US Economic Growth Practically Stagnant in 1st Quarter of 2014

Via My Way News:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed drastically in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity. The slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.

Growth slowed to a barely discernible 0.1 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the weakest pace since the end of 2012 and was down from a 2.6 percent rate in the previous quarter.

Many economists said the government’s first estimate of growth in the January-March quarter was skewed by weak figures early in the quarter. They noted that several sectors — from retail sales to manufacturing output — rebounded in March. That strength should provide momentum for the rest of the year.

And on Friday, economists expect the government to report a solid 200,000-plus job gain for April.

“While quarter one was weak, many measures of sentiment and output improved in March and April, suggesting that the quarter ended better than it began,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief investment strategist at global financial services firm BTIG.

Still, the anemic growth last quarter is surely a topic for discussion at the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, which ends Wednesday afternoon. No major changes are expected in a statement the Fed will release. But it will likely announce a fourth reduction in its monthly bond purchases because of the gains the economy has been making. The Fed’s bond purchases have been intended to keep long-term loan rates low.

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BLS: 20% of US Households Don’t Have Any Employed Family Members

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – In 20 percent of American families in 2013, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not one member of the family worked.

A family, as defined by the BLS, is a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage. In 2013, there were 80,445,000 families in the United States and in 16,127,000—or 20 percent–no one had a job.

The BLS designates a person as “employed” if “during the survey reference week” they “(a) did any work at all as paid employees; (b) worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm; (c) or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family.”

Members of the 16,127,000 families in which no one held jobs could have been either unemployed or not in the labor force. BLS designates a person as unemployed if they did not have a job but were actively seeking one. BLS designates someone as not in the labor force if they did not have a job and were not actively seeking one. (An elderly couple, in which both the husband and wife are retired, would count as a family in which no one held a job.)

In 20% of American Families, No One Works-1

Of the 80,445,000 families in the United States in 2013, there were 7,685,000—or about 9.6 percent—in which at least one family member unemployed.

The BLS has been tracking data on employment in families since 1995. That year, the percent of families in which no one had a job was 18.8 percent. The percentage hit an all-time high of 20.2 percent in 2011. It held steady at 20 percent in in 2012 and 2013.

The data on employment in families is based on Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey of the civilian noninstitutional population, which includes people 16 and older, who are not on active duty in the military or in an institution such as a prison, nursing home or mental hospital.

Inconvenient Fact: No Historic Record of a “Palestinian” Culture in Region

Via Jihadwatch:

There was no Palestinian nationality before the 1960s, when it was invented in order to reposition what was then universally known as the Arab/Israeli conflict. Up to the invention of “Palestinians,” the Israelis were the tiny, besieged people amidst a huge number of hostile Arabs; after that invention, the “Palestinians” themselves became the tiny, besieged people against the big, bad Israelis. PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said this in 1977:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

The Israelis were mistaken ever to play along with this charade.

“A Tour and Census of Palestine Year 1695: No sign of Arabian names or Palestinians,” by Avi Goldreich (translated from the Hebrew by Nurit Greenger), The Palestine-Israel Conflict, April 27, 2014 (thanks to Inexion):

The time machine is a sensation that nests in me when I am visiting Mr. Hobber old books store in Budapest, Hungary. Hobber learned to know my quirks and after the initial greeting and the glass of mineral water (Mr. Hobber is a vegan) he leads me down the stairs to the huge basement, to the Jewish “section.”

The Jewish section is a room full of antiquity books on subjects that Mr. Hobber sees to be Jewish. Among the books there are some that are not even worthy their leather binding. However, sometime, one can find there real culture treasure. Many of the books are Holy Books that may have been stolen from synagogues’ archives: Talmud, Bible, Mishnah, old Ashkenazi style Siddur, and others. Customarily, I open them to see who the proprietor is; who was the Bar Mitzvah boy who received the book two hundred years ago and to whom did he pass the book at the end of his days. It is simply curiosity.

Many of the books are written in the German language. They are books of Jewish rumination written by Christians or assimilating Jews. Sometime one can find a hand written Talmud volume that is very expensive; thousands of Euros, set in the specially aired cabinet. Hobber knows their value. Sometime one can find a bargain such as the book Palestina by Hadriani Relandi — its original professional name Palaestina, ex monumentis veteribus illustrata, published by Trajecti Batavorum: Ex Libraria G. Brodelet, 1714. One can find such original books in only few places in the world, also in Haifa University.

[Origina link for places where the book could be found and details about the author, etc.. Now down]:
http://libri-antichi.posizionamento-web.it/ palaestina-ex-monumentis-veteribus-illustrata.html

The author Relandi[1], a real scholar, geographer, cartographer and well known philologist, spoke perfect Hebrew, Arabic and ancient Greek, as well as the European languages. The book was written in Latin. In 1695 he was sent on a sightseeing tour to Israel, at that time known as Palestina. In his travels he surveyed approximately 2500 places where people lived that were mentioned in the bible or Mishnah. His research method was interesting.

He first mapped the Land of Israel.

Secondly, Relandi identifies each of the places mentioned in the Mishnah or Talmud along with their original source. If the source was Jewish, he listed it together with the appropriate sentence in the Holy Scriptures. If the source was Roman or Greek he presented the connection in Greek or Latin.

Thirdly, he also arranged a population survey and census of each community.

His most prominent conclusions

1. Not one settlement in the Land of Israel has a name that is of Arabic origin.
Most of the settlement names originate in the Hebrew, Greek, Latin or Roman languages. In fact, till today, except to Ramlah, not one Arabic settlement has an original Arabic name. Till today, most of the settlements names are of Hebrew or Greek origin, the names distorted to senseless Arabic names. There is no meaning in Arabic to names such as Acco (Acre), Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Gaza, or Jenin and towns named Ramallah, El Halil and El-Kuds (Jerusalem) lack historical roots or Arabic philology. In 1696, the year Relandi toured the land, Ramallah, for instance, was called Bet’allah (From the Hebrew name Beit El) and Hebron was called Hebron (Hevron) and the Arabs called Mearat HaMachpelah El Chalil, their name for the Forefather Abraham.

2. Most of the land was empty, desolate.
Most of the land was empty, desolate, and the inhabitants few in number and mostly concentrate in the towns Jerusalem, Acco, Tzfat, Jaffa, Tiberius and Gaza. Most of the inhabitants were Jews and the rest Christians. There were few Muslims, mostly nomad Bedouins. Nablus, known as Shchem, was exceptional, where approximately 120 people, members of the Muslim Natsha family and approximately 70 Shomronites, lived.

In the Galilee capital, Nazareth, lived approximately 700 Christians and in Jerusalem approximately 5000 people, mostly Jews and some Christians.

The interesting part was that Relandi mentioned the Muslims as nomad Bedouins who arrived in the area as construction and agriculture labor reinforcement, seasonal workers.

In Gaza for example, lived approximately 550 people, fifty percent Jews and the rest mostly Christians. The Jews grew and worked in their flourishing vineyards, olive tree orchards and wheat fields (remember Gush Katif?) and the Christians worked in commerce and transportation of produce and goods. Tiberius and Tzfat were mostly Jewish and except of mentioning fishermen fishing in Lake Kinneret — the Lake of Galilee — a traditional Tiberius occupation, there is no mention of their occupations. A town like Um el-Phahem was a village where ten families, approximately fifty people in total, all Christian, lived and there was also a small Maronite church in the village (The Shehadah family).

3. No Palestinian heritage or Palestinian nation.
The book totally contradicts any post-modern theory claiming a “Palestinian heritage,” or Palestinian nation. The book strengthens the connection, relevance, pertinence, kinship of the Land of Israel to the Jews and the absolute lack of belonging to the Arabs, who robbed the Latin name Palestina and took it as their own.

In Granada, Spain, for example, one can see Arabic heritage and architecture. In large cities such as Granada and the land of Andalucía, mountains and rivers like Guadalajara, one can see genuine Arabic cultural heritage: literature, monumental creations, engineering, medicine, etc. Seven hundred years of Arabic reign left in Spain an Arabic heritage that one cannot ignore, hide or camouflage. But here, in Israel there is nothing like that! Nada, as the Spanish say! No names of towns, no culture, no art, no history, and no evidence of Arabic rule; only huge robbery, pillaging and looting; stealing the Jews’ holiest place, robbing the Jews of their Promised Land. Lately, under the auspices of all kind of post modern Israelis — also hijacking and robbing us of our Jewish history.

Poll: Overwhelming Majority – Including Blacks – Consider Blacks to be Most Racist Demographic in America

Via Rasmussen:

Americans consider blacks more likely to be racist than whites and Hispanics in this country.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults think most black Americans are racist, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 15% consider most white Americans racist, while 18% say the same of most Hispanic Americans. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

There is a huge ideological difference on this topic. Among conservative Americans, 49% consider most blacks racist, and only 12% see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27% see most white Americans as racist, and 21% say the same about black Americans.

From a partisan perspective, 49% of Republicans see most black Americans as racist, along with 36% of unaffiliated adults and 29% of Democrats.

Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.

Among white adults, 10% think most white Americans are racist; 38% believe most blacks are racist, and 17% say most Hispanics are racist.

Overall, just 30% of all Americans now rate race relations in the United States as good or excellent. Fourteen percent (14%) describe them as poor. Twenty-nine percent (29%) think race relations are getting better, while 32% believe they are getting worse. Thirty-five percent (35%) feel they are staying about the same.

These figures reflect more pessimism than was found in April when 42% gave race relations positive marks and 39% said race relations were improving.  However, the April number reflected all-time highs while the current numbers are more consistent with the general attitudes of recent years. Americans consider blacks more likely to be racist than whites and Hispanics in this country.

[…]

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Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults think most black Americans are racist, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 15% consider most white Americans racist, while 18% say the same of most Hispanic Americans. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

There is a huge ideological difference on this topic. Among conservative Americans, 49% consider most blacks racist, and only 12% see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27% see most white Americans as racist, and 21% say the same about black Americans.

From a partisan perspective, 49% of Republicans see most black Americans as racist, along with 36% of unaffiliated adults and 29% of Democrats.

Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist  – and 15% view most Hispanics that way.

Among white adults, 10% think most white Americans are racist; 38% believe most blacks are racist, and 17% say most Hispanics are racist.

Overall, just 30% of all Americans now rate race relations in the United States as good or excellent. Fourteen percent (14%) describe them as poor. Twenty-nine percent (29%) think race relations are getting better, while 32% believe they are getting worse. Thirty-five percent (35%) feel they are staying about the same.

These figures reflect more pessimism than was found in April when 42% gave race relations positive marks and 39% said race relations were improving.  However, the April number reflected all-time highs while the current numbers are more consistent with the general attitudes of recent years.

[…]

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Read more at http://patdollard.com/2013/07/poll-americans-including-blacks-overwhelmingly-consider-blacks-most-racist-people-in-america/#VEmqp74tU7zYK5hZ.99

Reid: Anyone who Supports Bundy is a Terrorist

Via The Examiner:

While attending a Las Vegas Review-Journal “Hashtags & Headlines” event, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., ratcheted up the rhetoric against conservatives by calling supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy “domestic terrorists,” the Review-Journal reported Thursday. He also told the Review-Journal that a task force is being set up to “deal” with Bundy.

“Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” he said. “I repeat: what went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

He also accused supporters of bringing children to the ranch to put them in harm’s way in order to make the government look bad. He also accused supporters of using fully automatic firearms.

“There were hundreds — hundreds of people from around the country — that came there,” Reid told the Review-Journal. “They had sniper rifles on the freeway. They had assault weapons. They had automatic weapons.”

He also attacked Bundy, implying that in his view, the Nevada rancher is unpatriotic.

“[Cliven] Bundy does not recognize the United States,” Reid said. “He says that the United States is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”

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Post Office Planning to Mine & Sell Data from your Mail

Via the Independent Journal Review:

As if Americans needed one more reason to dislike the post office, now comes word that it wants to begin mining and selling private data gathered from our personal mail.

USPS chief marketing and sales officer Nagisa Manabe recently told the PostalVision 2020 conference that the post office is “actively looking for ways to build new business lines around what not long ago might have been considered science fiction.”

While some of Manabe’s ideas included useful fixes like new delivery systems and partnerships, one idea stands out as troubling: selling data collected from observations of personal mail – sent and received – by potential every person in the country.

He described a scenario in which a woman test drives two different types of cars at two different dealerships, while trying to decide which one to buy.

“We’re at the point where, all too soon… We’re going to know exactly that she was shopping at two different car dealers looking at cars, and both of those car dealers should be mailing her communication about that vehicle, right? And we’re there now, folks. I mean, you all know this.

*

There are dozens of folks out there who are supplying that kind of information. If we’re not testing and exploring some of that together, we should.”

Manabe said the “marketing opportunity” is too big for USPS to pass up:

“As we know more and more about how consumers are traveling around and making their decisions, it behooves us to get involved and actually send them information to actually close the deal. For me, it’s all about speed and accuracy of the mail.”

May I be frank, Mr. Manabe? First of all, it’s none of your business where I shop, what I shop for or what I buy. Secondly, I neither want, nor need, your help in making buying decisions. Thirdly, what I do want is to be waited on in a timely and efficient manner whenever I’m forced to stand in line at the post office when there’s no other option.

Additional, Mr. Manabe, do you really think Americans will be receptive to the US Postal Service gathering data from their personal mail – and selling it, no less? Really? Hey, at least the NSA isn’t in it for a profit.

 

Millions of Elderly to Lose Home Health Services due to Obamacare

Via The Washington Times:

President Obama’s mendacious political promise, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” continues to cast a long and disturbing shadow of doubt and confusion over millions of Americans who have lost coverage as a result of Obamacare. As 2014 unfolds, the most vulnerable senior citizens — those who receive home health care services — are about to learn they are out of luck. Obamacare opens a trap door under them, leaving this elderly population in freefall — with many citizens losing access to home health care.

Add another compelling reason to reverse Obamacare. Whether by accident or intention, the “Affordable Care Act” empirically strips America’s oldest and poorest cohort, all part of the World War II generation, of this basic coverage. Here is how.

On Jan. 1, Medicare’s home health care services, formerly serving 3.5 million elderly beneficiaries across the country, were cut under Obamacare. The cut deleted exactly 14 percent, or an estimated $22 billion, from these lowest-income Americans over four years. News of the forthcoming cut only trickled out the Friday before Thanksgiving, yet another stunning attempt by the Obama White House to reduce Medicare benefits without attracting notice.

Guess what? We noticed. This cut does irreparable damage to recipients of Medicare’s home health care services, those who are aged, homebound and sicker than the average Medicare population. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of Medicare home health care users live at or below the federal poverty level, meaning they are the most economically compromised of America’s precious senior citizens.

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Fast & Furious Weapons Continue to Flow Back into US Via Cartels

Via the El Paso Times:

Smugglers from Arizona being monitored through the U.S. government’s Operation Fast and Furious helped supply firearms to a gun-trafficking ring led by officials in Columbus, N.M., according to court documents.

Court documents also provide additional details on the extent of the Columbus conspirators’ involvement with Mexican drug traffickers and La Linea enforcers of the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel.

According to one of the court documents, Border Patrol agents looking for a stolen vehicle stopped Blas Gutierrez, a former Columbus Village trustee, and Miguel Carrillo, a gun straw purchaser, in Columbus on Jan. 14, 2010. The two men, who were later convicted in the federal case against 11 Columbus conspirators, were not arrested that day.

The Border Patrol agents who stopped Gutierrez and Carrillo reported that they had found eight firearms inside the 2004 Nissan, including three Romarm Cugir pistols, two Ruger P345 pistols and three Fabrique National de Herstal pistols.

An investigation later determined that the three Fabrique Nationale de Herstal pistols had been purchased Jan. 9, 2010 in Arizona by Jaime Avila, one of the arms-trafficking conspiracy ringleaders who was being monitored by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Avila was one of the main suspects in the ATF’s centerpiece case for Fast and Furious.

The court document stated that the three Romarm Cugir pistols found on Gutierrez and Carrillo that day “were bought (on) an unlisted date by another straw purchaser identified as Uriel Patino, also of Phoenix.” Patino was another ATF target in Operation Fast and Furious. Patino was a co-defendant with Jaime Avila.

Operation Fast and Furious was launched by the ATF on Oct. 31, 2009. The ATF considered Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta to be the mastermind behind arms-trafficking centered in Phoenix. The Drug Enforcement Administration was also investigating Celis-Acosta, who was suspected of drug-trafficking.

Two Fast and Furious-linked weapons were found near the body of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was fatally shot Dec. 15, 2010 in the Arizona desert while pursuing armed suspects. The agent’s death prompted the ATF to shut down the operation and led to a Congressional investigation into the controversial gun-walking operation.

ATF officials said the operation was intended to uncover the top leaders of arms-trafficking groups. Under the operation, gun shops were allowed to sell firearms to straw purchasers and the ATF was to keep track of the weapons. Instead, firearms soon began turning up at homicide scenes in Mexico and later near Terry’s body.

The documents that reveal additional details about the gun-walking operation and gun-trafficking in El Paso, Juárez and Southern New Mexico come from the federal case against the Columbus conspirators, including Ian Garland, owner of the former Chaparral Guns in Chaparral, N.M., and filings in the federal lawsuits involving the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the wounding of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila Jr. of El Paso.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were ambushed while traveling on a highway in Mexico in 2011.

Before Terry’s death, hundreds of Mexican citizens had already been killed in Mexico by firearms linked to Fast and Furious.

Garland, who sold weapons to the Columbus conspirators, was recently released from prison after serving a sentence for his role in the conspiracy. Garland alleges that he was unjustly pressured to accept a plea agreement in July 2011.

“I was singled out for punishment even though all my sales to these people were reported as required by law, and the buyers were legally able to buy the firearms,” Garland said. “The ex-police chief, Angelo Vega, the ex-mayor, Eddie Espinoza, and Blas Gutierrez, the village trustee, and everyone else who bought from me, need to be interviewed. They all asked, on the record, ‘Why is Ian here, he had no conspiracy with us? We only used his store, as well as others, to buy from.’ The connection between Arizona’s Fast and Furious is clear, crystal clear, and this is in my pre-sentencing report.”

Garland said he is working to clear his name and has a website devoted to this and other information about Fast and Furious at http://www.fastandfuriousejusticenow.org.

“I am Australian born, a U.S. citizen, and damn proud of it,” Garland said. “I am fighting because the government’s lawyers held back information that could have exonerated me. Plus, I got sentenced under the wrong guidelines, which gave me a harsher penalty than even the charges warranted.”

Garland said he plans to share information related to the Fast and Furious ties to El Paso and Juárez with the Mexican government.

The Columbus conspiracy reportedly involved the purchase of 200 high-powered firearms from Garland and other sources between January 2010 and March 2011. However, previously disclosed court documents, such as the multiple-defendant indictment against 11 conspirators, failed to divulge the ties between the Columbus organization and the Phoenix-based straw purchasers who were part of Operation Fast and Furious.

In Terry’s wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that Jaime Avila was among the suspects that by December 2009 the ATF had identified as a straw purchaser for a firearms trafficking conspiracy led by Celis-Acosta.

The lawsuit also mentions that Avila had purchased two weapons from a gun dealer in Arizona on Jan. 9, 2010, which “were recovered on Jan. 14, 2010, by U.S. Border Patrol officers in Columbus, New Mexico during a search of a suspicious vehicle attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.”

On Jan. 16, 2010, the lawsuit alleges, Avila bought three more weapons from the Arizona gun shop, all were WASR-10 AK-47-type assault rifles; two of the rifles were found near Terry’s body nearly a year later.

“Had Avila been arrested and the weapons been seized at the time of the Jan. 16, 2010 purchase, Brian Terry would not have been murdered on Dec. 15, 2010,” the plaintiffs alleged.

In another document concerning Fast and Furious suspects, on Jan. 13, 2010, El Paso police reported finding 40 assault rifles at a stash house in the city. The weapons were tied to the ATF’s Fast and Furious operation, and were traced back to the same Phoenix gun shop that was cooperating with the ATF’s operation. Alberto Sandoval and Sean C. Steward were arrested in connection with the 40-gun cache in El Paso. According to one of the documents, the ATF had lost track of the 40 firearms.

The ATF did not respond to questions late Monday about whether Operation Fast and Furious was limited to the Arizona-Mexico border or if it was intended to cover the entire U.S. border with Mexico. Anecdotally, the scope of the operation appears to have covered more ground beyond Arizona. According to Congressional investigations, the ATF had not accounted for more than 1,000 firearms linked to its botched operation.

According to a court transcript from Steward’s case, “out of the 289 weapons that (Steward) purchased, 125 were recovered. 49 in Mexico and 78 in the U.S.”

“Those that were recovered in the U.S., many of those were recovered in bordertowns such as Douglas, El Paso and San Antonio,” the court transcript said. “By his own statements to agents, (Steward) admitted that he had been to Juárez, Mexico, … and while he was there had heard that … children had been killed by (an) AK-47 rifle shooting.” In other words, Steward was made aware during arms-trafficking activities of the impact that smuggled weapons were having on the Juárez community, where a war between two violent drug cartels was raging.

Celis-Acosta indicated, the court transcript said, that he had both Uriel Patino and Steward travel to El Paso to deliver firearms to drug cartel associates.

Columbus conspirators

Court documents in the Garland case stated that Ignacio Villalobos, a fugitive in the Columbus drug-trafficking conspiracy, lived in Columbus and was a low-level member of La Linea, the enforcement arm of the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel in Juárez. The Carrillo Fuentes or Juárez drug cartel was at war with the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman.

Villalobos worked for Gerardo Acosta-Terrazas, who was identified as a top-tier cartel leader of Palomas, Chihuahua, and who answered to a man identified only as “Cachorro” Vazquez,” son of “El Veinte” (20), the alleged main leader of La Linea before his arrest in Mexico, according to court documents.

The Garland court document also stated that Alberto Rivera, an associate of Villalobos, served as a drug recruiter and firearms smuggler for the drug-trafficking organization based in Columbus, which is across the border from Palomas.

Rivera and his son, Juan Alberto Rivera, would deposit large sums of money belonging to the drug organization, the document said. Villalobos and a cousin and her husband worked as “financial facilitators” for the drug organization by receiving large deposits of money from Billings, Montana; Fridley, Minnesota, Westminster, Colo.; Denver; and Albuquerque, into their Wells Fargo bank account. Then, they would deliver the deposits to Villalobos.

Other highlights in the Garland court document state that:

• On Feb. 22, 2011, a handgun that officials said Rivera had purchased was seized from “a kidnapping crew” in Juárez.

• Another man, whom investigators identified as Manuel Ortega and was linked to the regional drug organization, allegedly facilitated narcotics smuggling in Columbus, Deming and Palomas.

• Between January 2010 and March 2011, a high-ranking Mexican cartel member in a Mexican jail named Jesus Molinas, alias “Mantequilla,” ordered Blas Gutierrez to buy firearms in the United States and smuggle them into Mexico, prompting Gutierrez to buy numerous firearms and paying other straw purchasers to buy more weapons from Chaparral Guns.

• The Columbus-based arms-traffickers rented a unit at the Colinas del Sol apartments in the 900 block of South Mesa Hills in West El Paso to store weapons that were to be smuggled into Mexico.

• On March 24, 2011, Mexican federal police seized a handgun from five alleged hit men for La Linea that Eddie Espinoza (who also was convicted in the Columbus conspiracy) had purchased from Chaparral Guns.

• While under surveillance, Blas Gutierrez, a Village of Columbus trustee, and another suspect were seen stopping at the Colinas del Sol apartment, and later delivered a backpack to an unknown person at a Mexican bus company in El Paso, whom investigators suspected smuggled weapons in the backpack across the border.

• Investigators placed a GPS tracker on Blas Gutierrez’s vehicle in February 2011, and found that he had stopped at a house in Albuquerque, which law enforcement officers said was used by others to help move bulk cash from illicit activities.

 

Obama has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office

Related: Federal Tax Revenue at Record High

Via Americans for Tax Reform:

Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has formally proposed a total of 442 tax increases, according to an Americans for Tax Reform analysis of Obama administration budgets for fiscal years 2010 through 2015.

The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.

“History tells us what Obama was able to do. This list reminds us of what Obama wanted to do,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The number of proposed tax increases per year is as follows:

-79 tax increases for FY 2010

-52 tax increases for FY 2011

-47 tax increases for FY 2012

-34 tax increases for FY 2013

-137 tax increases for FY 2014

-93 tax increases for FY 2015

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with “only” 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.

In addition to the 442 tax increases in his annual budget proposals, the 20 signed into law as part of Obamacare, and the massive tobacco tax hike signed into law on the sixteenth day of his presidency, Obama has made it clear he is open to other broad-based tax increases.

During an interview with Men’s Health in 2009, when asked about the idea of national tax on soda and sugary drinks, the President said, “I actually think it’s an idea that we should be exploring.”

During an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood in 2010, Obama said a European-style Value-Added-Tax was something that would be novel for the United States.”

Obama’s statement was consistent with a pattern of remarks made by Obama White House officials refusing to rule out a VAT.

“Presidents are judged by history based on what they did in power. But presidents can only enact laws when the Congress agrees,” said Norquist. “Thus a record forged by such compromise tells you what a president — limited by congress — did rather than what he wanted to do.”

The full list of proposed Obama tax increases can be found here.