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Matt Vespa - Hypocrisy Alert: That Time Sen. Clinton Said The Bush Administration Might Have ‘Something To Hide’ By Refusing To Turn Over Documents
Posted: 3/30/2015 3:15:00 PM EST

We all know Hillary Clinton used a private email address and server for official business when she was Secretary of State. She said she turned over her work-related emails to State, and deleted the ones she deemed personal. Her lawyers said they wouldn’t honor the request by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, to turn over the server to an independent arbiter for review, and that it’s been wiped clean, along with any back up systems connected to the server.

This private email scandal has been a nightmare for the Clinton team since it has rehashed all the negative things people associate with the Clintons, and elicits questions about transparency. Clinton has said she has gone above and beyond what has been asked over her regarding turning over her work-related emails to the State Department, citing that she used that private email address out of convenience because she didn’t want to use two devices; a claim that Gawker’s John Cook said was “preposterous.” Cook described Clinton’s email setup as “Nixonian.”

This is all the more interesting given that then-Sen. Hillary Clinton criticized the Bush administration in October of 2003 for refusing to turn over documents to the 9/11 Commission chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean.

In her remarks at the Center for American Progress’ New American Strategies for Security and Peace Conference, then-Sen. Clinton touched upon America’s war on terror, criticized the Bush doctrine, and the lack of transparency exuded by the Bush administration during the 9/11 Commission’s investigation into those horrific terror attacks [emphasis mine]:

I feel absolutely without doubt that our citizens, particularly my constituents, deserve to know all the facts of how the government was prepared or not. Yet, over this weekend, we learned that the 9/11 commission, an independent commission, charged with the important task of investigating how 9/11 happened, complains that it is not getting access to all the documents it needs.

This is a hugely important issue. And it’s not just important for this commission, but for these larger questions about access to information and how this government maintains the trust of the American people.

The lack of transparency on the part of the Bush administration has forced Governor King [sic; it’s Kean], former Republican Governor of New Jersey, to threaten subpoenas. This should not be happening.

As bad as it was for Vice President Cheney to keep secret how the administration developed its energy policy, this is far worse. The 9/11 commission is not trying to embarrass this president or any former president or anyone else. It is trying to learn what happened, what went wrong. In hopes that we can be better prepared to protect ourselves from any future attacks.

In taking their action to evade or avoid providing information, the administration unnecessarily raises the suspicion that it has something to hide, that it might use the claim of national security to hide mistakes that are literally questions of life and death for Americans.

As mentioned in her remarks, Gov. Kean was ready to issue subpoenas over documents the commission felt were being withheld. At the time, the Bush administration turned over 2 million pages of documents to the commission, and President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney would have a three-hour session with 10 members of the investigatory board. Critics will certainly mention that Bush and Cheney were not under oath during this session, and that no official record exists since no stenographers were allowed to participate in the meeting. The commission would say the session was “forthcoming and candid;” two things that cannot be said about Clinton and her history of secrecy.  Also, even James Carville mentioned that her email system appears to be set up to avoid congressional oversight, the man who ran point on implementing FOIA throughout the executive branch–Dan Metcalfe–noted that her email was set up to avoid such requests.

As Rep. Gowdy noted in his statement, Hillary decided to wipe her hard drive sometime after October 28, 2014 when the State Department asked for her public record of service. The committee issued the subpoena for the emails relating to Libya on March 4; Clinton’s lawyer sent a letter of the status of the server on March 27.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus aptly noted that even Nixon didn’t destroy the tapes. It appears Hillary destroyed those emails while under a subpoena; a point that threw the Meet The Press roundtable into “chaos” over the weekend.

Yes, Mrs. Clinton turned over emails, which they say was done after reading all of them, despite this statement coming after Time reported that her lawyers only used a keyword search to conduct their review.  If they read every email, then why hit "Control + F?" 

Lastly, in the interests of transparency, a State Department Inspector General might have been able to catch the private email address Clinton was using during her tenure as Secretary of State. The problem is that there wasn't a permeant IG the entire time she was there. 

Cortney O'Brien - Congressman’s STREAM Act Seeks to Reign in Anti-Coal Mining Agency
Posted: 3/30/2015 2:35:00 PM EST

Coal is pretty important to West Virginia. Coal-fired electric power plants accounted for 95 percent of West Virginia's net electricity generation in 2013 and the state produces about 15 percent of all fossil fuel energy in the US. What’s more, the Mountain State leads the nation in underground coal mine production. One government agency seems poised to slow these miners down, but not if Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) can help it.

“West Virginia is blessed to be abundant in natural resources," Mooney said. "Unfortunately, the President is intent on destroying coal as a domestic energy source.”

Rep. Mooney introduced the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act on Thursday in an attempt to protect a coal industry that is under threat from overbearing environmental regulations demanded by the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM).

A fact sheet provided by Rep. Mooney’s congressional office offered some context for his proposed legislation.

In April of this year the administration is expected to issue Stream Buffer Regulations aimed directly at shutting down surface coal mining operations. The proposed regulations would essentially ban mining operations within 100 feet of anything the Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) defines as a “stream.” Even worse, the proposed new regulations are expected to prohibit mining underneath a stream, making underground coal mining very challenging.

These unnecessary burdens on coal production encouraged Mooney to introduce the STREAM Act, which will do three key things:

1. It will require OSM to use existing funds in their budget to conduct a study of industry impact from them and then the bill specifies that once they’re done with that study, they have to wait a year to actually implement the rule.

2. It will prevent OSM from enforcing regulations that are duplicative from other agencies. Specifically, it can’t enforce anything that’s already being regulated to through the Clean Water Act by the EPA.

3. It will require OSM to publicly release all the data they used with their final version of the rule.

OSM’s latest regulation appears designed to end surface mining. Its anti-coal agenda is just another indicator that the Obama administration is trying to close down the industry for good.

The STREAM act marks the second battle in Mooney’s war against these debilitating environmental regulations. He first charge was successfully getting a provision included in the House budget to defund implementation of the stream buffer zone rules. Mooney is particularly adamant about this bill, for he recognizes the significant blow the OSM rule could have on West Virginia's economy.

“According to industry estimates, the expected rule from OSM would shutter tens of thousands of jobs in West Virginia and hundreds of thousands nationwide," Mooney explained. "The impact of such a serious hit to the coal industry would have the secondary effect of increasing home-energy prices for families and businesses. This bill protects the ability of Americans to seek prosperity from our nation’s natural bounty and is good policy for hardworking families.”

Now that the STREAM Act has been introduced in the House, over the next few weeks it will be debated in subcommittee. It will then move to a full committee vote, where Rep. Mooney’s office expects it to be voted on on the floor. They expect it to be at least a 2-month process.

It’s perhaps superfluous to say that it is unacceptable for a government agency to so closely regulate coal production and regulate anywhere running water can be found.

Matt Vespa - There’s A ’90 Percent’ Chance Carly Fiorina Will Run In 2016
Posted: 3/30/2015 2:15:00 PM EST

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has made it official. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) are expected to make their 2016 intentions known next month. Now, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is pretty sure she’ll run for president in 2016 as well. Over the weekend, she said the chances of her tossing her hat into the ring are at least 90 percent (via WaPo):

Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, said her chances of running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 are “very high.”

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” the 2010 California gubernatorial candidate said she is “higher than 90 percent” likely to enter the race, with an announcement coming in late April or early May.

Fiorina said she could appeal to voters with a “deep understanding of how the economy actually works, having started as a secretary and become the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world.”

She added that she has relationships with “many of the world leaders on the stage today” and that she understands executive decision-making, as well as how to change large bureaucracies for the better.

Discussing the economy, Fiorina said the government has “tangled people up from a web of dependence from which they can’t escape.” She also said the government is “crushing small businesses now.”

Yet, Fiorina has never held an elected office. She ran against Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010, and lost by a ten-point margin. Nevertheless, we’re grading on a curve; this is deep blue California. It could’ve been worse. One could make an argument that a ten-point loss isn’t catastrophic in such a liberal state with such an entrenched incumbent; Boxer announced that she would not run in 2016 after serving nearly a quarter century in the Senate. Oh, and she did this while fighting breast cancer, which she beat in that same year.

Still, Fiorina has a great narrative with her rise in the business world.

"I have a deep understanding of how the economy works, having started as a secretary and become the executive of the largest technology company in the world," Fiorina said.

This statement doesn’t come without risks. Democrats will certainly highlight her reportedly controversial tenure at Hewlett-Packard, which began in 1999. It was turbulent due to the dot COM bust, with the board of directors eventually dismissing her Fiorina in 2005.

Nevertheless, Katie interviewed Fiorina at CPAC in February, where the former CEO exuded confidence in her 2016 prospects and took on Hillary Clinton. She said she plans to make an official announcement in April or May.

Here's her full CPAC speech, where she touts her record at HP in growing its net worth and innovation:

Vivian Hughbanks  - Obama To Visit Kenya
Posted: 3/30/2015 2:00:00 PM EST

President Barack Obama is well-loved in Kenya.

Natives laud his Kenyan heritage, call him “brother” and “cousin,” and claim to know his grandmother, who still lives in the southwest region. Nairobi streets are dotted with passport photo advertisements, emblazoned with Obama’s face.

But despite three trips to sub-Saharan Africa in more than six years of his presidency, Obama has still never visited the land of his father’s birth -- a disappointing truth for Obama fans.

“If in three years and seven months I am not in Kenya, then you can fault me for not following through on my promise,” Obama said at a town hall in South Africa during his 2013 tour.

This morning, the White House made an announcement that Obama will make good on this promise, finally visiting the nation to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit this July.

The trip will “continue our efforts to work with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security,” according to the White House statement.

This will be President Obama’s fourth trip to sub-Saharan Africa during his presidency.

Guy Benson - Of Course: Iran Makes Another Last-Minute Demand, West Looking to Achieve 'Narrative'
Posted: 3/30/2015 1:02:00 PM EST

The 'P5+1' nuclear negotiations with Iran are coming down to the wire, with the Obama administration hellbent on attaining a deal before tomorrow's deadline (which Iran doesn't acknowledge, by the way). As Conn has reported, if an agreement is reached, it likely won't be formalized or written down for a period of months. What Western diplomats are scrambling to "achieve," therefore, is an informal consensus on the principles and outlines of a deal -- struck with an evil, untrustworthy regime. The British Foreign Minister told reporters last week that they're hoping to secure a "narrative," whatever that means:

We envisage being able to deliver a narrative. Whether that is written down or not, I don’t think is the crucial issue,” [British Foreign Minister Philip] Hammond told reporters at the British ambassador’s residence during a visit to Washington. “This will be a political statement, or perhaps political statements from the [negotiating partners] and Iran which create enough momentum to make it clear that we’ve now got this boulder over the hill and we are into the detailed work to produce an agreement.”… Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said he sees no need for a written document describing an interim agreement in advance of the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive deal… “The challenge is: as soon as you write anything down, you’ve got to write everything down,” Hammond said.

Allahpundit notes that (a) Iran and the US have already been wrangling over the terms of the current interim agreement, and (b) just a few days prior to Hammond's comment, other Western diplomats assured the media that of course there was agreement that an oral deal with Iran -- i.e., a "narrative" -- wouldn't cut it, given their history and behavior on the world stage. Leon Panetta, former CIA chief and Obama-era Defense Secretary, agrees: "One thing I’ve learned both at the CIA and as Secretary of Defense is that the Iranians can't be trusted."  Perhaps because they do things like this at the eleventh hour, to exploit Western desperation to extract even more concessions:

With a negotiating deadline just two days away, Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country. For months, Iran tentatively agreed that it would send a large portion of its stockpile of uranium to Russia, where it would not be accessible for use in any future weapons program. But on Sunday Iran’s deputy foreign minister made a surprise comment to Iranian reporters, ruling out an agreement that involved giving up a stockpile that Iran has spent years and billions of dollars to amass. “The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend sending them abroad,” the official, Abbas Araqchi, told the Iranian media, according to Agence France-Presse. “There is no question of sending the stocks abroad.” Western officials confirmed that Iran was balking at shipping the fuel out, but insisted that there were other ways of dealing with the material. Chief among those options, they said, was blending it into a more diluted form.

So in addition to being able to maintain their rogue nuclear program's infrastructure, keep thousands of centrifuges spinning, do nothing to renounce or scale back their support for terrorism/regional power plays/human rights abuses, or give up their long-range missile program, Tehran has insisted that they also be allowed to keep their fortified underground enrichment bunkers in operation, and is now backing away from a previously-stated willingness to remove enriched uranium from the country.  (In addition to asking that sanctions relief begin immediately, based upon no evidence of compliance). The US and partners reportedly acceded to the former late-breaking demand, and are seeking ways to accommodate the latter. Remember that tough sanctions forced Iran to the bargaining table in the first place, with their economy in tatters. This deal would lift those sanctions -- with restrictions on the regime beginning to phase out after just ten years. The Obama administration has basically been lying to the public, repeatedly stating that no deal at all is preferable is a bad one. It's becoming entirely clear that they don't believe that to be true. They are frantic to reach an agreement that they can trot out as a historic Smart Power success, and the mullahs understand this. Short of firing missiles at Tel Aviv or New York, or formally stating their intention to build and use nuclear weapons, Iran knows that there's almost nothing they can say or do to drive the Americans away from the table. This is the textbook definition of a hopelessly weak negotiating position. And Team Obama has placed the United States in this mess because they're obsessed with a very strange notion of presidential legacies:

The official offered a hopeful note, adding that a nuclear deal with Iran — which some reports say could come as soon as Sunday — could be a turning point for the region. “The truth is, you can dwell on Yemen, or you can recognize that we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran that tackles what every one agrees is the biggest threat to the region,” the official said.

Pay no heed to the slow-motion implosion of our entire foreign policy posture; think about the magical, "legacy-setting" effects of an Iran deal. This unnamed State Department source is right about one thing: A terrible deal with Tehran would be a game-changer, just not in the way he or she thinks.  Arab powers in the region would move toward building nuclear programs of their own, the rift of distrust between the US and Israel would grow deeper, and some European allies would lose confidence in America's moral clarity and world leadership.  Meanwhile, Iran would get almost every single thing it wants, most especially keeping their nuclear program intact, but with the bonus of added international legitimacy.  The US might get a dubious promise to allow snap inspections, but most important of all, Barack Obama would get his way in the face of intense criticism.  And that's exactly how administration officials are trying to sell support for the deal to wary Democrats on Capitol Hill:


Ignore the merits. Ignore Iran's prior conduct and uniquely sinister role in world politics. Ignore the national security and geopolitical implications. Ignore Iran's ongoing "death to America" refrain. Focus on beating the Republicans. This is breathtakingly petty, partisan and reckless, even for them. Good Lord.

Daniel Doherty - Latest: Reported Shooting at NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade
Posted: 3/30/2015 10:50:00 AM EST

Early Monday morning, a shooting reportedly broke out at the National Security Agency’s headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland after several unauthorized individuals tried to gain access to the military base:

A driver of a vehicle tried to ram a gate at the National Security Agency building in Fort Meade Monday morning, resulting in a shooting, authorities say.

It is not clear if anyone has been injured. There are two vehicles with damage outside the gate.

Developing…

UPDATE: Several people have been injured:

UPDATE: And one has reportedly been killed:

Authorities say one person is dead and two people have been hospitalized following a shooting during which a vehicle tried to ram the gates of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade.

The incident happened at the NSA building off of Route 32 in Fort Meade around 9:30 a.m.

UPDATE: It appears two people were indeed injured.

UPDATE: The suspects were...two cross-dressing men?

Gunfire erupted Monday morning at the gate of the National Security Agency's facility at Fort Meade in Maryland when two men disguised as women in a stolen car tried to enter, sources said.

A guard intervened and shot at least one of the men in the Ford Escape. A search of the vehicle turned up a gun and some drugs.

UPDATE: Here's a photo of the crime scene:

UPDATE: A single fatality has been confirmed:

A senior U.S. official says preliminary reports from the scene at Fort Meade, Md., indicate one person is dead after a car with two people tried to ram a gate at the base.

The official says a firefight ensued after the car tried to crash the gate, and at least one of the two people in the car is dead. Fort Meade is home of the National Security Agency.

UPDATE: For now, at least:

FBI says shooting at NSA gate at Fort Meade not believed to be related to terrorism.

UPDATE: More details:

Guy Benson - Video: The Very Worst of Harry Reid
Posted: 3/30/2015 10:35:00 AM EST

Enthusiasts of honesty, good manners, and functional politics received excellent news on Friday, when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced his decision not to seek re-election in 2016. Reid was expected to be one of the Senate Democrats' most vulnerable incumbents in the coming cycle, with national Republicans taking aim  at the Nevadan early and often. In light of his forthcoming departure, holding that seat could prove challenging for Reid's party, thus imperiling their chances at regaining an upper chamber majority. Though it's true that the caliber of Senate Democrats' top leadership won't improve drastically after Reid's retirement (this guy and this guy will be left to run the show), his exit from the political stage is an outcome worth celebrating in and of itself.  Let's walk down memory lane together and recall some of the incidents that have secured Harry Reid's spot among the most contemptible members of the United States Congress.  This 'top ten' list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a start:

(1) That time he claimed, with a straight face, that paying taxes is "voluntary:"


(2) That time he completely baselessly accused Mitt Romney of tax evasion on the Senate floor -- with the Obama campaign's blessing:


"The word's out!"  Reid also remarked that Romney had "sullied" the Mormon faith, also opining that the Republican's father would be "embarrassed" by him. These nasty attacks proved too much even for Jon Stewart.

(3) Those approximately 17,000 times he ripped the Koch brothers by name, going so far as to call them "un-American," which usually raises gales of protest from the Civility Police when ideologies are reversed:


(4) That time when Reid -- whose party refused to even propose annual budgets throughout most of his time at the helm -- attacked "mean-spirited" (and minuscule) GOP-offered budget cuts as devastating to, uh, cowboy poets:


(5) That time Reid claimed that every single Obamacare horror story was a lie, prompting a furious rebuttal from yours truly. Public polling continues to show that many more Americans were directly harmed by the law than were helped:


(6) That time Reid, a promiscuous player of the race card, praised Barack Obama for being "light skinned" and lacking a "Negro dialect:"


(7) That time when Reid tipped his hand on 'shutdown theater' in 2013, after being asked why he opposed a Republican proposal to re-open parts of the government on a piecemeal basis.  On the subject of NIH funding, CNN's Dana Bash asked, "if you could help one child with cancer, why wouldn't you do it?" To which Reid replied, "why would we want to do that?"


(8) That time Reid got super rich during his tenure as a supposed "public servant" on a government salary, thanks to a series of remarkably successful investments:

Try this thought experiment. Imagine that someone grows up in poverty, works his way through law school by holding the night shift as a Capitol Hill policeman, and spends all but two years of his career as a public servant. Now imagine that this person’s current salary — and he’s at the top of his game — is $193,400. You probably wouldn’t expect him to have millions in stocks, bonds, and real estate. But, surprise, he does, if he’s our Senate majority leader, whose net worth is [now] between 3 and 10 million dollars, according to OpenSecrets.org.

(9) That time Harry Reid wondered how any one with brown skin could be a Republican, echoing President Obama's divisive "punish our enemies" sentiment:


(10) That time when Reid, having detonated the nuclear option on filibuster rules as majority leader, suddenly reclaimed his deep commitment to the practice after being relegated to the minority.  Click through for a fuller accounting of his shamelessness on Senate procedure. 


And as an added bonus, we mustn't forget those times (i.e. right now) when Reid stood in the way of several bipartisan bills, including one designed to combat sex trafficking, in a radical effort to undermine a longstanding precedent against taxpayer-funded abortion -- a practice he claims to oppose. Enjoy spending more time with your beloved pomegranate trees, Senator.

Cortney O'Brien - “Ferguson: The Play” Lets Audience Be the Jury
Posted: 3/30/2015 9:15:00 AM EST

The controversy surrounding the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year is now going to be depicted onstage. While a grand jury declared Officer Darren Wilson was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Brown, riots decrying racial injustice ensued not only through the city, but nationwide. Now, for the first time ever, actors will recreate the events of that turbulent night in a verbatim drama, Ferguson: The Play.

The purpose of FERGUSON is to reveal the truth about what really happened on August 9, 2015 in Ferguson, MO and to look at why and how the Grand Jury came to the decision they did. FERGUSON is a staged version of the Grand Jury testimony exactly as they heard it. But this time the audience gets to be the Grand Jury. The performances in Los Angeles will be dramatized staged readings with interactive voting. Every night the audience will decide who's telling the truth, decide who's lying, and decide if they would indict Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. How will you vote?

Ferguson is being produced by journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer. You may recognize him as the filmmaker behind Gosnell: The Movie, a TV film currently in production which will expose late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ abortion clinic. He, along with wife and filmmaker Ann McElhinney and journalist Magdalena Segieda, embarked on the campaign because they were dismayed with the lack of media attention devoted to Gosnell’s evil deeds. Their historic project became the most successful crowd funded movie ever on IndieGoGo.com.

McAleer’s passion to provide audiences with the full story has once again inspired his latest project. Too many times did MSNBC, CNN and the like spin the narrative to suggest Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson aimed his gun at Brown because of his racist prejudices. Lost in these headlines, was the fact that Brown robbed a convenience store right before his encounter with Wilson. McAleer is intent on offering an accurate account of the incident in his new play, one that is not preoccupied with setting an agenda.

“I want to bring the truth about what happened that day to the stage,” says McAleer, a celebrated journalist and filmmaker. “I think audience members will be very surprised, even shocked, when they hear the clear and unaltered truth about the events that took place on Aug. 9, 2014. There are a lot of myths and half-truths circulating about the shooting. FERGUSON is a chance to dispel these once and for all.”

One of those myths was that Michael Brown pleaded, “Hands up, don’t shoot!" before Officer Wilson fired the fatal blow. That turned out to be a flat out lie. In reality, eyewitness accounts report that Brown punched the policeman and tried to grab his firearm.

The incident has left national tension in its wake and therefore this play is already destined to be controversial. Yet, kudos to McAleer for doing the mainstream media’s job and giving audiences the facts, not just “everything that’s fit to print.”

Ferguson will be performed at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, California from April 26-29. The crowd funding campaign expires May 2.

If the play is successful, McAleer said they may try to bring the play to New York - and even Ferguson itself.

Katie Pavlich - NBC Sued For Libel And Slander After Comparing Tannerite Target Company to Terrorists, Killing Americans
Posted: 3/30/2015 7:25:00 AM EST

Last week NBC reporter Jeff Rossen aired a report on The Today Show and Today.com claiming the company Tannerite, a small business that sells rifle targets, is a threat to national security and that "bombs" are for sale at your local sporting goods store. Rossen added to the drama by telling Twitter followers he was in intense pain ahead of the air date, but implied he was sucking it up because the report was just too important.  

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

But it wasn't just Rossen's back pain that was intense, the lies in his report were too. Rossen's claims about bombs being for sale at your local sporting goods store aren't true. Despite his claims, Tannerite only goes off when struck by a high velocity rifle round moving at more than 2,000 feet-per-second. It isn't comparable to the bomb used in Oklahoma City or those used by terrorists overseas to kill Americans. 

Tannerite cannot be set off with a lit fuse, open flame, or electricity. It cannot be set off by dropping it or striking it. It will not go off if shot with a .22LR rifle, or any common handgun caliber.

It is not a “bomb” as Rossen and Today Show anchors claimed and Tannerite is suing over it. Bob Owens over at Bearing Arms has the exclusive

NBC News and a local affiliate have being slapped with a libel and slander lawsuit for March, 23, 2015 report that aired on Today (also known as The Today Show) entitled, “Bombs for Sale? Popular Stores Sell ‘Dangerous Explosives.'”

Attorneys representing Tannerite Sports filed suit against NBC Universal News Group (NBCU) and Lexington, KY-based WLEX Communications for libel and slander for allegedly defamatory print and video reports from NBC News national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen.
Mendelsohn, Drucker, & Dunleavy, P.C. is the firm representing Tannerite Sports in the case, and alleges the following defamatory claims (PDF) were made by NBC News:

-On March 23, 2015, Defendant NBCU released a defamatory “report” that falsely claimed that Plaintiff’s rifle targets are “bombs for sale.”
-In a related video, Defendant NBCU’s investigative reporter falsely asserted that “I am basically holding a bomb in my hand.”
-NBCU’s report contains one or more written false statements that were intended to impugn Plaintiff’s rifle targets and Plaintiff’s reputation in the hunting industry.
-Plaintiff’s rifle targets are not bombs and are not well-suited for use as weapons.
-A bomb is a weapon that is illegal to make. In the United States, manufacturing a bomb requires numerous federal licenses.

Federal guidelines allow consumers to mix and shoot Tannerite®-brand rifle targets for personal, non-commercial use as targets.

The suit alleges that the NBC report constitutes statements that “were made maliciously, intentionally, and with reckless disregard for the truth,” that NBC News published “defamatory statements with malice,” and that the video and print reports ” have, in fact, directly and proximately harmed,” Tannerite Sports.

Be sure to also check out Owens' post thoroughly debunking Rossen's claims and the NBC report here.

Matt Vespa - It Sounds Like Martin O’Malley Is Going To Run For President
Posted: 3/29/2015 7:30:00 PM EST

UPDATE: Via Mediaite: Pardon the omission; O'Malley gave a really awkward answer to a question about the threats facing the United States.  After trying to dodge the question from host George Stephanopoulos, O'Malley finally said it was nuclear Iran and related "extremist violence," but his delivery didn't exude any confidence. 

Original post below:

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley pretty much announced he was running for president on ABC News’ This Week, saying “Let's be honest here, the presidency is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust to be earned and exercised on behalf of the American people.” He also said we needed new perspectives and new leadership, leaving host George Stephanopoulos commenting if this was his 2016 announcement.

Right now, O’Malley has zero percent of the vote in Iowa. Yet, if you look at his record, he’s someone who can potentially siphon votes from Hillary, specifically from the progressive wing. Some say he should be taken seriously, though it’s unknown if he has the political infrastructure and fundraising capability to stay competitive with the Clintons. Yet, his middle class upbringing could resonate with Democratic voters turned off by Hillary’s perceived limousine liberal personality. In 2013, the National Journal  wrote that he wanted to be part of the “2016 conversation;” his interview on ABC News this morning confirms that:

He was a middle-class, suburban Washington kid who chose to build a political career in one of the grittiest, most troubled cities in America, with all the challenges and risks that entailed. He spent eight years on the Baltimore City Council and seven as mayor before moving to Annapolis to begin two terms as governor in January 2007. O’Malley has been closely identified with statistics-based governing in both of his executive positions: CitiStat to improve management and services in Baltimore; StateStat to do the same across Maryland; even BayStat to revive the Chesapeake Bay. Fusing passion with dispassion, he has deployed numbers to fight crime and pollution, to win approval for gambling casinos and gun restrictions, to pass tuition breaks for illegal immigrant students, and even to repeal the death penalty.

At the same time, over the past few years, he has steadily ascended in national politics—as a key supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton and later Barack Obama in 2008, as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2011 and 2012, and as a prominent media spokesman for Obama and Democrats during the 2012 presidential campaign. He continues in a DGA leadership role as finance chairman, an ideal job for someone who might need to raise a lot of money for a presidential campaign in a year or two.

Whether O’Malley has the charisma and fundraising prowess to make a serious bid is unclear at this point. He does have some noteworthy assets. Maryland is at the top of numerous lists rating metrics such as education and innovation. O’Malley has been on many lists of rising stars over the past decade. In 2009, Governing magazine cited his data-based management style in naming him a public official of the year. This year, in its May/June issue, Washington Monthly called him “arguably the best manager in government today.”

Over at the Daily Beast, Jonathan Miller also touted O’Malley’s record of accomplishment, which should surely please liberals:

O’Malley’s record as governor of Maryland, and before that mayor of Baltimore, provides plenty of manna to nourish starving progressives. Long before his immigration comments, the Governor punched through a succession of liberal hot-buttons: Marriage equality? Check. Gun control? Check. Death penalty repeal? Check. Decriminalizing pot and legalizing medical marijuana? Check and check. Some might argue that he’s even been too liberal for solid blue Maryland. In fact, some do, and vociferously: Discontented residents of four western counties have been pushing an initiative for months to secede from the rest of the state.

O’Malley has ticked off plenty of liberals as well. Inheriting a $1.7 billion structural deficit and then plunging into the headwinds of the Great Recession, the Governor pushed through more than $9.5 billion in budget cuts, requiring sizable state employee layoffs, and the downsizing of critical health and transportation programs. And the state’s largest public employee unions expressed considerable displeasure with O’Malley’s signature pension reform efforts

Overall, however, O’Malley can point to a fiscal track record that most progressives would embrace: investing record sums in education to produce the nation’s top ranked public schools five years in a row and lowest college tuition hikes since 2007; expanding the earned income tax credit and increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour; and recovering all of the jobs lost in the national recession.

He also has been known to criticize his own party. O’Malley has been hailed as one of immigration’s biggest allies by Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), a vocal supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. He disagreed with the Obama White House’s decision to fast track the deportation process for unaccompanied minors that arrived in droves at the U.S. border last year.

Yet, while O’Malley might sound good with Democrats souring on Clinton and how feel the administration hasn’t delivered on immigration, the general electorate might be weary of a hard core liberal record dotted with higher taxes. Oh, and a plurality of Americans felt that those unaccompanied minors should be deported as soon as possible.

Yet, O’Malley could pivot by citing that he’s shrunk the state government workforce to its lowest levels (per capita) since 1973. Still, O’Malley, like Hillary, is a polarizing figure when it comes to his record. As the Baltimore Sun wrote, “O'Malley has either been a charismatic, national leader who pulled Maryland through an economic recession or a tax-and-spend liberal who went too far.”

The latter seems to have been on the minds of Maryland voters last year when they decided to elect Republican Larry Hogan as O’Malley’s successor, who has begun, according to Alec MacGillis of Slate, to dismantle the governor’s legacy:

Hogan is now hard at work seeking to undermine O’Malley’s legacy on any number of fronts—reversing his cleanup policies for the Chesapeake Bay, steering transportation money into highways instead of public transit, and, most of all, proposing deep cuts to the state’s K–12 schools, whose high performance O’Malley invoked in the very first line of his lackluster speech at the 2012 Democratic convention.

O’Malley’s legacy is also at risk in Baltimore in a more particular way. His proudest accomplishment there was the implementation of “CitiStat,” an attempt to bring to all municipal services the kind of data-heavy accountability that transformed policing in New York City and other cities, including Baltimore.

As the Baltimore Sun reported last weekend, CitiStat has seriously atrophied under the city’s current mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. She has had her own successes as mayor, and Baltimore is by many measures doing even better than it was under O’Malley, but CitiStat has not been a priority for her as it was under him—while he may have raised expectations for city services in a lasting way, his institutional transformation has been less durable.

O’Malley is hardly the first person to run for president when the state or city he once led is under a regime that is leading it in a different direction (Gov. Deval Patrick was running Massachusetts when Mitt Romney was on the ballot in 2012; Gov. Rick Scott, while of the same party as Jeb Bush, is challenging his legacy in Florida.) But the cost of the dismantled legacy is potentially greater for O’Malley, precisely because he is planning to run almost exclusively as a manager-who-gets-results. He won’t be pointing national campaign reporters to his dazzling speeches, his vision for the country, or his inspiring life story (he comes from a solidly middle-class background in the Washington suburbs); rather, he’ll be pointing them to his managerial legacy in the city and state that he led. And if those legacies take a hit—if, say, there is no bona fide CitiStat meeting for the national media to attend in Baltimore—that is a problem.

We shall see what happens, but delivering “dazzling speeches” surely isn’t one of Mr. O’Malley strengths.

Nevertheless, decision time for O'Malley is coming soon.

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