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  • RuralRebel 8:32 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Diplomatic Security Service, Office of Inspector General   

    State watchdog blasted for keeping hooker claims from Congress 

    State watchdog blasted for keeping hooker claims from Congress
    The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday accused the State Department’s watchdog of violating its mission by keeping Congress in the dark about accusations of political cover-ups at the department.

    In a letter to the department’s Office of Inspector General, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) blasts the agency over a February report that was scrubbed of specific references to misconduct allegations that included eight cases of State Department officials sleeping with prostitutes and other misconduct.
    “The final version of the report submitted to Congress in February 2013 was bereft of any reference to these specific cases,” Royce wrote to Harold Geisel, the deputy inspector general.

    “Instead the OIG concluded, without the requisite context, that ‘The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) Special Investigations Division (SID), which investigates allegations of criminal and administrative misconduct, lacks a firewall to preclude the DS and Department of State (Department) hierarchies from exercising undue influence in particular cases.’

    According to reports, some or all of these omissions came at the behest of senior State Department officials.”

    Royce’s letter follows revelations that the February OIG report to Congress about the risk of political manipulation at the department was watered down.

    A draft report that mentioned the prostitution claims and other allegations was never shared with Congress.

    Royce said his committee staff asked for more details when the February report first came out but was denied.

    “On March 14, 2013, representatives from your Office briefed Committee staff on a final version of the report,” Royce wrote.

    “At no time during this meeting did OIG personnel explain the basis of this finding or provide details concerning ‘undue influence’ on DSS investigations.

    “When asked, officials declined to comment on specific examples. While the Department and OIG deny any wrongdoing, the lack of detail appears to be inconsistent with the OIG’s mission to keep the Congress ‘fully and currently informed.’ ”

    The letter demands that the OIG turn over its draft report and an earlier memo as well as “all documents and communications referring or relating” to the February report by June 27.
    Royce also asked for a briefing from the OIG and for a clarification, in writing, detailing “whether, and on what basis, OIG agreed to omit information from this final report pursuant to any State Department official’s request.”

  • RuralRebel 5:49 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    School Threatens to Ruin Valedictorian’s Naval Academy Appt. 

    Jun 13, 2013

    By Todd Starnes

    A Texas high school principal threatened to sabotage a valedictorian’s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after the student delivered a speech that referenced God and the U.S. Constitution, the boy’s attorney alleges.

    Hiram Sasser, director of litigation with the Liberty Institute, said Joshua High School principal Mick Cochran threatened to write a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy disparaging the character of Remington Reimer.

    “It was intimidating having my high school principal threaten my future because I wanted to stand up for the Constitution and acknowledge my faith and not simply read a government approved speech, the teenager said.

    Sasser is now representing the teenager and is calling for the Joshua Independent School District to issue a public statement exonerating him of any wrongdoing.

    He said the speech was edited and reviewed by four different school officials – including an officer in the JROTC. Sasser said the censorship violated federal and state laws.

    “All he did was simply follow state law and Joshua ISD policy,” he said.

    Reimer, a senior at Joshua High School, made national headlines on June 6 when officials cut off his microphone in mid-speech after he strayed from pre-approved remarks and began talking about his relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Reimer, who has received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, thanked God for “sending His only son to die for me and the rest of the world,” the Joshua Star reported.

    The following day the principal met with Reimer’s father and informed him “that he intended to punish Remington for his perceived misdeed.”

    “Specifically, he threatened to send a letter to the United States Naval Academy advising them that Remington has poor character or words to that effect,” Sasser told Fox News.

    After consulting with a school attorney, the principal temporarily retracted the threat, Sasser said.

    “The principal said he wanted to try to ruin him for what he did – for talking about the Constitution and his faith,” Sasser said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be able to continue to be the principal of that school.”

    Reimer, described by his classmates as quiet and soft-spoken, then talked about free speech and the Constitution and how “I was threatened with having the mic turned off.”

    And that point – the audio feed was cut – leaving those in the audience confused. But Reimer kept on talking.

    Following is a transcript of what the school district didn’t want graduates or their families to hear:

    “We are all fortunate to live in a country where we can express our beliefs, where our mics won’t be turned off, as I have been threatened to be if I veer away from the school-censored speech I have just finished,” he said according to the Star. “Just as Jesus spoke out against the authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who tried to silence him, I will not have my freedom of speech taken away from me. And I urge you all to do the same. Do not let anyone take away your religious or Constitutional rights from you.”

    Principal Mick Cochran defended the school’s decision to cut off the audio feed.

    “The district has reviewed the rules and policies regarding graduation speeches and has determined that the policy was followed last night,” he told the Star.

    The Joshua ISD issued a statement to MyFoxDFW noting, “student speakers were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content. When one student’s speech deviated from the prior-reviewed speech, the microphone was turned off, pursuant to District policy and procedure.”

    But Sasser said the school district violated state and federal laws by censoring Reimer’s speech. He said the law, along with local school policy, requires the school to distance itself from the valedictorian’s speech. That means not editing or drafting the speech.

    The school was also required to publish a message in the graduation program that read in part, “the content of each student-speaker’s message is the private expression of the individual student and does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position or expression of the District.”

    Sasser said contrary to the law and its own policies the Joshua Independent School District failed to include the disclaimer and not only edited – but tried to control Reimer’s speech.

    “These school officials broke the rules and violated state and federal law and their own board policy,” Sasser said. “They should be held accountable for violating school board policy and causing needless embarrassment for Joshua ISD and the Joshua community.”



  • RuralRebel 4:50 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    More from the “political trash” 




    imageDrag a dollar through DC and you will get your “political trash”

  • RuralRebel 3:51 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    After the storm 


    Loved this cloud formation




  • RuralRebel 1:31 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Ah yes Justice….. the good ole lying cheatin way!!! 


  • RuralRebel 12:55 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Freedom From Religion Foundation, Prayer   

    Texas school district draws fire for prayer at preschool graduation 

    Thursday, June 13, 2013
    A graduation ceremony at a Texas preschool that began with a prayer is drawing criticism from a group advocating for the separation of church and state.

    The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a complaint with the Beaumont Independent School District over the May 13 ceremony, 12NewsNow.com reported.

    The complaint was filed on behalf of Amber Barnhill, a parent who claims a teacher at Amelia Elementary opened the ceremony with a prayer and had the student leading it say, “in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

    Barnhill told the station she approached the teacher after the ceremony with her concerns over the prayer and was offended by her repose.

    “She said it was legal, freedom of speech. Not religion but her way of life. She said she could not allow herself to apologize,” Barnhill said.

    The teacher, who was not identified in the report, told 12NewsNow.com she apologized to Barnhill and said the prayer was meant to give her students a realistic graduation experience.

    “I didn’t intend to impose, I just tried to mock a graduation. I did apologize to the lady who was the only one I found who was offended,” the teacher told the station.

    The district said it will respond to the organization’s complaint with an investigation, the station reported.

    imageTime to fight back Christians wake up to the intimidation

    Texas school district draws fire for prayer at preschool graduation, http://fxn.ws/11bcKFT – Sent via the FOX News Android App.

  • RuralRebel 12:09 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Obomber snoops on those pesky native Ameicans only 

    Obama’s Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers
    Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

    That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

    Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

    Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

    We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

    Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

    If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.

    The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

    One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.

    This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

    What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?


  • RuralRebel 11:50 am on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    All for the “political trash” and in you face 


  • RuralRebel 11:44 am on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Obamacare? We were just leaving … 

    Obamacare? We were just leaving …
    Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

    The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.

    Democratic and Republican leaders are taking the issue seriously, but first they need more specifics from the Office of Personnel Management on how the new rule should take effect — a decision that Capitol Hill sources expect by fall, at the latest. The administration has clammed up in advance of a ruling, sources on both sides of the aisle said.

    If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues — like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform.

    The problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy. Sources said several aides have already given lawmakers notice that they’ll be leaving over concerns about Obamacare. Republican and Democratic lawmakers said the chatter about retiring now, to remain on the current health care plan, is constant.

    Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat in leadership when the law passed, said he thinks the problem will be resolved.

    “If not, I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’” Larson told POLITICO. “They are federal employees.”

    Republicans, never a fan of Democratic health care reform, are more vocal about the potential adverse effects of the provision.

    “It’s a reality,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “This is the law. … It’s going to hinder our ability with retention of members, it’s going to hinder our ability for members to take care of their families.” He said his fellow lawmakers are having “quiet conversations” about the threat.

    Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner said the threat is already real, especially for veteran lawmakers and staff. If they leave this year, they think they can continue to be covered under the current health care plan.

    “I’ve lost one staffer who told me in confidence that he had been here for a number of years and the thought of losing the opportunity to keep his health insurance on Dec. 31 [forced him to leave]. He could keep what he had and on Jan. 1 he would go into that big black hole,” said Bonner, who had already planned his resignation from Congress. “And then I’ve got another staff member that I think it will be a factor as she’s contemplating her future.”

    Lawmakers and aides on both sides of the aisle are acutely aware of the problems with the provision. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have discussed fixes to the provision. Boehner, according to House GOP sources, believes that Reid must take the lead on crafting a solution. Since Republicans opposed the bill, Boehner does not feel responsible to lead the effort to make changes.

    The Affordable Care Act — signed into law in 2010 — contained a provision known as the Grassley Amendment, which said the government can only offer members of Congress and their staff plans that are “created” in the bill or “offered through an exchange” — unless the bill is amended.

    Currently, aides and lawmakers receive their health care under the generous Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. The government subsidizes upward of 75 percent of the premiums for the health insurance plans. In 2014, most Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers are expected to be put onto the exchanges, and there has been no guidance whether the government will subsidize those premiums. This is expected to cause a steep spike in health insurance costs.

    There have been many options for fixing the problem discussed throughout the year, including administrative fixes and legislative tweaks. One scenario seen as likely on Capitol Hill would have OPM simply decide that the government could still subsidize insurance on the exchanges.

    House Democratic leadership says the issue must be resolved.

    “The leadership has assured members that fixing this issue is a top priority,” said one Democratic leadership aide. “This issue must be fixed by administrative action in order that the flawed Grassley Amendment’s spirit is honored and all staff and members are treated the same.”

    It could be politically difficult to change this provision. The provision was put in the bill in the first place on the theory that if Congress was going to make the country live under the provisions of Obamacare, the members and staff should have to as well.

    The uncertainty has created a growing furor on Capitol Hill with aides young and old worried about skyrocketing health care premiums cutting deeply into their already small paychecks. Some longtime aides and members of Congress, who previously had government subsidized health care for life, are concerned that their premiums will now come out of their pension.

    If their fears are borne out, the results could be twofold. Some junior staff will head for the private sector early while more seasoned aides and lawmakers could leave before the end of the year so they can continue under the old plan.

    Several lawmakers said departures could run the gamut from low-level staff to legislative aides, to senior aides and lawmakers. Capitol Hill is an attractive workplace for politically ambitious college graduates, but a core of Capitol Hill aides stick around for decades, serving as institutional knowledge, and earning prized retirement packages.

    OPM, which administers benefits for federal employees, is expected to rule in the coming months on how congressional health care is to be administered.

    OPM did not respond to a request for comment.

    More than a dozen senior aides interviewed by POLITICO about the issue declined to be named out of fear for future job prospects. The problem is most acutely felt at the staff level, where aides make between $35,000 and roughly $170,000 and budgetary problems have all but stopped pay increases and bonuses. Lawmakers have questioned leadership aides about the future of their health care.

    “Between the constant uncertainty surrounding sequestration, and the likelihood aides will soon be paying for the subsidy portion of their health care coverage, congressional office budgets are being squeezed once again, and it’s causing a lot of concern amongst chiefs of staff regarding how to best handle the situation,” said one chief of staff to a senior Democratic member of the House. “Do we give raises to junior level aides so they can afford to pay for their higher health care costs, and if so, where do we find the funds to do so? Additionally, leadership has been relatively silent in terms of providing guidance to offices, which is frustrating.”

    There are other ways that aides can fully avoid this problem. If they’re married, they can join their spouse’s health care plan. If they are 65, they can go on Medicare.

    But the focus right now is centered on lawmakers trying to figure out how to offset potential increases in premiums.

    “I know other members are doing the same thing in terms of what we can do to offset [premiums],” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said. “You are particularly limited now because of course we’ve had the cuts in the [member office allowances] on top of this. You just don’t have a lot of options.”

    Cole added, “A lot of the staff stays on largely because of the benefit levels and particularly if you’ve got people with families and it’s extraordinarily important to them … it’s just not right.”

    Jennifer Haberkorn contributed to this report.

    This news link http://tiny.iavian.net/12zp was sent from a friend.

    Download Free Drudge Report from Android Market

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