Current Events DEA Uncategorized

Sex Parties the Job Perks for DEA Agents

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A sign with a DEA badge marks the entrance to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum in Arlington, VirginiaAgents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enjoyed “sex parties” on government-leased property with women hired by Colombian drug cartels, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The agents were not undercover, and Colombian police officers even provided “protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property” during these Bogotá shindigs.

Yes, you read that correctly: federal law enforcement agents entrusted their guns and headquarters to foreign cops while they went off to have sex with women procured by the very organized criminals they’re allegedly targeting. The war on drugs in action, folks!

Ten DEA agents admitted to attending the sex parties, for which they were punished with suspensions of two to 10 days, Politico reports.

 

The OIG report encompasses a larger investigation into recent sexual misconduct and harassment within the DEA, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). It accuses all the agencies of repeated failure to report improper sexual conduct. But the most serious allegations by far are aimed at drug enforcement agents and their superiors.

The DEA was apparently not very forthcoming with information about its Colombian activities. “We interviewed DEA employees who said that they were given the impression that they were not to discuss this case,” states the OIG, noting that “our report reflects the findings and conclusions we reached based on the information made available to us.”

Based on the available information, the OIG concluded that a “foreign officer allegedly arranged ‘sex parties’ with prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels for these DEA agents at their government-leased quarters,” where DEA laptops, BlackBerry devices, and other government-issued equipment were present.

The parties reportedly took place from 2005 to 2008, but the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility became aware of them only in 2010, after it received an anonymous complaint. DEA supervisors, however, had been aware of the allegations for several years because of complaints from management of the building in which the DEA office in Bogotá was located.

DEA agents attending the parties say they didn’t know the Colombian sex workers were paid with cartel funds but evidence suggests otherwise, notes the OIG. “The foreign officers further alleged that … three DEA [agents were] provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members.”

Current Events FEMA Uncategorized

FEMA Deny Funding States

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By Michael Bastasch

800px-Effects_of_Hurricane_Charley_from_FEMA_Photo_Library_7

Next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start denying disaster funding to states that don’t incorporate global warming into their emergency preparedness plans.

Governors looking for disaster preparedness funding will have to start reporting on how man-made global warming will impact their states such as “more intense storms, frequent heavy precipitation, heat waves, drought, extreme flooding, and higher sea levels,” according to FEMA.

FEMA’s updated guidelines for disaster planning don’t affect federal relief funding for after a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood, but the guidelines essentially force some state governments to acknowledge the alleged risks of man-made warming.

InsideClimate News reports that most states have not updated their disaster planning to include global warming because FEMA’s 2008 policies didn’t have this requirement. Some states, like New York, however, have updated their disaster planning.

“This could potentially become a major conflict for several Republican governors,” Barry Rabe, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, told InsideClimate News. “We aren’t just talking about coastal state … This could affect state leaders across the country.”

Interestingly enough, FEMA’s disaster guidelines update comes after environmental groups attacked Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott for supposedly not allowing state regulators to use the word “climate change” in official documents. Former Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) employees told the Miami Herald that Scott’s “unwritten policy” forbade such terms from being used.

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’” Christopher Byrd, a former attorney at FDEP from 2008 to 2013, told the Herald. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

“We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact,” echoed Kristina Trotta, another former DEP employee.

Scott himself has pushed back against such criticisms, saying he gave no such order to environmental regulators. But Scott’s denial has not stopped environmental activists from requesting an official investigation on the issue. CBS Miami reports that the group Forecast the Facts appeared at Scott’s office “with their mouths covered by duct tape emblazoned with the words ‘climate change,’” to drop off 43,000 electronically signed petitions requesting the state inspector general investigate.

The Scott issue was reported by the Herald the day before FEMA’s new policy guidelines to include global warming in state disaster plans were issued on March 9th. FEMA’s new guidelines have only fueled the fire behind Scott’s criticism because now federal bureaucrats could withhold millions in federal funds to Florida.

FEMA funding goes towards a wide variety of projects like raising buildings out of floodplains, and states are required to update their disaster mitigation plans every five years to keep getting federal money. FEMA has handed out more than $4.6 billion to states for disaster mitigation since 2010

Read more: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/fema-to-deny-funding-to-states-without-global-warming-plans/#ixzz3VEbNhB7F
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Current Events Uncategorized Water

California Has One Year Of Water Left

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la-me-california-drought-reservoirs-pictures-052Given the historic low temperatures and snowfalls that pummeled the eastern U.S. this winter, it might be easy to overlook how devastating California’s winter was as well.

As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too.

Data from NASA satellites show that the total amount of water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins — that is, all of the snow, river and reservoir water, water in soils and groundwater combined — was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014. That loss is nearly 1.5 times the capacity of Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir.

Statewide, we’ve been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011. Roughly two-thirds of these losses are attributable to groundwater pumping for agricultural irrigation in the Central Valley. Farmers have little choice but to pump more groundwater during droughts, especially when their surface water allocations have been slashed 80% to 100%. But these pumping rates are excessive and unsustainable. Wells are running dry. In some areas of the Central Valley, the land is sinking by one foot or more per year.

As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century.

Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.

Our state’s water management is complex, but the technology and expertise exist to handle this harrowing future. It will require major changes in policy and infrastructure that could take decades to identify and act upon. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to begin.

Finally, the public must take ownership of this issue. This crisis belongs to all of us — not just to a handful of decision-makers. Water is our most important, commonly owned resource, but the public remains detached from discussions and decisions.

This process works just fine when water is in abundance. In times of crisis, however, we must demand that planning for California’s water security be an honest, transparent and forward-looking process. Most important, we must make sure that there is in fact a plan.

LA Times