Sunday, February 24, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Media's Inconvenient Victim: Columbine's Evan M. Todd



 Evan Todd is a Columbine survivor -- a student who was shot and wounded in 1999 during what is still the deadliest school shooting in American history. With an open letter penned to President Obama, Todd dove head first this week into the gun control debate.
Unless you look at right-leaning media, though, you have likely never heard of Evan M. Todd. To the supposedly "objective" media, he's what you might call an inconvenient victim. Therefore, he'll receive little to no attention there. You see, Todd not only opposes President Obama's gun control measures; through his letter, he makes a respectful, thoughtful, rational, and compassionate case against the president's proposals:
Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons
The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke. Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low.  …
10-Round Limit for Magazines
Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all. Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?” Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?
Everything else being the same, Mr. Todd would be a cause célèbre today -- if he would just know his place politically.
P.S, I am only using the word "victim" to make a point. It's obvious Todd in no way sees himself as a victim. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Obama Pushes Illegals Ahead of Legal Immigrants



 Less than a week after the publication of my latest book, Crime & Incompetence: Guide to America’s Immigration Crisis, a predication was proven correct: President Obama was lying to the American people when he claimed illegal immigrants would go to the back of the line after legal immigrants as part of his comprehensive immigration reform. During President Obama’s celebrated immigration reform speech in Las Vegas, on January 29, he claimed, “We’ve got to lay out a path -- a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally.  That's only fair, right?”

According to a draft of a White House immigration proposal obtained by USA TODAY, leaked over the weekend, the Obama administration “would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years.”

Within eight years? That is not the back of the line. As I reported in my book, there is nothing fair about President Obama's immigration reform plans. It is a slap in the face to legal immigrants from around the world and a slap in the face to Americans who expect an honest, competent government.

According to the State Department Visa bulletin that shows the wait times for legal immigrants if you are a legal immigrant from the Philippines and filed for legal status to live in America in 1989 in the F4 (family based) category your “priority number” has just come up—after twenty-four years of waiting. People from Mexico who filed under the F2B category who were approved in November 1992 after a twenty-one-year wait get to move to the next step and so forth.

But these legal immigrants who played by the rules cannot get too excited yet that they will obtain a Green Card because they are not finished either. Like the employment-based legal immigrants, the family-based immigrants also have to complete the 1-485 (the FBI background check step), and 1-693 (the medical step), before they are finished and able to live and work freely in America.

Once legal immigrants complete the background check step, medical tests and are granted a Green Card then they may apply five years later for American citizenship with the right to vote. That’s thirty years from now.

As I wrote in Crime & Incompetence:
“While politicians sometimes acknowledge that there are long wait times for legal immigrants and insist the illegal aliens/undocumented workers will go to the end of the line, they seem incapable (for good reason) of spelling out what “waiting in line” and going to “the end of the line” really means. Perhaps that is because if Americans knew that the end of the line begins over two decades from now (thus exposing the politicians’ ridiculous promises), they would be laughed out of office. Is Washington seriously going to start a path to citizenship/amnesty over twenty-four years from now? It wouldn’t be “fair” if the illegal aliens/undocumented workers got to cut into a shorter legal immigrant wait line, right?”
Do not be deceived by the politicians. Fixing America’s immigration crisis is not complicated. It can be fixed with common sense solutions including securing the border and having a legal immigration system that is competent and not riddled with crime and corruption as is the case with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It’s time for Americans to see what the broken immigration system looks like –a broken system that contributes to the illegal alien crisis. Only when you know why it is broken can it be fixed with integrity.

Crime & Incompetence:  Guide to America’s Immigration Crisis is available in paperback and ebook versions at all fine booksellers everywhere.

MARINKA PESCHMANN, the author of The Whistleblower: How the Clinton White House Stayed in Power to Reemerge in the Obama White House and on the World Stage (One Rock Ink), and Following Orders: The Death of Vince Foster, Clinton White House Lawyer (One Rock Ink), is a freelance journalist. She has collaborated, ghostwritten, and contributed to books and stories from showbiz and celebrities to true crime, politics, and the United Nations. After freelancing behind the scenes in both the mainstream press and the new media, it was time to step forward. For more information visit:http://www.marinkapeschmann.com/.

Big Government

With Election Over, Obama Announces Medicare Cuts to Fund ObamaCare




 During the 2012 election campaign, Democrats denied that ObamaCare made $716 billion in cuts to Medicare in order to provide funding toward $1.9 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next ten years.  In an announcement on Friday, however, the Obama administration revealed that it would be significantly reducing funding for Medicare, a move that one health insurance analyst said “would turn almost every plan in the industry unprofitable.”

Health insurance stocks tumbled following the announcement that a big chunk of the Medicare cuts would come from the popular Medicare Advantage program, a market-oriented system in which participants can choose coverage by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide all Part A and Part B benefits.

According to health care analyst Carl McDonald, the new rates proposed by the Obama administration will have the net effect of reducing payments to Medicare Advantage plans by seven to eight percent in 2014.

McDonald projects:
If implemented, these rates and the program changes CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] is suggesting would be enormously disruptive to Medicare Advantage, likely forcing a number of smaller plans out of the business and creating disarray for many seniors.
According to Richard Foster, former chief actuary to the Medicare program, ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage will likely force half of its current participants back into the old Medicare program, originated in 1965. It is estimated that this change will cost Medicare enrollees an average of $3,714 in 2017 alone.



Democrats have long been unfriendly toward the Medicare Advantage plan, which was passed as part of the Balanced Budget Amendment of 1997 and has seen tremendous growth over the past 10 years. Today, more than 25 percent of seniors receive their health benefits through Medicare Advantage.

Regarding the cuts, America’s Health Insurance Plans’ (AHIP) president Karen Ignagni said, “Washington cannot tax and cut Medicare Advantage this much and not expect seniors to be harmed."

Last year it was revealed that, while AHIP was openly supporting ObamaCare and working on a deal with the White House, it was also secretly funneling over $100 million to the Chamber of Commerce to be spent on advertising designed to convince Americans that the new legislation should be defeated.

The administration’s proposal is open to outside comments until March 1st, ahead of the final announcement of the cuts on April 1st.

Big Government

GAO Report: Obama's Policies 'Not Sustainable'

19 Feb 2013

 
 For two months, reporters and lawmakers have ignored a devastating report from the federal government itself, which warns that the nation's current fiscal policy will lead to economic collapse. The Government Accountability Office (GAO)—the personal auditor of President Obama and the federal government—released its assessment of the federal government on January 17, 2013. The report's findings illuminate just how dire America's spending problem is and, therefore, how little the current cuts debated by Congress do to fix it.

The findings of the paper include these excerpts (emphasis added):
  • “The projections in this Report indicate that current policy is not sustainable... Preventing the debt-to-GDP ratio from rising over the next 75 years is estimated to require some combination of spending reductions and revenue increases that amount to 2.7 percent of GDP over the period.”  
  • “It is estimated that running primary surpluses that average 1.0 percent of GDP over the next 75 years would result in the 2087 debt-to-GDP ratio equaling its level in fiscal year 2012, which compares with primary deficits that average 1.7 percent of GDP under current policies.”
  • “It is noteworthy that preventing the debt-to-GDP ratio from rising over the next 75 years requires that primary surpluses be substantially positive on average. This is true because projected GDP growth is on average smaller than the projected government borrowing rate over the next 75 years.”  
  • “If the primary surplus was precisely zero in every year, then debt would grow at the rate of interest in every year, which would be faster than GDP growth.”
  • “The differences between the primary surplus boost starting in 2023 and 2033 (3.2 and 4.1 percent of GDP, respectively) and the primary surplus boost starting in 2012 (2.7 percent of GDP) is a measure of the additional burden policy delay would impose on future generations. Future generations are harmed by a policy delay of this sort, because the higher the primary surplus is during their lifetimes the greater the difference is between the taxes they pay and the programmatic spending from which they benefit.”
While President Obama and his media allies boast from their ivory towers that America “doesn’t have a spending problem” but rather a “health-care problem,” they are sweeping reality under the rug and spouting lies to the American people.

This is the reality: when President Obama’s personal auditor says the federal government has a spending problem, it indeed has a spending problem—and one that is growing rapidly.

The most devastating part of the report is the fact that the federal government must run surpluses over the next century to keep the same debt-to-GDP ratio it has today. Meanwhile, Congress and President Obama are throwing a fit over the looming sequester—which will cut a mere 1.2 percent of total deficits (not total debt) over the next ten years—and the Senate has not produced a budget for close to 1,400 days.

A balanced budget will not be enough to cover the rapid growth of interest payments owed on U.S. national debt in the future. The federal government currently pays $223 billion—roughly $3,000 per taxpayer—in annual interest payments. This number is expected to increase to $857 billion by the end of the decade, a 290 percent increase. 

If the federal government does not fix the spending problem detailed in this report, it will have to take out more and more loans to pay for the already-outstanding interest payments on the federal government—loans to pay off loans. 

Thus, the question remains: what happens when no one will grant Congress more loans?

Big Government

Monday, February 18, 2013

More States Tell Federal Gov: Don't Touch Our Guns




 Since early January, states around the country have been pushing back against attempts at gun banning by proposing legislation that preempts any new federal gun control acts.  Although the proposals are at different stages in each state, it's encouraging to see that what started in Wyoming in early January and then spread to Texas and Oklahoma has now come to include Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, and Washington.

Long before these states dug in for the long fight against post-Sandy Hook gun grabbers, other states, led by Montana and Tennessee, had seen enough during Obama's first term to pass measures declaring new federal firearm laws unenforceable on guns and ammunition produced and sold within their own borders.

The law in Montana is facing legal challenges now, but Gary Marbut, the man behind the legislation, says he wrote it "to set up a legal challenge" which could "roll back a half a century of bad precedent."

Big Government

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Video: Rand Paul gives the Tea Party SOTU response

February 14, 2013



Hotair

Olympic Arms to Cuomo: Repeal Ban and Apologize or No Business with NY




  In response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazine ban for civilians, Olympic Arms is making it known they will no longer do business with the state of New York.  Olympic Arms produces precision AR-15s for tactical purposes as well as hunting use. They are convinced that Cuomo's new gun control laws are both unconstitutional and antithetical to Supreme Court precedent--especially District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010).

Olympic Arms penned this message to Gov. Cuomo:

Due to the passing of this legislation, Olympic Arms would like to announce that the State of New York, and any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders Within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee of such an entity, will no longer be served as customers.

In short, Olympic Arms will no longer be doing business with the State of New York or any governmental entity or employee of such governmental entity within the State of New York...until this legislation is repealed, and an apology made to the good people of the State of New York and the American people.

Big Government

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why do civilians need assault weapons?

February 12, 2013
By Mark Almonte

 
 The two strongest reasons for civilians to own assault weapons are self-defense and defense against tyranny.

One self-defense situation that comes to mind is the L.A. riots.  Who can forget the nightly news's live footage of thugs hurling rocks at passing cars, buildings on fire, and looters smashing storefront windows?  
Then there was the savage beating of truck driver Reginald Denny.

What was stunningly absent from the video footage?  There were no police or fire personnel.

According to the Los Angeles Times, police were ordered to stay out of the area for three hours.  Numerous 911 calls for assault, murder, and fire-bombings went unanswered.  But as the violence raged, one group of citizens refused to be victims -- the Korean storeowners.   

The Los Angeles Times reported that Richard Rhee had a group on the rooftop of his store armed with shotguns and assault rifles.  They scared off carloads of rioters by firing shots in the air.  Rhee and his group watched a mini-mart a half-block away burn to the ground.  "Jay Rhee ... and other employees at a mini-mall at Santa Monica and Vermont ... fought a back-and-fourth battle with several hundred looters who surged into the parking lot[.]"  

Over fifty people died during the riots.  Twenty-three homicides remain unsolved.  The business owners and the homicide victims relied on the police to respond.  For many, the response never came.  When there's no law and order -- only chaos -- that's when civilians need assault weapons. 

The armed Korean storeowners successfully defended themselves because assault rifles are the pre-eminent self-defense weapons.  Assault rifles look and sound intimidating.  When you fire a 9mm handgun, it makes a popping noise.  When you fire an AK-47, it sounds like thunder.  Most assault rifles were designed to be effective up to 400 meters.  Most handguns are accurate only up to about twenty-five yards.  Rifle rounds have twice the velocity and four times the muzzle energy of handgun rounds.  Their accuracy and power make assault rifles very effective against multiple attackers.  In a riot situation, an assault rifle levels the playing field.   

A second self-defense situation to consider is defending against a home invasion.  In Cheshire, Connecticut, the suspects in a home invasion raped two of the female victims and then murdered the entire family.  The dad was the only survivor.

In 2011, in Houston, Texas, there was a rash of home invasions by masked teams of attackers armed with guns.  The attacks resulted in three victims being shot to death. 

Home invasions, in the public definition, generally involve more than one attacker.  Two facts can't be ignored: one, assault rifles are the best weapon against multiple attackers, and two, eight minutes is the average police response time for life-threatening calls in medium-size cities.  A lot can happen in eight minutes.

In Harris County, Texas, a fifteen-year-old boy was home alone with his twelve-year-old sister when two burglars broke into the house.  The young boy got his father's assault rifle and shot one of the burglars.  The boy and his sister were unharmed, and the burglars were apprehended.  Assault rifles can take lives, but as shown in this case, they can also save lives.

There is a less relevant yet nonetheless interesting self-defense reason for owning an assault weapon: defense of country.  One of the reasons that the Nazis did not invade Switzerland was the fact that every Swiss man had a rifle.  According to scholar Stephen Halbrook, "... we have no better record than the Nazi invasion plans, which stated that, because of the Swiss shooting skills, Switzerland would be difficult to conquer and pacify."  Collectively defending a nation from invasion is the ultimate form of self-defense.  The Swiss have a high gun ownership rate, but the U.S. has the highest in the world.

Our Founding Fathers gave us the most profound justification for civilians owning assault rifles: protection from tyranny.  Many people believe that the United States could never become despotic, but it is not implausible for a democracy to turn tyrannical.  In 1925, Italy went from a parliamentary democracy to a dictatorship under Mussolini.  In 1933, Germany went from a parliamentary democracy to a totalitarian regime under Hitler.  In 1939, Spain went from a republic to a dictatorship under Franco.  As Ronald Reagan once said, "[f]reedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." 

Once tyranny usurps power over the people, unconscionable brutality soon becomes the norm.  In 1938, Hitler banned Jews from possessing firearms.  Shortly thereafter, weapons were confiscated, followed by genocide of the Jewish population.  Six million Jews were killed throughout Europe and the Soviet area.  In 1915, the Ottoman Empire put forth a decree disarming all Armenians.  Shortly thereafter, weapons were confiscated, followed by genocide of the Armenian population.  Approximately one million were killed.  In 1918, the Soviet Union introduced firearm registration followed by confiscation.  Communist Party members were exempt from the confiscation order.  From 1929 to 1945, Stalin committed genocide against "Kulaks" and Communist dissidents.  An estimated twenty million were killed.  For additional reading, see Lethal Laws or Gun Control: Gateway to Tyranny.

Assault weapons are necessary for defense against tyranny because they are the weapons of the common soldier -- just as the flintlock musket was during the Revolutionary War era.  In Federalist #46, one of our Founding Fathers, James Madison, argued for an armed citizenry.  At the time, there was a fear that if the United States had a standing army, it could one day be used against American citizens.  Madison believed that a United States standing army would consist of no more than "twenty-five or thirty thousand men."  If the citizens were armed, they would consist of a militia of almost "half a million citizens."  He argued that it was doubtful that a standing army of thirty thousand could conquer a half million armed citizens.  Surely the Founding Fathers didn't expect the citizens to arm themselves with sticks.  To repel a standing army, the citizens must possess the weapon of the common soldier.  Today, the common soldier's weapon is an assault rifle.

Critics mock the tyranny argument as silly and outdated, but a new Rasmussen poll shows that 65 percent of Americans believe that the Second Amendment's purpose is to protect them from tyranny. 

Tyranny doesn't announce itself by wearing a sign.  Tyranny can start as a homeless painter exploiting social frustrations like Hitler or a newspaper journalist promising unity like Mussolini.  The cost of tyranny is high.  
It's your freedom.  Having an assault rifle tells a despot that the cost to take your freedom will also be high.  

Civilian-owned assault rifles could defend against rioters or a home invasion, or provide the last barrier in a long list of checks and balances to prevent tyranny.  Assault rifles can mean the difference between life and death, between liberty and tyranny.  In the hands of law-abiding citizens, assault rifles are a symbol of self-reliance.  It's an American value that has defined this country and made it great.

American Thinker

Monday, February 11, 2013

Exclusive: Judicial Watch Announces Ambitious 2013 Investigative Agenda




  Judicial Watch, the independent government watchdog organization that has held Republicans and Democrats to account, announced on Monday its list of investigative priorities for 2013. Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that the organization will focus on issues such as Benghazi, illegal immigration, President Barack Obama's use of executive orders and actions, gun control, green energy boondoggles, election fraud, and national security leaks over the next year. 

Fitton said he did not expect Obama to "admit to any wrongdoing" in Tuesday's State of the Union speech and said it is up to independent organizations to hold Obama to account because Congress will not. He challenged Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to bring up these concerns in his response to Obama's State of the Union address.

"The big test is for Sen. Rubio," Fitton said. "Will he address American concerns about a corrupt and out-of-control government?"

Last year, Judicial Watch, in partnership with Breitbart News, commissioned an election night survey of voters conducted by Public Opinion Strategies that "found that corruption in the federal government is a serious concern among voters, with 85% saying they are 'concerned' and of that number 53% saying they are 'very concerned.'"

"The Obama administration is less transparent than the Bush administration," Fitton said. "Transparency advocates on the Left and Right agree that the Obama administration has failed to live to President Obama’s promise to be the most transparent in history. There’s good reason we’ve filed over 100 open records lawsuits against the Obama administration."

In regards to Obama's decision to keep Attorney General Eric Holder around for his second term, despite scandals associated with him and the Justice Department such as Fast and Furious, Fitton said, "one would have to go back to RFK to find an attorney general as close to the White House as Holder."

"He is not independent, he is not ethical, and it has turned his Justice Department to taxpayer-funded legal battering ram for outside leftist groups," Fitton said. "Holder’s remaining at Justice also help guarantees no thorough investigation of the various Obama scandals."

Judicial Watch produced, with director Stephen K. Bannon, The District of Corruption movie, which was a companion to Fitton's best-selling book on the same topic, The Corruption Chronicles.

Here is the full list of Judicial Watch's 2013 investigative priorities:
  • Rule by Executive Fiat: President Obama’s decision to bypass Congress, often contrary to the U.S. Constitution, and implement his agenda via executive fiat on a wide range of issues from undermining the Second Amendment to rewriting immigration law, to controlling free speech on the Internet.
  • Benghazi-gate: The Obama administration’s attempts to deceive the American people regarding the terrorist connection to the murder of four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi; the decision by the State Department to deny support for U.S. forces during the attack and the Obama administration’s refusal to bolster security at the consulate in the lead up to the anniversary of 9/11.
  • Bin Laden Raid Leaks and Secrets: The Obama Department of Defense’s (DOD) decision to leak classified details at the behest of the Obama White House to the filmmakers behind Zero Dark Thirty, a Hollywood film detailing the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden; the refusal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the leaks despite a criminal referral from the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General; the leaking of the names of military operatives involved in the raid by DOD Undersecretary Mike Vickers; the connection of John Brennan, Obama’s pick to head the CIA, to the leaks; the decision by the Obama DOD to withhold from the American people the videos and photos detailing the raid.
  • Election Fraud: The DOJ’s refusal to enforce provisions of the National Voter Registration Act, that requires states to maintain clean voter registration lists; DOJ’s campaign to threaten, intimidate and sue states that attempt to implement election integrity provisions consistent with the law, such as voter ID laws; DOJ’s collusion with radical leftist and corrupt special interest groups such as Project Vote and other ACORN-connected groups. 
  • Threats to Second Amendment Protections: The Obama administration’s closed-door discussions with anti-gun activists designed to craft policies that restrict gun ownership and undermine the Second Amendment, including new policies that would seek to pressure businesses to toe the administration’s gun agenda; policy recommendations that “suggest” doctors ask patients about gun ownership; efforts to compile federal registries on gun ownership; and efforts to use EPA regulations to restrict gun ownership. 
  • Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s highly controversial June 20, 2012, assertion of “executive privilege” to protect Attorney General Eric Holder from being prosecuted for failing to provide Congress with documents pertaining to the Obama administration’s deadly gunrunning operation known as Operation Fast and Furious; Obama’s invocation of executive privilege moves the legal and political questions surrounding the deaths of more than 300 Mexicans directly into the Oval Office; efforts by the Holder DOJ and top Justice officials to conceal their knowledge and participation in the Fast and Furious scandal and to escape accountability while blaming the scandal on low level officials.
  • Ongoing Government Bailouts: The government’s continued control of private sector institutions through bailouts of private financial institutions; government decisions regarding the ongoing Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts; the role of the Federal Reserve in supporting European Union bailouts and the continued financing of our nation’s public debt; and the government takeover of the American automotive industry.
  • Green Energy Boondoggles: The Obama Department of Energy’s decision to funnel $16.4 billion to “green energy” companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers; the half-a-billion taxpayer dollars given to the now-bankrupt Solyndra, a green energy boondoggle financially backed by Tulsa billionaire Georg Kaiser, an Obama campaign fundraiser; the decision by the Obama White House to fast-track the Solyndra loan through the approval process; bailouts given to other failing “green pork” companies, such as Fisker Automotive, Ener1, Abound Solar, and Beacon Power.
  • Illegal Immigration: The President’s amnesty scheme for illegal aliens imposed via executive fiat; deteriorating security on the nation’s border with Mexico; the Obama administration’s unwillingness to enforce federal immigration laws and attacks against states attempting to confront the illegal immigration crisis.
  • National Security: Unanswered questions concerning the relationship of the FBI and CIA to American-born militant Imam Anwar al-Aulaqi and his assassination per the order of Barack Obama in 2011; the Obama administration’s determined efforts to censor speech about the threat of radical Islam. 
  • Obama Czars: Barack Obama’s repeated attempts to bypass the “advice and consent” authority of the U.S. Senate and appoint unaccountable and corrupt czars to control major aspects of government policy and programs outside of the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); the decision by Obama to improperly employ a controversial recess appointment to install radical leftist Richard Cordray at the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB) after the Senate had blocked his nomination; Obama’s decision to use recess appointments to appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a move which exceeded his constitutional authority per a recent appeals court ruling.
  • Obamacare: Obamacare’s mandate to evaluate medical treatments based solely on cost; the Obama administration’s secrecy regarding the distribution of Obamacare waivers; the Obama administration’s use of taxpayer dollars to produce and distribute Obamacare propaganda; and the regulation and funding of Obamacare in general.
  • Unprecedented Secrecy: The Obama administration’s withholding of records pertaining to Obamacare to the continued funding of the criminal ACORN network; from tracking Wall Street bailout money to the unconstitutional use of czars; to withholding the Secret Service’s White House visitor logs; to the attacks on the integrity of our nation’s elections. (Judicial Watch has had to file almost 1,000 FOIA requests and nearly 100 FOIA lawsuits against the Obama administration.)

Big Government

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Myth of Overpopulation

February 10, 2013
By Trevor Thomas

 
 One of the frequent cries of many on the left is that the world is overpopulated.  The latest hysterical outburst on this matter came from Sir David Attenborough, a recent patron of "The Optimum Population Trust."  The 86-year-old Attenborough, who has a degree in natural sciences and is a former senior manager of the BBC, is a high priest among earth-worshiping liberals.

Attenborough, famous mostly for his Life documentaries, declared, "We are a plague on the Earth. It's coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It's not just climate change; it's sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us[.]"

Nothing could be farther from the truth.  When it comes to "sheer space" and "places to grow food," we have barely touched what the earth has available.  Given that the earth contains just north of 7 billion people, the entire population of the planet could easily fit into the state of Texas, which contains less than 0.14% of the earth's land area.

The overpopulation myth has been around for decades.  It even predates the holy grail of modern liberal environmental orthodoxy: global warming.  With liberals today, the overpopulation myth (as with most everything even remotely tied to the environment) is typically predicated upon the myth of man-made global warming.

As an illustration of this, the Grand Mystic Royal Noble of the Ali Baba Temple of the Church of Global Warming -- Al Gore -- recently tweeted: "In the next 17 years, [the population] of the global middle class will grow by 3 [billion] people. How will we accommodate them on a finite planet?"

Noble (or "Nobel") Al is so concerned about the prospect of man-made global warming that to reduce the amount of hot air radiating from the U.S., he sold his media company (Current Media) to the Al Jazeera Media Network.  This would have been a smart move for Noble Al, except for the fact that Al Jazeera is a state-owned media corporation.

And it's owned by not just any state, but in fact by the extremely oil rich monarchy that is Qatar.  Now, it is not so surprising that a liberal such as Noble Al sold himself out (for about $100 million) to a media corporation that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called a "mouthpiece of al Qaeda and a vehicle of anti-American propaganda."  Neither is it surprising that Noble Al would enrich himself by doing business with an authoritarian regime.

What is surprising is that Ali Baba Al would enrich himself with oil money.  Not only that, but filthy oil money (by Ali Baba Al standards).  At about 44 metric tons per person (2009 numbers), Qatar has had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions in the world for decades, and it's not even close. Qatar has about 50% more per capita emissions that the next-highest nation and has more than double the U.S. per-capita carbon dioxide emissions (17.2 metric tons).

In addition to all of this, Qatar is rather "overpopulated."  Its population density of 394 people per square mile (compared to 89 per square mile in the U.S.) puts it at 76 (out of 243) on the list of sovereign states and dependent territories by population density.

Of course, to limit populations, one must reduce the number of newborns.  This leads to another pillar of liberalism: abortion.  In order to preach such hedonism to the world, the U.N. gave us World Population Day, where they boldly declare, "The human enterprise has outgrown the planet."

The Russians sure seem to believe it. A recent Drudge headline reveals that instead of elevating a murderous dictator to reduce the population, the Russians have fully prostrated themselves at the bloody altar of abortion.  In the Motherland, "abortion is rampant," says Jonathan V. Last, author of What to Expect When No One's Expecting.

Noting what is perhaps "the most grisly statistic the world has ever seen," Last points out that in Russia, for every 10 live births, there are 13 abortions.  Yet Russia is 223 in population density.  Combine this with a paltry birthrate of 12.6 per 1,000, and the Russians are staring at a devastating population decline.  "No nation has experienced long-term prosperity in the face of contracting population," concludes Last.

Liberal myths abound: the world is overpopulated, fossil fuels are heating the planet, abortion is a "right," homosexuality is normal and healthy, all life "evolved," marriage can be redefined, a nation can spend its way out of debt, and so on.  Notice the similarities?  Each of these is a relatively recent conclusion once unheard of or (even worse) thought absurd and wicked.

Such it is with post-modern liberalism.  Thinking themselves masters of science and reason, and ignoring absolute truth, liberals have become what they despise: "the faithful."

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason. www.trevorgrantthomas.com

American Thinker

A Perfect Contrast

February 10, 2013
By William Sullivan

 
 Contrast can bring clarity. And I do not think that the two warring political ideologies in America have never been personified, juxtaposed, and as clearly defined as the contrast we witnessed at this week's National Prayer Breakfast.

Dr. Benjamin Carson, the famed director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, was given the unique opportunity to share his beliefs before a distinguished audience, including President Barack Obama. He did not waste the opportunity, and courageously expressed his beliefs with conviction, contrary though they are to those of the president.

Much has been made of Dr. Carson's alternative solution to make healthcare more efficient:

Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed - pretax -- from the time you're born 'til the time you die. When you die, you pass it on to your family members, so that when you're 85 years old and you got six diseases, you're not trying to spend up everything. You're happy to pass it on and there's nobody talking about death panels.

Number one. And also, for the people who were indigent who don't have any money we can make contributions to their HSA every month because we already have this huge pot of money. Instead of sending it to some huge bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own healthcare.

We must admit -- there is something amazing about this. In two paragraphs, Ben Carson has offered a free market solution to create competition and reduce healthcare costs that is feasible, understandable, and compassionate. (And one that has already been tested -- it is very similar to the system used in Singapore.) 

Its relative simplicity alone stands in stark contrast to Obama's healthcare solution pitch, the mechanics of which were so confusing that after two years of explaining it, Democrats entreated Americans to not even try to understand it. Just accept it and see what happens, as Nancy Pelosi suggested.

But to focus on the contrast between their healthcare approaches alone is to miss the deeper contrast on display. That is, the contrast between Dr. Ben Carson and Barack Obama, the ideologies that have driven their life's work, and the results of that work.

Years ago, I remember my mother asking if I had ever heard of Dr. Ben Carson. She explained that he was a pioneer in neurological medicine, and that he had an amazing and inspiring story. She had a copy of Dr. Carson's book, Gifted Hands, and began to read passages that she had selected. I was captivated, committed to reading more about him, and later watched the film of the same title starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. 

Indeed, his story is one of the most amazing and inspiring I'd ever heard, from his unique upbringing to his design of a groundbreaking procedure in 1987 which successfully separated two cranially conjoined twin babies. His life, his work, is nothing short of miraculous.

Dr. Ben Carson was one of two sons born to Sonya Carson, a single mother who had married Ben's father at thirteen years of age. Ben's father was a bigamist, and after learning of his other family, Sonya resolved to raise her two sons alone. Though in poverty, and though she herself had no formal education beyond third grade, she insisted that her sons devote diligent efforts to their education. She required that the boys read books from the public library each week and write lengthy reports for her (which she would review for them to support their effort, despite being unable to read). She worked hard to support them financially, in staunch determination that she would not be a victim, and neither would her children. In short, the Carson family is a testament to personal perseverance and the success that follows.

One story of Dr. Carson's childhood that particularly stood out to me is an instance where he, an admittedly angry child, attempted to stab his friend in the stomach, only to have the blade of the knife blocked and broken by the other child's belt buckle. This was a moment that shaped his worldview thereafter, and he has expressed a belief that it was divine intervention. And I could not help but agree. Could it be anything but Providence that this good fortune, without which he may have been incarcerated and set on a different path, became the good fortune of the world, allowing Dr. Carson to touch and save so many lives?

Knowing of his background, it came as no surprise when I reviewed the entire speech at the National Prayer Breakfast that nearly everything Ben Carson said was a perfect contradiction of the values expressed by Barack Obama.

Dr. Carson began his speech, even as he shared the stage with the world's most renowned spokesman for political correctness, by decrying political correctness as a "dangerous" concept. He argued that political correctness acts as a "muzzle," keeping people from "discussing important issues while the fabric of their society is being changed," even as the architect of that "change" sat just a few feet to his right.

He related the admirable tale of his mother's unwillingness to be a victim, as he was in the presence of our president who unequivocally demands that women in such circumstances be viewed and treated as such. Dr. Carson told the audience about his revelation that poverty is a "temporary" condition, one which people could personally alter. And he said this in the presence of a man whose political ideology is founded upon the notion that poverty is an institutionally applied condition, and that it is the responsibility of society, not the individual, to alter that condition.

Dr. Carson went on to destroy the notion of the progressive income tax, arguing that "God has given us a system" that would work. He argued that because God requires tithing regardless of outcome:

There must be something inherently fair in proportionality. If you make ten billion dollars, you put in one billion. If you make ten dollars, you put in one. Of course you gotta get rid of the loopholes. [Laughter] But, now some people say, "Well that's not fair, because it doesn't hurt the guy who made ten billion dollars as much as the guy who made ten." Where does it say you have to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot!

Is it possible to say anything more contrary to Barack Obama's insistence on the moral imperative to take disproportionately more from the wealthy to redistribute among the collective?

And this is where the contrast between the two men becomes most apparent. Barack Obama rejects the notion of fairness presented by God, because his devotion to God, if it was ever a driving motivation in his life, has become supplanted by his devotion to the government administration of fairness. That much is abundantly clear. Consider that Dr. Carson carries himself with a pious humility, crediting God and family for giving him the strength of will to succeed. President Obama, whose name would rarely collide with humility in a sentence, insists that the government is responsible for people's success.

The revelation here is not that Barack Obama is a PC thug who intends to transform the fabric of America, or that he makes victims of women rather than empowering them, or that he subscribes to a Marxist's notion of fairness by coercion, or that his healthcare solution is a muddled, hopeless mess sold on Utopian dreams. 

We already knew all that.

No, the real revelation is that at this year's prayer breakfast, so often only a pious ritual, his exact opposite stood and spoke in sharp contrast to our president. And Dr. Ben Carson owns a legacy as an innovative pioneer of his field and philanthropist whose life and work have personally touched, and even saved, countless others. Barack Obama, on the other hand, despite all his celebrity, owns a legacy that amounts to little more than stirring fear and outrage on the premise that others are not doing enough to help people.

Which ideology has produced the more effective, positive outcome?

William Sullivan blogs at http://politicalpalaverblog.blogspot.com/and can be followed on Twitter.

American Thinker

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dereliction of Duty: Obama Did Nothing to Save American Lives in Benghazi--and Lied About It

7 Feb 2013

 
 Nothing. That is what President Barack Obama did on the night of September 11, 2012, as terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and killed four Americans, among them Ambassador Christopher Stevens. President Obama’s inaction was revealed in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday by outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. Under direct questioning by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Panetta admitted that he had no communication with President Obama after their “pre-scheduled” meeting at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The attack on the consulate had already been under way for 90 minutes at that time. Neither the president nor anyone else from the White House called afterwards to check what was happening; the Commander-in-Chief had left it “up to us,” said Panetta.

Panetta’s testimony directly contradicts President Obama’s own claim to have issued “three directives” as soon as he learned “what was going on” in Benghazi. As he told a Denver reporter in October:

I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure we are securing our personnel and that we are doing whatever we need to. Number two, we are going to investigate exactly what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice.

That same claim was subsequently repeated by other Democrats, including Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who came to the president’s defense. But if those directives were indeed given--and proof has never been produced--they were given long after the attack, not while the attack was going on, during which time the president did nothing.

Panetta and Dempsey also admitted, under questioning by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), that they were not in touch with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the attacks, and did not receive a request for help from the State Department. Dempsey also testified that he had been “surprised” at Clinton’s testimony last month that she did not know of an urgent cable from Ambassador Stevens last August about the dire security situation.

To borrow a metaphor from the 2008 Democratic primary campaign: when the 3 a.m. call came (at 5 p.m. in the afternoon), neither Clinton nor Obama were there to respond.
Panetta was also forced to admit, in the face of vigorous questioning by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), that no military action at all had been taken to intervene in Benghazi after the attack had begun, promising only that a similar lapse would not happen again.

Later, on Thursday afternoon, during Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) demanded to know why the administration failed to interview a suspect in the attack.

Brennan’s response was merely that the Tunisian authorities who had arrested him “did not have a basis in their law” for allowing the U.S. to question him about the attack.

In sum: President Obama did nothing to save Americans under attack from terrorists. His Secretary of Defense did nothing. His Secretary of State did nothing. The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff did nothing.

His Deputy National Security Adviser defended doing “nothing” to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

And the entire administration participated in an effort to cover up the truth. Because there was an election to be won.

Big Government

Thursday, February 7, 2013

See the Prayer Breakfast Speech That’s Grabbing Headlines: Doctor Attacks Political Correctness, National Debt in Front of Obama

Feb. 7, 2013,  Billy Hallowell
  • Dr. Benjamin Carson delivered a noteworthy National Prayer Breakfast keynote speech in President Barack Obama’s presence
  • Carson attacked political correctness as a “dangerous” threat to free speech and encouraged Americans to boldly share their views
  • The pediatric neurosurgeon also provided his theories about the national debt, deficits, taxation and health care, taking stances that were opposed to the president’s
  • Obama watched intently as Carson spoke for more than 25 minutes
One of the more unique speeches delivered at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast came from Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Taking the stage before President Barack Obama’s faith-filled address, Carson spoke for more than 25 minutes, tackling issues ranging from education to personal responsibility. His keynote, while predicated upon the theme of Jesus Christ as his ultimate role model, also took a starkly political tone, advocating against some of the very policies the president has implemented.

Dr. Benjamin Carson receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2008 (Photo Credit: AP)

At the beginning of his speech, Carson shared an intense disdain for political correctness. Without getting too specific on the issue front, he said that Americans should stop being afraid to speak up and defend their beliefs; he also encouraged people to respect the individuals they disagree with. Carson held little back, condemning political correctness as “a horrible thing” that is “dangerous,” as it hampers freedom of thought and expression.

“We’ve reached a point where people are actually afraid to talk about what they want to say, because somebody might be offended,” Carson said, noting the example of people refraining from saying “Merry Christmas.” “We’ve got to get over this sensitivity and it keeps people from saying what they really believe.”


Carson encouraged discussion about societal issues, also pointing out education as an essential conundrum the country needs to confront. He highlighted his own path from poverty to success, sharing very personal details about his parents and early family life and subsequently described the importance of helping students seeking to advance academically through his Carson Scholars Fund.

The speech took an interesting turn when the doctor cautioned that moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility can have dire consequences — even for powerful countries like America. Here, he became even more pointed and impassioned.

“I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful — nobody could even challenge them militarily…they destroyed themselves from within,” Carson continued. “Moral decay. Fiscal irresponsibility.”

While he said America’s issues are dire, he was positive that the nation can fix its ways, as there are bright and innovative people who simply need to come together to address the problems at hand.

“And one of our big problems right now…our deficit is a big problem,” he said, as Obama watched him intently. ”Think about it — and our national debt — $16 and a half trillion dollars.”

Dr. Benjamin Carson Delivers Keynote at National Prayer Breakfast | Political
Dr. Banjamin Carson speaks at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast (Photo Credit: C-SPAN)

To illustrate just how massive the debt is, Carson told the audience that if they counted one number per second, it would take them 507,000 years to get to the sum total. The doctor said that the massive fiscal blunder is something that the nation must contend with. From there, he moved on to taxation, seemingly taking a stance in direct opposition to Obama’s.

“What about our taxation system — so complex there is no one that can possibly comply with every jot and tittle,” he noted, going on to call for a simpler (i.e. flat tax) system. ”When I pick up my Bible, you know what I see — I see the fairest individual in the universe — God — and he’s given us a system. It’s called tithe.”


Carson progressed, seemingly comparing the tithe, at least in principal, to the flat tax system. Rather than continuing to tier taxes owed, he argued that everyone should pay the same proportion and that, through this fairer system, money sent by wealthier Americans for protection abroad should be brought back to America to help build infrastructure and create additional jobs.
The doctor also addressed medical care, advocating for health savings accounts and railing against the notion that Americans should be sending money into a large bureaucratic system.
You can watch the entire, 26-minute speech below:


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ICE Leader: Agents Prohibited From Enforcing Two Most Fundamental Sections of U.S. Immigration Law


 Yesterday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118 of the American Federation of Government Employees President Chris Crane testified that immigration reform isn't about reform at all, but instead is about politics.

"Death or serious injury to ICE officers and agents appears more acceptable to ICE, DHS, and Administration leadership, than the public complaints that would be lodged by special interest groups representing illegal aliens," Crane said.

Crane detailed the massive problems within the agency with enforcement, how illegal aliens lie to work the system, how illegal aliens will lie in order to be granted amnesty and explained how morale within the agency is at an all time low.

"The results from the most recent morale survey for Federal agents were released in December 2012. ICE Dropped in the rankings to 279 out of 291 Federal agencies surveyed leaving only 12 agencies that ranked lower in employee morale and job satisfaction than ICE," Crane said. "While ICE employees are frequently demonized by special interest groups and media outlets, it should be known that many ICE employees are themselves the sons and daughters of immigrants of grandsons and granddaughters of immigrants; or are married to immigrants, or are the proud parents of adopted babies born outside the U.S. For many of our officers, English was not their first language, or they grew up in a bilingual household.....ICE agents are not monsters as some would portray them."

Crane also explained the erosion of the rule of law thanks to special interest groups representing and advocating on behalf of illegal immigrants while agents are often punished for simply enforcing the law. Crane even went so far as to suggest law enforcement has been turned into a joke.

"For the last four years it has been a roller coaster for ICE officers with regard to who they can or cannot arrest, and which federal laws they will be permitted to enforce," Crane said. "Most Americans would be surprised to know that immigration agents are regularly prohibited from enforcing the two most fundamental sections of the Unites States immigration law. According to ICE policy, in most cases immigration agents can no longer arrest persons solely for entering the United States illegally. Additionally, in most cases immigration agents cannot arrest persons solely because they have entered the United State s with a visa and then overstayed that visa and failed to return to their country."



UPATE: "My confidence level with the administration right now is zero that we're going to be able to do our jobs now or in the future."



Townhall