(Reuters) – Seven of President Barack Obama’s Democrats in the U.S. Senate broke ranks on Wednesday and joined Republicans to block Obama’s nominee to a top Justice Department job after complaints that the lawyer, Debo Adegbile, had helped represent a “cop killer.”
The seven voted with 44 Republicans to sustain a procedural roadblock against the nomination of Adegbile, a former director at the Legal Defense Fund of the civil rights group NAACP, to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Mar. 4, 2014 – A bill that would nullify Agenda 21 in Oklahoma passed through the state house today.
“This bill protects your private property from being acquired by eminent domain from without a public vote or public hearing,” said bill sponsor, Rep. Lewis Moore.
HB2807, known as the “Oklahoma Community Protection Act,” would prohibit any state agency or political subdivision from adopting or implementing “policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe upon or restrict private property rights without due process.”
It also would void any previous commitments which may have been made under Agenda 21 or a similar program.
It reads, “any debt or commitment to an international or federal entity whereby the citizens did not have the ability to exercise their constitutional rights shall be considered null and void.”
The bill passed by a vote of 66-26.
The United Nations passed Agenda 21 in 1992 at its Conference on Environmental and Development. The global initiative encompasses a wide range of programs meant to promote “sustainability.” It works its way into the U.S. system through a back door strategy, targeting local governments. Objections to Agenda 21 include violations of personal property rights, the erosion of state and local authority, and binding of the United States to international agreements contrary to the U.S. Constitution.
HB2805 now moves to the state senate, where it will first need to be passed by a committee before the full senate has an opportunity to concur.
The Tenth Amendment Center, a national think tank focused on reclaiming state power from the federal government, has been following the bill closely and working directly with legislators to ensure its success.
New Jersey has become ground zero this year for legislative battles over gun control. What will Gov Chris Christie do? Chris Christie on Gun Control
The Brady Campaign ranked the state third in the nation for most restrictive firearms laws, yet anti-gun Democrats who control the legislature are determined to go all the way to gun bans and confiscation.
The New Jersey Assembly’s Law and Public Safety Committee was scheduled to hold a public hearing on Monday (postponed for snow) about a bill that reduces the maximum magazine capacity from 15 to 10.
Since the legislation covers both detachable and fixed magazines, it has the effect of to banning popular, low-caliber rifles.
They discovered that the bill would affect tube-fed, semi-automatic rifles because the magazine cannot be separated from the gun.
Just having one such gun would turn a law-abiding owner into a felon overnight.
Possession of an “assault firearm” is a second-degree crime in New Jersey. The penalty is up to 10 years in jail and a mandatory minimum sentence of three to five years, with no chance of parole.
“If it becomes law, it would have zero impact on crime because criminals don’t follow bans. It would only affect legal gun owners by essentially tying their hands when they need to defend their lives.”
Even worse, the bill has no grandfather clause and no amnesty period. So as soon as this legislation becomes law, everyone in possession of these rifles is automatically a felon and the guns are subject to seizure by the government.
Remember just last May, these same legislators were caught on a hot microphone saying, “We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.”
Mr. Bach said, “For years anti-gun Democrats have claimed that they have no agenda to ban and confiscate guns. But last year their true agenda was revealed on that hot mic. This bill is another step in that process.”
The timing of this drastic legislation is not by accident. New Jersey Democrats are determined to make Gov. Chris Christie squirm. Their objective is to make the potential Republican presidential candidate choose between local emotional pleas and national pro-gun voters.
State Senate President Steve Sweeney has had families of Newtown, Conn., school shooting at public events over the past few weeks to encourage passage.
It’s most likely that this radical bill will pass the Assembly and the Senate in the next few months. So, Mr. Christie’s veto power is the only thing that can stop the outright attack on gun owners and the Second Amendment.
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).
Several hundred people who strapped themselves to the White House fence to protest the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline were arrested Sunday, police said.
The protesters were mostly college students who participated in a peaceful march that began at Georgetown University and ended outside the White House. They chanted “climate justice now” and carried signs such as “don’t tarnish the earth” in their efforts to convince President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline. They say it will contribute to global warming.
Protesters were passionate but quite orderly. Police were waiting for them with buses and vans to speed the process. The protesters cheered as U.S. Park Police warned them that blocking the sidewalk or strapping themselves to the fence would lead to their arrest.
The protest comes at a time of heightened debate over the proposed pipeline. On Wednesday, the project got a boost when a State Department report said a consulting firm that helped write an environmental view of the pipeline complied with federal rules regarding possible conflicts of interest. Backers of the project said the report was another reason why the pipeline should be approved.
State officials did accept some gun registration applications that were submitted after the Jan. 4 deadline, however, not all late applications were accepted, the Journal Inquirer reports.
“But rather than turn that information over to prosecutors, state officials are giving the gun owners a chance to get rid of the weapons and magazines,” the report adds.
So gun owners who actually tried to register their guns and magazines, intentionally late or not, are now on the state’s radar for owning guns that became illegal overnight. Owning an unregistered semi-automatic rifle or high-capacity magazine that was legal prior to Jan. 3 is now a class D felony under the new law.
The Capitalism Institute claims to have obtained a copy of the notarized letters Connecticut officials are sending out to late registration applicants.
While we can’t confirm the authenticity of the letter, the Journal Inquirer, which is a local paper covering North-Central Connecticut, reports the state does hold notarized letters for violators.
As little 15 percent of the now-illegal semi-automatic rifles have actually been registered with the state of Connecticut.
Read more HERE
Yet we are only allowed to mention the Koch Bros?
The latest list of big lobbying spenders contains a (not)surprising name: George Soros.
Well, not the billionaire himself, but the Open Society Policy Center, the Washington-based advocacy affiliate of his Open Society Foundations. (Working hard to overthrow Kiev right now… Allegedly)
Soros and his generous support of liberal causes, through his philanthropy and his personal political spending, have long been the subject of conservative ire. But, until now, he hasn’t done much on the formal lobbying front, and the group’s huge increase in reported spending — it hit $11 million in 2013, more than triple the $3.25 million it spent the previous year — has drawn remarkably little notice.
The big jump placed the Soros group 27th in a recent year-end lobbying tally by the Center for Responsive Politics — just below defense giant General Dynamics and ahead of corporate powerhouses Dow Chemical, Chevron and Microsoft.
Such large companies as those tend to rely on healthy in-house government relations teams and legions of outside lobbyists. But the Soros group takes a different approach: Most of its advocacy millions were spent in grants to activist organizations that do their own lobbying.
“A bunch of things that we’ve worked on forever have moved into the legislative phase,” said Stephen Rickard, executive director of the policy center, explaining the big increase. He mentioned several areas, including criminal justice reform, national security issues and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considered last year.
But, Rickard said, the majority of last year’s spending increase was due to the group’s support for comprehensive immigration reform, and its largest grantee was the Alliance for Citizenship, a broad-based coalition of labor, immigration, community and faith-based groups and a leading voice in the debate.
The Alliance for Citizenship organized hundreds of events across the country in August, hoping that its town halls, prayer vigils and sit-ins would propel action on immigration. While momentum has stalled, the organization is still at it , marching and meeting with members of Congress and their staffs.
The Open Society Foundations reported last summer that it had spent more than $100 million on immigrant rights in the United States since 1997. But private foundations like Soros’s are prohibited by the tax code from lobbying, and the grants they make generally include similar restrictions. Instead, through its advocacy affiliate — donations to which are not tax deductible — they can lobby and support others.
“There’s only so much you can do [with money from a private foundation] when it comes to a straight-out legislative push,” said one leading immigration activist. But the lobbying grant “frees up advocates considerably to talk straight about what’s happening, what needs to happen and who’s blocking it.”
The Open Society Policy Center isn’t required to provide a complete list of its grant recipients until about a year from now, with its tax filing. But Rickard said its largest 2013 grants outside domestic policy went to Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities.
The group currently lists one staff member — Lora Lumpe, who works on human rights and foreign military assistance — as an active lobbyist. And it had small contracts last year with two outside shops: the Mitchell Firm, paid $90,000 for work on corrections and sentencing reform, and Orion Strategies, which received $20,000 for work on democracy and human rights issues in Burma, Malaysia and the region.
(It’s worth noting that Americans for Prosperity , the conservative advocacy group backed by those other billionaires, Charles and David Koch, last week filed its first lobbying registration forms. But soon after The Hill noticed the paperwork , a spokesman for the group said it intended to de-register, after realizing that a staff member who visits Capitol Hill doesn’t in fact spend 20 percent of his or her time dealing with policymakers, the threshold for registration.)
It’s too soon to know whether 2014 lobbying spending will be up or down, Rickard said, but he doesn’t expect a big increase like last year’s.
The picture may be clearer on the political front. While Soros was slow to start spending on politics in 2012, he has jumped in this time around — with a candidate who hasn’t even announced. Soros agreed in October to be a co-chairman of the national finance council for Ready for Hillary, a super PAC mobilizing support for a possible White House bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Prosecution rests in trial for D.C. man charged for one shotgun shell
The District of Columbia has finished presenting its case on why Mark Witaschek is a danger to society for possessing a single shotgun shell and muzzleloader sabots in his home. This outrageous legal battle shows how far unelected, anti-gun liberals will go to attempt to destroy a man’s life.
When Attorney General Irvin Nathan’s prosecutors rested on Tuesday, they established simply that Mr. Witaschek did not have a registered gun in the city, so he violated the firearms laws by having ammunition.
Mr. Witaschek has never denied these charges, but has said that he didn’t know that inoperable ammunition was illegal. He also insists that his constitutional rights have been violated.
“The police and attorney general obviously have infringed upon my Second Amendment right to keep arms, or ammunition, or even the muzzleloaders borne by our Founding Fathers,” the father of three told me. “And they trampled on almost every other amendment to the Bill of Rights not only for me, but my entire family.”
Right before the trial began, Mr. Nathan’s office dropped the charge from possession of unregistered ammunition to attempted possession.
It’s unclear how Mr. Witaschek could attempt to possess something that was in his home, but the facts aren’t the reason for the shift. The lesser charge carries a penalty of six months in jail, which means Mr. Witaschek was not eligible for the jury trial he wanted.
Judge Robert Morin has listened almost impassively as the government put police officers on the stand to explain how they raided the business man’s house twice looking for guns. Mr. Witaschek is a gun owner and hunter, but has always kept his firearms at his sister’s home in Virginia.
In pre-trial hearings, Judge Morin threw out the first search in June 2012 because the cops neglected to get a warrant. However, he allowed the second search in July to be considered, even though the warrant was based on ammunition found in June.
The David Gregory Defense
“Prosecutors determined that going after David Gregory for possession of an illegal ammunition magazine ‘would not promote public safety nor serve the best interests of the people of D.C.,’” Mr. Witaschek said, referring to the letter of explanation Mr. Nathan sent the lawyer for NBC and Mr. Gregory.
“For my possession of a shotgun shell that misfired during a long ago hunt, why would that be any more of a danger to public safety?”
(Click to read the second story in this series about the pre-trial hearings that angered Mr. Gest because I did not mention the unfounded accusations of domestic violence.)
The spokesman attempted to defame Mr. Witaschek’s character: “Are you aware of his history? That he threatened to kill his ex-wife, and she tried to get a protection order against him?”
Mr. Witaschek’s ex-wife, Gabriella Landinez, told police in May 2012 that her estranged husband had unregistered firearms in the home, and he said that he said he would kill her on the phone one time.
The police never seemed to have investigated the matter. Mr. Witaschek denies ever having guns in D.C. and making a threat.
A temporary protection order was granted ex parte (without Mr. Witaschek answering the complaint.)
“There’s no history of violence in this family,” the judge said. “There is no history of that type of manipulation in this family to lead to any inference that he would have said that statement…”
Mr. Landinez testified for the government in the ammunitions trial. She did not claim under oath that he had guns in D.C., but she told me that in an interview Sunday night.
“It’s a lie to say he never had guns in D.C. We had guns in the house on Q Street,” she said. “I saw at least three rifles and at least two shotguns — inside and outside the safe. And he always had a handgun on the night table.”
“I’m telling you about why we are bringing charges,” the government’s spokesman replied. “That is a major part of evidence.”
I pointed out that the prosecutors shouldn’t bring up unfounded accusations in court.
“I can’t discuss admissibility,” Mr. Gest said. “Accusations that are unproven in court factor into prosecution decisions.”
The attorney general’s office seems determined to get this man on anything that will stick.
Mr. Gest asserted that, “Our domestic violence section represented this woman and found her credible.”
If that is true, then why did the attorney general office offer to drop the request for a protective order in exchange for a cash payment from Mr. Witaschek?
Ms. Bechtol wrote that they “would be willing to propose an out of court settlement in lieu of the CPO to tide them over until a divorce case settles matters permanently.”
The prosecutor added that, “We would ask for an agreement with essentially the provisions of the TPO, as well as $2000/month from Mr. Witaschek in rental assistance, and that Mr. Witaschek keep Ms. Landinez on his health insurance.”
If Mr. Nathan’s prosecutors truly believe this woman was “credible” about her life being in danger, then it is hard to understand why the city would trade her safety for $2,000 a month and health insurance.
Ms. Landinez denies that she authorized the assistant attorney general to make this offer. “It never, never, never happened,” she told me. “I still wanted the restraining order. I never said I would do an exchange of anything at all.”
The ammunition evidence
So, the city is basing its entire case on the technicality that Mr. Witaschek had unregistered ammunition in his home, which he did not know was illegal.
When the trial resumes in late March, the defense will put on its expert to refute that muzzleloader bullets can be considered ammunition under the law.
William F. Vanderpool, a retired supervisory special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will explain to the judge that the saboted lead balls have no powder or propellant attached, so are not “live.” Furthermore, muzzleloader firearms are exempt from the registration requirement.
Mr. Gest would only say that, “We know they need gunpowder to shoot. We consider it unregistered ammunition. That is why we are filing this charge.”
The primer on the shotgun shell had already been struck by the firing pin. Mr. Witaschek kept the misfired shell on his home office desk as a memento from a hunt. Mr. Gest said that he’s “not a technical person, but we consider it operable.”
Unfortunately, even if the judge rules that it is inoperable, an empty plastic shells is illegal in D.C. for anyone who is not a registered gun owner. The same goes for spent casings.
The firearms laws in D.C. are, at best, pointless and absurd and, at worst, wildly unconstitutional. But until the courts overturn the laws, the least the attorney general should do is use his prosecutorial discretion fairly to all.
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of“Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).
In addition to supposedly talking of bombing the Utah Data Center (the NSA’s massive surveillance facility), Novak was said to have stolen personal information from 400 members of his former Army unit in Fort Bragg to make fake IDs for his fellow militia members. Now it’s comes to light that that – much like other FBI “busts” – it was undercover FBI employees who supplied Novak with the idea to accrue that information.
According to a piece from David Hanners in TwinCities.com published less than a week ago:
At a detention hearing for Novak, an FBI agent acknowledged that the idea of buying the secret list originated with the bureau’s two undercover employees, not Novak.
|By AMY FORLITI Associated Press||Dec 20, 2013, 7:02 PM|
A Minnesota militia member charged in what the FBI once called a “terror plot” to blow up the Montevideo police station allegedly told authorities in May that even though he had bombs, he was not a violent person and was using the Internet to investigate bad and dangerous people, according to a document unsealed Friday.
The document also suggests a possible link between Buford Rogers and another Minnesota militia member arrested last week.
Rogers, 25, of Montevideo, is scheduled to go on trial next month. He has pleaded not guilty to four counts, including being a felon in possession of a firearm and counts related to the possession of two Molotov cocktails, two “black powder nail devices” and a pipe bomb. He is not charged with terrorism.
Rogers made the comments during a May 3 interview with the FBI, according to a redacted transcript of that interview unsealed Friday after a request from the Star Tribune. Rogers’ attorney, Assistant Federal Defender Andrew Mohring, had resisted the document’s release. Mohring did not return a message seeking comment.
Authorities have said Rogers was part of a tiny militia plotting to blow up the Montevideo police station and raid a National Guard armory. At the time of his arrest, FBI officials said they believed they stopped an attack in its planning stages.
In the interview, Rogers told the FBI he was not aware of anyone planning an attack, but said he was trying to investigate groups he considered dangerous. He also said: “I’m not a bomb guy,” but talked of making bombs and admitted owning some bomb-making materials.
At one point during the interview, FBI Special Agent Shane Ball noted Rogers was potentially planning an operation, had bombs, and had connections to a Russian group — which Rogers had said he communicated with online about starting a unit in Minnesota. Rogers acknowledged the situation looked bad.
Rogers told Ball he was not violent, and he expressed anger at dangerous militia groups, whom he called terrorists. He said he was mad at the people who carried out bombings at the Boston Marathon in April and in Oklahoma City in 1995. He said he formed his militia to “do good, not harm people,” the transcript said.
Rogers also told Ball he used a Facebook account under the name Davd Black to “check on people” and find “snakes in the grass,” the transcript said.
Rogers also talked about other people he associated with through his militia, including a man named Keith, whom he described as an intelligence officer who used to work with the Army but is now with the National Guard.
Last week, authorities arrested Keith Novak, whose first name and career match the description of the man Rogers spoke about. Novak, 25, of Maplewood, is charged with fraud in connection with identity theft for allegedly stealing the personal information of members of his former Army unit to make fake IDs for people in his own militia.
Authorities say Novak is the self-described commander of a group called the 44th Spatha Libertas.
Authorities have said Rogers and a handful of family members are in a group they call the Black Snake Militia. The family members have been public about their anti-government beliefs.
Novak’s defense attorney did not return a phone message Friday.
A small business owner and T-shirt maker who had his products forced off of internet marketplaces by the NSA has WON his fight against the agency.
Dan McCall is the owner of Liberty Maniacs which is a T-shirt company based out of Minnesota. We were the very first to tell you about McCall and his fight with the NSA last August when we featured him during one of our Truth in Media episodes.
This is how REAL Whistle Blowers are treated! O’Busha land.
Imprisoned CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who is currently serving a thirty-month sentence in Loretto Federal Correctional Institution, in his most recent letter from prison alleges to have been threatened by a “senior prison official.” In the letter, Kiriakou states that he was told that there has been discussion amongst prison officials of engaging him in “diesel therapy” for the remainder of his sentence.
“Diesel therapy” is a method of continually moving a prisoner from prison to prison across the country via bus, van, or plane. This continual movement results in the inmate being unable to receive calls, mail, or visitation. In many cases family members and even the attorney don’t know where the inmate is located at any given moment.
Mr. Kiriakou suggests these actions “would obviously be retaliation for his press interviews” and his “Letters from Loretto.” Of course, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) could claim it is due to “bedspace” or “safety” issues.
There is an obvious and continuing pattern of persecution and abuse, against Mr. Kiriakou, that has been taking place since becoming the first CIA official to publically admit that torture was official U.S. policy under President George W. Bush’s administration. This action immediately made him a target of the military/security/intelligence complex and its political cronies.
Kiriakou believes what is currently taking place in the U.S. is a new form of McCarthyism saying,
“…(It’s) all a part of the plan to force the whistleblower into personal ruin, to weaken him to the point where he will plead guilty to just about anything to make the case go away. I know. The three espionage charges against me made me one of ‘the Obama Seven.’
In early 2012, I was arrested and charged with three counts of espionage and one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA). (I was only the second person in US history to be charged with violating the IIPA, a law that was written to be used against rogues like Philip Agee.)Two of my espionage charges were the result of a conversation I had with a New York Times reporter about torture. I gave him no classified information – only the business card of a former CIA colleague who had never been undercover. The other espionage charge was for giving the same unclassified business card to a reporter for ABC News. All three espionage charges were eventually dropped.
So, why charge me in the first place?
It was my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program and for confirming to the press, despite government protestations to the contrary, that the US government was, indeed, in the business of torture.
Many of us believed that the torture policy was solely a Bush-era perversion. But many of these perversions, or at least efforts to cover them up or justify them, have continued under President Obama.
Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, declared a war on whistleblowers virtually as soon as they assumed office. Some of the investigations began during the Bush administration, as was the case with NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, but Espionage Act cases have been prosecuted only under Obama. The president has chosen to ignore the legal definition of whistleblower – any person who brings to light evidence of waste, fraud, abuse or illegality – and has prosecuted truthtellers.”
Mr. Kiriakou eventually plead guilty to the IIPA violation, with the three counts of espionage being dropped. He was sentenced in January of 2013, reporting to the prison on February 28th, 2013. Since that day, Kirakou has been a continual target of an orchestrated campaign of harassment, intimidation tactics, and rights violations by corrections officials, as documented in his “Letters from Loretto”, which began being published on website Firedoglake in the summer of 2013.
The letters ceased for a while after being promised by prison officials that if he quit writing he could serve out the final nine months of his sentence in a halfway house. When the prison reneged on its promise, the letters resumed.
The Bureau of Prisons, with CIA complicity, engaged in attempting to stop Kirakou from sending letters from prison. According to Firedoglake, on August 30, 2013, he was “forced to sign” a “memo” from the United States Justice Department that stated he was “legally obligated to clear everything” he wrote “for publication with the CIA’s Publication Review Board (PRB).” The Special Investigative Service “was now demanding that I give all future ‘Letters from Loretto’ to them, and they would sent it on to the CIA,” he asserts. He was not “permitted to send a copy” to his attorney or seek any legal advice before signing the memo. “Failure to follow” would “result in disciplinary action.”
His attorney, Mark MacDougall, immediately called him after finally receiving a copy of the “memo” and said what Kirakou was being required to do was “illegal, unconstitutional, and unenforceable.”
Additionally, Mr. Kiriakou was placed on Central Inmate Monitoring, which is reserved for prisoners who “present special needs management.” According to BOP policy, it’s to make the “institution environment safe… (using) case management decisions based on accurate information and sound correctional judgment.”
The only reason he even found out about the CIM designation was that he had filed a FOIA request on himself. Five of the pages were marked, “FOIA Exempt: Do Not Release to Inmate.” BOP policy states, “The case manager shall ensure that affected inmate is notified in writing as promptly as possible of the classification and basis for it.” Mr. Kiriakou was never at any time notified of this designation.
According to Mr. Kiriakou, “Specifically the documents cautioned, ‘PUBLICITY- Inmate has broad access to the press. Attached are articles the inmate has been mentioned in.”
Kiriakou went on to say, “The Bureau of Prisons is afraid of you knowing what the prison system is really like. They’re afraid of the public disclosure that they don’t bother to follow their own rules. They’re afraid that you’ll learn that they can violate the law with impunity. They’re afraid of ‘Letters from Loretto’.”
Actions of the federal government have shown it to be extremely fearful of the truths this persecuted political prisoner has to share with world. The feds are willing to break their own rules, guidelines, and policies in an attempt to silence him and suppress him from exercising his 1st Amendment rights. The continuing tyrannical oppression of this man is beyond reprehensible. Keep speaking truth to power Mr. Kiriakou, your message is being heard.