Dec 072011

Federal cash pays for Sno-Cone makers:

The Arctic Blast ~ $366.87 – $521.00 (average price for this product: $469.62)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Homeland Security grants paid for Sno-Cone machines throughout West Michigan, 24 Hour News 8 has learned.

But the justification for the purchase is medical, not recreational.

The machines that went to 13 counties — including Kent, Ionia, Muskegon, Ottawa and Newaygo — are Arctic Blast Sno-Cone makers that can, according to one sales list, shave 500 pounds of ice per hour.

The 13 ice machines cost a total $6,200, according to the West Shore Regional Planning Commission, which administers the grant money.

The written justification of the funding insists that the “machines will assist with treating the onset of heat exhaustion and stroke during large scale events or activities including possible terrorist incidents or similar emergencies.”

The narrative also says local emergency managers believe they can use the Sno-Cone machines to produce ice quickly to help cool down suffering patients

Dec 072011

NYPD tightens security after package is intercepted in Germany

The New York Police Department is warning local banks to bolster mailroom security after a letter bomb was addressed to the CEO of Deutsche Bank in Germany.

All New York-area banks were advised to take extra precautions on Wednesday after the device was found in the mailroom of Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt. No one was injured.

The letter, which was not en route to New York, was addressed to CEO Josef Ackermann, Fox News Channel reports.

“We confirm that a suspicious envelope has been sent to Deutsche Bank,” a spokesman for Germany’s biggest lender told Reuters.

Deutsche Bank, which opened its first branch in New York in 1979, is the only investment bank physically located on Manhattan’s Wall Street and is one of the largest foreign-based employers in New York City. In the United States, it employs more than 11,000 workers in 28 states and 90 cities.

Dec 072011

CHICAGO—Former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison following his conviction at trials in 2010 and 2011 on 18 felony counts of corruption during his tenure as governor, including his effort in 2008 to illegally trade the appointment of a United States Senator in exchange for $1.5 million in campaign contributions or other personal benefits. Blagojevich was also sentenced for shaking down the chief executive of a children’s hospital for $25,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for implementing an increase to pediatric reimbursement rates; holding up the signing of a bill to benefit the Illinois horse racing industry in an attempt to illegally obtain $100,000 in campaign contributions; and lying to the FBI in 2005.

Quotes Rudyard Kipling ‘IF’ in brief remarks to the media after he’s sentenced:

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Blagojevich, who will turn 55 on Dec. 10, was ordered to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on Feb. 16, 2012, to begin serving his sentence. The prison term is the longest-ever imposed on a former governor in the Northern District of Illinois.

“When it is the governor who goes bad, the fabric of Illinois is torn, disfigured and not easily repaired,” U.S. District Judge James Zagel said in imposing the sentence after a two-day hearing. “The harm here is not measured in the value of money or property . . . the harm is the erosion of public trust in government,” he said.

The judge imposed a fine of $20,000 and two years of supervised release after incarceration. Blagojevich also must pay a special assessment of $1,800, or $100 on each count of conviction.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Zagel agreed with the government that the properly calculated advisory federal sentencing guidelines provided for a sentencing range of 30 years to life. He also agreed with the government that the range was not appropriate within the context of this case, and found an “effective” guideline range of 188 to 235 months in prison, which was proximate to the government’s recommended sentence of 15 to 20 years. The judge further reduced the range to 151 to 188 months after finding that Blagojevich accepted responsibility for his crimes at sentencing.

In sentencing papers, the government contended that “Blagojevich’s criminal activity was serious, extended, and extremely damaging.” The crimes proven at trial were not isolated incidents, but, instead, were part of an approach to public office that Blagojevich adopted from the moment he became governor after he was first elected in 2002 on the heels of gubernatorial corruption and running on a campaign to end “pay-to-play” politics.

“Blagojevich betrayed the trust and faith that Illinois voters placed in him, feeding great public frustration, cynicism and disengagement among citizens. People have the right to expect that their elected leaders will honor the oath they swear to, and this sentence shows that the justice system will stand up to protect their expectations,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Chicago FBI Office

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Dec 072011

Ex-Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and arraigned Wednesday on new sex-abuse charges brought by two new accusers, the state attorney general’s office said.

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The charges were brought after new accusers were questioned by a grand jury following Sandusky’s arrest last month. One alleged victim claims he was assaulted after meeting Sandusky in 1997 and the other claims he was assaulted in 2004.

A call seeking comment from Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola, was not immediately returned.

Sandusky was already charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight young boys over a 15-year span. He has denied being a pedophile and has vowed to fight the case. In interviews with NBC and The New York Times, he has said he showered and horsed around with boys but never sexually abused them.

The new charges include four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, all of them first-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Sandusky also was charged with a count of indecent assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of children. Those are third-degree felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Like some of the other victims, the two new ones, dubbed Victims 9 and 10 by prosecutors, allegedly met Sandusky through The Second Mile charity, which he founded in 1977.

“As in many of the other cases identified to date, the contact with Sandusky allegedly fit a pattern of `grooming’ victims,” Attorney General Linda Kelly said in a statement. “Beginning with outings to football games and gifts; they later included physical contact that escalated to sexual assaults.”

— AP

Dec 072011

Rep. Darrell Issa launches congressional investigation into DEA after claims the agency helped drug cartels launder money to monitor cash flow, which he says looks like ‘same sort of program’ as failed ATF gunrunning operation ‘Fast and Furious.’

Rep. Darrell Issa on push to look at DEA’s role:

Rep. Darrell Issa is launching a congressional investigation into the Drug Enforcement Administration following claims that the agency helped drug cartels launder money — an operation the lawmaker said bears striking resemblance to the failed “Fast and Furious” anti-gunrunning probe.

Both operations were run by agencies within the Justice Department. Fast and Furious, which Issa and other lawmakers have been investigating all year, was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The alleged money-laundering operation was run by the DEA.

While Fast and Furious was designed to allow federal agents to trace the flow of illegal weapons to the Mexican cartels, the DEA operation reportedly was designed to allow agents to trace the flow of money.

“It looks like it’s the same sort of a program,” Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Fox News on Tuesday.

Issa wrote Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday urging him to quickly brief his staff on the DEA program, in advance of a hearing Thursday where Holder is set to testify.

“It is imperative that Congress be apprised of the true dimensions of these alleged operations immediately,” Issa wrote. In a separate statement, Issa’s office described the new congressional probe as an offshoot of the Fast and Furious investigation.

“We’re following the evidence where it goes,” Issa told Fox News.

Dec 072011

Inside the attack which will live in infamy

Dec 072011

Megyn Kelly on the latest from the ‘Fast and Furious’ gun scandal:

Furor Over ‘Fast and Furious’ Lies: Sen. Chuck Grassley wants Dept. of Justice to come clean on who knew what and when in ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal

Dec 072011

~ Proof it doesn’t matter what she threatens is ‘illegal’ confidential knowledge:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is holding back some information on Republican Newt Gingrich that could detract from his presidential campaign, according to a report published Monday.

“One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi told Talking Points Memo. “When the time is right. … I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”

Read on @ The Hill

~ Then Obama has unleashed his pit bull David Axelrod: Calls Gingrich the ‘Godfather of Gridlock':

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FOX Nation

BUT here comes Newt ~ Newt Fires Back at Pelosi: Thanks for the Early Christmas Gift…

Newt Gingrich fired back at former Speaker Nancy Pelosi today after she told reporters that she would release information on Newt Gingrich from a House investigation (a violation of House ethics rules). Newt thanked her for the early Christmas gift.

Dec 072011

We will not solve our economic problems in this country until we confront the crony capitalism of our permanent political class. This is socialism for the very rich and the very poor but it is a brutal form of capitalism for the rest of us. It’s the collusion of big government, big business. It’s at the heart of President Obama’s economic vision. We need sudden and relentless reform. That will return power to we the people. We need people with a proven record of reform. I served in public office in a state that had a corruption problem. I fought that corrupt system. I took on a corrupt and compromised political class. The challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with.