Posts Tagged ‘Unconstitutional’
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
Another day, another Obama scandal.
The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.
How much money is on the line in this suit? Oh, a mere $25,000 in compensatory damages. Per violation. Which adds up to “a minimum of $250 billion.”Has Congress begun those emergency sessions to shut down ObamaCare yet? What else do they need to hear?
If they’ve already proven themselves capable of targeting conservatives with only their tax information, what will they be capable of when they have even more information on their targets?
If they’ve already illegally released conservatives’ confidential tax information, what’s to stop them from leaking dissidents’ personal health information as well?
Obamacare is not merely a massive overhaul of the health care system. It is also a substantial expansion of the Internal Revenue Service. That’s because the law relies on the tax collection agency to both enforce its individual mandate and administer the tax credits the law offers to subsidize the purchase of health insurance. Following recent revelations that agents in multiple IRS offices, including tax officials in Washington, targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, a number of former and current Republican legislators are already counseling caution about the agency’s role in administering the law.
Concerns about the agency’s oversight of the health law are well-founded—and not only because of general concerns about the agency’s judgment.
For one thing, the IRS appears to have specifically targeted groups that opposed the health care law. According to The Washington Post, “although some of the groups were explicitly labeled ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot,’ others that came under intense scrutiny were focused on challenging the Affordable Care Act — known by many as Obamacare — or the integrity of federal elections.”
In other words, the agency has singled out Obamacare opponents for unusual treatment. That does not speak well of the agency’s ability to fairly carry out its duties under the law.
Indeed it does not.
The editorial board at Investors Business Daily is similarly concerned:
[O]bamaCare’s individual mandate takes effect in 2014, all Americans who file income-tax returns must deal with and report personal health information to the IRS.
The IRS will require the name and health insurance identification number of the taxpayer, the name and tax identification number of the health insurance company, the number of months the taxpayer was covered by this insurance plan and whether the plan was purchased in one of ObamaCare’s “exchanges.”
Heavy fines will be levied for failure to jump through all the government’s hoops.
The new tax mandates and penalties in ObamaCare will require up to 16,500 new IRS personnel to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses, according to an analysis by the Joint Economic Committee and the then-minority GOP staff of the House Ways & Means Committee in 2010.
Will the IRS enforce the mandate rules impartially, or will it go after only those who support individual liberty and oppose government encroachment on it?
Will ObamaCare resisters also be considered enemies of the state?
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?
Last month, M. Stanton Evans pointed out that America’s demographics currently favor the Republicans in future elections:
As shown by demographer Eric Kaufman of the University of London, religious couples across all cultures are for obvious reasons (including but not limited to abortion) having more children per family than are the secular-irreligious, whose birthrates are below replacement — which means a declining population.
“After 2020,” says Kaufman, the devoutly religious of all faiths “will begin to tip the culture wars to the conservative side.”
The liberal-counterculture Democrats will of course continue fighting this war in the schools and through the media, but have only one major demographic weapon to counter the fertility gap that is working relentlessly against them.
That weapon is illegal immigration. As the population trends move steadily conservative, the liberals must bring into the country and enfranchise new voters who will reliably cast Democratic ballots.
That, and that alone, is the real issue in the battle over immigration and why the Democrats are so bent on gaining amnesty for illegals. All the rest is window dressing.
No wonder they’re pushing so hard for amnesty. The question is, why are Republicans so stupidly eager to help them?
THIS is why we need the Parental Rights Amendment!
Parents don’t even realize that the state now considers their parental rights something that are delegated to them by the state, rather than being unalienable rights endowed by Nature and Nature’s God! If a doctor decides to play god or someone decides to make a false accusation, your rights as a parent can be suddenly revoked, and you’re considered guilty until proven innocent!
A Sacramento family was torn apart after a 5-month-old baby boy was taken from his parents following a visit to the doctor.
The young couple thought their problems were behind them after their son had a scare at the hospital, but once they got home their problems got even worse.
It all began nearly two weeks ago, when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be treated for flu symptoms, but they didn’t like the care Sammy was getting.
For example, one day Anna asked why a nurse was giving her son antibiotics.
“I asked her, for what is that? And she’s like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m like, ‘you’re working as a nurse, and you don’t even know what to give to my baby for what,’” Anna explained.
According to Anna, a doctor later said Sammy shouldn’t have been on the antibiotics.
Anna said Sammy suffers from a heart murmur and had been seeing a doctor at Sutter for regular treatment since he was born. After Sammy was treated for flu symptoms last week, doctors at Sutter admitted him to the pediatric ICU to monitor his condition. After a few days, Anna said doctors began talking about heart surgery.
“If we got the one mistake after another, I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,” Anna said.
Anna argued with doctors about getting a second opinion. Without a proper discharge, she finally took Sammy out of the hospital to get a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente.
“The police showed up there. They saw that the baby was fine,” Anna said. “They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms.”
Medical records from the doctor treating Sammy at Kaiser Permanente said the baby as clinically safe to go home with his parents. The doctor added, “I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents.”
“So police saw the report from the doctors, said, ‘okay guys, you have a good day,’ and they walked away,” Anna said.
That SHOULD have been the end of the story, but it wasn’t. Many doctors are no longer recognizing the right of parents to disagree with their recommendations and/or seek a second opinion. With god-like arrogance, they seek to intimidate, threaten and punish any patient that dares to question them, and the law allows them to do it.
Evidently the doctors and staff at Sutter were offended that Anna wanted to seek a second opinion because the day after the two hospital visits, police and Child Protective Services showed up at their house. Alex met them outside the door and says that the police pushed him against the house and then smacked him down to the ground. The police then opened the door without asking permission and entered the house. Anna, who was frightened to death, turned her camera on to record what was happening. She recorded one of the police officers telling her:
“I’m going to grab your baby, and don’t resist, and don’t fight me ok?”
The policeman took Sammy from them and turned him over to the CPS agent. They told the shocked and frightened parents that they had a report that Sammy had been severely neglected and that an investigation was being launched.
Alex and Anna have retained an attorney to help them sort the whole thing out. Their attorney says that there are absolutely no signs of neglect and that the exact opposite is true. The parents have never missed an appointment and they have the doctor’s records from Kaiser indicating that Sammy was okay to go home and that he was not in any danger.
Even though the baby shows no signs of neglect and the parents have not been charged with any crime, CPS forced them to agree to restrictions on their parental rights in order to regain custody. They have lost their right to disagree with the doctors over their son’s treatment, and must allow intrusive “follow up” visits into their home. ”Follow up” for what? Further proof that the parents have done nothing wrong? These parents are being treated as if they are guilty until proven innocent!
Five-month-old Sammy, who was removed from his parents’ custody by Sacramento County Child Protective Services last week, will be transported to Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, a Sacramento County judge ruled Monday. The baby has been in protective custody at Sutter Memorial Hospital.
The Nikolayevs have since been fighting to get their baby back and talking with local and international media to explain their case.
The court also ruled Monday the parents must following all medical advice from now on, including not taking their child from Stanford without proper discharge.
A county social worker will make regular house visits to check on Sammy once he is returned home.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Paul Seave said he believed all of the attorneys involved worked in the best interest of Sammy.
The “best interest of Sammy” was to be left with his parents the minute the cops saw he was in no danger, investigate the first hospital’s false reports to CPS, and investigate CPS’s unlawful abuses of power to harass and tear apart an innocent family!
ParentalRights.org explains why the Parental Rights Amendment is desperately needed:
Traditionally, the Supreme Court has recognized the “fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child,” found in the Fourteenth Amendment’s “Due Process” clause. Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982) This protection, however, has been lost on Sacramento CPS. It is also being weakened through judicial erosion in the courts.
Passage of the Parental Rights Amendment will provide parents an explicit constitutional protection; otherwise, they’ll have to rely on the courts, hoping they will continue to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment as they traditionally have (but increasingly no longer do). And the PRA will allow organizations like CPS to know exactly what the rules are that they must follow.
“The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their child is a fundamental right. Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”
These two sentences would make clear that CPS cannot take a child away unless it is prepared to prove that the child was in danger caused by abuse or neglect. In this case, it would increase the chances that common sense would prevail and baby Sammy would have gotten to stay home safe and sound with his mom and dad.
Imagine how many more incidents like this we are likely to see with a government takeover of health care!
Who needs a Bill of Rights or due process of law? The same government that claims to be “of the people, by the people, for the people” really considers itself completely above the law and unaccountable to the people.
When will Americans finally stand up to these abuses of power and say, “ENOUGH”?
The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t believe it needs a search warrant to read your e-mail.
Newly disclosed documents prepared by IRS lawyers say that Americans enjoy “generally no privacy” in their e-mail, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and similar online communications — meaning that they can be perused without obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge.
That places the IRS at odds with a growing sentiment among many judges and legislators who believe that Americans’ e-mail messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. They say e-mail should be protected by the same Fourth Amendment privacy standards that require search warrants for hard drives in someone’s home, or a physical letter in a filing cabinet.
An IRS 2009 Search Warrant Handbook obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that “emails and other transmissions generally lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and thus their Fourth Amendment protection once they have been sent from an individual’s computer.” The handbook was prepared by the Office of Chief Counsel for the Criminal Tax Division and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
By that reasoning, a letter or package that leaves your home on it’s way to the intended recipient would would have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” either….except that it DOES.
If the government is not permitted to snoop through your physical mail without a warrant, neither should they be permitted to snoop through your electronic communications.
Common Core is a federal attempt to nationalize curriculum. We MUST oppose this, from every school board!
Critics of the Common Core State Standards had our fears confirmed on Monday when Education Week reported that the Department of Education will oversee the assessment test design for the new national standards. This is no April Fool’s joke: Washington will soon be directly regulating what America’s schoolchildren learn and on what they are tested. This massive expansion of federal power is concerning considering the federal government’s failed history of intervening in public education.
As I recently explained in AFP Foundation’s school choice policy report, the federal government has had its meddling hands in America’s public schools for decades. From the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to No Child Left Behind today, Congress has provided Title I federal funding to schools with low-income student bodies for the past half-century. But, this money is by no means free. As is often the case with federal funds, Title I comes with strings attached – which explains how Washington has been such a major player in American education despite the fact that public schools are function of the states.
[...] After decades of failed federal intervention in America’s public schools, Common Core’s similar approach of centrally planning public schools has worried education reformers since the initiative was launched in 2009. For years, proponents of the standards have tried to soothe these fears by emphasizing that they are not administered by the federal government. Common Core’s official website, for example, downplays the protests by claiming “[t]he federal government had no role in the development of the Common Core State Standards and will not have a role in their implementation.”
Perhaps this claim could hold water four years ago, but today it’s evident that Common Core is nothing more than a federal ruse to exert even greater control over America’s classrooms. [...]
[I]t looks like Common Core is poised to repeat and amplify the federal government’s failed educational interventions by giving the central government even greater control of what American schoolchildren are learning. If the success of school choice has taught us anything, it’s that education is most effective when controlled by actors on the local level, like teachers with freedom in how to teacher their students at charter schools, or parents with options of where to send their child to school through opportunity scholarships. Choice from the bottom, not force from the top, leads to effective learning.
My grandparents sacrificed and saved for years so they could have a comfortable retirement and still leave an inheritance for their children. They succeeded. They live comfortably independent well into their 80′s, and left a legacy to be proud of. We used to call this responsibility.
According to the Obama administration, however, people who make wise retirement choices need to be reigned in. The government should decide how much you can save, and how “comfortable” your retirement lifestyle is permitted to be (keep in mind that with today’s lifespan, an average person can live up to 20 or 30 years after they retire, which means they need to save MORE than previous generations, not less).
As far as the Left is concerned, there is no such thing as private property. There is only what the ruling class “allows” you to keep.
What President Barack Obama has planned in his upcoming budget, while not exactly a Cypriot-style, government-based raid on private savings accounts, comes too close for comfort. As widely reported Monday, the Obama budget document – which is already a month late – will include a new proposal to limit the total amount an individual can put aside in tax deferred retirement savings like 401Ks and IRAs to an amount sufficient to generate an annual income in the golden years of less than $250,000 per year.
Why do it? According to a senior administration official, The Hill reported, “wealthy taxpayers can currently ‘accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.’”
Who says? It is true that some people use retirement savings plans as a form of tax avoidance, but tax avoidance was, the last time anyone checked, still legal. Major corporations that have the imprimatur of approval from the Obama administration like General Electric and General Motors do it all the time.
What the White House may propose is not a matter of fairness, as the president and his allies are sure to cast it, but one that strikes at the heart of the right to keep for ourselves the product of our hard work.
To Obama, that idea that some may have saved more than others for their retirement is unfair, So is the idea, apparently, that some people make more than others. It’s class envy at its most ugly, designed to appeal to the more than 40 percent of Americans who pay no income tax and who voted for the president in 2012.
It is not a legitimate function of government to determine when a person has saved enough for retirement. “Enough” is a nebulous word just like “rich.” If a cap is in the offing in the near term, can confiscation, a la Cyprus, be far behind?
It’s theft. Pure and simple.
The foundation for the housing crisis was laid with the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, where the government took it upon itself to encourage home ownership by pressuring banks to lend to lower-income buyers, often to meet arbitrary racial quotas. Obviously they haven’t learned a thing from where that got us.
Would it surprise anyone to learn that as a lawyer, Obama sued banks to force them to issue subprime loans? He also worked for ACORN, which specialized in using the Community Reinvestment Act to shake down banks and pressure them to loan money to low-income minorities or face “discrimination” charges.
According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is pushing big banks to make more home loans available to Americans with bad credit – the same kind of government guidance that helped blow up the housing market:
In response, administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default.
Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default.
Think about this statement. The administration is asking banks – banks that Washington bails out; banks that Washington crafts regulations for — to embrace risky policies that put the institution and its investors (not to mention, all of us) in a precarious position. So precarious, in fact, that banks have to ask government if they can be freed of any legal or financial consequences.
What could possibly go wrong?
These types of government policies initially emerged the mid-1970s, when “progressive” Democrats in Congress began a campaign to help low-income minorities become homeowners. This led to the passage, in 1977, of theCommunity Reinvestment Act (CRA), a mandate for banks to make special efforts to seek out and lend to borrowers of meager means. Founded on the premise that government intervention is necessary to counteract the fundamentally racist and inequitable nature of American society and the free market, the CRA was eventually transformed from an outreach effort into a strict quota system by the Clinton administration. Under the new arrangement, if a bank failed to meet its quota for loans to low-income minorities, it ran the risk of getting a low CRA rating from the FDIC. This, in turn, could derail the bank’s efforts to expand, relocate, merge, etc. From a practical standpoint, then, banks had no recourse but to drastically lower their standards on down-payments and underwriting, and to approve many loans even to borrowers with weak credit credentials. As Hoover Institution Fellow Thomas Sowell explains, this led to “skyrocketing rates of mortgage delinquencies and defaults,” and the rest is history.
The CRA was by no means the only mechanism designed by government to impose lending quotas on financial institutions. For instance, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed rules encouraging lenders to dramatically hike their loan-approval rates for minority applicants and began bringing legal actions against mortgage bankers who failed to do so, regardless of the reason. This, too, caused lenders to lower their down-payment and income requirements.
Moreover, HUD pressured the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest sources of housing finance in the United States, to earmark a steeply rising number of their own loans for low-income borrowers. Many of these were subprime mortgages—loans characterized by higher interest rates and less favorable terms in order to compensate lenders for the high credit risk they were incurring.
Additional pressure toward this end was applied by community organizations like the pro-socialist ACORN. By accusing banks—however frivolously or unjustly—of having engaged in racially discriminatory lending practices that violated the mandates of the CRA, these groups commonly sued banks toprevent them from expanding or merging as they wished. Barack Obama, ACORN’s staunch ally, was strongly in favor of this practice. Indeed, in a 1994 class-action lawsuit against Citibank, Obama represented ACORN in demanding more favorable terms for subprime homebuyer mortgages. After four years of being dragged through the mud, a beleaguered Citibank—anxious to put an end to the incessant smears (charging racism) that Obama and his fellow litigators were hurling in its direction (to say nothing of its mounting legal bills)—agreed to settle the case.
Forbes magazine puts it bluntly: “Obama has been a staunch supporter of the CRA throughout his public life.” In other words, he has long advocated the very policies that already have reduced the real-estate market to rubble. And now he is actively pushing those very same practices again.
Obama’s ‘Organizing For Action’ Campaign Siphons Donations Away From Democrat Party Leading Up To 2014 Election
As the Democrats prepare to try to take back the House in 2014, they are beginning to realize that Obama’s permanent campaign arm, “Organizing For Action,” isn’t necessarily in their camp. They are competing with the Democrat party for fundraising dollars, and using the money to prop up the Cult of Obama, not the Democrat party.
Anyone who has been paying attention to the Obamessiah’s narcissistic behavior for the past four years could have seen this coming a mile away. Sadly, it appears the suckers at the DNC are only just realizing that their idol’s just not that into them.
President Barack Obama’s decision to launch his own political organization has some Democrats wondering: Is he just in it for himself?
Obama’s new group, Organizing for Action, will focus on his policy agenda – not on electing Democratic candidates – by raising unlimited amounts of cash and accessing the president’s secret list of 20 million supporters, volunteers and donors.
The operation won’t share money, resources or the priceless Obama email list with the Democratic National Committee or campaign committees that help elect members of Congress, governors and legislators. And it has no plans to coordinate efforts, leading some Democrats to worry that it will take money and manpower away from the party as it heads into the 2014 elections for control of Congress.
“There’s only so much money to go around in Democratic circles. There’s a limited pool of resources,” said Gilda Cobb Hunter, a South Carolina legislator and a member of the Democratic National Committee. “Why can’t we strengthen one entity?”
[...] Days before his second term began, Obama announced that his campaign would morph into a nonprofit, tax-exempt group to rally support across the country for his agenda. “Organizing for Action will be an unparalleled force in American politics,” he told supporters.
Other presidents have created or championed organizations outside the major national parties. Bill Clinton, for example, embraced the Democratic Leadership Council, an organization that pushed a moderate agenda.
But that functioned more as a think tank. And Obama is the first to form a group that will raise millions of dollars as it seeks to perpetuate a year-round campaign for him.
The decision to create Organizing for Action separate from the DNC, where a similar group was housed after the 2008 election, has prompted some Democrats to accuse Obama of focusing more on his legacy and less on his party.
What does Obama have to gain from withholding the e-mail list, siphoning away donations, and otherwise threatening to weaken the DNC’s 2014 campaign efforts? Is he trying to force them to come crawling to him to stay in power?
The Senate voted earlier to block the U.S. from joining the treaty, but Obama is likely to sign it anyway.
He’s already heading out onto the never-ending campaign trail to stump for more gun control. He wants to stir up public pressure to force the Senate to ratify it. If they do, you can kiss your 2nd Amendment rights good-bye.
This morning, by a vote of 154 nations in favor (including the United States), 23 abstentions, and three against (Syria, North Korea, and Iran), the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty will be open for national signature on June 3, 2013, and will enter into force for its signatories when it has been signed and ratified by 50 nations.
Though the vote in favor of the treaty seems overwhelming, a closer look shows something different. Among the major exporting and importing nations, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Russia abstained. So did most of the Arab Group, as well as a range of anti-American regimes, including Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and a smattering of others, including Belarus, Burma, and Sri Lanka.
A further 13 nations did not vote, including some known opponents of the treaty, such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Finally, while Pakistan voted in favor of the treaty, its statement in explanation implied that it was voting for the treaty because it anticipated that India would abstain, and it wanted to look good by comparison.
Thus, what the U.N. vote amounts to is the tacit rejection of the treaty by most of the world’s most irresponsible arms exporters and anti-American dictatorships, who collectively amount to half of the world’s population.
Ken Klukowski warns, “What Americans Need To Know About The UN Gun Control Treaty“:
Today the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a global gun control treaty called the Arms Trade Treaty. Now the fight begins here at home. There are several things gun owners need to know to protect their constitutional rights.
Now that it’s been proposed, the treaty goes to all the member states to decide on whether to join. Per the U.S. Constitution, in America it must first be signed by the president (which it will), then be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate (which it won’t). The United States is not likely to join the treaty as a nation, though President Barack Obama will likely push for it.
The General Assembly can’t do anything at the United Nations except propose (not establish) treaties and admit new U.N. members. Most of the power at the U.N. is in the Security Council, which consists of five permanent members (including the U.S.) and ten rotating seats among all the other U.N. members. So the General Assembly did one of the only things it can by recommending this treaty to its member states.
However, the first danger is that U.S. courts have held we’re bound by “customary international law,” sometimes called the “law of nations.” If enough U.N. member states were to adopt this treaty, a liberal federal court could rule it has become customary international law. The current Supreme Court would never affirm such a ruling, but there is a real danger if Obama changes the balance of the Court over the next three years.
Because federal statutes and treaties are of equal force under the U.S. Constitution, whenever they are in direct conflict, the most-recently passed of the two prevails. So, if somehow this treaty were ratified by the Senate, if Congress were to later pass a statute taking the opposite position, it would trump the treaty.
Of course, you need a president’s signature to pass a statute or two-thirds of Congress to override a presidential veto, so we would need a president in 2016 who supports the Second Amendment to pass such a law.
[...] The dangers are obvious, however. If Barack Obama manages to get an anti-gun politician like Hillary Clinton or Andrew Cuomo to follow him in 2016 as president, and changes the balance of the Supreme Court over time, then the Arms Trade Treaty could open America up to a worldwide U.N. gun control regime. That could lay the groundwork and set up a system that a decade or two from now could restrict lawful firearm ownership in this nation.
NO ONE is exempt from the new federal power-grab over education, which is designed to force all states and schools to teach a government-approved (Marxist?) curriculum.
The CCSS removes education standards from the purview of state and local control to being controlled by unaccountable education policy experts sitting in a board room far removed from the parents, students, and teachers who are most critical to a child’s educational success.
Will the CCSS Affect Homeschools?
The CCSS specifically do not apply to private or homeschools, unless they receive government dollars (online charter school programs have no such protection). However, HSLDA has serious concerns with the rush to adopt the CCSS. HSLDA has fought national education standards for the past two decades. Why? National standards lead to national curriculum and national tests, and subsequent pressure on homeschool students to be taught from the same curricula.
The College Board—the entity that created the PSAT and SAT—has already indicated that its signature college entrance exam will be aligned with the CCSS. And many homeschoolers worry that colleges and universities may look askance at homeschool graduates who apply for admission if their highschool transcripts are not aligned with the CCSS.
The more that I read and study, the more convinced I am of the extreme detriment that the Common Core (CC) poses, not just to our children and our educational system – but to our country.
There are a few questions and comments that I have received this past week, some ranging from fear, and some from outright astonishment that I would even propose that CC presents a risk. I want to, as succintly as possible, answer some of these…
The Common Core is being introduced into the PUBLIC school, so if I’m homeschooling, I don’t need to worry, right?
WRONG. The CC is being adopted by 45 of the 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and it’s goal is NOT educational excellence. One look at the standards and examples that we detailed in our previous post will undeniably confirm that. The goal of Common Core is CONTROL. The government is seeking to Nationalize educational standards, which goes COMPLETELY against that 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which outlines education as being within the scope of the State government, not the Federal government. If the States decide not to adopt CC, they will not be granted federal dollars, so although it’s not a mandate, it’s a mob version of law via monetary coercion.
Furthermore, homeschoolers will eventually need to meet the same educational standard and use CC approved/aligned curricula because the SATs, State tests and GEDs will all be modified to fit the new CC standards.
But homeschoolers traditionally test higher in academics, so I’m not worried. My child will do fine on the tests.
Although it’s true that homeschoolers traditionally, on average, test significantly higher than their publicly educated peers, this is not a safeguard given what is coming down the pipeline in terms of change. Standardized testing is slated to be reformatted and rewritten, so we’re talking about a totally different measure of scope and sequence. For example, math problem, as formed by the CC, are based on mental and verbal math; the emphasis is now on the process, not the answer. Eventually, CC-educated students will be asked to verbally explain their method for solving the problem, regardless of whether or not the answer was correct. If your homeschooled Senior can successfully complete complex mathematical algorithms but he is unable to explain how he got his answer, he will not pass.
Additionally, the literature requirements are changing significantly. Non-fiction manuals are now required to compose 70% of your child’s “literature” by the time they graduate. Here is a sample of the suggested reading within the CC:
- Petroski, Henry. “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag.”
- California Invasive Plant Council. Invasive Plant Inventory
- Kurlansky, Mark. Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy. Recommended Levels of Insulation
- FedViews by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
- Calishain, Tara, and Rael Dornfest. Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Smarter Searching, 2nd Edition
- Fischetti, Mark. “Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control.”
- U.S. General Services Administration. Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management
- Gawande, Atul. “The Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.”
As enlightening as they may be, we’ll be tossing out “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “The Scarlet Letter” , Shakespeare and many other classics in lieu of “The Evolution Of The Grocery Bag”. Therefore, as homeschoolers, if we haven’t been reading the above list with our Seniors, they have no hope of passing the SATs or GEDs, because we’re talking about two completely different lists of topics and material.
But as a homeschooler, I get to choose my own curriculum, so it’s my decision what my children will read and study.
True, for now. However, I was disheartened to see that many large homeschool publishers have already, or are planning to, rewrite their curriculum in order to meet CC standards. For a very thorough and growing list, check out the curriculum updates on The Educational Freedom Coalition.
Creepy doesn’t begin to describe this.
As part of the government’s initiative to institute Common Core standards for education, so comes a system that would mine information about students to establish best practices for effective teaching. But some think the technology that would conduct the mining crosses a line.
[...] In the draft “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century” report released in February by the Department of Education is a section detailing how to measure such qualities in a student through Behavioral Task Performance.
“Behavioral task performance measures are the broad set of methods used to capture behaviors consistent with perseverance or lack thereof—and in many cases, associated emotional experiences, physical movements or facial expressions, physiological responses, and thoughts— that students do in response to a particular challenge,” the report states.
[...] Understanding the emotions or physiological state of a student while they’re presented with a challenge, the report said, can be measured through “analysis of facial expressions, EEG brain wave patterns, skin conductance, heart rate variability, posture and eye- tracking.”
The report presents this figure showing a variety of sensors that could be used to determine the emotional state of a student while performing a certain task:
“Sensors provide constant, parallel streams of data and are used with data mining techniques and self-report measures to examine frustration, motivation/flow, confidence, boredom and fatigue,” the report states.
It presents MIT’s Mood Meter — a device that captures facial expression through a camera on a laptop while software analyses the mood — as an example of technology that can conduct these measurements. [...]
A study in 1999 published by MIT researchers delved into the use of a posture-sensing chair to evaluate a student. The experiment using a chair with pressure sensors on the seat and back evaluated student interest in order to better learn how to improve the experience for students in a computer-learning situation.
But a camera, chair, mouse and wristband equipped with sensors to track different metrics isn’t not all. The report also highlights the value of FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imagery), which would reveal different areas of activity in the brain through scans.
Apparently they see classrooms full of children as guinea pigs who can be used for their Frankenexperiments – a captive audience that can’t leave once they find out that they have become the show.