Saturday, August 10, 2013

Liberals to Ban E-Cigarettes

oped: What can one say but *word* 'Control Freaks' *Just shakes my head*

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t just want to limit the use of cigarettes – but electronic cigarettes as well.
In a newly leaked draft of three tobacco-related bills soon to be voted on by the NYC City Council, the new definition of “tobacco products” under city law would be changed to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts and accessories. If the ordinances pass, the display of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco would be banned in retail stores.
Also, while tobacco and menthol flavored e-cigarettes would still be available in retail stores, all other flavored e-cigarettes could only be sold in age-restricted “tobacco bars.” But there’s a catch. New York City prohibits the operation of “tobacco bars” that weren’t opened before December 31, 2001.
The original version of the bills, drafted by the Health Department by request of Mayor Bloomberg, did not include any position on e-cigarettes. The bills’ changes also include raising the legal age for buying tobacco to 21, prohibiting the display of cigarette advertising in stores and creating a higher price floor for cigarette packages.

Post Continues:

Oklahoma Congressman admits Obama ID is a Fraud, but says “I don’t give a s**t”

oped: Maybe Rep Mullin should step down and resign his position as a elected representative...seems he did not respect his oath of office...! 

A commenter provided this version of  the Town Hall meeting: 

Freshman Congressman Markwayne Mullin took an oath to defend the constitution. We don’t defend the constitution only when it’s convenient or when it will not embarrass us. We defend it all the time. Congressman Mullin (R-OK-2nd District) may be regretting his decision to schedule Town Hall meetings all over the State of Oklahoma for August 8th and 9th because it was at one of these small gatherings that he ran into the self-proclaimed “birther princess.” Read more:
Freshman Congressman Markwayne Mullin took an oath to defend the constitution. We don’t defend the constitution only when it’s convenient or when it will not embarrass us. We defend it all the time. Congressman Mullin (R-OK-2nd District) may be regretting his decision to schedule Town Hall meetings all over the State of Oklahoma for August 8th and 9th because it was at one of these small gatherings that he ran into the self-proclaimed “birther princess.” Read more:

Obama says Putin looks/acts like a bored School Boy....!
Oh really Barry Barack Hussein Soetoro Davis Obama ? Hmmm I would definetly say yes he [Putin] is bored with your school boy antics..judging by the picture above....

While we are at it let's do a compilation of  Obamas psychological profile pictures... yes indeed Barry gives the impression of one not firing on all cylinders his mood swings would make a interesting study for any 1st year psychology student or any psychiatrist for that matter..thanks alot looney left ya elected a real nut case...then again as the old saying goes Liberalism is a mental disease so ya voted for your most qualified applicant!
Let the show begin:

thaaa thaa thats all folks ..I think you get the drift

NSA spy scandal sparks hacker rebellion

by: Drew Zahn 

Many of the computer hackers the federal government has relied upon for national cyber-security are now turning away, irate over revelations the National Security Agency has been actively spying on Americans.
“The NSA and other intelligence agencies had made major inroads in recent years, in hiring some of the best and brightest,” reported Reuters’ Joseph Menn from a pair of hacker conventions held in Las Vegas last week. “Much of that goodwill has been erased after the NSA’s classified programs to monitor phone records and Internet activity were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.”

Glyn Moody of the technology news website Techdirt further noted tensions over what he called “the increasing demonization of hackers (not to be confused with crackers that break into systems for criminal purposes), for example by trying to add an extra layer of punishment on other crimes if they were done ‘on a computer.’”
The result, Menn notes, is that U.S. efforts to recruit hackers may have taken a substantial blow, and Moody suggests it may now be much harder to “keep up the pace of technological development within the spying program.”
“We’ve gone backwards about 10 years in the relations between the good guys and the U.S. government,” said Alex Stamos, a veteran security researcher who was speaking at one of the Vegas conventions.
Menn reported the Black Hat conference, which attracts professionals whose companies pay thousands for them to attend, actually welcomed a presentation by NSA Director Keith Alexander, but Jeff Moss, founder of the less expensive Def Con, which sees upward of 15,000 attendees, specifically asked federal agents to stay away.

“I haven’t seen this level or sort of animosity since the ’90s,” commented Moss.
The reason for the animosity? The NSA spying scandal.
“A lot of people feel betrayed by it,” said HD Moore, an executive at security firm Rapid 7. “What bothers me is the hypocritical bit – we demonize China, when we’ve been doing these things and probably worse.”
“I don’t think anyone should believe anything they tell us,” former NSA hacker Charlie Miller said of top intelligence officials. “I wouldn’t work there anymore.”

TV news stars flocking to Al Jazeera

by: Chelsea Schilling 

Former NBC News anchor John Seigenthaler and MSNBC anchor and Current TV correspondent David Shuster have announced they are both joining Al Jazeera America, a TV network owned by the government of Qatar with troubling ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Shuster and Seigenthaler will both serve as anchors for the network, which is scheduled to launch Aug. 20.
Upon making the announcement, Siegenthaler said, “I’m proud to join a respected worldwide news organization that is committed to delivering high quality, objective and balanced investigative journalism. While other networks and newspapers are cutting back, Al Jazeera is growing. It’s exciting to be part of the launch of this unique cable news channel.”

Shuster told the Huffington Post, “I’ve followed Al Jazeera since I covered the Iraq War in 2003 from Doha. The organization’s fearless efforts to give a voice to the voiceless have always struck a chord in me. It’s an honor to help carry on that unique mission on an American channel and for an American audience.”
In recent months, other news personalities have joined Al Jazeera, including former CNN host Ali Velshi, former CNN reporter Joie Chen and former CNN morning show host Soledad O’Brien.
As Cliff Kincaid, director of Accuracy in Media, has noted, “[T]he anti-American channel works hand-in-glove with the Muslim Brotherhood and its associated terrorist groups, including Al Qaida and Hamas. Nothing has changed. In fact, Al Jazeera has become more open about its work as a foreign policy instrument of Qatar, including the promotion of al-Qaida-linked terrorist groups in Syria.
Kincaid noted that the Muslim Brotherhood website refers to Al Jazeera as “the greatest Arab media organization.”

“The channel originally made a name for itself by airing al-Qaida videos, and one of its correspondents was convicted of being an agent of the terrorist group that carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” he wrote. “The hit movie ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ based on the killing of Bin Laden, notes that the al-Qaida leader was tracked down in part by locating a nearby Al Jazeera office that received and aired terrorist videos.”
Kincaid cites examples of Al Jazeera English airing sympathetic coverage and “exclusive” interviews with, al-Qaida terrorist leaders.
Online readers took to to voice their reaction to news of Seigenthaler’s hiring and posted the following comments:

  • “Now that this NBCer is free to shout, ‘Death to America!’ whenever he feels the need, all the other NBC anchors are jealous.”
  • “Al Jazeera, all the Shariah-approved news you can use.”
  • “Translation: They are giving me a paycheck and I am willing to sell my integrity.”
  • “That man used to be on ABC affiliate in Nashville! Man he must be really hungry to stoop that low.”
  • “I cut my cable company so that I won’t support this network or any other liberal clown channel.”
  • “Lateral move, the only way they go.”
  • “Will he be wearing a burqa?”
  • “One propaganda outlet for another, nice move elitist!”
  • “He just started working for them and already he’s committed taqiyya.”
  • “John, you should be happy to have a job. But I wouldn’t call you a journalist any more than I would call Al Jazeera America ‘high quality, objective and balance investigative journalism.’ I tend to think of Al Jazeera America more as an extension of the Al Qaida Propaganda Ministry.”
  • “His statement is such blatant and obvious B.S. Are we sure he was not kidnapped by Al (Qaida) Jazeera and forced to say this at the point of a gun?”
  • “Brilliant career move, John. Liberal outlets are bleeding viewers (rats abandoning the sinking ships) and you choose a hard-left one. You is like a jeeny-us!”

Did Obama break the law by revealing sealed indictment in Benghazi attack?


oped: There is a catch 22 indeed...however a sitting President can be prosecuted if Congress Impeaches a sitting President and the Senate decides to arrest and prosecute for High Crimes and Misdemeanors as well as for Treason...However we have a sitting Congress and Senate who lack the cajones' to act on behalf of We the People...all they care about is their political careers and benefits that they put into bills to enhance their personal portfolios...damn we the people they only love our votes not our welfare!

by: Joe Newby
On Friday, Barack Obama became the first official to reveal the existence of a sealed indictment in the Benghazi terror attack. But ABC News reported that some were left wondering if Obama crossed a legal line when he did that.
President Obama was asked during Friday's press conference if justice would come to those responsible for last year's terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

"[W]e have informed, I think, the public that there's a sealed indictment," Obama said. "It's sealed for a reason. But we are intent on capturing those who carried out this attack, and we're going to stay on it until we get them."
Obama's statement is the only official confirmation of a sealed indictment, ABC News said.
"After all," Mike Levine reported, "according to federal law, 'no person may disclose [a sealed] indictment's existence,' and a 'knowing violation … may be punished as a contempt of court.' Contempt of court carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail."
It's doubtful, though, that the president will serve any time for making the indictment known, however.
Levine said that one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, called Obama's disclosure "crazy."

"Doesn't the law apply to the president too?" the unnamed official asked.
But according to Peter Zeidenberg, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section who currently has a private practice in Washington, Obama is effectively immune from prosecution when it comes to sealed indictments.
"The [president], by virtue of his position, can't violate any non-disclosure/confidentiality rule," he said. "One of the perks of being the head of the executive branch: Nothing he says is technically a leak. If he does it, it is authorized."
But, he added, the case could be made that "a sealed matter can only be unsealed by a court."
ABC said that a White House official insisted Obama "was simply referencing widely reported information and was not asked about, nor did he comment on any specific indictment."

The Justice Department declined to comment.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that charges were being filed against Ahmed Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia officials believe was involved in the assault on the compound. At about the same time, Obama dismissed the Benghazi scandal as "phony" while in Phoenix, Arizona.

Harry Reid says Obamacare will lead to single-payer system

oped: Hey Harry take a hike into the are such a hypocrit and about you and all your Prog Lib friends in Congress embrace the Obamacare fisaco into your health care plan...instead of stealing from We the People to subsidize your 'Cadillac' health care are such a Jerk!
Sorry Harry We the People don't want your "Soylent Green" health care plan: 

by: Eric Pfeiffer
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the implementation of Obamacare is a step toward an eventual single-payer national healthcare system.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that Reid made the statement during a Friday appearance on the PBS program “ Nevada Week in Review,” Reid said that Congress could eventually reform the Affordable Care Act into one providing universal healthcare without relying on the private health insurance industry.
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.
When show panelist Steve Sebelius asked if that meant eventually doing away with insurance-based coverage, Reid replied, “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
During the same interview, Reid noted that Senate Democrats originally pushed for a single-payer plan back in 2009 but were met with opposition by former Sen. Joe Lieberman. In order to curb Lieberman’s opposition, Reid took the public option off the table as well as making other concessions.
“We had a real good run at the public option … don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system,” Reid said. “We had to get a majority of votes. In fact, we had to get a little extra in the Senate, we have to get 60.”

As the Weekly Standard notes, conservative critics of Obamacare such as Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn have previously said they believe the Affordable Care Act was specifically designed to pave the way for an eventual single-payer system . However, Coburn’s argument has been that the health care legislation was intentionally designed to fail, creating the need for a more comprehensive law.
“By making private insurance unaffordable for everyone, it will become available to no one,” Coburn wrote in 2012. “All that will be left is government-centered, government-run, single-payer health care."
The forthcoming health exchanges included under Obamacare have made news in recent days, with members of Congress being given a waiver of some of the program’s provisions and some states like Oregon saying their healthcare exchange selection program will not be fully in place by the government’s October 1 deadline .

Stephanie Banister, Dubbed as 'Australia's Sarah Palin', Criticised for Calling Islam a Country

oped: Before y'all go off the deep end Ms Banister is correct calling Islam a country...Hello do some research on the Ottoman Empire...although the Empire ceased to be in 1929 they went underground and have remerged as the Muslim Brotherhood...which are quite active in their quest to conquer the world once again making all countries part of 'Islam' so I would say yes Islam is a 7th Century Theocracy not a religion per say... but in fact a Country stuck in the 7th Century pushing for Sharia Law for all!

Here I will help those who lack World History knowledge and educate you on the Myth of Islam....Begin your Journey here : 

By Reissa Su 

Stephanie Banister, dubbed as "Australia's Sarah Palin" for vying a spot in the Parliament of Australia has drawn online flak for giving surprisingly inaccurate facts about Islam.
Ms Banister is a candidate for a Brisbane seat of Rankin under the right-wing One Nation party. Despite her desire to run for public office, this election might not turn out to be a happy ending for her. Ms Banister has been charged for sticking labels on Nestle products in a Brisbane store. The alleged stickers said "halal food funds terrorism", according to news reports by local media.

In an interview, Australia's Sarah Palin tagged Islam as a "country" and said that kosher food is for Jews is fine because "they follow Jesus Christ".
As Australia waits for election day on Sept 7, things seem to be getting weird with politicians in the news. The 27-year-old politician needs to have her facts straight about religion. Ms. Banister said she doesn't "oppose Islam as a country" but felt "their laws should not be welcome here in Australia". 

Ms Banister continued to dish out "expert" facts about Islam and said that less than two per cent of Australians follow "haram". She obviously meant "the Quran" instead of "haram" which in Arabic language means "forbidden".
Ms Banister is taking a firm stand in banning halal food in Australia but approves of kosher food for Jews. She repeated her earlier mistake by saying "Jews aren't under haram" since they have their own religion and follow Jesus Christ.
Again, Australia's Sarah Palin, made another mistake. Jews don't follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
According to Ms Banister, she knew she made mistakes and corrected herself several times. She told Fairfax Media that her corrections were allegedly edited out during the interview. She said "they've completely twisted all my words" and made her look like a stupid moron and a stand-up criminal. 

Ms Banister's political party, One Nation, is a far-right Australian political party with plans of restricting immigration and abolishing multi-racialism, according to its Web site, which it claims to be "destroying Australian culture".
The interview of Ms. Banister can be compared to the infamous interview with Katie Couric and Sarah Palin in 2008 when Ms. Palin was the Republic candidate for the vice-presidency in the U.S. The real Ms Palin was unable to name a newspaper she told media she had read. One of her foreign policy credentials was about Alaska's close proximity to Russia.  

Read More:

Hannity responds to Fox News shake-up: People going nuts

Sean Hannity
by: Tom Tillison
While Fox News chief Roger Ailes was mum on the speculation about prime-time lineup changes, host Sean Hannity did respond to the rumors of Megyn Kelly’s ascension to his 9pm time slot.
Ailes was asked about that rumor, first reported on Drudge Report, during a conversation with Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Thursday.
“Generally, I don’t confirm or deny any rumors, and that is a rumor at the moment,” Ailes said. “All of our stars will be back,” he added.
When asked specifically about what the future holds for Hannity, Ailes said “[he] is a brand that many of our viewers love and want to see, and, as you know, is one of the nicest guys in the building,” as reported by Mediaite.
Meanwhile, on his radio show Thursday, Hannity said of the rumored change, “I am actually enjoying people that really don’t know a whole lot, just going nuts.”
He then added: “Let’s just say in the end I’m very happy. That’s all I can say at this point.” 

At a later point in his discussion with Cavuto, Ailes expanded further on the expected changes:
“I am making a few minor changes, but let me just say that since FOX News Channel came on, MSNBC and CNN have changed either their primetime lineup of shows or their primetime talent 64 times [since 1997, although FNC launched in 1996]. I think maybe I’ve changed it five or six so you have to choose well in the first place and have the guts to stay with people who can do the job. And that’s what I try to do.”
Related Stories:
Megyn gets 9 pm spot! Info leaked on Fox’s schedule shake-up
Piers Morgan tells Megyn Kelly ‘bring it on’ with new time slot

Obama: An Obedient Saudi Servant To The End 

“(Saudi Arabia is) one of the worst, most draconian regimes in the world.” — M. Zudhi Jasser, author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith 

The news seemed shocking last week when the U.S. State Department announced that 19 embassies and consulates in the Mideast and Africa will be closed through this week.
The State Department said closures were out of an “abundance of caution” and “not an indication of a new threat.” This is an abundance of caution? That is like saying you might not want to drive your car this week because it would be more cautious to stay home.
The truth is that if this Mideast mess keeps getting worse, you might not be able to drive your car because you might not have any fuel to fill it. One of the embassies that closed, just to be safe, is in Saudi Arabia — home to the largest conventional oil reserves in the world and the oil kingpin that has been dictating world oil prices since the Richard Nixon Administration.
And let us not forget the warning by our government to U.S. citizens that al-Qaida and extremist groups (who all just happen to be Muslim) may be planning terrorist attacks in the Mideast and North Africa.
Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., told ABC’s “This Week” that the threat intercepted from “high-level people in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula” was about a “major attack.”

To date, there is not a mention by Washington of that evil empire to the north — the one that mines oil from oil sands, which, in turn, kills ducks. Apparently, the embassy in Ottawa, Ontario, is going to remain open. There are no travel warnings to Americans coming to Canada about blue-eyed sheiks.
Despite all this Mideast angst, President Barack Obama is dead set on supporting Arab oil exporters like Saudi Arabia while criticizing Canada’s oil industry. It seems to the Obama Administration and his liberal green backers that it is worse to spew carbon into the atmosphere than it is to butcher Americans.
Obama is the worst to both worlds: a liberal and a neocon.
The United States continues to spend billions of dollars in Muslim kingdoms that, in turn, spend money to buy off al-Qaida. Better to pump up Islamic extremists than to trust Canadians, whom we fought in 1812.
It’s not as though Obama is ignorant of the Mideast and Africa. He understands the region better than any President. For Pete’s — I mean Muhammad’s — sake, Obama had a Kenyan father who by all accounts was a die-hard Muslim.
The President addressed American policy on the Mideast two years ago:
Yet we must acknowledge that a strategy based solely upon the narrow pursuit of these interests will not fill an empty stomach or allow someone to speak their mind.  Moreover, failure to speak to the broader aspirations of ordinary people will only feed the suspicion that has festered for years that the United States pursues our interests at their expense.  Given that this mistrust runs both ways –- as Americans have been seared by hostage-taking and violent rhetoric and terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of our citizens -– a failure to change our approach threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and the Arab world.

Speak whose mind, Mr. President? Not the people of Saudi Arabia, unless they want to be tied to the stake and lashed. No kidding, folks, the Saudis still embrace Middle Ages law and order. They proved it a couple of weeks ago when Raif Badawi, founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website, was sentenced to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.
No doubt, the king and royal princes think he had it coming. After all, he was convicted of insulting Islam, speaking ill of Saudi Arabia’s religious police and, even worse, “parental disobedience.”
It turns out Badawi is a brat that doesn’t listen to dad. Keep in mind he is a 30-year-old man. When I was 30, I wasn’t always making the choices in life my dad wanted; but he didn’t have the religious police round me up and deliver the lash. In fact, the old man gave me my last spanking at age 11.
Hopefully, the lashes will be spread out over time; because if memory serves me from my days in history class, 100 of them delivered in one “sitting” will kill a person. Oh, well. That would be one less person to object to King Abdullah, the 80-year-old monarch, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and a friend of Obama’s.

Last month, King Abdullah and Obama met to discuss progress in the Mideast. What progress means to King Abdullah might be allowing women to ride a bicycle without being arrested and beaten. I am more interested in what Mideast progress means to Obama. I suspect it has something to do with locking in more oil from the region so he won’t have to deal with those obnoxious Canadians and their obsession with beer and hockey.
Last week, CNNMoney ran this headline: “If Wall Street’s right, Obama may nix Keystone.”  The story, which is based on a Wall Street Journal article, reported that Obama is still on the fence regarding the passage of the Keystone oil sands pipeline and that he may turn it down because scientists have informed him that Canada’s oil sands are thought to be some 17 percent more carbon intense than regular crude oil.
Seventeen percent! That is going to be the difference between getting oil from a dependable and civilized nation next door and getting it from the Mideast, which is imploding?

The same month he meet with King Abdullah, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency said the pipeline was bound to have an impact on climate change.
At the end of July, the President gave an interview to The New York Times in which he pooh-poohed the number of long-term jobs that would be created by Keystone and said that if approved Keystone might actually cause gasoline prices to go up.
Obama said, “(O)il is going to be piped down to the Gulf to be sold on the world oil markets, so it does not bring down gas prices here in the United States. In fact, it might actually cause some gas prices in the Midwest to go up where currently they can’t ship some of that oil to world markets.”
That’s a prime example of Marxist economic theory.
The Economist wrote that the President’s comments amounted to a “kick in the teeth.” A member of the government of Canada put it differently, saying that if Obama turns down Keystone it will be like a “kick in the balls.”
It is starting to look like Obama will turn it down. It will create a deep divide between the United States and Canada, but perhaps Obama just wants to keep the greens happy and add to his liberal legacy. Another reason could be that he wants to stay on good terms with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the homeland of Masjid al-Haram (The Sacred Mosque) in the city of Mecca. It seems what happens in Mecca stays in Mecca.
It also seems that Obama will remain an obedient Saudi servant to the bitter end. We’ll have to see whether it is just to the end of his Presidency or if it’s until the end of America.

Republicans Show True Colors With Attacks On Lee’s Efforts To Defund Obamacare

Republicans Show True Colors With Attacks On Lee’s Efforts To Defund Obamacare
Senator Mike Lee (R.-Utah) is trying to drum up support for an effort to defund Obamacare in the continuing resolution to fund government that will be debated this fall. Unfortunately, cowardly and/or big-government-loving CINO (conservative in name only) Republicans are, as usual, siding with Democrats and corporatists and saying it’s a fool’s errand.
Lee has 11 Senate co-signers: Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Jim Risch (Idaho), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), David Vitter (La.), John Thune (S.D.), Jeffrey Chiesa (N.J.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Debra Fischer (Neb.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa). Five others, John Cornyn (Texas), Roger Wicker (Miss.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.), signed the letter but have since reneged. About 60 House members are taking up the fight there.

Almost 60 percent of Americans now oppose Obamacare, according to a recent FOX News poll. Since Obamacare’s passage, Republican politicians have repeatedly indicated their desire to repeal it. Yet when push comes to shove, the majority of the Washington, D.C., Republican elected class slink aside, stab the people in the back and cozy up to big insurance, big pharma and the medical-industrial complex.
Obamacare is costing jobs and creating a part-time world. Worse, it constrains Americans into a deathcare system that denies them choices about how they want their medical issues treated. Even the Internal Revenue Service head and IRS employees — who are charged with regulating who has signed up and penalizing those who haven’t — are trying to opt out.
Once again, the Republican elected class is showing its true colors. Senator Tom Coburn called the strategy “dishonest.” Senator Richard Burr called it “the dumbest idea” he’s ever heard of. Coburn also said such a strategy will cause Republicans to lose the House. What Coburn, Burr and their ilk are ignoring is the fact that conservative Americans are realizing that if Republicans don’t become an opposition party and actually begin to oppose Obama’s egregious and unConstitutional policies, having Republican control of the House and Senate is worthless.
Lee’s plan is simple. Delay Obamacare’s funding and delay the consequences until it can be repealed. You can voice your support of Lee’s efforts by going here.

Car in Calif. missing teen case found in Idaho...

Tips pour in on Amber Alert search for suspect, teen
***Breaking Today...Hannah rescued by Police Joint task force local,state and federal ...James did not surrender killed by FBI Agent N/end  Moorhead lake Idaho******
CASCADE, Idaho (AP) — The search for 16-year-old Hanna Anderson and her suspected abductor, 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio, has spanned three states and thousands of miles.
But now that law enforcement officers are at their closest yet to finding the pair, they face perhaps the most challenging search area of all.
The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is the largest roadless area in the Lower 48 states, sprawling across central Idaho and reaching north to the Montana border. To call the mountainous terrain rugged is an understatement.

"It's called the River of No Return for a reason," said Mike Medberry, a 57-year-old writer and backpacking enthusiast who hiked in the area three summers ago. "This is country that is really up and down. It's harsh and rugged, with steep terrain, lots of downed logs and thick brush."
DiMaggio is suspected of killing Hannah's mother Christina Anderson, 44, and her 8-year-old brother Ethan Anderson, whose bodies were found Sunday night in DiMaggio's burning house in California near the Mexico border.
Ethan Anderson's remains were not positively identified until Friday night, when the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said its crime lab had used DNA to determine Ethan's identity. An Amber Alert was initially issued for both children.
DiMaggio's car was found Friday morning about 40 miles east of the tiny town of Cascade, parked where the dirt road ends and the Sand Creek trailhead enters the wilderness area.

The discovery came about two days after a horseback rider reported seeing the man and girl hiking in the area. Ada County Sheriff's department spokeswoman Andrea Dearden, who is helping the Valley County sheriff's department handle the case, said the rider didn't realize the pair were being sought until he got home and recognized the pair in news reports.
There have been no other reported sightings of the pair since Wednesday, but the discovery launched a massive search in the southwest corner of The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.
More than 100 people were searching on foot and on horseback or were on their way to join the search of an area that Ada County sheriff's spokesman Patrick Orr described Friday evening as covering 320 square miles.
"A missing hiker in the foothills is different than searching for a murder suspect, and the risk of that alone comes as a challenge to the search teams," Dearden said. "When you have a square mile on flatter land, or even water, you can create a grid and literally search every inch. But when you have terrain like this, and this much land, you just can't do that."

The search area is bisected by the Middle Fork the Salmon River, a wild waterway that winds through steep canyons and dense forests. The river is extremely popular for recreationists and floaters, some of whom will pay up to $2,000 for multi-day, guided trips down the river.
But away from the river, it's easy to disappear, said Jared Hopkinson, the owner of Rocky Mountain River Tours in Stanley, Idaho.
Hopkinson said a backpacker can hike for days without seeing a soul — not a fellow camper, not a rafter, not one of the maybe-mythical Idaho hermits that river guides are fond of telling stories about.
"If you wanted to go days without being seen, that's the place to do it," said Hopkinson. "There's a few river lodges that are accessible by fixed wing plane and raft, but other than that it is untouched by mankind, the same way it was when there were dinosaurs."
This time of year, the temperatures generally dip into the 40s at night and reach into the 80s during the day, said Rob Terry, the mayor of Cascade and a backcountry pilot who volunteers with the fire department, often helping injured recreationists trapped in the wilderness area.

"Fortunately, it's summer and not winter, and fortunately they're in an area with water," Terry said. "Just a couple weeks ago there was somebody who was lost while climbing in that area, probably within 10 miles of where he is now."
Rescue crews were able to locate the climber and bring him to safety — but that search was simplified by the fact that the climber stayed in one place and waited for help, he said.
"There's the key. If he doesn't want to be found, he just drops off the side of the trail," Terry said. "It would be very easy if you want to get lost. But unless he was really planning some back country type thing, he may not have carried a lot of food. And while there's water, it's suspect — it has giardia and stuff in it. Any knowledgeable backpacker would carry a water filtration system with them."

That's also assuming DiMaggio stayed within the wilderness area. Dearden said officials don't know if DiMaggio had rafting equipment available or if he could have left the wilderness by hiking out another trailhead. No cars have been reported stolen or missing in the area, but some rafters and campers may leave a vehicle parked for a week or more, so a stolen vehicle wouldn't necessarily be discovered right away.
Police have set up check points in the area where the car was found and near other nearby trailheads.
Law enforcement officials in San Diego have noted that DiMaggio bought camping gear a few weeks ago.
DiMaggio was close to the family. Brett Anderson has described him as a best friend and said his children thought of him as an uncle.
Authorities have said DiMaggio had an "unusual infatuation" with the 16-year-old, although the father said he never saw any strange behavior. If he had, he said, "we would have quashed that relationship in an instant."

Spagat reported from San Diego. AP writers Bob Jablon and John Antczak contributed to this report from Los Angeles. AP writer Todd Dvorak contributed from Boise.

Friday, August 9, 2013

HEY, SHARPTON: Black Teen Strangles White 12yr. Old, Dumps Body In Recycling Bin, Gets 17yrs

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 9.21.24 AM
Little more than 10 feet separated Justin Robinson from Autumn Pasquale’s father in an open Gloucester County courtroom Wednesday morning when Robinson, now 16, pleaded guilty to choking the pre-teen to death in October.
“He sat there and listened,” said Doug Long, attorney and spokesman for Anthony Pasquale, Autumn’s father.
Days after Autumn, a Clayton Middle School student, went missing, the 12-year-old’s body was discovered — strangled — in a recycling container on an abandoned property next door to the Robinsons’ home.
Justin Robinson, then 15, and his 17-year-old brother Donte, were charged last fall with the girl’s murder.
Until Wednesday, all juvenile court proceedings in the murder case had been conducted behind locked courtroom doors. Donte Robinson’s charges are still pending in closed juvenile court in Gloucester County.


White House reporters stumped: 'What should I ask' Obama?

oped: (1)Prove you are eligible to be POTUS..release all your records like any honest person would do!
(2) Admit you are a Marxist/Muslim and approve of Sharia Law !
(3) When are you going to resign...before you are arrested for Treason?
by: Chelsea Schilling 

President Obama is holding his first news conference in more than three months Friday, but mainstream media reporters who cover the White House are stumped about what they should ask him.
ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl and CNBC reporter Eamon Javers took to Twitter today to get advice from their followers.

Obama is holding his first press conference since April 30 before leaving on a nine-day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.
Meanwhile, Joel Polloak at offered a list of 10 questions journalists won’t ask Obama, including topics such as the Obamacare delay, Benghazi attack, IRS targeting of conservative groups, peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, sex assault allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, National Security Agency leaks, his proposed cuts to the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, the Senate immigration bill, al-Qaida, the budget sequester, giving Congress Obamacare subsidies  and George Zimmerman’s civil rights.
Others in the blogosphere began offering their own suggestions to the White House correspondents:

  • “If your political interests and the best interests of the American people ever coincided, what might that look like, in terms of policy?”
  • “How many more American need to get killed from Fast and Furious weapons before you call it a real scandal?”
  • “So what were you doing on the night of 9/11/2012?”
  • “How much did you get back from Solyndra?”
  • “I would just ask him to please leave.”
  • “Are you a phony POTUS?”

Deutsche Telekom snubs U.S. email servers after snooping scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's leading telecoms operator will channel email traffic exclusively through its domestic servers in response to public outrage over U.S. spy programs accessing citizens' private messages, Deutsche Telekom said on Friday.
Deutsche Telekom launched the "E-mail made in Germany" initiative after a month of public indignation over reports on U.S. snooping based on documents leaked by fugitive former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The spying scandal, which has filled German newspapers for weeks, has become a major headache for Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of a September 22 election. Government snooping is a sensitive subject in Germany due to the heavy surveillance of citizens in the former communist East and under Hitler's Nazis.

"The spying campaign has deeply rattled Germans," Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann said at a news conference in Berlin on Friday to launch the initiative aiming to make email communication in Germany "more secure".
Deutsche Telekom and its partner United Internet, which account for about two-thirds of all email users in Germany, said they would protect clients' emails via so-called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. This is an option already offered by Google.
The former telecommunications monopoly, in which the German state remains the biggest investor with a 32 percent stake, said all data processing and storage would take place in Germany.
"This will make a big difference," said Sandro Gaycken, a professor of cyber security at Berlin's Free University.
"Of course the NSA could still break in if they wanted to, but the mass encryption of emails would make it harder and more expensive for them to do so," said Gaycken.
German news magazine Der Spiegel reported in June, citing an NSA document, that the United States taps half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month.
Snooping fears will boost sales of IT security goods like virus scanners, firewalls and access administration tools, which had been expected to be worth 3.33 billion euros in Germany this year, up from 3.16 billion in 2012, according to the IT-market data provider International Data Corporation (IDC).

But Bitkom, which represents more than 2,000 German IT companies, expects even higher demand after news of wholesale electronic surveillance by American and British intelligence.
"The reports about PRISM and Tempora have considerably raised awareness for IT security," Bitkom President Dieter Kempf said in a statement, adding that the market should now outpace the 5 percent growth that had been expected this year.
Stefan Frei, a research director at information security company NSS Labs, said the Telekom response was a step in the right direction.
"This initiative helps to tackle the-day-to-day sniffing around on the communication lines but it still doesn't prevent governments from getting information," Frei said.
(Reporting by Markus Wacket, Harro Ten Wolde and Natalia Drozdiak; Editing by Sarah Marsh, Stephen Brown and Thomas Atkins)

Danish Muslim leader regrets role in cartoon rage

FILE - Danish Muslim Ahmad Akkari poses at an undisclosed location in this file photo dated Aug. 2, 2013. Akkari was part of a group that traveled to the Middle East to voice complaints over newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and admits he was instrumental in the 2006 campaign against the Danish newspaper cartoons. 34-year-old Dane of Lebanese origin, Akkari told the Associated Press Wednesday Aug. 7, 2013, he now believes he was “tricked” by Islamists who “claim to have a monopoly over the interpretation” of Islam but now believes newspapers in Denmark have the right to depict who they want. (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Joachim Adrian, FILE) DENMARK OUT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Danish Muslim leader who seven years ago traveled the Muslim world fueling the uproar over newspaper caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad is back in the headlines in Denmark after doing an about-face on the issue.
Once a leading critic of the Danish cartoons, which sparked fiery protests in Muslim countries, Lebanese-born Ahmad Akkari now says the Jyllands-Posten newspaper had the right to print them.
His unexpected change of heart has received praise from pundits and politicians in recent weeks, though some question his sincerity. It has also disappointed some in the country's Muslim minority who were deeply offended by the cartoons.
Akkari, now 35, was the spokesman for a group of imams who led the protests against the drawings in Denmark. They traveled to Lebanon, Egypt and Syria to elicit support, saying the Danish government wouldn't listen to their concerns.

Their journeys helped turn the dispute into an international crisis. Dozens were killed in weeks of protests that included violent attacks against Danish missions in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Tiny Denmark found itself on a collision course with the Muslim world — something Akkari now regrets.
"I want to be clear today about the trip: It was totally wrong," Akkari told The Associated Press this week. "At that time, I was so fascinated with this logical force in the Islamic mindset that I could not see the greater picture. I was convinced it was a fight for my faith, Islam."
He said he's still a practicing Muslim but started doubting his fundamentalist beliefs after a 2007 trip to Lebanon, where he met Islamist leaders.
"I was shocked. I realized what an oppressive mentality they have," Akkari said.
A year later, he moved to Greenland, the desolate Danish Arctic island, where he worked in a school for two years.
"I had plenty of time to read and write. And think," said Akkari, who has shaved off the patchy beard he used to wear.

Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable ones, for fear it could lead to idolatry. Arguing that such religious sensitivities should not limit the freedom of speech, Jyllands-Posten in 2005 invited Danish cartoonists to draw the prophet.
At the time, Akkari joined Muslim hardliners demanding an apology from the paper and action against it by the government. He appeared to advocate violence against a more moderate Danish Muslim in a secret TV recording, but later said it was just a joke.
Akkari now says printing the drawings was OK and that his reaction at the time was wrong. Last week he even apologized in person to one of the cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, who has faced multiple death threats and murder attempts from extremists. Many Muslims consider Westergaard's drawing, which depicts Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, as the most offensive.

"I met a man who has converted from being an Islamist to become a humanist who understands the values of our society," Westergaard said of Akkari. "To me, he is really sincere, convincing and strong in his views."
Akkari's former colleagues in the Islamic Society of Denmark are not impressed, and have reportedly accused him of being an attention-seeker trying to get back into the limelight.
Group spokesman Bilal H. Assaad declined to comment on Akkari on Thursday but said "it is still not OK to publish drawings of Muhammad. We have not changed our position."
The group is believed to represent about 10 percent of Denmark's estimated 200,000 Muslims.
Michael Ulveman, who was an adviser to then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Ramussen during the cartoon crisis, also expressed doubts about Akkari's sincerity.
"I think Ahmad Akkari should go on al-Jazeera and tell the Arabic world about his new realization," Ulveman wrote on his Facebook page. "That would have real value for Denmark and the freedom of speech. And convince many of us about the depth and reach of his reorientation."
Ritter reported from Stockholm.

Senators Building ‘Grassroots Army’ to Pressure McConnell, GOP Leadership to Defund Obamacare

Conservative Republican senators will be using the August recess to organize a “grassroots army” to put pressure on Republican leaders, particularly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to defund Obamacare during the budget negotiations that will ensue when they return to Washington.
As Breitbart News reported, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has called for such a “grassroots army” on the national scale to stop Obamacare and comprehensive immigration reform.
Cruz (R-TX), along with Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), are leading the effort to defund Obamacare, which currently has the support of 13 Senate Republicans. Cruz and Lee have been promoting an online petition,, that already has over 250,000 signatures. They want to put pressure on McConnell to join them in supporting a measure to fund the government except for Obamacare.

Continue Reading:

ObamaCare ‘death panel’ faces opposition

 oped: yeppers death panels lead to Soylent Green!:

ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean drew attention to the board designed to limit Medicare cost growth when he called for its repeal in an op-ed late last month.

Dean was quickly criticized by supporters of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), who noted his ties to the healthcare industry as an adviser to a major D.C. lobbying firm.
But the former Vermont governor is not the only Democrat looking to kill the panel.

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Benghazi, etc.: Are Obama’s Actions Those of a Tyrant?

“When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”
– Euripides, Orestes
Raised and praised by Marxists, Barack Obama sought them out for friendship and mentoring in college. He taught Alinsky Marxism at ACORN and he appoints them as czars and consultants as President. Five years into Barack Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of our country, the President finds no opposition party, a complicit press-corps, and a panoply of “conservative pundits” who look and sound more like the Lords of Scotland’s betrayal than they do William Wallace.

If the future of this country depends on the strength and integrity of Krauthammer, O’Reilly, Fox News and the National Review, we are of all men most miserable – lest of course, the determined, ambitious, ruthless, Machiavellian Alinskyites in the other corner will be intimidated into surrender by our champions’ campaign of “kvetch and retreat.”
The above are all recommending that the Republicans just go along with Obamacare now and not defund it, which is like saying that Thelma and Louise are already driving so sit back and enjoy the ride. Underwhelming is one word that comes to mind, at least the one that won’t get red-lined by my editor. Even Victor Davis Hanson in his column, “Obama’s Watergates,” will only go as far as calling Obama – “Nixonian to the core.” As if the comparison to a third rate burglary and its messy cover-up is the moral equivalent to perpetrating a fraud to overthrow the 2nd Amendment with “Fast & Furious” and allowing heroes to die to cover your phony Arab Spring in Benghazi.

Don’t waste your time hoping for impeachment or indictment. The sheriff of Nottingham won’t bring King John to justice. Forget about the press, they’re not going to “vet” him; the Senate will not try him and the Republicans will not oppose or even challenge him. “We the People” must rise up. We must hold them all accountable.
I know it’s hard but let’s forget, for the sake of argument, all of the high crimes and misdemeanors that the President has committed to this point; at least the ones that we know about. Aside from targeting political enemies with the IRS and using NSA wiretapping against American citizens, including the President’s perceived enemies in the press; let us for one moment concentrate on Benghazi.
Americans needed help and begged for it. Help was there, ready and willing, but was called off. Commanders who disagreed, including multiple generals and at least one admiral, have been forced to retire or resign. Witnesses on the ground have been threatened if they come forward. Their families have been threatened. I’m sorry, but American Presidents don’t do that to American heroes. The syndicate does. The mob would. Chicago thugs do. And so do tyrants.

This is not “soft” tyranny, this is not coercion, this is extortion. Incessant polygraphing of CIA agents, hiding witnesses around the country, putting them into a witness, protection-like system to avoid congressional oversight and to prevent the truth coming out is beyond an impeachable act. It is beyond the “soft” despotism that but a few whisper about. This is tyranny!
And who is talking about it? Oh, I know why the big box talkers won’t go there – they don’t want to lose GOLDLINE and SELECT COMFORT and they’re in the game to count how many markets that they’re syndicated in; but what of our representatives? What of the editorial boards and the bravery of our university professors? When they should already be biting, the watchdogs of freedom have lost their bark. The lapdogs are heeling and playing dead. Time to get off the porch, patriots!

Wringing our hands and bickering about the GOP as the President and his apparatchiks dismantle the Republic isn’t actually a plan for victory. Personally, Chris Christie is only a threat to me if he’s within arm’s length of my Krispy Kreme, but his capitulation, along with Romney’s and Krauthammer’s, is the equivalent of the lords abandoning the field at Falkirk when Wallace waved the sword.
Chesterton had it right when he wrote, “The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.”

What’s that, you cry: “The glass is half empty?” – Look, smash the damn glass! I don’t know if we will win or we will lose but I do know that I’m in the 300. I don’t quite know if I’m following Gideon or Leonidas or if we’ll be playing a triumph or a funeral dirge when the Shih Tzu hits the fan, but I do know that I hold a sword and I’ll stand my ground.
Win, lose – doesn’t matter! The outcome is not the issue. The issue is “Am I faithful?” SEMPER FIDELIS is the Marine code, not SEMPER VINCIT. I’m tired of these pussy-willows that won’t enter the battle unless they’re sure of a victory. They seem to bloom in every crisis and they’re the “summer soldiers” that Paine rebukes in The Crisis:
These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman … Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
So, to Charles, Bill, Chris and Victor Davis: “Dietrich – Up,” Lassies! Real men ride to the sound of the roar!


Hollywood Macro-Economics

by John Cones
Thousands upon thousands of creative people are drawn to the film capitol of the world every year. They come to express their creative visions through that important medium called feature film. Unfortunately, most are suffering under the delusion that the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry is a merit system, that talent will prevail and their efforts will be rewarded. They are often mystified to discover that their efforts only lead to failure or mediocrity, and even in the few instances of apparent success, much of the financial rewards are drained off by others who provide support services for such talent. And, most of those are Hollywood insiders.
Many in that creative community eventually abandon all hope and leave, while some are too embarrassed to go home, so they stay and do something else to get by. Still others lose their self-esteem, and are driven to drink, drugs and/or suicide. Some come to correctly recognize or suspect along the way that part of the problem is that Hollywood is not a merit system at all, that it is a system dominated by a few, mostly insiders who share a common tribal heritage with many of those who founded the Hollywood of old, and whose loyalties are primarily to each other, which means that whenever opportunities arise, they give the best jobs to their relatives, friends and friends of friends, arbitrarily excluding the outsiders, who can only get so far on their abilities. 

Most people feel that nothing can be done about the situation, because if anyone states the truth about the Hollywood insiders, such persons are immediately labeled as prejudice in the very worst way, which in this society is often perceived to be more horrible than any other form of prejudice because we have been so conditioned by thousands of movies graphically demonstrating what that particularly brand of prejudice can do.
So, the flood of creative actors, actresses, writers, producers, directors and others continues, year after year. Few outside the film industry would believe what is really going on. Those inside the film industry are too afraid to speak out. They’d never eat lunch in this town again, as the old saying goes. Even when confronted with the truth, some of the less informed and more naive amongst us insist on supporting this corrupt system. The law of supply and demand is way out of whack. Too many films are being produced and too few distributors are available to distribute them. Ideas and even scripts are stolen with impunity. After all, there really are no satisfactory or realistic remedies to protect the owners of intellectual property from theft in the bowls of the Hollywood machine. Certainly, none worth jeopardizing a career over, which is the most direct result of any such challenge. 

And, of course, our film and arts schools around the country keep turning out more and more filmmakers, actors, directors and writers who continue to make too many films, and distributors eagerly take advantage of that imbalance by manipulating the revenue stream however they choose, because they have the leverage, or simply because they can. Film commissions around the country continue to compete with each other for the patronage of a film to be shot in their locale because it benefits the local economy, without giving much thought to taking any steps to encouraging the development of a truly indigenous film industry, that can provide its own financing and distribution
Our Congress men and women can be of no help, because they are often so very dependent on the excessive money that flows into the hands of the Hollywood insiders and subsequently into their re-election cofers. Law makers at various governmental levels have been prevailed upon time and again by local film communities to pass laws creating incentives to encourage the production of more films in their area, not realizing that more production is not really the biggest need of the film industry. The industry can only be brought back to health with fewer and better films, more real competition amongst distributors, a real breakthrough in direct delivery via the Internet (not dominated by the major studios) and destruction of the stranglehold maintained by the Hollywood insiders on this important industry (a group of people, who by the way, have repeatedly used this significant medium for the communication of ideas as a propaganda tool to place and keep favored ideas and images in our collective consciousness for many years) 

Maybe when more people realize how they have been cheated out of their chance to make it in their chosen career field, robbed of a whole life or part of a life, we’ll see a real revolution, something that will shock the Hollywood insiders, and make them realize how insidious and wrong has been their scheme.
This is not an insoluble problem. Instead of feeding into the mouth of the dragon, we must get the word out to film schools and film organizations all across the country, that there is a glut of product (i.e., too many feature films being produced each year by too many film producers). There are too many actors, actresses, directors, screen writers, etc. chasing after too few paying jobs. Those circumstances simply play into the hands of the distributors who have used that over supply of films and the over supply of the people who play key roles in producing films to create leverage that in turn allows them to exploit all the rest (who are on the wrong side of the law of supply and demand). 

Thus, our film schools and other schools turning out the creative people, along with the film organizations helping to provide educational seminars for filmmakers, need to recognize the realities of the marketplace and place more (or at least some) of their focus on the macro-economics of the industry: begin educating people on how to start up distribution companies, on how to become exhibitors, how to create opportunities for commercially exhibiting films online so as to eliminate the need for a distributor, figure out a way to make money off of film shorts and create film school affiliated distribution companies, not more production companies. Some of those who think they want to be producers must be encouraged to become distributors instead, to create film completion funds and P&A funds instead of production funds, to buy theatres and learn the business from the that end first. Developing a feel for what movies people like could be the most important part of a filmmaker’s education. 

At the same time, we need to convince film commissions all across the country to broaden their mission to include creating wholly indigenous film industries, still willing to assist and encourage local film shoots for projects funded elsewhere, but also encouraging and exploring ways to help local filmmakers produce and distribute their films profitably. Ultimately, the power must be taken away from Hollywood distributors and the Hollywood insider crowd, because that power has been and continues to be abused. We need more diversity at all levels of the film industry, because as more and more people are beginning to realize, the motion picture is a significant medium for the communication of ideas, and all elements of our society must have fair access to this important medium.

Editor’s note: John Cones is a practicing securities/entertainment attorney who has worked with independent film producers for more than 20 years helping them comply with federal and state securities laws relating to investor financing of film and other entertainment projects.

Will Chicago follow Detroit into bankruptcy?

by: Jerome R. Corsi

NEW YORK – Chicago, America’s third largest city, could follow Detroit into bankruptcy, warned Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the city’s “Annual Financial Analysis 2013” released last week.
“Until we pass meaningful pension reforms in Springfield, the outlook for future years is unsustainable,” Emanuel concluded bluntly, anticipating a current budget crisis that could develop into a full-fledged budget meltdown within the next four years.
Emanuel noted that Chicago’s current budget deficit of $338.7 million is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2016, due largely “to ballooning obligations under current pension legislation.”
Compounding the fact that pensions for public employees are less than 40 percent funded, a decline in business activity during several years of prolonged economic downturn and an exodus of higher income residents from the city have resulted until recently in a dramatic decline in Chicago’s tax revenue.

While Chicago has attempted to cut back on city services, including public school employment and police and firefighters, the city’s operating expenses are plagued by extremely high salaries, with 2,400 municipal employees earning six-figure salaries annually.
Why are most of America’s big cities strongly liberal, while virtually the rest of the country leans conservative? Find out in this jaw-dropping WND special report, “URBAN WARFARE: How the left has destroyed America’s greatest cities.”
Meanwhile, the crisis of gun violence in Chicago, despite the city’s tough gun control regulations, prompted members of Congress from the city to demand last month that the National Guard be called in to stop the “mayhem.”
What is looming in Chicago and Detroit is a crisis of increased Democratic Party-controlled government spending and an era of union-controlled public employment that is causing Democrats to soul-search for solutions that do not involve raising taxes to a level that would cripple the business activity on which much of the government revenue depends.

The New York Times reported that last week Democratic leaders in the legislature sued Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn after he announced he was withholding lawmakers’ paychecks until the legislature came up with a solution to solve the state’s pension crisis.
In July, Moody’s downgraded Chicago’s debt rating by an unexpected two grades because of the city’s large and growing pension obligations and budget pressures related to the pension crisis.
This move will increase Chicago’s cost in financing the city’s $8.2 billion of general obligation and sales tax debt.
“The current administration [of Mayor Rahm Emanuel] has made efforts to reduce costs and achieve operational efficiencies,” Moody’s said in announcing the downgrade, “but the magnitude of the city’s pension obligations has precluded any meaningful financial improvements.”

Pension crisis
Chicago pensions are determined by Illinois state law that sets the contributions and benefits for municipal employees, including teachers in the public schools, firefighters, paramedics and police.
The city’s four pension funds are only 36 percent funded, meaning the amount of money the city contributes falls short on an actuarial basis by $19.5 billion.
The unfunded pension obligation is expected to grow to more than $24.5 billion by 2017 if nothing is done to address the problem.
Since 2000, Chicago’s pension funds took two major hits.
First, when the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, the assets of the funds fell from approximately 87 percent funded to approximately 62 percent funded, due primarily to investment losses.
Then, in 2007 and 2008, the real estate-driven market drove the investment value of the pension funds from approximately 62 percent funded to 38 percent funded.
The underfunding crisis in Chicago’s pension funds has continued to worsen due in part to automatic cost-of-living benefit increases passed by the state in 2010.
Beginning in 2015, Chicago’s budget deficit is likely to grow as the city is required by state law to make far greater contributions to the pension funds, costing the city as much as it would cost to hire another 4,300 police officers.
In managing Chicago’s looming pension deficit crisis, the city and state face a dilemma common to many municipalities nationwide.

Reducing pension obligations involves negotiating with unions that are reluctant to deprive retired and retiring government employees of the benefits they have earned.
Amending future benefits is extremely unpopular with current government union workers forced to change the conditions of their future employment to reduce substantially the benefits they may expect to receive at retirement.
Quickly, images arise of the crisis faced by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker when union mobs stormed the state capital in Madison and launched a recall efforts to force him out of office after he demanded a reduction in the pension benefits paid to retired and retiring unionized public employees.
The problem Chicago will soon face as the city’s annual deficit grows from $338.7 million to $1.6 billion by 2016 is that municipal employees not unreasonably want their pension benefits paid as specified by their union contract with the state of Illinois, regardless whether or not the city of Chicago can pay up.
“Given the size of the unfunded liability and the dollar amount that would be required to fully fund, even over many years, tax increases and service reductions cannot be the complete answer,” Emanuel’s annual financial report noted.

Emanuel has pressed for a serious of pension reform proposals in Springfield, arguing that cost-of-living adjustments written into current law are not sustainable and that major changes in benefits paid must be made to protect Chicago taxpayers and the retirement security of its workforce.
“Increased employee contributions need to be phased in, and retirement ages are out of line with reality and do not account for longer life expectancies,” the financial report stressed.
Salary crisis
In addition to the current pension crisis, Chicago faces a salary crisis with its current municipal workforce.
Chicago has dramatically decreased its public employee workforce from 40,506 positions (42,392 full-time equivalents, or FTEs) in 2003 to 32,420 positions (33,554 FTEs) in 2013, a decrease of approximately 20 percent in the past 10 years.
Yet, despite this reduction in workforce, Chicago’s total personnel costs increased by 15 percent between 2003 and 2012, with salary and wage expenses rising by 11 percent and healthcare costs by 38 percent.
Today, 90 percent of Chicago employees are represented by a union, up from 87 percent in 2003.

Chicago engages in collective-bargaining negotiations with 40 different unions. The Fraternal Order of Police and the Chicago Firefighters Union are the two largest, with 17,482 public safety positions, including police captains, lieutenants and sergeants.
Payroll, Chicago’s single highest expense, totals $2.4 billion, with 2,400 city employees, not including school employees, making more than $100,000 a year.
Payroll costs are expected to increase $100 million in 2014, and no discussions are underway about making any cuts to any municipal employee salaries.
Chicago’s budget deficits could intensify dramatically if the city fails to meet Emanuel’s rosy forecast that the city will increase revenue $466 million in 2014 and $580 million in 2015.