Saturday, August 17, 2013

Obama Presidency A Lengthening Legacy Of Lawlessness

Investors.com ^ | August 16, 2013 | Editorial

Leadership: President Obama's approval numbers are now hitting record lows, yet his critics are often written off as simple-minded "Obama haters." It doesn't wash. The problem is a pattern of presidential lawlessness.

Last time we checked, the Constitution requires the president to "faithfully execute the law." That's no editorial opinion, but Article 2, Section 3, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that "(The President) shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed."
Our founders conceived and established in that document three co-equal branches of government to preserve our individual liberty and restrain the unlimited power of government. But this president and his administration have routinely ignored the divisions of power between the presidency, the Congress and its legislation, and the Supreme Court and its rulings.
Constitutionally, the president has the authority to check the legislative branch by recommending legislation to be passed by Congress or through the presidential veto. But he cannot legislate through executive fiat and he can't pick and choose which parts of the law he will comply with or decline. Nor can he defy judicial rulings from the highest court in the land.
But that's what he's done. In just the latest example, President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder has directed federal prosecutors to conceal the amount of drugs seized during an arrest to circumvent mandatory minimum sentences set by Congress in 1986.
Whether one agrees with that law or not, its legal authority lies within the constitutional powers of Congress, not the executive branch. And that's the issue. It's part of a growing litany of presidential lawlessness:
• Aug. 14, 2013: The Obama administration delayed the provision in ObamaCare to cap out-of-pocket health care costs, picking and choosing parts of the law to enforce, which is to exceed its authority.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...

Illinois image tainted by Jesse Jackson Jr. crimes!

MyFoxChicago ^ | Aug 15, 2013 | Joanie Lum, Kori Chambers,Tiffany Boncan

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Many people say the federal crimes committed by former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson are the latest examples of corruption in our state.


Jackson Jr. will serve 30 months behind bars and remain on probation for three additional years. After her husband serves his time, Sandi Jackson will go to jail for 12 months without a chance for less time for good behavior. She was ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution and serve 200 hours of community service.


The former congressman plead guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign funds on extravagant personal items - like a $43,350 gold-plated men's Rolex watch. His wife plead guilty to filing a false tax return, since she failed to report $600,000 in income that the couple earned between 2005 and 2011. She was also her husband's campaign treasurer.

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

The Only 'Chart' That Main Street Cares About

Zero Hedge ^ | Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/16/2013 18:56 -0400

Presented with little comment aside to note that while every night we are told by how much the Dow closed green, many await the day the chart below flashes anything but red.


And as an added bonus, here it is again, this time alongside the Fed's ever rising "assets"... on an inverted axis. Luckily, correlation is not causation and all that.


Charts: Goldman Sachs and @Not_Jim_Cramer

Freedom Foundation to U.S. Senator: “No one will make us renounce freedom”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is a statist and a bully. The Senator, known for comparing U.S. soldiers to Nazis, recently used his senatorial letterhead to demand answers from us here at the Freedom Foundation. Sen. Durbin wants to know whether the Freedom Foundation is, or ever has been, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
What is this nefarious group? It’s hardly a secret since it has both a website and ablog. They even tweet. In fact, a cursory internet search would show that Bob Williams, the Freedom Foundation’s Founder and Senior Fellow, is on ALEC’s board of scholars.
ALEC is an organization made up of legislators, other organizations, and businesses that believe in fiscal conservatism, free markets, and constitutional federalism. Its meetings are about brainstorming and debating policy ideas, sharing information, and sometimes developing “model legislation” that legislators might choose to introduce in their own states. In short, ALEC allows people to talk about ideas … mostly conservative people, that is, and mostly conservative ideas.
Sen. Durbin stresses in his letter that he “acknowledges” the right to participate in politics. Yet this is rather troubling, for if he is not against political action generally, then his anti-ALEC position must relate instead to ALEC's point of view. When it comes to First Amendment freedom of speech, the absolute worst, most unlawful kind of speech restrictions are those based on “viewpoint discrimination.” (Then again, Sen. Durbin is not a big fan of the First Amendment, except when it protects his right to spend time with avowed Communists.)
Yet Sen. Durbin fully tips his hand with his second question. Beliefs are exactly what he’s interested in.
Sen. Durbin wants to know what the Freedom Foundation thinks about “stand your ground” legislation, which is already the law in most states, including both Washington and Illinois. He says that our answers will become part of the congressional record as he launches a hearing to investigate ALEC and “stand your ground” laws.
Below, you can read his letter and our response where I point out that Sen. Durbin’s current actions are an insult to his Lithuanian heritage and prove him a hypocrite. I do hope he includes our response in the record.

Can't see the documents? Download a copy - Durbin's Letter (PDF) | Our Response (PDF)
Letter from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin

Freedom Foundation's Response to Sen. Durbin

Author

Trent England

Executive Vice President

In First Year of New Program, Deportation Is Deferred for 400,000 Young Immigrants

National Journal ^ | August 15, 2013 | Rebecca Kaplan

About 400,000 "Dreamers" have been allowed to stay in the United States in the year since the Obama administration began accepting applications for young illegal immigrants to defer deportation proceedings and receive work permits, according to data compiled by the Brookings Institution and released on the anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The numbers show that out of more than a half-million applicants for deferred action, more than three-quarters were accepted and just 1 percent denied. The applications were concentrated in states that already have large immigrant communities, such as California, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Florida. On the East Coast, the applications were from a more diverse set of countries while in the West, Midwest, and South the vast majority of applicants were from Mexico.


"DACA has been an incredible success for our country," said Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas. "To date we have given 400,000 young immigrants the ability to continue to contribute to this country, the only country that most of these outstanding individuals have ever known."

The fate of these younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children—the so-called Dreamers—is less precarious than many of the other 11 million people living in the U.S. without papers. Lawmakers have been quicker to agree that the Dreamers deserve special treatment, including an expedited path to citizenship.

Hinojosa and other supporters of immigration reform point to the DACA program, which began a year ago Thursday, as a sign of progress; some see it as an indication of what President Obama will do for other undocumented immigrants if Congress does not act....

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

Obama faces Dem backlash over latest NSA revelations

fox news ^ | staff

The Obama administration faced a backlash from congressional Democrats on Friday following revelations that the National Security Agency broke privacy rules and overstepped its authority thousands of times since 2008.
The details were reported late Thursday in The Washington Post, based on an audit and other secret documents provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The report challenged claims by President Obama just last week that the NSA was not abusing its authority, and complicated his effort to reassure Americans and Congress that -- with a little more oversight and transparency -- the surveillance programs are nothing to be worried about.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called the latest reports "extremely disturbing."
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "Reports that the NSA repeatedly overstepped its legal boundaries, broke privacy regulations and attempted to shield required disclosure of violations are outrageous, inappropriate and must be addressed."
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...

ACORN Resurrected: Obama Administration Giving $200,000 Housing Grant To Rebrand An ACORN Affiliate

Gateway Pundit ^ | 8/16/13 | Mara Zebest

The Obama Administration has given a $200,000 Housing Grant to rebrand an ACORN affiliate despite a Federal Ban on funding ACORN.

Judicial Watch reports the following:

Judicial Watch, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revealing that on February 12, 2013, HUD Assistant Secretary for Office of Housing Counseling Sarah Gerecke may have violated federal law by requesting that $201,222.07 be transferred from the account of the defunct Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA), an ACORN spin-off, to HUD intermediary Mission for Peace “to specifically pay for the activities of former AHCOA affiliates.” [...]
Read more here.
Washington Examiner also reports on the Judicial Watch findings:
A spinoff of the scandal-ridden community organizer group ACORN received more than $200,000 in federal housing grants despite a ban on money going to ACORN affiliates, watchdog organization Judicial Watch announced Thursday.
ACORN, which officially folded in 2009 after a string of scandals, rebranded into more than 100 spinoff groups, including Affordable Housing Centers of America — also now defunct — and Mission of Peace, an affordable housing nonprofit.
In February, the Department of Housing and Urban Development transferred $201,222.07 from AHCOA to Mission of Peace “specifically to pay for the activities of former AHCOA affiliates,” according to a memo obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request.
(Excerpt) Read more at thegatewaypundit.com ...

Top 5 Inaccuracies in 'The Butler'

Breitbart ^ | 8/16/13 | Christian Toto

The new political drama Lee Daniels' The Butler takes its cues from a Washington Post article about a black servant named Eugene Allen who worked in eight presidential administrations.
That part of the story is essentially unchanged. The rest of the film, a movie stuffed with politics, historical re-creations and presidential imitations, is rife with inaccuracies that should be corrected.
Note: Some story spoilers ahead ...
President Ronald Reagan was indifferent to the suffering of people of color. Breitbart News reported this week that Reagan biographer Craig Shirley shredded this notion by detailing the president's legislative achievements and personal outtreach to his black peers. The Democrats helped pass the Civil Rights Act: This is more of an inaccuracy by omission. The film showcases how both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson rallied on behalf of civil rights, but what's left out is the voting record on the historic Civil Rights Act. Turns out "80 percent of the “no” votes in the Senate came from Democrats, including the late Robert Byrd (W.Va.) and Albert Gore (Tenn.), father of the future vice president," so Republicans teamed up with President Johnson to pass the legislation. President Nixon dismissed black Americans--save for their votes: The film shows Nixon (John Cusack) promoting his upcoming election battle with John F. Kennedy by giving campaign buttons to the butler and his fellow black servers. Later, Nixon talks up black enterprise but only with an eye on winning votes. Moviefone.com notes Nixon's record on school integration outpaced his predecessors, and Allen has spoken fondly of Nixon in press interviews.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Wanted: A Republican Substitute for Obamacare

NRO ^ | 8/16/2013 | Deroy Murdock

To be a credible opponent, the GOP must unite around a plan of its own.

At his August 9 news conference, Obama spoke with journalists in the White House East Room about Republicans and Obamacare.
“At least they used to say, ‘Well, we’re going to replace it with something better,’” Obama said. “There’s not even a pretense now that they’re going to replace it with something better.”
Unless Republicans want Obama to keep spouting such nonsense, they must craft and at least pass through the GOP House a bill that would scrap Obamacare and put something far better — and Republican — in its place.
Republicans are 1,000 percent correct to try to defund, repeal, and replace Obamacare. With its employer mandate postponed for a year, most health-insurance exchanges far from ready for their October 1 debut, medical premiums zooming to the Moon, and its ten-year price tag soaring from $940 billion at enactment to $1.8 trillion today, Obamacare has become both unworkable and a knee-slapping mockery
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...

How to Solve the American Health Care Crisis: With a little help from some Indians

Slate ^ | August 13, 2013 | Justin Matis


America's health care problems could be solved through a collaboration of Asian Indians and American Indians. And a bus ride.
When I worked in finance, I had a generous health plan. Now I can’t afford to pay the state-subsidized annual insurance premium of $6,924 (six months’ rent) myself. Despite my good health, my appendix could become inflamed at any time. Appendix removal surgery costs an average of $33,000 (house down payment). Any medical problem that can’t be fixed with a pill could bankrupt me.
My friend Tikka exposed me to a more frugal solution. Tikka spends his days and limited money traveling Asia by foot or bicycle, and when he got a hernia, he flew to India to have it repaired. There he paid $300 (groceries for a month) for a surgery that would cost $29,880 (six acres of farmland) here. He was a medical tourist—a patient who travels abroad for cost-effective treatment for cancer, cosmetic surgery, or any large yet time-insensitive medical need. Some people travel to Belgium for hip replacement surgery, for example, because the same implant that is sold for $4,000 in Belgium can go for as much as $39,000 here. The savings are significant enough that U.S. citizens are willing to brave unfamiliar hospitals and recuperate from serious procedures away from their family and friends.
Of course, for some Americans, discounted foreign medical care is available close to home. San Diego residents can drive 20 minutes to Tijuana, Mexico, for 60 percent off tummy-tucks and cheap dental crowns. Some cross the border nursing broken bones. If the rest of the country were just an hour away from more affordable international care instead of a day’s flight from it, medical tourism would be feasible for not only time-insensitive health problems, but for emergencies and minor procedures....
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...

The 25 Stupidest Liberal Quotes Of The Last Decade

Townhall ^ | Aug 17, 2013 | John Hawkins

25) Seniors love getting junk mail. It’s sometimes their only way of communicating or feeling like they’re part of the real world. -- Harry Reid
24)The number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S. -- Joe Biden
23) I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome. -- Drew Barrymore
22) Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama cannot win, and they are put in place to assure a victory by Mitt Romney… this is the plan of all the insurance companies that are owned by Mormon interests. It is unfolding as the Mormon Church planned over the last fifty years. -- Roseanne Barr
21) I do believe that it’s the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics that World Trade Center tower 7 — building 7, which collapsed in on itself — it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved. World Trade Center 7. World Trade [Center] 1 and 2 got hit by planes — 7, miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible. -- Rosie O’Donnell talks Trutherism
20) Isn't it a little racist to call it Black Friday? -- Joy Behar
19) A good place to start a more civil dialog would be for my Republican colleagues in the House to change the name of the bill they have introduced to repeal health care reform. The bill, titled the “Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act,” was set to come up for a vote this week, but in the wake of Gabby’s shooting, it has been postponed at least until next week. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not suggesting that the name of that one piece of legislation somehow led to the horror of this weekend — but is it really necessary to put the word “killing” in the title of a major piece of legislation? -- Chellie Pingree, Congresswoman (D-ME)
18) The Republican Party is saying that the President of the United States has bosses, that the union bosses this President around, the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss? -- Lawrence O’Donnell
17) Herman Cain is probably well-liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party, conservative movement and tea party movement. People like Karl Rove like to keep the racism very covert and so Herman Cain provides this great opportunity so he can say, ‘Look: This is not a racist anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look: We have a black man.’ And look he’s polling well and he won a straw poll. -- Janeane Garofalo
16) If we want to keep our reproductive rights, we must be willing to tell our stories, to be willing and able to say, “I love my life, but I wish my mother had aborted me.” -- Lynn Beisner, the Guardian
15) Is there such a thing as a man-made stroke? In other words, did someone do this to (Democratic Senator Tim Johnson)? …I know what this [Republican] party is capable of. -- Joy Behar on The View
14) Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them. -- Mary Frances Berry, former Chairwoman, US Commission on Civil Rights
13) Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you. -- Joe Biden
12) Those flowers were picked by illegal immigrants. And they’re not voting for you, b*tch. -- Joy Behar after receiving flowers from Sharon Angle
11) During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. -- Al Gore
10) Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs. -- Nancy Pelosi
9) Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today. One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. -- Thomas Friedman
8) I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong–Mother Nature’s fist of fury, Gaia’s stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own. — James Wolcott, Vanity Fair
7) Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. -- Barack Obama
6) The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied. -- Jeremiah Wright
5) How do we know when someone like Hasan is going to make his move and do we know he’s an Islamist until he’s made his move? He makes a phone call or whatever, according to Reuters right now. Apparently he tried to contact al-Qaida. Is that the point at which you say, “This guy is dangerous?” That’s not a crime to call up al-Qaida, is it? Is it? I mean, where do you stop the guy? -- Chris Matthews
4) The medical term for Down Syndrome is Trisomy-21 or Trisomy-g. It is often shortened in medical slang to Tri-g. Is it not perfectly possible that the very name given to this poor child, being reared by Bristol, is another form of mockery of his condition, along with the “retarded baby” tag? And does the way in which this poor child was hauled around the country on a book tour, being dragged out in front of flash photographs in the middle of the night, barely clothed, suggest someone who actually cares for children with special needs, or rather sees them as a way to keep the spotlight on her? -- Andrew Sullivan
3) I propose a limitation be put on how many sqares [sic] of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required. -- Sheryl Crow at the Huffington Post
2) Had a powerful meditation just now — caused an earthquake in Southern California. …Was meditating on Shiva mantra & earth began to shake. Sorry about that. -- Deepak Chopra thinks his meditation can cause earthquakes
1) My fear is that the whole island (of Guam) will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize. -- Democrat Congressman Hank Johnson

Election Watchdog Hands Florida 173 Cases of Alleged Voter Fraud!

Sunshine State News ^ | August 17th, 2013 | William Patrick

A Texas-based watchdog known as True the Vote is staying one step ahead of Florida’s elections officials.

The organization has identified 173 cases of alleged interstate voter fraud, or double voting, in Florida and Maryland, the group announced Monday.
Each case represents a single person voting in both states during the same federal election cycle, dating to 2006.
“The 173 cases does not mean 173 illegal votes,” said Logan Churchwell, communications director for True the Vote, a nonpartisan voters’ rights and election integrity group. “It means at least double that.”
The group used updated 2012 voting data to cross-reference Florida and Maryland registration lists. Maryland is the latest state under review in what Churchwell described as the “snowbird” project.
Using names, dates of birth, residential addresses and federal voting information, True the Vote has already identified potential double voting abuses in Florida by way of Ohio (534 cases), New York (32) and Rhode Island (2), as of October last year.
True the Vote submits its findings to the U.S. Department of Justice and state elections officials for further investigation.
Florida Watchdog contacted the Florida Department of State Division of Elections for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Voter fraud is a third-degree felony in Florida and carries a maximum penalty of $5,000 and five years in prison.
In a news release, Catherine Engelbrecht, president of True the Vote, said double voting is attributable to the fragility of our absentee voting systems.
For various reasons, including convenience, absentee ballot voting has increased in Florida in recent years, though proper safeguards are still being debated.
“Voter ID can’t do anything against an absentee ballot fraud case because it’s all done in the mail,” said Churchwell.
As previously reported, absentee balloting, or vote by mail, was the focus of a grand jury report led by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle after irregularities were found in the area’s 2012 elections.
The report highlighted several clear violations and the rise of absentee ballot voting in general in Miami-Dade County -- 27 percent of the total 885,067 votes in November, as opposed to 7 percent in 2000.
True the Vote’s recent findings show the highest instances of absentee ballot interstate fraud occurring in Escambia, Clay, Duval, Pinellas and Volusia counties.
According to Pew Research, 2.75 million Americans were registered to vote in more than one state last year. But that does not mean they committed fraud.
Still, for those like Wendy Rosen, the temptation to double vote could be hard to resist.
Rosen ran for a seat in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District last year but ended her campaign less than two months before the general election when it became known the Maryland resident also voted in Florida.
Churchwell said True the Vote will continue to offer Florida and other states assistance even if they don’t get credit. “It’s a bipartisan issue, and the absentee voting system is only as good as the list maintenance process is,” he said.
Updated as of 5:07 p.m. A spokesman for the Division of Elections said in an email that,”The division is reviewing the files.”