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Archive for August 4th, 2014

10,000 Choco Pies Float into North Korea

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

10,000 Choco Pies Float into North Korea
On Wednesday, hundreds of South Korean activists and North Korean defectors blew up balloons containing thousands of Choco Pies and flew them over the border between the countries. The snacks were banned by North Korea last month as a corrupting capitalist influence. They were selling for three to four times market price in the country and 40,000 to 50,000 were exchanged daily in bartering. “North Koreans don’t have a lot of options as consumers,” Sokeel Park, a director at Liberty in North Korea, told The Guardian.

70% See Immigrant Children as Refugees
Robert B. Jones, The Atlantic: The rhetoric from political leaders about unaccompanied children arriving in the U.S. from Central America has been sharp and, with certain notable exceptions, largely predictable across party lines. But even amid some serious and growing concerns about immigration, Americans are taking a position marked more by compassionate pragmatism than ideology. A new Public Religion Research Institute poll finds that approximately seven in 10 (69 percent) Americans see the unaccompanied children from Central America as refugees rather than illegal immigrants. Similarly, 70 percent say these children should receive support and shelter while a process is underway to resolve their cases; only about one in four Americans say they should be immediately deported back to their home countries.


Iran says it gave missile technology to Hamas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Iran says it gave missile technology to Hamas
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Hamas is able to fire missiles into Israel because Tehran provided weapons technology to the militant group to defend itself against Israeli attacks, a senior Iranian official said Monday.

Iraq air force to back Kurds fighting Islamists
DAHUK, Iraq (AP) — Tens of thousands from Iraq’s minority Yazidi community have fled their homes after Sunni militants captured their towns in the latest offensive to expand the territory of their self-styled caliphate.


Sen. Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton not “fit to lead the country”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Sen. Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton not “fit to lead the country”
Kentucky Republican revs up GOP activists ahead of trip to Iowa, where he’ll be competing for attention with other potential 2016 candidates

Key witness in ex-Virginia governor’s trial: No affair
The businessman at the center of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s corruption trial says he never had any intimate contact with McDonnell’s wife

Bill Clinton eulogizes former foe Richard Mellon Scaife
Scaife, who passed away July 4, was a thorn in Clinton’s side during his presidency, but the two men eventually forged an unlikely friendship


Discredited Author Ron Kessler Fills Latest Book With Stories He’s Already Told

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Discredited Author Ron Kessler Fills Latest Book With Stories He’s Already Told

Discredited author Ronald Kessler’s forthcoming book, The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents, lifted at least 13 stories from his previous books — many times using language remarkably similar or identical to the language he used the first time he told the same tales.

Discredited Author Ronald Kessler To Publish Anti-Clinton Gossip Book, The First Family Detail

“Speculation-Filled” Author Of “National Enquirer-Style Gossip” Ronald Kessler To Release Another Book. Reviews from multiple media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Globe and Mail have previously criticized Ronald Kessler, author of the upcoming book, The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents, for “National Enquirer-style gossip” and “speculation-filled,” books that rely on “innuendo and secondary sources.” Kessler has a history of promoting false smears of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He left mainstream media in 2006 to serve as the chief Washington correspondent for the far-right NewsMax and later championed Donald Trump’s 2011 presidential bid. [Media Matters, 7/31/14]

At Least 13 Stories In Kessler’s Book Are Practically Copied And Pasted From His Previous Books

Christopher B. Emery, Whose Fate Everyone Recalls

Kessler In 2014: “Everyone On Her Detail Recalls The Fate Of Christopher B. Emery.” In The First Family Detail Kessler wrote, “Everyone on [Hillary Clinton’s] detail recalls the fate of Christopher B. Emery, a White House usher who made the mistake of returning Barbara Bush’s call after she had left the White House.” From The First Family Detail:  

Everyone on her detail recalls the fate of Christopher B. Emery, a White House usher who made the mistake of returning Barbara Bush’s call after she had left the White House. Emery had helped Barbara learn to use her laptop. Now the former first lady was having computer trouble. Twice, Emery helped her out. For that, Hillary Clinton fired him. Emery, the father of four, could not find another job for a year. [The First Family Detail, p. 16]

Kessler In 2010: “Everyone On The Residence Staff Recalled What Happened” To Christopher B. Emery.” Kessler used nearly identical language to describe the same anecdote in his 2010 book, In the President’s Secret Service:

Everyone on the residence staff recalled what happened when Christopher B. Emery, a White House usher, committed the sin of returning Barbara Bush’s call after she had left the White House. Emery had helped Barbara learn to use her laptop. Now she was having computer trouble. Twice Emery helped her out. For that, Hillary Clinton fired him. [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 146]

The Electrician & The Lightbulb

Kessler In 2014: “One Afternoon, Hillary Found A White House Electrician Changing A Lightbulb In The Residence. She Yelled At Him.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler recounts claims from a White House pastry chef and says that Clinton “yelled at him because she had ordered that all repair work was to be done while the first family was out.” From The First Family Detail:  

One afternoon, Hillary found a White House electrician changing a lightbulb in the residence. She yelled at him because she had ordered that all repair work was to be done while the first family was out.

“She caught the guy on a ladder doing the last lightbulb,” says Franette McCulloch, who was then the assistant White House pastry chef. “He was a basket case.” [The First Family Detail, p. 17]

Kessler In 2010: “When Hillary Found A Hapless White House Electrician Changing A Lightbulb In The Residence, She Began Yelling At Him.” Kessler uses remarkably similar language to recount the same allegation in In the President’s Secret Service:

When Hillary found a hapless White House electrician changing a lightbulb in the residence, she began yelling at him because she had ordered that all repair work was to be done when the first family was out.

“She caught the guy on a ladder doing the lightbulb,” says Franette McCulloch, the assistant White House pastry chef. “He was a basket case.” [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 146]

Bill Clinton & The Agents … “In Contrast To Hillary”

Kessler In 2014: “In Contrast To Hillary, Since Leaving The White House, Bill Clinton Is ‘Very Friendly To The Agents,’ Says One Agent.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler asserted that “in contrast to Hillary,” “Bill Clinton is ‘very friendly to the agents.'” From The First Family Detail:

In contrast to Hillary, since leaving the White House, Bill Clinton is “very friendly to the agents,” says one agent. “I think he realized once he’s out of office, we’re pretty much all he’s got, and he does treat the guys really well.” [The First Family Detail, p. 164]

Kessler In 2010: “In Contrast To Hillary, Since Leaving The White House, Bill Clinton Is ‘Very Friendly To The Agents,’ Says One Agent.” Kessler used the same exact language to make the exact same allegation in In the President’s Secret Service:

In contrast to Hillary, since leaving the White House, Bill Clinton is “very friendly to the agents,” says one agent. “I think he realizes once he’s out of office, we’re pretty much all he’s got, and he does treat the guys really well.” [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 170]

The Agent Who “Passed The Message Along”

Kessler In 2014: In Martha’s Vineyard, “The Agent Passed The Message Along To The Detail.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler introduced what he claims is an account of Bill and Hillary Clinton at Martha’s Vineyard during the Lewinsky scandal, writing, “The next day, the president and Hillary flew to Martha’s Vineyard.” He then recounts what he claims is an exchange between Hillary Clinton and a secret service agent:

The next day, the president and Hillary flew to Martha’s Vineyard.

“I was up at Martha’s Vineyard right after he had confessed on national TV to the whole Monica Lewinsky affair,” a former agent says. While the agent was operating the command post, Hillary called him and said, “Where is he?”

“Ma’am, the president is downtown right now, I think he just arrived at a Starbucks,” the agent said.

“Confirm that,” Hillary demanded, and the agent did. Hillary then ordered the agent to tell the president to “get home now, and I mean right now.”

The agent passed the message along to the detail.

“Oh, my God. Clinton loves mingling with people, and he loves to play golf, but she was having none of that,” the agent says. “Clinton was to remain at the Martha’s Vineyard estate. He was being punished. It was like he was grounded.” [The First Family Detail, p. 163]

Kessler In 2010: In Martha’s Vineyard, “Albracht Passed Along The Message To The Detail.” Kessler wrote the same anecdote practically to the word in In the President’s Secret Service:

The next day, the Clintons took Air Force One to Martha’s Vineyard.

“I was up at Martha’s Vineyard right after he had confessed on national TV to the whole Monica Lewinsky affair,” Albracht says. While Albracht was operating the command post, Hillary called him and said, “Where is he?”

“Ma’am, the president is downtown right now. I think he just arrived at a Starbucks,” Albracht said.

“Confirm that,” Hillary demanded, and Albracht did. Hillary then ordered Albracht to tell the president to “get home now, and I mean right now.”

Albracht passed along the message to the detail.

“Oh, my God. Clinton loves mingling with people, and he loves to play golf, but she was having none of that,” Albracht says. “Clinton was to remain at the Martha’s Vineyard estate. He was being punished. It was like he was grounded,” Albracht says. [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 168]

“It Was Funny, Because On The Radio …”

Kessler In 2014: “When The Clintons Were In The White House, ‘It Was Funny, Because On The Radio You’d Hear…'” In The First Family Detail, Kessler quoted “a former uniformed officer” who claimed that supposedly “every time” Bill Clinton went to where Hillary Clinton was in the White House, “she would go somewhere else.” From The First Family Detail:

When the Clintons were in the White House, “it was funny, because on the radio you’d hear that she went somewhere, and then you’d hear that he went to the same location, and every time he went to her, she would go somewhere else,” a former uniformed officer says. [The First Family Detail, p. 23]

Kessler In 2010: “When The Clintons Were In The White House, ‘It Was Funny, Because On The Radio You’d Hear…'” Kessler used nearly identical language to tell the same anecdote in In the President’s Secret Service:

When the Clintons were in the White House, “It was funny, because on the radio you’d hear that she went somewhere, and then you’d hear that he went to the same location, and every time he went to her, she would go somewhere else,” a former Uniformed Division officer says. [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 162]

Hillary Clinton At The 4-H Club

Kessler In 2014: “Hillary’s Senate Campaign Staff Planned A Visit To A 4-H Club In Dairy Farm Country” And “Flew Into A Rage.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler, citing an anonymous source, claimed that Hillary Clinton “flew into a rage” at a 4-H Club after seeing people in denim:

Hillary’s Senate campaign staff planned a visit to a 4-H Club in dairy farm country in upstate New York. As they approached the outdoor event and she saw people dressed in jeans and surrounded by cows, Hillary flew into a rage.

“She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the f– did we come here for? There’s no money here,'” a Secret Service agent remembers. [The First Family Detail, p. 24]

Kessler In 2010: “Hillary’s Campaign Staff Planned A Visit To A 4-H Club In Dairy Farm Country” And “Flew Into A Rage.” Kessler used practically identical language citing an anonymous source to make the same allegation in In the President’s Secret Service:

Hillary’s campaign staff planned a visit to a 4-H club in dairy farm country in upstate New York. As they approached the outdoor event and she saw people dressed in jeans and surrounded by cows, Hillary flew into a rage.

“She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the [expletive] did we come here for? There’s no money here,'” a Secret Service agent remembers. [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 169]

Bill Clinton’s Haircut At LAX

Kessler In 2014: “Clinton Ordered The Presidential Plane To Wait On The Tarmac At Los Angeles International Airport While He Got A Haircut From Christophe Schatteman.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler claimed that Bill Clinton once “ordered the presidential plane to wait on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport while he got a haircut from Christophe Schatteman” and that during the haircut, “two runways at LAX were closed.” From The First Family Detail:

In May 1993, Clinton ordered the presidential plane to wait on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport while he got a haircut from Christophe Schatteman, a Beverly Hills hairdresser. Schatteman’s clients have included Nicole Kidman, Goldie Hawn, and Steven Spielberg.

“We flew out of San Diego to L.A. to pick him up,” recalls James Saddler, a steward on the infamous trip. “Some guy came out and said he was supposed to cut the president’s hair. Christophe cut his hair, and we took off. We were on the ground for an hour. They closed the runways.”

While Christophe cut Clinton’s hair, two runways at LAX were closed. That meant all incoming and outgoing flights had to be halted. Clinton’s thoughtlessness inconvenienced passengers throughout the country. [The First Family Detail, p. 157]

Kessler In 2010: “Clinton Ordered Air Force One To Wait On The Tarmac At Los Angeles International Airport While He Got A Haircut From Christophe Schatteman.” Kessler used nearly identical language telling the exact same anecdote in 2010:

Back in May 1993, Clinton ordered Air Force One to wait on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport while he got a haircut from Christophe Schatteman, a Beverly Hills hairdresser whose clients have included Nicole Kidman, Goldie Hawn, and Steven Spielberg.

“We flew out of San Diego to L.A. to pick him up,” recalls James Saddler, a steward on the fateful trip. “Some guy came out and said he was supposed to cut the president’s hair. Christophe cut his hair, and we took off. We were on the ground for an hour.”

While Clinton got his haircut on the plane, two LAX runways were closed. Because that meant all incoming and outgoing flights had to be halted, passengers were inconvenienced throughout the country. [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 145]

Bill Clinton’s “Gift For Remembering Their Names”

Kessler In 2014: “Clinton Loved Greeting People And Had A Gift For Remembering Their Names.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler introduced what he claimed was an exchange between Bill Clinton and a busboy, writing, “Clinton loved greeting people and had a gift for remembering their names.” From The First Family Detail:

Clinton loved greeting people and had a gift for remembering their names. After a speech in New York at an AFL-CIO convention, he was shaking hands. Agents noticed a busboy eyeing him and moving closer.

“Clinton saw him and called him by his name,” says an agent on his detail at the time. “The president shook his hand and asked how his father was. The busboy got teary-eyed and said his father had died. Commiserating with him, Clinton turned to an aide and said the man’s father had had cancer.” [The First Family Detail, p. 159]

Kessler In 2010: “Clinton Not Only Loved Greeting People But Had A Gift For Remembering Who They Were.” Kessler used nearly identical language introducing the exact same anecdote in In the President’s Secret Service:

Clinton not only loved greeting people but had a gift for remembering who they were. After a speech in New York at an AFL-CIO convention, Clinton was shaking hands. Agents noticed a busboy eyeing him and moving closer.

“Clinton saw him and called him by his name,” says an agent on his detail at the time. “The president shook his hand and asked how his father was. The busboy got teary-eyed and said his father had died. Commiserating with him, Clinton turned to an aide and said the man’s father had had cancer.” [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 163]

Bill Clinton’s Spontaneous Plunge Into A Crowd

Kessler In 2014: “Jarvis Was Faced With Just Such A Situation: Clinton Plunged Spontaneously Into A Crowd That Had Not Been Screened.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler recounted what he claimed was an incident during which Secret Service agents detained a woman they later determined to be mentally ill after Bill Clinton “plunged spontaneously into a crowd that had not been screened.” From The First Family Detail:

At one point, Jarvis was faced with just such a situation: Clinton plunged spontaneously into a crowd that had not been screened. Jarvis was in the lead on the rope line and noticed a woman with her hands under her coat.

During an event, “you’ll be in the formation and walking along with the president, you spot something, and you say something over the air to the shift leader,” Jarvis says. “You’re generally very quiet. There’s not a lot of chatter, but if you say something and you’re with the president, it means something. You size up the person that causes you to bring your attention to them and you have to make a quick judgment as to what you’re going to do or what the detail needs to do.”

In this case, “what was strange was everyone was looking at the president — clapping, yelling, smiling,” Jarvis says. “She was staring down and had a real puzzled look on her face. Mind you, the president was two arms’ lengths from us. I let the shift leader know I had a problem, and I just wrapped my arms around this woman because I didn’t have time to frisk her.”

Jarvis held her in a bear hug as the shift and the president worked their way around him.

“She was startled, but I wouldn’t let her arms out from under the coat,” Jarvis says. “I held her until I could get some assistance, which arrived from a protective intelligence team that was nearby.

The team interviewed the woman and quickly determined that she was mentally ill.

“She didn’t have a weapon under her coat, but you can tell mentally disturbed people by the way they react,” Jarvis notes. “And when they react the opposite of everybody else, it brings your attention to them, and you know you’ve got an issue out of the ordinary.” [The First Family Detail, p. 160 – 161]

Kessler In 2010: “Jarvis Was Faced With Just Such A Situation: Clinton Had Plunged Into A Crowd That Had Not Been Screened.” Kessler used nearly identical language to recount the exact same anecdote in In the President’s Secret Service:

“President Clinton would see a small crowd of spectators that may have gathered behind a rope outside our secure perimeter just to get a glimpse of the president, and he would head off to shake their hands,” says Jarvis. “Of course, this drove us to distraction because we didn’t want him to approach an un-magged crowd. We didn’t know if we had a Hinckley or Bremer in the crowd with a handgun. A person like that might be loitering in the area because he couldn’t get into the event.”

In fact, at one point, Jarvis was faced with just such a situation: Clinton had plunged into a crowd that had not been screened.

“I was in the lead on the rope line,” Jarvis says. “When you’re working a rope line, there are agents leading in the president’s direction, then there’s the president, and then others who trail behind, with others nearby.”

Jarvis noticed a woman whose hands were under her coat.

During an event, “You’ll be in the formation and walking along with the president, you spot something, and you say something over the air to the shift leader,” Jarvis says. “You’re generally very quiet. There’s not a lot of chatter, but if you say something and you’re with the president, it means something. You size up the person that causes you to bring your attention to them, and you have to make a quick judgment as to what you’re going to do or what the detail needs to do.”

In this case, “What was strange was everyone was looking at the president– clapping, yelling, smiling,” Jarvis says. “She was staring down and had a real puzzled look on her face. Mind you, the president was two arms’ lengths from us. I let the shift leader know I had a problem, and I just wrapped my arms around this woman because I didn’t have time to frisk her.”

Jarvis held her in a bear hug as the shift and the president worked their way around him.

“She was startled, but I wouldn’t let her arms out from under the coat,” Jarvis says. “I held her until I could get some assistance, which arrived from a protective intelligence team that was nearby.”

The team interviewed the woman and quickly determined that she was mentally ill.

“She didn’t have a weapon under her coat, but you can tell mentally disturbed people by the way they react,” Jarvis notes. “And when they react the opposite of everybody else, it brings your attention to them, and you know you’ve got an issue out of the ordinary.” [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 165-166]

The “Standing Rule” And The Agent Who “Did Not Know The Rules”

Kessler In 2014: “Hillary Had A ‘Standing Rule'” But One Agent “Made The Mistake Of Addressing Hillary.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler cited “former FBI agent Coy Copeland” to claim that Clinton had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another.” Kessler wrote that one agent “did not know the rules” and “made the mistake of addressing Hillary.” From The First Family Detail:

Hillary had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another,” says former FBI agent Coy Copeland. “In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”

An agent working with Copeland for independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s investigation of the Clinton’s investments in the Whitewater real estate development did not know the rules: He made the mistake of addressing Hillary, saying “Good morning, Mrs. Clinton” as she passed him in a corridor of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

“She jumped all over him,” Copeland says. “‘How dare you? You people are just destroying my husband.’ It was that vast right-wing conspiracy rant. Then she had to tack on something to the effect of ‘And where do you buy your suits? Penney’s?'”

For weeks, the agent told no one about the encounter. “Finally, he told me about it,” Copeland says. “And he said, ‘I was wearing the best suit I owned.'” [The First Family Detail, p. 17-18]

Kessler In 2011: “‘She Had A Standing Rule’ … But The Agent ‘Didn’t Know The Ground Rules.'” Kessler used nearly identical language to tell the exact same anecdote in his 2011 book, The Secrets of the FBI:

“He dared to speak to her in the hallway,” Copeland says. “She had a standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another. In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.” But the agent “didn’t know the ground rules,” Copeland says. “As he was leaving, she got out of the elevator and was approaching him,” Copeland says.

“Good morning, Mrs. Clinton,” the agent said.

“She jumped all over him,” Copeland says. “‘How dare you? You people are just destroying my husband.’ It was that vast right-wing conspiracy rant. Then she had to tack on something to the effect of ‘And where do you buy your suits? Penney’s?’ “

For many weeks, the agent told no one about the encounter.

“Finally, he told me about it,” Copeland says. “And he said, ‘I was wearing the best suit I owned.’ ” [The Secrets of the FBI, p. 111-112]

“A Secret Service Agent Then On Her Detail” Said “Events Were All Staged”

Kessler In 2014: “A Secret Service Agent Then On Her Detail” Claimed That “Events Were All Staged” During Hillary Clinton’s Listening Tour.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler cited “a Secret Service Agent then on her detail” to accuse Hillary Clinton of staging events and screening questions on a “listening tour” during her run for the Senate. From The First Family Detail:

“During the listening tour, she planned ‘impromptu’ visits at diners and local hangouts,” recalls a Secret Service agent then on her detail. “The events were all staged, and the questions were screened. She would stop off at diners. The campaign would tell them three days ahead that they were coming. They would talk to the owner and tell him to invite everyone and bring his friends. Hillary flew into rages when she thought her campaign staff had not corralled enough onlookers beforehand. Hillary had an explosive temper.” [The First Family Detail, p. 23-24]

Kessler In 2010: “A Secret Service Agent Who Was On Her Detail” Claimed That “Events Were All Staged” During Hillary Clinton’s Listening Tour. Kessler used nearly the exact same language to anonymously source the same anecdote in In the President’s Secret Service:

During her run for the Senate, Hillary planned visits to diners and local hangouts as part of her “listening tour.”

“The events were all staged, and the questions were screened,” says a Secret Service agent who was on her detail. “She would stop off at diners. The campaign would tell them three days ahead that they were coming. They would talk to the owner and tell him to invite everyone and bring his friends. Hillary flew into rages when she thought her campaign staff had not corralled enough onlookers beforehand. Hillary had an explosive temper.” [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 168-169]

Hillary Clinton On Law Enforcement

Kessler In 2014: “Publicly, Hillary Courted Law Enforcement Organizations; Privately She Had Disdain For Police.” In The First Family Detail, Kessler claimed that Hillary Clinton was hypocritical in her public statements supporting law enforcement officials:

Publicly, Hillary courted law enforcement organizations; privately she had disdain for police.

“She did not want police officers in sight,” another former Secret Service agent says. “How do you explain that to the police? She did not want Secret Service protection near. She wanted state troopers and local police to wear suits and stay in unmarked cars. If there were an incident, that could pose a big problem. People don’t know police are in the area unless officers wear uniforms and drive police cars. If they are unaware of a police presence, people are more likely to get out of control.”

“Hillary didn’t like the military aides wearing their uniforms around the White House,” another former agent recalls. “She asked if the would wear business suits instead. The uniform’s a sign of pride, and they’re proud to wear their uniform. I know that the military was actually really offended by it.” [The First Family Detail, p. 21-22]

Kessler In 2010: “Publicly, Hillary — Code-Named Evergreen — Courted Law Enforcement Organizations, But She Did Not Want Police Near Her.” Kessler used nearly identical language to make the exact same allegation in In the President’s Secret Service:

Publicly, Hillary — code-named Evergreen — courted law enforcement organizations, but she did not want police near her.

“She did not want police officers in sight,” a former agent says. “How do you explain that to the police? She did not want Secret Service protection near. She wanted state troopers and local police to wear suits and stay in unmarked cars. If there was an incident, that could pose a big problem. People don’t know police are in the area unless officers wear uniforms and drive police cars. If they are unaware of a police presence, people are more likely to get out of control.” [In the President’s Secret Service, p. 169]

The Meeting Ken Starr Didn’t Mention That Connects Hillary Clinton To Vince Foster’s Death

Kessler In 2014: “Starr Never Mentioned The Meeting With Hillary” In Report On Vince Foster’s Suicide. In The First Family Detail, Kessler (referencing a previous book he wrote) criticized Kenneth Starr because he “never mentioned the meeting” between Vince Foster and Hillary Clinton that occurred one week before Foster’s suicide in a report on the event. Kessler’s anecdote on the meeting strongly insinuated that Hillary Clinton bore responsibility for Foster’s death:

Starr issued a 38,000-word report, along with a separate psychologist’s report on the factors that contributed to Foster’s suicide. Yet Starr never mentioned the meeting with Hillary, leaving out the fact that his own investigation had concluded that Hillary’s rage had led to her friend’s suicide. Why Starr chose not to reveal the critical meeting and his own investigators’ findings remains a mystery. [The First Family Detail, p. 20]

Kessler In 2011: “But In His Report, Starr Never Referred To The Meeting Where Hillary Humiliated Foster.” Kessler used similar language laying out the exact same observation about Starr’s report and Hillary Clinton’s responsibility for Foster’s suicide in The Secrets of the FBI:

But in his report, Starr never referred to the meeting where Hillary humiliated Foster in front of aides, nor to the change in his disposition after that. The findings are included in the agents’ reports of interviews, according to David Paynter, the archivist who read the reports when cataloguing them and making them available under the Freedom of Information Act at the National Archives. However, those reports are now missing from the appropriate files at the archives.

Starr never told Copeland why he decided to exclude the material from his report, and Copeland can only speculate on his reasoning. [The Secrets of the FBI, p. 109]


Why Nixon Deserves to Live in Infamy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Why Nixon Deserves to Live in Infamy
David Shribman, RealClearPolitics
Richard Nixon no longer walks among us, having departed this earth a full two decades ago. But the ghost of the enigmatic figure who 40 years ago this week resigned the presidency — a position described by Franklin Roosevelt, still the man against which all subsequent presidents are measured, as “pre-eminently a place of moral leadership” — lingers among us, and he is a curious character indeed: Awkward in manner — but shrewd in judgment. Flawed in character — but peerless in vision. Much misunderstood — but possessed of a peerless understanding of…

Democrats’ Impeachment Game; Boehner Lets Cruz Lead; the Guns of August
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Good morning. It’s Monday, August 4, 2014. One hundred years ago today, Ellen Wilson, first lady of the United States, lay dying of kidney failure. And as her grief-stricken husband kept watch by her bedside, Europe descended into madness. On August 4, 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany. Like chess pieces controlled by demonic forces, the great powers of Europe moved inexorably toward a terrible fate none could foresee. In late June, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, had been assassinated in the Balkans by Serb nationalists. They killed his wife,…

Time for Netanyahu to Make Peace
David Ignatius, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — Now it’s Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s turn to show that he has the vision and leadership to build a durable cease-fire that could empower moderate Palestinian moderates and begin building a pathway from the hell on earth that is Gaza. Many people, including me, sharply criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a week ago for seeking a quick Gaza cease-fire that would have strengthened Hamas and its allies, Qatar and Turkey. Hamas didn’t deliver, the fighting resumed, and the process had the effect of undermining moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas….

Blue vs. Blue Does Not Equal Red
Froma Harrop, RealClearPolitics
They are all Democrats, blue and blue. But like Republicans, they have opposing visions duking it out in the primaries.One side sees urgency in reforming public-employee benefits now eating state and local budgets alive. This group includes Democratic governors Jerry Brown in California, Andrew Cuomo in New York and Pat Quinn in Illinois. Other candidates prefer to skirt the crisis — figuring they’ll be in the next office by the time the extravagant promises explode in the taxpayers’ faces. They count on public-employee unions sending out the troops on primary day. And the reform-minded…


‘Lights Out’ ends day of WW1 events

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

‘Lights Out’ ends day of WW1 events
A candle-lit vigil at Westminster Abbey and a “Lights Out” event conclude a day of ceremonies marking 100 years since Britain entered World War One.

NHS to target long waits for ops
The NHS in England has been ordered to prioritise patients who have endured long waits for routine treatment.


Montana papers call for Walsh to end Senate campaign

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Montana papers call for Walsh to end Senate campaign
Two papers blast the Democrat after plagiarism scandal.


Washington Meeting of African Leaders Opens to Protests

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Washington Meeting of African Leaders Opens to Protests
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the State Department on Monday to denounce some of the leaders in attendance as “torturers” and “killers.”



Ukraine Rebels Enlisting ‘Punishment Brigades’ for Support Work
Glum-looking detainees, often stripped to their underwear, can be seen around Donetsk digging ditches, clearing brush and peeling potatoes.



Israel Moves to Wrap Up Gaza Military Operation
Egypt said it brokered a 72-hour pause, and the Israelis appeared to be moving toward a conclusion to the nearly month-old conflict in Gaza.



Visit From Indian Premier Signals a Political Shift in Nepal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to both politicians and devout Hindus during a recent visit as he announced plans to increase ties between the countries.




This Book Can Teach You How To Eat Healthy On $4 A Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

This Book Can Teach You How To Eat Healthy On $4 A Day

Eating a nutritious meal often proves to be a huge undertaking for millions of Americans, especially those with an average monthly food stamp budget of just $126.

The post This Book Can Teach You How To Eat Healthy On $4 A Day appeared first on ThinkProgress.

In this July 8, 2014 photo, Leanne Brown poses for a picture in her apartment in New York. The new cookbook ?Good and Cheap,? written by Brown is aimed at helping put good, inexpensive food on the table without spending hours over it.

In this July 8, 2014 photo, Leanne Brown poses for a picture in her apartment in New York. The new cookbook ?Good and Cheap,? written by Brown is aimed at helping put good, inexpensive food on the table without spending hours over it.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Eating a nutritious meal often proves to be a huge undertaking for millions of Americans, especially those with an average monthly food stamp budget of just $126. A pathway to a healthy lifestyle, however, may lie in an online cookbook that took social media by storm and inspired a Kickstarter campaign that has generated $145,000 in donations.

The book, touted as Good and Cheap, shows readers how to prepare healthy food on a budget of just $4 per day. Chock-full of colorful, vibrant images, Good and Cheap features meals that anyone can chef up using a host of cheap, natural ingredients including garlic, canned vegetables, dried beans, and butter. In an interview with NPR, Good and Cheap author Leanne Brown said the book allows flexibility in meal preparation, especially since food prices fluctuate during seasonal changes.

“It really bothered me,” said Brown. “The [millions of] people on food stamps — and that’s a big chunk of the population — don’t have the same choices everyone else does.”

Today, more than 47 million Americans purchase food with funds from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which has been in existence since the late 1930s. Since 2004, enrollees have received their monthly SNAP benefits on electronic benefit transfer cards, also known as EBT cards, which they could use in supermarkets, convenience stores, and some farmer’s markets. The amount that each household receives often depends on the size of the household, income, and expenses.

In spite of SNAP’s benefits, many public health experts contend that recipients — many of whom live in areas where few, if any, affordable, healthy food sources exist — aren’t compelled to purchase healthy food products. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that members of that demographic consumed refined grains high in calories, desserts, and sweetened beverages – foods that linked to high incidences of diabetes and obesity – at rates significantly higher than people without SNAP benefits.

A Washington Post feature last year described the struggles of D.C. mother Raphael Richmond to feed her five children on a food stamp budget. According to the article, a monthly SNAP allocation of $246 only guaranteed Richmond two carts of groceries from a supermarket within walking distance of her Southeast D.C. enclave. Food items in those carts often included frozen hamburger patties, noodles, juice, and snacks.

Richmond’s story mirrors that of 14.5 percent of Americans living in areas with high food insecurity. A host of public officials – including Senator Cory Booker (D – N.J.), U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), and Ted Strickland, former governor of Ohio and president of ThinkProgress’ parent organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund – chose to live on a paltry budget similar to that of many of their constituents for periods lasting up to a week. Last month, Strickland had to walk miles in 90 degree heat to meetings instead of catching a taxi and ate cheap, fast food in lieu of healthy meals as a show of his solidarity with low-income Americans.

“[E]xperiencing just some of the decisions this income requires on a daily basis is enough to understand that we need to do better for these hardworking families,” said Strickland in his Politico Magazine op-ed. “It’s un-American that you can work and work and work and not get out of poverty. The promise of America is that working hard and playing by the rules will help you get ahead, but right now, we’re breaking that promise.”

The post This Book Can Teach You How To Eat Healthy On $4 A Day appeared first on ThinkProgress.


The End of Reefer Madness?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The End of Reefer Madness?
From: Katrina vanden Heuvel

An examination into our broken cannabis policy is well overdue—and should be about more than just marijuana.

Hillary Clinton Joins GOP 2016 Hopefuls in Bashing President Obama
From: The Christie Watch

Snow White and the Seven GOP Dwarfs has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it, when thinking about 2016?

There’s No ‘War on Whites’
From: Mychal Denzel Smith

It’s clear Congressman Mo Brooks wants to borrow the “war on women” language for his own purposes, but it’s also clear that he has nothing to support his claim.

Why Waiting Your Turn in Line Doesn’t Make Sense for Desperate Immigrant Families
From: Michelle Chen

This magical, invisible line encapsulates an enduring myth of immigration policy—the idea that if you play by the rules and make an honest case for yourself and your patience will pay off.