Archive for the ‘Entitlement’ Category

Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge

WashingtonExaminer

In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.

The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.

Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads.

Ravel’s statement suggests that she would regulate right-leaning groups like America Rising that posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.

FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.

“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.

Finally…

VA fires first staffer under new rules

A top Department of Veterans Affairs official involved in the falsification of patient wait times was fired Friday, the first to be ousted under a new law meant to speed the removal of agency executives for misconduct or poor performance.

James Talton, former director of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, was officially removed for neglect of duty, according to a press release from the agency.

Talton is no longer being paid. He has one week to appeal the termination to the Merit Systems Protection Board, which will then have 21 days to uphold or reverse the decision.

Talton is the first to be fired under a law signed in August giving the VA secretary greater discretion to fire or discipline members of the Senior Executive Service, the top tier of agency management. The law was passed in the wake of a national scandal over falsified waiting lists used to hide long delays in care.

Valerie Jarrett Key Player in Fast and Furious Cover-Up After Holder Lied to Congress

JudicialWatch

President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious scandal, according to public records obtained by Judicial Watch.

The information is part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) “Vaughn index” detailing records about the gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious. JW had to sue the agency for the records after the Obama administration failed to provide them under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A federal court ordered the DOJ to provide the records over the agency’s objections. Yesterday JW reported on the broad information in the records, including that Obama asserted executive privilege for Holder’s wife as part of the administration’s efforts to cover up the scandal.

Practically lost in the 1,000-plus pages of records is an index that shows Jarrett was brought in to manage the fact that Holder lied to Congress after the story about the disastrous gun-running operation broke in the media. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran the once-secret program that allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

The files received by JW include three electronic mails between Holder and Jarrett and one from former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to Jarrett. The e-mails with Holder are all from October 4, 2011, a significant date because, on the evening of October 3rd, Sheryl Attkisson (then at CBS news) released documents showing that Holder had been sent a briefing paper on Operation Fast and Furious on June 5, 2010. The paper was from the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, Michael Walther.

This directly contradicted Holder’s May 3, 2011 testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, during which he stated that he, “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” The October 4, 2011 date may also be significant because it came shortly after the August 30, 2011 resignation of U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke and reassignment of acting ATF director Kenneth Melson to the position of “senior forensics advisor” at DOJ.

The description of one of the e-mails, written from Jarrett to Holder, reads, “re: personnel issues.” Another, also from Jarrett, reads, “outlining and discussing preferred course of action for future responses in light of recent development in congressional investigation.” Unfortunately, the index is vague and that’s all the information we have about them. Nevertheless, given the timing and subject of these e-mails, it seems clear that Jarrett quickly became a key player in the Fast and Furious cover-up in the immediate aftermath of the revelation that Holder had lied to Congress.

You don’t say!

Obama Claims Executive Privilege Over 15,000 Fast and Furious Docs

The Obama administration is claiming executive privilege over more than 15,000 documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, including correspondence between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife, according to records received Wednesday night by the watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Last month, a federal judge ordered the Justice Department to release to Judicial Watch the list of documents, known as a “Vaughn index,” that it is withholding from the public, calling its requests for further delays “unconvincing.”

The 1,307-page Vaughn index lists 15,662 documents related to Operation Fast and Furious that the Obama administration is asserting executive privilege over—the first time that full list and description of the records has been released.

According to Judicial Watch, the withheld documents include communications between top officials at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), as well as with the United States Ambassador to Mexico.

The Obama administration is also asserting executive privilege over nearly 20 emails between Holder and his wife Sharon Malone.

“Obama’s executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.  “There is no precedent for President Obama’s Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records. Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.”

Judicial Watch also says the Justice Department is asserting privilege over publicly available press clips, letters from Congress, and inter-agency communications that would normally be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Read the Tough Letter a U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Sent to Houston Mayor Regarding Sermon Subpoena: ‘A Chilling Effect’

Push back harder…

The battle over subpoenas issued by the city of Houston for pastors’ speeches and other communications has taken yet another turn, with a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights penning a letter to Mayor Annise Parker, lambasting the information request.

Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, who opened his letter by noting that he was writing on his own accord and not on behalf of the entire commission, warned that the city’s pastoral requests “threaten to have a chilling effect on religious and political speech that is protected by the First Amendment.”

“Although non-parties to a lawsuit can be required to provide information that is reasonably likely to be relevant and admissible, these subpoenas are plainly overbroad,” Kirsanow wrote.

He continued, “A subpoena that requires a pastor to turn over an e-mail to his neighbor about the details of the Equal Rights Ordinance, or a draft book chapter on the Bible and homosexuality that discusses the Equal Rights Ordinance, is clearly overbroad. “

“Given that the recipients of these subpoenas are pastors, it is almost inevitable that their views on homosexuality and gender identity are informed by their faith, if not almost entirely rooted in their faith,” he continued. “Indeed, the views of many people on homosexuality and gender identity are rooted in their ultimate commitments.”

He also charged that the “discovery request impermissibly probes the religious beliefs of private citizens simply because they supported a political effort.”

Kirsanow concluded that the request is an “abuse of government power” and that it appears to punish pastors for sharing political views that are predicated upon their faith.

Read the letter in its entirety here.

Adding another layer of bureaucracy to a volatile situation…

‘Zero Confidence’ in Ebola Czar

The selection of Democratic political operative Ron Klain as Ebola czar is the latest example of President Obama “surround[ing] himself with loyalists” rather than qualified officials to deal with the nation’s crises, says Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.).

“One would think, faced with the prospect of an epidemic, the president would task an expert in epidemiology not an expert in political spin,” Sessions said in a statement on Friday. “The American people can have zero confidence in Ron Klain’s competence to carry out this critical role.”

Klain’s Democratic ties run deep: He previously served as chief of staff to vice presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, Gore’s general counsel on his recount committee in the 2000 election, and chief counsel during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s contentious confirmation hearings for conservative Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas.

Sessions said the “danger” of Ebola spreading is “profound,” and called for a ban on travel from Ebola-stricken countries, as well as increased security on the Mexico–U.S. border if the disease breaks out in Latin American.

DHS Official Caught Selling US Citizenship to Illegals

MinutemanNews

It’s no secret that liberal Democrats want to turn 11 to 15 million illegal aliens into US citizens and registered Democrats. Barack Obama has been on the verge of using his executive powers to override Congress and grant amnesty and open the road to citizenship for the millions of illegals. I believe his whole purpose is to undermine traditional American patriotism and to secure millions of votes for his fellow Democrats throughout the country.

Evidently, one Department of Homeland Security official in the extremely liberal land of nuts, fruits and flakes, otherwise known as California, has taken Obama’s agenda to a new level. Mai Nhu Nguyen, who immigrated to the US from Vietnam and became a naturalized citizen the legal way works for the DHS’s Citizenship and Immigration Services division.

Nguyen was, as one person put it, holding a fire sale on US citizenship. She was caught selling citizenship and legal residency status papers to illegals for thousands of dollars. In one instance, she sold a coveted ‘green card’ or paperwork indicating that a person had legal immigrant status to a Vietnamese person for $1,000.

The FBI worked with the DHS Inspector General’s office on the case and found that Nguyen, 48 years old solicited bribes from Vietnamese immigrants resulting in her abusing her power to approve or deny applications for immigration status and benefits.

To avoid a lot of publicity, which would be very bad for Obama and California Democrats, the case against Nguyen was kept quiet and she agreed to a plea deal that could land her up to three years in prison.

Oh, really Barry?

Obama defines US as “Muslim Country”

A few days ago President Obama, in an interview he gave France’s Canal+ TV Channel, said that the American people need to be better educated about Islam, since US could and should be regarded as a Muslim country. He said that the number of Muslims residing in the US makes it “one of the biggest Muslim nations”.

In reality the US has one of the smallest percentages of Muslims of any Western country. The number of Muslims in the US is approximately 4.5 million, 1.5% of the population, one of the smallest minorities in the US.  Since there are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, the number of Muslims in the US is approximately 0.3% of the world Muslim population. By comparison there are between approximately 6 million Jews in the US, who account for approximately a third of the world’s Jewish population. Whereas many Americans regard it as a society based on “Judeo-Christian values”, it is doubtful if there is one sane American who would define it as a Jewish country.

By President Obama’s yardstick, France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and Holland should all be regarded as “Muslim nations”. In France, which has the biggest Muslim population in Europe, its 4.5 – 5 million Muslims account for 7.5% of the population. In most other Western European countries, Muslims account for approximately 3%-5% of the population.

The only EU citizens who regard their societies either as Muslim ones, or as societies that should be Muslim are those Muslim immigrants and the 2nd generation who have not succeeded in integrating into the societies in which they live, and as a result have become alienated from them.  Even if half of Europe’s Muslims have this attitude (most likely the true number is far less), we are talking at most about 2%-3% of those countries.

Bully pulpit: Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons, then backs off amidst outcry

WashingtonTimes

After calling church sermons “fair game” for subpoena, Houston Mayor Annise Parker backed down Wednesday from the city’s effort to force local pastors to turn over speeches and papers related to a hotly contested transgender rights ordinance.

The city had asked five pastors for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons” on a variety of topics, including the mayor, and “gender identity.”

The subpoena prompted a storm of criticism when it became public Tuesday. The pastors are involved in legal efforts to overturn the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as the “bathroom bill.”

The pastors and their allies called the city’s broad demand a threat to religious freedom and proof that gay and transgender rights bills can be used as weapons to demonize Christianity.

“The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.

Ms. Parker’s office initially doubled down in the face of such criticism but issued a statement late Wednesday saying the mayor “agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastors’ sermons.”

City of Houston’s Subpoenas of Pastors ‘Shocking & Shameful’

Breitbart

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has weighed in regarding the controversial subpoenas that the City of Houston sent to several Houston area pastors, demanding copies of their sermons and speeches, as well as communications with church members.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, the dispute stems from an anti-discrimination ordinance passed by Houston regarding discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. The pastors’ churches were part of a coalition of hundreds of churches in the Houston area that opposed the ordinance. After a referendum petition seeking to get a repeal measure on the November ballot was tossed out over allegations that the petition signature gatherers were not qualified under Texas law, a lawsuit was filed, but the pastors were not a part of the litigation. The pastors have obtained legal representation and filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, arguing that they were an illegal demand of their “their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications.”

Cruz agreed with the pastors and their attorneys, releasing a statement Wednesday that echoed the religious liberty and free speech arguments they made. “I’m proud to stand with the pastors,” said Cruz. “Religious liberty is the very first protection in the Bill of Rights, the foundation of all our liberties. The City of Houston’s subpoenas demanding that pastors provide the government with copies of their sermons is both shocking and shameful. For far too long, the federal government has led an assault against religious liberty, and now, sadly, my hometown of Houston is joining the fight. This is wrong.  It’s unbefitting of Texans, and it’s un-American.”

The senator also criticized the subpoenas as a “grotesque abuse of power” by the city government. “The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons. These subpoenas are a grotesque abuse of power, and the officials who approved them should be held accountable by the people. The Mayor should be ashamed. And we should all be proud to stand up and defend the pastors who are resisting these blatant attempts to suppress their First Amendment rights.”

Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, remains stubborn in her desire to pursue these subpoenas against the pastors, posting two tweets just before midnight last night calling the sermons “fair game” and taking a swipe at her critics as uninformed:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 709 other followers

%d bloggers like this: