Friday, January 24, 2014

Last Call For A Tragic End

Authorities in Maryland have found the body of 35-year-old Ryan Loskarn, the former social media aide to Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, who was charged with child pornography possession and distribution last month.

”At approximately 12pm yesterday, Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a private residence in the 6900 block of Kenmar Lane for a report of an unconscious male, believed to be deceased,” said a statement from Colonel Phil Kasten of the Carroll County Sheriff’s office. “Family members reported finding 35 year old Jesse Ryan Loskarn unresponsive in his basement where he’d been residing with family since this past December. The preliminary investigation indicates that Loskarn may have taken his own life, and his body has since been transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for Autopsy. The investigation continues….” 
Loskarn, who was awaiting the outcome of grand jury proceedings in his case, had been staying with his parents since being released on his own recognizance. He was scheduled to next appear in federal court on Feb. 10. Loskarn had been ordered not to use the Internet and was required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. 
In a brief statement, Alexander said: “For everyone involved, this is a sad and tragic story from beginning to end.”

A pretty awful story here all around.  Loskarn was most likely in real trouble, using congressional resources in possible connection with the pornography, and the victimization of the children is of course the top priority.

Loskarn apparently decided this was the way he should face the music.

The Completely Paranoid And More Than A Bit Insane Style

The perpetual victimization machine of right wing politics is throwing a gasket this month, with Chris Christie's problems in New Jersey growing weekly, former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife now facing felony corruption charges, and conservative hack Dinesh D'Souza facing campaign finance violations.

The wingers are completely losing their minds.  Glenn Reynolds gets to write stuff like this in USA Today:

Spend a little while on Twitter or in Internet comment sections and you'll see a significant number of people who think that the NSA may have been relaying intelligence about the Mitt Romney campaign to Obama operatives, or that Chief Justice John Roberts' sudden about-face in the Obamacare case might have been driven by some sort of NSA-facilitated blackmail. 
A year ago, these kinds of comments would have been dismissable as paranoid conspiracy theory. But now, while I still don't think they're true, they're no longer obviously crazy. And that's Obama's legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.

Of course, Glenn isn't saying Obama is coming for conservative white America with his army of Funktastic Blackity Black Thug Life Thugs, but you could be excused for believing it.  I mean, it's not like the FBI is going after Democrats or anything.  OH WAIT.

The federal criminal investigation into New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is broader than previously known, NBC 4 New York has learned. 
The Department of Justice is investigating Menendez's efforts on behalf of two fugitive bankers from Ecuador, multiple current and former U.S, officials tell NBC 4 New York. The probe into Menendez’s dealing with the bankers comes as federal authorities are also investigating his relationship to a big campaign donor from Florida. 
The criminal investigation is focusing in part on the senator’s ties to William and Roberto Isaias and whether the senator crossed a line in trying to help the two brothers stay in the United States.

The Isaias brothers have been fugitives from their native Ecuador for more than a decade -- sentenced in absentia for embezzling millions as the bank they ran there was collapsing.

Can't wait for Reynolds to defend Sen. Menendez as another one of Obama's victims.  Of course, wingers, the "party of personal responsibility", see themselves as being victimized on a daily basis by mean old liberal fascists.  The end result?  Republicans, in a stunning and completely hypocritical reversal, are now against the NSA gathering information.

In a jarring break from the George W. Bush era, the Republican National Committee voted Friday to adopt a resolution demanding an investigation into the National Security Agency’s spy programs. 
According to the resolution, the NSA metadata program revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is deemed “an invasion into the personal lives of American citizens that violates the right of free speech and association afforded by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.” In addition, “the mass collection and retention of personal data is in itself contrary to the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” 
Titled a “Resolution To Renounce The National Security Agency’s Surveillance Program,” it was passed by a voice vote as part of a package of RNC proposals. Not a single member rose to object or call for further debate, as occurred for other resolutions. 
Nevada Committeewoman Diana Orrock told msnbc over the phone that she introduced the resolution at the RNC’s summer meeting, but she wasn’t able to attract the necessary co-sponsors to advance it until now. The only major change she says she made to secure support was to drop the word “unconstitutional” from the title. 
“I have to thank Edward Snowden for bringing forth the blatant trampling of our First and Fourth Amendment rights in the guise of security,” she said. “Something had to be said. Something had to be done.”

So these programs were perfectly fine and 100% necessary when they were created by Republicans, but until Obama got re-elected and Chris Christie is now facing investigation and Benghazi and the IRS and Fast and Furious all fizzled out, Republicans need to change the subject again so they can have more hearings on how evil Obama is.  The victim complex never ends with these guys.

Obama Derangement Syndrome is now part of the GOP platform.  Oh, and they removed the word "unconstitutional" from the attack on Bush's programs because they would then have to seriously entertain impeachment, which they would lose on.

The best part is not only is Obama a master manipulator and super-intelligent arch villain, he's also apparently a totally boring, stupid, irrelevant non-entity at the same time.

Why, pretty soon these nutjobs will be trying to convince you Obama was born in Kenya or something.

Dinesh D'Indictment

I've talked about professional right-wing hack and "movie auteur" Dinesh D'Souza before (he's the clown behind the failed 2012 winger anti-Obama "documentary 2016: Obama's America) but it seems his political activities in 2012 got him in more than a bit of trouble as the Department of Justice rang him up on campaign finance violations today.

Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate. 
According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D'Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate's campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment. 
Attempts to reach D'Souza and a lawyer representing him were unsuccessful. 
D'Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making illegal contributions in the names of others, and one count of causing false statements to be made. 
Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.

Supposedly, the candidate in question was New York Republican Wendy Long, who D'Souza donated to in 2012, only to have her get stomped by Kirsten Gillibrand's wildly successful re-election campaign.

FEC campaign finance records show Mr. D’Souza made two $2,500 contributions to long-shot Republican New York U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long in March 2012—the maximum allowed. Mr. D’Souza’s wife at the time, Dixie D’Souza, also gave $5,000 that March, records show. The indictment says the candidate in question was unaware of Mr. D’Souza’s allegedly illicit activities. Ms. Long was handily defeated in the general election by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

So not only did he apparently get caught, but it looks like he basically risked breaking the law backing a candidate that lost by 44 points.

But totally worth it, right?


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