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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:36:20 GMT  


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Breitbart Feed Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:15:18 GMT  

MN State Rep Wants $329,000 Refund from Jonathan Gruber for Work With 'Beyond Laughable' Error Rates

Minnesota State Representative Greg Davids is calling for embattled MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, the "architect" of Obamacare, to return all $329,000 he was paid by the state of Minnesota as a subcontractor on a 2011 contract to analyze the state's plan to develop its Obamacare health care exchange, MNSure.

On November 21, Davids sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting her to investigate Gruber's work.

"In recent weeks," Davids wrote, "significant concerns have been raised regarding the contract between the State of Minnesota and Dr. Jonathan Gruber entered into in March 2011. In light of troubling remarks by Dr. Gruber and MNsure, I believe that a review of Dr. Gruber’s work, and payments made to him, is necessary."

On December 9, Davids sent a second letter to Swanson.

"Earlier today," Davids wrote, "in testimony before Congressional investigators, Dr. Jonathan Gruber refused to answer questions regarding compensation for his work with state-based insurance exchanges. The evasiveness displayed by Dr. Gruber reinforces my concerns expressed in the previous letter."

"I implore your office to investigate Dr. Gruber’s work and its relationship to MNsure’s fiscal troubles," Davids requested again, "and urge you to explore all possible remedies for recovering the taxpayer funds wasted on his report."

"To date," Davids told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement on Wednesday, "I have received word via phone call that the Attorney General's office was working on a response, but nothing in writing yet."

Davids blasted Gruber's projections for the state of Minnesota about enrollment for the state's health care exchange, MNSure, when it launched.

"MNsure, Dr. Gruber and Governor Dayton's Administration repeatedly guaranteed that the exchange would serve 1.3 million Minnesotans by 2016, including over 600,000 in commercial plans - a financial necessity to avoid a taxpayer bailout," Davids told Breitbart News.

"Those projections were so far off that it has proved absurd," Davids said.

"Instead of 500,000 private enrollees by the end of 2015, MNsure has repeatedly lowered Dr. Gruber's projections and now estimates that fewer than 70,000 will enroll in private plans by the end of next year," Davids added.

"The error rate for Dr. Gruber's work is beyond laughable," Davids stated.

"It is a shame," Davids continued, "that nearly $600,000 in public funds was used for projections that were inaccurate from the moment MNsure opened. The Dayton Administration has essentially used over $150 million in taxpayer money to build a broken IT system for public health programs."

Davids, who has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1991, is scheduled to become Chairman of the powerful House Taxes Committee in January.

"There has been little to no transparency in Dr. Gruber's work with MNsure," Davids told Breitbart News. "Given that Dr. Gruber missed the deadline to submit his final report by four months - thereby avoiding scrutiny during the legislative process that led to MNsure's creation - it is sadly unsurprising that he may have failed to live up to other aspects of his taxpayer-funded contract," Davids concluded.

A Breitbart investigation into the state of Minnesota's 2011 contract in which Gruber was paid $329,000 as a subcontractor to develop economic projections using his proprietary Gruber Microsimulation Model has uncovered a disturbing pattern of billing practices that indicate a lack of oversight. April Todd-Malmlov, the former executive director of MNSure, the state's Obamacare health exchange, was the official responsible for that oversight.

Breitbart obtained copies of the Gruber invoices, the contract,  and the Gruber subcontract in a public records request filed with the state of Minnesota.

Though the contract, which was signed by former executive director Todd-Malmlov, clearly specifies that all Gruber's invoices should be itemized in detail, the invoices submitted by Gruber and paid by the state of Minnesota were notably lacking in itemization.

Gruber's invoices do not specifically tie to deliverables specified in the contract other than to assert vaguely that some of them were delivered. The invoices do not consistently refer to the deliverables specified in the contract, nor, with the exception of the final report, do they specify the dates the deliverables were completed, to whom they were delivered in the state of Minnesota, nor whether they were formally accepted by specific bureaucrats in the state of Minnesota.

Despite these shortcomings, former executive director Todd-Malmov authorized all of Gruber's interim payments as well as his final payment.

Gruber delivered two final reports, one in 2012 and one in 2013, each about 60 pages long. Todd-Malmlov formally certified her acceptance of both these reports.

But records obtained by Breitbart News from the state of Minnesota indicate there is no auditable trail for the work product that resulted in those final reports.

In addition, Gruber's invoices do not track specifically to the deliverables identified in Exhibit B of the contract. The deliverables in that exhibit are labeled Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, and Deliverable D. None of Gruber's invoices refer to Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, or Deliverable D.

The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable B is cryptic at best in describing what was delivered. The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable C actually does not match what is specified as Deliverable C in the contract. Only the final Gruber invoice--which refers to the final report referenced in Deliverable D-- tracks with any degree of specificity to the contract.








New York to Ban Fracking; Environmentalists Cheer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits.

New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has banned shale gas development since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing.

Wednesday's announcement, though not final, means a ban is all but etched in stone.

"Never before has a state with proven gas reserves banned fracking," said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, adding that the decision "will give courage to elected leaders throughout the country and world: Fracking is too dangerous and must not continue."

Industry and its supporters expressed outrage at the decision.

"We are very disappointed that it appears the governor is unwilling to be a leader and is going to pass the buck at the expense of New Yorkers," said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

"This technology has been used for over 65 years in the United States. It's been demonstrated repeatedly after drilling millions of wells that we're able to do it while protecting the environment and protecting the people."

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, responded that he would defer to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on the decision.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, Martens said, and after that he will issue an order prohibiting fracking.

About 30 anti-fracking activists cheered the decision at a rally outside Cuomo's New York City office, chanting "Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for saving our air!" and "New York banned fracking — and next, United States!"

Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized environmental and health reviews that concluded fracking carries risks that haven't been studied enough.

The drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale, which also runs under Ohio and West Virginia, was made possible by high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which releases gas from rock by injecting wells with chemically treated water at high pressure.

The technique has generated tens of billions of dollars in industry profits and landowner royalties, and has reduced energy bills and fuel imports. But it has also brought concerns and sparked protests over air and water pollution, earthquakes, property devaluation and truck traffic.

Zucker said he had identified "significant public health risks" and "red flag" health issues that require long-term studies before fracking can be called safe. He likened fracking to secondhand smoke, which wasn't fully understood as a health risk until many years of scientific study were done.

Martens noted the low price of natural gas, the high local cost of industry oversight, and the large areas that would be off limits to shale gas development because of setback requirements, water supply protections and local prohibitions. Those factors, he said, combine to make fracking less economically beneficial than anticipated.

Even if drilling were allowed in New York, it probably wouldn't take off any time soon because of the uncertainty around regulations and legal challenges and the huge number of promising drilling locations that remain in Pennsylvania, David Spigelmyer, president of the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition, said last week.

The Marcellus Shale is enticing to energy companies because of its proximity to the major demand centers of New York City and New England, which is paying more for gas because of delivery constraints. But the regulatory uncertainty remains too high to commit to drilling in New York, Spigelmyer said.

In states where fracking is not yet allowed or is happening but is subject to criticism, New York's move excited some anti-drilling activists.

"The more fracking expands, the more opposition grows," said Sharon Wilson, of the group Earthworks, who has organized anti-fracking activists in Texas, California and Colorado. "Industry is its own worst enemy because they continue to deny the impacts."

Fracking supporters decried the New York move. Karen Moreau, executive director of New York's branch of the American Petroleum Institute, said the Cuomo administration is denying landowners the right to develop their mineral resources.

"The secretary of energy, the U.S. EPA administrator and President Obama recognize the benefits of fracking, and yet the Cuomo administration simply did not want to anger their activist base," Moreau said.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition, which represents leaseholders, accused Cuomo of appeasing "environmental extremists" for political gain.

"Is our health department ignoring impacts of other energy options and suggesting that we continue with our reliance on coal and nuclear energy?" Fitzsimmons said. "Did our health department consider the health effects of poverty and unemployment?"

Cuomo said he is expecting lawsuits will be filed "every which way from Sunday."

In California, energy companies have been using a type of fracking to extract oil for many years and are pushing to expand such drilling. Environmental groups hope the New York decision will influence Gov. Jerry Brown, who has largely supported fracking. A scientific study is due to be released next month.

Californians will ask now, "If it's not safe for New Yorkers, why should we think it's safe for us?" said Charles Margulis, with the California branch of the national Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit organization.

___

Associated Press writers Jon Fahey and Jenn Peltz in New York, Emily Schmall in Dallas and Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.








Goodlatte: Court's 'Unconstitutional' Executive Amnesty Opinion 'Good Sign'

The recent court opinion declaring portions of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration to be “unconstitutional” bodes well for future litigation against the president’s recent order, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte tells Breitbart News. 

Tuesday, District Court Judge Arthur Schwab ruled that aspects of Obama’s executive actions go “beyond prosecutorial discretion” to actually legislating. He made these judgments as part of an opinion dealing with a criminal case.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Schwab wrote.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Goodlatte — whose committee has jurisdiction over immigration matters — said he agreed with Schwab’s analysis and expressed optimism about future court challenges to Obama’s executive actions. 

"I agree with Judge Schwab that President Obama's unilateral rewriting of our immigration laws violates the separation of powers and the President's duty to enforce the law,” the Virginia lawmaker said. “This ruling is a good sign for the states' lawsuit challenging President Obama's unilateral, unconstitutional actions.”

Goodlatte continued, saying that when Congress returns next year it must look at all options to take on Obama’s executive actions.

“Congress will continue fighting the President's actions early next year and should consider all the tools it has at its disposal, including potential litigation. Additionally, I am hopeful that the states will be successful in their effort to stop the President's actions from being implemented.”

Goodlatte recently signed on to an amicus brief the conservative American Center for Law and Justice submitted Tuesday in support of the recent lawsuit 24 states have filed challenging Obama’s executive amnesty. 

“The President’s executive overreach on immigration must be stopped,” he stressed Tuesday in announcing his support of the brief.









Politics and Election News - Election Projection Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:15:18 GMT  

Florida congressional map thrown out by state Supreme Court
The Florida Supreme Court has decreed that the GOP-authored congressional map for the Sunshine State is invalid. Charlie Cook's website reports ...
Update on 2016 presidential candidates
With almost all potential candidates officially announced now, here is the current list of Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls. Scroll down to the end for ...
Former Republican Lincoln Chafee enters the Democratic presidential field
While not as large as the Republican field, the list of Democrats vying for their party's nomination in the 2016 Presidential Election has increased today with Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee's announcement ...

DrudgeReportArchives.com Recent Headlines Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:15:18 GMT  

Hillary 'so abusive, being assigned to her detail is considered form of punishment'...
REPORT: Turness Sidelined at NBCNEWS; Lack reversing decisions...
Less than 1% of applicants interviewed in person...
ZUCKERBERG: Virtual Reality Next Big Thing...

MichelleMalkin.com Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:15:18 GMT  

House Dems find perfect committee replacement for indicted Rep. Fattah

**Written by Doug Powers

Just a couple of weeks ago, Democrat Rep. Chaka Fattah was flying high on Air Force One with Team Obama, but now

Prosecutors charged Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., Wednesday in a 29-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of a probe into the 11-term congressman launched by the FBI and IRS in March 2013.

Fattah will lose a committee post, but the Dems found an appropriate replacement:

Fattah’s office confirmed he has agreed to give up his leadership post on the Appropriations Committee, where he is the top Democrat overseeing criminal justice and science spending. He will be replaced by Mike Honda, D-Calif., who is currently the subject of an ethics probe.

Charles Rangel must be feeling a little overlooked and under appreciated right now.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Passing the ethics baton
Place your bets: How will Hillary’s campaign ‘offset’ private jet emissions?

**Written by Doug Powers

Last week, in a touching tribute to Al Gore and his merry band of eco-hypocrites, Hillary Clinton called global warming “one of the urgent threats of our time,” and then jumped on a private jet. But Hillary’s going to open a can of magical hypocrisy-erasing “offsets” to wipe clean any potential threat to Mother Gaia:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign will offset all of its carbon emissions after facing criticism from Republicans for flying a private jet back from a climate change event, a campaign aide told CNN.

While the aide said that the entire campaign, including its travel, will become carbon neutral, the campaign plans to elaborate as it releases more specifics on its climate change plans over the next few weeks. The campaign has not yet responded to a request from The Hill for more information on that plan.

The Clintons love to fly, and it shows. What’ll Hillary’s “offsets” be? Delete all future emails using only solar-power? Switch to 100-percent organic pantsuits? Only allow Bill to take women who drive hybrids?

I’m sure they’ll come up with something good.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Is "chillin'" an offset?
Obama cronyism + your personal data = trouble

Obama cronyism + your personal data = trouble
by Michelle Malkin
Creators SyndicateCopyright 2015

It’s the most far-reaching scandal in Washington that no one wants to talk about: Tens of millions of federal employees had their personal information hacked as a result of Obama administration incompetence and political favoritism.

Ethnic community organizer-turned-Office of Personnel Management head Katherine Archuleta recklessly eschewed basic cybersecurity in favor of politically correct “diversity” initiatives during her disastrous crony tenure. This Beltway business-as-usual created an irresistible opportunity for hackers to reach out and grab massive amounts of sensitive data — compromising everyone from rank-and-file government employees to CIA spies.

Could it get worse? You betcha.

Amid increasing concerns about these massive government computer breaches, the Defense Department is expected to announce the winner of a lucrative high-stakes contract to overhaul the military’s electronic health records system this week.

The leading finalist among three top contenders is Epic Systems, a Wisconsin-based health care software company founded and led by top Obama billionaire donor Judy Faulkner. Thanks in significant part to President Obama’s $19 billion stimulus subsidy program for health data vendors, Epic is now the dominant EMR player in the U.S. health IT market.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, CVS Caremark’s retail clinic chain, MinuteClinic, is now adopting Epic’s system, and “when the transition is complete, about 51 percent of Americans will have an Epic record.” Other major clients include Kaiser Permanente of Oakland, Calif., Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Arlington-based Texas Health Resources, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, and Duke University Health System in Raleigh, N.C.

As I’ve reported previously, Epic employees donated nearly $1 million to political parties and candidates between 1995 and 2012 — 82 percent of it to Democrats. The company’s top 10 PAC recipients are all Democratic or left-wing outfits, from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (nearly $230,000) to the DNC Services Corporation (nearly $175,000) and the America’s Families First Action Fund Democratic super-PAC ($150,000). Faulkner received a plum appointment to a federal health IT policy panel in 2011. Brandon Glenn of Medical Economics noted that “it’s not a coincidence” that Epic’s sales “have been skyrocketing in recent years, up to $1.2 billion in 2011, double what they were four years prior.”

Stunningly, Epic “has the edge” on the gargantuan Pentagon medical records contract, The Washington Post reported on Monday. This favored status comes despite myriad complaints about the interoperability, usability and security of Epic’s closed-end proprietary software. Just last week, the UCLA Health system run by Epic suffered a cyber attack affecting up to 4.5 million personal and medical records, including Social Security numbers, Medicare and health plan identifiers, birthdays, and physical addresses. The university’s CareConnect system spans four hospitals and 150 offices across Southern California.

The university’s top doctors and medical staff market their informatics expertise and consulting services to other Epic customers “to ensure the successful implementation and optimization of your Epic EHR.” Will they be sharing their experience having to mop up the post-cyber attack mess involving their Epic infrastructure?

UCLA Health acknowledged that the hack forced it to “employ more cybersecurity experts on its internal security team, and to hire an outside cybersecurity firm to guard its network,” according to CNN.

Now another Obama crony is poised to cash in on her cozy ties and take over the mega-overhaul of millions of Pentagon and Veterans Affairs medical records to the tune of at least $11 billion.

Can you say “Epic fail”?

Obama cronyism + your personal data = trouble by Michelle Malkin Creators SyndicateCopyright 2015 It’s the most far-reaching scandal in Washington that no one wants to talk about: Tens of millions of federal employees had their personal information hacked as a result of Obama administration incompetence and political favoritism. Ethnic community organizer-turned-Office of Personnel Management […]

http://kkk.bz/?feed=rss2 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:15:19 GMT  


RedState Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:15:19 GMT  

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Friends: Planned Parenthood, Obama Admin Emails, and 2016

Welcome back to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Friends! Tonight, Andrea Ruth of Pocket Full of Liberty joins the regular panel featuring F. Bill McMorris of the Washington Free Beacon, Jeff Blehar of the Ace of Spades Decision Desk, Neal Dewing of the Federalist, and Scott Lincicome of the Cato Institute to talk Planned Parenthood, the various scandals surrounding the Obama Administration emails, and | Read More »

The post The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Friends: Planned Parenthood, Obama Admin Emails, and 2016 appeared first on RedState.

ATF-logo-wood

Welcome back to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Friends! Tonight, Andrea Ruth of Pocket Full of Liberty joins the regular panel featuring F. Bill McMorris of the Washington Free Beacon, Jeff Blehar of the Ace of Spades Decision Desk, Neal Dewing of the Federalist, and Scott Lincicome of the Cato Institute to talk Planned Parenthood, the various scandals surrounding the Obama Administration emails, and more 2016 news.

You can join the gang live via Google hangouts by clicking here. Otherwise watch via YouTube below. Enjoy!

 

The post The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Friends: Planned Parenthood, Obama Admin Emails, and 2016 appeared first on RedState.

Millennials and Abortion

This is an almost two-month old opinion piece at the Botson Globe, but it fits in well with what's going on today. Millennials have also grown up amid the grim images of abortion and its aftermath. For many, the willful destruction of life in the womb seems less an act of “reproductive freedom” than an act of violence against an innocent victim. All of them | Read More »

The post Millennials and Abortion appeared first on RedState.

This is an almost two-month old opinion piece at the Botson Globe, but it fits in well with what’s going on today.

Millennials have also grown up amid the grim images of abortion and its aftermath. For many, the willful destruction of life in the womb seems less an act of “reproductive freedom” than an act of violence against an innocent victim. All of them know someone who has had a legal abortion; they need only look in a mirror to see someone else who could have been lawfully aborted.

It has been a long time since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in every state, and, in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, effectively proclaimed a right to destroy an unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy. But making abortion lawful didn’t make it right. Even after all these years, Americans tend to regard most abortions as ignoble. According to Gallup, only 38 percent of US adults generally see abortion as morally acceptable. Other surveys concur. The Pew Research Center found in 2013 that 49 percent of Americans believe that having an abortion is morally wrong, far outnumbering those who regard abortion as morally acceptable (15 percent) or not a moral issue (23 percent).

Young Americans — voters under 30 — were once the most gung-ho in support of unfettered legal abortion. In 1991, fully 36 percent believed abortion should be legal under any circumstances. But by 2010, 18-to-29-year-olds had become more pro-life than their parents — only 24 percent still wanted to keep abortion legal in all cases. More than any other age cohort, in fact, young adults are now the most likely to think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.

It’s interesting to note that millennials have been seen as increasingly hedonist and secular in their words and actions, but when it comes to the issue of abortion, they seem to be moving in the opposite direction. It’s a positive trend in today’s culture, and one I’d like to see continue among my age group. It’s one of the few times I’m hopefully about my generation.

Almost universally, unless you’re a Democratic politician who has handed over your integrity to worship at the altar of Planned Parenthood, you feel absolute revulsion at what’s come out of the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. I have very active liberal friends who have said “If this really does hold up, Planned Parenthood has messed up.” There are numerous ethical and legal  questions being raised about the content of the videos, and despite what Media Matters and the gang might say, heavy editing and heavy doctoring don’t change what is actually being said.

Millennials are feeling just as repulsed, and it’s clear that with the growing number of voice young and old calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, now is the time to push forward in doing so.

 

P.S. Counter Cultured has put together a really good video with millennials talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, FYI. Check it out and feel the same hope I did.

 

The post Millennials and Abortion appeared first on RedState.

The Growth of Microbrew Beer, Craft Cocktails and Fine Wine

On today's edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson is joined by Karen Hamilton and Mary Bauer from Lagunitas Brewing Company to talk about beer and their new brewery in Chicago. Then Neal Dewing from The Federalist stops by to talk cocktails, and finally, wine columnist Dave McIntyre discusses the growth of the wine industry and his favorite wines.

The post The Growth of Microbrew Beer, Craft Cocktails and Fine Wine appeared first on RedState.

Download Podcast | iTunes | Podcast Feed

On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson is joined by Karen Hamilton and Mary Bauer from Lagunitas Brewing Company to talk about beer and their new brewery in Chicago. Then Neal Dewing from The Federalist stops by to talk cocktails, and finally, wine columnist Dave McIntyre discusses the growth of the wine industry and his favorite wines.

Related Links:

Lagunitas Brewing Company
Lagunitas Beers
Info on Lagunitas breweries in Chicago and California
Follow Lagunitas Beer on Twitter

Neal Dewing’s Weekend Cocktail at The Federalist
Weekend Cocktail: The Vonier
Follow Neal Dewing on Twitter

5 out-of-the-box bottles for summer sipping
More on wines from Dave McIntyre
Follow Dave McIntyre on Twitter

Follow Brad on Twitter

Subscribe to The Transom

The hosts and guests of Coffee and Markets speak only for ourselves, not any clients or employers.

The post The Growth of Microbrew Beer, Craft Cocktails and Fine Wine appeared first on RedState.

The Center for Medical Progress and Our Broken Rule of Law

The ongoing Planned Parenthood scandal is a fascinating story that has a lot of facets that illustrate many disturbing aspects of American society. Although it is difficult to do so, I'm going to ask readers here to set aside the horrifying aspects related to abortion and the sale of baby parts for a moment to focus on one particular aspect that has largely gone unnoticed. | Read More »

The post The Center for Medical Progress and Our Broken Rule of Law appeared first on RedState.

nifong

The ongoing Planned Parenthood scandal is a fascinating story that has a lot of facets that illustrate many disturbing aspects of American society. Although it is difficult to do so, I’m going to ask readers here to set aside the horrifying aspects related to abortion and the sale of baby parts for a moment to focus on one particular aspect that has largely gone unnoticed.

The investigation of the Center for Medical Progress by the Department of Justice has rightly been decried as a transparently political move by the right, but it illustrates a much larger truth: the rule of law, especially with respect to Federal prosecutions, is an absolute illusion in America today.

Instead of the rule of law, we now have the rule of almost totally unfettered prosecutors.

I think most people like to believe that in America today, what determines whether you face the crushing weight of a Federal criminal prosecution is some basic overarching principle of justice wherein prosecutors seek out legitimate evildoers and seek to right wrongs. In reality, that just absolutely isn’t true.

If you want to be fully disabused of this notion, I would highly recommend that you purchase and read Harvey Silverglate’s watershed book Three Felonies a Day, which sets forth a number of important points that people like George Will and Orin Kerr have been trying to raise on the right for years. First, the extraordinary proliferation of federal criminal statutes – and, worse, federal regulations that carry criminal penalties for noncompliance – has resulted in a federal criminal regime in which the average American citizen likely unknowingly commits several felonies a day.

The end result of this paralyzing overcriminalization of conduct that is not inherently immoral or unlawful means that a Federal prosecutor can effectively jail you and coerce incriminating testimony against other people any time he wants to. All he has to do is notice you and watch you for long enough and you’ll inevitably do something he can charge you with, no matter how conscientious you are.

A casual perusal of Federal appellate decisions shows that basic principles of fairness, justice, and morality do not by and large guide who does and who does not become the target of massive Federal criminal probes. Rather, once prosecutors have determined that a company deserves to be charged with something, they will go to extraordinary lengths to extract a conviction, regardless of whether any casual observer would conclude that a criminal conviction was fair or that a company had done anything wrong at all.

Let me illustrate with an opinion from the First Circuit. In this case, a bank was charged with thirty-one felonies for violations of byzantine regulations associated with the Currency Transaction Reporting Act. Briefly stated, the bank’s tellers failed to report aggregate withdrawals totaling over $10,000 under circumstances that an ordinary person (especially the average bank teller) would not realize triggered reporting under the Act. In order for criminal liability to attach under the CTRA, prosecutors had to prove that the Bank knowingly violated the CTRA itself.

Prosecutors could not prove that the actual tellers who failed to report the transaction had knowledge that their activities violated the CTRA; rather, they argued (successfully!) that criminal liability should attach to the Bank because surely the collective knowledge of different people who worked for the bank, added up and imputed to some hypothetical person, amounted to knowledge that something illegal was going on. Consider, that the following absurd language actually appears in an appellate judicial decision in the United States:

In addition, however, you have to look at the bank as an institution. As such, its knowledge is the sum of the knowledge of all of the employees. That is, the bank’s knowledge is the totality of what all of the employees know within the scope of their employment. So, if Employee A knows one facet of the currency reporting requirement, B knows another facet of it, and C a third facet of it, the bank knows them all. So if you find that an employee within the scope of his employment knew that CTRs had to be filed, even if multiple checks are used, the bank is deemed to know it. The bank is also deemed to know it if each of several employees knew a part of that requirement and the sum of what the separate employees knew amounted to knowledge that such a requirement existed.

Understand this well: basic fairness and justice often don’t come into the equation when Federal prosecutors come knocking on your door.

So here we have Planned Parenthood caught now on video multiple times appearing to haggle over the sale of aborted baby parts. The newest video released today further shows evidence of a conspiracy to transport these parts over state lines in violation of law. The amount of video evidence already released about Planned Parenthood is far more than the evidence that prosecutors have found necessary in other circumstances to grind companies into dust with oppressive and brutal criminal prosecutions.

And yet, the Department of Justice seems strangely uninterested in even investigating this apparent massive criminal violation of Federal law – a violation that shocks the conscience of even ardent pro-choicers. Instead, of course, they are more interested in whether the Center for Medical Progress committed obscure and technical violations of law during the course of uncovering this criminal conspiracy.

The reason behind this is transparently obvious: the DOJ has a vested interest, bestowed upon it by political appointees and powerful Democrats, to harass the Center for Medical Progress while adopting a “hear no evil, see no evil” approach to Planned Parenthood and their affiliates.

Conservatives who don’t follow the Federal criminal justice system are shocked that this is how things might even possibly work in America. What I hope they take away from this experience, if nothing else, is an understanding that this is all too often exactly the way it works, and that life or death or prison for you or your company often depends on considerations as inappropriate, trivial, and political as the decision to investigate the Center for Medical Progress.

We need Planned Parenthood defunded, for sure. We also need them prosecuted and put out of business. But let’s not lose sight of what this story has uncovered – we need criminal justice reform in this country as well.

The post The Center for Medical Progress and Our Broken Rule of Law appeared first on RedState.


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Obama has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
Glenn Beck

What should we do with Obama the racist?
"In Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, 'Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on,'
We need segregated buses. This is Obamas America."
Rush Limbaugh

What should we do with Obama the racist?


Where is Dick when we need him?

For the woman in your life, get her something that says what should happen to Obama.

Cook him good...

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Adoption Card

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