DOMESTIC: Snell et al – Detroit bankrupt; Pavlich – radical Tom Perez takes Labor; Bastach – McCarthy confirmed for EPA; Farivar – Cops tracking you @ 60/sec; Kimball – weaponizing acronyms.
HEALTH CARE: York – Bizarre turns in Ocare.
MIDDLE EAST: Scarborough –Benghazi emails.
IMMIGRATION: Hanson – Hook, crook, comic book; Berman – Boehner’s citizenship for children.
IRS: Noonan – Bombshell: political conductor; IRS goes to DC; Cincinnati surprised.
NSA: Confesses some more.
PA: Knepper – more tpk corruption.
END NOTE: O’Keefe’s first book.
“Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), a member of the ‘Gang of Eight’ that helped write and pass the immigration reform bill in that chamber, said he did not know how many passports a person could forge under the proposed law before being charged with a crime” Alissa Tabirian,CNS
July 23rd, Noon: Pressure the House of Representatives (and especially Speaker Boehner!) to form a select committee to investigate the tragedy that was Benghazi
As a first step toward causing Congress to get serious about assigning responsibility for what happened at Benghazi, we are organizing a rally at Cong. Stockman’s request that will be held on the steps of the US Capitol.
That rally will hear words from a number of patriots, including Cong. Stockman and Cong. Louie Gohmert, both of whom have been very supportive of our efforts to answer Hillary Clinton’s heartless answer to a Senator’s question about the men who died at Benghazi: “What difference does it make?”
Be with us next week as we demonstrate to Hillary and others like her “what difference it makes.” Bring yourself, a carload, or a busload, but be there.
Captain Larry Bailey, SEAL, USN Navy http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3043707/posts?page=25
1848: The first women’s rights convention in the United States convened at Seneca Falls, New York.
1949: Twentieth Century Fox gave Marilyn Monroe her first screen test.
1984: The Democratic National Convention in San Francisco nominated Congresswoman Geraldine Farraro for vice president, making her the first woman on a major political party’s presidential ticket. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
DOMESTIC . . .
Snell et al., Detroit News: “Creditors to fight Detroit insolvency claim”
“Detroit— The city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history Thursday, culminating a decades-long slide that transformed the nation’s iconic industrial town into a model of urban decline crippled by population loss, a dwindling tax base and financial problems.
“Gov. Rick Snyder justified approving the historic filing by reciting a litany of the city’s ills, including more than $18 billion in debt, maxed-out tax rates, the highest murder rate in 40 years, 78,000 abandoned buildings and a half-century of residential flight. He said the city failed to provide basic services to residents or pay creditors.
“The filing, which has broad implications for the nation’s municipal bond market and sanctity of public pension funds, was met with outrage, disappointment and a vow to fight. . .”
Drudge Report (7/19/2013)
Filing Paints Bleak Picture of Motor City...
Pension Funds Sue to Block...
City official demands federal taxpayer bailout...
FLASHBACK: Obama 2012: 'We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt'...
Former Romney spokesman blasts...
36 Municipal Bankruptcy Filings Since Jan '10...
Bernanke says he is 'not qualified' to offer refinancing advice...
Katie Pavlich, Town Hall: “Radical Tom Perez Confirmed for Labor Secretary”
“President Obama’s nominee for Labor Secretary, radical and former Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, has been confirmed by the Senate after months of serious questions surrounding his record.
“The confirmation comes after a recent Inspector General report showed gross mismanagement, abuse and intimidation by Perez toward attorneys inside the Department of Justice. In particular, the complaints are in relation to the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case. More from Christian Adams: . . .”
Michael Bastach, Daily Caller: “Senate confirms Gina McCarthy to head EPA”
“After months of stalling, the Senate finally voted to confirm Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s pick to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.
“On Thursday, the Senate voted 69 to 31 to end debate and move to a final confirmation vote. The chamber then voted to confirm McCarthy in a 59 to 40 vote, angering some Republicans who have opposed what they describe as the EPA’s “anti-coal” agenda.
“‘By nominating Gina McCarthy to serve at the helm of President Obama’s overreaching EPA, he has essentially promoted his lieutenant in the war on coal to be commanding general,’ said Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who voted against McCarthy. . .”
Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica: “The cops are tracking my car—and yours”
“OAKLAND, CA—The last time the Oakland Police Department (OPD) saw me was on May 6, 2013 at 6:38:25pm.
“My car was at the corner of Mandana Blvd. and Grand Ave., just blocks away from the apartment that my wife and I moved out of about a month earlier. It’s an intersection I drive through fairly frequently even now, and the OPD’s own license plate reader (LPR) data bears that out. One of its LPRs—Unit 1825—captured my car passing through that intersection twice between late April 2013 and early May 2013.
“I have no criminal record, have committed no crime, and am not (as far as I know) under investigation by the OPD or any law enforcement agency. Since I first moved to Oakland in 2005, I’ve been pulled over by the OPD exactly once—for accidentally not making a complete stop while making a right-hand turn at a red light—four years ago. Nevertheless, the OPD’s LPR system captured my car 13 times between April 29, 2012 and May 6, 2013 at various points around the city, and it retained that data. My car is neither wanted nor stolen. The OPD has no warrant on me, no probable cause, and no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, yet it watches where I go. Is that a problem?
“LPR deployments—which are rapidly expanding throughout the country to cities and towns big and small—help law enforcement officers scan license plates extremely quickly (typically, 60 plates per second) and run those against a “hot list” of cars that are wanted or stolen. . .”
Roger Kimball, PJM: “Weaponizing the Acronyms that Rule Us”
“How does despotism come to a modern democracy? Tocqueville thought it was by means of the regulatory state, which “extends its arms over society as a whole.”
‘[I]t covers its surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way to surpass the crowd; . . . it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.’
“Exactly how would you go about doing this? Ask the acronyms, starting with the NSA and IRS (and let’s not forget the EPA). The NSA hoovers up information about everyone everywhere because you just don’t know who might turn out to be a security threat. (And given our government’s penchant for criminalizing behavior that only yesterday was considered innocent, the category “security threat” just grows and grows and grows.) bottom it is a weaponized bureaucracy, deployed to intimidate, silence, and punish individuals and enterprises deemed to be at odds with the ruling nomenklatura in Washington. . .”
HEALTH CARE . . .
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Obamacare battle takes bizarre turns”
“. . . In the last couple of years, House Republicans have voted over and over to repeal the president’s health care plan. It got to be routine. This week, however, the Obamacare wars took a turn toward the bizarre.
“The cause was the administration’s decision to delay by one year the mandate requiring big businesses to provide health coverage for employees or pay a fine. The White House acted in response to complaints from business owners, who called the mandate burdensome.
“So Republicans thought: What about all those individuals out there who believe the mandate requiring them to buy coverage or pay a fine is just as burdensome? As the GOP saw it, the White House listened to big business but ignored the little guy.
“So Republicans came up with a two-part strategy that would, among other goals, sound out House Democrats’ attitudes toward Obamacare less than three months before it is to become a reality in American life.
“First, Republicans introduced a bill that would write into law what the president had already done by fiat — that is, delay the employer mandate a year. That seemed unnecessary, and a little mischievous, but the serious point, according to one House GOP aide, was to emphasize that “the president can’t just determine which laws he’s going to follow and when he’s going to follow them.”
“Even though it was largely moot, Obama took the move seriously enough to take the somewhat odd action of threatening to veto a bill that would duplicate his own policy. And when the White House argued that the postponement legislation “would cost millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage and care they deserve” — remember, the bill would simply codify an action Obama had already taken — the White House’s position veered into the surreal.
“The House voted on Wednesday, and in the end 35 Democrats voted in favor of the president’s delay, while 160 voted against it. It’s hard to interpret exactly what that means, but it doesn’t seem good for Obama.
“The second part of the GOP strategy was introducing the bill that would delay the individual mandate the same way Obama had delayed the employer mandate. The purpose, Speaker John Boehner said in a special floor appearance Tuesday, was “to make sure families and individuals get the same break from Obamacare that the president wants for big businesses.” The 22 Democratic votes in favor of the delay provided another sign that doesn’t look good for the president. Boehner sent out a press release claiming ‘bipartisan opposition to a partisan train wreck’. . .”
MIDDLE EAST . . .
Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times: “Emails reveal how accuracy was scrubbed out of Benghazi ‘talking points’”
“. . . The initial talking points ran six paragraphs long and said the crowd was a mix of individuals, but “that being said, we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaida participated in the attack.” The talking points went on to recount attacks against other countries’ diplomatic missions in Benghazi and raised the prospect that the U.S. facilities were “previously surveilled” in anticipation of the attack.
By the time the talking points were approved a day later, they had been reduced to three paragraphs and any hint of terrorists or planning had been scrubbed…”
IMMIGRATION . . .
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “By Hook, Crook, or Comic Book”
Mexico continues to encourage its citizens to migrate to the U.S., even though it doesn’t need to.
“There are many strange elements in the current debate over illegal immigration, but none stranger than the general failure to discuss the role of Mexico.
“Are millions of Mexican citizens still trying to cross the U.S. border illegally because there is dismal economic growth and a shortage of jobs in Mexico?
“Not any more. In terms of the economy, Mexico has rarely done better, and the United States rarely worse. . .
“Mexico has zero tolerance for illegal immigrants who seek to work in Mexico, happen to break Mexican law, or go on public assistance — and zero tolerance for any citizens who aid them.
“In Mexico, legal immigration is aimed at privileging new arrivals who have skill sets that will aid the Mexican economy and, according to the country’s immigration law, who have the ‘necessary funds for their sustenance’ — while denying entry to those who are not healthy or would upset the ‘equilibrium of the national demographics.’ Translated, this apparently means that Mexico tries to withhold legal residency from those who do not look like Mexicans or do not have the skills needed to make money. . .”
Russell Berman, The Hill: “Boehner endorses push for citizenship for children of illegal immigrants”
“Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday offered an endorsement for a proposal to grant citizenship to children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
“‘This is about basic fairness,’ Boehner said one week after convening a two-hour meeting to discuss immigration with his conference.
“‘These children were brought here of no accord of their own, and frankly they’re in a very difficult position,’ he said. ‘And I think many of our members believe that this issue needs to be addressed.’
“Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) are crafting a bill to deal with children brought to the U.S. illegally. They have said brought to the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements.
“The Judiciary Committee plans to hold an initial hearing on the issue next week. . .”
Nicholas Ballasy, PJM: “Tea Party Protesters Threaten to Bring Down Boehner if He Supports Amnesty”
“Conservative activists from across the country told Congress that supporting ‘amnesty’ hurts American workers and the unemployed during a “March for Jobs” in Washington.
“‘Why do they get the priority from the Congress over the interests of American workers? About 7 million of these illegal workers hold American jobs,’ said Frank Morris of the Black American Leadership Alliance, who organized the event.
Ken Crow, co-founder of TeaPartyCommunity.com, got cheers from the hundreds in attendance at the rally when he delivered the tea party’s message to House Speaker John Boehner.
“‘Mr. Boehner, if you want to run this bill through, you want to have subcommittees, you want to tailor something similar but not quite, do so at your own political peril because I’m going to tell you now, the tea party community and the tea party world and conservatives across this nation will ensure that next year you’re going to get to send your resume out and I can promise you ‘gang of 8,’ the same goes for you,’ said Crow on Capitol Hill at Upper Senate Park . . .”
IRS . . .
Peggy Noonan, WSJ: “A Bombshell in the IRS Scandal”
“A higher office is implicated.
“The IRS scandal was connected this week not just to the Washington office—that had been established—but to the office of the chief counsel.
“That is a bombshell—such a big one that it managed to emerge in spite of an unfocused, frequently off-point congressional hearing in which some members seemed to have accidentally woken up in the middle of a committee room, some seemed unaware of the implications of what their investigators had uncovered, one pretended that the investigation should end if IRS workers couldn’t say the president had personally called and told them to harass his foes, and one seemed to be holding a filibuster on Pakistan.
“Still, what landed was a bombshell. And Democrats know it. Which is why they are so desperate to make the investigation go away. They know, as Republicans do, that the chief counsel of the IRS is one of only two Obama political appointees in the entire agency. . .”
WSJ: “The IRS Goes to Washington”
“New testimony links political vetting to orders from D.C.
“We’re starting to understand why Lois Lerner took the Fifth about her role in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. The testimony of at least three more employees in the IRS Washington office is now making clear that Ms. Lerner and other Washington IRS officials had a direct hand in slow rolling the tax-exempt applications of conservative groups in an election season.
“The House Oversight Committee holds another hearing Thursday that will showcase some of these witnesses. According to Washington IRS tax law specialist Carter Hull, his supervisor Ronald Shoemaker and Manager of Exempt Organizations Technical Michael Seto, tea party applications were intentionally singled out for extra layers of review and put through an unusual process
“Mr. Hull told House investigators that normally his judgment about applications would have been enough to approve or deny their tax-exempt status. Instead of sending those applications through the normal channel, however, conservative applications were sent through Ms. Lerner’s office for review, and also directed to the IRS chief counsel. That process was highly unusual and created a vetting system in which applications were interminably delayed. . . .”
Daily Caller: “IRS Cincinnati official: getting blamed for targeting was ‘like a nuclear strike’”
“WASHINGTON — A Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service official said Thursday that when blame for the IRS targeting of conservative groups was initially placed entirely on the Cincinnati office, it was like “a nuclear strike.”
“‘Personally I felt like it was a nuclear strike,’ she said. ‘I felt they were blaming us.’
Elizabeth Hofacre, who worked as a Exempt Organization Determinations Specialist, was assigned in April 2010 to handle all applications from tea party groups applying for tax exempt status. Testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday, Hofacre said that she had been in contact with IRS officials in Washington regarding the processing of those applications, and was quite upset when blame for all of the targeting was placed on the shoulders of a few ‘rogue agents’ in the Cincinnati office.
“She later said she would agree with a statement by Rep. Jim Jordan that the various Washington based IRS officials had tried “throw [the Cincinnati office] under the bus.”
Drudge Report (7/19/2013)
Questions about IRS snooping grow, extend to Biden home state...
Senate candidate O'Donnell told private tax records breached...
Officials in DC ordered 'special scrutiny'...
IRS Chief Counsel Big Donor, Loyal Democrat...
NSA . . .
Philip Bump, Atlantic Wire: NSA Admits Analyzing More Data
“As an aside during testimony on Capitol Hill today, a National Security Agency representative rather casually indicated that the government looks at data from a universe of far, far more people than previously indicated.
“Chris Inglis, the agency’s deputy director, was one of several government representatives—including from the FBI and the office of the Director of National Intelligence—testifying before the House Judiciary Committee this morning. Most of the testimony largely echoed previous testimony by the agencies on the topic of the government’s surveillance, including a retread of the same offered examples for how the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had stopped terror events.
“But Inglis’ statement was new . . .”
PA . . .
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Turnpike Corruption Trial Keeps Rolling”
“Back in March Attorney General Kathleen Kane charged eight men for their involvement in a “pay-to-play” corruption scheme at the Turnpike Commission. The defense attorneys for six of the men tried to argue that the prosecution lacked enough evidence to bring charges.
“From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“‘Prosecutor Laurel Brandstetter described the allegations as a breach of public trust and improper influence over large contracts.
“‘This is not what the public pays these people to do,’ Ms. Brandstetter said, noting evidence that turnpike officials took an active role in helping politicians raise campaign money.
“‘The fact that a public entity would be involved directly with campaign events is inappropriate,’ she argued.”
“In a victory for the people of Pennsylvania, the judge found that the state does have enough evidence to proceed to arraignment.
“Unfortunately, citizens of the Commonwealth have become all too familiar with public officials being led on “perp walks”. Ben Franklin once stated:
“Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power, and the love of money. Separately each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but when united in view of the same object, they have in many minds the most violent effects. Place before the eyes of such men, a post of honour that shall be at the same time a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it.” (Emphasis added)
“Time and again Pennsylvania’s elected officials and ‘public servants’ have proven him right.”
END NOTES . . . O’Keefe
O’Keefe, James (2013) Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy. NY: Simon & Schuster. 335 pp. $17.59 at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Guerilla-Expose-Fraud-Democracy/dp/1476706174/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374102055&sr=8-1&keywords=James+O%27Keefe).
Bulk sales: 1-866-506-1949. Barnes & Noble does not carry it in their store.
“It’s a lawyer picnic, James, and everyone gets some pie but the client” (86)
Rule #1: “Content is king … no brief can compete with a video.” There is a circular problem – content may be king and will recruit its fans but you still have to collect the content and get a fan’s attention. Also include at least one very pretty girl who is also smart, daring, and ambitious. Life would be very different for all of us without Hannah Giles.
2) You gotta have your allies – smart advisors who have the phone numbers of other smart advisors. Include Andrew Breitbart, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham, Curtis Sliwa, Matt Drudge, and Rush Limbaugh (and many other). You will probably need a “D.C. Superlawyer” such as Mike Madigan.
3) O’Keefe sometimes went days without sleep while he watched twenty windows on his monitor (Google Chrome) – news spread like a wildfire across his screen.
4) The Internet provides international freedom even when a court won’t let you leave ‘Jersey for three years.
5) Your own credit card. O’Keefe funded the ACORN project on his.
6) Hunt big fat dinosaurs when you are 25: ACORN had 500,000 members in 1200 neighborhoods and 100 cities; Planned Parenthood; Voter fraud (New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois); NPR, and the NEA – including one teacher salaried at $90,000 who screamed and followed him at a bumper’s thickness through neighborhoods and down four-lane highways. ACORN gave detailed advice on leasing a house where Hannah’s squad of twelve hookers – all under age 15 – from El Salvador could do naughty things while being reported IRS to the as a “dependent” and the house as a “school” and a 501(c)3. (ACORN also ran Project Vote in 2008, saw 400,000 of their “voters” excluded, and was convicted in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri. A brilliant, classic move: as ACORN claimed each office to be an exception, O’Keefe simply give another tape to Mr. Breitbart. Another example: Eric Holder swore there was no problem with voter fraud; O’Keefe’s team got access to Holder’s ballot just by asking for it – great juxtaposition on a YouTube tape!
7) Know where the boundaries are. O’Keefe’s squad learned how to ask for a dead man’s ballot but then refuse to accept it and leave on the pretext of getting an ID out of their car (even though the clerk insisted it wasn’t needed). Our guys did have a learning curve: O’Keefe and two buddies in work pants called on Mary Landrieu in New Orleans and said they had been hired to fix her office phones . . .kinda cute but also good for three years’ probation plus community service.
“. . . we plant moral trees in an amoral universe and turn the camera on.”(96)
O’Keefe is near thirty.