Archive | March 2011

Senator Grassley allegedly ties Project Gunwalker to murdered U.S. agents

Two federal law enforcement agents are dead and new documents show Jamie Avila was in possession of two of the guns that were found at murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s crime scene. Questions from Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) point to Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm’s (ATF) Project Gunwalker as possibly being involved in the killing of the agents.

In a letter dated March 16th from Senator Grassley to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin, the senator demands answers regarding the facts in which straw purchaser Jamie Avila was pulled over by CBP agents last summer along the U.S. border with dozens of weapons in his vehicle but was eventually released by (ATF) or with an Assistant U.S. Attorney General’s blessing. This letter also confirms that multiple government agencies knew about the gun-walking program.

The letter reads in part; “CBP officials allegedly stopped Jamie Avila near the border in the spring or summer of 2010. He allegedly had the two WASR-10 rifles in his possession that were later found at the scene of Agent Brian Terry’s murder, along with over thirty additional weapons. CBP officials contacted ATF or an Assistant United States Attorney who allegedly instructed CBP to allow Avila to proceed without seizing the weapons.”

Senator Grassley goes on to inform CBP Commissioner Bersin that he had they better be prepared to answer questions about this incident.

Also Grassley found it troubling that after the murder of two federal agents that ATF didn’t suspend the controversial “gun walking” program sometime last year after they ran into trouble in New Mexico.

“First, on March 8, 2011, federal authorities indicted 11 defendants, including the Mayor and a Police Chief of a small town in New Mexico, for conspiring to smuggle weapons from the United States into Mexico. According to the indictment, on January 14, 2010, Blas Gutierrez and Migel Carillo were pulled over near the border and were found in possession of eight weapons, including three AK-47 type pistols,” Grassley points out in the letter to CBP Commissioner Bersin. “Also according to the indictment, two of the weapons were later smuggled to Mexico, where they were found this month, March 2011.”

Grassley indicates that CBP allegedly stopped the vehicle and after a few questions they let the guns “walk.”

As a result, Border Patrol Agent Terry’s December 16 murder has been racked with secrecy, even though two of the weapons recovered at the scene were part of a controversial ATF “gun walking program.” Multiple sources from the region have reported a virtual lock down of any information regarding Agent Terry’s murder. “Active BP agents have been told to keep quiet or they risk their jobs,” says one retired Border Patrol agent who lives in southern Arizona.

Another retired agent G. Alan Ferguson, author of nafbpo.org/M3 Report says “retired border agents stand with Border Patrol and will not rest until the murderer of Agent Terry is arrested, tried and jailed.”

The controversial ATF program “Fast and Furious” has been credited with ties to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Jamie Zapata’s murder in Mexico as well.

“Operation Fast and Furious” is the program where ATF agents allowed straw buyers (folks who ultimately buy weapons for bad guys like drug cartels) to purchase weapons from gun dealers and let them “walk” south into Mexico. ATF’s Management says they were following these guns, with the help of serial numbers and Mexican authorities, in order to ensnare powerful drug cartel leaders.

It didn’t work and Americans now know thousands of these “walked guns” made their way into the hands of cartel members and most likely will be used to kill numerous Mexican and American nationals.

This outrageous program was initially devised by ATF to turn the tide in Mexico’s drug cartel violence. It tries to trace straw purchased guns as they made their way south of the border. However, retired INS Agent Michael Cutler with 30 years of experience says the notion that any law enforcement officials would allow a gun to walk is ridiculous. “It would be like offering cocktails to drivers at a DUI checkpoint. Guns kill people and it was only a matter of time before these trafficked guns would be responsible for taking a life. Explain to me how this program makes us safer?”

Unfortunately the thousands of weapons that have made their way into the Mexican narco-state will be the proverbial “gift that keeps on giving.”

Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath – “First do no harm” and the time has come for ATF to answer questions surrounding a program that will continue for decade’s to be a part of crime scenes, according to Cutler. “This flies in face of law enforcement.”

Moving forward Americans need to connect the dots and of course follow-up on the details surrounding Agents Terry’s and Zapata’s murders which still remain a mystery.
Advertisement

For example, in the case of Zapata, there was a witness. Zapata’s partner, Victor Avila, also an ICE HSI agent, who suffered a superficial leg wound during the gun battle in Mexico. According to a government source, both agents were hit with bullets despite strict instructions that agents are not allowed to roll down their bullet-proof windows (which only roll down 30 percent anyways) unless they know the person (s) outside the car. The Zapata crime scene investigations also confirm there were approximately 80 empty shell casings left behind by alleged cartel members. Reports also confirm Zapata rolled down his driver-side SUV window. Did he know his killer? Why was his partner spared?

Last year this reporter published an in-depth story about the 90-percent myth (the number of guns taken to Mexico from America). As word of the smuggled guns grew, so did international concern. A Wikileaks cable recently acknowledged that 90 percent of the drug cartel heavy arsenal comes from Central America- not Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Information the Mexican government knows, but with the 90-percent myth floating around the U.S. airwaves, Mexico continues to receive millions of dollars to combat drug cartel violence.

It also appears the waning media coverage surrounding ATF’s “Operation Fast and Furious” has compelled leaders within ATF to dismiss the seriousness of upcoming Senate hearings. Senator Grassley’s office continues its investigation into the reckless program, but with limited success in obtaining documents that would shed significant light on “Fast and Furious.”

And CBS News has confirmed ATF Acting Director, Kenneth Melson, has dismissed the Senate investigation altogether and will not attend the scheduled hearing, claiming the Senate subcommittee doesn’t have jurisdiction, Melson claims (and it does) that authority falls under President Obama’s right-hand man, Eric Holder, at the Department of Justice.

However, the newly-elected Republican Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Darrell Issa (R-CA), has demanded answers from leaders at ATF. President Obama finally weighed in on the “Fast and Furious” discussion this last weekend when he told a Mexican news reporter that neither he nor Eric Holder had any knowledge of the rogue gun operation. (Watch this column for more on this soon).

While Issa claims that while Americans should be able to trust the president, he would like to hear from the Attorney General, Eric Holder himself. “The Attorney General is going to have to say what he knew and when he knew it- and, if he didn’t know it, who in his hierarchy did know and when they knew it?” Issa said. The folks at DOJ as well as Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, have until April 12 to provide the documents requested by Issa’s office.

According to media reports, ATF has lost track of hundreds of firearms. ATF whistleblower, agent John Dodson, explained to CBS News he was “ordered to allow the trafficking of guns to Mexico.” The agent says his office was attempting to build a case against the Mexican gunrunners.

“The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico,” Dodson told CBS.

Why all the secrecy?

While Department of Homeland Security leader, Janet Napolitano, may be “deeply saddened” by the death of both federal agents, it remains to be seen if DHS is fully engaged in the investigation that spans two countries. Connecting the dots between the murders and other government-gone wild programs only emphasizes the need for intra-agency transparency. Did the U.S. government know the murderers of these agents and could the straw-purchased sales of weapons leave the administration complicit in their murders? Time will tell… maybe.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/guns-fuel-drug-cartels-mexico

The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward and the Mexican government is also offering a $10 million pesos (probably U.S. money from the Merida Initiative) for the information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the murder of Jamie Zapata. Those with information can visit https://tips.fbi.gov or http://www.recompensas.gob.mx.

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Santa Barbara loans $4.4 million to employees to buy homes

In an ultimate case of government gone wild, the city of Santa Barbara has given “teacher’s pet” employees money to purchase homes in the expensive seaside community.

The down-payment for home program began in 2001 when the city gave Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez a $500,000 loan. Over the years and multiple employees later the city has given city employees approximately $4.4 million to purchase homes.

The city of Santa Barbara, like most California cities, is broke and needs to fill budget shortfalls. As a result the city has cut back on numerous resident services.

The scandalous program caught the eye of council members and watchdog groups who are outraged the city has not made a better attempt to recoup taxpayer money, according to the Daily Sound.

The severe budget crisis has already forced community leaders to close city pools and libraries while the 37 employees enjoy their homes on the taxpayer dime.

“The whole thing is nuts,” says Ernie Salomon a Santa Barbara City Hall watchdog. The money used for the loan program was taken from the city’s reserve general fund, according to Solomon. “It’s unforgivable.”

Responding to the criticism surrounding the city loans was Bob Samario, Santa Barbara finance director. “At the time we weren’t having the financial problems that we are having today.”

He explained that city employees needed to come up with 85 percent of the financing on their own before the city gave them the remaining 15 percent to purchase homes. Samario also noted the loan recipients did not have to pay any principle for the first five years, just the interest which ranged from .46 to .56 percent of the loan.

The lucky employees were also treated to the city buying down the interest rate of their second mortgage by two percentage points saving employees even more money.

According to the city finance director, claims the $4.4 million of taxpayer money is gone are not true, it’s just tied up in employee loans. However, over the past eight years the city has only been reimbursed $188,000.

Oversight for the employee loans has been limited. The 37 loans were given out without the approval of the city council something that outraged current City Councilmember Michael Self.

“We do not have the due diligence or the fiduciary understanding to implement a loan program. That is out of our purview. These people are getting benefits no private company could pay for,” she said.

For now Self says she will work to get the city’s money back and make sure this program is suspended moving forward.

For those not familiar with Santa Barbara, the seaside neighborhood is home to many Hollywood movie stars and home prices are some of the highest in the country, however, nearby towns do offer affordable housing options.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Iowa mock high school shooting drill to highlight racism against Latinos

A high school “mock shooting crisis drill” scheduled for this weekend in Iowa has created a big brouhaha, one that might cause the event to be canceled all together, according to the County Board of Supervisors spokesperson.

This Saturday the Pottawattamie County planned to conduct an exercise with the Treynor, community schools that would simulate a school shooting. According to an email the premise of the “mock shooting” suggested that a student, whose parents oppose illegal immigration (amnesty), would arrive at school with a gun and shoot a Latino student.

The “mock crisis drill” event has been confirmed by the Treynor High School as well as the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors who said the impending large protest rallies and community concerns may alter or halt the planned weekend drill.

Multiple calls to Doug Reed, the coordinator of the “mock drill” went unreturned.

The following was sent from Joan and Michael Becker, whose child was sent home with a permission slip to participate in the “mock school shooting drill.”

“Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP)-

Please read this entire email. There has NEVER been an incident such as the one they are manufacturing here in the State of Iowa or any other for that matter. This is highly politically motivated, racially inflammatory and completely egregious.

What message does this send to those students and families in that school district? It very powerfully suggests that any students with parents that have a certain viewpoint are racist and dangerous. It is completely politically motivated unbelievable egregious and has no place in any school.

I would love to organize a protest rally for that day but will be in Des Moines for the CPAC conference. I am urging everyone to at least email and call the organizer of this exercise, the superintendent, and the school principle to let them know how unacceptable this is on many levels.

Attached is the planned mock school shooting exercise scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2011, at Treynor Community Schools. The premise is that a white teen boy, whose family is involved in anti-illegal immigration rallies and favor guns, goes to school and shoots a Hispanic in a rural school.

This premise is politically motivated, as it is the view of the Democrats in power that white American citizens who believe in all of their Constitutional rights are extremists and terrorists. It is an act of silencing my family, and it is an act of intimidation of all American citizens who believe in our rule of law.

Details: My teen daughter had signed up to participate in the mock school shooting with the approval of my husband, who is in law enforcement. He thought it would be good for her to know what would happen in the event of a school shooting.

Today, he received the attached e-mail and attachment outlining the details of the exercise. Upon calling Mr. Reed, the EMS coordinator in charge, my husband used facts as the basis for requesting that the scenario be changed. My husband was told that my daughter was no longer able to participate in the exercise and that they were not welcome to be one site on Saturday!

As I said, this is government intimidation; it is framing white people as crazy racists and Constitutionalists as extremists.

I have forwarded this information to U.S. Representative Steve King, who has fought against illegal immigration and values our Constitution. I am contacting all of you to let you know of this travesty so you can spread the word. I am also going to contact Greg Forristal, my Iowa Representative. I do not know what else to do other than notify the local newspapers of this event…

Please respond so I know if you got this in its entirety, what you can do to help spread the word, what else I or we can do, locally and nationally in bringing attention to this attack of American citizens and our liberties.

Joan Becker Sent: Wed Mar 23 10:24:55 2011

***

Douglas C. Reed, IACEM County EMS Coordinator Emergency Management Specialist

Subject: Exercise Plan and General Info

Good morning. Attached you will find the most current version of the exercise plan for this Saturday.

Please forward it or have it available to any of your staff you feel should see it, either in part or the entire document.

Particularly note: the plan contains the weapons policy, the staff assignments and the current schedule.

If you have been assigned a staff role your name is on the staff list with what your assignment and location is.

If you have a question about your assignment that needs addressed before Saturday, please email me. I will be in and out making final arrangements for this weekend and email will be the best method of contact.

MAJOR REPORTING TIMES:

All Staff report to the Treynor Fire Station no later than 0700 hrs. All Actors & Players report no later than 0730 hrs. (Actors-Treynor Community TR / Players-Treynor Fire)

[Actor = registered volunteer playing part as a victim or bystander]

[Player=someone responding to the emergency as part of an agency, organization department]

*** If you are participating as a player at either of the hospitals or 911, report directly to that location ***

*** Controllers and evaluators for ALL locations should report to the Treynor D at 0700 for briefings ***

Observers & VIPs will report by 0800 hrs to the Community Ctr.

Please pass this info to anyone in your agency/dept you want to have this information. I may have missed a few email addresses so double check with anyone you may assume may have also received this.

This information is intended only for those participating in this exercise. Predistribution to those not participating is prohibited unless otherwise approved by the Exercise Planning Team.

I appreciate your cooperation and assistance. If you need further info or I have forgotten to distribute something, let me know as soon as you can. As of the drafting of this email we have a tally of: 42 agencies / organizations participating in this exercise, 357 emergency responders, school officials, community volunteers, and support staff participating in the exercise.

Your cooperation and patience is appreciated.

Douglas C. Reed, IACEM County EMS Coordinator Emergency Management Specialist.”

For more information about the event Mr. Reed can be reached at 712-328-5776.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Breaking: Eiffel Tower evacuated after terrorist threat

While the French are proclaiming they are not at war with Libya, authorities evacuated the City of Light’s famous Eiffel Tower after a suspicious package was found.

Approximately 4,000 tourists were whisked away when the landmark’s personnel received a phone call that the Eiffel Tower would be blown up by the package left at the tourist attraction.

While details remain unclear as to the threat to the French landmark it appears the newest Middle Eastern War in Libya will have consequences outside the region.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said their involvement could have “domestic repercussions,” and their intelligence services have been assembled and “threats were made” against France. But the leader has not provided any details of the threats.

It is worth pointing out that the multi-lateral forces still do not know the actual military capabilities of the Libyan insurgents or Libyan Dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

As the escalating war in Libya approaches the one-week mark, questions begin to mount as to who will actually take the lead in the coming days. President Obama continues to promise a handover of power is on the horizon.

For More stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama declares war against Libya

With his $1.6 million peace prize in his pocket, President Barack Hussein Obama launched an aggressive onslaught of U.S. cruise warfare missiles into a sovereign nation, Libya, who has an internationally recognized leader in Moammar Qaddafi- a tyrannical leader to be sure, but a leader none-the-less.

Now America’s young and globalist president has taken the helm for America’s third Muslim country war. As such, Obama has further solidified his place, “in a war of his choosing” by involving America in another blurry-eyed Middle-East quagmire.

America’s latest foray into hostilities, with its NATO allies Britain and France is aptly named operation “Odyssey Dawn.” The president said he was reluctant to commit American resources to another war, but added it was the Arab League’s approval for a ‘no-fly zone’ that reassured his administration it was the right thing to do.

Needless to say it only took 24 hours for the military endeavor to draw criticism from the very leaders the president relied on. The Arab League complains that the U.S. tomahawk missile airstrikes are responsible for killing innocent Libyan citizens.

Amr Moussa, spokesperson for the Arab League, claims military operations have gone beyond what the Arab League backed; “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone. What we want is civilians’ protected not the shelling of more civilians.”

Moussa’s proclamation suggested many of the 22 Arab League members have been taken aback by the U.S.’s aggressive bombardment. Moussa’s statement also implies that some leaders are regretting Western military intervention and fear that Muslims may look like they are accepting of Western countries.

This response is ironic since many of the region’s leaders generally look down on Qaddafi, as a non-traditional dictator, most of Libya’s neighbors want the eccentric leader removed from power.

America’s ‘shock and awe’ military capability has also drawn criticism from Russia (who abstained from the vote on United Nations Resolution 1973 which authorized a no-fly zone in Libya). Russian diplomats are now calling for the immediate halt of all air strikes into the North African country.

With skepticism growing around the need for military involvement, many Americans are left questioning why the president committed the military to another conflict. Why is the U.S. government investing more blood and treasure into another unpopular Middle Eastern war?

Perhaps it has something to do with the ‘King of Tripoli,’ Qaddafi, who poked the eye of American families who lost loved ones in Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland. On December 21, 1988, flight 103 was destroyed in-flight by a bomb that was planted on the aircraft by a Qaddafi intelligence operative. The terrorist-engineered airplane crash killed 270 passengers, including 189 American citizens.

Just over a year ago the only person convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdel baset Al-Megrahi was released from a Scotland prison for compassionate reasons. It was believed the terrorist had only a few months to live and Scottish officials allowed him to return to Libya where he received a hero’s welcome from Qaddafi.

Is this payback?

Most likely not, but President Obama (the man the Nobel Peace Prize committee said would bring peace to the region) has brought more death and warfare.

Sources on the ground in Libya say the U.S-led attacks have left at least 50 civilians dead and are blaming the American military strikes. Where is the Arab League? Why aren’t they using their own troops and military arsenal (that the U.S. gave them) to defend their own neighborhood?

In a pre-empted move the disgruntled Libyan leader has taken to state radio and characterized the raids from the West as “acts of terrorism.” The Obama Administration is dancing on thin ice and would like nothing more than to rid the world of Qaddafi.

As a result of foreign aggression, Qaddafi says he has opened his country’s weapon depots so Libya’s people can defend their nation with automatic weapons, mortars and bombs. “We will not leave our land and we will liberate it,” Qaddafi said. “We promise you a long war,” he said in a radio address.

However, President Obama explained the importance of targeting Libya’s air defenses; “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.”

Qaddafi returned the favor and addressed President Obama in a letter in which he tried to explain why he has reacted to the rebel’s uprising. “If you had found them taking over American cities with armed force, tell me what you (Obama) would do?”

While Obama currently enjoys support from both sides of the political aisle regarding the Libya offensive, many security experts question why the United States would even consider a third war in the Middle East.

“This is an absurd situation; there is absolutely nothing of interest to the United States in Libya,” said former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit Michael Scheuer. “If all the Libyans killed each other for the next week, what difference does it makes to life in the United States.”

However Obama explained it was America’s “unique capabilities at the front end of the mission (that would) protect Libyan civilians, and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by international partners. And as I said yesterday, we will not – I repeat – we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground.”

To which the CIA front man said; “Air power never wins anything … air power will not resolve the question and we will ultimately be faced with another incursion of U.S. forces on the ground. It is an extraordinarily irresponsible thing for the president to do – he should have said from day one: ‘The U.S. cavalry is not coming.’ If the Europeans want to go, let them go.”

Yet the President’s team waded into the coalition war anyways. “I am deeply aware of the risks of any military action, no matter what limits we place on it. I want the American people to know that the use of force is not our first choice and it’s not a choice that I make lightly. But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, and his forces step up their assaults on cities like Benghazi and Misurata, where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.”

In spite of what Obama wants, Qaddafi removed, there is executive order 12333 signed by President Ronald Reagan and upheld by every administration since that stipulates; “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination.”

Obama’s declaration for Libya intervention continues; “we must be clear: Actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced. That is the cause of this coalition.”

Despite his Nobel Peace Prize, Obama has opened himself to criticism.

Over the weekend Louis Farrakhan warned the president during a Chicago radio interview. “I warn my brother do you let these wicked demons move you in a direction that will absolutely ruin your future with your people in Africa and throughout the world…Why don’t you organize a group of respected Americans and ask for a meeting with Qaddafi, you can’t order him to step down and get out, who the hell do you think you are?”

Curiously, the Obama Administration stayed on the sidelines during the Egyptians quest to remove an equally brutal dictator President Hosni Mubarak. Even the threat of a takeover by terrorist sympathizers, the Muslim Brotherhood, wasn’t enough to get America militarily involved in the regional uprising that has swept the Middle East.

However, Islam Lutfy, a lawyer and Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt said his group is “opposed (to) the military intervention because the real intention of the United States and its European allies was to get into position to benefit from Libya’s oil supplies. The countries aligned against Libya are there not for humanitarian reasons but to further their own interests.”

With that presumption in mind, did the president abandon his Nobel Peace Prize for oil and war? And, unlike the UN resolution establishing a “no fly zone,” an end state was not mentioned in the coalition actions. So, what of the post war Libya and have our actions also committed the U.S. to rebuilding Tripoli?

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Budget negotiations limp along for another 3 weeks

It’s been more than a year since lawmakers have proposed and approved an operational budget. Instead under Democratic leadership the budget process has been continued six times and still Congress in no closer to passing a spending plan.

However, freshman lawmakers decidedly made a decision to stop the nonsense and threw a wrench in the House vote by saying no to the continuing resolution extension this week.

Yesterday’s House vote played out this way; 54 freshman GOP lawmakers said the $6 billion in cuts were too small to make a difference and 104 Democrats said the $6 billion was more than the country could afford.

The U.S. currently owes more than $14 trillion and counting. The national deficit for February alone was $222.5 billion, or $7.9 billion per day, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Egypt this week giving interim government officials a $2 billion check. Where is the money coming from? China? Taxpayers? Or a national credit card.

Looking at the current budget numbers, the proposed $6 billion in cuts demanded by the Republicans would only keep the federal government for 30 hours. However, if the GOP’s wish of $61 billion in cuts were granted the government could only operate for one week. Spending is a very big problem.

Nevertheless the House voted 271-158 in favor of a three-week stopgap spending measure that would allow the government to run through April 8.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) both urged completion of the longer-term bill, but both will leave D.C. for the scheduled week vacation.

“We get our guidance from our constituents and that’s why we need a week break to discuss the spending cuts Americans think Congress should be making,” Cantor said. “We hope and intend for this (continuing resolution) to be the last one.”

Holding his ground and GOP leaders accountable was freshmen Congressman Allen West (R-FL) who indicated that a government shutdown could actually be good for the budget debate.

“I will NOT be voting for another short term CR,” West tweeted. “There is a confrontation coming on this budget and the sooner we get to it the better.”

And that’s the adult conversation many Americans have been demanding.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Budget negotiations limp along for another 3 weeks – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/budget-negotiations-limp-along-for-another-3-weeks#ixzz1GsYKiVby

Internet sales giant Overstock.com to cut ties with California

California’s evolving budget crisis continues to meet headwinds with major Internet companies who are lining up to flee the state if Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signs new tax increase legislation into law.

Overstock.com will join Amazon.com in pulling all affiliate sellers from the state if lawmakers insist on additional taxes. A letter from Overstock.com to Board of Equalization Member Senator George Runner said it will terminate its California affiliates should pending affiliate tax legislation become law.

“This issue is much, much bigger than one company,” said Runner. “A law requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax from California consumers could force thousands of online retailers to terminate their relationships with California-based affiliate businesses. This hurts California jobs and revenues.”

A few weeks ago Amazon voiced their concern in the form of a letter and now Overstock.com has done the same.

Mark J. Griffin, general counsel for Overstock.com, said his company has terminated affiliate relationships “in every state where this legislation has passed” and “will do so in California.”

According to Griffin, in 2009 Overstock.com terminated 3,200 California affiliates after the Legislature passed a similar measure.

“Taxes have consequences,” Runner explains. “Too often we assume companies and individuals will keep acting the same after new tax laws are passed. That is simply false. Businesses change their behavior as tax laws change.”

California’s budget woes are legendary and lawmakers on either side of the aisle have avoided making the first move –fearing voter recalls.

Take Florida for example, voters in Miami-Dade, recalled Mayor Carlos Alvarez yesterday in a landslide 90 percent vote. Disgruntled constituents lashed out when Alvarez’s missteps showed his office handing out lavish pay increases to staffers, a publically-funded stadium for the Florida Marlins and the taxpayer a larger property-tax bill. The local recall results were the largest in political history.

Meanwhile, California continues to operate without a state budget and Governor Brown emphasizes that state residents must take part in a $26 billion “shared sacrifice” – half tax hikes and half spending cuts. Brown insists it’s the state’s Republicans who are blocking budgetary progress, yet Sacramento is ruled by Democrats in both houses and the governor’s office.

California’s weary taxpayers have not indicated the consequences that will be shouldered by lawmakers if tax increases become reality. However, politicians beware- angry Florida voters recalled a popular mayor and California recalled Arnold Schwarzenegger’s predecessor Gray Davis after tax increases.

While the jury is out on the level of voter anger in the Golden State, proposed tax hikes could come back to haunt any lawmaker who signs on the dotted line.

“Supporters of this proposed policy claim that they want to create a level playing field for businesses that have retail presence in California and are required to collect sales tax,” Runner said. “Unfortunately, none of the bills under consideration will level the playing field because out-of-state online retailers will simply modify their business model to avoid collecting California’s sales tax.”

Runner contends the 25,000 Internet affiliates in California are at risk of being wiped out by this attempted sales tax grab. “This law will kill jobs and cost the state revenue as these individuals and businesses close up shop in California,” he finished.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Internet sales giant Overstock.com to cut ties with California – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/internet-sales-giant-overstock-com-to-cut-ties-with-california#ixzz1Gmn0QAZd

Immigration think tank sees birthright citizenship as threat to U.S. security

A new Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report examined the consequences of America’s liberal birthright (anchor baby) policy and found that the program may have national security implications.

The study Entitled “’Birthright Citizenship for the Children of Visitors: A National Security Problem in the Making?,’ provides original estimates on the number of annual births to temporary visitors, whether birth tourists, students, guest workers, or Mexican citizens with border-crossing privileges. The report suggests that this policy is a national security vulnerability and discusses how U.S.-born, but raised-abroad terrorists can (and have) used their citizenship against us.”

The Center for Immigration Studies key findings included;

* Nearly 200,000 children are estimated to have been born to women lawfully admitted as temporary visitors from all over the world in 2009. By comparison, according to other studies, more than 300,000 children are born each year to illegal aliens.
* Short-term visitors, including women who come as birth tourists expressly for the purpose of having a U.S.-citizen child, account for about 20 percent of these births (39,000). While most foreign tourists stay for two weeks or less, according to DHS statistics a large number of people who are admitted as tourists stay for periods of three months or more, including an estimated 780,000 women of child-bearing age.
* Another 20,000 annual births are estimated to young foreign women who are admitted as short-term residents, such as students, guest workers, exchange visitors, investors, and other categories that allow for multiple years of U.S. residence.
* The cohort that accounts for the largest number of births to foreign visitors is Mexican women who hold Border Crossing Cards (BCCs). An estimated 130,000 births are estimated from this group of women, who have virtually unrestricted access to U.S. cities and towns in the southwest border region. Because the identities of BCC holders are not checked upon entry and the exits are not tracked, the cards frequently are used fraudulently by imposters seeking illegal entry.

The report also concluded that these birth tourist children have become some of America’s biggest adversaries.

The high-profile children include Anwar al Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric who is now residing in Yemen and directing home-grown terrorist attacks against America; and Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S.-born enemy combatant captured in Afghanistan and released from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia in 2004.

CIS points out the common denominator with Al Awlaki and Hamdi is the fact they were both born in the United States to parents admitted as temporary residents on non-immigrant visas.

These two men, however, were raised and radicalized in the Middle East.

The birthright or anchor baby issue should weigh heavily on lawmakers who are trying to reform America’s immigration laws- failure to do so will only result in more home-grown terror attacks.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Immigration think tank sees birthright citizenship as threat to U.S. security – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/immigration-think-tank-sees-birthright-citizenship-as-threat-to-u-s-security#ixzz1GhHS90yC

Ranch hand murdered near San Diego U.S./Mexico border

Sheriff Deputies and paramedics were called to a ranch located in Jamul over the weekend when the owner of the property discovered his employee was non-responsive.

According to a Sheriff Department press release; “Deputies, paramedics and Cal Fire personnel were immediately called to the scene. The condition of the body, coupled with observations of the area in close proximity to the decedent suggested to the first responders that the decedent was the victim of foul play.”

After determining foul play, Deputies contacted the Sheriff’s Crime Lab, Lemon Grove Station, Homicide Detail and U.S. Border Patrol to begin their investigation into the homicide.

Details regarding the murder are limited and the victim’s name has not been released. Sheriff Deputies working the case are asking for assistance from anyone who may have information regarding a motive or the context of the murder.

The male ranch hand was found at 15677 Lyons Valley Road in Jamul (located just east of San Diego) at approximately 9 a.m. on March 12. The homicide crime scene is located near Campo where Border Partol Agent Robert Rosas was murdered by illegal aliens about 18 months ago.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS(8477).

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Ranch hand murdered near San Diego U.S./Mexico border – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/ranch-hand-murdered-near-san-diego-u-s-mexico-border#ixzz1Gb684zI5

Sky high gas doesn’t help GM’s Electric car sales

With fuel prices edging past the $4 per gallon mark in many states, one would think budget-conscious consumers would be making a beeline to GM’s new electric cars- they’re not.

After the federal government publically took over General Motors, many tree-hugging bureaucrats embraced the former gas-guzzling auto giant and designed the new environmentally friendly “Volt.”

However, the inception of General Motors electric car hasn’t caught fire with the American consumer. In fact there have only been 281 Volt’s sold this year. Some point to the $41,000 price tag as a big obstacle. While others say the lack of charging stations make the electric car too impractical for busy families.

Unfortunately the Obama Administration’s goal of having one million electric cars on the highways by 2015 is becoming a distant mirage.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Sky high gas doesn’t help GM’s Electric car sales – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/sky-high-gas-doesn-t-help-gm-s-electric-car-sales#ixzz1G8v67N96

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: