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Abramoff: Lobbyist Money 'Well Spent' at Republican National Convention

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Abramoff: Lobbyist Money 'Well Spent' at Republican National Convention 27 Aug 2012 Former super lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who served 43 months on fraud, bribery and tax evasion charges, has come to the Republican National Convention in Tampa seeking redemption through honesty... "Virtually every interaction that a lobbyist has with a Congressman is money well spent, from the lobbyist's point of view," Abramoff told ABC News. In Tampa, that lavish spending is well underway -- largely undeterred by stormy weather.

Romney's storm-delayed convention limps into motion

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Romney's storm-delayed convention limps into motion 27 Aug 2012 Forget the loud music, cheering crowds and funny hats. Instead of opening with a bang as originally planned, Mitt Romney's Republican convention started with a whimper on Monday as party leaders staged a low-key session while Tropical Storm Isaac churned through the Gulf of Mexico. The tone was deliberately subdued after Isaac led Republicans to scrap most of their first day's schedule in Tampa, complicating plans to showcase Romney to voters as the presidential candidate heads into a 10-week sprint to his November 6 election battle against Democratic President Barack Obama.

Isaac seen strengthening to Category 2 hurricane

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac seen strengthening to Category 2 hurricane 27 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Issac is forecast to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane before it makes landfall somewhere between Florida and Louisiana, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday. Isaac was expected to have sustained winds of 100 miles per hour on Wednesday and could reach land Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

Military says 'trial' of accused Fort Hood shooter can go ahead

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Military says 'trial' of accused Fort Hood shooter can go ahead 27 Aug 2012 Proceedings may resume in the court martial of alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan, a military court ruled on Monday, less than a week after it stopped the trial to consider whether Hasan's beard could be forcibly shaved. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces did not say whether Colonel Gregory Gross, the military trial judge, could order Hasan shaved. Gross has threatened to have Hasan shaved if he does not get rid of the beard himself before his next court appearance, saying the beard breaks Army regulations.

GOP fears ghost of Katrina at RNC 2012

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

GOP fears ghost of Katrina at RNC 2012 27 Aug 2012 The official message couldn't be clearer: the Republican National Convention will proceed Tuesday morning. But quietly, Republicans have begun to whisper a grim word that sums up all their fears about the 2012 party gathering: Katrina. Some Republicans in Tampa worry the juxtaposition of events could revive memories of the disastrous 2005 storms, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the government's terrible handling of them. Public outrage over the George W. Bush administration's response to those catastrophes -- Katrina especially -- shadowed the president [sic] and the GOP for years.

NYC Police Commissioner: Deadly force warranted outside Empire State Building

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

NYC Police Commissioner: Deadly force warranted outside Empire State Building --Nine civilians suffered injuries caused by police bullets. 27 Aug 2012 New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is defending two officers' decision to kill an armed gunman outside the Empire State Building, which led to nine bystanders being wounded. Kelly on Monday called the shooting appropriate since the officers had just been told Jeffrey Johnson had killed a co-worker around the corner and Johnson was pointing his weapon at them. That assessment is supported by experts on police tactics and firepower.

Ron Paul delegates get nosebleed seats

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Ron Paul delegates get nosebleed seats 26 Aug 2012 The GOP is shoving the Ron Paul Revolution to the margins -- of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Republican National Convention seating chart, obtained by POLITICO Sunday, shows the delegations from Nevada, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota and Oklahoma all located on the outer fringe of the convention floor. Each are states with significant Paul followings. Groups with pretty good seats include those from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. None has electoral votes that can impact the outcome of the election.

GOP Convention: Chris Matthews tees off on Reince Priebus

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

GOP Convention: Chris Matthews tees off on Reince Priebus 27 Aug 2012 MSNBC host Chris Matthews angrily called Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus's ideas "insane" Monday after the chairman said President Barack Obama was "looking to Europe for guidance" on his policies. Referring to Mitt Romney's reference last week to his own birth certificate, Matthews said, "That cheap shot about 'I don't have a problem with my birth certificate' was awful. You are playing that little ethnic card there. You can play your games and giggle about it, but the fact is your side is playing that card."

France, partners working on buffer zones in Syria: Hollande

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

France, partners working on buffer zones in Syria: Hollande 27 Aug 2012 French President Francois Hollande has confirmed that his government is working with its partners on the possible establishment of buffer zones inside crisis-hit Syria. The socialist president also said on Monday that France will recognize a provisional Syrian government as soon as it has been formed, urging foreign-sponsored insurgents fighting to establish one as soon as possible, AFP reported.

California Republicans plan to drown out any Ron Paul uprising

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

California Republicans plan to drown out any Ron Paul uprising 26 Aug 2012 California's delegation to the Republican National Convention was planning today to counteract any uprising by Ron Paul supporters on the convention floor, with officials preparing "delegate whips" to lead the effort. The state delegation, marginalized in most matters because of California's heavily Democratic electorate, could be significant in drowning out any chants supporting Paul: The 172-member delegation is the nation's largest, and unlike some split delegations is fully committed to Romney. In a private meeting at the delegation's beachfront hotel, Jeff Randle, the senior Romney adviser who is in charge of the California delegation, told 16 delegate whips to be prepared for a potential Paul uprising, including leading pro-Romney chants.

Deputies: RNC protester arrested with machete strapped to his leg

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Deputies: RNC protester arrested with machete strapped to his leg 26 Aug 2012 A Republican National Convention protester was arrested while he allegedly carried a machete strapped to his leg, according to deputies. According to Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials, Jason T. Wilson, of Tallahassee, was arrested as he walked in the RNC Event Zone carrying a "full size" machete. Wilson was arrested and taken to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on charges of prohibited items in event zone and resisting arrest with violence.

Iraqi Man Pleads Guilty in Kentucky Terrorism Case

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Iraqi Man Pleads Guilty in Kentucky Terrorism Case 22 Aug 2012 An Iraqi man pleaded guilty Tuesday to 10 charges of conspiring to send weapons, cash and explosives to al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq and two counts of lying to federal immigration agents to get into the United States and stay in the country. Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 24, gave simple "yes" and "I plead guilty" answers to questions from U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell in federal court in Louisville. The surprise plea came a week before Hammadi was set to stand trial on the charges in Bowling Green, Ky., where he and a co-defendant were arrested in May 2011 after a federal sting operation.

Worthless 'Bomb Detectors' Put Iraqi Lives at Risk

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Worthless 'Bomb Detectors' Put Iraqi Lives at Risk --ADE 651 "bomb detectors" in use in Iraq were made by British firm Advanced Tactical Security & Communications Ltd. (ATSC) 23 Aug 2012 An Iraqi soldier walks past a line of cars at an entrance to Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, looking for the silver antenna of the bomb detector he holds to swing left, indicating a threat. But however closely the camouflage-uniformed soldier watches the plastic pistol-gripped "detector" as he paces slowly past the cars, it will not lead him to any bombs or weapons, except by chance -- it, like others used at checkpoints across Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq, is worthless. Evidence that the devices do not work has been available for years, but that has not stopped Iraq from continuing to employ them at checkpoints across the country, including those guarding highly sensitive areas such as the Green Zone, where the Iraqi government is headquartered.

Gulf coast states prepare as hurricane warnings issued from Louisiana to Florida panhandle

August 26, 2012 by legitgov

Gulf coast states prepare as hurricane warnings issued from Louisiana to Florida panhandle 26 Aug 2012 Gulf coast states are preparing to be hit by Tropical Storm Isaac after the U.S. National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings for an area stretching from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle on Sunday. Isaac is expected to hit somewhere between southeastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle either late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said. The warnings stretched from east of Morgan City, La. -- which includes the New Orleans area -- to Destin, Fla.

'Operation Free Assange': Anonymous takes down Interpol website

August 26, 2012 by legitgov

'Operation Free Assange': Anonymous takes down Interpol website 27 Aug 2012 Hactivist group Anonymous claims to have taken down the websites of Interpol and a British police force as part of a campaign calling for the freedom of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Several Twitter accounts associated with the loose-knit Anonymous collective have announced that the website of International Criminal Police Organization was taken down. The site was unavailable as of 9:18 pm GMT. The hackers also claim to have taken down the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), a UK police unit responsible for operations against serious and organized crime. [Awesome!]

Obama attacks Romney's 'extreme views' while pledging to implement more GOP proposals in second term

August 26, 2012 by legitgov

Obama attacks Romney's 'extreme views' while pledging implement more Republican proposals in second term 26 Aug 2012 President Barack Obama said Mitt Romney has locked himself into "extreme positions" on economic and social issues and would surely impose them if elected, trying to discredit his Republican rival at the biggest political moment of his life. Mr Obama also offered a glimpse of how he would govern in a second term of divided government, insisting rosily that the forces of the election would help break Washington's stalemate. He said he would be willing to make a range of compromises with Republicans [as he's done since January 2009], confident there are some who would rather make deals than remain part of "one of the least productive Congresses in American history." [LOL! Obusha condemns RMoney's 'extreme views' as he pledges to implement them!]

Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak

August 26, 2012 by legitgov

Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak --Documents from US Department of Homeland Security show it paid $832,000 to deploy Trapwire in Washington DC and Seattle 13 Aug 2012 According to documents released online by WikiLeaks last week, Trapwire is being used in a number of countries to try to monitor people and threats. Founded by former CIA agents, Trapwire uses data from a network of CCTV systems and numberplate readers to figure out the threat level in huge numbers of locations. The documents outlining Trapwire's existence and its deployment in the US were apparently obtained in a hack of computer systems belonging to the intelligence company Stratfor at the end of last year.

Empire State Building shooting victim says NYPD fired 'randomly' into street

August 26, 2012 by legitgov

Empire State Building shooting victim says NYPD fired 'randomly' into street 24 Aug 2012 Questions have been raised over the New York Police Department's handling of a shooting near the Empire State Building after armed officers injured nine passers-by as they pursued a gunman who had just shot dead his former boss. One of those injured by police told the Guardian that officers appeared to fire "randomly" as they confronted Jeffrey Johnson, 58. Reports suggest that while Johnson drew his gun when he was confronted by officers, he did not fire; all those injured appear to have been shot by police. [As I stated Friday: So the purpose of this particular op was to get people acclimated to the notion that the police -- and/or anti-terrorism units, DHS, or other federal agencies -- can open fire on crowds and we're supposed to accept such an action as 'necessary.' --LRP]

All shooting victims outside Empire State Building were hit by police gunfire

August 26, 2012 by legitgov

All shooting victims outside Empire State Building were hit by police gunfire --Officer Craig Matthews shot seven times. Officer Robert Sinishtaj fired nine times. 25 Aug 2012 All nine people wounded during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were struck by bullets fired by the two officers, police said Saturday, citing ballistics evidence. Based on ballistic and other evidence, "it appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters on Saturday at a community event in Harlem.

Arrest plan to seize Julian Assange 'under all circumstances' accidentally revealed

August 25, 2012 by legitgov

Arrest plan to seize Julian Assange 'under all circumstances' accidentally revealed 24 Aug 2012 Plans to seize Julian Assange "under all circumstances" the moment he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London have accidentally been revealed by a police officer displaying restricted documents outside the embassy. The document, pictured under the officer's arm by a Press Association photographer, appears to advocate arresting the WikiLeaks founder whether he leaves the building in a diplomatic bag or in a diplomatic car. The handwritten plan was recorded at a police briefing and only partially covered by the officer's arm as he arrived at the embassy in Knightsbridge on Friday. The brief begins: "BRIEF - EQ. Embassy brief - Summary of current position Re Assange. Action required - Assange to be arrested under all circumstances." It then makes reference to a "dip bag" and a "dip vehicle".

NYPD: No evidence yet gunman fired at officers

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

NYPD: No evidence yet gunman fired at officers 24 Aug 2012 Investigators say the evidence collected so far suggests that a laid off clothing designer who shot a former colleague near the Empire State Building didn't fire at police. The gunman was shot by police, and nine bystanders were wounded. One witness tells police that Jeffrey Johnson fired at officers, but authorities say ballistics evidence so far doesn't support that. They say Johnson's .45-caliber weapon held seven rounds. He fired five times at Steven Ercolino, killing him. One round was still in the gun, and one was ejected when officers secured it.

NYPD disciplines 17 cops who posted racist Facebook comments

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

NYPD disciplines 17 cops who posted racist Facebook comments --About 150 comments were posted, referring to West Indian Day Parade revelers as 'savages' and 'animals.' 23 Aug 2012 NYPD brass has disciplined 17 cops who posted racist or offensive comments on a Facebook page devoted to last year's West Indian Day Parade, officials said Thursday. About 150 comments were posted on the page, referring to parade revelers as "savages" and "animals." One person, believed to be a cop, went so far as to write: "I say have the parade one more year and when they all gather drop a bomb and wipe them all out." "Kill them all," another person wrote.

Assange Supporters Hold 24-Hour 'Vigil' Outside Ecuador Embassy

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

Assange Supporters Hold 24-Hour 'Vigil' Outside Ecuador Embassy 24 Aug 2012 Foreign ministers from Latin America meet in Washington Friday to discuss Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who has been living inside Ecuador's London Embassy for over two months. Ecuador has granted Assange asylum but Britain has made it clear that the founder of Wikileaks will be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy... Across the street from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, protesters are holding what they call a "vigil" - they say it is a 24-hour watch in order to ensure that Assange is not forcibly removed from the embassy by British police.

Israeli protesters warn against war as government appears to prep Iran strikes

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

Israeli protesters warn against war as government appears to prep Iran strikes --Parallel demonstrations took place in Haifa and Jerusalem 24 Aug 2012 A persistent group of anti-war protesters gathered in front Israel's Ministry of Defense in Central Tel Aviv on Thursday, chanting "We don't want another war!" and warning the government against striking Iran's nuclear facilities. Around 100 demonstrators carried signs declaring "No War" and "Don't bomb, talk!" Some lay on the ground and wrapped themselves in white sheets to simulate war casualties. 

Mitt Romney: 'No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate'

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

Mitt Romney: 'No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate' 24 Aug 2012 Republican Mitt Romney raised the discredited rumor that President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, jokingly ['jokingly' is AP-inserted verbiage, added to downplay the controversy] declaring "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate" as he campaigned today near his own Michigan birthplace. The comment came a day after Romney caused another stir by declaring that big business was "doing fine" in the current struggling economy in part because companies get advantages from offshore tax havens.

Facebook-posting Marine veteran released from hospital

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

Facebook-posting Marine veteran released from hospital 24 Aug 2012 The shifting fortunes of Marine veteran Brandon J. Raub moved in his favor Thursday after a Hopewell judge criticized his forced relocation to a veterans hospital in western Virginia for mental treatment and then ordered him released. Hopewell Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett found that a document ordering Raub's transfer this week from a Hopewell hospital to the Salem VA Medical Center was faulty and "so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy." Raub, 26, was released from the Salem hospital shortly after 5 p.m.

Facebook posts land Marine vet in psychiatric ward

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

Facebook posts land Marine vet in psychiatric ward 20 Aug 2012 US police reportedly detained a Marine Corps veteran in a mental hospital over Facebook posts, triggering outrage in the online community. Brandon J. Raub claimed the FBI was concerned about his "calling for the arrest of government officials." Raub, 26, is now being held in the John Randolph Behavioral Health psychiatric ward. Raub was confronted by FBI agents at his home on Thursday and taken away in handcuffs. He was then reportedly questioned over several incendiary Facebook posts he made. "They were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials," Raub said. [OMG! I call for same, like, daily! And, I'm not going to STOP asserting the FACT that 9/11 was an inside job, six ways to Sunday. --LRP]

Judge orders release of US Marine detained for Facebook posts

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

Judge orders release of US Marine detained for Facebook posts --They detained him without charge and admitted him to a local hospital for 'evaluation.' 23 Aug 2012 On the basis that there was zero reason to detain a retired Marine and commit him to a medical facility for psychiatric evaluation, a Virginia judge has demanded that Brandon Raub be released from custody immediately. Raub, 26, had his home visited one week earlier by FBI, Secret Service and local law enforcement agents who expressed concern over a series of Facebook posts he had made on his public social networking profile.

Some 'hit by police bullets' in Empire State Building shooting

August 24, 2012 by legitgov

Some 'hit by police bullets' in Empire State Building shooting --Police, already on the scene, were actually 'anti-terrorism units.' By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 24 Aug 2012 Some struck in NYC's Empire State Building shooting were 'wounded or grazed' [*or killed*] by NYPD bullets. Nine bystanders were injured by 'stray' (read: police) fire. There are conflicting reports on whether Jeffrey Johnson, 53, actually shot at police before the counter-terrorism police officers fired at him. The gunman is among two dead in NYC shootings. [So the purpose of this particular op was to get people acclimated to the notion that the police -- and/or anti-terrorism units, DHS, or other federal agencies -- can open fire on crowds and we're supposed to accept such an action as 'necessary.' --LRP]

New poll, data point to vast social polarization in US

August 24, 2012 by walden9

New poll, data point to vast social polarization in US 24 Aug 2012 A survey released August 22 by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. adds details to the picture of an American society divided sharply along class lines and dominated by growing social inequality. "Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier: The Lost Decade of the Middle Class" is based on the results of a national poll supplemented by data from the US Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The study begins by noting that on the eve of the 2012 elections the Democrats and Republicans are attempting to court a middle class "that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being." Since 2000, it "has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some--but by no means all--of its characteristic faith in the future."

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