Monthly Archives: January 2016

Iowa caucuses imminent Obama will visit mosque to ‘send a message’ (a Sunday open thread)

**Written by Doug Powers

Iowans go to the caucuses tomorrow in the very first test of the presidential season, so here’s our Sunday open thread to talk about that or anything at all else you’d like. A couple of factors to get it started…

Check out out the New York Occasions editorial board’s description of Hillary Clinton in its endorsement of her for the Democrat nomination:

Voters have the opportunity to decide on 1 of the most broadly and deeply certified presidential candidates in contemporary history.

Her other exclusive top quality is that she’s the only 1 underneath FBI investigation.

On the GOP side, the Times endorsed John Kasich for the nomination, which comes as great information for Republicans not endorsed by the New York Instances.


For what it’s really worth, the ultimate Iowa polls:

Martin O’Malley remarks:

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This kind of factor has to be integrated in the time capsule of stories that will support best represent the Obama era:

For more than 2 many years, the Navy’s intelligence chief has been caught with a main handicap: He’s not permitted to know any secrets and techniques.

Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch has been barred from reading through, seeing or hearing classified info because November 2013, when the Navy realized from the Justice Division that his title had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.

Worried that Branch was on the verge of getting indicted, Navy leaders suspended his entry to classified materials.

If the Navy’s intel chief desires to see classified info he’ll have to inquire Hillary if he can borrow her server.


Deadly attacks by Islamic terrorists in Paris, San Bernardino and elsewhere combined with the spread of ISIS have Americans on edge when it comes to national protection. So with that in thoughts, President Obama will check out a U.S. mosque for the initial time ever as president to try to alleviate their issues:

Pesident Barack Obama will check out a mosque in Baltimore County on Wednesday amid increasing concern about hostility directed toward Muslim Americans. It will be Obama’s initial pay a visit to to an American mosque as president.

Obama will supply remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, positioned in Catonsville, and will meet with community members there to talk about religious freedom, White Residence officials mentioned Saturday.
Administration officials hope the visit will send a message at a time when Muslim leaders are more and more anxious about reactions following the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

An additional one particular for the Obama era time capsule.


This morning, Hillary once again tried to make everybody think that the FBI is component of the Huge Appropriate Wing Conspiracy towards her:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says the hubbub over whether she had secret emails on her server is “very much like Benghazi,” a politically motivated scandal that is most likely not as significant as Republicans propose.

Clinton advised ABC’s “This Week” that “it’s fairly clear” that Republicans are “grasping at straws” in their response to the most recent release of emails from Clinton’s private residence server.

Hillary’s claim that she had no classified material in her personal email could be verified, but the Obama administration (which is also apparently part of the VRWC) will not release dozens of emails due to the fact the material in them is way too classified.


Elizabeth Warren fires a couple of arrows across Hillary’s bow:


Lastly, does it get any more “Trump” than a fly-by of the crowd whilst the theme from the film “Air Force One” plays on the PA method?

Have a “yuge” Sunday all!

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Wal-Mart Ordered to Shell out New Hampshire Pharmacist $31M in Bias Case

Wal-Mart Stores Inc was ordered by a federal jury in New Hampshire to pay $ 31.22 million to a pharmacist who claimed she was fired due to the fact of her gender and in retaliation for complaining about security conditions.

The Concord, New Hampshire, jury deliberated for 2-1/2 hours ahead of ruling on Wednesday for the plaintiff, Maureen McPadden, soon after a 5-day trial, her attorneys said.

McPadden claimed that Wal-Mart employed her reduction of a pharmacy essential as a pretext for firing her in November 2012, when she was 47, right after more than 13 years at the retailer.

McPadden said she was fired in retaliation for her raising considerations that clients at the Wal-Mart retailer in Seabrook, New Hampshire, where she worked had been getting prescriptions filled improperly simply because of inadequate employees instruction.

McPadden also mentioned her gender played a function, alleging that Wal-Mart later on disciplined but stopped short of firing a male pharmacist in New Hampshire who also misplaced his pharmacy essential.

In accordance to the jury verdict form, most of the damages award stemmed from McPadden’s gender bias claims, such as $ 15 million of punitive damages.

Bentonville, Arkansas-primarily based Wal-Mart mentioned it ideas to ask trial Judge Steven McAuliffe to throw out the verdict or reduce the damages award.

“The information do not help this determination,” spokesman Randy Hargrove stated. “We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and neither that nor any considerations that Ms. McPadden raised about her store’s pharmacy played a part in her dismissal.”

Lauren Irwin, a lawyer for McPadden, in a mobile phone interview stated the jury reached “a honest and just verdict.”

The situation is McPadden v. Wal-Mart Merchants East LP, U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire, No. 14-00475.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Leslie Adler

Pipe Dream? Dems Propose $400M for Flint Lead Removal

Senate Democrats introduced legislation Thursday that calls for up to $ 400 million in federal funding to substitute lead pipes in Flint, Michigan, as long as the state agrees to cough up just as significantly.

The lawmakers are hoping to include the funding to an unrelated power bill, but it is not clear if Republicans will go for it. It is also not clear of Gov. Rick Snyder would agree to match the federal money his press secretary did not instantly reply to a request for comment.

Professionals have advised NBC News that removing the corroded lead pipes that leached toxins into the water technique is the permanent resolve for the crisis.

But at a press conference this week, Snyder stated removing the pipes is not element of the “quick-term” prepare. In his request for federal support earlier this month, he estimated it would value virtually $ 800 million to substitute the infrastructure.

Flint’;s representatives in Congress, Sens. Peters and Stabenow and Rep. Dan Kildee, all Democrats, say the state ought to be picking up at least half that bill.

“The State of Michigan has the primary responsibility to correct this crisis simply because they produced a variety of irresponsible selections that induced it,” stated Rep. Kildee.

The proposed amendment also involves $ 200 million above 10 many years to create a Center of Excellence on Lead Publicity in Flint, to connect citizens to providers. It would also require the feds to notify the public about lead in the water if the state fails to do so.

Michigan’;s state legislature on Thursday authorized $ 28 million in additional money for bottled water, water-bill relief and other efforts.

I&rsquom on a collision program with M&S insurance

For several many years I have employed Marks & Spencer to insure my Vauxhall Corsa, with the policy most lately presented by Ageas. I have a 9-yr protected no-claims bonus on the policy and have not produced any claims in this time period. However, last December a delivery driver allow his van roll back into my parked auto. He drove off, but a variety passer-by noted his details and left me a note. They also informed the police.

I reported the events to M&S’s vehicle insurance coverage arm. Inside of hrs, its legal division contacted me to say I would hear from automobile retain the services of firm Enterprise to supply a courtesy auto, and that the automobile repair service business would be in touch to arrange a collection date. The police told me that they are prosecuting the driver of the van that triggered my damage.

This was all perfectly satisfactory until I got my automobile insurance coverage renewal from M&S. As an alternative of the £272 I paid last yr, the renewal was £692. M&S advised me Ageas was not insuring me this yr, and that this was the greatest quote.

By now it has been established that this was a “no-fault claim” but this doesn’t seem to make any difference. I feel am being unfairly penalised.

GS, Durham

Sadly, you are not the very first person to face a a lot greater premium due to the fact of an accident they had no portion in.

The timing of the accident was rather unfortunate, given your policy renewal was just a number of weeks later on. The boost occurred due to the fact, at the time the premium was calculated, you had, in result, created a declare. It’s typical for insurers to do this, however unfair it would seem. Had it occurred earlier in the policy yr, the matter would, ideally, have been resolved prior to renewal.

We asked M&S to look into this case once again, and it has eliminated the fault declare notification which reduces the premium to a significantly a lot more palatable £363.

You ought to buy the particular person who left the note on your car a massive bottle of champagne as they will probably have saved you a lot of hundreds of lbs

We welcome letters but can not solution individually. E-mail us at or compose to Client Champions, Income, The Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please consist of a daytime phone variety

State Dept. deems a couple dozen yoga-associated Hillary emails also classified for even a redacted release

**Written by Doug Powers

Bear in mind this? Very good occasions:

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Also about that time, Hillary claimed that emails deleted from her homebrew server involved trivial discussions like yoga routines and family vacations.

She clearly glossed in excess of a couple of things.

You have heard of the Friday evening document dump, but this is a Friday document burial:

The Obama administration confirmed for the very first time Friday that Hillary Clinton’s home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails that contained materials requiring one of the highest levels of classification. The revelation comes 3 days just before Clinton competes in the Iowa presidential caucuses.

State Department officials also said the agency’s Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Investigation bureaus are investigating if any of the info was classified at the time of transmission, going to the heart of Clinton’s defense of her email practices.

The division will release its following batch of emails from her time as secretary of state later on Friday.

But The Linked Press realized 7 email chains are getting withheld in complete for containing “top secret” details. The 37 pages consist of messages a key intelligence official lately mentioned concerned “special entry programs” —highly limited, classified materials that could stage to confidential sources or clandestine programs like drone strikes.

The emails have been deemed “’too damaging’ to national safety to release below any circumstances.” So only U.S. intelligence along with Russia and China know for confident what’s on these emails. All I know for sure is that Hillary’s former tech guy at the State Division is going to spend the weekend rehearsing pleading the 5th in situation he has to do it nevertheless once again.

Team Hillary’s spokesman explained individuals particular emails are a case of “over-classification run amok,” which of course cries out for the comply with-up query, “how would you know?”

But as usual, Hillary intends to be the exception to her personal “rule”:

Meanwhile, Joe Biden observes it all from afar… for now:


In addition to the over emails that are becoming withheld, there are these:

Gee, I wonder what may have been talked about in these emails? And by the way, Obama advised 60 Minutes last yr he was unaware she used a private e mail deal with and server. Something doesn’t add up, as usual.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Tompkins Insurance Acquires Shepard, Maxwell & Hale in New York

Tompkins Fiscal Corporation, a economic solutions company headquartered in Ithaca, New York, announced that its insurance agency subsidiary, Tompkins Insurance Companies Inc., has acquired Shepard, Maxwell & Hale Insurance coverage in upstate New York.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition took effect on Jan. one.

Established in 1957, Shepard, Maxwell & Hale is an independent agency with 2 offices in Batavia and Hamlin, New York.

Successful Feb. 1, clientele of Shepard, Maxell & Hale may possibly acquire support at any of Tompkins Insurance’s 28 areas throughout New York and Pennsylvania.

Shepard, Maxell & Hale’s 2 principals, Daniel G. Hale and Stephen S. Maxwell, will continue to be with the agency. 5 other Shepard, Maxwell & Hale personnel will also join the Tompkins Insurance coverage crew. The acquisition brings Tompkins Insurance’s complete employee count to 186.

Shepard, Maxell & Hale’s Batavia office will close and move operations to Tompkins Insurance’s Tompkins Financial Center office in Batavia close to Feb. 1. The Hamlin office will proceed to operate at its recent place for the time being.

Tompkins Insurance serves thirty,000 personal insurance clients and 7,600 business insurance buyers. The acquisition will include 4,000 Shepard, Maxwell and Hale accounts to its consumer base.

“This acquisition is steady with the growth approach we have for our firm,” stated Steve Romaine, Tompkins Monetary Corporation president and chief executive officer.

“It is a good move that enhances our ability to even more increase our business in Batavia and western New York and offer the worth-added items and providers of the Tompkins Financial loved ones,” Romaine stated.

Tompkins Monetary Corporation is a monetary companies firm with $ 5.5 billion in assets serving the central, western and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Tompkins Financial is mother or father to Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., Tompkins Believe in Business, Tompkins Financial institution of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Financial institution, Tompkins VIST Financial institution, and Tompkins Monetary Advisors.

Image: Judge Jack Weinstein speaks with reporters after visiting the Louis Armstrong housing projects in Brooklyn in 2011.

Federal Judge Offers Guy 5 Days for Child Porn

A Brooklyn guy who faced 10 many years for downloading child pornography was sentenced to 5 days by a federal judge who sharply criticized punishment guidelines for failing to distinguish in between dangerous offenders and people who pose tiny risk.

U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein wrote a 98-page determination explaining why he bypassed the guidelines and chose not to place the guy in prison for possessing 2 dozen photographs and videos — some exhibiting men sexually assaulting girls as young as 3 many years outdated, according to court papers.

“Removing R.V. from his family members will not even more the interests of justice,” Weinstein wrote, making use of the defendant’;s initials.

Image: Judge Jack Weinstein speaks with reporters after visiting the Louis Armstrong housing projects in Brooklyn in 2011.
Judge Jack Weinstein speaks with reporters soon after going to the Louis Armstrong housing tasks in Brooklyn in 2011.