Spain dismantles jihadist passport theft ring

December 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Your stolen passport may be a jihadi’s ticket into a Western country. “Spain Dismantles Passport Ring For Islamic Cells Abroad,” by David Roman for Dow Jones Newswires, December 1 (thanks to Twostellas):

MADRID -(Dow Jones)- Spanish police arrested seven men in Barcelona, suspected of stealing passports for radical Islamic cells in Thailand and Pakistan, and collaborating with the group that carried out the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, the country’s Interior ministry said Wednesday.

The suspects, six Pakistanis and one Nigerian, are believed to be part of a European network that allegedly obtained passports to be forged in Thailand. The passports were later distributed to cells including Al Qaeda, Pakistan’s Lashkar e Taiba-which carried out the Mumbai attacks, killing 175-and Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, the ministry said in a statement….

According to Spanish police, the group allegedly stole large amounts of foreign passports from tourists in Spain-practically all in or around Barcelona-over the 18-month period during which the group was under surveillance. The thefts were allegedly requested by the Thailand-based head of the group, who asked for passports with specific nationalities and age brackets.

Jihad Watch

Abramoff Ally Kevin Ring Found Guilty In Scheme To Corrupt Officials

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

An associate of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff was found guilty in federal court on five counts related to a scheme to corrupt public officials.

Kevin Ring was found guilty on one count of conspiring to corrupt congressional and executive branch officials by providing things of value; one count of paying a gratuity to a public official and three counts of honest services wire fraud for engaging in a scheme to deprive U.S. citizens of their right to the honest services of certain public officials, the Justice Department said in a statement. Ring was acquitted on three counts of honest services fraud, said DOJ.

The former lobbyist faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy, two years in prison for payment of a gratuity and 20 years in prison for each of the three counts of honest services wire fraud, said the Justice Department. He could also be ordered to pay up to $ 250,000 on each count of conviction. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 1.

This was the second time Ring had gone through a trial. A judge declared a mistrial last year when the jury was unable to reach a consensus on some of the charges in the case.

The outcome of this trial had been in doubt because the man who had been described as the strongest witness against Ring recanted his testimony.

Ring, a former aide to Rep. John Doolittle, served as the middleman for Abramoff in the hiring of Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions, a political fundraising company headed by Doolittle’s wife. More on Ring’s background here.

Others pled guilty for their roles in the conspiracy uncovered by the wide ranging investigation, but Ring was the only lobbyist who took his case to court.

While they were convinced by the arguments of the prosecutors, some jurors wondered whether the case was a proper use of government resources, the Associated Press reported:

Several jurors said in interviews after leaving the courtroom that they didn’t know much about how lobbying worked before the case, but prosecutors convinced them he crossed the line.

“There’s a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things,” said retired postal worker Tom Bandy.

Bandy and other jurors said there was not a lot of disagreement, but they wanted to take their time to go over all the elements of the complicated case based largely on Ring’s own e-mails to the officials and his lobbying colleagues.

Even though they convicted him on most counts, several jurors questioned whether the case was a proper use of government resources.

“I saw it as a waste of time and money, but the law is what it is,” said Andre Ruffin outside the courtroom as several of his fellow jurors nodded in agreement.

Another member of “Team Abramoff” was held accountable “through the talent and hard work of prosecutors from the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity and Fraud Sections,” said Mythili Raman, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.

“For years, this team of lobbyists schemed to corrupt public officials, and, because of their actions, Americans were denied the honest services of public servants,” Raman said. “Through the continued vigilance of our prosecutors and our law enforcement partners, we are committed to bringing to justice those who seek to corrupt our democratic process.”


Thurman steps down; Sen. Ring says outsider needed

November 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Florida Democratic Party head Karen Thurman announced she’d step aside Friday, and state Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland, immediately spoke up about who should replace her. (Thurman’s letter is on the jump.)

Ring called for Thurman to step down after the November 9 election.

Today he said he wasn’t “here to kick Karen anymore.” He wanted to talk about who should take her place. And it’s not Rod Smith. And it’s not Loranne Ausley. It’s not some county party chair. It might not be anyone from politics, he said.

“We need to look outside,” he said. “I don’t think we should bring in people that have lost races, or consultant who have lost races. … This is an opportunity for a fresh start and fresh faces.”

Ring said the party should even consider ‘hiring a recruitment firm” to find a leader who “can engage entire generations. Someone who can get out in the community and recruit candidates, recruit advocates, raise money from non traditional donors. Someone with implementable plan. … We have to ask ourselves how are we going to get the donors back? Someone with a track record.”

He said the person should have a record of success building an organization, working with consumers, doing branding and marketing, engaging people and getting crowds excited. And not necessarily in the political realm. If they are in politics, they should promise not to use the seat to run for office.

Broward Politics

Somali sex-slave ring in Minneapolis — integration?

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Somali sex-slave ring in Minneapolis — integration?
by Michael Finch

The drumbeat from the lovers of the religion of peace is that America does not have the problems that Europe has because our Muslims integrate so well. Muslims come here and are so overwhelmed by the wonders of America that they drop all vestiges of their 1,500-year history of warfare, sharia, slavery, and oppression of women, and get swept up into the melting pot and become as American as apple pie and baseball.

Well, almost, anyway. This morning’s story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune tells us yet again that in spite of all our best wishes and hopes of how America can take in anyone and make him a Patrick Henry flag-waving lover of liberty, the fact is that it just isn’t so.

Twenty-nine people have been busted in a sex slave ring in the Twin Cities. The headline says the ring was operated by “gangs.” Just any gangs, you wonder? No, of course not. Click on the story and give the Star Tribune credit; they publish photos of all 29, with names. I won’t spoil the suspense.

The story itself is about as sordid as you can imagine. Twelve-year-old girls being sold for sex, abductions, beatings, rape, drugs, etc… all right here in the heartland of America. All brought to you by purveyors of the religion of peace. But let’s keep bringing them in; the multicultural melting pot is working so well.

Jihad Watch

Coons campaign: Those damned, cheering O’Donnell thugs are scaring voters away!; Update: CT Dems ring turnout alarm, too

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

I’m sure corruptocrat AG Eric Holder has already dispatched his Democrat voter protection force down to Delaware. Smiling, cheering Republicans are scaaaaary!

Via The Hill:

Delaware’s state Democratic Party is claiming that supporters of Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell are creating problems at some polling locations in the state.

This, as the campaign of Democrat Chris Coons e-mails supporters expressing concerns over turnout levels in the Democratic bastion of New Castle County.

In an e-mail to supporters early Tuesday afternoon, Coons campaign manager Christy Gleason wrote that the campaign was observing “lower turnout in New Castle and Kent counties than we’re comfortable with.”

New Castle County is the northernmost county in the state, as well as the region where Coons was banking on running up his vote total to offset highly energized Republicans in Kent and Sussex counties, less populous areas of the state.

Meanwhile, the state’s commissioner of elections, Elaine Manlove, confirmed to The Ballot Box that after receiving several complaints from voters at polling stations Tuesday, she contacted the O’Donnell campaign and asked that it direct its supporters to tone down their efforts…

…Manlove said since she contacted the O’Donnell campaign, complaints to the state’s board of elections have dried up.

How much you wanna bet none of the purported intimidationists looked like this goon spotted in Philly today.


Via Stratasphere, Connecticut Dems are worried, too:

Low supporter turnout for Richard Blumenthal has forced the campaign to send out an alert Tuesday afternoon urging supporters to get out to the polls.

“Voter turnout appears to be heavy in areas that benefit our opponent,” The campaign email read”.” It is critical that we maximize our efforts to get our supporters to the polls. We need your help”

Michelle Malkin

One Ring to Rule them All

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Bet on the Hobbits.
American Thinker Blog

Harry Reid Loeses It, ” I’ve never had to prove, whether it was in the street or the ring or in the Senate,”

October 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Democrat Senate Majority leader has truly lost it and about to lose his US Senate race.

Incumbent Nevada US Senator Harry Reid, who is in deep trouble and in the battle for his political career, stated that “my manhood has never been in question.” His reference was to GOP candidates Sharron Angle’s comment for Reid to “man up”.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) fired back at GOP challenger Sharron Angle on Saturday for saying during their debate earlier this month that he should “man up.”

“This is what her and her kind all around this country are using, this is part of the talking points of the right-wing Republicans,” Reid said in an interview on CNN.

“But, you know, that’s one thing I’ve never had to prove, whether it was in the street or the ring or in the Senate,” the onetime boxer said. “My manhood has never been in question.”

Actually Senator Reid, it is not your manhood we are questioning, it is your voting record and your liberal agenda that it bad for the economy, the federal deficit and America. But since you brought it up, I have to agree with Jammie Wearing Fool, ”if he was comfortable in his manhood he wouldn’t be whining like a little bitch over being told to man up”. As stated by the Gateway Pundit, the war is lost Harry, when your message at this late date is your “manhood”.

By the way Senator Reid, the nerve of Sharron Angle, that Tea Party extremist, bring up the fact that you live in a luxury hotel in Washington, DC while your Nevada constituents have lost their homes and have the highest foreclosure rate in the country. How dare she. It is just another example of who out of touch Reid is with the people and the reason why he needs to be retired.

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Scared Monkeys

DSCC: ‘Work that anger out in the ring’

October 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s latest Nevada spot tackles the theme of voter anger in very literal, and almost paternalistic terms, over an image of a woman pounding a punching bag.

"You’re angry. You’re frustrated at Washington," says the narrator. "Think how much angrier you’ll be if Sharon has her way and Social Security and Medicare are phased out."

The DSCC’s advice: "Work that anger out in the ring, because voting for Sharron Angle is only going to hurt yourself."

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Ben Smith’s Blog

Angle, Reid ready to spar in Las Vegas ring

October 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – Both Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle know a lot is at stake tonight with their one and only debate. Each candidate has something to prove and also needs to try to dispel some negatives as polls show this race – one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the country – neck and neck.

So far what voters here have mostly seen is a continuous loop of attack ads both by the campaigns and by outside groups going after everything ranging from the candidates’ positions on immigration to the future of Social Security and Medicare to their votes on providing Viagra or mammograms. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on ads in the Senate race, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN’s consultant.

With both candidates having a majority viewing them negatively, according to a just released Suffolk University poll, they will have to try to convince voters both why they are the best person for the job as well as why their opponent is not.

Both Reid and Angle have had some practice sessions to prepare for the hour-long session to be held at the Nevada PBS station. Both campaigns are engaged in the usual pre-debate spin about who may have the advantage going in and who has the tougher job in tonight’s session.

The debate comes at a crucial time with early voting in the state set to begin Saturday.

With several recent incidents of supporters having tussles at events, the organizers of the debate are only allowing each campaign to have 12 representatives in the audience and have divided the parking lot outside the studio into specific areas for each camp.

About 100 members of the media will be here to chronicle the event.

Reid can be expected to continue to attack Angle’s record and how he says she has flip-flopped on key issues. Hours before the debate his campaign released its latest ad going after her past statements.

“It is important for the people of Nevada to understand long-standing positions of my opponent- phasing out Social Security, killing Social Security. She believes Medicare is unconstitutional- remember it was passed in 1964,” he told CNN in an interview Wednesday.

In a rare interview with the national media -also on Wednesday- Angle provided a preview of what she will probably say in the debate to that charge.

“I didn’t change my position. What I have had is more information on that position. I used to think that Social Security and retirement privatization was the only way that we could have personalized accounts. But as you know, Harry Reid and many of his staff are government employees, have what we call a thrift savings plan, which is a personalized retirement account. So it occurs both in the public sector and the private sector. All I’m saying is that we need to give people the option of a personalized Social Security retirement account that they can have as a benefit and an asset to themselves,” she told CNN.

For his part Reid will be on the defensive regarding the dire economic conditions in the state, which leads the nation with 14.4% unemployment. Ninety two percent of those polled in the Suffolk University Nevada survey say the recession is not over, and 61% say the stimulus bill did not bring jobs to the state.

Angle has attacked Reid hard saying in one ad: “Want to know just how out of touch Harry Reid is? Spending 787 billion on a stimulus that failed is a start.”

Asked by CNN whether he has failed in his efforts to help spur job creation, Reid defended his record.

“Well, of course, the economic recovery package that brought tens of thousands of jobs to the state of Nevada. And, for example, with education alone, almost a billion dollars for education. Just in August 1 we stopped 1,400 layoffs. That was all part of what was originally in the stimulus bill,” he said. “But the fact is, we avoided a worldwide depression. That’s a fact. Things would have been a lot worse. Now it’s difficult for somebody that is struggling to accept that. But that’s the truth. And I’m going to continue my message. My most important job is to continue to try to get jobs for the people of the state of Nevada.”

One political analyst says the two have thing in common. “They both have the same strategy – not to say anything stupid,” David Damore of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

If Angle believes in luck she goes in to the debate with one advantage. Her staff won all four coin tosses to decide who went first in opening and closing statements (she will go second in both); which podium she wanted and who gets the first question (he does).

CNN Political Ticker

Where did President Obama’s ring go?

September 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
President Obama went ring-less during his press conference Friday at the White House.

President Obama went ring-less during his press conference Friday at the White House.

Washington (CNN) – President Obama is going ring-less.

Journalists in the East Room today for President’s Obama’s 8th full blown press conference noticed something different- President Obama’s intricate, gold wedding band designed in Indonesia was conspicuously missing.

Gulp…Missing? Or something worse?

Nope. Getting repaired. The White House confirms that the ring, which was exchanged on President and Mrs. Obama’s wedding day in October 1992, is getting a tune-up.

A spokesman from the White House would not discuss the extent of the repairs, or when it would return to its rightful owner.

CNN Political Ticker

Spy Ring Femme Fatale Anna Chapman Moves On To Modeling

August 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

It seems Anna Chapman, who made headlines in the U.S. for her role in a Russian spy ring, has settled into a new career back in Moscow:

MOSCOW – Glamorous Russian agent Anna Chapman has posed provocatively for a Russian magazine shoot in her first public appearance since she was deported from the United States in a major spy swap.

The tabloid-style site on Thursday showed film footage of the 28-year-old redhead being photographed for an upcoming edition of glossy magazine Zhara, Russia’s version of Heat, in a VIP room in the upscale Balchug hotel near the Kremlin.

In the 1 minute 43 second clip, Chapman struts about in two figure-hugging dresses.

“Clearly enjoying showing off her curves, Chapman shows that women’s secrets mean more to her than those she kept at the secret service,” the popular website wrote, in a clear jibe at the fact Chapman and nine other Russian spies were caught.

You can view the video here, and there are a couple pictures as well. All the text is in Russian, but you really aren’t interested in reading the articles are you ? (Yes, all material is SFW)

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