Thursday, May 23, 2013
We posted a story at the beginning of May about Cameron D’Ambrosio, the kid who posted some lyrics on Facebook making reference to the Boston Bombing and calling the White House a “federal house of horror.” Shortly after doing so he was arrested and charged with Communicating a Terrorist Threat, a felony that carries 20 years in prison.
Since the arrest, a judge ordered 18-year-old Cameron held without bail for up to 90 days, calling him a threat to the community, stating:
“I believe the behavior here has been escalating,” Judge Lynn Rooney said after reviewing records of police and probation reports submitted by the prosecution. “And it’s very troubling.”
The reports referenced included D’Ambrosio’s arrest in June after a fight over $20 with his older sister, who called police after locking herself in her room. The charges were dropped, and his sister intends to testify on his behalf.
Geoffrey DuBosque, Cameron’s lawyer, argued in court to no avail that D’Ambrosio was not a danger, the lyrics threatened no specific violence, and that police found no explosives, weapons or other writing about violence when they searched his home.
A day before President Obama is to give a speech outlining the justifications used in targeted drone strikes, the New York Times has received a copy of a Justice Department white paper acknowledging the deaths of four Americans in drone strikes. The letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to congressmen including Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is the first acknowledgment by the government of strikes against Americans, including Anwar Al-Awlaki, “outside of areas of active hostilities.”
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
When the U.S. Senate held an investigatory hearing on “Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code” recently, a subcommittee summoned an Apple corporation spokesman to appear. I was offended by the very idea. I scoffed at the notion that a $4 trillion bureaucratic monster—aka the federal government—would attempt to bully, berate and badger one of America’s greatest success stories.
In the late 1990s, Apple was struggling to find its place among America business, as sales diminished and the niche of Apple products had yet to be defined. The company overcame this insurmountable challenge by not only thriving, but by becoming one of the largest companies in the world.
Today, more than 600,000 American jobs rely on Apple.
Apple’s job creating machine extends across the United States. The iPhone uses Gorilla Glass, which is manufactured in Kentucky by Corning. Today, Corning—and Kentucky—benefit from nearly $700 million in sales, employing more than 300 people thanks to Apple. Rather than berating Apple, we should celebrate the jobs Apple continues to create.
I think the federal government owes an apology to Apple. Instead of Apple, Congress should be on trial for having the crummiest tax code imaginable; for having a byzantine tax code that runs into the tens of thousands of pages; for creating a tax code that simply doesn’t compete with the rest of the world.
The Senate subcommittee admitted that Apple had not broken any laws. Yet, they are forced into a public trial at the whims of politicians, when in fact, Congress should be on trial for chasing the profits of great American companies overseas.
Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.
“I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”
In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, “there could be some relationship between these things and what’s happened to James [Rosen],” the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.
On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that the Justice Dept. had searched Rosen’s personal e-mails and tracked his visits to the State Dept. The court affadavit described Rosen as “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” of his government source, presumably because he had solicited classified information from that source — an argument that has been heavily criticized by other journalists.
Senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, learned last month about a review by the Treasury Department’s inspector general into whether the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, but they did not inform President Obama, the White House said Monday.
The acknowledgement is the White House’s latest disclosure in a piecemeal, sometimes confusing release of details concerning the extent to which White House officials knew of the IG’s findings that IRS officials engaged in the “inappropriate” targeting of conservative non-profits for heightened scrutiny. Previously, the White House said counsel Kathryn Ruemmler did not learn about the final results of the investigation until the week of April 22nd, and had not disclosed that McDonough and other aides had also been told about the investigation. On Monday, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said a member of Ruemmler’s staff learned of the probe the week of April 16; Ruemmler learned of the investigation on April 24th; and after that point she informed the chief of staff and other aides about the probe’s findings.
The White House has said President Obama did not learn of the IRS’s actions until he saw news reports on the matter earlier this month.