Leah Barkoukis - Awkward: Dem Rep Says He's a 'Small Business Guy, a CPA' But New Report Reveals He's Neither
Posted: 6/23/2016 9:30:00 AM EST

Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, who’s running for Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat in Florida, may have a problem on his hands this campaign season: he’s been caught in a lie.

The Florida congressman is running as a small businessman who’s had a career as a Certified Public Accountant. The only problem, however, is that both claims are completely false.

From CBS Miami:

A CBS4 News investigation into Murphy’s history as both a CPA and a self-described small business owner, however, shows Murphy has in some cases exaggerated his experience and in other instances made claims that were misleading or outright false.

For instance, he has never worked a day in his life as a Certified Public Accountant.

And he was never a small business owner.

Apparently unaware of the report when he appeared on MSNBC Wednesday evening, Murphy again touted these experiences.

“I look forward to introducing myself making sure everyone knows I’m a small business guy. I’m a CPA. I want to solve problems. I like showing up to work, showing up to committee compared to Marco Rubio who hates the job and using this as a platform to run for a higher office,” he told host Steve Kornacki.

Since Democrats apparently don’t mind liars, it remains to be seen whether his false claims will actually end up hurting him in his bid for the Senate seat. 

Justin Holcomb  - Obama Releases Osama's Bodyguard from GITMO
Posted: 6/23/2016 9:00:00 AM EST

Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab al-Rahabi, bodyguard, 9/11 planner, and possible relative of Osama bin Laden, has been released from Guantanamo Bay and sent to Montenegro, according to the Department of Defense.

Reports are that al-Rahabi had been held at Guantanamo since shortly after it opened and was one of the so-called "Day One" detainees. 

The U.S. government was grateful to Montenegro for accepting the former prisoner.  "Montenegro now joins other U.S. friends and allies in Europe in accepting multiple detainees for resettlement, bringing us closer to our shared goal of closing the facility," said a State Department official.

The transfer was "consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures," the DOD said in a statement.

Barack Obama has been pressing to close Guantanamo ever since he took office. Of the nearly 800 people who have been held there, all but 79 remain, with 29 expected to be released in the coming weeks.  

Matt Vespa - Would The Media Be All Over Trump’s Would-Be Assassin If Hillary Were The Target?
Posted: 6/23/2016 8:45:00 AM EST

As Cortney reported, a 19-year-old British man identified as Michael Steven Sandford told authorities that he wanted to kill presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump last weekend. Sandford was at a Las Vegas rally for the billionaire magnate and inched forward, telling security that he wanted an autograph from Trump. When he saw an opportunity to grab a police officer’s firearm, he did, but was quickly subdued by other members of law enforcement (via NBC News):

Sandford faces one count of attempting to commit an act of physical violence on restricted grounds.

He approached a Las Vegas police officer during a rally at the Treasure Island Casino pretending to ask for an autograph, the complaint says.

Asked about Sandford's detention, the U.K. Foreign Office said it was assisting after the arrest of a British national in Las Vegas. The suspect has a United Kingdom driver's license, according to the complaint.

After noticing the gun was in an unlocked position, Sandford grabbed the officer's holster and the gun's handle with both hands, the complaint says.

[…]

Sandford told a special agent that he had been in the U.S. for more than a year and lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, before traveling to Southern California on June 16 "to kill Trump," the complaint says, adding: "Sandford had seen in the news a few days prior that Trump was coming to Las Vegas to speak."

The day after he arrived, the complaint says, Sandford traveled to a gun range in Las Vegas where, in an effort to learn how to shoot, he fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock, the complaint says.

The man tried to assassinate Trump— sure there were some stories from various outlets who reported on this man’s despicable actions, but let’s not shy away from the fact that if this was done to Clinton, we would be obsessed with it, along with extra gusto from the media and anti-gun Left to highlight why we need more gun control. In fact, it would be the greatest shot in the arm that movement needs since most of their advocacy ends in failure. 

Matt Vespa - Of Course, Code Pink Would Do This Outside Of The NRA Headquarters
Posted: 6/23/2016 8:10:00 AM EST

Democratic members of Congress are executing a sit-in on the House floor, pressuring Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to vote on some form of gun control bill that has zero chance of becoming law. Yet, they know that—they just want to keep this issue in the limelight. For far left organizations, like Code Pink, why not stage a die-in in front of the National Rifle Association’s headquarters?

One of the oldest and most effective organizations that protect Americans' civil rights and the Bill of Rights finds itself once again under attack. The culprit of the Orlando massacre, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to ISIS during the shooting, so the punches thrown at the NRA is, as always in these circumstances, misdirected hostility. It’s annoying, but the pro-Second Amendment side in this fight will endure and win. We’ve been here before.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Dianne Feinstein offered two pro-gun control amendments that had zero chance of passing in the Senate on Monday. They centered on expanding background checks and barring those on terror watch lists from buying firearms. Mateen bought his guns legally, as he had no prior criminal history and he already had a firearms license for his job as a security guard at a local Florida courthouse. Sen. Feinstein's amendment might seem like common sense, until you read that due process of law is nonexistent concerning these various terror watch lists maintained by the FBI. The failed gun control push did give Democrats another opportunity to bash the NRA, which was probably the goal from the beginning. Murphy held a 15-hour filibuster over a spending bill to fund the Department of Justice in order to pressure the Republican Senate leadership to hold a vote on these measures. 

Leah Barkoukis - As Dems Continue Sit-in, Republicans Start Recess Early
Posted: 6/23/2016 7:38:00 AM EST

If you didn’t follow Matt’s coverage of the House Democrats’ sit in to force a vote on gun control legislation, you may want to read this first.

The House ended up adjourning in the early hours of Thursday morning after GOP lawmakers voted to pass an emergency funding package to fight Zika.

House GOP leaders opted to send lawmakers home a day early for a holiday recess as Democrats threatened to stretch a widely publicized sit-in over gun control into a days-long demonstration.

The House adjourned for the Independence Day recess shortly after Republicans voted to pass an emergency funding package to combat the Zika virus after 3 a.m. Thursday. The House will have a pro forma session at 9 a.m. Friday but won’t return for legislative votes until Tuesday, July 5 and will then adjourn again 10 days later until after Labor Day.

Ryan’s spokeswoman said passing the Zika legislation was the only must-do item on the agenda before recess.

“Despite the publicity stunt on the floor, House Republicans were intent on not allowing these tactics to stop us from completing this important business,” AshLee Strong said in a statement. “With that tangible accomplishment, we will be moving on to the previously scheduled district work period.”

 

Even after their sit-in, Democrats shouldn’t expect that a vote will be held on gun legislation, Strong added.

“Democrats can continue to talk, but the reality is that they have no end-game strategy,” Strong said. “The House is focused on eliminating terrorists, not constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. And no stunts on the floor will change that.”

Nevertheless, some House Democrats have remained on the floor, turning the sit-in into a slumber party, as Matt reported.

Democrats continued their sit-in after the House adjourned at 3:14 a.m., but the crowd began to thin considerably given the late hour.

 

Still, more than two dozen Democrats remained on the floor, including several who wrapped themselves in blankets.

 

Members of the House Democratic whip team will meet later Thursday morning to discuss the next steps.

"Just because they have left doesn't mean that we are taking no for an answer,” Pelosi said. 

Justin Holcomb  - Watch: Gohmert Launches Fiery, Late Night Exchange with House Democrats
Posted: 6/23/2016 7:15:00 AM EST

Tensions were high late Wednesday night on the House floor when lawmakers commenced to shouting at each other over a sit-in aimed at forcing votes on gun control measures. 

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) shouted at Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and other Democrats, yelling, "Radical Islam killed these people," pointing to a poster with photos of those killed in Orlando.

The Democrats immediately started chanting, "No bill, no break." 

Apparently, Gohmert got into a heated exchange with Rep.Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and lawmakers had to separate the two. 
 

Matt Vespa - As House Republicans Move To End Sit-In Over Gun Control, Democrats Reportedly Chow Down On Some Chick-fil-A
Posted: 6/22/2016 9:25:00 PM EST

UPDATE: Via CNN, the House Democrats staging a sit-in on the House floor aren't going anywhere until a vote on gun control is held.

The tension exploded onto the floor just after 10 p.m. ET when Republican Speaker Paul Ryan gaveled the chamber into order to hold a procedural vote on an unrelated matter. An extraordinary scene unfolded as throngs of Democrats -- some holding signs with the names of victims of gun violence -- remained in the House well chanting "no bill, no break" and "shame shame shame." They also sang the protest anthem "We Shall Overcome."

Such displays would normally be prohibited but Ryan, sensitive to the attention being paid to the sit-in, declined to enforce the traditional order in the House.

[...]

Numerous Democrats, asked repeatedly when they planned to leave, said they would stay in place until they got a vote on gun control. In a roundtable with reporters Wednesday afternoon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated that point, saying Democrats would continue the sit-in "until we have a bill."

UPDATE II: Rep. Louie Rohnert (R-TX) confronted the sit-in Democrats, saying radical islam was responsible for the attack in Orlando.

***

As Cortney reported earlier today, House Democrats staged a sit-in to force a vote on gun control legislation, specifically the “no fly, no buy” bill that would bar people on terror watch lists from buying guns. They sat on the House floor for most of the day, reading the names of the victims of gun violence. In an ironic dinner choice, catered Chick-fil-A was spotted being wheeled into the Capitol Building for the hungry Democrats.

Some progressive heavyweights in the Senate joined their House colleagues in support for gun control. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts were spotted on the House floor. Rep. John Larson was the first to ask the House Parliamentarian what would happen if a dozen of his colleagues just took the floor (via Politico):

Connecticut Rep. John Larson skipped the rare session with his party’s presidential hopeful for a face-to-face with the House parliamentarian. Larson had an obscure question about House rules: What would happen if he and a bunch of his colleagues took to the House floor to stage a sit-in protest, effectively shutting down the House?

Larson was told that it was an “unprecedented instance that was hard to know what the response would be.” It was assumed the raucous Democratic protest would force Republicans to adjourn the House, which is exactly what happened.

[…]

If Republicans stuck together, Democrats would never be able to move their favored proposals, including blocking gun purchases by anyone on the federal “no fly” list, and expanded background checks for gun sales.

So Larson and Lewis and a handful of their colleagues decided to copy a GOP tactic from when Republicans were in the minority in 2008: Get dozens of members to go on the floor and refuse to leave. Demand action or say they won’t let the House adjourn in mid-July. Block the House from any business until Republicans give in.

Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican leaders could either yield and allow a vote — extremely unlikely — or House Democrats would bring new attention to the issue. It was the GOP tactic on steroids, this time in the era of widespread social media. And the passion of Democrats on guns far exceeded that of Republicans eight years ago, when the GOP was demanding more offshore oil drilling.

[…]

Hill Democrats had been itching for a political fight on guns since the Orlando shootings. In the Senate, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) last week had staged a successful filibuster that caught national attention and eventually led to a series of floor votes. Those measures failed, but there will be another vote on a proposal by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Katie took apart the Collins’ legislation, which is again another gross exercise in government overreach peppered with due process of law concerns.

Second, this isn’t going to be successful. Democrats want to bring attention to the issue, as if the likely terrorist attack in Orlando hasn’t already done that. Last point, the more they bring attention to gun control, the more Americans buy firearms across the country. So, keep it up. With more sit-ins like this, we may become even better armed than ever before.

Politico added that House Republicans are moving to end the siege (via The Hill):

House Republicans will attempt to wrest control of the House from Democrats staging a sit-in over gun control with a vote to override President Obama's fiduciary rule.

“It will be loud and probably be noisy,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), part of Speaker Paul Ryan’s group of advisers, told reporters after House Republicans held a special meeting about how they should respond to the day-long Democratic sit-in.

“You might want to get in the gallery and watch the show,” Dent added.

Dozens of Democratic House and Senate lawmakers have been occupying the House floor since late Wednesday morning, calling on Ryan and other GOP leaders hold a vote on legislation to prevent terrorists from purchasing guns in the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

But GOP lawmakers and aides said no gun-related measures would be voted on Wednesday night. Instead, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) will call for a vote to overturn the Labor Department’s new rule requiring financial advisers to act in the best interest of their clients.

Then on Thursday, Republicans will push for a vote on a package that includes spending for military construction and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, as well as funding to combat the Zika virus.

It looks like the fireworks are about to begin. House Republicans cut the C-SPAN video feed, but the public affairs networks simply turned to Facebook live and Periscope to continue broadcasting the event. 

Cortney O'Brien - Muslim Who Attended Same Mosque as Orlando Terrorist Reported Him to the FBI
Posted: 6/22/2016 7:20:00 PM EST

Here we have yet another report that proves the FBI did not take seriously enough warnings about the Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen. Disney World reported him to the authorities, as did a Florida gun store. Now, reports indicate that a Muslim who attended the same mosque as him alerted the FBI to Mateen’s strange terrorist sympathizing-rhetoric.

He says they met 10 years ago. However, over time, some of Mateen’s comments struck him as concerning – specifically references to videos of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni imam.

“He told me they were very powerful,” Malik said, “that raised the red flag even higher for me.”

Malik reported this behavior to the FBI, apparently to no avail.

No matter how you look at it, the FBI failed. Not only did they dismiss the red flags before Mateen killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub, they also have not been transparent in the bloody aftermath. The agency released an incomplete transcript of the 911 call Mateen made when he pledged allegiance to ISIS, scrubbing out all mentions of his radical rhetoric. Worse yet, they have lost track of Mateen’s wife, who reportedly knew about her husband’s terror rampage.

Sadly, this tragedy needs to be a wake-up call to the FBI.

Catherine  Dunn - "We Tried": Reporter Laughs As Hillary Clinton Avoids More Questions, 200 Days Since Her Last Press Conference
Posted: 6/22/2016 7:00:00 PM EST

As Hillary Clinton went to meet with House Democratic Caucus members Wednesday morning, MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt asked her several questions at the rope line. Clinton smiled but walked past without answering any of them.

“We tried, we tried,” Hunt said, laughing. “It’s not an uncommon situation.”

Clinton ignoring Hunt’s questions is part of a larger trend in her campaign, in which she has held the press mostly at arm’s length. On Tuesday, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post reported that it had been 200 days--over six months--since Clinton had last held a press conference.

An anonymous Clinton ally told The Hill that press conferences hold no benefit to Clinton. “They would only hurt her,” the ally said. To this argument, Cillizza responded, “It makes sense as a campaign strategy. But that doesn’t make it right.”

The question Hunt asked was whether Clinton had a short list of vice presidential picks. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the list included Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Tim Kaine, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.

Clinton herself has been vague on the issue, however, telling CBS News, “I’m looking broadly and widely, and I’m going to begin to really dive into thinking hard about this.”

Joe Pappalardo - Uh-Oh: North Korea Missile Test Finally Gets Somewhere
Posted: 6/22/2016 6:30:00 PM EST

Of the two missiles North Korea launched Wednesday, one traveled 250 miles from the east coast city of Wonsan, reaching an altitude of 620 miles. The other fell into the sea after traveling less than 100 miles.

Both missiles were mid-range Musudan-types, the fifth and sixth of their kind to be launched by North Korea. South Korean officials tracked the missiles and reported that the furthest missile still didn't reach its maximum distance of 1,800 miles, nor was it able to show its ability to re-enter the atmosphere and hit a target. However, North Korea's continued work on its missile program may one day enable it to hit the continental United States, as its arsenal continues to expand in size and range.

The Wall Street Journal quoted arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis on the threat this technology poses to America, saying:

“The North Koreans are making progress toward a workable Musudan. If we do nothing, they will move on to a missile, using the same technology, that can reach the U.S.,” said Mr. Lewis, who advocates trying to reach a test moratorium with North Korea on its missile program.

North Korea first began testing Musudan missiles in April. Kim Jong Un has responded to United Nations sanctions against his nuclear program by, according to North Korean reports, continuing to produce and test nuclear bombs. They also have recently tested submarine-launched missiles.

Reports of the missile launch have not appeared in the North Korean press, but experts say the launch was not a clear success.

North Korea's last media report of any missile launch was in 2014, when Kim Jong Un oversaw the test-firing of "newly developed ultra-precision tactical guided missiles."

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