Monthly Archives: October 2015

Filthy Bilge Rats Tuesday Late PM 10-27-15

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This is an update on the report  that Heritage Foundation’s President, former Senator Jim DeMint, told the members of the Freedom Caucus they should elect Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the next Speaker of the House.

In my conversations with a friend who is one of the regional directors of Heritage.org’s Heritage Action for America Sentinel program, there was a miscommunication and misunderstanding that led to Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-TX) to tell One America News Network that De Mint was making personal calls to members of the Freedom Caucus. These were Gohmert’s original comments:

“I was really surprised that the head of the Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint was making calls telling conservatives to back off their conservatism and back the guy for Speaker that doesn’t just have a D, he has an F under the Conservative Review analysis,” Gohmert said.

I, myself was surprised upon hearing it.  What I know about Jim DeMint, definitely does not lead me to associate the two individuals (him and Ryan), in the same frame of reference.

My sources tell me two things. One – no such calls were made, and Two – Heritage, as a matter of long standing policy, does NOT endorse candidates in a House Speaker race or any other such post in Congress. And Mr. DeMint himself, in an interview with Time Magazine’s Alex Rodgers, said this very thing back in 2014 – “Heritage is not involved in elections and doesn’t endorse candidates”.

The reason, in the main, is that if that individual’s actual performance of their duties is unsatisfactory and / or goes contrary to the policy positions sponsored by Heritage, then the organization’s credibility and effectiveness are subject to question as a consequence. Heritage promotes and advocates legislation, not individual lawmakers.

I’m told that the other reason the organization doesn’t involve itself in the internal maneuverings of this process of selecting leadership is that it hampers their ability to reach out to all House members as they do on an ongoing basis. If they step on the wrong toes – we’ll, we all know Elephant’s have a long memory. Makes sense. And Matt Schuck of OANN, posted this story update:

After this story was posted, The Heritage Foundation spokesman Wesley Denton sent OANN the following statement: “Jim DeMint has not endorsed in the Speaker’s race nor made calls in support of any candidate. He talks to members to encourage them to stay in the fight to advance our principles.”

Incidentally, this is not the first time that claims have been made that DeMint has made an endorsement that he has had to issue a clarification on. DeMint , while still in the Senate, was said to have publicly endorsed Mitt Romney in the last month, but issued a strong denial through Wesley Denton, who was with DeMint’s staff in the Senate also.

Hey everyone – tonight is the last opportunity for any and all of you that are so inclined, to let your member of Congress know that you don’t approve of the election of Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House. The vote is tomorrow.

The word that I am hearing is that it is fait accompli. If that is the case, then why am I letting my Congressman know I’m against it and why should you? Because, even if we can’t derail the Ryan speakership – we can put him and the House GOP on notice. Things had better change or someone could get “Boehnered” again.

This is for you that have a Twitter account, but the list has FB links as well. The call to action and the engine supporting your Twitter and FB shoutout to House GOP members is hosted by NumbersUSA – the leading, grass roots, volunteer based advocacy group resisting amnesty, increased levels of legal immigration and foreign worker visas and Open Borders. The page is Super simple – 1 click does the trick:

https://www.numbersusa.com/pages/no-speaker-paul-ryan

Filthy Bilge Rats Monday AM 10-26-15

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Donald Trump, a week ago, complained that he’s not being offered Secret Service protection.

“I want to put them on notice because they should have a liability,” he said. “Personally, I think if Obama were doing as well as me he would’ve had Secret Service [earlier]. I have by far the biggest crowds.”  “They’re in no rush because I’m a Republican. They don’t give a s—,” Trump said jokingly, before clarifying. “Of course I don’t think they’d want anything to happen. But I would think they should be very proactive and want protection for somebody like me that has 20,000 people at any time.”

At the time I commented that with the Secret Service in disarray and low morale combined with incompetent leadership, maybe Trump would be better off ponying up the jack to buy his own security. Maybe some ex-Israeli Defense Force guys. Plenty of them have firms in Manhattan and other cities in the U.S. and they are the best of the best. Besides that, Trump is always talking about cutting the taxpayers a slice of break. Why sponge off the federal dime even if you are “entitled”, Donny? 

As it turned out, I was more correct that I thought – which is most often the case. Here’s the straight poop from the Washington Post, who normally would rather attend a strychnine tasting event than admit that the feds are incompetent:

A federal watchdog on Thursday sent the U.S. Secret Service a formal warning that its overworking of employees is jeopardizing security — citing the discovery that two Secret Service officers were asleep at their posts, according to three government officials familiar with the findings.

The inspector general who oversees the Secret Service issued a management alert, a formal designation that indicates investigators have found a problem so urgent or sweeping that it requires swift attention from senior management.

“This alert describes officer safety issues that may pose an immediate or potential danger to U.S. Secret Service officers and those whom they protect,” the inspector general’s alert says. “We are concerned that the Secret Service’s staffing and scheduling process does not ensure that officers receive adequate breaks while on duty and time off between shifts.”  The management alert stems from a routine check this August of alarms and communication equipment at facilities protected by the Secret Service, the three officials said.   

In the wake of radio failures when a fence-jumper got inside the White House in September 2014, auditors with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General rode around to various sites with Secret Service staff. They found one officer at an embassy post and another stationed at the White House complex who appeared to be asleep while on duty.  

Hey Ronald the Donald – be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. This just in. Trump and Carson will get their Secret Service flunkies as reported by the New York Daily News and Newsmax.

Filthy Bilge Rats Early TGIF Edition 10-23-15

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Jeb Bush Campaign circles the drain…

No sooner than George W. Bush gets done with a fundraiser for Jeb that turns out to be a flop, and reveals his animosity for Ted Cruz, we find out that the Jeb campaign is on the ropes – maybe even on the mat and trying to struggle to its’ feet to beat the 10 count. A little boxing lingo there for you fight fans.

Anyway, it is being reported over at Breitbart and elsewhere, including the WSJ, that the Bush clan are getting together for a pow wow this weekend at the family compound in in Houston and at some meetings with what’s left of the donor base.

The Wall Street Journal notes – “As Jeb Bush heads to Texas on Sunday to rally top fundraisers along with his father and brother, former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the family’s vaunted financial network is mostly disengaged and splintered—and his campaign stock is falling,”

WSJ goes on to report,:

“About 170 donors who have each raised at least $50,000 are expected to attend social gatherings and strategy briefings over two days,” the WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus (editor’s note – not Bettie Ballhaus!) and Christopher Stewart wrote. “Those who have raised at least $175,000 will have the most access to the Bush family, including a reception with former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush.”

Bush’s polling is in the root cellar, not the wine cellar. And that would not be, in and of itself a disaster – except for the fact that throwing more money at his campaign is not going to stanch the stench that makes GOP voters clench. He just has supported campaign themes such as “acts of love” and Common Whore – pardon me, Common Core  – that have a high puke factor with all of the Republican base but ‘Bush botz’. And I have some Bush Botz friends and I say that with the utmost fondness.

Bloomberg News quotes campaign insiders that the Bush organization has instituted “across-the-board pay cuts” for all of its staff. Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and Michael Bender reported:

“The campaign is removing some senior staff from the payroll, parting ways with some consultants, and downsizing its Miami headquarters to save more than $1 million per month and cut payroll by 40 percent this week, according to Bush campaign officials who requested anonymity to speak about internal changes.”

It is also coming to light that senior-level staff and consultants are going to be put on a volunteer basis. Look for an exodus of such individuals while they still have opportunities perhaps, to hook on to other campaigns, presidential or otherwise. Hired guns are hired guns. Stop paying them and they take their side irons somewhere else where they can get cash for brandishing. Simple stuff.

Don’t drink the Purple drank that says that there are more than a few true believers in the upper ranks of these campaigns. There aren’t.

No matter what you think of Trump – and you know what I think of him, he has served the purpose of busting off a cap into the Bush campaign run. Not that it took that much doing or that Bush needed much help.

Megyn Kelly (oh dear Lord how I love her – one of the few bright bulbs on FN) blindsided Bush last night with this:

KELLY: According to the latest ABC News poll he’s (Trump) at 32, you’re at seven, in seventh place. The Real Clear Politics average, he’s at 27, you’re at seven, in fifth place. He has said that if his poll numbers tank, he’ll get out of this race. But what would it take to make you get out?

Side note; Of course, Bush will be as myopic as his donors will allow him to be, and so Jeb came back with this neat little whistling in the graveyard ditty right before Halloween …

BUSH: I’m not getting out. My — I believe that we have a plan to be very competitive in the early states. We have the resources to stay with this. I’m campaigning hard, I’m campaigning with heart. I’m campaigning in a way that will draw people toward our cost. Herman Cain was the winner at this time when he was running. Hillary Clinton was up by 26 points in October against Barack Obama. Rudy Giuliani was the frontrunner, you know, eight years ago. So this is the beginning of hard race. I never thought it would be easy and it certainly hasn’t been and I believe that I’m going to win the nomination.

To which I would respond – as David Spade and Helen Hunt famously said in the SNL skit “Total Bastard Airlines” … “Buh-bye, let’s go … out!!!

Filthy Bilge Rats Thursday Evening Edition 10-22-15

this man, who is not your President, is telling you the truth on Syria. Your President and his administration continue the parade of lies.

Thursday evening greetings. Tonight, we’re going to look at a couple of items that provide insight on what I consistently describe as America’s most significant national security risk – American Foreign policy, or as Henry Kissinger pronounces it – “furrin bollicy”.

The first item has to do with Vladimir Putin’s assessment of the Obama administration’s “strategy” in Syria – if it can even be termed as such. The second, underscores the absurdity of Hillary Clinton claiming that her ‘leadership’ as Madam Secretary, was competent and successful.

Russian President Vladimir Putin,

in a meeting with international geo-political strategists, collectively known as the Valdai Club, Putin made some striking observations about the preposterous and nakedly counter intuitive nature of the Obama White House’s activities with respect to the containment of America’s Frankenterrorist creation, the Islamic State or ISIS / ISIL.

The Valdai Discussion Club is named in honor of Lake Valdai, a water feature that was the setting of Veliky Novgorod, where the first meeting of the club took place. The gathering typically includes foreign policy academics ranging from the Ivy League, to Stanford, the University of London, the University of Tokyo, Tel Aviv University, Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Economics, King’s College London and the Sorbonne – just to name a handful.

Putin observed, “It’s always difficult to play a double game: declaring a fight against terrorists while simultaneously trying to use some of them to arrange the pieces on the Middle East chess board in one’s own interests.”

I was struck with his choice of terminology – the analog of the chessboard to describe the calculus of American strategy. That has been my go to nomenclature for how American maneuvering in such regions has been conducted since the post WWII era. The unfortunate picture that emerges the more closely you examine these American chessboard moves, is that it seems we either have grossly incompetent chess players – or, the intention is not to win in the sense that our citizens would understand it.

Putin continues, “It is impossible to prevail over terrorism if some of the terrorists are being used as a battering ram to overthrow undesirable regimes,” referring to Russian ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

To U.S. claims that Russia is targeting NATO sponsored ‘moderates’ in Syria, Putin responds,
“There is no need to play on words, to classify terrorists are moderate and non-moderate. What is the difference?” Putin said, scoffing that “in the opinion of some experts… so-called moderate bandits behead people moderately or gently.”

And this is something that I have written numerous reports dealing with. The Obama administration has not been dealing with any ‘moderates’ unless the definition of moderates is twisted beyond recognition to include ISIS aligned and affiliated Salafist jihadists that would torture, behead, rape and terrorize religious minorities (mostly Christians) and anyone they remotely suspect of holding allegiance to the Syrian government.

I hate to report to you that Russia’s President is telling the truth here and your President – a man chargeable with an extensive array of impeachable offenses and violations of his office, is once again lying to you. While the Pentagon, under the direction of the White House, has a case of the slows in even attempting to eradicate its devil dolls, ISIS – the Russians are getting busy on the double.

“As a result of Russian air strikes, the main forces of terrorist groups, made up of the best trained terrorists, have lost combat capability. Their command and resupply system has been disrupted,” senior military official Andrei Kartopolov told Russian news agencies.

Kartapolov said the strikes — which targeted the provinces of Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor — had destroyed a bridge over the Euphrates River used for moving supplies to fighters from neighbouring Iraq.

Since the start of the campaign, Russian planes have carried out 934 sorties that have destroyed 819 “terrorist targets”, including command centres, ammunition depots and training camps, Kartopolov said.

The next item –

is one that stands in mockery of Hillary Clinton and her media apologists’ assertions that her management of foreign policy as Secretary of State was laudable. It was instead, laughable if only incompetent  –  and treasonous if intentionally negligent or malicious.

Another handful of hacked emails, this time from the inbox of CIA Director John Brennan – show, among other interesting details, that the CIA and the State Department had no coherent or organized formal strategy to deal with terror threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Although they deal with a time period that involves the last year of the Bush Administration’s handling of affairs in the region – they serve the function of underlining the fact that once Hillary Clinton took charge of Foggy Bottom, she continued the same confused, unfocused and contradictory management of this part of the world, and if anything, compounded matters. And that’s if we give her the benefit of the doubt.

The new release contains Brennan’s address book and a full version of ‘Executive summary of key findings and recommendations on Afghanistan and Pakistan’, some pages of which were published on Wednesday by Anonymous. A brief note – the hacker claiming responsibility is a 13 year old. If anyone thinks Hillary Clinton’s exchanges of highly confidential government business on her “Homebrew” server was even as robustly secure as Brennan’s, I have some beachfront property in the Mohave Desert you might be interested in. Bottom line, any number of entities internationally have been monitoring Clinton’s communications at State.

The November 2008 report prepared by Senate analysts is accompanied by a memo from Louis Tucker, the minority staff director for Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-Missouri).

“Everyone we spoke with on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan confessed that they know of no overall USG strategy for the region,” Tucker wrote. “Rather, we observed quality individuals serving judiciously in their own lanes ungoverned by a coordinated, comprehensive strategy.” The US government would have to develop a “comprehensive regional strategy designed to meet a set of clearly defined goals,” Tucker’s memo concluded.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said of Hillary’s handling of the region – particularly North Africa and the Middle East – and he implicates the Pentagon and White House as well – that “we were playing it by ear”. Yet in today’s hearings, Democrats such as Elijah Cummings are continuing to attempt to present Hillary Clinton as a martyr and a victim of a political hit job.

Actually, the real victims are no longer with us, to be able to first hand confront Hillary Clinton. They would be Ambassador Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods . Somebody has to speak in their behalf. I’m glad that Trey Gowdy has taken on the largely thankless job.

Filthy Bilge Rats Mid Day Edition 10-22-15

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This is the genocide that Hillary Clinton says she acted to prevent in Libya by removing Colonel Gaddafi

Hillary Clinton…

is testifying before the Benghazi committee and is doing as she characteristically does – dodging and evading the truth. Clinton made this preposterous opening statement to the hearing:

“We need leadership at home to match our leadership abroad, leadership that puts national security ahead of politics and ideology.”

That was a campaign message during a Congressional hearing. So let’s address it as such. What does the outcome in Libya say about Hillary Clinton’s demonstrated “leadership” in her term as Madam Secretary?  She has called her management of Libya  “Smart power at its best” during the most recent Democratic debate.

How about Libya’s government?  Did we impose ‘Democracy’ (whatever that actually means to the puppetmasters that hand Obama his foreign policy assignments) in Libya?  No – not even close.  The Libyan government is now controlled by … you guessed it, the Muslim Brotherhood! And the parts of the country not under their control are under the terror of the Islamic State and various other affiliates of Salafist terror.  What a shock?  In all material respects, the same set of conditions exist and persist in Libya that exist now in Syria.

What about civil order in the country?  Everybody is happy and peaceful and getting back to building rather than destroying, right?  Wrong. The U.K. Independent reports:

As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago.

Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.

O.K. Well, certainly the economic situation is improving in Libya.  Don’t you believe it – in fact it’s just the opposite.   Before the NATO intervention, Libya was exporting 1.6 Million barrels of high-quality crude oil per day.  The oil trade was the lifeblood of its economy – 80 percent of its GNP and up to 97 percent of its exports.

Now, because of a large scale mutiny among the security forces that were previously protecting the drilling sites, refineries and pipelines – production has plummeted to less than 100,000 barrels per day – not even a tenth of normal production.

The mutineers are sabotaging production because of complaints of inadequate pay and are attempting to sell the oil under their control on the black market. More recently, some pipelines have been at least temporarily opened, increasing last month’s production to 350,000 barrels per day – still only 25% of the production before Ms.Clinton lobbied for the removal of Gaddafi.

Hillary Clinton claimed in this morning’s hearing that – the U.S. military campaign against Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 helped prevent “genocide.”

What about Social order in Libya?  That should have improved, we were told, consequent to the removal of a dictator. Not so much?  Not at all.  Again, the Independent details the disintegration since the NATO incursion and regime change:

Libyans are increasingly at the mercy of militias which act outside the law. Popular protests against militiamen have been met with gunfire; 31 demonstrators were shot dead and many others wounded as they protested outside the barracks of “the Libyan Shield Brigade” in the eastern capital Benghazi in June.

Though the NATO intervention against Gaddafi was justified as a humanitarian response to the threat that Gaddafi’s tanks would slaughter dissidents in Benghazi, the international community has ignored the escalating violence. The foreign media, which once filled the hotels of Benghazi and Tripoli, have likewise paid little attention to the near collapse of the central government.

There is widespread tribal warfare, clashes between opposing militia groups and the new government is suspending civil rights for those suspected of loyalty to the former leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

So besides the Benghazi betrayal, where Ambassador Stevens and 3 other Americans working in security roles were killed, while Obama, Clinton and Panetta sat on their hands and Valerie Jarrett issued orders to stand down on any readily available rescue efforts – nothing else has yielded the results we were promised by this administration.

Only fools would have believed the promises.

Editor’s Note:   for another excellent outline of the disaster in Libya that Madam Secretary left in her wake – here is a report by Nancy A. Youssef of the Daily Beast, in which we learn, among other things, that then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who opposed the U.S. intervention, frustratingly explained about Hillary’ War –  “We were playing it by ear.”  BTW – let’s say you were considering hiring someone for a job opening in your company. Would you hire them if you discovered that they had a reputation of playing things by ear, instead of intelligent planning and informed decisions?

Filthy Bilge Rats PM Edition 10-21-15

Is Trump truly inevitable?

There’s a great deal of discussion among potential voters of the conservative persuasion (myself included), speculating on the Donald Trump juggernaut. Is it unstoppable? Even the media spends an inordinate amount of time on the subject. I hear it coming loudly in the periphery of my hearing from the loft, where my dear 95 year old father in law, uses CNN as ambient noise for a good portion of the day.

Yes, I know exposing a senior to CNN is considered a form of elder abuse, but I’m too cheap to cough up the money for the next cable tier that has Fox News. You see, in red state areas, the cable providers know that more often than not, they can extort extra money from tea party people to get FN. I won’t knuckle under.

But back to McDonald – tea party “happy meal” that is bound to make them ill at some point.  A friend of mine on FB, first name Ed, with whom I habitually banter and spar, replied with this outstanding and pithy outline of why Trump is not exactly the fait accompli that many suppose he is. I couldn’t improve on it, so here it is verbatim. Thanks, Ed:

a. polling suggests that Trump voters are far less likely to vote in Republican primaries and caucuses than republicans who support other candidates;

b. polling also shows that Trump has fairly high negatives among Republican voters, which suggests that there is a low ceiling to his potential support that is probably below 50%. While this does not matter when there are 15 candidates in the contest, it will matter when the field is winnowed down to 3 or 4 candidates;

c. Iowa is a caucus state, and local organization and a good “get out the vote” operation is key to victory. If 2008 and 2012 is any guide, the candidate who can get the support of the religious right is most likely to do well in the Iowa caucuses. And based on interviews with local political pros, as of today, Ben Carson is far better organized than Trump among Iowa’s religious right voters;

d. New Hampshire Republicans, many of whom are former residents of “Taxachusetts,” are typically more anti-tax than the average Republican voter. They may not respond well to the idea that Trump has expressed support for increasing taxes on the wealthy.

The only item that I thought might not be a prime factor, was the one above, labeled (d) – but it is possible that Ed understands the situation on the ground in NH better than I.

This week,

I released the first in a series of composite narratives about people in America who rely on their 2nd Amendment freedom, not only to defend the Constitution from critical mass tyranny, but as a practical matter of daily security. They will be the folks that will resist the plans of the gun confiscating crowd perhaps most fiercely. My concept here, is that if you happen to be in a group of people and the discussion turns to firearms and the pros and cons of gun freedom – the most effective argument is the experiences of real people.

I put the brakes on one individual, who said she thought a longer waiting period for the background check was a good idea. Not surprisingly, this was a New England lass. I said, “suppose that a woman has a man – a potentially violent man, stalking her and is threatened with rape or physical assault. How much longer should she have to wait?” … crickets.

If you haven’t read it yet – here’s a link to the column. Let me know if you’d like to see more:

https://blastedfools.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/i-gun-owner/

Some of my readers…

will know who Marine Le Pen is and some won’t. For those of you who don’t – you should get to know her. Aside from Nigel Farage of England’s UKIP (United Kingdom Independent Party) and Geert Wilders, Dutch anti-Islamic immigration politician and the founder and leader of the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid – PVV); Ms. Le Pen is the leader of the French nationalist political party – the National Front (FN), the third-largest political party in France.

Le Pen is also the leader in France against the Islam-ization of her country, and as a result, has come under attack by the national Socialist government of Francois Hollande and his administration. The Hollande administration, uses militant Muslim proxies to file charges against Ms. Le Pen on hate speech charges.

The most recent event, detailed here, is remarkable because, even though Ms. Le Pen has been dragged into court, even the government’s prosecutor is telling the judicial panel in the case that charges should be dismissed, on the basis that Marine Le Pen has not violated any law!

Elections are coming up in France, and Ms. Le Pen’s political enemies want her spending her days in court instead of out on the campaign trail. With any luck – maybe we can flip that paradigm here in America and use it against a genuine menace to our body politic and system of government – Hillary Clinton. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Filthy Bilge Rats Morning Edition 10-21-15

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need to get these guys back out there hooking and booking

Q. What are ICE officials doing, now that Obama has relieved them of their day to day responsibilities for internal immigration enforcement?

A. Organizing sex parties

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Tuesday that it is investigating reports that a supervisor used government time to recruit workers for private sex swinger parties at his home.  An internal misconduct investigation is looking into the claims centered on workers in San Diego, ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack told NBC News in a statement.

It follows a report by the San Diego Union Tribune that an accusation of gross sexual misconduct was made in a complaint submitted to the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security earlier this year.

The newspaper said employees at the ICE Enforcement Removal Operations office in the city complained that they had been approached during work hours to participate in the parties held at the home of a supervisor in the office along with his wife, who is also an agent.

“The agency takes all allegations of misconduct seriously,” Mack said in the statement. “The matter you reference has been referred to ICE Homeland Security Investigations Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for further investigation. That inquiry is ongoing and, as such, we are unable to offer further comment at this time.”

The complaint, which has been seen by the newspaper, says the recruitment has been going on for more than a year, and alleges the practice is coercive of subordinate employees and an abuse of authority. It said workers were approached about the parties by the supervisor, whose wife is also an employee.

While the looting of the country by government, the political class and its benefactors continues apace, America has other more pressing priorities (From the Hollywood Reporter) …

The months and months of hype have paid off for Disney and Lucasfilm this afternoon, as theater chains began offering advance ticket sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hits theaters two months from today on December 18. Perhaps a little too well, however. Legions of Star Wars fans immediately rushed to online ticket sellers to secure their seats but alas, the force is not strong with them. The sudden rush of demand from Jedi-happy fans has caused loading issues and site outages on purchasing platforms including Fandango, the Alamo Drafthouse, and AMC Theaters.

As I have stressed repeatedly, the Democrats and Republicans (at least at the party leadership level), have more in common with one another than not. Usually, a consistent effort is made to maintain the phony optics of conflict, but now and then they let their guard down and demonstrate that they are as different as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Congressman Paul Ryan in what he thought was a venue safe from scrutiny of anti-Amnesty forces, made some remarkable comments at the Erie House in Chicago, in concert with Democrat open borders champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who has recently endorsed Ryan’s House Speaker bid to replace John Boehner.

Ryan outlined the desirability of a system that eliminates all restriction in current U.S. Immigration law regulating the importation of workers. “We want to have an immigration system that… has gates open to the people who are coming in pursuit of their version of the American dream,” Ryan told the crowd.

He went on to diminish the value of national sovereignty and enforcement of borders. “America is more than just a country,” Ryan said. “It’s more than Chicago, or Wisconsin. It’s more than our borders. America is an idea. It’s a very precious idea.”

Most strikingly, as this is the money quote – Ryan lays bare the fact that the Democrats and Republicans are not really two parties, but in reality, merely two (sometimes) competing divisions of a massive political racketeering operation. “Luis talked about his peaceful protests and the arrests that resulted from them,” Ryan said. “That just goes to show that Republicans and Democrats might do things a little differently, but we don’t always see things differently. And that’s the point I just simply want to make here today.”

In a related theme…

George W. Bush, also thinking that his comments would not be fodder for general consumption, admitted that Ted Cruz is the Republican in the GOP presidential race that the GOP establishment is most concerned about. W, told contributors in a donor event for brother Jeb, (that was so unsuccessful that organizers had to hustle last minute to pimp drastically discounted tickets to the gathering), that “I just don’t like the guy”, referring to Cruz.

Attendees noted that Bush referenced the nomination race with regard to Ted Cruz, “He said he thought Cruz was going to be a pretty formidable candidate against Jeb, especially in Texas and across the South.”

What is really eating at Bush and the GOP establishment? Aside from Jeb’s poll numbers plummeting, anyone – particularly as effective as Ted Cruz, that can articulate a genuine move towards limited government, scares the GOP leadership to death. The Republican party as it is presently constituted, is unsustainable, if the national government is reduced in size, scope, spending and power. The same is true of the Democrats, but Democrats are convinced that their voters want more government, not less.