Pancho Via 2
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ROCKVILLE, Md. – Police investigating a teenager accused of bomb-making and weapons violations found a map of Camp David with a presidential motorcade route in his home, a Montgomery County prosecutor said.
Collin McKenzie-Gude, 18, of Bethesda, also had a document that appears to describe how to kill someone 200 meters away, Montgomery Assistant State’s Attorney Peter A. Feeney said.
The teen had two forms of fake identification — one portraying him as a Central Intelligence Agency employee and another as a federal contractor, Feeney said. The details were revealed Tuesday in a bond hearing in the case, The Washington Post reported.
More info from Gazette Net
Bethesda teen now faces carjacking charges
McKenzie-Gude remains in solitary confinement on $1 million bond
The Bethesda teen arrested twice last week on weapons and explosives charges was charged again Monday – this time in connection with the attempted carjacking of a 78-year-old man at White Flint mall last week.
Collin McKenzie-Gude, 18, surrendered to police on July 30, a day after authorities found illegal weapons and more than 50 pounds of bomb-making materials in his bedroom. He was released on $115,000 bond, then arrested a second time on July 31 on charges he detonated homemade explosives in Gaithersburg in July 2007. He spent the weekend in solitary confinement at a Rockville jail on $1 million bond, according to his lawyer.
“He’s devestated,“ said McKenzie-Gude’s lawyer Steven Kupferberg following a court hearing on Monday. He described his client, a recent graduate of St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., as a “fine student“ who planned to attend American University’s School of International Studies this fall.
The attempted carjacking occurred just before noon on July 29, about 45 minutes before police raided McKenzie-Gude’s home in Bethesda’s Ashburton neighborhood and found a cache of assault rifles, ammunition and explosives materials.
Police say a 78-year-old man from College Park was locking his car in a mall parking lot near Bloomingdale’s department store, when a suspect, described as a white male aged 20-25, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and wearing a dark green polo shirt, demanded his car keys. The man refused and the assailant struck him with his elbow, knocking him down, then took the keys. The attacker tried to start the car, but was unsuccessful and fled on foot, police said. The College Park man was treated for injuries at the scene.
McKenzie-Gude, who stands 5-foot 5-inches and was wearing a dark green shirt in a police mug shot taken July 30 when he turned himself to county police. He was charged Monday with attempted carjacking and second-degree assault. Police said evidence was left at the scene.
Kupferberg questioned the newest charges, saying the allegations followed his request to dismiss the second set of explosives charges filed against McKenzie-Gude.
“I kindly call it ironic,“ said Kupferberg. “There has been a rush to justice in this case.“
Last week, fire and explosives investigators filed charges alleging that McKenzie-Gude detonated five homemade explosive devices in a Gaithersburg field near Brink Road and Route 124. The documents incorrectly indicate the detonations occurred in July 2007 instead of the correct time of November 2007, Montgomery County state’s attorney Peter Feeney, said during a bond hearing on Monday. He sought to amend the charging documents to reflect the correct date.
Kupferberg countered that the charges should never have been filed given that McKenzie-Gude would have been 17 last July, when the charging documents state the incident occurred.
District Court Judge Patricia Mitchell dismissed the second set of charges.
Prosecutors are expected to re-file the charges today with the correct date. A new bond hearing will be held.
McKenzie-Gude’s father, Joseph Lane Gude Jr., 62, has been charged with buying firearms for his son and perjury. A 17-year-old friend from Gaithersburg, called “an accomplice“ by police, was charged as a juvenile with theft, computer misuse and conspiracy in connection with the case and surrendered Friday to county police at the 1st District Police Station in Rockville, where he had been an intern since May 19.
Tax Hollywood !
Congress’s unsound fury over Big Oil
Movie theaters capture more windfall profit than oil companies.By Justin Danhof
from the August 7, 2008 edition
Washington – With this summer’s high gas prices, Americans are trading in their traditional vacations for “staycations” – vacations much closer to home.
But compared with other things Americans might do, driving is still a bargain.
Consider, for example, the costs of going to a movie:
To take a family of four to a movie at an AMC Theatre, it will cost anywhere from $55.75 to $71.50, depending on whether the family shares movie snacks or not, and this does not even include gasoline.
For that same $71.50, the family could purchase enough gas for their car (of decent gas mileage) to drive from Disneyland to Las Vegas and back again. And for the price of tickets and extra-large refreshments, , they could drive from Disneyland to the Grand Canyon and back again.
Where are the calls for federal investigation into price gouging at concession stands?
For years, populist politicians have dragged oil industry executives to Capitol Hill and accused them of price manipulation. Every time gas prices increase, liberal lawmakers direct the Federal Trade Commission to investigate oil industry price gouging. To their chagrin, the FTC has never found oil industry price manipulation.
What evidence does congress use to back their price gouging claims? Try none.
In 2005, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) of Washington responded to a question on whether she believed oil companies were price gouging, “[a]bsolutely.” she said. “I just don’t have the document to prove it.”
And this past May, in a speech on the House floor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) of Florida targeted oil company executives when she said, “I can’t say that there’s evidence that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are.”
Shouldn’t we demand more from our politicians than unfounded accusations?
These congressional hearings are often followed by attempts to impose so-called windfall profits taxes on oil companies. The process is reminiscent of the medieval practice of trial by ordeal, in which the accused are subjected to a painful – possibly fatal procedure – with the expectation that the truly innocent will be saved.
So far, the oil companies have survived. The most recent attempt to impose such a tax on “unreasonable” profits failed in June.
And just what do congressional advocates of a windfall profits tax consider unreasonable?
In the first quarter of 2008, Big Oil had a profit margin of 7.4 percent. Over that same period, the pharmaceutical and medicine industry earned a 25.9 percent profit, the chemical industry earned 15.7 percent and the electronic equipment industry earned 12.1 percent.
What about those movie theater refreshments? Four large popcorns and four large sodas cost $31.50. The total raw ingredient cost is approximately $7.56. That equals a 76 percent gross margin. Where is the political outrage over that figure?
Still believe it is the oil companies gouging us? Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to.
Ms. Pelosi has called oil company profits “obscene,” and recently supported yet another measure to investigate alleged oil industry price gouging.
Let’s take a look at where each dollar spent at the pump goes. In the first quarter of 2008, the majority – 70 cents – was spent to purchase crude oil, 17 cents was spent on refining and retailing, and 13 cents on paying taxes.
American oil companies cannot change the largest factor influencing gasoline prices – the cost of crude oil.
In The New York Times, columnist Edmund L. Andrews asked satirically last year “if the oil industry is so powerful, why did it let gasoline prices fall through the floor throughout the 1980s and part of the 1990s? For that matter why did it let gasoline prices fall sharply after they spiked in 2005 and 2006?”
Pelosi never decried this “obscene” lack of profits and shareholder abuse. Instead, she seeks to punish an industry that makes a modest profit margin on a high demand good.
• Justin Danhof is a research associate with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational foundation based in Washington.
Murtha test-drives fighting vehicle
By SHAWN PIATEK
U.S. Rep. John Murtha wore a sly grin as he pressed the accelerator of Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle prototype on Monday.
The Johnstown Democrat visited JWF Industries at the Lower Works in downtown Johnstown to see a demonstration of the military’s next-generation land vehicle.
But he got much more than he anticipated.
The Department of Defense is offering a $10 billion contract to the company that comes up with the winning JLTV model, which will replace the Humvee as the military’s primary land vehicle.
JWF is one of Lockheed’s main partners on the project.
Murtha didn’t just get to observe the vehicle in action, he drove it to and from JWF’s facilities to a testing ground the company has constructed in hills above the plant. Murtha said the heavily armored vehicle “drove like an SUV.”
Between his time behind the wheel, Murtha and his granddaughter, Anne, rode along as the prototype was taken through its paces on the testing track. He said he was surprised by the way the vehicle handled every obstacle.
“I’ve been in a lot of military vehicles, and this has the smoothest ride of all of them,” Murtha said. “When we went around that tight curve as fast as we were going and we didn’t even slide, I was impressed.
“I see a lot of potential for this program to bring jobs here down the road.”
The project could mean as many as 1,000 jobs for the Johnstown area if the Lockheed/JWF team is successful.
The first step is to be among the companies that are “downselected” as contract finalists.
Downselection will take place within the next two months.
At least two and as many as three companies will be chosen as finalists. Those companies then will have about two years to refine their designs before the Department of Defense makes its final decision.
Murtha’s visit certainly won the Lockheed/JWF team an ally. The congressman, who serves as the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, was highly complimentary of the Lockheed prototype.
“I don’t think the other companies are as far along with their vehicles,” Murtha said. “They certainly haven’t put the kind of money into their prototype that Lockheed has invested.
“I expect Lockheed and JWF will be in the downselect and that the military will someday be buying these vehicles from them.”
John Polacek, chief operating officer of JWF Defense Systems, said Murtha’s support is appreciated. He said he expected the congressman would be impressed given the amount of time and effort that has been directed to the project.
“Certainly, the congressman’s support is very much appreciated,” Polacek said.
“But we also have a very good vehicle and one that’s very mature.
“We have put more than 2,000 miles of testing in during just the past couple of weeks alone. When you start adding up the total investment we have placed into this project, you can see why we’re so confident in this vehicle’s future.”
John Edwards’ name left out of police report
04:17 PM EDT on Tuesday, August 5, 2008
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Beverly Hills police are treating a late night confrontation between tabloid photographers and man identified as former U.S. Sen. John Edwards as a “civil dispute” and leaving his name out of official reports.
Photographers from the National Enquirer say they chased Edwards as he was leaving the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel after 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 22.
The Enquirer reported Edwards was visiting a mistress with whom he had a child this year. Edwards has dismissed the stories as “lies” and “tabloid trash” but avoided reporters with questions about them.
Enquirer photographers Alexander Hitchen of New York and Alan Butterfield of Salt Lake City filed a police report with the city of Beverly Hills. The photographers say Edwards locked himself in the men’s room and security later escorted him out of the hotel. One of the photographers say a security guard threatened to break his camera if he took pictures.
A police report refers to Edwards as a “political figure” but does not name him.
Reports of Edwards’ unexplained late night visit to the hotel became fodder for jokes on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
The reports have divided North Carolinians. Edwards’ supporters dismiss them as unproven, sensationalistic and overly personal. His opponents, including bloggers and radio talk show hosts, accuse the “main stream media” of partisanship for not reporting them.