Daily Archives: March 29, 2010

FBI/ATF raid “Christian militia group” in three states- arrests made in suspected police-killing plot

cross-posted from T-Time

FBI agents conduct raids in Mich., Ohio, Ind.

“Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.”

UPDATE: 9 militia members charged in police-killing plot

Read the: Indictment

DETROIT (AP) – Nine suspects tied to a Midwest Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then attack a funeral using homemade bombs in the hopes of killing more law enforcement personnel, federal prosecutors said Monday. The Michigan-based group, called Hutaree, planned to use the attack on police as a catalyst for a larger uprising against the government, according to newly unsealed court papers. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because its members were planning a violent reconnaissance mission sometime in April.

Sedition… look it up

WASHINGTON — Nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia group have been indicted on sedition and weapons charges in connection with an alleged plot to murder law enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an anti-government uprising.

In court filings unsealed Monday, the Justice Department accused the nine people of planning to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer, then plant improvised explosive devices of a type used by insurgents in Iraq to attack the funeral procession.

Eight of the defendants were arrested over the weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. A ninth remained at large, the Justice Department said. The indictments against them were returned last Tuesday. The defendants were identified as members of Hutaree, described by federal prosecutors as an anti-government extremist organization based in Lenawee County, Michigan, and which advocates violence against local, state and federal law enforcement. The group saw local and state police as “foot soldiers” for the federal government, which it viewed as its enemy, along with participants in what they deemed to be a “New World Order,” according to the indictment.

“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, said in a statement. “The F.B.I. takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”

Read the: Indictment

Original story:

ADRIAN, Mich. (AP) – The FBI said Sunday that agents conducted weekend raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and arrested at least three people, and a militia leader in Michigan said the target of at least one of the raids was a “Christian militia” group. Federal warrants were sealed, but FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said there had been activity in two southwest Michigan counties near the Ohio state line. She wouldn’t say whether they were tied to the raids in the other states.

Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a frantic phone call Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group, who said their property in southwest Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“They said they were under attack by the ATF and wanted a place to hide,” Lackomar said. “My team leader said, ‘no thanks.’ “

The team leader was cooperating with the FBI on Sunday, Lackomar said. He said SMVM wasn’t affiliated with Hutaree, which states on its Web site to be “prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren’t.”

“We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded,” the group’s Web site said.

from: AP

more here:  Raids target Christian militia in Midwest

Video from Hutaree “Christian militia” (CCR- Colonial Christian Republic)

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Filed under ATF, Crime, Domestic Terrorism, FBI, Uncategorized

Terror bombings hit Moscow

cross-posted from T-Time

Two suicide bombings kill dozens in Moscow metro

MOSCOW (AP) — Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow’s subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 37 people and wounding 102, officials said.

The head of Russia’s main security agency said preliminary investigation places the blame on rebels from the restive Caucasus region that includes Chechnya, where separatists have fought Russian forces since the mid-1990s.

The first explosion took place just before 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB’s main successor agency.

A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later.

Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu said the toll was 37 killed and 102 injured, but he did not give a breakdown of casualties at each station, according to Russian news agencies. AP

more here: Moscow bombing: who are the Black Widows?

Obama condemns Moscow bombs as heinous terrorism

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First Lady Michelle Obama Wins “Best Celebrity Mom” Title

Posted by: Audiegrl

It was stiff competition but First Lady Michelle Obama was able to pull it off. Taking first place in Babble.com‘s “50 Best and Worst Celebrity Moms”.

In praising First Lady Michelle for the Best Mom award, a company spokesman said:

It’s not often an American political figure has such universal, bi-partisan admiration and respect as our First Lady, Michelle Obama. Although her iconic style and killer biceps are often more discussed than her political endeavors (like her current initiative to fight childhood obesity), she’s also a grounded, fist-bumping, smart woman who places her job as a mother before her public role. Even with an entire staff on hand, Michelle makes sure her girls, Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, learn responsibility and have a normal childhood, which means they do their chores and complete their homework without presidential free passes. Plus, we can practically see the love radiating off of her and Mr. President — a rare dynamic in White House history. Having such a strong woman and an inspirational mother representing our country is something we should all be proud of.

In addition to being named #1 in the celebrity moms category, the First Lady is also named #3 in the busiest mom category, and #9 in the most stylish category.

Top 10 Celebrity Moms

  • Michelle Obama
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Tina Fey
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Katie Holmes
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Madonna

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Childhood Obesity, Children, First Daughters, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pop Culture, Uncategorized

The Rage Is Not About Health Care by Frank Rich

Posted by: BuellBoy

Op-ed by Frank Rich

Columnist Frank Rich

THERE were times when last Sunday’s great G.O.P. health care implosion threatened to bring the thrill back to reality television. On ABC’s “This Week,” a frothing and filibustering Karl Rove all but lost it in a debate with the Obama strategist David Plouffe. A few hours later, the perennially copper-faced Republican leader John Boehner revved up his “Hell no, you can’t!” incantation in the House chamber — instant fodder for a new viral video remixing his rap with will.i.am’s “Yes, we can!” classic from the campaign. Boehner, having previously likened the health care bill to Armageddon, was now so apoplectic you had to wonder if he had just discovered one of its more obscure revenue-generating provisions, a tax on indoor tanning salons.

But the laughs evaporated soon enough. There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.

No less curious is how disproportionate this red-hot anger is to its proximate cause. The historic Obama-Pelosi health care victory is a big deal, all right, so much so it doesn’t need Joe Biden’s adjective to hype it. But the bill does not erect a huge New Deal-Great Society-style government program. In lieu of a public option, it delivers 32 million newly insured Americans to private insurers. As no less a conservative authority than The Wall Street Journal editorial page observed last week, the bill’s prototype is the health care legislation Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts. It contains what used to be considered Republican ideas.

Yet it’s this bill that inspired G.O.P. congressmen on the House floor to egg on disruptive protesters even as they were being evicted from the gallery by the Capitol Police last Sunday. It’s this bill that prompted a congressman to shout “baby killer” at Bart Stupak, a staunch anti-abortion Democrat. It’s this bill that drove a demonstrator to spit on Emanuel Cleaver, a black representative from Missouri. And it’s this “middle-of-the-road” bill, as Obama accurately calls it, that has incited an unglued firestorm of homicidal rhetoric, from “Kill the bill!” to Sarah Palin’s cry for her followers to “reload.” At least four of the House members hit with death threats or vandalism are among the 20 political targets Palin marks with rifle crosshairs on a map on her Facebook page.

Snip…

Barry Blitt

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

They can’t. Demographics are avatars of a change bigger than any bill contemplated by Obama or Congress. The week before the health care vote, The Times reported that births to Asian, black and Hispanic women accounted for 48 percent of all births in America in the 12 months ending in July 2008. By 2012, the next presidential election year, non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The Tea Party movement is virtually all white. The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.

If Congressional Republicans want to maintain a politburo-like homogeneity in opposition to the Democrats, that’s their right. If they want to replay the petulant Gingrich government shutdown of 1995 by boycotting hearings and, as John McCain has vowed, refusing to cooperate on any legislation, that’s their right too (and a political gift to the Democrats). But they can’t emulate the 1995 G.O.P. by remaining silent as mass hysteria, some of it encompassing armed militias, runs amok in their own precincts. We know the end of that story. And they can’t pretend that we’re talking about “isolated incidents” or a “fringe” utterly divorced from the G.O.P. A Quinnipiac poll last week found that 74 percent of Tea Party members identify themselves as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, while only 16 percent are aligned with Democrats.

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, some responsible leaders in both parties spoke out to try to put a lid on the resistance and violence. The arch-segregationist Russell of Georgia, concerned about what might happen in his own backyard, declared flatly that the law is “now on the books.” Yet no Republican or conservative leader of stature has taken on Palin, Perry, Boehner or any of the others who have been stoking these fires for a good 17 months now. Last week McCain even endorsed Palin’s “reload” rhetoric.

Are these politicians so frightened of offending anyone in the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base that they would rather fall silent than call out its extremist elements and their enablers? Seemingly so, and if G.O.P. leaders of all stripes, from Romney to Mitch McConnell to Olympia Snowe to Lindsey Graham, are afraid of these forces, that’s the strongest possible indicator that the rest of us have reason to fear them too.

More @ New York Times

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Filed under Birthers, Creepy right-wing antics, Deathers, Health Care Reform, Republicans, RNC, Tea Party Protestors, Tenthers, Uncategorized

President Obama and First Lady Michelle’s Schedule for the Week (03/29 thru 04/02)

Posted by: Audiegrl

The White House Press office released the official guidance for the week of March 29, 2010:

Monday, March 29
The President will participate in a credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors at the White House. In the evening, the President and the First Lady will mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder at the White House with friends and staff.

Tuesday, March 30
In the morning, the President will sign the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which delivered a significant down payment on the President’s ambitious agenda to make higher education more affordable and help more Americans earn a college degree, at Northern Virginia Community College.

In the afternoon, the President will meet with President Sarkozy of France at the White House. In the evening, the President and First Lady will host a private dinner for President Sarkozy and Mrs. Bruni.

Wednesday, March 31
The President will deliver remarks at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington. Later, the President will deliver remarks at the Forum on Workplace Flexibility at the White House.

Later that day, at 4:00 PM, the First Lady will host the Spring Garden Planting in the White House Kitchen Garden, where she will be joined by Secretaries Vilsack and Sebelius as well as the President of the National Gardening Association. Students from Bancroft and Hollin Meadows Elementary Schools will also participate.

Thursday, April 1
The President will travel to Portland, Maine for an event on health insurance reform. He will then travel to Boston, Massachusetts to attend a DNC fundraising reception and dinner. He will return to Washington, DC that night.

Friday, April 2
On Friday, the President will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he will deliver remarks on the economy.

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama

Eric Cantor’s Phony Victim Story

Written by Joan Walsh, posted by: Betsm

His false claim of office gunshots functioned as the Ashley Todd tale of 2010, distracting from right-wing violence

Left: Ashley Todd on Oct. 22, 2008. Right: House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.

Did House GOP Whip Eric Cantor just become 2010’s answer to Ashley Todd, the white McCain supporter who claimed she was assaulted by a black Obama backer in October 2008?

You remember the story: A 20-year-old McCain-Palin volunteer told Pittsburgh police that a black man robbed her, and then, when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on her car, he beat her and carved a B – for “Barack” — into her cheek, and told her she better support the black Democrat. Days later, the clearly disturbed Todd confessed that she made up the attack, and apparently mutilated herself to provide “evidence.” But for a few days, the right wing insisted Todd’s attacker was the Democratic equivalent of the menacing crowds at Sarah Palin rallies shouting “Kill him!” and “Terrorist!” about Obama. Drudge and Fox News hyped the story, with Fox news V.P. John Moody even claiming the attack might lead some voters to “revisit their support for Senator Obama.”

No one’s accusing Cantor of shooting up his own office, but from the minute he made his claim — also implying he was targeted because he was Jewish — it was almost certain to be untrue. In the very first AP report on the incident, the Richmond police said the bullet had been fired into the air, not through Cantor’s window. Two photos in Salon show that the nondescript office building is unmarked, with no signs indicating Cantor or his staff have one of the suites inside. Friday Richmond police confirmed the bullet was a stray: Neither Cantor nor his office was targeted, and in fact the bullet didn’t even land in his office. A spokesman for Cantor told reporters he was “very happy” his story turned out not to be true.

But just as Ashley Todd’s tale interrupted a narrative of right-wing menace and near-violence about Obama, briefly letting commentators tsk-tsk about extremes on both sides, Cantor’s claim interjected the same kind of false equivalence. On CNN Thursday night, Gloria Borger insisted not only should tea partiers rein in their members, but “Move On too” (h/t Greg Mitchell). It’s crazy time.

Read Joan Walsh @ Salon.com
Please continue reading @ Salon.com

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TPM Update: Cantor’s Office Claims Ignorance In Pumping Up Random Shot Incident

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An Unprecedented Level of Obstruction

Posted by: Audiegrl

White House.gov/Jen Psaki~Faced with an unprecedented level of obstruction in the Senate, the President announced his intention to recess appoint fifteen nominees to fill critical administration posts. While the President respects the critical role the Senate plays in the appointment process, he was no longer willing to let another month go by with key economic positions unfilled, especially at a time when our country is recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Many of these fifteen individuals have enjoyed broad bipartisan support, but have found their confirmation votes delayed for reasons that have nothing to do with their qualifications. It has more to do with an obstruction-at-all-costs mentality that we’ve been faced with since the President came into office. Because of political posturing, these fifteen appointees have waited an average of 214 days for Senate confirmation.

This opposition got so out of hand at one point that one senator put a blanket hold on all of the President’s nominees in an attempt to win concessions on two projects that would benefit his state. And another nominee’s confirmation was delayed by one senator for more than eight months because of a disagreement over a proposed federal building in his home state. When that nominee was finally given the vote she deserved, she was confirmed 96 to 0. When you attempt to prevent the government from working effectively because you didn’t get your way, you’re failing to live up to your responsibilities as a public servant.

To put this in perspective, at this time in 2002, President Bush had only 5 nominees pending on the floor. By contrast, President Obama has 77 nominees currently pending on the floor, 58 of whom have been waiting for over two weeks and 44 of those have been waiting more than a month. And cloture has been filed 16 times on Obama nominees, nine of whom were subsequently confirmed with 60 or more votes or by voice vote. Cloture was not filed on a single Bush nominee in his first year. And despite facing significantly less opposition, President Bush had already made 10 recess appointments by this point in his presidency and he made another five over the spring recess.

A few more numbers to put this in perspective:

  • These fifteen nominees have been waiting a total of 3,204 days or almost nine years to start their respective jobs.
  • Even the most recently nominated of these fifteen individuals has been waiting 144 days or nearly five months.
  • Jeffrey Goldstein was nominated to serve as the top domestic finance official at Treasury, a crucial position for fixing the economy and preventing another financial crisis. Goldstein has been waiting 248 days or over 8 months.
  • Jacqueline Berrien was nominated to serve as Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC currently lacks a quorum and cannot fulfill its mandate to protect American workers from discrimination. Berrien has been waiting 254 days or over 8 months.
  • Craig Becker and Mark Pearce were nominated to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which protects American workers from unfair labor practices. The five member board has been trying to operate with only two members. Becker and Pearce have been waiting for 261 days or over 8 months.

The roadblocks we’ve seen in the Senate have left some government agencies like the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission impaired in fulfilling their mission. These agencies can now get back to working for the American people.

These nominees will remain pending before the Senate for what we hope will be the expeditious confirmation that candidates of their caliber deserve. But we also hope that this politically motivated gridlock comes to an end, because each day we dedicate to a strategy aimed at gumming up the works of our government is another day we aren’t doing right by the American people.

The 15 newly appointed nominees are:

  • Jeffrey Goldstein: Nominee for Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Department of the Treasury
  • Michael F. Mundaca: Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, Department of the Treasury
  • Eric L. Hirschhorn: Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and head of the Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce
  • Michael Punke: Nominee for Deputy Trade Representative – Geneva, Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • Francisco “Frank” J. Sánchez: Nominee for Under Secretary for International Trade, Department of Commerce
  • Islam A. Siddiqui: Nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Alan D. Bersin: Nominee for Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
  • Jill Long Thompson: Nominee for Member, Farm Credit Administration Board
  • Rafael Borras: Nominee for Under Secretary for Management, Department of Homeland Security
  • Craig Becker: Nominee for Board Member, National Labor Relations Board
  • Mark Pearce: Nominee for Board Member, National Labor Relations Board
  • Jacqueline A. Berrien: Nominee for Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Chai R. Feldblum: Nominee for Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Victoria A. Lipnic: Nominee for Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • P. David Lopez: Nominee for General Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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