Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fracking

Coyote Blog points out the growing similarities of the US to Atlas Shrugged:

The similarity between the the text of the recent NY report on fracking and the fictional state attack on Rearden Metal in Atlas Shrugged is just amazing.
Here is the cowardly State Science Institute report on Rearden Metal from Atlas Shrugged, where a state agency attempts to use vague concerns of unproven potential issues to ban the product for what are essentially political reasons (well-connected incumbents in the industry don't want this sort of competition).  From page 173 of the Kindle version:
[Eddie] pointed to the newspaper he had left on her desk. “They [the State Science Institute, in their report on Rearden Metal] haven’t said that Rearden Metal is bad. They haven’t said that it’s unsafe. What they’ve done is . . .” His hands spread and dropped in a gesture of futility. [Dagny] saw at a glance what they had done.
She saw the sentences: “It may be possible that after a period of heavy usage, a sudden fissure may appear, though the length of this period cannot be predicted. . . . The possibility of a molecular reaction, at present unknown, cannot be entirely discounted. . . . Although the tensile strength of the metal is obviously demonstrable, certain questions in regard to its behavior under unusual stress are not to be ruled out. . . . Although there is no evidence to support the contention that the use of the metal should be prohibited, a further study of its properties would be of value.”
“We can’t fight it. It can’t be answered,” Eddie was saying slowly. “We can’t demand a retraction. We can’t show them our tests or prove anything. They’ve said nothing. They haven’t said a thing that could be refuted and embarrass them professionally. It’s the job of a coward.
From the recent study used by the State of New York to ban fracking (a process that has been used in the oil field for 60 years or so)
Based on this review, it is apparent that the science surrounding HVHF [high volume hydraulic fracturing] activity is limited, only just beginning to emerge, and largely suggests only hypotheses about potential public health impacts that need further evaluation....
...the overall weight of the evidence from the cumulative body of information contained in this Public Health Review demonstrates that there are significant uncertainties about the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with HVHF, the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes, and the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health. Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in New York State....
The actual degree and extent of these environmental impacts, as well as the extent to which they might contribute to adverse public health impacts are largely unknown. Nevertheless, the existing studies raise substantial questions about whether the public health risks of HVHF activities are sufficiently understood so that they can be adequately managed.
Why is it the Left readily applies the (silly) precautionary principle to every new beneficial technology or business model but never applies it to sweeping authoritarian legislation (e.g. Obamacare)?

A thumbnail sketch of Elizabeth Warren. That this woman was elected to anything is a blot on the American body politic.

Carr: Drumbeats for Liz

Elizabeth Warren for what?
Granted, the American electorate has been significantly dumbed down over the past few decades — think Barack Obama and Deval Patrick. But is the country really so far gone that it would turn to a plagiarizing fake Indian who thinks western Mass. has a seacoast and that Jeanne Shaheen is from Vermont?
Er, yes.
So by now you know about this boomlet for the former one-32nd Native American who now claims to be Okie down to her toes. Hundreds of Obama aides (enough said) are swooning over her. Some of the moonbat groups have posted Internet videos of her greatest hits, ripping Wall Street for its “greed.”
The radical Muslim congressman Keith Ellison has endorsed her. U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano, who has told his pinky-ring union thugs allies to get “a little bloody when necessary” (is that hate speech?) would like to see her in the fight. Some trustafarians called Democracy for America are spending $250,000 to “draft” Fauxahontas.
She’s appalled by the influence of big money in politics, this woman who raised more than $30 million for her first race for political office. In 2012, she was asked by an interviewer about the propriety of such scathing attacks considering she’s a former employee of the asbestos industry who had millions in her own portfolio.
To which she replied, I don’t own stocks. I have mutual funds.
Of course lying is par for the course for politicians. Remember Barack Obama’s conflicting statements about whether he was born in Kenya or Hawaii?
But Barry was just trying to up the advance for the narcissistic “autobiography” Bill Ayers wrote for him. When Elizabeth Squawarren lied about her ethnic heritage, she deprived a real Indian of a tenured Ivy League professorship — twice.
When this is pointed out to her moonbat supporters, they get all huffy: “What are you — a racist?” You see, she’s one of the Beautiful People, like Obama. Nothing to see here, comrades. Move along.
Back in 2011, all the cool kids thought the Occupy movement was The Next Big Thing. This was before the ODs and the murders.
Long before Eric Garner, everyone who walked by one of those stinky Occupy encampments said the same thing: “I can’t breathe!”
This was Granny Warren’s quote when Occupy was starting:
“I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do.”
But then when everyone realized that they were just basement-dwelling drug-addicted illiterate community college dropouts, Liewatha once again tried to rewrite her own personal history:
“They made it seem as if I were trying to take credit for a protest I wasn’t even part of.”
But she gets away with it. Being PC means never having to say you’re sorry.
The Obama aides said she’s the one to take on “rising inequality.” Oh sure, someone who got a loan from Harvard to buy her mansion, who made $350,000 a year to teach one course at Harvard Law. She’s such an elitist she tells her supporters to talk up their friends as they stand in line “at the cheese shop.”
Ted Cruz threatens to shut down the government and he’s the devil incarnate, the reincarnation, right down to the jowly cheeks, of Joe McCarthy. Elizabeth Warren, who was white before she was Cherokee before she was white, makes the same threat and the moonbats swoon.
The other day, outside a protest in Manhattan outside a Citigroup office, someone was carrying a sign that said, “I’m from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic party.”
Surely he meant to say he was from the fake Indian wing of the unhinged lunatic fringe that has become what was once the party of, well, not Elizabeth Warren.

Native Americans still being screwed by the government

Feds haven't compensated Native Americans 28 years after ordering them to move


Four decades after Congress passed a law forcing the relocation of two Native American tribes, some families have yet to receive the government benefits they were promised in exchange for leaving their homes.
The protracted relocation effort has cost U.S. taxpayers $564 million so far, with as much as $82 million left to go before the special government office established to oversee the process can shut its doors for good, according to the Department of Interior inspector general.
Congress passed the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act in 1974, but efforts to relocate Navajo families living on Hopi land are still underway. That law had placed a five-year time limit on the relocation process once a plan was formulated, which didn’t happen until 1981, the report said.
The specially-created government body tasked with approving requests for relocation benefits, now called the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation, should have finished by 1986, but 28 years later, it is still determining whether applicants are eligible.

The IG said it expects costs to grow as time passes and “historical and cultural knowledge” is lost.
After a federal court ruled against ONHIR in 2008 in favor of an applicant who claimed he was never notified of his eligibility benefits before the 1986 deadline, the office accepted a second round of applications from 2008 to 2010.
ONHIR staff are still working through the applications they received during those years, said Larry Ruzow, the office's in-house attorney, told the Washington Examiner.
The government opened another window for applicants in order to "catch" anyone who may not have received adequate notice more than 20 years earlier, he said.
Four times as many eligible households as the government had initially anticipated applied for the benefits. The government originally estimated the relocation process would cost $41 million.
ONHIR has accepted 7,211 applications for benefits since its inception, while approving a little more than half.
Lauren Bernally, policy analyst at the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, told the Examiner she believes the government denies applications based on trivial factors. She said cultural differences frequently prevent Native American applicants from understanding exactly what information is required in order to receive benefits.
Applicants had to have been the head of a household in July 1986 and a legal resident of the partitioned lands as of 1974 to be eligible for the benefits.
Of the applicants that have been approved for benefits, 120 have since had their cases closed without ever receiving benefits because the head of the household died without an heir before relocating or was otherwise unresponsive to the office, the IG said.
Nancy Thomas, ONHIR's chief operating officer, said the screening process can be rigorous.
Besides denying benefits to applicants who can't prove they meet the requirements, ONHIR rejected those that were late and those submitted on the last day but without signatures, Ruzow said.
"If they got them in early enough, we would contact them" and let them know there was a signature page in the application, Ruzow said of the applications that weren't signed.
"But if they sent them in the last day, well, I think that was the penalty for waiting until the last minute."
With a staff of 35 and average annual expenses of $9.8 million, ONHIR has relocated an average of just 19 families each of the past five years.
Funding cuts have been the biggest contributor to the slow pace of benefit approvals, Thomas told the Examiner.
"If we had twice as much money, we could probably move twice as many people," Thomas said.
She noted the office tries to give priority to the elderly applicants waiting for their benefits, but said that "most people moved off this land when they were ordered to."
Still, some families remain on the partitioned land.
"We cant go out with a gun and say 'OK, you're off here.' We don't have that authority," Thomas said.
Thomas Benally, deputy director of the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission and himself a relocated Navajo, called the ongoing government effort a "human rights issue." He said the relocation has been "traumatic" for some.
"There's a lot of anger about it," he said of the fact that the government has taken so long to fulfill its promises.
"I think the hold-up is the Navajo families don't want to move," Bernally said. "They're not going to go through this whole relocation process after so many lies from the federal government."
DOCUMENT
PAGES
TEXT
Zoom

Is Bed-Sty the new Gaza?

Eyewitness claims 'people were CLAPPING AND LAUGHING' at the scene where two cops were killed

Hamas at it again


IAF strikes Gaza in response to rocket fire

Air force jets attack Hamas training facility in Khan Yunis in retaliation for rocket fired at Israel earlier Friday; attack marks first IAF strike in Gaza since military op.



The Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas training facility in the area of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday night in retaliation for a rocket fired at southern Israel earlier in the day. The attack marks the first time Israel carried out an air strike in the Gaza Strip since Operation Protective Edge ended in August. No injuries were reported.



The IDF spokesperson issued a statement confirming that the IAF hit "terrorist infrastructure" belonging to Hamas's military wing in the southern Gaza Strip.


The rocket that was launched into Israel on Friday. (Photo: Roee Idan)
The rocket that was launched into Israel on Friday. (Photo: Roee Idan)



A direct hit was detected, the statement said, adding that the "attack constituted a response to the steep trajectory rocket fire towards Israeli territory at the noon time hours."
 
Earlier Friday, a Code Red siren was heard shortly before noon in the Eshkol Regional Council, an Israeli community close to the Israel Gaza border, and was soon followed by blasts, residents reported - indicating that a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Israel.
IDF forces canvassing the area found the rocket in an open area, and no injuries or damage were reported. This is the third time a Gaza rocket has landed on the Israeli side of the border since the end of Israel and Hamas' 50-day summer war.


The head of the Eshkol Regional Council Haim Yellin warned residents that a diplomatic approach must be taken to restore quiet in southern Israel in a remark after the code red alert this morning, "Whoever thinks that a strong IDF response is the solution for quiet in the Gaza border communities does not understand that wars are decided by politicians, who with courage can bring peace and security. After Operation Protective Edge, the country had an opportunity to establish a long-term arrangement. Instead of this, we found ourselves with a ticking clock until the next escalation and war."

Ilan Yosef, from the Nir Yitzhak kibbutz located in the Eshkol Regional Council, said the alarm was sounded on the first day of a visit by Jewish-American parents visiting their children who had volunteered to serve in the IDF and were residing in the kibbutz.

Rocket launched into Israel from Gaza found in Eshkol Regional Council. (Photo: Roee Idan)
Rocket launched into Israel from Gaza found in Eshkol Regional Council. (Photo: Roee Idan)


"It caused us to jump on our feet, we ran to the shelter. We have American guests who came to visit their children who live with us as part of the Garin Tzabar program. They just arrived today to spend time with their children and we already found ourselves running to the shelter. It was very frightening and not pleasant but we did not hear an explosion and we did not receive any updates regarding a landing," said Yosef.


Other residents of the Gaza border communities described the ongoing tension that has persisted after the deadly summer war with Hamas: "We knew it and we were waiting for this," said Roni. "We are returning to the path. We knew it was only temporarily quiet."

Anat Hefetz, a resident of Eshkol and member of the Future of the Western Negev organization, said, "Ever since the war ended, we have been waiting for the next war. It was known ahead of time. For four months already nothing has been done to prevent this."

IDF soldiers locate site where rocket fell in Eshkol Regional Council. (Photo: Roee Idan)
IDF soldiers locate site where rocket fell in Eshkol Regional Council. (Photo: Roee Idan)




According to Hefetz, "The war ended – as if – but nothing was done to change the reality. No initiative was taken. We left the area on the other side to be controlled by Hamas. We also feel this as residents. There are always infiltrations, attempts to shoot rockets and false alarms. It does not surprise us."
 
In early November another Code Red siren, indicating an incomng rocket from Gaza, was sounded duing morning hours in Israel's Gaza-border communities. The rocket fell a few meters into Israeli territory inside the Eshkol Regional Council. A few days later, shots were fired towards the Erez border crossing, according to an initial report.

Earlier Friday, Ynet learned that Hamas has begun to renew tunnel construction within Gaza and shifted its military strategy.


According to Palestinian sources in the Strip who spoke to Ynet, after Israel allowed the flow of limited goods and materials into Gaza, a black market for mortar emerged - allowing Hamas to renew construction of concrete slabs used to line the inside of the tunnels.

 

Russia makes Facebook block page of Putin's top critic.

Russia makes Facebook block page of Putin's top critic


Moscow (AFP) - Russian authorities convinced Facebook to shut off a page inviting people to attend a rally in support of an opposition politician, drawing ire from Internet users Sunday.
Supporters on Friday created an event page for January 15, the day President Vladimir Putin's biggest critic Alexei Navalny will hear his verdict in a controversial embezzlement case which could see him sent him to prison for up to 10 years.
Russia's Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor said Sunday that the page has been blocked on orders of the general prosecutor.
The prosecutor "demanded to limit access to a number of resources calling for an unsanctioned mass event, including social networking groups. The demand has been fulfilled," RIA-Novosti news agency quoted spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky as saying.
The Facebook event, called "Public gathering to discuss the verdict", had over 12,000 people signed up at the time it was blocked, and now opens only through a non-Russian IP and only for non-Russian users.
Navalny, whose leadership role in the opposition was built up over the years via his popular anti-corruption blog and carefully-managed Internet campaigns, criticised the social networking giant for quickly bending under Kremlin's pressure.
"It's a rather unpleasant and surprising behaviour by Russian Facebook. I thought they would at least demand a court order rather than rush to block pages as soon as crooks from the Roskomnadzor (the Internet watchdog) ask," he wrote on his personal page.
Former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul wrote on his Twitter blog that the block set a "horrible precedent" and that Facebook should correct their "mistake" as soon as possible.
Supporters quickly signed up onto newly-created event pages and made new ones blasting Facebook's "censorship".
Navalny, a 38-year-old lawyer, is accused together with his brother Oleg of embezzling nearly 27 million rubles (more than half a million dollars at the exchange rate at the time) when Yves Rocher Vostok, the company's Russian wing, used their delivery firm.
The case is only one of many against him. A previous probe into embezzlement of a state timber company saw him sentenced to five years though the sentence was suspended later.
In his final word this week Navalny, who has spent nearly a year under house arrest, said the case is based on

Mayor Emanuel’s Son Robbed Outside Family’s Lakeview Home

Mayor Emanuel’s Son Robbed Outside Family’s Lakeview Home



The Police shooter: Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley a member of the Black Guerilla Family.

Police Connect Local Shooting To NYPD Officers’ Killings


OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ) — Investigators say the shooting spree that killed to New York City police officers started in Baltimore County, where the 28-year-old shot his former girlfriend before making his way up to New York to kill two police officers – execution style.
Sunday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the NAACP and city Fraternal Order of Police and Baltimore City police officials held a press conference condemning the shooting of two New York police officers by a Baltimore man.
At around 5:45 a.m, Baltimore County police responded to the scene of a shooting at an Owings Mills apartment in the 10000-block of Mill Run Circle.
There they learned that a woman had been shot in the abdomen by a known assailant, but he had fled the scene before police arrived.
As police would later learn through social media posts, Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley was headed to New York City.
The stunning events unfolded Saturday afternoon – when police say Brinsley ambushed two New York Police Department officers sitting in a patrol car in Brooklyn, NY.
“He took a shooting stance on the passenger side and fired the weapon, several times,” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Saturday evening in a news conference, killing both NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
“Officer Liu and Officer Ramos never had the chance to draw their weapons, they may actually have never seen their assailant, their murderer,” Bratton added.
Moments later, the cold-blooded killer turned the gun on himself at a nearby subway platform.
Police could be seen carrying him out on a stretcher.
“People are frustrated with all the things that happened, but I don’t think anyone I know in this community would agree with taking the life of an officer,” one New York City councilman said.
Hours before the murders, the killer boasted about killing cops on Instagram, posting, “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today.” Then. “They Take 1 Of Ours. Let’s Take 2 Of Theirs. #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGardner (sic) #RIPMikeBrown This May Be My Final Post. I’m Putting Pigs In A Blanket”
It was the Baltimore County Police Department that tracked the posts and the phone the suspect was using as he traveled to Brooklyn. They learned about the social media posts around 1:30 p.m. when the Maryland victim’s mother said the suspect was posting on Instagram.
Police confirmed Brinsley was the suspected shooter in that incident as well, before learning he was making his way from Baltimore to New York.
“A female believed to be Brinsley’s former girlfriend was shot and seriously wounded by Brinsley at her residence,” Bratton said.
Just minutes before both officers were killed, the NYPD received a fax from Baltimore police warning them Brinsley may be headed to New York.
A city now mourns with heavy hearts.
“We will never forget the two young men who lost their lives today,” Bratton added.
Investigators are desperately digging into Brinsley’s past.
Sources told our CBS affiliate in New York that detectives are making their way to Baltimore tonight to meet with police and look into whether Brinsley had any connection with the Black Guerilla Family.
BGF is a powerful Maryland gang, notoriously known for corrupting the Baltimore City Detention Center.
Both NYPD officers were on duty assisting in a special initiative to fight crime in the housing projects in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The investigation continues into the Baltimore County shooting as well.


A pathologically corrupt lying administration. Is this what you've been told by the regime?

Illegal immigration up, deportations down in 2014: DHS


 - The Washington Times - Friday, December 19, 2014
The number of illegal immigrants crossing the border rose in 2014, while deportations dropped, according to new statistics Homeland Security released Friday in a pre-holiday data dump that signaled potential problems on both sides of the immigration enforcement equation.
Apprehensions on the border, which Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says is a yardstick for overall illegal immigration, rose 16 percent in fiscal year 2014, while deportations from within the interior of the U.S. — the measure of how much the administration is going after long-time illegal immigrants — fell 24 percent.Those numbers, which cover from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014, are from before President Obama announced his new temporary amnesty on Nov. 20. That is likely to lower deportations even more.
An administration official briefing reporters on condition he not be named said the drop in deportations was at least partially due to the surge of illegal immigrants from Central America, who he said require detention, flights and travel documents, which makes them more expensive to deport than Mexicans, who can usually be quickly sent back across the land border.
The official also said part of the problem is that so-called “sanctuary city” localities are increasingly refusing to turn immigrants over to federal authorities for deportation. Homeland Security said localities refused 10,182 different requests from federal agents to hold illegal immigrants the agents wanted to pick up for deportation.
“This required ICE to expend additional resources to locate, apprehend and remove criminal aliens who were released into the community, rather than transferred directly into custody,” the department said in a memo on the new numbers. “These changes further contributed to decreased ICE removals.”
Homeland Security officials have repeatedly said they are funded to deport about 400,000 immigrants a year, which means they are well short of that target.
The grim numbers are likely to inflame opposition on Capitol Hill to Mr. Obama’s amnesty, which congressional Republicans predict will lead to a new surge of illegal immigration.
Mr. Obama himself had predicted the same thing several years ago, but his homeland security officials now dispute that, saying they believe they can prevent a new surge of illegal immigration while no longer deporting most rank-and-file illegal immigrants.
Mr. Johnson, in a statement releasing the figures, blamed this summer’s surge of illegal immigrant children for the poor results.
“This year’s statistics are informed by a number of complex and shifting factors, most notably the 68 percent increase in migration from countries other than Mexico, predominately from Central America, and a 14 percent drop in Mexican migration since fiscal year 2013,” he said.
An administration official said this is the first time on record that border authorities have caught more non-Mexicans than Mexicans at the border, underscoring the changing demographics.
As for deportations, the administration said of the roughly 102,000 immigrants deported from the interior of the U.S., about 87,000 had criminal records. That means only about 15,000 rank-and-file illegal immigrants with no criminal records were deported, which works out to about 1 out of every 1,000 illegal immigrants estimated to be in the U.S.
Mr. Obama has pushed for those numbers, saying he felt he was deporting too many illegal immigrants with families here, or ties to their community. While pushing for more deportations, he had asked that his agents focus those efforts on criminals and on illegal immigrants who had just recently crossed the border.
Under the president’s new priorities laid out last month, agents are told to focus their deportation efforts on illegal immigrants with criminal records or those who arrived after Dec. 31, 2013.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

The left and the unions will do anything to get there way no matter the legality. They are today's Brownshirts but they hold bureaucratic and political office. Law-fare is their method

Anti-Scott Walker prosecutorial skullduggery in Wisconsin exposed


A huge political scandal is slowly coming to light in Wisconsin, as information comes to light about the conduct of that state’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) as it persecuted supporters of Governor Scott Walker, who bravely took on the public employee unions of that state.  The outrageous tactics used included midnight SWAT team raids on Walker’s political supporters.  Ten days ago, I wrote about some of the potential law-breaking and document-alteration engaged in by the prosecutors.  But new evidence has just come to light.esterday, Judge Lee S. Dreyfus of the Waukesha County Court unsealed a trove of documents in the civil lawsuit being brought by the Wisconsin Club for Growth against the GAB.  As revealed by the Wisconsin Reporter (that owns this story and that ought to be in line for a Pulitzer Prize if the Columbia University School of Journalism is able to overcome its reflexive leftism) they:
... show that the GAB considered using the state’s John Doe law to investigate key state conservatives and even national figures, including Fox News’ Sean Hannity and WTMJ Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes.
SWAT team raids on one of the state’s most prominent talk show hosts (and, by the way, AT contributor)?  How about Sean Hannity?  Were they going to fly to New York?
The Reporter has obtained even more documentation than was released yesterday, and it reveals a pattern of less-than-forthright honesty at the GAB.  Right Wisconsin, which cross-posted the article from the Wisconsin Reporter, has come up with this amusing visual juxtaposition:
Some highlights:
Staff members engaged in the probe seem to have defied their own board. Documents show the board voted on July 21, 2014 refused to reauthorize the investigation, on a 3-2 vote.
Documents show the GAB staffers were preoccupied with their own legal exposure rather than whether those staffers were engaged in a lawful investigation. As late as May, they urged the board to continue to fund the agency’s probe because “terminating the investigation could undermine the position of the Board’s investigators in the civil case, exposing them, and potentially Board members to civil liability with no legal support.” (snip)
Under state law, the agency’s board must meet “at least once every 90” days to review the progress of the investigation. The board must approve the reauthorization of the investigation or the probe is considered closed.
The GAB is not authorized under law to prosecute criminal investigations, such as John Doe probes.
GAB spokesman Reid Magney earlier this week told Wisconsin Reporter, “John Doe investigations are initiated by district attorneys and controlled by a judge, not the Government Accountability Board.”
Asked whether the board has reauthorized the probe, he declined to comment, citing confidentiality laws.
Technically, the GAB’s involvement in the investigation should have been terminated over a year ago.
According to documents, the GAB voted to authorize the probe on June 20, 2013 but did not vote to reauthorize until Sept. 25, 2013 – 97 days after the GAB’s investigation was officially launched.
GAB Judge Harold Froehlich extensively discussed the lapse at a board meeting in May 2014.
But the GAB, according to court documents, had been admitted as a party to the probe and assisting prosecutors 10 months prior to the board’s formal vote to begin its investigation.
The unsealed documents show GAB director and general counsel Kevin Kennedy and Jonathan Becker, administrator of the agency’s ethics division, involved the accountability board in the secret probe without the approval or even knowledge of the judges. Board members were not informed of the involvement until Dec. 18, 2012, some three months after Kennedy and crew jumped on board.
And it seems Kennedy and Becker misled the board about precisely when they had “learned” of the John Doe investigation, according to a Dec. 18, 2012 memorandum.
“Since the time of the October 23, 2012 Board meeting, staff has learned that the Milwaukee District Attorney has opened another John Doe investigation,” the memo states.
There is much more.  Read the whole thing.  And stand by, because there is more to come as discovery proceeds in the lawsuit.
It is unknowable where this all is going, but it represents a wild card in the potential presidential candidacy of Walker.  Being the target of sinister and apparently illegal persecution by the left while taking on public employee unions makes for quite a dramatic resume.
Wisconsin is the state that gave birth to progressivism, which means that the movement has had longer to degenerate there than anywhere else.  It would be fitting to have its funeral there, too.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

Dr. Oz gives poor advice and is a snake oil salesman as shown by a recent study of his show.

Dr. Mehmet Oz and his daily talk show come under fire from Canadian researchers, who say only one-third of the recommendations made on the program can be supported by medical evidence. (Andy Genovese / ABC)

By KAREN KAPLAN DECEMBER 19, 2014,

W hat do real-world doctors have to say about the advice dispensed on “The Dr. Oz Show”? Less than one-third of it can be backed up by even modest medical evidence.
If that sounds alarming, consider this: Nearly 4 in 10 of the assertions made on the hit show appear to be made on the basis of no evidence at all.
The researchers who took it upon themselves to fact-check Dr. Oz and his on-air guests were able to
find legitimate studies related to another 11% of the recommendations made on the show. However, in these cases, the recommendations ran counter to the medical literature.
“Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows,” the researchers wrote in a study published this week in BMJ. “Viewers need to realize that the recommendations may not be supported by higher evidence or presented with enough balanced information to adequately inform decision making.”
Critics of Dr. Mehmet Oz, an accomplished cardiac surgeon with degrees from two Ivy League universities, complain that his show is little more than an hour-long infomercial for weight-loss fads like green coffee bean extract. (The Federal Trade Commission has sued the company that hawks this dubious product.) A spokesman for the Center for Inquiry accused him of selling “snake oil.” In June, a Senate subcommittee took him to task for telling his viewers (who number 2.9 million on any given day) things like: “I’ve got the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. It’s raspberry ketones.”
“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D- Mo.) said during the hearing.
A large group of physicians, pharmacists and other researchers from Canada had their own questions about programs like “The Dr. Oz Show.” So they set out to see whether the “skepticism and criticism from medical professionals” was warranted.
The Canadians focused on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Doctors,” another daily talk show that averages 2.3 million viewers per day. After watching two episodes of each program, they hypothesized that only half of the claims made on the shows could be supported with actual evidence. They also calculated that they would need to review 158 specific recommendations to see whether their hypothesis was correct.
Lucky for them, the shows are rife with recommendations -- 12 in a typical episode of “The Dr. Oz Show” and 11 in an episode of “The Doctors.” So members of the research team watched 40 episodes of each show, which were randomly selected among all the episodes that aired in the first five months of 2013.
They found that 32% of the 479 recommendations made on “The Dr. Oz Show,” either by the host or his guests, fell under the heading of “general medical advice.” Another 25% of the claims were about diet (i.e., foods that boost the immune system) and 18% were about weight loss.
On “The Doctors,” 66% of the 445 recommendations were about “general medical advice,” 9% were about diet and 8% were about weight loss. (Other categories included exercise, alternative therapies and cosmetics.)

Among all of these recommendations, the researchers randomly selected 80 from each show and looked to see what evidence, if any, could back them up. Two team members conducted independent searches, spending up to an hour on each one. “In an attempt to be as fair as possible” to the shows, they wrote, they “used a relatively broad definition of support.”
And yet only 21% of the recommendations on “The Dr. Oz Show” could be supported by what the researchers considered “believable” evidence. Another 11% were supported by “somewhat believable” evidence.
The recommendations made on “The Doctors” were more credible -- 32.5% were supported by “believable” evidence and another 20% were backed by “somewhat believable” evidence, the researchers found.
Good or so-so evidence contradicted 11% of the claims made on “Dr. Oz” and 13% of the claims made on “The Doctors.”
The researchers also noted that for both shows combined, 40% of the recommendations mentioned a specific benefit of the intervention being touted. The size of the benefit was discussed in fewer than 20% of cases, possible harms or side effects came up less than 10% of the time, and potential conflicts of interest were mentioned in less than 1% of cases.
Neither Oz nor the team behind “The Doctors” could be reached for comment about the study’s conclusions.
The whole exercise left the researchers to ponder “whether we should expect medical talk shows to provide more than entertainment.”

page3image18352