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Showdown Over Homeland Security Budget Expected to Intensify As GOP Regroups

John A. Boehner

House Speaker John A. Boehner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The showdown between Democrats and Republicans over Homeland Security is elected to intensify this week as both sides dig in for a fight.

The Washington Times reports that GOP House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that he’s preparing for a fight to defund President Obama’s immigration actions.

“Remember what’s causing this, it’s the president of the United States overreaching and it’s not just on immigration,” Mr. Boehner said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Boehner wasn’t so successful last week when Republicans broke ranks to pass a temporary funding bill to avoid a shutdown.

“We do have some members who disagree from time to time over the tactics that we decide to employ,” Mr. Boehner said. “But remember that Republicans are united in this idea that the president has far exceeded his constitutional authority and we all want to do things to stop the president from his illicit activity.”

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FBI Lab Lost Hair Sample in Arson Case Against New Jersey Police Officer

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors may have a tougher time proving their case against a New Jersey police officer accused of setting a captain’s front porch ablaze because the FBI lab lost a critical hair sample collected at the scene, NJ.com reports.

Edison Police Officer Michael Dotro was charged with aggravated arson and five counts of attempted murder for allegedly setting the fire at the home of Capt. Mark Anderko.

“Taken together, the lost hair and the sample that excluded Dotro could make it more difficult for the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to prove the officer started the fire,” NJ.com wrote.

Prosecutors have said Dotro, a 14-year veteran with a long disciplinary history, lied about his whereabouts during the fire.

“We don’t think there’s sufficient evidence to tie Mr. Dotro to the arson, and it is our belief that because of the lack of evidence, they’ve brought additional indictments which would not normally be prosecuted but for the fact it is the Edison Police Department and Mr. Dotro,” Dotro’s lawyer, Robert Norton, said.

Prosecutors declined to comment.

 

 


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Justice Department to Release Highly Critical Report of Ferguson Police

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is preparing to release a highly critical report of police in Ferguson, accusing them of making discriminatory traffic stops and creating an environment that bred animosity among African Americans, The New York Times reports.

The report, which could be released as early as this week, says Ferguson police disproportionately ticketed and arrested African Americans, while also relying on them for fines to help balance the budget.

The report follows the police shooting death of Michael Brown in August, which led to months of protests.

But the Justice Department does not plan to charge the officer, Darren Wilson, following a civil rights investigation.

What’s different about this report is it will “give the context for the shooting, describing the mounting sense of frustration and anger in a predominantly black city where the police department and local government are mostly white,” The New York Times wrote.


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Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Honored with Statue at Station Named After Him

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol unveiled a statue honoring slain Agent Brian Terry on Saturday at the newly renamed Brin Terry Patrol Station in Bisbee, Ariz., Fox News reports.

“That iconic image of Brian carrying his BordTac team member on his shoulders represents everything good about Brian, his strength, his determination, his attention to detail, his love for the Border Patrol and his love for his fellow agents,” Terry’s cousin, Robert Heyer, said.

Terry was killed in a gun battle with members of a gang members, and federal officials later traced back one of the guns to the botched Operation Fast and Furious.


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Weekend Series on Crime: The Dangers of Methamphetamines


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Fox News Cries Foul Over Attorney General Eric Holder Denying Exit Interview

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder has given Fox News the stiff-arm on an exit interview, and the news agency is not happy, The Washington Post reports.

“The Attorney General’s decision does a deep disservice to America’s largest cable news audience and the interests of a free press,” Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente said in a statement.

An exit interview with Holder “would have been spectacular, give the backstory,” The Post wrote.

It was discovered in the spring of 2013 that the Justice Department used heavy-handed tactics in pursuing an investigation against Fox News reporter James Rosen, who was falsely accused of being co-conspirator in a case involving former intelligence analyst Stephen Kim.

Fox News said it wants a chance to address the facts.

“Ultimately, however, we’re not surprised that Holder would try to evade a thorough accounting of his record in office, including his decision to investigate our Chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen through an illegal seizure of emails and phone records of Rosen and his parents. Late today, the DOJ press office said ‘they look forward to accommodating’ FOX News at a future time.’ We’re hopeful but realistic about whether that will actually happen.”


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Day of Reckoning: Deadline to Avoid Homeland Security Shutdown Is Today

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The fate of Homeland Security’s budget and President Obama’s immigration plan is in the hands of the U.S. Senate on the final day before money runs out today.

The New York Times reports that the Senate is expected to vote today on a measure that would providing funding for the remainder of the fiscal year.

But House Republicans appear poised to reject the measure in what would create a partial shutdown of the department at a time when the country is worried about the spread of terrorism. The House may consider a shorter-term funding bill.

House Republicans are trying to stop financing for Obama’s immigration plan.

“As a governing party, we’ve got to fund D.H.S. and say to the House, ‘Here’s a straw so you can suck it up,’ ” said Senator Mark S. Kirk, Republican of Illinois. “This battle should be the end of the strategy of attaching whatever you’re upset at the president to a vital piece of government.”

 


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Anti-Gay Westboro Leader Fred Phelps Has Extensive FBI File

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fred Phelps, the founder of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, was no stranger to the FBI.

In fact, The Hill reports that Phelps was “well known to the FBI,” according to his newly released 250-page bureau file.

Phelps, who died in March 2014, first came on the FBI’s radar in 1967 when a confidential informant said Phelps was ““in need of psychiatric care” while he was leading Westboro.

Between 1993 and 2006, Phelps gained the attention of the FBI virtually every year.

In some cases, Phelps made claims that he was threatened by terrorists.

“It would appear that Mr. Phelps is intentionally provoking these types of responses,” the FBI wrote to a U.S. district attorney in 1993 regarding reported death threats against Phelps. “Large amounts of money and investigative time can potentially be wasted investigating these threat letters. Historically, very few, if any, of these types of cases have been prosecuted in the District of Kansas.”

“The FBI does have the responsibility to investigate and prevent potential violence against any person regardless of their religious or political views, however,” continued a supervisory senior agent, whose name is redacted.

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