• jct74

    by Published on 08-29-2015 05:15 PM


    Banks are sending notices of account closure out to small businesses across the country, to clients they've done business with for years, even decades. The reason? They often don't provide one.

    But a growing number of business owners believe they know why they're being cut off from the financial system. It's Operation Choke Point, ostensibly an attempt to crack down on fraudulent businesses, but in reality a dragnet that has ensnared innocent entrepreneurs unfairly classified as "high-risk" players.

    Earlier this year, FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg told Congress that Choke Point was over, but many business owners believe the FDIC and DOJ has passed enforcement duties along to a newly created independent agency: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the brainchild of progressive senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The CFPB operates under the guidance of the Federal Reserve and doesn't rely on Congress for funding, which critics say allow it to operate without any meaningful checks on its power.

    Reason TV profiled two business owners who believe they've been targets of Choke Point and its legacy: a payday lender in Southern California and a hookah seller in North Carolina. Brian Wise of the U.S. Consumer Coalition, an organization that's been compiling Choke Point stories from across the nation, also appears in the video.

    Watch the video above for a deeper look into the covert financial regulation affecting small businesses across the nation.
    by Published on 08-29-2015 04:06 PM

    August 24, 2015

    Two members of Congress ate illegal food Friday and got away with it.

    Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) ate their meal Friday at Jezebel’s, a Denver restaurant. The reason they aren’t under criminal investigation, though? Because they were in Colorado, and while the dishes they ate are against the law to buy, they brought the food themselves.

    Their meal of “forbidden and restricted foods,” as Polis called it, was to bring attention to federal rules they hope to change that limit how food can be sold.

    Here’s what they ate:

    by Published on 08-12-2015 08:34 PM

    By Jackie Borchardt
    August 12, 2015 at 4:06 PM

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio voters will decide this fall whether to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State for recreational and medical use.

    ResponsibleOhio's marijuana legalization constitutional amendment was certified Wednesday by the Ohio secretary of state. It will appear as Issue 3 on the statewide ballot for the general election on Nov. 3.

    If approved by voters, Ohio would be the fifth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use and the first to do so without first having a medical marijuana program.

    "It's time for marijuana legalization in Ohio, and voters will have the opportunity to make it happen this November -- we couldn't be more excited," ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James said in a statement. "Drug dealers don't care about doing what's best for our state and its citizens. By reforming marijuana laws in November, we'll provide compassionate care to sick Ohioans, bring money back to our local communities and establish a new industry with limitless economic development opportunities."


    more details here:
    by Published on 08-12-2015 01:55 PM

    The title of the piece says both Paul and Christie "get it right", but really it is much more of a pro-Paul piece. Also interesting is that Kerik is someone who was even more intimately involved with the events of 9/11 than Christie, but he challenges Christie's anti-constitutional bluster that 9/11 trumps all.

    Christie, Paul Get It Right in Debate

    By Bernard Kerik
    Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 09:48 AM

    On the recent Fox News presidential debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lashed out at United States Sen. Rand Paul for not supporting the NSA's surveillance program, which came off to many watching as a bully mentality and myopic prosecutorial mindset that I’m sure animates Paul’s concerns in the first place.

    Whether you agree with Paul’s decision to support the freedoms protected by our Bill of Rights — such as freedom of speech and the requirement of a search warrant, and to place some limits on the otherwise un-cabined and massive NSA surveillance program is one thing. However, Christie’s rage at a U.S. senator because that senator has serious concerns over our civil liberties and made a decision that he feels would protect the freedom and liberties of his constituents, evidences precisely the prosecutorial mentality that has caused countless injustices across the country and resulted in the incarceration of thousands of people — many of whom are innocent or wrongly convicted.
    I’m sure Christie is well intended, but seems to ignore a reality that judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals and countless others have revealed over the past several years, and that is that there is a plethora of increasing evidence that overzealous and over-reaching prosecutors are violating laws themselves, and there is neither oversight nor existing remedy to appropriately hold them accountable.

    I was there on 9/11, both during and in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center. I spent 10 years of my life, living and working in the Middle East and know and understand the threats we face from radical Islamic terror far better than most Americans. I have personally witnessed death so barbaric that it would haunt most men, and I have nearly died for this country more times that I can count — all out of love for this country.

    But, unfortunately, I have also witnessed firsthand that deprivation of liberty by overzealous and over-reaching prosecutors and the irreparable toll they take on people that they wrongfully target and prosecute, and the innocent families and children that they destroy, so I know exactly what Rand Paul is concerned with and for more reasons than I can count, I am no longer confident that Americans’ freedoms and liberties are adequately protected under the law.
    read more: http://www.newsmax.com/BernardKerik/.../11/id/669543/
    by Published on 08-12-2015 12:50 PM


    Jeb Bush gave his big foreign policy speech yesterday and -- surprise -- he's calling for more wars everywhere! Little wonder, his advisors are the old, discredited neocon crew.
    by Published on 08-12-2015 11:45 AM

    By Ashley Killough
    Wed August 12, 2015

    In the next round of Rand Paul vs. Donald Trump, the Republican senator from Kentucky is releasing his campaign's first digital ad against his presidential rival, hitting the frontrunner in a video for supporting Democrats in the past.

    The video, which his campaign says will be aired in a "substantial" ad buy, launches Wednesday in New Hampshire and Iowa and runs through the weekend.

    With ominous music behind it, the video opens with favorable statements that Trump has made about Democratic economic policies, Hillary Clinton, and universal health care. It also features a comment he made in 1999, in which he said, "I really believe the Republicans are just too crazy right."

    At one point, text on the screen appears, asking if Trump is really "telling it like it is?"

    Then it switches to the infamous clip of former President Bill Clinton answering: "It depends on what the meaning of the word is is."

    The second half of the two-minute video features footage of Paul talking about his record and policies in major speeches that he's delivered in the past year, portraying him as a candidate eager to reform Washington and return the Republican Party to conservative principles.

    by Published on 08-06-2015 07:03 PM

    The first Republican presidential primary debates, hosted by Fox News and Facebook in conjunction with the Ohio Republican Party, will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, starting at 5:00 PM ET.

    5pm ET
    First Debate

    6pm ET
    Online Pre-Show

    9pm ET
    Primetime Debate

    11pm ET
    Megyn Kelly is live from Cleveland, Ohio, at 11 p.m. ET with reaction to the first 2016 GOP primary debates!

    12am ET
    Sean Hannity is live from Cleveland scoring the Republican candidates after their big night on the Fox News stage!


    by Published on 08-05-2015 10:35 AM

    By David Weigel
    July 28 at 1:02 PM

    MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – “Anybody read about the Middle East?” asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to a Shriner’s hall packed with war veterans. “They’ve been killing each other for a thousand years and they’ll probably be killing each other for another thousand years. That doesn’t mean we just retreat, and do nothing. That means we need to acknowledge what the Middle East is like before we get involved.”

    On Monday, Paul made a brief trip to this veteran-rich coast city to reiterate his subtly non-interventionist foreign policy. He did that at a forum hosted by Concerned Veterans of America, a group funded by the Koch network to mobilize conservatives on VA reform and related issues. Organizers said that it would be up to Paul whether he wanted to talk about those issues, or about the world at war. After sharing a few stories of heroic veterans, including one who had lost both legs in Afghanistan. Paul launched right into the positions that have set him apart from the Republican field.

    “I’ve seen up close – secondhand, but up close – the effects of war,” said Paul. “I don’t see war as a chess game. I don’t see war as a game of Risk, where you put some troops here, you put some troops there… or oh, we’ll topple this government replace it with American-style democracy.”

    by Published on 08-05-2015 09:30 AM

    by psmith
    July 29, 2015, 11:25pm

    Marijuana is going to be part of the political conversation between now and Election Day 2016. Support for legalization is now consistently polling above 50% nationwide, four states and DC have already voted to legalize it, and activists at least ten states are doing their best to make it an issue this time around.

    In those states, they're working to take marijuana legalization directly to the voters in the form of initiatives. Not all of those efforts will actually make the ballot -- mass signature-gathering campaigns require not only enthusiasm but cold, hard cash to succeed -- and not all of those that qualify will necessarily win, but in a handful of states, including the nation's most populous, the prospects for passing legalization next year look quite good.


    By the time the polls close on Election Day 2016, we could see the number of legalization states double and the number of Americans living free of pot prohibition quadruple to more than 60 million -- or more. Attitudes on marijuana are shifting fast, and by this time next year, the prospects of even more states actually approving legalization could be even higher.

    But right now, we have five states where the prospects of getting on the ballot and winning look good, three states where it looks iffy but could surprise, and two states where it looks like a long-shot next year.

    by Published on 08-05-2015 08:17 AM

    How Congress turned on the DEA and embraced weed.

    July 30, 2015

    It's not easy being the DEA these days. After an unprecedented losing streak on Capitol Hill, the once-untouchable Drug Enforcement Administration suffered last week what might be considered the ultimate indignity: A Senate panel, for the first time, voted in favor of legal, recreational marijuana.

    Last Thursday, the Appropriations Committee voted 16-14 on an amendment to allow marijuana businesses access to federal banking services, a landmark shift that will help states like Colorado, where pot is legal, fully integrate marijuana into their economies. As significant as the vote was, it’s only the latest vote in a remarkable run of success marijuana advocates have had this year on Capitol Hill.

    “The amendment was a necessary response to an absurd regulatory morass,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines, one of the three Republicans to support Thursday’s amendment, tells Politico, referring to the multifaceted and complex system of laws that have been enacted over the past four decades to prosecute a war on marijuana. It’s a war that began on or about May 26, 1971, when President Richard Nixon told his chief of staff Bob Haldeman, “I want a goddamn strong statement on marijuana ...I mean one on marijuana that just tears the ass out of them.”

    But that war appears to be winding down—potentially quickly. The summer of 2015 could be viewed historically as the tipping point against Nixon’s war on pot, the time when the DEA, a federal drug-fighting agency created by Nixon in 1973, found itself in unfamiliar territory as a target of congressional scrutiny, budget cuts and scorn. In a conference call this week, the new acting DEA administrator repeatedly downplayed marijuana enforcement efforts, saying that while he’s not exactly telling agents not to pursue marijuana cases, it’s generally not something anyone focuses on these days: “Typically it’s heroin, opioids, meth and cocaine in roughly that order and marijuana tends to come in at the back of the pack.”

    What a difference a year makes.

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