Reminder: ISIS Camps Are in Mexico Just A Few Miles from U.S. Border

With the events in Texas yesterday, and given that one of the terrorist suspects linked himself to ISIS just before the attack, it’s well worth revisiting the report from Judicial Watch a few weeks ago that ISIS has a camp set up roughly eight miles from El Paso, Texas. There is also another cell near Ciudad Juarez that targets two towns in New Mexico “for easy access to the United States,” according to their sources, who include a Mexican Army field grade officer and Mexican Federal Police inspector.

During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1stArmored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation. […]

According to these same sources, “coyotes” engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed “coyotes” are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.

According to the Judicial Watch report, ISIS in Mexico is also conducting surveillance of “regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, NM; Ft. Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM.”

While the report is certainly disconcerting, it’s not the least bit surprising. Lawmakers, pundits, and citizens alike have long known our porous Southwest border is an easy target for terrorists and other criminals to enter the United States. Perhaps that’s why 63 percent of likely voters believe the U.S. military should be at the Mexico border to prevent illegal immigration, according to a new Rasmussen poll. Only 26 percent disagree.

One thing is clear: the longer we wait to get serious about enforcing our immigration laws and beefing up border security, the greater risk we face of seeing terror attacks becoming the new normal.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Upgrades Soldier's Seat to First Class

Talk about a class act.

Seattle Seahawks' Quarterback Russell Wilson was on a flight to Seattle a few days ago when he saw a soldier, Kane Bernas, board and head for the back of the plane. Wilson, seeing this, decided to take matters in to his own hands and upgraded Bernas to a first-class seat.

Wilson responded about 20 minutes later, thanking the soldier for his service.

According to Bernas, it was the "best flight ever."

It's nice to see a professional athlete, especially a football player, act in such a generous manner. With recent incidents of athletes acting badly, players like Wilson making the news for positive incidents are a welcome change. While upgrading a flight from coach to first class was probably nothing for Wilson, he certainly made Bernas' day. That's what's really important.

Wheel In The Cots: Clinton Agrees To Testify On Benghazi, Will ‘Stay As Long As Necessary’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will appear before Congress to answer questions relating to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks in Libya that left Ambassador Chris Steven dead. Yet, this will be a one and done deal. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, requested that the former first lady appear twice before the committee to answer questions about Libya and her private email server. “Respectfully, there is no basis, logic, or precedent for such an unusual request,” wrote David Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer. He did say that Clinton “will stay as long as necessary to answer the Committee’s questions, but will not prolong the Committee’s efforts further by appearing on two separate occasions when one will suffice.”

On April 30, the Committee gained access to 4,000 pages of document from the State Department Benghazi Accountability Review Board. The Benghazi Committee continues to build the most comprehensive and complete record on what happened before, during and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks,” said Gowdy in a statement. “Contrary to those who said all had been asked and answered, the Benghazi Committee has shown there is more still for Congress to consider.”

Copy of the letter via The Hill:

Letter From Kendall to Gowdy

Those records took two years to be released to Congress via subpoena.

Fox News Congressional Correspondent Chad Pergram noted that the Clinton testimony could occur at an offsite location and a closed-door session.

Dem Rep: The IRS Should Investigate the NRA

The National Rifle Association is guilty of abusing donations for political purposes, asserts Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He, along with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, is calling for an investigation into the NRA after a Yahoo News report suggested the gun rights organization had violated several provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act by using funds to support political candidates instead of promoting gun safety.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) has launched a nationwide petition campaign asking the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service to investigate “violations of federal law” by the National Rifle Association.

The petition drive cites the Yahoo News report which disclosed that the NRA had violated multiple provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act, failed to report its political expenditures to the IRS for six consecutive years, and appears to have avoided paying federal taxes.

Thompson said people deserve to know if the NRA is guilty of hypocrisy:

“Many Second Amendment supporters and responsible gun owners contribute to the NRA because of the work it does to promote gun safety and support the hunting community. They have a right to know whether their money is going to these causes or to Beltway-NRA political efforts that undermine common-sense laws designed to keep criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill from getting guns.”

Yahoo did admit that since state election and campaign finance laws vary from state to state, it’s unlikely any repercussions would be administered.

The NRA is well aware of Thompson and his gun control agenda. This time last year, the organization reported on the representative's "Promoting Healthy Minds for Safer Communities Act." Here was an excerpt of their expose, which detailed the bad news Thompson's bill would mean for gun owners.

Title IV of the bill would expand existing prohibited person categories under the federal Gun Control Act. Outpatient mental health treatment would become prohibiting in some circumstances. Misdemeanor prohibitions would also be expanded, including an entirely new prohibition related to "stalking convictions." As defined in the bill, such convictions would not require any finding of violence or even violent intent, nor would they be limited to offenses occurring between persons with preexisting relationships. An existing misdemeanor prohibition would also be expanded to capture a much larger class of people. These prohibitions, moreover, would apply not just to future outpatient "commitments" or convictions but to those that had occurred in the past. Thus, persons who have long been in lawful possession of firearms without problem or incident could suddenly find themselves subject to federal felony penalties for continued possession.

Considering Thompson has a history of trying to sweep Second Amendment rights under the rug, the question arises: Is the new fund abuse accusation leveled against the NRA an actual scandal – or just another attempt by liberal Democrats to scale back gun rights?

BREAKING: Baltimore PD Denies Black Male Was Shot

Moments ago Fox News reported that authorities might have shot another man of color in Baltimore:

Baltimore police shot a man Monday in the same area where massive riots broke out last week over the death of Freddie Gray.

It's unclear what prompted the shooting. A Fox News crew witnessed a young black male running from police before he was shot.

Fox News reporter Mike Tobin was on-the-scene, and he told anchor Shepard Smith that he saw a man get shot.

“I saw a weapon on the ground,” he said. “I only counted one gun shot.”

Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE: A local Baltimore police officer told Fox News no one was shot.

UPDATE: And apparently he was telling the truth.

Developing....

UPDATE: No one was shot.

UPDATE: An eyewitness, however, claims a "boy" was indeed shot in cold blood.

Despite her testimony, the fact of the matter is no one was shot. So she's either lying -- or was confused by what she saw. Hmmm.

Bill Clinton on Huge Speaking Fees: 'I Gotta Pay Our Bills,' You Know


So says the multimillionaire, channeling his wife's tone-deaf 2014 "dead broke" remark. The former president has reportedly earned nine figures in speaking fees alone since leaving office, millions of which just happened to flow in from entities with active business before Hillary Clinton's State Department. Indeed, both Bill personally and the family "slush fund" took in money hand-over-fist while she held the levers of American foreign policy; plenty of people were willing to dig deep, it seems. And wouldn't you know it, favorable policy outcomes followed, in many cases. But hey, the Clintons were just trying to make ends meet:


I'll say this for Bill: At least he's actually fielding questions from the media about this (or anything, for that matter), unlike the Clinton spouse who is currently seeking the presidency.  He says he and the Clinton Foundation have refused donations in the past, but declined to elaborate. If taking gobs of cash from foreigners (successfully) pressuring the US government to approve the sale of a large percentage of American uranium capacity to the Kremlin wasn't problematic enough to reject, one wonders where the Clintons were willing to draw the line. The 42nd president insists that none of this lucrative hustle and bustle at the intersection of money and power amounted to "knowingly inappropriate" behavior.  Americans shouldn't take his word for it: The Clinton Foundation exploited various tentacles to take in vast sums from unvetted foreign donors and governments, in violation of transparency agreements and commitments.  After getting caught, their excuses fell flat.  They failed to reports tens of millions in foreign government donations on their tax returns, "accidentally" reporting that income as zero.  They "mistakenly" listed paid speeches (taxable) as charitable contributions (tax-free).  They lied about a meeting at their home regarding the shady Russian/Kazakh uranium deal.  And, of course, Hillary essentially broke every rule in existence by setting up a private, under-secure email server as Secretary of State, on which she conducted all of her official business.  When Congressional investigators started asking too many questions, she directed her lawyers to cull those emails without any oversight, then wipe the server.  It appears as though many Americans aren't especially inclined to take the Clintons at their word:

Americans appear to be suspicious of Hillary Rodham Clinton's honesty, and even many Democrats are only lukewarm about her presidential candidacy, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Is she strong and decisive? Yes, say a majority of people. But inspiring and likable? Only a minority think so. Clinton's struggles to explain her email practices while in government, along with questions about the Clinton Foundation and Republican criticism of her openness, wealth and trustworthiness seem to have struck a nerve in the public's perception of the dominant Democratic figure in the 2016 campaign. In the survey, 61 percent said "honest" describes her only slightly well or not at all. Nearly four in 10 Democrats, and more than six in 10 independents agreed that "honest" was not the best word for her.

In any case, you'll be pleased to learn that about this:


Hey, a couple's gotta eat.

CAIR: We Condemn The Terror Attack In Texas, But Pamela Geller Totally Had It Coming

The Council on American Islamic Relations, better known as CAIR, has issued a statement about the terror attack last night in Texas during a Muhammed Cartoon Exhibit. They're also partially blaming the organizers of the event for the violence and are equating them with the terrorists who carried out the attack. (bolding is mine)

"We condemn yesterday's attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, without reservation.

"We also reiterate our view that violence in response to anti-Islam programs like the one in Garland is more insulting to our faith than any cartoon, however defamatory. Bigoted speech can never be an excuse for violence.

"Muslims in North Texas and across the nation are shocked and saddened by this inexcusable attack and pray for the speedy recovery of the officer injured by the attackers.

"We thank the Garland Police Department for its swift actions to ensure public safety.

"Unfortunately, human history shows us that hatred breeds more hatred and extremism leads to more extremism.

"Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders and the perpetrators of yesterday's attack all seek to provoke a downward spiral of mutual hostility and mistrust in America and around the world.

"People of good will must work together to ensure that extremists of all faiths and backgrounds do not accomplish that malevolent goal.

"We reiterate the American Muslim community's support for freedom of speech - even bigoted speech – and its repudiation of terrorism in any form."

A number of CAIR members have been targets of terrorism investigations and the organization has a long history of supporting terror groups like Hamas. 

NYPD Officer Brian Moore Has Died

Brian Moore, the NYPD Officer who was shot in the face over the weekend, has passed away. Moore, age 25, was in plain clothes patrolling Queens Village with his partner when they approached Demetrius Blackwell on the suspicion that he had a firearm. As Moore and his partner pulled up in their unmarked police car, Blackwell opened fire, hitting Moore in the head (NYT):

Officer Moore and a partner had been patrolling an area of Queens Village in an unmarked car when, the police said, they observed a man adjusting his waistband. They pulled up behind him to question him and as they did so, the police said, the man turned and fired at the car.

Officer Moore was struck in the cheek and suffered trauma to his brain, officials said. His family made a decision to take him off life support on Monday. Mr. Bratton sat with the family shortly before he was taken off life support, officials said. Officer Moore’s partner, Erik Jansen, was not hit.

Ninety minutes after the shooting, officers arrested Demetrius Blackwell, 35, at a house a block from the scene of the shooting, near the corner of 212th Street and 104th Road.

Mr. Blackwell was arraigned on Sunday in Queens County Criminal Court on charges including attempted murder, assault and weapons possession. With Officer Moore’s death, those charges were expected to be elevated to include murder.

After more than a day of searching, the gun used in the shooting was found by detectives Monday morning around some rubble in a backyard that officials said was along the short route they suspected Mr. Blackwell took after the shooting. The gun, a .38-caliber revolver, had two live bullets and three expended casings.

The police said three .38-caliber rounds were fired at the officers, two striking their car and one hitting Officer Moore.

Moore is the fifth police officer to be shot in New York City in the past five months. NYPD Police Commissioner said that Blackwell has an extensive criminal history.

Some Media More Concerned About Cartoons Than Terrorists Killing Those Who Draw Them

You'd think that in a country with a First Amendment, the press would overwhelmingly support the right to free speech. In 2015 America, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. 

Take for example the Islamic terror attack last night on a Muhammed Cartoon Exhibit in Garland, Texas. The organizers of the exhibit pretty much had it coming or they're Islamophobes, you know.

"Controversial." Anti-Muslim. Free speech aside. Stunt. 

This is America, where we used to be allowed to say whatever we wanted without fear of being killed for it. Apparently, that has changed. Alarmingly, those who claim to support the First Amendment the most through their work as journalists are the people throwing free speech aside in the name of "tolerance."

AFP Foundation Reloads Right Online

Americans For Prosperity Foundation decided not to hold its annual digital conference–Right Online–last year, but they brought it back with a new flavor in Washington D.C. over the weekend. From self-promotion, monetizing your blogs, and the latest in social media apps, the conference was a mix of panels detailing the latest trends in technology and how to use them to advance economic freedom.

That dichotomy was shown on the first day when Sharyl Attkisson, formerly of CBS News, shared her story about how the biases within the mainstream media prevented her from covering certain topics. Attkisson, who’s now at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, spoke about the time she was covering the Fast and Furious story and was denied entry into the Department of Justice building due to her reporting on the subject. She was told she needed a DOJ-approved pass even though her press credential allowed her in any building, including access to the President of the United States upon an interview request. To show how thin-skinned this administration was concerning their image, she recalled the Obama White House’s war with C-SPAN.

Yes, the most innocuous news source in media drew the fury of the Obama administration when they conducted an interview with the president for an upcoming documentary on the White House on August 12, 2010; the whole saga is detailed in Attkisson’s new book, Stonewalled.

When the interviewer, Brian Lamb, asked why the president hadn’t redecorated the Oval Office, Obama said, “We have not yet redecorated this room . . . Given that we are in the midst of some very difficult economic times, we decided to hold off last year in terms of making some changes.”

Two weeks later, the White House told the Washington Post that a multi-million dollar redecoration project was in the works (via WaPo):

White House official, then-TV liaison Dag Vega, wanted to “make sure” that C-SPAN didn’t run its Obama interview snippet after the story in The Post surfaced. “The one taped just days before in which President Obama had implied, that in the spirit of austerity, there would be no Oval Office redecoration,” writes Attkisson. Actually, the president merely said that they’d made a decision to “hold off last year” on the changes — not that the changes wouldn’t be coming soon.

In any case, the White House, via Vega, wanted C-SPAN to drop the footage later, to coincide with the release of its full documentary about the White House. Not when it was most relevant, and when it would raise questions about why the president had spoken of austerity.

On Aug. 31, 2010, The Post drops its story on the Oval Office makeover, much of which took place while the Obama family had been on vacation (between the time of the Lamb interview and the story in The Post).

C-SPAN blows off the White House fussiness and publishes its interview. That very night, Josh Earnest, then the White House deputy press secretary, sends a tough e-mail to C-SPAN accusing the outlet of “being egregiously unethical and of violating terms of the interview. Though there’s no evidence of the existence of any prior agreement, he continues to insist the White House would not and did not agree to an interview with the president without specifying the terms under which it would air,” writes Attkisson, adding that the White House official threatened to “withhold future access.”

Attkisson said that the consensus amongst reporters is that the Obama administration is the worst regarding transparency. She also said that there are many ways to uncover corruption–or stories government doesn’t want you reporting–by looking at campaign contributions, family ties, etc. there’s a paper trail for everything. That also applies in the digital world as well.

After Attkisson, David Rowan of Wired UK presented a thorough and highly engaging presentation on technology and its impact of society and culture. In an indirect way, he was saying how technology and its various markets prove that capitalism works. There are many ways to slice the economic pie to achieve success since the market thrives on innovation and flexibility.

Rowan noted how a flying car was a concept of science fiction. There are now start-ups devoted to the manufacturing of flying cars, which were shown to the audience through a series of clips supplied by Mr. Rowan. Also, driverless cars might become things to see in the foreseeable future. 

Concerning using technology and social media for entrepreneurial ends, Michelle Phan is a great example. She took to YouTube giving make-up tutorials for women; her videos garnered over 1 billion people; she starts her own make-up company Ipsy; and that venture generates over $10 million a month. Kim Kardashian’s game that’s based on her life netted the socialite more than $40 million a few months after its release. The game is free to download.

He also noted how the market for technology changes rapidly. It’s almost incredible that Kodak once employed 140,000 people. When the first mobile phone emerged, it’s even more surprising that consulting firms told telecommunications companies, like AT&T, that there will be 900,000 cellular phones in the United States by the end of the 20th century. In the end, that figure was off–109,00,000 cell phones were being used in the U.S.

The night concluded with Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw being named as the recipient of the much-deserved Americans For Prosperity Foundation’s Blogger of the Year award.

The panels ranged from reaching a wider audience by “escaping the echo chamber,” how critical it is to generate good content, monetizing your blog, building your brand, and net neutrality issues. Far too often conservatives and liberals feel comfortable in their own bubbles. It’s time to get beyond that and engage each other. Yet, there are some forces, mostly on the left that seek to end the discussion.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey noted that blogging could be a career, but it’s risky. Just like any other business venture in America. To succeed, you need to have a good product, which Morrissey added was your blog posts. If you don’t have good product, you can’t monetize it. As for custom web design, Morrissey said it’s a definitely worth it if you have the resources. If that option is not in your budget, keep your site simple and easy. Don’t get hassled with blinking ads and other widgets; you don’t want to induce seizures with your readers, he said.

As for spreading buzz about your blog, networking is essential. This is a digital world we operate in, and putting a face to the name is a must. It may land you your dream job. Yet, Morrissey also noted that when emailing established bloggers about your content, like Instapundit for example, make sure you know what these people cover and their interests. It’s not optimal to send a link to a post about Second Amendment issues to a blog devoted to debunking global warming.

Concerning self-promotion, IJ Review’s John Brodigan, Howe Creative’s Ben Howe, Hot Air’s Mary Katherine Ham, and FTR Radio’s Fingers Malloy all pretty much said that being nice can go a long way in building yourself on social media. Also, don’t brag, or talk about yourself all the time, is another example of self-promotion done right, according to Howe.

“Self-promotion is all about subtlety,” said Mary Katherine Ham. “Picking your best work and push it out.” At the same time, she also said you need to balance being persistent, while not being overwhelming.

Guy Benson, who moderated the panel, aptly noted that being ambitious is fine. You can certainly think about where you want to go in your career, but you need to “do the job you currently have with excellence.” That will go a long way in achieving your goals.

Other things during the panels just showed how vast digital media has become. There are 152 million blogs, 1.35 billion Facebook users, and 24 million active Twitter users. There are 1 billion tweets every two days.

There are many ways to carve your success in tech, whether it is in politics or some other entrepreneurial venture. The tools are there; let’s go.

Last note: It was great to see Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit) at the conference. He looks great given that Hoft’s health was in serious condition in 2013. We’re glad he’s back–and congrats on being this year’s recipient of the Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism!

It's Official: Ben Carson Jumps Aboard 2016 Express

On Monday at a campaign event in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Ben Carson made the announcement his supporters have long been waiting for.

“I’m Ben Carson and I’m a candidate for president of the United States,” he declared to thunderous applause.

Speaking without notes, the former neurosurgeon brought up his moving personal story and the resilience and tenacity of his mother. Among other things, he extolled her work ethic, commitment to educating her children, and money management skills—values that even today continue to influence him.

“I’m fond of saying that if my mom were secretary of treasury, we wouldn’t be in a deficit situation,” he joked.

However, on a more serious note, Dr. Carson also sought to clear up all the misinformation about where he stands on the important issues of the day. For instance, he was particularly incensed that the media continues to perpetuate the falsehood that he wants to end all government welfare and safety net programs.

“This is a blatant lie,” he declared. “I have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them. I have a strong desire to get rid of programs that create dependency in able-bodied people.”

“We’re not doing [them] a favor,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Carson also touted the fact that he has never held elected office before—which, by the way, is something he clearly sees as an advantage, not as disqualifying.

“I’m not a politician,” he intoned. “I don’t want to be a politician. Because politicians do what is politically expedient. I want to do what’s right.”

Finally, he urged Americans to vote with their brains in 2016, not with their family or friends.

“Stop being loyal to a party or to a man, and use your brain to think for yourself,” he urged his audience. "That is really the key to us as a nation becoming successful again."

'It's Working:' Obamacare Dogged by Troubled Exchanges, Inaccurate Subsidy Payments


Obamacare "is working" and "proving critics wrong," its supporters like to insist -- relying heavily on assertionwillful ignorancemoved goalposts and cherry-picked data. Behold, the latest installments from the chronicles of "success," starting with the state of the exchanges:

Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under President Obama’s health law are struggling financially, presenting state officials with an unexpected and serious challenge five years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act. Many of the online exchanges are wrestling with surging costs, especially for balky technology and expensive customer call centers — and tepid enrollment numbers. To ease the fiscal distress, officials are considering raising fees on insurers, sharing costs with other states and pressing state lawmakers for cash infusions.

As we've noted previously, the law has been a drag on the already-strained budget in California, which has been touted as a shining example of state-level Obamacare implementation.  Next we have miscalculated subsidies, resulting in millions of enrollees facing higher tax bills:

Back in January, H&R Block figured that about half of the 6.8 million people who were getting ObamaCare subsidies would owe some of the money back. Another expert reckoned the average payback at $208. That was enough to set off alarms about the "unpleasant tax surprise" these millions would face. The tax experts were too optimistic, however. H&R Block now figures that two-thirds of ObamaCare enrollees who got subsidies had to pay at least some of it back. And the average payback was $729. So roughly 5.5 million ObamaCare enrollees had to return, on average, almost a quarter of their premium subsidies. Given that these subsidies are available only to families with modest incomes, that's got to hurt.

Meanwhile, it looks like taxpayer-funded insurer 'bailout' funds are woefully ill-equipped to help cover the losses incurred by the industry -- which are partially attributable to the older, sicker risk pools Obamacare attracted, coupled with the law's guaranteed issue and community rating provisions:

There may be just $1 in the piggy bank to cover every $10 in claims at an Obamacare program designed to spread risk among insurers, Standard & Poor’s said. The “risk corridor” program was designed to bolster plans that suffered losses on health-care insurance exchanges, in part by taking funds from those that turned a profit. It was one of three risk-sharing initiatives that help companies adjust to the Affordable Care Act. Yet companies mostly did poorly in state marketplaces, leaving the amount insurers expect to pay into the program at less than 10 percent of what others expect to get out, S&P found. And a bill passed last year doesn’t let the government use its own funds to make up the difference. “The only money they can use to pay the insurers who are on the downside is money coming in from insurers who are profitable,” S&P analyst Deep Banerjee said. Most insurers “ended up being on the loss side of the corridor. That’s why we are here.” The shortfall could mean higher premiums for customers and may threaten the viability of some smaller insurers…"

Some healthcare experts have warned that relatively modest average premium increases for consumers so far (with many experiencing sharp hikes, along with hefty out-of-pocket costs and access shock) won't be sustainable once certain bailout-style payment systems and other price controls expire in the coming years.  During the Obamacare debate of 2009 and 2010, the president and Democratic supporters of the law promised Americans that their proposed reforms would significantly reduce premiums:



UPDATE - Another data point on Obamacare's failure to reduce uncompensated care:



BREAKING: Carly Fiorina Announces She's Running For President

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced early this morning on Good Morning America that she's running for president of the United States. 

"Only in the United States of America can a young woman start as a secretary and work to become Chief Executive of one of the largest technology companies in the world," Fiorina's campaign website states. "It's time to put a citizen leader in the White House."

Fiorina's new book, Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey, is also out today. All of the proceeds will be donated to charity. 

For months Fiorina has hinted at a White House run and has taken direct aim at Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. In an announcement video posted on her campaign website, Fiorina again slams Clinton and points out the Founding Fathers, "never intended us to have a professional political class." 

"We know the only way to reimagine our government is to reimagine who is leading it," Fiorina says in an announcement posted online. "I'm Carly Fiorina and I'm running for president."

Yesterday Dr. Ben Carson officially announced his candidacy during an interview with a local radio station. Fiorina and Carson join Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz as official presidential candidates.

NYT Journalist Wonders: "Free Speech Aside" Why Would Anyone Hold A Contest to Draw Muhammed?

Answer: To stand up for free speech against savages who murder over being offended. That's why. 

BREAKING: Two Men Open Fire At Muhammed Art Exhibit in Texas, Shot Dead By Police

Two suspects, who are now dead, opened fire at a Muhammed Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas tonight. The event was held as a protest for free speech in response the recent Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The exhibit was hosted and organized by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs. Participants were asked to submit cartoon depictions of Muhammed for a contest and for the exhibit. There were 200 people at the event, 350 submissions were made from all over the world. The winner of the contest is a former Muslim and was awarded $10,000. 

"We had an event in defense of freedom of free speech in the age of jihad," Geller told Fox News, adding that when the event ended at 10 p.m. two men drove up and shot a police officer. The men were then engaged by police and killed. "This is a war and the war is here. This isn't Paris, this isn't Copenhagen, this is Texas."

"Each person is responsible for their own freedom," Geller said.

Security for the event reportedly cost $10,000 and was beefed up in expectation of an attack

The fact is that security is massive at the event, which speaks to the eroded state of free speech in this country.

Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who is on a variety of Islamist hit lists, was at the event.

One security officer has been shot but is in stable condition (UPDATE: He has been released from the hospital). Explosives were reportedly brought to the scene by the suspects and a vehicle is being searched. The dead suspects will also be searched for explosives. Attendees were taken away from the scene on school buses. 

Tea party leader and former congressional candidate Katrina Pierson was in attendance. She said once the shooting started, attendees started singing the Star Spangled Banner and prayed. 


Naturally, prominent jihadists like Anjem Choudary are celebrating the attack (ironically by practicing their own free speech). I won't publish his bile here.

More on the alleged suspects:

The Garland Police saved the day. This could have been much worse.

Updates to follow. 

This post has been updated. 

Editor's note: A previous version of this post stated the event took place in Dallas. More accurately, it took place in Garland, Texas. Further, it was stated a police officer was shot. It was a security officer.

Wisconsin Capital City Bans Discrimination Against Atheists

In a bit of odd news coming out of Madison, an ordinance was passed that protects atheists and people lacking religious beliefs from discrimination. Atheists and non-religious are now given the same protection against discrimination as religious people.

From the Associated Press:

In what is believed to be the first statute of its kind in the United States, Madison banned discrimination against the non-religious on April 1, giving them the same protections afforded to people based on their race, sexual orientation and religion, among other reasons.

It's hardly surprising that such a statute would originate in Madison, an island of liberalism in a conservative-leaning state and the home of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. But the ordinance's author, Anita Weier, said it didn't arise from an actual complaint about alleged discrimination based on a lack of religious faith.

"It just seems to me that religion has spread into government more than I feel comfortable with," said Weier, who left the council after the statute passed. "It just occurred to me that religion was protected, so non-religion should be, too."

At what point does an ordinance become so broad that it effectively renders itself useless? Also, does this indicate that a lack of belief is considered to be a system of belief?

Report: Harvard Faculty Supports Democrats a Whopping 96% of the Time

It’s common knowledge that higher education institutions are dominated by left-leaning professors and administrators—and if you somehow missed that chapter, Townhall columnist Mike Adams, Campus Reform, or even a Google search will quickly fill you in. Nowhere is this political bias more prevalent, however, than at our nation’s Ivy League universities.

So, how bad is it? At institutions like Harvard, the numbers are truly staggering.

Republicans running for president might as well skip any fundraisers at Ivy League universities like Harvard, where a new analysis shows 96 percent of faculty donations over the last three years went to Democrats.

Academia in general, and the elite northeastern schools in particular, have long been seen as a bastion for left-wing professors. Nationally, about two-thirds of college professors say they are liberal and less than a tenth identify themselves as conservative, according to one study. 

The disparity, which was brought to light by the school’s student newspaper, even surprised Harvard Dean Michael D. Smith.

“I am amazed at how high that number is,” he told the Harvard Crimson.

In the presidential race in 2012, every one of the eight universities in the Ivy League saw more than 90 percent of faculty donations go to Obama. Some say that shows a troubling lack of ideological diversity on campuses and could lead to students getting biased educations.

“It is a shame that our greatest universities have become ideologically monolithic," Georgetown law professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz told FoxNews.com. "At many of these schools, including Georgetown Law School, most students will graduate without ever laying eyes on a single Republican professor.”

“Ideally these universities would expose students to the most powerful arguments on both sides of the great issues, rather than indoctrinating them with the ideology of the far left,” he continued. 

Bernie Sanders: Fundraising Machine?

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is a long shot for the 2016 nomination – a very long shot. His early fundraising campaign, however, is putting Republicans to shame.

CNN has the scoop:

Bernie Sanders' nascent presidential campaign announced Friday that it raised more than $1.5 million in its first 24 hours, a number that far outpaces what Republican presidential hopefuls posted in their first day.

Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, kicked off his dark horse campaign for the Democratic nomination on Thursday with an email to supporters and a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol. Since then, more than 100,000 people signed up for the campaign and 35,000 people donated money, according to a campaign press release.

Sanders also vowed to spurn Super PACs, instead pledging to raise money by appealing to the rank and file of the Democratic Party. And his strategy seems to be working. As the article excerpted above goes on to note, the ‘average donation’ Sanders has thus far received is roughly $40. This shows that the lifeblood of his campaign – i.e., money – will come not from the “millionaires and billionaires” he angrily derided in his campaign announcement, but ordinary citizens concerned about income inequality, money in politics, and climate change.

Sanders, for his part, is the first presidential candidate to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

George W. Bush Bikes 100K With Wounded Vets

Former President George W. Bush doesn’t like to complain. How can he when he’s riding through sunny trails alongside some of our nation’s heroes? Number 43 kicked off the 5th annual Warrior 100K in Crawford, Texas, a three-day bike event held to recognize wounded warriors.

Fox News’s Dr. Marc Spiegel caught up with the former president before he hit the trails Thursday. President Bush explained what made this group of bikers so special.

“We’re here riding with people that got hurt. Yet they’re refusing to let their injury consign them to a dull, meaningless life…These vets are setting an example to other citizens who might be complaining about their fate in life.”

These veterans’ courageous spirit in the midst of malady is inspiring. Here’s a bit more information about the bike ride held in their honor.

The Warrior 100K — and its fall companion, the Warrior Open golf tournament — are signature annual events of the George W. Bush Institute’s military service initiative. The institute, Bush’s think tank, is part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University.

Bush’s passions for mountain biking and golf are well-known. So the two events are a natural complement to the institute’s wide-ranging, research-based work involving military veterans, their families and the 46,000 nonprofits that aim to help service members.

By holding this annual event, President Bush is helping to bring attention to these veterans’ needs, while also highlighting their strengths. He’s not the only one. The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2216) was created by concerned members of Congress to ensure necessary funding for veterans programs and to make the Department of Veterans Affairs more accountable. Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) has also proposed an amendment to boost veteran job training and services, which will help ensure their talents are not being neglected.

“We can’t afford to leave our veterans behind, and my amendment to help veterans better transition from military service to the workforce is another important way we can meet our obligations to our nation’s brave service members.”

After the shameful status of the VA was revealed last year, these politicians’ dedication to our vets is extremely welcome.

Veterans’ wounds are often invisible. Our efforts on their behalf should not be.

PSA: Capitol Police Are Leaving Their Handguns In Bathrooms and Other Public Places

Law enforcement seems to be having trouble keeping tabs on their service firearms. On March 24, a young child visiting the Capitol entered the bathroom of the visitor’s center only to find a loaded Glock handgun in one of the stalls. It belonged to one of the Capitol police officers with Speaker John Boehner’s security detail–and this isn’t the first time.

Roll Call reports that another officer with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell left his Glock sidearm and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder on January 29, while on April 19, a janitor cleaning the Capitol Police headquarters found another handgun “left in plain sight.” Oh, and Capitol Police aren’t required to report such incidences [emphasis mine]:

A report to the Capitol Police Board, obtained Thursday by CQ Roll Call, showed the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended six days of suspension without pay for the officer involved in the Jan. 29 incident. The latter two are still under investigation, which consists of matching the serial number to the department’s inventory record, then interviewing the officer.

How often do officers leave their guns unattended around the Capitol complex? The answer is unknown because Capitol Police are not required to disclose such incidents. The Jan. 29 incident went out over the radio system, but the other two have been kept quiet, based on conversations with nine Capitol Police employees from various divisions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal issues. None seemed surprised, and two offered other examples of officers who were investigated for leaving their guns unsecured or unattended.

“The Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters,” said Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, in an email. “Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other ?required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment. As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department.”

It’s unclear how thoroughly the two top Republicans in Congress were briefed on lost gun incidents involving their respective security details. Boehner’s office had no immediate comment. McConnell’s office also did not immediately comment.

The publication did correctly note the precariousness of the situation, as the Glock system has no external safety, like Sig Sauer (though the Sig Sauer has a de-cocker mechanism making it “harder” [more or less] to fire your first round), thus making it easier for children who have no experience handling firearms susceptible to egregious harm–even death–from this negligence.

Yet, the Capitol Police are hardly alone concerning negligence with their service firearms. Last year, the Milwaukee Sentinel detailed how agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives left their handguns in bathroom stalls, movie theaters, at a hospital, on a plane, or “simply leaving them on top of their vehicles and driving away.”

One rather disconcerting incident that was reported involved an agent who after a night of drinking in Los Angeles in 2011, awoke to find his government-issued Glock missing.

As the saying goes, there are no gun accidents, only negligence.

Editor’s Note: I didn’t clarify, nor did I add information about Glock’s internal safety mechanisms –and that’s entirely my fault. While both weapons systems have no external safety [like on a Beretta 92FS]; the Glock has three internal safety mechanisms. You can read about them here on Glock’s website.

The Glock has a trigger safety that prevents the firing pin and the drop safeties from releasing. The firing pin safety prevents the pin from moving forward hitting the primer of a chambered round that would led to a discharge, while the drop safety keeps the firing pin in place.

Also, I was referring to the Sig Sauer system with the de-cocker mechanism in the original post. This mechanism safely carries the hammer down when a round is chambered. This makes the trigger pull heavier when firing your first round. The succeeding rounds are easier to fire as the trigger pull is less intense due to the hammer being cocked after the first shot.

A Glock does not have a hammer.

Again, I was remiss in not adding this information in the original post. At the same time, it doesn’t negate the fact that leaving firearms within the reach of children is highly irresponsible.

Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Daughter

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a daughter earlier today in London. While her name has yet to be released, she weighed eight pounds three ounces at birth, and both mother and daughter are reportedly doing well and are "very happy."

The birth was announced both on Twitter and via a town crier, who was possibly self-appointed.

It is expected that the Princess's name will be revealed within a few days. Her official title is "Her Royal Highness The Princess of Cambridge," and she is fourth in line for the throne after her grandfather, father and brother.

Can We Retire The Term 'Permanent Majority' From Politics?

We keep hearing about the emergence of permanent Democratic majorities from the strategists, advisers, and chairmen of both political parties. It’s pervasive–and couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re a government based on public opinion. Public opinion is shiftable sand, as George Will and the late Sen. Barry Goldwater have said previously. The latest person to mention this unicorn of a political theory is New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, who argued earlier this month that such an electoral phenomenon was one of the reasons why Hillary Clinton will win in 2016.

1. The Emerging Democratic Majority is real. The major disagreement over whether there is an “Emerging Democratic Majority” — the thesis that argues that Democrats have built a presidential majority that could only be defeated under unfavorable conditions — centers on an interpretive disagreement over the 2014 elections. Proponents of this theory dismiss the midterm elections as a problem of districting and turnout; Democrats have trouble rousing their disproportionately young, poor supporters to the polls in a non-presidential year, and the tilted House and Senate map further compounded the GOP advantage.

Skeptics of the theory instead believe that the 2014 midterms were, as Judis put it, “not an isolated event but rather the latest manifestation of a resurgent Republican coalition.” Voters, they argue, are moving toward the Republican Party, and may continue to do so even during the next presidential election.

It has been difficult to mediate between the two theories, since the outcome at the polls supports the theory of both the proponents and the skeptics of the Emerging Democratic Majority theory equally well.

He also added that “youngsters” aren’t shifting to the right. That’s true. But as Guy pointed out this morning, the Harvard University's Institute of Politics’ poll showed the gap has closed between Millennials favoring a Democrat over a Republican (55/40) since 2008 (66/32) and 2012 (60/37). Yet, on policy matters, young people tend to favor school choice, tax cuts to expand the economy, and reject affirmative action initiatives. Then again, they feel health care is a human right, and support measures to combat the phantom threat of climate change. Guy noted that the results of the poll are mixed, but it shows that there are many avenues from which the GOP can make inroads with this voter bloc.

Megan McArdle of Bloomberg was more skeptical of this emerging majority hypothesis as well. Besides Republicans coming back in 2010 and 2014, she went back all the way to 1976 and 1980, noting who at the time of Carter’s electoral victory thought a Republican would absolutely destroy him after just one term. She added, “The bigger your coalition, the bigger its internal tensions. Coalitions can collapse suddenly and without warning.”

Also, McArdle touched upon the women’s vote. Yes, Democrats will probably win women again in 2016, but their failure with male voters could neutralize any gains Clinton needs to make beyond, young, college-educated single women:

Clinton seems to be planning a platform heavy on items designed to appeal to female voters, such as paid family leave. But these actually appeal to a pretty narrow segment of the population -- young single women, and those with small children -- where Democrats already do really well. There's the risk that these gain her voters among folks who are already strong Democrats while costing her votes in segments she needs to pick up. Especially since any serious promise of these things is going to have to come with a plan for paying its hefty price tag.

Another aspect that cuts into the Emerging Democratic Majority thesis is the diaspora of white voters from the Democratic Party. Democrats need working whites to retake the House, the Senate, and the White House–and as I’ve written in other posts; it isn’t solely a southern problem. Republicans have two-thirds of the governorships, the largest House majority in over seven decades, and the most state legislatures since 1920. The Obama era has witnessed the complete decimation of Democrats at the state and local level; a critical point since this is where the new talent is cultivated and nurtured to fill the ranks of the aging Democratic leadership in Congress. It’s so bad that Clinton has made it one of her rebuilding projects if she wins in 2016. It’s going to be a hard journey since only 30 percent of whites live in an urban setting. The rest are in rural areas and firmly Republican. As Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics  said in 2013 at a Brookings Institution event, working class whites had no party representing their interests in 2012. Mitt Romney didn’t offer them much, and Obama was too liberal. Clinton intends on running towards Obama’s record next year. While Hispanics–and Asians–might become more influential in elections in future elections, their impact is not going to be as profound as many in media circles contend. For starters, their share of the electorate in 2012 was only 10 percent. More blacks than Hispanics participated in the 2012 elections, and any shift in a voting bloc that small isn’t going to have a massive ripple effect in the way whites–who still make up roughly 75 percent of the electorate–do.

As Trende noted, Republicans just needed to nab an additional 3 percent of the white vote in 2012 to get 51 percent of the popular vote, and possibly the presidency.

Bill Clinton was able to resonate with these voters. It remains to be seen with Hillary, who is an exceptionally bad campaigner. Moreover, the top dogs in the Republican field in 2016 are the furthest things from Mitt Romney. It’s much more blue collar, middle class, and reaped the benefits of American social mobility. Heck, Gov. Scott Walker–our potential 2016 nominee–is in debt.

Additionally, Nate Cohn of the New York Times–who Chait references-noted that Republicans have been making steady gains with Catholic voters, who usually broke evenly between the two parties.

The last note in Cohn’s piece strikes at the heart of the problem when either side declares permanent electoral majorities. It’s still very early to tell, but while Millennial whites lean Democratic, nonwhites is where Democratic Party seems to be becoming a little soft (via NYT):

There is, however, one intriguing weak spot for Democrats among the youngest millennials: minorities. While young whites are far more Democratic than their elders, the youngest nonwhite adults tend to be somewhat more Republican.

According to the Pew data, 17 percent of 18- to 25-year-old black adults lean Republican — far more than any other age group among blacks. The sample is small — just 354 black adults between the ages of 18 and 25 were queried — but it is not the only piece of evidence supporting this possibility. In the 2012 exit polls, just 80 percent of black men 18 to 29 supported Mr. Obama, although the number of respondents was quite low.

The Pew data isn’t enough to definitively state that Republicans fare better among the youngest nonwhite voters, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Republicans spoke of a permanent majority after Bush’s re-election in 2004; they got clobbered in 2006 and 2008. Democrats discussed how they might have a permanent majority after Obama’s landslide win in the 2008 presidential election; Democrats got shellacked in 2010 and 2014. Also, Republicans won women in 2010 (51/49), and were competitive with them in 2014 (52/48).

So, can we retire this term from American politics? Without a doubt, there can be the emergence of a long-standing coalition in politics. Democrats held the House of Representatives–and more or less dominated national politics–for nearly six decades before Republicans had their revolution in 1994. It was a killing field for Democrats. Now, Republicans possibly have a lock on the House for the next generation.

As for the turnout rebuttal from the left regarding the 2014 midterms, I direct you to Mr. Trende again. If 2014 turnout levels matched that of 2012 in terms of age and racial background, the Republican edge would only be cut by a small margin. It still would have been a rough night for liberals [emphasis mine]:

If the 2014 electorate had resembled the 2012 electorate in terms of race, the Republican vote share would shrink by just 1.97 percentage points. In other words, in a 2012 electorate, Republicans would have won the popular vote for the House by 4.5 points, rather than 6.5 points. That’s not nothing, as they say, but it still only explains a relatively small share of the difference between the 2012 and 2014 results. Put differently, if Obama had put up the same vote shares among racial groups in 2012 as Democrats ultimately did in 2014, he’d have lost.

Perhaps the difference is not so much differences in the racial makeup of the electorate, but rather differences in the age makeup of the electorate? The 2014 electorate was, in fact, quite a bit older than the 2012 electorate. This isn’t necessarily surprising, given that the elderly population is actually set to grow substantially in the next decade. Regardless, if we reduce the 65+ share of the electorate from 2014’s 22 percent to 2012’s 16 percent, increase the 18-24 year old share from 7 percent (2014) to 11 percent (2012), and adjust everything in between accordingly, the Republican advantage contracts by ... 1.94 points.

Now you might look at this and say, “Well, that’s a total of four points!” The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites. So this isn’t a cumulative exercise.

To get around this, we can look at the age-race crosstabs. That is, the exit polls tell us how not just 18-29-year-olds voted and African-Americans voted, but also how 18-29-year-old African-Americans voted (and so forth). If those groups had turned out in a way as to re-create the 2012 electorate, the Republican margin constricts by a bit more than if we looked at race alone or age alone, but the change still only amounts to about two points.

In other words, even if Democrats had managed to re-create 2012-style age or racial demographics in 2014, they still would have had a rough year.

Rubella Eradicated from the Americas

Thanks to widespread vaccination programs, the disease rubella (also known as German measles) has been eliminated from the Americas. While the disease, which has no known cure, manifests itself as a mild rash in fever in most children and adults, it is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and unborn children. Fetuses in their first trimester are susceptible to miscarriage and severe birth defects if their mothers contract rubella.

Since the rubella vaccine was developed in 1969, there has been a steady decline in the number of cases. Vaccinations were necessary to develop herd immunity against the disease and protect pregnant women and their children from contracting the illness. In developing nations, the vaccine was initially primarily given to women and girls, but once it was coupled with measles and mumps vaccinations (to form the MMR vaccine), men were eagerly vaccinated and encouraged their families to get vaccinated as well.

The campaign to eliminate rubella in the Americas was formally declared by the Pan American Health Organization in 2003, but many countries had long suppressed their outbreaks through various campaigns.

The island nations of the Caribbean began with a pilot program in the Bahamas in 1997, said Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, a Jamaica-based Pan American Health Organization adviser.

By that time, most children were protected by vaccinations given in school, but many adult men were not because earlier campaigns had focused on vaccinating only girls starting at age 10 because they were in the highest-risk group.

Vaccination teams set up tables at shopping malls, construction sites, union halls, bus stops where workers returned from field labor, high schools, universities and any place where unvaccinated men could be reached.

By then, the campaign was conducted largely with M.M.R. shots, and men were told that the rubella component would protect their unborn children, and that the mumps component would prevent mumps complications, which in post-pubescent men include painful swollen testicles and sterility.

Not only did the men line up for the shot, “but they brought their wives and girlfriends to construction sites to get it,” Dr. Lewis-Bell said.

Rubella joins smallpox and polio as diseases that have been completely eradicated from the Americas.

Unfortunately, rubella is not yet eradicated everywhere--even in developed nations. In Japan, 15,000 people were stricken with the illness in 2013. The outbreak was banned on Japan's ban of the MMR vaccine and spotty job at catching children up with vaccinations.

Oops: Bill Clinton 'Mistakenly' Misreports Taxable Income as Tax-Free Donations


Once again, mistakes -- passive voice -- were made:


The foundation has also come under scrutiny for failing to clear all foreign government donations through an agreed-upon State Department vetting process when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, and for failing to identify foreign government donations on tax returns. Fact-checkers this week challenged the foundation’s claims that it’s barred by Canadian privacy laws from revealing the names of more than 1,000 mostly foreign donors to a joint Clinton-Giustra nonprofit registered in Vancouver, British Columbia. It acknowledged in response to POLITICO’s questions that it mischaracterized as foundation donations money from the China Overseas Real Estate Development and the U.S.-Islamic World Conference. That money was actually honoraria paid for Bill Clinton speeches by those entities, said foundation officials, who added this week those were the only mistakes “we are aware of.”

Well, aside from all the undisclosed foreign donations (followed by empirically bogus excuses), and, you know, the tens of millions in foreign government payments that weren't reported in tax filings over at least five years. CBS News reported on several elements of Clinton's anti-transparency machinations last evening:


Not a bad report overall, although it did uncritically parrot the Clintons' debunked defense that 1,100 donors were left undisclosed due to unavoidable Canadian law requirements. Not true. Anyway, here's Hillary repeatedly promising disclosure and transparency during her confirmation hearings (via the Free Beacon):


"All contributors will be disclosed." Didn't happen, according to Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Boston Globe. "An extremely low percentage of [Clinton Foundation donations go] to overhead." False. "Foreign government pledges will be submitted to the State Department for review." Strike three.  And then there's this:


Can't pass that buck, Your Majesty. You "guaranteed" you'd be hands-on in ensuring your transparency vows were fully implemented. They weren't.  It's time to hand over your entire secret email cache to an independent third party for review.

Medical Examiner: Freddie Gray’s Head Injury Occurred Inside Police Van

As Cortney reported earlier today, Marilyn Mosby–the state attorney for Baltimore–announced that she has filed several charges against the six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray after his April 12 arrest. Gray suffered a severe spinal injury, which eventually led to his death a week later; he had slipped into a coma. He wasn’t properly secured by a seat belt during transit, which is department policy–and did not receive the immediate medical attention.

After the police turned over their files on the case to prosecutors, Mosby brought forward the charges, including second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office.

We still have yet to verify what happened during that 45-minute Gray took in a police van that led to these egregious injuries. What we do know is that he did not sustain them from the various videos that captured his arrest. Sources have told WJLA–a CNN affiliate– that the medical examiner’s report showed that Gray's head injury occurred inside the van during transit (via WJLA):

An investigation into the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray has found no evidence that his fatal injuries were caused during his videotaped arrest and interaction with police officers, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

The sources spoke to ABC7 News after being briefed on the findings of a police report turned over to prosecutors on Thursday.

Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.

Details surrounding exactly what caused Gray to slam into the back of the van were unclear.

The officer driving the van has yet to give a statement to authorities. It’s also unclear whether Gray’s head injury was voluntary or was a result of some other action.

The Washington Post reported that the second person in the van heading to the police station with Gray alleged that he might have tried to hurt himself. Now, that story has been brought into question, as Donte Allen has come forward to say that he was the second detainee–and that there was relatively little banging from Gray in the van. He described the ride to the police station as a smooth ride (via NBC News):

A Baltimore man has come forward to talk about his April 12 ride in a police van with Freddie Gray, saying in an interview that he heard his fellow prisoner briefly making noise on the other side of a metal barrier.

"All I heard was a little banging for like four seconds," 22-year-old Donte Allen told local NBC affiliate WBAL. "I just heard a little banging."

Allen's account, given in an interview on the street with WBAL reporter Jayne Miller, differs slightly from the one described in a report in the Washington Post. Citing police documents, the newspaper quoted a prisoner telling investigators he could hear Gray "banging against the walls" and that he believed Gray "was intentionally trying to injure himself."

The quotes came from an application for a search warrant that was sealed by court order but provided to the newspaper under condition that the witness not be named. Allen appears to be that prisoner; police have said that only two prisoners were in the van during the April 12 ride through West Baltimore.

Asked if he told police that he heard Gray banging his head against the van, Allen provided WBAL with a conflicting reply: "I told homicide that. I don't work for the police. I didn't tell the police nothing."

Even with Allen's account, it remains unclear what Gray was doing on the other side of the partition. Sources have told WBAL that Gray was unconscious by the time that Allen was loaded inside.

Slowly, but surely, we’re finding out what happened to Mr. Gray during those 45 minutes.