Has the NSA collected massive data on all American's credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, guns, financial information, and on and on?
"I’ve called both speakers -- Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi, and encouraged them to find a path to get this done."
Two dozen House Republicans proposed legislation on Thursday that would allow off-duty and retired police officers to carry concealed weapons in school zones to help protection children from attacks.
Supporters of the Police Officers Protecting Children Act, H.R. 2541, say the bill would give schools the ability to seek this added layer of protection from random acts of violence, like the one that claimed the lives of 20 children last year in Newtown, Conn.
"This common-sense bill addresses a question on all of our minds: how do we keep our children safe?," said Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), the lead sponsor of the bill. "These dedicated men and women of law enforcement should not be barred from providing an extra layer of security for our schools just because they are off the clock or have retired from active service to their communities." . . .
State witness Joe Manalo testified that he took the photos with his cell phone that showed blood on Zimmerman's lip and scalp.
"He had blood running down his nose from both nostrils and over his lips," Manalo told Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.
Manalo said Zimmerman asked him to call his wife, Shellie, and tell her that he just shot someone as cops arrived on the scene.
"He had a cell phone in his hand and he tossed it on the ground asking if I could call his wife," Manalo testified. "He gave me her number. I had a connection right away and said, 'Your husband has been involved in a shooting. He's detained by Sanford police.'" . . . .
Labels: george zimmerman
One – Discriminatory Hiring Practices
Two – Fort Hood
Three – AP Surveillance
Four – DOJ Secretly Targets Fox News Reporter, James Rosen
Five – Marc Rich Pardon
Six – Weather Underground Pardon
Twelve – New Black Panther Intimidation
Thirteen – Opposition to Voter ID Laws
Fourteen – Fast & Furious
The Court’s reasoning does not take into account the fundamental principles or the practical dynamics of the initiative system in California,which uses this mechanism to control and to bypass public officials—the same officials who would not defend theinitiative, an injury the Court now leaves unremedied. The Court’s decision also has implications for the 26 other States that use an initiative or popular referendum system and which, like California, may choose to have initiative proponents stand in for the State when public officials decline to defend an initiative in litigation. . . .So the US Supreme Court claims that it knows more about how the California laws should be interpreted than a unanimous decision by the California Supreme Court. But worse, as Justice Kennedy says, if the politicians in office don't like a decision, they can just encourage a lawsuit against the law and then refuse to defend it in court.
The White House is working to recruit Hollywood celebrities to help promote ObamaCare, a top celebrity political adviser told The Hill.From The Hill newspaper:
Trevor Neilson, a veteran of the Clinton White House, said he's in talks with the Obama administration and that his clients are "looking at ways to be involved."
Neilson represents Eva Longoria, John Legend and many other stars as president of Global Philanthropy Group. . . .
"I think the White House is very wise to identify partners to help market the Affordable Care Act," Neilson said Tuesday. . . . .
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday she is in talks with the NFL to help promote new insurance options under ObamaCare.
Sebelius said the football league has been "very actively and enthusiastically engaged" in discussions about a partnership to encourage people to enroll in newly available insurance plans."We're having active discussions right now with a variety of sports affiliates" about both paid advertising and partnerships to encourage enrollment, Sebelius told reporters.HHS is reportedly also in talks with the NBA to promote the law. . . .
. . . The report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that between fiscal 2010 and 2011, the more than 5,000 IRS card accounts racked up $103 million in purchases.
"While the majority of IRS cardholders appear to use their purchase cards properly, TIGTA's audit identified some troubling instances of inappropriate usage," J. Russell George, the inspector general, said in a statement.
The report said the cards were at one point used to pay for a dinner that cost roughly $140 per person -- four times the amount allowed by federal rules. They were also used to pay for a lunch that cost about $100 per person, five times the allowed amount.
The report said IRS credit cards paid for 28 bottles of wine at the 2010 luncheon for tax officials from other countries. There were 41 guests.
In another case, cards were used to make questionable purchases of decorative and give-away items including plush animals, bandanas, kazoos and a rented popcorn machine.
Another cardholder allegedly made $2,655 worth of personal purchases -- the report said credit card information indicates it was spent on diet pills, romance novels and other items, and that the purchaser may have provided false receipts to justify it. . . .
Tsarnaev’s name was read aloud during a stop on [Mayors Against Illegal Guns'] “No More Names” bus tour in Concord, N.H., prompting loud shouts from the crowd, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. Several protesters shouted "he’s a terrorist” when Tsarnaev was named, the Union Leader reported on Tuesday.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns told The Atlantic Wire in a statement Wednesday that they “relied on the public list compiled by Slate.com entitled 'How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?', and his name was on the list.” The group said his name should have been deleted, called Tsarnaev’s inclusion a “mistake” and apologized. . . . .But there is another problem. You just can't evaluate whether we should have guns based on their cost. You need to compare the number of defensive gun uses against the number of bad things that happen.
Labels: Mayors Against Illegal Guns
. . . Barring congressional action, that means a number of states — most of them southern and GOP-controlled — no longer have to meet higher criteria to pass voting laws.
The ruling holds big implications for congressional redistricting and voter identification laws that Democrats claim are aimed suppressing minority turnout.
"This makes it much easier for Republicans to draw districts in away that minimizes the opportunities for Democrats in the south, minimizes opportunities for minorities in the South," said former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Martin Frost (D-Texas). . . .
. . . 5 cases were decided on Monday, and another 3 today. That leaves 3 to go, and the Chief Justice announced this morning that they would be released tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. There is a biggie -- Sekhar v. United States, which considers whether advice from a government lawyer can be considered "property" that can form the basis of an extortion charge. And there are two cases that have garnered little attention -- United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. Oh, wait. Those are the marriage cases!
It appears as though Justice Scalia may be writing the opinion in Sekhar, Justice Kennedy the opinion in Windsor (the constitutional challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA), and the Chief Justice writing in Perry (the constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8). This prediction is based on reviewing the authorship of the opinions that have already been released from each sitting of the Court and then lining up the remaining opinions with the Justices who have not yet authored an opinion from that sitting. For example, the only case argued all the way back in October that had not been released before this week was Fisher v. University of Texas, and the only Justice who had not authored an opinion out of the October sitting was Justice Kennedy. True to form, Justice Kennedy was the author of that opinion when it was released yesterday -- holding that Texas's race-based affirmative action plan has to be subjected to strict scrutiny by the lower courts and will therefore likely be held to be unconstitutional. (That, by the way, is not as far as we urged the Court to go in our brief in the case -- we'd like to see the promise of color-blind treatment for all citizens be fully vindicated -- but it is an important step in the right direction!).
Similarly, Justice Alito was the only Justice without an opinion from the January sitting, and Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District (another case in which the CCJ was involved!) was the only undecided case. This morning, Justice Alito was the author of the majority opinion inKoontz, an important property rights case holding that government cannot condition the issuance of a permit on the relinguishment of property rights that would be unconstitutional "takings" if done directly. Another win for the good guys, for property rights, and for the Constitution!
So the only case still undecided from April is Sekhar, and the only Justice without an opinion from that sitting is Justice Scalia. And the only two cases undecided from March are the two marriage cases, and the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy are the two justices without an opinion from that sitting. . . .
. . . Morse’s attorney, Mark Grueskin, challenged the entire effort because the petitions circulated by the El Paso Freedom Defense Committee didn’t specifically mention that there would be an election if enough signatures are collected, a requirement of the state constitution.Colorado Senate President John Morse is pulling up all the stops to keep from facing the voters in a recall, but with only 10 percent (even according the Democrats) agreeing to take their names off the petitions, the Democrats aren't even going to be close to stopping the recall -- all these expenses are going to be for nought.
“This isn’t some technicality or loophole,” Grueskin told Denver’s 7News. “This is a critical piece of information that the proponents of this petition decided not to impart to petition signers.”
Richard Westfall, an attorney with the Colorado Republican Party, told the Denver Post that Morse’s lawyers are misreading the constitution.
“The state constitution very much protects a citizen’s right to recall elected officials,” he’s quoted as saying. “A hyper-technical argument suggested by Sen. Morse’s attorneys would unduly limit the citizens’ rights to recall their elected officials.”
The petitions were boilerplate fill-in-the-blanks forms provided by the secretary of state’s office. The conservative Colorado Peak Politics blog points out that the language on the forms dates back to the previous secretary of state, Democrat Bernie Buescher. . . .
. . . "We've called several hundred people. We are seeing about a 10 percent return," she said. Le Lait said people sometimes sign without paying attention and that some voters have already confirmed that.Meanwhile, another Democrat state Senator is going to have to face the voters again. From the Denver Post:
"Some people thought they were signing a petition to keep John Morse in office, some people thought they were signing a petition to support the gun laws, one woman thought she was signing a petition to impeach Barack Obama," said Le Lait.
A woman who only wished to share her first name, Ann, said she is one of thousands who signed the petition. She also got a call from the Morse campaign.
"She goes, 'we wanted to find out do you remember signing the petition to recall John Morse?' I go yeah. I said I signed the petition because I wanted to and I don't want my name removed," said Ann.
Organizers of the recall petition needed more than 7,100 valid signatures to force a recall election. Last Tuesday, Colorado's Secretary of State's office verified they had the signatures needed. In fact, they exceeded the signatures by about 3,000. . . .
The votes cast by state Sen. Angela Giron in support of tougher gun laws now have the Pueblo lawmaker faced with a looming fall election date as organizers Monday amassed enough valid signatures in their recall effort.The Washington Times has a story about how extreme lengths Colorado Democrats are willing to go to not face the voters.
Only about 6 percent of the signatures submitted in Giron's recall effort were deemed invalid by the Colorado secretary of state's office — a striking percentage that her opponents said showed strong support for their cause.
Organizers with Pueblo Freedom and Rights submitted more than 13,400 signatures to the Colorado secretary of state's office and had 12,648 verified. They needed about 11,300 verified for a recall election and outpaced that figure by about 1,300.
Giron becomes the second Democrat in less than a week — along with Senate President John Morse — who now must deal with a recall election . . .
Labels: Colorado Recalls
In a rare case of gun violence in a man fatally shot five people and beat a sixth to death, including some of his factory colleagues and a soldier, police have said.
The 62-year-old man's killing spree started when he used unspecified tools to beat a colleague to death over an economic dispute, according to Shanghai police. The man identified as having the surname Fan killed his colleague on Saturday afternoon at a chemical factory in Shanghai's Baoshan district, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said.
The bureau said Fan then took a hunting rifle that was hidden in his dormitory, asked a driver to take him to another district and shot him on the way. After killing the man Fan drove the vehicle back to Baoshan and killed a soldier who was guarding the entrance to a barracks. He also took the soldier's gun.
Fan then returned to the factory and fatally shot three more people with his hunting rifle, including a manager. Police said they captured him in the factory about six hours after his killing spree started. . . .Thanks to Rich for the link.
A 20-year-old worker was found trapped under his 4WD, which had rolled on him, Feilding police Sergeant David Burmeister said.
''He'd been out there all night stuck underneath it.''
Weather conditions last night were ''terrible'' - wet and cold - with the temperature in single figures.
The man was found down a gully and the police constable on the scene was able to use his new iPhone to give the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter the co-ordinates of where to land, Burmeister said. . . .
Police say an armed man trying to rob customers outside an Atlanta shoe store was fatally shot by one of the patrons waiting in line to buy sneakers.
WSB-TV reports the shooting happened Saturday morning in the city's Little Five Points neighborhood, where people lined up outside Wish Clothing to buy new $180 sneakers endorsed by Miami Heat star LeBron James.
Witnesses told police a man armed with a gun tried to rob people standing outside the store. But one of the customers drew his own handgun and shot the robber. Police say the suspect ran just a few yards before he fell dead. . . . .
Police have arrested a man who broke into a home in Sun City. In this case, the homeowner fought back and shot the man.
It's hard to imagine how any of us would react waking up in the middle of the night to find someone with a gun in your home trying to rob you.
But this suspect picked the wrong home. The homeowner has law enforcement training and a gun, and he used that to fight back.
Video shows the suspect face down on a golf course in Sun City, surrounded by Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies. They say he's the suspect in a home invasion early Friday at a home only a few blocks away. . . .
This started around 2 a.m. The couple living here was sound asleep when a man armed with a gun broke in.
The homeowner, Dave Sobley, is a military veteran and an MCSO posse lieutenant. Deputies say he grabbed his gun and shot the intruder, who then ran off.
"I was afraid for my life and my wife's life. I knew if he got us together it may be over," said Sobley. . . .