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Tag: President Obama

Man Draped in American Flag Jumps White House Fence on Thanksgiving

white house big photoBy Steve Neavling

President Obama’s family was celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday afternoon when a man draped in an American flag jumped over the White House fence, the Washington Post reports. 

Joseph Caputo was taken into custody soon after scaling over the north fence line at 2:45 p.m.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Caputo jumped the fence.

The Secret Service is concerned because Caputo made it over the fence despite the installation of “pencil point” spikes added to the White House perimeter.

A witness said she saw the man drape himself with a flag and then said, “Alright, let’s do this.”

Fiscal Times: When It Comes Criminal Justice Reform, FBI Director James Comey Is Wiser

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Liz Peek
Fiscal Times

When it comes to criminal justice reform, whom are you going to believe? James Comey, the nation’s top cop, or politicians eager to curry favor with the black community?

FBI chief James Comey earned himself a summons to the Oval Office last week by telling the truth about the war on crime. President Obama suggests that racial bias has led to too many black men being locked up and vows to combat “disparities in the application of criminal justice.” Comey argues that tough policing in minority neighborhoods has saved thousands of black lives and that the recent upsurge in homicides may reflect the “YouTube” effect — making police officers nervous to do their jobs. The good news is that Comey, imbued with an impressive independence streak, has another 8 years to serve. Even though Obama could presumably pressure him to resign, he can’t fire him.

Democrats and Republicans alike have hopped aboard the criminal justice bandwagon, noting the large incarceration rate in the United States and the disproportionate number of prisoners of color. Hillary Clinton hit a common theme when she noted in a speech last spring, “It’s a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population.” She fails to note that the disparity stems fromhigher crime rates. Homicides in the U.S. run seven times the rate in other developed countries, according to a 2011 study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the UCLA School of Public Health.

Clinton also gets it backwards with her next statement: “The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows.”

Many would suggest that crime is at historic lows because so many criminals have been put behind bars. Comey made that case recently, speaking at the University of Chicago Law School. He reminds us that not so long ago, urban crime, especially in minority neighborhoods, was horrific. In New York City, 2,000 homicides a year was considered the norm in the 1980s and 1990s; last year there were 328.  As Comey notes, “White people weren’t dying; black people were dying. Most white people could drive around the problem. If you were white and not involved in the drug trade as a buyer or a seller, you were largely apart from the violence.”

To read more click here. 

A Brief Chat With Tom Brandon, Head of ATF, on Gun Violence and the Need For More Staffing

By Allan Lengel

CHICAGO — Tom Brandon, head of ATF, wonders at time when gun violence is such a pressing issue in America,  why the agency isn’t getting more funding for additional agents.

He says with an additional 200 agents “we could really make a huge difference.”

Brandon became an ATF agent in 1989. In 2011, he was named deputy director and on April 1, he became the acting director. Because the White House has decided not to name him the permanent director, his title, by law, changed this week to deputy director, even though he’ll still be the top agent and carry out the duties of the director.  Why?

It’s called Washington politics. Politico reports that the White House doesn’t want to expend political capital trying to get an ATF director confirmed on the Hill — something that has always been a battle. That being said, a law states that Brandon can’t hold the title of interim director for more than 210 days.

Brandon, who attended the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago this past week, sat down with Allan Lengel of for a brief chat about gun violence and the agency’s mission.

President Obama Addresses The International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago

FBI Agents Angry That President Obama Tried to Downplay Clinton’s Email Scandal

obama-official-photoBy Steve Neavling

President Obama incensed FBI agents when he downplayed the classified information from Hillary Clinton’s personal email before an investigation was even complete, the New York Times reports.

“I don’t think it posed a national security problem,” Mr. Obama said Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Trouble is, the FBI is still trying to determine the contents of the email and whether the information posed a national security risk.

“Injecting politics into what is supposed to be a fact-finding inquiry leaves a foul taste in the F.B.I.’s mouth and makes them fear that no matter what they find, the Justice Department will take the president’s signal and not bring a case,” said Ron Hosko, a former senior F.B.I. official who retired in 2014 and is now the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.

Wall Street Journal: Obama Should Not Lobby FBI About Hillary Clinton Investigation

president obama state of unionBy Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal

President Obama’s interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday has rightly received attention for his defensiveness about Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria. But the President made other news that deserves more attention: to wit, his legal advice to the FBI and Justice Department about Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The FBI has acknowledged it is investigating the former Secretary of State’s use of a private server for official communications, especially her mishandling of classified information. Though she denied in April that classified material had crossed her server, we now know that was false. Hundreds of emails sent to or from her server contained national secrets, some highly classified. She used her own email system in violation of the Federal Records Act and in order to protect her emails from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and this evasion made her emails vulnerable to foreign hacking.

Yet when Steve Kroft asked if the server posed a security risk, Mr. Obama dismissed the idea by saying “I don’t think it posed a national security problem.” But how would he know unless his lawyers are filling him in on the investigation? Mr. Obama must know as a lawyer how inappropriate it is for a President to comment on a case being conducted by executive-branch officials who work for him.

Father of Mass Shooting Victim in Oregon Said He Was Denied Access to President Obama Meeting

Father James Cooper

Father James Cooper

By Steve Neavling

The father of an 18-year-old who was fatally shot during the mass shooting at an Oregon community college said the Secret Service and FBI blocked him from meeting with President Obama while in town to comfort the victims’ families.

Biz Pac Review reports that the father, James Cooper, was upset after being denied access to the meeting at Roseburg High School.

“I cannot believe the president of … the whole United States has denied a grieving father the right to see what’s going on and the right to see,” the father said.

It’s unclear why Cooper was blocked access, but he was vocal about his opposition to gun control.

“All I hear is gun control, gun control… hell with gun control, that’s not the issue,” Cooper added. “The issue is we are grieving, we are hurting and he won’t see me, that’s wrong.”

Other Stories of Interest

President Obama Praises Embattled Secret Service After Long Week

secret-service-3By Steve Neavling

It was as long, exhausting week for the Secret Service.

The embattled agency was responsible for helping protect Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to the U.S.

President Obama praised the agency for “flawlessly” doing its job, the Washington Post reports. 

“When something goes wrong, when there’s a fence jumper, everybody reports on it,” Obama said. “The Secret Service had to manage the Pope’s visit, President Xi’s visit, and a hundred something world leaders in an unprecedented fashion during the course of the last several days. And they did so flawlessly.”