Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jack Lew "Must Never be Treasury Secretary" ^ | January 16, 2013 | Morgan Brittany

With the hysteria brewing over the upcoming debt ceiling crisis and the uproar over gun control, people are concentrating on what the right hand of government is doing. They are paying scant attention to the left hand which is feverishly nominating people to positions of power that we know very little about.
The media is virtually burying the stories on most of Obama’s choices for his second term. Those we already know like Janet Napolitano and John Kerry are really not worth the effort to talk about. We know what we are getting with them, the book has been opened and any news would just be a re-hash of the past.
Not so with would-be Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. The media scrutiny has been almost non-existent although they did investigate him a bit more when he was tapped to be Obama’s Chief of Staff. A few reports have stated that he is a quiet, unassuming man whom you would barely notice until you go behind the scenes and see that he is Obama’s trusted consigliere; sort of a Tom Hagen to Marlon Brando’s Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather”.
During the previous debt ceiling debate it was Lew who counseled Obama on how to deal with Republicans demands and then override them. He pushed his progressive agenda and convinced Obama not to bend or negotiate with Boehner and the Republicans.
This is just what we need isn’t it; a critical cabinet member who is going to back- up and strengthen Obama’s refusal to negotiate a solution to the country’s problems.
Lew’s political history has him working for extreme progressive Bella Abzug and then House Speaker Tip O’Neill. He moved on to the Clinton White House where he rose to the ranks of Office and Management Budget Director. He kept a rather low profile while continuing to influence decisions made by high powered officials.
What the media is sweeping under the carpet however, is the fact that from 2006-2008 Lew was Chief Operating Officer of Citibank’s alternative investments division. His division made billions of dollars betting that “U.S. homeowners would not be able to make their mortgage payments.” This was reported by the Huffington Post. They went on to say, “Lew made millions at Citi, including a bonus of nearly $950,000 in 2009 just a few months after the bank received billions of dollars in a taxpayer rescue, according to disclosure forms filed with the Federal Government.”
According to the New York Observer, alternative investments are hedge funds that buy things like credit default swaps. In 2008 and the beginning of 2009 Mr. Lew took in $1.1 million from Citigroup.
So he made money by betting against homeowners and taking a bonus that was funded by taxpayers! Isn’t this a perfect example of the close-knit relationship that Washington has with Wall Street? If this had been Mitt Romney the liberal media would have been all over it, but because it is a progressive member on their side, barely a word is spoken.
Dig even deeper into Lew’s associations and you come up with his “business relationships” where he was a limited partner from 2007-2010 in the CVCI private equity fund. CVCI is an acronym for Citi Venture Capital International, a unit of Citigroup that invested billions in foreign companies in order to make their limited partners very wealthy. In the Senate hearings in 2010, he dodged questions about a conflict of interest and when grilled by Sen. Bernie Sanders, he gave vague, non specific answers.
Senator Jeff Sessions has flatly stated that after his questioning of Lew two years ago, “Jack Lew must never be Secretary of Treasury”. There are too many unanswered questions, to little known about where he would come down on major decisions and how much influence he has over the President.
Congress must delve into each and every nominee that Obama is touting for his next term. It is crucial that correct decisions are made at this pivotal time in our history. We can’t afford to look back on the mistake of another Tim Geithner, things are too fragile.

Statement by Gov. Perry on President Obama’s Executive Actions!

Gov. Perry's Office ^

Gov. Rick Perry released the following statement regarding President Obama's executive actions:

"The Vice President's committee was appointed in response to the tragedy at Newtown, but very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened there."

"Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror.

"There is evil prowling in the world - it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds. As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children.

"In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president."

Morning Joe's Melodramatic Reaction To NRA Ad On Elite Hypocrisy Over Armed School Guards

Have a look at the screengrab: it shows Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, she holding chin in hand, he hanging head. 
NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein

Their melodramatic reactions come in response to an NRA ad decrying the hypocrisy of political and media elites who want "gun free zones" in the schools where most Americans send their children, while sending their own children to schools with armed guards.

The panel's reaction was one of collective hyperventilation. Mike Barnicle called the ad "political pornography." Donny Deutsch said it's "one of the grossest things I've ever seen in my life." Scarborough asked Mika "what's wrong with these people?" Brzezinski replied that some of the people running the NRA are "sick in the head" and that she is "embarrassed for our country." But what of the substantive point made by the ad?

View the video, including the ad, at link above.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Time to Grow Up, GOP ^ | January 16, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg

It's hard for a lot of people, particularly on the right, to recognize that the conservative movement's problems are mostly problems of success. The Republican Party's problems are much more recognizable as the problems of failure, including the failure to recognize the limits of that movement's success.
American conservatism began as a kind of intellectual hobbyist's group with little hope of changing the broader society. Albert Jay Nock, the cape-wearing libertarian intellectual -- he called himself a "philosophical anarchist" -- who inspired a very young William F. Buckley Jr., argued that political change was impossible because the masses were rubes, goons, fools or sheep, victims of the eternal tendency of the powerful to exploit the powerless.
Buckley, who rightly admired Nock for many things, rightly disagreed on this point. Buckley trusted the people more than the intellectuals. Moreover, as Buckley's friend Richard Weaver said, "ideas have consequences" and, consequently, it is possible to rally the public to your cause.
It took time. In an age when conservative books make millions, it's hard to imagine how difficult it once was to get a right-of-center book published. Henry L. Regnery, the founder of the publishing house that bears his name, started his venture to break the wall of groupthink censorship surrounding the publishing industry. With a few exceptions, Regnery was the only game in town for decades.
That's hardly the case anymore. While there's a higher bar for conservative authors at mainstream publishers (which remain overwhelmingly liberal), profit tends to trump ideology.
And publishing is a lagging indicator. In cable news, think tanks, talk radio and, of course, the Internet, conservatives have at least rough parity with, and often superiority to, liberals. It's only in the legacy institutions -- newspapers, the broadcast networks and most especially academia and Hollywood -- where conservatism is still largely frozen out. Nonetheless, conservatism is a mass-market enterprise these days, for good and for ill.
The good is obvious. The ill is less understood. For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can only come with persuading the unconverted.
A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, it's possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument. Many liberals lived in such an ideological cocoon for decades, which is one reason conservatives won so many arguments early on. Having the right emulate that echo chamber helps no one.
Ironically, the institution in which conservatives had their greatest success is the one most besieged by conservatives today: the Republican Party. To listen to many grassroots conservatives, the GOP establishment is a cabal of weak-kneed sellouts who regularly light votive candles to a poster of liberal Republican icon Nelson Rockefeller.
This is not only not true, it's a destructive myth. The Rockefeller Republicans were purged from the GOP decades ago. Their high-water mark was in 1960, when the Goldwater insurgency was temporarily crushed. Richard Nixon agreed to run on a platform all but dictated by Rockefeller and to tap Rockefeller's minion Henry Cabot Lodge as his running mate. When the forebears of today's tea partiers threatened to stay home or bolt the party in 1960, Sen. Barry Goldwater proclaimed, "Let's grow up, conservatives!"
It's still good advice. It's not that the GOP isn't conservative enough, it's that it isn't tactically smart or persuasive enough to move the rest of the nation in a more conservative direction. Moreover, thanks in part to the myth that all that stands between conservatives and total victory is a philosophically pure GOP, party leaders suffer from a debilitating lack of trust -- some of it well earned -- from the rank and file.
But politics is about persuasion, and a party consumed by the need to prove its purity to its base is going to have a very hard time proving anything else to the rest of the country.

Do You Know the History of the NRA and the 2nd Amendment?

 David Barton’s Fascinating Lesson ^ | Jan. 16, 2013 8:00am | Tiffany Gabbay

As stronger sentiment concerning gun control mounts on the American streets, Glenn Beck invited renown historian and Wallbuilders founder David Barton on his Tuesday evening program to provide viewers with a comprehensive overview of the Second Amendment as a foundation for liberty and freedom.

Beck was compelled to provide this in-depth look after 19 potential executive actions were identified to move the Obama administration forward with new gun control measures. Those measures include but are not limited to: requiring mental health screenings of both the buyer and seller; banning military-style “assault” weapons and high-capacity magazines; issuing a statute prohibiting gun trafficking; and an “end” to the “hobbling of federal agencies.”

“This is not about preventing mass-murders it is about eliminating your right to bear arms,” Beck slammed. “This administration will never waste a good emergency.”

“Americans need to know where the Second Amendment even comes from…The history of our ‘why and how,’ and how it has shaped our foundation of freedom.”

A glance back in time

Barton, whose knowledge-base in American history is by many considered second to none, said that the Second Amendment is truly about a “certain set of principles.” He added that people should not separate the Second Amendment from other amendments, particularly the first five, as they are all aligned and part of one larger concept of protection of one’s self, religion and property. In other words ”unalienable rights.”

The Founding Fathers, according to Barton, believed that God gave these rights to mankind and that no government could take them away.

“That is why our government is different,” he explained, “other world governments trampled peoples rights… the idea was to prevent the government from ever trampling our rights.” He added that unlike any country in Europe, Americans insisted the government could not touch what God had given them.

The Founders also used the philosophy term “laws of nature and nature is God,” which Barton informed is contained in Blackstone’s commentary on the law. The idea is that certain things come to one from nature, such as the deep-seated biological mechanism of self-defense. The historian also noted that James Wilson, a signer of both the Constitution and Declaration of Independence noted that the law of nature is to defend oneself, and that — through the castle doctrine — a private citizen failing to defend his home or family — even with deadly force — would be considered negligence.

As the interview continued, Barton went on to explain how different the times were at America’s founding, and that citizens could even penalized for not carrying a gun. The topic then veered to the lawless days of the Wild West, its religious revival and the role of Texas Rangers in enforcing the law.

In addition, Barton addressed the founding of the NRA. While some like to demonize pro-Second Amendment group and even call it prejudiced, it turns out the powerful group was in fact started by two Union generals in 1871 as a means to driving out the Ku Klux Klan and ensuring that blacks, who although then-free were not allowed means with which to defend themselves — could in fact legally own a gun.

Barton also noted that even after the Whiskey and Shays rebellions, and even the assassinations of Lincoln Garfield and McKinley, calls for gun bans never came into play. In fact, the times even bolstered the Second Amendment.

It was not until the aftermath of Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King’s assassination that Lyndon B. Johnson sought stricter gun control. Ironically, President Reagan — although having survived an assassination attempt — was very much an adherent to the Second Amendment himself.

When asked how American citizens should react if government were to seek to claim their arms, Barton said that there is a host of lawyers working bro-bono to step in and help protect citizens’ gun rights.

The Tea Party News Network Discusses Gun Control with Ted Nugent

By Greg Campbell

TPNN Contributor

Everywhere across this great nation, believers in the necessity of the protections of the Second Amendment wait with hushed anticipation of the unwelcomed news of a gun ban of some sort. While any gun ban that violates the valued tenets of the words “shall not be infringed” is unconstitutional, the looming threat of the gun control measures to come from the executive branch are of a special breed of unconstitutional orders.
Firearm ownership restrictions that come from Congress are overstepping infringements that are generated from a law-making body. While they are unconstitutional and ought to be rejected by all lovers of freedom, they, at least, generate from the appropriate branch of government.
However, the president’s willingness to side-step Congress in his reach for our guns and, by extension, our rights, is not only offensive to those that value our Bill of Rights- it’s offensive to those that understand that the executive branch has no such authority or dictatorial powers.
One such man that knows all-too-well what Second Amendment advocates are up against is Ted Nugent. One-part rock star and one-part activist, Ted Nugent is 100% American and has come to symbolize the staunch stances held by millions across the country. Nugent has pulled no punches in his fight with the left and has developed a habit of saying exactly what he means- a trait which has become quite rare and jarring in many political circles dedicated to political correctness and wishy-washy stances of convenience.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding the preservation of our right that protects all others, now, more than ever, Americans are looking at those who have been in the trenches all along, fighting to keep the gun-grabbers at the gate at bay. Thankfully, Mr. Nugent was not too busy to share his insights with The Tea Party News Network.
Do you think that there will be any kind of gun ban to come from the executive branch? If so, what do you think citizens, including yourself, ought to do once it’s enacted?
Nugent: God knows this freedom hating administration will never stop hammering away at all the best things about America, and I am afraid the Second Amendment is dead center in their crosshairs. The only ban America needs right now is to ban Eric Holder. I pray to God that someone in politics gets back to the US Constitution ASAP to stop the engineered destruction of the last best place. Meanwhile we the people of America have already been very busy with our pre-emptive strike against this unconstitutional threat by purchasing more guns and ammo than ever in recorded history. Every freedom demanding American should be a member of the National Rifle Association, and the fact that our numbers are exploding is a powerful message to the government that we mean business and will not take this insanity lying down.
Piers Morgan has become very vocal about gun control in America, despite being a British subject. He has even threatened to deport himself if America doesn’t change its gun laws. He has questioned why Americans need “assault weapons.” What is your response to people who question why someone would need an “assault weapon” when they are not often used for hunting or sporting purposes?
Nugent: Poor pathetic Piers is clearly a lost soul. He just can’t seem to be able to or even want to shed his embarrassing sheepish not-so-great Britain shortcomings, so we at least thank him for being the ultimate poster boy for everything anti-America and anti-common sense. It’s good to have someone this lame represent the enemies of freedom, and we sincerely thank him and his ilk for making it so obvious who the real enemy of America is. Regarding so called “assault weapons” and the feeble attempt to reduce the sacred Second Amendment to a “sporting” consideration, we can only feel sorry for such ignorant loons and do all in our power to make sure such clueless fools have no say in the debate. When our elected officials agree to dispose of their high capacity “assault weapon” toting security details, then we the people might listen to their power abusing, corrupt attempt to disarm their employers. Till then, we laugh in their faces.
The Obama Administration’s Justice Department was involved in Fast and Furious, but now the Obama Administration is speeding through this “national discussion” on gun control to try and push for stricter gun control laws. Do you consider Fast and Furious linked to an anti-gun agenda by the Obama Administration, or was it simply a botched law enforcement operation?
Nugent: Eric Holder and anyone involved in Fast and Furious are dangerous criminals guilty of multiple felonies. They should all be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Holder is on record decrying our right to keep and bear arms and is hell bent on disarming law abiding Americans while illegally arming murderous Mexican drug cartels. The whole deal stinks and is the manifestation of corrupt bureaucrats gone mad. The false claims that Mexican gangs got the majority of their firepower from American gun dealers was a proven lie from the very beginning, and Fast and Furious was a diabolical crime to give the anti-gun media manipulated false evidence to push for totally unnecessary restrictions on American’s 2nd Amendment rights. Every American who believes in freedom and the US Constitution should be a member of the NRA and raise nonstop hell with our elected representatives until the guilty parties are brought to justice. This is a pivotal moment for the soul of America to see if there is any real justice or accountability in our government. GOP, we are waiting.
Indeed. As Americans wait to see the fulfillment of fears once called “paranoid” by the left- the president has made it clear that he intends to issue orders in direct violation of our guaranteed constitutional rights without consideration of our nation’s lawmaking body. We thank Mr. Nugent and the other millions of Americans who continue to work for a return to a government of, by and for the people.

List Of Obama's 23 Executive Actions

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Obama Asks Doctors to Help Deal With Guns

Weekly Standard ^ | 1/16/13 | Daniel Halper

According to a background briefer provided by the White House, President Barack Obama is asking doctors to help deal with guns. Here's the relevant passage:

PRESERVE THE RIGHTS OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PROTECT THEIR PATIENTS AND COMMUNITIES FROM GUN VIOLENCE: We should never ask doctors and other health care providers to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by guns in the wrong hands.

 Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence: Doctors and other mental health professionals play an important role in protecting the safety of their patients and the broader community by reporting direct and credible threats of violence to the authorities. But there is public confusion about whether federal law prohibits such reports about threats of violence. The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits these reports in any way.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

New Math: President Obama Exaggerates Deficit Savings

Investor's Business Daily ^ | 1/15/2013 | John Merline

At his press conference this week, President Obama made it seem as though the job of getting the government's deficits under control is nearly done.
"The consensus is we need about $4 trillion to stabilize our debt and our deficit," he told reporters, "which means we need about $1.5 trillion more." [snip]
But a closer look at the numbers shows that Obama is exaggerating how much deficit reduction he's actually achieved, and is being decidedly Pollyannaish about the nation's still massive long-term budget gap and what will be needed to close it.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

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