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Federal agents raided the offices of a Western Pennsylvania defense contractor that has received millions in federal earmarks at the request of Rep. John Murtha, according to local media reports. The offices of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems were shuttered for the day following the raids, the chief financial officer told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. The companies’ phone system says they will open again Friday morning, and e-mails sent to top company officials went unanswered.
Based in Windber, Pa., just outside Johnstown, Kuchera won $8.2 million in federal defense earmarks in the 2008 budget. The earmarks came at the request of Murtha (D-Pa.). Murtha’s spokesman declined to comment, and an agent in the FBI’s Pittsburgh office did not return calls seeking clarification. The company has been active in politics, with top officials donating more than $100,000 in campaign contributions over the past decade, to both Democrats and Republicans.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Percentage of British citizens who say that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom:
In the United Kingdom, a penis-shaped Kentish strawberry was not made by snails.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”