Saturday, June 8, 2013

Is It Right For Our Government To Silence The Voices Of Average Americans?

Fair Tax . Org ^ | June 7, 2013 | Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08) 

Is it right for our government to silence the voices of average Americans? What gives any agency the right to demand concerned citizens to give up their First Amendment rights?
This week I met six brave Americans who travelled to Capitol Hill to tell Congress what the Internal Revenue Service put them through. The only thing these civic-minded Americans did to incur this was try to share their principles with their communities. Their reward was to be alternately stonewalled and scrutinized by shameless bureaucrats.
Telling pro-life groups their IRS status hinged on them agreeing to not protest Planned Parenthood is not ok. Leaking donor information is not ok. Forcing Americans to give up by flooding them with reams of intrusive questions and document demands is not ok.
Becky Gerritson told us she was fearful for her country and that her government, that is supposed to work for every taxpayer, had “forgotten” their place.
Describing herself as “a born free, American woman – wife, mother and citizen,” she came to the Ways & Means Committee hearing to tell her government they forgot their place. Powerful words from a mom who never dreamed she would someday testify on Capitol Hill.
It is not the IRS’s responsibility to monitor any American’s speech. Nor should they ever assert any agenda.
Constitutional Law professor John Eastman, who chairs the National Organization for Marriage, testified that his organization’s confidential tax information ended up in the hands of the Human Right Campaign, which opposes traditional marriage. As he told our committee, if the IRS leaked his organization’s confidential tax documents, a “serious felony” was committed.
For the Laurens County Tea Party, the IRS process has made for a very long three years. After waiting for over two years to process the application, the IRS sought “extremely burdensome additional information”.
After cashing the Wetumpka Tea Party’s application fee check, the IRS waited over 450 days before sending an intrusive questionnaire requesting “90 pieces of additional information”.
The San Fernando Valley Patriots were warned about the penalty of perjury should they not answer all of the agency’s intrusive questions.
Why? Bureaucrats at the IRS had no legal right to these organization’s donor information, volunteer information or written communications.
Linchpins of Liberty Founder Kevin Kookogey found it disturbing that the IRS asked for the identities of their students. Would you want your minor child’s name given to the IRS?
It’s very chilling to be asked “Are you now or have you ever been...” questions. It’s chilling that an IRS bureaucrat sought to get Iowa Coalition for Life to give up their First Amendment right to protest Planned Parenthood. Sue Martinek’s question deserves an answer. “Why was the IRS protecting Planned Parenthood” against a ‘small Iowa prayer group’?
With three Congressional panels, including the Ways & Means Committee that I serve on, an Inspector General and many others digging deep, whoever gave the orders at the IRS can’t remain in the shadows for long.
Our nation’s tax code is so huge it holds back small businesses, creates annual stress on families – and as we are uncovering -- is used against those who disagree with the direction our country is headed.
House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp says our entire tax system is “rotten at the core, and it must be ripped out so we can start fresh.” I completely agree.
While it still lacks major support in Congress, more and more Americans are beginning to see that the best solution is the Fair Tax solution. Wouldn’t we all rather spread the good news about real tax reform and have April 15th be just another day?
In addition to being a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee, Texas Congressman Kevin Brady also chairs the Joint Economic Committee and is a co-sponsor of HR 25.

Probably as close to a smoking gun as you’re going to get!

Flopping Aces ^ | 06-08-13 | DrJohn 

obama-nixon-enemies-list
As we have previously noted, there need not be Obama fingerprints on anything- all that was needed was the "unofficial nod."
Kimberly Strassel of the WSJ put a timeline together and it makes very obvious what happened.
It's not opaque. Barack Obama called conservative organizations a "threat to our democracy." He made it clear that they are a threat to national security. This is a broad and concerted plot. An American President vilified and trampled the Constitutional rights of a large segment of the American population- those who disagreed with him.
Combine this with Obama's campaign manager calling Mitt Romney a murderer, felon, liar and tax cheat and a sordid picture comes into focus. It's the politics of personal destruction on a gigantic scale.
It's McCarthyism on steroids.
It really doesn't get any clearer than that. Obama painted the targets on conservatives and the henchmen in his agencies went to work.
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

‘Mad’ D-Day piper Bill Millin remembered with memorial in France

By Graham Fraser


Bill Millin’s actions on D-Day have made him worthy of remembrance in Hollywood and in a country far from home.

On June 6, 1944, with Europe in the control of Hitler, thousands of Allied troops from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lanarkshire and all other corners of Scotland stormed the beaches of Normandy armed with their rifles.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Bill Millin walked on to those same beaches with gunshots and explosions all around him. Dressed in his kilt and playing his bagpipes, a sgian-dubh tucked into his sock was Bill's only weapon against the oncoming German fire.
As personal piper to Lord Lovat and his 1st Commando Brigade, Bill marched around Sword Beach after orders from his charismatic leader, who had defied a War Office ban on pipers.
He played Highland Laddie and the Road to the Isles as fellow soldiers fell all around him. Some injured troops are said to have cheered as Millin walked by, while others called him a ‘mad b******’.
After the battle, it is said German troops decided not to shoot at him on the beach, thinking he was insane.
His actions were portrayed in the 1962 movie The Longest Day, starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum and Sean Connery.
On Saturday, Millin’s bravery will be remembered once again in the Normandy town of Colleville-Montgomery - near Sword Beach - with the unveiling of a £80,000 memorial statue, a short distance away from the Field Marshal Montgomery memorial.
Around 500 pipers and drummers, including players from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, are scheduled to perform at a commemoration parade before the statue is unveiled to Bill’s son, John Millin, and hundreds of others. A special party in Millin’s honour will be held in the evening.
Ian Macdonald is the Pipe Major of Jedburgh Pipe Band. Fourteen of its members, including four players aged between 13 and 15, will perform on Saturday. They have spent most of this week in France on holiday while taking part in D-Day commemorations.
He said: “We have spent a long time raising money for Bill Millin. We have been involved in the past four years, playing where we can. It will be honour to play.
“On D-Day, Lord Lovat said, ‘Come on Bill, give us a tune’, when they were face down on the sand being shot at.
“Bill said sarcastically to him, ‘Would you like to me to march up and down as well, sir?’ ‘He said, ‘Yes, that is great’. Bill jumped up and did it. You would never get people doing that now.
“These guys don’t think it was special. They just think it was their job.
“It is overwhelming. You read what these guys did for us and for the French. Here, Bill Millin is an absolute hero. The love for Bill Millin by the people of Normandy is unbelievable. He is a symbol of their freedom.”
 Bill Millin playing the pipes for his fellow troops in 1944.
Bill Millin playing the pipes for his fellow troops in 1944.
Mo, Ian’s wife and a drummer with the band, has a personal connection to Bill Millin. Her great uncle, David Irvine, is thought to have been in the second wave of boats under Lord Lovat’s command and would have stormed the beach not long after Millin started playing.
She said: “I never really knew my Great Uncle. I was very small when he died. A couple of years ago, when we were coming to Normandy for the first time, I mentioned it to my Uncle and he told me David was here. My Great Uncle didn’t talk much about it. His story went with him.
“It is an emotional thing to come to but I feel very proud and honoured. It is great to be here in remembrance of my Great Uncle.”
Harry Marsden is one of the young members of the band taking part this year. The 14-year-old said: “It means a lot to be here. The story of Bill Millin hits home. I am looking forward to being part of Saturday, to be part of something that is really big. I couldn’t do what he did.”
Bill Millin was born in July, 1922, in the Saskatchewan region of Canada. His Scottish father decided to return the family home when Bill was three.
He grew up in Shettleston, Glasgow, before moving to Fort William. He played in a number of pipe bands in the region before volunteering to be one of Lord Lovat’s commandos.
After the war, he worked as a psychiatric nurse in Glasgow and retired to the Devon town of Dawlish in 1988.
Bill made regular trips back to Normandy throughout his life, including a trip in 2009 when France awarded him the Croix d’Honneur award for gallantry. He died in 2010.
Magnus Orr, from Edinburgh, has played a role in organising Saturday’s event through his Pipefest website. He has promoted the occasion and, through him, many pipers from France and England will be joined by others from Germany, the Netherlands and the United States of America.
He said: “There are so many people inspired by Bill Millin’s story. He doesn’t just represent piping - it represents the whole liberation of Europe. If it wasn’t for people like Bill Millin, we could all be living in a completely different environment.”
 A model of the Bill Millin memorial
A model of the Bill Millin memorial
Roddy MacLeod MBE is the Principal of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow and is regarded as one of the leading exponents of the instrument in the world.
For the 50-year-old, Millin represents a celebrated chapter in the history of pipers. “Bill Millin symbolises the ultimate regimental piper. His duties would have been to inspire the troops and keep their spirits high," he said.
“On the D-Day landings, he demonstrated heroics in the extreme. You would find it jaw dropping to believe he would put himself in that position of danger to inspire the troops.
“There has been a long tradition of pipers in the various military campaigns, leading the troops into battle, playing to inspire our own troops and instil fear in the troops of the enemy. Unfortunately, many pipers have lost their lives performing these acts.
“Millin survived it and was able to live to tell the tale. It is wonderful news that they are going to commemorate this bravery with a statue in France.”
For those in Normandy on Saturday, it will be a chance to remember Millin’s incredible bravery, a chance to remember the sacrifice of many that he inspired on that beach, and a time when men put aside their own safety to fight for a greater cause.

Leno: ‘We Wanted a President That Listens to All Americans - Now We Have One’

Newsbusters ^/By Noel Sheppard Created 06/08/2013 - 2:02pm

Leno: ‘We Wanted a President That Listens to All Americans - Now We Have One’ Jay Leno continued his humorous attacks on the White House Friday.

In the middle of a lengthy set of opening monologue jokes about the various scandals plaguing Barack Obama, the NBC Tonight Show host said, “We wanted a president that listens to all Americans - now we have one” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
JAY LENO: Well, let's see what's going on. Hey, Snoop is back in the news. Not Snoop Dogg, Snoop Obama. Yeah, Snoop Obama. A big change at the White House today. They closed the gift shop and opened a Verizon store. Yeah.
Well, this has become a huge controversy after it was revealed that the National Security Agency seized millions of Verizon phone records, and of course this has caused a panic among civil libertarians, constitutional scholars and cheating husbands everywhere. Oh my God.
How ironic is that? We wanted a president that listens to all Americans - now we have one. Yeah.
Actually, President Obama clarified the situation today. He said no one is listening to your phone calls. The president said it's not what the program is all about. You know, like the IRS isn’t about targeting certain political groups. That's not what it's about!
I mean what's going on? The White House has looked into our phone records, checking our computers, monitoring our e-mails. When did the government suddenly become our psycho ex-girlfriend? When did that happen? When did that happen? When did that happen?
You know, I'll tell you, if Obama wants to put this snooping thing to good use, how about spying on the IRS next time they throw a $4 million party. Why don't you do that one? Yes, exactly, exactly. Find out about that. Yeah.
As you know by now, the IRS has taken some heat for reportedly spending $4 million on a conference in Anaheim last year where employees took dancing lessons. One of the dances they learned? Tap dancing around the issues. Yes, that was very good, be able to tap dance
Well, the latest one that came out today. You see this one? They're saying the IRS paid an artist $17,000 to paint portraits of Abraham Lincoln to help inspire the IRS agents. You know, if they want to see a picture of Lincoln for inspiration, take out a $5 bill and save the taxpayers $16,995. Exactly. That's what they said. They said.
Oh, the hearings have been unbelievable this week. Congressional investigators say the IRS basically threw a $4 million party for themselves. But in fairness, who else is going to throw a party for the IRS? Really? Now, a going away party, I think we'd all chip in. I would chip in! I would chip in! There you are, no problem. I would pay for that.

Waiter and waitress nation: May payrolls report shows the US creating jobs, just not many good ones!

AEI ^ | 06/07/2013 | James Pethokoukis 

060713food
The headline numbers for the May jobs report are about what you would expect for a New Normal economy stuck in 2% growth mode: 175,000 net new jobs last month, the unemployment rate ticking up to 7.6%. No broad signs of acceleration; just the opposite, in fact. As Barclays bank points out, the three-month average increase in nonfarm payrolls through May is now 155,000 vs. a first-quarter average of 207,000. (And at May’s pace of job creation, it would take another 58 months to get back to 5% unemployment.)
In addition, hours worked grew at a 1.9% annualized rate in April and May versus the 3.6% growth seen in the first three months of the year. This downshift reflects a slowing in GDP growth. The bank’s tracking estimate for real GDP growth in the second quarter stands at 1.2%, down from 2.4% in the first quarter.
And what kind of jobs are being created? As economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research points out, job growth was again narrowly concentrated, with the restaurant sector (38,100 jobs), retail trade (27,700) and temporary employment (25,600) accounting for more than half of the job growth in May. Baker: “These are all low-paying sectors. It is worth noting that the job growth reported in these sectors is more an indication of the weakness of the labor market than the type of jobs being generated by the economy. The economy always creates bad jobs, but in a strong labor market workers don’t take them.”
Indeed, restaurant jobs make up just under a tenth of total US nonfarm jobs, but they accounted for more than a fifth of the jobs created last month.
Another sign of internal labor market weakness: the underemployment rate of 13.8% — which includes part-timers who would prefer full-time work — remains more than six percentage points above the “real’ unemployment rate. Before the Great Recession, that gap was typically less than four points. Indeed, 5.7% of US nonfarm workers are now “part-time for economic reasons” — either their hours were cut back or they can only find part-time gigs — vs. 3.2% precession.
No wonder we’re getting anemic wage growth. JPMorgan: “Wage gains remain pathetic, as average hourly earnings were unchanged last month. … After ramping up late last year and early this year, the trend in labor income is cooling off a bit, as total private wages are increasing at a modest 2.9% annual rate in the three months ending in May.”
Possible suspects include Obamacare, automation, and weak labor demand. Several other observations:
1. The labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.4%. If that rate were back to where it was in January 2008, the unemployment rate would be 11.4%. Even assuming for demographics like the aging of the population, a normalized unemployment rate would be over 9%.
2. The share of the adult population that’s employed remained stuck at 58.6%. While the unemployment rate has fallen over the past 3½ years to 7.6% from a high of 10%, the employment-to-population ratio has risen only from a low of 58.2% in 2011 vs. 63.4% pre-recession.
3. As the below chart shows, the official unemployment rate remains far above what Team Obama predicted back in 2009 if Congress passed his $800 billion stimulus plan:
romerbernsteinbasemay

Pelosi: I don’t recall ever having said that everybody would have a lower premium under ObamaCare…OH?

by Erika Johnsen

Er… don’t you?


Well, some people don’t have health insurance, and certainly will have their premiums go up, because they don’t have health insurance now so they don’t have any premiums now. But for anyone that that is a challenge there are subsidies in the exchanges, and it’s also about what you get for the money. In other words, people will getting no lifetime or annual limits on their coverage, no discrimination because of preexisting medical condition. It has a whole array of quality that is in the legislation. But, if you don’t have health insurance and you don’t qualify for a subsidy and you’re mandated to have health insurance, yes, you will have an increase. We’re very sensitive to what it means for young people, especially young singles, and there are policies that people can get. I don’t remember saying that everybody in the country would have a lower premium, because everybody in the country doesn’t have health insurance, so how could it be lower. But the fact is, the value of what you get for the cost that you pay is a reduction is a reduction in cost to you. And if you don’t have insurance, you’re going to pay something that you didn’t pay before, but if you can’t afford it, you can have a subsidy… For everybody, it is going to be, again, a liberation, a freedom…
Huh. That’s certainly some convenient political amnesia you have there. Please, allow me to remind you (h/t the Weekly Standard):

That was just last July, by the way. And of course, it hasn’t merely been Nancy Pelosi so shamelessly relentlessly peddling the implication that ObamaCare is going push down the average price of health insurance premiums for all; BuzzFeed reminded us earlier this week of the many public moments in which President Obama himself aggressively argued that the “Affordable” Care Act would lower premiums for everyone, and Peter Suderman had a must-read piece at Reason about the ObamaCare debate we never really had:

But the president and his administration did not talk about it much at all. Rather, the overarching message from the White House, and from the law’s supporters generally, was that Obamacare would cause health insurance premiums to drop.
Let’s go back in time to when President Obama first began to make the case for his health care overhaul. Here’s how he touted his health plan in May 2007, early in his run for office. “If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less.” On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama continued to sell the law as a way to lower health premiums, promising at least 15 times to reduce health premiums for families by $2500 on average. And as Buzzfeed notes, Obama didn’t stop pointing to lower premiums when he made it into the White House in 2009. In May of that year, he told C-SPAN that if health industry groups commit to savings—“we end up saving $2 trillion…a lot of those savings can go back into the pockets of American consumers in the form of lower premiums. That’s what we are driving for.”
From the very beginning, in other words, Obama’s message was not that the law would result in higher premiums, but better coverage. It was that the law would lower premiums, end of story.
Whatever little bit of spin-doctoring Nancy Pelosi is trying to put on her highly selective memory here (“well, duh premium prices are going to rise for people who’ve never had them before” and “sure, you might be paying more, but you’ll be getting better value and quality out of what you pay”) the gist here is that Democrats most definitely propagated the myth that health insurance would be made more “affordable” for everyone, rather than telling the truth about the system’s solvency directly depending on younger and healthier people paying for the heightened risk taken on by insurance companies and absorbing much lower proportion of the benefits.

Ricin Suspect Was Tracked Via Mail Scanners

Feds: Postal Service photographs every piece of mail it processes 

Hazmat

JUNE 7--A high-tech computer system that captures images of “every mail piece that is processed” by the United State Postal Service was critical in helping federal agents track the Texas woman arrested today for allegedly sending ricin-tainted letters to President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In a U.S. District Court complaint filed today against Shannon Guess Richardson, an FBI agent details how investigators traced the ricin letters back to New Boston, Texas, where the 35-year-old Richardson (seen below) lives with her husband.
The Bloomberg letter was opened at a municipal mail center in Manhattan on May 24, while the letter to Obama was intercepted May 30 at an off-site White House mail facility. A third ricin letter--sent to an anti-gun group funded by Bloomberg--was received at a Washington, D.C. office on May 26.
According to FBI Agent James Spiropoulos, investigators accessed a Postal Service computer system that “incorporates a Mail Isolation Control and Tracking (MICT) program which photographs and captures an image of every mail piece that is processed.” Agents were able to obtain front and back images of about 20 mail pieces that had been processed “immediately before the mail piece addressed to Mayor Bloomberg.”
A review of that mail revealed that each piece carried return addresses listing zip codes in the New Boston area.
A similar analysis of 40 mail pieces that were processed “immediately before and after the mail piece addressed to President Obama” showed that several of those letters listed addresses in two Texas cities near New Boston.
According to the felony complaint against Richardson, she confessed yesterday to “mailing the three letters--knowing that they contained ricin.” She repeated earlier claims that her husband Nathaniel, who has not been charged, was involved with the Obama and Bloomberg mailings. Richardson alleged that her spouse “typed the letters and made her print and mail them,” reported Agent Spiropoulos.
If convicted of the ricin mailings, Richardson, an aspiring actress, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and fine of up to $250,000. 

LINDSEY GRAHAM: THE OBAMA OF THE GOP

The Blaze ^ | Jun. 7, 2013 | TOM KNIGHTON 

I take some very serious issues with Lindsey Graham. I’ll admit, to an extent, it seems a little personal. After all, Graham and John McCain ridiculed Rand Paul’s filibuster over whether or not the President believed he had the authority to kill American citizens. However, the latest evidence of his cluelessness – to say nothing of his inability to understand a basic concept like “liberty” – may well elevate him to the lofty position of Obama of the GOP.
You see, recently I bid a fond farewell to the First Amendment under the Obama administration in a piece here at TheBlaze. Like Obama killing American citizens without due process, he seems to have the support of the senator from South Carolina.
Graham, who has been in office long enough that one would imagine he’s stumbled upon the bill of rights from time to time, recently said he doesn’t know if the First Amendment extends to bloggers. “Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves,” he said. “Is any blogger out there saying anything—do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.”
These are the issues of our time? Did he really say that?
First, the First Amendment extends to every single American. In addition to freedom of the press, it also protects the freedom of speech. That means that obviously it extends to bloggers. The idea that it wouldn’t shows just a profound lack of understanding on something so basic.
However, that’s only part of the way Graham has brought new heights to the term “stupid.”
(AP Photo) His very question goes against the grain of what the freedom of the press means. The idea behind it was so to ensure that power is questioned. Anyone who had the money for a printing press instantly became “the press.” Credentials weren’t necessary. College education wasn’t necessary either. You just started cranking out your paper and distributing it wherever you wanted. It was a thing of beauty.
Today, the process is even easier. Most American households have a computer. Today, the printing press is as much a metaphor as a literal thing. Digital presses, or what most refer to as “blogs,” are as common as hair. The access to the technology is much more readily available as it was during the era of our nation’s founding.
The fact that Graham seeks to question whether or not a blogger deserves the same protections that the legacy media enjoys should be a cause for concern for his constituents. Any argument that precludes them could easily be a slippery slope towards stealing away even more liberties. After all, saying that the First Amendment only applies to print can also be extrapolated to mean that the Second Amendment only applies to flintlocks.
Of course, Graham also believes that these are the issues of our times. Drone strikes, a rancid economy, and a host of other things are going on, but whether or not bloggers get to enjoy freedom of the press is really the important question.
My own question is, is this really up for debate? At what point did this become the question of our times? The courts have routinely treated blogs the same as newspaper and television media.There’s a reason for that.
If his tenuous grasp on the First Amendment wasn’t enough to saddle him with the label of “Obama of the GOP,” then we have his comments on Fox and Friends Thursday morning. In light of the news that the United States government is listening in on Verizon phone calls, Graham said that as a Verizon customer himself, he has no issues with the government spying on him without a warrant.
Both of these situations shows that somewhere in the course of his life, Graham missed what the very essence of being an American really is. We are supposed to be protected from our government, as well as by it. The Constitution serves as a wall between the power of the state and our daily lives.
Graham, in his effort to look tough on terrorism and crime, has instead opted to hand the terrorists one of their biggest victories in this war. If their goal is to destroy America and our freedoms, then Graham may well be one of their greatest allies.
After all, bombs alone won’t destroy what we stand for. It takes someone like Graham who has no appreciation for freedom to do the last little bit. He seems only too eager to do his part.

Liar-in Chief: Congress Denies Obama Claim 'Every Member' Briefed on Surveillance

breitbart ^ | 6/7/13 

On Friday morning, President Barack Obama defended his administration’s massive telephone records surveillance programs by explaining that “every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”There’s only one problem: both Republican and Democrat Congresspeople say that isn’t true. On Friday afternoon, the press office for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, tweeted, “Obama’s claim that ‘every Member of Congress’ was briefed is FALSE.”
It wasn’t just Sensenbrenner. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that only certain members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had been told about the program, and he only knew about it because he received “special permission” to be briefed after hearing about it through the grapevine. “I knew about the program,” he said on MSNBC, “because I specifically sought it out. It’s not something that’s briefed outside the Intelligence Committee.” Merkley added that the administration had ignored the law. “Clearly the administration has not followed what an ordinary person would consider to be the standard of the law here,” he said.
Merkely summed up: “when the president says all members of Congress were briefed … well, I think a very small number of Senators in Congress had full details on these programs.”
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he only knew about the program after asking for a briefing under “classified circumstances.” The “average member,” he said, had no access to this information. “They don’t receive this kind of briefing.”
Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said they had not been briefed on the phone surveillance program, either. “Not quite!” Rep. Billy Long (R-LA) tweeted after hearing about Obama’s claim.
Obama’s claim was not a slip of the tongue.

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Jerk of the Week - Jim McDermott

RightWingPatriot.com ^ | June 7, 2013 | RightWingPatriot 

It is a sad fact of life that there exists many whose sole reason for existence seems to as much as a blight on the enjoyment of life as they possibly can. Narcissistic to the core and contemptuous of those they believe who are beneath them (which just happens to be most ordinary folk), these bringers of misery wreak havoc with people's lives whilst proclaiming their actions are "for the greater good." As we all know though, that these actions hurt most people except for those proposing such actions. RightWingPatriot.com offers up another of these blowhards as the recipient of this week's Jerk of the Week.
Unlike in previous weeks, the Jerk of the Week this time around came out of the gate strong and clinched the honors right away. I thought it would be a monumental, but not impossible task, to dethrone this jerk by the week's end, but nobody sunk low enough in human decency to wrest the honors from our chosen jerk. Without further ado, the Jerk of the Week is Jim McDermott.
This week saw some fantastic, and disheartening, hearings in the House of Representatives over the IRS scandal of the harassment and intimidation of conservative groups. While many Democrats spinned for the IRS and the Obama administration, one blowhard rose above the others, Representative Jim McDermott from Washington. This progressive oaf lambasted the victims of the IRS harassment and blamed them for it! He called their groups "highly political" (unlike the progressive groups rubber-stamped by the IRS) and that they were essentially asking for a tax audit.
This response from an elected official to represent American citizens is foul and odious. The harassment that the individuals and group suffered went way beyond a mere audit. People's lives and businesses were thrown into disarray and livelihoods threatened, vote participation was suppressed, and the possibility of jail time was called into play as that the IRS asked hypothetical questions under the penalty of perjury. Answer a question wrong because your guess of future conduct was off and you could find yourself in the federal pen!
Of course, Jim McDermott doesn't care about any of this. He is a darling of the progressive agenda in America and doesn't give one iota to defending the US Constitution. Why defend a document that is the basis of our republic when it stands in the way of total big government? The fact that conservative groups were targeted is the icing on the cake for McDermott. Blaming the conservative groups for the government harassment is like blaming a woman for being raped because she wore a mini-skirt. In other words, it's total crap. In fact, following the actual law is an alien concept for McDermott. This piece of filth was sued by John Boenher for illegally taping a telephone call and then leaking that tape to the press. Boenher won and McDermott owes $1 million dollars for his lawbreaking.
For not standing up for the Constitutional right of American citizens, for showing utter disdain for those who dare to stand up against Emperor Obama and the progressive agenda, and for blaming the entire situation on the innocent victims, Jim McDermott is our Jerk of the Week.

NSA Whistleblower Speaks Out on Verizon, PRISM, and the Utah Data Center

Libertas Institute ^ | June 7, 2013 | William Binney (interview) 

Editor’s note: The following is a lightly-edited transcription of an interview with William Binney, a former employee with the NSA who after over 30 years with the agency quit and became a whistleblower, bringing to light many of their illegal activities and mass surveillance of American citizens.
Libertas Institute: Please describe your work experience with the NSA.
William Binney: For approximately 28 years, I was primarily involved in breaking codes and dealing with ciphers and data systems and solving those, and working with data, trying to do threat assessment with all of that data that we had.
After a while, I became the Technical Director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. What that meant was that I had to expand my thinking around the world, and the major problem was data with the web and everything. That’s when I started designing programs to handle that information and be able to select out what was important and what wasn’t.
Then I started implementing those programs, and NSA took those programs and started to direct in domestic data. When they did that, that’s when I left. I couldn’t be a party to that.

(Excerpt) Read more at libertasutah.org ...

THE IRS SCANDAL IS MUCH WORSE THAN ANYONE REALIZES

The Blaze ^ | 05/31/2013 | Wayne Allyn Root 

I lived through a nightmare but am here to talk about it. I was one of those victims of the IRS scandal. As an outspoken critic of President Obama and his socialist anti-business agenda, the IRS targeted me for intimidation and persecution–not once, but twice. The first IRS attack started in January of 2011. After I won a victory in tax court in the summer of 2012, I was audited again 5 days later. FIVE DAYS. Tax experts have never heard of this happening- EVER.
But my nightmare is over. Just yesterday, I won again. My tax attorney just received official notice that my second audit is closed and I owe nothing…nada…zero. Again.
That might make me the cleanest taxpayer in America. I’ve now survived four years of IRS attacks under Obama and come out with a perfect record. After four years of IRS agents looking at every line of my returns…scouring my life to try to find something, anything…the IRS agrees that I don’t owe one cent.
I doubt there is one leftist talk show host in America who could survive four years of IRS audits and come out owing not one cent. Or in honor of Obama, not one red cent.
So my case is closed. I am living proof this was a witch-hunt against conservatives and Obama critics.
If IRS agents looked at every line of four years of my returns and found nothing out of place–not one cent owed–don’t you think that’s pretty strong evidence that this taxpayer should never have been audited in the first place? Don‘t you agree that the second audit…five days after winning a victory in tax court…was targeted malicious persecution? It should never happen again. No American should know the pain of being audited five days after winning the first audit.
But you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of this IRS scandal. This is the Titanic of scandals. Attorney General Eric Holder should have been head of the IRS. They deserve each other. Obama’s henchmen are all cut from the same cloth- bullies. Intimidators. Mob enforcers. They are “made men” for the Obama Crime Family. They bug your phones, read your emails, try to silence critics, try to bankrupt the opposition, name reporters as criminals for simply doing their jobs, ask taxpayers what kind of prayers they believe in. Heck, they even use the IRS to go after groups that dare to believe in the U.S. Constitution. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
Here’s the REAL crux of the Obama IRS scandal. This was never a few rogue agents from one office (in Cincinnati) going after Tea Party groups. I was the first individual to break this scandal- right here at TheBlaze. I was the first to have the courage to go public with my fears- even while under IRS attack at the time.
I knew back in the summer of 2012 that this IRS scandal went deep and went straight to the Obama White House. I knew that it involved a purposeful coordinated effort to punish, intimidate and silence individual critics of Obama, and GOP donors. Do you still think IRS agents acted alone? Even though we just found out that the head of the IRS visited the President more than 150 times in his first term- far more than any cabinet member.
How did I know this was a coordinated attack on conservative critics and donors? Because just in my small inner circle of friends, virtually every businessman that I met was getting hit with IRS audit notices only weeks after writing checks to the GOP and Mitt Romney. Strange coincidence, huh?
In one case, a friend of mine who is a hedge fund CEO attended the first major Wall Street fundraiser for Mitt Romney. Only a select few Wall Street big shots attended. After they went home, almost every one of them in the room that wrote a check to Romney later reported receiving IRS audit notices.
In another case, a friend of mine wrote a big check to Romney. He called me to report his suspicions when only weeks later he received an IRS notice. In another case, my next-door neighbor (who is a big GOP donor) reported being under vicious IRS attack. In another case, my accountant was suddenly audited only months after my first IRS attack. Even my publicist received an IRS audit notice.
Are you starting to see a pattern? Are you getting the picture? This is no coincidence. If you believe it is, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. This is mafia-style intimidation. This is an attempt to make Obama’s opponents “sleep with the fishes.” And it should be met with prison terms and RICO statutes.
This IRS scandal was aimed at Jewish Pro Israel groups, beloved Christian ministers and men of God (Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, James Dobson), groups that believe in the U.S. Constitution, and even groups that help wounded veterans. Why is no one calling out this pure blatant religious profiling?
After my commentaries were published a month ago about this IRS scandal, I was contacted by a Mormon who told me that everyone in his circle of friends and neighbors had received audit notices since Obama’s re-election. He believed Mormons were being targeted to punish Mitt Romney’s biggest supporters.
But how could the IRS identify Mormons? He educated me that all Mormons tithe 10% of their income to the Church of Latter Day Saints. That charitable donation is clearly visible on every Mormon’s tax return. It’s actually easy for the IRS to target and persecute Mormons.
Knowing that the IRS under Obama came after famous Christian leaders and Jewish Pro Israel groups…do you doubt this persecution of Mormons could be possible?
What better way to target conservatives. Utah is the most Republican state in America. Almost every Mormon in Utah supported Romney. Why wouldn’t the same IRS that chose to go after conservatives like me, and Tea Parties, and Jewish Pro Israel groups, go after individual Mormons to gain revenge?
If this is true, it’s the biggest scandal in political history. It’s time for major investigations. It’s time to put people in prison. It’s time to start talking about Impeachment.

They've been listening for years

vanity | 06-07-2013 | chuckles 

I'm retired from ATT for 12 years now. I worked as a tech installer and repair for digital circuits. During the Clinton administration, I was involved in installing fiber mux's that I was informed went to somewhere in Va. It was pretty common knowledge that it was the gubmint. The sheer size and speed of the circuits was what brought attention to it from most of us working on it. I don't want to spend 2 hours of typing about what it was, but just say it was part of a fiber ring, a very LARGE fiber ring.
Let's consider what happens when you call ATT with trouble on your DSL line. The call can be answered in Austin Tx. and the trouble ticket can flow to St Louis. In truth, it could go anywhere on the globe. The talk was the techs would be in Monterey Mexico for awhile, but how silly would that be to put your WHOLE NETWORK AT THE HANDS OF FOREIGNERS?
The poop I got was that this was part of a security network for the gubmint and would be paid for by the "Gore" tax. Now your trouble ticket would be taken by a phone company worker and he/she could dial in your number into his test position and monitor and test your line. He could see everything you had on your desktop and watch what was happening on your line to find the trouble. The point here is THIS capability was going to the government 15 years ago and they could read your email, or look at your history or whatever. They basically( according to what I was told) would look for key words, like "bomb", "terror", "attack", ( I'm sure I just triggered it). The key here is though, what if I wanted to monitor a congressman. All I need is his DSL line number( usually his phone number, but not so much now). As far as I know, there was no judges and warrants involved from the get go. I complained back then, but not many seemed to care. Now this has grown exponentially. Now, we have the new facility being built in Utah. I'm told this will be big enough to follow EVERYONE ON THE,.......PLANET! We will know everything about some guy in Nigeria and the computer he used to send the email that wanted you to help him get his millions out of hock.
How will politicians stop themselves from checking Limbaugh, or Ted Cruz, or Sarah Palin? Could you stop yourself from looking up BHO's BC or college records? The toothpaste is out of the tube now, IMHO, and I don't think it will be put back in. Even if I witnessed them blowing up the buildings in Utah, I would figger they had our stuff an a huge thumb drive in a Colorado mountain. I can't wait for ObamaCare to tell me since I'm in the NRA, "No chemo for you!"
BTW, where's the Tea Party? Shouldn't they be planning a million man march on July 4th by now?

Obama Can’t Be Trusted with Power

Commentary Magazine ^ | June 7, 2013 | Peter Wehner 

I agree with Jonathan’s post both in terms of substance and the media response to the NSA/surveillance stories.
On the former: the PRISM program, in the right hands and used with discretion, can be justified based on the threats to America. But in the wrong hands–in executive branch hands that have abused power and punished political enemies–it has the potential to be misused. Which brings me to the current chief executive.
My views on President Obama are such that very little would surprise me in terms of the ethical lines he would cross in order to gain and maintain political power.
That may seem like an overly harsh judgment, so let me take a moment to explain what I mean. I have become convinced, based on what I would argue is the increasing weight of the evidence, that Mr. Obama is a man whose sense of mission, his arrogance and self-righteousness, and his belief in the malevolence of his enemies might well lead him and his administration to act in ways that would seem to him to be justified at the time but, in fact, are wholly inappropriate.
I would include as evidence to support my assertion the president’s routine slander of his opponents, his serially misleading statements (including flat-out falsehoods about the lethal attacks on the Benghazi consulate), the IRS scandal and the public signals the president sent to that agency over the years, the unprecedented targeting of journalists by the Department of Justice and the attorney general’s nasty little habit of misleading Congress, Mr. Obama’s unusually dishonest campaign against Mitt Romney, and his overall contempt for the rule of law. He just doesn’t think that rules should apply to him, that he is above all that. Those who see themselves as world-historical figures tend to do that.....

(Excerpt) Read more at commentarymagazine.com ...