Reader Selected News For The Week Of Feb 28 To Mar 6

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that might not warrant their own thread.

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Only post news from established news media outlets.
Avoid editorials or opinion pieces unless they are truly newsworthy.
Avoid items that most people most likely have seen elsewhere.
Post articles that fit under the topic of a recent thread as a comment there. Always spell out the name of the source and post a link to it.
And always post less than one quarter of the original article.

Posts of articles that do not follow these guidelines may be edited or deleted.

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‘Booming Economy’ Had 2.4% GDP In 2014 (2.3% In 2012)

From the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. fourth-quarter GDP trimmed to 2.2% from 2.6%

By Jeffry Bartash | February 27, 2015

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — … Gross domestic product expanded by a 2.2% annual clip in the final three months of 2014, down from an initial read of 2.6%, the Commerce Department said Friday. That’s a sharp deceleration from a torrid 5% pace in the third quarter that marked the fastest U.S. growth in 11 years.

Yes, let’s all savor that artificially high GDP that was almost entirely driven by government spending — mostly due to Obama-Care.

For all of 2014, the U.S. grew at a 2.4% clip. That’s a small improvement from 2.2% in 2013 and 2.3% in 2012, but still well below the nation’s historic growth rate of 3.3%…

But we have been told for months now that the economy is roaring.

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Holder: Civil Rights Prosecutions Shouldn’t Need Evidence

From the Politico:

Eric Holder’s parting shot: It’s too hard to bring civil rights cases

By Mike Allen | February 27, 2015

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to push, during his final weeks in office, a new standard of proof for civil-rights offenses, saying in an exit interview with POLITICO that such a change would make the federal government “a better backstop” against discrimination in cases like Ferguson and Trayvon Martin…

All that nonsense about having to have proof of a crime has to go.

Holder also acknowledged that he felt some of his own struggles with Republicans in Congress during his six years in office were driven partly by race…

Only "partly"? Is he mellowing with age?

Holder told POLITICO that between now and his departure… he will call for a lower standard of proof for civil-rights crimes.

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Obama ‘Remembers’ Trayvon At WH Black History Event

From Breitbart:

Obama Remembers Trayvon Martin at African-American History Month Event

By Pam Key | February 26, 2015

Thursday at the White House, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a reception in recognition of African-American History Month. Obama said, “Today, on the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death, showing all our kids, all of them, every single day, that their lives matter.”

Really? What about white Hispanic kids? (George Zimmerman was only 28 at the time.) Don’t their lives matter when they are having their heads slammed into a sidewalk?

For the record, in case anyone was wondering, the tax cheat Reverend Al Sharpton was also in attendance at the White House for this historic occasion. (How could anyone have doubted it?)

Speaking of the young Trayvon scamp, there is this from a couple of days ago, via Campus Reform:

MSNBC host: I hope Trayvon Martin ‘whooped the s**t’ out of Zimmerman

By Sterling Beard | February 25, 2015

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry said Monday that she hoped that Trayvon Martin “whooped the shit out of George Zimmerman.” Harris-Perry’s remarks came Monday while speaking during Cornell University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr.

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AP: ‘Net Neutrality’ = ‘ISPs Must Act In The Public Interest’

From a cheering Associated Press:

Regulators OK ‘net neutrality’ rules for Internet providers

By ANNE FLAHERTY | February 26, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile now must act in the "public interest" when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone, under rules approved Thursday by a divided Federal Communications Commission.

Funny, that’s just what the Red Chinese government tells their internet service providers. And look at how well ‘net neutrality’ is working out for the Chinese people.

By the way, wasn’t it our future President Hillary Clinton who once said: "We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good"? (Hint: it was. She announced that to a room full of cheering Democrat fat cats in San Francisco in 2004.)

The plan, which puts the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone and bans business practices that are "unjust or unreasonable," represents the biggest regulatory shakeup to the industry in almost two decades.

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Dad Of Teen Murdered By Illegal: Do Black Lives Matter?

From the Daily Caller:

Father Of Black Teenager Murdered By Illegal Alien Asks ‘Do Black Lives Really Matter?’

By Chuck Ross | February 25, 2015

The father of a black teenager murdered by an illegal immigrant asked “do black lives really matter?” in a House hearing to review the Department of Homeland Security’s policies towards “non-citizens unlawfully present in the United States.”

That father, Jamiel Shaw, and Michael Ronnebeck, the uncle of another man murdered earlier this month by an illegal immigrant, testified at Wednesday’s hearing in front of a subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform…

Shaw told of his son, Jamiel Shaw II, who in May 2008 at the age of 17 was gunned down by Pedro Espinoza, a 19-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant.

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AP Warns Once Again SCOTUS Could Kill O-Care Subsidies

From the Associated Press:

If Supreme Court says no, they’d lose health insurance help

By CARLA K. JOHNSON | February 26, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) — Millions of Americans have a big personal stake in next Wednesday’s Supreme Court challenge to the nation’s health care law: Can they legally continue to get subsidies to help pay for their insurance? If the court says no, people across more than 30 states could lose federal subsidies for their premiums.

Are you listening Justices? The AP is whipping up the people with the pitchforks.

The legal arguments the justices will hear are complex. Opponents who brought the lawsuit argue the law’s literal wording only allows the government to pay subsidies in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges.

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1,000’s Of Deported Illegals Get 2nd Chance To Stay In US

From the Associated Press:

Some Mexicans to be given another chance to stay in US

By ELLIOT SPAGAT | February 26, 2015    

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Mexicans who were expelled from the country by immigration officials in Southern California will be allowed to return for a chance to make their case to stay in the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday.

A settlement approved by a federal judge in Los Angeles applies to Mexicans in Southern California who waived rights to a hearing when they were expelled — a procedure known as voluntary return.

Needless to say, this judge was appointed to the federal bench by Obama in 2010.

ACLU affiliates in Los Angeles and San Diego sued the U.S.

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House Republicans Prepare To Fund DHS For Three Weeks

From the Associated Press:

Republicans prepare to pass Homeland Security funding

By ERICA WERNER and DAVID ESPO | February 27, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours from a partial agency shutdown, Congress is moving to approve a short-term funding bill for the Homeland Security Department that leaves intact Obama administration immigration policies Republicans vowed to repeal.

The AP simply can’t resist mocking the Republicans. Even when the AP gets their and of course, the regime’s way.

Some House Republicans insisted [sic] the tactic would allow them to continue their fight against President Barack Obama’s executive directives granting work permits and deportation stays to millions of immigrants in the country illegally. Others predicted that in the end, they would have to bend and pass a full-year spending bill without provisions undoing Obama’s immigration policies….

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Kerry Says ‘Least Threats,’ DNI Clapper Says ‘Most Threats’

First, we have this from the other day, via Real Clear Politics:

Kerry: Despite ISIS, "We Are Actually Living In A Period Of Less Daily Threat To Americans"

February 25, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry deliver[ed] an opening statement prior to his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the State Department’s budget.

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: "And frankly – and last thing, this is counterintuitive but it’s true: Our citizens, our world today is actually, despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally— less deaths, less violent deaths today than through the last century.

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Obama Has Given Insurers $3B To ‘Compensate For Caps’

From the Washington Examiner:

Treasury won’t explain decision to make $3 billion in Obamacare payments

By Philip Klein | February 26, 2015

The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations.

At issue are payments to insurers known as cost-sharing subsidies. These payments come about because President Obama’s healthcare law forces insurers to limit out-of-pocket costs for certain low income individuals by capping consumer expenses, such as deductibles and co-payments, in insurance policies. In exchange for capping these charges, insurers are supposed to receive compensation.

What’s tricky is that Congress never authorized any money to make such payments to insurers in its annual appropriations, but the Department of Health and Human Services, with the cooperation of the U.S.

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Lerner Email Search Is On Hold Over ‘Software Problems’

From the Daily Caller:

Lerner Email Search Is On Hold Over Software Problems: ‘There Is Potential Criminal Activity’

By Patrick Howley | February 26, 2015

The investigation into Lois Lerner’s missing emails is currently on hold due to software issues. But the investigators know that “there is potential criminal activity” in the case.

Treasury Department inspectors general testified Thursday that they cannot provide any relevant information related to their search for Lois Lerner’s missing emails. But at least three bits of information came out: the investigation is on hold over software issues, there is potential criminal wrongdoing, and nobody at the IRS even asked for Lerner’s backup email tapes from the people in New Martinsville, West Virginia who had them.

Treasury deputy inspector general Timothy Camus confirmed to the House Oversight Committee that his office found more than 30,000 of Lerner’s emails.

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Investigators Found ‘Lost’ Lois Lerner Emails In 2 Weeks

From Washington Times:

IRS watchdog reveals Lois Lerner missing emails now subject of criminal probe

By Stephen Dinan | February 26, 2015

The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

So "irretrievably lost" means they can be easily found within in two weeks. In fact, it turns out that The IRS never even asked technicians to recover the tapes.

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P.

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Foreign Gov’ts Gave Hillary Millions While She Was At State

From the Washington Post:

Foreign governments gave millions to foundation while Clinton was at State Dept.

By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger | February 25, 2015

The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday.

Most of the contributions were possible because of exceptions written into the foundation’s 2008 agreement, which included limits on foreign-government donations. The agreement, reached before Clinton’s nomination amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed governments that had previously donated money to continue making contributions at similar levels.

How handy. And, of course, that agreement could never be changed.

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Oregon Wants To Force Oracle To Keep Hosting Medicaid

From an unquestioning Associated Press:

Oregon seeks to force Oracle to keep hosting Medicaid system

By Gosia Wozniacka | February 24, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Four days before a contract to host Oregon’s health insurance system for low-income Oregonians is due to expire, state officials asked a judge on Tuesday to force technology contractor Oracle Inc. to continue running the system.

Lawyers representing Oregon told Marion County Circuit Judge Courtland Geyer during the first of a two-day hearing that Oracle’s plans to pull hosting services would result in Medicaid enrollment grinding to a halt. That, in turn, would cause "irreparable harm" to thousands of people who would not be able to enroll in Medicaid and access health services, said attorney Lisa Kaner, who represents the state.

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