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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,027

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FBI Doesn't Plan to File Criminal Charges Over IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups

Source: Wall Street Journal

Breaking: FBI doesn't plan to file criminal charges over the IRS's targeting of conservative groups. on.wsj.com/1eEjOjY
6:10pm - 13 Jan 14

Criminal Charges Not Expected in IRS Probe

FBI Investigation Involves Heightened Scrutiny of Conservative Groups

By Devlin Barrett
Criminal Charges Not Expected in IRS Probe

The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't plan to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service's heightened scrutiny of conservative groups, a move that likely will only intensify debate over the politically charged scandal.

Read more: http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579318983271821584

Bin Laden Photos Won’t Be Released as Supreme Court Spurns Appeal

Source: Bloomberg

Bin Laden Photos Won’t Be Released as Supreme Court Spurns Appeal

By Greg Stohr
January 13, 2014 9:35 AM EST

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to order the release of photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse and burial at sea, leaving intact the CIA’s classification of those images as top-secret.

The justices today turned away an appeal by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that filed a Freedom of Information Act suit seeking release of the 2011 photos. A lower court ruled that the classification of the images was proper.

The Obama administration and Central Intelligence Agency said release of the photos would damage national security by inflaming tensions overseas and leading to retaliatory attacks against Americans.

The lawsuit involved 52 images of bin Laden after he was killed during a raid by U.S. special operations forces on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. President Barack Obama said in 2011 that the photos were “very graphic.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-13/bin-laden-photos-won-t-be-released-as-court-spurns-appeal.html

TOM TOMORROW: Reefer Madness

Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/13/1268716/-Comic-Reefer-madness

Breaking: Supreme Court Won't Revive Arizona's 20-Week Abortion Ban

Source: Associated Press

Jan. 13, 2014 9:42 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected Arizona's bid to put in place its ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman's constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

"Viability" of a fetus is generally considered to start at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the ban into law in April 2012. Nine other states have enacted similar bans starting at 20 weeks or even earlier.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/court-wont-revive-arizonas-20-week-abortion-ban

WNYC: More New Jersey Mayors Say They Think They Were Punished For Not Playing Along w/ Christie

@GregMitch: RT @politicalwire: More New Jersey mayors say they think they were punished for not playing along with Chris Christie


NJ Mayors: Was Christie Getting Revenge on Me, Too?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mayors in New Jersey say they're starting to consider foul play on behalf of the Christie administration in light of the George Washington Bridge lane closure controversy.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says she had a face to face visit with Governor Christie in the Spring, when he asked her to endorse him for re-election. She told him she would be remaining neutral.

“He was quite disappointed, but I wouldn't say that he was angry. He was disappointed and said he would keep asking,” Zimmer said. "And I said, 'We can keep the conversation going but I don't expect to be changing my position.’ And I didn't.”

She had applied for a Hazard Mitigation Grant to protect Hoboken from flooding. During Sandy, 80 percent of the city was under water.

Zimmer says she asked the state for $100 million in grants. She got $300,000 — a fraction of 1 percent.

“It's a lot less and I was extremely disappointed,” Zimmer said. “And at the time I was angry because I felt like the focus was on the shore.”

- snip -

In Jersey City, Mayor Steven Fulop recently disclosed that the Christie administration cancelled several meetings — the day after he refused to endorse the Governor.

In Elizabeth, Chris Bollwage, who has been the mayor for 21 years, says his city has gotten payback from Christie after its state legislators opposed several pieces of the Governor's legislation.

“The Governor's retribution was to close down the Division of Motor vehicles here in the city of Elizabeth, which is the fourth largest city in the state of New Jersey,” Bollwage said.


Terry McAuliffe Bans Discrimination Against LGBT State Employees

Source: Washington Blade

Terry McAuliffe bans discrimination against LGBT state employees

January 11, 2014

By Michael K. Lavers

RICHMOND, Va.—Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Saturday signed an executive order that bans discrimination against LGBT state employees.

“An open and welcoming state is critical to the 21st century economy, but it’s also imperative for justice and fairness,” said McAuliffe during his inaugural address he gave after officially taking office.

McAuliffe repeatedly promised during his campaign against then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that the first executive order he would sign as governor is a ban on anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees. Former Gov. Bob McDonnell did not issue such a mandate, but U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner as governor banned discrimination against state employees based on their sexual orientation.

Julian Walker of the Virginian-Pilot reported gender identity and expression for the first time was included in the anti-discrimination order.

Read more: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/01/11/terry-mcauliffe-bans-discrimination-lgbt-state-employees

Take that, Cuccinelli.

The 5 Most Damning Revelations In The New Chris Christie Bridge Scandal Documents


The 5 Most Damning Revelations In The New Chris Christie Bridge Scandal Documents


Christie’s Port Authority chairman knew about the closings.

Though Christie insisted that David Samson, his chairman of the Port Authority, was not involved in the closings, the documents show that he was aware of the new traffic pattern before testing ended on Sep. 13.
In fact, Samson even wrote an angry email to New York Port Authority Official Patrick Foye, a Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) appointee, accusing him of leaking information to the press. “He’s playing in traffic, made a big mistake,” he wrote:

Christie officials knew that the new traffic patterns were causing massive congestion and raising safety concerns. Still, they continued the “study.”

Christie appointees Bill Baroni — the Deputy Director of the Port Authority — and David Wildstein — director of interstate capital projects — were told on the very first day of the study (Monday) that the new traffic patterns were causing massive delays in Fort Lee and impeding public safety. Fort Lee Police Department Chief called the new traffic pattern a “miserable failure.” Still, the officials kept the bridge lanes closed for three additional days:

Officials were also told that the tests were “very expensive and labor intensive”:

A PowerPoint presentation prepared after three days of snarled traffic, titled “EARLY assessment of the benefits of the trial.” The conclusion: “T.B.D.” (To be determined):

- snip -

Port Authority officials blamed the traffic on the Mayor of Fort Lee.

- snip -

Christie appointees tried to squash press stories about the study.

After reporters from the Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, the Star Ledger, and other outlets began sending press inquires about the lane closures in September and then again as the controversy heated up in November, Christie appointees repeatedly instructed the press team to keep quiet and avoid comment.

Baroni specifically told Foye to avoid any public discussion about the matter:


David Shuster: In doc dump, indication Christie met with head of Port Authority one week before Dep

@DavidShuster: In doc dump, indication Christie met with head of Port Authority one week before Dep Chief Staff asked PA to close lanes in Ft. Lee. ???

CNN Breaking News - CNN reviewing 907 pages of documents just released regarding the lane closures by top advisers to Gov. Chris Christie. Reply STOP 2 unsub

Not An Isolated Incident: Christie Has Been Repeatedly Accused Of Political Retribution


Not An Isolated Incident: Christie Has Been Repeatedly Accused Of Political Retribution

By Adam Peck and Josh Israelon January 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

At a morning press conference on Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that he had fired Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff and top aide in his administration, for her role in the growing scandal involving the manufactured delays on the George Washington Bridge in an apparent act of political retribution and asked another aide not to seek a top position within the state Republican party.

He denied having advance knowledge about the lane closures or the involvement of his own staff. “I was blindsided yesterday morning,” he said. “I apologize to the people of Fort Lee, I apologize members of the state legislature.” Christie also faced questions about his abrasive leadership style that some have described as bullying, and insisted that those characterizations are untrue.

- snip -

But while Christie claimed that this was “not the way this administration has conducted itself over the last four years” and denied being a bully, accusations of political retribution have long surrounded the governor. For instance, former Gov. Richard Codey (D) accused the Christie administration of “sending a message” by denying him state trooper protection after he publicly disagreed with Christie. The same day, a Codey cousin was fired from his position at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a former Codey aide was removed from the New Jersey Office of Consumer Affairs.

After then State Sen. Sean Kean (R) told a reporter that Christie erred in not calling for a state of emergency sooner, during a 2010 blizzard, Christie’s staff banned Kean from attending the next news conference Christie held in Kean’s home district. A Christie aide told the Star-Ledger that Kean “got what he deserved.” Rutgers Professor Alan Rosenthal saw his state funding slashed after backing a re-districting map more favorable to Democrats and last year, confirmation of a judicial candidate recommended by State Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R) suddenly stalled after the legislator voted against Christie’s public medical education system reorganization.


CNN/ORC Poll: In Major Turnaround from Past, Majority of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana

Source: CNN

CNN Breaking News - CNN/ORC Poll: In a major turnaround from past decades, a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana.

CNN Poll: Support for legal marijuana soaring

Posted at 8:00 pm by: CNN Political Unit

Washington (CNN) — In a major turnaround from past decades, a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll.

The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicated that the number of people who say smoking pot is morally wrong has plunged.

Fifty-five percent of those questioned nationally said marijuana should be made legal, with 44% disagreeing.

The CNN/ORC findings are similar to a Gallup poll conducted in October.

According to the CNN poll and numbers from General Social Survey polling, support for legalizing marijuana has steadily soared over the past quarter century — from 16% in 1987 to 26% in 1996, 34% in 2002, and 43% two years ago.

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/06/cnn-poll-support-for-legal-marijuana-soaring
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