Saturday, June 22, 2013
◼ CORKER AMENDMENT PERMANENTLY OFFERS CITIZENSHIP TO THOSE OVERSTAYING THEIR VISAS - Breitbart
The Corker Amendment is an obvious attempt by the DC GOP establishment to find a path to vote for the Senate bill. It throws a lot more money at the border, but it also weakens internal enforcement and controls. The Corker Amendment actually stipulates that, in perpetuity, you can break the law, overstay your visa, and still be eligible for citizenship.
"President Obama has coined the term 'leading from behind'. Your humble pollster suggests that he 'falling behind in leading from behind' as things are getting out of control. After months of dithering, the U.S. has decided to arm the rebels in Syria, but this comes at a time when the Assad regime is in the ascendancy. (Sort of like Paul Revere screaming, 'The British were here. The British were here.')
IRS SENT $46 MILLION IN TAX REFUNDS TO 23,994 ‘UNAUTHORIZED’ ALIENS — ALL AT THE SAME ADDRESS IN ATLANTA
This bombshell dropped on Monday in Washington, D.C., causing outrage throughout the halls of Congress, and now beyond, to the "genuine" taxpayers who have been robbed all across America.
Investigative television reporter Bob Segall of Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR TV Channel 13, was contacted by a long-time central Indiana tax preparer, who blew the whistle on a multi-billion dollar tax fraud about which the IRS has done nothing, according to the TV news show video segment that aired on Monday.
"There is not a doubt in my mind there's huge fraud taking place here," he said, slowly flipping through the pages of a [heavily redacted] tax return.
"We're talking about a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme here that's taking place and no one is talking about it," he said.
◼ TWO: The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) - CNS
The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.
IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address...
Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.
Since 1996, the IRS has issued what it calls Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to two classes of persons: 1) non-resident aliens who have a tax liability in the United States, and 2) aliens living in the United States who are “not authorized to work in the United States.”
The IRS has long known it was giving these numbers to illegal aliens, and thus facilitating their ability to work illegally in the United States...
In addition to the 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 that the IRS sent to a single address in Atlanta, the IG also discovered that the IRS had assigned 15,796 ITINs to unauthorized aliens who presumably resided at a single Atlanta address.
The IRS, according to TIGTA, also assigned ITINs to 15,028 unauthorized aliens presumably living at a single address in Dallas, Texas, and 10,356 to unauthorized aliens presumably living at a single address in Atlantic City, N.J.
Perhaps the most remarkable act of the IRS was this: It assigned 6,411 ITINs to unauthorized aliens presumably using a single address in Morganton, North Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, there were only 16,681 people in Morganton. So, for the IRS to have been correct in issuing 6,411 ITINS to unauthorized aliens at a single address Morganton it would have meant that 38 percent of the town’s total population were unauthorized alien workers using a single address.
TIGTA said there were 154 addresses around the country that appeared on 1,000 or more ITIN applications made to the IRS.
◼ Apparently, the IRS is good at bullying, harassment, and political chicanery, but when it comes to, you know, like, doing their jobs, they suck. - Rick Moran/PJMedia
◼ IRS SENT $46 MILLION IN TAX REFUNDS TO 23,994 ‘UNAUTHORIZED’ ALIENS — ALL AT THE SAME ADDRESS IN ATLANTA - Jason Howerton/The Blaze
Friday, June 21, 2013
Sacramento Young Republicans last night at the Capitol Garage. This is the future of the Republican party: pic.twitter.com/VQfsCWGI1O— Elizabeth Emken (@ElizabethEmken) June 22, 2013
◼ Glenn Greenwald questions espionage charge against Edward Snowden - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering
On MSNBC this evening, journalist Glenn Greenwald questioned the espionage charge filed by the U.S. government against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Justice Department unsealed a complaint against Snowden this evening, which revealed that they were charging the former NSA contractor with espionage and theft of government property.
◼ U.S. charges Edward Snowden with espionage in leaks about NSA surveillance programs - Peter Finn and Sari Horwitz/Washington Post
Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.
Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case....
The leaks have sparked national and international debates about the secret powers of the NSA to infringe on the privacy of Americans and foreigners. Officials from President Obama down have said they welcome the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs and the safeguards they say are built into them. Skeptics, including some in Congress, have said the NSA has assumed the power to soak up data about Americans that was never intended under the law.
◼ NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Charged with Espionage and Other Offenses — Updated: Complaint Added - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
UPDATED 6/21/2013 at 8:30pm EST: Initial complaint, now unsealed, added. Remainder of case remains sealed.
Iceland-Bound Jet for Snowden 'Could Take Off Tomorrow'...
Obama meets with privacy watchdog panel -- in private...
PAPER: NSA agency can snoop without warrant...
Lawyers eye for evidence in murder, divorce cases...
CLAIM: Top judges, generals, politicians wiretapped...
Govt to map your 'every move'...
WIRE: Obama's unprecedented war on whistleblowers.... *
REVEALED: Top Secret Rules Allow NSA to Use Data Without Warrant... *
Anonymous Search Engine Gets Lift From PRISM Scandal... *
The covert U.S. training at bases in Jordan and Turkey began months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.
“We have stepped up our assistance, but I cannot inventory for you all the elements of that assistance,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “We have provided and will continue to provide substantial assistance to the Syrian opposition, as well as the Supreme Military Council.”
"NSA, today, is collecting everything – including content – of every digital communication in this country, both computer and phone, and that information is being stored indefinitely.” (Moscow trials ring a bell?)
◼ Bombshell: Fmr. Intelligence Agent Accuses NSA, Obama Of Lying, Alleges Broader Spying Programs - Noah Rothman/Mediaite
On Friday, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin interviewed former U.S. Air Force intelligence Agent Russell Tice about the revelations surrounding the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans’ digital and electronic communications. Tice accused a variety of administration officials, including President Barack Obama, of disseminating outright falsehoods in their efforts to explain those programs. He added that those programs are far broader than any government official has said up to this point. Tice slammed the president’s meeting with privacy advocates today, conceding the point that this was largely a “PR move.”
“There is a lot of disinformation going on,” Tice observed. “I’ve always said the station is much worse.”
Tice accused the NSA’s past and current directors of misleading the public regarding the scope of the agency’s communications monitoring programs.
“NSA, today, is collecting everything – including content – of every digital communication in this country, both computer and phone, and that information is being stored indefinitely,” Tice said. “And that’s something that they’re lying about.”
◼ Discussion at Lucianne
◼ Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant - Glenn Greenwald & James Ball/Guardian [UK]
Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant. The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009.
◼ Document one: procedures used by NSA to target non-US persons
◼ Document two: procedures used by NSA to minimise data collected from US persons
◼ Discussion at Lucianne
Courtesy of Darrell Issa
WATCH and SHARE this video if you believe the message of our Founding Fathers is as important today as it was in 1788.
This is JUST LIKE Obamacare -- Dems write bill, larded bill up w/pork to buy votes, hide final bill til last min to avoid Qs, ram thru.— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 22, 2013
Illegal alien reporter calls immigration bill 'biggest story of my life'...
Cruz Launches Petition To Stop 'Gang Of Eight'... *
CRUZ MOVES TO STOP 'GANG'...
RUBIO 2010: 'Earned Path to Citizenship is Basically Code for Amnesty'...
Bill would Give Legal Status To People Displaced -- By Climate Change?
Bill O'Reilly gets on board after phone call with Rubio...
Biden: Now Is Time For 'Unfettered Path'...
Still allows illegal immigration? *
Amendment Last Ditch Effort to Save Immigration Bill... *
FAST TRACK: 'GANG' STRIKES BORDER DEAL... *
Shifting his strange focus from Russia’s nuclear weapons, Obama said “we can . . . reject the nuclear weaponization that North Korea and Iran may be seeking.” Were Obama given to saying such stuff off the cuff, this would be a good reason for handcuffing him to a teleprompter. But, amazingly, such stuff is put on his teleprompter and, even more amazing, he reads it aloud.
...Shifting his strange focus from Russia’s nuclear weapons, Obama said “we can . . . reject the nuclear weaponization that North Korea and Iran may be seeking.” Were Obama given to saying such stuff off the cuff, this would be a good reason for handcuffing him to a teleprompter. But, amazingly, such stuff is put on his teleprompter and, even more amazing, he reads it aloud.
Neither the people who wrote those words nor he who spoke them can be taken seriously. North Korea and Iran may be seeking nuclear weapons? North Korea may have such weapons. Evidently Obama still entertains doubts that Iran is seeking them.
In Northern Ireland before going to Berlin, Obama sat next to Putin, whose demeanor and body language when he is in Obama’s presence radiate disdain. There Obama said: “With respect to Syria, we do have differing perspectives on the problem, but we share an interest in reducing the violence.” Differing perspectives?
Obama wants to reduce the violence by coaxing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who is winning the war, to attend a conference at which he negotiates the surrender of his power. Putin wants to reduce the violence by helping — with lavish materiel assistance and by preventing diplomacy that interferes — Assad complete the destruction of his enemies....
...Someone is watching me, monitoring whatever I do. If I make a mistake, I will pay for it. My future will be bleak.
Basically, I am being silenced. And so are you. Purposefully or not, they are trying to shut us down and shut us up.
They say they’re not, but they are.
They don’t believe they are, but they are.
They have protective mechanisms in place, but who knows if they function?
We have to rely on the beneficence of our overseers, but how can we believe in that?
How can we believe in anything? Everything is too big. We are just cogs in the wheel. Winston Smith had it better than us. The technology was not as efficient in his day (1984).
So I live in fear.
And here’s the big problem: it’s hard to see how it’s going to get better.
Now, after a few days of on-and-off consideration of the bill, one well-connected Senate source concludes: “This thing’s over.”
As the source sees it, the Senate will vote on the still-unreleased Hoeven-Corker amendment on Monday. And then, Majority Leader Harry Reid will move for a final vote. “We’ll vote on Corker, a couple of remaining pending amendments, and then cloture on the final bill as amended by Corker, and call it a day,” says the aide. By “call it a day,” the source means the Senate will pass the bill.
The fact is, if Hoeven-Corker is actually finished — and sources say it will be, although it is behind schedule — the Senate fight is pretty much over. Much of the discussion of the bill has focused on whether the Gang of Eight can draw 70 votes for the bill or will be content to pass it with just 60 votes. That’s not much of a debate. The bill passes either way, most likely by next Thursday at the latest.
Then the bill moves on to the House, where it faces a troubled future. “In the end, it’s all moot,” says the Senate source. “While I expect it will pass here [the Senate], that will be the end of it. I don’t think the House will even take it up, much less pass it.”
The furor over Morrison’s actions began after an April report in Mother Jones magazine about the McConnell campaign meeting. Morrison, who worked for a liberal group called Progress Kentucky, has admitted that he taped the private conversation between McConnell and his campaign aides Feb. 2, including discussion of potential attack lines against actress Ashley Judd, who was considering running against McConnell.
Following Mother Jones’s publication of Morrison’s recording, McConnell suggested Democrats were acting in “Nixonian fashion” by “bugging” his campaign headquarters. The FBI quickly became involved in the case, interviewing McConnell and his staff. Morrison was fired from his job as a freelance reporter for the publication Insider Louisville.
Sources familiar with the McConnell case said the heightened involvement of Main Justice — as the Justice Department headquarters is known — appears to have slowed down what had been a rapidly moving investigation.
The RNC has outraised the DNC every month in 2013 despite President Obama's help in hosting a few big-dollar fundraisers for the committee.
The three pro-democracy revolts that Obama refused to support were arguably the only two that were genuinely worthy of the pro-democracy label: the demonstrations against the Islamic regime in Iran in 2009, the anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations in Egypt in winter 2013, and the pro-secularism demonstrations in Turkey in recent weeks. There is a common thread between these three that distinguishes them from all the others: in Egypt in late 2012 and early 2013, as well as in Iran in 2009, the demonstrators were protesting against Islamic states; in Turkey, they were protesting against the Erdogan regime that is working hard now to establish an Islamic state. All the other demonstrations were not against pro-Sharia forces, but were led by pro-Sharia forces, and led to the establishment of Islamic states. To be sure, the Iranian demonstrators in 2009 contained many pro-Sharia elements that simply objected to the way the Islamic Republic was enforcing Sharia, but they also included many who wanted to reestablish the relatively secular society that prevailed under the last Shah. Whether the Sharia or the democratic forces would have won out in the end is a question that will never be answered – in no small part thanks to Barack Obama....
In any case, in one of the most shameful episodes of his entire shameful tenure, now American troops will be deployed in service of the Muslim Brotherhood, to put down pro-democracy protestors in Egypt.
Using the term liberal, progressives like Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were able to fundamentally change the role of government in American society by expanding it under the guise that more regulation meant more freedom. The opposite was true, and they knew it.
Modernday liberals claim to be open to freedom of expression and ideas, but in practice, they are not. Liberals love speech zones, regulation, Big Government and snuffing out dissent.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) launched a national petition on Thursday to stop the Senate Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill and send Washington a “strong signal” of the grassroots opposition to the bill.
“This is urgent,” Cruz wrote in an e-mail to supporters. “We must stop this Gang of 8 immigration bill, which would give amnesty to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants with no guarantee of a secure border.”
“The Senate debate is in the final stages and we need to send Washington a strong signal of the overwhelming grassroots opposition to this amnesty bill from Americans across the country,” Cruz explained.
That petition is ◼ here.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is dropping the political f-bomb: ◼ Filibuster.
Obamacare advocates repeatedly said that its expansion of Medicaid would save thousands of lives a year. Obamacare critics seldom challenged the idea that increased insurance coverage would improve at least some people's health.
Now, out of Oregon, comes a study that casts doubt on the premise that insurance improves health....
Most U.S. health insurance today, thanks to the tax preference for employer-provided insurance, is not real insurance at all.
Real insurance pays for rare, expensive and unwelcome events, like your house burning down. It doesn't make sense to insure for routine expenses, like repainting your living room.
The Oregon Health Study suggests that insurance isn't necessary for people to get what are now, for people of a certain age, routine measures like blood pressure medicine. Maybe government should help poor people pay for them, but they manage to get them nevertheless.
Americans have come to expect health insurance to pay for routine treatments. Obamacare reinforces that in its requirements for coverage and makes it more difficult for many to insure against catastrophic health care expenses.
That's not likely to make people healthier.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
The Humboldt Republican Party presents
a Sizzlin' Summer Dinner & Auction
Featuring Author/Fox News commentator JOHN FUND
and REX BOHN, Auctioneer at the Blue Lake Casino
6:00 p.m. No-Host Cocktails
7:00 p.m. Tri-tip Dinner
8:00 p.m. Speaker: John Fund
8:30 p.m. Auction with Rex Bohn
At Blue Lake Casino’s Sapphire Room
Tickets: $45 per person.
To purchase tickets online through HGOP's secure server (Piryx)
◼ CLICK HERE
We will have your tickets at the door.
MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS TODAY
Call Republican Headquarters, 442-2259
or go to ◼ www.humboldtgop.org
◼ (Jul 21, 2008) Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy
◼ (Nov 24, 2009) How the Obama Administration Threatens to Undermine Our Elections (Encounter Broadsides)
◼ (Aug 14, 2012) Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk
In a statement posted on her website, Emken said her decision to run for Congress came from "the need to send someone to Washington who understands the struggles of our families and who is concerned about the direction of our country -- and our government."
Emken ran last year against the longtime incumbent, Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein, but came up short at the polls.
Emken has also championed autism research, serving as vice president for government relations at the advocacy organization Autism Speaks.
◼ Nightmare scenario for the Democrats - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork
It's not just the press. The Democratic clerisy, from grass-roots organizers to insider strategists to big-money donors, fully expects a Clinton candidacy. The 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, it appears, is Hillary's for the asking.
But what if she doesn't ask? What if Hillary Clinton chooses not to run, or for some reason is not able to run? After such a deep emotional investment in a Hillary candidacy, do Democrats have a Plan B?
If by Plan B you mean a two-time presidential loser and lifetime Washington player, then the answer is yes. The Democrats have Vice President Joe Biden.
"Biden would be the instant front-runner, in a class by himself," says one Democratic strategist on what might happen if Mrs. Clinton doesn't run. "He would inherit an awful lot of the Obama machine," says another party politico. "He's definitely going to run if she doesn't."
But Biden would also inherit the Obama baggage. And that means more than just the legacy of a difficult second term....
But if not Biden, who? Is there a non-Biden Democratic Plan B? The answer is no.
Some of the most venerable brands in your grocery store sit not on the shelf but on the checkout line, where magazines like Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Redbook have been reflecting women’s lives for decades. From one month to the next, little seems to vary; the celebrity interviews and fashion spreads blend into one another, creating the impression of a seamless, unchanging world.
Yet if you compare the women’s magazines of today with their counterparts of 50 years ago, you’ll find it impossible to miss how dramatically different they are—and how daily life has transformed along with them. For example, in 1963, Good Housekeeping could report that 40 percent of its readers were in the workforce; by 2010, roughly 75 percent of women aged 25 to 54 were. In 1963, the average age of first marriage for women hovered around 20.5; by 2012, it had risen to 26.6. Clearly, women’s lives have changed enormously. But a historical journey through the checkout racks suggests that they haven’t always changed in the ways you’d think....
◼ Discussion at Lucianne
RUSH: I hate to do this to you, but the Investor's Business Daily had an editorial yesterday, and they have discovered the purpose of Obamacare. It has nothing to do with health care. The purpose of Obamacare got nothing to do with your health, and nothing to do with your insurance.
It's about building a permanent, undefeatable, always-funded Democrat majority. One example: The exchanges. We're being told that the government's running way behind on setting up the exchanges, and we're being told it's because the bill so complicated, big, unmanageable. Nobody could possibly get this done on time. IBD has tracked how these exchanges are being set up, and basically the health care exchanges in these states are going to be Democrat political action committees, funded with your tax dollars.
They're going to operate under the guise of selling you your health insurance when in fact what they're going to be doing is providing employment for Democrats and Democrat voters and Democrat operatives. They are going to use the exchanges to give out money to sympathetic Democrats and people who vote for other Democrats. I'll give you the details. It's on a par with how I've tried to explain that the stimulus was a money-laundering operation for Democrat campaign coffers. READ THE REST, at the link.
◼ Using ObamaCare To Create A Permanent Democratic Majority - IBD
...Amazingly, California legislators passed a law that the exchange could keep secret for a year who received the contracts and indefinitely how much they were paid. California's open-records laws would otherwise prohibit such secrecy.
Last week, Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and four other Republican senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee called for an investigation of California's concealing information on contracts awarded using federal taxpayer money.
What is known so far suggests that California politicians are exploiting health reform to enroll millions of the uninsured in the Democratic Party and fill the coffers of left-wing interest groups with taxpayer money....
◼ David Rivkin and Elizabeth Foley: An ObamaCare Board Answerable to No One - David Rivkin and Elizabeth Foley/Wall Street Journal
Prosecutors and defense attorneys chose the panel of six jurors after almost two weeks of jury selection. In Florida, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials involving capital cases, when the death penalty is being considered.
◼ Honeymoon with world over - MICHAEL HIRSCH/NATIONAL JOURNAL
With vague pledges and backtalk from Merkel and Putin, the president shows how far America's standing with Europe has fallen.
◼ Obama Confuses British Chancellor 'George' Osborne With R&B Singer 'Jeffrey'
Love how Obama, who sat in Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright's church, has the balls to call Catholic education "divisive."— Chelsea (@chelseagrunwald) June 19, 2013
◼ VIDEO: Obama disses Catholic schools - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering
◼ ...Obama “made an alarming call for an end to Catholic education in Northern Ireland,” and quoted from recent remarks of the Vatican’s Archbishop Gerhard Müller, who had said that Catholic education was “a critical component of the Church.” - Paul Scicchitano/Newsmax
Conservative website Breitbart.com was quick to label Obama’s remarks as a “gaffe” based on the “fact that Obama did not consider the sensitivities of his audience — or that he inadvertently revealed his own anti-religious prejudice.
“To travel to a city troubled by conflict, and to then insult the members of at least one of the two communities, is not only a gaffe, but a serious diplomatic error,” according to the website.
◼ President Barack Obama repeated the oft disproved claim that Catholic education increases division in front of an audience of 2000 young people, including many Catholics, at Belfast’s Waterfront hall when he arrived in the country this morning.
“If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden—that too encourages division and discourages cooperation,” the US president said.
The US politician made the unfounded claim despite a top Vatican official spelling out the undeniable good done by Catholic education in a speech in Glasgow on Saturday and in his homily at Mass on Friday.
◼ OBAMA: CATHOLIC SCHOOLS 'ENCOURAGE DIVISION' - John Nolte/Breitbart
Note that Obama singles out Catholic and Protestant schools, and not Islamic schools.
Leftists like Obama loath parochial schools because they put children outside of the reach of government. The left sees public schools as breeding grounds–the place where they can insert themselves into their favorite spot: between parent and child.
It is all about influencing our kids–Borging them into conformity in an environment void of Bibles and trans-fat but loaded with condoms and victimhood.
Obama declaring parochial schools divisive was no accident. It was part of a prepared speech. This is what he really feels, and you can bet that it is the beginning of a PR assault his minions will eagerly pick up as a "discussion worth having."
The endgame with almost everything involving the left is to dismantle, undermine, and toxify the Church.
This is just one more piece of the puzzle being moved into place by a president never vetted by the media and enjoying the "flexibility" of not having to face another election.
◼ LEFTIST IRISH POLITICIAN SLAMS GOVERNMENT'S 'UNPRECEDENTED SLOBBERING' OVER OBAMA - Breitbart News
Liberal lawmakers in Ireland have blasted the government for its fawning treatment of President Obama. Parliamentarian Clare Daly said that the government of Ireland had portrayed Ireland as “a nation of pimps, prostituting ourselves in return for a pat on the head.” She slammed the government for “unprecedented slobbering,” and said that the government’s behavior led people to think they “were going to deck the Cabinet out in leprechaun hats decorate with a bit of stars and stripes to really mark abject humiliation.”
◼ ‘Evidence of the depth and breadth of Obama’s radicalism’: President suggests Catholic schools are divisive - Twitchy
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
For most bigwig Democrats in Washington, D.C., the last 48 hours has delivered news of the worst kind — a flood of new information that has washed away any lingering doubts about where President Obama and his party stand on civil liberties, full stop.
Glenn Greenwald’s exposure of the NSA’s massive domestic spy program has revealed the entire caste of current Democratic leaders as a gang of civil liberty opportunists, whose true passion, it seems, was in trolling George W. Bush for eight years on matters of national security....
Transparency supporters, whistleblowers, and investigative reporters, especially those writers who have aggressively pursued the connections between the corporate defense industry and federal and local authorities involved in domestic surveillance, have been viciously attacked by the Obama administration and its allies in the FBI and DOJ.
Jacob Appplebaum, a transparency activist and computer savant, has been repeatedly harassed at American borders, having his laptop seized. Barrett Brown, another investigative journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, among others publications, exposed the connections between the private contracting firm HB Gary (a government contracting firm that, incidentally, proposed a plan to spy on and ruin the reputation of the Guardian’s Greenwald) and who is currently sitting in a Texas prison on trumped up FBI charges regarding his legitimate reportorial inquiry into the political collective known sometimes as Anonymous.
◼ Michael Hastings conspiracy theories: Web goes wild after NSA, CIA reporter killed in crash...
Less than a day after the BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone reporter died in a fiery car crash at age 33, conspiracy theorists are speculating that there is more than meets the eye over Hasting's demise.
News of reporter and writer Michael Hastings´ death at the age of only 33 has shaken the journalism community across the nation, as well as fans of the writer´s hard-hitting reporting.(Snip)conspiracy theorists are speculating that there is more than meets the eye over Hasting´s demise. Twitter, Facebook, and sharing site Reddit were abuzz Wednesday, with some users commenting that it was suspicious that Hastings, who famously brought down U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a Rolling Stone cover story, died while in the middle of covering several hot-button topics like monitoring by the National Security Agency and the CIA.
...As the International Business Times notes, "some of the details surrounding the story [of Hastings' death] read like a poorly-written political thriller."
...A community board on Reddit has already begun delving into possible conspiracy theories, from opinions that the car was either rigged to lose control or burst into flames at a certain time to brake wires being frayed.
"A warning to other journalists to not dig too deep," one Reddit user wrote. "Stick with the party line if you want a long, happy life."
◼ Michael Hastings’ Chilling Final Story - Bryan Preston/PJMedia
Journalist Michael Hastings was killed early Tuesday morning in a bizarre car incident in Los Angeles. Hastings, 33, was best known for writing the Rolling Stone story that ended in Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Hastings’ final story, “Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans,” was a searing take on the NSA snooping scandal, which Hastings described as “North Korea-esque.” Hastings pulled no punches as he linked the NSA scandal to the Department of Justice’s spying on reporters and the IRS abuse scandal. Hastings built a case that the same Democrats who turned Bush-era anti-terrorism techniques into wedge issues that helped them capture Congress and the White House in 2006 and 2008 were now defending much worse and more widespread spying on American citizens by the Obama administration....
At the end of the story, Hastings mentions by name several Americans who have come under questionable government scrutiny in the Obama years. Several are household names, but some are not.
Hastings died in a fatal single-car crash at 4:25 on Tuesday morning. A witness said his car “suddenly jackknifed” before crossing the median and hitting a tree, causing a ferocious explosion that reportedly threw the engine block of the brand new Mercedes Hastings was driving 30 or 40 yards from the car. Mercedes engine blocks typically weigh between 290 and 540 pounds. It would take tremendous speed or force to throw one nearly half the length of a football field.
“It sounded like a bomb went off in the middle of the night,” another witness told the TV station. “The house shook, my windows were rattling.”
Hastings’ body was burned “beyond recognition,” according to reports.
◼ WikiLeaks says Michael Hastings contacted it just before his death. Are they implying he was murdered? - Telegraph
◼ WikiLeaks: Hastings Said He Was Being Investigated By FBI - CBS LA
Questions persist following the death of Michael Hastings Tuesday, after reports that the award-winning journalist told WikiLeaks the government was watching him.
WikiLeaks tweeted a message to their millions of followers Wednesday stating that the 33-year-old author and war correspondent had contacted the organization’s lawyer to say he was being watched by the FBI.
During the last four years, the commission had cut the pay of 132 elected state officials by 23% in reaction to the recession and its damage to the budget, which resulted in furloughs for rank-and-file state workers.◼ REMEMBER: In April, California in the red by $127.2 billion, state auditors say - Jessica Chasmar/Washington Times (April 1, 2013)
But commissioners noted Wednesday that the economy has improved, the budget has been balanced with a $1 billion reserve fund, and Brown has offered a 4.5% pay raise phased in over two years to the largest state employee union.
“The governor has done a fantastic job of getting the tax initiative passed and the economic climate, while not completely restored, is on the right trajectory," said Commissioner Wilma Wallace. "And I believe that it is important to acknowledge that the Legislature has stepped up and that they deserve to have the 5% reinstated,"
A financial report issued by state auditors finds that the state of California is in the red by an unsustainable $127.2 billion.
The report says that the state’s negative status increased that year, largely because it spent $1.7 billion more than it received in revenues and wound up with an accumulated deficit of just under $23 billion in fiscal year 2011-2012, the Sacramento Bee stated.
Gov. Jerry Brown has referred to the deficit and other budget gaps, mostly money owed to schools, as a “wall of debt” totaling more than $30 billion, the Sacramento Bee reported.
About half of the deficit came from the state issuing general obligation bonds and then giving the money to local governments and school districts for public works projects. The report listed California’s long-term obligations at $167.9 billion, nearly half of which ($79.9 billion) were in general obligation bonds, with another $30.8 billion in revenue bonds, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The US government's secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a "chilling effect" on newsgathering by the agency and other news organizations, AP's top executive said Wednesday.
"Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us," AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech to the National Press Club.
"In some cases, government employees we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone. Others are reluctant to meet in person ... This chilling effect on newsgathering is not just limited to AP.
"Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me that it has intimidated both official and nonofficial sources from speaking to them as well."
◼ Associated Press president Gary Pruitt on Wednesday slammed the Department of Justice for acting as “judge, jury and executioner” in the seizure of the news organization’s phone records and he said some of the wire service’s longtime sources have clammed up in fear. - MacKenzie Weinger/Politico
“This chilling effect is not just at AP, it’s happening at other news organizations as well,” Pruitt added. “Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me it has intimidated sources from speaking to them. Now, the government may love this. I suspect they do. But beware the government that loves secrecy too much.”
IRS officials may have thought they could silence the Tea Party by singling out conservative groups for undue scrutiny, but if anything, they’ve only caused our voices to grow stronger. Tea Party activists from across the country are gathering today at the U.S. Capitol and watching the live stream to demand accountability from the IRS and show that no matter what the government throws at us, we will not be silenced.
◼ MEANWHILE: IRS to pay $70M in employee bonuses - AP
Berlin Speech: 200,000 for Obama in 2008; Only 6,000 Today...Germans have undergone 'a brutal sobering up'
◼ Ich bin ein snoop? Obama greeted with hilarious ‘yes we scan’ signs in Berlin [pics] - Twitchy
◼ Barack Obama returned to Berlin today, almost five years to the day from when he delivered his famous "Victory Column" speech that cemented his reputation as an international rockstar. Unfortunately, his reception this time was a lot different. - The Atlantic
Fast forward to 2013, and many are now saying that Obama's reputation is "tarnished," by his recent snooping scandals, his extensions of the war on terror, and the hard luck realities of failing to deliver on all your promises. (Even ones you didn't really make.) He's "demystified" and "no longer a superstar" in German eyes. Now he's just another world leader on a state visit, and whatever problems people have with U.S. policy are on his shoulders.
And instead of opening up the speech to the whole city, Obama spoke in front only about 5,000-6,000 spectators, all of them invited guests.
|(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)|
Almost five years later, Germans have undergone “a brutal sobering up” with regard to Mr. Obama, said Ralf Fücks, who heads the board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, a nonprofit political organization in Berlin. It is, he said, as overdone as the euphoria of 2008, but also a bit alarming....
To judge from interviews with Berliners, though, there is little interest in or understanding of the complex trade talks, which are just starting. Rather, the data surveillance scandal has fired the popular imagination here, guaranteeing that Ms. Merkel, up for re-election in September, will raise the matter with Mr. Obama.
It is not as if Internet users outside the United States did not know that their digital movements might be watched, said Patrick Conley, 47, a media historian who lives in Berlin. “But you know it more exactly now,” he said. “In foreign policy terms, it is a catastrophe.”
That is particularly so in Germany, where state snooping was a dominant feature of the Nazi and Communist regimes. News that Facebook, which attracted 51 percent of German Internet users last year, according to the industry group Bitkom, had given up data to Washington’s surveillance program was a special shock here.
◼ Racist! Chris Matthews notices Greatest Orator Evah struggled in Berlin without teleprompter - Twitchy
◼ Matthews: Berlin Sun Ruined Obama’s Use of Teleprompters - Washington Free Beacon
◼ NYT acknowledges Obama's difficulties interacting with foreign leaders. - Althouse
◼ Barack Obama bombs in Berlin: a weak, underwhelming address from a floundering president - Nile Gardiner/Telegraph
In stark contrast to that of his presidential predecessors, Barack Obama’s message on Wednesday was pure mush, another clichéd “citizens of the world” polemic with little substance. This was a speech big on platitudes and hopeless idealism, while containing much that was counter-productive for the world’s superpower. Ultimately it was little more than a laundry list of Obama’s favourite liberal pet causes...
Obama’s distinctly unimpressive speech in Berlin was another dud from a floundering president whose leadership abroad is just as weak as it is at home.
◼ EXCLUSIVE: Hidden camera catches wireless company employees passing out 'Obama phones' to people who say they'll SELL them for drugs, shoes, handbags and spending cash - Daily Mail
◼ The 'Lifeline' free-cell-phone scheme cost $2.2 BILLION last year alone, all of it from fees added to the phone bills of paying customers◼ A Republican senator renewed his criticism of a government-backed program that hands out cell phones after an undercover video showed vendors helping people obtain the phones even after saying they wanted to sell them for drugs and other items. - FOX
◼ The biggest beneficiary other than low-income consumers is billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, whose TracFone has collected $1.5 BILLION to date
◼ One company told MailOnline it will fire a salesperson who laughed uproariously when a woman said she would sell her phone to buy shoes
◼ Conservative firebrand James O'Keefe sent undercover actors to pose as 'Obama phone' seekers aiming to sell the goods; no one turned them down
◼ Legislation in Congress would remove the cell phone component of the program, which launched in 1984 and covered only land lines until 2008
The Lifeline program was originally launched under the Reagan administration to help poor people have access to phones for emergencies, job searches and other vital communications. The program is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every phone customer in the country.
The cost of the program, though, has tripled to $2.2 billion in 2012 from $819 million in 2008, when cell phones were added. The risk of abuse has also risen.
Only low-income people on welfare and food stamps legally qualify, but some lawmakers say the program is out of control.
Despite the large number of controversies engulfing official Washington, the number of people following the IRS scandal has actually increased in recent weeks.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 82% of voters nationwide are now following the IRS targeting story, including 44% who are following the story “Very Closely.” The overall number of voters who are following is up from 74% a month ago.
◼ 35% Have Favorable Opinion of Federal Government, 60% Unfavorable.
◼ 57% Fear Government Will Use NSA Data to Harass Political Opponents
AB 76 was passed by the legislature Friday evening, unbeknownst to many journalists and open-government advocates attempting to follow the vote....
Senate Bill 71 and AB 76, which could be passed and sent to the governor's offiice on Saturday, would allow government bodies on the local level—such as cities, counties, sheriff’s departments and education systems—to choose whether or not to follow certain requirements under the California Public Records Act. These provisions would be downgraded from law to mere “best practices.” Gone would be the deadlines for determining whether records are disclosable and notifying the member of the public who requested the records. Gone would be the requirement that agencies assist members of the public in identifying which records would answer their questions. Gone would be the mandate that agencies turn over documents in an electronic format if the records have already been digitized.
A local government wouldn’t even have to publicly disclose its records-disclosure policy in writing. The bills only say an agency must “announce orally” once a year if it decides not to follow the new “best practices.”
The impact on government watchdogs, journalists and the public—including EFF—would be profound. The legislation would create long waits for access to records, allow agencies to interpret requests narrowly (say, rejecting requests unless the citizen asks for a specific document), and leave the requesters waiting in limbo indefinitely as government agencies will have no incentive to be helpful.
◼ California Legislature Guts State Records Law - courthousenews.com
"It's not about saving money - it's all about curtailing an open, transparent government that can be held accountable," Yee told the San Jose Mercury News. "The only way we're held accountable is when the public has the information to understand what were doing."
◼ EDITORIAL: Tell Brown to veto attack on Public Records Act - The Fresno Bee
The unbridled arrogance of government is on full display, here in California and across our great land. In the name of security and the war on terror, the federal government is prying ever deeper into the lives of law-abiding Americans, eroding civil liberties and owning up to the deeds only after a whistle-blower calls them to the public's attention.
Meanwhile, in California, a Legislature controlled by a Democrat supermajority and in concert with Gov. Jerry Brown, wants citizens to know as little as possible about the workings of local government.
On Friday, lawmakers approved a pair of budget trailer bills (SB 71 and AB 76) that would free local governments of the obligation to comply with certain aspects of the California Public Records Act. The bills zipped through the Legislature with little or no committee review. Lawmakers clearly wanted to rubber stamp potentially embarrassing legislation under cover from prying eyes.
This is just the latest assault on sunshine. Last year, to avoid paying reimbursements, lawmakers and the governor suspended notice mandates for public meetings. This year, lawmakers considered imposing a $10-per-file fee on the public to look at court records. Fortunately, a conference committee killed that bill.
Public pressure can make a difference again. Urge the governor to reject SB 71 and AB 76 by contacting him at: ◼ http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php
Last week, Obama's political action arm, Organizing For Action, held rallies throughout the country advocating for stricter gun laws. Their rallies drew small numbers as seen ◼ here and ◼ here.
...OFA, by the way, is a 501 (c) (4) group that was able to swiftly obtain its tax exempt status, earlier this year.
So, what's next on the agenda for OFA now that they're on such a winning streak, you ask?
Get ready to be "educated" about Obama's horribly unpopular health care law...
◼ Organizing for Action rallies in San Bernardino for gun control
Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_23464357/organizing-action-rallies-san-bernardino-gun-control#ixzz2WaqKpoye - San Bernardino Sun
...2. IRS officials in Washington first learned of the Cincinnati office’s decision to single out tea party groups in February 2010, right from the start of the program.
Paz said at that time, “a case was identified where there was potential for political campaign activity, and that was when they reached out to Washington and the case was transferred to Washington.”...
5. Officials in the Cincinnati office used “tea party” as a shortcut to refer to all groups that may have engaged in extensive political activity.
At one point Paz’s attorney Roel Campos asked her during the interview with Democratic aides, “What were these employees’ explanations for using the term ‘tea party’?
“That it was really just an efficient way to refer to this issue; that they all understood the real issue was campaign intervention,” Paz responded.
“It was a shortcut or abbreviation?” Campos inquired.
“Yes. Just sort of a shorthand reference,” she said. “You know, I think they may have reference, you know, it’s like calling soda ‘Coke’ or, you know, tissue ‘Kleenex.’ They knew what they meant, and the issue was campaign intervention.”...
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
◼ Conservative activists are planning to storm Capitol Hill on Wednesday for what they are predicting will be “the largest Tea Party protest since 2010.” - Alex Pappas/Daily Caller
The protest — drawing tea partiers like TV host Glenn Beck and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — is in response to the Internal Revenue Service’s recent admission that it has been specifically targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
The gathering on the West Lawn of the Capitol is being called the “Audit the IRS” Rally.
30 years ago today, Sally Ride boarded the space shuttle Challenger at Cape Canaveral, Florida – becoming the first American woman to travel to space
CELEBRATING AMERICA’S FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE: 30 years ago today, Sally Ride boarded the space shuttle Challenger at Cape Canaveral, Florida – becoming the first American woman to travel to space. Ride persevered and excelled in her mission as a NASA astronaut, paving the way for women entering the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
This Southern Californian who pushed the physical and societal limits of how far women can go.
◼ H/T: Darrel Issa
Dear Fellow Taxpayer,
The onslaught against Proposition 13 in the Legislature has begun.
As Howard Jarvis would say, Its time to get mad as hell!
Over the weekend, the Assembly passed Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8, to lower the vote to pass local infrastructure bonds and make it easier to increase taxes on property owners.
Still, we have hope WE CAN stop this anti-Prop. 13 measure in the Senate and we will alert you as soon as we know when it will be taken up, so you can take action
Additional bills attacking Proposition 13 and the two-thirds vote required to raise your taxes will be heard in the Senate tomorrow, June 18. Senate Constitutional Amendments 3, 7, 9 and 11 will be taken up tomorrow in the Senate Elections Committee at 1:30pm in Room 3191. HJTA will be there on your behalf testifying against these bills, but we need your help.
PLEASE CALL THESE SENATORS TODAY OR FIRST THING TUESDAY MORNING AND TELL THEM TO VOTE NOON THESE BILLS, AND ALL BILLS, THAT WOULD MAKE IT EASIER TO INCREASE TAXES!
Please try to call all these Senators, but even if you only have time to call one or two, it is important to the cause of protecting taxpayers.
Senator Norma J. Torres (Chair) 916-651-4032 (D--Downey)
Senator Joel Anderson (Vice Chair) 916-651-4036 (R--San Diego)
Senator Loin Hancock 916-651-4009 (D--Berkeley)
Senator Alex Padilla 916-651-4020 (D--North Hollywood)
Senator Leland Y. Yee 916-651-4008 (D--San Francisco)
Thank you in advance for your help. Please call now!
◼ Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA)
The officials said the US and Taliban representatives will hold bilateral meetings, then it is expected that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s High Peace Council will follow up with its own talks a few days later....
The Taliban had previously said that they would not countenance peace talks with the Karzai government, which they consider a stooge of the United States and other Western nations.
◼ White House: We aren’t demanding Taliban cut ties with al Qaeda --- yet - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum
“[W]e’ve long had a demand on the Taliban that they make a statement that distances themselves from the movement from international terrorism, but made clear that we didn’t expect immediately for them to break ties with al Qaeda, because that’s an outcome of the negotiation process,” a senior administration official told reporters during a background briefing on Afghanistan. “So the statement that we expect today is this first step in distancing them, distancing the movement from international terrorism. But it’s not as far as [we] will demand them to go at the end of the process.”
◼ Talking to the Taliban: Violence against women not on the cards - france24 11/25/10
Monday, June 17, 2013
The purpose of this hearing is to receive testimony on water resource issues in the Klamath River Basin.
The hearing will be webcast live on the committee's website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing is complete. Witness testimony will be available on the website at the start of the hearing.
The committee is inviting the public to submit comments on water resource issues in the Klamath River Basin. Please direct comments to: Klamath@energy.senate.gov.
States can't demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote in federal elections unless they get federal or court approval to do so, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a decision complicating efforts in Arizona and other states to bar voting by people who are in the country illegally.
◼ Supreme Court strikes down Arizona voter registration law... - Reuters
In a 7-2 vote, the court, in an opinion written by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled the voter registration provision of the 2004 state law was trumped by a federal law, the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.
◼ Proof-of-Citizenship Voided... - Bloomberg
◼ Scalia Rules With Majority... - CBS Washington
According to consumer watchdogs, scammers are trying to fool consumers, in many cases seniors, into giving up personal information by claiming they’ve been selected to be among the first to get insurance cards for “Obamacare.”
The solicitors, sometimes pretending to be federal government workers, tell people they can get all signed up by giving them their bank account and Social Security numbers. Better Business Bureau officials say the fact that not many people know about the Affordable Care Act only helps the flimflammers.
Carson’s story transcends politics, and he doesn’t come across as a political figure. Which is also consistent with conservatism: to be a leader, you don’t have to be a politician. In fact, it sometimes helps not to be one.
...He said that since his prayer breakfast appearance, in which he criticized Obamacare, many have urged him to run for president. Carson says that he does not want to be president, but he does want to increase his engagement in public policy, especially with regard to health care. He said that in his view, Obamacare cannot be implemented, and is destined to crash on takeoff (my phrase, not his). Carson thinks that the key imperative, when Obamacare collapses, is to be ready with an alternative. Toward that end, he has been collaborating with other experts to assemble a market-based, consumer-oriented alternative that starts with expanded health savings accounts. Carson points out that 80% of an individual’s encounters with the health care system need not, and should not, involve insurance. That would be the realm of HSAs. Then, with respect to insurance, better information and the simplest forms of incentives can easily bring down costs. The truth is–this is me speaking – it wouldn’t be difficult to improve the health care system, if health care was your real concern, and you weren’t motivated mostly by a desire to increase government power....
For twenty-seven months the Obama IRS refused to approve any Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status starting in March 2010. At the same time several liberal groups were granted tax-exempt status.
Jay Seculow, the Chief Counsel for the ACLJ, broke the news this morning on America’s Newsroom:
“We’re filing this week an amended complaint with another 15 or 16 plaintiffs. We’re up to about 41. And we’re going to find out what took place in these 159 meetings that the IRS commissioner had with the White House.”
In the majority opinion, Justice Thomas Clark wrote, “The place of religion in our society is an exalted one, achieved through a long tradition of reliance on the home, the church and the inviolable citadel of the individual heart and mind. We have come to recognize through bitter experience that it is not within the power of government to invade that citadel, whether its purpose or effect be to aid or oppose, to advance or retard.”
Justice Potter Stewart was the lone dissenting voice, arguing that religion and government must interact in countless ways pointing to an inherent conflict between Constitutional provisions that both prohibit laws “respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
O'Keefe says: (Richard Head) TRIED to indict me before a grand jury for releasing a video that exposed voter fraud in the polling booths and therefore largely contributed to a voter ID law passing in the state with a super-majority vote - exactly what Mr. Head did not want.
I was doing my duty as a journalist to educate the public on issues that matter, while he was trying to stifle free speech.
What was particularly unnerving is the New Hampshire state officials knew where to find me before I had even moved. Was another Department of Justice/AP spying scheme happening?? How did they know where I was?
◼ Project Veritas
◼ Tune in to 'The Five' tonight for the FULL interview! - FOX
In an exclusive interview with Lonnie Snowden, the father of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Fox News' Eric Bolling found out what his message would be for his son - wherever in the world he may be. He also got some insight on the background of the 29-year-old Snowden, a man who is now on the run after revealing NSA overreach in which the agency compiled information on the communications of millions of American citizens.
◼ "I'm here because I'm really concerned about the misinformation in the media," Lon Snowden told Bolling.wden-father-edward-snowden-gives-interview-fox-news-eric-bolling-about-medias#ixzz2WV962oV8
When asked what, exactly, he believes has been misconstrued, he said, "Every place you read is 'high school dropout, high school dropout, high school dropout' ... The fact is, is that Ed had an illness at the beginning of his sophomore year when his mother and I were going through a divorce ... they believed that it was mono. I believe it was diagnosed as mono, but he missed approximately four or five months of school. So, he was gonna fall behind. And he asked if he could try to test into a program at the local community college ... And, you know, there was some disagreement on whether he should do that. The bottom line is he did, and he completed his high school equivalency in advance of when he would have graduated from high school, and then continued taking college courses."
◼ SNOWDEN: The Truth Is Coming, And The Government Can't Stop It By Murdering Me - Business Insider
◼ Edward Snowden Q and A: NSA whistleblower answers your questions - The Guardian
Ryan Latvaitis 17 June 2013 2:34pm
What would you say to others who are in a position to leak classified information that could improve public understanding of the intelligence apparatus of the USA and its effect on civil liberties?
What evidence do you have that refutes the assertion that the NSA is unable to listen to the content of telephone calls without an explicit and defined court order from FISC?
This country is worth dying for.
For millions of California homeowners, Saturday was a day that will live in infamy. Without a single public hearing, the California Assembly passed Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 8 (ACA 8), the most egregious attack on Prop. 13 ever to come out of the Legislature.
ACA 8 would repeal Prop. 13’s requirement that local “special taxes” (taxes intended for a specific purpose or purposes) be approved by a two-thirds vote. Instead, special taxes imposed for the repayment of local bonded indebtedness would be reduced to 55%. The ostensible justification for ACA 8 is to make it easier to finance local “infrastructure.”
There are several reasons why ACA 8 will inevitably inflict severe harm on California homeowners. First, while state bonds are repaid out of the state’s general fund -- into which most Californians contribute through income or sales taxes -- the same is not true for local bonds. Local bonds, usually referred to as “general obligation” bonds, are repaid exclusively by property owners. That means that voters who do not own property can vote to raise taxes on those who do.
Second, making it easier to pass local bonds will only add to California’s debt crisis. A recent study from the California Public Policy Center calculated total government debt in California as being $1.1 trillion. This figure dwarfs the $27.8 billion “wall of debt” Governor Brown himself has acknowledged as part of budgetary borrowing. Making it easier to incur local debt for “infrastructure financing” raises the obvious question: Does any sane person believe that California needs even more debt?
Third, while building local roads and libraries may be a worthy cause, the interests backing ACA 8 are hardly motivated by the goodness of their hearts. The usual cabal of unions, construction interests and the Wall Street bond industry all are chasing more tax dollars. The amount of money at stake -- your money -- is staggering. They care not a whit for the broader interests of California’s fiscal health or the interests of citizen taxpayers.
Is there any good news here? Yes. First, the passage of ACA 8 occurred in just one house of the Legislature. It must also pass in the Senate. There are a lot of reasons to believe that passage in the Senate is anything but automatic. The details of the politics here are too complex to go into at this time. But suffice it to say that liberal members of the California Senate might not be so quick to drink the anti-Prop. 13 KoolAid as did their colleagues in the Assembly.
Second, we are heartened by the fact that all Republican members of the California Assembly voted against repealing one of Prop. 13's most important protections. We say this as non-partisans as more than a third of HJTA’s members are registered Democrats. However, it has usually been the Republicans who have stood up to defend Prop. 13.
Just three weeks ago, my weekly column was entitled “Will Republican Legislators Betray Taxpayers?” While Republican support for homeowners can’t be taken for granted, on Saturday the Republicans in the Assembly forcefully defended Prop. 13 on the floor of that chamber. We couldn’t be more pleased for their courage for standing up to the special interests.... MORE, at the link.