Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1 in 3 on Disability Have Mental Disorder; 42.9% in D.C.

January 27, 2015 

(CNSNews.com) - One in three, or 35.2 percent, of people getting federal disability insurance benefits have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to the latest data from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Washington, D.C., the seat of the federal government, ranked in the top-ten list of states where disabled beneficiaries were diagnosed with mental problems.

In 2013, the latest data from SSA show there were 10,228,364 disabled beneficiaries, up 139,625 from 2012 when there were 10,088,739 disabled beneficiaries.

Disabled beneficiaries have increased 49.7 percent from a decade ago in 2003 when there were 6,830,714 beneficiaries; and the number is up 14.3 percent from the 8,945,376 beneficiaries in 2009, the year President Obama took office.
disability

The largest "diagnostic group" for disabled beneficiaries was a mental disorder. Of the 10,228,364 disabled people receiving federal disability benefits in December 2013, according to the report, 3,599,417, or 35.2 percent, were diagnosed with a mental disorder.

"Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue” problems accounted for the second largest group of disabled beneficiaries. Of the 10,228,364 disabled people receiving federal disability benefits in December 2013, 2,829,808, or 27.7 percent, had been diagnosed with a musculoskeletal problem.
In Washington, D.C., according to the report, 42.9 percent of disabled beneficiaries as of December 2013 had been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Massachusetts and New Hampshire led the nation in this metric with 49.9 percent of disabled beneficiaries diagnosed with a mental disorder.
mental disorder
At the bottom of the list were Alabama (28.8% diagnosed with a mental disorder); Georgia (29.1%), South Carolina (29.7%), and Arkansas and Louisiana (30.2% each).
Within the mental disorders diagnostic group, the most common specific diagnosis for disabled beneficiaries was a “mood disorder.” According to the report, as of December 2013, 14 percent of all disabled beneficiaries in the United States had such a disorder.

A mood disorder, otherwise known as an affective disorder, says SSA, is “characterized by a disturbance of mood, accompanied by a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. Mood refers to a prolonged emotion that colors the whole psychic life; it generally involves either depression or elation.”

To be determined to be suffering a disabling mood disorder, a person must exhibit a combination of factors, including such things as “appetite disturbance with change in weight; or sleep disturbance; or psychomotor agitation or retardation; or decreased energy; or feelings of guilt or worthlessness; or difficulty concentrating or thinking; or thoughts of suicide; or hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking.”
Massachusetts led the nation in this category with 22.7 percent of those with mental disorders also diagnosed with a mood disorder. Washington, D.C., lagged slightly behind the national percentage, with 13.9 percent of its disabled beneficiaries having been diagnosed with a mood disorder.
mood disorder

The report also examines beneficiaries who have filed for workers’ compensation or public disability benefits. The report finds that the number one diagnosis for those who have filed are because of “musculoskeletal system and connective tissue,” with 59.8% of those who have filed having that diagnosis. The second highest group, or 10.6 percent of those who filed, were diagnosed with a “mood disorder.”

disabled worker, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), is a “beneficiary who worked in covered employment long enough to be insured and who had been working recently in covered employment prior to disability onset.”

“Individuals are considered to be disabled only if their physical or mental impairment(s) are of such severity that they are not only unable to do their previous work but cannot--because of their age, education, or work experience--engage in any other kind of substantial gainful activity that exists in the national economy,” says SSA.

Can you expect honest journalism from people like this?

CNN Host Kisses De Blasio Before Interview

Chris Cuomo Complains About Waiting for Hot Cocoa

8:21 AM, JAN 27, 2015 • BY DANIEL HALPER
On CNN this morning, the host kissed Mayor Bill de Blasio before she interviewed him, and handed him a cup of hot chocolate:
The other host, Chris Cuomo, complained that he'd been waiting for an hour and a half for his hot cocoa to arrive.
"The mayor comes and the hot cocoa comes," Cuomo complained as his co-host arrived on set in the middle of his interview with de Blasio. "The hot cocoa comes. I've been asking for it for an hour and a half."
De Blasio admitted the storm wasn't nearly as had been predicted. But, he argued, if it had been worse, New York City would've been prepared.

Democrat crony capitalism...as well as making Carlos Slim richer.

Phone Company ‘Outraged’ By Fraud, Abuse In ‘Obamaphone’ Program



Greece now in the hands of Israel haters. The moral relativism of the left.

The victory of Syriza in Greece 'bad news for Israel' 

Written by EJP
  
Sunday, 25 January 2015 
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Alexis Tsipras, whose party Syriza won general elections in Greece on Sunday, stated last year during a rally in Athens that ‘’the world should make every possible effort so that Israel ends its criminal attack and brutality against Palestinians.’’ 


ATHENS (EJP)---The radical leftwing Syriza party which appears to be the winner of Sunday’s general elections in Greece and has has promised to stop with austerity and defy the European institutions, is alsowidely viewed as having a clear anti-Israel stance. which has promised to “cancel” austerity and defy the European institutions
The party’s 40-year-old leader, Alexis Tsipras, said the vote would mark “the return of dignity” to Greece. His party was expected to get between 36% and 39% of the popular vote compared to between 23% and 27% for the conservative New Democracy party of outgoing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. 
Syriza’s ranks include an array of leftists ranging from Marxists to Greens.
The party has constantly identified itself with the Palestinian cause and its programme include a demand for abolition of Greece’s military cooperation with Israel and the support for the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Israel and Greece have enjoyed a strong relationship and cooperation since 2008 in several aspects of military,intelligence, economy and culture. 
Alexis Tsipras’ party colleagues and his own inner circle have repeatedly attacked Israel and the "Zionists", claiming that they are not anti-Semitic, just ''anti-Zionist.'' Syriza's former head, Nikos Konstandopoulos, has consistently offered his services as a defense lawyer for convicted and alleged Arab terrorists who have been arrested in Greece.  
Last year, Tsipras stated that ‘’the world should make every possible effort so that Israel ends its criminal attack and brutality against Palestinians.’’“Seeing Israel killing children in Palestine is unacceptable. We should unite our voices and forces so as to live in peace, expressing our solidarity to the Palestinian people,” he said during a march in Athens against Israel's Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza last summer.
“When civilians and children are killed at beaches facing the same sea that borders on the European continent, we cannot remain passive, because if this happens on the other side of the Mediterranean today, it can happen on our own side tomorrow,'' he said. 
In another development, first elections results also showed that the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party would be winning between 6 and 8 % of the votes. 
The party’s leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos and five other outgoing lawmakers are behind bars, accused of being part of a criminal group that attacks immigrants and leftists, after a party supporter stabbed a prominent left-wing rapper in 2013.
In its manifesto, Golden Dawn, among the furthest parties to the right on Europe’s political spectrum, argues all illegal immigrants should be rounded up, detained and sent home. The party members have been seen doing Nazi-style salutes.


Government - Getting Nothing for Something

Theodore Dalrymple:

Last night the streetlights in my pleasant little English market town were switched off at midnight. In fact they’ve been switching them off at midnight for two months, but I have not been here to notice it. However, in this little development (or is it a reversal of development?) may be seen all the economic troubles of the whole Western world.
The lights are switched off as a cost-saving measure, not because of the aesthetic and cultural advantages of darkness (which, in my opinion, do actually exist), or because there is anything wrong with the electricity supply. Private houses are unaffected. You can still burn the midnight oil if you want to. 
But why do costs need to be cut? A brief description of some of the town’s finances might be helpful. Its most highly paid official receives in emoluments nearly 20 percent of the town’s income through local taxation. The payment of pensions to past employees, which are completely unfunded and must be found from current income, consume another 20 to 25 percent of that tax revenue. Two years ago a former employee took the council to a labor tribunal for wrongful dismissal, and the council spent 66 percent of its income in that year on legal fees. (The employee’s complaints against the council were not upheld, but that was scarcely of any comfort to the taxpayers, for the costs were not recoverable—even though natural justice required that she should be driven into penury and made homeless for the rest of her life to pay for her legal action, which was both frivolous and dishonest.)
Even if it provided no services at all, the council would still run at a deficit if it continued only with its essential business, which is to pay the salaries and pensions of those who work in it, and the various parasitical rent-seekers, like employment lawyers, who live at its expense. And so the bureaucracy (and its hangers-on) does not exist to serve the public, but the public exists to serve the bureaucracy. In the past, the council had reserves to meet its deficits, but these have been run into the ground, and it has therefore had to appeal to other, larger sources of public funds for help, which themselves run on the same great pyramid-principle as that of the town council. Indeed, the whole country, the whole continent, the whole hemisphere is run on that principle.
But what cannot go on forever will not go on forever. The music, if it has not yet stopped completely, is slowing down and growing fainter. The town council finds it more and more difficult to run a deficit, and since it must continue to pay its salaries and pensions or lose its primary purpose altogether, the only option that remains to it is to cut services such as lighting and rubbish collection (already down to once a fortnight, so that many people find themselves not only paying the council for rubbish collection but disposing of their own rubbish). 
The curious thing is that the suppression of services has occasioned no public outcry. Why not? The first thing to mention is that a large proportion of the population pays no local taxes—it is too poor, too handicapped, too unemployed, too ill, too unwilling, too dependent on the state already—to do so. Such people feel no outrage because in their hearts they know, as Lear put it, nothing will come of nothing.
As for the taxpayers, they have had a long schooling in low expectations from their taxes: they may pay 40 per cent (80 per cent within living memory) of their income above a certain level in taxes, as well as taxes on everything that they buy or do. But they would not be so foolish as to conclude that therefore their children will be properly educated by the state, or that they will be well looked-after when they are ill. That would not be the case even if they paid 100 percent of their income to the state. So it doesn’t surprise them that the council will do anything rather than reduce payments to its staff and hangers-on. They are resigned to it, and to the council’s motto adapted from the old Roman one. Not “Let the heavens fall so long as justice is done,” but “Let the lights go out so long as the pensions are paid.”
How have we arrived at this situation, which might seem bizarre to a Martian arriving on Earth for the first time? I think the root cause of it is fiat money, the conjuring of currency out of nothing by the central banks. Fiat money has accustomed governments to the idea that they can go on borrowing and spending money forever without ever having to pay it back. This alters their attitude to deficit spending, which is not as the occasion requires (as Keynes envisaged), but permanent, the way we live now. And it alters the whole character of the citizenry as well. For them prudence becomes foolishness and foolishness prudence; speculation is necessary for all who do not want to end up impoverished, and there can be no such thing as enough, even for those who are not greedy by nature, for money is no longer a store of value. More, more, more is necessary, if you want to keep what little you already have.
It was the First World War that taught modern governments to spend in order to pursue ends that they could not afford, in this case mass slaughter lasting four years. Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, said on the eve of war that “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” He did not foresee that, just over a century later, the lamps would go out in my little town, because the town adopted the same way of financing its activities as that in which the First World War was financed, with the results that we all know only too well.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Egypt and female genital mutilation. A hopeful sign?

Egypt court convicts doctor of female genital mutilation

CAIRO — An Egyptian appeals court on Monday convicted a doctor of manslaughter and performing female genital mutilation that led to the death of a 13-year-old girl, sentencing him to two years and three months in prison in the country’s first case that came to trial over the widespread practice, defense lawyers said.
The doctor, Raslan Fadl, was initially acquitted of the 2013 death of Sohair el-Batea in a village in the Nile Delta province of Dakahliya. He was not present in court Monday and his whereabouts were unknown.
Monday’s verdict was “a triumph for women,” said lawyer Reda el-Danbouki, who represented the deceased. Egypt has one of the highest rates of female genital mutilation in the world and criminalized the practice in 2008, but it remains widespread.
“I am really happy,” el-Danbouki told the Associated Press following the ruling. “Here is a judge that understands.”
The lawyer said the court also fined Fadl $70 and ordered his clinic closed for a year, and handed el-Batea’s father a three-month suspended sentence for complicity in subjecting his daughter to the procedure.
Rights advocates said the ruling could serve as a deterrent for doctors and families against the practice. The trial was the first in Egypt on charges of breaking the 2008 ban on the practice. The case came to trial only after significant pressure from rights groups.
Modal Trigger
Sohair’s lawyer, Reda el-Danbouki, visits her grave.Photo: AP 
“It is fantastic news that Sohair has finally been given justice. This is a monumental victory for women and girls in Egypt,” said Suad Abu-Dayyeh, the Middle East and North African consultant for the international women’s rights group Equality Now.
“The country has shown that it will implement its laws and we hope that this is the first step toward ending this extreme form of violence against women once and for all,” Abu-Dayyeh added.
More than 90 percent of women in Egypt are estimated to have undergone female genital mutilation. Equality Now said in an email that almost one in four survivors of female genital mutilation in the world is from Egypt.
The practice generally involves the cutting off of all or part of the clitoris and sometimes the labia. It is performed on both Muslims and Christians and is believed to control a young woman’s sexual appetite.
It is practiced in 29 countries, mostly in East and West Africa, but also in Iraq and Yemen. Rights groups see it as a way to control female sexuality that causes physical and psychological damage.
Despite the trial, Fadl had continued to work in his clinic. An employee who answered a call to his center Monday said she had no information on the ruling and declined to discuss Fadl’s whereabouts. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to media.

Is the NY Times a political? Would a reporter during WWII used this kind of info for personal gain?

Jeffrey Sterling, ex-CIA officer, convicted of leaking secrets to reporter

- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former CIA officer was convicted Monday of leaking classified details of an operation to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions to a New York Times reporter.
Jurors convicted 47-year-old Jeffrey Sterling, of O'Fallon, Missouri, of all nine counts he faced in federal court. On the third day of deliberations, the jurors had told the judge that they could not reach a unanimous verdict. But they delivered guilty verdicts later in the afternoon after the judge urged them to keep talking.
At issue in the two-week trial: Who told journalist James Risen about the secret mission, one that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified was one of the government's most closely held secrets as well as one of its best chances to thwart Iran's nuclear-weapons ambitions?
The case was delayed for years as prosecutors fought to force Risen to divulge his sources, though they ultimately decided not to call him to testify once it became clear he would not reveal those sources even if jailed for contempt of court.
Prosecutors had acknowledged a lack of direct evidence against Sterling but said the circumstantial evidence against him was overwhelming. Defense lawyers had said the evidence showed that Capitol Hill staffers who had been briefed on the classified operation were more likely the source of the leak.
The plan involved using a CIA asset nicknamed Merlin, who had been a Russian nuclear engineer, to foist deliberately flawed nuclear-weapons blueprints on the Iranians, hoping they would spend years trying to develop parts that had no hope of ever working.
Risen's 2006 book, "State of War," describes the mission as hopelessly botched, and possibly backfiring by giving the Iranians blueprints that could be useful to them if they sorted out the good information from the errors.
In his closing arguments, prosecutor Eric Olshan said the chapter of Risen's book seemed to be clearly written from Sterling's perspective as Merlin's case handler. The book describes the handler's misgivings about the operation while others at the CIA push the plan through despite its risks.
Furthermore, Sterling believed he had been mistreated and was angry that the agency refused to settle his racial discrimination complaint, Olshan said.
Risen had written about that complaint, and he was known to have a relationship with Sterling. The two exchanged dozens of phone calls and emails, Olshan said.
But defense lawyers said the government had no evidence that Risen and Sterling talked about anything classified in those phone calls and emails. The government failed to obtain Risen's records to see who else he may have contacted.
Defense attorney Barry Pollack said Risen first got wind of the operation in early 2003, within weeks of Sterling reporting his misgivings to staffers at a Senate intelligence committee — a channel that Sterling was legally allowed to pursue. Pollack said it makes more sense that a Hill staffer leaked to Risen.

The unanswered and most important question is why? Money? Anti Americanism? An Iranian agent? On the side of people of color?

Why Israel rankles Europeans so much...leftist white liberals

Why Israel rankles Europeans so much

BY DAN HANNAN | JANUARY 26, 2015 

JERUSALEM — “It’s only Europe that gives us a hard time,” an Israeli minister told me last week, genuinely puzzled. “Yesterday, I had the Canadian foreign minister sitting where you’re sitting now. I had a cross-party delegation from the U.S. Senate. I had ministers from India and Japan. All of them understood that Israel was facing a terrorist threat. But the EU starts from the assumption that we’re in the wrong. Why?”
Good question. Many Israelis have two pat answers at the ready: anti-Semitism and Muslim immigration to Europe. I almost wish it were that simple. It’s true that anti-Semitism lingers in parts of the European Union: I have heard comments on the Continent that would be unthinkable in Britain or America. But only from a handful of blockheads. France roared its approval when, in a moving speech, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the National Assembly that “without French Jews, France would not be herself.” Many of those doing the roaring are supporters of the Palestinian cause, and it won’t quite do to say that their applause was forced.
Nor is anti-Zionism just a sop to Muslim voters. There is scant correlation, across Europe, between levels of Muslim immigration and policy toward Israel. Gaza, in any case, is not always a burning issue for people whose family origins are in, say, Bangladesh or Indonesia. If anything, hostility to Israel is strongest among white, middle-class Euro-Lefties.
Israel, like all countries, sometimes makes mistakes and sometimes brings criticism on itself. But the obsessive focus on this tiny strip of land — barely a month passes without the European Parliament passing some critical resolution or other – is disproportionate. Where does it come from, this intensity of feeling?
Both sides like to internationalize their quarrel. Israelis do so by linking their cause with the wider struggle for Western values against jihadi barbarism, and they’re on to something. Jews are often the first targets of totalitarians. Michel Houellebecq’s novel Soumission, which imagines France under a Muslim Brotherhood president, came out, by an uncanny coincidence, on the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It contains an eerily apt moment. When the narrator’s Jewish girlfriend tells him that she has had enough and is moving to Israel, he glumly remarks, “For me, there is no Israel.” I suspect some of French gentiles are starting to think the same way as the fictional François.
Palestinians have internationalized their cause differently, seeking European recognition as a state, promoting boycotts of their opponents and now launching a case at the International Criminal Court. Of the two sides, it’s the Palestinians who are making the running in the EU, which recently voted to treat the 1967 line as the legal frontier.

Part of the reason that opinion has hardened is that the Jewish state is no longer seen as the underdog. In 1948 and in 1967, Israel was — for once the cliché is apt — David against Goliath. These days, in most international media, Israelis are presented as conquerors, Palestinians as helots. A surprising number of people, especially on the Left, approach virtually every question by trying to establish a hierarchy of victimhood and, having picked their side, become almost indifferent to anything else.
But what, to return to the Likud minister’s question, makes Europe different? One thing above all. The EU’s ruling ideology is supra-nationalism. Its founders detested the national principle, which they regarded as one step away from fascism and war. They were wrong: The misalignment of national units with state frontiers is arguably the chief cause of conflict in the world, from Chechnya to Kashmir, from Sri Lanka to South Sudan. But they sincerely believed that national loyalties were irrational, transient and dangerous, as do their successors today.
Israel represents the most vivid vindication of the national principle that humanity has witnessed. A people who were stateless for 2,000 nears never lost their aspiration to nationhood: “Next year in Jerusalem.” Then, extraordinarily — providentially, even — they fulfilled it. To a Briton or an American, it’s a heartening story. But it strikes at the Euro-integrationist's entire worldview.
When people in the Anglosphere look at Israel, they see familiar characteristics: civilian government, property rights, a market economy, the common law and even, at least as far as intellectual and commercial life goes, the English language. They are sympathetic in the literal sense of having fellow- feeling rooted in similar experiences. They like the fact that, unlike surrounding states, Israel has remained a cussed, disputatious democracy.
A few days ago, the retired paratrooper who had installed a security barrier showed me a place where he had to alter its course because Israel’s supreme court ruled that his proposed route gave too much weight to security and too little to the quality of life of local Palestinians. In how many neighboring countries do judges get to overrule generals like that?
Israel’s story is by no means unblemished; but it is uplifting. It’s a story of how freedom can take root in even the most unpromising conditions. Such a story appeals to optimistic types, but repels the envious, the eternally aggrieved, the gloomsters who see free markets as some kind of racket — the same people, indeed, who tend also to be anti-British and anti-American, whether they be Left Bank intellectuals or Putinite nationalists or Bolivarian revolutionaries.
I know who I’d rather have on my side; and it’s not the Bolivarians — or the Eurocrats. Israel has its problems, but it will still be around when the EU is one with Nineveh and Tyre.
Dan Hannan is a British Conservative member of the European Parliament. 

Federal Judge Accuses DOJ Attorneys of Defrauding The Court, Threatening Witness in Case of ATF Whistleblower Jay Dobyns...you would expect anything else from this DOJ?

Late last week reporter Tim Steller of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson published a piece about alleged serious misconduct and intimidation from DOJ attorneys during the trial and lawsuit of former ATF agent and whistleblower Jay Dobyns against the government. 
One of the recently unsealed documents, a Dec. 1 opinion by Judge Allegra, finally explains why in October the judge voided his original decision, made in August, to award Dobyns $173,000. (He later reversed his decision to void the judgment, which still stands.) The reason: The judge believed that Justice Department attorneys had “committed fraud on the court.”

One area in which Allegra decided deception had occurred was in the treatment of Thomas Atteberry, the special agent in charge of ATF’s Phoenix office, and Carlos Canino, then the assistant special agent in charge of the agency’s Tucson office. In 2012, a Justice Department attorney, Valerie Bacon, asked both Atteberry and Canino not to reopen the investigation into the arson at Dobyns’ Tucson home because it could hurt the Justice Department’s defense in this case.

Atteberry and Canino were listed as witnesses in the case, but the judge didn’t hear about the DOJ effort to squelch the investigation until the trial, which he considered a concealment by the Justice Department. They went ahead and reopened the case, which remains unsolved, anyway.

More alarming was the other “fraud on the court” that Allegra cited: “An ATF agent who testified in this case may have been threatened by another witness during the trial.” Justice Department attorneys ordered the agent not to report the threat to the court or he would face repercussions, Allegra said.
As a refresher, Dobyns is the first law enforcement agent to ever successfully infiltrate multiple layers of the notoriously dangerous and violent Hells Angels motorcycle gang through "Operation Black Biscuit." After doing so and after his identity was exposed, he received death threats against himself and his family. ATF did nothing to protect him. When his house was burned to the ground at 3 a.m., ATF supervisors tried to frame him for the arson after Dobyns blew the whistle and exposed supervisors had done nothing to address serious and credible threats against his family. (You can read a detailed account of the situation here). As a result, Dobyns sued the Bureau. 
In August 2014 that lawsuit and trial came to an end with Federal Judge Francis Allegra ruling in Dobyns' favor and awarding him $173,000 in damages. 
After a long six year court battle with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Special Agent and whistleblower Jay Dobyns says he as been vindicated after Federal Judge Francis Allegra ruled in his favor late Tuesday. Dobyns, who infiltrated the dangerous and deadly Hells Angels gang as an undercover agent years ago, brought a lawsuit against the Bureau after supervisors ignored death threats to his family, which included plans to murder him either with a bullet or by injecting him with the AIDS virus, kidnapping and torturing his then 15-year-old daughter and kidnapping his wife in order to videotape a gang rape of her. Contracts were solicited between the Hells Angels, the Aryan Brotherhood and the MS-13 gang to carry out these threats, which were laid out in prison letters and confirmed through FBI and ATF interviews of confidential informants inside numerous detention centers. In 2008, his Tucson home was burned to the ground. When the fire was started, his wife and children were inside. Luckily, they escaped. Instead of investigating, ATF supervisors accused Dobyns of being the arsonist.

"I have been vindicated. First, I must thank God who provided me with strength and faith during these events. I thank those who have supported me; family, friends, peers and strangers but mostly my wife and kids – they have been the true victims here and been forced to suffer too needlessly," Dobyns wrote about the ruling on his website, where he released the news. "An agency I spilled my own blood for and enthusiastically accepted every dirty assignment on behalf of for twenty-seven years, knowingly and intentionally accused me of a crime I did not commit; being a person who would murder his own wife and children by fire."

In his opinion, Allegra said ATF exhibited "organizational weaknesses," in handling the threats against Dobyns and described ATF officials as demonstrating misfeasance in the case "rooted in the sorry failure of some ATF officials."

“The violations occurred because of the way officials like ASAC Gillett and RAC Higman functioned – and were allowed to function – after the arson, especially in terms of how Agent Dobyns was treated”; “In the courts view, the evidence showed that ASAC Gillett and Agent Higman knew that Agent Dobyns was not responsible for the fire, and still allowed him to be treated as a suspect as a form of payback. Moreover, ATF officials knew, or should have known, that individuals like ASAC Gillett and Agent Higman should not have been allowed to participate in the investigation – as it turned out their conduct was not only reprehensible, but predictably so. In donning blinders in this regard, ATF officials compounded potential harm that might have befallen the Dobyns family,” the opinion states.

It seems that this apparent misconduct by the DOJ attorneys is what led Allegra to make a dramatic ruling on Oct. 24. That day, he barred seven Justice Department attorneys who had led the case until then from making any further filings in the case. The DOJ is fighting that ruling. 
Shortly after the ruling, Allegra withdrew his opinion without explanation, now we know why. Court documents show DOJ attorneys allegedly intimidated a key witness in Dobyns' case against the government, threatening that if he testified, his career at would be over. 
“On October 29, 2014, the court, invoking RCFC 60(b) and other provisions, issued an order voiding the prior judgment based upon indications that defendant, through its counsel, had committed fraud on the court," Allegra wrote in an unsealed opinion from December 2014. "The Sixth Circuit has indicated that fraud on the court consists of conduct: 1. On the part of an officer of the court; 2. That is directed to the ‘judicial machinery’ itself; 3. That is intentionally false, willfully blind to the truth, or is in reckless disregard for the truth; 4. That is a positive averment or is concealment when one is under a duty to disclose; 5. That deceives the court." 
After the opinion was issued, ATF's lead internal affairs investigator Christopher Trainor, a key witness in the Dobyns' case who testified at the Tucson and Washington D.C. portions of the trial, told Judge Allegra he had been threatened by a DOJ attorney and witness for the government, Charles Higman, in 2013 for his work in compiling evidence against ATF in the case. An internal criminal investigation was opened against Higman in 2013 after Trainor's allegations and Higman was accused of perjury in Allegra's August 2014 opinion, which was withdrawn after new revelations. 
According to a letter to Judge Allegra from the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility, OPR has "received multiple inquiries regarding whether the Federal Circuit's December 18, 2014 Order remanding the case of Jay A. Dobyns v. United States, No. 08-700C (FMA), to the Court of Federal Claims for further proceedings will affect the inquiry recently initiated by OPR into allegations that Department of Justice attorneys committed misconduct in the Dobyns case," and "the court will order depositions of at least some of the attorneys and other witnesses in this case, as well as the receipt of other relevant evidence." 
Further, DOJ has allegedly been intimidating and conducting harassing surveillance of Dobyns' attorney Jim Reed. More from Steller:
Perhaps the most bizarre and worrisome allegations emerged in Reed’s Jan. 11 filing, which was originally filed under seal but unsealed by the judge except for a few redacted words. Reed, who is based in Phoenix, wrote that he “has felt himself under extreme surveillance for the last sixty days, both fixed and moving, and under lesser levels of surveillance for many months before that.”

“In the last 30 days,” Reed wrote, “counsel’s automobile has been broken into but with nothing stolen, as apparently has been his home, for which counsel has filed Phoenix Police Department complaints.” 
DOJ is standing by it's attorneys as "outstanding civil servants." Attorney General Eric Holder has been informed by Allegra of the alleged defrauding of the court by DOJ attorneys. 
"I said all along they were cheating. Everyone was like, "sour grapes, disgruntled agent, whiny narcissist, etc." Just a fraction of the dirty games ATF and DOJ played on me are coming out. Reporters are finding it all on their own with no prompting from me (below). This is only the portion of what Judge Allegra has unsealed and allowed to be exposed. More and better dirt on these people is coming. The evidence of abuse from the trial? That's old news and minor compared to DOJ / ATF attorneys and witnesses defrauding federal courtrooms and judges. Jones and Brandon knew/know about this and did NOTHING, yet they call themselves "leaders". They are executive bagboys. DOJ is defending the reputations and careers of corrupt attorneys - the very same attorneys who tried to frame me and lied, cheated and stole to do it. They are all paid to cover for Holder and his "team" and do so shamelessly. Justice and truth are not their missions. Coverup and self protection is. To them "Justice" and "Truth" are meaningless words carved in the facades of their buildings. This is the tip of the iceberg of what is yet to come," Dobyns wrote on his website about the revelations. "I can only make one guarantee. Its not of victory. Its that I will not quit and will not be broken." 
The House Oversight Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committees both have new chairmen, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Chuck Grassley, who should both be looking into this is and demanding answers, especially with confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch later this week. 
David Codrea has also written a piece about these revelations that's worth reading.

The downside of free..Feds’ unemployment benefits made job recession worse: Study

Feds’ unemployment benefits made job recession worse: Study

 - The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2015
If you pay people not to work, they won't work — and cutting off their payments sends them scurrying back into the job market, according to new research by three academics who looked at the federal government's extended unemployment benefit program and concluded that it actually deepened, rather than helped, the jobs recession.
Once the benefits ended at the end of 2013, the jobs picture began to rebound, trouncing even some of the rosier predictions for the year, the academics said in a new National Bureau of Economic Research paper released this month.
Nearly one million workers who would have sat it out and taken unemployment benefits instead got jobs in 2014 because their benefits ended, the researchers said. And when knock-on effects are included, "nearly all" of last year's new jobs can be attributed to the end of the federal program, the researchers, led by Marcus Hagerdorn, an economist at the University of Oslo, said.
"We find that the cut in unemployment benefit duration led to a 2 percent increase in aggregate employment, accounting for nearly all of the remarkable employment growth in the U.S. in 2014," the researchers wrote.
The findings are certain to be controversial, and they contradict Democrats' insistence that paying benefits kept people looking for work, while withdrawing benefits would lead them to drop out of the job market altogether.
Instead, the end of extended federal benefits on Dec. 28, 2013, actually increased the labor force participation rate, reversing a years-long trend, the researchers said.
The academics were able to compare job growth in neighboring counties that nonetheless are in different states, and so they had differing unemployment benefit packages. The economic conditions are similar across the counties, making it possible to look at job effect of the change in unemployment.
The researchers said their findings undercut the consensus among most economists that cutting benefits would hurt jobs.
"Instead, we found that the reform led to almost a million non-participants entering the labor market," Mr. Hagerdorn and his colleagues wrote.
Congressional Republicans touted the research, which backs up their stance during the unemployment debate.
At its peak, the federal government spent $155 billion on unemployment benefits in 2010, and half of that was from the emergency program, which paid almost two years of benefits to the long-term unemployed.
Republicans insisted the extended aid expire in late 2013.

How corrupt is Mexico? This should tell you all you need to know.

Abducted Mexican journalist Moises Sanchez found dead

Officials in Mexico say they have found the decapitated body of a journalist who had been missing for three weeks.
Moises Sanchez was abducted from his home in the eastern state of Veracruz by gunmen on 2 January.
He reported on corruption and violence for weekly newspaper La Union in the town of Medellin de Bravo.
Veracruz is among the most dangerous Mexican states for journalists to work in, according to Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights.
Gruesome discovery
Veracruz state prosecutor Luis Angel Bravo said Mr Sanchez's body had been found on the outskirts of Medellin de Bravo on Saturday. 
Mr Bravo said a former police officer confessed to taking part in Mr Sanchez's murder.
The prosecutor also told reporters that the suspect said he had acted on orders from local Mayor Omar Cruz.
Mr Cruz has not commented on the allegations.
As mayor he enjoys immunity from prosecution, but Mr Bravo said he would ask for it to be withdrawn so Mr Cruz could be charged.
Missing students 
Local media have compared the case to that of 43 students who went missing from the town of Iguala in south-western Guerrero state four months ago.
Investigators in the Iguala case said municipal police officers confessed to handing the students over to a gang which killed them. 
Like the officer in the case of Moises Sanchez, the municipal police officers in Iguala alleged they were acting on the orders of the town's mayor, Jose Luis Abarca.
Mr Abarca, who denies the charges, is being held in a high-security jail in the capital, Mexico City.
The students' disappearance triggered a series of mass protests by Mexicans who say they are fed up with high levels of corruption and collusion between local authorities, the police and criminal gangs.
Relatives of the 43 are planning to march to Zocalo square in Mexico City on Monday to demand more be done to find them. 
The remains of only one of the students have been identified so far. 
The relatives of the 42 others say they will not give up their search until they have evidence of the students' deaths. 

Journalist who broke news of prosecutor's death flees Argentina


Journalist who broke news of prosecutor's death flees Argentina
Reuters – Sun, 25 Jan, 2015

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The first journalist to report on the death of a Argentine state prosecutor, who was investigating the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, said on Saturday that he had fled Argentina fearing for his life.
"I'm leaving because my life is in danger. My phones are tapped," Damian Pachter, a journalist with the Buenos Aires Herald, told the website Infobae.
The website carried a photograph of Pachter, wearing a cap and carrying sunglasses, at the airport before he boarded an Aerolineas Argentinas flight.
Telam, an Argentine state-run news agency, reported that the flight was bound for neighboring Uruguay.
"I'm going to come back to this country when my sources tell me the conditions have changed. I don't think that will be dur- ing this government," Patcher told Infobae.
State prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment late on Jan. 18, a gunshot wound to his head and a 22 cal- iber pistol by his side along with a single shell casing.
He had been scheduled to appear before Congress the following day to answer questions about his allegation that President Cristina Fernandez conspired to derail his investigation of the attack.
His death and a storm of conspiracy theories around it have rocked Argentina.
Argentina suspects rogue agents from its own intelligence services were behind Nisman's death.

The government says Nisman's allegations and his death were linked to a power struggle at Argentina's intelligence agency and agents who had recently been fired.
Argentine courts have accused a group of Iranians of planting the 1994 bomb, which killed 85 people.
Nisman had claimed that President Fernandez opened a secret back channel to Iran to cover up Tehran's alleged involvement in the bombing and gain access to Iranian oil needed to help close Argentina's $7 billion per year energy deficit.
Fernandez's government called the accusation absurd. 

Obama's free stuff army...exposed by Frederick Bastiat.

Obama’s Free Stuff Army

The lure of something for nothing grows as morality crumbles
 - - Sunday, January 25, 2015
Fresh from offering "free" health care, "free" phones and "free" food to the masses, he's upped the bribery to "free" community college tuition and "free" child care. It's not that the Clintons oppose any of these; they just need to affect moderation in case Hillary runs for president and has to knock back boilermakers again with the good old boys in Pennsylvania taverns.
Since someone has to pay for these expensive, new entitlements to the Free Stuff Army, Mr. Obama has proposed yet another "tax the rich" scheme that, if enacted (which is unlikely) would eventually plunder working-class families. To liberals, that's what tax "reform" is all about.
Over a few decades, the U.S. government has morphed into a gigantic income-redistribution machine, the ultimate mugger.
Since the New Deal, the only serious challenge to the mentality of plunder in both major parties came during the Reagan administration. To true believers like Mr. Obama, the Reagan years were a speed bump on the way to transforming America, and something to pretend to admire to keep the suckers ignorant.
Government is necessary because men are not angels. Its legitimate role is to secure justice by punishing evildoers, and to protect property and individual rights. Government does other things, such as delivering mail and public works — things like roads, water and sewage.
But its main focus has become redistribution of wealth in the name of "compassion" and "equality." Its sheer growth and trillions of dollars of debt coincides with the rise of the Free Stuff Army, whose ranks have swelled exponentially with Mr. Obama's edicts and economic malaise.
In 1850, faced with a tide of sentiment toward socialism, French legislator Frederic Bastiat confronted the left's claims of government superiority with a timeless critique, "The Law." In fact, after the Bible, C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters," and Shakespeare, "The Law" is arguably the most penetrating analysis of human nature.
Bastiat began by echoing truths about God and man that animated America's Founders:
"[G]ifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." Add marriage to that list.
He then explained why governments inevitably fall into redistribution:
"Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property. But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.
"Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it."
As such, it is easy to succeed by promising something for nothing — the politicians' mantra. A modern, liberal fiction is that government officials are somehow immune to human foibles such as greed. They are nicer than we are — as long as other people pay for it. The system they have built is functionally Marxist, deploying government force to extract "from each according to his ability to each according to his needs."
Armed with an accurate view of human nature, America's Founders did their best to ensure that man's worst tendencies would not lead to tyranny and that man's God-given talents could flourish. Still, they apparently underestimated the power of something for nothing.
The forces cultivating personal responsibility are the church, the family and the American spirit of liberty, all of which liberals have targeted in a relentless culture war. If you still think the drive to legalize same-sex "marriage" is about marriage, you haven't been paying attention to the leftists' war on normalcy, privacy, religion and — ultimately — freedom. Not satisfied with plundering our wallets, they are plundering society's moral capital.
If the Supreme Court does the dirty deed and institutionalizes a counterfeit, it will force tens of millions of Americans to lie. More power will accrue to those who expand the enforcement machinery of "equality" into all areas of life. Resistance to big government will cost far more than it does now.
Leading the charge in this radical remaking of America is Barack Obama, general of the Free Stuff Army, which grows as the moral foundations crumble.
Bastiat perhaps had someone like him in mind when he wrote 165 years ago:
"There are too many 'great' men in the world — legislators, organizers, do-gooders, leaders of the people, fathers of nations, and so on, and so on. Too many persons place themselves above mankind; they make a career of organizing it, patronizing it, and ruling it."