One 38-year-old pedestrian has died after a construction crane collapsed in lower Manhattan at 8:24am, leaving at least 15 more injured, authorities said.
The crane, at 57 Worth Street between Church Street and West Broadway in Tribeca, was swinging a wrecking ball when it fell between 15 and 18 stories, clipping buildings as it fell on at a line of parked cars.
One victim, who was trapped in a vehicle, has been rescued, authorities say. At least two are seriously injured,and three have been taken to Bellevue Hospital Center.
It is unclear why the crane fell, but a permit was issued for it to move generators and air conditioning equipment at the former Wester Union building at 60 Hudson Street.
The crane was parked on Worth Street, and the incident occurred as the crane was being lowered in order to secure it during the snowy and windy conditions.
Officials had already directed people away from the area as they were lowering the crane.
Mayor Bill deBlasio said it was a sad situation, but added: ‘Thank God it was not any worse. It’s something of a miracle that there wasn’t more impact.’
The NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association was across the street, and members of the union rushed out, making them the first on the scene.
Vice President Bob Ganley of the association said: ‘It was surreal. It was like a war zone when it first happened.’
One witness told ABC7: ‘I could hear the bending of metal. I think it hit the side of the building.
‘I didn’t know what was happening because it was happening so fast.’
CBS Local reported another witness said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. The other day, I was just thinking I hope this doesn’t fall and then it happened. It bounced off two buildings and crushed every single car on that block.’
Other witnesses said the collapse ‘felt like a bomb’ or an earthquake.
The cab of the crane can be seen completely flipped over on Worth Street as ambulances and firefighters are on the scene
The stability of nearby buildings is being checked since the collapse may have affected a water and gas main.
ConEdison is on the scene, since a gas odor was detected at 57 Worth Street, authorities say.
Subways are bypassing the Franklin Street and Chambers Street stops. Buses and traffic are bypassing the area, with officials advising drivers to avoid roads south of Canal Street.
Mayor deBlasio will be arriving to hold a press conference.
The crane has ‘Bay Crane’ listed on the side. It is a crawler crane mounted on caterpillar tracks and not a tower crane. Authorities say the crane was revewed yesterday morning and approved.
Three people have been taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, two of them are in serious condition.
DeBlasio added it would take at least several days to get things in the immediate area ‘back to normal’.
This is the first crane collapse in the city since 2008.
French jets have launched a series of ‘massive’ air strikes on ISIS in Syria as the country started its ‘pitiless’ retribution for the terror attacks on Paris.
The blitz was conducted by ten fighter planes which dropped 20 bombs on the terror group’s capital of Raqqa, destroying a key command centre, training camp and munitions dump, throwing the city into panic.
The bombardment came just two days after President Francois Hollande said the co-ordinated attacks in Paris that killed up to 129 people was an ‘act of war’ and vowed to strike ISIS in Syria ‘without mercy’.
In France, police carried out around 150 co-ordinated anti-terrorism raids across the country this morning, arresting dozens of suspects and seizing a cache of weapons including a rocket launcher.
A huge manhunt is also underway for accomplices of the Islamist cell including one of the bomb plotters who is still on the run today after police let him go in a string of incredible security blunders before and after the atrocity on Friday night.
A French official has also identified the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks as Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, meanwhile, has warned that authorities believe new terror attacks are being planned in France and in other European countries following the carnage.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has also called for the dissolution of mosques ‘where hatred is preached’ in comments made on French television.
The air strikes in Syria, carried out in co-ordination with U.S. forces, struck a command centre, recruitment centre for jihadists, a munitions depot and a training camp for fighters, it said.
Activists inside Syria have suggested that no civilian casualties have been sustained in the Raqqa bombings.
Water supplies and electricity have reportedly been cut as a result of the air strikes, with activists claiming there has been ‘panic’ inside the city.
‘The raid… including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped,’ the French Defence ministry statement said last night.
Meanwhile, heavily armed tactical units launched more than 150 pre-dawn raids at addresses in Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble, Calais and two suburbs of Paris.
French media reports a rocket launcher, flack jackets, several pistols and a Kalashnikov assault rifle were among the cache of weapons seized in Lyon overnight, with five people arrested.
They were among dozens of arrests in areas linked with radical Islamists who may have helped seven suicide bombers carry out the carnage.
French security sources said a fourth terrorist had now been identified as Frenchman Samy Aminour, 28, after raids on addresses in the Parisian suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis and Bobigny linked to his family overnight.
Aminour, thought to be one of four jihadis who massacred 89 fans at the Bataclan rock gig, is said to have been known to French anti-terror police since 2012 when he was prosecuted for trying to flee France for Yemen.
This morning, Mr Valls said that new terror attacks are being planned in France and in other European countries.
‘We know that operations were being prepared and are still being prepared, not only against France but other European countries too,’ he said.
France would be living with the threat of terror attacks ‘for a long time’, he said.
Valls said he was struck by the fact that young people had been targeted in Friday’s attacks on a concert hall, bars and restaurants and outside the Stade de France stadium.
France and other countries in Europe today observed a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the worst-ever terror attacks on French soil.
In Paris, President Francois Hollande and his cabinet, all dressed in black, bowed their heads at the Sorbonne University, surrounded by scores of students.
And at Place de la Republique near the site of many of Friday’s attacks, hundreds more stood still to remember the 129 people who were killed in the bloodbath.
Large crowds also gathered in silence by the Bataclan music venue where 89 people were died, and outside a nearby bar and restaurant where 15 people were murdered.
Mr Valls comments came as serious questions were being asked of France’s security operation after it emerged one of the fugitives wanted over the Paris bloodbath was arrested then released by police hours after the attacks.
Frenchman Salah Abdeslam, 26, from a suburb of Brussels known as the ‘jihadi’ capital of Europe, is now the subject of a vast international manhunt – after being questioned and let go by officers guarding the Belgian border.
One of his brothers, Ibrahim Abdeslam, 31, was one of seven terrorists who died on Friday night after he blew himself up in a solo attack outside cafe Comptoir Voltaire. He had rented a black Seat found yesterday in Paris packed with AK-47s and ammunition.
The third sibling, Mohammed Abdeslam, was in custody in Belgium last night after being arrested in a Brussels, where the ISIS terror cell may have met before the raid to gather automatic weapons and suicide vests.
French police broadcast the name and image of Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old born in Brussels, across Europe, warning that he is very dangerous.
‘Do not intervene yourself,’ his arrest warrant says.
He is believed to have played a key role in planning the operations.
Four French officials acknowledged that police had Abdeslam in their grasp, when they stopped a car carrying him and two other men near the Belgian border early today.
By then, hours had passed since authorities identified Abdeslam as the renter of a Volkswagen Polo that carried hostage takers to the Paris theatre where so many were killed.
Three French police officials and a top French security official confirmed that officers let Abdeslam go after checking his ID.
They spoke on condition of anonymity, lacking authorisation to publicly disclose such details.
It is now known that three of the suicide bombers were French nationals, two of whom lived in the Belgian capital Brussels.
In a further sign of the growing Belgian connection, investigators said two cars used in the violence were hired there.
One was found near the Bataclan venue, and the other in the suburb of Montreuil east of Paris, with a number of AK47 rifles inside.
Witnesses said the second car, a black Seat, was used by the gunmen who shot dozens of people in bars and restaurants in the hip Canal St Martin area of Paris.
The first attacker to be named by investigators was Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old French citizen, who was identified by a severed finger found among the carnage at the Bataclan.
Meanwhile, the discovery of a Syrian passport near the body of one suicide attacker has raised fears that some of the assailants might have entered Europe as part of the huge influx of people fleeing Syria’s civil war.
Greek and Serbian authorities have confirmed the passport was issued to a man who registered as a refugee in October on the island of Leros and applied for asylum in Serbia a few days later.
Clues about the extent of the terror plot have emerged from Baghdad, where senior Iraqi officials told the the AP news agency that France and other countries had been warned on Thursday of an imminent attack.
An Iraqi intelligence dispatch warned that Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had ordered his followers to immediately launch gun and bomb attacks and take hostages inside the countries of the coalition fighting them in Iraq and Syria.
The Iraqi dispatch, which was obtained by the AP, provided no details on when or where the attack would take place, and a senior French security official told the AP that French intelligence gets these kinds of warnings ‘all the time’ and ‘every day.’
However, Iraqi intelligence officials told the AP that they also warned France about specific details: Among them, that the attackers were trained for this operation and sent back to France from Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de-facto capital.
The officials also said that a sleeper cell in France then met with the attackers after their training and helped them to execute the plan. There were 24 people involved in the operation, they said: 19 attackers and five others in charge of logistics and planning.
Last night French intelligence officials were quizzing a man suspected of being a quartermaster to the Paris murder gang.
The suspect – identified only as ‘Vlatko V’, 51 – had driven 750 miles from Montenegro through Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, before he was stopped on an autobahn in Bavaria last Thursday.
Officers discovered eight loaded AK-47 assault rifles in secret compartments of his Volkswagen Golf.
Three handguns, two hand grenades, fuses, detonators and almost half a pound of TNT completed the mini arsenal.
Also found in the vehicle were several Parisian telephone numbers and other addresses.
The man, who is Muslim according to unconfirmed reports, has no apparent previous criminal record or specific links to radical Islamists.
But police believe he is linked to organised crime groups in Montenegro that may have agreed to supply weaponry to jihadi groups.
A German intelligence source said police officers blundered by not reporting the seizure to anti-terror specialists in Berlin, who may have alerted France.
It also emerged that French security police arrested a man in August on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on a concert venue.
The man was held just two months after he returned from a six-day trip to Raqqa, Syria.
According to reports, the suspect confessed that he was ordered by an ISIS leader to return to Europe or France to carry out an atrocity and suggested a busy concert hall as an ideal target.
The apparent intelligence failures come amid an ongoing inquiry into the fatal errors by the security services in the lead up to the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris in January.
The ATF is backing down, for now, from a proposal to ban the 5.56mm green-tip bullets used in AR-15s after a major public outcry over the proposed ban. The ATF says they have received over 80,000 comments and apparently that’s caused them to at least halt and rethink this proposed ammo ban.
1:21 PM – 10 Mar 2015
NOTICE TO THOSE COMMENTING ON THE ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION EXEMPTION FRAMEWORK
Thank you for your interest in ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.
Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.
Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch could be facing new confirmation problems in the U.S. Senate after being tied to the world’s biggest banking scandal, involving HSBC, which used its power to temporarily shut down WND.com as the news site was breaking a series of stories on the mega-bank’s money-laundering practices – practices that resulted in more than $1.2 billion in fines
According to court papers filed Wednesday, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice appears to be stonewalling the release of documents that could implicate Lynch in a massive cover-up of Obama administration involvement in international money-laundering of Mexican cartel drug money.
In 2012, Lynch, as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, oversaw the investigation of drug-related international money laundering allegations against London-based HSBC Holdings LLC.
WND published a series articles documenting charges HSBC laundered billions of dollars that traced back to the Mexican drug cartels, culminating with a $1.256 billion fine paid to the U.S. government to end the investigation and avoid the filing of criminal charges.
The federal government’s unwillingness to prosecute HSBC was exposed by a former HSBC vice president and relationship manager in New York, John Cruz, who called the bank a “criminal enterprise.” Cruz was ignored by law enforcement authorities until he brought to WND 1,000 pages of customer account records that document his claims.
Cruz called the $1.92 billion fine the U.S. government imposed on HSBC “a joke” and filed a $10 million lawsuit for “retaliation and wrongful termination.” Whistleblowers in India and London joined Cruz in charging the HSBC settlement amounted to a massive cover-up.
In response to WND’s reporting of Cruz’s evidence, HSBC lodged a complaint that blocked Internet access to one of the WND stories, and senior reporter Jerome Corsi was fired by the New York City investment firm he had worked with for two years as a senior managing director, Gilford Securities.
WND also reported on evidence Holder’s Justice Department did not investigate money-laundering charges in deference to bank clients of his Washington-based law firm, where he was a partner prior to joining the Obama administration.
In addition, WND reported HSBC was engaged in a systematic scheme to defraud citizens of India who live abroad out of billions of dollars in investment accounts.
‘Continuing to cover up’
In a telephone interview Friday, Cruz said the Obama administration “is continuing to cover up its role in the HSBC money laundering scandal.”
“The IRS has blocked every legal effort I have made to be credited as a whistleblower in the HSBC billion-dollar settlement,” Cruz said. “It is impossible that the Obama administration did not know HSBC was laundering drug money for the Mexican cartels, because the documentation I had showed the laundered money passed through the federal wire-transfer services.”
Cruz charged the 1,000 pages of customer account records show HSBC relied on identity theft, capturing legitimate Social Security numbers that were then used to create bogus retail and commercial bank accounts. Through the accounts, HSBC employees systematically deposited and withdrew hundreds of millions of dollars on a daily basis, apparently without the knowledge of the identity-theft victims.
“When an individual finds out they got a loan they never knew about, 5 percent of that loan went to the accounting firm that made up the phony tax returns and the other 95 percent of that loan went to the manager,” he explained.
“One manager was involved in the transaction, another manager was involved in notarizing the transaction, and senior management was involved where they signed off permission to give the loans even when the loans get rejected by underwriting.”
In an attempt to make his charges public, Cruz in 2011 published a book titled, “World Banking World Fraud: Using Your Identity.”
On July 17, 2012, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, released a majority and minority 330-page staff report titled, “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History.” It documented HSBC’s role in illegally laundering hundreds of billions of dollars of drug money for the Mexican cartels and for terrorist-affiliated Middle Eastern groups.
“In an age of international terrorism, drug violence in our streets and on our borders, and organized crime, stopping illicit money flows that support those atrocities is a national security imperative,” said the committee’s chairman at the time, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
Levin said HSBC “used its U.S. bank as a gateway into the U.S. financial system for some HSBC affiliates around the world to provide U.S. dollar services to clients while playing fast and loose with U.S. banking rules.”
HSBC paid the $1.256 billion fine in December 2012 in an deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act.
The GOP “wave” Tuesday was not limited to Congress alone.
“This was a wave election victory for Republicans in state legislatures across the country, leaving Democrats at their lowest point in state legislatures in nearly a century,” Morgan Cullen, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Colorado, told WND.
“Even though the GOP was already at a high-water point in state legislative control, last night was a big night for Republicans in that the 2014 midterm election saw the GOP make important additional gains in legislative control.”
Voters Tuesday were deciding 6,049 state legislative seats in 46 states, nearly 82 percent of all seats.
State legislatures typically are the place where both Republicans and Democrats groom future candidates to run for governor, as well as for Congress.
Cullen noted Republicans have gained a net total of 332 seats in state legislatures nationwide out of the 649 seats up for election, with some outstanding races still too close to call.
Moreover, the GOP added majority control of 10 state legislative chambers, including the Colorado Senate, the Maine Senate, the Maine House, the Nevada Assembly, the Nevada Senate, the New Hampshire House, the New York Senate, the New Mexico House, the Washington Senate and the West Virginia House. The West Virginia Senate is now deadlocked and two chambers still undecided are the Colorado House and the Washington House.
In addition, Democrats lost their super-majorities in the California Senate, the Vermont House and the Maryland Senate.
Republicans now control 67 state chambers while the Democrats control 28. Prior to Tuesday, Republicans had a 57-41 advantage.
Republicans have complete state control – both chambers and the governor’s mansion – in 23 states, compared to six states for the Democrats.
“This was a big night for Republicans,” Cullen said. “If you had asked me before the election, I would have told you mid-term elections disfavor the party in the White House; and looking into my crystal ball I would have told you the Republicans were poised to pick up a few chambers here and there. But I would have said it was going to be a ripple, when it was a wave.”
Cullen said the Republican gains in the 2014 midterm elections were more significant than in 2010.
“To put last night in context, the Republicans had an even bigger night in the last mid-term elections in 2010, when they picked up over 700 seats in state legislatures nationwide and control in 22 chambers,” she said.
“But you have to put this into perspective and realize the Republicans had lost the three previous legislative election cycles before 2010 and the GOP was at a low-water mark going into the 2010 mid-term elections. The gains Republicans made in this 2014 mid-term election are even more impressive when you consider the GOP topped the high-water mark set in 2010.”
The Chris McDaniel campaign has identified multiple Mississippi counties in which enough improper ballots have been cast that a legal challenge to the outcome of the election is warranted.
This after Thad Cochran reportedly relied on 25,000 – 35,000 Democrat votes to pull him to victory in the June 24 runoff.
UPDATE: The Cochran campaign is reportedly asking county clerks not to certify the voting rolls until the last day possible so that the McDaniel people will not be able to look at the rolls and challenge them.
BIG UPDATE — CHILD ABUSE and THREATS
I just spoke with Lori Medina who is working with Real Conservative National Committee PAC in Mississippi this week. The McDaniel Campaign is targeting 10 counties where they think they can overturn the election results.
Lorie described one precinct where a “little sixteen year-old blonde female” McDaniel supporter was holding a sign and older men would drive by and threaten her. Several other volunteers were also harassed by Cochran supporters.
There was no information online on where to go vote. One county would only give the name of the buildings where they were voting but not the address to the McDaniel supporters. Many churches lined up in support of Cochran and told McDaniel supporters they could not hold signs on the property because they didn’t want to look biased. One church said McDaniel voters would have to leave because they were holding a funeral.
Lorie added, “I have never witnesses such overt out in the open fraud along with extreme ignorance. For the first time in my life I was speechless.”
** The McDaniel campaign is asking for donations and resources to scrutinize the voter rolls.
UPDATE: From Kim Wade:
Kim posted this on Facebook:
I have been at the Hinds County Court house this morning.
Here’s a page from Hinds County voter roll book.
The column on the left is where the voter voted in Democrat primary on June 3rd 2014.
The column on the right is where that same voter voted in the Republican run off on June 24th 2014.
This is patently illegal!
The problem is the Hinds County Republican Party in my opinion is dragging its feet in allowing access to “all” the voter information in a timely fashion to complete the audit.
It appears they are trying to run the clock out and certify the election results on Monday of next week preventing Chris McDaniel from completing an audit of the vote.
Please call the GOP at 6019485191 fax 6013540972 email email@example.com ask that they have an impartial member of the Hinds County Republican Committee oversee the audit, certification instead of the present county chairman.
Hinds County chair Pete Perry is wearing too many hats and can’t be impartial or fair.
UPDATE: The Mississippi Tea Party President says at least 800 Hinds County Voters crossed over illegally.
MS News Now reported:
The Mississippi Tea Party President says they’ve found evidence that nearly 800 voters crossed over in Tuesday’s runoff election that should not have been allowed to vote Republican.
However, Hinds County GOP Chairman Pete Perry says there are some precincts where he knows workers marked the wrong column and that could account for at least 200 of those being cited by the Tea Party.
Members of McDaniel’s campaign staff and some supporters began sorting through voter books on Thursday morning at the Hinds County courthouse.
They were looking for any “irregularities”.
In Hinds County, poll workers used the Democratic primary books for the GOP runoff in an attempt to prevent crossover voters.
However, the group from McDaniel’s camp is still searching those records to try to find anyone who voted as a Democrat on June 3rd and with the GOP on the 24th (the runoff.)
Much more this story in our newscasts tonight.
Gun Manufacturers Smith & Wesson have unleashed their newest revolver: a monster .460 caliber handgun which they say is ‘great for a back-up gun, or for hunting’.
Named the ‘Backpack Cannon’, the gun was unveiled in Las Vegas on Monday at the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade show, the largest gun show in the U.S., which around 60,000 gun fans attend every year.
The cannon – officially named the Performance Center Model .460 – features a three-inch barrel, high visibility sights and synthetic shock absorber on the rear of the handle, as well as a massive chamber to fit the gigantic .460 caliber rounds, which are some of the biggest and most powerful bullets in the world.
Paul Pluff, who works for Smith & Wesson told Military.com: ‘It’s a very comfortable gun to shoot. It’s great for a back-up gun in the back-country, or even for hunting if you’re going after some pigs or hogs or anything like that.’
Smith & Wesson acknowledges that revolvers have been replaced by high-capacity semi-automatic rifles when it comes to self defense, often taking the place of ‘second-choice’ among potential gun owners.
But the company says they think that their new revolver will make a nice companion for those that enjoy outdoor activities.
The company suggests that avid outdoorsmen could carry the gun in their backpack in case their main armament fails.
And the huge caliber of the revolver means it could also be used to fend off bears.
In addition to the plethora of attachments that aid targeting and shooting, the gun is also compatible with several forms of ammo, able to carry .454 Casull rounds and .45 Long Colt ammo, both of which pack a significant punch.
Military.com gave a favorable review to the handgun, saying ‘there is still a place for weapons like this especially if you like camping where the critters are big enough to eat you.’
At $1,200 (£730) the gun is much more expensive than your average handgun.
The retired American military commander who earlier said in a statement released to WND that Americans need to confront Barack Obama’s tyranny now is recommending the Egyptian model through which to do that.
The Egyptian model, Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely explained on a podcast of an Internet radio show, was that 33 million people stood up to their government and told officials no.
The result was that the Egyptian Muslim Brother was removed from power and then-President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office, Vallely explained,
His call for a massive march on Washington came recently on the WBTM (We Become The Media) show.
He was asked whether America can be restored as the shining light on the hill for freedom when the electoral process, which resulted in two presidencies for Obama in 2008 and 2012, “are known to be corrupt.”
Vallely said the absence of leadership in the White House and Congress makes it difficult, and he said, “I’m not even sure our traditional process will straighten our government out in time to save us.”
And he said processes like impeachment simply won’t happen.
Then he suggested the Egyptian model, and he said millions of Americans need to “stand up” to Washington “within the next 12 months.”
He said doing nothing is not an option, because Washington won’t fix itself and “hope is not a strategy.”
“We need something… a no confidence vote,” he suggested. And perhaps legislation that could create a national recall process.
“We need to get off our derrieres, march at the state capitol, march in Washington,” he said. “Make citizens arrests.”
He said when there are those who are “conducting treason… violating the Constitution, violating our laws,” it should not be overlooked.
“When you have a president and his team who don’t care about the Constitution, they will do anything they can to win,” he said.
Vallely has been immensely popular among tea party organizations that are seeking a way to restore the rule of law to Washington.
Among other things, they cite the Obamacare law, and the 15 or more times Obama has changed the law – without consulting Congress.
In a statement earlier to WND, Vallely said a vote of no confidence could be used.
The founder of Stand Up America, an organization that provides education resources for leaders and activists based on the values of the Founding Fathers, said:
“Clearly America has lost confidence and no longer trusts those in power at a most critical time in our history,” Vallely said. “It is true that not all who ply the halls of power fit under that broad brush, but most of them are guilty of many egregious acts and we say it is time to hold a vote of no confidence. It’s time for a ‘recall.’”
Vallely believes the “credibility of our current leadership is gone.”
Now, he said, “we listen to their excuses, finger-pointing, lies and all manner of chicanery.”
He admitted there is no legal authority in a vote of no confidence, but he argued it will “take back the power of discourse.”
“What else is our nation to do now that the ‘rule-of-law’ has effectively been thrown out the window by the Obama administration? How are we to trust our government anymore, now that lying and fraud are acceptable practices?” he asked.
Vallely believes impeachment likely wouldn’t lead to conviction and doesn’t solve the problem, anyway.
“Harry Reid still controls the Senate, so like in Clinton’s day, forget about a finding of guilty,” he wrote. “Incidentally, if Obama was found guilty and removed from office, Joe Biden would step in, Valerie Jarrett still wields all the power, and likely we get more of the same.”
The Constitution can be amended without going through Congress, he pointed out, but it would take too much time, “a luxury we just do not have it we are going to save our republic.”
“That brings us to the other word no one wants to utter, revolution. In our opinion, this is the least palatable option… Others talk about the military taking over as we saw in Egypt; again, we do not support this route,” he said.
Vallely listed a sampling of Obama’s broken promises and lies, crediting Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine:
His promise not to allow lobbyists to work in his administration. (They have.)
His commitment to slash earmarks. (He didn’t.)
To be the most transparent presidency in history. (He’s not.)
To put an end to “phony accounting.” (It started almost on Day 1 and continues.)
And to restore trust in government. (Trust in government is at near-historic lows.)
His pledge to seek public financing in the general election. (He didn’t.)
To treat super-PACS as a “threat to democracy.” (He embraced them.)
His pledge to keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent. (It remained above 8 percent for the longest stretch since the Great Depression.)
To create five million new energy jobs alone. (The total number of jobs created in Obama’s first term was roughly one-tenth that figure.)
To identify all those “shovel-ready’ jobs. (Mr. Obama later chuckled that his much-hyped “shovel-ready projects” were “not as shovel-ready as we expected.”)
To lift two million Americans from poverty. (A record 46 million Americans are living in poverty during the Obama era.)
His promise to bring down health care premiums by $2,500 for the typical family (they went up)… allow Americans to keep the health care coverage they currently have (many can’t)… refuse to fund abortion via the Affordable Care Act (it did)… to respect religious liberties (he has violated them)… and the insistent that a mandate to buy insurance, enforced by financial penalties, was not a tax (it is).
Obama’s pledge to stop the rise of oceans. (It hasn’t.)
To “remake the world” and to “heal the planet.” (Hardly.)
To usher in a “new beginning” based on “mutual respect” with the Arab and Islamic world and “help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East.” (Come again?)
To punish Syria if it crossed the “red line” of using chemical weapons. (The “red line” was crossed earlier this year – and nothing of consequence happened.)
That as president “I don’t bluff.” (See the previous sentence on Syria.)
And of course the much-ballyhooed Russian reset. (Tensions between Russia and the United States are increasing and examples of Russia undermining U.S. interests are multiplying.)
And let’s not forget Mr. Obama’s promise to bring us together. (He is the most polarizing president in the history of the Gallup polling.)
Or his assurance to us that he would put an end to the type of politics that “breeds division and conflict and cynicism.” (All three have increased during the Obama presidency.)
And his counsel to us to “resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.” (Remind me again whose campaign allies accused Mitt Romney of being responsible for the cancer death of a steelworker’s wife.)
“It is time to recall the reprobates and reclaim the power of the people,” Vallely said. “We need to start with the White House and all of Obama’s appointees, especially Eric Holder… Then on to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi – the architects who shoved Obamacare down our throats. We also cannot forget John Boehner and company who openly castigate the tea-party caucus which are only doing that which they campaigned upon.”
Vallely quoted commentator Andrew C. McCarthy, who said that “absent the political will to remove the president, he will remain president no matter how many high crimes and misdemeanors he stacks up… and absent the removal of the president, the United States will be fundamentally transformed.”
Vallely noted that while the U.S. Constitution lacks a provision for a “recall” at the federal level, “there is nothing to prevent its use as a comprehensive de facto indictment and conviction for contempt of Congress, violations of oath of office and of the Constitution itself – for all the reasons stated in such a resolution.”
He warned of growing “tyrannical centralized rule” without action.
There may be advances in the 2014 elections, but will that be a solution?
“Obama is still the president, and his Cabinet and appointees still remain in power… Obama will just continue to subvert the Constitution he took an oath to faithfully protect. His track record shows us that no matter what the make-up of Congress is, he will twist his way around it with a pen and secure even more power reminiscent of a dictator,” Vallely said.
“When that does not work, he will manipulate the courts and law enforcement will be run by fiat, choosing winners and losers.”
Congress already is addressing charges that Obama is violating the Constitution.
WND reported when Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Obama’s actions have reached “an unprecedented level, and we’ve got to do something about it.
“Assume that a statute said you had to provide two forms of ID to vote. Can the president require three forms? Can the president require one form? Can you suspend all requirements? If not, why not?” he said. “If you can turn off certain categories of law, do you not also have the power to turn off all categories of law?”
Gowdy cited Obama’s decisions to ignore certain immigration laws, even though Congress did not approve the changes. He also cited arbitrary changes to the Obamacare law and Obama’s “recess appointments” of judges even though the U.S. Senate was not in recess.
His proposal is for Congress to take the White House to court over the president’s actions, through a resolution proposed by Rep. Tom Rice, R-Ga., that would authorize the House to sue the Obama administration. It has 30 co-sponsors.
Rice said that because of “this disregard of our country’s checks and balances, many of you have asked me to bring legal action against the president.”
“After carefully researching the standing the House of Representatives has and what action we can take, I have introduced a resolution to stop the president’s clear overreach,” he said.
A Fox News interviewer asked Gowdy if Obama could refuse to enforce election laws.
“Why not?” asked Gowdy, “If you can turn off immigration laws, if you can turn off the mandatory minimum in our drug statutes, if you can turn off the so-called Affordable Care Act – why not election laws?”
Gowdy noted that a liberal law professor, Jonathan Turley, agrees.
WND reported Turley’s concerns earlier this month.
Turley has represented members of Congress in a lawsuit over the Libyan war, represented workers at the secret Area 51 military base and served as counsel on national security cases. He now says Obama is a danger to the U.S. Constitution.
He was addressing a House Judiciary Committee hearing Dec. 4. Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asked him: “Professor Turley, the Constitution, the system of separated powers is not simply about stopping one branch of government from usurping another. It’s about protecting the liberty of Americans from the dangers of concentrated government power. How does the president’s unilateral modification of act[s] of Congress affect both the balance of power between the political branches and the liberty interests of the American people?”
Turley replied: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The danger is quite severe. The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power.”
Turley explained that the “Newtonian orbit that the three branches exist in is a delicate one but it is designed to prevent this type of concentration.”
“There are two trends going on which should be of equal concern to all members of Congress,” he said. “One is that we have had the radical expansion of presidential powers under both President Bush and President Obama. We have what many once called an imperial presidency model of largely unchecked authority. And with that trend we also have the continued rise of this fourth branch. We have agencies that are quite large that issue regulations. The Supreme Court said recently that agencies could actually define their own or interpret their own jurisdiction.”
Turley was appointed in 1998 to the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest at Georgetown. He has handled a wide range of precedent-setting and headline-making cases, including the successful defense of Petty Officer Daniel King, who faced the death penalty for alleged spying for Russia.
Turley also has served as the legal expert in the review of polygamy laws in the British Columbia Supreme Court. He’s been a consultant on homeland security, and his articles appear regularly in national publications such as the New York Times and USA Today.
WND reported that it was at the same hearing that Michael Cannon, director of Health Policy Studies for the Cato Institute, said there is “one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restraints that the Constitution places of the government.”
“Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it,” he said.
“That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate. If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws, then they will conclude that neither are they.”
Cannon said it is “very dangerous” for the president to “wantonly ignore the laws, to try to impose obligations upon people that the legislature did not approve.”
Several members of Congress also contributed their opinions in an interview with talk-show host Sean Hannity.
Vallely explained that a “no confidence” vote now “would also tell the world that we recognize the mess this administration has wrought upon the world and we do not support his actions. Despite what supporters of Obama say about our standing in the world, the world is laughing at us. We are not pleased!”
Without that action, he writes, “Obama will just continue to subvert the Constitution he took an oath to faithfully protect.”
Toronto building where, Canadian police say, Brian Way, 42, ran video company at heart of child porn operation; multi-nation investigation led to arrests, announced on Nov. 14, 2013, of nearly 350 suspects
Nearly 350 people, including school teachers, doctors and actors, have been arrested in what Toronto police called one of the largest child porn busts they had ever seen.
Police said Thursday that 386 children were rescued as a result of the sweeping investigation.
More than 100 people were arrested in Canada and 76 in the U.S. in an investigation dubbed Project Spade. Others were arrested in other countries.
“It is alleged that officers seized hundreds of thousands of videos detailing horrific sexual acts against very young children, some of the worst that they have ever viewed,” Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins said.
Australian Federal Police commander Glen McEwen on Friday confirmed that 65 men had been arrested in Australia as a result of the Canadian investigation, and six Australian children had been removed from harm. Police said the children were “rescued from child exploitation” but did not give more details.
Beaven-Desjardins said the investigation began with a Toronto man accused of running a company since 2005 that distributed child pornography videos.
Police allege that Brian Way, 42, instructed people around the world to create the videos of children ranging from 5 to 12 years of age, then distributed the videos via his company, Azov Films, to international customers. The videos included naked boys from Germany, Romania and Ukraine, which it marketed as naturist movies and claimed were legal in Canada and the United States.
Police said they executed a search warrant at Way’s company and home, seizing about 1,000 pieces of evidence: computers, servers, DVD burners, a video editing suite and hundreds of movies.
Way was charged with 24 offenses, including child pornography. He is in jail.
Police also designated Azov Films as a criminal organization, charging Way with giving directions on behalf of a gang. Beaven-Desjardins said this is the first time in Canada that anyone has been charged with being a part of a criminal organization with respect to child pornography.
Police said they began their investigation in 2010 and worked with Interpol in more than 50 countries including Australia, Spain, Mexico, Norway and Greece.
“This operation shows that international police cooperation works. Despite large amounts of material and that this is time-consuming work, this shows that the Internet is not a safe haven for crimes against children,” Norwegian police spokesman Bjoern-Erik Ludvigsen said in a statement.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service said it began its investigation by accessing the company website and making undercover purchases.
Beaven-Desjardins said the investigation is ongoing and she believes more arrests will be made.
Federal prosecutors announced charges Wednesday connected to a Henry County biofuel refinery as part of a massive tax and securities fraud investigation, saying the operation cheated victims out of more than $100 million.
………………………………U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett
The fraud is alleged to be the biggest instance of tax and securities fraud in Indiana history.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation last year into E-biofuels LLC in Middletown. E-biofuels filed for bankruptcy in April 2012. Its parent company, Evansville-based Imperial Petroleum Inc., received subpoenas from the SEC and a grand jury that May, according to a regulatory filing.
Imperial had to hand over an array of documents relating to E-biofuels’ accounting, purchases and sales of biodiesel, and tax credits and other incentives received from government agencies, the filing said.
“The purpose of the subpoena is to determine whether any federal laws have been violated,” the filing said.
Charging documents released Wednesday afternoon cited 88 counts against seven people and three corporations. Charges included allegations of conspiracy, wire fraud, false tax claims, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice, money laundering and securities fraud.
Prosecutors allege that E-biofuels actually wasn’t producing biofuel. Instead, it was purchasing fuel and selling it to customers as its own product for a profit.
E-biofuels also fraudulently collected on about $35 million in federal tax breaks reserved for biofuel producers, according to charging documents.
Brothers Chad and Craig Ducey launched E-biofuels in 2007. The plant was supposed to produce 10 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Lawsuits against the company indicate that it did not reach that mark.
Chad Ducey is a Fishers resident and Craig Ducey lives in Fortville, according to a bankruptcy filing. Both are named as defendants in the fraud case. They, along with co-defendants Chris Ducey and Brian Carmichael, were the primary operators of E-biofuels, according to charging documents.
The four men conspired with co-defendants Joseph Furando and Evelyn Katirina Pattison—two executives with a pair of related New Jersey-based companies—to purchase lower-grade fuel from third parties and then pretend that it was high-grade fuel from the E-biofuels plant.
The government alleges that the defendants sold more than 35 million gallons of the inferior fuel between July 2009 and May 2012. Unwitting customers paid an inflated price. All told, they were defrauded of more than $55 million.
Imperial bought E-biofuels in 2010 for $3.75 million in Imperial’s thinly traded stock and $15 million in debt. In a regulatory filing from April 30, 2012, Imperial said that 99.6 percent of its revenue stemmed from E-biofuels.
The government alleges that Jeffrey Wilson, the president and CEO of Imperial, knew that E-biofuels was purchasing biodiesel from third parties instead of making its own. He hid this fact from investors, sharholders and outside auditors. He also made false statements in Imperial’s annual and quarterly reports filed with the SEC.
Imperial’s accounting firm resigned in August 2012, citing concerns its auditors could not rely on the company’s financial reporting for E-biofuels, according to an SEC filing. The filing did not specify what the problems were.
Carmichael reportedly has offered to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison.
The six other defendants face up to 20 years in federal prisoon on some counts, as well as significant fines. The three companies indicted Wednesday also face significant fines and other regulatory action.
This might be one of the goofier examples of sloppy journalism in recent memory.
During ABC’s World News on Thursday evening, anchor Diane Sawyer read a quick story about a massive Chinese traffic jam just outside Beijing, reportedly “now entering its third week.” The traffic has come to such a standstill, Sawyer added, that truckers purchased noodle dishes from roadside villagers. Ultimately, the report concluded, the traffic will end around September 17th when the culprit – some major construction – is scheduled for completion.
So what’s wrong with that story? Well, there’s one big problem: That ridiculously large traffic jam happened three years ago.
How did that embarrassing mistake make it all the way to Sawyer’s mouth?
The only 2013-dated articles on this “traffic jam” appear on the India Times website and on The Daily Beast’s “Cheat Sheet” link dump. The former’s write-up says the traffic has been ongoing for only nine days, so clearly that’s not the source. And given the Beast’s popularity in America, this little blurb could be where ABC first spotted the story:
It seems as though the Beast mistook the story to be current, but later updated their link-out with a correction: “Editor’s note: The traffic jam described in this news summary occured [sic] in August 2010.”
So let’s assume an ABC producer found the story there, but saw it before the Beast updated to reflect the actual date. They would still have had to completely ignore the time and date on the actual CBC article containing many of the details Sawyer reported on air.
How, then, did ABC obtain the oddly-specific information about the jam having gone on for three weeks? Looks like they saw the reports (again, ignoring all the 2010 timestamps) and saw that the traffic began on August 14th. And hey, it’s September 5th. So that means it’s been going on almost three whole weeks!
And how did ABC find information about it expecting to end September 17? The biggest source for that is a Wall Street Journal article – again, from 2010 – that notes the 17th as the construction’s end date.
In other words: Reporting this story likely took a producer eyeing not one, but multiple articles. And somehow… missing… the time and date… on each… and every one of them.
Amazingly, ABC News itself actually covered the story when it first occurred.
Another question: Who obtained those photographs of the Chinese traffic jam without noticing they were from 2010?
Watch the report below, via ABC News:
California hasn’t collapsed like a giant Spanish-speaking Detroit yet largely because there are still small businesses that haven’t been driven into bankruptcy or out of the state, providing employment and generating revenue. But the state’s liberal rulers are working on that:
Small-business investors in California were promised big breaks five years ago, but now they’re being told to pay up, instead after a court ruling.
After following the law, many of them are getting hit with tax bills as high as $250,000.
California law promised them tax breaks if they invested in certain types of business. But now a court has proclaimed that the breaks were unconstitutional. Hence the intensified looting spree to collect back taxes no one expected to owe.
[I]t’s killing small businesses, says Ken DeVore, with the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
“It sends a message that you can’t trust government. If you comply in good faith with the rules, they can go back and penalize you.”
We might hear directly from the victimized businessmen, except,
Investors who could be hit by the retroactive taxes did not want to go on camera, fearing they would become an easy target for the Franchise Tax Board.
Ask any Tea Party organization how much fun it is to appear on the radar of the tax collectors.
To state the obvious, it is not possible to run a business in a state run by greedy, capricious, left-wing thugs. Refer to most any Latin American banana republic to get a glimpse of California’s future.
Federal employees were given advance notice of an April 1 Medicare decision worth billions of dollars to private insurers. And in the weeks before the decision was officially announced, shares in those firms spiked, the Washington Post reports.
Naturally, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission suspect Wall Street investors and fed workers engaged in insider trading.
The April 1 decision was about increasing funding to Medicare Advantage by $8 billion
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said last week that his office “reviewed the e-mail records of employees at the Department of Health and Human Services and found that 436 of them had early access to the Medicare decision as much as two weeks before it was made public,” the report notes.
“The number of federal employees with advance knowledge is surely higher; the figures Grassley’s staff compiled did not include people at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget who also saw the information,” the report adds.
“The e-mail records of those employees have not been made available to Grassley.”
The sensitive – and valuable – information was so widely circulated among federal employees that it will no doubt make it difficult to pinpoint the source of the leak (if there was indeed a leak). Also, the fact that so many employees had access to this valuable information calls into question the government’s practice of handling of information coveted by Wall Street insiders.
“This should sound an alarm,” said the Iowa senator. “It should result in better controls to avoid unfair access to information that the average investor could never tap.”
Sen. Grassley said he he plans to introduce legislation that would require “political-intelligence consultants to disclose their activities, as lobbyists are required to do,” the report notes.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials do not question Grassley’s headcount of fed employees who were made privy to the April 1 announcement, but they stress that Medicare policy is complex and would require review.
“CMS takes the security and integrity of sensitive information very seriously,” spokesman Brian Cook said in a statement. “Our agency regularly handles sensitive information regarding payment rates, coverage decisions, and other technical policy decisions that need to be safeguarded until public release.”
Click here to read the full report.
PROTEST THE CORRUPTION – PROTEST THE CRIMINAL OBAMA IRS
Thanks to Barack Obama the Tea Party is once again outraged and motivated.
The Tea Party Patriots on behalf of Tea Party, Patriot groups, 9/12, liberty activists, and the American people, we are calling for anyone and everyone to protest the IRS’ complete abuse of power on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at noon local time.
NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND UP AGAINST THIS HORRIBLE ABUSE OF POWER!
Tuesday – May 21 – Noon – at Your Local IRS Office.
** And, here’s a link where people can tell us their stories, either individually being targeted or their groups being targeted.
Click here to tell your story.
PLEASE PASS THIS ON – This is step one of our national assault to FIGHT BACK.
UPDATE: Here’s more info on the St. Louis area protest:
BUILDING: TOWN & COUNTRY
ADDRESS: 1122 T & C COMMONS
BUILDING_T: IRS OFFICE
FULL ADDRESS: 1122 T & C COMMONS, CHESTERFIELD, MO 63017
Once again the mainstream media proves itself to be nothing more than an extension of the DNC.
It’s like it never happened.
Here are pictures from the March for Marriage today, via National Organization for Marriage website today:
There was also a rally at the end of the march.
Obviously, the march did not fit the media’s narrative on the subject.