Study Claims Large Numbers of Non-Citizens Vote in U.S.

by Jim Geraghty
This study’s claim is pretty eye-opening… 
Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010.
For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted. How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections?
More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010. (Note that they keep using the term, “non-citizen,” without specifying whether they mean immigrants who have entered the country illegally or immigrants who are in the process of legally becoming citizens — lawful permanent residents, a.k.a. “green card” holders, or both.
It’s a crime either way, but it’s easier to imagine a lawful permanent resident mistakenly thinking they have already earned the right to vote.) If they mean 6.4 percent of 11 million illegal immigrants… we’re talking about roughly 700,000 votes being cast by non-citizens in 2008. Stunning. If true, it refutes my earlier contention that proven cases of voter fraud would only swing elections in races that come down to a few hundred votes.
 But this section is fascinating: We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted. Is it really that a significant number of illegal immigrants now have a fake photo ID that looks realistic enough to fool voter registration and ballot box authorities? If that’s the case, it’s not really accurate to call them “undocumented immigrants,” now is it? More like “forged document immigrants.” Or is it that the poll workers manning the polling places that day aren’t really bothering to examine the IDs shown to them?
 Keep in mind, people’s memories could be faulty. And we’re not dealing with a ton of examples from these interviews: Of the 27 non-citizens who indicated that they were “asked to show picture identification, such as a driver’s license, at the polling place or election office,” in the 2008 survey, 18 claimed to have subsequently voted, and one more indicated that they were “allowed to vote using a pro- visional ballot.” Only 7 (25.9%) indicated that they were not allowed to vote after showing identification.

Citizen’s arrest: Louisiana motorists subdue gunman who shot state trooper

Motorists subdued and arrested a man accused of shooting a Louisiana state trooper with a sawed-off shotgun in Calcasieu Parish, La., on Sunday afternoon, reports say.

Two or three drivers stopped immediately, one of them making a swift turnaround on the two-lane highway, after the suspect, Kevin Daigle, reportedly shot Senior Trooper Steven Vincent in the head. 

One driver wrestled the shotgun away from Mr. Daigle, and, with the others, got him to the ground. 

They then snapped Trooper Vincent's handcuffs on his wrists, Col. Mike Edmonson, head of Louisiana State Police, said Sunday night.

As far as he knew, he said, the civilians were unhurt.

Police video showed Vincent, a 13-year state police veteran in southwest Louisiana and member of a law enforcement family, trying to talk a man out of the vehicle stuck sideways in a ditch, Colonel Edmonson said during a news conference. He said the truck door opened and Daigle came out with the shotgun.

The tape also shows the shotgun blast, according to Edmonson. At least two or three buckshot pellets struck Vincent, causing considerable damage, Fox News reports. "I saw my trooper go backwards and back toward his unit, where he was going to try to get some help out there," Edmonson said. "That shotgun wasn't to do anything else but hurt someone. Kill someone."

After the shooting, he said, Daigle walked over to Vincent, asking if he was alive.

"You could hear him breathing, telling him, 'You're lucky. You're lucky – you're going to die soon.' 

That's the words that came out of his mouth," Edmonson said.

Daigle, who had "numerous DWIs" and other arrests that Edmonson wouldn't discuss because he didn't know whether or not they resulted in convictions, now faces charges that include attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. Daigle is under arrest at a hospital where he is being treated for injuries he sustained when the other motorists subdued him.

"He struggled with the guys who came to assist – had some scrapes on him and so on,"  said Sgt. James Anderson, southwest Louisiana spokesman for state police.

On Sunday night, Edmonson shared the incident on the Louisiana State Police’s Facebook Page. “Please take a moment from your Sunday afternoon to send prayers and well wishes to the Trooper and his family in this critical time,” he wrote.

By Monday morning, the post had more than 18,000 likes and nearly 8,700 people had shared their well-wishes.

Edmonson said Vincent has a wife, Katherine, and a son, Ethan. "More than anything else, my trooper needs your prayers," he said. "He's got a long, hard fight.... He deserves a future – not to die like this."

This report used material from the Associated Press.

Trump: 'I'm gonna have to scare the Pope'

By Wills Robinson For Dailymail.com 
Donald Trump has revealed he would warn the Pope that ISIS were out to get him if they meet next month.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Chris Cuomo asked the billionaire businessman what he would say in to Pope Francis if he came face-to face with him during his visit to the United States in September.

The Republican presidential hopeful admitted he was a protestant, but said he thought the Pontiff was a 'good guy' because he is becoming very 'political'.

Then Cuomo asked Trump what his response would be if the Pope condemned capitalism as an 'avenue to greed' that 'can be toxic and corrupt'.

Trump then said: 'I'd say "ISIS wants to get you". You that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican. That's a dream of theirs.

Cuomo then asks: 'You would scare the Pope?'

To which Trump replies: ''I am going to have to scare the Pope. The Pope I hope can only be scared by God.

'But the truth is - you know, if you look at what's going on - they better hope that capitalism works, because it's the only thing we have right now. And it's a great thing when it works properly.' 

The GOP candidate then went on to say he believes the Pope is a fan of capitalism. 

He also claimed Ronda Rousey is part if his legion high-profile fans - even though the UFC champion has already said she wouldn't vote for him.

Trump said he would support women fighting in every facet of the U.S. military - and used Rousey as an example of a woman who could be a great fighter.

'Some of them are really, really good,' he told Chris Cuomo. 'I'll tell you what, I know some woman that are just - Ronda Rousey is an example, who likes me.

Rare ‘Fire Rainbow’ Over South Carolina Explained

By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic 

A colorful “fire rainbow” lit up the sky, and the Internet, this week. But despite its name, the rare phenomenon isn’t related to recent wildfires. Instead, it’s caused by a unique alignment of forces in the atmosphere.

Technically called a circumhorizontal arc, fire rainbows are caused by light passing through wispy, high-altitude cirrus clouds. This one was seen over South Carolina Monday for about an hour. It was photographed and uploaded to Instagram.

Fire rainbows occur only when the sun is very high in the sky (more than 58° above the horizon). What's more, the hexagonal ice crystals that make up cirrus clouds must be shaped like thick plates with their faces parallel to the ground.

When light enters through a vertical side face of such an ice crystal and leaves from the bottom face, it refracts, or bends, in the same way that light passes through a prism. If a cirrus cloud’s crystals are aligned just right, the whole section lights up in a spectrum of colors.

The phenomenon is similar to the iridescent clouds, also called “rainbow clouds” —confusingly, they’re sometimes also called fire rainbows—that form on top of cumulus clouds after thunderstorms. 

Those form after air is pushed up rapidly, causing it to cool and expand. Water droplets condense that can then act as prisms, forming a rainbow cap over the cumulus cloud. (See photos of sun dogs and other atmospheric delights.)

How North Dakota's Richest Man Is Building His Second $1 Billion Empire -- At 69

Forbes Magazine
Even for a former gym teacher from Dazey, N.D. (pop. 100, give or take), 69-year-old hotel magnate and billionaire Gary Tharaldson is pretty unpretentious.

Tell the richest man in the state that you’re flying in to visit him at his Fargo headquarters and he’ll offer to fetch you himself, rolling up in his red Cadillac crossover and wearing his everyday work uniform of shorts and a sport shirt. Cruising along one of Fargo’s main drags, he’ll frown at all of the undeveloped land–potential competition for the existing hotels (even though they aren’t his).

“He’s beyond down-to-earth–he’s almost subterranean,” says Bruce White, a successful Marriott franchisee who has known Tharaldson since they both started in the hotel business in the early 1980s.

Tharaldson is a driven, shrewd cost-cutter. In March 2006 he sold a portfolio of 130 hotels in a variety of chains to Goldman Sachs for $1.2 billion. Six months later he sold the Westward Ho Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which he’d owned for only a few months, to Harrah’s at a profit of $109 million.

“Real estate was going crazy in Las Vegas back then,” he says.

Not long after, it cratered. Those sales capped an empire-building effort that began in 1982 when Tharaldson bought a Super 8 motel in Valley City, N.D. He added other low-end hotels and then moved into “limited service” business-suite hotels (no room service, no restaurants), eventually operating more than 350 across the country.

Almost immediately after his massive windfall–with only a brief time-out to head to the 2006 NCAA men’s basketball final in Indianapolis–Tharaldson, then 60, started on his next act.

“I wondered what I’d do with the money and if it would change me,” he recalls. In his Fargo office, looking over projections for his current enterprises, he says, “I think it didn’t.”

This time out he is placing big bets on natural resources: ethanol, raw land and water. It adds up to an estimated personal fortune of $930 million. The plan is to build his current holdings into an additional $1 billion portfolio over the next five years, while his 18-year-old son from his second marriage, Gary II, the one of his seven children he considers most likely to succeed him, gets an education.

When Tharaldson got started in the early ’80s, he was an ambitious working-class guy who’d figured out that the only way to get ahead was to own assets rather than look for a big paycheck. His style has always been to set huge goals and then try to exceed them, once telling an interviewer, “From my youth I always wanted to create something on a big scale. I wasn’t sure what that would be, but I knew whatever it was it was going to be big.”

After college at North Dakota’s Valley City State University, Tharaldson had a brief stint as a high school gym and bookkeeping teacher (he remains a passionate slow-pitch softball pitcher, manager and team sponsor; in 2011 he was inducted into the Amateur Softball Association’s national Hall of Fame) and a longer one as an insurance salesman. Early on, his plan was to own 200 hotels by 2000. 

When the millennium arrived, he owned 352.

His main advantages were his merciless focus on costs and his newcomer’s indifference to the way things had usually been done. Bruce White recalls that Tharaldson stood out–with his company-logo shirts and down-home demeanor–when he first visited Marriott’s posh headquarters near Washington, D.C. At the time the hotel industry’s focus was on luxury and volume. Hotels were routinely built with 120 or more rooms, regardless of market size, recalls Marriott’s Liam Brown, president of the chain’s North American midmarket brands. Tharaldson, however, concentrated on midsize cities and on building only as many rooms as a market could fill. Brown recalls that Tharaldson also found a way to create an upscale feel at low cost by putting room entries in interior hallways rather than on a building’s exterior.

“That was a big step forward for our brand,” Brown says.

Tharaldson started his own construction company to save on building costs. He also put laundry rooms behind the front desk in his early hotels so night clerks could fold towels when things got slow. 

Meanwhile, for Hilton, Tharaldson was one of the first franchisees to switch from poured-concrete construction to less-expensive wood frames, says Hilton Senior Vice President Phil Cordell.

White says, “The whole industry benefited from Gary’s innovations.”

Tharaldson helped develop a hotel niche that could prosper in both good and bad times. The swings of the real estate market taught him patience and a long-term view. When land values plummeted in 2009, he hunkered down rather than take losses. “I had a period of nonliquidity,” he notes drily. “I’d hate to sell too soon or too low.”

Similarly, the portfolio that he hopes will make him another billion is designed around industries he believes can ride out economic cycles. One project is Cibola Vista Resort & Spa, a time-share near Phoenix where Tharaldson and co-owner Neil Cumsky have built and sold 248 units and are now constructing 40 more. (Cumsky says he and Tharaldson became partners after lunch in the kind of midmarket chain restaurant Tharaldson patronizes exclusively, in this case a P.F. Chang’s.) 

Tharaldson says he plans to sell off $80 million of his raw land holdings this year, which by his count would still leave him with roughly $120 million worth.

Prominent writers blast Mexican president over journalist slayings

President of Mexico, Pena Nieto, pictured during a …
Mexico City (AFP) - A group of prominent writers, artists and intellectuals have called on the Mexican president to address the country's terrible record on protecting journalists who report on drug violence and other criminal activity.

Across Mexico, 88 journalists have been murdered since 2000, according to Reporters Without Borders, and another 20 or so have disappeared.

Nearly 500 prominent voices, including Britain's Salman Rushdie, American writer Paul Auster and Canada's Margaret Atwood, signed an open letter on Sunday to President Pena Nieto decrying violence against journalists.

We "would like to express our indignation regarding the deadly attacks against reporters in your country," the letter states.

"An attempt on the life of a journalist is an attack on society's very right to be informed."

The most recent case to attract widespread revulsion is that of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa, who had fled the violence-plagued state of Veracruz and gone to Mexico City after receiving threats.

Espinosa was one of five victims found dead this month at an apartment in the capital, their hands bound and their bodies bearing signs of torture.

"This is only the latest in a long series of outrages against the press, and it took place in a city that was considered one of the last safe places in the country for reporters to work. There would now seem to be no safe haven for the profession," the letter states.

At least 11 Veracruz journalists have been killed in the past five years in the eastern state, leading Reporters Without Borders to rank it the third most dangerous place in the world to practise the profession, after Iraq and Syria.

"Mr President, there must be no more murders," states the letter, which goes on to call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

"In your country, the statistics are disastrous regarding impunity in crimes against the press."