Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Will Congress rescue disappearing Constitution?

Nat Hentoff wants Barack Obama in witness chair at hearings on government spying

By: Nat Hentoff / WND Commentary

At long last, enough members of Congress have rediscovered their primary reason for being there at this defining time in U.S. history – to rescue the disappearing Constitution.

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who is a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, is joining with Colorado Democrat Sen. Mark Udall to “introduce legislation that would limit the federal government’s ability to collect data on Americans without a demonstrated link to terrorism or espionage” (“Udall, Wyden Propose Limiting the Federal Government’s Ability to Collect Vast Amounts of Data on Americans,” wyden.senate.gov, June 14).

No doubt stirred by the recent revelations of Edward Snowden, Wyden and Udall are moving to fully awaken Americans and others of the U.S. government’s limitless spying on us.

Furthermore, Wyden is insisting on public hearings because, as he said last month, “the American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives” (“Sen. Wyden: Clapper didn’t give ‘straight answer’ on NSA programs,” Aaron Blake, The Washington Post, June 11).

But why stop there? Barack Obama should be in the witness chair as well.

And there is also a strong bipartisan drive to reopen the Patriot Act, which was passed in a panic by Congress soon after 9/11. The law became a primary source of the subsequent dismembering of the Constitution through its approval of secret surveillance.

Udall gets to the American Revolutionary core of his and Wyden’s legislative mission: “The NSA’s collection of millions of Americans’ phone call records is the type of overreach I have warned about for years. …

“We need to protect our national security, but we cannot lose sight of our constitutional liberties and the privacy rights of Americans” (“Support Builds for Udall, Wyden Proposal to Limit the Federal Government’s Ability to Collect Vast Amounts of Data on Americans,” wyden.senate.gov, June 18).

Also aiming at the Patriot Act is a multi-dimensional lawsuit by the ACLU and the New York Civil Liberties Union attacking the shadowy Obama administration’s omnivorous surveillance program as violating “the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment” (“ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of NSA Phone Spying Program,” aclu.org, June 11).

Exposing the dictatorial side of Obama is Alex Abdo, a staff attorney in the ACLU’s National Security Project: “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”

Unknown to most Americans, Congress’ 2011 extension of the Patriot Act for four more years deepened its spying powers on us with the cooperation of the mysterious FISA Court. From the American Bar Association’s Patriot Debates website (a sourceblog for the USA Patriot debate):

“Section 215 (of the Patriot Act) revises substantially the authority under the FISA for seizure of business records, including third-party records of individuals’ transactions and activities. Previously, FISA Section 501 permitted the FBI to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for an order to seize business records of hotels, motels, car and truck rental agencies, and storage rental facilities.

“Section 215 broadens that authority by eliminating any limitation on the types or businesses or entities whose records may be seized.

“In addition, the section expands the scope of the items that the FBI may obtain using this authority from ‘records’ to ‘any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents and other items).’”

And since this is no longer America:

“The recipient of the order may not disclose the fact that the FBI has sought or obtained records.”
Furthermore, “There is no requirement for an evidentiary or factual showing and the judge has little discretion in reviewing an application (from the FBI).”

Have any of you learned about that in any school you have attended? Courses in our schools should be given on how our American identity has been stolen from us. Students should be taught how to make sure the tactics of President Obama don’t carry over to the next administration, no matter its political affiliation.

In the meantime, I shall keep reporting on how effective these and other legislative actions are at restoring the rule of American law. I will also continue to focus on a part of American education that has received too little attention: students not only learning about and identifying with American history, but also becoming actively involved in decision-making in their schools as well as in their neighborhoods, cities, states and country.

In my book, “Living the Bill of Rights” (University of California Press), I bring forth patriot educator John A. Howard:

“We have in the U.S. produced several generations of cultural orphans – who have little knowledge and even less appreciation of their heritage of freedom, or the sacrifices which produced it. We have been engaged in a kind of unilateral disarmament, which could well prove more devastating to the cause of liberty than would be the destruction of our defense arsenals.”

That’s how Barack Obama got re-elected.

My main job now is to focus on how we can keep future Obamas out of the Oval Office. And that, of course, is your job, too, as committed Americans.

Obama's Violating Oath, Constitution in Implementing Obamacare

By: Terry Jeffrey / Townhall Columnist
 

The Constitution requires the president to take an oath or affirmation that says: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Article II, Section 3 says, "He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

In his unequal and discriminatory implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), President Barack Obama is now violating both his constitutional oath of office and his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws.

The Obamacare law mandates that individuals must maintain health-insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents or pay a penalty. Similarly, it requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide those workers with health-insurance coverage or pay a penalty.

The separate sections of the law spelling out these two mandates conclude with identical language: "The amendments made by this section shall apply to periods beginning after December 31, 2013."

For Obama to fulfill his constitutional oath of office and faithfully execute the Obamacare law, he would need to take care that his administration enforced this statutory Dec. 31, 2013, health-insurance deadline on both individuals and employers.

But Obama is not going to do that.

On July 2 -- while Congress was out of town for the July 4 holiday -- a Treasury Department bureaucrat posted a blog on the department's website announcing that the administration was not going to enforce the legal deadline on employers. It said nothing about suspending the deadline for individuals.

In other words, the administration would not apply the law equally on individuals and businesses.

"The administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin," wrote Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur.

Again, the law says: "The amendments made by this section shall apply to periods beginning after December 31, 2013." But the bureaucrat declared: "The administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year ..."

Which trumps which: the law or the assistant secretary's blog posting? Clearly, the Obama administration believes its bureaucratic dictates can overrule the law.

It is not difficult to discern Obama's political rationale for declining to faithfully enforce his own health care plan. Enforcing the legally mandated Dec. 31 health-insurance deadline on businesses could be disastrous for the president's allies in the 2014 midterm elections. That, in turn, could set back Obama's efforts to keep Obamacare from being repealed.

To save his law, he must not fully enforce it -- now. He must only fully enforce it when the chance that the people could achieve its repeal through the processes of representative government has been attenuated as much as possible. That is why Obama and his allies originally wrote the deadlines of Dec. 31, 2013, directly into the black letters of the law. They thought that was safely after the 2012 elections.

But December 2013 turned out not to be as safe as they originally calculated.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in June -- the same as it was in May. That makes 54 straight months -- beginning in January 2009, when Obama first took his oath of office -- that unemployment has remained at 7.5 percent or higher.

That is by far the longest stretch of 7.5-percent-plus unemployment since the BLS started keeping unemployment statistics in 1948. The second-longest period was only 32 months. Obama has already beaten that by almost two years.

Indisputably, Obama has the worst unemployment record of any president in the post-World War II era -- and his signature legislative achievement was about to make his record even worse.

The mandate that businesses must provide health insurance or pay a penalty if they hire a 50th full-time workers is like a Berlin Wall keeping Americans from jobs.

The National Federation of Independent Business has calculated that the minimum fine a business would pay for hiring its 50th full-time employee would be $40,000 per year -- unless it was capable of paying far more than that for Obamacare-approved health insurance for all its full-time employees.

If a business did not insure its employees, it would pay an additional $2,000 fine, on top of the first $40,000 in fines, for each additional full-time worker it hired beyond 50.

The fine on individuals for not buying government-approved health insurance is a penalty on individual liberty. The fine on employers is a penalty on job creation.

Obama figured his allies in Congress could get away with imposing a penalty on individual liberty.

But, with unemployment still at 7.6 percent, he figured they could not get away with imposing a penalty on job creation.

So he violated his oath to preserve the Constitution, flouted his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and decided not to provide equal protection of the law to individuals and businesses.

Obama's edict: Businesses do not have to comply with the Dec. 31 deadline he signed into law. You do.

Let Them Starve: Gitmo Swindlers Strike Again

By: Michelle Malkin / Townhall Columnist
 
World Crisis Alert: Guantanamo Bay detainees don't want to eat. Muslim rapper Yasiin "Mos Def" Bey is so worked up about their appetite plight that he videotaped himself being force-fed to build support for closing Gitmo. Cry me a river.

This latest round of hunger strikes isn't an international human rights tragedy. It's another manipulative act of Jihad Theater.

Have you forgotten? Calculated Gitmo fabulism goes back to 2005, when Newsweek fell for false rumors that U.S. soldiers "flushed" the Koran down a toilet at the military detention facility in Cuba. Gullible media reports of "desecration" provided a handy pretext for anti-American riots across the Muslim world that resulted in nearly a dozen deaths. Detainees later 'fessed up that the conflagration stemmed from one of their own dropping the Koran in prison and blaming a guard.

Meanwhile, it was Gitmo residents themselves who were purposefully tearing up Korans. One guard reported in May 2003: "Detainee residing in cell (redacted) block tore his Quran into small pieces." Another prisoner "did intentionally destroy his Quran and throw (it) out of his cell," according to a separate government report.

Al-Qaida explicitly instructs its operatives to lie. A central jihad tenet, taqiyya, encourages Islamists to use deceit and victim politics to wage war. And while soft-on-terror sympathizers cast our military personnel as ruthless war criminals, Gitmo detainees have violently attacked them with everything from makeshift weapons and radios to disgusting cocktails of blood, vomit, feces, urine and sperm.

To date, there are no reports of detainees attacking our guards with the dozens of Sony PlayStations, Nintendo DS consoles, art supplies and DVDs that detainees have been given over the years. The toys and crafts are off limits!

Have you forgotten? The Gitmo stuntmen coordinated suicide threats to drum up global outrage over America's decision to hold and try them in our military system, instead of in our civilian court system. These sabotage strikes were clear acts of asymmetric warfare by cold-blooded terror operatives versed in exploitation of Western sensibilities and civil liberties. Detainees considered suicides at the facility acts of martyrdom and "a continuance of their jihad against the U.S.," according to leaked documents. Military commanders discovered that detainees were abusing confidential attorney-client privileges by hiding notes and plots in special envelopes protected from the guards' reach.

Sound familiar? The same kind of subversive techniques were used by convicted jihad legal helper Lynne Stewart, who smuggled coded messages of Islamic violence on behalf of her client -- jailed terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing and spiritual instigator of the 1997 massacre of Western tourists in Luxor, Egypt, and the 9/11 attacks.

Also forgotten in all the knee-jerk hoopla over the Gitmo food fight: just how much American officials have bent over backward to accommodate militant detainees' demands. In his 2005 tell-all book condemning Gitmo, turncoat army sergeant Erik Saar inadvertently exposed our suicidal restraint and indulgence.

Each detainee's cell has a sink installed low to the ground for feet-washing before prayer, Saar reported. Detainees get "two hot halal, or religiously correct, meals" a day in addition to an MRE (meal ready to eat). Loudspeakers broadcast the Muslims' call to prayer throughout the day. Every detainee gets a prayer mat, cap and Koran. Every cell has a stenciled arrow pointing toward Mecca.

And Gitmo's library -- yes, library -- is stocked with jihadi books. "I was surprised that we'd be making that concession to the religious zealotry of the terrorists," Saar admitted.

It's no surprise that President Overseas Contingency Operation is bowing to the cunning grievance-mongers. As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explains: "The hunger strike is on because the jihadists figure Obama is ripe for the taking." Faraway drones are A-OK, "but he is petrified by the prospect of performance-art jihad: the languishing martyrdom of self-starving death cultists, whose rapt audience of Obama favorites -- Brotherhood front groups and the Lawyer Left -- remind the administration every long day that he promised to shut this theater down almost five years ago."

Don't be distracted by Cirque du Jihad. Remember: The Close Gitmo mob, led by the left-wing Center for Constitutional Rights, lobbied for the release of Libyan Gitmo detainee Abu Sufian bin Qumu -- now a fugitive terrorist suspected of plotting the bloody Benghazi attack.

Remember: Obama's terror-coddling lawyers have dragged their feet on prosecuting suspected U.S.S. Cole bombing suspect and former Persian Gulf Operations Chief for al-Qaida Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Gitmo detainee since 2006.

Remember: As Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder spearhead renewed efforts to close Gitmo, intelligence officials report that 27.9 percent of the 599 former detainees released from Guantanamo were either confirmed or suspected of later engaging in jihadist attacks. That's a 2.9 percent rise over the 25 percent aggregate recidivism rate reported in 2010.

Remember, as Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan warned his military superiors: The soldiers of Allah "love death more (than) you love life."

The enemy combatants at Gitmo are playing bleeding-heart Westerners for fools. Their eternal goal is the destruction and subjugation of infidels. Why do we continue to enable them? Let them starve.

Muslim Brotherhood calls on Egyptians to rise up against "those trying to steal their revolution with tanks

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Civil war in Egypt looming ever closer. "Muslim Brotherhood calls on Egyptians to rise up over killings," by Michael Jansen for the Irish Times, July 9:
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood yesterday accused the army of massacring protesters staging a sit-in outside the republican guard barracks where ousted president Mohamed Morsi is said to be held while the army blamed on “terrorists” the killing of 51 demonstrators and wounding of 435. Health insurance officials denied women and children were among the dead. 
The EU, the US, interim president Adli Mansour, the opposition Tamarod (Rebel) movement and a host of politicians urged restraint while the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party called upon Egyptians to rise up against “those trying to steal their revolution with tanks” and deposing Mr Morsi.
The party urged the international community to intervene to “stop further massacres” and prevent Egypt from being transformed into “a new Syria. ”...

Morning Bell: Decision Time on Immigration

Today is a pivotal day in the immigration debate: House Republicans are meeting to hash out their path.

Pressure is coming from all sides. The Senate passed the Gang of Eight’s “comprehensive” plan, and three groups on the right are urging the House to act. President Obama is meeting today with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said the House will not take up the same bill the Senate passed—but there is still a danger in trying to work with the Senate.

If the House simply tries to pass a bill so that it can come together with the Senate in conference—informal or formal—Congress will likely tinker around the edges of the Gang of Eight’s plan and give us the immigration version of Obamacare.

As Heritage experts have explained, Congress can address every major aspect of immigration reform and border security without a comprehensive bill.

>>> Advancing the Immigration Nation: Heritage’s Positive Path to Immigration and Border Security Reform

The plan on the table has severe flaws—and besides, we can’t even trust that laws will be implemented as they’re supposed to be.

Just look at Obamacare. The Obama Administration has delayed or changed more than a dozen aspects of that law. So promises from Senators and Representatives about how a law will work can be undone or simply never fulfilled. (That’s what happened the last time Congress granted amnesty to illegal immigrants—the promised border security provisions never materialized.)

The Senate-passed bill doesn’t secure the border.

It doesn’t stop the flow of illegal immigrants.

It doesn’t prevent visitors from overstaying their visas.

It doesn’t help aspiring Americans who are waiting in line to come here legally.

And for not doing these things, it costs American taxpayers trillions.

As House Republicans consider their course, it would be wise to look at commonsense things the country can do without saddling taxpayers with a do-nothing, trillion-dollar monstrosity.

In your face judicial prejudice

By: Diane Sori

Anybody else notice that the liberal judge in the George Zimmerman murder trial rules AGAINST everything Zimmerman's defense wants to put into evidence about the true character of Trayvon Martin...the NOT so sweet and innocent 17-year old. Now she's decided that the pics in his cell phone...a phone taken into evidence by the police immediately after the shooting...might NOT have been taken by Trayvon. 

Bullsh*t...she knows damn well those pics are his!

Zimmerman now has grounds for appeal if found guilty...judicial prejudice.

So since she won't allow them to be seen I will...Trayvon and some his 'grass' plants (there are more), smoking dope, holding a gun, etc.



Op-ed:                                                                                                                          Allegorical circles, Egypt, Israel, and an impotent American Congress                                                                       By: Diane Sori 

Yesterday I was asked why I’ve recently been blogging about the happenings in Egypt when we have so many problems here at home and the answer to that is simple…what happens in Egypt could very well be the completion of the circle that acts as a catalyst for change here in America and helps assure Israel’s survival.

The disaster known as the Arab Spring has in NO way altered our interests in the Middle East for when all the bravado is stripped away it remains oil that fuels our Middle East policies for oil is the life-blood to which our government is addicted. Oil and terrorism…terrorism mostly bred and based in the Middle East spreading its hate and destruction all the way to our shores. Oil, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction…WMDs existing in the Middle East that if perchance fall into the wrong hands will be NOT only used against us but will most assuredly be used against Israel.

Israel…where our moral obligations and commitments lie binding us to them even more so than where our religious commitments and loyalties lie for Israel is the only true democracy in an area of the world riddled with dictators, mullahs, and autocrats desperate for power.

A circle of oil, terrorism, and WMDs that starts in the Arab Middle East, keeps drawing America in, and ends in Israel. And the Arabs know that an America-Israel alliance exists for it’s Israel we exchange military doctrine with…it’s Israel we exchange counter-terrorism information and intelligence with…and it’s Israel that we turn to for technological aid in helping to solve some of the world’s most troubling technical and strategic problems.

Israel…the country America turns to and the country that turns in kind to America for support is the very country that is still trying to remove the knife Obama put in her back…a knife dug deep as he sides with his ‘brethren’ over Israel every chance he gets. And that is the reality of the Middle East today for if America does NOT support her allies and friends there is NO need for her enemies to make peace, thus allowing the Middle East to stay on fire.

And so the Middle East policies we have in place under this president most definitely need to be changed. In the past US allegiances in the Middle East depended on Arab governments whose policies did NOT reflect their citizens’ opinions…for we depended on and supported dictators but dictators who supported and were friendly to America and who at least tolerated Israel’s existence. And then the Arab Spring happened and those dictators fell to the people but NOT always to the ‘good guys’ as witnessed by last year’s events in Egypt now being corrected in ancient streets throughout their land.

But sadly for all involved with those NOT ‘good guys’ is where Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s loyalties lie…but NOT the loyalties of the American people. And that’s why Israel is the completion of the circle for if Israel falls America as a superpower will fall with her.

And so we would be wise to NOT engage in a struggle to hold back the Egyptian people from shaping their own destiny, and that means Barack HUSSEIN Obama must NOT get us involved in the internal struggle in a place we should NOT be… unless and only unless Israel’s survival is in jeopardy for Israel can hold the wolves at the door at bay if she knows America is there if she needs us.

This approach would be a major departure from policies initiated under Obama…policies where terrorism is tolerated as our enemies have suddenly and miraculously become our so-called friends…policies that have allowed an American president...America’s very own ‘enemy within’...to throw our true friends and allies aside. The ongoing events in Egypt speak volumes as does American support for Israel. Muslims hate America simply because the American people support Israel, and that hate in turn morphs into terrorism. Obama wants cooperation with bast*rds who hate Israel... who hate America…cooperation with bast*rds who hate both as much as he does.

And while we know that Arab governments do need to be more accepting of the wishes of their people and NOT just cater to the wishes of the religious extremists and zealots in their midst, we in turn then have to make our Middle East policies more accepting to the Arab people NOT just to the Arab rulers. But in doing so we must NEVER…I repeat NEVER…put the Arabs wants and needs before Israel and her need to survive as a Jewish nation.

And that brings the circle back to Egypt, a partner in the Camp David Accords, and the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood…all tied together and precariously held in place by a knot that’s coming undone thanks to Barack HUSSEIN Obama…the most traitorous of men.

Under Hosni Mubarak the Camp David Accords were honored and Israel was at peace with Egypt…Israel was safe and the Egyptian Coptic Christians were safe…beheadings were rare if at all. Enter center stage the Obama supported Muslim Brotherhood puppet President Mohamed Morsi and the Camp David Accords (where land taken in war was given back for peace) became tenuous at best under a new president who called Jews the spawn of pigs, and whose ‘soldiers’ slaughtered Coptic Christian children at whim while laughing at their cries echoing in the night. And throw in a dose of new found reality that Morsi and his Brotherhood kin had a hand in Benghazi…Obama and his brethren's bloody hands are all over Benghazi…and the circle joins in completion as the knot holding all together falls to the ground.

And all is exposed as Egypt is angry…Israel is on edge…and America stands by as Egyptians take to the streets to right an oh so wrong.  And sadly, America’s Congressional leaders impotently bow their heads in shame in fear of the race card being used against them, and so do NOTHING to expose the one who continues to fuel the hate smoldering on the surface of the Middle East...the very one who might be surprised that what the Egyptian people started just might have ignited a fire in the belly of 'We the People'...and that fire will come to a head in November 2014.