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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: 10,582

Journal Archives

GOP: Lerner's hard drive 'scratched'

House Republicans said Tuesday that new evidence suggests that former IRS official Lois Lerner’s missing emails might have been recoverable, raising new questions about the IRS’s handling of the Tea Party controversy.

Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said that the committee had learned that Lerner’s hard drive was “scratched,” and that private sector specialists likely could have recovered emails.

IRS technicians also recommended that the agency seek outside help in recovering the emails, before the hard drive was recycled. A Ways and Means spokeswoman said the information came from an analyst with the IRS’s criminal investigations unit, which examined Lerner’s hard drive.

The IRS has said for weeks that Lerner’s hard drive crash left them unable to reproduce all of her emails for more than two years.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/213038-gop-lerners-emails-could-have-been-recovered#ixzz38RK9B4QD

A Ways and Means spokeswoman said the information came from an analyst with the IRS’s criminal investigations unit, which examined Lerner’s hard drive.

The analyst was probably a part of a team made up of analysts; they rejected this leaking analyst's analysis. Wouldn't be surprised to see the analyst being exposed and proclaimed a whistleblower.

House narrowly defeats motion agreeing to Senate VA bill

Source: The Hill

The House on Thursday narrowly defeated a Democratic motion to instruct House conferees on the Department of Veterans Affairs overhaul to simply adopt the Senate-passed bill.

The motion offered by Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) was rejected in a close 205-207 vote, with 13 Republicans voting in favor. All 207 no votes were from Republicans.

The 13 Republicans voting in favor of the motion included a number of moderates, such as Reps. Jeff Denham (Calif.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Candice Miller (Mich.) and Frank Wolf (Va.).

An aspect highlighted in the Peters motion to instruct directed House conferees for the VA overhaul to agree on Senate provisions allowing veterans to receive in-state tuition benefits regardless of their home state under the GI bill.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/213295-house-narrowly-defeats-motion-agreeing-to-senate-va-bill

TRANSCRIPT: Lawyer’s Frantic Call To Judge During Botched Execution

Source: TPM

By DYLAN SCOTT Published JULY 24, 2014, 3:03 PM EDT

As condemned Arizona killer Joseph Rudolph Wood III lay dying for nearly two hours on the execution table in state prison, his lawyer frantically pleaded over the phone with a federal judge to halt the botched lethal injection.

A transcript released Thursday of the call reveals a 30-minute conversation in which public defender Robin Konrad sought a stay of execution for Wood after the execution had already begun and appeared to be going wrong. Konrad spoke on the phone with federal district Judge Neil Wake and Assistant Arizona Attorney General Jeff Zick.

The execution was supposed to last 10 minutes, but about 10 minutes after it began, Konrad said, Wood began to breathe and opened his mouth. "He has been gasping and snorting for over an hour," she said, citing an attorney at the scene.

Zick then said that a medical professional at the scene said that Wood had exhibited "an involuntary reaction or a snoring-type reaction," but that he was unconscious.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/arizona-execution-court-transcript

Link to full transcript:

Arizona Execution Court Transcript

Link to the rest of the news article plus the transcript:


Montana Dems Have Time To Find A New Candidate, But It Won’t Be Schweitzer

Ben Jacobs

Insiders say Montana’s most popular politician won’t replace scandal-plagued Senator John Walsh on the ballot.

Montana Democrats shouldn’t expect Brian Schweitzer to save them from the plagiarism scandal swirling around incumbent John Walsh, but they do have a little time to find a new candidate if they want to replace him.

Under state law, Walsh has until August 11, 85 days before the election, to withdraw from the race and allow the Montana Democratic Party to select a replacement. However, a source close to the former Montana governor told The Daily Beast that “there is no chance” that Schweitzer would replace Walsh on the ballot in November.

Walsh, who was already trailing in the polls, received what one Montana political insider called “the final nail in his coffin” when the New York Times revealed Wednesday that he had plagiarized his final paper for his master’s degree at the Army War College.

Despite Schweitzer’s propensity for gaffes and controversial comments, the former two-term governor remains the most popular politician in the Republican leaning state. But Schweitzer is also perhaps the least popular politician within the Montana Democratic Party and is widely disliked among party insiders.


McCain Calls Botched Arizona Execution 'Torture'

Source: TPM

By CAITLIN MACNEAL Published JULY 24, 2014, 6:37 PM EDT

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Thursday called Wednesday's botched execution in Arizona "torture."

"I believe in the death penalty for certain crimes. But that is not an acceptable way of carrying it out. And people who were responsible should be held responsible," he told Politico. "The lethal injection needs to be an indeed lethal injection and not the bollocks-upped situation that just prevailed. That’s torture."

McCain was tortured for years in North Vietnam as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

Convicted killer Joseph Rudolph Wood III was "gasping and snorting" for over an hour after receiving a lethal injection. It should have taken about 10 minutes, but Wood lay dying for nearly two hours.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mccain-botched-arizona-execution-torture

King Obama's Motorcade Delays A Woman In Labor, And Conservatives Howl

By TOM KLUDT Published JULY 24, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT

After President Obama's motorcade delayed a pregnant woman in labor from making it to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday, conservatives were able to fuse two of their favorite memes. The woman's plight was yet another chapter in the regal presidency of the Fundraiser-in-Chief.

Breitbart's John Hayward had no trouble checking off each of those boxes.

"I would imagine the woman who went into labor in Los Angeles, but had to wait across the street from the hospital while His Majesty's mighty motorcade rolled past en route to his next big-bucks fundraiser, is probably tired of the 'bear is loose' crap too," Hayward wrote.

As noted by the folks over at Michelle Malkin's Twitchy, conservatives on Twitter really liked the "King Obama" angle. It also suited The Daily Caller's Sean Medlock, who writes under the pen name "Jim Treacher."

Naturally, Medlock used the nickname for Obama.


Joe Scarborough: No, I'm Not 'Angling' To Take Over 'Meet The Press'

By CATHERINE THOMPSON Published JULY 24, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

Joe Scarborough on Thursday brushed off rumors that he and his "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski were "aggressively angling" to replace David Gregory as the hosts of NBC's "Meet The Press."

Page Six reported Wednesday, citing anonymous NBC sources, that Gregory may be replaced as the moderator of the long-running Sunday show soon after the midterm elections. The tabloid reported that Scarborough and Brzezinski had been jockeying for the Sunday slot, and The Daily Beast also ran its own anonymously sourced item stating that the MSNBC co-hosts had been "aggressively angling for the job in the event of Gregory’s all-but-certain demise."

Some NBC insiders expressed concern about Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, taking the helm of the ostensibly nonpartisan Sunday show, according to the Page Six report.

Scarborough denied on Twitter that he and Brzezinski were "aggressively angling" for the job:

Joe Scarborough ✔ @JoeNBC

There have been numerous stories with NBC News sources saying that Mika and I have been "aggressively angling" for MTP. That is false.

12:10 PM - 24 Jul 2014



Rubio, Ryan and Paul Compete to Be the Most Compassionate Conservative

Depending on how cynical you are, Republicans have either noticed they won't win elections without caring about poor people, or they've realized they have a lot of "opportunity" to offer.

Three of the GOP's 2016 presidential hopefuls will present or have already presented anti-poverty plans this week. On Thursday Rep. Paul Ryan unveiled his budget plan to expand opportunity in America. The day before, Sen. Marco Rubio pitched his ideas on social reforms, and on Friday Sen. Rand Paul will focus on helping ex-cons escape the cycle of prison and poverty.

As The Washington Post's Zachary Goldfarb wrote Thursday, this is all a major shift from the "47 percent" GOP of the 2012 presidential election. While it's dangerous for conservatives to show compassion — especially on issues like immigration, as Rep. Eric Cantor learned — it's also dangerous to appear not to care about low-income families. Or as Ryan put it, “I think conservatives have a lot to offer here and we have ignored this space for too long." Here's breakdown of the main points of each plan:

Rep. Paul Ryan

During a speech Thursday at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank, Ryan introduced a plan that would consolidate federal funding for 11 safety net programs into one lump sum, according to MSNBC. States that opted for the "opportunity grant" would then be able to disburse the aid between the programs as they saw fit. “We’re reconceiving the federal government’s role,” Ryan said.


GOP lawsuit against Obama could play into Dems’ hands

By Greg Sargent July 24 at 9:16 AM

Democratic leaders are planning an aggressive effort to turn the House GOP lawsuit against President Obama into a political positive in the 2014 elections, with ads and other paid media designed to cast the GOP as extreme and committed to destructive governing — which Dems hope will contrast sharply with their concrete economic policy agenda.

This week, Republicans are expected to mark up the lawsuit in committee, and in an interview, DCCC chair Steve Israel — who oversees House races for Dems — said Dems are launching a campaign designed to “contrast Republicans focused on suing the president with Democrats who are focused on economic solutions for the middle class.”

Democrats will be pumping robocalls highlighting the lawsuit into the districts of 18 vulnerable House Republicans, Israel says. The robocalls, which preview the messaging Dems will employ while Members are at home for recess, say:

“Republicans in Congress are about to vote to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama. Even worse, Congressman (X) is voting against priorities that actually would help middle class families — like equal pay for equal work and lower interest rates on student loans…tell Congressman (X) to focus on fixing the economy, not wasting our money.”


Megyn Kelly Was Wrong Last Night On FAA's Flight Ban In Ukraine

By TOM KLUDT Published JULY 24, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly did her part Wednesday to hype Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) attack on the Obama administration over the flight ban to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, but she didn't quite have her facts straight.

"Did the Obama administration just pick a side in the Israeli-Palestinian war, and was it the wrong one?" Kelly asked, in what was a splendid example of how the anchor maintains a vague air of objectivity while still clearly upholding Fox's agenda.

Kelly, who has insisted in the past that she's "not a political person," then went on to explain why conservatives like Cruz are suspicious of the Federal Aviation Administration's extension of its ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv. "The ban was extended despite the fact that there is no similar ban in place on flights over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen -- not even one over Ukraine, where a commercial airliner was just shot down," Kelly said.

You probably would have heard something about the absence of such a ban in Ukraine last week, when a Malaysian jetliner was shot down and nearly 300 people were killed. Instead, the crash brought confirmation that the FAA had in fact prohibited U.S.-based airlines from flying over the airspace where the plane was shot down. Here's the notice of that ban, which the FAA issued in April.


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