Friday, June 28, 2013

CFRW Capitol Update

President’s Message

Dear CFRW Members,

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." - Helen Keller.

Thank you to the Clubs who took time to turn in your Achievement Award, Volunteer Hours and Caring for America Forms. The majority of clubs reached the Diamond Level for their Achievement Awards. Our top Volunteer had over 20,000 volunteer hours, and our Caring For America projects were amazing.

We now have to put all of our forces together to once again help Andy Vidak win the 16th State Senate District in July. We have attached information regarding how you can help make this a reality. The Dems are going to do all within their power to take away this victory, but we know WHEN WOMEN WORK WE WIN! Please take time from your busy schedules and lend a helping hand.

Club Presidents, if you are not planning to attend the NFRW Convention, please look for someone in your Club to represent you. ALL Club Presidents are automatic Delegates and can appoint one Alternate from their Club. We need all the votes we are allowed to elect our very own past CFRW President, and currently NFRW 2nd Vice President, Kathy Brugger to be the next NFRW President. The Call to Convention is posted on the NFRW Site.

I have great confidence we will have the best representation at National. Norma Burdick and Gaylon Kastner are chairing our "Hospitality Suite" at National. We will be furnishing further information on how you can help in the next few weeks.

Within a few days we will be celebrating the 4th of July. Let us think of all that is great about our nation, and what it truly means to be a citizen of the United States of America. Let us fight hard to protect what freedoms we still have. We are still a blessed nation. May we always feel and have this pride. Teach our children to walk proud as citizens. You are Republican women who lead your towns, cities, state and nation.

What an honor and privilege it is to work for you.

YOU ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST
ONE TEAM, ONE PURPOSE, ONE GOAL.
May Our Father in Heaven continue to bless you and your families.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY,

Carol Hadley
CFRW President
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Brown’s Budget

Governor Brown signed his 2013-2014 budget earlier this week, a $96.3 billion spending plan. The good news is the Democrats wanted $2 billion more in discretionary spending, which Governor Brown declined. The bad news is Governor Brown only vetoed $40 million in spending, leaving the $96.3 billion budget almost fully intact. That is cutting .00042% of the budget. What a sacrifice. While this budget has been hailed by media outlets as being “conservative” and “a step forward,” the budget does little to address our state debt or the unfunded pensions of millions of state employees. What minor changes Governor Brown made to the budget with his line-item veto pen are not enough to pull this state out of debt. Every year Republicans push to make the budget process more transparent and every year their bills are killed in committee by the Democrat majority. It is time we send better representatives to Sacramento!
__________________

Help Andy Vidak!

Speaking of better representation in Sacramento, we have an excellent opportunity to send a strong conservative to fight for our principles that we cannot miss! Andy Vidak is running in Senate District 16 and the special election is July 23rd. We need all hands on deck between now and then! This weekend is crucial because vote-by mail ballots will start hitting the district very soon! If you can, get to either the Hanford (101 North Irwin Street, Hanford, CA 93230) or Fresno (2767 West Shaw Avenue, #126, Fresno, CA 93711) Vidak Headquarters for a weekend of phone banking and precinct walking! Please call Sara at 209 447-2829 for more information!
__________________

Time is Running Out!

Next week, July 4th, begins the Legislature’s summer recess and they will be working through as many bills as they can before they leave the building. The CFRW is working on several to oppose and we need you to call these legislators immediately! There is still time to stop these bad bills!

AB 48- Skinner (D): An infringement on our Second Amendment rights by changing the definition of a “large capacity magazine” to mean any loading device holding more than 10 rounds.

WHEN/WHERE: Being heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on July 2nd.

WHO: Call these Senators!
Senator Loni Hancock, D: (916) 651-4009
Senator Joel Anderson, R: (916) 651-4036
Senator Marty Block, D: (916) 651-4039
Senator Kevin de Leon, D: (916) 651-4022
Senator Steve Knight, R: (916) 651-4021
Senator Carol Liu, D: (916) 651-4025
Senator Darrell Steinberg, D: (916) 651-4006
AB 154- Atkins (D): Would allow mid-level health care professionals- physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives- to perform abortions.

WHEN/WHERE: Senate Health Committee on July 3rd.

WHO: Call these Senators!
Senator Ed Hernandez, D: (916) 651-4024
Senator Joel Anderson, R: (916) 651-4036
Senator Jim Beall, D: (916) 651-4015
Senator Kevin de Leรณn, D: (916) 651-4022
Senator Mark DeSaulnier, D: (916) 651-4007
Senator Bill Monning, D: (916) 651-4017
Senator Jim Nielsen, R: (916) 651-4004
Senator Fran Pavley, D: (916) 651-4027
Senator Lois Wolk, D: (916) 651-4003
AB 1266- Ammiano (D): Allows students to use facilities such as locker rooms or bathrooms in accordance to the gender they “identify” with, not the gender stated on their school record. The bill does not address the potential for misuse or student’s privacy rights.

WHEN/WHERE: Senate Third Reading File, could be voted on any day!

WHO: CALL YOUR SENATOR AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE! Find your Senator ◼ HERE.

SB 1- Steinberg (D): Essentially reinstates Redevelopment Agencies by a different name, “Sustainable Community Investment Authorities,” which would have no voter oversight, and installs a committee of unelected officials for regional governance.

WHEN/WHERE: Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development on July 3rd.

WHO: Call these Assembly members!
Assemblyman Ed Chau, D: (916) 319-2049
Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R: (916) 319-2006
Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D: (916) 319-2078
Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D: (916) 319-2047
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D: (916) 319-2065
Assemblyman Brian Maienshcein, R: (916) 319-2077
SB 11- Pavely (D): Would establish a “hydrogen fuel network” to the tune of $20 million dollars a year by raising taxes on smog checks, tire purchases, and vehicle licensing.

WHEN/WHERE: Being heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee on July 1st.

WHO: Call these Assembly members!
Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D: (916) 319-2070
Assemblyman Eric Linder, R: (916) 319-2060
Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R: (916) 319-2035
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D: (916) 319-2017
Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D: (916) 319-2045
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D: (916) 319-2018
Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D: (916) 319-2016
Assemblyman Tom Daly, D: (916) 319-2069
Assemblyman Jim Fraizer, D: (916) 319-2011
Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D: (916) 319-2043
Assemblyman Chris Holden, D: (916) 319-2041
Assemblyman Dan Logue, R: (916) 319-2003
Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R: (916) 319-2040
Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D: (916) 319-2046
Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R: (916) 319-2023
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D: (916) 319-2065

Piracy on the High Steppe

Under fire, Ukraine is moving to protect intellectual property and its foreign investors. - Peter Hannaford/American Spectator on 6.28.13

Cynics may be inclined to think of traffic tickets as evidence that “every cop has a quota.” After reading the latest annual report of the United States Trade Representative on theft of intellectual property, those skeptical of government agencies might conclude that they, too, have quotas.

Take the case of Ukraine, not a huge trade partner of the United States, but one strategically located between West-leaning countries and Russia. The USTR’s Special annual “301” report listed Ukraine as a “Priority Foreign Country,” the first time in seven years it has put that label on any country. This means it considers Ukraine the world’s leading pirate of such things as films, music, software, games and television programs.

Are there none others more guilty? China, for instance, with its routine hacking of government and corporate computers and its stealing of high-security plans of military equipment? Could it be that the USTR understands that the Chinese will do what they please, while bullying a smaller country may pay dividends.

Under World Trade Organization rules, once the USTR makes the “Foreign Priority Country” designation it has 30 days to initiate an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act to determine if trade sanctions are to be imposed on the accused country. It has since opened the investigation.

The USTR’s report contends that the Ukrainian government has not cracked down on online pirate websites — such as ExtraTorrent.com — and that the government itself has been using unlicensed software. The Ukrainian government admits to some use of such software; however, it is moving a new law through the parliament (No. 2056a) that will protect owners and producers of copyrighted works.

Once passed, the new law would create a system of issuing control marks to protect the rights of authors, performers, producers of audio video recordings and films, computer programs and databases. Then, if a copyright holder reports a suspected violation of its copyright to the State Intellectual Property Service, the government will take appropriate action.

If this kind of corrective legislation is not quickly put into place, a sanction applied to Ukraine could have a serious impact on foreign direct investment in a country that is working hard to build a stable, growing economy and to strengthen the institutions of its young democracy. Foreign direct investment has been growing.

At a recent regional forum in Belgrade, President Viktor Yanukovych reported that at the end of the first calendar quarter of 2013 such investment stood at $55 billion. Without strong new protections of intellectual property, that could come to an abrupt end.

Roman Semeshko, executive director of the Ukrainian Audiovisual Rights Management Association, “The terrible thing [about the USTR naming Ukraine the biggest pirate] is that foreign investments will completely leave the country” if sanctions are applied.

Not only are international copyright holders victims of piracy in Ukraine, so are homegrown companies such as ABBYY Ukraine. It develops software, including a popular electronic translation program. Roman Solod, a spokesman for ABBYY, says piracy hurts sales and also increases the company’s cost of doing business in the form of extra staff lawyer salaries and court costs.

Perhaps the USTR investigation is not a case of bureaucratic quota-making after all, but rather an application of the famous carrot-and-stick approach to regulatory oversight. Let us hope so.
__________________

Peter Hannaford was closely associated for a number of years with the late President Reagan, beginning in the California Governor’s office. His latest book is ◼ Presidential Retreats.

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush travel to Livingstone, Zambia to renovate a cervical cancer clinic as part of the Bush Institute's Global Health Initiative


link June 28, 2013. Photo by Paul Morse — at Livingstone Zambia.


President Bush works alongside local Zambians to renovate the Mosi-Oa-Tunya Clinic

The disclosure of the IG report could undermine the Obama administration’s claims that senior officials have not leaked classified information

Report: Leon Panetta revealed classified SEAL unit info - Josh Gerstein/Politico

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the Navy SEAL unit that carried out the Osama bin Laden raid and named the unit’s ground commander at a 2011 ceremony attended by “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmaker Mark Boal.
Panetta also discussed classified information designated as “top secret” and “secret” during his presentation at the awards ceremony, according to a draft Pentagon inspector general’s report published Wednesday by the Project on Government Oversight....

Last spring, Republicans publicly attacked President Barack Obama and his top aides, alleging that the administration leaked national security secrets to burnish Obama’s standing for his reelection bid.

Word that Panetta, a key member of Obama’s national security team, might have been responsible for improper disclosures without encountering any known repercussions comes as the administration faces questions over the fairness of the aggressive anti-leak investigations and prosecutions being mounted by the Justice Department.

The release of the findings in the draft report may also raise questions about why the document has been under wraps for so long, and which of its conclusions were known to White House officials prior to last November’s election.

Asked Wednesday about the report, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he was not familiar with it and would have to get back to reporters. No further response was forthcoming by late Wednesday afternoon.

NFRW Capital Connection

Sponsor NFRW's 75th Birthday Celebration!

This year, NFRW celebrates its 75th Diamond Anniversary. To help celebrate, consider donating to and sponsoring the 75th Anniversary Celebration by clicking on the postcard here. Your donation will be used towards special events and the grand finale celebration in Louisville, Kentucky at the 37th Biennial Convention.

Register for the 37th Biennial Convention

Registration for NFRW's 37th Biennial Convention is now open! Details can be found at ◼ www.nfrw.org.

NFRW members and guests will find that Louisville really is "possibility city." It will be possible to enjoy a horse race at Churchill Downs during the opening night reception. There will be possibilities to learn - both at the leadership school, Message, Money and Motivation - Learning to Lead, and at the Saturday afternoon educational seminars. You might even find it is possible to walk in the footsteps of President Lincoln during a tour along the Lincoln Heritage Trail organized by the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women. You won't want to miss the possibility to hear from Kentucky's two United States Senators, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul. As they say in Louisville, the possibilities are endless and we look forward to seeing you there in September.

Advertise Your Product or Organization in the Official Convention Program

Have you considered advertising your message in the National Federation of Republican Women's official Program & Guide of the 37th Biennial Convention?

This informative and colorful publication will include an estimated 75 pages of essential information about our convention and will be circulated to approximately 1,300 Republican grassroots activist delegates and guests at the NFRW's convention in Louisville, Kentucky September 19-22.

Whether you are advertising a product or an organization, sending well-wishes to convention-goers or recognizing NFRW's 75th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary, we want to help you deliver your message in this publication.

Download details, pricing and the ad reservation form by clicking ◼ here. Contact Sarah Staunton at Email: sstaunton@nfrw.org for more information.

California joins 12 other states in legalizing Gay Marriage.

NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS lifts its "STAY" and removes the LAST barrier from implementing GAY MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA. PROPOSITION 8 is OVERTURNED.

PROTECT MARRIAGE COALITION says it will continue to fight for Traditional Marriage. The contentious debate still continues with nearly 40 states still maintaining laws defending traditional marriage.

Don’t Take the Bait on Gay Marriage - Roger L Simon/PJMedia

Do yourself and the right, center-right, and everyone else who’s got his or her priorities on straight a favor and move on.

Don’t do Barack Obama any favors!

He is on so many ropes you can’t count them. The only thing that can help him is for a bunch of rightwingers to start screaming about the sanctity of marriage.

Don’t do it! Don’t take the bait!

Make peace with your gay friends, neighbors, and relatives. They should thrive and be happy. Or be indentured to divorce lawyers for the rest of their lives like so many of us. Whatever happens happens.

Imagine if you were one of the press corps on Airforce One flying to Africa and POTUS Obama came into your seating area and gave an impromptu news briefing. What would you ask?


Would you ask something about Edward Snowden and his flight from Hong Kong into Russia? How about the IRS targeting of conservative groups? Maybe try to get some more info on the NSA data-mining scandal? At the very least, something on Benghazi... especially since Libya just released one of the main suspects in the attack.

No. None of the above. Are we surprised? Not really...

See what questions they did ask here.

It Isn´t Over Yet

A frustrating reaction to some postings on the American Thinker is the "it's all over, the Republic is gone, we've lost, etc." lament. Unless effectively countered, it could lead some to surrender prematurely to the forces of darkness currently afflicting America. - Richard Winchester/American Thinker

Yes, conservatives are in serious trouble. We lost the culture wars. Along with their left-wing Democrat allies, the news and entertainment industries are transmogrifying the U.S into some kind of welfare state. Ultra-leftists are in the saddle and determined to stay on top. The Right is demoralized and divided. The typical citizen pays more attention to reality TV than to public affairs.

There are other examples of conservatives' predicament, but these will suffice.
No matter how bleak situations have been in the past, those who fought on should always be inspiring. They haven't always prevailed; think of those doomed 7th Cavalry troopers at Little Big Horn. But, despite very steep odds, some "last-ditch defenders of lost causes" have not lost....

If conservatives intend to win, we must be willing to rethink some traditional positions. We also have to reinstate practices that worked before, but seem to have been allowed to wither. Conservatives should also borrow successful tactics from the enemy....

Defying the Will of the People: Which Party Opposes Americans on 8 Major Issues - Kyle Becker/Independent Journal Review

Oversight Committee Votes: IRS' Lerner Waived Fifth Amendment Rights With Opening Statement

Blackout: Defense Department Blocks All Articles About NSA Leaks From 'Millions' of Computers

The Department of Defense is blocking online access to news reports about classified National Security Agency documents made public by Edward Snowden. The blackout affects all of the department's computers and is part of a department-wide directive. - US News & World report

California schools are turning into government indoctrination centers



CA Public Schools Spending $990,000 To Train Kids To Sell Obamacare - Mr. Conservative

One of the creepiest things about totalitarian socialist regimes is that they specifically target children to be their propaganda arms. That is, they don’t sell their ideas to the parents, they sell them to the kids, who then police their parents. Now, California is sending money to schools to indoctrinate children into being spokesmen for ObamaCare. Children are the perfect spokesmen, of course, since they’re blind to such problems as corruption, runaway costs, and declining quality of care.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”) is receiving a $990,000 grant from the state of California (which is deeply in debt) to train teens to sell ObamaCare to their families. This money is just a part of the $37 million California is spending to try to get people to cooperate with ObamaCare, despite its many and obvious problems....

In addition to the money being spent directly on turning our children into mouthpieces for the government, LAUSD will also use its staff (whose salaries come from taxpayers) to call family homes, make in-school presentations, and generally shill for ObamaCare.

CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS TO TRAIN KIDS TO SELL OBAMACARE - Loren Heal/Human Evvents

"Teens are part of a 'pilot' program to test whether young people can be trained as messengers to deliver outreach and limited education to family and friends in and around their homes," said Gayle Pollard-Terry, a LAUSD spokesman, in an email. "Teens will be educating adults that they already know (e.g., family or friends) and not other adults."

Grant recipients like LAUSD will be held accountable by the state for fulfilling their promised activities for outreach, said Larry Hicks, another LAUSD spokesman.

"At a minimum, grantees will be required to submit to Covered California monthly, quarterly, and annual reports on their activities and progress towards agreed upon outcomes. If project benchmarks are not met, grantees may be required to submit additional ad hoc reports upon Covered California's request. Grantees will also be required to report any proposed adjustments to their approved outreach and education plan using the information management system... Additionally, field monitors will be assigned to grantees to verify their progress," Hughes said.

Disturbing comparisons with using children and government education facilities to deliver "government-preferred messaging" in the past and in other societies today instantly spring to mind. And so do the questions. - Ethel C. Fenig/American Thinker

If the parents disagree with Obamacare and their children's message will the children then be compelled to report them to the "field monitors...assigned to grantees to verify their progress"?

What if a parent hangs up on an intrusive government caller or worse not so politely, or even politely, argues with the "outreach" drone?" Can parents protest the "use of students to push government-preferred messaging"? If so, will the parentsr be compelled to attend parent-school meetings and labelled unfit and abusive?

And what will happen to the students if they mock their assignment of "educating adults they already know", or educate their trainers on the perils of Obamacare, or refuse "to be trained as messengers" or even just don't do their "homework" as students are wont to do? What if kids fail at "educating adults they already know"? All of these outcomes happen every day in homes and schools across America over minor issues. Will the students be shamed and punished by teachers and/or the school administration for their failure to do the assignment? Will the other kids make fun of them?

Perhaps even in California some teachers or administrators will have doubts about violating the basic education principles of a free society which prohibit political advocacy of only one viewpoint. If they voice their concerns about this misuse of the schools or if they too express concerns about Obamacare will they be fired and sent to special in service workshops or re education camps, joining protesting parents and students? What will happen to their children, their families?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

AMNESTY CLEARS SENATE 68-32 VOTE

The Senate, in a 68-32 vote, passes immigration bill that would legalize millions of illegal immigrants while boosting border security, sending the bill to the House where it faces an uncertain fate. (Fox News)

Senate Gallery Spectators Chant 'Yes We Can, Yes We Can'...
BOEHNER: Immigration bill D.O.A. in House...
Riddled with pork...
BORDER AGENTS ASK PUBLIC, LAWMAKERS TO OPPOSE BILL...
BILL 'ALLOWS CRIMINAL ILLEGALS SAFE HARBOR'...

68 Senators Vote to Create Incentive for Employers to Hire Amnestied Immigrants Over U.S. Citizens - John McCormack/Weekly Standard

As The New Republic, Investors' Business Daily, and the Washington Examiner have all reported, this problem certainly does exist, and the bill was never amended to fix the problem before it was passed by the Senate on a 68-32 vote Thursday afternoon. "[Registered provisional immigrants] are not subject to mandate and the do not count towards an employer's penalty," Sean Neary, communications director for the Senate Finance Committee, told THE WEEKLY STANDARD in an email late Thursday night.

Final Senate vote on Gang of Eight bill set for 4 p.m. ET

Open Thread at HotAir

...By the way, don’t look now but the bill is starting to sound creaky among liberals too. The NYT has a piece out this morning about lefties grumbling that the weak Corker/Hoeven border-security provisions (see this account of Hugh Hewitt’s brutal interview with Hoeven to understand how weak) are nonetheless too strong for their liking. Meanwhile, at TNR, T.A. Frank makes the Kaus-ian case that the bill will be a disaster for the working class...

Ted Cruz Exposes the Amnesty Bill… $5000 Penalty for Hiring Citizens Over Legalized Aliens… SERIOUSLY!!!



It would be very interesting to know whose hand was responsible for slipping this into the bill but it surely won’t be the only surprise that comes from a 1200 page bill that has not been scrutinized by the majority of those who voted to pass it. - DC Clothesline

“Madame President, the amendment that I would have called up, had not the majority party objected, is an amendment that would have corrected one of the most egregious aspects of the gang of eight bill, namely it is a penalty that is imposed on US employers for hiring US Citizens and for hiring legal permanent residents. It is a striking result of the Gang of 8 bill as it intersects with Obamacare legislation..."

TED CRUZ VS. THE GANG OF OBAMACARE TAX ON HIRING AMERICAN CITIZENS - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o

Cruz already weathered a few hilariously botched attempts to “fact-check” his claim into oblivion, which ended with the “fact checkers” admitting he was right about the problem, but questioning whether employers would respond to this incentive on the scale he envisions. (That, of course, is a difference of opinion, not a fact check.)

For added fun, the Weekly Standard collared five of the Democrat senators who voted to cut off debate on the immigration bill, and asked for their take on the problem Cruz describes. None of them knew if the loophole had been addressed yet. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) babbled something incoherent that had nothing to do with the question; Tom Carper (D-DE) snarled that he was too busy to answer the question; and Max “Train Wreck” Baucus, the author of ObamaCare, mumbled: “We’re trying to solve that right now… I don’t know if that’s been solved.”

But clearly there’s no reason for anyone to read this heavily revamped Gang of Eight bill before voting on it, or debate its provisions any further!

You may discontinue further efforts to help Democrats bury the scandal.

SO MUCH FOR THE “IRS HASSLED PROGRESSIVES TOO” EXCUSE
- John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o

Quick reminder: anyone who told you the IRS scandal was “collapsing” because progressive groups also appeared on watch lists is not a “journalist.”

The Treasury Inspector General made that painfully clear, as reported by The Hill:
Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, told Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) in a letter dated Wednesday that the IRS did not use inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups with “progressives” in their name seeking tax-exempt status.

“Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012,” George wrote in the letter obtained by The Hill.

The inspector general also stressed that 100 percent of the groups with “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12” in their name were flagged for extra attention.

“While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” George wrote to Levin, the top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
PROBER GIVES MORE DETAIL ON IRS, PROGRESSIVES - AP
The Treasury Department watchdog who detailed Internal Revenue Service mistreatment of tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status says he has no evidence the IRS mishandled progressive groups' applications in the same way, even as Democrats continue criticizing him for conducting a one-sided probe.
◼ Just interesting, and semi-related: 26% of Obama Supporters View Tea Party as Nation’s Top Terror Threat - Rasmussen

Half of all voters consider radical Muslims the bigger terrorist threat facing the nation, but supporters of President Obama consider the Tea Party to be as big a danger.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Obamacare Hits Hollywood: Studios Brace for the Affordable Care Act

As payroll companies struggle to predict the impact of new laws on movie and TV shoots, one insider says the act "wasn't written with this industry in mind." - The Hollywood Reporter

One of the unintended consequences, say some industry insiders, is that it could lead to productions running to foreign countries, given that ACA doesn't apply to U.S. citizens working abroad. Some also say the number of production days in the U.S. are likely to be cut due to ACA because there's a 90-day waiting period before productions must either pay a penalty or offer health insurance to full-time workers. That rule provides big incentives for a production to wrap in less than three months. While big-budget movies and season-long TV shows might not have such a luxury, smaller films or TV pilots could easily rush their schedules to make sure they come in at under 90 days....

Payroll can represent as much as 45 percent of a production's cost, and payroll-services companies are still crunching the numbers to figure out how much ACA could add to the budget of a typical production. While the administrative costs might rise a bit for the payroll companies, the costs of extra health coverage or penalties fall to the production companies. Nonunion productions might be hit hardest because workers aren't already covered, but even union shoots typically employ many nonunion workers who might need health coverage under ACA....

"Do I expect the cost of doing business to go up? Yes, I do," says Mike Rose, CEO of Ease Entertainment Services.

On Senate Floor, Rubio Addresses Fellow Conservatives On Immigration Reform



RUBIO MAINTAINS SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRATION BILL DESPITE RUSHED PROCESS - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart
According to a GOP aide, any Republicans who do end up supporting this bill will likely face damaging consequences in their political futures.

"This Kabuki dance was scripted months ago, planned maybe years ago, by the special interest coalition that supports this for a variety of reasons, none of which are the national interest,” the GOP aide said. “Even though they won't know by Monday, the American people are going to find out what happened and I suspect they'll make the conspirators ultimately pay a price.”
Mark Levin: Rubio texted me and told me what I’m saying about the Gang of 8 bill is NOT accurate (Listen)
In an interview with Ted Cruz, Mark Levin revealed that Rubio texted him about an hour before this interview and told him that what he is saying about the Senate immigration bill is not accurate. He told Cruz that Rubio flat out denies that Napolitano can ignore portions of the bill due to waivers and he asks Cruz if that is correct.
RUBIO PRESS RELEASE CALLS OUT BREITBART, CONTRADICTS CBO - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart
Breitbart News reported on Monday about a special provision of the new Obama stimulus jobs program inserted into the newly repackaged version of the “Gang of Eight” bill. That provision could allow beneficiaries to receive taxpayer-funded vehicles, like cars, motorcycles, or scooters.
The provision, as Breitbart News reported, is tucked away underneath the new stimulus program that the Washington Examiner’s Byron York uncovered.
NEW IMMIGRATION BILL HAS TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED OBAMACARS FOR YOUTHS - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart

New amendment adds jobs bill to Gang of Eight immigration plan - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork

ICE'S CRANE SLAMS RUBIO FOR CLAIMING BILL ENDS 'DE FACTO AMNESTY' - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart

Crane noted that 40 percent of illegal aliens in the United States “did not illegally cross the border, but instead entered illegally with a visa and didn’t leave when it expired.” Crane said that the 40,000 extra Border Patrol agents the new Corker-Hoeven version of the bill provides “will never come in contact with these individuals, as they never attempted illegal entry into the United States.”
“While visa overstays represent nearly half of the overall immigration problem facing our broken immigration system, your legislation does nothing to increase enforcement of these violations,” Crane wrote. “Due to these failures in your legislation, de facto amnesty will continue for millions of future visa overstays illegally residing in the United States.”

SANTORUM: RUBIO LACKS 'RESPECT' FOR 'RULE OF LAW' - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart

ACTION ALERT AB 1266!!

AB 1266 ACTION ALERT!

AB 1266 (Ammiano, D) is in the Senate Third Reading File, which means the Senate can vote on it any day!

CALL YOUR SENATOR AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE AB 1266!

As you will recall, AB 1266 would allow students in California to use locker rooms and bathrooms according to the gender they identify with, not the gender on their school's record. AB 1266 does not account for the potential of misuse by students, as an issue this delicate should be left up to the individual school sites and parental organizations of the school.

PLEASE FIND YOUR SENATOR ◼ HERE.

CALL THEM TODAY AND ASK THEM TO VOTE NO ON AB 1266!

Elizabeth Emken For Congress

Be sure to take a moment and sign up on our website to "Get Email Updates". Thank you for your support! #2014! -e

Computer whiz Steve Wozniak is more than a little distressed that the technology he helped develop nearly four decades ago is being used on a massive scale to invade people’s privacy

◼ THE SURVEILLANCE SCANDALS: Steve Wozniak: Snowden ‘Is a Hero Because This Came From His Heart’ - Lloyd Grove/Daily Beast

He’s especially troubled by the secret intrusions into the private emails of American citizens by the National Security Agency—secret, that is, until the recent detailed revelations of the NSA’s Prism program of electronic surveillance by a 29-year-old NSA contractor-turned-fugitive named Edward Snowden.

“I think he’s a hero,” said the 62-year-old Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and invented the Apple I and Apple II personal computers that launched a technological revolution. “He’s a hero to my beliefs about how the Constitution should work. I don’t think the NSA has done one thing valuable for us, in this whole ‘Prism’ regard, that couldn’t have been done by following the Constitution and doing it the old way.”

...Referring to the secret proceedings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reportedly granted comprehensive warrants for the NSA’s Prism activities, “Why do you set up a little private court? That’s like saying, ‘I need a warrant and I’m going to give one to myself.’ What it leads to is judge, jury, and executioner. It’s the same thing as lynch mobs.”

When Wozniak and Jobs started Apple Computer in 1976, the Internet was in its infancy, unknown to the general public and not a factor in everyday life. But today the World Wide Web presents a serious threat to personal privacy, Wozniak said.

72% Think NSA May Have Monitored Congress, Military Leaders, Judges

Most voters think the National Security Agency is likely to have violated one of the country’s most cherished constitutional standards – the checks and balances between the three branches of government – by spying on the private communications of Congress and judges. - Rasmussen

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 72% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the NSA has monitored the private communications of Congress, military leaders and judges. That includes 45% who believe it is Very Likely....

This concern takes on even more significance given that ◼ 57% of voters believe it is likely the NSA data will be used by other government agencies to harass political opponents.

Most Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters all think the NSA is likely to have monitored those in the other branches of the government. Most unaffiliated voters (56%) and those in the GOP (50%) consider it Very Likely. Thirty-two percent (32%) of those in President Obama’s party (32%) share that view.

Not that voters have much confidence in any branch of the government now. Just 30% “trust the president, the Executive branch, Congress and federal judges to make sure the [surveillance] program is abiding by the Constitution.” Despite the president’s assurance that "nobody is listening to your telephone calls," 68% believe it is likely that "government agencies are listening in on private conversations of American citizens.”

◼ Plus: GALLUP: 74% of Americans Think IRS Scandal Deserves More Investigation. 69 % think that about Benghazi. - Gallup via Instapundit

Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill: is journalism being criminalised? – video interview






In the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden's leak of NSA files, Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and featured reporter in the new documentary film of the same name, says under the Obama administration journalists are being intruded upon and whistleblowers are being charged with crimes. - Guardian.uk

Scalia: 'High-Handed' Kennedy Has Declared Us 'Enemies of the Human Race'

In a ripping dissent, Scalia says that Justice Anthony Kennedy and his colleagues in the majority have resorted to calling opponents of gay marriage "enemies of the human race." - Tim Grieve/National Journal

"...But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to con- demn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority's judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to "dis- parage," "injure," "degrade," "demean," and "humiliate" our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homo- sexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race....

In the majority's telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us. The truth is more complicated. It is hard to admit that one's political opponents are not monsters, especially in a struggle like this one, and the challenge in the end proves more than today's Court can handle. Too bad. A reminder that disagreement over something so fundamental as marriage can still be politically legitimate would have been a fit task for what in earlier times was called the judicial temperament. We might have covered ourselves with honor today, by promising all sides of this debate that it was theirs to settle and that we would respect their resolution. We might have let the People decide.

But that the majority will not do. Some will rejoice in today's decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many. But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better. I dissent."


In Supreme Court Gay Marriage Decision, Justices Reach for Equality - Matt Berman, Brian Fung, Brian Resnick and Matt Vasilogambros/National Journal

Supreme Court Rulings on Gay Marriage: A Liberal Result Wrapped in Conservative Values - James Oliphant/National Journal

DOMA UNCONSTITUTIONAL


Gay marriage ruling: Supreme Court finds DOMA unconstitutional - LA Times

The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday and declared that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights to the benefits under federal law that go to all other married couples.

The decision is a landmark win for the gay rights movement. It voids a section of the law known as DOMA, which was adopted with bipartisan support in Congress in 1996 to deny all benefits and recognition to same-sex couples.

At that time, no state permitted gays and lesbians to marry. Now, 12 states and the District of Columbia authorize same-sex marriages.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said DOMA was unconstitutional because it violated the right to liberty and to equal protection for gay couples.

"By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute" violates the Constitution, he said.

Headlines at Drudge:
Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act...
'DOMA singles out class of persons deemed by State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty'...
Scalia dissent: 'Diseased root: an exalted notion of the role of this court in American democratic society'...
RULING: Gays can now sponsor foreign partners for immigration to USA...
SCALIA: Kennedy Has Declared Us 'Enemies of the Human Race'...
ALITO: 'Constitution Does Not Guarantee the Right to Enter Into a Same-Sex Marriage'...
TIME: 'One of fastest civil rights shifts in nation's history'...
Justices Avoid Ruling on California's Proposition 8...
Gov. Brown Issues Directive To Resume Same-Sex Marriage In 30 Days...
OBAMA: I won't force churches to conduct gay weddings...
Interrupts Activists' MSNBC Interview to Give Congratulatory Call...
PENTAGON EXTENDS BENEFITS TO GAY SERVICE SPOUSES...
CT Governor Raises Rainbow Flag At Official Residence...
National Cathedral Rings Bells To Celebrate...
Gay Marriage Opponents Vow to Press On...

20 photos from the crowd outside the Supreme Court after DOMA was struck down earlier today - Washington Examiner

Obama: I won’t make churches conduct gay marriages - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum

Justices Avoid Ruling on California's Proposition 8...

Supreme Court Gay Marriage Decision – No Standing - Wall St. Journal

A divided Supreme Court handed a victory to supporters of gay marriage, striking down a 1996 federal law that denied federal benefits to lawfully wedded same-sex couples.

The court avoided a ruling on the merits in a second gay-marriage case involving California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, saying that both the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. That means a federal district court's ruling striking down Proposition 8 stands, which could clear the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California.

Collectively, the rulings represent a history-making advance for the cause of gay marriage. The Supreme Court for the first time said the federal government couldn't discriminate against same-sex couples if their marriage is recognized by a state, and in the California case it declined to reverse the district court ruling recognizing a right to gay marriage.

Supreme Court Gay Marriage Decision – No Standing - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

New book reveals how KGB operation seeded Muslim countries with anti-American, anti-Jewish propaganda during the 1970s, laying the groundwork for Islamist terrorism against U.S. and Israel

The highest-ranking Soviet-bloc intelligence officer ever to defect to the West claims in a new book that anti-American Islamic terrorism had its roots in a secret 1970s-era KGB plot to harm but the United States and Israel by seeding Muslim countries with carefully targeted propaganda. - David Martosko/Daily Mail

Yuri Andropov, the KGB chief for 15 years before he became the Soviet premier, sent hundreds of agents and thousands of copies of propaganda literature to Muslim countries.

'By 1972,' according to the book, 'Andropov's disinformation machinery was working around the clock to persuade the Islamic world that Israel and the United States intended to transform the rest of the world into a Zionist fiefdom.'

'According to Andropov, the Islamic world was a petri dish in which the KGB community could nurture a virulent strain of America-hatred, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought.'

Those claims come from former Romanian Lt. Gen Ion Mihail Pacepa and University of Mississippi law professor Ronald Rychlak.

In their book, titled Disinformation, Pacepa spills the secrets he kept for decades as head of Romania's spy apparatus and secret police, the DIE, before he secured political asylum in the U.S. in 1978.

Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, Author: Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa on Amazon

If Only Our Foreign Enemies Were Republicans

If only the president would treat those who don’t like the United States in the same manner that he does those who do, he might bring great clarity to his now listless foreign policy. - Victor Davis Hanson/PJMedia

Indeed, why waste his rich vocabulary of teleprompted invective on fellow Americans, when there is an entire world out there that wishes the United States ill?

Imagine if Obama declaimed of the Iranians in Tehran that “those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values,” in the manner he once attacked John McCain for calling for border security in 2008. Could not a worldly Obama at least go after the intolerant Saudis for spreading Wahhabi-hatred worldwide and for sending subsidies to radical Sunni terrorists, in the detailed way he once deconstructed rural conservative voters of Pennsylvania? He might have taken apart these dogmatic religious absolutists in the following manner: “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” All such invective seems to sum up current Saudi society far better than it does the people of Pennsylvania. Could not the president finish by noting that their madrassas encourage divisions and discourage cooperation, just as he boldly lectured an Irish audience about the problems with Catholic parochial schools? ...READ THE REST, at the link.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Immigration-Reform Scare Tactics

The GOP will wither and die, supporters threaten, if it fails to pass reform measures. - John Fund/National Review Online

It’s telling that the scare tactics deployed by the proponents of comprehensive immigration reform all revolve around politics: massive rallies on the Washington Mall and an angry Hispanic electorate. In reality, it might be the folks using the scare tactics who are the ones running scared. Maybe they’re afraid that the longer their bill is debated and the more sunshine it’s exposed to, the less likely the American people are to support it.

A Civil-Rights Victory

The Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn a small part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is actually a victory for civil rights. - John Fund/National Review

Clint Bolick, director of litigation for the conservative Goldwater Institute in Arizona, says the demise of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act will also reduce the balkanization of racial gerrymandering that has become so popular lately. “Voting districts drawn on racial or ethnic lines divide Americans,” he says. “This decision helps move us toward the day in which racial gerrymandering becomes a relic of the past.”

Voting Rights Progress - Wall St. Journal EDITORIAL

The U.S. has a long and difficult history with racial discrimination, but on Tuesday the Supreme Court marked a milestone worth celebrating when it ruled that a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act has outlived its usefulness. The political left is reacting as if this means a return to Jim Crow, but the ruling is best understood as a sign of the racial progress that progressives claim to believe in.

Supreme Court says Voting Rights Act of 1965 is no longer relevant - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states no longer can be judged by voting discrimination that went on decades ago, a decision that argues the country has fundamentally changed since the racially motivated laws of the civil rights era.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices said the Voting Rights Act’s requirement that mainly Southern states must undergo special scrutiny before changing their voting laws is based on a 40-year-old formula that is no longer relevant to changing racial circumstances....

“There’s just no question that the court is slowly letting go of this legacy of race in America, and is pushing it aside,” said Ward Connerly, founder of the American Civil Rights Institute. “I think the resistance you’re seeing from the NAACP, ACLU and a lot of others to the Shelby case is a recognition that the ship is moving, and it’s moving from where it was with regard to race 50 years ago — it’s moving in the direction of a post-racial era.”

SUPREMES GUT VOTING RIGHTS ACT - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times
OBAMA: 'DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED' - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
JESSE JACKSON: 'Devastating blow' - CBS DC

DNC raises cash off ruling - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner

Texas AG implements voter ID immediately after decision - Bryan Preston/PJMedia

“This is a huge win for the Constitution and for equality in this country,” (Texas Attorney General Greg) Abbott said. “Before today, different states were treated differently under the Constitution. The Voting Rights Act is the only law that was used to impose disparate or different kind of treatment. Specifically, Texas was called out and treated differently than other states.”

Abbott noted that Indiana approved a voter ID law a few years ago and had that law upheld by the Supreme Court. But when Texas passed a nearly identical law in 2011, the Obama administration used the Voting Rights Act to block it.

“That just showed that they were using the Voting Rights Act law to treat Texas different from Indiana, and that was part of the backdrop behind today’s decision,” Abbott said. The court ruled today that that law was being used “unfairly, illegally, inappropriately, therefore it was unconstitutional,” Abbott said.

Dem smears 'Uncle Thomas' - Victor Morton/Washington Times

On his Twitter account Tuesday, state Rep. Ryan Winkler called the justices’ 5-4 ruling striking down a part of the law racist, and the work of “four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas.” Justice Thomas, who is black, was one of the five justices in the majority.

◼ "In the same vein as Paula Deen, I demand Minnesota State Rep Ryan Winkler resign as an elected official. If he did not understand the term 'Uncle Tom' is a racist slur he is a lying, ignorant liberal progressive. This horrific racial epithet is regularly used by white liberals and their complicit black allies to attack Black conservatives. I am sick of the duplicitous hypocrisy. Ryan, resign now." - Allen West

Reps. Gibson, Welch, Bachmann and Nolan introduce bipartisan bill to block military intervention in Syria

Today Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) joined with Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) to introduce bipartisan legislation that would block any military aid to Syrian rebel groups and U.S. support of military operations in Syria until authorized by a joint resolution of Congress. - Michele Bachmann

The bill would continue to allow for non-lethal humanitarian assistance to be provided to the Syrian people, but would require the administration to report to Congress every 90 days detailing the assistance being provided to groups, organizations, movements and individuals in Syria. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

$38 billion fails to buy 70 votes for amnesty

Supporters of citizenship-for-illegal-immigrants failed to reach the 70-vote threshold they had set for themselves last night, after just 67 senators voted in favor of ending debate on the $38 billion Corker-Hoeven amendment to the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill. - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner @conncarroll

Pro-amnesty Republicans had hoped that the last-minute, behind-closed-doors Corker-Hoeven deal would provide enough political cover for more members of their caucus to vote with Democrats, but in the end just 15 Republicans voted with 42 Democrats on the cloture motion.

The Senate is done with immigration, on to the House

And there is little chance any more Republican votes will be added. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has structured the debate so that no more amendments will even be considered. A final vote on the Corker-Hoeven amendment will take place Thursday, and a final vote on Schumer-Rubio will take place shortly after.

Then it is on to the House, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has promised regular order and the House Judiciary Committee hasn’t begun writing legislation yet. If pro-amnesty Republicans were looking to create pressure on their House colleagues with a 70-vote margin, they have clearly failed.

And, that's not all:

Open-Borders Religious Front Loses Prominent Member - cis

Like the scales falling from the Apostle Paul's eyes, a prominent member of the Evangelical Immigration Table has distanced himself from the front group after learning of its funding by liberal atheist billionaire George Soros through the open-borders National Immigration Forum.

Eric Metaxas, who penned stellar biographies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and William Wilberforce, has cut his ties to the NIF's project that gives the impression Christians broadly support mass amnesty and the Senate amnesty bill in particular.

It seems that, in recruiting Christian leaders to the Evangelical Immigration Table, the recruiters may have led them to believe that the EIT would merely serve as a forum to discuss the immigration issue from a biblical perspective. It turns out EIT has not exactly served as a thought-inducing forum. Rather, EIT has actually served as an activist front group, advocating for the Senate's Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill through an advertising campaign mostly targeting Bible Belt states.

Porn, wine, Nerf footballs bought with IRS credit cards, IG says

The IRS made more than 273,000 purchases totaling more than $103 million by using credit cards and another $4.4 million using convenience checks, the inspector general said in a June 20 report. The purchases took place in 2010 and 2011. - Kelly Cohen/Washington Examiner

The IG's office found that the cards were also misused for managers' meetings, team-building exercises and fundraising activities. This includes almost $4,000 in "improper decorative and give-away items" such as a popcorn machine rental, Nerf footballs and the "world's largest crossword puzzle" bought for team-building.

Alcohol purchases totaled more than $50,000 — including an instance of buying 28 bottles of wine for 41 guests. Two cards were also used to buy online pornography. The cardholders claimed their individual cards were stolen, but only after the audit was done.

PLUS:

Report: IRS fraudulently awarded $500 million in contracts to friend of top agency officia - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner

House investigators say the largest contract issued by the Internal Revenue Service in the last 15 years has been award fraudulently, but the agency has no plans to revoke it.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the IRS handed a $266 million purchasing agreement to Strong Castle, an information technology company based in Leesburg, Va., based on the company owner’s “longstanding relationship,” with an IRS deputy director Gregory Roseman, who is in charge of the agency’s Enterprise Networks and Tier Systems Support.

MSNBC CUTS OFF OBAMA'S CLIMATE CHANGE SPEECH AFTER 41 SECONDS

After 15 years of no increase in global temperatures -- which decimates a huge majority of Climate Change models -- our anti-science president took to the stump today for what was promised as a major speech on what he was going to do by executive fiat to save the world. - John Nolte/Breitbart

Of all three cable news networks, though, it was his own peanut gallery at MSNBC who bailed first, broadcasting only 41 seconds of the speech.

Fox News gave the president nearly five minutes. CNN covered the event for about eight minutes.
The Weather Channel was there for the full 49 minutes.

Coming Next, an Obama-Corps for America’s Youth

The elitists meeting in Aspen are concocting their latest effort at social engineering. - Bruce Chapman/American Spectator

...In the midst of rising public distrust of government and, especially, distrust of the Obama Administration, Administration backers and their allies are launching yet another plan for major expansion of government and Washington’s control over people’s lives....

Compulsion is not very popular in peacetime, so the obligation to “volunteer,” according to Aspen leader Gen. Stanley McChrystal (Ret.), only will be “socially mandatory,” the way many high schools and colleges these days require performance of “service” in order to graduate.

I put the word “volunteer” in quotes here because “mandatory” service, however it is constructed, is only considered voluntary by Orwellians. Real voluntary service is a touchstone of our culture, but this is something else and almost contradictory, a kind of social engineering by the federal government. One distinction is the incentive of money. The new corps — some greatly expanded combination of existing government agencies — will be “modestly paid.” As a reward for a year’s service, participants would receive something over $12,500 (the AmeriCorps rate today for 11 months) and $5,000, one understands, to help reduce college loans.

The taxpayers, who have so little else to do with their money anymore, will foot the bill.

NFRW Political Briefing

What You Need to Know About Immigration Reform This Week:

Yesterday evening the Senate voted 67 to 27 to invoke cloture on the Corker-Hoeven amendment sponsored by Senator Corker (R-TN) and Senator Hoeven (R-ND). Fifteen Republican Senators joined all of the voting Democrat Senators in supporting the measure, while four senators--two Democrat, two Republican--missed the vote due to flight delays. It is assumed that missing Democrat Senators Udall (D-CO) and Brown (D-OH) would have voted for invoking cloture on the amendment, bringing the yeas to 69. The two missing Republican Senators were Isakson (R-GA) and Chambliss (R-GA).

The Corker-Hoeven amendment provides $30 billion more for certain border security measures than was allocated in the original version of the immigration bill--primarily for 700 miles of pedestrian fencing and more border patrol agents. The original bill allocated $8 billion for border security provisions. Senator McCain said the amendment would ensure a 90% effective control rate of illegal border crossings, even though the original bill required a 90% effective control rate anyway.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made sure his youth worker program provision was included in the amendment.This provision orders the Department of Labor to grant $1.5 billion to states to provide summer and year-round employment for youths ages 16-24, as well as to provide child care and transportation for those youths while they work. Each state would be allocated $7.5 from the $1.5 billion umbrella. Sanders claims this provision would create 400,000 jobs for the summers of 2014 and 2015. To be eligible for a job created by this program, a youth must be living in a household with income up to 200 percent above the poverty level, which for a family of four is $47,100. This program was modeled after President Obama's American Jobs Act, and would be paid for by incurring a $10 fee on employers who hire guest workers and international workers who receive green cards.

Senator Begich (D-AK) ensured there was a provision in the Corker-Hoeven amendment for the Alaskan seafood industry that would put seafood processing back on the J-1 visa program, which allows Alaskan seafood manufacturers to employ guest workers up to four months, and opens the industry up to hire W-visa workers, who can stay and work for up to three years.

Before last night's vote to invoke cloture on the Corker-Hoeven amendment, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) has allowed only 9 amendments to be voted on in this immigration debate, while 372 amendments have been introduced. By contrast, 46 amendments received roll-call votes in the 2007 immigration debate.

Senator Sessions (R-AL), has raised concerns about a part of the immigration bill that amends the rule about passport offenses. The bill waits for the unlawful production, issuance, or distribution of three or more passports before a crime is charged. He asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to look into the issue in a hearing last week.

Supportive Bias of Gay Marriage Media Coverage

A content study released by the Pew Research Center reveals that news organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view.

While the researchers have found, through assessing a representative sample of mainstream coverage for two months this year, that many stories either contained a balanced mix of views or no views at all, roughly five times as many stories were weighted toward support for same-sex marriage as were weighted toward opposition. In fact, the level of support conveyed in the news media that was examined went beyond the level in public opinion surveys.
Supportive Bias of Gay Marriage Media Coverage

As the ultimate campaigner, Barack Obama has deepened the country's Party and racial divide through his near-complete absence from more than 25 percent of all States. His travel destinations as president have given on-going priority to Democratic-leaning and swing States which, some claim, continues the polarization and divisive nature of our political atmosphere. The New York Times reports that even political partisans aligned with Obama disparage his lack of effort in bringing together America's demographic groups and regions.

Donna Brazile, an African-American Democratic strategist and a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee is quoted as saying "Every president should make an attempt to bridge the divide ... I wouldn't give him high marks."

Barack Obama’s enduring ineptitude

It’s not the president’s ideology, his arrogance, his attention-deficit disorder, his endless deference to alien religious faith and his contempt for the faith of those close to home (or even his backswing) that’s what’s wrong with the man in charge of the government. It’s the sheer incompetence of the leader and his gang. - Wesley Pruden/Washington Times

This is the gang that can’t shoot straight, eager to stifle or soften the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments and ever ready to stumble abroad with timidity in the face of governments that mean us ill. In the circumstances, maybe incompetence is not necessarily a bad thing. They could be doing a lot more harm if they actually knew how to do what they’re trying to do. The Obama legion can’t figure out which is the business end of the gun.

The spectacle of a 29-year-old computer geek armed with a laptop and a credit card racing across the hemispheres, eluding the FBI, the CIA, the TSA, the IRS and the rest of the alphabet soup available to the president, taunting the entire U.S. Government to catch him if it can, has much of the rest of the world applauding, cheering and laughing.

Almost nobody, not even his media acolytes, any longer cuts the president slack or even grants him a B-minus for effort. He can blame George W. Bush, but nobody’s any longer listening to that.

Think NSA Spying Is Bad? Here Comes ObamaCare Hub

The Health and Human Services Department earlier this year exposed just how vast the government's data collection efforts will be on millions of Americans as a result of ObamaCare. - JOHN MERLINE, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

..."The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic," noted Stephen Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor.

Not to worry, says the Obama administration. "The hub will not store consumer information, but will securely transmit data between state and federal systems to verify consumer application information," it claimed in an online fact sheet .

But a regulatory notice filed by the administration in February tells a different story.

That filing describes a new "system of records" that will store names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, taxpayer status, gender, ethnicity, email addresses, telephone numbers on the millions of people expected to apply for coverage at the ObamaCare exchanges, as well as "tax return information from the IRS, income information from the Social Security Administration, and financial information from other third-party sources."

They will also store data from businesses buying coverage through an exchange, including a "list of qualified employees and their tax ID numbers," and keep it all on file for 10 years.

In addition, the filing says the federal government can disclose this information "without the consent of the individual" to a wide range of people, including "agency contractors, consultants, or grantees" who "need to have access to the records" to help run ObamaCare, as well as law enforcement officials to "investigate potential fraud...."

Sacramento Spotlight: AB 110 – The Not-So-Balanced Balanced Budget

Despite the claims from the Senate and Assembly Democratic caucuses or from Gov. Jerry Brown, calling this budget “balanced” is a stretch, to be kind. - Carson Bruno/Fox & Hounds

A quick look shows the spending plan relies upon temporary tax increases, fails to address unfunded pension and retiree obligations, pays down state debt slowly and – surprise – resorts to gimmicks to make the numbers work.

In November 2012, California voters passed Proposition 30, which increased the state sales tax by 0.25% and created four new “millionaire” tax brackets (10.3% for taxable income over $250,000, 11.3% for income over $300,000, 12.3% for income over $500,000, and 13.3% for income over $1 million). The additional revenue generated from the tax increases was sold to the electorate as strictly for education. However, while there is a debate as to whether the money is actually being spent on education, there is no doubt surrounding the temporary nature of the taxes. These taxes expire at the end of FY 2019 – meaning the estimated $6 billion in additional revenue will disappear with them.

FEMALE NRA CONTRIBUTOR DELIVERS BLUNT MESSAGE YOU MIGHT NOT EXPECT ON WOMEN AND GUNS: ‘WAKE UP, PEOPLE’



...is associating women with guns only when talking about protection a little demeaning? That’s the point NRA News contributor Natalie Foster is making in her new video. - Jonathon M. Seidl/The Blaze

Edward Snowden never crossed border into Russia, says foreign minister

Sergei Lavrov's comments about fugitive US whistleblower deepen mystery surrounding his whereabouts - Miriam Elder in Moscow and Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing/guardian.co.uk

Snowden's trans-continental attempt to evade capture by US authorities continued to frustrate Washington on Tuesday. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, repeated his call for Moscow to turn Snowden over.

Speaking in Saudi Arabia, Kerry said: "I would simply appeal for calm and reasonableness. We would hope that Russia would not side with someone who is 'a fugitive' from justice.' "

But Lavrov made it clear that Russia did not intend to get involved. "I would like to say right away that we have no relation to either Mr Snowden or to his relationship with American justice or to his movements around the world," Lavrov said.

"He chose his route on his own, and we found out about it, as most here did, from mass media," he said during a joint press conference with Algeria's foreign minister. "He did not cross the Russian border."

Putin confirms Snowden in Moscow airport but denies extradition: says Snowden is in Moscow airport transit zone and has committed no crime in Russia - Tom McCarthy/guardian.co.uk

Did the Obama administration klutz up the play to nab Snowden before he left Hong Kong?

The blogger Marcy Wheeler argues that the aggressive pursuit of Snowden by the White House may have made the whole problem of US state secrets ending up in the wrong hands worse:



Snort! ‘Best Rickroll ever?’ Snowden not on flight to Cuba; Journos live-tweet empty seat [pics] - Twitchy



[WATCH] “Daily Show’s” John Oliver poke fun at confusion over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s whereabouts

Monday, June 24, 2013

IRS Sends $7.3M to 2,706 Aliens All Using SAME BANK ACCOUNT...

The Internal Revenue Service sent $7,319,518 in tax refunds in 2011 to what theoretically were 2,706 aliens who were not authorized to work inside the United States and who all used the same bank account, according to an audit report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. - CNS

The one bank account that got 2,706 refunds worth $7,319,518 in 2011 was not the only singular account that in 2011 received many hundreds of tax refunds theoretically paid to aliens who were not authorized to work in the United States.

In its audit report, TIGTA published a partially redacted list of the Top 10 bank accounts getting tax refunds in 2011 for aliens using ITINs. The list did not include the full account number or the name of the bank holding the account. But it did say that one account—00731XXX22—got 8,393 tax refunds in 2011 worth $236,747. A second account—200005XXX4---got 3,912 refunds worth $186,966. A third—199372XXX2—got 1,608 refunds worth $4,564,264. A fourth—200004XXX9—got 1,428 refunds worth $149,375. A fifth—200004XXX3—got 1,332 refunds worth $391,510. A sixth—630163XXX0—got 1,191 refunds worth $861,162. A seventh—00731XXX30—got 1,084 refunds worth $93,065. An eighth—20000XXX95—got 1,053 refunds worth $810,589. And a ninth—457020XXX8—got 853 refunds worth $1,814,730.

CNSNews.com asked the Office of the Treasury Inspector General if these bank accounts were in the United States. A spokesman said TIGTA did not look at that issue.

◼ Earlier, it was revealed that: IRS SENT $46 MILLION IN TAX REFUNDS TO 23,994 ‘UNAUTHORIZED’ ALIENS — ALL AT THE SAME ADDRESS IN ATLANTA

And

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

Taliban attack Afghan presidential palace: Reuters witnesses

Taliban gunmen attacked Afghanistan's presidential palace and surrounding buildings, including the CIA's Afghan headquarters, early on Tuesday, with explosions and gunfire shaking the city center. - Mirwais Harooni/Reuters

...Reporters had been gathering at the palace when the attack began and dived for cover as government forces returned fire. Heavy explosions resounded and the gunfire intensified.

Schoolchildren walking to classes nearby were also caught in the exchanges.

The Taliban claimed responsibility the attack in a text message to Kabul reporters from spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

"Today at 6.30 a.m. a number of suicide bombers attacked the presidential palace, defense ministry and the Ariana Hotel," Mujahid said.

The Ariana Hotel is known to house the headquarters of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Afghanistan. A thick plume of smoke was seen rising from the building....

Surprise: Senate Immigration Bill Packed With Kickbacks, Waivers, "Stimulus" Spending

As expected, the Senate has invoked cloture on the Hoeven/Corker substitute amendment, paving the way for final passage later this week. - Guy Benson/Townhall

I must say that some of the analogies drawn between this bill and Obamacare are overstated. For one thing, the 'Gang of Eight' plan isn't nearly as unpopular as the "Affordable" Care Act was (and still is), nor does it approach the same level of expense. But there are some eerie similarities: Hurried votes, unread legislation, cynical buy-offs, new discretionary powers for cabinet secretaries, unseemly waivers, and wasteful spending. In 2009, the Democrat-held House narrowly passed the Senate's atrocious healthcare bill. Today, Republicans control that chamber. Will they kill this bill, or at least offer a better alternative?

ObamaCare, ObamaPhones, Now Maybe ObamaCars!? - FOX News Insider

Laura Ingraham, this week's guest host of The O'Reilly Factor, stopped by Fox and Friends this morning, discussing a range of topics with Steve Doocy, Peter Johnson Jr. and Dana Perino, including how "Obamacars" have made their way into the Senate's immigration bill.

She said we're now finding out that the 1,190-page bill is laden with "poison pills" like "giveaways for Hollywood," a $1.5 billion youth unemployment stimulus to satisfy Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and "the salmon sweetener" for senators from Alaska. Part of the Sanders provision could even provide for free cars, motorcycles, or scooters for young people to use as transportation to jobs.

"This immigration bill does not do what it says it does," said Ingraham, saying the process in Washington is "astoundingly bad." Then, she gave some advice to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on how he can score big points with conservatives in the coming weeks.

"If I'm John Boehner I look at this [bill] and say, you know, we do have border priorities, we're gonna act on those. We are completely done with what just happened in the Senate. It's an insult to the middle class of this country, African-Americans, Latino Americans, hard working Americans across this country are going to be hurt. It should be DOA, and he should give a phenomenal speech about why this process was polluted from the beginning and how the middle class could be served by the conservative agenda. He would be a winner across the board if he did that," she said.

ISSA ISSUES FOUR BENGHAZI SUBPOENAS

Today, Darrell issued four deposition subpoenas as part of the Committee’s ongoing Benghazi Investigation because the State Department persistent delays in responding to Oversight requests.

READ THE LETTER

DARRELL ISSA SUBPOENAS FOUR STATE DEPT. OFFICIALS WITH ‘DIRECT KNOWLEDGE’ OF BENGHAZI ATTACK - Jason Howerton/The Blaze

The chairman of the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed four State Department officials as part of the panel’s investigation of the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said in a statement and letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday that delays in scheduling interviews with the officials were taking too long and he had no choice.

FINAL COUNT 67-27, with 15 GOP yes votes: Corker, Ayotte, Chiesa [Christie appointee], Collins, Flake, Graham, Hatch, Heller, Hoeven, Kirk, McCain, Murkowski, Alexander, Rubio, Wicker.

Senate immigration floor debate and cloture vote (Update – passes 67-27) - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

Cornyn: This is 'Not Democracy,' It's a 'Dictatorship'



Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks Against Corker-Hoeven Amendment to the Immigration Bill



Hatch: No Guarantee Future Congresses Will Fund Immigration Bill: Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of fifteen Republicans who voted to end debate on the Senate's immigration bill on Monday, told Breitbart News before the vote that the bill cannot guarantee the bill's $40 billion border security mandates would be funded by future Congresses. - Kerry Picket/Breitbart

Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio criticized lawmakers who claimed the immigration bill provided sufficient border security.
“[Undocumented immigrants] are very, very innovative. You’ll never secure the border,” Arpaio said on Fox News on Monday. “To say you’re not going to enforce the illegal immigration laws in the interior and blame it on the border, that’s just a copout.”

Krauthammer's Take: Nobody 'Cares About What Obama Says'



Referring to press secretary Jay Carney’s warning that allowing Snowden to leave will undoubtedly harm China’s relationship with the U.S., Krauthammer argued that nobody in Beijing takes President Obama’s threats seriously: “Nobody worries or cares about what Obama says because it carries no weight.” - NRO

Voters Continue to Strongly Support Consumer Choices in Health Plans

Support remains high for allowing Americans to choose the level of health insurance they want based on how it impacts their pocketbooks. - Rasmussen

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 81% of Likely U.S. Voters think individuals should have the right to choose between different types of health insurance plans including some with higher deductibles and lower premiums and others with lower deductibles and higher premiums. Just six percent (6%) disagree, while 13% more are undecided.

Drudge: SENATE TO VOTE ON IMMIGRATION BILL BEFORE READING IT


Kristol: GOP Senators Should Block Immigration Monday, Let Us and Them Read the Bill - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
Illegals face lesser punishment than U.S. citizens for crimes committed - Washington Examiner
Now includes Obama stimulus program - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork



Buchanan: Hispanic influx could break USA into 'two countries' - Daily Caller
Napolitano has authority to nix border fence - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart (warning, autoplay)
Reid, Heller Slip In Las Vegas Tourism Handout - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart (warning, autoplay)
Rand Stands - CNN

With amendment killed, Rand Paul won’t support immigration bill

Predicts Doomed in House - FOX

Sessions: Opposition will grow - The Hill