Sunday, June 30, 2013

Free Enterprise Amid Political and Cultural Chaos

What do Chick-fil –A and Starbucks have in common besides food and beverages? Controversy – and lots of it – as the executive leaders of both companies have taken public stands on one of America’s most contentious cultural and public policy issues.
You probably heard about the Chick-fil-A fiasco of last year. Founded by S. Truett Cathy, today the company is headed by Truett’s son Dan Cathy, and in June and July of 2012 the company and its franchisees was subject to maligning in the media and attempted boycotts by liberal activist groups because of public statements that Dan made about his support for traditional heterosexual marriage.
The fact that Chick-fil-A is one of the most successful restaurant enterprises in the world and that it employs lots of Americans simply did not matter to the liberal activists. It also didn’t matter that in 2010 Chick-fil-A became the global chain restaurant leader based on an “average annual sales per restaurant” calculation, nor did it matter that the company has one of the lowest franchise entry costs in the world, or that it receives an average of 20,000 applications to fill its annual 60-70 franchise openings each year. And it probably didn’t matter to the boycotters that they were reacting to one man’s opinion, an opinion that isn’t necessarily shared by all Chick-fil-A franchisees and employees. 

Sounds About Right To Me

This is just another example of ineffective and inefficient government bleeding taxpayer's money.  Yet not recognizing its own ineffectiveness and inefficiency the government wants still more of our money.  It is long past time for the recommendations in this piece to be acted upon.  

 George Burns


Mario Obledo, founding member/former nat'l director of Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), former CA Sect'y Health/Welfare on Tom Leykis radio talk show (Hear the quote here)
"We're going to take over all the political institutions in California. In five years the Hispanics are going to be the majority population of this state." Caller: "You also made the statement that California is going to become a Hispanic state and if anyone doesn't like it they should leave - did you say that?" Obledo: "I did. They ought to go back to Europe."
In 2007, hordes of illegal aliens who are not immigrants or undocumented "residents", marched by the tens of thousands across this country demanding special treatment after they lied and cheated their way into our country. Since 1986, when Ronald Reagan opened the flood gates for this decades old invasion, illegal aliens have financially destroyed states and their resources; hospitals, school districts and welfare in all forms. Tens of billions spent for law enforcement for all the crimes committed by illegals, over loading jails and prisons. Not to mention the tens of thousands of Americans killed by illegal aliens.

Thousands Protest Obama’s Arrival in South Africa

The protest was put together by “No You Can’t” or “Nobama.” Organizers managed to bring anti-Obama and anti-America protesters from labor unions, climate activists and the South African Communist party.
Mdbuyiseni Ndlozi, the national coordinator of the “No Obama” told reporters, “I think it’s very clear at the moment that the Nobel Peace Prize givers made a mistake.”
Ndlozi went on to accuse the president of failing to keep his campaign promises as well as continuing wars he promised to end; starting more wars (though without saying which ones); and continuing U.S. aggression and human rights violations (no specifics here either).
South Africa’s Communist party was also participating in the Pretoria protest. One member, Solly Mapaila told reporters that his group was marching because “We don’t share similar values with President Obama and the USA — which represent injustice, aggression, imperialism and an atrocious system of capitalism.”

History Suggests Social Security Insolvency Is Coming Sooner Than Projected

This year’s Social Security trustees report was released with little fanfare, as the projected date of Social Security’s financial insolvency held steady at 2033.[1] Many analysts and lawmakers have pointed to 20 years of alleged solvency as an excuse to delay meaningful Social Security reform. However, if history is any guide to future solvency, the Social Security program could become insolvent much sooner than 2033.
Past Reforms Have Failed
Social Security has been reformed numerous times throughout history, often in response to deteriorating program finances. In 1977, lawmakers enacted reforms to Social Security that were expected to keep the program solvent over the next 50 years.[2] But just six years and one double-dip recession later, Social Security was confronted with immediate insolvency. In 1983, Social Security was mere months from being unable to send out benefit checks due to lack of finances.

WikiLeaks Volunteer Was a Paid Informant for the FBI

On an August workday in 2011, a cherubic 18-year-old Icelandic man named Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson walked through the stately doors of the U.S. embassy in Reykjavík, his jacket pocket concealing his calling card: a crumpled photocopy of an Australian passport. The passport photo showed a man with a unruly shock of platinum blonde hair and the name Julian Paul Assange.Thordarson was long time volunteer for WikiLeaks with direct access to Assange and a key position as an organizer in the group. With his cold war-style embassy walk-in, he became something else: the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks. For the next three months, Thordarson served two masters, working for the secret-spilling website and simultaneously spilling its secrets to the U.S. government in exchange, he says, for a total of about $5,000. The FBI flew him internationally four times for debriefings, including one trip to Washington D.C., and on the last meeting obtained from Thordarson eight hard drives packed with chat logs, video and other data from WikiLeaks.

FHA Swamped By Defaults; Congressional Report Shows FHA Could Suffer Losses as High as $115 Billion; Shut Down Fannie, Freddie, FHA

An alleged "worst case scenario" shows the FHA could lose as much as $115 Billion. Since these worst case scenarios are always famously optimistic, the best course of action would be to shut the agency down.

I was quoted as saying just that by the Heartland in Congressional Report Raises Spectre of FHA Bailout.

The Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) losses over the next 30 years could be much higher than originally projected, according to the findings of a congressional committee. The dismal forecast has some bracing for another taxpayer-financed bailout.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is reporting that a worst-case scenario stress test conducted last year estimated the FHA could suffer losses as high as $115 billion. That forecast is significantly worse than the one reported by independent auditor Integrated Financial Engineering Inc., which projected losses of $65 billion for the 79-year old agency. 

Central Banks Sell Record Sums of US Debt

Central banks sold a record amount of US Treasury debt last week and bond funds suffered the biggest investor withdrawals on record as global markets shuddered at the prospect of the US Federal Reserve ending its quantitiative easing program.
Holdings of US Treasuries held at the Fed on behalf of official foreign institutions, dropped a record $32.4 billion to $2.93 trillion, eclipsing the prior mark of $24 billion in August 2007. It was the third weekly outflow in the past four weeks and came as Japanese investors, who are big holders of US Treasury debt, sold a net $12 billion of foreign bonds last week, their biggest sale in 14 months.
Bond funds tracked by EPFR Global, a data provider, saw total redemptions of $23.3 billion in the week to June 26. US funds were the worst hit, with withdrawals totaling $10.6 billion, but emerging market debt funds also saw record redemptions of $5.6 billion.

Federal Prosecutors Seize Creamery’s Accounts Under Terror Financing Law

Randy and Karen Sowers are not your typical terrorists or mob financiers. They run the popular South Mountain Creamery and sell their produces at farmer’s markets and local events. The Somers however were confronted recently by FBI agents who informed them that the Justice Department was moving to seize their accounts under a law designed to thwart mob and terrorist financiers. They had made repeated deposits under $10,000. The Justice Department has seized their account of $62,936 under the law as illegal “structuring.” The criminal provision is written in a way to avoid the need for actual intent or knowledge of the illegality.
The FBI documented nearly three-dozen deposits into their company’s bank account just under $10,000. The Justice Department takes the position that the transactions alone are sufficient to seize private assets. 

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Senators accuse US of using ‘secret law’ to collect data Guardian
          NSA leaker’s father says son would return to face charges, US renews calls for his return          Washington Post.
Ecuadorean Disarray Clouds Snowden Bid Wall Street Journal

Diplomats from Several Countries Set Up Meeting to Discuss Snowden Case SoftPedia 

Trapped in Transit: Orwellian Moscow airport hotel Associated Press

Probe of Contractor Vetting Snowden Sees Falsified Data Bloomberg

“Intelligence,” Corporatism, and the Dance of Death Arthur Silber

Exposing the Dark Forces Behind the Snowden Smears Max Blumenthal

The Government’s Mass Spying Is An Affront To Democratic Values. Let’s Also Not Pretend It’s An Effective And Efficient Way Of Keeping Us Safe George Washington

The Wonderful American World of Informers and Agents Provocateurs NationofChange

License-Plate Readers Let Police Collect Millions of Records on Drivers Cryptogon

Some Thoughts On The Snowden Fallout Moon of Alabama

A Right to Water?

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution regarding "[t]he human right to water and sanitation." The resolution passed "[b]y a vote of 122 in favour to none against, with 41 abstentions." It is illustrative to note which countries voted for such a resolution, and which countries abstained. Only 9 full democracies (including Belgium, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland) voted for the resolution, whereas 16 full democracies (including Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, the UK, and the USA) abstained from the vote.
A comparison of the voting results based on the democracy index of those for the resolution and in abstention is enlightening:
• The average democracy index of those voting for the resolution was 5.04, or equivalent to a hybrid regime between that of an authoritarian state and a flawed democracy.

Cover the IRS, Don't Cover for It

'Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet," read the New York Times headline. "Dem: 'Progressive' Groups Were Also Targeted by IRS," said U.S. News. The scandal has "evaporated into thin air," bayed the excitable Andrew Sullivan. A breathlessly exonerative narrative swept the news media this week: that liberal groups had been singled out and, by implication, abused by the IRS, just as conservative groups had been. Therefore, the scandal wasn't a scandal but a mere bungle—a nonpolitical series of unhelpful but innocent mistakes.
The problem with this story is that liberals were not caught in the IRS dragnet. Progressive groups were not targeted.
The claim that they had been rested mostly on an unclear, undated, highly redacted and not at all dispositive few pages from a "historical" BOLO ("be on the lookout") list that apparently wasn't even in use between May 2010 and May 2012, when most of the IRS harassment of conservative groups occurred. 

High Cost of VIP Travel: Biden's $665,545 Hotel Bill in Moscow, Obama's $450,000 Warsaw Tab

The Washington Times reports that the cost of Obama's Africa trip, estimated as high as $100 million, is overshadowing President Obama's agenda. If past VIP trips are any indication, lodging and local transportation would represent only a fraction of the $100 million, yet those costs would likely still dwarf those of the average citizen traveling abroad. In late March, Vice President Joe Biden's $321,000 limo bill and $585,000 Paris hotel bill for his trip to Europe earlier this year were revealed.
While the amounts spent were deemed fairly ordinary by government insiders, the fact that the closely-held information was found on a publicly available government website had some speculating that perhaps the postings had been inadvertent.  Wolf Blitzer, who spent seven years reporting from the White House, even called it "an extremely rare glimpse."  However, further investigation has revealed that the information is not as rare as previously supposed.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Defeat RINOs

The Real CNC intends to change the way the Republican primary election game is played so as to give qualified, boat-rocking conservative candidates like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul far better chances of defeating establishment Republicans.  It will do so by first removing the political consultant class from the process of selecting and managing conservative candidates. It  will replace them with a new political infrastructure powered with low cost, state-of-the-art, voter contact technologies that draws its manpower from the largely volunteer conservative grassroots army that has sprung to life over the past four years and is now awaiting a path to victory.
The Real CNC is going to engage the vast conservative army that is ready to be called to action.  Instead of ordering America’s conservative activists to support one of Karl Rove’s anointed candidates in their home towns, The Real CNC has a respectful process that works with local grassroots conservatives to determine if there should be a primary challenger to an incumbent establishment Republican and who it should be.
There are four steps in the The Real CNC process for challenging RINOs in Republican primaries:
  1. Holding National Ground Game Day on June 15, 2013. Conservative grassroots activists around the country will conduct surveys of potential Republican primary voters through door to door canvassing using state of the art mobile applications and traditional methods to determine levels of voter dissatisfaction with incumbent RINOs.
  2. Conducting local candidate forums to encourage potential challengers to set forward their visions.
  3. Endorsing a challenger in races where survey results indicate the incumbent establishment Republican is vulnerable and a qualified consensus challenger candidate has emerged.
  4. Conducting door to door canvassing and follow on voter communication programs, that culminate with a robust get-out-the-vote operation on primary election day.
During this process, the Real CNC will winnow down a large number of potential incumbent Republican targets. At the end of this process, the Real CNC expects to challenge and work to defeat a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 incumbent establishment Republican members of the House and a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 incumbent establishment Republicans in the Senate during the 2014 Republican primary elections.
In effect, no incumbent Republican member of the House or Senate whose voting record does not support strong conservative values…or failed to #StandWithRand—is safe from a potential primary challenge from a candidate endorsed by the Real CNC. 

“Progressive” Sideshow Trivializes IRS Victims for Political Theater

The IG letter stated that only 6 groups with “progress” or “progressive” in their names were given any scrutiny at all for potential political activity, while 70 percent of “progressive” groups received no additional scrutiny.  The letter continued, “In comparison, 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases” and subjected to intrusive scrutiny.  Finally, the letter concluded that it “did not find evidence that the IRS used [the term “Progressive”] as selection criteria for potential political cases.”
Today, the Acting Commissioner of the IRS, Daniel Werfel, testified that he had no information from his review to contradict the IG’s letter – nothing to contradict the IG’s conclusion that conservative, not progressive, groups were targeted. “No, I don’t think any part of our report contradicts it,” he told the House Ways and Means Committee today.
The Left has spent the last month searching for just one “progressive” group so that they could close up shop and end the entire investigation – throw up their hands and say, oh well I guess the targeting was equal. 


We can’t possibly expect our Senators to read a 1200 page bill before voting on it. Can we? Well Thank God Ted Cruz read it. Not only did Cruz read it but he schooled anyone who would listen from the Senate floor on Tuesday. Cruz found a loophole that actually penalizes an employer $5000 for hiring a citizen over a legalized alien. Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up. Senator Cruz was quoted as saying:

“I filed an amendment that would have corrected one of the most egregious aspects of the gang of eight bill as it intersects with Obamacare legislation, namely a penalty imposed on U.S. employers for hiring U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. This bill says if an employer hires a citizen or a legal immigrant, the IRS can impose a $5,000 penalty on that employer. But if the employer instead hires someone with RPI status, that penalty will go away. That is utterly and completely indefensible.”

With Recent Victories, Movement to Label GMOs Gains Steam

More than six months after a big defeat in California, the movement to label foods containing genetically modified organisms appears to be picking up steam across the country.
In the past three weeks, Connecticut and Maine passed labeling bills, the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first time approved a non-GMO label claim for meat products, Chipotle began voluntarily labeling menu items containing GMO ingredients online, and, perhaps most notably, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration funding to label genetically modified salmon if the agency approves the fish.
These are all small steps compared to what California’s Proposition 37 would have accomplished – since the populous state consumes  a significant share of groceries in the United States, some speculated that food giants would have reformulated their products to avoid creating two supply chains – but the string of victories has many in the so-called ‘Right to Know’ movement confident the tide is turning in their favor. 

Electricity bills in France set to rocket

A new report by France’s ‘Commission de regulation de l’énergie’ (Energy regulation commission) has revealed that consumers should expect a 30% increase in the cost of electricity by 2017.
More than one-third of that hike is accounted for by a doubling of the ‘contribution au service public de l’électricité’, a tarif which goes towards funding renewable energy development in France.
President of the energy watchdog, Philippe de Ladoucette, was blunt in his appraisal. “We are confronted with a reality. We can’t have a policy of renewable energy development, but also tell you it will cost nothing,” he told Europe 1 radio on Monday.
In recent years, French consumers have been accustomed to an annual increase in electricity costs of between 1% and 3%, according to French daily Le Figaro. 

European Tariff Hike Leads LA Manufacturers to Look for Alternative Markets and New Marketing Strategies

Premium-denim manufacturers in Los Angeles are sorting out new ways to boost their global markets and enhance their marketing programs now that Europe has tripled the duty on women’s jeans made in the United States.
The duty, which went from 12 percent to 38 percent on May 1, is expected to crimp denim sales for the next two years unless the Obama administration can convince Europe to revoke the tax.
A group of industry leaders and manufacturers gathered at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce June 27 to listen to a panel talk about the importance of “Made in USA” and strategies to help LA factories find new markets to make up for lost business in Europe. 

Park Police lose track of guns

U.S. Park Police couldn’t account for hundreds of weapons in its inventory, according to a new Inspector General report, which found that the agency’s firearms could be vulnerable to “theft or misuse.”
Investigating an anonymous tip alleging the USPP couldn’t account for military-style rifles and its weapons program, the Interior Department’s inspector general made unannounced visits to weapons storage facilities in Washington, D.C., New York, California and Georgia, according to the report released Thursday.

Poor, middle class unite in Brazil protests

During the past two weeks, millions of Brazilians have taken to the streets to protest years of dissatisfaction and discontent with their government. What started as a student mobilization transformed day by day to incorporate professionals, the middle class, and residents of the favelas, or slums.
All are joined in protest against the administration of President Dilma Rousseff, though their motivations may differ.
Some 6% of Brazilians live in the favelas, according to the 2010 census. These mountains of bricks, rising in intricate forms, border the country's largest cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Hospitals, schools, security and an end to police abuse are the principle demands from this social sector.

Benghazi security team nails $3M book deal

Twelve Books, which announced this week it signed a deal with four members of the elite security team from the annex of the US Embassy in the Mideast town, is paying a $3 million advance, Media Ink has learned.
The book by the authors — whose names were not released — is scheduled to be released in 2014.
“The actions of these men were nothing short of amazing,” Sean Desmond, Twelve editorial director, said in a statement.
Neither Twelve Publisher Deb Futter nor Richard Abate, of 3 Arts Entertainment, which sold the rights to Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group, would comment on the size of the advance. 

Doctors Will Have To Take A Pay Cut Under Obamacare

For Obamacare to succeed, American doctors need to earn less money.
Last week, Washington took a step in that direction. One of Medicare’s influential advisory boards recommended that payment rates to providers be sanded down.
At present issue are the rates paid to doctors working as part of hospital-owned clinics versus physicians working in their own, independent offices.
Right now, when a doctor works as part of hospital owned practice, and bills Medicare, she’s paid more money than what she’d receive for providing the same services in her own independent medical office. That’s because of an arbitrage between Medicare’s inpatient (Part A) and outpatient (Part B) billing schemes.

Rand Paul's Moral Libertarianism

Senator Rand Paul's address to the Road to Majority conference of the Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) on June 13, 2013, blended social, economic, and foreign policy elements into a libertarian-tinged approach to conservatism's proverbial three-legged stool.  While Paul's stands on various moral and spending issues evoke memories of Ronald Reagan's conservative fusionism, Paul's libertarian skepticism on national security matters will be more controversial among the Gipper's heirs. 

Paul received a warm welcome at the luncheon in the Ronald Reagan Building from FFC chairman and founder Ralph Reed.  Noting Paul's past strong stands on the domestic use of drones and the protection of life and marriage, Reed professed looking "forward to the day when there are more doctors than lawyers in the Senate."  Paul in turn joked to his audience that he could "go on for a while" in light of his memorable drone policy filibuster.

Obama administration paid contractors millions to snoop through Americans’ financial data

A secretive data collection program run by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allows private contractors access to millions of Americans’ personal financial information, according to a government accountability group.
The information may also be shared with other federal agencies.
Documents obtained by Washington-based Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act illustrate the cost and scope of the program, which business groups and some Republican lawmakers have assailed as invasive and potentially illegal.

Construction lobbyists fall short in push for more foreign workers

The sprawling Senate immigration legislation now headed to the House is packed with provisions designed to help businesses hire foreign workers, whether for computer labs in Silicon Valley, cruise ships docked in Florida and other U.S. ports, or seafood-processing centers in Alaska.
Yet in the frenetic push by K Street to cram in as many new guest-worker visas as possible, lobbyists for one industry came up short: construction. 

Analysis of DOMA and Prop 8 Supreme Court rulings: What happened and why -- and what's next

Wednesday the US Supreme Court gave the radical homosexual movement in America a big victory.
Taken in the context of human history this was incomprehensible. Any other generation, looking at this, would think the Justices had lost their minds. First and foremost, it shows that the homosexual movement can now use the courts to accomplish many of their goals, no matter how outlandish and undemocratic. And down the road the same legal "logic" can almost surely be used to declare laws against polygamy and polyandry unconstitutional. 

CIA Agents Were Embedded With NYPD And Had “No Limits”

According to a recently declassified Inspector General report the CIA embedded four intelligence officers inside the New York Police Department even though an Executive Order and the National Security Act of 1947 explicitly forbid the CIA from conducting domestic surveillance. The report, completed in 2011, says that officers believed there were no limitations on their activities and the scope of their work went beyond foreign intelligence.
Four Central Intelligence Agency officers were embedded with the New York Police Department in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, including one official who helped conduct surveillance operations in the United States, according to a newly disclosed C.I.A. inspector general’s report.
That officer believed there were “no limitations” on his activities, the report said, because he was on an unpaid leave of absence, and thus exempt from the prohibition against domestic spying by members of the C.I.A. 

AACA joins with SEMA, AMA to oppose ethanol in fuel

As gas stations across the country get ready to roll out gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol – and as the EPA has begun to recommend increasing the ethanol content in fuel to 30 percent – the Antique Automobile Club of America, one of the largest collector car clubs in the country, has come out in opposition to any mandate that places ethanol in automotive fuel.
“We know what E10 does to our cars; it’s very disruptive,” said Tom Cox, the president of the AACA. “So if we go to E15 – and E20 after that, I suppose – that doesn’t bode well for those of us with vintage vehicles.” 

Nancy Pelosi: We Should 'Celebrate' Obamacare on July 4th

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently informed the nation that July Fourth isn't just for fireworks and independence any more. It is also the day we should "celebrate" Obamacare.

Sure July Fourth is traditionally celebrated as the day we declared independence from Great Britain, an action that preceded the Revolutionary War and set the tone for our nascent nation. But now it has another significance. As far as Pelosi is concerned it is "health independence" day, too.
"Next week, when we celebrate Independence Day we'll also be observing health independence," Pelosi said during a press briefing recorded by CSPAN. She goes on to say that, "this week marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It captures the spirit of our founders. The spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence... So, we’ve had Social Security, Medicare, and now health independence, and that’s something our members will take home to celebrate over this Independence Day." 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Anti-Bullying Bill Could Jail People Who Criticize Politicians

School’s out for summer and Nanny of the Month is taking the opportunity to salute the zealots within the otherwise laudable anti-bullying movement. They take a real problem--few things are more loathsome than picking on the vulnerable--and bungle the response, as has been done with most every “get tough!” effort from D.A.R.E., the failed anti-drug program, to all the idiotic iterations of the “zero tolerance” fad.
Do we really need to ban trash talking at high school sporting events? Do we really need attorney general investigations of foul-mouthed jocks? And for the love of whatever remnants of common sense remain in our schoolhouses and statehouses, do we really need to fight bullying with jail cells? 

Gov. Kitzhaber endorses 'grand bargain' on pension cuts, new revenues

Gov. John Kitzhaber endorsed a “grand bargain” today that promises to link additional cuts in public-pension costs with new revenues for education and other programs.

The Democratic chief executive, who has been trying to broker a compromise between the Legislature’s majority Democrats and minority Republicans, said the package would supply additional money and savings that both parties want.

“It’s an opportunity to follow through on the promise we have made to our citizens – Oregonians – about putting children, families and education first,” said Kitzhaber, who led off testimony to the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee. 

CIA Engages in Domestic Surveillance With the Connivance of New York Cops

Yesterday, I wrote, "[t]he surveillance state is better established than most people realize, and reaches far beyond our communications and Internet activities," and how right I was. I may have been referrring to the spreading use of license-plate cameras, but it turns out that the classic spook outfit, the Central Intelligence Agency, has turned its sights inwards, on Americans, with the enthusiatic collaboration of the Intelligence Division of New York City's own NYPD. We know this courtesy of a Central Intelligence Agency Inspector General's report obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center via that legal jaws of life known as a Freedom of Information Act request. The report concludes there's "insufficient basis to merit a full investigation" into CIA activities in New York City, even though it found "irregular personnel practices" and other lapses in the conduct of the CIA's relationship with the NYPD. 

Google to IRS: Hand over our $83.5 million tax refund

Google has sued the Internal Revenue Service over a stock transaction dating back to 2004 with America Online.
The company filed the complaint in U.S. tax court on Thursday, claiming that the U.S. government owes the search giant $83.5 million. Bloomberg, which was first to report the news, spoke with a Google spokeswoman who said that the company hopes "to have it resolved soon."
Google argues that the IRS erroneously disallowed a $238.6 million deduction the company took related to the difference in value between what AOL paid to exercise a Google stock warrant and the actual value of the company's shares.$83.5-million-tax-refund/ 

Ex-Pentagon general target of leak investigation, sources say

Legal sources tell NBC News that the former second ranking officer in the U.S. military is now the target of a Justice Department investigation into a politically sensitive leak of classified information about a covert U.S. cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

According to legal sources, Retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has received a target letter informing him that he’s under investigation for allegedly leaking information about a massive attack using a computer virus named Stuxnet on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Gen. Cartwright, 63, becomes the latest individual targeted over alleged leaks by the Obama administration, which has already prosecuted or charged eight individuals under the Espionage Act. 

The bill with the surprise inside: The IRS is now your doctor, sort of

While promoting Obamacare, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged Americans to think of it as a kind of Christmas present. “We have to pass the (health care) bill so that you can find out what is in it,” she told the National Association of Counties in March 2010, days before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act.
Now we know that the surprise inside Obamacare includes an historic expansion of the IRS, arguably the most hated of federal agencies.
That role was no accident: When Obamacare eventually passed constitutional muster one year ago, it was only because, conservative Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts argued, the Affordable Care Act relies on Congress’ power to tax.
Love Obamacare or hate it, Roberts asserted for the majority, it’s really a function of the IRS, and that makes it Congress’s business. 

Lawmakers meet Holder on Rosen e-mail search

Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee met with Attorney General Eric Holder Friday to discuss his testimony to that panel last month in which he said he'd never entertained or even "heard of" the idea of prosecuting a journalist for receiving classified information from a source.
Soon after Holder's testimony, the Washington Post disclosed that the Justice Department sought Fox News correspondent James Rosen 's e-mails by labeling him as a "co-conspirator" with "potential criminal liability" for soliciting classified information from State Department contractor Stephen Kim. Kim was eventually indicted; Rosen was not.
In a joint statement Friday, committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and ranking subcommittee member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said they met with Holder "to discuss his sworn congressional testimony and the search warrant for James Rosen’s emails. 

Obama's Climate Five-Year Plan

The central planners in communist governments were notorious for issuing massively detailed top-down five-year plans to manage every facet of their economies. The accumulating inefficiency and waste produced by this sort of rigid planning led eventually to the demise of those regimes.
Speaking at Georgetown University on Tuesday, President Barack Obama outlined his “new national climate action plan,” which amounts to a federal top-down five-year plan—although he has only four years to implement it. Obama’s plan ambitiously seeks to control nearly every aspect of how Americans produce and consume energy. The goal is to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases and thus stop boosting the temperature of the earth. The actual result will be to infect the economy with the same sort of sclerosis seen in other centrally planned nations. 

Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Says Obama Economy is in a Depression

Forget everything you've been told by President Obama about the economy getting "stronger" or heard on the nightly news about the "solid" recovery.
The economy is slowing down and getting weaker, and millions of Americans, as a result, are suffering.
It isn't getting the attention it deserves from the national news media, who seem to play up all the "good" numbers while ignoring the weaker economic data.
CBS News anchor Scott Pelley regularly covers modest housing starts (that still are at basement levels) and rising home prices as if they prove the economy is booming. It isn't.
The cold reality is that the Commerce Department this week slashed its previous 2.4 percent first-quarter economic growth estimate to a meager 1.8 percent annual rate. This follows a pathetic 0.4 percent growth rate in the last three months of 2012. 

America at War: Coal replaces Terrorists as Enemy Number One

While the "hope" portion of the original campaign theme continues to be elusive, the evidence of what kind of "change" Barack Obama envisioned continues to mount. 
For example, the "War on Terror" is no more.  Last month the President all but took a victory lap and declared it over and done.  Al Qaeda and all those other radical Islamist groups that have vowed "Death to America" no longer matter so much. 
Obama's State Department turned on a dime this week and declared that Hezbollah's extensive network in Central and South America is just "confined to fundraising" activities. The new wishful thinking stands in stark contrast to volumes of intelligence data including Congressional testimony from Robert Noriega, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States in 2011:

NSA surveillance programs aren't transparent - despite what the president says

President Barack Obama, his administration and several members of Congress have tried to convince Americans that the National Security Agency's surveillance program is in their best interest and not violating their privacy.
But factually speaking, Obama went too far when he called the court overseeing the program "transparent," something that a spying and surveillance entity is, by its nature, not.
The president spoke with veteran reporter Charlie Rose, who put up a full transcript of the conversation on his website.  The discussion surrounded the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court, which approves warrants for intelligence agencies' activities and gives them legal jurisdiction to carry out their spying. 

IRS IG Refutes the Left's Claims of IRS Innocence

The political left/progressives have engaged in a desperate attempt to clear the IRS of wrong-doing in the targeting of and actively denying through a multitude of tactics Tea Party/Conservative requests for tax exempt status.  This long standing activity seeks to deny/delay requests to conservative groups while evidence exists that liberal/progressive group requests were pushed through without delay.  The left's claim: the IRS did the same thing for left leaning groups.  The IG who conducted the investigation that revealed the IRS's nefarious activities has publically refuted the left's attempts to quell the matter.  See this link:  

George Burns

Hillary's Troubling Legacy

While testifying before Congress about the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to frame her four years on the job in impressive rhetoric.
“Today, after four years in this job, after traveling nearly 1 million miles and visiting 112 countries around the world, my faith in our country and our future is stronger than ever,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January. “Every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words ‘United States of America’ touches down in some far-off capital, I feel again the honor it is to represent the world’s indispensable nation.”
Earlier that month, The New York Times eagerly reported the State Department talking point of Clinton being the “most widely traveled secretary of state in American history,” adding, “Mrs. Clinton holds the record for the most countries visited by a secretary of state, 112, though her total of 956,733 air miles will fall short of the 1.06 million logged by her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice.” 

Fifth Amendment Rights When Pleading Guilty?

The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to decide whether a guilty plea waives the protections against self-incrimination in the penalty phase.
     Robert Woodall had pleaded guilty to capital murder, capital kidnapping and first-degree rape in connection to the 1997 death of a 16-year-old girl.
     Police had found the teenager's body naked and floating in a lake about a half-mile from the convenience store she had been trying to visit on the night she disappeared.
     Though her throat was slashed twice and her windpipe was totally severed, her actual cause of death was drowning.
     At the penalty phase, Woodall asked the Kentucky trial judge to instruct the jury that it should not draw any adverse inference from his decision not to testify. 

U.S. Suit Accuses Corzine of a Failure at the Helm

Jon S. Corzine, no stranger to bare-knuckle brawls after spending nearly 40 years on Wall Street and in New Jersey politics, now faces the biggest fight of his career: a showdown with the United States government.
On Thursday, federal regulators sued Mr. Corzine in connection with the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and apparent misuse of customer money during its final days. Mr. Corzine, a former United States senator and New Jersey governor, ran the firm until its bankruptcy in October 2011.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal agency that regulated MF Global, argued in the lawsuit that Mr. Corzine had failed to prevent a lower-level employee from transferring customer money to banks and clearinghouses. The agency also sued that employee, Edith O’Brien, assistant treasurer, who oversaw the transfer of customer money from the firm’s Chicago office. 

French auditor urges economic reforms to slash spending

France's national auditor has warned that further cuts in public spending are needed if the country is to get its ailing economy back on track.
The Cour des Comptes said the deficit is on course to exceed the government's 3.7% target due to lower tax receipts.
A cut in the "weight of public spending seems more necessary than ever", the quasi-judicial body said in a report.
The government forecasts annual growth of 0.1 this year, but other economists have predicted contraction.
Earlier this year, the European Commission gave France an extra two years to bring its public deficit below an EU ceiling of 3% of gross domestic product. 

Restricted web access to The Guardian is Armywide, officials say

The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday's Herald, but Armywide.
Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke stories on data collection by the National Security Agency.
Gordon Van Vleet, an Arizona-based spokesman for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, said in an email the Army is filtering "some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks."
He wrote it is routine for the Department of Defense to take preventative "network hygiene" measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information.
"We make every effort to balance the need to preserve information access with operational security," he wrote, "however, there are strict policies and directives in place regarding protecting and handling classified information."

Immigrationists and the Death of America

Let's do a little thought exercise here.  Imagine that some force was flooding an indigenous people's lands with millions of unassimilable foreigners, and it was understood that this influx would irretrievably change that land's culture and replace the population.  What would anthropologists call this phenomenon?  Cultural genocide comes to mind.  

Of course, in America we call it "immigration policy."

Now, when King Edward I "Longshanks" said about dominating the Scots in the film Braveheart, "If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out," it was to be expected from an enemy of Scotland.  And how should we characterize America's immigrationists?

Before answering, let's first consider the testimony of Fredo Arias-King, ex-aide to former Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox (hat tip: Timothy Birdnow).  About how he and his colleagues spoke to 50 U.S. congressmen and senators back in 1999 and 2000, he writes:

Obama Saves the World

Dear Leader gave a speech the other day on climate change. Having solved all of America's problems, he is now going to save the planet. You can tell by his tone and typically snide derision for those who disagree with him that he's serious.
"I don't have much patience for anyone who says this problem isn't real. We don't have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society."
If you object to destroying America's economy to prevent something that might happen 100 years from now you are a Luddite.
His renewed efforts to heal the planet and halt the rise of the oceans have resulted in his "national plan to reduce carbon pollution, [and] prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead global efforts to fight it."

Despite what might have heard, Uncle Sam remains bankrupt — big time.

If you’re a big spender, there’s good news in Washington. The deficit is down. The budget crisis is over. So Uncle Sam can go back to his wastrel ways!
Indeed, the usual suspects insist, it’s time to spend more. The federal government should provide more stimulus spending to put people back to work. Food Stamps should not be cut despite nearly doubling in cost over the last five years. Every state should expand Medicaid. Social Security benefits should be increased, not reduced. After years of horrible, painful austerity, it’s time to party!
Only in Washington.
A normal person could be forgiven for believing the U.S. faces a budget crisis of extraordinary proportions. Uncle Sam has run up $5 trillion in red ink over the last four years. The national debt now approaches $17 trillion. Economist Laurence Kotlikoff figured total federal debts, unfunded liabilities, and other obligations exceed $220 trillion. 

Sessions: 'This Bill Must Never Become Law'

Senator Jeff Sessions, the chief opponent of the immigration bill, released this statement in response to the Senate passing the law by a vote of 68-32:
“Sponsors of this legislation—despite the array of financial, establishment and special interest support—failed to hit their target of 70 votes. The more people learned about the bill the more uneasy they became. Failure to reach 70 votes is significant, and ensures the House has plenty of space to chart an opposite course and reject this fatally flawed proposal.
"So while the bill passed the Senate, this is just the beginning.
"The legislation adopted today guarantees three things: immediate amnesty before security, permanent future illegal immigration, and a record surge in legal immigration that will reduce wages and increase unemployment.

Stop Complaining and Start Doing

One of the best lines of advice I've ever gotten came from my aunt Rose in the third grade: "Stop complaining about what you don't like, and do what you can to change it." I took her advice that afternoon, had a much better school year because of it, and promised myself I'd never forget her words of wisdom.
So here I am today, immersed in a sea of politics and culture wars, TV and radio debates, panel discussions and Q & A sessions where I'm challenged to think hard about who I am, what I value, and what messages I hope to convey to the listeners and viewers who count on me to tell them what I really think.
There's never a day that goes by that I don't think about my aunt's advice. So, let's do ourselves--and our country--a favor and apply it.
Yes, the mainstream media is painfully biased. Yes, the Obama administration has and will continue to use Hollywood and the entertainment industry to push its agenda. Yes, the Left has been highly focused on--and skilled at--using pop culture outlets to shift public opinion on political, cultural, and social issues. Yes, academia is often in the brainwashing business and revisionist history is alive and well. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

EPA’s Assault on State Sovereignty Part II

Obama’s recently released climate change initiative calls for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to unleash yet another energy regulation aimed at reducing greenhouse gases from existing power plants, severely threatening the generation of affordable and reliable energy. This is only one piece of an unprecedented EPA regulatory assault unleashed in the past few years as detailed by ALEC’s latest report, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty.
In yesterday’s blog post, examples of how the EPA has consolidated and centralized regulatory control at the expense of the states were provided.  In this second blog post, we highlight a few of the EPA regulations coming in the next few years that are analyzed in ALEC’s report.
Examples of such regulations include: (1) new ozone and carbon dioxide standards, (2) federal control over hydraulic fracturing, and (3) standards that would effectively render it impossible to generate electricity from coal. 

Obama Donor Set To Profit From Keystone Demise

A billionaire hedge fund manager and Barack Obama donor is pushing the president to stop the pipeline that would compete with one he's invested in. That pipeline could send Canadian oil to China.
Environmental activist Tom Steyer donated as much as he could to get Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey elected to the Senate in the recent special election to fill the seat vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry. He wanted another senator who's opposed to completing the Keystone XL pipeline that he says would be an environmental plague on the planet.
A few days before President Obama said that Keystone XL would be built only if it could be shown to have no net effect on greenhouse gas emissions, Steyer, a major contributor to Obama's campaigns, urged the president to kill the project.

Undocumented immigrants are going public to stop their deportations

Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez stands before the revolving door of the downtown Denver skyscraper that houses the federal immigration court. It's a chilly morning in early April, and the 43-year-old mother of three has come here for a hearing in her deportation case.
About fifty supporters line the sidewalk on either side of her, holding signs that have been hand-lettered with phrases such as "Migration Is Beautiful" and "Love Knows No Borders." The vibrant colors of their signs are the visual equivalent of shouting, letting rush-hour commuters know that inside that stone building, families — familias — are separated every day.
"Gracias a todos," Valenzuela Gonzalez says into a microphone, pausing while her words are translated. "I want to be here. This is where I raised my family, and this is where I want to stay."

Justice Dept. targets general in leak probe

A retired four-star Marine Corps general who served as the nation’s second-ranking military officer is a target of a Justice Department investigation into a leak of information about a covert U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program, a senior Obama administration official said.
Retired Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright served as deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was part of President Obama’s inner circle on a range of critical national security issues before he retired in 2011. 

IRS targeted 292 Tea Party groups, just 6 progressive groups

Refuting Democratic suggestions that progressive groups were also swept up in the IRS probe of the tax status of Tea Party organizations, the Treasury Department's inspector general has revealed that just six progressive groups were targeted compared to 292 conservative groups.
In a letter to congressional Democrats, the inspector general also said that 100 percent of Tea Party groups seeking special tax status were put under IRS review, while only 30 percent of the progressive groups felt the same pressure.
The Wednesday letter to the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee punched a huge hole in Democratic claims that progressive groups were targeted as much as the Tea Party groups from May 2010-May 2012, the height of the Tea Party movement. 

Slower growth, fewer jobs? Wall St. cheers

D’ja hear the great news? The economy continues to suck.
The stock market rallied nicely yesterday after the Commerce Department changed its mind about how the economy did in the first three months of 2013.
After thinking the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.4 percent in the quarter, Commerce revised the number downward — saying growth had actually been only 1.8 percent.
There are several things you need to understand before I continue.
First, even 2.4 percent growth isn’t good. An economy that’s pumped up with the amount of liquidity the Federal Reserve has created should be growing at twice that rate, or more.
Second, the new 1.8 percent growth is annualized. That means the economy would have to expand by the same amount over all four quarters of the year to achieve 1.8 percent. 

Obama Climate Speech Riddled With Lies

King Canute, attempting to teach his people a lesson regarding his abilities, supposedly went to the sea and commanded the tide to stop. Twelfth-century English historian Henry of Huntington wrote that Canute took his throne to the seashore, but the tide, “continuing to rise as usual dashed over his feet and legs without respect to his royal person.”
President Barack Obama’s naïve and error-riddled speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday clearly demonstrated that he is serious about trying to stop global climate change. However, like the tide, climate change is a natural event of such proportions that it is largely unaffected by human activities. Obama ignores that the “official climate science” on which he bases America’s climate and energy policies has been washed away by 17 years without global warming, despite atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) — the gas Obama blames for rising temperatures — continuing to increase primarily due to the emissions of China and India. 

FDR 'Covered Up Soviet Atrocity to Appease Stalin'

American POWS sent secret coded messages to Washington with news of a Soviet atrocity: In 1943 they saw rows of corpses in an advanced state of decay in the Katyn forest, on the western edge of Russia, proof that the killers could not have been the Nazis who had only recently occupied the area.

The testimony about the infamous massacre of Polish officers might have lessened the tragic fate that befell Poland under the Soviets, some scholars believe. Instead, it mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power. The long-held suspicion is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't want to anger Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II.

Documents released Monday and seen in advance by The Associated Press lend weight to the belief that suppression within the highest levels of the U.S. government helped cover up Soviet guilt in the killing of some 22,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in the Katyn forest and other locations in 1940.

GM to Invest $691 Million in Mexico

General Motors Co. (GM) announced on Wednesday that it will spend $691 million to build and expand its factories in Mexico.

GM Mexico President Ernest Hernandez said the move will boost Mexican employment and development.

"The automotive sector is today one of the pillars of the national economy, representing more than 20 percent of manufacturing GDP and continues to be, for many reasons, a fundamental industry in attracting investments to productive sectors of the economy," said Hernandez.

GM says it plans to open a new factory in Silao and enhance its San Luis Potosi facilities. 

“GM is about to reach 78 years in Mexico and we celebrate it with this new investment, which means more employment and development opportunities for the regions,” said Hernandez. 

Stupidity: America's greatest health hazard

Now that the American Medical Association (AMA) has wrongfully labeled obesity as a disease, the AMA may as well categorize as such our most troubling, chronic, widespread and debilitating self-inflicted ailment of choice: stupidity.
What once was one of America’s most respected medical institutions, the AMA has been afflicted with the stupid disease and has torpedoed its reputation with a single decision.
Don’t be surprised if next week the AMA recommends we drink eight ounces of warm hotdog water each day to improve our health.
Smart Americans hanging tenaciously to the last vestiges of common sense will view all future AMA statements and claims with a suspicious eye, as they know that Americans with too much blubber around their waists got that way due to choosing to mindlessly pile fatty foods into their hands and shoveling massive quantities into their pieholes.

Hurry Up and Vote - We don't Have Time to Read the Bills

No one, and I mean no one should agree with this unethical, anti-American behavior by our elected officials.  And this is another example of so very many as to how the interests of elected officials and special interest groups always trumps the interests of the vast majority of American citizens.  And it is the reason why we need to vote the current crop of bums out of office and establish term limits so the culture of corruption of long serving officials cannot continue.  This madness must stop!  George Burns

Hold Senators Accountable on Border Security

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on Tuesday that he thinks Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will block any attempt by conservative senators to launch a filibuster against the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill this week.
Conservative radio host Andrea Tantaros asked Cruz during an interview on her program if he planned to launch an old-fashioned talking filibuster if necessary so the American people could have more time to learn about the loopholes, waivers, and kickbacks in the bill before senators voted on it. While Cruz did not rule out such a possibility, he did suggest such a move would be unlikely because Reid and Senate Democrats will block any attempt at making it happen. 

Muslim scholar tied to pro-Hamas group, radical cleric visits White House

A Muslim scholar whose group supports Hamas, who has urged the U.N. to criminalize blasphemy and who is the deputy of an Egyptian cleric banned from the U.S. over his radical statements was able to secure a visit at the White House earlier this month.
A report from The Investigative Project on Terrorism uncovered a statement on the website of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah claiming he met June 13 with Obama administration officials in Washington.
Bin Bayyah is vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, a group founded by Egyptian cleric Yusuf Qaradawi -- a Muslim Brotherhood leader who has called for the death of Jews and Americans and himself is banned from visiting the U.S.

Obama’s Revolting Bankers

On June 17, Barack Obama had one of his most awesome reality TV events of the year when he fired central bank chairman Ben Bernanke on PBS with liberal mope and host Charlie Rose moderating.
“He essentially fired Ben Bernanke on the spot and gave him a fairly tepid testimonial afterward,” said former Fed Governor Laurence Meyer, in an interview on CNBC the next day.
And the bankers have been in revolt ever since. 
The government, meanwhile, has revised the economy’s performance downward. The newest do-over by government economists comes three months after they gave the economy one of the strongest readings since 2007. 
“The economy grew at a 1.8% annual rate in the first quarter, the government reported Wednesday, well below previous estimates of 2.4% growth and missing forecasts,” reported USAToday.
Still, several voices that had been the strongest advocates for monetary stimulus have suddenly and inexplicably reversed course, saying that the limits of monetary policy to help the economy have been reached. 

The Bob Corker Amnesty Plan

Our Junior Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has been in the news plenty these last few days.  The main reason: his sponsoring of an Amendment to the Gang of Eight Immigration Bill known as the “Corker-Hoeven Amendment.”
Since much has already been written on the Immigration Bill in general and the Corker-Hoeven Amendment specifically, I will forgo the repeated regurgitating of their numerous flaws and dangers (specifics are below in the Footnotes).  Rather, I intend to simply weigh in as one of Senator Corker’s constituents and voice the concerns I have had with the process and his role.
First let me say that there is plenty of information on both sides of this issue to at the very minimum murky the waters and totally confuse the issue for the general public who don’t read the fine print or follow the debate closely.  Personally, I believe that was a purposeful strategy as is the case with much of what Congress does. 

The Law of Unintended Consequences Kicks In, Again

In tandem our Congress and the President have already enacted one piece of legislation (Obamacare) and are now in heavy pursuit of another (Immigration Reform) that illustrates the workings of the law of unintended consequences.  In the first case none of our elected officials were given time to read the bill and digest it before enacting it into law.  Recall Representative Nancy Pelosi's proclamation that "we must pass Obamacare so we can see what's in it".  In other words let's pursue a legislative course where we pass laws and after the fact learn what it does.  In the second case the Senate is duplicating that course.  The looming Obamacare disaster is nearly upon us closely followed by Immigration Reform which early analysis suggests it will be another disaster if the Senate version is passed as currently drafted.  Nonetheless, having apparently not learned anything from the Obamacare incident, Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a Senate vote on the bill before members have a chance to read it, much less digest it.  Such is the integrity of our current, and failing, legislative process. Check here to see what I mean:  

Regarding the Immigration Reform bill, multiple changes have been made to the Senate version, exacerbating the already challenge to read and understand the bill for which senators are expected to cast an informed vote.  Furthermore, efforts to strengthen the bill are routinely watered down while attempts to weaken key provisions are supported.  This is but one example of the political games being played - politicians looking out for their political interests (illegal immigrant lobby & and latino voters), not what is in the best interests of average law abiding, tax paying American citizens who will bear the financial, cultural and civil burdens the law will impose, once passed in whatever form.

And if that is not bad enough read this statement from one senator who objects to the way the senate leadership is handling things as they curb further attempts by senators to enhance the legislation.  Some of the problems he finds with the bill are noted.

And in order to get the bill through the senate with an ill-gained bi-partisan margin, see what its proponents are now doing despite its known warts. They are offering political bribes to lawmakers which is the same method used to get Obamacare passed into law.  Their goal is to get it passed, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly - to hell with what's good for the country and its legitimate citizens.  See the disgusting details here:

See how elected officials infect legislation with a bit here and a bit there for selected interests, political itch or political pay-offs?  These uncoordinated, poorly integrated, ill-conceived, and unethical maneuvers to complex legislation guarantee that the law of unintended consequences will rear its ugly head.  And those resultant consequences in one way or another hurt average Americans the most.

George Burns