein, a staff attorney at the Colorado ACLU, claimed judges in these courts never assess the defendants’ ability to pay before sentencing them to jail, which would be unconstitutional.

John Stipech, Municipal Court judge in Westminster, Colo., told FoxNews.com he agreed with the tenets of the ACLU investigation, but added that the practice of the automatic 10-day jail sentence was already scrapped by Westminster in December 2012. “It was because we had jail space problems and beds needed to be limited to actual criminals,” he said.

He complained that local coverage of the ACLU report “makes it sound like we’re putting everyone in jail.” He said he asks everyone who comes before him if they have the ability to pay. He acknowledged, however, that his court is working with the ACLU and will be instituting formal “show cause” hearings to determine indigence.

“Maybe the ACLU did some good, they brought it to my attention. Maybe they just should have done it in a better way,” Stipech said.

Brooke-Eisen said the reform movement is proceeding, albeit slowly in tough fiscal times.

“A lot of the jurisdictions are still using fines and fees and passing legislation to add more fees and fines,” she said.

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