Jun 082012

CHICAGO—A Chicago man who personally provided hundreds of dollars to an alleged terrorist leader with whom he had met in his native Pakistan, was sentenced today to 7.5 years in federal prison for attempting to provide additional funds to the same individual after learning he was working with al Qaeda. The defendant, Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, pleaded guilty in February to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, following his arrest in March 2010.

Khan, 58, of the city’s north side, (Uptown area) displayed “toxic altruism” U.S. District Judge James Zagel said in imposing the 90-month sentence, followed by lifetime supervised release, in Federal Court in Chicago. In addition, the judge said it was a “profoundly aggravating factor” that Khan’s crime occurred after he voluntarily chose to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Although Khan’s actual donations (approximately $500 to $550) and attempted donation ($1,000) were, relatively speaking, not incredibly substantial amounts, donations need not be large to be of assistance to terrorist organizations, the government argued, and the judge noted as well.

Khan’s plea agreement called for an agreed sentence of between five and eight years in prison, and it requires Khan to cooperate with the government in any matter in which he is called upon to assist through the termination of his sentence and any period of supervised release.

Khan, who was born and resided in the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan before immigrating to the United States in the late 1970s, admitted that he met with Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of the Kashmir independence movement, in Pakistan in the early to mid-2000s and again in 2008. At the time of the second meeting, Khan knew or had reason to believe that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, in addition to leading attacks against the Indian government in the Kashmir region. During their 2008 meeting, Kashmiri told Khan that Osama bin Laden was alive, healthy, and giving orders, and Khan gave Kashmiri approximately 20,000 Pakistani rupees (approximately $200 to $250), which he intended Kashmiri to use to support attacks against India.

On November 23, 2009, Khan sent approximately 77,917 rupees (approximately $930) from Chicago to an individual in Pakistan, via Western Union, and then directed the individual by phone to give Kashmiri approximately 25,000 rupees (approximately $300). Although Khan intended the funds to be used by Kashmiri to support attacks against India, he was also aware that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda.

In February and March 2010, Khan participated in several meetings with an undercover law enforcement agent who posed as someone interested in sending money to Kashmiri to purchase weapons and ammunition, but only if Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, as well as sending individuals into Pakistan to receive military-style training so they could conduct attacks against U.S. forces and interests. On March 17, 2010, the undercover agent provided Khan with $1,000, which Khan agreed to provide to Kashmiri. Khan then gave the funds to his son, who was traveling from the United States to the United Kingdom, intending to later retrieve the money from his son in the U.K. and subsequently provide it to Kashmiri in Pakistan.

On March 23, 2010, Khan’s son arrived at an airport in the U.K. and a search by U.K. law enforcement officials yielded seven of the 10 $100 bills that the undercover agent had provided to Khan. After learning of his son’s detention, Khan attempted to end his involvement in the scheme to provide funds to Kashmiri by requesting an urgent meeting with another individual who was also present at Khan’s earlier meetings with the undercover agent. During their meeting, Khan demanded to return the undercover agent’s funds by providing $800 to this other individual.

The investigation was conducted by the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, with particular assistance from the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police, and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Chicago FBI

From NBC Chicago:

Khan, 56, lives on the eighth floor of an apartment building in the Uptown neighborhood and was arrested in his cab at about 8 a.m. Friday. He’s been charged with two counts of providing material support to terrorism, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago and unsealed following his arrest. The investigation is continuing.

The balding, bearded Khan, clad in a wrinkled nylon jacket, rumpled pants and sneakers, appeared briefly before U.S. Magistrate
Geraldine Soat Brown on Friday afternoon. She ordered him held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center pending a status hearing set for Tuesday.

The complaint states Khan accepted these funds after having had prior conversations with the agent in which:

— Khan confirmed that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda;

— Khan assured that Kashmiri would use the undercover agent’s funds to purchase weapons and, possibly, other supplies;

— Khan assured that he had provided Kashmiri with money in the past, including in approximately December 2009; and

— Khan discussed the possibility of having his son transport the money from the United States to England, where Khan would rendevous with his son, retrieve the money, and deliver it to Kashmiri in Pakistan.

Jun 082012

It’s all over but the crying at the Democrat Channel. Obama considers a new running mate. Hillary helps out. And horse “cents” for Obama.

Jun 082012

GOP 2012 Election Motto: Change direction

Jun 082012

Image says it all…

President Barack Obama leaves after speaking about the economy, Friday, June 8, 2012, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama on Friday put the country’s economic problems on the shoulders of Republicans in Congress, saying their failure to pass his entire jobs bill is keeps Americans out of work.

“If Republicans want to be helpful … they should be asking: How do we put people back to work?,” said the president during a White House press conference.

The president’s statements mark at least the second time he has turned the focus on Congress since a Labor Department report released last week showed the U.S. jobless rate increased in May from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent, amid a string of recent downbeat economic reports.

The president thanked Congress for passing the payroll tax cuts in his proposal but urged them to reconsider tax breaks to small businesses that hire and his plan to help homeowners take advantage or historically low mortgage rates.

“If you don’t pass (legislation) during an election year, you should explain to the American people,” Obama said.

He also said his administration is not responsible for recent national security leaks.

“The notion that my White House would leak classified information is offensive,” he said. “It’s wrong. … We don’t play with that.”

The president began his roughly 10-minute speech, followed by questions from reporters, by urging European leaders to handle the region’s debt crisis to avoid a recession that would further hurt the U.S., its largest trading partner.


Jun 082012

Moments after New Jersey high school graduates received their diplomas, a funnel cloud started to appear nearby that led spectators and students to make a mad dash for cover. Soon after, lightning, thunder and hail rolled in adding to the chaos, but you can see in this particular video that some were cheering the cloud on.

Take a look at the dramatic video:

Jun 082012

Be wary of a notoriously leftist rag and wench speaking ‘truth’. Dubious at best. The flip side is if the Beast and Eleanor Clift are saying this you know there is major dissension in the ranks. Obama does ill with questions and no teleprompter. I was so stunned at his speech today that I had to send out tweets to make sure I was hearing correctly:


@mzagorski Did I hear wrong when he said we need to cut down on HC costs?

Mark’s response:


@justpipertoo U heard it right Barry said that as result of the crisis we will have to cut on the HC costs if he is not able to steal

‘Uhhh,’ the president’s ‘uhhh’ press conference was ‘uhhh’ terrible:

From WaPo… Somebody should print this post and slide it under the Oval Office door immediately.

If you are president of the United States and you don’t have anything to say, don’t have a press conference to say it. If you’re the president of the United States and by Thursday it’s widely believed you’ve had one of the worst weeks of your presidency, take Friday off, and specifically avoid having a press conference. Anytime you are president and you’re speaking in public at an ill-timed press conference after a bad week, try to have something to say, and do a good job in saying it. I watched the whole thing

by scaling back on benefits like prescription drugs or dental care, raising premiums and co-pays…

Also See: Obama’s Budget: An Imperfect Reminder That We Can Cut Costs Without Undermining Care

* BTW latest polls show Obama, Romney Tied In Three Key Swing States

If things are obviously going so wrong with Obama, mayhaps Bilderberg’s ‘choice’ has him rattled? Will he get desperate for an October surprise and create a mass bio-terror pandemic?

Friends and Patriots I would say the ONLY way Obama is going to win reelection IS cheating. So we must remain vigilant at the polls! ~ JP

Potential tipping point in presidential race:

This was right after his ridiculous presser today…

and he made this asinine remark:

The Private Sector is Doing Fine

Leader Cantor: My Question To The President Would Be, Are You Kidding?

Obama’s party is worried that the economy may sink the president’s reelection and worry that he has not reacted strongly enough. Eleanor Clift on why his campaign seems out of sync:

If the next five months are anything like the last two, Barack Obama is toast. That’s what many Democrats are saying privately, and it’s not about Wisconsin.

The effort to recall Scott Walker failed, but exit polls show the president holding an edge in the state, which hasn’t voted Republican since 1984. It’s the weak job numbers from last week that has Democrats panicking. There’s a sense that the economy has stalled, and that the Obama campaign is stuck in a time warp with a message that assumes steady if slow progress, when the jobs picture may not get better.

“Our real concern is that they’re just sleepwalking,” says a Democratic strategist, who did not want to be quoted by name criticizing the Obama campaign. His fear, echoed by many, is that Obama’s responses to the dire economic conditions fall far short of the bold leadership needed.

The latest gimmick rolled out by the White House, a To-Do list aimed at Congress that fits on a Post-it note, is emblematic of what’s missing. “A To-Do list is for little things, like picking up the dry cleaning; you don’t put “schedule your son’s MRI” or “buy a new house” on the list,” says this frustrated Democrat.

Hand-wringing is a common malady during presidential campaigns, and Obama has a history of hanging back, listening to his own internal clock, and then acting just when others think all is lost. Campaigns have a rhythm, but the worry among Democrats is that the Obama team is so focused on disparaging Mitt Romney that they haven’t laid out in a clear and compelling way what Obama would do in a second term. “If all Romney has to say is, ‘I’ll do better,’ Obama will lose,” says Sam Popkin, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, and author of The Candidate: What it Takes to Win—and Hold—the White House.

~ Snippet:

Maybe they’re retooling the ship in Chicago and Obama will tailor his message to changed circumstances. Saying he has the right policies and needs more time worked when the economy was generating more jobs. Complacency is the enemy, not Romney.

Continue this read

Now for the ‘Right’ Perspective PEGGY NOONAN. The only thing that concerns me is Peggy herself was @ Bilderberg 2012.

What happened in Wisconsin signals a shift in political mood and assumption. Public employee unions were beaten back and defeated in a state with a long progressive tradition. The unions and their allies put everything they had into “one of their most aggressive grass-roots campaigns ever,” as the Washington Post’s Paul Whoriskey and Dan Balz reported in a day-after piece. Fifty thousand volunteers made phone calls and knocked on 1.4 million doors to get out the vote against Gov. Scott Walker. Mr. Walker’s supporters, less deeply organized on the ground, had a considerable advantage in money.

But organization and money aren’t the headline. The shift in mood and assumption is. The vote was a blow to the power and prestige not only of the unions but of the blue-state budgetary model, which for two generations has been: Public-employee unions with their manpower, money and clout, get what they want. If you move against them, you will be crushed.

~ Snippets:

People wonder about the implications for the presidential election. They’ll wonder for five months, and then they’ll know.

President Obama’s problem now isn’t what Wisconsin did, it’s how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn’t go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker’s place, where the money is.

There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration.

For more than a month, his people have been laying down the line that America was just about to enter full economic recovery when the European meltdown stopped it. (I guess the slowdown in China didn’t poll well.) You’ll be hearing more of this—we almost had it, and then Spain, or Italy, messed everything up. What’s bothersome is not that it’s just a line, but that the White House sees its central economic contribution now as the making up of lines.

And where is the president in all this? On his way to Anna Wintour’s house. He’s busy. He’s running for president.

But why? He could be president now if he wanted to be.

It just all increasingly looks like a house of cards.

Because Bill Clinton loves politics, he hates losers. Maybe he just can’t resist sticking it to them a little, when he gets a chance.

Full article

Jun 082012

Unusual amount of rain all week :(

RAIN RETURNS OVER THE WEEKEND: The well defined upper low near the Texas/Oklahoma border will move southeast toward the Gulf Coast over the next 48 hours, and will bring rain back to Alabama and the Deep South over the weekend. Scattered showers and storms will begin to fire up Saturday afternoon: the chance of any one spot getting wet is about 50/50 by Saturday evening.

The rain will be more widespread on Sunday as the upper low gets closer, and moisture levels continue to rise. Looks like we will need to mention a chance of locally heavy rain Sunday and Monday, with rain totals possibly exceeding two inches.

With a weak front approaching from the north, looks like we can expect numerous showers and storms into Tuesday and Wednesday. A really good chance to pick up some beneficial early summer rain without a tropical system involved.

Will be live on ABC 33/40 at 5 and 6(cst) from the Regions Charity Golf Classic at Shoal Creek