Watch out for the ‘safety drill’, it’s a killer
At the exact time of the Newtown School Shooting in Sandy Hook, our federal government was running an active shooter drill staged around a school shooting. At the time of the Boston Marathon Shooting, our federal government was conducting a drill based on what would happen if a shooter started hitting runners. So now that word comes that a “drill” will be conducted in the New York City subway system around toxic gas being released, it’s nearly a sure bet that actual toxic gas will be released resulting in the deaths of dozens of people.
One thing is for sure, though: if our federal government comes to your town to conduct a “safety drill”, run as far away and as fast as you can.
From RT: The New York City Police Department announced Wednesday that it will deploy, then track, what it calls “harmless” gases into the city’s subway system over three non-consecutive days this summer.
The plan, to be enacted in July, will investigate New York’s readiness to handle a chemical terrorist attack by dispersing the colorless gas and tracing it as it flows through the city, according to Scientific American. The test is expected to cost $3.4 million and is scheduled to be carried out in all five boroughs and dozens of stations on 21 of the city’s 34 subway lines.
“The NYPD works for the best but plans for the worst when it comes to potentially catastrophic attacks such as ones employing radiological contaminants or weaponized anthrax,” police commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.
The police will use roughly 200 detectors to monitor the gas. Dubbed the Subway-Surface Air Flow Exchange, the test will be the largest of its kind and organized in cooperation with the energy department’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. They’ll use perfluorocarbon tracer gases (PFTs), which are frequently used to measure potential sites for underground construction.
Despite the science fiction catastrophe a plan of this magnitude naturally conjures, Fernando Ferrer, the acting chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority maintained that it will not impact commuters.
“The NYPD, in partnership with the MTA, is responsible for keeping more than 5 million daily subway customers safe and secure,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “This study will bolster the NYPD’s understanding of contaminant dispersion within the subway system as well as between the subway system and street, thereby improving its ability to better protect both customers and the city population at large.”
The scheduled gas deployment comes years after investigators foiled an Al-Qaeda terrorist plot to bomb the New York subways, the largest public transportation system in the world. Three men had planned to detonate suicide vests just days before the eighth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in what US Attorney General Eric Holder at the time called “one of the most serious threats” to the United States since 2001. source – RT
The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.
Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.
Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.
Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.
As the House voted to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, House Speaker John Boehner expressed “serious concerns” that the IRS is empowered as the law’s chief enforcer.
“Fully repealing ObamaCare will help us build a stronger, healthier economy, and will clear the way for patient-centered reforms that lower health care costs and protect jobs,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
“Obamacare empowers the agency that just violated the public’s trust by secretly targeting conservative groups,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “Even by Washington’s standards, that’s unacceptable.”
Sen. John Cornyn even introduced a bill, the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013,” which would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate, including the IRS, from enforcing the Affordable Care Act.
“Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans’ health care,” Cornyn, R-Texas, stated. “I do not support Obamacare, and after the events of last week, I cannot support giving the IRS any more responsibility or taxpayer dollars to implement a broken law.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also reacted to the revelation late Thursday, stating the news was “stunning, just stunning.” source – ABC News
You’re a racist if you disagree
President Barack Obama dodged questions Thursday about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, shifted responsibility for the Benghazi attack to Congress, and said ‘I offer no apologies’ for the Department of Justice’s secret seizure of reporter’s phone records in search of a classified intelligence leak.
In a rain-soaked Rose Garden press conference originally intended to be a victory lap for the United States’ relationship with Turkey, Obama stood alongside Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and fielded questions which quickly shifted to the trio of scandals that are engulfing his administration.
Beginning in 2010, Obama’s IRS targeted a list of approximately 300 tea party-related and other conservative groups for aggressive scrutiny following their applications for tax-exempt status.
His Department of Justice secretly spied on the Associated Press’s phone records in an attempt to trace a national security leak.
And his State Department political appointees intervened in the aftermath of the 2012 terror attack on an American diplomatic outpost in Libya, in a process that resulted in a misleading set of talking points which ignored terrorism in favor of a more muted explanation, in the midst of a re-election campaign.
On the IRS scandal, Obama wouldn’t commit to saying no one at the White House knew about the targeting of conservative groups before the White House Counsel was informed just days ago.
He spoke of various measures he was recommending, to ‘learn the lessons of Benghazi.’ But he referred to the murders of four Americans there as an ‘incident,’ not a terror attack. source – Daily Mail UK
Desperate to score a win and begin to turn the tide of scandal that is flooding his presidency, Barack Obama yesterday pretended to fire outgoing Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller whose term was set to expire in June anyway.
From Daily Mail UK: President Barack Obama has thrown his acting IRS commissioner overboard, making Steven Miller the highest-ranking political casualty thus far in a series of scandals that have swept his administration in recent weeks.
In a hastily called press conference in the East Room of the White House, Obama told reporters that he had asked Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to find out who was responsible for a program that targeted tea party groups and other conservative organizations for a special level of intrusive questioning after they applied for tax-exempt charitable statuses.
‘Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting director of the IRS,’ Obama said.
‘It’s important,’ he added, ‘to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.’
But in an email to IRS employees, Miller claimed he would only be leaving next month because his assignment would be over.
‘It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June,’ Miller wrote. ‘This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation’s tax agency.’
The IRS, the president conceded, ‘improperly screened conservative groups.’ He referred to a report released Tuesday by the IRS’s Inspector General. ’The misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable,’ Obama exclaimed. ‘It’s inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it.’ source – Daily Mail UK
Scandal politics are sweeping Capitol Hill
Just days after news broke that the IRS targeted conservative nonprofits, Speaker John Boehner’s House committees will morph into mock courtrooms where the White House will be the defendant in what amounts to a number of high-stakes political trials.
The most recent scandal to grip the Obama administration came Monday evening, when The Associated Press disclosed that the Justice Department sought its reporters’ phone records — including those of correspondents who sit in the Capitol. Within hours, House Republicans vowed to investigate. To make things worse for President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to be on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
That’s hardly the president’s only problem
Two separate committees — Oversight and Government Reform, and Ways and Means — will probe whether the IRS was treating right-leaning groups unfairly. Republicans moved swiftly to secure the IRS acting director for a Friday hearing, just a week after the news broke. GOP aides hinted Monday afternoon that widespread calls for the director’s resignation could come shortly.
The panels will probe whether the targeting of right-leaning groups is systematic, or isolated. Ways and Means Republicans say they are interested in when top IRS officials, specifically former Commissioner Douglas Shulman was told about search terms used to single out conservative groups. Shulman told Ways and Means members in March 2012 that the IRS was not engaged in any manner of political targeting.
Top GOP sources acknowledge that it’s highly unlikely the White House was directly involved in the IRS mess, but the probe is sure to add to the Republican-spun narrative of Democratic, Big Government overreach.
The IRS probes might be new to the public, but they’re not to House Republicans, who have long worried about politicization at the agency. The hot-button topic has come up in several committee hearings since the GOP took the majority.
The inquest into the IRS is just the latest in a string of GOP-led investigations suddenly gaining steam on Capitol Hill. Instead of negotiating with the White House, GOP lawmakers are now investigating it.
There are currently five separate committee investigations into the attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, and a probe into Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius raising millions of dollars to promote Obamacare. Ways and Means is demanding answers to seven questions on this matter, as well.
All together, roughly one-third of House committees are engaged in investigating some aspect of the Obama administration.
“The speaker and other House leaders have been clear: Effective, responsible oversight is a key constitutional responsibility of Congress,” said Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman. “Whether the topic is the truth about Benghazi, thuggish political attacks from the IRS or the ‘train wreck’ of the president’s health care law, we will keeping fighting to make sure the American people know the truth.” source – Politico
RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast
The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.
Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.
Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo
This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.
“It starts to change the relationship between the citizen and state, you do have to get permission to do things,” said Chris Calabrese, a congressional lobbyist with the American Civil Liberties Union. “More fundamentally, it could be the start of keeping a record of all things.”
For now, the legislation allows the database to be used solely for employment purposes. But historically such limitations don’t last. The Social Security card, for example, was created to track your government retirement benefits. Now you need it to purchase health insurance.
“The Social Security number itself, it’s pretty ubiquitous in your life,” Calabrese said. David Bier, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, agrees with the ACLU’s fears.
“The most worrying aspect is that this creates a principle of permission basically to do certain activities and it can be used to restrict activities,” he said. “It’s like a national ID system without the card.”
For the moment, the debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee is focused on the parameters of legalization for unauthorized immigrants, a border fence and legal immigration in the future.
The committee is scheduled to resume debate on the package Tuesday. source – Wired
QUINCY (CBS) – A mystery in Quincy continues to deepen: Who is flying around the city from dusk to dawn, for the past ten days or so?
“It’s frightening, not just weird, but frightening,” said one resident of the Wollaston section.
“I mean it is strange. I don’t know if they’re looking for somebody, I have no idea,” one resident told WBZ.
It’s not the state or local police doing the flying, and the FAA is giving out little information, even to city officials.
“It’s frustrating, it really is,” says City Councillor Brian Palmucci. “I specifically asked, ‘Is it a law enforcement flight? Can we tell people that?’ He said, ‘No, we can’t tell you that.’ Then I asked that when folks call me can I at least tell them that it is something that they shouldn’t worry about, it’s something they shouldn’t be concerned with? He said, ‘I can’t tell you that.’”
The aircraft doesn’t appear to be flying when it’s cloudy out, only taking to the skies on starlit nights.
Sources tell WBZ that the aircraft is not a drone, that it is manned. FAA spokesman Jim Peters would only say, “We have to be very careful this time” concerning information.
Even the Mayor has been kept in the dark. “We’re as frustrated as our constituents,” said Mayor Tom Koch. “We’d like to be able to give our citizens some answers, but we don’t have any answers.”
Obviously when the federal government wants to keep something quiet, they keep it very quiet. In this case, they wouldn’t even say how long it would continue flying for.
“The FBI does not comment on aerial activity,” a statement from the bureau said.
In the meantime, neighbors are complaining the plane is keeping them up at night.
“This strong humming sound as you look up and you go, ‘Oh there she goes again.’ It goes all the way around, comes all the way back, keeps going at 5 o’clock in the morning,” one resident told WBZ NewsRadio.
Palmucci is just hoping he can ease any worries his residents are sharing.
“If it’s an operation that requires some secrecy, that can be appreciated by residents,” said Palmucci. “Just at the very least if the FAA can release something that says there’s nothing that should cause folks any concern, I think that would put people at ease.” source – CBS Boston