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 21 
 on: May 21, 2015, 09:21:53 AM 
Started by ccp - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Should We Be Excluding GOP Candidates From Debates This Early?
Fox News and CNN are drawing a line in the sand -- er, on the debate stage. If you want to be part of the big show in the first Republican presidential debates, you have to be in the top ten in polling. Otherwise, you’re consigned to other appearances on the network, or as Byron York called it, “the kiddie table.”
“The CNN Republican primary debate on September 16 will be divided into two parts featuring two different sets of candidates: those who rank in the top 10 according to public polling, and the remaining candidates who mean a minimum threshold of one percent in public polling, the On Media blog has learned.”
For college basketball fans, think of the second CNN debate as the NIT Tournament. If everyone agrees you won the second debate, you get to chant, “We’re number eleven! We’re number eleven!”
Ace makes the case that at this point, no serious candidate should be left out:
People don’t know enough to make informed judgments yet. That is the point of a debate -- and that’s the point of a first debate, surely.
We are in the very beginnings of this process, and FoxNews is using polls of uninformed people (and I don’t mean that negatively; most of us are uniformed at this point) to decide who is allowed to run for President.
And yes, this poll -- based on nothing but name recognition -- will in fact knock five or six people out of the contest entirely. Once you’re excluded from a debate, you are labeled “fringe” forever -- and good luck trying to get free media, volunteers, and donors once you’ve been labeled fringe.
. . . This isn’t a normal year. We have a lot of serious candidates. So do we stick with the usual, or do we adjust our practices to take into consideration the unusualness of this season?
I think the latter. My proposal is that they split debate night into two panels, over two nights. (Or two panels on one night-- but that would be a long night, with around three hours total debate time plus time in between.)
The top six in the polls would do a random draw to be split between the panels, three and three. Everyone else would do another random draw to determine which panel they’d be in.
You’d end up having about 6-8 people per panel, which is a workable number.
Note that the Fox “solution” solves little -- having ten people on the stage, answering the same questions, will be a huge [bad word for mess]! It’s barely an improvement over having fifteen -- do the math. Assuming about an hour, all told, answering questions (once the questions themselves, commercials, and basic traffic direction are excluded), ten people would have about six minute each to answer questions.
Fifteen people would have four minutes each.
So we’re fighting to get “four minutes of actual answers per candidate” up to six minutes?
A lot of us have the cynical suspicion that some of the candidates know they have no shot at the nomination, and are running to achieve some lesser goal: the vice-presidential slot, a cabinet post, a television gig, bigger speaking fees and book deals after the election. Last cycle’s experience demonstrated that even the longest of long-shots can end up being the flavor-of-the-month.

 22 
 on: May 21, 2015, 09:09:41 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
How best to support our troops/our veterans?

    Wounded Warrior Warning

    Emotional Appeals? Caveat Emptor

    By Mark Alexander · May 20, 2015

    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." —John Adams (1770)

    It appears that some Leftmedia talkingheads have finally decided to ask some tough questions about the corrupt practices of the Clintons, Bill and Demo presidential hopeful Hillary, and their flush Clinton Family Foundation.

    Charity Watch has the CFF on its "watch list," and Bill Allison, senior fellow at the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group, has likened the CFF to a "slush fund" for the Clintons. And for good reason: The Clintons took in more than $140 million in donations in 2013, but spent a comparatively paltry $9 million on direct aid.

    Seeing the corrupt Clinton Machine subjected to some scrutiny by the media is a welcome sight indeed, but it's also a temporary one. It won't be long before the Clintons' media sycophants have circled the wagons around their Demo darlings and once again trained their guns on Republican presidential hopefuls.

    But I digress...

    This week, midway between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day, a Marine officer requested I ask some tough questions about another foundation amid charges of questionable practices.

    He forwarded me an email assailing the integrity of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) — a Florida-based organization that spends so much of its revenue on advertising that it is now the most widely recognized veteran support organization.

    My Marine colleague asked that we investigate the email claims, and we did.

    On behalf of our readers, including tens of thousands of military Patriots and their families who have or are considering financially supporting WWP, here is what we've determined concerning the questions raised by a widely circulated email.

    That email makes claims about exorbitant salaries being paid to WWP executives and then referenced a website "that exposed exactly how the charity spends the money it receives from patriotic Americans." It then concludes, "WWP might as well be run by the Mafia," and references an article at an online site called "Veterans Today" as the source.

    Notably, that article has now been removed, and for the record, Veterans Today is a purveyor of mindless "conspiracy theories" and borderline neo-Nazi propaganda. Thus, neither the original email nor its "source" is credible.

    That errant email notwithstanding, I have noted the enormous amount of donor dollars WWP spends asking for more donor dollars, and so further reviewed WWP's history and financial statements.

    For background, the WWP was founded in 2003 by John Melia, who himself suffered severe injuries in a 1992 Somalia helicopter crash. In 2005, the United Spinal Association granted $2.7 million to WWP to "develop into a stand-alone charity with its own identity and programs." WWP became an independent charitable organization shortly thereafter, certified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

    WWP's mission is to "honor and empower Wounded Warriors" and to "foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history." Its stated objective is to "raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, help injured service members aid and assist each other and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members."

    Fact is, WWP makes great strides to achieve its mission — all well and good. But to determine the degree to which WWP's revenues support that mission, our team reviewed the two most recent audited financial statements available, 2012 and 2013, as well as the WWP's marketing material and website.

    In 2013, WWP took in almost $305 million in donations and claimed service to about 35,000 registered alumni and 4,000 others defined as "family or caregivers of a registered alumni." Those donations were up from $200 million in 2012, due primarily to massive advertising expenditures.

    With its proceeds, WWP funds about 15 programs and writes grants to other veteran support groups. But what we found most alarming is the amount of funding paid for advertising and administration.

    Many veteran support organizations are run effectively by volunteers — but not WWP.

    According to Charity Navigator, the nation's largest oversight and review organization for charitable groups, WWP allocates about 55% of its revenue to program expenses while the remaining 45% is used for fundraising, salaries, consulting, meetings, events and travel.

    WWP received a "D" rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy and only a C+ by Charity Watch. Indeed, WWP ranks substantially below other national veteran support groups like Fisher House Foundation, Operation Homefront and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

    WWP's CEO Steven Nardizzi, a lawyer who now receives a $375,000 salary, served up a legalese rebuttal to the evaluations from Charity Watch and Charity Navigator, insisting in The Chronicle of Philanthropy that those rating organizations were "horribly ineffective and misinformed."

    However, facts are stubborn things, and an organization's audited financial statements can certainly expose a lot of facts.

    While WWP expenditures appear to qualify under the legal parameters for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, only about 55 cents of every dollar WWP takes in goes to direct benefits for a wounded warrior. We have no objection to WWP's considerable efforts to raise funds, but it should raise questions when such a large percentage of donations fail to make it to our wounded warriors.

    My recommendation?

    The growth of veteran support organizations since 2001, some of them worthy of your investment, is as viral as those surprise military homecoming videos — and most of those organizations are appealing to similar sentiments.

    Of course, no American Patriot would oppose supporting veterans, particularly those who have suffered severe injuries. I know more than a few of them, and last year The Patriot Post helped build a house to accommodate the needs of a young soldier who lost both legs to an IED in Afghanistan.  But, when organizations pitch strong sentimental appeals asking for your money, whether those appeals be for starving children in Africa or disabled Veterans at home, caveat emptor.  When investing your dollars to support veterans, seek out good third-party evaluations to determine how much of those dollars will actually support that mission, and choose one where at least 75% of revenues do just that.

    Pro Deo et Constitutione -- Libertas aut Mors
    Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

 23 
 on: May 21, 2015, 09:08:32 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
How best to support our troops/our veterans?

    Wounded Warrior Warning

    Emotional Appeals? Caveat Emptor

    By Mark Alexander · May 20, 2015

    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." —John Adams (1770)

    It appears that some Leftmedia talkingheads have finally decided to ask some tough questions about the corrupt practices of the Clintons, Bill and Demo presidential hopeful Hillary, and their flush Clinton Family Foundation.

    Charity Watch has the CFF on its "watch list," and Bill Allison, senior fellow at the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group, has likened the CFF to a "slush fund" for the Clintons. And for good reason: The Clintons took in more than $140 million in donations in 2013, but spent a comparatively paltry $9 million on direct aid.

    Seeing the corrupt Clinton Machine subjected to some scrutiny by the media is a welcome sight indeed, but it's also a temporary one. It won't be long before the Clintons' media sycophants have circled the wagons around their Demo darlings and once again trained their guns on Republican presidential hopefuls.

    But I digress...

    This week, midway between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day, a Marine officer requested I ask some tough questions about another foundation amid charges of questionable practices.

    He forwarded me an email assailing the integrity of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) — a Florida-based organization that spends so much of its revenue on advertising that it is now the most widely recognized veteran support organization.

    My Marine colleague asked that we investigate the email claims, and we did.

    On behalf of our readers, including tens of thousands of military Patriots and their families who have or are considering financially supporting WWP, here is what we've determined concerning the questions raised by a widely circulated email.

    That email makes claims about exorbitant salaries being paid to WWP executives and then referenced a website "that exposed exactly how the charity spends the money it receives from patriotic Americans." It then concludes, "WWP might as well be run by the Mafia," and references an article at an online site called "Veterans Today" as the source.

    Notably, that article has now been removed, and for the record, Veterans Today is a purveyor of mindless "conspiracy theories" and borderline neo-Nazi propaganda. Thus, neither the original email nor its "source" is credible.

    That errant email notwithstanding, I have noted the enormous amount of donor dollars WWP spends asking for more donor dollars, and so further reviewed WWP's history and financial statements.

    For background, the WWP was founded in 2003 by John Melia, who himself suffered severe injuries in a 1992 Somalia helicopter crash. In 2005, the United Spinal Association granted $2.7 million to WWP to "develop into a stand-alone charity with its own identity and programs." WWP became an independent charitable organization shortly thereafter, certified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

    WWP's mission is to "honor and empower Wounded Warriors" and to "foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history." Its stated objective is to "raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, help injured service members aid and assist each other and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members."

    Fact is, WWP makes great strides to achieve its mission — all well and good. But to determine the degree to which WWP's revenues support that mission, our team reviewed the two most recent audited financial statements available, 2012 and 2013, as well as the WWP's marketing material and website.

    In 2013, WWP took in almost $305 million in donations and claimed service to about 35,000 registered alumni and 4,000 others defined as "family or caregivers of a registered alumni." Those donations were up from $200 million in 2012, due primarily to massive advertising expenditures.

    With its proceeds, WWP funds about 15 programs and writes grants to other veteran support groups. But what we found most alarming is the amount of funding paid for advertising and administration.

    Many veteran support organizations are run effectively by volunteers — but not WWP.

    According to Charity Navigator, the nation's largest oversight and review organization for charitable groups, WWP allocates about 55% of its revenue to program expenses while the remaining 45% is used for fundraising, salaries, consulting, meetings, events and travel.

    WWP received a "D" rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy and only a C+ by Charity Watch. Indeed, WWP ranks substantially below other national veteran support groups like Fisher House Foundation, Operation Homefront and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

    WWP's CEO Steven Nardizzi, a lawyer who now receives a $375,000 salary, served up a legalese rebuttal to the evaluations from Charity Watch and Charity Navigator, insisting in The Chronicle of Philanthropy that those rating organizations were "horribly ineffective and misinformed."

    However, facts are stubborn things, and an organization's audited financial statements can certainly expose a lot of facts.

    While WWP expenditures appear to qualify under the legal parameters for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, only about 55 cents of every dollar WWP takes in goes to direct benefits for a wounded warrior. We have no objection to WWP's considerable efforts to raise funds, but it should raise questions when such a large percentage of donations fail to make it to our wounded warriors.

    My recommendation?

    The growth of veteran support organizations since 2001, some of them worthy of your investment, is as viral as those surprise military homecoming videos — and most of those organizations are appealing to similar sentiments.

    Of course, no American Patriot would oppose supporting veterans, particularly those who have suffered severe injuries. I know more than a few of them, and last year The Patriot Post helped build a house to accommodate the needs of a young soldier who lost both legs to an IED in Afghanistan.  But, when organizations pitch strong sentimental appeals asking for your money, whether those appeals be for starving children in Africa or disabled Veterans at home, caveat emptor.  When investing your dollars to support veterans, seek out good third-party evaluations to determine how much of those dollars will actually support that mission, and choose one where at least 75% of revenues do just that.

    Pro Deo et Constitutione -- Libertas aut Mors
    Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis


 24 
 on: May 20, 2015, 08:45:03 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by G M
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/18/federalization-of-law-enforcement-would-remove-bulwark-for-second-amendment/

 25 
 on: May 20, 2015, 07:00:48 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Blame Hillary For Email Delay
By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN
Published on TheHillaryDaily.com on May 19, 2015
Hillary Deliberately Caused Delay Of Email Release By Submitting Only Paper Copies
Hillary Clinton ended her 37-day boycott of the press today when she spent a few minutes claiming she wants her emails released by the State Department ASAP.

But here's the thing: the only reason that there's been such a long delay is that Hillary deliberately delivered the 550,000 emails in hard copies, instead of in electronic files.

Why does that make a difference?

Because that meant every single one of the 550,000 pages has to be manually scanned. And, to make it even harder, Hillary made sure that some of the documents were copies on both sides. That took 5 weeks of 12 people working full time to complete.

And Hillary knew that would create just one more obstacle and cause an enormous delay.

She also knew that the paper files couldn't be searched like electronic files. And she didn't want to make it easy to connect the dots.

So her fervent wish for the release of the documents is as phone as her claims that she did nothing wrong when she set up her home-brew server and use it for her official State Department documents.

She thinks we are all stupid and that we don't get it. But we do: Hillary set up her home server to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act, she did just that, and once caught, she wiped her server clean and got rid of everything she didn't want us to see.

We get it Hillary.
The 2016 Buzz -- All The Latest News on the Candidates and Issues. 

Click Here to view the 2016 Buzz!

 26 
 on: May 20, 2015, 03:55:43 PM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/20/claim-turkish-govt-arming-islamist-groups-in-syria/

 27 
 on: May 20, 2015, 12:35:36 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
http://www.islandpacket.com/2015/05/19/3754777/driver-with-sawed-off-shotgun.html?rh=1

 28 
 on: May 20, 2015, 12:32:26 PM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
 Disbanding the Venezuelan Mafia
Geopolitical Diary
May 20, 2015 | 03:00 GMT
Text Size
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As the price of Brent crude continued its five-day dip, settling at $64 per barrel Tuesday, we can assume the latest slump is extremely worrisome for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The petrodollars he needs to keep the Venezuelan economy afloat are dwindling. He has only $17.8 billion sitting in largely illiquid reserves, most of which are stored in gold, and total reserves are declining by roughly $2 billion every month. Less oil revenue means fewer dollars to fund imports, which in turn means the average Venezuelan with a necessary ID card can shop only on days designated by the government. And on those days, that citizen has to rush to stand in maddeningly long lines patrolled by security guards only to find that basic goods, from toilet paper to milk, are stripped from the shelves.

But the drop in the price of oil is not the only thing Venezuelans can blame for the shortages. Festering within the government are a number of powerful individuals who were propelled into positions of influence during the administration of former President Hugo Chavez and who have used that influence to shape the economy into a mangled instrument that suited their personal interests. These individuals now function less as a government than as a mafia. Military generals and government officials have worked hand in hand to move cocaine from Colombia through Venezuela while gaming the country's purchasing and distribution mechanisms and subsidized exchange rates to realize profits from various arbitrage schemes. So even when the government is able to import basic goods, their partners in crime can hoard products at ports or in warehouses to sit and rot or eventually be sold on the black market.

What is a Geopolitical Diary? George Friedman Explains.

Maduro inherited a government stacked with officials and generals whose primary interest is to maintain the influence and the perks that come with their positions. But Maduro has a problem. Venezuela's shortages are eventually going to reach a critical point as the country's financial cushion deflates, creating the potential for more serious unrest. At the same time, elections are due this year, and the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela is going to struggle to win votes when the government is running on the fumes of the Chavez era. If Maduro has any chance of carrying the country through this crisis, he will have to start by dislodging Chavistas who are distorting critical parts of the economy through their elaborate corruption schemes.

Obviously, this is easier said than done. If Maduro had the power to purge his government, he would have done so by now. The people in question are powerful for a reason, and they have military backing and links to armed groups that can cause trouble if they are crossed. The prospect of messy street protests means he needs the support of his security forces more than ever.

It is for these reasons that we are particularly interested in the growing number of leaks and rumors on U.S. prosecutors and Drug Enforcement Administration members working to build cases against high-level Venezuelan officials complicit in drug trafficking. Following weeks of rumors in Venezuelan media on impending indictments against high-level officials, The Wall Street Journal captured a great deal of attention on Monday with its detailed investigation on this very issue. The report claimed that National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, Aragua state Gov. Tareck El Aissami, head of the National Guard Nestor Reverol, Gen. Luis Motta Dominguez and retired Gen. Hugo Carvajal are under investigation in the United States, giving credence to previous claims in Venezuela that Cabello, in particular, is at the top of the United States' list of targets.

Of course, these cases have been building for some time, particularly after the 2010 arrest of Venezuelan drug kingpin Walid Makled. But it is notable that the rumors are intensifying at the same time the United States is trying to repair its relationship with Caracas. U.S. State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon met with Maduro on May 11, following up an April visit, and is reportedly expected to have more meetings with him in the coming weeks. The investigation of such high-profile Venezuelan officials would be discussed in these meetings. It is also reasonable to believe Cabello would be a central point as well.

Cabello, who participated in the 1992 coup attempt led by Chavez, has served in several powerful positions in the government and has influence over several members of the military. So long as he remains in a position of influence, the members in his criminal network are also protected. For now, as president of the National Assembly, Cabello has diplomatic immunity from any charges that the United States could throw at him. But if he loses his power — either through elections or through a decision by Maduro — then he and his cohorts will be susceptible to arrest and extradition if they leave the country now that he faces an impending indictment. Such concerns may be at least part of the reason we have not yet seen the Venezuelan government follow through in setting a date for the elections, even though Maduro likely knows that canceling the elections would result only in more severe and possibly unmanageable unrest on the streets.

That brings us back to the talks between Shannon and Maduro. Holding charges over the heads of powerful members of the Venezuelan government enables Washington to pressure Caracas into making political concessions, including a power-sharing arrangement with the opposition. But there may be more to the negotiation as well. Maduro may not be able to purge powerful figures such as Cabello and El Aissami on his own, but there is a possibility they could be sacrificed as part of a bargain with Washington — beginning the process of routing the government and the economy of its most destructive elements and delivering a message that the criminal networks distorting the economy are not impenetrable.

One way or another, Maduro needs to mitigate food shortages and secure economic aid. The United States is in no way the whole answer to Venezuela's problems or a substitute for the structural reforms needed to repair the economy, but it may be able to offer Maduro a partial solution. That prospect alone should have Cabello nervous.

 29 
 on: May 20, 2015, 12:18:43 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/gov_bobby_jindal_issues_religi.html

 30 
 on: May 20, 2015, 12:06:41 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/videos/bushs-top-cia-briefer-bush-and-cheney-lied-to-the-public-about-iraq-war-video/

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