In case you didn’t notice..

Barack Obama has already checked out of his job

The degree to which Barack Obama is now phoning it in – sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term, amid golf rounds and dinner parties – is astonishing

US President Barack Obama enjoys a round of golf in Hawaii, January 2014

US President Barack Obama enjoys a round of golf in Hawaii Photo: EPA

By Matt K Lewis

12:04PM BST 26 Jul 2014

President Obama has emotionally checked out of his job a couple of years early, it seems. How can one tell?

Candidates for president who brazenly assume they are the inevitable victor are sometimes accused of “measuring the drapes” for the White House.

Obama, conversely, seems to be prematurely packing his bags in hopes for an early departure.

Top priority? Barack Obama greets people in Delaware (AFP/Getty)

Just last week, for example, the Los Angeles Times reported that “The First Family is believed to be in escrow on a contemporary home in a gated community where entertainers Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby once maintained estates”.

George Santayana observed that “Americans don’t solve problems, they leave them behind”. Perhaps the president is taking this to heart.

For rumours to catch fire, an element of truth must typically be involved.

The fact that the press would find relevance in speculating on Obama’s post-White House residence – and identify California as the kind of scene the future ex-president would want to hang out in when he leaves office – is perhaps telling.

And, indeed, this comes on the heels of multiple reports from outlets such as The New York Times and Politico, detailing how Obama has increasingly been spending his time at trendy restaurants and fancy, late-night dinner parties with celebrities and various intellectuals.

Rubbing elbows with the rich and elite is fine enough. Unfortunately, the work suffers. The degree to which he is now phoning it in – sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term – is astonishing.

And based on his recent handling of situations much more serious than a possible post-presidential move to sunny California, it seems as if “No Drama Obama” is no longer even worried about keeping up appearances; he doesn’t care enough to fake it.

Consider this: In recent days, a) Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, apparently by Russian separatists in Ukraine, b) In the Gaza strip, the numbers killed continued to mount as Israelis and Palestinians exchange rocket fire, c) a huge influx of children fleeing Central American poverty and gang warfare swamped America’s southern border, creating a humanitarian crisis. And, oh yeah, d) Christians living in Mosul were given the choice to either convert to Islam or flee the area they have inhabited for nearly two thousand years.

You know what else has happened during this time? a) Obama played many rounds of golf, b) he attended numerous fund-raisers, c) he dined on barbecue in Texas and burgers in Delaware, and d) he almost appeared on the comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night television show in Hollywood.

I say “almost” because the White House finally relented. “We ultimately elected not to have the president do that interview over the course of this trip,” the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, conceded. “And that is at least in part related to the challenges of doing a comedy show in the midst of some of these other more serious matters that the president’s dealing with in the international scene.”

The irony is that Obama won election in 2008, partly based on his ability to demonstrate leadership (at least, rhetorically).

And, despite a less-than-perfect first term, the public believed enough in his “hope and change” mantra to return him to office – a move reminiscent of Samuel Johnson’s observation about second marriages being “a triumph of hope over experience”.

But today, one wonders if Obama even has the energy left to summon some of the old magic that got him elected. A souffle, as they say, doesn’t rise twice.

While we tend to think of them as polar opposites, Obama’s predecessor had been similarly excoriated for similarly botching a few big moments where he should have been on the job. For President George W Bush, the images of Hurricane Katrina continue to haunt his legacy. He later regretted not going to there immediately after the hurricane hit.

“I should have touched down in Baton Rouge, met with the governor, and walked out and said, ‘I hear you. We understand. And we’re going to help the state and help the local governments with as much resources as needed’,” he confessed in 2010.

Woody Allen famously said, 80 per cent of life is just showing up. He wasn’t wrong. But, in lieu of showing up, there is an even easier way to avoid looking quite so out of touch. If Obama were worried about bad optics – about appearing out of touch – he might play a bit less golf (another lesson he could have learned from his predecessor).

During one unfortunate event caught on tape, and featured in the Fahrenheit 9/11 film trailer, the then President Bush was unfortunately filmed saying: “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you.” Then, holding up a golf club, he added: “Now, watch this drive.”

This was a brutal blow. Fair or not, playing golf has a way of making one look simultaneously elitist and aloof. Obama tends to dismiss such cautionary tales.

For example, the suggestion that while in Texas he should have gone to the border and addressed the growing humanitarian crisis (instead of attending fund-raisers) was dismissed as the suggestion he do a theatrical “photo-op”.

This is at best unromantic, and, at worst, cynical. Words matter.

Showing up matters. Was it a “photo-op” when Ronald Reagan spoke in front of the Brandenburg Gate and declared: “Tear down this wall!”?

I suppose one could have made that argument.

Obama’s not dumb, and he’s clearly capable of marshalling an effective propaganda campaign when he wants to. So what explains this series of bad optics, which might be described by PR professionals as political malpractice?

The only thing that makes sense is that he is exhausted and, perhaps, has checked out of the job early.

If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, then Obama is dining out, golfing, and raising money while the world collapses.

Matt K Lewis is a senior contributor at The Daily Caller website in Washington, DC

Will he be fired? Of course not.

Police Chief Charged With Signing Up Tea Party Leader on Gay Porn Sites

July 24, 2014 – 3:11 PM

Campbell, WI Police Chief Tim Kelemen (center) in court after being charged with unlawful use of a computer to harass a Tea Party member. (AP/LaCrosse Tribune)

(– A  police chief in Wisconsin has been charged with a misdemeanor after he used the name of a local Tea Party leader to create fake accounts on gay dating and pornographic sites, as well as and, to harass him.Tim Kelemen, chief of police in the Town of Campell in western Wisconsin, faces one count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system, which carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 in fines and 90 days in jail.

However, his attorney. Jim Birnbaum, and Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger have worked out a deal that will allow Kelemen to avoid conviction if he pleads no contest and completes counseling and 40 hours of community service, according to the Associated Press.

Kelemen admits to signing up La Crosse Tea Party leader Greg Luce for the websites, Birnbaum told the Associated Press.

According to the incident report of the case, “Kelemen went on to confirm what he had done and said he wasn’t going to deny it, but said he didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”

Kelemen and Luce have reportedly been at odds since last fall, when Kelemen convinced the town’s board to pass an ordinance banning signs, banners, and flags on an Interstate-90 overpass frequented by Tea Party protesters as part of the Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment project.

Last December, a Campbell police officer issued citations toTea Party members for displaying the American flag on the overpass.


Overpass protestProtesters in Campbell, WI on Interstate-90 overpass. (AP/Thomas More Law Center)


Kelemen says that Luce then urged his supporters across the country to bombard the Campbell Police Department with phone calls to protest the move.

“I think it isn’t fair when the behavior of the Tea Party has been unchallenged and unabated,” Birnbaum said in defense of his client. “Then to have a charge filed against the chief because of, really, an act of frustration is unfortunate.”

However Luce’s attorney, Erin Mersino, disputed Kelemen’s claims.

“I think that this is a person who has made a terrible mistake who is trying to divert away attention from what he personally did,” Mersino told

“All of these claims, to us, are totally unfounded and not based in truth, and we have not seen any evidence other than the attorney’s statements to the media,” Mersino noted.

Luce has filed a federal lawsuit against the police chief accusing him of identity theft and violating his First Amendment rights. Kelemen’s attorney did not return multiple calls from for comment.

A decision has not been made on whether Kelemen will remain police chief. That decision is up to the Campbell Town Council, Mersino told Only those with felony misdemeanor convictions related to domestic violence are barred from the police force, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.



Facebook ‘likes’ lead to Douglas County burglary arrests

By News Tribune on Jul 26, 2014 at 9:55 a.m.

Authorities say two burglary suspects “liked” a photo posted on the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page of their accomplice using a credit card they allegedly stole from a town of Lakeside residence.

Lisa J. Schulties

Lisa J. Schulties, 32, and Jeorge A. Sales, 26, were charged this week with felony burglary in the June 26 burglary. They are scheduled to appear in Douglas County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office on July 11 posted a surveillance image on Facebook of a man walking into a local retailer with credit cards that were taken from the Lakeside burglary. Both Schulties and Sales liked the photo.

The investigation led to the arrest and confession of Schulties. She also implicated Sales, who is her boyfriend, the sheriff’s office said.

The man seen in the surveillance photo is not a suspect in the burglary and no charges have been filed against him. The sheriff’s office said he apparently fled after seeing his photo on Facebook. Investigators said they still would like to speak with him.

As it should be. Now, he should be tarred, feathered, and required to repay the taxpayers for his “leave”.

Jury finds Scannell guilty on multiple counts

By Tom Olsen Today at 2:59 p.m.

 A jury of nine men and three women found Cook County attorney Tim Scannell guilty of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct Friday in his sexual misconduct trial.
Scannell, 48, has admitted that he had a relationship with a 17-year-old girl in the summer of 2012. He was accused of kissing and touching her sexually while the two were parked in his family van on a rural Cook County road. Scannell.

During the trial, the girl testified that she had known Scannell since she was about 9 years old. She said their physical relationship began with kissing when she was 17. During August 2012, it progressed to touching of her breasts and buttocks, she testified. The girl said she refused several of his advances to engage in sexual intercourse.

Scannell admitted that they kissed fewer than 10 times, but rebutted much of her testimony. He said he never touched her sexually, only inadvertently touching her breast once, and denied that he ever suggested they engage in sexual intercourse.

Because the age of consent in Minnesota is typically 16, the jury was asked to decide whether Scannell was in a “position of authority” over the girl at the time of the acts. That became a major sticking point between the two sides. Scannell’s defense said that while his behavior was “distasteful” and “immoral,” there was nothing illegal about the physical relationship.

Scannell remained county attorney during his trial, but had been on medical leave since last October as he continued to recover from a courthouse shooting in December 2011. Scannell was shot four times after prosecuting Daniel Schlienz for sex crimes involving a minor.

He was not running for a third term in this fall’s general election.

Why do judges accept ridiculous plea bargains? Nothing goes better than porn, pot, and probation, right?

Minnesota man caught with child porn, pot avoids prison

By Dan Nienaber

POSTED:   07/25/2014 12:01:00 AM CDT
UPDATED:   07/25/2014 06:25:29 AM CDT

An Eagle Lake man, who avoided a prison sentence after pleading guilty to selling marijuana and possessing child pornography, told a judge he learned his lesson and promised he would never break the law again before she sentenced him to seven months in jail.

Scott Michael Schaible, 51, was scheduled to be sentenced Friday but the hearing was moved to Thursday. He pleaded guilty to one count of felony drug dealing and six felony counts of possessing child pornography in May. That was after prosecutors agreed to recommend a downward sentencing departure that would allow Schaible to avoid the prison term recommended by sentencing guidelines.

Agents with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force obtained a warrant to search Schaible’s rural Eagle Lake house during an April 2013 drug-dealing investigation. They reported finding a cache of child pornography, 5 pounds of marijuana, a digital scale, property that had been reported stolen from area residences and tools Schaible had reported stolen. He had collected a $13,000 insurance claim for the stolen tools, according to the criminal complaint.

Schaible forfeited all the property, including 34 guns, that were confiscated from his house during the search.

Felony charges of receiving stolen property and insurance fraud along with seven additional counts of child pornography possession also were dismissed in exchange for Schaible’s plea.

District Court Judge Krista Jass accepted the plea agreement, noting it had also been recommended by Schaible’s probation officer and mental health professionals, before staying the execution of a five-year prison sentence.

“I’d like the court to know I’ve been carrying this cross for a year and a half,” Schaible said before he was sentenced. “I never quit thinking about it from when I get up until I go to bed at night. I dream about it.”

Schaible was placed on five years probation with the condition he serve 120 days in jail. He is scheduled to start his jail sentence, which will allow him to leave for work, in two weeks. His jail term could be reduced to 80 days with good behavior.

Jass also ordered Schaible to register as a predatory offender, have no unsupervised contact with females younger than age 18, comply with treatment recommendations, not possess any pornography or visit establishments with sexual entertainment, pay a $3,000 fine and not use alcohol or drugs. Schaible will be required to take random drug tests, polygraph tests related to pornography and can be searched at any time without a warrant.

Misleading? I’d call it fraud.

Daily Caller News Foundation

Minnesota Sues For-Profit Colleges For Misleading Students

8:13 PM 07/23/2014
Blake Neff

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced Tuesday that the state will be pursuing claims against Globe University and its sister school, the Minnesota School of Business.

Swanson accused the schools of using high-pressure tactics “reminiscent of sales boiler rooms” to swindle prospective students. The school’s recruiting team, she said, “train[ed] representatives not to take ‘no’ for an answer” and exploited their dreams to lure them into pursuing degrees that didn’t qualify them for the careers they desired. In the end, she said, students were left with tens of thousands of dollars in debt without being any closer to a job.

One example of Globe’s duplicity, Swanson said, is how it lured in students who wanted to become police officers. Minnesota law requires that prospective officers graduate from a school with proper regional accreditation. Globe, however, lacks such an accreditation, meaning that its criminal justice degrees are invalid for students seeking to join police forces in the state.

Similarly, Swanson accused Globe of convincing students to enroll in a two-year program to become parole officers, when a four-year degree is needed to earn such a job.

“It isn’t right for students whose goal is to protect and defend the public as police officers to be sold a degree that doesn’t even allow them to become a police officer in Minnesota,” said Swanson in a press release.

At one point during a news conference announcing the suits, Swanson played a clip from the recent film “The Wolf of Wall Street” in which Leonardo DiCaprio, playing a penny stock kingpin, explains how to scam individuals with aggressive sales tactics.

To be successful, DiCaprio says, one makes a compelling pitch, “and then you wait, and whoever speaks first loses.” Globe’s training is nearly identical, Swanson said.

“When you ask the question at the final close, remain silent. The next one who speaks loses,” says a Globe guide for recruiters.

The Globe University system has approximately ten thousand students, spread across the northern Midwest, with 12 campuses in Minnesota.

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Its a good start…but it should be more. If you’re a “wolf supporter”, come up, trap one, take it home, and see how well you can train it.

A gray wolf rests in the snow in this National Park Service file photo.

Minnesota DNR to allow more licenses, set higher harvest level for 2014 wolf hunt

By John Myers Today at 12:47 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday announced the parameters for the 2014 wolf hunting and trapping season, adding 500 additional licenses over last year’s total and increasing the total number of wolves that can be killed by nearly 14 percent.

The DNR said it will make 3,800 hunting and trapping licenses available for the coming season and will allow up to 250 wolves to be killed before the seasons are closed, up from 220 last year.

The move to kill more wolves is likely to please some farmers and hunters who continue to say too many wolves roam the northern third of the state, killing too many livestock and deer.

But the increase in permits also will anger wolf supporters who have been working to overturn the state’s recreational wolf hunt since it began in 2012 after federal protections were removed

The first hunting season runs Nov. 8-23. A second hunting season is set for Nov. 29 to Jan. 31, the same dates for the wolf trapping season. The seasons will close earlier than their stated closing dates if harvest quotas are reached.

Hunters and trappers can apply for 2014 wolf licenses, which are awarded in a lottery, starting Aug. 1.

The DNR said Thursday that a winter population survey showed the state’s wolf population is stable and can sustain a more liberal hunting and trapping harvest. The latest DNR estimate is that 470 wolf packs and an estimated 2,423 wolves lived in Minnesota’s wolf range this past winter, 212 more wolves than estimated on the survey conducted in early 2013.

“Estimates show a stable population with no significant change from the 2013 estimate of 2,211 wolves,” said Dan Stark, the DNR’s large carnivore specialist, in a news release. “We will continue to evaluate the wolf population annually to ensure the wolf population remains well established across northern and central Minnesota.”

To apply, applicants need to pay a $4 fee, show proof of a current or previous hunting license and choose one of three available license options. The statewide bag limit is one wolf and licenses are not zone-specific. Lottery winners will receive a wolf hunting booklet with their notification. Wolf license fees are $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.

More of the same rhetoric. Maybe our county attorney is advising the DOH on how not to prosecute gun crimes.

Report: Gun Prosecution Cases Plunge Under Obama

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 08:55 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

The number of prosecutions in gun violation cases by the Justice Department has plunged under President Barack Obama despite his vow to enact tougher gun control laws, The Washington Times reported.

In 2013, there were 5,082 cases referred by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, contrasting with the 6,791 cases during the final year of George W. Bush’s administration, accord to data the Times obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

The 2013 figure is 42 percent lower than the record year of gun prosecutions of ATF cases in 2004 under Bush, according to information which was analyzed for the Times by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

The number of prosecutions this year has plummeted even more with the Justice Department on pace to prosecute the least number of ATF cases since 2000, long before the drug wars in Mexico resulted in greater violence along the U.S. side of the border, the Times said.

“We have this irony; the Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations — in terms of increased background checks for private sales and at gun shows — is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books,” Robert Cottrol, a gun control historian at George Washington University, told the Times.

“For a lot of people, there’s more ideological cache harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime.”

The reduction in firearms cases conflicts with Obama’s promise, following the deadly shooting spree at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, to cut the flow of illegal weapons being used in criminal activity in the United States.

Despite Obama pressing for new laws to restrict gun ownership, the number of prosecutions at 94 federal judicial districts has actually fallen from 5,935 in 2012 to 5,082 in 2013, with a further reduction to around 4,500 this year.

The total number of cases recommended for prosecution by the ATF also plunged from a high of a high of 17,877 in 2004 under Bush to 12,066 last year, according to the data analyzed by Syracuse University for the Times.

Federal prosecutors and former ATF agents told the newspaper that the Justice Department is now concentrating on gun regulation cases instead of bringing charges against criminals who may use a gun violently in just one offense.

“Within the latter part of the Bush years, case selections within the ATF have gone from mostly violent crime cases, which is their forte, toward the regulatory, where they look at dealers, manufacturers and trafficking cases,” Robert Sanders, a former ATF assistant director, told the newspaper.

“The agency’s philosophy has shifted to guns are the problem and access to guns are the problem, rather than the criminal being the direct indicator of crime.”

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Life has very little meaning for many, this freak hits that category.

Bemidji man accused of shooting, wounding teen girl who accused him of trespassing

By Crystal Dey Today at 7:48 a.m.

Chad Eric Pickering

BEMIDJI — A Bemidji man shot a 17-year-old girl Monday because he was upset about her accusations that he had been trespassing on her property, according to a criminal complaint filed in Beltrami County Court.
Bail was set Wednesday at $1 million for Chad Eric Pickering, 40, who was arraigned on one count of felony first-degree attempted murder. The judge set conditional bail at $300,000 provided Pickering abide by stipulations including remaining law abiding, surrendering any firearms and having no contact with the victim.

Pickering is accused of shooting the teen three times at about 10 p.m. Monday while she was standing on the deck of her home in Eckles Township, near Bemidji.

Earlier Monday, the girl had spoken to Pickering about trespassing, according to the complaint.

After being shot, the girl collapsed on the deck and pulled herself inside the residence, where she called 911. Officers found her lying on the living room floor, according to court documents. She had been shot in her upper left chest, right thigh and left ankle.

The victim was transported to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center and then to a Duluth hospital. Because she is a minor, a status update could not be obtained.

When asked who may have shot her, the girl told law enforcement that a neighbor who lived three doors south from her, whose name she did not know, had been causing problems in the neighborhood. According to the complaint, she said the neighbor had been repeatedly riding his lawn mower through her yard and routinely carried a pistol in a holster while doing so.

Investigators retrieved three spent .45-caliber shells in the grass, and a search of the neighborhood led law enforcement to Pickering.

After obtaining a search warrant, deputies found a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol with a holster in an air vent in Pickering’s living room and two partial boxes of .45-caliber ammunition, according to court documents.

Pickering was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail, where he told authorities he took his children on a lawn mower ride and was threatened by a girl for trespassing, the complaint said. He told investigators he went to her house, knelt by a tree and waited 15 to 20 minutes until she opened the front door, shooting her twice and then again after she collapsed, according to the complaint.

The maximum penalty for first-degree attempted murder is 20 years in prison.

Pickering told the court he is originally from Sparta, Wis., and moved to the Bemidji area last year.

He was still being held Wednesday at the jail.

Like father, like son?

From Pine Journal’s court record July 02 2014.  Anyone know?


Age 19

38 6th St

Cloquet, MN 55720

Carlton County Sheriff’s Office


Citation: 090007413806 Badge #: 62110


05/18/2014 Liquor-Underage Consumption 18-21

(Misdemeanor) 340A.503.1(a)(2) 340A5031a2

Offense: Thomson Township

Plea 07/02/2014 Guilty

Disposition 07/02/2014 Convicted

Court Decision 07/02/2014 Payable without appearance

Fine $ 100.00

Imposed Fine $ 100.00

Fee Totals:

Alcohol/Drug-Sheriff $100.00

Crim/Traffic Surcharge (once per case) $75.00

Law Library Fees $10.00

Fee Totals: $185.00

Level of Sentence: Conviction deemed a Petty Misdemeanor pursuant to Minn. R. Crim. P 23.02


05/18/2014 Govt-Obstruct Legal Process-No Force-Misd

(Misdemeanor) 609.50.1(1) 6095011

Offense: Thomson Township

Disposition 07/02/2014 Dismissed