Bachmann recently “retired” from Congress, but in reality she quit because the criminal investigations were closing in on her. This is the first time Marcus Bachmann has been named in reports as part of an investigation. The shenanigans of her failed presidential campaign are what the Department of Justice is looking into, and they are also the subject of investigations in Iowa, an FBI investigation, and a House Ethics Committee investigation.
The Iowa and FBI investigations involve under the table payments that her campaign made to state Sen. Kent Sorenson in exchange for his support and help in the 2012 Iowa caucuses. The House Ethics Committee is investigating Bachmann’s potential misuse of staff and campaign finances to promote her poorly selling biography Core of Conviction. Irony Alert! Looks like she might have jumped the gun on that book.
The DOJ investigation stems from information obtained in the FBI investigation that appears to show the Bachmann’s violating at least 11 election laws by coordinating their campaign with a super PAC.
Later this month, the highest court in the United States will hear two religious challenges to Obamacare’s contraceptive coverage requirement. The owners of two for-profit companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, are arguing that they should be exempt from providing this type of coverage to their female employees because they have religious objections to birth control.
The Supreme Court is taking up the highly-anticipated case on March 25, and the dispute largely centers on a few basic facts about birth control that Obamacare opponents are misrepresenting. Here’s what you should keep in mind as this debate heats up over the next several weeks:
1. Emergency contraception is not the same thing as abortion.
At the heart of the religious objection to contraceptive coverage is the incorrect assertion that Obamacare covers “abortion-inducing drugs.” Abortion opponents believe that life begins at fertilization, and claim that some types of birth control — specifically, the “morning after pill,” or emergency contraception — work by destroying a fertilized egg. But major medical groups actually define life as beginning at implantation, when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This is the legal definition of pregnancy that has been accepted for decades. Scientists agree that contraceptive methods prevent pregnancy by interfering with ovulation, fertilization, or implantation.
There are many good questions that can be asked about Apple. We’re not going to look at any of those today, though.
Forbes contributor Lois Geller asks, “Why Doesn’t Apple Have A Real Loyalty Program?” (No link but tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)
Yeah, like a punch card! Buy ten Macs and get the eleventh Mac free. (Mac must be of equal or lesser value. One per customer. Void where prohibited by law.)
For many years the hallmark of a well maintained home was the golf course green trimming of the yard and paved walkways surrounded by meticulously trimmed bushes in geometric patterns. Flowers and plants were selected based on carefully conceived color coordination with garden furniture and it seemed that the goal was to make the lawn look as artificial as possible.
This look was carefully crafted with liberal use of lawn chemicals and a small fleet of gas and electric mowers, trimmers, cutters, and dethatchers. Flowers are forced to bloom in precise order by use of specialized fertilizers and annuls were planted and then plucked to be replaced with the next in the planned series.
The cost of this style of lawn maintenance goes far beyond the dollars spent on potted plants, chemicals, and fertilizers. Each of these chemicals leach into the ground water, each machine used to craft this show pollutes the air with noise and burns fossil fuels through inadequately refined engines (lawnmowers often put out more carbon into the environment than a car per hour), and the natural fauna in an area is eradicated to be replaced for the year by an imported impersonation of nature that often in the end becomes an invasive species to be dealt with by even more chemical solutions well beyond the carefully manicured borders.
A Newer Earth Friendly Trend
In recent years a more natural look has gained popularity. The cultivation of local plants and grasses, selection of trees and fauna that are native to an area, and the end goal of a tranquil natural yard and garden that allows for a peaceful merging of the home and nature has taken root.
The goal in a natural garden and lawn is simple, control of weeds and plants as opposed to eradication, enjoyment of the different colors and textures that are indigenous to every area, natural water features to encourage birds and insects instead of the ceramic birdbaths.
This style allows birds and bees a place to live and make into a habitat shared with humanity instead of over run by it. Allowing trees to give shade as opposed to removing every tree and filling the yard with umbrellas for the same purpose.
The use of natural fertilizers such as compost and manure instead of phosphorous based artificial fertilizers is more than adequate when growing plants that are indigenous to an area. Instead of the chemical additives to water feature, try barley straw or or barley straw extract for water features to control algae, and ensure there is some water circulation to allow the natural nitrogen cycle to work to keep water from getting rancid. Adding fish to the water features will control insect larvae and flowering pond plants will prevent temperature extremes in circulated water.
This small step towards making homes and communities work in their natural surroundings as opposed to in competition with them will not only help the environment, it will teach us to appreciate what we have instead of strive to change all we see…..
I am unimpressed by his neutrality. IMHO he needs to step up and speak for the independence and strength of the oversight panel. The agency must be seen and be forced to act under, not apart from that authority. I’m no fan of Nancy Pelosi, but I’d like to see Obama watch her back for the sake of checks and balances. I must admit I support her side of this.
WASHINGTON - A bitter public fight between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and CIA Director John Brennan has got President Obama caught between a powerful political ally and a trusted senior advisor - and on Wednesday he showed what an uncomfortable place that is.
In his first public remarks on the clash, Obama tried not to take sides in the dispute that has erupted over whether Senate staffers improperly removed a sensitive document from CIA files, as the CIA claims, or whether the CIA improperly searched computers that the Senate staffers had used to investigate the agency’s now-defunct interrogation and detention program, as Feinstein insists.
Since the CIA has referred both its own role and that of the Senate investigators to the Justice Department for possible criminal investigation, Obama said, “That’s not something that is an appropriate role for me and the White House to wade into at this point.”
Obama’s remarks seemed to endorse the CIA’s decision to refer the case to the Justice Department - a move that Feinstein, the California Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, denounced Tuesday on the Senate floor as a crude attempt to intimidate aides on her committee.
The World Wide Web turned 25 years old on Wednesday. The Internet, however, is much older.
Wait, what? They are different? Indeed they are. Impress your next date by pointing out the difference between the Internet and the Web with this handy explainer.
You can thank the U.S. Department of Defense for this one. In 1958, they founded the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which in turn created the ARPANET in 1969, a network of mainframe computers at major universities. The idea, obviously, caught on.
The U.S. and Germany stepped up pressure on Russia to back down from plans to annex Crimea from Ukraine after the region holds a referendum in three days, warning that they will exact an economic toll if Russia doesn’t.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today Russia is risking “massive” political and economic damage. U.S. President Barack Obama appealed to Russian leader Vladimir Putin yesterday to not absorb the Black Sea peninsula after the vote or the U.S. and its allies “will be forced to apply a cost” to Russia’s violations of international law.
“If Russia continues on the course of the last weeks it won’t just be a catastrophe for Ukraine,” Merkel said in parliament in Berlin. “It would also cause massive economic and political harm to Russia.”
Austin Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore said the driver of the car was trying to evade police at the time of the crash.
Kilgore said police attempted to stop the suspect for a traffic violation. He fled the wrong way down a one-way street at high speed. Police said the suspect then made a turn on Red River Street, which was barricaded off for the festival.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the two people killed were on a mo-ped that the motorist hit along with pedestrians who were leaving a club where a concert had been held, the Associated Press reported.
The chief said the man also struck a cab before jumping out of his car and trying to run. Officers shocked him with a stun gun and took him into custody
More: Driver Faces Murder Charges After Car Hits Crowd at #SXSW Club - NBC News.com
The Golden State differs from most others with medical pot laws in that it doesn’t actually regulate production and sale of the herb. Instead, it lets cities and counties enact their own laws—though in practice most haven’t. The result has been the Wild West of weed: Almost any adult can score a scrip and some bud from a local dispensary, assuming, of course, that it hasn’t yet been raided and shut down by the feds.
But all of that might be about to change. The California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) recently announced support for a bill that would put the state in the business of regulating the medical pot trade. Though you’d think cops would have pushed for such a thing decades ago, the reality is quite the opposite: The CPCA and other law enforcement organizations have, until now, opposed pretty much every reform to California’s medical marijuana system for fear that anything short of completely abolishing it would legitimize it.
WASHINGTON — This is not Robert Eatinger’s first run through a full-blown CIA controversy. But it’s his most public ordeal.
For most of his career, few outside the world of espionage knew of Eatinger, 56, who has spent 22 years moving up the ranks to become the CIA’s top lawyer. But in a scathing speech Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused him of trying to impede a Senate investigation into a notorious CIA detention and interrogation program that Eatinger had helped manage.
The California Democrat didn’t name him, but his identity is a matter of public record. Feinstein made clear she was furious that Eatinger had referred the conduct of Senate staffers to the FBI for a possible criminal investigation, given that he is mentioned 1,600 times — often unfavorably — in a sharply critical intelligence committee report that is at the heart of the dispute.
Photos: 2013: The year of surveillance
“I view the acting general counsel’s referral as a potential effort to intimidate this staff, and I am not taking it lightly,” Feinstein said.