Saturday, August 15, 2015

StemExpress Is Cutting Ties With Planned Parenthood

StemExpress Is Cutting Ties With Planned Parenthood
StemExpress, a biomedical company engulfed in the scandal surrounding allegations that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal organs, is cutting ties with the nation’s largest abortion provider, according to a report by Politico.
Politico reports that StemExpress “notified Planned Parenthood and Congress Friday of its decision to end the relationship.”
StemExpress and Planned Parenthood face questions from lawmakers about the financial nature of their relationship after undercover videos were released by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior executives at the organization describing the sale of fetal organs.
Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood and StemExpress have denied the allegations and called the videos “heavily edited.”
In footage produced by the Center for Medical Progress, Holly O’Donnell, a former blood and tissue procurement technician for StemExpress, described how employees were assigned to Planned Parenthood clinics in order to obtain what they referred to as “the products of conception.”
She said the organizations acquired fetal body partswithout obtaining maternal consent.
In another video, O’Donnell says that Planned Parenthood received a financial benefit from StemExpress for providing them with fetal body parts.
Profiting from the purchase or sale of human organs—including fetal human organs—is a felony in the United States.
A spokesperson for StemExpress provided a statement to The Daily Signal:
“StemExpress at its core is a small life sciences company committed to accelerating research, advancing medicine, and saving lives. We partner with organizations also seeking to help researchers find solutions to some of life’s most significant medical conditions and diseases. Our commitment to quality defines us and is demanded by our customers in the research community. We value our various partnerships but, due to the increased questions that have arisen over the past few weeks, we feel it prudent to terminate activities with Planned Parenthood. While we value our business relationship with Planned Parenthood, that work represents a small percentage of our overall business activity and we must focus our limited resources on resolving these inquiries.
StemExpress works tirelessly to accelerate the speed of helping patients globally: 7.6 million people die of cancer each year, another 7.4 million of heart disease, over 4.6 million from lung cancer, AIDS and diabetes and every 12 minutes another name is added to the national transplant waiting list. These numbers drive our work and the research community. StemExpress looks forward to the swift resolution of all inquiries and audits so we can focus our full attention on helping the medical and research community improve and save lives.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for The Center for Medical Progress said:
“Earlier this week, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Northern California said they were proud of their baby parts program with StemExpress. Now, StemExpress claims it is terminating its ‘business relationship’ with Planned Parenthood. Yet StemExpress leadership confirmed to CMP investigators in May they are struggling to meet demand for intact fetal livers. Was there a dispute about money with Planned Parenthood? Or is StemExpress following orders from Planned Parenthood National to save face? Does Planned Parenthood abortion doctor Ronald Berman continue to serve as Medical Director of StemExpress? Planned Parenthood and StemExpress should both answer questions about this shady move, and the full details of their “business relationship,” under oath before Congress and the American people.”

[VIDEO] Report: ‘Highly Likely’ That There’s A Full Backup Of Hillary’s Email Server

Platte River Networks, the Denver-based cybersecurity firm Hillary Clinton hired in 2013 to maintain her old email server, says it is “highly likely” a full backup of the device was made and that the thousands of emails Clinton deleted may still exist, ABC News is reporting.
On Wednesday, Platte River gave the FBI the server Clinton used as secretary of state. The Democratic presidential candidate had stated numerous times prior to that that she would not relinquish control of the server to a third party.
But the FBI became interested in the hardware after the revelation that the Intelligent Community inspector general had determined that two emails that traversed the server contained “top secret” information. While Clinton is not believed to have sent the emails in question, the finding undermines her claims at the onset of the email scandal in March that no classified information ever landed on her server.
Platte River has said that it is cooperating with the FBI and that it is not the target of any investigation.
The company did not respond to requests for additional comment Sunday.
The details about how Clinton’s server was handled and how the data from it was transferred have remained unclear.
In a March 27 letter to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, wrote that he “confirmed with the Secretary’s IT support that no e-mails from…reside on the server or any back-up systems associated with the server.”
Earlier this week, Barbara Wells, an attorney for Platte River, told reporters, including The Daily Caller, that the server was rendered blank after data was transferred from it in June 2013. Wells told Bloomberg News that the information from Clinton’s old server was migrated to a new server that still exists.

[VIDEO] Fox News Poll: Anti-Politicians Rising In GOP Primary Race

The explosive first Republican debate has shaken up the 2016 GOP presidential race.
Who’s up?  Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and businesswoman Carly Fiorina.  Who’s down? Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. 
The Democratic side’s getting more interesting too, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to make gains on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Those are just some of the highlights in the latest Fox News national poll of registered voters.  First, the nomination races:
Businessman Donald Trump still leads the field for the Republican nomination.  He gets 25 percent among GOP primary voters.  He was at 26 percent before the debate.  Trump’s support among women went from 24 percent two weeks ago to 21 percent now.  He mostly held steady among men (28 percent).
The real-estate mogul maintains his first-place status despite also being judged in the poll as having the worst debate performance and being considered the least likeable Republican candidate.  More on that later. 
The August 6 Republican presidential debate was hosted by Fox News Channel in Cleveland.  Several of the exchanges at the debate remained in the news for days after. 
Next in the GOP race is Carson, who garners 12 percent.  That’s up five percentage points since the debate and puts him in double-digits for the first time since mid-June.  Cruz captures 10 percent, up four points. 
Bush has dropped to nine percent.  That’s down six points -- and puts him in single digits for the first time since April.  That’s likely a result of his debate performance, which was judged subpar by those who watched.  Bush does well on other measures -- he’s seen as both likeable and qualified.

Number of Hillary Clinton’s emails flagged for classified data grows to 60 as review continues

Federal officials have known since May that Hillary Rodham Clinton's State Department email included classified information, according to a report Thursday night by McClatchy News. (Associated Press)
While media coverage has focused on a half-dozen of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal emails containing sensitive intelligence, the total number of her private emails identified by an ongoing State Department review as having contained classified data has ballooned to 60, officials told The Washington Times.
That figure is current through the end of July and is likely to grow as officials wade through a total of 30,000 work-related emails that passed through her personal email server, officials said. The process is expected to take months.

5 GAO employees indicted for stealing school lunches for their kids

The dollar amount involved in this scheme of employees of the General Accountability Office to steal school lunches for their children is miniscule; about $13,000. But there is a larger lesson that can be drawn from it; the sense of entitlement of government workers that gives them leave to abuse the public purse and steal from taxpayers.

Five employees with the Government Accountability Office, and one GAO employee’s spouse, were indicted Tuesday for working to illegally obtain reduced-price lunches for their children. 
The indictment resulted from the legislative branch agency’s own investigation into the school meals program, which found some of the GAO’s employees applied for the program and underreported their income to gain access to the reduced-price lunches. After the agency discovered the illegal activity, the GAO reported applications to the agency’s inspector general. 
“There is no excuse for stealing funds intended to go to children whose parents cannot afford the school lunches,” Maryland’s Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in a news release announcing the indictment. “Their actions are made even worse by the fact that some of them claimed to have not just low income, but no income at all, even though they were working full-time jobs at the GAO.” 
The GAO, which notes on its website that it is often referred to as the “congressional watchdog,” investigates federal spending. GAO spokesman Chuck Young wrote in an email to CQ Roll Call that GAO employees were “both disappointed and surprised” to learn their colleagues were potentially committing fraud. 
“We will now be monitoring the judicial process and then determine what personnel actions might be appropriate,” Young said. Young later noted all of the employees indicted are administrative support personnel. 
According to the news release, between 2010 and 2014, the employees’ children received more than $13,000 in reduced-price lunches. The GAO employees named in the indictment include Lynette Mundey, an internal auditor and an outgoing member of the county’s board of education; Barbara Rowley; Jamilah Reid; Tracy Williams; Charlene Savoy; and James Pickney, whose wife is a GAO employee. Pickney allegedly failed to disclose his wife’s income, which rendered his family ineligible for the reduced lunch program. 
Each employee was charged with two counts of welfare fraud, two counts of submitting a false application for public assistance and one count of a theft scheme, according to a copy of the indictment.
This incident speaks to the general lack of concern harbored by many bureaucrats regarding how taxpayer money is spent. Up and down government we see managers taking expensive trips for "conferences" to Hawaii and even overseas. Other employees game the system to receive perks and pay to which they are not entitled. The rot is systemic and results from a lack of competent management at the top.

In any large organization, you will find graft and corruption. But the culture in government seems to magnify and encourage corruption at all levels by fostering that sense of entitlement not found in the private sector.

Weekly Republican Address: Progress on Jobs, Free Trade, and Health Care Saturday August 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) discusses the new Congress’s accomplishments to date – from the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades to a plan that advances free trade and American jobs – and our ongoing commitment to address the people’s priorities. 
The audio of the address is available here, embargoed until tomorrow at 6:00 am ET, when the video will be available on and

Obama Weekly Address: Continuing Work to Improve Community Policing Saturday August 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President spoke about the work the Administration is doing to enhance trust between communities and law enforcement in the year since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.  In May, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing released their final report setting out concrete proposals to build trust and enhance public safety.  And across America local leaders are working to put these ideas into action in their communities.  The President noted that while progress is being made, these issues go beyond policing, which is why the Administration is committed to achieving broader reforms to the criminal justice system and to making new investments in our children and their future. 

Disney Chief Announces New 'Star Wars' Theme Parks

Image: Disney Chief Announces New 'Star Wars' Theme Parks
Disney's Bob Iger announced "Star Wars"-themed lands in Disney's Orlando and Anaheim Parks at D23 Expo in Anaheim.

"We're building a 14-acre Star Wars land at Disneyland," Iger told the crowd.

Iger said the new land will be "occupied by many inhabitants; humanoids, aliens and droids ... the attraction, the entertainment, everything we create will be part of our storytelling. Nothing will be out of character or stray from the mythology."

There will be a cantina where fans can "run into all the droids and roaming beasts 'Star Wars is known for," including characters from the "Star Wars" saga and "The Force Awakens."

According to Iger, the land will have two signature attractions, including a ride where fans can take the controls of the Millennium Falcon "on a customized secret mission," and an experience that drops attendees into "a climactic battle between the First Order and the resistance."

One themed land will be located at Disneyworld's Orlando-based "Hollywood Studios" theme park, and the other at Disneyland in Anaheim.

"We are creating a jaw dropping new world that represents our largest single theme land expansion ever. We knew it needed to be big. We knew it needed to be great and we knew it needed to be every bit as thrilling as the films will be."

Every store and restaurant will be operated by local inhabitants. Nothing in the land nothing will be out of character."

He noted that they are "currently casting for roles" to staff the new attractions.
Latest News Update
Director J.J. Abrams was also on hand with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o and Harrison Ford, who received a standing ovation from the 7,500-strong crowd on Saturday afternoon.

"It's a great thrill to be here with you, who made this whole thing happen, I couldn't be happier, thank you so much," Ford said.
On picking Abrams to direct, Iger quipped: "We knew we needed someone who was great. We new we needed someone we could trust. We knew we needed someone who had great casting sense. Unfortunately, that director wasn't available."

"You will have chance to run into drioids and fantastic roaming beasts that Star Wars is known for," Iger said, as a picture of a shaggy white, tusked creature was projected on the screen behind him.

Via: Newsmax

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[VIDEO] House Foreign Affairs Chair: Russia And Iran ‘Already Violating’ Nuclear Deal

( – The U.S. must call both Russia and Iran to account for “already violating” the nuclear agreement, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said Thursday. He was responding to a reported trip to Moscow by Iran’s Qods force commander, who is subject to U.N. travel sanctions.
“[Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani] is the chief commander for Iranian foreign forces outside of Iran who carry out their assassinations and carry out their attacks,” Royce told CNN.
“And the fact that he would violate the sanctions prior to it being lifted upon him, by jumping the gun – this gives us the opportunity to call the Russians to account, and the Iranians to account, for already violating this agreement,” he said. “And we should do so.”
As a P5+1 partner, Russia – a U.N. Security Council permanent member -- is supposed to help enforce the nuclear agreement which the six powers negotiated with Tehran.
Following reports that Soleimani traveled to Moscow last month and met with President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Iran deal critics are asking: If Russia gets away with hosting him, what does that say about its likely response to any future Iranian cheating on the nuclear agreement?
Although the Obama administration agreed as part of the nuclear deal that U.N. sanctions against Soleimani and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force will be lifted, it says that will only happen in “phase two” of the agreement’s implementation – in about eight years’ time.
Any travel abroad by him ahead of that point would be in violation of the U.N. travel ban, under which all member states are required to deny him entry.
In a letter to President Obama, Royce has requested “a determination of whether the travel of Soleimani took place, its purpose, and whether it was in violation of United Nations sanctions.”
“Since the Iran agreement was signed, senior administration officials have testified that there would be no relaxing of sanctions against Iran for terrorist activity,” he wrote. “The reported free travel of Qassem Soleimani and the continuing arming of Iranian proxies throughout the Middle East is a direct challenge to that commitment.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby told a press briefing Thursday that Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone conversation with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “raised concerns about the travel to Moscow by IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani.”
Later in the briefing, however, Kirby revised his wording, saying he could not independently confirm that the visit had indeed taken place, but that Kerry “has seen the reports of the travel and expressed his concerns [to Lavrov] about those reports.”
Fox News first reported on the alleged visit last week, citing unnamed Western intelligence sources.
Then Reuters reported that an “Iranian official, who declined to be identified,” confirmed that the trip had taken place, saying Soleimani had discussed “regional and bilateral issues and the delivery to Iran of S-300 surface-to-air missiles and other weapons.”
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, however, quoted a Kremlin spokesman as denying the claim (although the report’s wording left open the possibility that the denial was specifically in relation to a Soleimani-Putin meeting, rather than about whether the visit took place at all.)
Soleimani’s name appears on a list of Iranian individuals and entities in line for sanctions relief, annexed to the nuclear agreement.
Hours after the deal was announced in Vienna on July 14, a senior administration official, briefing reporters on background, was asked about Soleimani’s inclusion.
“IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani will not be delisted at the United Nations at phase one; he will be delisted at the U.N. at phase two when the underlying designation authority terminates,” the official said.
That would only occur “after eight years into the deal, so sanctions are not being lifted early on Qassem Soleimani,” the official said.
Since then, Kerry has stressed that U.S. sanctions – as opposed to U.N. ones – against Soleimani will “never” be lifted.
Soleimani is accused of directing Shi’ite militias that carried out deadly attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq during the war there. According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman nominee Gen. Joseph Dunford, he was responsible for the deaths of at least 500 U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq.

[LETTERS] Readers react to Planned Parenthood, abandoned animals and Obamacare

Planned Parenthood

Even though Planned Parenthood clinics in Kansas do not accept fetal tissue, Gov. Sam Brownback launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood. Brownback is staunchly opposed to abortion, so this is merely another effort to close down Planned Parenthood clinics in Kansas.
Apparently, the governor does not realize the vital health care services Planned Parenthood provides for women. These include birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing, pelvic exams, Pap tests and breast-cancer screenings. Abortions account for only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services.
Brownback must keep his hands off health care for Kansas women and concentrate on the fiscal disaster he has created in our state.
Jane Toliver

Abandoned animals

To the uncaring person who saw fit to drop off the little black and white dog at Missouri 150 and Bynum Road one Sunday morning, if you had stuck around a few minutes you could have seen that bewildered baby scanning every vehicle that passed by hoping in its heart that you would return, only to be disappointed time after time.
You would also have seen several caring people stop to try and rescue that poor thing before it became another dead animal along the roadway.
You were right in your apparent assumption that we country folk are animal lovers and will if possible make a home for your unwanted pet.
The truth is, however, we who want animals already have them. Your callous disregard for that animal’s feelings are reprehensible.
There are a number of animal rescuers in the metropolitan area that would have gladly taken that poor creature and tried to find a decent home for it.
Almost daily, we who travel the highway are treated to a collection of dead animals, some wild and some dumped as was yours, that have been struck by cars.
Shame on you.
Wayne Miller
Lone Jack

Kobach, Obamacare

The Kansas secretary of state has written members of Congress, urging them to affirm a health-care compact that he says would give states a way to exempt themselves from the federal Affordable Care Act.
News stories have said that Secretary of State Kris Kobach said in the letter to 94 Republicans in Congress that authorization of the interstate coalition on health care would give those states authority to regulate health care within their borders and to administer their federal health-care funds.
In 2014, Kansas lawmakers approved a bill to join such a compact. But it requires congressional approval to take effect. Critics say the plan could jeopardize the health care of people who receive other forms of federal health-care benefits, including more than 450,000 seniors in Kansas on Medicare.
Medicare works just fine as a federal program. Kansans should fight this effort.
Kansas cannot manage Medicare as well as the federal government.
John Skelton

Brownback’s plan

I do not agree that the budget deficit in Kansas stems from a poor or mistaken economic policy by Gov. Sam Brownback. He knew exactly what the outcome would be.
The governor is an intelligent man. He has to be aware that trickle-down economics is a failed economic policy. Yet he has continued to pursue tax cuts for the wealthy and shifted more of the tax burden to the middle class and the poor through increased sales taxes and reduced mortgage deductions.
Gov. Brownback appears to subscribe to a libertarian philosophy, which favors dismantling the “nanny state” by starving state and local governments of adequate tax money to fund education, public pensions, Medicaid and infrastructure.
Next year, as the deficit grows, Kansans will face some hard choices if they continue to support Brownback’s insistence on his 2012 tax cuts for the wealthy.
Diane Mitchell
Kansas City

Redefining terrorism

Terrorism is a violent statement, meant to strike terror into the hearts of entire groups. The acts of Dylann Roof, F. Glenn Miller Jr. and a huge number of others fall into this category.
And yet our government and the news media mostly reserve the word terrorism for acts committed by Muslims. An example is Chattanooga, Tenn.
Most low-information Americans find the very word terrifying and wildly overestimate their odds of getting killed by Muslim terrorists. It’s considerably more likely that one might be the victim of an American terrorist.
Reserving the word for Muslims leads to unfair hatred of Islam and to our enthusiastic endorsement of war and drone strikes on Muslim countries. This understandably angers Muslims and recruits some to groups bent on vengeance.
It’s time to ponder this effect and rethink the role being played in the branding of Muslims as the terrorists of the world.
Marlen Beach
Kansas City

Climb pay ladder

I am a lifelong Kansas City resident. I voted for Mayor Sly James twice.
I’ve read Mary Sanchez’s columns for years, often disagreeing with her. I don’t own a business, and I get my coffee at McDonald’s every day. I put myself through college by working after school and through the GI bill.
Raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour by Jan. 1, 2020, is a mistake. It will only serve to hold people in menial jobs even longer.
I love the servers I see at McDonald’s every day. My best wish for them is to leave, move on to the next better job.
Raise your pay by advancement, not by raising the minimum wage.
Get out of the rut.
Mary Sanchez is worried about the programs these wonderful young people might lose if the wage went up. Go to school, get an education and get out of the rut.
I worked 40 hours a week and carried a full college load every semester. I was married, and my first son was born while I was in school.
It worked. I spent 42 years with the same company here in Kansas City by moving up, not by protesting for more pay.
Michael J. Callahan
Kansas City
Via: Kansas City Star
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Chicago Tribune Writer Comes Under Fire For Column Wishing for Hurricane Katrina

katrina.jpg (320×200)
In a column expressing a desire to see Chicago rise the way New Orleans did in 2005, a Chicago Tribune columnist wrote a piece that was released on Thursday with are-you-kidding-me title of “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina.”
Kristen McQueary wrote about how she found herself “praying for a storm,” that would prompt a “rebirth” in Chicago. The rest of the article alludes to McQueary’s hope that this figurative event would be able to bring light to issues “beneath the pretty surface,” that “threaten (Chicago’s) future.”
“Envy isn’t a rational response to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,” McQueary wrote in her opening. “I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters.”
The column has since been retitled to Chicago, New Orleans and Rebirth. It also now includes this tweet from McQueary, emphasizing that the storm she wrote about was a “figurative” one, and that she acknowledged Katrina as a tragedy:
If you read the piece, it's about finances and government. I would never diminish the tragedy of thousands of lives lost.
McQueary soon wrote a new article apologizing to New Orleans and those she offended, but even so, the original title was out there long enough for people to say how it made them feel:
Via: Chicago Tribune

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