Sunday, August 27, 2017

'Worthless' Subway 'Footlong' sandwich settlement is thrown out: U.S. court

reuters ^ | August 25, 2017 | Jonathan Stempel 

A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a class-action settlement intended to resolve claims that the Subway sandwich chain deceived customers by selling "Footlong" subs that were less than a foot long.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago called the settlement "utterly worthless," and said the customers' lawyers were not entitled to attorney's fees for convincing Subway it was better to make the case go away than fight.

"A class action that seeks only worthless benefits for the class and yields only fees for class counsel is no better than a racket and should be dismissed out of hand," Circuit Judge Diane Sykes wrote for a three-judge panel.

"This is exactly the opinion we were hoping for," Frank said in an interview. "It affirms the principle that when attorneys bring class actions to benefit only themselves, it's an abuse of the system, and courts should not tolerate it."

The case is In re: Subway Footlong Sandwich Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-1652.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Trump's pardon of ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio was the right (and courageous) thing to do

Fox News Opinion ^ | August 26,2017 | James J. Fotis 

President Trump stood up for justice and for enforcement of our immigration laws when he courageously granted a pardon Friday to Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Despite knowing he would face criticism, the president did what was right.
Arpaio was convicted by a federal judge in July of criminal contempt after being charged with violating a court order that attempted to prevent suspected illegal immigrants from being targeted by the sheriff’s traffic patrols. The sheriff acknowledged continuing the patrols, but said that targeting was not the focus.
Arpaio’s conviction arose out of a lawsuit wrongfully accusing the sheriff’s office of violating the rights of Hispanics, allegedly using racial profiling tactics to identify people for traffic stops, and detaining convicts based only on the suspicion that they were illegal immigrants. Arpaio denied all wrongdoing.
I sat in the courtroom through Arpaio’s trial and concluded that he was wrongfully convicted. As a former law enforcement officer myself and former executive director of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, I know that Arpaio was dedicated to protecting the public he served and that his highest priority was keeping his community safe.
Hearing testimony during Arpaio’s trial, I realized that any reasonable person who was there to pass judgment on this honest law-abiding man – who gave his life to the rule of law – could never have found him guilty on the evidence presented.
However, the only one who could pass judgment on the former sheriff was U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, because Arpaio was denied his right to a jury trial under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The judge’s verdict convicting Arpaio was a travesty of justice.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Trump Justice Deparment Stops Obama Era "Operation Choke Point" Abuse

Gun Watch ^ | 20 August, 2017 | Dean Weingarten 

Operation Choke Point was an extra-legal attempt by the Obama administration to economically attack businesses that it disliked. It circumvented the rule of law by giving banks incentive to discriminate against a list of businesses. The list of busineseses were those it disagreed with on philosophical and political grounds. Those businesses included firearms and ammunition dealers. 

A small business could find its credit suddenly and inexplicit gone. It could find it no longer had the ability to process credit card payments. For many small businessess, this could be a death sentence. From
The Trump Justice Department is ending an Obama-era program that had attempted to cut off credit to shady businesses but came under fire from Republicans for unfairly targeting gun dealers and other legitimate operations. Just days after top House Republicans had pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shutter Operation Choke Point, the department confirmed in a response letter that the program is dead.
The repudiation of Operation Choke Point is a welcome development, says Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.

"It should serve as a warning that the government doesn't get to flag for banks—or businesses generally—which legal-but-suspect domestic customers it would like them to ostracize," Olson told Reason on Friday. "Those in power must refrain from signaling that they'd be pleased if certain categories of otherwise legal customer get cut off from their access to economic life." Operation Choke Point began as an extension of the Obama administration's Financial Fraud Task Force, but the dragnet investigation was never given proper statutory authority by either the administration or Congress. In fact, details about Operation Choke Point were deliberately withheld from Congress at first, a fact The Wall Street Journal uncovered in 2013.h
The process circumvented the entire check and balance system on government power designed into the Constitution.  It should have been grounds for serious action by the Republican Congress. It is gone now.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

Arpaio Pardoned, RINOs melt down

American Thinker ^ | August 27,2017 | By Patricia McCarthy 

What on earth has happened to the moral and political sensibilities of Paul Ryan, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Jeb Bush, etc.? All of those RINOs who are attacking President Trump for pardoning Joe Arpaio are simpering, whining traitors to the party they allegedly represent.

They should declare themselves Democrats and be done with the masquerade.

Perhaps they should remind themselves of all the criminals and thugs that President Obama pardoned, or that President Clinton pardoned. Trump made it clear at his rally in Phoenix that he was going to pardon the beleaguered sheriff. The audience there was thrilled, as were the millions of people watching on television, the citizens who want our immigration laws enforced. If there was ever anyone who deserved a pardon, along with Scooter Libby, it is Joe Arapio. This was a no-brainer! The man has enforced both federal and state laws for his entire career. Arpaio was found in contempt of court after a Clinton-appointed judge, Susan Bolton, ordered him to stop enforcing the law, detaining people he suspected (or knew) to be illegal immigrants. It was the judge who broke the law as so many of our activist judges have over the last decade. They do not want laws that protect our borders enforced. Such judges are traitors to the nation as well.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

MSNBC Shocked Trump Hasn’t Screwed Up Hurricane Harvey Yet ^ | August 26, 2017 | Scott Whitlock 

The "journalists" at MSNBC seem eager for Hurricane Harvey to be a political disaster for Donald Trump, preemptively reminding everyone what the stakes are. Deadline: White House anchor Nicolle Wallace on Friday was amazed that the President hasn’t screwed it up yet: “It seems to me that this is the first event of this presidency where, sort of, the dire nature of the event seems to have halted other instincts in this president.”
Wallace marveled, “He seems to be focused on the storm after some early morning venting and he seems to be putting forward the kind of folks that would reassure any citizen in the path of such a dangerous and frightening storm.”
MSNBC Shocked Trump Hasn’t Screwed Up Hurricane Yet
Earlier in the day, host Chris Jansing wondered, “The hurricane is going to be the President's first big test of this kind. Is he ready? Is his team ready?”
USA Today’s Heidi Przybyla reminded, “And so, if there is a major event here, let's hope that President Trump learned from some of the mistakes of President Bush during Hurricane Katrina.”
Jeremy Peters agreed, “It’s a huge test of his leadership, no doubt.”
Clearly, journalists are ready to pounce and make this yet another political hurricane.
Partial transcripts are below:

Deadline: White House 8/25/17 4:04pm ET
NICOLLE WALLACE: Phil Rucker, let me bring you in. Kelly O talking about the president's Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert. One thing that struck he me said from the podium today, quote “Now is not the time to lose faith in your government institutions,” which of course is true, but that it even needed to be said was, of course, the incredibly, sort of strained tensions in our country. But Kelly also mentioned Brock Long. He’s the new FEMA administration. He was confirmed by a vote of 95-4 in the U.S. Senate. Not a divisive figure. He's the former director of Emergency Management for Alabama. It seems to me that this is the first event of this presidency where sort of the dire nature of the event seems to have halted other instincts in this president. He seems to be focused on the storm after some early morning venting and he seems to be putting forward the kind of folks that would reassure any citizen in the path of such a dangerous and frightening storm.
PHILIP RUCKER: I think that's exactly right, Nicolle. There's a third person I would mention who's General John Kelly, the new White House chief of staff. We say him in the photo tweeted out this morning in the Oval Office briefing the President at the Resolute desk with those photographs of the storm’s path with the graphics, if you will. And he's very involved in the White House response. They are trying to put forward a real sense of competence and strength and make people feel assured that they'll have this under control. I think it was telling that we didn't hear directly from the President today. He did not come out to the cameras and address the American people. And instead, they had Tom Bossert be the face of the administration. Bossert is somebody, obviously, as we saw today at the briefing with the extraordinary amount of knowledge and detail and can speak with real precision and accuracy about what the government doing and what citizens should be doing be doing who are in harm’s way.
Andrea Mitchell Reports 08/25/17 12:52 PM
CHRIS JANSING: At the top of the hour, the President took to Twitter to let us know he’s closely monitoring Hurricane Harvey and he tweeted this photo of a briefing inside the Oval Office. He says he’s been in contact very closely with FEMA, that he’s fully engaged. Let’s get the inside scoop from Heidi Przybyla, Senior Political Reporter for USA Today, also an MSNBC Political Analyst. Jeremy Peters is a reporter for The New York Times and an MSNBC Contributor. Good to see both of you. So, Heidi, the hurricane is going to be the President’s first big test of this kind. Is he ready? Is his team ready?
HEIDI PRZYBYLA: Well, natural disasters, Chris, as you know, can be defining moments for presidencies, just ask George W. Bush. The risk for Trump is that we don’t know yet just how devastating this is going to be and he does have several vacancies at some of the main agencies that oversee these events, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including a temporary director at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees FEMA, and the Coast Guard.
And so, if there is a major event here, let’s hope that President Trump learned from some of the mistakes of President Bush during Hurricane Katrina. Number one, get those supplies in, and get them in quickly. If you remember, some of the most damaging images for President Bush were all of those people huddled into the Superdome, didn’t have the supplies that they need, people waving from rooftops. And two, if there is a major catastrophe, go there and go there quickly. If you remember, Bush’s mistake was that he hung back at his ranch on vacation for a couple of days and then was – had those pictures of him flying over Katrina at a distance. No, go there and get on the ground.
And I guess we’ll see how this plays out. Hopefully it will not be on a scale of Katrina, which as you know, killed hundreds of people.
JANSING: Well, yeah, absolutely. And Chuck Grassley, obviously, has the same concern that you just voiced. And he tweeted today, “Donald Trump #hurricane keep on top of Hurricane Harvey. Don't make the same mistake President Bush made with Katrina.” I mean, one would hope, Jeremy Peters, that a president or anybody who’s in a position to deal with a natural disaster like this, would not have to be reminded that it’s probably not a good idea to let people die. To let what happened after hurricane Katrina, during Hurricane Katrina, happen again. But what is your sense of how the White House feels? Do they feel that this is a test? How much nervousness is there on Capitol Hill among Republicans?
JEREMY PETERS: It’s a huge test of his leadership, no doubt. And Heidi is absolutely correct in pointing out that presidents need to be physically present as quickly as possible in situations like this. One thing, you know, President Trump does have going for him, despite the fact that his leadership is under serious questioning by members of his own party, is that he does grasp the importance of the ceremonial aspects of the job. And I think that this would not be an area in which the President would fall down on the job.
Interestingly enough, the FEMA director he has appointed won high praise across the board. Was confirmed, I believe, with 95 votes. He used to run Alabama’s emergency management division. So he’s in a good position.
JANSING: So, Heidi, what is gonna constitute that they have done their job? I mean, you do have this FEMA director who, you know, was not somebody who was highly controversial. Presumably a lot of the people who have dealt with this before in FEMA, the actual folks on the ground have dealt with this before. It’s not like there’s been a wholesale purging of FEMA. What’s gonna be – is it easy to say as long as everything gets dealt with, as long as all the localities, as long as all the governors say FEMA did for us what we needed them to do, he passes?
PRZYBYLA: It is going to be the images of whether people are able to be rescued, whether there is – in a timely fashion. It is going to be the scale of human suffering. And, frankly, whether there – how many deaths there may be as a result of this. And let’s hope that it is minimal. Of course, people on the ground, the local authorities, share a lot of the responsibility. But at the end of the day, those images will be spliced with Trump’s promises and Trump’s tweets that he’s sending out right now.
JANSING: Heidi, Jeremy, our thoughts and prayers again, we’ve said it many times, but they are with the people in the path of this storm. Thanks to both of you.

Court Admits DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schulz Rigged Primaries Against Sanders

The New York Observer ^ | August 26, 2017 | Michael Sainato 

In June 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for violating the DNC Charter by rigging the Democratic presidential primaries for Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders. Even former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid admitted in July 2016, ““I knew—everybody knew—that this was not a fair deal.” He added adding that Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have resigned much sooner than she did. The lawsuit was filed to push the DNC to admit their wrongdoing and provide Bernie Sanders supporters, who supported him financially with millions of dollars in campaign contributions, with restitution for being cheated.
On August 25, 2017, Federal Judge William Zloch, dismissed the lawsuit after several months of litigation in which DNC attorneys argued that the DNC would be well within their rights to rig primaries and select their own candidate. “In evaluating Plaintiffs’ claims at this stage, the Court assumes their allegations are true—that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponent,” the court order dismissing the lawsuit stated.....
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Swirling Down The Memory-Hole...what ever happened to...

Original Material | 8/26/2017 | By Laz A. Mataz 

In late 2011, when the Fast and Furious Obama-gunrunning scandal broke the news media logjam, I noticed something very odd: Almost immediately thereafter, two other major scandals broke open almost simultaneously. Soylandra, a 'green energy' startup, was shown to have misused and diverted millions of dollars, and there was a heavy political involvement by the Obama administration. Secondly, it emerged that the IRS was bending rules for liberal political advocacy groups and slow-walking the approval of conservative ones.
It seemed to me, at the time, to be an Alinksy-style tactic: Overwhelming the system. By introducing and nearly-admitting several scandals at once, the public could not truly focus on any one of them, and soon the uproar diminished. It blew over. Certainly, one or another of the scandals was mentioned, from time to time, but no true prosecution or investigation that resulted in indictments followed.
I remember marveling at the sheer genius of it, and wondering if this was the machination and intellectual brain-child of Valerie Jarrett, the snakelike advisor to Barack Obama that seemed to compare more to Gregor Rasputin of Czarist Russia, than any other advisor in history.
The ploy seemed to have worked, and since then, many scandals and bad-faith operations have emerged. All manner of leftist organizations and government officials have acted illegally or unethically, yet they are never held to account.
Because these actions have fallen into some sort of 'Memory Hole', it is important that we revisit them: Collect them in one place, and ask why no consequences have been meted out to the actors.
  1. Whatever happened to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, in which the Obama administration allowed many thousands of American firearms to end up in the hands of Mexican drug lords?
  2. Whatever happened to the CNN brazen blackmail and extortion of a private citizen who created a CNN-disparaging animated picture, including an outright threat to expose that citizen at any point in the future if he did not kowtow to CNN's wishes?
  3. Whatever happened to the investigative charges as regards Hillary Clinton's brazen circumventing of long-standing Federal rules about preserving emails for FOIA requests, by establishing an illegal mail server in her home?
  4. Whatever happened to the charges, eventually admitted to, of illegal unmasking of Trump and his associates by Susan Rice?
  5. Whatever happened to the inexplicable 'robbery' in which Seth Rich was killed, when Julian Assange of WikiLeaks directly implies that he was the DNC email leaker? Who really killed Seth Rich, and why?
  6. Whatever happened to the crimes committed by Debbie Wasserman Shultz, with her highly-paid Pakastani hackers who send just under a million to people in Pakistan? One of them, Imran Awan, was arrested at the airport carrying 10's of thousands of dollars. Whatever happened to him?
  7. Whatever happened to the lying claim that the attack on the Benghazi compound was precipitated by a video critical of Islam? Why is that falsely-accused video-creator still stained by prosecution?
  8. Whatever happened to the EPA, after they ruined a river -- perhaps forever -- with heavy-metal pollution?
  9. Whatever happened to the investigation of 'pay to play' to get Hillary's attention, with money funneled through the Clinton Foundation?
  10. Whatever happened to the 500 billion dollars, missing from HUD that Ben Carson discovered? Why are there no follow-up investigations?
  11. Whatever happened to the 400 million dollars that was not-so-secretly sent to Iran... in cash? Where did it come from? Why was it permitted? What use is it being put to? Who allowed it?
  12. Whatever happened to the revelation that the NSA illegally kept the communication data of every American? What is being done to stop them from continuing? Why are there no prosecutions for those who allowed it?
  13. Whatever happened to the news that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower (and Donald Trump's associates), during an election, in a manner that reminds one of the old East German police state? Why have no heads rolled for this egregious behavior?
  14. Whatever happened to the IRS illegally targeting Conservative political groups for special investigative treatment, and slow-walking the approval of those groups? Where is Lois Lerner, and why has she never faced consequences for her actions?
These are fourteen of the biggest scandals. There are hundreds more. Yet they have vanished from the public psyche, and the corrupt and complicit media has taken pains to ignore them. The scandal emerges, it gets a few days press treatment -- then it sunsets -- to be spoken of only occasionally, and in hushed tones.
Blame for this 'new normal' can be laid at two places: The purposed overwhelming of the nation by committing as many scandals as possible in as short a period as possible, and the corruption of a wholly partisan 'news media'. (I have often said that a Liberal can eat a live baby on the Capital steps, and the news media would tell us that the child had it coming and commend the Liberal's choice of barbeque sauce, whereas a Conservative could sit quietly in a church, and the news media would shriek for their impeachment for the crime of loitering.)
We cannot allow all these crimes and scandals to sunset. If we do, we risk America's entire rule-of-law.