Holder running out the clock on Fast & Furious?

Ya think?

One of the first major scandals of the Obama administration may not get resolved until after Barack Obama leaves office — at least, if Eric Holder has anything to say about it. Politico’s Josh Gerstein reported last night on an effort by the Attorney General to keep the issue of executive privilege and Congressional subpoenas from resolution, even after a federal judge ordered Holder and the Department of Justice to submit documents to the House Oversight Committee. If successful, it might push the appeals process so far out that Obama will leave office before Congress can exercise its oversight responsibilities properly:

Attorney General Eric Holder is again asking a federal court to delay the transfer of disputed documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious to a House committee.

In a new court filing Monday night, Justice Department lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson not to require Holder to turn over any of the roughly 64,000 pages of documents to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until after her rulings can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“The Department respectfully submits that it would be preferable for the parties, this Court, and the D.C. Circuit — if an appeal were taken — to have any injunctive order await the conclusion of the district court litigation to allow for orderly and complete appellate proceedings,” DOJ lawyers wrote.

Jackson has previously denied DOJ permission to file an immediate appeal, although lawyers for Holder indicated in the new filing (posted here) that they may do so anyway. Any appeal is likely to take months and perhaps more than a year to resolve. If that process does not begin until Jackson rules definitively on the the executive privilege claim President Barack Obama has made for many of the documents, the timeline for the case being resolved could begin to approach the end of the Obama administration.

I’m certain that this outcome would break no hearts at the White House, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless. They have dragged out this process for more than three years — which is more than half of Barack Obama’s time in office.

Four Terrorists Captured on US Border on September 10 – Day Before 9-11

GatewayPundit

Congressman Jason Chaffetz broke this shocking news Wednesday that four known terrorists were apprehended at the US border in Texas on September 10 – the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

Chaffetz questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists.”
Johnson dodged the question.

Tonight, Rep. Chaffetz told Megyn Kelly there were four terrorists arrested crossing the US border in Texas on September 10.

There were actually four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border, who were apprehended at two different stations, that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Congressman Jason Chaffetz broke this shocking news Wednesday that four known terrorists were apprehended at the US border in Texas on September 10 – the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

Chaffetz questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists.”
Johnson dodged the question.

Tonight, Rep. Chaffetz told Megyn Kelly there were four terrorists arrested crossing the US border in Texas on September 10.

There were actually four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border, who were apprehended at two different stations, that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Via The Kelly File:

Breitbart has more on today’s exchange at the Homeland Security hearing:

During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing today focused on worldwide threats to America, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), asked DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists” who have attempted to enter the U.S. illegally during his tenure as homeland security chief. Johnson was sworn in as the fourth DHS secretary on December 23, 2013.

Rep. Chaffetz, who serves on the homeland security panel’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, clarified that he was referring to whether known terrorists, suspected terrorists, or individuals with ties to terrorist organizations have been arrested trying to come into the country illegally.

“Sitting here right now, no specific case comes to mind,” responded Johnson. “That doesn’t mean there is none.”

For the record… Jeh Johnson was a top Obama campaign donor before he was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security.

And we just saw what happened in Australia…

Immigration Agent Union: Obama Admin ‘Widened the Loopholes’ for ISIS to Enter U.S.

In a statement obtained by National Review Online, the U.S. National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, a union representing 12,000 federal immigration agents, sounded the alarm that not only could jihadists “slip across our porous southern border,” but that fighters could also “exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States.”

USCIS cites two main issues: a dearth of resources for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for enforcement and tracking and the administration’s decision to increase the number of immigrants allowed in for asylum purposes.

“Our caseworkers cannot even do in-person interviews for people seeking citizenship, they cannot enforce restrictions on welfare use, and they even lack even the basic office space to properly function,” union president Kenneth Palinkas said in the statement. “Applications for entry are rubber-stamped, the result of grading agents by speed rather than discretion. We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.”

President Obama’s potential executive action to grant legal status to certain illegal immigrants, including those who have overstayed their visas, is another opportunity for people “who are being targeted for radicalization or who already subscribe to radicalized views” to stay in the country, the union said.

Australia Raids Thwarted ISIS Beheading Plot

At least the Aussies aren’t afraid of doing something…

Police on Thursday said they thwarted a plot to carry out beheadings in Australia by supporters of the radical Islamic State group. They raided more than a dozen properties across Sydney and were holding six people and have identified the suspected ringleader, officials said.

Nine other people were detained but were freed before the day was over.

The raids involving 800 federal and state police officers — the largest in the country’s history — came in response to intelligence that an Islamic State group leader in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to kill, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

Abbott was asked about reports that the detainees were planning to behead a random person in Sydney.

“That’s the intelligence we received,” he told reporters. “The exhortations — quite direct exhortations — were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country.”

ISIL refers to the al-Qaida splinter group leading Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which now calls itself simply Islamic State.

“This is not just suspicion, this is intent and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have,” Abbott said.

New South Wales police did not say why nine of the detained people were released, or whether they would face charges later.

The raids came just days after the country raised its terrorism threat to the second-highest level in response to the domestic threat posed by supporters of the Islamic State group. At the time, Abbott stressed that there was no information suggesting a terror attack was imminent.

How’s that change workin’ for ya?

The People Who Organized Occupy Wall Street Are Now Suing Each Other

Activists who organized the dormant Occupy Wall Street movement are suing another activist for control of the main Twitter account, and one of the plaintiffs says there was no other option but to turn to litigation to solve the dispute.

The conflict centers around @OccupyWallStNYC, one of the main Twitter feeds that distributed information during the movement’s heyday in 2011. The OWS Media Group filed a lawsuit against organizer Justin Wedes on Wednesday, which is also the third anniversary of the beginning of Occupy Wall Street. The group, led by activist Marisa Holmes, is seeking control of the Twitter account as well as $500,000 in damages.

The Twitter account, which used to be shared among several activists, is now under the control of Wedes, who explained his decision to take over the Twitter feed in a blog post in August:

A thread about “self-promotion” became just another shaming session. If we start from a place of assuming bad intentions – i.e. discouraging “self-promotion” over encouraging solid, relevant content – we will end up with rules that shame rather than empower. Group members took on the task of limiting others to “1 to 2 tweets per day” (or week) on a topic, a form of censorship that would never have been allowed in the earlier days of the boat. I had to say enough!

LA School District Reluctantly Gives Up The Grenade Launchers The Pentagon Gave Them

Um…Okay…

Just last week, MuckRock posted on its site about a FOIA request from California, detailing the military equipment given to school police forces. Just the fact that any military equipment is being given to school police should raise some serious questions, but the one that really stood out was that the LA School Police had been given three grenade launchers, along with 61 assault rifles and one MRAP (mine resistant vehicle — the big scary looking armored vehicles that have become one of the key symbols of police militarization). Asked to explain itself, the LA School police chief, Steve Zipperman, claimed that the district had actually received the grenade launchers and the rifles all the way back in 2001 (though the MRAP is brand-spanking-new). But, he claimed, we shouldn’t worry too much, because the police didn’t think of them as “grenade launchers,” but rather “ammunition launchers,” and they were mainly kept around in case other police needed them:

Zipperman said that although the Pentagon identifies the three launchers as grenade launchers, civilian police call them less-deadly ammunition launchers. He assured me that the school police never had any intention of lobbing grenades at anyone, ever, and that they would not be used against students to launch anything. But as a police department, he said, LAUSD’s finest engage in mutual-aid pacts with other police agencies, and the ability to move those launchers out of storage might come in handy.

As for the assault rifles, Zipperman said they were converted to semiautomatic assault rifles — why am I not feeling better yet? — and are used to train a cadre of officers within the department. Those officers in turn are equipped with civilian semiautomatic rifles, which are either kept in locked compartments within their patrol cars, or in more centralized locations, in case of a Columbine High School-type gunman attack.

Artificial sweeteners may leave their users glucose intolerant

ArsTechnica

People who are watching their weight will often opt for a diet soda, reasoning that the fewer calories, the better. But the availability of drinks and foods made with artificial sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame hasn’t seemed to help much with our booming obesity levels. Now, some researchers might have identified a reason for this: the sweeteners leave their users with elevated blood glucose levels. But they don’t seem to act directly on human metabolism. Instead, the effects come through alterations in the bacterial populations that live inside us.

The paper that describes this work, which was performed by a large collaboration of researchers from Israel, is being released by Nature today. The researchers note that epidemiological studies about the effects of artificial sweeteners have produced mixed results; some show a benefit, while others indicate that they’re associated with weight gain and diabetes risk. Given that human populations haven’t given us a clear answer, the researchers turned to mice, where they could do a carefully controlled study.

They started taking a group of genetically matched mice and spiking their drinking water with either sucrose or a commercial prep of an artificial sweetener (either saccharin, sucralose, or aspartame). After five weeks, they checked the blood glucose levels of these animals. Eleven weeks later, the groups that were given the artificial sweeteners all had elevated blood glucose levels compared to those that received sucrose. This is typically a sign of metabolic problems, most often caused by insulin losing its effectiveness. It can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

The same held true if the animals were given a high-fat diet, which indicates the same problem occurs in the population that is likely to be using the artificial sweeteners: the obese.

Sorry, but it’s your fault if you’re offended all the time

MattWalsh

We get offended faster and more efficiently than anyone. And it’s not just our speed that separates us from the rest — it’s our endurance. We have a limitless capacity for offendedness. Every week there are dozens of new national outrages and boycott campaigns and social media crusades to raise awareness about some offensive thing, or to get someone fired for saying some offensive thing, or to teach people that some previously non-offensive thing has now become offensive.

Most of all, I find myself positively dazzled by the dexterity and athleticism with which we get offended. We can juggle six or seven outrages all at once, and then drop them and pick up new ones in the blink of an eye.

Our creativity and meticulousness are also quite notable here. We can look at any situation and extract hundreds of offensive factors that an untrained eye probably would have overlooked. We conjure up more fabricated outrages and controversies in a month than past civilizations could have mustered in a thousand years.

Do you remember what everyone was super worked up about four weeks ago? Yeah, me neither. That’s the point. We move on to the new outrage so quickly and the old ones are buried and forgotten. Well, whatever it was way back then, I’m sure it was REALLY bad and we were REALLY upset.

It’s always something. We have located the Fountain of Eternal Indignation, and we drink it by the gallon.

Wife’s happiness is crucial if you want a happy marriage, study suggests

When a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life,’ a Rutgers University researcher explained.

A husband’s happiness is significantly related to how his wife feels about the union, according to researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Michigan, who say the happier the wife is with the marriage, the more content her husband will be with life in general.

“I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life,” noted Deborah Carr, a professor in the Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science at RU. “Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives.”

The team analyzed data from 394 couples involved in a larger-scale study on health and income who had been married 39 years on average, in which at least one of the spouses was over 60 years of age.

They were asked questions about their interaction as a couple: How much they argued, how much they understood each other and whether they felt appreciated by their spouse. Next, each couple was assigned to perform typical couple activities like watching TV or going shopping together and record their emotions in diaries for 24 hours.

Average ratings for life satisfaction in general were high, with husbands showing slightly more enthusiasm for their marriages than the wives.

Schizophrenia is really 8 different genetic disorders, study finds

Genes interact leads to various manifestations of the disorder

Schizophrenia is not just one single disease but rather eight different genetic disorders, which all manifest in their own ways, according to a new study in the Sept. 15 issue of American Journal of Psychiatry.

This isn’t the first noteworthy finding related to schizophrenia this year: in July, scientists in the U.K. discovered 83 new genes connected to the mental disorder.

Senior investigator Dr. C. Robert Cloninger of Washington University in St. Louis said that he wanted to study how genes worked together.

“Genes don’t operate by themselves,” he says. “They function in concert much like an orchestra, and to understand how they’re working, you have to know not just who the members of the orchestra are but how they interact.”

He and his team analyzed 4,000 people with schizophrenia and identified 42 gene clusters that make up eight different types of schizophrenia, all varying by symptoms presented.

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