Drunk federal agent arrested for brandishing gun

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Associated Press:

Police say an apparently drunk man arrested after allegedly brandishing a gun on a Burbank street is a federal agent.

According to a police statement, officers responded early Wednesday after someone reported being approached by a very drunk man who pulled out a handgun. The armed man directed the victim to follow him.

The victim managed to run off and the armed suspect was found by police less than a mile away.

Police say Andrew Leconte was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and brandishing a firearm.

Investigators later learned that Leconte is an agent with the United States Marshals Service.

The 27-year old was released on bond. The Marshals Service refused comment.

California illegally requiring employer insurance to cover elective abortions

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AP via Newsbusters:

Health insurance companies in California may not refuse to cover the cost of abortions, state insurance officials have ruled in a reversal of policy stemming from the decision by two Catholic universities to drop elective abortions from their employee health plans.

Although the federal Affordable Care Act does not compel employers to provide workers with health insurance that includes abortion coverage, the director of California’s Department of Managed Health Care said in a letter to seven insurance companies on Friday that the state Constitution and a 1975 state law prohibits them from selling group plans that exclude the procedure. The law in question requires such plans to encompass all “medically necessary” care.

“Abortion is a basic health care service,” department director Michelle Rouillard wrote in the letter. “All health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally.”

Jesuit-run Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University notified employees last fall that they planned to stop paying for elective abortions, but said faculty and staff members could pay for supplemental coverage that would be provided through a third party. The two schools said their insurers, Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, had cleared the move with the state.

University employees who objected to the decision and abortion-rights groups lobbied the women’ caucus of the California Legislature, which in turn asked Gov. Jerry Brown to clarify and reverse the health care department’s determination.

Life Legal Defense Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Cardinal Newman Society sent a letter to state officials reminding them that this mandate is illegal under federal law (the Weldon Amendment.)

MoCo, PG Counties lead MD in release of unaccompanied immigrant children

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Newsbusters reports:

The “Office of Refugee Resettlement” in the government’s Department of Health and Human Services has released a county-by-county list of 29,890 unaccompanied children sent “to safe settings with sponsors (usually family members).” Year-to-date, the number, according to an HHS state-by-state list, is 37,477. This has occurred “while they await immigration proceedings.”

Now that they’re out in the general population, we’re still supposed to believe that the majority of these “children” (more on that later) will ultimately be deported. After all, that’s what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on July 7

If you look at the list referenced above you will see that the top counties in Maryland are Montgomery and Prince George’s County.

Other counties missing from the list may still have received under 50 immigrant children since January 1:

The following table shows county-level data for unaccompanied children released to sponsors by the counties where the sponsors live, where 50 or more children have been released since January 1, 2014.  This data covers 126 counties nationwide, and comprises 29,890 of the 37,477 total children released to sponsors in this period.  ACF will update this data each month.

Here’s the complete list for Maryland via the Office of Refugee Resettlement:

  • Prince George’s County 960
  • Montgomery County – 816
  • Baltimore City – 264
  • Baltimore County – 206
  • Anne Arundel County – 145
  • Frederick County – 139
  • Howard County – 102

King Abdullah: Jihadists will be in US in 2 months

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AFP reports on remarks by the King of Saudia Arabia:

 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is “rapid” action.

“If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.

“Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East,” said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.

More from the monarch’s remarks:

Lack of action would be “unacceptable” in the face of the phenomenon, King Abdullah said.

“You see how they (jihadists) carry out beheadings and make children show the severed heads in the street,” he said, condemning the “cruelty” of such acts.

“It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to do. I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: ‘Fight terrorism with force, reason and (necessary) speed’.”

Is he right? or will they go to Saudi Arabia?

Is this a Saudi Arabian king trying to get the U.S. to pull his fat out of the fire or are these valid concerns?

Tell me what you think in the comments below.

Whooping cough outbreak in both VA & MD in DC suburbs

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Cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have been found in Washington suburbs in both Virginia and Maryland.

From a WTOP report on Montgomery County:

Several Montgomery County School kids have come down with pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and county officials are worried the illness could spread to other students.

Dr. Ulder J. Tillman, health officer for Montgomery County, says they are aware of three confirmed cases and nine suspected cases of the respiratory disease at four county schools and a couple private schools.

Tillman says the students affected range in age from 9 to 18 years old.

All of the students who came down with whooping cough attended the same camp in Pennsylvania.

The schools in Montgomery County (Rockville and Potomac) where the confirmed or suspect cases were found include Robert Frost Middle, Julius West Middle, Cabin John Middle, and Cold Spring Elementary.

Another WTOP report discusses a confirmed case of pertussis in Fairfax County. This case involved a student at the Gesher Jewish Day School who also attended the camp in Waynesboro, PA. Capital Camps sent an email warning parents of children who attended the camp between July 21 and August 10.

 

Watch QB DeShaun Watson’s first career Clemson touchdown

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Deshaun Watson 30-yard pass was complete to Charone Peake for a TD against Georgia in Athens on 8/30/2014.

Ben Carson: Might not be a 2016 election if GOP doesn’t win Senate

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I recently wrote a piece at Practical Politicking asking whether Dr. Ben Carson is a serious candidate for President in 2016. I pointed out several reasons why he might not be including his support of gun control. Now, a story in The Washington Post provides evidence for why he might even be a fringe candidate instead of just a less than serious one.

Ben Terris writes about Carson speaking at a recent town hall in Iowa and quotes Carson (emphasis added):

He speaks softly, almost as though he’s reading a child to sleep. But this is a scary story. If Republicans don’t win back the Senate in November, he says, he can’t be sure “there will even be an election in 2016.” Later, his wife, Candy, tells a supporter that they are holding on to their son’s Australian passport just in case the election doesn’t go their way.

Carson is a really bright guy and a great orator, but he places himself among the lunatic fringe of conspiracy theory buffs with talk like that. I’m not sure the little bit of weight I might have given a potential Carson candidacy can even survive these comments.

Funeral Arrangements for Cookie Harris Announced

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A lot of people in Maryland were shocked yesterday about the sudden death of Cookie Harris.

Here’s an announcement on the details of her funeral and visitation arrangements:

A funeral mass will be celebrated for Cookie Harris, wife of Congressman Andy Harris, on Monday, September 1 beginning at 11am at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Private interment to follow.  Visitation will occur Sunday, August 31 from 1pm until 8pm with a vigil beginning at 7pm at Ruck Funeral Home, 1050 York Road, Towson, MD 21204.
The family prefers in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in the memory of Cookie Harris to the Pregnancy Center North, 6805 York Road, Baltimore, MD 21212 where she was a regular volunteer and board member.

More on the funeral arrangements from Ruck Funeral Home:

On August 28, 2014 Sylvia “Cookie” Harris (nee Payne) beloved wife of Andy Harris; devoted mother of Joseph, Rebecca, Irene, Jessica and Daniel; loving grandmother of Charles and Abigail; beloved daughter of Drs. Charles and Sylvia Payne; dear sister of Betsy McGinnis and Charles, Stephen, Mark and Andrew Payne; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Friends may call at the family owned Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc. 1050 York Road (beltway exit 26) on Sunday from 1 to 8 PM where a Vigil Service will be held at 7 PM. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on Monday at 11:00 AM. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Cookie’s name may be made to the Pregnancy Center North; 6805 York Road, 2nd floor; Baltimore, MD 21212.

Report: Imminent Attack Warning? ISIS operating across US-Mexico border?

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Judicial Watch via Andrew McCarthy:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.

McCarthy’s take:

For those of us who’ve been raising alarms about both the jihadist threat and the national-security vulnerability created by the Obama administration’s non-enforcement of the immigration laws, this is not a surprise — particularly less than two weeks before September 11. But it is nonetheless jarring to read.

Bryan Preston fills in some more background:

There have been rumors and suggestions in the past that Islamic terrorist group Hizballah is operating in the border region over the past several years. Hizballah is confirmed to have operations in South America, in the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

A former deputy sheriff in the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department told me in 2012 that captured Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan, where he served in the United States Army, had confessed that they were training operatives from drug cartels in Mexico.

Juveniles charged with burning down Tom Clancy’s home

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WBAL:

Two male juveniles in southern Maryland have been charged with arson for setting the fire that burned down the unoccupied estate of Tom Clancy in Calvert County.

The two boy, ages 12 and 14, have been charged with Arson 2nd Degree for their involvement with igniting the blaze that destroyed a two story unoccupied wood frame dwelling of the famed writer’s estate.

The fire marshal says the fire last [F]riday was brought under control withing 15 minutes but caused $149,000 in damages.

I’m not sure whether Clancy was still living in the Calvert County home much before his death last year or if he was living in his luxury penthouse in Baltimore primarily. I do remember there were reports when he was still married to his first wife that she purchased him a restored Sherman tank that was on the grounds of the mansion. There were even news reports discussing the house itself, which was the inspiration for the waterfront home that Clancy protagonist Jack Ryan owned in some of Clancy’s novels.