Obama: New Russia Sanctions Are "Teed Up" But There's Still Time For Vladimir Putin To Change Course

"Sanctions hurt Russia more than anybody else, but they're disruptive to the global economy, and they're unnecessary if in fact Russia would recognize that the government in Kiev is prepared to have serious negations that preserve the rights of all Ukrainians, including Russian speakers, and is prepared to decentralize in ways that originally Mr. Putin said were of utmost importance to him" -Obama News Conference in Tokyo

CBS News reported:
President Obama warned that the U.S. has prepared a fresh round of sanctions against Russia as a consequence for Moscow's refusal to condemn destabilizing violence in eastern Ukraine. But, he said, there is still time for Russian President Vladimir Putin to change course and uphold promises to engage with the Ukrainian government.

The heart of the problem, Mr. Obama said during a news conference in Tokyo, is that Russia has not abided "by the spirit or the letter" of an agreement brokered by diplomats in Geneva earlier this month that called for all illegally armed groups - including pro-Russian separatists -- to be disarmed and turn back control of buildings to authorities.

"We have been preparing for the prospect that we're going to have to engage in further sanctions. Those are teed up. It requires some technical work, and it also requires coordination with other countries," the president said.

But he made clear that the goal is not to levy the next round of sanctions as soon as possible, but rather "to change Mr. Putin's calculus" and find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, particularly because of the ripple effect that could occur if the U.S. targets entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama talks about 'further consequences' for Russia during this presser with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo


Captain Kirk For Clinton in 2016: William Shatner Says Hillary Is Only Person Who Can Unite The Country (VIDEO)

That would have to be from the evil Captain Kirk in episode 5, The Enemy Within.

 Hillary Clinton uniting the country? You've got to be kidding. If Hillary is elected the country will be just as divided as it is today.

William Shatner did an interview with Jesse Ventura on ORA TV and said that Hillary Clinton is the only candidate, who can unite the political parties, because she understands how to compromise. 'And compromise makes a democracy' he says. 'Sounds like an endorsement of Clinton 2016 here.

h/t pam key


'420' Bash Trashes Golden Gate Park, Costs City of SF $10,000 For Cleanup

CBS5 Photo

5 tons of trash left by pot smokers celebrating 420 at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park (Twitter Photo)

(Facebook photo)

Fox Nation
The mellow, "peace now," countercultural, environmentally conscious “420” celebration deposited 10,000 pounds of garbage on what is known as Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, leaving volunteers and park workers to clean up the mess.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SF Gate, this year’s celebration drew a massive amount of revelers estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000. The pot smokers' untidiness will cost the city more than $10,000 in cleanup costs.

The immense load of empty bags of chips, candy wrappers, and snack containers left behind was evidence that it was indeed the remnants of weed smokers with a case of the munchies on steroids.

The SF Gate reported that one father, Dan Kling, who had taken his 2½-year-old daughter to the park for some family time, was repulsed by the behavior of the “420” partiers. Although he didn’t mind that there was a party, he objected to the pigsty that they left behind. "If you can't be responsible for yourselves, you can't have a party," he said.


Rand Paul Says Chicago's Out of Control Violent Crime Problem 'Is a Sickness of the Spirit Than It Is Ownership of Guns'

Over Easter weekend, At least 9 people were killed and 36 others, including children, were shot and wounded in the city of Chicago. It was the second weekend in a row that at least 36 people were shot. Guns are getting blamed. But Rand Paul points out that Chicago has some of the tightest gun laws in the country.

'It's not as simple as banning guns. They tried that in Chicago and tried it in Washington D.C. and it hasn't worked'...The cities that have the most significant gun control, have the most violence.

The violent crime is a 'sickness of the spirit' he said on The Kelly File rather than ownership of guns


Mary Landrieu: ‘Obamacare Is A Solid Law’

Hopefully her Republican opponent uses this in a web ad

Obamacare- 'Solid' and the 'benefits that people have received are worth fighting for'

Landrieu: BTW, this race is not about Obama.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu called the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, a “solid law that needs improvement.”

The interview, focused largely on Landrieu’s support of Medicaid Expansion throughout the state of Louisiana, where she pits the issue against senatorial candidate Rep. Bill Cassidy, though Obamacare is widely unpopular in the state.
It’s a solid law that needs improvement,” Landrieu said. “My opponent offers nothing but repeal, repeal, and repeal. And even with all the law’s setbacks, we’re seeing benefits for thousands of people in Louisiana.”

“I think the benefits that people have received are worth fighting for,” Landrieu continued, citing an end to discrimination against preexisting conditions and extended coverage for young adults on parents’ plans. ”I think Bill Cassidy is going to be at a distinct disadvantage. He has insurance, but he’s also denying it to the 242,000 people who fall into the Jindal gap. He also wants to take coverage away from tens of thousands who have gotten it for the first time.”
Also, Landrieu said that Obamacare will not be the primary focus of her senate campaign, not for reasons of it’s unpopularity, but because it is not part of her record, she told the Post.
Asked whether the ACA and Obama were serious liabilities for her, Landrieu said: “This race will be won not on the president’s record, but on my record…The Affordable Care Act won’t be the centerpiece of my campaign. The centerpiece will be my leadership and ability to deliver for the people of my state, no matter who the president is.”

Americans for Prosperity out with a new ad featuring an Iraq war vet criticizing  Landrieu's support for Obamacare

'A Marine's Obamacare Story'

Flashback- Carville: I Wouldn't Advise Mary Landrieu to Campaign With Obama



New High: 61% Favor Building the Keystone XL Pipeline

Rand Paul to Bob Dole: Lack of experience can sometimes be a good thing

Poll: Independents more likely to favor candidates that oppose Obamacare. 54- to 29

Boots on the ground: US troops arrive in Poland amid Ukraine crisis

Lavrov: Russia will respond in Ukraine if interests “attacked”

Flashback Lavrov: 'We Have Absolutely no intention of, or interest in, crossing Ukraine's borders' 

Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM

New Home Sales Fall to Slowest Pace Since July 2013

Repo man takes car with a sleeping 4-year-old in backseat

Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel

Republican Sen. John Boozman of AK recovering from emergency heart surgery

NYP: Obama's lies have led to global mistrust

Breakfast makes up 25% of McDonalds total sales

"You're dead," Minnesota homeowner told teen burglar

Mitt Romney donates $10,000 to Bob McDonnell's legal fund

'Distraction': Lawmaker shelves proposal to name Bible as Louisiana state book

 Only 24% Believe Government Should Assist Those Who Can’t Make Mortgage Payments

South Korean ferry disaster: Hope fades- Divers find no air pockets on key decks

Florida sinkhole reopens after crews filled it with concrete Monday
FOX 35 News Orlando

Ukraine Defense Ministry: Ukrainian Military aircraft hit by bullets in Slavyansk

Pennsylvania woman claims she's Virgin Mary's cousin 65 times removed

Canada now #1 - American Middle Class No Longer The World's Richest

Protests over President Obama's Asia trip

RNC Chair Reince Priebus blasts Harry Reid: Dirty, Unethical, misusing his office.. 'will stop at nothing to lie to the American people'

CNN covers it: State Dept. Stumped By Question on Hillary Clinton Achievements

New AforP ad hits Democrat Jeanne Shaheen on Obamacare

John Kerry: 'It was easier during the Cold War'

Dick Morris: Clinton made deal with senate Democrats during Lewinsky scandal- They would keep him from being removed from office if he stop working with Republicans completely

Pro-Russian Gumen Hold American Journalist Captive in Eastern Ukraine

Vice News Simon Ostrovsky detained for 'bad activities'

Bad activity = Reporting the truth about what Russian insurgents are doing in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea

ABC News
Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine admitted on Wednesday that they are holding an American journalist, saying he was suspected of unspecified "bad activities."

Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, has not been seen since early Tuesday. He has been covering the crisis in Ukraine for weeks and was reporting about groups of masked gunmen seizing government buildings in one eastern Ukrainian city after another.

Pro-Russia insurgents who have been occupying police stations and other public buildings in eastern Ukraine for more than a week are defying the accords that Russia and Ukraine signed last week that urged all parties in Ukraine to lay down their arms and vacate the public offices.

Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern city of Slovyansk, confirmed Wednesday that Ostrovsky was being held at the local branch of the Ukrainian security service that they seized more than a week ago.

"He's with us. He's fine," Khorosheva told The AP. When asked why Ostrovsky was held captive, Khorosheva said he is "suspected of bad activities," which she refused to explain. She says the insurgents are holding Ostrovsky pending their own investigation.


more at huffingtonpost


IRS Agents Who Didn't Pay Their Taxes Receive Big Bonuses (Video)

 If you don't pay your taxes, the IRS will come after you. Unless you happen to work at the IRS.

A new watchdog report finds more than 1,000 IRS workers (who didn't pay their taxes) received not only cash bonuses but extra time off to the tune of 10,582 hours valued at $250,000. 69 employees got raises. If you're outraged, you're not alone.

The IRS was in damage control mode Tuesday after an audit revealed that it paid bonuses to employees who were in trouble over tax issues themselves.

More than $2.8 million, plus thousands of hours of paid time-off, were doled out over two years to employees who had recently been disciplined for various types of misconduct, according to an audit report. About $1 million of that money was given as bonuses to 1,100 employees who were in trouble over tax related issues. 

The tax problems include willful understatement of tax liabilities, late payments and under-reporting of income, according to the report issued by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The report says that providing awards to employees who fail to pay taxes "appears to create a conflict with the IRS's charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration."


Bob Dole: Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz Not Ready to Be Prez

'I don't think they've got enough experience' Dole says in an interview

He adds that he hopes he's around in 2016, "If not ... I plan to vote absentee"

Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole argued that some of the men among the younger generation of potential GOP presidential candidates aren't quite ready to take on the White House.

"A number of the younger members, first-termers like Rand Paul, (Marco) Rubio and that extreme-right-wing guy – Ted Cruz? All running for president now," he said in an interview this week with The Wichita Eagle. "I don't think they've got enough experience yet."

The former Republican senator from Kansas and 1996 GOP presidential nominee - who also served as a U.S. congressman as well as the GOP VP nominee in 1976 - is returning to his roots this week for a nine-county tour around Kansas.

Cruz made headlines last month for publicly criticizing Dole, as well as McCain and Romney. Cruz said they were "good" and "decent men" but he suggested that they lacked principle and stood "for nothing," which was why they lost.  Dole told CNN at the time that "Senator Cruz needs to check the record before passing judgment."

In the interview with The Wichita Eagle, Dole joked that his "main concern about (the 2016) elections is that, well, I just hope I'm still around to vote then."

"If not ... I plan to vote absentee," he added, saying he has "no idea how they get the ballots back from up there…But I will check it out. And send it back special delivery."

Dole on Obamacare:  And I don't believe 7 million have signed up

"Obamacare on the roll-out was a disaster," he said of the Affordable Care Act and the initial online health care enrollment. "They say they got 7 million signed up. Well, I don't believe them, that they have 7 million. It was such a mess, I don't believe what they say anymore." Even if they have 7 million, that still leaves millions without health insurance, he said. (About 42 million are without health insurance this year, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report.)


McCain: Give The Ukrainians Defensive Weapons, 'Vladimir Putin Understands Peace Through Strength and Nothing Else'

Senator McCain: Putin knows there is no penalty anywhere on the horizon

"It's insane"

WSJ Reported:
Republican Sen. John McCain intensified calls Tuesday for the U.S. to arm the Ukrainian military as Russian forces showed little sign of retreating from the Ukrainian border.

“Please give the Ukrainians defensive weapons,” Mr. McCain said in an interview Tuesday. “It is insane.”

If the Obama administration hopes to defuse the situation it will have to take a stronger approach to deter a further push from Russia into Ukraine, Mr. McCain said. “This administration, I never have seen anything like it in my life,” Mr. McCain said. “It’s passive.”

The Obama administration, wary of inflaming tensions with Russia, plans to send only nonlethal supplies including medical kits and clothing

Even another round of sanctions may not be enough to repel Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr. McCain said.

“Vladimir Putin understands peace through strength and nothing else. And so far we’ve made a lot of threats and done almost nothing,” Mr. McCain said. “There is no significant penalty anywhere on the horizon.”

The Arizona senator, who has taken to referring to Russia as a “gas station masquerading as a country,” acknowledged additional sanctions could be effective in damaging Russia’s economy. However, he said Mr. Putin’s popularity among the Russian people makes that approach more complicated

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes on CNN With Jake Tapper:

Lethal aid 'will not make a difference' in Ukraine right now