Connecticut Democratic Lawmaker Arrested On 19 Voter Fraud Charges

On Friday, Connecticut state Representative Christina “Tita” Ayala, 31 years old, who represents Bridgeport was arrested on 19 counts of voter fraud. The Connecticut State Attorney’s office said that she is accused of voting in various local and state elections where she does not live. Ayala was originally elected into Connecticut’s 128th District in 2012 and lost her reelection campaign.

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Where criminals get their guns

The Department of Justice just updated its decades-old study asking criminals where they got the guns they used in committing the crime for which they were currently incarcerated. After asking 287,000 prisoners in 2016 where they got the gun they used, 90 percent of them “did not obtain it from a retail source” and less than one percent obtained it from a gun show.

Half of them obtained their firearm from the “underground” market, while just six percent said they stole it. The survey reported that “most of the remainder had obtained it from a family member or a friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.”

In other words, current or pending laws banning “assault weapons” (usually variants of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle) almost totally miss the mark, as nearly every crime was committed using a handgun. Also, those closing the so-called gun show loophole miss the mark as well.

The survey’s results are very similar to the study the DOJ completed back in 1997. Back then, 93 percent of criminals obtained the guns they used illegally, with “straw buyers” — a person buying a gun for another so he won’t have to undergo a background check — representing 40 percent, another 40 percent being obtained from “street dealers (i.e., the black market), and 13 percent being stolen. That left just seven percent obtained legally: five percent from pawn shops or gun dealers, one percent at flea markets, and less than one percent from gun shows.

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Congresswoman Cortez Ignorant on Electoral college

There you go again,” Ronald Reagan famously joked in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter painted an inaccurate picture of one of his policies. Perhaps he’d say the same of those who are distorting the history of the Electoral College today.

New York’s newest congresswoman, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been quick to jump onto this bandwagon, recently labeling the Electoral College a “shadow of slavery’s power on America.” Others have called it a “living symbol of America’s original sin,” an “antiquated relic of slavery,” or even a “pro-slavery compromise.”

Mere hours into the new Congress, a bill was introduced to eliminate this “outdated” system.

Such a view of the Electoral College’s roots threatens to become conventional wisdom, but nothing could be further from the truth.

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Obviously, some of the Founders owned slaves. Compromises were made in America’s early years because North and South couldn’t agree on whether to continue the institution. Just as obviously, virtually all Americans today wish that slavery had never existed. It’s a part of America’s heritage that is clearly at odds with America’s founding principles.

That does not mean, however, that the Constitution and its presidential election process are simply a “relic of slavery.” The discussions at the Constitutional Convention were shaped more by the delegates’ study of history and political philosophy, as well as their own experiences with Parliament and the state legislatures. They wanted to avoid the mistakes that had been made in other governments. They sought to establish a better constitution that would stand the test of time.

George Washington expressed this conviction, felt so strongly by the founding generation: “[T]he preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of government,” he concluded, “are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

His words echoed an argument that James Madison had made about a year and a half earlier. Only a republic, Madison had written, “would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.” He thought the experiment worthwhile. The Constitution met these criteria.

Nevertheless, some modern commentators brush this history aside and insist that the compromises at the convention were nothing more than attempts to preserve slavery. Americans, they say, have been fooled into thinking that their heritage is more admirable than it is. The specific charges about the Electoral College in this context are inaccurate, but they need to be addressed since they are raised so often.

First, critics sometimes cite the Constitution’s “three-fifths” compromise, which determined how slaves would be counted in apportioning congressional representation. The South wanted to count each slave as a whole person. The North did not want to count slaves at all—a larger population would give the South more voting power. In the end, convention delegates agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person.

But did that compromise really do more for the South or for the North?

If slaves had been counted as whole persons (as the South wanted), then the South would have had even more representatives in Congress. In other words, while the three-fifths compromise is often cited as an advantage for the slave-holding South, it can also be interpreted as a win for the North.

One additional nuance complicates an assessment of the three-fifths compromise—the convention applied the same formula for apportioning direct taxes. The North effectively offered the South a compromise: In return for having fewer representatives in Congress, the South would be assessed less in federal taxes.

A more honest assessment of the three-fifths compromise shows what it really concerned—congressional representation and taxation, not the Electoral College. Indeed, the discussions about the compromise and the discussions about the presidential election system were largely separate. The main reason the compromise is cited today is because, late in the convention, it was decided that each state’s electoral vote allocation would match its congressional allocation.

Overriding all these discussions is a much bigger compromise that was brokered between the large and small states: The large states agreed that representation in the Senate would be based on the principle of “one state, one vote.” The small states agreed that representation in the House of Representatives would be based on population.

This blend between the two types of representation was later reflected in the Electoral College, which gives every state three electors, regardless of its size. The rest of the electors are allocated according to population.

Critics of the Electoral College ignore the larger context of the three-fifths compromise, focusing instead on one statement made by Madison. Taken in isolation, it certainly sounds damning.

“The right of suffrage,” he told the convention in July, “was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern states; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the negroes.”

Since Madison mentioned presidential electors in his very next sentence, Electoral College opponents contend that he was proposing such a system in order to increase Southern political power and to protect slavery.

But Madison wasn’t the first to suggest the use of electors that day. Rufus King of Massachusetts had already mentioned them. King was not in favor of slavery. To the contrary, he worked against it during his lifetime. William Paterson of New Jersey, another slavery opponent, also endorsed the concept of electors that day.

The reality is that the discussion that day wasn’t about slavery or the three-fifths compromise. Madison’s statement was a tangent to the main discussion, which revolved around the president’s eligibility for a second term of office. If the president were chosen by the legislature and also eligible for re-election, some delegates feared that he would end up working too hard to satisfy legislators. After all, he’d be worried about winning their support so he could be re-elected. Executive independence would ultimately suffer.

Indeed, Madison made exactly this point just before his now-controversial comment about the “right of suffrage” in the South. “[T]he appointment of the executive should either be drawn from some source,” he told the delegates, “or held by some tenure, that will give him a free agency with regard to the legislature.”

The delegates were discussing separation of powers. Slavery was not their focus. Indeed, the debates about the presidential election process never focused on slavery. Instead, the delegates discussed whether legislative selection or a national popular vote was preferable. The division was between large and small states, not between slave and free states.

Some of the larger states had slaves, some did not. Some of the smaller states had slaves, some did not. All of the small states, however—slave and free—were worried about the dangers of a simple national popular vote. As slavery opponent Gunning Bedford of Delaware had said so eloquently, the small states simply feared that they would be outvoted by the large states time and time again.

The Electoral College had everything to do with balancing power between large and small states in America’s new experiment in self-governance. It had nothing to do with slavery. What an inconvenient truth for those who would like to eliminate the system.

This excerpt was adapted and taken with permission from Tara Ross’ book, “The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule” (Regnery Gateway, 2017). Some punctuation in quotations has been adjusted from the original version.

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Virginia Governor gun control

One of the slang terms we use for gun control supporters is the word “gun grabber.” That term exists because many gun rights advocates feel that the ultimate endgame for gun control is to take away all of our guns.

Yet many gun control backers rankle at the term. I’ve seen more than one recoil at it, arguing that they don’t want to take away anyone’s guns. Who knows, they might even mean it…at least right now.

But the term persists because so many proposals call for taking away people’s lawfully acquired property despite no evidence that they’ve done anything wrong. Frankly, it’s going to keep on persisting too, because of people like Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s latest push.

The plan to ban the sale and possession of certain kinds of firearms proposed by Virginia governor Ralph Northam (D.) could affect millions of gun owners, an industry group said on Friday.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents gun manufacturers and dealers, said the vague description of the legislation released by Northam on Jan. 4 would apply to most firearms currently on sale in the commonwealth.

“The legislative proposals being discussed would put most firearms beyond the reach of law-abiding Virginians who choose the firearms of their choice to protect themselves, hunt, and practice recreational target shooting,” said Lawrence G. Keane, the group’s general counsel. “That could potentially impact the availability of tens of millions of firearms.”

While short on details, Northam’s announcement said part of the proposed gun-control package would ban the “sale, purchase, possession, and transport” of undefined “assault firearms” including “any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” Since the vast majority of semiautomatic handguns and rifles in the state are sold standard with magazines capable of holding 10 or more rounds, it appears the proposed ban would affect most firearms on sale in Virginia. Additionally, the announcement of the ban did not include mention of any grandfathering to allow what NSSF estimated would be millions of Virginians who already own such firearms to legally keep them.

The governor’s office did not respond to multiple requests for more details on his proposed ban and confiscation plan or answer questions on how such a plan would be enforced.

Note that the law will ban possession of these weapons. That indicates there won’t be a grandfather clause built in. Instead, it will require gun owners to turn in the firearms the lawfully purchased in accordance with all state and federal laws or else face potential punishment.

Meanwhile, the criminals? Yeah, they’re not going to hand over jack squat.

Of course, neither will a lot of otherwise law-abiding citizens for that matter. They may stash their magazines and play nice while out in public, but they’re going to hold onto those standard capacity magazines.

Northam is simply trying to create a legion of new criminals.

The problem with this, though, is that it won’t accomplish anything. It won’t make anyone safer. We know this. The 1994 assault weapon ban had a negligible impact on crime at best. Banning standard capacity magazines doesn’t make them all go away. Especially at the state level. Especially in a state where so many already exist.

Northam needs to be shut down with this nonsense because all he’s going to do is empower the criminals who ignore the law and make life difficult for those who want to remain law-abiding citizens.

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Illegal aliens a threat.

LACOMBE, LA (Fox 8 News) – U.S. Marshals tracked a violent criminal accused of stomping an 83-year-old man to death to Lacombe and arrested him after a standoff.

WGNO reported that 23-year-old Silvano Echavarria is awaiting extradition for the brutal murder of the elderly grandfather in Pasadena, Texas.

Echavarria stomped on the victim’s head 74 times and punched him 25 times before leaving his lifeless body in a parking lot, according to the U.S. Marshals.

Authorities said Echavarria fled to Lacombe after Texas authorities began to move in.

When the Marshals approached the Lacombe residence where Echavarria was staying, Echavarria refused to come out before peacefully surrendering a short time later.

“This arrest was a direct result of interagency cooperation,” U.S. Marshal Scott Illing said. “This suspect mistakenly thought he could escape justice by crossing state lines. The community can rest easy knowing our team is not discouraged by geographical boundaries and are ready to pursue fleeing felons wherever they hide.”

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Be aware of your surroundings. The mob is out there

UNR students held at gunpoint, beaten in armed robbery near campus

RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.
Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

by Ben Margiott

Wednesday, October 10th 2018

RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

by Ben Margiott

Wednesday, October 10th 2018

RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

by Ben Margiott

Wednesday, October 10th 2018

RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.

Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.
RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.
Two UNR students were held at gunpoint and beaten in an armed robbery early Saturday morning, one in a series of armed robberies near campus over the weekend, according to the Reno Police Department.
Around 2:00 a.m. Saturday, Turner Gustafson and his friend were walking back to their car on Nevada Street after attending a pancake fundraiser hosted by Tri Delta, a UNR sorority.They were just getting into the car when someone stuck their arm in the door to prevent it from closing and said “Get out of the car and give me everything in your pocket.”

Gustafson said one of the suspects held his friend at gunpoint, while another pulled him out of the car and started beating him. A third suspect started stealing their wallets, phones, keys and other items in the glove box.”We were scared for our lives. We were so afraid.”

“It just happened that quickly where you couldn’t even say anything or do anything. To where you were just helpless,” Gustafson said.The robbery lasted just a few minutes, after which the suspects returned to their car and drove off.Gustafson said he was taken to the hospital, having suffered a concussion, bruised ribs and cuts on his face. His friend, who was held at gunpoint, was not hurt.While his physical wounds are now healing, Gustafson said he now experiences anxiety anytime he’s out late at night.He said that before this incident, he never thought something like this could happen in Reno. Now, he’s urging everyone to be aware of their surroundings at all times.”Travel in groups — more than two of you. Preferably four. Never by yourself, especially girls. Never by yourself … be on the lookout,” Gustafson said.RPD Officer Travis Warren said they don’t have any suspect information at this time. If you have any details that can help investigators, you’re asked to call Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.
In an automated message sent to students on Wednesday, UNR’s police services offered the following tips:Make personal safety your number one priority. Awareness, Avoidance and Risk Reduction are the best ways to not be a victim.Be alert! Look around you; be aware of who is on the street and in the area. Make it difficult for anyone to take you by surprise. Look and walk with a confident stride with your head up.Keep your distance from anyone who triggers a suspicion in your mind. Make eye contact with people you encounter. This shows self-confidence and may deter a potential attack.Stay alert to your surroundings when walking at night. Walk briskly to your destination.Travel in groups of two or more and always travel in well-lit, heavily traveled areas.Carry a whistle or noise maker. This can serve as a reminder to exercise caution, and can alert someone in the area that you need help.If listening to music, keep the volume low so you can hear what is going on around you. Don’t talk on your cell phone or listen to music when you are in an unfamiliar area. This can be a distraction and can make you vulnerable.When walking, stay in public areas that are well lit and populated.Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.If you know you are going to be working late, plan ahead as to how you will get to your vehicle or home safely.Keep your hands free. Limit the number of items you’re carrying or use a backpack or bag to ensure that your hands are free in order to defend yourself if needed.Use university services such as Campus Escort or University Police Cadets to get you to your vehicle safely. The Campus Escort Van operates 7 days a week from 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM during academic semesters.Regularly change your routine.Develop a survival mind set. While you’re in a safe place, visualize a dangerous situation and what you would do if confronted. This may be unpleasant, however it is a good idea to prepare yourself if you were ever attacked, so you don’t freeze with fear if something ever was to happen.If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, don’t worry about hurting the person’s feelings, just leave.Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your feelings and do what you need to do to be safe.Download the Safe Pack

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Obama told cyber chip Stand Down in cyber attacks by the Russians

WASHINGTON — The Obama White House’s chief cyber official testified Wednesday that proposals he was developing to counter Russia’s attack on the U.S. presidential election were put on a “back burner” after he was ordered to “stand down” his efforts in the summer of 2016.

The comments by Michael Daniel, who served as White House “cyber security coordinator” between 2012 and January of last year, provided his first public confirmation of a much-discussed passage in the book, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” co-written by this reporter and David Corn, that detailed his thwarted efforts to respond to the Russian attack.

They came during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing into how the Obama administration dealt with Russian cyber and information warfare attacks in 2016, an issue that has become one of the more politically sensitive subjects in the panel’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and any links to the Trump campaign.

The view that the Obama administration failed to adequately piece together intelligence about the Russian campaign and develop a forceful response has clearly gained traction with the intelligence committee. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the ranking Democrat on the panel, said in an opening statement that “we were caught flat-footed at the outset and our collective response was inadequate to meet Russia’s escalation.”

That conclusion was reinforced Wednesday by another witness, Victoria Nuland, who served as assistant secretary of state for Europe during the Obama administration. She told the panel that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee — long before senior DNC officials were aware of it — and that the intrusion had all the hallmarks of a Russian operatio

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