Posts Tagged ‘1st Amendment’
Holy cow! They illegally got phone records from CONGRESS??
HH: The idea that this might be a Geithner-Axelrod plan, and by that, the sort of intimation, Henry II style, will no one rid me of this turbulent priest, will no one rid me of these turbulent Tea Parties, that might have just been a hint, a shift of an eyebrow, a change in the tone of voice. That’s going to take a long time to get to. I don’t trust the Department of Justice on this. Do you, Congressman Nunes?
DN: No, I absolutely do not, especially after this wiretapping incident, essentially, of the House of Representative. I don’t think people are focusing on the right thing when they talk about going after the AP reporters. The big problem that I see is that they actually tapped right where I’m sitting right now, the Cloak Room.
HH: Wait a minute, this is news to me.
DN: The Cloak Room in the House of Representatives.
HH: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
DN: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…
DN: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.
HH: I did not know that, and that is a stunner.
DN: Now that is a separation of powers issue here, Hugh.
DN: And it’s a freedom of press issue. And now you’ve got the IRS going after people. So these things are starting to cascade one upon the other, and you have the White House pretending like they’re in the clouds like it’s not their issue somehow.
Nune backtracked the term “tapped” later, confirming that although phone records had been obtained, none of the lines were actually tapped:
The DOJ admitted to obtaining call records from a phone used by the AP in the House press gallery, which is … different from tapping a room used by congressmen to talk shop. How Nunes confused the two, I have no idea. [...]
So he was sloppy in confusing obtaining phone records for wiretapping, and what he meant by the cloakroom is that, I guess, if a congressman in the room called up to an AP reporter in the press gallery, the DOJ would know about it from the gallery phone’s records.
The Washington Post confirmed that “The subpoenaed phones records included personal and office lines for several national security reporters and editors as well as “the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery.”
Either way, this is still a monumental abuse of power which serves to chill freedom of the press and intimidate potential sources and whistleblowers who might now think twice about speaking to the press.
Somebody better be going to jail over this.
The media finally discovers that their idol is actually a tyrant, after all, and they are not exempt from his abuses.
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
[...] The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and home phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
Holder is now facing heated backlash from Democrats and the normally fawning liberal media. Rich Lowry ironically observes that the media have discovered that they have more in common with the Tea Party and NRA than they’d like to admit:
Another brilliant column from National Review’s Rich Lowry at Politico. Lowry makes the indisputable point that the same media that have spent years attacking the Tea Party, and months savaging the NRA, are now revealing brazen hypocrisy when it comes to protecting their own rights. In spirit and goal, the media are now one with the Tea Party and NRA.
What animates the Tea Party and NRA is a legitimate concern that the government — especially under President Obama — has made a disturbing pivot from their Constitutional requirement to protect our liberties, to infringing upon our liberties. In turn, Obama and his media label us as anti-government crazies suffering from paranoid delusions.
But look at the reaction this week from that very same media in the wake of the Associated Press scandal. Suddenly the media don’t like Big Government doing to them what ObamaCare and background checks will do to the rest of us. Moreover, the very same media that suggest not trusting the government is a form of extremism, is now demanding a law be immediately passed to shield them from government intrusion.
Matt Drudge warns:
Warning to reporters and sources: Assume all your communications are being monitored. Time to move back to the parking garage #longhotsummer
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) May 13, 2013
It’s all in the family.
1973: reporters investigate All the President’s Men. 2013: reporters are All the President’s Men.
You knew the mainstream media was biased, but this is incredible. It was revealed todaythat CBS News President David Rhodes’ brother is Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, who was instrumental in rewriting the Benghazi talking points. But it gets worse. It is now learned that ABC President Ben Sherwood’s sister, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is a Special Assistant to Barack Obama on national security affairs. But even this isn’t it! CNN’s deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is the wife of Tom Nides, who until February was Hillary Clinton’s deputy.
It doesn’t stop there, either. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is married to Claire Shipman, who works for ABC News.
Could it be that Obama appointed relatives of the press to his administration in order to make the media more reluctant to damage it with accurate reporting?
Could it be that the lack of reporting on Benghazi and other scandals – especially prior to the election – had something to do with this?
Pope Francis: Lack Of ‘Religious Values,’ Government Control Of Education Are Traits Of ‘Totalitarianism’
From our nation’s founding until the Supreme Court ruling on Engel vs. Vitale in 1962, school children across the country began their day with a prayer like this:
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
How shockingly “offensive” to ask God to bless us, huh?
Until 1963, students could voluntarily choose an elective such as “New Testament Survey,” which studied the most influential book in history (especially Western Civilization). Teachers could read from the Bible in a historical context, and teach children to recite “The Lord’s Prayer” (seeing as it’s the most well-known poem in the world).
But now, no more. American school children have no idea of where common cultural references such as “David vs. Goliath,” “The Golden Rule” or “going the extra mile” come from. The have no frame of reference for understanding why the Reformation was such a pivotal point in European history, how Henry VIII’s break away from Rome was so significant, and the reason why the Puritans and Separatists were so intent on escaping to the New World. Children today aren’t taught where Thomas Jefferson got the phrase “Nature’s God” for the Declaration of Independence, or why our founders built our nation on the idea that unalienable rights come from our Creator.
They have no idea of an absolute moral standard – a Natural Law – which no man, woman, king or president is above.
And that’s exactly how tyrants want it. If there is no recognized authority above the state, the state reigns supreme in people’s lives, and can do as it pleases with no accountability.
Pope Francis witnessed this first-hand in Argentina, and he offered this warning:
In a 2011 book, Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the new Pope Francis, stated that parents have a right to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs and that sometimes when the government intervenes to deprive young people of that religious element, it can produce terrible consequences, including “cases like Nazism” whereby many students were indoctrinated with views alien to those espoused their parents.
The book, in Spanish, is entitled Sobre El Cielo Y La Tierra (On Heaven and Earth), by Jorge Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka, the latter an Argentinan rabbi. The book is in interview-style and Skorka asks the cardinal a variety of questions throughout 29 chapters.
In Chapter 18, “Sobre la educacion” (On Education), the future Pope Francis says, “In the Bible, God presents himself as a teacher. ‘Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms,’ it says. A believer is obliged to raise his children. Every man and every woman has a right to educate their children in their religious values.”
“When a government deprives children of this formation, it can lead to cases like Nazism, whereby children were indoctrinated with values opposite to those of their parents. Totalitarianism tends to take over education so it can use the water for its own mill,” said then-Cardinal Bergogolio.
Exiled from Vanderbilt: How Colleges are Driving Religious Groups off Campus
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Freedom of association is under assault on campus. Across the country, universities are using “non-discrimination” policies to force student groups to admit members and leaders who do not share the core values and beliefs of the group.
In practical terms, that means Republican groups would be required to allow Democrats to join and apply for leadership positions, pro-life groups would have to include pro-abortion activists, and religious groups would be forced to admit those who oppose their religion and seek to destroy their group through a “hostile takeover” with their own members.
Vanderbilt University has informed a small Christian student organization that it will no longer be recognized as a student group because it requires its members to have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to email correspondence provided to Fox News.
“It just shows how radical the Vanderbilt administration has become in enforcing a policy that is nonsense,” said Kim Colby, senior counsel for the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. “A lot of jaws dropped when we saw how far the Vanderbilt administration was taking this.”
Colby told Fox News the Christian group did not want to be identified because “they just don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of the culture wars.”
The group reached out to the Vandy chapter of the Christian Legal Society so others would know what had happened, Colby said.
“They are a small group of students who want to gather together and worship God,” she said. “That’s basically all they want to do.”
According to email correspondence from the university, the group’s constitution was not approved because the university took issue with a requirement that leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.”
[...] Colby said the student group has decided not to comply with the university’s demands.
“They’re going to leave campus rather than take those five words out of their constitution,” Colby told Fox News.
Colby said it’s becoming clear that Vanderbilt University is specifically targeting Christian organizations.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Similar policies are being adopted across the country:
Rollins College has determined that a Christian student organization is in violation of the school’s nondiscrimination policy because the group requires its leaders to be followers of Christ.
The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously not to exempt the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from the policy – meaning the Christian group will no longer receive funding and will not be recognized as an official campus organization.
Will your alma mater or child’s university be next? Go to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to learn more.
Don’t worry, little citizen. It’s not like they’re planning on actually using them or anything…right?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.
The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department’s unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States’ northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.
Homeland Security’s specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,” meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify “signals interception” technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and “direction finding” technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.
The sequestration question du jour is why the Department of Homeland Security, busy releasing hundreds, if not thousands, of deportable and detained illegal aliens due to budget constraints, is buying several thousand Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles?
And just who are they intended to be used against?
[...] The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the U.S. They were formerly used for counterinsurgency in Iraq.
These vehicles are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks. They use bulletproof windows and are designed to withstand small-arms fire, including smaller-caliber rifles such as a .223 Remington. Does DHS expect a counterinsurgency here?
An “expert” at West Point recently published a study for the Combating Terrorist Center which warns cadets about the dangers of the “violent far right,” such as Christians, pro-lifers, and advocates for limited government.
It is the extreme left (Occupy, Bill Ayers, ELF) that has been involved in bombings, riots, and other violent actions. Never ONCE has there been an arrest, destruction of property, or other violent action at a Tea Party. And yet WE are supposedly who they’re worried about?
Liberal reporters are finally coming forward to reveal the White House’s threatening behavior towards journalists who dare to question him.
It started with veteran journalist Bob Woodard (of Watergate fame) making these statements:
The Washington Post‘s Bob Woodward ripped into President Barack Obama on “Morning Joe” today, saying he’s exhibiting a “kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time” for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.
“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” Woodward said.
“Or George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need?’” Or even Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters,’ … because of some budget document?”
The Defense Department said in early February that it would not deploy the U.S.S. Harry Truman to the Persian Gulf, citing budget concerns relating to the looming cuts known as the sequester.
“Under the Constitution, the President is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the President going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. ‘I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country,’” Woodward said.
It wasn’t long before the White House responded with threats:
Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.
Sadly, the leftist media are more inclined to eat their own than allow their Obamessiah to be criticized, and the quickly tried to smear Woodward – the man who helped bring down Nixon – as an overly sensitive, attention-seeking has-been who didn’t know a real threat from an innocent misunderstanding:
This is an incredible case of the White House attempting to bully the most iconic reporter of the 20th century – the reporter who, along with Carl Bernstein, took down a president of the United States. So you might expect the rest of the media to stand with Woodward. You’d be wrong. They’re too busy spending time playing defense for the White House.
It began with Politico itself, which downplayed the entire incident, even as it acknowledged that Woodward’s “play-by-play is basically spot on” with regard to reporting the sequestration. “White House officials are certainly within their rights to yell at any journalist, including Bob Woodward,” said official Obama buddies Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei. Allen and VandeHei merely suggested that the battle with Woodward was “a major distraction at a pivotal moment for the president.” They added, “Watching and now having interviewed Woodward, it is easy to see why White House officials get worked about him.” Poor Obama, having to deal with such issues.
Next, the White House went to its favorite outlet, Buzzfeed, and their favorite BenSmithing reporter, Ben Smith, to leak the source of the Woodward “regret” email. It’s clear why they did it – Smith spun the entire incident for the White House. [...]
The gall of this is astounding. All of these reporters combined might equal one tenth a Bob Woodward in the journalistic pantheon; the notion that their treatment at the hands of press flacks in any way reflects the general or appropriate treatment of someone like Woodward is absurd on its face. But the junior varsity is all too happy to gang tackle a reportorial Hall of Famer on behalf of their beloved President.
Imagine if one of George W. Bush’s deputees had dealt with Woodward this way. The left would have gone insane. Now they just call up the White House for a pat on the head and a nice scoop in return.
[...] That madness has now infected the mainstream media. They’re too busy defending President Obama to defend the American people – or even their fellow members of the press – from Obama’s thug White House.
Despite the Leftist media attempt to minimize the damage for Obama and destroy one of their own, the released e-mails confirm Woodward’s claim. Now other renowned liberal journalists are stepping forward to confirm that they, too, have received similar treatment from this White House:
Lanny Davis, who served under President Bill Clinton as special counsel to the White House, told Washington, D.C.’s WMAL this morning that the Obama White House had threatened the Washington Times over his column, warning that the Times would suffer limited access to White House officials and might have its White House credentials revoked. Davis, a centrist Democrat, is sometimes critical of the Obama administration’s policies.
Davis was speaking with Breitbart News editor Larry O’Connor, who co-hosts a morning show on WMAL. Davis said he had never spoken publicly about the threats before, but they seemed relevant after the White House told legendary reporter Bob Woodward that he would “regret” insisting that the White House had come up with the idea of the budget sequester, which President Barack Obama is now urging Congress urgently to revoke.
As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. “You will regret staking out that claim,” The Washington Post reporter was told.Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. “Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron,” the official wrote.
I wrote back:
“I asked you to stop e-mailing me. All future e-mails from you will be on the record — publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you. My cell-phone number is … . If you should decide you have anything constructive to share, you can try to reach me by phone. All of our conversations will also be on the record, publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you.” I haven’t heard back from the official. It was a step not taken lightly because the note essentially ended our working relationship.
Given that Woodward is now being called old and brokedown by David Pflouffe, and the Juicebox Mafia has picked up the “senile” message they’re putting out there… I would in fact say efforts are being made to insure Woodward “regrets” having correctly reported Obama’s ownership of the sequester.
Let’s hope more liberal reporters recognize the threat to their profession, rally around him and speak up.
Only in the deranged minds of Leftists does patriotism = racism.
A group of students at a California high school basketball game were told to remove patriotic bandanas and stop chanting “USA, USA” because school administrators wanted to be sensitive to other spectators.
The incident occurred during a basketball last week between Camarillo High School and Rio Mesa High School in Ventura County.
A school administrator pulled aside four boys and told them to either remove their American flag bandanas or leave the game. The boys complied but returned to lead the crowd in a chant of “USA, USA.”
Both schools have a large Hispanic student population.
Student Austin Medeiros and the other boys were suspended for their actions – but the punishment was later lifted by school officials.
Still, students are upset over what happened and staged a protest at the school’s flagpole by wearing red, white and blue.
“We’ve done it always,” Medeiros told the Ventura County Star. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.”
The White House is trying to create the impression that they are not violating religious liberty, but every time they make a “compromise,” it turns out that the central agenda – forcing religious people to pay for contraceptives and abortions against their conscience – hasn’t changed.
Obama wants to be viewed as the benign benefactor who graciously hears his subjects’ complaints and grants them an exemption. But the unalienable right to religious liberty comes from God, not government. It is not something that Obama can take away and then pretend to give back.
This is where Christians MUST draw the line. Even if this particular fight doesn’t affect your own personal liberty, if they win this battle, the next fight WILL.
HHS released a new proposed regulation under the Obamacare law that the department presented as an accommodation to religious “organizations” that object to providing sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans. However, the proposal does not truly expand the exceedingly narrow religious exemption presented in the initial regulation, which was finalized last year, and continues to offer no exemption at all to Christian individuals or business owners.
“There really is no expansion of the religious exemption,” said Leonard Leo, a Washington attorney, who is a board member of The Catholic Association, a group of Catholic lay persons dedicated to applying the teachings and principles of the church to the issues of the day.
“The HHS mandate announcement today changes nothing, it is just another accounting gimmick and the HHS mandate continues to be a violation of civil rights, religious freedom and First Amendment rights,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor to The Catholic Association. “Catholic institutions and other faith based organizations, including hospitals and universities and private employers, still do not get their First Amendment rights back and are still being forced to either violate their faith or pay crippling government fines for practicing their faith.”
Naturally, this is not going over well in the faith community:
“Today’s proposed rule does nothing to protect the religious liberty of millions of Americans,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for The Becket Fund, a conservative legal organization that is representing several groups in the lawsuits against the mandate, including Hobby Lobby.
“The rights of family businesses like Hobby Lobby are still being violated,” said Duncan, adding that lawyers with his group are still studying what effect the rules will have for other non-profits such as Ave Maria University and EWTN.
“Once again, President Obama’s so-called ‘compromise’ is unacceptable – religious and moral freedom is not up for negotiation,” said Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“There must be no religious ‘test’ by the government as to who, and what type of entities, are entitled to a conscience. We demand respect for non-religious entities such as the Susan B. Anthony Listthat recognize the taking of human life is the antithesis of health care,” she said.
According to Dannenfelser, “The only acceptable outcome is the complete repeal of the HHS mandate and the restoration of a thriving marketplace where Americans can choose health care coverage consistent with their beliefs.”
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life agreed.
“We at Priests for Life remind the administration that religious liberty does not just belong to religious groups and individuals,” said Fr. Pavone. “It belongs to all Americans. Objections to contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs aren’t based just on dogmas and Bibles, but on adverse health consequences and the fact that human beings, no matter how small, should not be killed.”
“We see only one acceptable change regarding the mandate: rescind it completely,” he said.
Obama will never do that voluntarily, but the courts appear to be on our side:
On Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction against the contraceptive mandate on behalf of Annex Medical. The Catholic-owned company, which manufactures medical devices, lost its bid for an injunction at the district court level. The 8th Circuit said the district court in its ruling against Annex misunderstood the precedent that came from another 8th Circuit ruling in an earlier mandate challenge (O’Brien Industries v. HHS). The 8th Circuit clarified both Annex and O’Brien Industries qualified for a preliminary injunction.
Annex is unique in that it only has 16 full-time employees, so the owner isn’t required to provide health insurance. The healthcare law requires employers provide health insurance only if they have more than 50 employees, but Annex’s Catholic owner, Stuart Lind, said his faith compels him to provide health insurance coverage to his employees. He objects to contraceptive, sterilization, and abortifacient coverage.
The Annex ruling gives religious business owners an 11-3 record in courts.
Learn the lessons of history. This is how third-world dictators marginalize their opponents before grabbing the tyrannical powers necessary to dispose of them.
One of the most remarkable and frightening aspects of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address was his dismissal of his opposition – presumably the House Republican caucus – as “absolutists” who are without “principle.”
They are mucking up Obama’s agenda, and he won’t have it.
[...] Absolutism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a form of despotism – “government by an absolute ruler or authority.” That the president of the United States is accusing his democratically-elected opponents of acting in a tyrannical fashion is a remarkable development with potentially profound implications.
Once the president’s opponents have been defined in the American mind as despotically inclined, unsusceptible to reason, and unwilling to play by the normal rules of politics, it is only natural that extreme measures are permitted in response.
This White House has already shown a propensity toward ruling by executive fiat – whether by executive action that effectively enacts rejected legislation, by refusing to enforce existing law, or by crafting rules for legislation to grant vast new powers to bureaucrats.
Once it has de-legitimized the opposition, the White House can claim it is left with no choice but to accelerate and expand its use of executive power. What else can they do, the president and his operatives will argue, when faced with the insanity of the Republicans?
The press, which avidly buys into the notion that much of the House Republican caucus is beyond reason, will lend a sympathetic ear to Obama as he struggles with the forces of darkness.
Obamacare Regs Slam Middle Class Families With Fines If They Can’t Afford Insurance, Cheapest Plan Will Be $20K Per Family
That “free” healthcare they shoved down our throats is going to come as a real punch to the gut for families like mine! Our budget is strapped enough as it is, and now we’ll be slammed with thousands of dollars in fines because we’ve chosen to cash pay our providers.
We haven’t been able to afford health insurance for the past three years. I’d like to just buy catastrophic coverage like you can for other insurance (car, home), but nooooo, you HAVE to buy comprehensive for stuff you don’t want (drug detox, psychotherapy, etc.) which is more than a mortgage payment, and you’re not allowed to shop across state lines for a better deal. They take away your choices and box you in until you have NO CHOICE but to go on a government plan. And that’s EXACTLY the agenda here – they want to bankrupt the insurance industry by taking away their customers and forcing everyone onto single-payer.
This HURTS poor and middle class families, and they don’t give a damn, because they want to force us all into government healthcare. It’s infuriating!
In new, final regulations issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said that parents must pay a federal fine under Obamacare if their children or dependent spouses are uninsured for any part of the year.
[I]f a child goes without government-defined health insurance coverage for any month of the year, their parent must pay a fine to the government, regardless of whether they claim the child as a dependent or not.
The only thing that matters to the IRS is whether the parent could claim the uninsured child as a dependent.
The same rule applies for an uninsured spouse if the couple files a single tax return. If they file a joint return, both parents are liable for the fine.
[...] Uninsured adult family members use the full per-person cost of $695 per person when calculating their penalty, while uninsured children are penalized half of the adult cost – $347.50 per child. The amount of penalty parents may face will change every year after 2016, the IRS said, and parents will face a phased-in penalty between 2014 and 2016.
For 2014, parents could face a penalty of either $47.50 per child – under 18 – up to $285 total.
For 2015, the per-child penalty is $162.50 per child up to $975 total.
For 2016, the per-child penalty is $347.50 per child up to $2,085 total.
The per-person penalty is capped at $2,085 for 2016, but that cap will rise with inflation every year thereafter.
While the per-person penalty is capped each year, families can still owe more if their income is high enough because the law states that families must pay the greater of either the per-person penalty of 2.5 percent of their taxable income.
What can you do to avoid the fines? Just put that $20,000 in extra cash you have laying around to good use:
In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.
Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.
The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.
The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.
For middle-class families that are barely making it right now, this is going to drive millions of them into poverty and forced dependence on the welfare state. It infuriates me how many Christians supported this travesty because they bought the lie that this is “compassion!”
Obama Attacks Fox News, Limbaugh For Holding Republicans Accountable When They Cave To Leftist Agenda
Demonize and blame. That’s all this president knows how to do. Nothing is ever his fault, and his political opponents are mortal enemies who must be attacked, marginalized, and destroyed.
This is a sick, SICK man.
In a sit-down interview with The New Republic released today, President Barack Obama cast blame on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for shaping compromise as a “dirty word.”
[...] Obama said the same thing happens with the far left — but that “left-leaning media outlets” are more willing to accept compromise.
Lying is a natural to him as breathing. Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters points out:
Really? “Left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word?”
Do the folks at MSNBC want Obama to compromise with Republicans? Or the people at the New York Times?
How about CBS News where its political director recently advocated Obama destroy the Republican Party in his second term.
No, there’s no push for compromise from the liberal media.
As for Reid and Pelosi, they’ve done everything but try to work with Republicans since they took over both chambers of Congress in 2007.
In fact, their first budget attained not one single Republican vote in the Senate or the House. Ditto 2009′s stimulus bill and 2010′s healthcare reform.
The same is true for Obama himself who days after his first inauguration told Republican leaders interested in assisting in the crafting of stimulus legislation, “I won.”
It’s truly laughable that a Democratic President of the United States would be blaming members of the media for his inability to reach across the aisle and convince members of the opposition to work with him.
Ronald Reagan had a far more hostile media and seemed capable of doing it. Ditto George W. Bush during his first term.
But Obama can’t, and that’s Fox News and Limbaugh’s fault?
It’s the solution that Obama proposes that is truly frightening. From Ben Shapiro:
But what of his Republican opposition? That opposition, said Obama, has to be forced to embrace his positions:
And I think if you talk privately to Democrats and Republicans, particularly those who have been around for a while, they long for the days when they could socialize and introduce bipartisan legislation and feel productive. So I don’t think the issue is whether or not there are people of goodwill in either party that want to get something done. I think what we really have to do is change some of the incentive structures so that people feel liberated to pursue some common ground. One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.
How, exactly, will Obama achieve changing that incentive structure, exactly? Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are a free press. But according to Obama, that media must apparently be curbed. The media on the left, however, need not be curbed, because “more left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word.”
This is nothing new from a thuggish administration that has vocally derided Rush Limbaugh repeatedly, pushed secondary boycotts of Limbaugh through its extragovernmental allies, and targeted Fox News as illegitimate for daring to question The One’s agenda. But with Obama’s re-election, he obviously feels that his cross-hairs can be safely placed on his media opposition.
There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News.
[...] Alas, the president loves to whine about the media meanies at Fox News. To him, these are not people trying to do their jobs. No, they are out to get him. What other motive could a journalist have in holding a president accountable? Why oh why do Ed Henry and Chris Wallace insist on asking hard questions? Make them stop!
The president seems more comfortable talking to “real journalists” such as Chris Hughes, who asked the question in the TNR interview that elicited Obama’s reflexive Fox hatred. Hughes is the new owner of TNR and is a former major Obama campaign donor and organizer who was featured on the cover of Fast Company, with the headline, “The Kid Who Made Obama President.” You can’t make this stuff up.
This latest volley from the president is just one in a long line of comments from his White House as part of their campaign to silence any dissent they detect in the press corps.
Recently, the White House has kept Fox News off of conference calls dealing with the Benghazi attack, despite Fox News being the only outlet that was regularly reporting on it and despite Fox having top notch foreign policy reporters.
They have left Chris Wallace’s “Fox News Sunday” out of a round of interviews that included CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS for not being part of a “legitimate” news network. In October 2009, as part of an Obama administration onslaught against Fox News,White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week” that the Fox News Channel is “not really a news station” and that much of the programming is “not really news.”
Whether you are liberal or conservative, libertarian, moderate or politically agnostic, everyone should be concerned when leaders of our government believe they can intentionally try to delegitimize a news organization they don’t like.
In fact, if you are a liberal – as I am – you should be the most offended, as liberalism is founded on the idea of cherishing dissent and an inviolable right to freedom of expression.
[...] Can someone explain to me how it’s “liberal” to try and shut down a media organization? What the Obama administration is doing, and what liberals are funding at MMFA is beyond chilling – it’s a deep freeze.
They waited until after the election to allow the full impact to hit. Now people are about to discover “what’s in it.”
The White House issued new rules on Wednesday regarding the individual mandate requirements of Obamacare, stressing those that allow for exemptions from the requirement to buy insurance.
The new rules sought to play down the scope of Obamacare’s unpopular individual mandate requirement, The Hill reports.
The exceptions, detailed by the Internal Revenue Service and the Health and Human Services Department, were included in regulations that also outlined the process by which the IRS will calculate penalties for not having insurance, The Hill reports.
The individual mandate requires most taxpayers to buy insurance or pay an IRS fine. It remains one of Obamacare’s most politically unpopular provisions — and it formed the basis of the case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court last year.
HHS called the individual mandate provision a system of “shared responsibility” payments.
But the penalty for not having insurance “applies only to the limited group of taxpayers who choose to spend a substantial period of time without coverage despite having ready access to affordable coverage,” the agency said in a fact sheet provided to The Hill.
Who decides what is “ready access to affordable coverage?” Bureaucrats, of course! Busybodies who decide whether or not health insurance is “affordable” for your budget, no matter what other demands you may have on it.
What if that “affordable coverage” includes something that violates your faith, like abortion? Tough luck, honey! You’ll be forced to buy it against your conscience, because Washington has decided that your “right” to “free” healthcare supersedes your unalienable 1st Amendment rights.
Of course, the central planners aren’t as perfect and omniscient as they think they are, and already a huge “glitch” has appeared:
Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what’s being called a glitch in President Barack Obama’s overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president’s plan had hoped.
As a result, some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.
The Obama administration says its hands were tied by the way Congress wrote the law. Officials said the administration tried to mitigate the impact. Families that can’t get coverage because of the glitch will not face a tax penalty for remaining uninsured, the IRS rules said.
“This is a very significant problem, and we have urged that it be fixed,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group that supported the overhaul from its early days. “It is clear that the only way this can be fixed is through legislation and not the regulatory process.”
But there’s not much hope for an immediate fix from Congress, since the House is controlled by Republicans who would still like to see the whole law repealed.
The affordability glitch is one of a series of problems coming into sharper focus as the law moves to full implementation.
This is EXACTLY what this Alinsky intimidation campaign was designed to do: frighten away donors and dry up the funds for any group that dares to defy the radical leftist gay agenda.
Dan Cathy has to do what he believes is right for his business, and he may think that his decision has proved that he’s not a “hater” or “bigot,” but in fact, this victory will embolden the bullies to use these tactics against other conservative business owners and organizations in the future.
Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy and the head of a national gay-rights group have made peace.
“I’ve gotten to know Dan; he’s gotten to know me,” Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, told ABC News on Monday. “He’s shared concerns about young people, about Chick-fil-A being used for certain purposes.”
[...] Chick-fil-A, he told ABC, had stopped donating to anti-gay groups, according to his review of the company’s 990 tax forms.
Chick-fil-A long has donated to socially conservative groups. In July, the anti-gay group Equality Matters examined tax forms and found that in 2010 the company had donated more than $1.9 million to “anti-gay causes.”
In September, the restaurant chain agreed to stop donating to anti-gay groups.
But Chick-fil-A said in a statement on Monday: “Over the past three years alone, Chick-fil-A has given more than $68 million in contributions to over 700 different educational and charitable organizations around the country, in addition to providing millions of dollars in food donations.
“While we evaluate individual donations on an annual basis, our giving is focused on three key areas: youth and education, leadership and family enrichment and serving the local communities in which we operate. Our intent is to not support political or social agendas. This has been the case for more than 60 years.”
Why is our military imposing the intolerant demands of Secular Humanism on our troops? How is it any different than Sharia law, which seeks to suppress all religious expression at odds with its own ideology?
Religious liberty advocates are denouncing the U.S. military’s order to remove a steeple and dismantle Christian crosses from an Army chapel in Afghanistan.
“We can confirm that those items were removed from the chapel,” said a spokesman for the ISAF Joint Command. “These items were removed out of respect for the beliefs of other faiths.”
The Pentagon confirmed to Fox News that cross-shaped windows on the chapel were boarded up – until they can be replaced with non-offensive doors. Click here to read our original story.
The chapel, located at Forward Operation Base Orgun-E, became the subject of controversy after an atheist soldier complained and the president of American Atheists sent a letter to the Pentagon.
“Soldiers with minority religious beliefs and atheists often feel like second-class citizens when Christianity is seemingly officially endorsed by their own base,” American Atheists president David Silverman told Fox News. “We are very happy the Pentagon and the Army decided to do the right thing.”
A military spokesman told Fox News the cross was literally dismantled and will be removed from the base to be in “compliance with Army regulations and to avoid any misconception of religious favoritism or disrespect.”
[...] Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, of the Family Research Council, told Fox News a Christian cleansing of the military is under way.
“I don’t think you can categorize it any other way,” he said. “There is a strong effort, led partially by the Administration as well as by atheist groups to destroy the identity of who we are as a nation and that means robbing us of our history.”
Boykin said he fears that the attacks on the Christian faith of soldiers could destroy the morale and the readiness of the military.
“In the long term, the greatest casualty of the conflict in Afghanistan is probably going to be the First Amendment rights of the American soldiers and the faith upon which America was founded,” he said. “I’m very concerned what the administration is doing to the military on a number of fronts. This is another indicator of how we are trying to impose a liberal agenda upon the people that are protecting the very rights of all Americans to be able to worship freely.”
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Counsel, wondered why Christian soldiers must hide who they are.
“Why are we ashamed of one of the major reasons our Nation is the most generous and self-sacrificing for the benefit of others that the world has ever known – our inherently Christian benevolence,” he told Fox News. “We have freed the oppressed, fed the hungry, and restored nations throughout the world without anything in particular to show for it other than the satisfaction of making the world better than we found it for the sake of goodness and doing the right thing. Why should we hide a major motivation that compels Americans to do this?”
Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance, told Fox News he was extremely disappointed to hear the news.
“I’m so concerned that the military is caving in to an organization that does not understand the First Amendment,” Crews said. “Christians have every right to exercise their faith in the military.”
If these Atheists were as tolerant and “respectful of other faiths” as they claim, they wouldn’t have a problem with a Christian chapel being designated with a cross symbol.