Thursday, August 8, 2013

See past our 2013 Budget Problems: Conservative Tea Party Republicans writing a vision for economic growth, by faith-driven, producer-driven plan... JOBS, GROWTH, PROSPERITY

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See past our 2013 Budget Problems: Conservative Tea Party Republicans writing a vision for economic growth, by faith-driven, producer-driven plan... JOBS, GROWTH, PROSPERITY



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Obama's vision of bloated, corrupt, 60's government is dead in the digital age @billmaher
@SenateFloor @GOP @TheDemocrats Democrats must elect more Conservatives to their party or it will die off. Obama's image is aging very fast.

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Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account 40m

Maybe you can run as President @RepPaulRyan and not just VP with @MittRomney's blessings. Who would you pick as your VP?

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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 38s
#GovtShutdown has been occurring due to #Obamaquester and now @MittRomney the @HHSGov b.s. regs are on the chopping block to be defunded now

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 1m
Closure of embassies up to possibly 9/12 or 9/30 isn't #GovtShutdown, I'm not sure what else it looks like @MittRomney besides #ACA repealed

1:28 PM - 7 Aug 13 · Details

APNewsBreak: Banks looted in Kenya airport fire

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Officials in Kenya tell The Associated Press that first responders to the massive Nairobi airport fire looted electronics and banks during and after the blaze.
The officials said first responders stole electronics and money from an ATM. Another official said that police guarding the site overnight attempted to a take a safe from a bank in the burned-out arrivals hall, which also houses several foreign currency exchange shops.
All four officials who described the alleged looting are close to the investigation. They insisted on anonymity because they weren't authorized to share information before the investigation is complete.
The criminal investigations policeman for the airport, Joseph Ngisa, said he hasn't received formal complaints of theft and that police are waiting for affected institutions to report what they lost in the fire.

Bomb kills 14 as Afghan president calls for peace

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb planted in a graveyard in rural eastern Afghanistan killed 14 members of a single family on Thursday as the country's president urged the Taliban to lay down their arms.
The attack took place in Nangarhar province's Ghany Khel district and all 14 killed — seven women and seven children — were members of the same extended family, said Masum Khan Hashimi, the province's deputy police chief. Three family members were also wounded in the attack, he said, adding that an investigation was underway.
The family gathered to mark the start of a major Muslim holiday, the Eid al-Fitr at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, with a visit to the tomb of a relative. In Afghanistan, it is customary for families to visit the graves of loved ones on holiday occasions.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The dead man's brother, Haji Ghalib, who said his daughter was among those killed Thursday, blamed the Taliban for the attack. Ghalib, who was not with his family when the bombing happened, said over the telephone that he also worked at a security company and was a member of a local peace council seeking to reconcile with the insurgents.

"My family is finished. These people are inhuman," he said.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the bombing, denouncing it in a statement as "a cowardly act by the enemies of the people of Afghanistan who are not part of any religion."
"They even attack in a Muslim cemetery on the start of Eid, they kill our innocent countrymen," Karzai said.
Earlier, in a speech after attending prayers in Kabul for the holiday, Karzai urged the Taliban to lay down their arms, join the political process and stop killing innocent civilians.
Mashoq Malam, the chief official in Ghany Khel district where the bombing occurred, said it was unclear why someone had planted the remote-controlled bomb at the graveside of the family. The deceased man had worked for a security company and was killed about eight months ago by the Taliban, Malam said.

"These cruel people who don't respect God or Islam and planted a mine on a grave," he angrily said in a telephone interview. "As soon as the poor women and children gathered by the grave, it exploded."
A spate of bombings and Taliban attacks in Nangarhar in recent weeks has killed dozens of people, including police and security forces. Among the attacks was a botched bombing last week against the Indian consulate in the city of Jalalabad that killed nine people, including six children. No Indian officials were hurt.
In his holiday address, Karzai said that too many Afghans have lost their lives to roadside bombs during this year's Ramadan.
"Tens of our innocent Afghans, including mothers and sons, died by the mines planted on the roadsides by the enemy," he said. "From one side of Afghanistan to the other, people gave their lives because of the mines and terrorist activity."
He urged the Taliban to stop fighting and killing fellow Afghans.

"Serve your country and leave the weapons that you get from the foreigners to kill your people. Instead of a gun, pick up the shovel and spade and serve this country," Karzai said, alluding to Afghan charges that the Taliban are sheltered and equipped in the lawless tribal areas of neighboring Pakistan.
According to the United Nations, Afghanistan's civilian casualty toll has jumped this year as insurgents fight to recapture territory from the departing American-led coalition.
Karzai also said Thursday that the Taliban should, instead of opening an office in the Gulf state of Qatar, open one in Afghanistan, just like any other political party. The Taliban opened a political office in June to facilitate talks with the U.S. and the Afghan government.
But those talks foundered before they even began when the Taliban marked the opening with the flag, anthem and symbols of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the group's name when they ruled the country. Karzai immediately pulled the plug on talks saying the office had all the trappings of an embassy of a government in exile.
Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has ruled out participating in the political process while Karzai remains in power. In his own Eid message earlier in the week, Mullah Omar called on Afghans to boycott the April 5 presidential elections next year, calling them "a waste of time." Karzai constitutionally cannot run for a third five-year term.
Mullah Omar said, however, that the Taliban were still willing to restart talks.

UN mission condemns attack on female Afghan senator and family

8 August 2013 – The United Nations has condemned the attack on Wednesday which led to the wounding of Afghan Senator Rouh Gul Khairzad and various members of her family, as well the death of her eight-year-old daughter and her driver.
Ms. Khairzad and her family were reportedly ambushed on the main highway in the province of Ghazni, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement.
They were heading to her home province of Nimroz in the country's south to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
“We condemn this attack in itself, but what makes it worse is that it took place on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, a time of peace and goodwill,” said the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom.
UNAMA extended its condolences for those killed in the attack and wished a speedy recovery for Ms. Khairzad and her surviving family members.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Israel shuts Eilat airport near Egypt border

32 minutes ago
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel shut its southernmost Eilat airport near Egypt's Sinai peninsula on Thursday until further notice because of security concerns, the military said.
"Due to security assessments, the Israeli army has instructed Eilat Airport to cancel all departures and arrivals," a military spokeswoman said, giving no further details.
The airport brings tourists to Israel's Red Sea Eilat resort and the closure follows heightened concerns about Islamist militant activity in the neighboring Sinai.
Israel said last month that it had boosted its rocket defenses near its southern border to counter possible attacks from militants deeply opposed to the Jewish state.
A rocket fired from Sinai landed in Israel in July and its remnants were found in hills north of Eilat, which abuts Egypt to the west and Jordan to the east.
Violence in the Sinai has surged since the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3, with almost daily assaults against Egyptian forces reported in the desert expanse.
Israel had already invested heavily in security around Eilat since the fall of U.S.-backed Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011, which triggered concerns about the future of a 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, Israel's first such deal with an Arab country.
Earlier this year Israel completed a 250-km (160-mile) barrier with Egypt, stretching from Eilat's outskirts to the Palestinian Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean.
Other measures being taken to defend against jihadists in Sinai include an innovative, Israeli-designed missile deflector being fitted aboard planes.
(Additional reporting by Dan Williams; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; editing by Crispian Balmer)Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account 2s
Be furious, you can't build where you want to, there are international courts that will take up the matter @netanyahu

1:18 PM - 8 Aug 13 · Details

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Assad was pummeled on the way to prayer, and nearly did not make it to prayer
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‪#‎FSA‬ circumvented Assad's assassination patterns-attacking him @PutinRF_Eng @MedvedevRussiaE
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Shelling near home of Syria's Assad: locals

Residents confirm shelling as Syrian State TV shows footage of Assad praying at a Damascus mosque.

Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 07:12
Syrian state TV showed footage of Assad praying on Thursday at a mosque in Damascus [Al Jazeera]
Residents of Damascus and Syrian oppposition activists say that there has been shelling near the home of President Bashar al-Assad as well as an attempt to target his convoy.
Residents of the Malki district, where Assad works and lives, have confirmed to Al Jazeera that they heard shells hitting the area. Security forces closed off roads leading to Malki and to the Ummayad mosque on Thursday.
The Syrian information minister denied Assad's motorcade was hit.
"The news is wholly untrue," Omran Zoabi told state television.
Reports say Assad may have been scheduled to perform Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Ummayad mosque to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Syrian state television showed footage of him praying at a mosque after the claims of an attack.
Al Jazeera's Nisreen el-Shamayleh, reporting from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon, said she could not confirm reports being cirulated on social media that Assad's motorcade had been hit by the shells but that residents confirmed shelling.
Videos posted to YouTube, that Al Jazeera cannot confirm, purported to show smoke rising over Malki.
"This is the area where Assad lives and works," she said. "It is a very upscale and supposedly safe neighbourhood, which is still under the control of the government."
The Liwa al-Islam armed group, one of two groups that claimed responsibility for the shelling, told Al Jazeera that they had fired several rockets at Assad's motorcade and that there were deaths and injuries. The group said it did not know whether Assad was in the convoy at the time.

Terrorism experts: evacuating embassies is "crazy pants," "absurd hyperbole"

Cory Doctorow at 4:58 pm Wed, Aug 7, 2013
The latest news on the trial of Pvt. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Md.
By an amazing coincidence, the worst terrorist attack that never happened since 9/11 is not happening right now, proving that everyone who was worried about out-of-control NSA spying had lost the plot. Which is ZOMGTERRISM. So 28 US diplomatic posts have been evacuated (that is to say, "experienced an ordered departure"), including ones in places like Mauritius or Madagascar, where al Qaeda has nefariously never operated as part of its devious plan to lure everyone there into a false sense of security.
Well, some people are cynical and just don't believe it, despite all the overwhelming secret evidence that we're not allowed to see or know about or hear about or even have described to us. People like State Department counterterrorism advisor Will McCants, who called the evacuation of the diplomatic posts "Crazy Pants" ("you can quote me"). Loose cannons like Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who called the terrifying and nonspecific warnings "absurd hyperbole that is coming almost entirely from reckless commentators or ill-informed or ill-spoken [Capitol] Hill one who really knows al Qaeda or its history thinks that this is as huge a deal as portrayed—and certainly nothing remotely close to the worst thing we have seen since 9/11." But what the hell does he know?
"It's not completely random," said another expert of the administration's reaction, "but most people are, like, 'Whaaat?'" Other terms used to describe it in addition to "Whaaat?" and "crazy pants": "willy-nilly," "baffling," "tenuous," "head-scratching," and "who really knows, anyway?" White House spokesman Jay Carney wasn't helping any: "What we know is the threat emanates from, and may be focused on, occurring in the Arabian Peninsula," he said yesterday. "It could potentially be beyond that, or elsewhere. We cannot be more specific." So, just stay away from everywhere, thanks.
But we have to do something, don't we, because isn't this "the most serious threat [Sen. Saxby Chambliss has] seen in the last several years," reminiscent of "what we saw before 9/11"? Actually, "[t]hat is absurd hyperbole that is coming almost entirely from reckless commentators or ill-informed or ill-spoken [Capitol] Hill folks," or so said Michael Leiter, but what does a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center know about counterterrorism? "I don't think this was purposeful hype," Leiter continued, "but no one who really knows al Qaeda or its history thinks that this is as huge a deal as portrayed—and certainly nothing remotely close to the worst thing we have seen since 9/11."

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013


FEC Official: New Emails Show Agency May Have Colluded With IRS in...

Ready the next #ContRes unless #ACA is restricted to ONLY computer upgrades for #VA #Medicare #Medicaid it's a no go @SpeakerBoehner

Aja Brooks 4 hours ago via Twitter

The state of GA is not in business to subsidize whoredom, or to conduct business with businesses who evade taxes. @GovernorDeal @KasimReed
Aja Brooks 4 hours ago via Twitter
The strip club employees are taxing my way of life because they're tax evaders @GovernorDeal @KasimReed they can pay the fees/contest taxes.

Security concerns jeopardize October opening of health insurance marketplaces

A baby seems to look on as a doctor uses a portable computer to enter information into an electronic medical records system. The change to electronic medical records that was mandated by Obamacare | Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT


By Tony Pugh | McClatchy Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — The opening of the health insurance marketplaces in October – key to Obamacare – is in jeopardy because of looming questions about information security. The problem stems from tight deadlines that must be met to ensure the security of data moving through an information system that supports the marketplaces, sometimes referred to as exchanges, according to a new government watchdog report.
At a cost of $394 million, the federal data-services hub will route requests from the marketplaces to existing federal and state databases.
The Obama administration had expected Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to decide Sept. 4 whether information routed through the hub was secure from hackers and identity thieves. But a new report by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services says that decision now is expected Sept. 30, only a day before open enrollment on the marketplaces is scheduled to begin.
Any further delays, the report said, mean the chief information officer may not have enough time to gauge the security of data transfers. The Obama administration and private contractors are testing the data hub for defects and vulnerabilities, but a draft report with the results of the testing isn’t due until Sept. 20, the report noted.
If the tests find security problems, the information officer could delay the marketplace opening or decide to open the insurance exchanges with less-than-optimal assurances that users’ personal information is adequately protected.
In a written response to the report, Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner said her agency was “conducting internal security-testing reviews and fixing system weaknesses.” She said the agency “is confident the hub will be operationally secure and it will have an authority to operate prior to Oct. 1.”
The report noted that the agency is “working with very tight deadlines to ensure that security measures for the hub are assessed, tested and implemented” by Oct. 1, when key aspects of the Affordable Care Act kick in.
The HHS report is the latest government analysis to show that work on the marketplaces is behind schedule. In July, two reports by the Government Accountability Office found that HHS had missed numerous deadlines for the computer and technical work that’s necessary to make the marketplaces function properly in the 34 states where the federal government will operate them.
Both GAO reports said the missed deadlines might not affect implementation, but that “additional missed deadlines closer to the start of enrollment could do so.”

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Rick Perry
“Today, Secretary Sebelius is back in Texas to again explain the increasingly-convoluted, and increasingly-delayed, implementation of the federal exchange system. With due respect, the secretary and our president are missing the point: It’s not that Americans don’t understand Obamacare, it’s that we understand it all too well." - Governor Rick Perry


Allison Brooks@madhatternews29 Jul
Al Arabiya English@AlArabiya_Eng29 Jul
Loud explosions rock #Libya's #Benghazi, witnesses say  via @AlArabiya_Eng
Retweeted by Allison Brooks

Former Muslim Brotherhood member: ‘Obama knows what happened in Benghazi’


See also

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

August 4, 2013
Dr. Mark Christian, a former Islamic Muslim Brotherhood member who is now a Christian, account of actual events was picked up on Saturday by Bare Naked Islam, which President Obama has known from the beginning of who was responsible for the Islamic terrorists attack on Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
The attack killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer, Sean Smith, and U.S. Navy Seals, Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.
Bare Naked Islam picked up the story, first presented by the Gateway Pundit, that while the Obama administration has been stalling the investigation for the past 11 months, Christian said, “Syrian president Bashar el Assad, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah of Lebanon are fully responsible for the death of United States Ambassador Christopher Stevens. President Obama has known this fact since the minute he first learned about the attack.”
He further said, “Stevens, from his Benghazi base, was stockpiling weapons – and resourcing the expert fighters who could use them to topple Assad’s rule in Syria. On September 11, 2012, Assad powerfully punched back, raiding the Benghazi compound which housed the armament for his own destruction.”
“The Assad regime was fully aware of the shrouded activity in Benghazi, fully aware that Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the man credited for the assassination of Gaddafi, was much more than an ambassador… If Americans knew what really happened, if the mainstream media uncovered and exposed Obama and his Sunni agenda, Obama would not be the current American president, but a prosecuted American citizen.”
The damaging allegations, mostly ignored by the left-wing mainstream media, has been reported since October 2012 by various alternate news organizations including the Gateway Pundit, the Paulding County Republican Examiner, the Blaze, Walid Shoebat, and Breitbart news.
The Paulding County Republican Examiner reported a series of news accounts implicating Obama and his administration of their involvement and cover-up in the Benghazi attacks.
On October 23, 2012, the Paulding County Republican Examiner reported that it was to act as official U.S. government liaison to Al-Qaeda linked Jihadist militias, the same Islamic Jihadist now trying to overthrow Assad in Syria.
Then two days later, a report came out that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered more security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi before it was attacked but President Obama denied the request.
In a report, a week before the 2012 presidential election, former CIA counterintelligence officer and expert on covert action, Libya, and Islamic extremism, Kent Clizbe told the Paulding County Republican Examiner, “The Libyan operation is cloaked in secrecy and the legacy media erected a wall of silence to protect Obama-Hillary. No details leaked out about the foreign forces involved in the civil war. Foreign troops are invisible. Even the composition of the Libyan rebels has been cloaked by the media.”
“The Obama administration knew exactly what they were doing in the Middle East and in Libya and with the tragedy at the U.S. Consulate in Libya... deception is in play.”
Two days before the 2012 presidential election on November 5, 2012, the Paulding County Republican Examiner reported that Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim Brotherhood member, that anti-Al Qaeda Libyans had revealed that the Obama administration has assisted Al-Qaeda in Benghazi.
Moreover, President Obama’s financial aid to the Palestinians, despite the threats by Hamas to Israel, coincides with the cover-up on Benghazi, which also points to the fact that the Palestinians are as one Hamas official explained, are not Palestinians, but are nonetheless, of Egyptian and Saudi descent, all with Arab and Muslim Brotherhood ties.
Since President Obama took office, he has interfered and helped the Egyptian Jihadist overthrow former Egyptian President, Hosni El Sayed Mubarak, gotten involved with the Libyan rebels who are backed by Al-Qaeda, and now is involved with the Jihadist's in Syria.
As a footnote, the hijackers that attacked the World Trade Center towers in New York on September 11, 2001 were from the Jihadist sect in Saudi Arabia.
The connections between the Obama administration and the attacks in Benghazi are becoming clearer since the administration's involvement and the administration's connections with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Syria, and Libya seems to be to aid the Muslim Brotherhood Jihadists at all cost.
When the Center for Security Policy held a panel discussion on the Benghazi attack on November 2012, shortly after President Obama won his reelection, one of several questions were asked.
The two main central questions remain, “The CIA’s Benghazi station was reportedly engaged in a covert operation aimed at helping an international effort to arm the so-called “Syrian opposition” by shipping weapons recovered from “liberated” Qaddafi-era caches. If, as the New York Times has reported, the bulk of the armaments being sent to the “rebels” in Syria by Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are winding up in the hands of the most radical Islamist elements, some supplied by us are likely reaching al- Qaeda operatives, as well. Has the Obama administration been secretly arming Syria’s opposition, including al-Qaeda and/or other radical Islamist's?”
“And did President Obama order the U.S. military not to come to the aid of Americans under attack on 11 September 2012?”

The New York Times@nytimes5 Aug
Turkish Court Hands Down Sentences in Coup Plot
Next Wednesday, @Roslehtinen will hold a sub hearing on the #Iran- #Syria Nexus. Learn more: .
Retweeted by Allison Brooks

Global Counterterrorism Council seeks a formal declaration of war to deal with 6 prison breaks in the Middle East, and a resurgence of terrorism...

Special Report with Bret Baier · 41,884 like this
  • A grand jury has indicted two students from Kazakhstan on obstruction of justice charges for helping suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev hide evidence after Boston Marathon bombings.
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Aja Brooks
3 hours ago via Twitter
‪#‎FSA‬ circumvented Assad's assassination patterns-attacking him @PutinRF_Eng @MedvedevRussiaE

AUTHORIZATION FOR PROPOSED OPTIONS 1-5: appropriations for the period of one year, 8/19/13-8/19/14

under orders of previous extensions and expansion, 6 prison breaks, 3,000 Al Qaeda lose:

Concerning #GCC concerns of weaponization of youth, radicalization, and terrorist militia activity

Syria - $6 billion annually, $60 billion for 10 years
-jihadist ground support, weapon running
-military targets
-weapon storehouses
-WMD’s, chemical weapons, nuclear weapons coming from Iran and Syria

Iraq - $6 billion annually, $60 billion for 10 years
-jihadist ground support, weapon running
Iran - $6 billion annually, $60 billion for 10 years
-jihadist ground support, weapon running
-military targets
-weapon storehouses
-WMD’s, chemical weapons, nuclear weapon manufacturing facilities giving off higher than usual readings
North Korea- $6 billion annually, $60 billion for 10 years
-military targets
-weapon storehouses
-WMD’s, chemical weapons, nuclear weapon manufacturing facilities giving off higher than usual readings

North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Complex May Have Doubled Uranium Enrichment Capacity

Agence France Presse  |  ByPosted: 08/08/2013 10:13 am EDT  |  Updated: 08/08/2013 10:17 am EDT

Satellite images suggest North Korea may have doubled uranium enrichment capacity at its main Yongbyon nuclear complex, a US think-tank which tracks the North's nuclear weapons programme said Thursday.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said the images showed the building housing the gas centrifuge plant at Yongbyon had been expanded to twice its original size over the past four months.
When the North revealed the existence of the facility to visiting scientists in 2010, it contained 2,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium.
Assuming that the recent expansion would allow the doubling of that number to 4,000 centrifuges, the facility could produce as much as 68 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium a year -- enough for three nuclear bombs with a little left over, ISIS said in a report.
Given the highly covert nature of Pyongyang's nuclear programme, the ISIS acknowledged that its analysis relied on a large number of hypotheticals.
"It is not even known if North Korea intends to produce weapon-grade uranium in this facility," it said.
When it unveiled the centrifuge plant in 2010, Pyongyang stressed that it was devoted to low-level uranium enrichment for energy purposes.
But in April, at the height of a surge in military tensions with South Korea, the North announced it was "readjusting" its Yongbyon facilities, as well as restarting a five-megawatt nuclear reactor it shut down in 2007 under a six-nation aid-for-disarmament accord.
The announcement stipulated that the move was aimed at feeding its nuclear weapons programme.
The ISIS report noted that assessing the North's uranium enrichment capacity was "fraught with uncertainty" -- especially given suspicions of other hidden centrifuge facilities around the country.
As a result, the ISIS estimated that North Korea could have produced enough weapons-grade uranium in 2012 for anywhere from 0-13 nuclear weapons.
North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February this year. International observers have been unable to confirm whether it was a plutonium device -- as used in its two previous tests in 2006 and 2009 -- or a uranium one.
Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.

Russia - $6 billion annually, $60 billion for 10 years
-CIA, intelligence, computer data protection and disabling satellites, EMP protection

ABC, NBC Continue to Play Obama's KGB Gaffe Without Noticing It's a Gaffe

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account 13s
@newsbusters It's not a 'gaffe' #ObamaKGBPutinRemark it's the butt-puckering moment.... @ABC @nbcnightlynews @jayleno

1:28 PM - 8 Aug 13 · Details

Putin the hunter loses his quarry

The Snowden asylum was only one factor. Obama cancelling the summit reflects reality that the US-Russia 'reset' was finished

Email, Wednesday 7 August 2013 16.19 EDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin with the one that didn't get away. Photograph: Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images
It would be tempting – and wrong – to cast President Barack Obama's decision to cancel a one-on-one summit with President Vladimir Putin during his forthcoming G20 visit to St Petersburg exclusively in terms of America's frustration at Russia's decision to grant temporary asylum to Edward Snowden.
That is, of course, how the Kremlin's ever loyal media will try to frame it – ignoring the fact that the Russia in which they live treats its own dissidents with a vindictiveness unseen for many decades. The deeper reason behind such a public rebuff is one that the Russian foreign policy establishment will find less easy to explain away.
While Putin considers himself the elder statesmen of such international gatherings, most of his former cronies on the international scene are yesterday's men. Only Silvio Berlusconi limps on, still a senator and party leader for the time being, but his star is not exactly shining at the moment. These days, Putin is not treated abroad with the respect he thinks his political longevity deserves.
The last occasion to measure this was his trip to Hanover in April, where his German interlocutors, bristling with the fury over moves by Russian authorities to confiscate data from German-financed organisations working in Russia, gave the Russian leader in private a piece of their mind. Contrast that to the time when Putin, informed of Angela Merkel's fear of dogs, made sure his pet labrador was in the room when they met. Merkel no longer feels she has to court Russia.
And neither, apparently, does Obama.
This is Putin's loss, because the architect of the "reset" policy to re-engage with Russia, Michael McFaul, who is now the US ambassador in Moscow, privately agrees that the policy he worked so hard on is now dead. The wording of the White House statement to postpone the summit is relevant in this regard.
It speaks of a lack of progress on missile defence, arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, human rights and civil society … the blockage extends right across the whole spectrum of the relationship defined by the so-called reset. While few expected much progress to be made in any of those fields, the existence of joint committees and regular meetings maintained an illusion of strategic relationship.
The reset has brought concrete benefits to the US, not least the transit of thousands of US troops over Russian airspace to the airbase it leases in Manas in Kyrgyzstan (and then onto Afghanistan). Few pragmatists in the world of foreign policy treat the reset's demise with any glee. But if Obama is a president who wants to concentrate on those policy areas he can personally affect, his impatience with Putin says a lot about where the US thinks that relationship is headed.
The decision to forgo the summit is a blow aimed at Putin personally. It deprives the Russian leader of a valuable prop, one that tells his domestic audience it has a world leader who can measure his stature again the biggest and the best.
This summer, if the latest stunt is to be believed, Putin caught a huge pike in Siberia, 46lb in weight. If you were the president of the United States, would you really want to appear in St Petersburg as the latest quarry this big game hunter had caught?
#SequesterThis: Amid furloughs blamed on sequestration, judges attend lavish conferences:
Retweeted by Allison Brooks

The Washington Times

Judges attend lavish conferences on taxpayer dime amid budget cuts

9:47 AM - 6 Aug 13 · Details

JohnCornyn@JohnCornyn5 Aug
Cornyn Op-Ed: Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims:
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Police arrest two in Rehtaeh Parsons bullying suicide

The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 08 2013, 8:29 AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Aug. 08 2013, 1:22 PM EDT

Two men have been arrested in connection with the Rehtaeh Parsons case.
The announcement came four months after her family had complained that the Nova Scotia teenager killed herself after she was gang-raped and a cellphone photo of the alleged assault was circulated among her school peers.
“This morning at 8 a.m., investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division arrested two males at their respective residences,” the Halifax Integrated Sexual Assault Investigation Team said in a statement Thursday morning.






The two suspects are in custody and being questioned, the statement said.
Investigators have a 24-hour window to file charges following the arrests, said a spokesman, RCMP Corporal Scott MacRae.
Speaking in Saint John where he was touring the Irving Oil refinery, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he hoped the arrests will provide some comfort to Rehtaeh’s family.
For months, the case had divided residents of Cole Harbour and Eastern Passages, two neighbouring suburbs of Halifax. Rehtaeh’s family and friends complained that her plight hadn’t been taken seriously. Supporters of her alleged assailants, whose identities were known through the community, complained that they were unfairly vilified. At one point, posters defending her alleged assailants were nailed on utility poles in their neighbourhood.
“All I can say is that it’s about time they were arrested and it’s now their chance to tell `Their side of the story’,” Ms. Parsons wrote Thursday morning on a memorial web page dedicated to her daughter’s memory.
“They complain that its all one sided go ahead and speak, we are all ears!”
Ms. Parsons was notified of the arrests about 10 minutes after they took place and was given the names of the suspects, she told CBC.
Coincidentally, the arrests came a day after the province implemented stricter cyberbullying legislation, which gives victims the ability to sue their tormentors.
The legislation stemmed in part from the public outrage sparked by Rehtaeh’s case.
A 17-year-old girl from Cole Harbour, N.S., Rehtaeh died in hospital in April after a suicide attempt.
Her family says she was raped in November, 2011, when she was 15, by four boys during a party at a friend’s home in the Halifax suburb of Eastern Passage. She was distressed because a cellphone photo of the assault was circulated and the authorities failed to stop the harassment and prosecute the boys, the family alleges.
Her relatives said they were initially told by police that detectives could not prove who had sent the photo and that the Crown didn’t think they could clinch a prosecution.
However, a week after her death unleashed a nationwide uproar, police in Halifax say they had reopened their investigation because someone stepped forward and gave “new and credible information.”
In a Facebook post Wednesday marking the four-month mark since her daughter’s death, Ms. Parsons revealed that she had been raped in similar circumstances when she was 14 and that she had told her daughter about it and cautioned her about situations where there are more boys than girls.
“When Rehtaeh told me what happened to her that November 2011 night, I was immediately transcended right back to my own horror,” she wrote.
She added: “Why me? why my daughter? Not that it should happen to anyone but Why?”


Snowden Gave 15,000 Documents to Glenn Greenwald; Obama Cancels Russia Summit

Posted by Unknown Lamer on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:11PM
from the where's-sarah-palin-when-you-need-her dept.
sl4shd0rk writes"The American journalist Glenn Greewald, who published much of the initial info on illegal NSA programs, plans to release more revelations on the NSA spying machine in 10 days. 'The articles we have published so far are a very small part of the revelations that ought to be published,' Greenwald said on Tuesday. Greenwald further elaborated on public posturing which many nations are currently taking: 'The Brazilian government is showing much more anger in public than it is showing in private discussions with the U.S. government. All governments are doing this, even in Europe.'"The U.S. decided to pull out of a summit with Russia next month, citing the decision to grant Snowden asylum as a factor: "However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda. Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States, so on Friday, August 9, Secretaries Hagel and Kerry will meet with their Russian counterparts in a 2+2 format in Washington to discuss how we can best make progress moving forward on the full range of issues in our bilateral relationship."

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account 3m
Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account 4m
If there's one good thing #NSA #PRISM rumors of spying will keep the fighting over in the Middle East and corruption out of here @MittRomney
11:13 AM - 8 Aug 13 · Details

Aja Brooks shared FOX 5 Atlanta's status.
Well if by 'equipment' they mean illegally GPS'ing vehicles that they lack warrants to do so served, then yes, Victor Hill was demanding tribute from drug money from his informants
Update: Aungelique Proctor FOX 5 just tweeted that the jury is now seated for the trial of Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill; accused of using his office and equipment for personal and financial gain. More details soon.

Aug 7, 2013, 3:32pm MST UPDATED: Aug 7, 2013, 3:55pm MST

JPMorgan being investigated by DOJ for mortgage-backed securities fraud

JP Morgan Chase and Co. is being investigated for mortgage-backed securities fraud.
Editorial Intern-Phoenix Business Journal
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JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a quarterly report filed Wednesday that it is being investigated by the Department of Justice for mortgage-backed securities fraud.
JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the No. 3 bank in Arizona, is being investigated by the DOJ’s criminal and civil divisions. The investigation focuses on possible violations of securities laws related to sub-prime and Alt-A mortgage bonds it sold between 2005 and 2007, JPMorgan said in the filing.
When reached Wednesday afternoon, the SEC declined to comment on the investigation. We’ve reached out to the DOJ and JPMorgan for comment, but have not received any response.
As of right now no formal charges appear to have been filed against JPMorgan Chase. However, that’s not the case with Bank of America. The DOJ filed a lawsuit against Bank of America Tuesday over alleged fraud against investors regarding $850 million in residential mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS.


The Hill@thehill5 Aug
Report: DEA unit hid use of intelligence database in criminal investigations  by @JTSTheHill
Retweeted by Allison Brooks

Allison Brooks@madhatternews5 Aug
@washingtonpost Yes they may, but focusing on phone calls and not investigations is a waste of time. DEA needs evidence, statements, records


Fannie Mae sending $10.2 billion to taxpayers as profit swellsReuters – 1 hour 41 minutes ago

View Photo
  • A view shows the Fannie Mae logo at its headquarters in Washington March 30, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
By Margaret Chadbourn
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fannie Mae (FNMA), the largest U.S. mortgage finance company, said on Thursday its second-quarter profit nearly doubled to $10.1 billion, triggering another big payment to the U.S. Treasury that could complicate the debate over revamping Fannie and its smaller sibling, Freddie Mac.
The quarterly profit was Fannie's sixth in a row, mainly driven by a housing recovery that has reduced mortgage delinquencies and lifted home prices. The government rescued Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC) in 2008, covering losses on soured loans. Since then, taxpayers have bailed out the pair to the tune of nearly $188 billion.
Fannie Mae said it will make a $10.2 billion dividend payment in September to the U.S. Treasury for its rescue aid. After that payment, which comes on the heels of nearly $60 billion Fannie sent to the government last quarter, it will have paid about $105 billion in dividends to the Treasury, roughly 90 percent of the $117.1 billion in taxpayer assistance.
Meanwhile, Freddie Mac (FMCC), which on Wednesday reported its second-largest profit ever, $5 billion, will be sending Treasury a $4.4 billion check next month. That will bring its running total to about $41 billion, or close to 60 percent of the $71 billion in bailout funds provided to Freddie.
Under the terms of the bailout agreement, both mortgage companies are only allowed to hold $3 billion in net worth and all profit in excess of that goes back to taxpayers.
Moreover, none of the dividend payments goes toward repaying the $188 billion in rescue funds, which were provided by the government and gave it a controlling stake in the form of preferred shares. Neither company has the option of buying back the stakes, which is one of the big questions regarding their future.
For the second quarter, Fannie Mae's profit rose 97 percent to $10.1 billion from $5.1 billion the year before. It was down, however, from the first quarter's record $58.7 billion, which was largely the result of an accounting gain from the recognition of more than $50 billion in deferred tax assets.
President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats and Republicans have said they want to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reduce the government's share of the mortgage market. The government currently backs about 90 percent of the market.
"Any reform of the housing finance system will take a number of years to achieve. We would expect to continue to be focused on returning as much value to taxpayers in the meantime," Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Timothy Mayopoulos said.
Mayopolous said that Fannie and Freddie's profitability should not "slow the debate" on how to reshape the mortgage finance system.
Analysts, however, worry the sudden surge in profitability for the two will obscure the reform debate.
"The problem is these fresh net income gains could well steer ... reform down the wrong path," Jim Vogel, an interest rate strategist at FTN Financial in Memphis, Tennessee, said in a research note following Fannie's earnings.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not make loans but instead buy them from lenders and package them as bonds, and guarantee them against default. A key part of the housing system, the two mortgage financiers own or back about half of all U.S. home loans and have provided the backing for close to 90 percent of all loans made since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are piling up large profits, and the earnings are helping to cut the federal deficit, more questions are raised over how and when to dismantle and replace the companies.
The trend of strong financial results at the firms has also attracted the attention of investors, mainly hedge funds, that have poured into both the common and preferred stock of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the hope that the companies will eventually be able to buy their way out of government control.
(Reporting by Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by Dan Burns and Kenneth Barry)
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UK anti-fraud investigators lose track of docs

1 hour ago
LONDON (AP) — Britain's Serious Fraud Office temporarily lost track of thousands of documents gathered as part of its investigation into allegations of corruption at defense company BAE Systems PLC, the agency acknowledged Thursday.
The U.K.'s main investigator into corporate crimes said 32,000 documents, along with audio tapes and other electronic media, were mistakenly shipped to the wrong place after the end of its investigation into the British military contractor.
The SFO said that when a party who had supplied evidence to the investigation requested it back, it was mistakenly sent material from nearly 60 other sources between May and October of 2012.
The office didn't specify where the misdirected material was sent in the first place but added that 98 percent of the missing documents had been recovered. It added that none of the misplaced material, which made up just 3 percent of the data in the case, was related to national security.
BAE was suspected of using bribes to win contracts in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa when investigators on both sides of the Atlantic began poring over the company's deals. It eventually paid hundreds of millions of dollars in a settlement with American and British authorities in 2010.
Serious Fraud Office:


HUD pushing policies to change practices deemed discriminatory

Published: 46 mins ago
(FOX NEWS) In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory.
The policy is called, ”Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July.

home » latest news » appeals court upholds sentence ...
published Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Appeals court upholds sentence for disgraced Sheriff Billy Long

Former Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long is led out of the Joel W. Solomon Federal Building and Courthouse in this file photo.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Former Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long will not see his 11 year federal prison sentence reduced.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today released its opinion on an appeal to lower the federal prison sentence of Long.
Local attorney Jerry Summers filed the appeal claiming that federal prosecutors denied to file documents that would have reduced Long's sentence after he gave them information on other corruption cases.
But prosecutor Perry Piper told U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice that Long's help was minimal and his crimes far outweighed what he shared with investigators -- a misdemeanor state charge that included another individual's possession of marijuana and three prescription pills.
Summers argued that the prosecutors were "retaliating" and being "vindictive" because he, Summers, had revealed the cooperating witness that the FBI used to bust Long. That witness, Eugene Overstreet, had worked with federal agents for at least a year to track money laundering, drug and extortion by the then-sheriff.
Long pleaded guilty in 2008 to 27 counts on the 28-count indictment.
He has been serving his time since then and would have a release date sometime in 2019 if the current sentence holds.
For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans

John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke 1 hour ago
By John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.
Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.
The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.
"I have never heard of anything like this at all," said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.
"It is one thing to create special rules for national security," Gertner said. "Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations."
The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.
Today, much of the SOD's work is classified, and officials asked that its precise location in Virginia not be revealed. The documents reviewed by Reuters are marked "Law Enforcement Sensitive," a government categorization that is meant to keep them confidential.
"Remember that the utilization of SOD cannot be revealed or discussed in any investigative function," a document presented to agents reads. The document specifically directs agents to omit the SOD's involvement from investigative reports, affidavits, discussions with prosecutors and courtroom testimony. Agents are instructed to then use "normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD."
A spokesman with the Department of Justice, which oversees the DEA, declined to comment.
But two senior DEA officials defended the program, and said trying to "recreate" an investigative trail is not only legal but a technique that is used almost daily.
A former federal agent in the northeastern United States who received such tips from SOD described the process. "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said.
After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said. The training document reviewed by Reuters refers to this process as "parallel construction."
The two senior DEA officials, who spoke on behalf of the agency but only on condition of anonymity, said the process is kept secret to protect sources and investigative methods. "Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day," one official said. "It's decades old, a bedrock concept."
A dozen current or former federal agents interviewed by Reuters confirmed they had used parallel construction during their careers. Most defended the practice; some said they understood why those outside law enforcement might be concerned.
"It's just like laundering money - you work it backwards to make it clean," said Finn Selander, a DEA agent from 1991 to 2008 and now a member of a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which advocates legalizing and regulating narcotics.
Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using "parallel construction" may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants.
"That's outrageous," said Tampa attorney James Felman, a vice chairman of the criminal justice section of the American Bar Association. "It strikes me as indefensible."
Lawrence Lustberg, a New Jersey defense lawyer, said any systematic government effort to conceal the circumstances under which cases begin "would not only be alarming but pretty blatantly unconstitutional."
Lustberg and others said the government's use of the SOD program skirts established court procedures by which judges privately examine sensitive information, such as an informant's identity or classified evidence, to determine whether the information is relevant to the defense.
"You can't game the system," said former federal prosecutor Henry E. Hockeimer Jr. "You can't create this subterfuge. These are drug crimes, not national security cases. If you don't draw the line here, where do you draw it?"
Some lawyers say there can be legitimate reasons for not revealing sources. Robert Spelke, a former prosecutor who spent seven years as a senior DEA lawyer, said some sources are classified. But he also said there are few reasons why unclassified evidence should be concealed at trial.
"It's a balancing act, and they've doing it this way for years," Spelke said. "Do I think it's a good way to do it? No, because now that I'm a defense lawyer, I see how difficult it is to challenge."
One current federal prosecutor learned how agents were using SOD tips after a drug agent misled him, the prosecutor told Reuters. In a Florida drug case he was handling, the prosecutor said, a DEA agent told him the investigation of a U.S. citizen began with a tip from an informant. When the prosecutor pressed for more information, he said, a DEA supervisor intervened and revealed that the tip had actually come through the SOD and from an NSA intercept.
"I was pissed," the prosecutor said. "Lying about where the information came from is a bad start if you're trying to comply with the law because it can lead to all kinds of problems with discovery and candor to the court." The prosecutor never filed charges in the case because he lost confidence in the investigation, he said.
A senior DEA official said he was not aware of the case but said the agent should not have misled the prosecutor. How often such misdirection occurs is unknown, even to the government; the DEA official said the agency does not track what happens with tips after the SOD sends them to agents in the field.
The SOD's role providing information to agents isn't itself a secret. It is briefly mentioned by the DEA in budget documents, albeit without any reference to how that information is used or represented when cases go to court.
The DEA has long publicly touted the SOD's role in multi-jurisdictional and international investigations, connecting agents in separate cities who may be unwittingly investigating the same target and making sure undercover agents don't accidentally try to arrest each other.
SOD'S BIG SUCCESSES - The unit also played a major role in a 2008 DEA sting in Thailand against Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout; he was sentenced in 2011 to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiring to sell weapons to the Colombian rebel group FARC. The SOD also recently coordinated Project Synergy, a crackdown against manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of synthetic designer drugs that spanned 35 states and resulted in 227 arrests.
Since its inception, the SOD's mandate has expanded to include narco-terrorism, organized crime and gangs. A DEA spokesman declined to comment on the unit's annual budget. A recent LinkedIn posting on the personal page of a senior SOD official estimated it to be $125 million.
Today, the SOD offers at least three services to federal, state and local law enforcement agents: coordinating international investigations such as the Bout case; distributing tips from overseas NSA intercepts, informants, foreign law enforcement partners and domestic wiretaps; and circulating tips from a massive database known as DICE.
The DICE database contains about 1 billion records, the senior DEA officials said. The majority of the records consist of phone log and Internet data gathered legally by the DEA through subpoenas, arrests and search warrants nationwide. Records are kept for about a year and then purged, the DEA officials said.
About 10,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agents have access to the DICE database, records show. They can query it to try to link otherwise disparate clues. Recently, one of the DEA officials said, DICE linked a man who tried to smuggle $100,000 over the U.S. southwest border to a major drug case on the East Coast.
"We use it to connect the dots," the official said.
"AN AMAZING TOOL" Wiretap tips forwarded by the SOD usually come from foreign governments, U.S. intelligence agencies or court-authorized domestic phone recordings. Because warrantless eavesdropping on Americans is illegal, tips from intelligence agencies are generally not forwarded to the SOD until a caller's citizenship can be verified, according to one senior law enforcement official and one former U.S. military intelligence analyst.

"They do a pretty good job of screening, but it can be a struggle to know for sure whether the person on a wiretap is American," the senior law enforcement official said.
Tips from domestic wiretaps typically occur when agents use information gleaned from a court-ordered wiretap in one case to start a second investigation.
As a practical matter, law enforcement agents said they usually don't worry that SOD's involvement will be exposed in court. That's because most drug-trafficking defendants plead guilty before trial and therefore never request to see the evidence against them. If cases did go to trial, current and former agents said, charges were sometimes dropped to avoid the risk of exposing SOD involvement.
Current and former federal agents said SOD tips aren't always helpful - one estimated their accuracy at 60 percent. But current and former agents said tips have enabled them to catch drug smugglers who might have gotten away.
"It was an amazing tool," said one recently retired federal agent. "Our big fear was that it wouldn't stay secret."
DEA officials said that the SOD process has been reviewed internally. They declined to provide Reuters with a copy of their most recent review.
(Edited by Blake Morrison)

NSA monitoring Americans' emails for mentions of terrorists: report

The National Security Agency, which recently acknowledged the existence of a broad domestic surveillance program in the wake of former defense contractor Edward Snowden's controversial leak, is casting a wider net than previously thought, The New York Times reports.

The NSA is "not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas," a senior intelligence official told the paper. The agency also is "casting for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address," systematically and without warrants, the paper said.

According to the Times, the NSA routinely conducts keyword searches for specific names or phrases linked to foreign terrorists. It's not clear how much cross-border data is being caught in the sweeps. But like the surveillance program Snowden exposed, U.S. officials contend, the broader monitoring of communications is covered under 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The FISA amendments allow warrant-less spying on U.S. citizens as long as the ultimate “target” of the surveillance was a foreigner living overseas.

NSA spokeswoman Judith Emmel did not specifically address "surveillance of cross-border communications" but defended the agency's activities as lawful and focused on "foreign powers and their agents, foreign organizations, foreign persons or international terrorists" — and not Americans.

“In carrying out its signals intelligence mission, N.S.A. collects only what it is explicitly authorized to collect,” Emmel told the Times. “Moreover, the agency’s activities are deployed only in response to requirements for information to protect the country and its interests.”

The Times report appears to confirm previous reporting by the Guardian newspaper, which first published Snowden's disclosures — and identity — setting off an international manhunt worthy of a spy novel. Snowden flew from Hawaii to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, where he was granted temporary asylum by the Russian government.



Yes, There’s an Air Force Class Flying With My Little Pony Patches

Image courtesy U.S. Air Force
Turns out pegasi aren’t the only ponies that fly, thanks to a squadron of pilots-in-training in the U.S. Air Force who are now wearing My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic-themed patches on their flight suits.
That’s right. Class 14-05 at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma is making the skies a little friendlier with the rallying cry that “flying is magic,” thanks to their brony-approved pink and purple “My Little Pilot” class patches, which–true to the spirit of the friendship-themed Hub TV show–is meant to create a bond amongst the pilot class.
“The purpose of a class patch is to develop camaraderie, morale, and unity within a pilot training class,” First Lt. Tom Barger, a public affairs officer for Vance, told WIRED in an email. “It is a token of esprit de corps.”
Each class pays for and designs its patches themselves and usually considers a few options before choosing a final design. Some are a riff on a class’ unique experience or particular class number. The “lucky” Class 13-13, for example, has a patch with a four-leaf clover and a rabbit adorned with a human foot. But Barger said the designs also feature pop culture references “such as Angry Birds when that was a big hit … and even a Chuck Norris patch.” (Timeless?) After the class selects a patch, it’s sent up for approval from the base’s brass.
So how, exactly, did this particular class of Air Force pilots choose a My Little Pony-style class patch? Even though the animated world of Equestria has made in-roads in the armed forces (there’s a Facebook group for Military Bronies and there’s a particularly endearing video on YouTube of enlisted bronies watching the episode where Rainbow Dash goes off to the Air Force-eque Wonderbolt Academy) it still seems like a small miracle that a whole class of pilots would adopt pony colors for their patches.
Turns out it was something of a fluke. While the 24 members of Class 14-05 were going over their options, the class member presenting the patches threw in the “My Little Pilot” design as a gag. The class didn’t really want that particular patch for their flight suits, but somehow (perhaps by magic) it was the patch that actually made it through the approval chain. Oops.
“They thought it was so off the wall that it was hilarious,” Barger said. “They have embraced the irony and humor of the patch and in so doing have fostered closer ties with each other.”
Class 14-05′s patch has been getting a lot of attention ever since the My Little Pony fansite Equestria Daily posted the patch last month (sample comment: “Glad to know the USAF is getting in on the Brony fandom”). Since then, the story has been picked up by the Medium site War is Boring and MTV Geek, where the idea of a “brony squadron”—whether they’d ever self-identify that way or not—is getting a lot of traction. Not that the Vance pilot class has time to notice.
“Honestly, the patch is the last thing on the student pilots’ minds,” Barger said. “They are focused on the rigors of their fast-paced and world-class pilot training … Our allied partners send their student pilots here to train because the United States Air Force is known for its air superiority around the globe, and now perhaps, in the land of Equestria. Perhaps the Wonderbolts will start sporting a U.S. Air Force patch of their own.”
And if they do: Your move, Top Gun.
IMPLICATIVE DISCOVERY: A government document found buried in the online reference section of aBoston Public Library archive bolsters a growing mountain of evidentiary data against Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president. The document indicates that a consular officer issued a single certificate of statutory citizenship, within the time frame including August 4, 1961, to a child born to aU.S. citizen between July 1st and December 31st, 1961 in the Kenyan region of Africa. The record also reveals that the certificate was the only one issued for this specific type of arrival in the U.S. over a span of more than 18 months, among thousands from other parts of the world.
By Dan Crosby
NEW YORK, NY – A recently discovered rare immigration record found by researchers working on behalf of an ongoing investigation into the Constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the office of the U.S. presidency reveals that an American consular officer issued a single Certificate of Citizenship to only one passenger arriving in the U.S. from the Kenyan region of Africa between July and December of 1961.
The record shows demographic and status classifications for a passenger who was explicitly recorded at the INS Arrival Inspection Station as an individual being born to a U.S. citizen parent arriving from the Kenyan region of Africa between July 1st and December 31st, 1961.
This information and the dates of its documentation are disturbing given the rare nature of the issuance of certificates of citizenship for children who acquire their citizenship by birth to incoming U.S. citizens in this particular region of Africa.
These dates not only align with the alleged date of Obama’s birth on August 4, 1961, but also with evidence indicating that Ann Dunham departed from Hawaii beginning in February, 1961, shortly after her undocumented marriage to Obama Sr. The table below shows there were a total of 13 children of U.S. citizens who entered the U.S. from Africa’s Kenyan region. It also shows there were 11 from the United Kingdom in the same time in comparison, to demonstrate the consistency of this class of arrivals, regardless of the country of embarkation.
These children were classified by the INS upon arrival based on a passport which already named them when they departed from the U.S. prior, or they received requisite documentation, pre-approved by the U.S. before embarkation, which identified them specifically as children of U.S. citizens who were up to 18 years old.However, a child who enters the U.S. who was not named on a passport prior to the use of that passport to depart the U.S. must undergo another form of identification process upon returning. A child who did not exist when the parent departed the U.S., in the absence of a passport, must be classified as one of three definitions, a non-resident alien, a derived citizen by parentage or marriage, or a child with acquired citizenship by birth or legal adoption by a U.S. citizen. The following table shows the quantity of children who were granted acquired citizenship from Africa.Also supporting this data is the implication of an African trip by the absence of Dunham’s passport information which is known to have existed from the 1960s, but which was said by State Department officials to have been conveniently discarded as a part of an administrative order to make more file storage space in the 1980s.
We know Dunham used a passport at that time on at least one occasion for her departure with Obama Jr. to Indonesia where the two lived with Lolo Soetoro, Dunham’s second husband. If Dunham had filed for a “renewal” of an old passport, rather than for a new passport in the mid 1960’s for the Indonesian trip, which would have been the common practice for the life of a passport, this would have been indicated on the missing application which would have been included with the series of documents released by anFOIA request in early 2010.The Immigration and Naturalization Service published its annual Report of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1963, for the year of July 1st, 1961 ending on June 30th, 1962. According to information on page 99 of the report the only certificate of acquired citizenry issued based on the grounds of birth to a U.S. citizen abroad was coincidentally also issued in the same time frame during which Barack Obama’s alleged birth date occurred on August 4th, 1961.
Successive yearly reports add COC recipients to their roster for previous years as applicants receive those certificates for the year they were born. Table 48 appears to show the data of the acquisition of citizenship by birth, not the year the COC is delivered. Review of later annual reports shows that each year’s COC by birth quantities increase as applicants born in those years receive the COC, regardless of the year of reception. However, in almost all cases, the COC is delivered for the child within a year of the birth date. COC delivery is often delayed while the circumstances of the birth abroad are confirmed for older births who might apply for retroactive COC. However, when a newborn child enters the U.S. bearing a foreign birth registration from an official medical facility or institution identifying the citizen parent, a COC is expedited based on the registration form, the parent(s) testimony and inspection of the child by the INS. In those cases, a COC may be delivered in days, not months or years.
According to the INS, Certificates of Citizenship are issued upon arrival in the U.S. to those who have acquired statutory citizenship (not natural-born citizenship) by birth to at least one U.S. citizen parent within the previous year while that parent(s) was temporarily in another country. COC are notifications provided by the American Consulate Service, via the INS, to individuals born to at least one U.S. citizen abroad in order to provide interim citizen alien status while immigration status is processed and secured. COC are not issued to natural-born citizens or children born to non-U.S. citizen parents arriving in the U.S., nor are COC received through the same process as required for naturalized citizenship, according to the INS. COAC is issued to an arriving child from abroad who is:
- born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one parent with “alien” non-citizen status, or
- born in the U.S. to two alien parents who both naturalize after the child’s birth, or
- born abroad to a U.S. citizen who did not live in (or come to) the United States for a period of time prior to the child’s birth, or
- adopted and is permanently residing in the United States and can become a U.S. citizen by action of law on the date on which all of the following requirements have been met:
- The child was lawfully admitted for permanent residence; and
- Either parent was a United States citizen by birth or naturalization; and
- The child was still under 18 years of age; and
- The child was not married; and
- The child was the parent’s legitimate child or was legitimated by the parent before the child’s 16th birthday (Stepchildren or children born out of wedlock who were not legitimated before their 16th birthday do not derive United States citizenship through their parents.); and
- If adopted, the child met the requirements of section 101(b)(1)(E) or (F) and has had a full and final adoption; and
- The child was residing in the United States in the legal custody of the U.S. citizen parent (this includes joint custody).
There is yet other historical documented evidence supporting the plausibility that Ann Dunham possessed a birth registration for Obama Jr. from Kenya. In 2009, divorce decree documents for Dunham and Obama Sr. revealed that a conspicuously missing page from the section of the court proceedings declaring the custody of Obama Jr. is the same page which corresponds to other divorce records where a birth certificate would be required by a judge in order to determine original parentage at birth for a custody ruling based on HRS 571.
As previously reported by Dr. Jerome Corsi of WND and other sources, the void of documented and testimonial evidence accounting for Ann Dunham’s presence in Hawaii between February and early August of 1961 implies that she had reasons to travel to Kenya shortly after her undocumented marriage to Obama’s alleged father in February of 1961. According to the widely accepted but highly suspicious uncorroborated account of events, Dunham would have been at least three months pregnant at the time of the marriage. It was documented that Obama Sr’s father, living in Kenya at the time, denounced the marriage leaving the couple with a reconciliatory reason to travel there.
Following the completion of her classes at the University of Hawaii in winter 1961, the only evidence accounting for Dunham’s presence was months after the alleged marriage, in late August 1961. A transcript of registration to attend fall extension classes at the University of Washington, in Seattle, beginning in late August, 1961 was discovered in 2009.
The previous year’s INS report shows that no other Certificates of Derived Citizenry by birth were issued to anyone arriving from the Kenyan region of Africa between July 1st, 1960 and June 30th, 1961. During this time, the INS recorded 282 alien arrivals from Kenya by air, and three U.S. citizens.
The arrival of these Kenyan aliens is corroborated by the African American Students Foundation Report of Activities 1959-1961 which documents the arrival of the same number of students in the U.S. on September 7, 1960 from Nairobi, Kenya via the second sortie of the Airlift America Project, a project initiated in April 1959 by the AASF and Kenyan politician, Tom Mboya, to bring African students from Nairobi to study in the U.S.
Of the 2397 arrivals from Africa who were originally classified by the INS as “Aliens” between July 1, 1961 and June 30, 1962, only one was from Kenya. INS procedures dictate that arrivals under the age of 18 not possessing a U.S. passport are issued “alien” status until the alleged parents of the child are officially issued a Certificate of Citizenry. The Certificate of Citizenry can then be used in conjunction with state birth registration procedures to acquire a birth certificate for the child.
It should noted that the AASF sent more than 800 students to the United States via the Airlift Project from East Africa in the early 1960s. Some of the student are not accounted by the 1961-1962 Immigration report as having departed from Kenya in the third airlift transport in fall of 1961. However, several of these students attended the University of Chicago where it has been widely speculated they had expenses paid for by six separate U.S. families including the family of Tom and Mary Ayers, parents of domestic terrorist and long-time Obama affiliate, Bill Ayers, with whom Obama served on the Annenberg Education Project Fund board for almost 10 years.
Recent testimony from a retired postal worker who delivered mail to the Ayers’ Glen Ellyn, Chicago residence collaborates with AASF report accounts and indicates the Ayers may have a longer history of supporting foreign exchange students than initially suspected. Barack Obama II, was likely one of these foreign students supported by the Ayers in the late 1980s which would explain his engagement to serve with Ayers on the Annenberg Fund board, perhaps as appreciation for the Ayers’ help.
A COC is also considered a primary form of identification by the State of Hawaii in 1961 to prove a foreign born infant’s residency in the U.S. prompting the issuance of a standard Certificate of Live Birth under Hawaii Revised Statute 338-17 which would then allocate the location of the birth to the mother’s residence.
Corroborating data from passenger arrivals of flights entering the U.S. between July 1st, 1961 and June 30th, 1962 indicates this one individual may have been originally classified as an alien upon arrival prior to application for derivative citizenship. The INS report shows there was only one individual who was originally classified by the INS as an alien arriving by air from Kenya. This individual was possibly inspected by INS officers in Hawaii upon arrival at the INS station located within Honolulu International Airport sometime in early August of 1961.
Unfortunately, the report does not give data supporting that this individual was accompanied by a U.S. citizen parent. This may be explained by the disparity of time between being classified as an “alien” in the interim until a COAC was granted and the collection of data for this report’s date of publication.
According to the INS report data, a voluntary birth to a U.S. resident in Africa in 1961, away from the quality of care offered at U.S. hospitals was extremely rare with only eight such cases in more than two years. The rarity of this event would leave an easily referenced recording of the birth abroad. Hawaiian law also specifies that documentation used to issue birth certificates by the Hawaiian Health Department includes certificates of citizenship issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service upon arrival of children born to U.S. citizens abroad.
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D Wasserman Schultz@DWStweets6 Aug
48 years ago, LBJ signed into law the historic #VRA. Today, the fight continues:  #VotingRightsMatter

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@DWStweets If your party wasn't so focused on exacting voter fraud, via the treasonous Valerie Jarrett, what you said wouldn't be mockery.
9:53 AM - 6 Aug 13 · Details

Andrea Sneiderman trial testimony underway - WATCH LIVE

Allison Brooks@madhatternews5 Aug
@11AliveNews #GE and all workplaces have no-fraternization policies, and when that occurs, someone has to transfer or work elsewhere.
11:22 AM - 5 Aug 13 · Details

Jodie Fleischer@jodiewsbtv5 Aug
Defense: Look for evidence in emails that #andreasneiderman returned Neuman's feelings, you ain't gonna hear it, it's a 1-way street #wsbtvAllison Brooks@madhatternews5 Aug
@jodiewsbtv I don't think emails matter: both #Neuman and #AndreaSneiderman were very discreet and thought the tryst was their little secret
11:15 AM - 5 Aug 13 · Details
Tweet text
@jodiewsbtv @wsbtv Married men like #Neuman will go to great lengths to make the current wife jealous to get back at them for lack of sex.

Allison Brooks@madhatternews5 Aug
Flowers and dinner, debatable, but not an adjoining room, the drinking and dancing, and what happened after that, a tryst @jodiewsbtv @wsbtv

Jodie Fleischer@jodiewsbtv5 Aug
Defense: Look for evidence in emails that #andreasneiderman returned Neuman's feelings, you ain't gonna hear it, it's a 1-way street #wsbtv

Allison Brooks@madhatternews5 Aug
@jodiewsbtv @wsbtv You don't accept roses and dinner from your boss, without severing the relationship. Roses/adjoining rooms a no-no.
11:11 AM - 5 Aug 13 · Details

Clear now @11alive #AndreaSneiderman buried #Rusty in his grave under mound of lies: deceit/deception, debt, and financial fraud scheming!!

Allison Brooks@madhatternews 22h
@11Alive So far, prosecutors have proven perjury and obstruction by establishing sinister motive, $, now the cover-up of affair/conspiracy.

Allison Brooks@madhatternews22h
How interesting @11Alive #AndreaSneiderman attempted to divert investigators-story about a Mexican and investor fraud she hooked #Rusty into

Allison Brooks@madhatternews22h
@TheSwitch @washingtonpost straining a gnat out of a sieve of wet sand usually does that #NSA megadata not always relevant or fruitful tool
NSA data was supposed to make the DEA’s job easier. Instead it makes prosecutors’ jobs harder.
Retweeted by Allison Brooks

Allison Brooks@madhatternews7 Aug
Prosecution and state @11Alive doing an excellent job establishing 1) motive 2) money #AndreaSneiderman #culpable #perjurious -now to means.
@11AliveNews Yeah she's not all snapping her fingers, flicking her hair, smiling, or feigning confidence anymore, is she??

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@11AliveNews Now we have gotten to the real meat of the trial: motive for murder being clearly established by #AndreaSneiderman manipulation

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@11AliveNews and stokes #Neuman anger over confiding arguments with her husband #AndreaSneidermanTrial

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@11AliveNews #AndreaSneiderman plants execution seed the 3rd time, in 3 successive emails, programming #Neuman

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@11AliveNews Excellent evidence: the last email where #AndreaSneiderman confides arguing with her husband and uses word execution twice

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@11AliveNews scintillatingly sordid -- #AndreaSneiderman goes to the restroom to masturbate after drinking and feeling up on #Neuman #DAMN

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@11alive #GreenvilleTryst that is when #AndreaSneiderman tried on #HemyNeuman as a dissatisfied still-married woman.

Allison Brooks@madhatternews5 Aug
@11AliveNews To this day, I can not hear that song and not shudder from #NeumanTestimony what he said about Andrea.

Allison Brooks@madhatternews5 Aug
@11AliveNews Oh yes, she had an emotional affair at first: then a tryst. He was hooked, and then he then wanted more than just that. #Neuman


Jim Osterman@Ost_WordWorks6 Aug
Appreciating the work @JulieWolfe is doing via Twitter covering the Sneiderman trial for WXIA. No wonder print is taking it in the nards.

Allison Brooks@madhatternews6 Aug
@Ost_WordWorks @11AliveNews @JulieWolfe more like free online weekly newsletter that tells the truth #TheSynthesis

11:55 AM - 6 Aug 13 · Details


Fort Hood trial resumes as lawyers demand removal

NOMAAN MERCHANT and PAUL J. WEBER 56 minutes ago
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The soldier on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood was allowed to continue representing himself on Thursday after the judge barred his standby attorneys from taking over, despite their claims that the Army psychiatrist was trying to secure his own death sentence.
The military lawyers ordered to help Maj. Nidal Hasan represent himself had asked to either be removed from the case or be allowed to take over. They said they believed Hasan was trying to convince jurors to convict him and sentence him to death for the attack that killed 13 people on the Texas military base.
The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, denied that request Thursday, saying it was clear the lawyers simply disagreed with Hasan's defense strategy. But the attorneys were adamant and said they would appeal her ruling to a higher court.
"We believe your order is causing us to violate our rules of professional conduct," Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, Hasan's lead standby defense attorney, told the judge.
The exchange prompted Osborn to briefly recess the trial. But the hearing later resumed and jurors were allowed in after the standby attorneys were told to continue in their current duties. It wasn't immediately clear whether the attorneys had filed an appeal.
Poppe had told the judge Wednesday that if Hasan were allowed to continue on his own, he and Hasan's other standby attorneys wanted their roles minimized so Hasan couldn't ask them for help with a strategy they opposed. They said they couldn't watch Hasan fulfill a death wish.
"It becomes clear his goal is to remove impediments or obstacles to the death penalty and is working toward a death penalty," Poppe told the judge Wednesday. That strategy, he argued, "is repugnant to defense counsel and contrary to our professional obligations."
Hasan gave a brief opening statement during the trial's first day Tuesday that included claiming responsibility for the attack that killed 13 people at the Texas military post. He posed no questions to most witnesses and rarely spoke. On one of the few times he did talk, it was to get on the record that the alleged murder weapon was his -- even though no one had asked.
Sometimes he took notes, but he mostly looked forward impassively.
The prosecutor, Col. Michael Mulligan, defended Hasan's strategy on Thursday, saying it would have been "absurd" for Hasan to contest the facts of what happened the day of the attack in November 2009.
Mulligan said Hasan appeared to be taking on a "tried and true" defense strategy of not contesting the facts but rather offering an alternative reason about why they occurred.
"I'm really perplexed as to how it's caused such a moral dilemma," Mulligan told the judge.
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Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account 1m
I don't want to pay for #Hasan to sit around/starve himself like #GuantanamoDetainees @TheJusticeDept put Assad's dog down out of our misery

12:47 PM - 8 Aug 13 · Details


Carney says the President will finally sign the bipartisan #StudentLoans bill tomorrow.

Beware of stalker spam, generated from @Yahoo report profiles to @Facebook @FBIPressOffice


NASA: Sun Getting Ready For A 'Field Flip'


Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 12:18 pm
Our nearest star is about to pull a once-in-11-years move by swapping its north and south magnetic poles.
The sun's polarity switch is a natural part of "Solar Max" — the period of peak activity during what averages out to be roughly an 11-year cycle. According to NASA, this year will mark the fourth time since 1976 that scientists have observed the 180-degree pole flip.
"It looks like we're no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University says on NASA's website. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."
The reversal marks the mid-way point of Solar Max, but it's a gradual process, says Phil Scherrer, another Stanford-based solar physicist.
"The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and then emerge again with the opposite polarity," he says.
While those ripple effects will go largely unnoticed on Earth, they will affect the size and shape of the undulating magnetic envelope that surrounds the solar system out to a boundary with interstellar space known as the heliopause. (The Voyager probes, launch in 1977, are hovering near that boundary now).
Just before the switch, the magnetic field becomes very wavy and as the Earth passes through it, it's likely to "stir up stormy space weather around our planet," NASA says.
"The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," Scherrer says. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

Mayan Frieze Discovered In Guatemala Called 'Extraordinary'

By SONIA PEREZ D. 08/08/13 12:43 AM ET EDT
GUATEMALA CITY -- Archaeologists have found an "extraordinary" Mayan frieze richly decorated with images of deities and rulers and a long dedicatory inscription, the Guatemalan government said Wednesday.
The frieze was discovered by Guatemalan archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli, a professor at Tulane University's Anthropology Department, and his team in the northern Province of Peten, the government said in a joint statement with Estrada-Belli.
"This is an extraordinary finding that occurs only once in the life of an archaeologist," Estrada-Belli said.
The archaeologists were exploring a Mayan pyramid that dates to A.D. 600 in an area that is home to other classic ruin sites when they came upon the frieze.
"It's a great work of art that also gives us a lot of information on the role and significance of the building, which was the focus of our research," Estrada-Belli said.
The high-relief stucco sculpture, which measures 26 feet by 6 feet (8 meters by 2 meters), includes three main characters wearing rich ornaments of quetzal feathers and jade sitting on the heads of monsters.
The frieze, which was found in July, depicts the image of gods and godlike rulers and gives their names.
The dedicatory inscription "opens a window on a very important phase in the history of the classical period," Estrada-Belli said.
The inscription is composed of some 30 glyphs in a band that runs at the base of the structure.
The text, which was difficult to read, was deciphered by Alex Tokovinine, an epigraphist at Harvard University and contributor to the research project at Holmul, the site where the frieze was found.
Tokovinine said the building was commissioned by Ajwosaj, king of the neighboring city-state of Naranjo, and vassal of the powerful Kaanul dynasty, the statement said.
David Stuart, an expert in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin, called Tokovinine's reading of the text "excellent."
But while the government statement called it "the most spectacular frieze seen to date," Stuart was cautious about using superlatives.
"It's really impressive," Stuart said in an email to The Associated Press. But he added, "I certainly wouldn't say this is the `most spectacular' temple facade."
"There are other buildings in Maya archaeology that are just as magnificent, if not more so," Stuart wrote, pointing out the temple called "Rosalila" at Copan, Honduras, and a building excavated starting last year at the ruins of Xultun, Guatemala, which has not yet been uncovered in full.
Also Wednesday, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina presented the National Geographic Society with the Order of the Quetzal, Guatemala's highest award, for their research on the Mayan civilization.
Perez Molina thanked National Geographic for its support and said the society has "put on high the cultural heritage of the Mayan civilization."
Estrada-Belli is a National Geographic Explorer. His excavations at Holmul were supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Guatemala and funded by the National Geographic Society and other Guatemalan and foreign institutions.
Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson contributed to this report.
VA: More staff discipline expected at Atlanta VA
ATLANTA — Three employees at the troubled Atlanta VA Medical Center have been reprimanded, two others have retired and more administrative actions are pending after patient care at the hospital was criticized in federal audits, a top official with the Department of Veterans Affairs told a Senate committee Wednesday.

VA Undersecretary for Health Robert Petzel expressed regret for the deaths of four veterans who sought treatment at the hospital and said "aggressive action" is being taken to address the problems at the Atlanta hospital with broad changes also being implemented across what is the largest integrated health care system in the country with nearly 300,000 employees.
"The VA and the Atlanta VA Medical Center takes every veteran death, especially suicide, seriously," Petzel said. "Even one veteran suicide is a national tragedy."
Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson called the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs field hearing to discuss the federal audits released earlier this year detailing allegations of mismanagement and poor patient care within the mental health programs at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, which serves some 87,000 veterans. Federal investigators linked three deaths to the facility, and word of a fourth death later surfaced. Among those who died was a patient with a history of substance abuse and suicidal thoughts who was left alone in a waiting room inside the Atlanta VA Medical Center, where he obtained drugs from a hospital visitor and later died of an overdose.
"When you have a failure and a breakdown in the system that contributes to the loss of life of an American veteran and an American citizen, then it's time to have a call of action, and that's what this is today," said Isakson, a Republican from Marietta.
Petzel said the VA is looking to strengthen and standardize policies across the system for urine tests, hospital visitors and patient escorts, which were concerns raised in the federal audits. And all VA facilities will be hosting a mental health summit this summer.
At the Atlanta hospital, 66 employees have been hired to improve operations within the mental health program. Petzel said VA case managers are being placed at locations with contractors who are helping provide mental health treatment to veterans. He praised the facility's new director for making progress in a short period of time. Petzel said wait times for an appointment after a referral have been reduced to less than 14 days, with the average being seven. He called that among the best within the VA system.
After the hearing, Isakson said he was pleased the VA is taking responsibility for what happened and taking steps to fix the situation at the Atlanta VA hospital.
"I think we're moving forward but there is a long way to go," Isakson said.
A few hundred veterans and others attended the hearing on the campus of Georgia State University. Of those who testified, retired 1st Sgt. Vondell Brown with the Wounded Warrior Project received the loudest applause from the crowd when he criticized the VA for failing to take care of its own as the number of veterans seeking access to health care grows. An estimated 13 percent to 20 percent of the 2.6 million service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Effective mental health care is not only about clinicians, it is also about instilling a culture of good customer service and accountability throughout the system," Brown said, drawing a standing ovation. "I think there is much more to be done here in Atlanta and nationally to close the gap in VA's mental health system."
Brown said one veteran told him he had seen three different psychologists at the VA and the experience of retelling his story further traumatized him. Too often, he said, medicine is being prescribed instead of a focus on therapy.
"The bottom line is we sit here and talk about policies and procedures and talk about what's right and what's wrong, but I think for simple veterans like myself, we really don't care how much you know until we know how much you care," Brown said.
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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




Red Cross-reports donations are down.

Texas-needs school supplies for West, TX

Oklahoma-school supplies, home goods, support

New Jersey-people need renovation assistance, still displaced

Syria-refugees projected to go to 10 million in 2014

A relief fund has been established to help the victims of the recent fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, officials announced Thursday. Financial contributions may be made to the West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund, which will be managed by the Waco Foundation, a 501(c) public charity.

"This (fundraising) is new to us," said West Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek said. "If you want something done, go to the professionals."

Two other Central Texas foundations - Cooper and Rapoport - each have contributed $20,000 to the relief efforts. To date the foundation has raised $270,000 including donations from individuals and organizations throughout the country.

"We appreciate all the love," Vanek said.

For information, visit Checks can be made payable to Waco Foundation (1105 Wooded Acres, Suite 701, Waco, TX 76710), designating the gift for the West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund in the memo line.

Fourteen people, including first responders, died in the explosion last month.

Raising donations and sending products or goods to those most affected by natural disasters or war.
@UNICEF Text SYRIA to 864233 to donate $10
or text
@RedCross 90999 to donate $10
@rfbo $10 donations can also be made by texting tornado to 32333 #prayforoklahoma
@SalArmyAOK: Text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to the recovery and relief efforts in #Moore, Oklahoma.

Please donate! If you buy my products, I will make donations to the following groups/states through 2014. Any goods made that are not sold in lieu of donation will be donated annually.

Much of Red Cross fund for Sandy aid still unspent
By DAVID B. CARUSO and JENNIFER PELTZ | Associated Press – 2 hrs 4 mins ago
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Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews - In this May 7, 2013 photo, Yvonne Rankine, left, and her husband, Rev. Trevor Rankine, tour the basement of their home in New York. The home is faced with a growing mold problem, …more
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In this May 7, 2013 photo, Gregory …
NEW YORK (AP) — Seven months after Superstorm Sandy, the Red Cross still hasn't spent more than a third of the $303 million it raised to assist victims of the storm, a strategy the organization says will help address needs that weren't immediately apparent in the disaster's wake.
Some disaster relief experts say that's smart planning. But others question whether the Red Cross, an organization best known for rushing into disasters to distribute food and get people into shelter, should have acted with more urgency in the weeks after the storm and left long-haul recovery tasks to someone else.
"The Red Cross has never been a recovery operation. Their responsibility has always been mass care," said Ben Smilowitz, executive director of the Disaster Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that monitors aid groups. "Stick with what you're good at."
Storm victims could have used more help this past winter, said Kathleen McCarthy, director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Civil Society at the City University of New York.
"People were cold. Homes mildewed. There wasn't enough decent housing," she said. "Given the lingering despair, it's hard to understand the argument that 'We are setting that money aside.'"
As Americans open their wallets to assist tornado victims in Oklahoma, the Red Cross is again emerging as one of the most important relief organizations on the ground and also one of the most prodigious fundraisers for victims. As of Thursday, it had raised approximately $15 million in donations and pledges for the tornado response, including a $1 million gift from NBA star Kevin Durant and numerous $10 donations, pledged via text.
The Red Cross was also the No. 1 recipient of donations after Sandy. As of mid-April, the organization said it still had $110 million remaining from its pool of storm donations.
Red Cross officials pledged that all the money in its Sandy fund will eventually be spent on the storm recovery and not diverted to other disasters or used to support general Red Cross operations.
Over the next few months, the Red Cross expects to spend as much as $27 million of its remaining Sandy donations on a program providing "move-in assistance" grants of up to $10,000 to families displaced by the storm. About 2,000 households have been assisted by the program so far, with an additional 4,000 waiting for an eligibility determination.
Part of the delay in spending, officials said, is to wait to see how the hardest-hit states allocate a $60 billion pot of federal relief dollars and address gaps in the government aid package.
"We are waiting to see where the greatest need is going to be over time," said Josh Lockwood, CEO of the Red Cross Greater New York Region. "We are more concerned with spending our resources wisely rather than quickly."
Some disaster relief experts said holding funds in reserve was indeed a smart move.
Much of the toughest and most expensive relief work after a natural disaster comes not during the initial months but during the long-term rebuilding phase after the public's attention has waned and new donations have stopped flowing, said Patrick Rooney, associate dean at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
"It would be splashier, perhaps, to spend the money right away while the media is still there and the donors are still looking," he said. "But the important needs, from the cost perspective and the recipient perspective, take place after the headlines are gone and after the cameras are gone."
Red Cross officials noted that a year after a tornado killed 158 people in Joplin, Mo., it found itself providing a new round of mental health services to survivors. The cholera epidemic that killed thousands of people following a massive earthquake in Haiti, where the Red Cross was also criticized for not spending donations faster, also didn't start until nearly a year after the disaster.
The Red Cross says it is planning substantial grants to other nonprofit groups doing Sandy recovery work and is doing much of its current work in conjunction with charitable partners with local ties.
Red Cross volunteers working in conjunction with the organizing group New York Cares are going out several days a week to muck and clean flooded homes and remove mold. Red Cross staff and caseworkers have been holding "unmet needs roundtables" in hard-hit communities, trying to identify victims not covered by traditional aid programs.
"Our experience shows that as the recovery goes on, the needs of survivors will evolve," said Roger Lowe, Red Cross senior vice president. "It's important to make sure some money is available for those needs no one can predict right now."
Other organizations that raised large sums for the relief effort have also held back money while they evaluated the wisest way to spend it.
The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, led by Mary Pat Christie, the wife of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, raised $32 million after the storm but didn't begin awarding grants on a large scale until April. So far, it has given about $11 million, with the biggest grants going to local organizations building or repairing housing.
The United Way, which raised $9.7 million in a Sandy recovery fund for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and some parts of Pennsylvania, said it has spent about $4 million of that total to date, though another $2.5 million is set to go out soon.
"We always knew, from the very beginning, that our fund and our resources would be for longer-term strategies," said United Way of New York City President Sheena Wright. "We feel good about the timeframe."
That strategy of holding some cash to spend later contrasts with the approach taken by the Robin Hood Foundation, which was in charge of distributing more than $70 million raised by a Dec. 12 benefit concert by Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and other music royalty.
That fund was depleted entirely by April, with grants given to 400 relief organizations ranging from food banks to legal services to volunteer rebuilding groups.
Robin Hood spokeswoman Patty Smith said the foundation moved as fast as it could because it believed that delays in government aid were leaving big gaps in services.
Red Cross officials say they have the ability to meet both long-term and short-term needs, noting the organization has served 17 million meals and snacks, distributed 7 million relief items, mobilized 17,000 workers and volunteers, and provided 81,000 overnight stays.
Its efforts won over early critics like Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, who assailed the Red Cross response in the days immediately after the storm but now praises it as having provided vital help.
"They've come a long way since Day One," Molinaro said.


Henry County Police Department
The Henry County Police Department mourns the loss of Margie Lewis and wishes to express sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Margie Lewis was a School Crossing Guard for the Henry County Police Department for over 14 years and was an exemplary employee. She loved her job working the Pleasant Grove Elementary & Woodland Middle School crossings. She will be missed.

Funeral arrangements are at Horis Ward (376 Fairview Rd., Stockbridge). Viewing will be at 3PM, Saturday, August 10th, followed by graveside services.


CREATIVE INNOVATIONS shared Aja Brooks's photo.
Why the Tea Party is the best thing that ever happened in America:

"Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves."

--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, 1787
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1) READ - a newsletter once a week/attend a meeting, read group posts
2) WRITE - your representatives, tweet Congress, call or email Governors
3) VOTE - participate in elections, local and national to stop voter fraud
4) FUNDRAISE - money is speech, support people, not parties
5) BOYCOTT - the best way to stop your rights from being eroded or undermined by politics and elections
IRS BOYCOTT 6/9/13/-9/12/13
keep the government out of your health care, out of your wallet, and out of your hair!



Top 60 Conservative Websites News & Information Links

13) Hot Air: 11,517
29) Reason: 33,254
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49) Wizbang: 63,427
53) Vdare: 70,866

September 20, 2012

The Global Counterterrorism Council was called to order on 9/20/12, in the wake of Ambassador Stevens' Team's deaths, and shortly before the 2012 election as an advisory panel and participatory preparation for Mitt Romney's assumption of Commander-In-Chief. The Council was chosen and formed for several reasons:
-Barack Obama's failure to negotiate with Iran
-Barack Obama being removed from authority of Command and restricted from veto power over lack of provable citizenship and defrauding the 2008 election
-Wherein, the power to declare war was formally vested in Vice President Joe Biden 7/23/12 Senator John McCain, and Senator John Kerry co-jointly and respectively after the 7/17/12 transition, as marked at 7:07pm
-After the death of Ambassador Stevens' Team that was clearly an act of terrorism on an annual remembrance of the 9-11-01 attack, questions surrounding the details of their last hours were mired in Obama enforcing an Executive Order involving Libya, not Syria, wherein security was cut at the Benghazi Consulate to prevent knowledge of arms being shipped to Syrian rebels and in order to pay for $400 billion Obamacare remuneration around the will and full knowledge of Congress.
-Suspicions had been raised in August, by Ahmadinejad who dutifully reported a month prior to the Benghazi attack that weapons were being shipped to Syrian rebels by the United States. Thinking that was a matter of the CIA, who is not directly accountable to our military, the issue was dismissed until on 9/9/12 an Al Qaeda commander announced that he would take Syria for its own.
-Subsequent to that active intelligence, weapon supplies were cut off to Benghazi and negotiations over the blind Sheik were abruptly ended. This caused Al Qaeda to launch an offensive that the Consulate was unprepared to weather: due to lack of security, available resources, and intensity of the attack.
-The order to stand down was given for 2 reasons: Biden chose not to declare war on Libya, to retaliate in response into territories that Libya had recently come under new governance, as doing so would shed more light on the fact that the Consulate was not being used for diplomatic purposes, but as a pseudo-secret military base of operations, and that Obama went around Congress to provide Syrian revolutionaries arms by an unenforceable prior Executive Order from last year that applied only to Libya.
-Barack Obama was effectively removed from Command shortly before the election over the incident, to prevent war with Iran that Obama attempted to foster over his special interest with Syria and the trade war he created over oil with sanctions that ruined our economic growth and recovery, Iran's economy, and Iraq's to force Iran to a provocational state to disclose its intentions and activities.
(see Order to Cease and Desist Command effective 10-21-2012:
-To form a consensus, strengthen international relationships, and form a global counterterrorism task force against terrorism
-To form a unified front against 13 sprouting terrorist organizations from the stump of Al Qaeda as designated 10/25/12:

The Council meets online collectively to discuss national security issues, current and emerging terrorism threats, and to form a course of action based on real-time information.

The appointment to Council was to give an alternative meeting to UN Council, but to include them in daily discussion. Next to the UN, the Global Counterterrorism Council contains some of the most powerful and controversial collection of eclectic world leaders in government and politics.

The Global Counterterrorism Council is a peace-keeping council, like the UN, but unlike the UN, the Global Counterterrorism Council discusses matters of war: internal conflict, regional conflict, and national conflict to reduce tension, encourage interaction and dialogue, and to reduce the threat of war by respect of Sovereignty and respect of cultural position of a country's representative identity.

The appointment of a War Council is called when members can not resolve their differences and disputes peacefully through the UN or the GCC.

March 29
#GCC lists #2 Al Qaeda as resurgent and retaliatory status (orange) and puts #12 Salafi Jihadists and #13 AQIM at high threat status after Boston attack and promised retaliation


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