Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Last Call For A Game Of Cops And Copters

Well, this is certainly one way to get attention to campaign finance reform: get a one-man gyrocopter and land it on the US Capitol west lawn.

Doug Hughes' close friend and co-worker, Mike Shanahan, said today that the Ruskin mailman is not a terrorist and did not mean any harm with his protest. 
And just hours before Hughes landed in Washington, Hughes' friend said he called a Secret Service agent to notify him of the possibility of the gyrocopter flight. 
"He's not a suicide bomber, he's a patriot," said Shanahan, 65, of Apollo Beach. The whole stunt centers around Hughes' effort to change campaign finance laws, "or the lack thereof," according to Shanahan. 
About a year ago, Shanahan said, Hughes told him of the idea to deliver letters to legislators by gyrocopter. Not long after, they were both questioned by a Secret Service official in Florida, he said. Wednesday morning, Shanahan said, Hughes called his friend and said he was in Washington, ready to take off. 
He passed along the website on which he would livestream his flight, but Shanahan, not adept with computers, could not find it. 
So, he said, he pulled out the phone number he had saved from the Secret Service agent he spoke to months ago. He dialed. No answer, but he said he left a message. No call back. He still was not certain if the protest was actually going to happen. 
"I didn't want to get all of D.C. in an uproar and it turn out he was just practicing or something or he was just pulling my leg," Shanahan said. 
Though Hughes was arrested, Shanahan said he was relieved his friend was alive. 
"I was scared to death they were going to kill him," Shanahan said. "My thanks goes out to whomever it was who decided not to pull the trigger."

The Capitol Police were there waiting for Hughes when he landed, arrested him without too much trouble, and took him and his gyrocopter into custody.

Your quote of the day from the Tampa Bay Times:

Richard Burns, 27, who said he works for a marijuana lobby group in Washington, stood in wonder and solidarity. 
"I don't know whatever it was he was doing but I support him."

Cops and 'copters.

National Ridiculous Association

Hey Second Amendment enthusiasts, your greatest advocacy group has a minor problem with its Islamophobia showing at the annual NRA convention:

Author Steve Tarani said during a presentation in Nashville on Sunday that he has witnessed the alleged “no-go zones” — areas where police cannot enter — while shadowing a friend who serves on the Detroit Metro SWAT Police on a drive in Dearborn, MI. He described pulling up to one of the alleged Muslim-controlled areas:

The street signs suddenly went from English to Arabic. There wasn’t a single English word on any shop or any street sign. And in fact, these little yellow signs were posted all along the edges. Jeremy said to me, ‘this is it. We don’t go past this line.’ And I said to Jeremy, ‘what do you mean? You guys are Detroit Metro. You’re the SWAT team. You can go anywhere you want. What if you get a call over there?’ He said ‘this is it, it’s hazardous for our team if we go past this line.’ 
I have seen it with my own eyes, witnessed it in the backseat of a car and it is for real. No-go zones exist in the United States
Dearborn, Michigan is not the only place that these settlements exist. They are spread out over the country in various cities. There’s an estimate of over 5,000 known terrorist cells in the United States. However our most persistent and significant threat, right now, to us here today this morning, is the homegrown violent extremists. 

Only one problem.  Tarani's a liar and a lunatic.

There is no factual basis to allegations that parts of the U.S. have turned into no-go zones that Muslim extremists had supposedly conquered — a myth that was spread by Fox News reports earlier this year.

Tarani’s comments were part of an hour-long seminar in which he discussed what he claims are the threats Americans face on a daily basis. The frequency and intensity of “mass murders, beheadings and suicide bombings” are increasing, he said. After detailing the events of a number of mass shootings and terrorist plots by an “endless supply” of militant groups around the world, Tarani told the audience they should be prepared to respond to all kinds of threats.

Threats.  You know, like people worshiping the wrong deity.  But that paranoia sells guns and ammo and books, yes?

Iran Right Over President Obama

When the freight train of Senate bull is barreling towards you and you can't stop it, you can either throw yourself in front of it or you can jump off the tracks and hope you land safely.

The White House relented on Tuesday and said President Obama would sign a compromise bill giving Congress a voice on the proposed nuclear accord with Iran as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in rare unanimous agreement, moved the legislation to the full Senate for a vote.

An unusual alliance of Republican opponents of the nuclear deal and some of President Obama’s strongest Democratic supporters demanded a congressional role as international negotiators work to turn this month’s nuclear framework into a final deal by June 30. White House officials insisted they extracted crucial last-minute concessions. Republicans — and many Democrats — said the president simply got overrun.

“We’re involved here. We have to be involved here,” said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, who served as a bridge between the White House and Republicans as they negotiated changes in the days before the committee’s vote on Tuesday. “Only Congress can change or permanently modify the sanctions regime.”

The essence of the legislation is that Congress will have a chance to vote on whatever deal emerges with Iran — if one is reached by June 30 — but in a way that would be extremely difficult for Mr. Obama to lose, allowing Secretary of State John Kerry to tell his Iranian counterpart that the risk that an agreement would be upended on Capitol Hill is limited.

As Congress considers any accord on a very short timetable, it would essentially be able to vote on an eventual end to sanctions, and then later take up the issue depending on whether Iran has met its own obligations. But if it rejected the agreement, Mr. Obama could veto that legislation — and it would take only 34 senators to sustain the veto, meaning that Mr. Obama could lose upward of a dozen Democratic senators and still prevail.

In other words, this is a deal that presumes there are at least 34 Senate Democrats with a spine.  He also doesn't have a choice as there are enough Democrats willing to throw him in front of said speeding train.

Considering that 19-0 committee vote, the odds of this getting 80 or more votes in the full Senate is a extremely high. President Obama will apparently choose to fight another day on this, and for now the Iran deal is still alive.

But basically at any point if there are enough Democrats willing to screw him over, the Iran deal comes crashing down.

And people wonder why Dems lose in races other than President.


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