Authorities: Houston Man Threatened to Take Out Ted Cruz--and the Sun
A Texas man has been accused of threatening to kidnap, murder, and burn Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his father.
Nick Gates said if he wasn’t paid $3 million, he would not only harm Cruz and his dad; he would also “blow up” the sun.
The man reportedly stated he was previously hospitalized in Houston at the Harris County Mental Health Center.
Gates allegedly made threatening phone calls to Cruz’s offices in San Antonio and Austin on June 5. Gates has admitted making the calls and threatening Cruz, saying he would “lose the sun” if he didn’t cough up the cash, according to court documents.
Law enforcement charged Gates with making a terroristic threat, and he is being held on a $10,000 bond.
Thu, 20 Jun 2013 06:44:28 GMT
King for a Day
In the past few weeks, conservative anxiety over the Schumer-Rubio immigration deal has grown as details of the legislation emerge. Despite assurances from Sen. Marco Rubio and other GOP negotiators that the deal would "fix" illegal immigration by finally providing real border security, the actual impact of the legislation is far less than that. On Wednesday, Rep. Steve King provided an important forum for conservative activists to voice their dissatisfaction with the Schumer-Rubio bill. By his initiative, King helped shape the national dialogue.
On Wednesday, Rep. Steve King, along with Rep. Louie Gohmert and other members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, hosted a nearly day-long discussion of immigration reform. With just a few days notice, hundreds of activists showed up to hear remarks from King, Gohmert and several member of Congress. In the afternoon, Glenn Beck and other conservative pundits explained the failings of the legislation currently on the Senate floor.
While most of the DC GOP establishment has rushed to endorse an obviously flawed Senate bill, Rep. King had the courage of his convictions to say "Stop." He and his colleagues detailed that not only would the Senate bill do nothing to stem illegal immigration, it would make the current legal immigration system worse, by giving the Executive Branch enormous latitude to rewrite the law at will.
The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill has a fundamental, existential flaw. It trades the certainty of immediate amnesty for the promise of better border security in the future. In many ways, it mirrors the 1986 Amnesty law, which also provided immediate legalization with a promise of future enforcement. The promise of enforcement, of course, was never fulfilled.
Still, the entire GOP establishment has tried to force conservatives to accept the false choice of supporting Schumer-Rubio or being tagged as opponents of true immigration reform. King, on his own initiative, galvanized the anxiety in the grass roots and focused it in a way that could result in meaningful reform.
King was working in the House Judiciary Committee until 2am on legislation that would strengthen immigration enforcement. Just hours before his event convened on the Hill. Over the coming days, the Committee will continue work on specific pieces of legislation that address each component of our immigration system. It may not be as sexy as a 1,000+ page "comprehensive" piece of legislation, but it is how real legislating is supposed to happen.
Just as a nearly day-long discussion of immigration reform is how a real national dialogue is supposed to happen. It is ironic that, in America, it took a King to give us the debate we deserve.
Thu, 20 Jun 2013 03:17:00 GMT
Washington & Wall Street -- Steve Forbes: Bernanke Has 'Failed'
“You thought socialism was dead, other than in miserable countries such as North Korea and Cuba? Think again. It’s alive and well at the Federal Reserve, and we and the world are paying a price for it.” -- Steve Forbes, February 12, 2012, “Ben Bernanke: Supreme Socialist”
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke is having a bad week. The fun started on Monday on PBS with Charlie Rose, when President Barack Obama said Chairman Bernanke has stayed in his post “longer than he wanted,” effectively firing the central bank chief on national television.
Then on Wednesday, after the Fed’s two days of deliberations regarding Monday policy, Bernanke’s held his now routine press conference and proceeded to drop several bombs on the financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up down 200 points in a resounding thumbs down from investors. Treasury bond yields are at the highest rates since 2011, all thanks to Ben Bernanke’s best efforts.
The first of Bernanke’s mistakes is trying to be clear and transparent. Markets don’t really like to hear clear, direct statements from central bankers. By trying to be more transparent and open with monetary policy, Chairman Bernanke is actually making the financial markets more volatile. His “hypothetical” example of how the Fed might stop buying $85 billion per month in Treasury bonds and agency paper stampeded Wall Street’s bulls.
But the second mistake made by Bernanke is to continue printing money even as the private sector is showing signs of a modest real recovery. As CNBC’s Rick Santelli asked after the press conference: “The one question I want to ask Ben is, 'Ben, what are you afraid of?'"
CNBC, all the channels that cover business, we have person after person after person, buy side, sell side, upside, downside, how is the economy? The economy is great. What about stocks? You got to buy them. What if they break? You have to buy the dips. What's wrong with the economy? I don't hear these people saying anything is wrong with the economy. So what's wrong, Ben? Why can't we get out of crisis management mode?
The sad truth is that Bernanke is caught up in a key fallacy of the Keynesian-socialist tendency led by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, namely that you can use “a little inflation” to grow jobs. In fact, as former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker noted in our last comment, there is no tradeoff between jobs and inflation. The whole idea of being able to use inflation to grow real jobs is false.
“The unemployment rate is not going down because people are not getting jobs,” Santelli ranted further. “I think that the Fed has the tiger by the tail, as much as they think that they have figured this out.”
Nobody at the Fed is ready to admit that the extreme monetary policies now being followed are not really effective in terms of creating jobs above current modest levels of growth. This is the new normal, folks. But now that the Fed has explicitly tied zero interest rate policy to a lower unemployment rate, the prospect is for years more of the Fed running the monetary printing presses.
Former Presidential candidate Steve Forbes stated flatly that “Bernanke has failed” when it comes to fixing the US economy. “It is going to be good for the markets when the Fed tapers off, less distortion for the credit markets,” Forbes told Maria Bartiromo of CNBC. “This whole premise that the Fed is helping the economy… needs to be closely reexamined.”
Noting that the Fed Chairman talked about fiscal policy being a drag on the economy, Forbes flatly stated that “when you fail you blame somebody else. After the crisis of 2008, the Fed has hurt the economy and not helped it.” Forbes particularly blames the Fed and easy money for channeling credit to the largest banks and companies at the expense of small businesses, which he notes are the single biggest source of new jobs in the US economy.
Look at the pace of the recovery. After every sharp downturn, including the Great Depression, at least initially you get a sharp upturn. Then the question becomes can you sustain it. We never got a sharp upturn. In 2010, 2011, 2012, we’ve been piddling around at 1.5% growth. That’s never happened… This is a punk recovery.
Bottom line is that Ben Bernanke got fired by Barack Obama at the start of the week because he can’t get the economy back to the level of jobs prior to 2008. The task is impossible. He looks to be ending the week as the least credible Fed Chairman in the history of the institution. The only real question now is whether Bernanke can stay in office to finish his full term next summer.
Thu, 20 Jun 2013 00:18:22 GMT
Fox News: State Department Officials May Have Lied Under Oath
A Fox News report indicates that top officials in the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (DS) "gave sworn testimony that appears to be evasive at best, and untrue at worst."
The testimony was allegedly given by former director of DS Scott Bultrowicz and current executive director of DS Tracey H. Mahaffey in February of 2012. At that time, Bultrowicz "claimed not to know about any claims by a federal agency that DS officials [had] failed to follow proper procedures." Mahaffey claimed "not to know about any pending investigations into DS."
But Fox News has notes that allegedly suggest both officials "were aware... of a pending investigation into DS and its operations by the State Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG)... at the time they were deposed."
Moreover, both officials appear to have been aware "of the OIG's preliminary finding that DS did indeed fail to follow proper procedures in at least eight cases, and possibly more." This was allegedly due in part to pressure from State Department officials who wanted to halt internal investigations.
Fox News claims evidence shows that both Bultrowicz and Mahaffey were made aware of these facts 60 days before their testimony.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:21:00 GMT
Senators Announce Pending Border Security Deal
On Wednesday, senators and aides reported that the so-called Gang of Eight behind the immigration reform bill had cut a deal with Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) to add some border security measures to the bill in an attempt to woo Republicans. The measures would not be nearly as strict as anything proposed by Senators John Cornyn (R-AZ) or Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Rand Paul (R-KY). Instead, it would add some border patrol agents, and create a “guarantee” on finishing the border fence at some unspecified point in the future.
Corker explained, “I think we’ve overcome the issues that have separated the group that has been involved in the negotiations. I think we’re together now.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seconded Corker’s motion, explaining in mysterious terms, “I don’t know what the hell is going to happen, but we’re on the verge of doing something dramatic on the border. And if it happens it will be due to Hoeven and Corker and a lot of our colleagues… What we’re trying to do is put in place measures that to any reasonable person would be an overwhelming effort to secure our border short of shooting everybody that comes across the border.”
The Corker-Hoeven proposal would reportedly require a 90 percent apprehension rate at the border, and would use certain metrics to determine whether that number had been hit in order to trigger the vaunted path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. “How do you have assurance that you’ve secured the order before you get to the Green Card?” said Hoeven. “We’ll put the plan in there specifically, and then based on the number of folks you identify, you’ve got to stop at least 90 percent, arrest them or turn them back.”
Democrats implied they were less than thrilled with the deal, with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) stating that Democrats had caved to “virtually everything” Republicans wanted. “I’ve reached one bipartisan agreement,” Durbin said. “When I look at the road from here to becoming a law, I see a lot of right turns. No left turns.”
It remains unexplained how the government would identify the illegal immigrants crossing the border so as to reach that 90 percent determination; it also remains unclear who would make that determination, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Congress, or some other administrative agency.
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:20:00 GMT