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Panhandle Slim… Art for Folk…

Zora

Panhandle Slim…

Oklahoma City bombing breakthrough

OKC Bombing

Russ Baker over at WhoWhatWhy with a horrifying tale about the Oklahoma City bombing. As has become almost predictable, it seems a federal snitch was at the center of the story:

As noted in Part 1 of this 2-part series, in early 1995, Tulsa Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents were eagerly preparing for a highly anticipated raid on the radical right-wing enclave of Elohim City—and the arrest of the shadowy figure Andreas Strassmeir, aka “Andy the German.”

Then, suddenly those plans were dramatically and suddenly halted. The abrupt about-face was recorded in a Report of Investigation (ROI) for February 1995:

On February 22, 1995 this agent met with OHP [Oklahoma Highway Patrol] Trooper Ken Stafford [the pilot who had flown the AFT team on the February 7 aerial reconnaissance] to exchange certain information regarding this investigation. Trooper Stafford indicated that the FBI also had an ongoing investigation regarding Elohim City. (Emphasis added.)

Near panic gripped federal law enforcement agencies in Tulsa. An extraordinary meeting took place later that day between ATF RAC David Roberts and the local US Attorney, Steve Lewis. The meeting violated strict bureaucratic protocol whereby Lewis would normally not have deigned to meet with a lowly RAC, and would have met only with Roberts’ Dallas-based regional ATF boss.

The left-hand and the right-hand of federal law enforcement targeting Elohim City finally became aware of each others’ investigations, and Lewis’s meeting with Roberts had one immediate and three follow-up consequences:

—ATF terminated its investigation and the planned arrest of Strassmeir

—ATF terminated CI-183 (the Tulsa debutante) as a paid Confidential Informant.

—ATF terminated its investigation of White Aryan Resistance (and Elohim City).

—The FBI continued its investigation at Elohim City, unimpeded by the ATF.

(A planned visit to Elohim City by CI-183 for the week of March 5-11 did not take place, or, if it did, no records of the visit have been released).

In September 2001, six years after the bombing, David Roberts told CBS 60 Minutes II producer Mary Mapes in a not-for-record telephone call the following, never-before-public information:

—the Oklahoma City bombers came out of Elohim City

—the FBI had a snitch in the middle of the bombing conspiracy

—the FBI took over sole investigation of Elohim City to protect its snitch.

This writer was working as a consultant to 60 Minutes II on September 8, 2001, and made notes of Mapes’s telephone call to an attorney representing Terry Nichols, the man who was charged and convicted as McVeigh’s partner in the Oklahoma City bombing. A planned visit with Roberts and his attorney in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, for September 12, 2001, did not take place due to the 9/11 attacks. Subsequent attempts to arrange an on-the-record interview with Roberts have been unsuccessful.

Go read the rest, it’s fascinating.

This is about as good a smoking gun as you’re gonna get:

CBS News learned that in 2009, the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office launched an internal investigation to find out if Bates received special treatment during training and while working as a reserve deputy. They also investigated whether supervisors pressured training officers on Bates’ behalf.

The investigation concluded Bates’ training was questionable and that he was given preferential treatment.

The investigation found that deputies voiced concerns about Bates’ behavior in the field, almost from the very beginning. Bates reportedly used his personal car while on duty and made unauthorized vehicle stops. When confronted Bates said that he could do what he wanted, and that anyone who had a problem with him should go see the sheriff.

Mitch McConnell

Yeah, I don’t see this bill doing what the Republicans hope it will. Everybody knows which party has promised to get rid of Obamacare, and delaying it by a year isn’t going to fool many people:

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top five Republican leaders have cosponsored legislation to extend until 2017 the Obamacare insurance subsidies that may be struck down by the Supreme Court this summer.

The legislation, offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of the most politically vulnerable Senate incumbents in 2016, would maintain the federal HealthCare.gov tax credits at stake inKing v. Burwell through the end of August 2017.

The bill was unveiled this week with 29 other cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his four top deputies, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Another cosponsor is Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the chairman of the conference’s electoral arm.

Such a move would seek to protect the GOP from political peril in the 2016 elections when Democrats would try to blame the party for stripping subsidies — and maybe insurance coverage — from millions of Americans in three dozen states. A defeat for the Obama administration in aKing ruling would likely create havoc across insurance markets and pose a huge problem for Republicans, many of whom have been pushing the Supreme Court to nix the subsidies.

“This bill is a first step toward reversing the damage that Obamacare has inflicted on the American health care system,” Johnson said.

He recently explained the rationale for the legislation, warning that Democrats would swarm the GOP with attacks and horror stories about “individuals that have benefited from Obamacare” and lost their coverage.

Democrats would probably demand a fix to make the subsidies permanently available if they go down. But they would be hard-pressed to vote down a bill to temporarily extend them if Republicans were to bring it up.

Betcha by golly wow

The Stylistics:

Yay

kabletown

To everyone who made the calls and signed the petitions: We did it!

After months of fighting the headwinds of fierce opposition, Comcast has bowed to the inevitable and withdrawn its $45.2 billion merger agreement with Time Warner Cable.

“Today, we move on,” Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement Friday. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.

“Comcast NBCUniversal is a unique company with strong momentum. Throughout this entire process, our employees have kept their eye on the ball and we have had fantastic operating results. I want to thank them and the employees of Time Warner Cable for their tireless efforts. I couldn’t be more proud of this company and I am truly excited for what’s next.”

Comcast’s decision came after meetings with officials from the FCC and Justice Department. It was clear that the transaction would not have received federal approval without fundamental changes. Those changes are said to have included a proposal from the feds that it spin off NBCUniversal into a separate company — an option that was a non-starter for Comcast execs, sources said.

“Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s decision to end Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is in the best interests of consumers. The proposed transaction would have created a company with the most broadband and the video subscribers in the nation alongside the ownership of significant programming interests,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “Today, an online video market is emerging that offers new business models and greater consumer choice. The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation, including to the ability of online video providers to reach and serve consumers.”

He really is a sweetheart

Ted Nugent & Joe Arpaio

To go along with something like this. What a dirtball Arpaio is:

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio dropped a bombshell in court Thursday when he said his former lawyer had hired a private investigator to look into the wife of the federal judge presiding over a contempt of court case against the sheriff.

The hearing took the strange turn after Arpaio had finished his testimony and Judge Murray Snow began asking him questions, including whether the sheriff was investigating his family.

Arpaio said he believed his former lawyer, Tim Casey, had hired a private investigator to look into his wife. The investigation stemmed from a purported comment Snow’s wife made about the judge not wanting Arpaio to get re-elected in 2012.

Casey declined comment, citing attorney-client privilege, when The Associated Press reached him after the development in court.

Snow has been overseeing a sprawling racial-profiling lawsuit winding its way through the courts for several years. Snow determined in 2013 that Arpaio’s office systematically racially profiled Latinos during traffic stops then called this week’s contempt-of-court hearing after Arpaio defied his orders to stop carrying out immigration patrols.

Arpaio’s office has a history of investigating his opponents. Two elected county supervisors and a judge were among those investigated and charged with crimes in the past decade after feuding with the sheriff’s office.

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff to look into abuse-of-power allegations over the political feuds.

The rule of law

45-esq-david-petraeus-091409-lg-26500704

This would seem reasonable, until you read about the many people in the military who have lost their careers and pensions for putting their genitalia in the vicinity of genitalia of someone other than their lawfully wedded spouses. And if I’m not mistaken, Patreus was one of the self-righteous assholes who insisted it happen:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — David Petraeus, the retired four-star general leader who once commanded military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to leaking classified information to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell, and was sentenced to two years probation and fined $40,000.

The sentence, which followed the terms of a plea deal reached two months ago, did not include any prison time.

Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of eight highly secret “black book” binders that he had improperly retained from his time as top military commander in Afghanistan, WCNC-TV reported.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler, who was not obliged to accept the terms of the plea deal, asked Petraeus on Thursday if he was guilty of the misdemeanor.

Childhood trauma wires your brain for fear

brain

Oh, I believe this. I was a bullied kid and I can tell it’s affected me physically and mentally. Then again, it’s probably what makes me a good blogger:

Last week, a report by the University of San Diego School of Law found that about 686,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2013. Traumatic childhood events can lead to mental health and behavioral problems later in life, explains psychiatrist and traumatic stress expert Bessel van der Kolk, author of the recently published book,The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

Children’s brains are literally shaped by traumatic experiences, which can lead to problems with anger, addiction, and even criminal activity in adulthood, says van der Kolk. Sound Medicine’s Barbara Lewis spoke with him about his book.

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