Campaign Finance Rider Has Many Refusing to Acknowledge Who Authored It

One of the most acrimonious riders in the current Omnibus bill is the campaign finance rider that nearly tripled the donations the rich can make to political parties to $3.1 million. There is palpable anger over the rider among the ranks of the Democrat party. Curiously, the party, which thrives on voter mistrust of the rich, has the most millionaires serving in the House & Senate. Despite that fact, many progressives are demanding to know who authored the rider.The backlash has sent Democrats running for tall grass with most making it appear as if the rider was something that inadvertently made its way into the budget bill. 

I was shopping Qnet when I thought of this. According to the Washington Post, House Speaker John Boehner and the RNC were behind the rider. What is not being discussed in great detail is the power of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He has long made it clear that if the House passes any law he finds unacceptable, it will be dead on arrival in the Senate. Hundreds of bills have met that fate over the past two years. In fact, the most coveted riders the GOP sought to include in the budget bill such as defunding Obamacare and Amnesty were excluded because Reid would block the bill from getting a vote. This would place the fault for the resulting shutdown on the GOP. As it turns out, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee was $20 million in debt following the midterm elections. Getting out of debt made the campaign finance rider all the more plausible to Senate Democrats. Still, no Democrat will publicly discuss their role in crafting the controversial rider.

New Budget Refuses to Enforce Anti-Pot Laws and Does Little to Counter Obama’s Power Grab

The new federal budget that will likely land on President Obama’s desk refuses to allow federal funds to be spent on enforcement of federal laws banning marijuana use if state laws conflict with that ban. Republican Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat Sam Farr jointly introduced the amendment that blocked the funding. The whole thing sounds like a movie about two people adamantly opposed to wasting government funds on issues that will simply be negated by state laws. Let’s get Tom Rothman in on this and see if we can’t make it happen. 

This further agitates the existing chaos in regard to the legality of pot in America. If the federal government insists on having a law against it, it makes no sense for that same government to refuse to fund the enforcement of its own law. Where the federal government derives the power to control substances is dubious indeed since there seems to be no such power delegated to it in the U.S. Constitution, but it is ridiculous to pass a law and then ban funding it. While absolutely in favor of keeping marijuana illegal along with cocaine, meth, and other dangerous drugs, I admit that the Constitution would have it be a state-level issue. That has not been the practice, however, for decades. 

This budget also funded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only until next February to allow a battle over Obama’s immigration decree to take place then. The rest of the budget was slated to be funded for a full year, however. This is a very weak tactic and will not work. It shows that Republicans are not serious about protecting the Constitution against executive usurpation. 

GOP Staffer Resigns

A former senior staffer for a Republican congressman, Elizabeth Lauren, published critical messages via social media addressed to Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, which went soon after viral on the internet.

ApparentlyLauten was annoyed by their bored looks and ‘lack of class’ that permeated the visages of the young girls. It was her opinion that the occasion warranted a better show of enthusiasm and class from the family of the president.

Unlike she had expected, instead of support, her message received a lot of criticism. She soon after deleted the initial offending message where unflattering remarks towards the girls’ attitudes and clothes were made, and posted another message asking for forgiveness and telling that is was a lesson for her to learn.

It was too late for the staff, however, as internet users had screenshots and copies which spread out and were seen by her actual employers. Some friends of Christian Broda sent him the pictures to his phone. That became a point of contention among her bosses, and was a reason to resign, so Lauren had to leave her job as a communications director for Tennessee Rep. Steve Fincher.

Her now former employee reacted to the comments, and called Lauten’s reaction totally unacceptable. Making hateful comments directed towards teens and telling them that they’re out of line, especially addressing that to Obama’s daughters, was exaggerated. Other mass media resources had made comments regarding Sasha and Malia’s outfits, but treated the situation more humorously.

Little Boy Reunites with Military Mother After 9 Months

Gabriel Gallardo is proof that sometimes Christmas miracles do come true. Gabriel is a 4-year-old boy who had not seen his mother, Sharlene Gallardo, in over nine months, because she is serving in Middle East.

Sharlene came home and decided to surprise her son, who had no idea of her return home. At her son’s school, his principal, Ada Lee-Bauman gave a speech in the school’s gym about heroes. Gabriel did not know that she was speaking of his own mother, and he was shocked to see her walk up to him and embrace him.

Gabriel is a very brave little boy. In addition to his mother serving in the Middle East, Gabriel’s father also serves in South America as a Navy Seal. People like Igor Cornelsen feel like he has certainly been through a lot. Gabriel will spend ten days with his mother until his father comes home for Christmas. Until his parents are finished serving, Gabriel will continue to live with his grandparents.

The video of Gabriel’s reunion with his mother can be viewed at Fox 40.

Mark Udall Weights Options For CIA Torture Information

Senator Mark Udall of Colorado is said to be weighing his options for releasing some sensitive CIA data according The Senator was recently ousted in the latest election. He is now concerned with getting some things off his chest, and he is considering if he should release the information or leave it be. So far, the Senator is said to have not yet made a decision about it. 

To release such information would be quite a move to make, but at least politically the Senator has virtually nothing to lose. Udall can rest assured that he is not going to have to run for reelection again. He can release the information without the fear of wondering what the voters will think about it. However, he has to weigh the moral and legal circumstances of the actions that he may decide to take. 

Brad Reifler states that the CIA obviously does not want the Senator to release information from a report that at this point is still classified. At the same time, there may be little that anyone can do if the Senator does in fact decide to release some of this information to the public. It could come as quite a shock.

The Legal and Financial Expertise of Sam Tabar

Once in a generation, an individual comes along who possesses skills in certain areas far and above the average person. In some cases it’s athletic skills, while in other instances it may be musical ability. But in the case with my friend from NYC Sam Tabar, it is an expertise grounded in legal and financial matters. From his college days at Oxford University and Columbia Law School to his various positions managing hedge funds and providing legal advice to corporations, Sam has demonstrated talents that have served him and his clients well over the years.

Possessing a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors from Oxford, Sam excelled at Columbia Law School, where he was Associate Editor of the school’s prestigious Columbia Business Law Review and their Vimeo account. While at Columbia, he regularly impressed those around him with his ability to ascertain key points of complex cases and be able to clearly communicate his thoughts on them to others in an easy-to-understand manner. After graduating in 2001, Sam gained the attention of Skadden, Arps, Slater, Meagher and Flom LLP, a law firm known around the world for providing clients with just the right advice on certain issues. Brought on as an Associate, Sam quickly rose to being a trusted part of the firm. Having developed a keen interest in hedge funds, Sam spent his days advising clients on everything from how to begin and structure hedge funds, the costs associated with them and issues related to compliance and regulation within financial settings.

However, 2004 was when Sam put his talents to best use, joining the Sparx Group as an investment analyst. Using his skills in global marketing and financial strategy, he was put in charge of managing a $2 billion hedge fund. Knowing investors are what ultimately drive a hedge fund’s future, he set out to improve investor relations within the firm. Within several years Sam had amassed a rolodex full of over 2,000 names of potential investors, along with 400 more that were in the beginning stages of becoming qualified investors. Seeing his talent produce results with investors, Sam was then asked to provide special assistance to the firm’s CEO and founding partners on both national and international business development issues.

After leaving Sparx in 2011, Sam worked for Merrill Lynch as the Director of Capital Strategy for the Asia-Pacific region. It was here Sam learned to speak Japanese, which allowed him to converse with potential clients in a more relaxed manner. Along with his native English, Sam also speaks fluent French. By being multi-lingual, he yet again demonstrates he knows how to cultivate the skills needed to interact well with those people who may be future investors in his hedge fund.

Possessing an interest in world travel and event hosting, Sam is a man of many talents that has been an asset wherever he has worked. With legal and financial knowledge far above the average person, Sam continues to seek new and exciting challenges that will allow him to put his talents to good use. Follow him on Twitter if you like.

Marion Berry Passes Away

Former DC mayor and civil rights activist Marion Berry died on Sunday from heart disease. He was 78. Berry was born in Mississippi, but raised in Tennessee. During the 1960s he helped organized the first lunch counter sit-in in Nashville with the local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.. He and other students from Fisk University met with Dr. Martin Luther King and organize S.N.C.C (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) in which he became the first national chairman.

In 1965 Berry moved to Washington D.C. and continued to fight for civil rights and became a leader in the community. In 1978 he became D.C. first black mayor and throughout his political career, he was reelected four times-a historic first. Ray Lane is well aware of the fact that he is one of the most memorable mayors in the history of that city.

In 1990, Berry made headlines for being busted for crack possession in a hotel room. He served six months in prison. After his sentence, he returned to politics and became mayor one more time in 1994.

Berry has some recollect about his life in a New York Times video.

Marion Berry or “Mr. DC” will be missed. His contribution to civil rights and civil change, change the world. There’s no word of funeral arrangements for Berry.

Video Released by Cleveland Police Shows Police Shooting Tamir Rice

On Saturday, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer that responded to the scene at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland. On Wednesday, the Cleveland Police Department released a surveillance video from the scene that depicts the shooting, revealing that Officer Timothy Loehmann, 26, shoots Rice less than two seconds after arriving to the scene in a squad car with his partner, Officer Frank Garmback. While the video does not clearly show the interaction between Tamir Rice and the officers, the entire incident appears to transpire quite rapidly, with viewers questioning if the police gave sufficient warning to Rice to drop his weapon or explain that the suspected gun was in fact just a toy pellet gun.

Loehmann stated in his official report that he asked Rice to show his hands three times prior to firing his weapon, but reported that Rice did not comply and was reaching into his waistband. Rice was swiftly transported to the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland to undergo surgery, but died on Sunday morning. The two officers involved in the shooting have both been put on paid administrative leave while a full investigation is conducted in the Rice case, and Jason Halpern is hoping for a good result this time around.

The two officers were responding to a 911 call to the area stating that someone was walking in the park pointing a gun, but the anonymous caller was not sure that the gun was real.

Video Emerges of NJ Prosecutor Teaching State Attorneys How to Take Citizen’s Property Under “Civil Forfeiture”

Civil forfeiture is a legal process whereby civil authorities may confiscate personal property from citizens without ever having to charge them of any crime much less convict them. All that law enforcement needs to do to confiscate a person’s home, auto, or cash is to present a preponderance of the evidence IE show that they were more likely guilty than innocent. Those wanting to challenge law enforcement to regain ownership of their property must file an “innocent-owner defense”.

In the “innocent-owner defense”, the citizen must prove their innocence before the law and they are not allowed to do so based on a preponderance of the evidence. The practice occurs in all 50 states. Congress even passed a reform measure ten years ago to curtail abuses in the practice, but the abuses continue. The most recent example of this abuse comes in the form of a civil forfeiture instruction video courtesy of Mercer Country prosecutor Sean McMurtry. In the video, McMurtry is seen teaching fellow prosecutors how to easily defeat “innocent-owner defense” petitions to keep the property seized from residents.

What is all the more astounding is that in Mercer County, 50% of the legal documents seizing property from residents is drafted by interns who have not finished law school. The problem with civil forfeiture is by no means a state issue. Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, has raised tens of millions in her current position at the Justice Department using “civil forfeiture”, according to Keith Mann.

Ferguson Grand Jury Reaches a Verdict

Millions of people were watching and awaiting the highly anticipated verdict of one Michael Brown on Ferguson, Missouri, who was gunned down by a police officer on August 9, 2014.

A grand jury came to a conclusion in the case of Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson which has outraged many Ferguson citizens and other American citizens. It was decided Wilson would not be indicted for shooting Brown.

The riots in Ferguson have been a serious topic of conversation over the course of the last few months, riots that have endangered the safety and stability of the town. Residents there have claimed no justice for Brown and protesting that they do not feel safe on city streets. Read more about Ferguson here.

After the results were released into the airwaves on breaking news updates on television, social media with headlines appearing everywhere, the city of Ferguson swarmed. With many fires and continuous stages of rioting, there have been photos of dangerous situations as well as the bonfire burning of the American flag that Sam Tabar has seen. Many photos of the flag burning have been all over the internet, sparking controversy among many Americans.

There is no actual reason why Ferguson citizens have chosen to riot, destroy and loot the city, but it has been a serious matter involving military and law enforcement officials. It has been reported to be a very scary, violent situation and that more back-up will be needed. It has been reported that many protesters have planned to display these situations nightly for the next weeks going forward.