Archive for the ‘Election/Votes’ Category

 

This won’t surprise you – the same elections officials who last year admitted to disenfranchising a bunch of voters in conjunction with an initiative to ban hydro-fracking are now saying that a box of 75 ballots hidden from public view was really much ado about nothing.  And, we are *COUGH-COUGH* skeptical.

 

“Broomfield elections administrator Michael Susek said the box was used to collect ballots deemed not countable in the election, but some voter advocacy groups say the box’s contents should have been accounted for during the election instead of being catalogued now.

The box was located in Susek’s office until Friday, when the unsealed metal box was opened and catalogued in front of an audience of residents and news crews.”

The truth about the contents of the magic box remains to be seen.   No one was allowed to see anything except from a distance.

Doesn’t inspire much confidence, does it?

(Marilyn Marks, please email us with the real story.)

The Broomfield Enterprise, which we once thought was a real newspaper, but based on their ham-handed coverage of this recount we can’t know for certain, reported the election officials’ comments about the mystery box as if they were fact.  Nothing to look at here, the Enterprise reports.

Count us among the skeptical.  The blundering boners in the Broomfield elections department  don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

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Posted on: 6:25 pm, December 11, 2013, by , updated on: 07:59pm, December 11, 2013

http://kdvr.com/

DENVER — The legislature’s passage of tougher gun control laws in March and the subsequent backlash that led to two Democratic lawmakers being recalled in September are arguably Colorado’s biggest political story of the year — and Democrats, Republicans and activists on both sides of the gun debate continue to interpret the year’s events to serve their own agenda.

But a recently conducted focus group, paid for by a coalition of pro-gun control groups, gives greater clarity to what happened in Pueblo, where former Sen. Angela Giron lost a solidly Democratic district by a 20-point margin.

The report, which FOX31 Denver has obtained, confirms what many political observers have surmised already: that it wasn’t the gun laws alone that cost Giron her seat, but a deep-seated dislike for and mistrust of the lawmaker herself among many Democrats in her hometown.

The focus group was presented as part of a summit this week, reported by the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker, where gun control activists plotted their “revenge”, which could include additional gun control efforts and even recalls targeting Republican lawmakers who oppose them.

People in the two focus groups — men and women, all Democrats (the party holds roughly a 15-point advantage in Senate District 3) — explained that they believed that Giron “went Denver” and lost touch with her constituents, taking orders instead from party bosses around the Capitol.

Moreover, some women surveyed said they took additional umbrage at Giron’s explanation that she voted for certain bills, despite serious opposition from parts of her district, because she’s “a strong Latina.”

“I’m a strong Latina too,” one woman said. “That’s not an excuse for not listening to people.”

A staffer for U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, she was appointed by a Democratic vacancy committee in August 2010 after former state Sen. Abel Tapia resigned to take a job as director of the Colorado Lottery.

She was elected to a full seat that November.

After three years in office, she’d alienated many voters in Senate District 3; she entered the recall campaign with a 47 percent disapproval rating in the district.

Men in the focus group expressed greater antipathy about the gun control laws, viewing Giron’s support of the measures as a failure to understand “the cultural value around guns” in a small town.

Women, however, widely supported the legislation package, which included expanding background checks to private gun sales and transfers and banning magazines of more than 15 rounds.

Both men and women said they felt Giron tried to run away from her support of those bills after the ads run by her “Vote No on the Recall” campaign failed to even mention the issue that brought the special election about.

“She was trying to hide her votes,” one person said.

“She couldn’t be trusted as an independent voice to represent Pueblo,” said another.

The focus group voters said they hardly know anything about Republican George Rivera, who was the only successor candidate on the recall ballot and will face a reelection challenge from Democratic state Rep. Leroy Garcia, who opposed the gun control bills, next year.

The recall wasn’t about Rivera, voters said. It was about Giron.

“There’s not always someone you want to vote for,” one respondent said. “But there’s always someone you want to vote against.”

Giron did not return a phone call Wednesday from FOX31 Denver seeking comment about the focus group results — it’s unknown whether she’s aware of the focus group’s existence or its results — and her rumored interest in running for Secretary of State.

Sources indicate that Giron is pressuring her Democratic colleagues, especially Latinos — everyone from former Denver Mayor Federico Pena to her former Senate Democrat colleagues — to support a possible campaign.

Giron has actually requested that some of her former colleagues drive to Pueblo this weekend so she can attempt to garner their support in person.

Most Democrats, however, have already committed their support to CU Regent Joe Neguse, who declared his candidacy for Secretary of State back in June having already rallied many of his party’s most powerful patriarchs behind his first statewide campaign.

“She thinks she’s owed something because she ‘took one for the team’,” one Democrat said on the condition that they not be identified.

“That’s obviously not the case,” the continued, referencing the focus group report. “She doesn’t get it.”

In an interview with CNN after losing her seat, Giron attributed her 20-point defeat to “voter suppression.”

freedomoutpost.com
August 29, 2013

liesThe following is a contribution from Dan from Squirrel Hill. The original title of the article is “Obama supporters will go hysterical over this well sourced list of 252 examples of his lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc.” it’s lengthy, but is a ‘one-stop shop’ for all the dirty details on the Obama presidency.

Every President, every politician, and every human being tells lies and engages in acts of hypocrisy. But Barack Obama does these things to a far greater degree than anyone else that I have ever known of. His campaign promises were so much better sounding than anyone else’s – no lobbyists in his administration, waiting five days before signing all non-emergency bills so people would have time to read them, putting health care negotiations on C-SPAN, reading every bill line by line to make sure money isn’t being wasted, prosecution of Wall St. criminals, ending raids against medical marijuana in states where it’s legal, high levels of transparency. Obama’s promises of these wonderful things sounded inspiring and sincere. They sounded so much better than the promises of any other President. So when Obama broke these promises, it felt so much worse than when other Presidents broke their promises.

In the 2008 United States election, I wrote in Ron Paul for President. In the 2012 election, I voted for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Those who are of a more leftist persuasion than myself might want to consider voting for the Green Party in future elections.

Some of the things on this list are major events that should scare the daylights out of any true liberal who cares about civil liberties.

Other things on this list are medium things that some Obama supporters may dislike, but would be willing to overlook in light of the things that Obama has done which they like.

And some of the things on this list may seem trivial, but I still think they are an interesting reflection of the kinds of policies that Obama supports.

Every claim that I make in this list is sourced. Click on the blue text to see the sources. I have cited a wide variety of sources, from right wing, to left wing, to middle of the road.

I welcome any comments and criticisms that you may have. If you say my list is wrong, please back up your claim by citing specific examples.

And now, on with the list:

1) Carried out military interventionism in Libya without Congressional approval

In June 2011, U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said that Obama had violated the Constitution when he launched military operations in Libya without Congressional approval.

2) Gave a no-bid contract to Halliburton – just like Bush did

In May 2010, it was reported that the Obama administration had selected KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, for a no-bid contract worth as much as $568 million through 2011, just hours after the Justice Department had said it would pursue a lawsuit accusing the Houston-based company of using kickbacks to get foreign contracts.

3) Has an administration full of lobbyists, after promising he wouldn’t have any

While running for President, Obama had promised that, unlike Bush, he would not have any lobbyists working in his administration. However, by February 2010, he had more than 40 lobbyists working in his administration.

4) Has close ties to Wall St., but pretends to support Occupy Wall St.

Although Obama claims to support the Occupy Wall St. movement, the truth is that he has raised more money from Wall St. than any other candidate during the last 20 years. In early 2012, Obama held a fundraiser where Wall St. investment bankers and hedge fund managers each paid $35,800 to attend. In October 2011, Obama hired Broderick Johnson, a longtime Wall Street lobbyist, to be his new senior campaign adviser. Johnson had worked as a lobbyist for JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Comcast, Microsoft, and the oil industry.

5) Broke his promise to close Guantanamo Bay

Obama broke his promise to close Guantanamo Bay.

6) Supported the $700 billion TARP corporate-welfare bailout just like Bush

While Senator, Obama voted for the $700 billion TARP bank bailout bill. The bailout rewarded irresponsible and illegal behavior. It redirected resources from more productive uses to less productive uses. It punished the hard working taxpayers who had played by the rules and obeyed the law. It created horrible incentives, and sent the wrong message. The bailout was evil because it rewarded the bad people and punished the good people. No society that does this can expect to remain free or prosperous. Instead of bailing out these corrupt corporations, we should have let them cease to exist, like we did with Enron.

7) Waged the biggest war against medical marijuana of any president, which was the opposite of what he had promised

In May 2008, Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt said that Obama would end DEA raids on medical marijuana in states where it’s legal. Also in 2008, Obama said that he supported the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs” and that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.”

However, in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana grower in Highlands Ranch in Colorado, a state where medical marijuana is legal. Also in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Culver City in California, a state where medical marijuana is legal. In July 2010, the DEA raided at least four medical marijuana growers in San Diego, California. Also in July 2010, the DEA raided a medical marijuana facility in Covelo, California. Then in September 2010, the DEA conducted raids on at least five medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada, where medical marijuana is legal. In 2011, the DEA conducted raids on medical marijuana in Seattle, Washington, West Hollywood, California, and Helena, Montana, all places where it is legal. In April 2012, the DEA carried out several raids on medical marijuana in Oakland, California.

In February 2012, Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Obama’s war against medical marijuana went “far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.” In April 2012, Mother Jones magazine wrote: “The president campaigned on the promise that he’d stop federal raids on medical marijuana operations that were in compliance with state laws, a vow that Attorney General Eric Holder repeated after the election. But then the Obama administration raided more than 100 dispensaries in its first three years and is now poised to outpace the Bush administration’s crackdown record.” In May 2012, the Washington Post wrote: “Obama has become more hostile to medical marijuana patients than any president in U.S. history.” In May 2012, U.S. Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said she had “strong concerns” about Obama’s forced closure of five medical marijuana facilities in Pelosi’s congressional district. In April 2012, commenting on Obama’s crackdown on medical marijuana, U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) said, “I’m very disappointed… They look more like the Bush administration than the Clinton administration.”

In July 2012, federal prosecutors filed civil forfeiture actions against Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, CA, which claims to be the world’s largest, and which claims to serve more than 100,000 medical marijuana patients. In April 2012, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, an educational institution in Oakland, CA, which teaches people about medical marijuana. In April 2012, federal agents raided a medical marijuana facility which had been serving 1,500 patients near Lake Elsinore, CA. In June 2012, the Obama administration filed asset-forfeiture lawsuits against two landlords who rented their buildings to medical marijuana stores in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The Obama administration also sent warning letters which threatened similar legal action to dozens of other, nearby landlords. During the first seven months of 2012, the DEA shut down40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, all of which had been operating in compliance with state and local law.

In July 2013, the DEA conducted multiple medical marijuana raids in Washington state, including the cities of Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle.

In May 2012, ABC News reported that during Obama’s youth, he often smoked large quantities of recreational marijuana. Obama’s marijuana smoking wasn’t even medical – it was recreational. And yet now, he is taking large scale, widespread action to prevent people with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other illnesses, who have prescriptions from their doctors, from using their prescription medicine – how cold hearted can a person be?

8) Nominated a six-time tax cheater to head the government agency that enforces the tax laws

Obama nominated Timothy Geithner, a repeat tax cheater, to head the government agency that enforces the tax laws.

Prior to his nomination, Geithner had:

1) Illegally failed to pay more than $34,000 in social security and Medicare taxes

2) Illegally declared the cost of his children’s summer camp as a form of day care.

3) Illegally failed to pay the early withdrawal penalty when he took money out of his retirement plan

4) Illegally declared non-eligible items as a charitable deduction

5) Illegally declared something which was ineligible as a small business deduction

6) Illegally declared utility expenses which had actually been for his personal use

9) Gave tax dollars to AIG executives, then pretended to be outraged about it

Obama signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives. Prior to signing this bill, Obama had said, “when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.” However, after reading “line by line” and signing the stimulus bill that protected the AIG bonuses, Obama pretended to be shocked and outraged at the bonuses, and said, “Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at A.I.G. warranted any bonuses at all, much less $165 million in extra pay… How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” and also said that he would “pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses.”

10) Expanded Bush’s unconstitutional government faith based programs

Obama expanded the federal government’s faith based programs which had been started by President George W. Bush.

11) Supported Bush’s unconstitutional Patriot Act

In May 2011, Obama signed a renewal of the Patriot Act.

12) Increased the national debt more in one term than Bush did in two

The national debt increased more during Obama’s first three years and two months than it did during all eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

13) Agrees with Bush’s support of unconstitutional, indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without filing any charges

In December 2011, ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero criticized Obama for signing a bill that gave the U.S. government the power toindefinitely detain U.S. citizens without any charges being filed or any trial taking place.

14) Agrees with Bush’s support of unconstitutional, warrantless wiretapping

President Obama has defended warrantless wiretapping.

15) Avoided prosecution of Wall. St criminals

Although Obama had promised to prosecute Wall St. criminals, during his entire first term, his administration did not file any criminal charges against any of the top financial executives.

16) Had four U.S. citizens killed without judicial process

Obama had four U.S. citizens killed without judicial process.

The ACLU accused Obama of violating the U.S. Constitution for doing this.

U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) said that Obama’s actions might be an impeachable offense.

17) Ordered private company to fire 1,000 employees

In 2011, after Boeing had hired 1,000 new employees to work at its new factory in South Carolina, the Obama administration ordered Boeing to shut down the factory, because the factory was non-union.

18) Stole money from retired teachers and police officers

During the Chrysler bankruptcy, Obama violated the Fifth Amendment and more than 150 years of bankruptcy law by illegally treating secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors. Some of these secured creditors were retired teachers and police officers from Indiana. Richard A. Epstein, a law professor at New York University School of Law, wrote, “Upsetting this fixed hierarchy among creditors is just an illegal taking of property from one group of creditors for the benefit of another, which should be struck down on both statutory and constitutional grounds.” Todd Zywicki, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, wrote that Obama’s treatment of secured creditors was “dangerous to the rule of law.” The Economist wrote that Obama’s actions could “establish a terrible precedent. Bankruptcy exists to sort legal claims on assets. If it becomes a tool of social policy, who will then lend to struggling firms in which the government has a political interest?” Francis Cianfrocca, the CEO of Bayshore Networks, wrote that Obama’s actions were “an astonishingly reckless abrogation of contract law that will introduce a new level of uncertainty into business transactions at all levels, and make wealth generation more difficult going forward… An extraordinary uncertainty has been created when the most powerful man in the world can rewrite contracts and choose winners and losers in private negotiations as he sees fit. Since this is an unquantifiable uncertainty, and not a quantifiable risk, its effect on business and investor confidence will be large and unpredictable. As in the 1930s, a time when government also cavalierly rewrote private contracts, the prudent approach for business will be to invest minimally and wait for another administration.”

19) Supported release of convicted mass murderer

In 2010, Obama supported releasing Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi (who had been convicted of murdering 270 people) from prison.

20) Illegally put thousands of guns into hands of criminals

In Operation Fast and Furious, the Obama administration ordered gun storeowners to illegally sell thousands of guns to criminals.

21) Fired Inspector General for discovering that Obama’s friend had embezzled government funds

In June 2009, Obama fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin, after Walpin accused Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter, of misuse of AmeriCorps funding to pay for school-board political activities. In a letter to Congress, the White House said that Walpin was fired because he was “confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve.” A bipartisan group of 145 current and former public officials, attorneys, and legal scholars signed a letter that was sent to the White House, which defended Walpin, said the criticisms of him were not true, and said that his firing was politically motivated. The letter can be read here.

22) Lied about putting health care negotiations on C-SPAN

Although Obama had made a campaign promise to have all of the health care reform negotiations broadcast on C-SPAN, he broke that promise after he was elected.

The secrecy of these negotiations was so strong that U.S. Congresswoman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

23) Lied about letting people keep their health insurance

Before Obamacare was passed, Obama said:

“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people… If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

Also before Obamacare was passed, Obama said:

“Here is a guarantee that I’ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance.”

However, after Obamacare was passed, the Congressional Budget Office said that the law would cause seven million people to lose their employer provided insurance.

After Obamacare was passed, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East announced that it would drop health insurance for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants. Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU stated

“… new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26… meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

Also, after Obamacare was passed, the Franciscan University of Steubenville dropped its coverage in response to the law.

Universal Orlando dropped its coverage for part time employees in response to Obamacare.

In addition, after Obamacare was passed, Forbes reported

“The House Ways and Means Committee has released a new report that sheds light onto how Obamacare incentivizes companies to dump their workers onto the new law’s subsidized exchanges.”

Also after Obamacare was passed, MSN reported

“The Affordable Care Act mandate most commonly known as Obamacare has some tight stipulations that, CNN says, are forcing health care companies to rip up most of their current plans and draft new ones that comply. According to a University of Chicago study, just about half of the individual health care plans currently on the market won’t cut it once key provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in next year.”

Furthermore, it was reported that Obamacare would cause 58,000 Aetna and UnitedHealth Group customers in California to lose their insurance.

In response to Obamacare, some employers have dropped coverage for their employees’ spouses.

The chain of Wegmans supermarkets cancelled the policies of its part time employees in response to Obamacare.

In July 2013, leaders of the Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE sent a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi which said that Obamacare

“will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits… these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable… we can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans”

24) Lied about the cost of Obamacare

Before Obamacare was passed, Obama promised

“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”

However, after Obama signed it, the Washington Post reported that it would add more than $340 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.

In March 2012, the Congressional Budget Office said that over the next decade, Obamacare would cost twice as much as what Obama had promised.

In May 2013, it was reported that Obamacare’s program for high risk patients was more expensive than what Obama had promised.

25) Gave tax dollars to campaign contributors and lobbyists, and falsely claimed the money was for “green energy”

In 2009 the Obama administration gave $535 million to Solyndra, claiming that it would create 4,000 new jobs. However, instead of creating those 4,000 new jobs, the company went bankrupt. It was later revealed that the company’s shareholders and executives had made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign, that the company had spent a large sum of money onlobbying, and that Solyndra executives had had many meetings with White House officials.

It was also revealed that the Obama administration had already been aware of Solyndra’s financial troubles. For example, according to the company’s security filings in 2009, the company had been selling its product for less than the cost of production. In 2010, Obama visited the Solyndra factory and cited it as a role model for his stimulus program, saying “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” The Washington Post wrote of this, “Administration officials and outside advisers warned that President Obama should consider dropping plans to visit a solar startup company in 2010 because its mounting financial problems might ultimately embarrass the White House.” Solyndra was a private company, but had been planning to use its government loans as a means of going public – so when Obama knowingly overstated the company’s condition in order to help his friends at Solyndra, he broke the same law that Martha Stewart had been sent to prison for breaking.

In September 2011, federal agents visited the homes of Brian Harrison, the company’s CEO, and Chris Gronet, the company’s founder, to examine computer files and documents. Also in September 2011, the U.S. Treasury Department launched an investigation.

On September 13, 2011, the Washington Post reported on emails which showed that the Obama administration had tried to rush federal reviewers to approve the loan so Vice President Joe Biden could announce it at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory. The company was a hallmark of President Obama’s plan to support clean energy technologies.

The New York Times reported that government auditors and industry analysts had faulted the Obama administration for failing to properly evaluate the company’s business proposals, as well as for failing to take note of troubling signs which were already evident. In addition, Frank Rusco, a program director at the Government Accountability Office, had found that the preliminary loan approval had been granted before officials had completed the legally mandated evaluations of the company.

The New York Times quoted Shyam Mehta, a senior analyst at GTM Research, as saying “There was just too much misplaced zeal at the Department of Energy for this company.” Among 143 companies that had expressed an interest in getting a loan guarantee, Solyndra was the first one to get approval. During the period when Solyndra’s loan guarantee was under review, the company had spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbying. Tim Harris, the CEO of Solopower, a different solar panel company which had obtained a $197 million loan guarantee, told the New York Times that his company had never considered spending any money on lobbying, and that “It was made clear to us early in the process that that was clearly verboten… We were told that it was not only not helpful but it was not acceptable.”

The Washington Post reported that Solyndra had used some of the loan money to purchase new equipment which it never used, and then sold that new equipment, still in its plastic wrap, for pennies on the dollar. Former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn told the Washington Post, “After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right… Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.”

On September 29, 2011, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration had continued to allow Solyndra to receive taxpayer money even after it had defaulted on its $535 million loan.

On October 7, 2011, The Washington Post reported that newly revealed emails showed that Energy Department officials had been warned that their plan to help Solyndra by restructuring the loan might be illegal, and should be cleared with the Justice Department first. However, Energy Department officials moved ahead with the restructuring anyway, with a new deal that would repay company investors before taxpayers if the company were to default. The emails showed concerns within the Obama administration about the legality of the Energy Department’s actions. In addition, an Energy Department stimulus adviser, Steve Spinner, had pushed for the loan, despite having recused himself because his wife’s law firm had done work for the company.

In January 2012, CBS News reported that Solyndra had thrown millions of dollars’ worth of brand new glass tubes into garbage dumpsters, where they ended up being shattered. Solyndra told CBS that it had conducted an exhaustive search for buyers of the glass tubes, and that no one had wanted them. However, CBS discovered that Solyndra had not offered the glass tubes for sale at either one of its two asset auctions that took place in 2011. In addition, David Lucky, a buyer and seller of such equipment, told CBS that he would have bought the tubes if he had had a chance to do so. Greg Smestad, a solar scientist who had consulted for the Department of Energy, also agreed that the tubes had value, and had asked Solyndra to donate any unwanted tubes to Santa Clara University. Smestad stated, “That really makes me sad… Those tubes represent intellectual investment. These could have had a better value to do public good. I think they owed the U.S. taxpayer that.”

In April 2012, CBS News reported that Solyndra had left a substantial amount of toxic waste at its abandoned facility in Milpitas, California.

Solyndra was not the only “green energy” company involved in this type of fraud. After Obama gave Raser Technologies $33 million to build a power plant, the company declared bankruptcy, and owed $1.5 million in back taxes. After Obama gave Abound Solar, Inc. a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories, the company halted production and laid off 180 employees. After Obama gave Beacon Power a $43 million loan guarantee to build green energy storage, the company filed for bankruptcy. After Obama approved $2.1 billion in loan guarantees for Solar Trust of America so it could build solar power plants, the company filed for bankruptcy.

Although Obama stated that all of the “green energy” companies that received taxpayer money were chosen “based solely on their merits,” the truth is that 71% of these grants and loans went to Obama donors and fundraisers, who raised $457,834 for his campaign, and were later approved for grants and loans totaling more than $11 billion. By November 2011, the Energy Department’s inspector general had begun more than 100 criminal investigations related to Obama’s stimulus. Although an “independent” review said that Obama had not done anything wrong, it was later reported that Herbert M. Allison Jr., the person who had conducted this “independent” review, donated $52,500 to Obama’s campaign.

keep reading here.

 

 

pollen-burst-berry-burst

wnd.com

Democrat officials convicted of making up names for qualifying petition

Two Democrats in Indiana have been found guilty of submitting unauthorized names on the petition that placed then-Sen. Barack Obama on the 2008 presidential election primary ballot, meaning he likely did not qualify.

Fox News reports the jury in South Bend found guilty on all counts former longtime St. Joseph County Democratic Party chairman Butch Morgan Jr. and former county Board of Elections worker Dustin Blythe.

The two faced accusations of petition fraud and forgery, as well as falsely making a petition.

The verdicts raise anew questions about election fraud by Democrats, a subject that was
analyzed after the 2012 election.

The report found vote fraud occurred in the 2012 presidential election and cumulatively was likely enough to decide the outcome.

“In reality, although no single instance or aspect of vote fraud was likely enough to tip the election for Obama, the aggregate of their [Democrats] corrupt activities – including illegal campaign donations, taking advantage of states without voter ID requirements, military ballots delivered too late … may well have been,” the analysis said.

Sign WND’s petition urging Congress to investigate fraud and abuse in America’s election system!

Fox News reported that two former Indiana elections board officials who pleaded guilty said Morgan told Democrat officials and workers to fake the names and signatures that Obama and Hillary Clinton needed to qualify for the presidential race.

Prosecutor Stan Levco told Fox, “I think this helped uphold the integrity of the electoral system. Their verdict of guilt is not a verdict against Democrats, but for honest and fair elections.”

Affidavits citing the testimony of former Board of Registration worker Lucas Burkett said the scheme was created in January 2008. Burkett reportedly was aboard the plan at first but later dropped out. Fox News reported he waited three years to reveal the scheme.

Fox News notes that if revelations about any forgeries were raised during the election, the petitions could have been challenged at that time.

A candidate who did not qualify with enough legitimate signatures at the time could have been removed from the ballot.

State law in Indiana requires candidates to have 500 signatures from each of the nine congressional districts to qualify. But in St. Joseph County, Obama qualified with only 534.

Prosecutors alleged that nine of the Obama petition pages apparently were forged, and each contained up to 10 names, bringing doubt on up to 90 names.

“If faked, [they] could have brought the Obama total below the legal limit required to qualify,” Fox News reported.

Fox reported it was told by “numerous voters” they did not sign their names, nor did they authorize their names to be used.

“That’s not my signature,” said Charity Rorie, a mother of four. “It’s scary, it’s shocking. It definitely is illegal.”

Added Robert Hunter Jr., “I did not sign for Barack Obama.”

WND’s extensive report on fraud in the 2012 race looked at claims that Obama, in some districts, got 100 percent of the vote, questions about absentee ballots and efforts by Democrats to prevent poll watchers from observing the election.

Some of the issues that were uncovered:

  • Seventy-five GOP vote inspectors were ordered to leave Philadelphia poll locations by Democrat poll judges. One judge was caught on audio. A court order sent them back but it’s unknown what happened when they were gone. These poll locations were all within the 59 precincts where Romney received no votes.
  • In Philadelphia, the Community Voters Project, an ACORN clone that employs some former ACORN workers, shredded Republican voter registrations. It’s not the first time they have been in trouble.
  • The Florida AFL-CIO threatened True the Vote and Tampa Fair Vote with legal action for submitting voter registration challenges.
  • Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings issued a highly publicized threat against True the Vote and Election Integrity Maryland just for checking voter rolls. EIM found 11,000 questionable registrations, including 1,566 dead voters. The Maryland Board of Elections took no action.
  • Cummings also attacked the Ohio Voter Integrity Project with the same baseless claims.
  • Think Progress falsely claimed True the Vote was “under investigation” by Rep. Cummings, when in fact he has no legal authority to do so.
  • Despite overwhelming nonpartisan public support for voter ID laws, Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department and liberal jurists have delayed, emasculated or defeated ID laws in Texas, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
  • Holder has vowed to fight voter ID laws as restricting voters’ rights.
  • The Obama administration “spiked investigations” of eight states that had major voter roll problems.
  • The Holder Justice Department conspired with Project Vote on National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter) enforcement lawsuits, which force state and local agencies to become, essentially, low income voter registration drives.
  • In 2009 DOJ announced to its attorneys that it would not enforce voter roll maintenance laws because it wouldn’t increase voter turnout.

The report also found the election rolls nationwide in shambles. Pew Research Center published a report revealing election rolls in a shambles nationwide. It found:

  • 24 million invalid or inaccurate voter registrations
  • 1.8 million deceased voters
  • 2.75 million registered in multiple states.

The WND report also focused on the mechanics of the election: voting machines.

There were a number of complaints about electronic voting machines that tallied votes for Democrats despite a Republican vote and a few instances of the opposite case.

  • Voters in Pueblo County, Colo., complained that their votes were being changed to Obama, reported local NBC affiliate KOAA.
  • Maryland congressional candidate and veteran investigative journalist Ken Timmerman reported many voters claiming this happened to them, lodging complaints with vote judges. Timmerman has requested to see voting machine records.
  • Maryland Delegate Kathy Afzali and Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild have requested the FBI impound two electronic voting machines suspected of switching votes based on complaints from other voters, including a state official.
  • Robert Ashcroft, a Republican poll watcher in Allentown, Pa., reported that about 5 to 10 percent of electronic votes would “change the selection back to default – to Obama.”
  • EVM problems were also reported to have occurred in Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas.
  • A 2008 Fox News report showed how electronic voting machines can be infected with a computer virus to change votes. A Princeton University study in 2006 found the same thing.

And the fraud didn’t go unnoticed. A few of the higher-profile cases:

Sign WND’s petition urging Congress to investigate fraud and abuse in America’s election system

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/jury-fraud-put-obama-on-08-ballot/#Ae6kzjPIFbdUu0ok.99

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By Joe Hanel Herald staff writer

http://www.durangoherald.com

DENVER – Coloradans ingest an estimated 70 tons of marijuana a year.

How much they smoke or eat now that it’s legal will depend, in part, on how much it’s taxed.

State legislators are struggling with a tricky job this week. They need to figure out how much to tax the newly legal drug in order to bring in enough money to pay for regulators. But they don’t want to make the taxes so high that pot smokers go back into the black market.

Representatives pushed a 30 percent tax rate through the House Finance Committee on Thursday, although it passed on the thinnest margin possible, 7-6.

Republicans unsuccessfully tried to lower the rate to 20 percent. No matter what the Legislature ultimately approves, voters will have to give the final say on the tax, thanks to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, sponsored House Bill 1318, which calls for the 30 percent tax rate.

Without the steep tax, Singer said, “we won’t actually be able to implement a model that will assure that our local communities are kept safe.”

Legislators are groping for ways to predict the size of the market for a product that has been illegal for decades. On Wednesday, a think tank at Colorado State University put out a report intended to help them.

The report by the Colorado Futures Center used data from surveys about illegal drug use to estimate that 670,000 Coloradans use marijuana every year, consuming about 2.3 million ounces, or 70 tons. The report estimates that demand will rise slightly now that marijuana is legal because the price will drop.

Even with a 30 percent tax, the average price per ounce would be $185, the report predicted. That’s slightly less than the $200 per ounce currently reported on the Price of Weed website, which the CSU report uses for comparison.

However, the report casts doubt on the idea that marijuana taxes will be a windfall for the state.

The government already has flubbed its predictions for the medical-marijuana market. It overestimated the revenue from licensing fees so much that it had to lay off all but 14 regulators, when the Legislature had budgeted for 55.

Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana under state law, told the Legislature it could levy an excise tax of up to 15 percent, with the first $40 million to go to the state’s school construction fund, known as Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST.

But excise taxes are levied on wholesale sales, and the CSU report predicts that the state will collect only about half of the $40 million that Amendment 64 contemplated.

Legislators plan to ask voters for an additional 15 percent special sales tax on pot. But even that won’t provide a windfall.

“After meeting the obligations for BEST and funding the regulatory and other public health and safety budget demands, revenue from marijuana taxes will contribute little or nothing to the state’s general fund,” the report said.

Legislators are working on two other marijuana-regulation bills that they want to pass before their session ends May 8.

jhanel@durangoherald.com

 

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By Stephen Dinan

The Washington Times

Monday, April 22, 2013

The administration has approved 99.5 percent of applications of those who have applied for legal status under President Obama’s nondeportation policy for young adults, granting legal status to more than 250,000 formerly illegal immigrants.

Officials said they expect the approval rate to drop as more cases make their way through the system, as it takes longer to deny an application than to approve it. Indeed, the approval rate already has dropped from 99.8 percent just a month ago.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform


But the high rate leaves others wondering whether the administration is doing all it can to weed out fraud or potentially dangerous illegal immigrants in DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, as it’s formally known.

“You really have to wonder who they’re giving deferred action to, and what kind of risk they represent to us,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The screening process is much less for DACA than it would be for a green card, and so it’s all that much more susceptible to fraud.”

DACA is seen by many as a test-run should Congress pass a broad legalization for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), left, shouts at Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y., not shown) as he speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform at the Hart Office Building on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 22, 2013. Also pictured is Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), right. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Enlarge Photo

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), left, shouts at Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y., not … more >

That means the pressure is on Homeland Security to get it right, and officials say they are taking steps to combat fraud, including warning that bogus applicants will be prosecuted and deported.

Mr. Obama created the program last summer to try to help illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents.

His policy allows them to remain and work in the U.S. on tentative legal status with no fear of deportation, though they do not have a direct path to citizenship. That path could come, though, under the immigration bill senators are beginning to debate, which would give DACA-approved immigrants a speedier chance at citizenship.

 

On Monday, one of those legalized under DACA pleaded with Congress to give her that chance.

“Legalizing people like me, the 11 million of us, will make the United States stronger and will bring about significant economic gains,” said Gabriel Pacheco, who was brought to the U.S. from Ecuador at age 8 by her parents. “Doing nothing is no longer acceptable.”

Her situation captures the complexities of American immigration: One of her sisters is about to earn citizenship as the wife of a U.S. citizen, with two citizen children; another sister is here illegally and didn’t qualify for DACA because she was too old; and her younger brother, 27, who owns a carwashing business, did qualify. Ms. Pacheco’s husband, meanwhile, is a Venezuelan who has lived in the U.S. for 26 years and earned his green card last year after an 18-year wait.

Mr. Obama announced the DACA policy in June, and the government began taking applications in August.

It was a galvanizing moment for immigrant rights advocates, and Hispanic voters in particular rewarded the president by voting for his re-election in overwhelming numbers.

The policy applies to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before age 16 and who were not yet 31 when the program was announced.

Illegal immigrants with serious criminal records aren’t supposed to qualify. To be eligible, applicants must have graduated from high school or earned an equivalency degree or served in the military.

Story Continues →

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/22/995-of-illegal-immigrants-get-approval-for-legal-s/#ixzz2RP9Jte8b
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

abclocal.go.com

April 23, 2013 (WASHINGTON) — Pro-business legislation aimed at helping companies fend off sophisticated foreign hackers sailed through the House on Thursday despite a White House veto threat and an outcry from privacy advocates and civil liberties groups that say it leaves Americans vulnerable to spying by the military.

 

The House vote, 288-127, puts the spotlight on the Senate, which hasn’t taken up the issue and is consumed with other high-profile issues such as gun control and immigration. The lack of enthusiasm in the Senate and objections by the White House mean that the legislation is in limbo despite an aggressive push by lobbyists representing nearly every corner of industry.

But supporters said they were gaining momentum: Despite the White House veto threat 92 Democrats voted for the measure, compared to only 42 for a similar bill last year.

 

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, is widely backed by industry groups that say businesses are struggling to defend themselves against aggressive and sophisticated attacks from hackers in China, Russia and Eastern Europe.

 

Hackers haven’t been able to deliver crippling blows to the U.S. economy or infrastructure, but they have been able to wreak havoc on some key commercial systems. Most recently several news outlets including the New York Times acknowledged that their systems had been penetrated, while banks are said to be quietly fighting daily intrusions. North Korea was recently held responsible for a cyberattack that shut down tens of thousands of computers and servers at South Korean broadcasters and banks.

The bill, said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., strikes “that right balance between our privacy, civil liberties and stopping bad guys in their tracks from ruining what is one-sixth of the U.S. economy.”

Under the legislation, businesses and the federal government would be able to share technical data without worrying about anti-trust or classification laws. The bill also would grant businesses legal immunity if hacked so long as they acted in good faith to protect their networks. The bill is sponsored by Rogers and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., the panel’s top Democrat.

But privacy advocates and civil liberties groups say the bill would open up Americans’ most private online records to the federal government. The bill doesn’t include a requirement that companies scrub data of sensitive information like health or credit records before sharing it with the government.

In its veto threat issued Tuesday, the White House echoed that concern.

“Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable – and not granted immunity – for failing to safeguard personal information adequately,” the White House stated.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., had tried to amend the bill to require companies to strip any data of personally identifiable information before sharing it with the government. But Republicans blocked his proposal from being debated on the floor because they said tough mandates might deter companies from participating.

Business groups say the privacy concern is overblown.

“When it comes to sharing, there are practical, business reasons why companies carefully protect” sensitive information, Tim Molino with the Business Software Alliance recently wrote in an online post urging lawmakers to pass the bill.

“At the end of the day, personal information is customer information, and maintaining trust with customers is a core business imperative,” Molino added.

Privacy groups also objected to the bill because they said it would give the National Security Agency a front-row seat in analyzing data from private computer networks. The bill doesn’t address the NSA’s role specifically, but it’s presumed that the military intelligence agency would have a central role in the data-sharing program because of its technical expertise in tracking foreign-based hackers.

Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois had tried to amend the bill to prohibit the military from collecting threat data directly from industry. But that proposal also was blocked from floor debate amid GOP objections. Still facing a veto threat, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, worked with Democrats on a measure that would ensure that companies go first through the Department of Homeland Security. While that proposal was adopted, the American Civil Liberties Group and others still were not satisfied.

“Cybersecurity can be done without sacrificing Americans’ privacy online,” Michelle Richardson, an ACLU legislative counsel, said after the vote.

A similar version of the bill passed the House a year ago by a 248-168 vote. But that bill also had prompted a veto threat and never gained traction in the Senate.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., voted against the bill last year but supported it this year, saying the latest version “represents a significant improvement.” The second-ranking House Democrat said more work needed to be done to ensure that personally identifiable information is removed during cyberintelligence sharing, but praised the move to put the Department of Homeland Security, rather than military agencies, in charge of receiving the information.

In February, Obama signed an executive order that would help develop voluntary industry standards for protecting networks. But the White House and Congress agreed that legislation was still needed to address the legal liability companies face if they share threat information. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised at the time to advance a bipartisan proposal “as soon as possible,” although one hasn’t emerged.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, is expected to take the lead on cybersecurity proposals that would likely address the issue of information sharing but also take up other issues including ways to improve research and development.

In a statement after the vote, Rockefeller said the House action was important, “even if CISPA’s privacy protections are insufficient.” He said he would work with Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on bills covering various aspects of cybersecurity. “There is too much at stake,” he said, “for Congress to fail to act.”

 

(Copyright ©2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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