Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lost in America Updates April 8 , 2014 ...... When did the USof A lose its way ? ? Supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy violated a “First Amendment Area” by staging a rally in support of Bundy, who earlier declared a “range war” against federal authorities in response to a land dispute that threatens to escalate into a Waco-style standoff........ More Americans Go Hungry Than All But 2 European Nations ........ Cop Snatches Man’s Phone As He Videos Traffic Stop, Says It Could Be A Firearm ....... CPS Snatched Infant Because of Legal Medical Marijuana Prescription .......... Eric Holder wants gun owners to wear ‘smart gun’ bracelets ....... Navy unveils ‘leap-ahead technology’ that turns choppers into drones

4/10/14 updates.....




Is the US or the World Coming to an End?

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Paul Craig Roberts
Infowars.com
April 10, 2014
2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States.
Two pressures are building on the US dollar. One pressure comes from the Federal Reserve’s declining ability to rig the price of gold as Western gold supplies shrivel and market knowledge of the Fed’s illegal price rigging spreads. The evidence of massive amounts of naked shorts being dumped into the paper gold futures market at times of day when trading is thin is unequivocal. It has become obvious that the price of gold is being rigged in the futures market in order to protect the dollar’s value from QE.
The other pressure arises from the Obama regime’s foolish threats of sanctions on Russia. Other countries are no longer willing to tolerate Washington’s abuse of the world dollar standard. Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system to inflict damage on the economies of countries that resist Washington’s political hegemony.
Russia and China have had enough. As I have reported and as Peter Koenig reports here http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38165.htm Russia and China are disconnecting their international trade from the dollar. Henceforth, Russia will conduct its trade, including the sale of oil and natural gas to Europe, in rubles and in the currencies of its BRICS partners.
This means a big drop in the demand for US dollars and a corresponding drop in the dollar’s exchange value.
As John Williams (shadowstats.com) has made clear, the US economy has not recovered from the downturn in 2008 and has weakened further. The vast majority of the US population is hard pressed from the lack of income growth for years. As the US is now an import-dependent economy, a drop in the dollar’s value will raise US prices and push living standards lower.
All evidence points to US economic failure in 2014, and that is the conclusion of John Williams’ April 9 report.
This year could also see the breakup of NATO and even the EU. Washington’s reckless coup in Ukraine and threat of sanctions against Russia have pushed its NATO puppet states onto dangerous ground. Washington misjudged the reaction in Ukraine to its overthrow of the elected democratic government and imposition of a stooge government. Crimea quickly departed Ukraine and rejoined Russia. Other former Russian territories in Ukraine might soon follow. Protesters in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kharkov are demanding their own referendums. Protesters have declared the Donetsk People’s Republic and Kharkov People’s Republic. Washington’s stooge government in Kiev has threatened to put the protests down with violence. http://rt.com/news/eastern-ukraine-violence-threats-405/ Washington claims that the protests are organized by Russia, but no one believes Washington, not even its Ukrainian stooges.
Russian news reports have identified US mercenaries among the Kiev force that has been sent to put down the separatists in eastern Ukraine. A member of the right-wing, neo-Nazi Fatherland Party in the Kiev parliament has called for shooting the protesters dead.
Violence against the protesters is likely to bring in the Russian Army and result in the return to Russia of its former territories in Eastern Ukraine that were attached to Ukraine by the Soviet Communist Party.
With Washington out on a limb issuing threats hand over fist, Washington is pushing Europe into two highly undesirable confrontations. Europeans do not want a war with Russia over Washington’s coup in Kiev, and Europeans understand that any real sanctions on Russia, if observed, would do far more damage to Europeans. Within the EU, growing economic inequality among the countries, high unemployment, and stringent economic austerity imposed on poorer members have produced enormous strains. Europeans are in no mood to bear the brunt of a Washington-orchestrated conflict with Russia. While Washington presents Europe with war and sacrifice, Russia and China offer trade and friendship. Washington will do its best to keep European politicians bought-and-paid-for and in line with Washington’s policies, but the downside for Europe of going along with Washington is now much larger.
Across many fronts, Washington is emerging in the world’s eye as duplicitous, untrustworthy, and totally corrupt. A Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting attorney, James Kidney used the occasion of his retirement to reveal that higher ups had squelched his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail,” because his SEC bosses were not focused on justice but “on getting high-paying jobs after their government service” by protecting the banks from prosecution for their illegal actions. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/65578/
The US Agency for International Development has been caught trying to use social media to overthrow the government of Cuba. http://rt.com/news/cuba-usaid-senate-zunzuneo-241/
This audacious recklessness comes on top of Washington’s overthrow of the Ukrainian government, the NSA spying scandal, Seymour Hersh’s investigative report that the Sarin gas attack in Syria was a false flag event arranged by NATO member Turkey in order to justify a US military attack on Syria, Washington’s forcing down Bolivian President Evo Morales’ presidential plane to be searched, Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” the misuse of the Libyan no-fly resolution for military attack, and on and on. Essentially, Washington has so badly damaged other countries’ confidence in the judgment and integrity of the US government that the world has lost its belief in US leadership. Washington is reduced to threats and bribes and increasingly presents as a bully.
The self-inflicted hammer blows to Washington’s credibility have taken a toll. The most serious blow of all is the dawning realization everywhere that Washington’s crackpot conspiracy theory of 9/11 is false. Large numbers of independent experts as well as more than one hundred first responders have contradicted every aspect of Washington’s absurd conspiracy theory. No aware person believes that a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, operating without help from any intelligence agency, outwitted the entire National Security State, not only all 16 US intelligence agencies but also all intelligence agencies of NATO and Israel as well.
Nothing worked on 9/11. Airport security failed four times in one hour, more failures in one hour than have occurred during the other 116,232 hours of the 21st century combined. For the first time in history the US Air Force could not get interceptor fighters off the ground and into the sky. For the first time in history Air Traffic Control lost airliners for up to one hour and did not report it. For the first time in history low temperature, short-lived, fires on a few floors caused massive steel structures to weaken and collapse. For the first time in history 3 skyscrapers fell at essentially free fall acceleration without the benefit of controlled demolition removing resistance from below.
Two-thirds of Americans fell for this crackpot story. The left-wing fell for it, because they saw the story as the oppressed striking back at America’s evil empire. The right-wing fell for the story, because they saw it as the demonized Muslims striking out at American goodness. President George W. Bush expressed the right-wing view very well: “They hate us for our freedom and democracy.”
But no one else believed it, least of all the Italians. Italians had been informed some years previously about government false flag events when their President revealed the truth about secret Operation Gladio. Operation Gladio was an operation run by the CIA and Italian intelligence during the second half of the 20th century to set off bombs that would kill European women and children in order to blame communists and, thereby, erode support for European communist parties.
Italians were among the first to make video presentations challenging Washington’s crackpot story of 9/11. The ultimate of this challenge is the 1 hour and 45 minute film, “Zero.” You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU961SGps8g&feature=youtu.be
Zero was produced as a film investigating 9/ll by the Italian company Telemaco. Many prominent people appear in the film along with independent experts. Together, they disprove every assertion made by the US government regarding its explanation of 9/11.
The film was shown to the European parliament.
It is impossible for anyone who watches this film to believe one word of the official explanation of 9/11.
The conclusion is increasingly difficult to avoid that elements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony.
China and Russia protested but accepted Libya’s destruction even though it was to their own detriment. But Iran became a red line. Washington was blocked, so Washington decided to cause major problems for Russia in Ukraine in order to distract Russia from Washington’s agenda elsewhere.
China has been uncertain about the trade-offs between its trade surpluses with the US and Washington’s growing encirclement of China with naval and air bases. China has come to the conclusion that China has the same enemy as Russia has–Washington.
One of two things is likely: Either the US dollar will be abandoned and collapse in value, thus ending Washington’s superpower status and Washington’s threat to world peace, or Washington will lead its puppets into military conflict with Russia and China. The outcome of such a war would be far more devastating than the collapse of the US dollar.







4/9/14 updates......




Blow hards , ineptitude , collusion and corruption..... in all hues , flavors of politicians !


Meet Rep. Mike Rogers: Crony Capitalist & Warfare State Benghazi Blowhard

Tyler Durden's picture





Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
For those of you who don’t know Congressman Mike Rogers, he is the Representative hailing from Michigan’s Eighth District. He is also one of the biggest blowhard, chicken-hawk defenders of unconstitutional NSA spying in all of Washington D.C.
Back in 2012, he gave his support to internet spy bill CISPA by proclaiming:“Stand for America! Support this bill!” Naturally, this clown would also serve as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Rogers is notorious for being one of the staunchest critics of Glenn Greenwald. For example, earlier this year he made up all sort of lies about Greenwald in an attempt to smear the journalist. In response, Greenwald had the following to say about Rogers back in February:
“First is that he’s not only lying, and he is lying, but he not only is lying but he knows that he’s lying. This what is Mike Rogers is notorious for in Washington is literally making things up and smearing political opponents and journalists he doesn’t like.

I defy Mike Rogers, if he wants to make that accusation, to come forward and present actual evidence that any journalist has stolen, has sold documents or stolen material or engaged in any kind of criminality. He has no evidence, he’s just making things up.”
You’d think a guy like Rogers who aggressively lobs untrue accusations against a journalist trying to inform the American public about government criminality would have a squeaky clean background himself. After all, he was a former FBI agent. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
Incredibly, Dick Morris points out that until recently Mike Rogers’ wife was the president and the CEO of the company that was contracted by the State Department to provide intelligence-based and physical security services. While this sort of crony capitalism is seen as “business as usual” in the cesspool that is D.C., the really crazy part of this story is that as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rogers is charged with investigating the adequacy of security at the Benghazi compound prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack.
You can’t find a bigger conflict of interest than that…
Dick Morris writes:
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is charged with investigating the adequacy of security at the Benghazi compound prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack.

His wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers was the president and the CEO of the company that was contracted by the State Department to provide that security!

Mrs. Rogers, until recently, served as president and CEO of Aegis LLC, the contractor to the United States Department of State for intelligence-based and physical security services.

Aegis, a British private military company with overseas offices in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal and the U.S.,won a $10 billion, 5-year contract with the State Department to provide security for U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.

Aegis describes itself as “a leading private security company, provides government and corporate clients with a full spectrum of intelligence-led, culturally-sensitive security solutions to operational and development challenges around the world.”

Congressman Rogers, who abruptly announced his intention not to seek re-election, has been criticized for dragging his feet in the Benghazi investigation. Only when pressure from back benchers on his committee became intense did he agree to hold last week’s hearing at which former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell testified.

How on earth can the Rogers family justify having a husband who chairs a Congressional committee charged with reviewing the performance of his wife’s company in guarding the Benghazi compound?
Is this the reason Rogers just abruptly announced his retirement to become a talk radio host?
Full article here.




and




http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/375429/issa-accuses-cummings-colluding-irs-eliana-johnson




Issa Accuses Cummings of Colluding with the IRS


Text   

The war between Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa and the committee’s ranking member, Elijah Cummings, rages on. 
Issa on Wednesday accused the Maryland Democrat of colluding with the Internal Revenue Service in its targeting of the conservative nonprofit group True the Vote, whose founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, said she received multiple letters from Cummings in 2012 and personal visits from the IRS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives. Engelbrecht’s True the Vote is one of the many conservative groups that claims to have been improperly targeted by the IRS while it scrutinized the applications of tea-party groups.  
In a letter signed by his five subcommittee chairmen, Issa raised the possibility that Cummings coordinated with the IRS, “surreptitiously” contacting the agency to request information about True the Vote.
E-mails unearthed in the course of Issa’s investigation into the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of right-leaning groups show that in January 2013, a member of Cummings’s staff contacted the IRS asking for any publicly available information on True the Vote. The matter was discussed by IRS officials that included Lois Lerner, the former exempt-organizations chief who retired in the wake of the targeting scandal. One of Lerner’s deputies, Holly Paz, subsequently sent the organization’s 990 forms to Cummings and his staff — not an illegal disclosure of taxpayer information, though sources say the exchange of such information was not routine.
The correspondence does not indicate whether the IRS’ scrutiny of True the Vote’s application for tax exemption was prompted by Cummings’s inquiries about the group and the timing of the correspondence suggests it was not, but instead that Cummings may have modeled his inquiries on those the IRS had already made.  
In February 2012, Engelbrecht’s True the Vote received a letter from the IRS requesting more information about the group; one of Cummings’s letters, which Engelbrecht received in October 2012, contained questions that closely mirrored those posed by the IRS. Issa details them in his letter, strongly implying that Cummings based his letter on the one Engelbrecht had already received from the agency: Both requested information about the software True the Vote was using for voter registration, about the process the group used to train its employees, and about the vendors it used to obtain voter lists.  
True the Vote’s lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, raised the prospect that the minority staff had exchanged information with the IRS at a hearing in February. “We want to get to the bottom of how these coincidences happened,” Mitchell said, “and we’re trying to figure out whether any — if there was any staff on this committee that might have been involved in putting True the Vote on the radar screen of some of these federal agencies.” Cummings said in response that Mitchell’s tacit allegation was “absolutely incorrect and not true.” 
Issa on Wednesday seized on the similarities between the two letters, though they were issued before Cummings’s staff contacted the IRS for additional information about True the Vote in January 2013. “Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” Issa said. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”
The Oversight Committee will convene on Thursday morning to vote on whether to hold Lerner in contempt for her refusal to testify before the panel and House speaker John Boehner has indicated he will take the matter before the full House.
Since June of last year, Cummings has pressed Issa to call the investigation off and the two have repeatedly butted heads. Tomorrow’s hearing is unlikely to be an exception.

and...

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/Al-Sharpton-918273

APRIL 9--In a desperate effort to explain away his work as a paid government informant, the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday claimed that he first ran into the FBI’s arms after his life was threatened by gangsters, an incident that prompted him to then record 10 face-to-face encounters with one of those dangerous hoodlums.
That story is a lie.
In fact, Sharpton’s fabricated tale is belied by FBI records that provide a clear account of when and why he began working as a cooperating informant. After unveiling his fable at a morning press conference, Sharpton repeated his claims last night at the close of his “PoliticsNation” show on MSNBC, where fact checkers and bosses alike do not appear concerned with the truthfulness of the host’s off- and on-air pronouncements.
By tampering with the chronology of--and motive for--his enlistment as an FBI informant, Sharpton is furiously attempting to cast that cooperation in the most favorable light possible. He was not a rat or a snitch, Sharpton protests. In fact, the reverend contends that he was not even aware the FBI considered him an informant. The money he was paid by his FBI handler? Well, that was just reimbursements for carfare, Sharpton claims. As he explained to MSNBC viewers, Sharpton was just a victim looking for Uncle Sam’s protection and intervention.
Sharpton contends that he first contacted the FBI in early-1984, immediately after his life was threatened by Salvatore Pisello, a wiseguy with music industry connections. As Sharpton tells it, Pisello was incensed that the activist was threatening to stage boycotts and demonstrations unless black promoters were given a piece of the upcoming “Victory Tour” featuring Michael Jackson and his brothers.
At a press conference yesterday at his Harlem headquarters, Sharpton claimed that Gambino soldier Joseph “Joe Bana” Buonanno set up the meeting at which Pisello threatened his life. In his autobiography, Sharpton reported that Pisello traveled from Los Angeles to New York to threaten him. The book, however, makes no mention of Buonanno, who is deceased, or his purported role in facilitating Pisello’s alleged death threat.
Sharpton did not bother to reveal how he happened to know Buonanno in the first place. Buonanno had been involved in the record industry for decades, and was business partners with Robert Curington, a convicted felon who also happened to be a close associate of Sharpton’s (and a vice president of the reverend’s not-for-profit National Youth Movement).
Concerned for his safety, Sharpton claims that he called the FBI in early-1984 and reported the Pisello encounter. In short order, the reverend began cooperating with federal agents. Spurred by the threat, Sharpton says he taped a series of ten face-to-face meetings with Buonanno--but not Pisello, the hoodlum who allegedly threatened the activist’s life.
Those Sharpton recordings--made with an FBI-issued briefcase containing a hidden recording device--spanned a three-month period beginning in April 1984, according to FBI records.
As Sharpton spun out this tale Tuesday, he claimed to have detailed the Mafia death threat in his 1986 book “Go And Tell Pharaoh.” He dismissed TSG’s review of this period of his life as “old news” since he had purportedly already written the story himself years ago.
However, while Sharpton’s book does refer to a menacing gangster named “Sal,” Buonanno does not rate a single mention. Additionally, Sharpton’s problems with “Sal” appear to have been settled quickly--and in the activist’s favor, according to the book.
So, if Pisello was the hood who purportedly threatened Sharpton’s life, why did the FBI direct the reverend to surreptitiously record Buonanno on 10 separate occasions? Because those recordings had nothing to do with the alleged Pisello threat, according to several law enforcement sources. In fact, two investigators said they could recall no connection between Buonanno and Pisello (who was never charged with threatening Sharpton).
Sharpton’s story, built on a narrative conflation, is preposterous. He wants viewers and journalists to believe that the FBI, upon being told about Pisello’s death threat, sent the reverend out wired to record another guy. Ten times.
Here is what actually happened:
Sharpton began cooperating with the FBI in mid-1983. So he had actually been working as a confidential informant for about nine months before Pisello’s purported threat, an encounter that Sharpton now falsely claims prompted him to first contact federal agents (and subsequently begin recording Buonanno).
The reverend was “flipped” by FBI agents three months after he was filmed in March 1983 (during a bureau sting) talking cocaine with an undercover agent. On a Thursday afternoon in June 1983, Sharpton showed up at a Manhattan apartment expecting to meet again with the undercover agent, who was posing as a former South American druglord seeking to launder money through boxing promotions.
Instead, Sharpton was confronted by FBI agents who showed him the “cocaine” videotape. The panicked reverend agreed--on the spot--to cooperate with federal agents, according to sources familiar with the contents of Sharpton’s FBI informant file.
At the direction of his FBI handlers, Sharpton initially recorded conversations with boxing promoter Don King, who was the principal target of “Crown Royal,” the FBI undercover operation that had ensnared Sharpton in March 1983.
The date that Sharpton began cooperating is further fixed in a July 1984 draft of a wiretap affidavit. That document, sworn by an FBI agent, referred to Sharpton as “CI-7,” short for confidential informant #7. The description of “CI-7” noted thathe had been providing information to the bureau for “in excess of one year.” “CI-7,” the document reported, had made a series of surreptitious recordings of Buonanno discussing a variety of Mafia business.
Sharpton wants the public to believe that he used his FBI valise to secretly record a wiseguy---over and over and over again--because another wiseguy threatened his life. Oh, he has also claimed that these mafioso were allegedly oppressing black recording artists, too.
So, that being the case, the FBI summaries of Sharpton’s meetings with Buonanno must be filled with references to threats directed at the civil rights leader. Surely Sharpton would have asked Buonanno something like, “Joe, why does your friend Sal want me dead?” Or even, “Joe, when you set up that meeting with Sal, did you know that he was going to threaten to clip me?” Maybe Sharpton would even take the opportunity to try and extract details of the mob’s pernicious influence on minority performers.
Strangely, though, the bureau summaries contain no such information. In fact, they read as if the two men were old friends, amiably discussing topics like extortion, murder, “made” men, and a guy named “Chin.” Buonanno even told Sharpton about his eighth-grade education and his birthday. Somehow Sharpton--who appeared remarkably comfortable with the wiseguy--was able to hide any signs of duress, despite that supposed death threat hanging over his processed head.
As TSG reported earlier this week, Sharpton’s involvement with Buonanno--a supposed facilitator of Mafia death threats--did not cease after his brieface was switched off.
In fact, several years later, when Sharpton and Curington were seeking to collect a six-figure consulting fee owed to them by Joe Robinson, founder of Sugar Hill Records, “Joe Bana” was one of several hoodlums who showed up unannounced at the label’s New Jersey office. The hoodlums threatened Robinson over the money owed to Sharpton and Curington, whom the Drug Enforcement Administration once termed a “Class 1” narcotics trafficker.
After Robinson complained to police about the mob muscle pressuring him, a local cop kept an eye out for wiseguys arriving at Sugar Hill’s headquarters. One day, Detective Edward Stempinski of the Englewood Police Department caught Buonanno and a Genovese crime family figure at Sugar Hill. Stempinski, now retired, recalled that the wiseguys “didn’t look like they should be going into a rapper’s studio.”
So while Sharpton now links Buonanno to Pisello, “Joe Bana” was apparently an acceptable debt collector even after supposedly helping expedite a Mafia death threat. Perhaps the reverend consulted the Bible (Colossians 3:13), which advises, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
As he closed his “PoliticsNation” show yesterday, Sharpton claimed that he approached the FBI to “try to protect myself and others,” adding that, “I was an American citizen with every right to call law enforcement.” He also declared, “We must live in a country where people can call law enforcement and not be castigated.” (1 page)



and....


http://washingtonexaminer.com/issa-says-new-irs-emails-suggest-top-panel-democrat-prompted-irs-targeting-of-true-the-vote/article/2547007



This story was published at 4:33 p.m. and has been updated with a response from Rep. Cummings.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ChairmanDarrell Issa, R-Calif., has accused the panel's top Democrat of prompting the Internal Revenue Service in 2012 to target a conservative organization applying for non-profit status.

Issa said records obtained last week from the IRS show communications from the office of ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., about True the Vote, a Texas-based, non-profit conservative group that aims to prevent voter fraud.
The communications at one point involved Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official whom Issa's panel is poised to hold in contempt of Congress on Thursday for refusing to provide testimony about her involvement in targeting conservative groups.
“The IRS and the Oversight Minority made numerous requests for virtually identical information from True the Vote, raising concerns that the IRS improperly shared protected taxpayer information with Rep. Cummings’ staff,” a statement from the Oversight panel reads.
According to Issa, Cummings and his staff sought “copies of all training materials used for volunteers, affiliates, or other entities,” from True the Vote.
Five days after the Cummings inquiry, the IRS sent True the Vote an email requesting “a copy of [True the Vote’s] volunteer registration form,” “… the process you use to assign volunteers,” “how you keep your volunteers in teams,” and “how your volunteers are deployed … following the training they receive by you.”
Issa said Cummings and his office asked for more information in January 2013 about True the Vote, this time getting Lerner involved.
At one point, an email revealed, Lerner asked her deputy, “Did we find anything?”
When the deputy said she had not received any new information, Lerner responded, “thanks – check tomorrow please.”
Issa said Cummings had previously denied asking the IRS about True the Vote.
At a February subcommittee hearing, when Issa asked whether his office may have put True the Vote “on the radar screen” of the IRS, Cummings said the accusation was “absolutely incorrect and untrue.”

Issa and other GOP panel members have sent a letter to Cummings, asking him to respond to the newly uncovered emails.

In his response, Cummings said the GOP has falsely accused him of wrongly contacting the IRS about True the Vote. Cummings said in the letter that he has publicly stated his interest in finding more about True the Vote, which supports voter ID laws that Cummings opposes.

Cummings said in his letter that his inquiries were appropriate and did not violate any rules. His requests, Cummings added, were for publicly available information.
Cummings said the letter from Issa and others Republicans is "a desperate attempt to shift the focus on tomorrow's contempt vote away from the serious Constitutional deficiencies in these proceedings."


http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/08/6310409/nevada-governor-decries-blm-in.html


US senator joins critics of federal cattle roundup

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014 - 10:52 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 - 4:35 pm
A Republican U.S. senator added his voice Wednesday to critics of a federal cattle roundup fought by a Nevada rancher who claims longstanding grazing rights on remote public rangeland about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he told new U.S. Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze in Washington, D.C., that law-abiding Nevadans shouldn't be penalized by an "overreaching" agency.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval pointed earlier to what he called "an atmosphere of intimidation," resulting from the roundup and said he believed constitutional rights were being trampled.
Heller said he heard from local officials, residents and the Nevada Cattlemen's Association and remained "extremely concerned about the size of this closure and disruptions with access to roads, water and electrical infrastructure."
The federal government has shut down a scenic but windswept area about half the size of the state of Delaware to round up about 900 cattle it says are trespassing.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/08/6310409/nevada-governor-decries-blm-in.html#storylink=cpyThe federal government has shut down a scenic but windswept area about half the size of the state of Delaware to round up about 900 cattle it says are trespassing.

BLM and National Park Service officials didn't immediately respond Wednesday to criticisms of the roundup that started Saturday and prompted the closure of the 1,200-square-mile area through May 12.

It's seen by some as the latest battle over state and federal land rights in a state with deep roots in those disputes, including the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and '80s. Nevada, where various federal agencies manage or control more than 80 percent of the land, is among several Western states where ranchers have challenged federal land ownership.
The current showdown pits rancher Cliven Bundy's claims of ancestral rights to graze his cows on open range against federal claims that the cattle are trespassing on arid and fragile habitat of the endangered desert tortoise. Bundy has said he owns about 500 branded cattle on the range and claims the other 400 targeted for roundup are his, too.
BLM and Park Service officials see threats in Bundy's promise to "do whatever it takes" to protect his property and in his characterization that the dispute constitutes a "range war."
U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, noted that BLM officials were enforcing federal court orders that Bundy remove his animals. The legal battle has been waged for decades.
Kornze, the new BLM chief, is familiar with the area. He's a natural resource manager who grew up in Elko, Nev., and served previously as a senior adviser to Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Reid aide Kristen Orthman said her boss "hopes the trespassing cattle are rounded up safely so the issue can be resolved."
Sandoval, a former state attorney general and federal district court judge, weighed in late Tuesday after several days of media coverage about blocked roads and armed federal agents fanning out around Bundy's ranch while contractors using helicopters and vehicles herd cows into portable pens in rugged and remote areas.
"No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans," the governor said in a statement.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/08/6310409/nevada-governor-decries-blm-in.html#storylink=cpySandoval said he was most offended that armed federal officials have tried to corral people protesting the roundup into a fenced-in "First Amendment area" south of the resort city of Mesquite.
The site "tramples upon Nevadans' fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution" and should be dismantled, Sandoval said.
BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon and Park Service spokeswoman Christie Vanover have told reporters during daily conference calls that free-speech areas were established so agents could ensure the safety of contractors, protesters, the rancher and his supporters.
The dispute between Bundy and the federal government dates to 1993, when land managers cited concern for the federally protected tortoise and capped his herd at 150 animals on a 250-square-mile rangeland allotment. Officials later revoked Bundy's grazing rights completely.
Cannon said Bundy racked up more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees over the years while disregarding several court orders to remove his animals.
Bundy estimates the unpaid fees total about $300,000. He notes that his Mormon family's 19th century melon farm and ranch operation in surrounding areas predates creation of the BLM in 1946.
Since the cattle roundup began Saturday, there has been one arrest.
Bundy's son, Dave Bundy, 37, was taken into custody Sunday as he watched the roundup from State Route 170. He was released Monday with bruises on his face and a citation accusing him of refusing to disperse and resisting arrest. A court date has not been set.
His mother, Carol Bundy, alleged that her son was roughed up by BLM police.
Meanwhile, federal officials say 277 cows have been collected. Cannon said state veterinarian and brand identification officials will determine what becomes of the impounded cattle.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/08/6310409/nevada-governor-decries-blm-in.html#storylink=cpy

and....







Last Man Standing

Rancher: armed feds are surrounding my farm

Government vehicles and personnel outside of the Bundy ranch / Cliven and Carol Bundy
Government vehicles and personnel outside of the Bundy ranch / Cliven and Carol Bundy
BY: 
A two-decades-old battle between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has resulted in officials armed with machine guns surrounding the ranch and forcibly removing the owner’s cattle, according to the rancher’s family.
Cliven Bundy, the last rancher in Clark County, Nev., has been fighting a “one-man range war” since 1993, when he decided to take a stand against the agency, refusing to pay fees for the right to graze on a ranch run by his family for centuries.
After years of court battles, the BLM secured a federal court order to have Bundy’s “trespass cattle” forcibly removed with heavy artillery, the family said.
“The battle’s been going on for 20 years,” Bundy told theWashington Free Beacon. “What’s happened the last two weeks, the United States government, the bureaus are getting this army together and they’re going to get their job done and they’re going to prove two things. They’re going to prove they can do it, and they’re gonna prove that they have unlimited power, and that they control the policing power over this public land. That’s what they’re trying to prove.”
Bundy said the government has brought everything but tanks and rocket launchers.

Armed men outside the Bundy ranch / Cliven and Carol Bundy
“They’re carrying the same things a soldier would,” he said. “Automatic weapons, sniper rifles, top communication, top surveillance equipment, lots of vehicles. It’s heavy soldier type equipment.”
His wife, Carol Bundy, said that roughly 200 armed agents from the BLM and FBI are stationed around their land, located about 75 miles outside of Las Vegas. Helicopters circle the premises, and the airspace and nearby roads remain blocked.
“We’re surrounded,” Carol Bundy said. “We’re estimating that there are over 200 armed BLM, FBI. We’ve got surveillance cameras at our house, they’re probably listening to me talk to you right now.”
A National Park Service spokesman denied there were armed guards rounding up the cattle in a conference call on Tuesday. However, she confirmed that there was “security” in place, citing threats to the contractors who are removing the cattle.
“Contractors are here and they are in place to round-up the cattle and to bring them to the impound area,” Christie Vanover said. “As for security, there [is] security in place, but that is merely to protect the contractors.”
“As you know, we have received threats and the contractors have received threats,” Vanover said. “Our personnel here and throughout the park service and throughout the BLM have received threats, as well. So security is in place to merely protect the contractors so that we can complete this operation.”
As of Monday, officials have seized 234 of Bundy’s 908 cattle. Impounding the cattle alone could cost the government as much as $3 million.
“They just brought a load down today,” she said. “They kind of harass us as well. When we leave they follow us.”
This afternoon eight helicopters surrounded the family after they began taking pictures, according to Bundy’s daughter, Bailey. Their son, Dave Bundy, was arrested for taking pictures on state road 170, which has been closed, and is being held by BLM.

Government helicopters circle the Bundy ranch / Cliven and Carol Bundy
The BLM said they took Dave Bundy into custody following his “failure to comply with multiple requests by BLM law enforcement to leave the temporary closure area on public lands.”
Carol Bundy said five officials took Dave and “threw him on the ground.”
“One put his knee on his head, the other put his boot on his head and pushed him into the gravel,” she said. “He’s got quite a bruised head. Just bruised him up pretty good.”
Environmentalists are praising the government’s forceful actions, which are being taken to protect the “desert tortoise.”
“We’re heartened and thankful that the agencies are finally living up to their stewardship duty,” said Rob Mrowka, a Nevada-based senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Gold Butte area has been officially designated as critical habitat for threatened tortoises—meaning the area is essential to their long-term survival as a species.”
“[Cliven] Bundy has long falsely believed that Gold Butte is his ranch,” added Terri Robertson, president of Friends of Sloan Canyon.
The BLM designated 186,909 acres of the Gold Butte off-limits for the “critical desert tortoise” population in 1998. Bundy had already lost his grazing permit five years earlier for refusing to pay fees for the land, which his family has ranched since the 1870s.
The “federal grazing fee” is $1.35 per “Animal Unit Month,” or the amount of forage needed per animal, each month. Bundy said he owes roughly $300,000 in back fees, while the BLM asserts he owes over $1 million. The BLM defended the removal because Bundy did not “voluntarily” give up his cattle.
“We’ve tried to do this through the legal and we’ve tried to do it through the political, and what we’re at right now, I guess we’re going to have to try to stand,” Cliven Bundy said. “We the people have to stand on the ground and get our state sovereignty back, and also take some liberty and freedoms back to where we have at least access to this land.”
“The story is a lot about the cattle, but the bigger story is about our loss of freedom,” Carol Bundy added. “They have come and taken over this whole corner of the county. They’ve taken over policing power, they’ve taken over our freedom, and they’re stealing cattle.”
“And our sheriff says he just doesn’t have authority, our governor says he doesn’t have authority, and we’re saying, why are we a state?”
“I’m a producer,” Cliven Bundy said. “I produce edible commodity from the desert forage, and all of these things are governed under state law. So, in other words, this type of government has eliminated all of our state law, eliminated our state sovereignty, and has took control over our public lands and even took control over our Clark County sheriff. They’ve taken the whole county over. The whole state, almost.”
“This is just about power of the government,” Carol Bundy said.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R.) voiced his concern about so-called “First Amendment Areas,” designated locations set up by the BLM where citizens can protest the removal.
“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
“To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately,” he said.  “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.  The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”
Sandoval also said his office has received numerous complaints about the BLM’s conduct, including road closures and “other disturbances.”



“Red Dawn”: Supporters Rally to Defend Family Facing Showdown With Feds

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Waco-style confrontation looms in Nevada as Bundy threatens “range war”
Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
April 8, 2014
Supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy violated a “First Amendment Area” by staging a rally in support of Bundy, who earlier declared a “range war” against federal authorities in response to a land dispute that threatens to escalate into a Waco-style standoff.
Bundy is currently embroiled in a spat with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over his long standing refusal to acknowledge a 1993 modification to grazing rights on land that Bundy asserts has been in his family since 1870. On Saturday, hundreds of federal officials, aided by helicopters, low flying aircraft and hired cowboys, began rounding up Bundy’s cattle in northeastern Clark County.
The feds say the move is about enforcing the law and protecting the endangered desert tortoise, but the Bundy family says the spat represents a showdown between big government and American farmers.
“We’ve had enough, we’re going to take our land back, we’re done,” said Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy, adding that the rally was held “to show that we are not standing alone. People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power.”
More than 100 supporters violated a crudely taped off “First Amendment Area” to rally in support of the Bundy family, erecting two flagpoles with the words “We the People” attached, above a flag which read, “Liberty Freedom For God We Stand”. The first amendment area stood empty, with one sign nearby declaring, “1st Amendment is not an area.”
“I grew up on this ranch. This is what we knew,” said Margaret Houston, Cliven Bundy’s younger sister. “It’s got nothing to do with the cattle and the tortoises. It’s about taking our rights — power — and it’s wrong.”
“Right now it looks like the movie Red Dawn, said, Ryan Bundy. “Right now we’ve got 200 plus federal agents up there in a military compound that they have put together and they’ve got snipers….everybody’s armed, and they’ve been monitoring our ranch with high-tech surveillance equipment….it was never about the grazing fees, it’s about control.”
Ranch manager Derrel Spencer warned that a “revolution” was brewing unless a solution could be found to settle the dispute.
As we reported yesterday in an article that has already garnered over 4300 comments, Bundy’s son Dave Bundy was arrested on Sunday by BLM officials after refusing to follow a dispersal order as he filmed cattle from a state highway. According to Dave’s brother Ryan Bundy, snipers had guns trained on them throughout the incident. Feds claimed Dave Bundy had violated the ludicrous “First Amendment Area,” outside of which free speech is banned.
The Bundy family posted still images of snipers who trained guns on them in the video below.
After his son’s arrest, Cliven Bundy posted a statement on his website which read, “They have my cattle and now they have one of my boys. Range War begins tomorrow.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department asserts that the actions against Bundy are a “federal operation,” while the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association told ABC News, “This has gotten way out of hand,” while refusing to become involved.


Is it really about the turtle ?




Before Nevada Cattle Rancher Standoff, BLM Killed Hundreds of Endangered Desert Tortoises

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Endangered tortoise used as justification to assault Nevada rancher’s property rights
Adan Salazar
Infowars.com
April 9, 2014
Months before the heated contention between the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, purportedly over protecting an endangered species of desert tortoise, the BLM was euthanizing the tortoises in droves.
700 - 840 sick tortoises may be euthanized "because that’s the sensible thing to do."
700 – 840 endangered tortoises face BLM euthanization “because that’s the sensible thing to do.”
On Saturday, the BLM, with the help of helicopters, low-flying aircraft and hired cowboys, began rounding up Bundy’s cattle, and forbade him from interfering with the operation, as Bundy announced he was prepared to weather a full-on assault.
“My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley ever since 1877. All these rights I claim have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and water. I have been here longer. My rights are before the BLM even existed,” Bundy said.
The BLM says they’re moving in, not to encroach on the man’s property rights, but because Bundy didn’t pay “grazing fees,” which the Bureau has imposed on land developers “who disturb tortoise habitat on public land,” according to the Associated Press.
Throughout the housing boom in the 2000s, the Bureau was earning enough to fund the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (DTCC) in southern Las Vegas, a habitat “created in 1991 to house wild desert tortoises removed from the path of development and to use those tortoises to aid recovery of the species.” Its operating budget was about $1 million per year.
But the recession that followed dwindled the number of developers, and in turn funds for the DTCC.
So, facing the prospect of shutting their doors, the DTCC began releasing healthier turtles into the wild, and euthanizing some of the sick ones.
From the AP, August 25, 2013:
Back at the conservation center, a large refrigerator labeled “carcass freezer” hummed in the desert sun as scientists examined the facility’s 1,400 inhabitants to find those hearty enough to release into the wild. Officials expect to euthanize more than half the animals in the coming months in preparation for closure at the end of 2014.
“It’s the lesser of two evils, but it’s still evil,” Roy Averill-Murray, tortoise recovery coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service desert, told the AP.
Averill-Murray estimated 50 to 60 percent of the facility’s 1,400 tortoises were stricken with disease and could not be housed near healthy tortoises. Others were “too feeble to survive,” according to the AP, and could not be adopted out.
“The ones that don’t get better and that are sick and suffering will probably be euthanized because that’s the sensible thing to do,” Allyson Walsh, associate director for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, said.
News that the tortoises were going to be set free or killed spurred people around the world to contact the refuge in attempts to adopt death row tortoises, and donations began flowing in hopes to keep the DTCC afloat, but the BLM estimated it wouldn’t be enough to sustain it overall.
“Although it’s wonderful that people want to give money, it won’t change the outcome for the Desert Conservation Center,” BLM Communications Chief Erica Haspiel-Szlosek stated. “There just isn’t money to keep it going, nor is it really the best use of conservation funds.”
The tortoises’ average 100-year life span also doesn’t exactly make them the most ideal pets.
Despite the imminent closing of the DTCC’s doors due to lack of funding, the BLM has gone on to round up about 234 of rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle at gunpoint claiming they’re helping protect the tortoiseand also claiming he owes them over $1 million in grazing fees.
At the same time, seizing and impounding all 908 of Bundy’s cattle would cost the government an estimated $3 million, a figure that would keep the DTCC thriving for another three years.
Interestingly, the BLM is also facing a lawsuit from various environmental groups suing on the grounds that the bureau “has failed to track the effects of a wide range of human activities in the California desert on the tortoise..”
All of this illustrates how the BLM’s dispute with Mr. Bundy has nothing to do with saving or protecting tortoises (most of which were given to the facility by people who owned them as pets, and which the BLM is either killing or releasing into the wild – animals raised in captivity don’t usually fare well in the wild) as they claim, and everything to do with making an example out of Mr. Bundy for having the gall to stand up for his property, bullying him into submission by brute force.




Worse than Greece ?





More Americans Go Hungry Than All But 2 European Nations

Tyler Durden's picture





Since 2007, when the financial crisis touched down across the world, the proportion of people going hungry in Europe has soared, according to the OECD. As Bloomberg's Niraj Shah notes, the number has doubled in Greece alone from 8.9% in 2007 to almost 18% currently unable to afford food. Across the European Union, the proportion of people going hungry ranges from 4.6% in Germany to over 30% in (ironically) Hungary. However, before one gloats at the weakness in Europe and the cleanest dirty shirt the US pretends to be, at 21.1% of Americans unable to afford food, only Hungary and Estonia are in worst shape... USA USA USA...


Source: @economistniraj via Bloomberg Briefs



Cops gone wild ....



Cop Snatches Man’s Phone As He Videos Traffic Stop, Says It Could Be A Firearm

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FBI, ATF confirm that ‘cell phone guns’ do not exist

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
April 8, 2014
A Florida sheriff’s deputy was caught on video snatching a cell phone out of a man’s hand as he filmed a traffic stop, describing the device as a potential weapon.
The 25-year-old man, who wishes to remain anonymous for his own safety, has a concealed carry permit, and says he has been targeted and stopped scores of times due to “racial profiling”.
“We don’t need you calling people,” a deputy is heard to say in the video saying before confiscating the man’s phone as he documented the scene.
In a follow up email to news station WFTX-TV, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott stated that “The probable cause traffic stop, K9 alert, presence of a firearm, and (name omitted)’s lack of candor created a scenario where the potential for (name omitted) to summon others to the scene via his cell phone was an officer safety concern.”
Scott also attempted to justify the description of a phone as a weapon, stating “[I]t is a well documented fact that pagers, cell phones, and other commonly carried devices have in fact proven to be firearms (see link below as but one example)…”
The link the Sheriff provided was to a YouTube video from 6 years ago, of a gun that looks like a phone.
Such devices are not common, however, according to a firearms expert. “That’s just one person that we’ve seen on YouTube, so we don’t know if that’s just a prototype,” John Dezendorf of Fowler Firearms and Gun Range in Fort Myers told WFTX.
In addition, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the largest police agency in the southeast, as well as the FBI and the ATF all confirmed that they have never seen such a device.
Still, in his email, the Sheriff continually refers to the man’s phone as if it were not actually a phone, but really a gun.
“Given the circumstances of this particular traffic stop our Deputies were not comfortable with (name omitted) pointing his ‘cell phone’ at them as they tried to work through the situation,” Scott wrote.
The man was, of course, within his rights to film the police in public. It is a right protected under the Constitution, as the man’s lawyer told reporters.
“He wasn’t doing anything to threaten the officer, and he wasn’t doing anything to interfere with their investigation,” said Dave Shestokas, constitutional law attorney.



Government Agencies gone wild .....


CPS Snatched Infant Because of Legal Medical Marijuana Prescription

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Police State USA
April 8, 2014
A man was placed into handcuffs, a woman sobbed uncontrollably, and their 11-month-old boy was seized by social workers and put into foster care — all because of legally prescribed medical marijuana. It didn’t matter that no law had been broken; Child Protective Services has the power to split apart families in an instant without a trial, and regularly does across the country.
This heartbreaking situation happened to California couple Shawnee Anderson, 27, and Aaron Hillyer, 34. After a nosy neighbor called the police because of a loud argument, cops arrived and found doctor-prescribed cannabis — legal for medicinal use in a total of 20 states.
The couple tried to explain that the plant material was not a crime, and that the couple had state-issued Medical Marijuana ID Cards. But the cops “didn’t want to see them.” What’s more, they wanted to remove take their son, Sage, away from them. The police called for CPS to arrive at the scene.



Eric Holder wants gun owners to wear ‘smart gun’ bracelets


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Robby Soave
Daily Caller
April 8, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder wants to explore “common sense” gun reforms, like mandating that gun owners would have to wear bracelets before they could activate their firearms.

Image: Eric Holder (Wiki Commons).
Holder made his remarks while testifying before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations committee on Friday. He acknowledged the existence of the Second Amendment, which gives people the unqualified right to own and carry weapons, but nevertheless expressed support for several gun control measures that he described as “common sense reforms,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.
“One of the things we learned when we were trying to pass those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and talked about how guns can be made more safe by making them either though fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon,” said Holder, referring to so-called “smart gun” technology.
“It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights while at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things we see on a daily basis, where people, kids especially, are struck down.”
Full article here




Choppers turned to drones , might that also work on planes ?






http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/7/navy-unveils-leap-ahead-technology-turns-choppers-/



Navy unveils ‘leap-ahead technology’ that turns choppers into drones