Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obama Secret Service Agent Retires, Will Now Run for MD Senate Seat as a Repub. | The Blaze

Obama Secret Service Agent Retires, Will Now Run for MD Senate Seat as a Repub. | The Blaze

Daniel Bongino has spent the last 12 years as one of the most prestigious law enforcement officials in the country. Bongino, also a NYPD veteran, has been serving the country as a Secret Service agent. During his career, he’s been a part of overseas advance teams, investigated financial crime, and protected foreign dignitaries. In fact, he‘s even been a part of President Obama’s protective detail. But now, he’s trading in his badge and pistol for a platform. That‘s because he’s running — as a Republican — to become Maryland’s next U.S. senator.

Considering Bongino retired from the agency only earlier this month, his foray into politics is turning some heads. Secret Service agents are largely viewed as apolitical, and the agency frowns on such sudden moves. Marc Ambinder over at National Journal explains:

At an agency that stresses the silence and political neutrality of its agents, Bongino’s announcement is raising eyebrows. It’s not unusual for federal law-enforcement agents to run for office after they retire, but the Secret Service frowns upon former agents who make sudden turns to politics. The agency has fought to give presidential protective division agents legal standing to keep them from testifying about high-level conversations they overhear, lest they lose the trust of the commander in chief.


Bongino has spent most of his career in government. He was a New York City police officer for four years before joining the Secret Service. He spent 12 years protecting presidents, candidates, and world leaders, advancing overseas trips, standing post, and investigating financial fraud. He transferred off Obama’s detail six months ago and spent the past five months working out of the agency’s Baltimore field office. He resigned earlier this month and started his own security consulting company. While an agent, he cofounded a mixed martial arts accessory company called Friction MMA.

Bongino’s campaign manager will be Brian Murphy, who unsuccessfully ran for Maryland’s Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010. In a note on his Facebook page, Murphy never mentions Bongino by name, but still explains his credentials:

As a child in New York City, he saw firsthand the impact of well intentioned but fatally flawed government programs. Today, the candidate is a loving husband and father, married to a first generation immigrant whose life epitomizes the American Dream. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology and an MBA, and has enjoyed a sixteen year career in law enforcement, including four years with the New York City Police Department and twelve years with the United States Secret Service.

While with the NYPD, he helped pioneer the use of data to track serial and violent criminals. While with the Secret Service, he traveled to 27 countries in the service of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. He can speak with authority on the extraordinary nature of our great nation, and the universal love and respect we enjoy. As an agent in the Secret Service’s Baltimore Field Office, he was instrumental in the break-up of one of the largest consumer fraud rings in Maryland history.

Earlier this month, he left the Secret Service in order to continue his career of service to our nation in the United States Senate. I am proud to call him my friend, and I look forward to calling him my Senator. And next Tuesday, I look forward to formally and properly introducing him and his family.

Bongino does have an official Twitter account, but it currently links to a non-existent web page.

The Secret Service declined comment to Ambinder about Bongino’s candidacy.

Blogs for Borders: Illegal Aliens Fed Up With Arizona And Moving To Find 'Respect'

Blogs for Borders: Illegal Aliens Fed Up With Arizona And Moving To Find 'Respect'

We know some illegal aliens have left Arizona as they have found the State getting rather 'unfriendly' to them. Enjoy this slight of hand post from a new site I was turned on to through being part of The Right Blogfest today, for Memorial Day. Hope you enjoy this on both sides.

From the Spin Cycle: Illegal Immigrants Protest Arizona Law with Boycott

Phoenix AZ, May 30, 2011. Thousands of illegal immigrants are showing their outrage with Arizona's controversial SB-1070 law by boycotting the state and moving elsewhere. One example of those who are punishing the state by leaving is illegal immigrant Manuel Renaldo. As he loaded his stolen car with his family of twelve's belongings, Renaldo told this reporter through an interpreter, "It's a matter of principle, 'homes.' I refuse to be supported by someplace that treats me like a f*---- criminal."

The affects of the exodus are being felt by Arizona retailers who report dwindling beer, spray paint, and ammunition sales. Also hit hard are Arizona hospitals, who have reported a dramatic decline in births and emergency room visits by illegal aliens. "We're ecstatic," said one administrator for Banner Health in Phoenix. "At this rate we may see a profit one day."

The boycott/exodus of Arizona by illegals is expected to grow exponentially if similar laws are adopted by other border states.

In related news, DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz thinks that illegal immigration isn't a crime. Or at least it shouldn't be. This really makes you wonder why the Democrats didn't repeal our immigration laws when they had the chance during President Obama's first two years in office.

What sort of sick game are they playing? They pass laws, then refuse to enforce them, even saying the crime they created by statute really isn't a crime at all. See for yourself .......

EXCLUSIVE: Gary Sinise Building Houses for Amputee U.S. Troops, Talks 2012 Election Hopes - FoxNews.com

EXCLUSIVE: Gary Sinise Building Houses for Amputee U.S. Troops, Talks 2012 Election Hopes - FoxNews.com

“CSI: NY” star Gary Sinise was pleasantly surprised that the CBS series was just renewed for its eighth season. But something even more important to Sinise than his TV show is the work he does for the country’s armed servicemen and women.

“I’m always involved, trying to do what I can. I have a foundation that provides military support and helps the families, we have a lot of wounded soldiers and marines,” Sinise told FOX411’s Pop Tarts at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) West Coast Gala. “Next week I’m playing a concert with my band to raise money for a guy who got blown up and lost both his arms and both his legs."

Unfortunately, this isn't the only quadruple amputee Sinise is trying to help.

"We have more than one quadruple amputee who has been injured in that way, so we have three of them that we’re raising money for right now, and we’re building them houses," he said. "One house is just about done in Staten Island for the first guy that survived that injury, and now we’re raising money to build houses for the next two guys.”

Sinise brought double amputee Vietnam War survivor Lieutenant Dan to life in "Forrest Gump" in the early 90s, and he says he role still inspires.

“I go out and visit the troops and they always call me Lieutenant Dan,” he said. “I figure that is just part of being in a successful movie, so I just embrace it.”

Looking head to 2012, Sinise said that its too early to advocate support for any presidential candidate, but thinks the economy and employment rates have to be a candidate's top priority.

“We’ll have to see where we’re at in 2012, but the economy and jobs are big things, and that is going to have an impact on the current president in the election," Sinise said. "If the economy keeps going down, we’re going to have big problems.”

“Something has to give. We can’t sustain the spending and the entitlement programs, we are going to have to find away to shift these numbers," he added. It is kind of scary, you look and wonder where the 21st century going – how is the power going to shift in the world? What is going to be the catalyst for this shift?"

Political quandaries aside, Sinise was all smiles throughout the star-studded, black-tie NIAF gala where he was joined by the likes of Jon Favreau, Kara Dioguardi, Giuliana DePandi-Rancic, Dodgers great Tommy Lasorda and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who paid tribute to the late Joseph R. Cerrell, a legendary Los Angeles public affairs consultant, former NIAF vice chairman, and a familiar FOX News face.

“God bless Joe and his family. Somehow I thought I’d see him here tonight, his spirit was always just so big,” Pelosi said, before presenting his family with an award on Cerrell’s honor. “Joe was one of the strongest bridges between the U.S and Italy. Thank you NIAF for all that you do, and for honoring Joseph Cerrell.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/05/24/exclusive-gary-sinise-building-houses-amputee-troops-talks-hopes-2012-election/#ixzz1NzPQmp9q

NRA Sells Out Second Amendment on Patriot Act

NRA Sells Out Second Amendment on Patriot Act

The NRA sold out the Second Amendment during the Patriot Act fight, criticizing Senator Rand Paul's amendment to exempt gun purchases from search provisions of the Patriot Act in e-mails to Congress while sitting on information showing the need for Paul's amendment. The information shows that the FBI and the federal government's Joint Terrorism Task Force have already begun trolling the records of law-abiding gun owners, using the excuse of terrorism surveillance.

The NRA published information May 27 — the day after the vote — indicating that Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was right in warning that Patriot Act provisions threatened law-abiding gun owners. In fact, the NRA proved that Patriot Act surveillance of law-abiding gun owners as terrorists was already occurring.

The NRA sent at least two e-mails to Congress during the Patriot Act debate this week calling Rand Paul's amendment to exempt gun purchases from the provisions of the Patriot Act a "poorly drafted amendment" and stating that "the NRA could not support this." The Senate rejected the Paul amendment by an 85-10 vote May 26. And the NRA e-mail, according to Reason magazine, claimed:

There have been no reports of the current PATRIOT Act being abused with respect to firearms records, however supporters suggested a far-fetched scenario in which every firearms sales record in the country — tens or hundreds of millions of documents dating back to 1968 — could be sought. Again, we nor anyone else is aware of any case in which this authority has been used to abuse gun owners. (In fact, published reports indicate that few of these orders are ever sought for any reason.)

Senate leadership may have relied upon the NRA's advice, according to Redstate.com, citing a letter from Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl that echoed the NRA letter: "it is extremely unlikely that this authority will ever be used to harass lawful gun owners."

But on May 27, the very day after the Paul Amendment vote, the NRA's own Institute for Legislative Analysis released a press release that proved Senator Paul's warnings prescient. The NRA/ILA claimed:

Since the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is responsible for enforcing federal gun laws, dealers and other federal firearm licensees typically contact that agency (or state or local police) when they encounter suspicious customers. So, it raised eyebrows when the FBI began circulating flyers in gun shops and ranges, encouraging owners of those businesses to report suspicious customers to “your local Joint Terrorism Task Force” instead. The flyers first appeared in Connecticut, with a revised version appearing more recently in Utah.

But the flyers, which the NRA had received from gun shops and gun ranges in the Salt Lake City, Utah and New Haven, Connecticut, areas, contained demands that gun clubs and gun shops submit law-abiding gun owners information to the federal government. The flyers demanded that gun information be proffered up to the FBI's Terrorism Joint Task Force if a gun buyer had an "altered appearance from visit to visit (beard shaved off, hair color changed, etc.)" or "insists upon paying with cash" or had made "racist" or "extreme religious statements" or issued "vague or cryptic warnings."

In short, if an American buys a gun and gets a haircut, dyes his gray hair, or shaves his beard, his gun records will be sent to the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force for a terrorism investigation. Other "suspicious" activities also raise questions: If a person says homosexuality is a sin, is that an extreme religious statement that would lead to the FBI investigating him as a terrorist? If a person is against affirmative action, is that a racist sentiment that fingers him as a terrorist?

The FBI flyer was clear that the fact that the gun buyer was an innocent, law-abiding citizen was no excuse for a gun shop not to send the gun records to the FBI: "Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals," the flyer demanded.

Investigating law-abiding gun owners as terrorists may be just what President Obama reportedly told Jim and Sarah Brady back on March 30. "I just want you to know that we are working on it," Brady recalledObama telling the anti-Second Amendment activist organization. "We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."

While the NRA did not say when it obtained information about the FBI/Joint Terrorism Task Force flyers sent to gun shops, the phrasing on the press release does suggest they possessed them before the Patriot Act vote: "The flyers first appeared in Connecticut, with a revised version appearing more recently in Utah."

By way of contrast, Gun Owners of America enthusiastically supported the Paul Amendment: "Without Paul’s exemption, it is possible that the BATFE could go to a secret (FISA) court, and, in a one-party (ex parte) proceeding, obtain an order to produce every 4473 in the country, ostensibly because a 'terrorism investigation' requires it. If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every gun buyer in the country going back decades."

Related articles:

Four-year Patriot Act Extension Passes Despite Rand Paul's Efforts

Anti-Fourth Amendment Patriot Act

Fireworks shows need new environmental review - SignOnSanDiego.com

Fireworks shows need new environmental review - SignOnSanDiego.com

Fireworks shows need new environmental review

Court ruling could have sweeping impact

By Mike Lee and Christopher Cadelago
Originally published 2:06 p.m., May 27, 2011, updated 4:02 p.m., May 27, 2011
Fireworks shows are among thousands of events in San Diego each year that need environmental review under a Superior Court ruling on Friday.


Fireworks shows are among thousands of events in San Diego each year that need environmental review under a Superior Court ruling on Friday.

What started as a battle over fireworks shows led to a sweeping legal victory Friday for environmentalists that could stymie a wide range of events needing city permits, from the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon to birthday parties held at parks.

“According to the strictest interpretation of this, jumpy-jumps and everything else would be subject to environmental review if this ruling stands,” said lawyer Robert Howard, who represented the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation in the case. “It’s a breathtaking ruling.”

California Environmental Quality Act

• The statute requires state and local agencies to identify significant environmental impacts of their actions and avoid or mitigate them, if feasible.

• Its origin can be traced to passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. The next year, the state Legislature passed its own version and Gov. Ronald Reagan signed it.

• Projects that need discretionary governmental approval and could have an environmental impact generally require review under the law, unless an exemption applies.

• Public agencies are entrusted with compliance, which is enforced by the public through litigation.

Source: California Natural Resources Agency

Superior Court Judge Linda Quinn said La Jolla’s annual Fourth of Julyfireworks show requires evaluation under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.

The case, filed by the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation in Encinitas, targeted San Diego’s approval of the La Jolla event but eventually drew in a broad swath of city permits. San Diego officials said they issue about 400 special-events permits annually, along with up to 20,000 park-use permits for smaller-scale gatherings — most of which would now need environmental assessment.

“San Diego issues thousands of these simple park-use permits over the counter with the only consideration being space, just as other cities do across the state,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “Existing law has never been interpreted to require a CEQA review for this. ... This decision opens the door to absurd results. This is the reason appellate courts exist and we plan to ask for their help.”

Even before the judge’s ruling was finalized, Chula Vista officials on Thursday pulled the plug on their July Fourth show in the face of funding shortfalls and environmental challenges.

The future of La Jolla’s event was fuzzy Friday. Organizers likely can’t complete the time-intensive and costly CEQA analysis by July 4, but Howard said he would ask the court to allow this year’s event while the case is appealed.

City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, whose district includes La Jolla, said she hoped to find a solution. “We have to strike a balance that protects the environment but also allows our finest traditions to continue,” she said.

On Tuesday, the City Council ratified a long-standing city policy of exempting fireworks shows from special-events permits unless food or alcohol is sold. It was an attempt to shield pyrotechnics from environmental challenges, but Friday’s decision means CEQA still applies.

Environmental impact reports can take a year and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

“Does that mean every event has to get a full environmental impact report? No, but it means that the city has to undertake the burden and applicants have to undertake the cost” of a lower-level CEQA analysis, Howard said.

He said some “events” such as temporary Christmas tree stands have existing exemptions under the law, but many others don’t.

Alex Roth, a spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders, framed the suit as part of a “bizarre crusade to stop fireworks.”

“What’s next, a lawsuit against swimmers for polluting the ocean with their suntan lotion?” Roth said.

Marco Gonzalez, a lawyer for the environmental rights foundation, exulted over Friday’s win, which comes after months of criticism against him for challenging an American tradition.

“If you were to sum it up with one word, I would say ‘vindication.’ It’s vindication for the environment ... and it’s vindication for my client because of the amount of disparaging comments and general negativity that was thrown our way when we were told that our lawsuit was frivolous,” Gonzalez said.

Earlier this month, his lawsuit had spurred regional pollution regulators to adopt a new permit for fireworks shot over beaches and bays. The mandate, based on the Clean Water Act, was a national first.

Gonzalez said he also is breaking new ground in seeking reviews of fireworks shows under California environmental law.

“There are a whole host of impacts that we know occur from fireworks shows, from marine mammals to marine birds to water quality to traffic to noise to the air,” Gonzalez said. “We want it studied and we want it mitigated.”

Tony Manolatos, a spokesman for City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, stood by the council’s exemption for fireworks. “I think banning fireworks on the Fourth of July is un-American,” he said, “and I think the majority of San Diegans would agree.”

Gonzalez has repeatedly said that protecting water quality and coastal species is patriotic.

Mike Lee: (619)293-2034; mike.lee@uniontrib.com. Follow on Twitter @sdutlee.

The Ulsterman Report: House Dems Tell Obama No Way No How… | Socyberty

The Ulsterman Report: House Dems Tell Obama No Way No How… | Socyberty

In a landslide vote against a strong Obama White House request to raise the debt ceiling by over two trillion dollars without initiating deep spending cuts in government spending, House Democrats join with Boehner-led Republicans in rebuking President Obama’s desire for ever more irresponsible deficit spending.

A word to President Barack Obama – you know you are totally out of step with a mainstream issue when even the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are telling you no way no how on another vast increase in deficit spending. In fact, 87 House Democrats came out against the Obama request to raise the debt ceiling. Had this been a Republican president so soundly slapped down by so many within his own party, the mainstream media would be signaling that impeachment was soon to follow. As of yet though, hardly a word from network news organizations, CNN, Fox, or that other “news” network with the multiple chinned misogynist Ed Shlutz. Or is it Schlotz? Schnotch?

87 House Democrats told President Barack Obama “not gonna do it” when it came to raising the debt ceiling. 87! That number represents nearly half of all Democrats in the House of Representatives. Half! Kudos to Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner for forcing the hand of Democrats on the issue – namely, actually making them have to vote on something. Make no mistake, most of these Democrats had no issue with raising the debt ceiling by another 2.4 TRILLION dollars, but with the 2012 elections just around the corner, and with the still fresh memory of Barack Obama having left so many of them politically vulnerable during the 2010 midterms, the instinct for personal political survival has overcome any previous allegiances to the Obama White House.

The final vote was 318-97 against the Obama White House’s desire to add another 2.4 TRILLION to the national debt. This despite dire warnings from several within the Obama administration that America’s financial system could collapse if the debt ceiling was not raised. Despite these warnings, recent polling has indicated voters are strongly opposed to further deficit spending, and equally opposed to President Obama’s overall handling of the economy. This opposition is particularly strong among independent voters, a group essential to President Obama’s re-election hopes in 2012.

And if Barack Obama cannot count on the support from the likes of Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, will even less support be coming from the American public in 2012?

Yes we can…

Read more: http://socyberty.com/history/the-ulsterman-report-house-dems-tell-obama-no-way-no-how/#ixzz1NzOcnBh5