Saturday, June 8, 2013

Obama’s power-hungry legal theories keep losing big at the Supreme Court

Cato’s Ilya Shapiro has written a great piece for Bloomberg today looking at the Obama administration’s lousy record at the Supreme Court. - David Freddoso/Conservative Intel

The administration’s problem, Ilya writes, is that its legal team keeps embracing outlandish legal theories that would grant it nearly unlimited powers. The Court keeps rejecting those theories, often in unanimous decisions.

He concludes:
These cases have nothing in common, other than the government’s view that federal power is virtually unlimited: Citizens must subsume their liberty to whatever the experts in a given field determine the best or most useful policy to be.

If the government can’t get even one of the liberal justices to agree with it on any of these unrelated cases, it should realize there’s something seriously wrong with its constitutional vision.


According to transcripts Fox News obtained of interviews with Cincinnati office employees that House investigators conducted, agent Elizabeth Hofacre said the idea that rogue agents targeted conservaties "was absurd." She was "furious" that Lois Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt division who is now on administrative leave, tried to pin the blame on workers in the Cincinnati office. - Tony Lee/Breitbart

"I just thought when Lois Lerner dropped that bomb shell, oh, it was Cincinnati's problem, she thought it would go away, but instead it exploded," she said.

She also said she had "no autonomy" and had to send extra information to superiors when dealing with Tea Party applications. Hofacre also recalled that "irate taxpayers" continued to call to ask for the status of their applications and it was "demeaning" to answer those phone calls.

Michelle Sends Regrets to Chinese First Lady

Michelle Obama 'snubs' China's first lady. - The Telegraph

Zhang Ming, a political scientist from China’s Renmin University, predicted Mrs Obama’s absence would “not go down very well” in Beijing.
“First lady diplomacy is also very important and the US side has failed to cooperate,” he said. “According to normal diplomatic etiquette this is very strange. It shouldn’t be like this.”

First Lady Michelle Obama sent her regrets to Chinese First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan, saying she was sorry she missed meeting her during the just-completed summit between President Obama and Peng’s husband, Chinese President Xi Jinping. - whitehousedossier

Chinese Not Happy Michelle Missing Meeting - whitehousedossier

From the AP report:
Disappointment over Mrs. Obama’s absence was palpable if not vehement in some Chinese mainstream and social media. Xi’s wife, Peng Liyuan, is a rare commodity in Chinese politics — a popular political spouse known for her style and poise who has been accompanying Xi on his diplomatic travels.

Peng holds the rank of major general in the People’s Liberation Army and was a popular singer on state television, best known for her stirring renditions of patriotic odes, often while wearing full dress uniform. Many Chinese were interested in seeing how she compares with the United States’ own glamorous, high profile first lady.

Zhang Ming, an international studies expert at Renmin University in Beijing, was quoted on social media as calling Mrs. Obama’s absence from their husbands’ meeting as “strange for normal diplomatic protocol.”

Michelle has been on a fundraising whirlwind the past two weeks, traveling last week to Boston and New York to drum up money. She recently hopscotched the country to tell kids to move their butts and eat less. But the first lady’s role of representing her country and aidingU.S. diplomacy by being present at meetings between heads of states, arguably one of her most vital tasks, will be ignored Friday.

China's first lady becomes media sensation... - france24

Judge Jeanine On The IRS & NSA Snooping

Judge Jeanine - Can You trust Your Government

After Obama’s blow from NY Times, Dem. Senator calls him a liar

U.S. Sen. Dick Durban, D-Ill., the Senate majority whip who is as loyal a liberal as has ever walked the halls of Congress, finds himself calling the country’s most progressive president a liar about the massive surveillance program of American citizens by the National Security Agency known as the PRISM program. - BizPacReview

When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program,” Obama said. Durbin countered: Average members of Congress “don’t receive this kind of briefing.”

The New York Times, the “newspaper of record” whose record over the past five years is riddled with pure partisan cheerleading for the administration, finds itself denouncing a president it helped elect.

“The administration has now lost all credibility,” the Times editorialized Thursday afternoon. Though in a cowardly move, it later watered down that assessment, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.” (Emphasis added.)

The lefties at American Prospect – normally a swamp of Obamaphilia – are shocked that “people aren’t angrier” about the NSA program – though the fact that they even think people aren’t outraged tells you more about who they hang around with than the mood of the country.

Liberals have a big “we’ve always been at war with East Asia” problem.

For almost eight years after 9/11, the liberal media and Democratic politicians cried wolf over the alleged transgressions of the Bush administration. (“John Ashcroft wants to read your library books!” they cried.)

This spring’s perfect storm of scandal over Benghazi, the IRS and the Department of Justice finally forced critical coverage of the Obama administration beyond just Fox News and conservative websites. But for the five years before that, all criticism of the White House, whether over bailouts or Obamacare, was the work of wingnuts who swapped their weekday tinfoil hats for tri-corner costumes on Saturdays....

RAND PAUL: Retrieving California is the key to the future

The GOP can’t be a national party without it - By Sen. Rand Paul/WASHINGTON TIMES (image source, AP)

Being inclusive and tolerant does not mean giving up conservative principles, particularly on the fiscal front. But it does mean sounding the right tone and finding common ground. It also means becoming a party that incorporates more of the ideas of a libertarian-leaning conservatism.

What do I mean by that? National defense is the primary job of the federal government. We should do it and do it well. We should defend America and spend what we need to do so. But, we also should consider carefully our involvement in regions that do not affect our security. We should re-examine or apply cost-benefit analyses to aspects of our foreign policy that don’t make sense. We should also restore constitutional order to our foreign policy. We need more bridges built here in America and fewer built in Pakistan. It makes no sense to borrow money from China to send to Pakistan.

This brand of conservatism would also recognize the importance of local control and federalism. From education to drug policies, from health care to marriage, many issues now pushed to the federal level should be returned to the states, where they belong.

This brand of conservatism would include populist elements like opposing bailouts that move money from Main Street to Wall Street and would be deeply skeptical of the role of the Federal Reserve. The practice of big government colluding with big business to enact unnecessary regulations — the cost of which make many small businesses unable to compete — should not be tolerated by anyone who truly believes in free markets.

Republicans reaching out to new audiences doesn’t mean being less conservative, but applying libertarian and constitutional principles where they are sorely needed on multiple issues.

I learned a lot in California last week and will no doubt learn more in the coming months in my continuing efforts to broaden and sharpen Republicans’ message, everywhere across America and in every state — red, blue and Golden.

Republicans Unite to Stop Worst of the Worst Proposals from Liberal Majority

...To be sure, Sacramento liberals pushed through some very bad legislation that will collectively increase state spending, impose costly new burdens on employers and expand the reach of government into more aspects of our lives. - Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway/Flash Report

But as I’ve often said, Republicans are the last line of defense for California taxpayers. By standing together, Republicans were able to prevent some of the worst of the worst measures from passing – legislation that would hurt the economy and wallets of hard-working Californians alike.

With Republicans strongly opposed, Democrats were forced to shelve proposals to increase taxes on gas, soda and cigarettes; limit the ability of young adults to drive and weaken tough-on-crime public safety protections. Even more encouraging, just 5 of the 37 measures that the California Chamber of Commerce had labeled “job killers” were approved by either the Assembly or the Senate....

You Need to Know - AB 8 or SB 11

You Need to Know - The Elise Richmond Show

(O)n 5/29/2013 in the state senate, 4 Republican Senators voted to change the GOP principles and help the party to become even smaller. Senators Emmerson, Walters, Cannella and Huff, the leader of the Senate Republicans, voted to raise their fellow Californians' taxes by over $2.3 billion.

Who is telling these elected Republicans that over taxation by Republicans will grow our party? In fact, it will grow it smaller. Republicans stand for smaller government, less taxes, not bigger government and higher taxes. So, now do we all consider Senators Emmerson, Walters, Cannella, and Huff to be useless and untrustworthy in helping us build the Republican Party here in California? Now should they be considered liabilities in our efforts? Or, will we still laud them, tell them that they are wonderful and continue to pile on the honors. When did it become OK to be a herd of RINOs?

You need to know, yes, but you also need to contact your Assemblyman or Assemblywoman and tell him or her not to go against our Party, the California Republican Party, by raising our taxes and voting for AB 8 or SB 11. Tell them that we don't have a tax problem, but they have a spending problem. Tell them to not sell their vote to the Democrats for higher taxes on all of us. Please pass this on to your entire email list and make a difference.

Dear Members and Friends of the Federation -

This article is the first in a series of We The Women Guest Editorials.
*Elise RIchmond is a well-known conservative talk-radio host in the Coachello Valley and environs. She is a member and past president of the Palm Springs Republican Women, Federated, and is on the executive committee of the California Federation of Republican Women, Southern Division. She is currently dedicated to a voter I.D. initiative spinning out of Southern Division, "Guard My Vote." She can be reached at

Nancy EIsenhart, Southern Division President
California Federation of Republican Women

Friday, June 7, 2013

Slain Benghazi Victim’s Mom Denied Access To Ceremony Honoring Her Son

Pat Smith, of fallen information management officer Sean Smith, who was killed during the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, was to attend a special ceremony honoring her son. However, she was never brought to the ceremony to witness the award that was to be presented in honor of her son. - Tim Brown/Freedom Outpost

Pat Smith has been one of the most outspoken family members of those who lost loved ones in Benghazi. She’s also been very critical of the Obama administration and for good reason.

Smith told Sean Hannity that the Obama Administration refused to fly her to a ceremony that was honoring her son.

Mrs. Smith appeared on Fox News and said, “When I went to the casket ceremony they told me that there was going to be an award and that they would send for me; that they would get me over there so I could witness the award. They didn’t do it. And not only did they not do it… He (Obama) lies. He lies and so do everyone who’s surrounding him. They’re not telling the truth. And I don’t know why… They told me I was not immediate family. I have that in writing. They were not going to send for me.”


Why the government wants your metadata - Jay Stanley and Ben Wizner/Reuters

Huge Obama donor, Democracy Alliance founder turns over domestic spying

A wireless provider with ties to the secret dark money group the Democracy Alliance is pushing back against the Obama administration’s surveillance of customers. CREDO Mobile cofounder Michael Kieschnick said on Thursday he was “deeply disturbed” by the administration’s invasion of individual’s civil liberties. - Washington Free Beacon

“As the CEO of a mobile phone company, I’m deeply disturbed by the Obama administration’s growing record of executive power grabs at the expense of constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties,” Kieschnick said in a statement to CNN Money.

Scope of phone records seizure causes alarm; data collection goes beyond Verizon - Dave Boyer/Washington Times

The Obama administration on Thursday defended its secret seizure of the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens as part of counterterrorism efforts, while privacy advocates blasted the move as illegal and a debate erupted in Congress over the intended scope of a key surveillance law.

In a new development, the National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies in real time, obtaining audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails and other information, various news outlets reported. The program is code-named PRISM.

NSA Phone Record Collection 'Beyond Orwellian,' ACLU Says - Huffington Post

“From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming," Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director of the ACLU, said in a statement. "It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents. It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.”

ACLU on Obama’s NSA Snooping on Verizon Customers: ‘It Is Beyond Orwellian’ - Jammie Wearing Fool

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Not just the IRS. Not just AP. Not just FOX. Not just the New York Times. Not just Verizon...

Sources: NSA Targeting Credit Card Use - Elizabeth Sheld/Breitbart

The WSJ is reporting that in addition to monitoring cell phone records, emails and web activity, the National Security Agency is monitoring credit card transactions. "NSA has established similar relationships with credit-card companies, three former officials said.

The arrangement gave the NSA records of the location of the caller, number called, time of call and call duration of Verizon customers. "It couldn't be determined if any of the Internet or credit-card arrangements are ongoing, as are the phone company efforts, or one-shot collection efforts. The credit-card firms, phone companies and NSA declined to comment for this article."

CFRW Capitol Update Friday, June 07, 2013

President’s Message

"Every day we make choices and every choice has consequences." It is hard to believe this year is almost half over, and I look at what we have accomplished thus far. We have almost half of our Clubs submit Achievement Award Forms, a few sent in "Caring for America Applications". Some were diligent in sending in total hours for Campaigning. Our submission for the Dorothy Andrew Kabis Memorial Internship was selected. We have over 11,000 members, a bit over last years membership at this time. We have had 10 young women who sent in applications for the NFRW Pathfinder Scholarship. We have much to be proud of and we are still gaining momentum.

GLENN GREENWALD: The US Wants To 'Destroy Privacy Around The World'

"There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal," Greenwald said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" on Thursday.
"And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world."

See prior post for links.

Greenwald: Obama 'bullying and threatening' anyone who covers PRISM

On Thursday, Glenn Greenwald, the UK Guardian journalist who helped break two major stories on government surveillance, told CNN's Piers Morgan that the Obama administration has been "bullying and threatening" anyone "who thinks about exposing it or writing about it or even doing journalism" about the subject, Business Insider reported. -

Worse yet, he says, the U.S. government is actively working to destroy privacy around the world.

"There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal," he said.

"And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world."

Greenwald wasn't finished, however.

"It's well past time that we have a debate about whether that's the kind of country and world in which we want to live," he added. "We haven't had that debate because it's all done in secrecy and the Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing about it or even doing journalism about it. It's well past time that that come to an end."

Late Wednesday, Greenwald reported that the NSA has been collecting phone data on millions of Verizon customers on a daily basis under a secret court order.

Later, the Washington Post reported that the NSA and the FBI have been engaged in a highly classified data collection program called "PRISM" that was established in 2007.

GLENN GREENWALD: The US Wants To 'Destroy Privacy Around The World' - Business Insider

...The Obama administration and some members of Congress have defended the use of the programs. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said the NSA's collection of phone data has been going on for seven years. Feinstein said it's about "protecting America."

"People like Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss can have press conferences threatening people for bringing light to what it is they're doing, but the only people who are going to be investigated are them," Greenwald said in response.

"It's well past time that these threats start to be treated with the contempt that they deserve."

U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program - Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras/Washington Post

Sen. Ted Cruz: Ron Paul appealed to youth through principle, even though he’s “not Brad Pitt”

Speaking at an America’s Future Foundation dinner, Cruz mentioned that the two politicians in modern times who inspired young people most were Paul and former President Ronald Reagan. - Red Alert Politics

“When you think about the last election cycle, which Republican inspired more young people than anyone else?” Cruz asked the audience. “Ron Paul.”

Cruz stressed that the reason politicians like Reagan and Paul captured the attention of youth was because they stood on principle. He dismissed the idea that Republicans needed to back young candidates in order to appeal to youth, saying instead that conviction and leadership were more important....

“I’ll go to my grave with Ronald Wilson Reagan defining what it means to be President,” Cruz said. “To stand for principle, to do the right thing and to do so in a way that brings people together.”

He said that current young leaders in the Republican party — such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — are “echoing Reagan.” These leaders, Cruz said, are the kind who reach young people with their uplifting, freed0m-centered rhetoric.

The Senator also added that utilizing social media — and doing so with strong messaging — is crucial in the modern, technologically-driven age.

“It is a tool, it is a force-multiplier, but you got to have a message to being with,” he said.

Sequester that: U.S. quietly gives $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt despite rights concerns

Kerry made the decision well before an Egyptian court this week convicted 43 democracy workers, including 16 Americans, in what the United States regards as a politically motivated case against pro-democracy non-governmental organizations - Reuters

Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks

Top-secret directive steps up offensive cyber capabilities to 'advance US objectives around the world' - Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill/The Guardian
Read the secret presidential directive here

Obama draws up plans for cyber attacks on China as he meets leader in California - ASSOCIATED PRESS and ROSEMARIE LENTINI via Daily Mail

In a countermove to Mr. Obama´s charges that Chinese hackers are targeting the U.S., Xi said Friday that his country is also a victim of cyber-attacks. But through "good faith cooperation," said Xi, the U.S. and China can make cybersecurity "a positive area of cooperation." - CBS

35 years after Prop. 13's passage, ordinary Californians still side with Howard Jarvis.

Remembering Howard Jarvis, the regular guy who brought us tax fairness with Prop. 13 - James Lacy/LA Daily News

The story of Howard Jarvis, when it is recounted on occasions like this week's 35th anniversary of Proposition 13, is rightly remembered as the enormous political moment it was, when California and the nation were turned upside down by the largest tax cut in state history, giving momentum to Reagan's historic election as president two years later and changing politics and government in the Golden State forever....

During the Prop 13 campaign in June 1978, just about every politician, business association and labor union warned of dire consequences to the state if it was enacted. The measure had two things going for it: the support of an over-taxed electorate, and the determination of an otherwise ordinary guy named Howard Jarvis. When the votes were counted, the measure passed by 2-to-1 statewide. It lowered the property tax burden on average Californians by about 60 percent and, according to research by the economist Dr. Arthur Laffer, unleashed an unprecedented economic expansion. Overall property tax revenues came back in six years.

I am well aware that not everyone sees Prop. 13 the same way. Californians are still arguing about it 35 years later. But the polls show that ordinary Californians still side with Jarvis. I think one reason for that is that he lived among them.

Get Behind Gomez (Updated)

In Massachusetts, Republicans need to get over their lack of enthusiasm for the Senate candidate. - John Fund

SAVE THE DATE: John Fund will be Keynote Speaker at Humboldt GOP's fundraiser, June 20th at Blue Lake Casino's Sapphire Room. Tickets are $45/person Call Humboldt GOP HQ for details: 442-2259.

UPDATE: ◼ GOP Poll: Massachusetts Senate Race a Statistical Tie - Michael Warren/Weekly Standard

A Republican polling firm has found that the Massachusetts special election for the U.S. Senate is in a dead heat. Democrat Ed Markey, the longtime congressman, leads Republican and first-time candidate Gabriel Gomez by just a point. According to McLaughlin and Associates, a firm that often works for Republican candidates, 45 percent of likely voters in Massachusetts support Markey, while 44 percent support Gomez and 11 percent remain undecided. The election is on June 25.

This is not merely a "private matter." It's about public fitness for office. Anthony Weiner thinks he should be put back in political power because he effectively champions "middle-class" values. Middle-class New Yorkers who value decency, honesty and safe work and online environments for your young daughters, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Lying Liar Anthony Weiner's Underage Girl Problem - Michelle Malkin/Townhall

The Government Has Been Collecting Info On Every Single U.S. Phone Call, NBC News Reports

NBC Nightly News opened tonight with a report revealing just how expansive phone monitoring in the government is. - Josh Feldman/Mediaite

Ann Curry succinctly explained, “Every time you pick up a phone, the government has known who you were calling.” This is a revelation that comes within 24 hours of revelations the NSA was collecting data from U.S. Verizon users and that the government has been mining user data from a number of big websites for years.

Pete Williams caught viewers up to speed on the other big story about massive online data mining. He predicted earlier...that the initial report on Verizon user info would lead to a government leak investigation.

Mark Levin On NSA Tracking: "We Have The Elements Of A Police State Here" - Real Clear Politics

How the IRS scandal may damage PRISM and other anti-terror datamining - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

Re-Thinking PRISM - Ace Of Spades

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that if we abandon our advantage in the realm of computer processing power (and the incredible advantage we have in that most internet traffic, world-wide, circulates through the US), I think we're going to be down to our human capabilities which, once again, I think are virtually non-existent with regard to Al Qaeda. I think we'll be down to the felt.

I don't know. We need to know more, obviously.

Coulter: Phone records not constitutionally protected, up to Congress to stop ‘corrupt administration’ - Jeff Poor/Daily Caller


NSA, FBI secretly mining data from Internet firms...
Top-secret PRISM program...
Vast Data Trove...
Billions of Phone Calls...
PAPER: Obama agenda lost in firestorm...
New app claims to prevent government eavesdropping on cell phones...
EXPOSED: 'Massive apparatus in US Gov't building enormous structure with only one goal'...
...'to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the US, but around the world'...
Concern mounts in Congress...
NSA builds massive $2b facility in Utah to store people's data for mining...

SPEECHLESS: President at loss of words after staff fails to provide speech...
Calls concerns over spying 'hype'...
LECTURE: Says debate 'sign of maturity'...
TOP DEM OPERATIVE: Liberals, Democrats must stand up against Obama...
Obama stays silent; leaves comment to deputy press secretary...
Civil-Liberties Record Questioned...
Leno: Heck With Big Brother -- 'With Obama We Actually Have a Brother Watching Us'...

Obama: ‘All members of Congress’ briefed on NSA spying; Members of Congress: We were? - Twitchy

During President Obama’s remarks Friday morning about the NSA controversy, he said this:

Now, the programs that have been discussed over the last couple days in the press are secret in the sense that they’re classified, but they’re not secret in the sense that when it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.

“Every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”

NSA taps in to user data of Facebook, Google and others, secret files reveal

Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple; Companies deny any knowledge of program in operation since 2007 - The Guardian

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.

Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program...

When the NSA reviews a communication it believes merits further investigation, it issues what it calls a "report". According to the NSA, "over 2,000 PRISM-based reports" are now issued every month. There were 24,005 in 2012, a 27% increase on the previous year.

In total, more than 77,000 intelligence reports have cited the PRISM program.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, that it was astonishing the NSA would even ask technology companies to grant direct access to user data.

"It's shocking enough just that the NSA is asking companies to do this," he said. "The NSA is part of the military. The military has been granted unprecedented access to civilian communications.

"This is unprecedented militarisation of domestic communications infrastructure. That's profoundly troubling to anyone who is concerned about that separation."

Mark Levin On NSA Tracking: "We Have The Elements Of A Police State Here" - Real Clear Politics

Thursday, June 6, 2013

SAVE THE DATE: John Fund coming to Humboldt

COMING THURSDAY, JUNE 20: 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. You can purchase tickets online through HGOP's secure server (Piryx) ◼ HERE
We will have your tickets at the door.

Call Republican Headquarters,
or go to ◼
John Fund at Amazon:
◼ (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

"We Have The Elements Of A Police State Here"

Mark Levin On NSA Tracking: "We Have The Elements Of A Police State Here" - Real Clear Politics

Nationally-syndicated radio show titan Mark Levin got enraged over recent news about the NSA tracking phone records of Verizon customers during his appearance on Neil Cavuto's FOX News show on Thursday afternoon.

"We have the elements of a police state here, and I'm not overstating it," Levin said.

"That's not how national security works! I don't care what the Supreme Court said 30 years ago or what some judge said 15 minutes ago," Levin said. "This is America, and our government is collecting way too damn much data on we the private citizens!"

Spy Games & Double Standards - Matthew Vadum/FrontPage

As details of President Obama’s massive domestic spying operation continue to dribble out into the public domain, the Left for the most part is quiet and the relentless cries of “fascism!” we heard all throughout George W. Bush’s presidency are absent. There are no riots in the streets. No rowdy Occupy Wall Street-sponsored demonstrations. No candlelight vigils.

When news of Obama’s warrantless surveillance program on steroids broke this week, except for Al Gore, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers, and a handful of the more utopian leftists, the Left has been largely silent on these abuses.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who turns 80 this month, seems to be suffering from retrograde amnesia, having tossed away her worries about the NSA program. The senator defended the program, which is much more far-reaching that anything Bush ever dreamed of, saying “I think people want the homeland kept safe to the extent we can.”

Just seven years ago, Feinstein angrily denounced President Bush for his warrantless surveillance program. “I believe we are on our way to a major constitutional confrontation on Fourth Amendment guarantees of unreasonable search and seizure.”

As recently as March, senior Obama administration officials denied the government was spying on large swaths of the American public.

"Can you hear me now?" "Yes we can."

‘Everyone in America needs to see this’: Rep. Gowdy delivers passionate, teary savaging of IRS [video]

link - Twitchy

Eric Holder Refuses To Answer If DOJ Monitored Phones for Members of Congress

Senator Kirk (R-IL) asked Holder if the DOJ monitored phones for members of Congress, and shockingly, he refused to answer. - Nice Deb

Valerie Jarrett on W.H. Advisers Calling for Holder Resignation: He Will Be Here A Long Time - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
"Eric never loses sight of what he's there for," said Jarrett. "He's there to be the chief lawyer for the United States of America and to make sure that all of our rights are protected, and to defend our country, to make sure that he is an advocate for those whose civil rights have been infringed upon--anyone whose rights have been infringed upon. And there are people all around the country who are counting on him to be the attorney general. And so yes he is resistant, and he is tough, and he is strong, and he is perfectly capable of defending himself, and he is an outstanding attorney general, who enjoys the full confidence of the president of the United States."

In 2006, Obama blasted NSA spying: ‘No president is above the law’ - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

Despite his clear and popular promises to the contrary, President Obama has not shifted the balance between security and freedom to a more natural state—one not blinded by worst fears and tarred by power grabs. If anything, things have gotten worse.

Drudge's title: Obama's Police State Ron Fournier/National Journal
◼ Killing civilians and U.S. citizens via drone.

◼ Seizing telephone records at the Associated Press in violation of Justice Department guidelines.

◼ Accusing a respected Fox News reporter of engaging in a conspiracy to commit treason for doing his job.

◼ Detaining terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, despite promises to end the ill-considered Bush policy.
Even the IRS scandal, while not a matter of foreign policy, strikes at the heart of growing concerns among Americans that their privacy is government's playpen.

And now this: The Guardian newspaper reports that the National Security Agency is collecting telephone records of tens of millions of customers of one of the nation's largest phone companies, Verizon.

If the story is accurate, the action appears to be legal. The order was signed by a judge from a secret court that oversees domestic surveillance. It may also be necessary; U.S. intelligence needs every advantage it can get over the nation's enemies.

But for several reasons the news is chilling.

Verizon probably isn't the only company coughing up its documents. Odds are incredibly strong that the government is prying into your telephone records today....

It is the lack of transparency that is most galling about the security versus civil liberties debate under Obama, because it shows his lack of faith in the public. Americans know a high level of secrecy and dirty work is needed to keep them safe. Most trust their president. Many approve of his job performance.

Still, they expect and deserve an open discussion about how to fight terrorism without undermining the Constitution.

Obama started that conversation with a recent address on the drone program, media leaks and the need to move American off a constant war footing. It was a compelling and well-considered argument for the balance he is claiming to strike.

But he made the speech under pressure, and reluctantly. It only came amid new revelations about the drone program and the disclosure of newsroom spying (the Guardian may well be in Obama's sights next).

A shame about that narrative - neoneocon

National Journal‘s Ron Fournier (who used to be Washington bureau chief at the AP), is puzzled and perturbed by the disconnect between his preferred vision and the recent news:
I like government. I don’t like what the fallout from these past few weeks might do to the public’s faith in it…

The core argument of President Obama’s rise to power, and a uniting belief of his coalition of young, minority and well-educated voters, is that government can do good things — and do them well.

Damn. Look at what cliches the past few weeks wrought.
Fournier goes on to list these “cliches” and describe how the crises seem to support them. The title of the piece, which Fournier may or may not have chosen (journalists often don’t write the headlines for their own work, but since Fournier is also the the head editor of the National Journal it’s my guess that he did), is “How Obama Scandals Threaten to Kill ‘Good Government’: Emerging narrative supports claims that Washington is intrusive, incompetent, untrustworthy and heartless.”

So the idea is that government is basically good and can do good things and do them well. And that Obama is basically good, and means well too, and is competent. But somehow, for some unknown reason (bad luck? Republican sabotage? An unfortunate and fluky emerging narrative?) things have gone sadly wrong, and the impression the public gets is that government is neither so very good nor so very competent....

This is how cognitive dissonance works. The sufferer struggles to try to reconcile two opposing beliefs, or one belief with a set of opposing facts....

D-Day - June 6, 1944


The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program

Obama's NSA collecting phone records of millions daily - CHARLIE SAVAGE and EDWARD WYATT/New York Times (◼ New York Times quietly changes published editorial to make it less damning of Obama - Daily Caller)

The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program under which it is collecting business communications records involving Americans under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act, according to a highly classified court order disclosed on Wednesday night.

The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in April, directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, Verizon Business Network Services, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

Verizon Business Network Services is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications and Internet providers for corporations. It is not clear whether similar orders have gone to other parts of Verizon, like its residential or cellphone services, or to other telecommunications carriers. The order prohibits its recipient from discussing its existence, and representatives of both Verizon and AT&T declined to comment Wednesday evening.

The four-page order was disclosed Wednesday evening by the newspaper The Guardian. Obama administration officials at the F.B.I. and the White House also declined to comment on it Wednesday evening, but did not deny the report, and a person familiar with the order confirmed its authenticity.

Secret court order requires VERIZON to hand over 'telephony metadata' - AP
WH defends, says 'critical tool' against terrorist threats - Reuters (image source)

The Obama administration on Thursday acknowledged that it is collecting a massive amount of telephone records from at least one carrier, reopening the debate over privacy even as it defended the practice as necessary to protect Americans against attack.

The admission comes after the Guardian newspaper published a secret court order related to the records of millions of Verizon Communications customers on its website on Wednesday.

Specifically targeted Americans, not foreigners - Forbes

Though the classified, top secret order comes from the FBI, it clearly states that the data is to be given to the NSA. That means the leaked document may serve as one of the first concrete pieces of evidence that the NSA’s spying goes beyond foreigners to include Americans, despite its charter specifically disallowing surveillance of those within the United States.

“In many ways it’s even more troubling than [Bush era] warrantless wiretapping, in part because the program is purely domestic,” says Alex Abdo, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.”But this is also an indiscriminate dragnet. Say what you will about warrantless wiretapping, at least it was targeted at agents of Al Qaeda. This includes every customer of Verizon Business Services.”
NSA downloading 1.7 billion bits of info from internet every day...
The court order alone probably doesn’t merit the ACLU’s charge that it was “beyond Orwellian”—though it’s no small irony that “1984” was published 64 years ago today. - National Journal

Six other questions remain.
Were other communications companies other than Verizon involved?
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has reason to believe AT&T may also have been complicit, citing evidence that one of its technicians installed hardware designed to copy and forward Internet traffic to the NSA.
Does “telephony metadata” cover more than just phone calls?...
If the NSA has access to phone records, why the need to subpoena the AP’s logs?
As Marc Ambinder points out, if the NSA is already collecting metadata, why should the government need to subpoena said information to go after whistleblowers? In principle, barriers exist between the NSA (Pentagon) and the FBI (Justice Department) to prevent this sort of thing....
What does this mean for Eric Holder and James Comey?
Attorney General Holder goes to Capitol Hill later this morning to face lawmakers’ questions again. The scheduled appearance just got a lot more interesting. Comey, Obama’s pick for FBI director, famously opposed the warrantless wiretapping program under President George W. Bush. But it’s not clear whether this current form of domestic surveillance, one that involves a court order, is something he would support. Comey’s confirmation hearing just a lot more interesting, too.
What does this mean for the future of cybersecurity legislation?
...The White House has opposed the House cybersecurity bill , CISPA, on privacy grounds. But if the NSA court order is true, what the public thought was a principled stand by the president might turn out to be a matter of political expediency after all.
How hard will Obama go after his latest whistleblower?
(◼ New York Times quietly changes published editorial to make it less damning of Obama - Daily Caller)

The New York Times edited its damning editorial condemning the Obama administration for collecting phone call data from Americans to make it less stinging shortly after the editorial was published online Thursday afternoon.

The editorial originally declared that the Obama “administration has lost all credibility” as a result of the recently revealed news that the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been secretly collecting call data from American users of Verizon under the authority of the Patriot Act.

But hours later the stinging sentence had been modified to read the Obama “administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.”

Mark Levin On NSA Tracking: "We Have The Elements Of A Police State Here" - Real Clear Politics

DHS: Laptops, phones can be searched based on hunches - CBS DC

ALGORE: 'Obscenely outrageous?'

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Parents fighting for kids; SEIU fighting for more money

A modest rally at the Capitol this morning supporting a state audit of Child Protective Services competed with a humongous rally held by the SEIU. - Katy Grimes/Cal Watchdog

On the South steps of the Capitol, the CPS audit rally was made up of parents and families who are victims of overly aggressive Child Protective Services divisions.

On the West steps of the Capitol, the SEIU rally was made up of thousands of purple t-shirt-wearing SEIU members demanding raises. Their t-shirts were made up for today’s rally and said “2013 CONTRACT TOUR.” The back of the t-shirt said “YOUR CONTRACT STARTS WITH YOU,” and listed the cities for the SEIU “Townhall Circuit” for 2013 contract negotiations.

Yet what should have overshadowed the small gathering of emotional parents, did not. Although, the contrast was stark.

It was mothers and fathers who said their children had been stolen from them by Child Protective Services, versus well-compensated state employees balking at Gov. Jerry Brown telling SEIU and other labor unions currently embroiled in bargaining talks, that new labor contracts need to be “cost-neutral.”

Fair Tax or Flat Tax?

What has come to the fore... is a healthy competition between two credible, if not complementary, alternatives to America’s current tax system. That is, should we move to a Fair Tax or a Flat Tax? - Theo Caldwell/Daily Caller

First, the Fair Tax: There is legislative support for this approach, as the Fair Tax Act of 2013 works its way through Congress, sponsored by Rep. Rob Woodall of Georgia as H.R.25 in the House, and by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, also of Georgia, as S.122 in the Senate.

The gist of the plan is to phase out the IRS over three years, replacing income taxes with a sales tax on new goods and services, excluding necessities, of 23 percent. This figure is reached by combining the 15% income tax bracket with 7.65% employee payroll taxes, both of which would be eliminated. As to that last, stresses that its plan eliminates the payroll tax, and this is not an insignificant feature.

Many workers, particularly those with lower earnings, feel the bite of payroll taxes when they collect their paychecks, even if they do not end up with a federal income tax liability for the year. If we mean what we say about simplifying the tax code, then whatever system and rates we settle on ought to be straightforward and clear, and should account for whatever effect, if any, payroll and Social Security taxes will have on take-home wages.

A Flat Tax of, say, 10 percent should mean exactly that — not 10 percent, plus additional levies for retirees, unemployment, etc., that are not normally part of the income tax conversation.

If that can be accomplished, there is much to be said for the simplicity and transparency of a Flat Tax. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and The Heritage Foundation are among those calling for this approach. Americans spend billions of hours and hundreds of billions of dollars trying to comply with the country’s impossibly complex tax code. The opportunity cost to the productive economy is extraordinary....

Drudge Editor Tweets: ‘IRS Scandal is About to Explode’

Joseph Curl, Drudge Report editor and columnist at the Washington Times, tweeted today that low-level IRS employees are fed up with being blamed for the agency’s abuse of Tea Party, conservative, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and Jewish groups. And they’re thinking of getting even. - Bryan Preston/PJMedia


National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, who is widely suspected of being the source of critical leaks from the White House, is resigning and will be replaced by UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who played a key role in misleading the American public about the Benghazi terror attack in Sep. 2012. The NSA post does not require Senate confirmation; Rice withdrew her candidacy as Secretary of State due to the difficulty of confirmation. - Breitbart News

Aside from Rice's involvement in the Benghazi cover-up, her tenure as UN Ambassador has also been rocky. She was criticized for her absences from work, including during critical votes and debates,. She led the U.S. into the disastrous Human Rights Council, which the Obama administration has been unable to change but to which it has now lent undue legitimacy. The NSA job is viewed as consolation for her withdrawal from the State post.

Susan Rice: Promoted into the Memory Hole - Ed Driscoll/PJMadia

Obama Can Now Claim Executive Privilege to Keep Rice From Testifying; Only Fox's McFarland Notes It - Tom Blumer/Newsbusters

link - KT McFarland/FOX

"President Obama tapped UN Ambassador Susan Rice Tuesday to serve as our nation's next national security adviser.

Tuesday morning my reaction was why appoint Susan Rice as national security adviser? She will be a DISASTER.
Here's why: I spent seven years working for the most successful NSC adviser in history, Henry Kissinger.

I watched him conceive new policies, negotiate with foreign leaders, ride herd over the bureaucracy, massage the press and foreign policy intelligentsia and work behind the scenes with congressional leaders.

President Obama is rewarding Susan Rice for being a loyal (if incompetent) soldier.

Susan Rice can’t do any of those things.

She has zero credibility with the media, on Capitol Hill, with the foreign policy community and foreign leaders, and is so badly tarnished by the Benghazi scandal that she walks into the job on Day One weak and wounded.

The most obvious problem is her disastrous performance on the Sunday talk shows peddling the administration’s fairy tale on Benghazi; when she was either complicit in the cover-up or incompetent.

Either she knew what really happened and deliberately lied to the American people or she was a mere actress who read the script she was given and didn’t know enough to question whether the words she spoke were accurate.

Rice might have been able to overcome the Benghazi debacle if she had other strong credentials, for example being a senior military officer like Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft, or a respected academic like Henry Kissinger and Zbig Brzezinski. But Susan Rice is none of these.

When the spotlight was on her at the U.N. she was an ineffective ambassador who couldn't get Russia or China on board to deal with Syria or impose strict sanctions against Iran.

Not only did she fail to persuade those key members of the Security Council, she didn't know it until after the votes on sanctions were taken!..."

Prayer as a revolutionary act: Crowd stunned after valedictorian rips up speech, recites Lord’s prayer

A South Carolina valedictorian garnered wild applause after he ripped up his pre-approved speech and delivered the Lord’s prayer at his high school graduation on Saturday. - Washington Times

The act was apparently in protest of the Pickens County School District’s decision to no longer include prayer at graduation ceremonies, Christian News reported. Officials said the decision was made after the district was barraged with complaints by atheist groups.

But that didn’t stop Roy Costner IV of Liberty High School. He ripped up his graduation speech for all to see, before he started talking about his Christian upbringing, Christian News reported.

“Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today,” he said. “I’m so glad that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age.”

“And I think most of you will understand when I say…” he paused. “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name…”

The auditorium began to erupt with applause and cheers.

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” he continued. “For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”

Pickens County School District spokesman John Eby said that no disciplinary action will be taken against Mr. Costner.

“The bottom line is, we’re not going to punish students for expressing their religious faiths,” he told Christian News. “He’s a graduate now. There’s nothing we can do about it, even if we wanted to.”

It's not just the IRS. EPA accused of singling out conservative groups

EPA accused of singling out conservative groups, amid IRS scandal - FOX

A second federal agency is facing a probe and accusations of political bias over its alleged targeting of conservative groups.

The allegations concern the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being accused of trying to charge conservative groups fees while largely exempting liberal groups. The fees applied to Freedom of Information Act requests -- allegedly, the EPA waived them for liberal groups far more often than it did for conservative ones.

The allegations are under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is also holding hearings on the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups.

"I don't think it is fair at all. It is not fair to the American taxpayer -- the American taxpayer should expect and demand that the EPA treats everyone equally in regard to these requests," said Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. "This cannot be tolerated. As we see more federal agencies with this kind of bias, it is and should be a concern for all of us."

Mark Levin On NSA Tracking: "We Have The Elements Of A Police State Here" - Real Clear Politics


The curious case of former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman's 157 meetings at the White House is now more curious with the revelation that he attended meetings with Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager for President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. - MIKE FLYNN/BREITBART

...Cutter has not revealed the details of the meetings she attended with Shulman. We don't know the exact dates they met, except that they must have coincided with the IRS targeting of conservative groups. We do know that the targeting began around the time that ObamaCare was enacted.

It is hard to imagine a meeting agenda that would include both the supposedly non-partisan IRS Commissioner Shulman and the hyper-partisan Cutter. The IRS is supposed to develop technocratic rules to implement ObamaCare. Communications and outreach ought not be part of their mission. Could it be that part of the White House's outreach plan on ObamaCare was to silence opponents?

Cutter should be called to testify under oath before the House Oversight Committee to explain the details of these meetings. Her portfolio at the time, communications and outreach, imply a political component that would not ordinarily be tasked to the IRS Commissioner. What, exactly, were the nature of these meetings?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fire Tax scheduled for a court hearing

The class action lawsuit filed by Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenging the so-called fire prevention “fee” as really an illegal tax under Proposition 13, is at a critical crossroad. -, a Project of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The Court has scheduled a hearing for July 19th where HJTA lawyers will go toe-to-toe with the State’s lawyers, defending our theory that the State should not be allowed to keep anyone’s money if the fee is indeed illegal. At the hearing the Court will either sustain or overrule the State’s demurrer.

The hearing is open to the public. If you plan to attend, please arrive a little early, dress appropriately, be quiet and respectful in the courtroom, and turn your cell phone off. If you have a “Burned by the Fire Tax” tee shirt, feel free to wear it. If you want a tee shirt, you can pick one up from our office at 921 Eleventh Street, Suite 1201, Sacramento. Here are the details for the hearing:
Date: Friday, July 19, 2013
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: Dept. 14, Sacramento Superior Court, 720 Ninth St., Sacramento
Remember, a lawsuit is a slow process, and a full resolution can sometimes take years. However, we are making important progress in our fight to protect the rights of taxpayers against this unfair fire tax.

FBI agents raided the office of state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) and at least one other location in the state Capitol on Tuesday to gather evidence for an investigation

FBI raids Capitol office of state Sen. Ron Calderon - Paige St. John and Anthony York/LA Times

“FBI agents are executing a search warrant at the Capitol building,” said Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman.

She said all information related to the nature of the search was sealed and the agency could not discuss it. “The affidavit in support is under seal and we are prohibited from commenting,” she said.

Sources with knowledge of the probe said the search of Calderon's office is part of a wider public corruption investigation in Los Angeles County....

Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento, said the investigation comes out of the federal agency’s central California district, which includes Los Angeles.

Staff for Sen. Calderon declined to comment and would not allow a reporter who knocked on the senator's office door Tuesday evening to enter.

Jay Leno slams IRS over targeting scandals

Red Alert Politics

Single liberals name Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as favorite “philosophers”

Red Alert Politics was recently given exclusive data about user preferences on RedStateDate and BlueStateDate, which are both online dating sites that cater to politically-oriented individuals. As you may be able to guess, RedStateDate is meant for conservatives and BlueStateDate is meant for liberals. - Red Alert Politics

Users on both sites were asked to write in their favorites for a variety of things, including TV shows, books, political leaders and philosophers — and some of the answers were incredibly surprising.

Users on RedStateDate said that their favorite political leaders were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and George Washington. These users also consider the Bible, Mark Levin’s ‘Liberty and Tyranny’ and George Orwell’s ’1984′ to be their favorite books, and AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ CBS’ ‘NCIS’ and HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ to be their favorite shows.

Users of BlueStateDate, however, said that Barack Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King were among their favorite political leaders, while their favorite books included J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series, Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games,’ and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby.’ Their favorite TV shows are Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ and ‘The Colbert Report,’ as well as ABC’s ‘Modern Family.’

None of that seems too out of the ordinary, right? Yeah, we thought so too, until we got to the data that revealed who RSD and BSD users listed as their top political philosophers. For reference, defines a philosopher as “a person who offers views or theories on profound questions in ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields.”

Here is the top 10 list of political philosophers that conservatives on RedStateDate rated among their favorite:
See the Top 10 list of political philosophers that liberals on BlueStateDate listed as their the link!

Paul Ryan Defends Groups Targeted by IRS

The Fight Against Common Core

NFRW Political Briefing

Two competing forces are pushing America's K-12 education system today: one in an effort to infuse education choice into a long stagnant system, empowering parents with the ability to send their child to a school which meets her unique learning needs and the other an effort to further centralize education through Common Core national standards and tests.

The Heritage Foundation points out that school choice empowers parents to direct their child's share of education funding, giving them options beyond a government-assigned school and curriculum. Choice is seen as somewhat of a revolution in the public school arena because it funds children instead of physical school buildings and administrations and allows dollars to follow children to any school - or education option - that meets their unique learning needs.

Across the country, education choice options have been proliferating rapidly in the form of vouchers, tuition tax credits, special needs scholarships and education savings accounts. Choice pressures public schools with a much-needed competitive atmosphere. Choice helps kids: education choice represents the type of innovation and freedom that will provide long-overdue reform to the K-12 system and holds the potential to truly raise the educational outcomes for every child across America. Choice is growing in strength: seventeen states and Washington, D.C. now have private school choice programs and more states are currently considering implementing choice options.

Common Core, on the other hand, is an effort to centralize education by dictating the standards and assessments that determine the curriculum taught in every public school across the country.Common Core assumes that top-down uniform standards and assessments - driven by federal bureaucrats and national organizations - are preferable to State and local reform efforts guided by input from parents, teachers and taxpayers.

Common Core documents provide no evidence that the program will improve academic outcomes or boost international competitiveness. However, the Obama administration has pushed States to adopt the national standards and assessments in exchange for offers of billions of dollars in federal funding.

American education is at a crossroads, where one path leads toward further centralization and greater federal control and the other path leads toward robust education choice, including school choice and choice in curricula. State and local leaders who believe in limited government should resist national standards and tests as a challenge to educational freedom in America and this latest federal overreach.

To date, only Texas and Alaska are not members of Common Core; Virginia and Nebraska are initiative members but will not adopt the standards; Minnesota adopted the English standards only; Indiana has put a legal pause on the law until further review has been conducted. All other states have formally adopted the Common Core standards. For the standards in those states to be repealed, a law would have to be passed in each of those state legislatures.

Students Are Subsidizing Obamacare

As Dick Morris reported in The Hill last week, the Congressional Budget Office reports that $8.7 billion of the money collected in student loan interest payments actually goes to pay for ObamaCare. The CBO estimates that the interest rate on these loans could be reduced from 6.8 percent to only 5.30 percent were the monies not being used to subsidize the healthcare law and other federal programs.

There are 16 million American students who now have student loans; they are paying for ObamaCare out of their meager incomes just at the point when they graduate from college and need funds to start their lives, buy their first homes, and start a family. In addition, the very law they are funding will impose fines on them if they do not purchase health insurance. The federal government borrows funds for the student loan program at 2.8 percent and then lends it to the students 6.8 percent, a markup of four percent. Undoubtedly, few students are aware of this financial exploitation.

"Unprecedented” Openness

An Associated Press Report Reveals That Obama Political Appointees Are Using Secret Email Accounts -

Obama: “My Administration Is Committed To Creating An Unprecedented Level Of Openness In Government.” (President Barack Obama, “Memorandum For The Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies: Transparency and Open Government,” Press Release, 1/21/09)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “We Are The Most Transparent Administration In History, Without Question.” ◼ (Press Briefing, James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, 9/28/11)


The Associated Press Reveals That Some Of Obama’s Political Appointees, Including HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Are Using “Secret Governmental Email Accounts.” “Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the secretary for Health and Human Services, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

“At Least Two Other Senior HHS Officials – Including Donald Berwick, Former Head Of The Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, And Gary Cohen, A Deputy Administrator In Charge Of Implementing Health Insurance Reform – Also Have Secret Government Email Addresses, According To The Records Obtained By The AP.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

Secret Email Accounts “Complicate An Agency’s Legal Responsibilities”

“Secret Email Accounts Complicate An Agency’s Legal Responsibilities To Find And Turn Over Emails In Response To Congressional Or Internal Investigations, Civil Lawsuits Or Public Records Requests.” “The secret email accounts complicate an agency’s legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them. Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

National Security Counselors Executive Director Ken McClanahan: “You Would Hope That Agencies Doing This Would Keep A List Of Aliases In A Desk Drawer, But You Know That Isn’t Happening.” “‘What happens when that person doesn’t work there anymore? He leaves and someone makes a request (to review emails) in two years,’ said Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, an open government group. ‘Who’s going to know to search the other accounts? You would hope that agencies doing this would keep a list of aliases in a desk drawer, but you know that isn’t happening.’” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

Agencies Say That Public And Non-Public Accounts Are Provided As Necessary Under Open Records Law, But The AP Couldn’t “Verify” The Practice And After Reviewing “Hundreds Of Pages Of Government Emails Previously Released,” It Only Found One Instance. “Agencies where the AP so far has identified secret addresses, including the Labor Department and HHS, said maintaining non-public email accounts allows senior officials to keep separate their internal messages with agency employees from emails they exchange with the public. They also said public and non-public accounts are always searched in response to official requests and the records are provided as necessary. The AP couldn’t independently verify the practice. It searched hundreds of pages of government emails previously released under the open records law and found only one instance of a published email with a secret address: an email from Labor Department spokesman Carl Fillichio to 34 coworkers in 2010 was turned over to an advocacy group, Americans for Limited Government. It included as one recipient the non-public address for Seth D. Harris, currently the acting labor secretary, who maintains at least three separate email accounts.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

“Google Can’t Find Any Reference On The Internet To The Secret Address For HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

“Congressional Oversight Committees Told The AP They Were Unfamiliar With The Non-Public Government Addresses Identified So Far By The AP.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)


U.S. Agencies Are Stonewalling On The Fulfillment Of The AP’s FOIA Request

Most U.S. Agencies Have Failed To Meet The Associated Press‘ FOIA Request To Turn Over Lists Of Political Appointees’ Email Addresses. “The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees’ email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

Ten Agencies Have Not Yet Turned Over Lists Of Email Addresses To The AP. “Ten agencies have not yet turned over lists of email addresses, including the Environmental Protection Agency; the Pentagon; and the departments of Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Treasury, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, Commerce and Agriculture. All have said they are working on a response to the AP.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

“ In Addition To The Email Addresses, The AP Also Sought Records Government-Wide About Decisions To Create Separate Email Accounts. But The FOIA Director At HHS , Robert Eckert , Said The Agency Couldn’t Provide Such Emails Without Undergoing ‘An Extensive And Elongated Department-Wide Search.’” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

“The Health And Human Services Department Initially Turned Over To The AP The Email Addresses For Roughly 240 Appointees – Except None Of The Email Accounts For Sebelius, Even One For Her Already Published On Its Website.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

Despite Its Own Rules Limiting What It Can Charge News Organizations For Fulfillment Of FOIA Requests, The Labor Department Asked The AP To Pay Over $1.03 Million For A List Of Email Addresses. “The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay just over $1.03 million when the AP asked for email addresses of political appointees there. It said it needed pull 2,236 computer backup tapes from its archives and pay 50 people to pore over old records. Those costs included three weeks to identify tapes and ship them to a vendor, and pay each person $2,500 for nearly a month’s work. But under the department’s own FOIA rules – which it cited in its letter to the AP – it is prohibited from charging news organizations any costs except for photocopies after the first 100 pages. The department said it would take 14 weeks to find the emails if the AP had paid the money.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

The Labor Department “Later Acknowledged That The $1.03 Million Bill Was A Mistake And Provided The AP With Email Addresses For The Agency’s Senate-Confirmed Appointees, Including Three Addresses For Harris, The Acting Secretary.” “Fillichio later acknowledged that the $1.03 million bill was a mistake and provided the AP with email addresses for the agency’s Senate-confirmed appointees, including three addresses for Harris, the acting secretary. His secret address was His other accounts were one for use with labor employees and the public, and another to send mass emails to the entire Labor Department, outside groups and the public. The Labor Department said it did not object to the AP publishing any of Harris’ email addresses.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)


In A Recent Transparency Dodge, The Department Of Veterans Affairs Cited The Sequester For Its Failure To Respond To FOIA Requests, Even Though It Is Exempt From The Sequester

The Department Of Veterans Affairs Tried To Blame Its Failure To Respond To FOIA Requests Made In December 2011 On Sequester Cuts, Even Though The Department Was Exempted From Sequestration. “Federal agency managers have told President Barack Obama that the budget cuts known as sequestration would likely cause mass layoffs, jeopardize military medical care and cut nutrition assistance to poor children. The spending cuts, which may total $1.2 trillion over nine years, can also make a handy excuse for delaying departmental duties. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which Obama exempted from sequestration to protect veterans, last week tried blaming the cuts for its failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request we filed with the agency in December 2011.” ◼ (Kathleen Miller, “Veterans Agency, Exempt From Cuts, Attempts To Cite Cuts For Delay,” Bloomberg, 6/3/13)

Bloomberg ‘s FOIA Request Was For Documents Detailing “Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Potentially Illegal VA Spending.” “We wanted access to all documents detailing hundreds of millions of dollars in potentially illegal VA spending with a pharmaceutical supplier. A lot has happened in the 17 months since the request was filed. The VA awarded a $31.6 billion contract to McKesson Corp., which may have benefited from the questioned spending, in April 2012. Federal agencies began implementing the automatic budget cuts on March 1 of this year. And the VA still hasn’t given us access to all the documents sought.” ◼ (Kathleen Miller, “Veterans Agency, Exempt From Cuts, Attempts To Cite Cuts For Delay,” Bloomberg, 6/3/13)

FOIA Requests Are Not A Priority For Obama Officials

Last Year, The Obama Administration Responded To FOIA Requests At The Rate As It Did In The Same Previous Three Years, Fulfilling All Or Part Of 65 Percent Of The Requests And Rejecting More Than One Third. “The AP’s analysis showed the government released all or portions of the information that citizens, journalists, businesses and others sought at about the same rate as the previous three years. It turned over all or parts of the records in about 65 percent of requests. It fully rejected more than one-third of requests, a slight increase over 2011, including cases when it couldn’t find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the request was determined to be improper.”◼ (Jack Gillum and Ted Bridis, “FOIA Requests Being Denied More Due To Security Reasons Than Any Time Since Obama Took Office,” The Associated Press, 3/11/13)

In 2012, The Associated Press Report Found That The Government “Generally Took Longer” To Answer FOIA Requests. “The AP’s analysis also found that the government generally took longer to answer requests. Some agencies, such as the Health and Human Services Department, took less time than the previous year to turn over files.” ◼ (Jack Gillum and Ted Bridis, “FOIA Requests Being Denied More Due To Security Reasons Than Any Time Since Obama Took Office,” The Associated Press, 3/11/13)

“The Rate At Which The Government Granted So-Called Expedited Processing, Which Moves An Urgent Request To The Front Of The Line For A Speedy Answer, Fell From 24 Percent In 2011 To 17 Percent Last Year.” ◼ (Jack Gillum and Ted Bridis, “FOIA Requests Being Denied More Due To Security Reasons Than Any Time Since Obama Took Office,” The Associated Press, 3/11/13)

In 2012, The Obama Administration Waived Costs In 59 Percent Of FOIA Requests, Down From 64 Percent In 2011. “Under increased budget pressure across the government, agencies more often insisted that people pay search and copying fees. It waived costs in 59 percent of requests, generally when the amount was negligible or the release of the information is in the public interest, a decline from 64 percent of cases a year earlier. At the Treasury Department, which faced questions about its role in auto bailouts and stimulus programs during Obama’s first term, only one in five requests were processed at no charge. A year earlier, it granted more than 75 percent of fee waivers. The CIA denied every request last year to waive fees.” ◼ (Jack Gillum and Ted Bridis, “FOIA Requests Being Denied More Due To Security Reasons Than Any Time Since Obama Took Office,” The Associated Press, 3/11/13)


The AP Asked For Email Address Of Obama Appointees After It Was Revealed That Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Created An Email Alias Under The Name Of “Richard Windsor”

The AP Asked For Appointee Email Addresses After It Was Revealed Last Year That Then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Used Separate Email Accounts At Work. “The AP asked for the addresses following last year’s disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged – but often happens anyway – due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

The EPA Inspector General Is Investigating Jackson’s Use Of An Email Account Under The Name Of “Richard Windsor.” “Late last year, the EPA’s critics – including Republicans in Congress – accused former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson of using an email account under the name ‘Richard Windsor’ to sidestep disclosure rules. The EPA said emails Jackson sent using her Windsor alias were turned over under open records requests. The agency’s inspector general is investigating the use of such accounts, after being asked to do so by Congress.” ◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

After Initially Arguing That The Email Account Was Used Only For Routine Business, It Was Revealed That Jackson Has Used Account To Correspond With “Environmentalists Outside Government.” “An EPA spokeswoman described Jackson’s alternate email address as ‘an everyday, working email account of the administrator to communicate with staff and other government officials.’ It was later determined that Jackson also used the email address to correspond sometimes with environmentalists outside government and at least in some cases did not correct a misperception among outsiders they were corresponding with a government employee named Richard Windsor.”◼ (Jack Gillum, “Top Political Appointees Use Secret Email Accounts,” The Associated Press, 6/4/13)

Obama’s Former Deputy Chief Of Staff Used His Private Email Account To Conduct Government Business During The ObamaCare Negotiations

As Obama’s Deputy Chief Of Staff, Jim Messina Used His Personal Email Address Instead Of His White House Address To Conduct Government Business. “The interactions between the Finance Committee and PhRMA were detailed in an earlier report from the Energy and Commerce Committee, but Messina’s use of his private email address – at issue because he was conducting government business on a non-government, undisclosed account – is a new revelation.” ◼ (Jennifer Epstein, “GOP: W.H., Messina ‘Failed’ On Transparency,” Politico, 7/31/12)

Messina To PhRMA, From His Personal Account Days Before ObamaCare Passed: “I Will Roll [P]elosi To Get The 4 Billion.” “‘I will roll [P]elosi to get the 4 billion,’ Messina wrote Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobbyist Jeffrey Forbes from his personal account just days before the Affordable Care Act cleared Congress in March 2010. ‘As you may have heard I am literally rolling over the house. But there just isn’t 8-10 billion.’” ◼ (Jennifer Epstein, “GOP: W.H., Messina ‘Failed’ On Transparency,” Politico, 7/31/12)