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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Amherst. MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 11,624

Journal Archives

Former Sen. Craig ordered to pay for misused funds


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has been ordered to pay nearly $242,000 to the U.S. Treasury for improperly using campaign funds to cover legal expenses after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Tuesday that Craig illegally converted campaign money for personal expenses while attempting to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of disorderly conduct.

Jackson found that Craig’s effort was not connected to his duties representing Idahoans in Congress. The Republican senator argued that Senate rules allow reimbursements for any official travel costs. He says he was traveling between Idaho and Washington, D.C., for work.

The Federal Election Commission countered, saying Craig violated campaign laws when he relied on donor dollars to cover his legal expenses.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/09/30/former_sen_craig_ordered_to_pay_for_misused_funds/

Ex-Agent Pens WaPo Op-Ed Urging Allen West To Lead Secret Service

By CAITLIN MACNEAL Published SEPTEMBER 30, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

After stunning revelations about security breaches at the White House, a former Secret Service agent thinks it's time for the military to get involved, specifically former Rep. Allen West (R-FL).

Dan Emmett, who used to serve in the Secret Service Presidential Protective Division, wrote in the Washington Post's "PostEverything" section that the Secret Service's failure to keep a man from jumping over the White House fence and entering the building was particularly concerning "because the United States is at war."

"This message undoubtedly will embolden our enemies, and that’s a serious problem at a time when terrorist groups are planning major attacks on Western soil and coming alarmingly close to carrying them out," Emmett wrote.

He argued that the U.S. has brought in the military to protect the White House before — during World War II.


Scott Walker’s new problem: How Michelle Obama could turn the race against him

Dems need to work the base while shaving GOP edge with suburban, rural voters. Here's how the First Lady will help


MILWAUKEE — Democrat Mary Burke has one big advantage in running against Gov. Scott Walker: She’s not the mayor of Milwaukee, so Walker can’t run the divisive, racialized campaign against Wisconsin’s largest city – a staple of Republican politics here going back to the 1960s – that he relied on to survive a recall race against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012.

On the other hand, Burke’s lack of ties to Milwaukee has raised the question of whether an affluent white business owner will be able to turn out the Democrats’ urban and non-white base on Nov. 4 in sufficient numbers to beat Walker.

First Lady Michelle Obama attempted to answer that question Monday with a passionate campaign appearance for Burke, the first time she’s stumped in a 2014 governor’s race, with Democrats fighting to hold the Senate. “I love Mary Burke!” she told the heavily African American crowd, and she said it again for emphasis. “I love her!”

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was appearing with Walker in Hudson, Wisconsin – far from the state’s major media markets – prompting lots of Twitter jokes about whether the two scandal-dogged governors were sharing legal strategies. No love was expressed.


GOP Bid To Paint Mark Udall As 9/11 Truther Backfires Spectacularly

By DYLAN SCOTT Published SEPTEMBER 30, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT

On Monday, Republican operatives seemed to think they had a bonafide game changing gaffe on their hands. In a video debunked by Business Insider, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) appeared to endorse one of the widely discredited 9/11 conspiracy theories in 2007. “There’s some evidence that were charges planted in the buildings that brought them down," Udall could be quoted as saying -- if one were to take him completely out of context, which the Insider report showed he had been.

By the end of the day, even conservative news outlets were ripping the attempted opposition research dump, which was given to the news outlet by a "conservative tipster," as bogus.

The Business Insider story made clear that Udall was simply repeating a question back to an audience member at the town hall he was holding. More than once, he dismissed the allegations. "I’ve seen nothing to suggests that there was that kind of pre-placed charges in the building," he said later in the more complete video.

Still, GOP officials clearly thought they had something. America Rising, a top Republican opposition research PAC, went up quickly with its own analysis titled: "3 Things A U.S. Senator Should Never Say About 9/11." Brad Dayspring, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, urged journalists to ask Udall about his alleged "lapse" into trutherism.


Juan Williams: Economy could tip election to Dems

By Juan Williams - 09/29/14 06:00 AM EDT

One of the biggest surprises on the midterm campaign trail is hearing President Obama echo President Reagan’s famous question by asking voters whether “you are better off than you were four years ago.”

The question is the hammer in Obama’s toolbox for nailing down his Democratic majority in the Senate in this year’s midterm election.

“By almost every economic measure, we are better off today than we were when I took office,” the president said in a Sept. 19 speech to the Women’s Leadership Forum, sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.

Speaking to a Labor Day rally of union workers in Milwaukee, he also pointed to America’s improved economic performance over the last five years. “You wouldn’t know it from watching the news,” he lamented.

In fact, Reuters recently confirmed the president’s upbeat claims.


Rand Paul: Young Voters Won't Support An "Authoritarian" Like Hillary


WASHINGTON (AP) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is working to improve the Republican Party's image among young voters as he visits South Carolina, a key state in the presidential primary calendar.

The tea party favorite, who hopes to strengthen his national network ahead of a likely White House bid, was set to appear at the University of South Carolina and at the College of Charleston on Tuesday before addressing the Horry County GOP.

Paul says the Republican Party has a big opportunity to attract more young voters — a group that fueled President Barack Obama's success and could prove critical to Hillary Rodham Clinton should she seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Polls suggest Obama's standing with younger voters has slipped significantly in recent months.

"Young people aren't so wedded to party," Paul, 51, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The kids are probably adrift somewhat. And I don't think someone who is an authoritarian, or comes from a much more authoritarian point of view like Hillary Clinton, will attract them."


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/rand-young-voters-hillary-authoritarian

UPDATED 2X: Muslim NFL player penalized for praying after touchdown

A Muslim football player was penalized during Monday night’s nationally-televised game for praying after scoring a touchdown, SB Nation reported.

Officials cited Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Husain Abdullah for “unsportsmanlike conduct” for dropping to the ground and kneeling after scoring a touchdown against New England, as seen below:

According to SB Nation, Abdullah practices the traditional Muslim fast during Ramadan, even though it coincides with training camp, and missed the 2012 season so that he could take part in the Hajj to Mecca with his brother Hamza Abdullah, a former NFL player.

However, SB Nation noted that Christian players, like former Denver and New York quarterback Tim Tebow, are never penalized for gestures of worship during games, like Tebow’s habit of kneeling, which became known as “Tebowing.”


Full article



Penalty on Chiefs player ignites social media


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Husain Abdullah knew before he even reached the end zone Monday night that he would drop to his knees in thankful prayer after intercepting Tom Brady in the fourth quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 41-14 victory over New England.

He had no idea he would be penalized for it.

But after sliding to the grass in the end zone at Arrowhead Stadium, that’s exactly what happened. The devout Muslim, who stepped away from the game for a year to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, saw yellow flags flying from the game officials.

The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty touched off a firestorm of controversy on social media, with many wondering how it was different than players dropping to one knee in Christian prayer.

It turns out the referees were flagging Abdullah for the slide, not the prostration, and even Abdullah acknowledged that the NFL prohibits sliding to the knees in celebration. (emphasis added)





NFL: Muslim Player Shouldn't Have Been Penalized For Touchdown Prayer


The NFL said Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, shouldn't have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after kneeling in prayer post-touchdown during Monday night's game against the New England Patriots.

Abdullah intercepted a pass from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the fourth quarter and ran 39 yards before sliding into the end zone on his knees and bowing in prayer.


The Chiefs safety later said he thought he was penalized for sliding to his knees in celebration, according to the Kansas City Star. Chiefs coach Andy Reid agreed, even if he didn't think the official necessarily made a good call.

“When you go to Mecca, you should be able to slide wherever you want,” Reid said after the game, as quoted by the Kansas City Star.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said Tuesday that Abdullah shouldn't have been penalized at all.



Victim in loud music shooting case was in defensive posture, expert testifies

Source: Reuters

The trajectory of the bullets that killed an unarmed teen in a gas station dispute over loud rap music indicates that the victim could not have been in an aggressive pose, a forensic expert testified on Monday in a racially charged north Florida murder trial.

Michael Dunn, 47, a white software engineer, is being retried for first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was black.

Dunn fired 10 rounds at an SUV carrying Davis and his three friends at a Jacksonville gas station in November 2012. Prosecutors say Dunn over-reacted after Davis insulted him for asking to turn the music down.

Dunn’s lawyers say he acted in self-defense because of a “perceived threat” that his life was in danger, alleging that Davis was getting out of the car in attack mode when the shots were fired.


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/victim-in-loud-music-shooting-case-was-in-defensive-posture-expert-testifies/

Obama goal of Gitmo closure stalled at Pentagon


WASHINGTON (AP) — The transfer of prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay has ground to a halt amid a slow Pentagon approval process, causing deep frustration within the administration and raising doubts that President Barack Obama will be able to fulfill his campaign promise to close the offshore prison for terrorism suspects.

A detainee sent back to his native Algeria in March is the only prisoner to have moved out this year, beyond the controversial exchange of five Taliban members in return for long-held captive U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

The slow pace is the result of the law that gives Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — not the commander in chief — the final authority to transfer any of the 149 terror suspects being held at Guantanamo. Pentagon officials say they must carefully consider the risks before signing off, given that others have returned to terrorism.

The White House has reminded the Pentagon that recidivism risks must be weighed against the danger to the United States in keeping the Cuban prison open. Obama has said Guantanamo’s continued operation hurts U.S. standing overseas and is a recruitment tool for terrorists.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/09/30/obama_goal_of_gitmo_closure_stalled_at_pentagon/

National Review Writer: Women Who Have Abortions Should Be Hanged

By DANIEL STRAUSS Published SEPTEMBER 29, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

Kevin Williamson, a correspondent for National Review, suggested Monday that women who have abortions should be hanged.

Williamson's tweet came in a back-and-forth on twitter that started with Williamson's piece criticizing a blog post by actress and director Lena Dunham on why women should vote.

The key part of the exchange was captured by Charles Johnson of the blog Little Green Footballs. Here is the exchange:

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