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Category : News: Government

Vulgar Blimp Chris Christie Finds Liberty a “Dangerous Idea.”

On the eve of a House vote Wednesday on his amendment to curb the National Security Agency’s daily dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted, “Washington’s elites fear liberty. They fear you.” On Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (shown) demonstrated just how eager he is to join the Washington elite.

Speaking at the Republican Governors Conference in Aspen, Colorado, Christie delivered what Aaron Blake at the Washington Post described as a “clear broadside” against Republicans of a libertarian bent, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, expected to be competing with Christie for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

“As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought,” Christie said.

Asked whether he meant to include Paul in that call for caution, Christie said, “You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this. I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation…. I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in.”

One of the things making Christie nervous is the battle for privacy rights against what some see as a flagrant overreach by the federal government in the kind of surveillance conducted by the NSA in the name of national security. “I think what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don’t,” Christie said. “And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001.”

By citing both September 10 and September 12 of the year 2001, Christie has September 11 surrounded, perhaps with the thought of capturing it as his issue for 2016. By doing so he would be picking up the mantle of fallen presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who campaigned so hard on that tragic event in the 2008 campaign that Joe Biden suggested every sentence from the former New York mayor contained only three things: “a noun, a verb and 9/11.”

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Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists Call for Punishment (Obama’s Gay Military)

A Christian chaplain in the military is being officially censored for engaging in free speech, and anti-Christian activists are demanding he be punished.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes is a Christian chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. He is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. As an ordained clergyman whose duties are to provide religious instruction and spiritual counseling, he has a page on the base’s website called “Chaplain’s Corner.”

Reyes recently wrote an essay entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II.” This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech: “I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in oåçur daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”

As reported by Fox News’s Todd Starnes, when Reyes referenced this famous line in his essay, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) contacted the base commander, Col. Brian Duffy, demanding he take action on Reyes’s “anti-secular diatribe.”

MRFF’s letter says that by Reyes’s “use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes,’ he defiles the dignity of service members.” They accuse him of violating military regulations.

My legal research on this issue uncovered no regulation prohibiting Reyes’ speech, which looks like expression protected by the free speech and religious freedom provisions of the First Amendment. Military leaders did not respond to Fox’s inquiries asking the Air Force to identify any such rules.

Nonetheless, only five hours after MRFF’s complaint, the essay was removed from the website. Duffy has profusely apologized to MRFF for not stopping this religious leader from sharing religious thoughts.

But this response—which again appears to be a violation of Reyes’s First Amendment rights—is insufficient for MRFF. They said, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” and, “Lt. Col. Reyes must be appropriately punished.” (Emphasis added).

So MRFF is saying that the coercive power of government must be used to punish a military officer, who is also an ordained Christian minister, for making ordinary religious references consistent with his faith.

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council—one of the leaders of a new religious liberty coalition for the military—responded, “A chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members… Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?”

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House GOP Strategy: Offer ‘Dreamers’ Citizenship, Stick It to Democrats (GOP Amnesty Cave)

An emerging coalition of House Republicans is arguing that young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children constitute “a special protected class” that should eventually be eligible for citizenship, an approach they say combines sound policy with smart politics.

Conservatives remain adamant, however, that no such legislation be considered until a border-security bill is passed and tough enforcement triggers are in place.

This thinking represents an important shift within the House Republican Conference, where many members have long vocally opposed providing “amnesty” to anyone living in the U.S. illegally. At the same time, it underscores the emphasis on what conservatives have called a “border-first” mentality—that legalization should not be legislated until new border-enforcement laws are on the books.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is the driving force behind the strategy to focus on legalizing undocumented youths. According to Republican aides, passing such a bill would equip Republicans with a reasonable answer to the question of what to do with the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. It would also force Democrats into a political lose-lose: Either endorse a GOP proposal that legalizes so-called “Dreamers” or oppose this longtime policy goal and hold out for blanket legalization for the entire undocumented community.

As one House leadership aide framed it, “How can they say no to the kids?”

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San Antonio, TX Looks to Penalize Bible Believers

Think it’s hot in Texas these days? Just wait a few weeks, until the San Antonio City Council ends its summer hiatus and resumes work on a proposed change to its nondiscrimination ordinances that apparently will discriminate against all who take the Bible at its word and follow it.

That’s because the change creates a penalty for those who ever exhibit a “bias,” which clearly could include adopting the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, with a permanent ban on participation in city government, business or employment.

Opponents of the plan, which would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the nondiscrimination ordinances, charge it is a violation of constitutional Article VI, paragraph 3, which states, “[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

The opponents explain that the ordinance would bar anyone from office who has “demonstrated a bias” against someone based on categories that include “sexual orientation.”

The proposal, however, does not define “bias,” which, according to local church leaders, could mean someone who declares homosexual behavior is sinful.

The new ordinance would state: “No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.”

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Judge halts lawsuits seeking to block Detroit bankruptcy (Detroit Officially Bankrupt Now)

A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday suspended pending lawsuits in state courts that are challenging Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said there is nothing in the 10th Amendment, which guides state vs. federal jurisdiction, that bars federal jurisdiction in this case. He said his court will be the exclusive venue for any legal action regarding the bankruptcy.

Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr—a bankruptcy expert appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this year to oversee Detroit’s finances—has said the federal bankruptcy filing is necessary to get the city out from under some $18 billion in liabilities.

But the city’s employee unions argued the bankruptcy is an end-run around the state constitution, which protects their pension benefits. The unions backed a series of lawsuits filed in Michigan courts to block the bankruptcy. Last week, Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled the bankruptcy filing unconstitutional, but a state appeals court put her ruling on hold, and Orr argued the federal court should make that stay indefinite.

The emergency manager said bankruptcy is a federal matter. A bankruptcy filing normally puts all other litigation on hold, but Orr’s office asked the judge to extend that automatic stay to cover him and state officials, including the governor. Orr’s attorneys acknowledged the request was unusual, but said “recent events”—the lawsuits in state court—made it necessary.

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OPEN THE FLOODGATES: Pedophiles Arguing Their Sexual Orientation is No Different than Homosexuals

creepy-guy

Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.

Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. “Gay” advocates have taken offense at such a position insisting this would never happen. However, psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.

In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. A group of psychiatrists with B4U-Act recently held a symposium proposing a new definition of pedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders of the APA.

B4U-Act calls pedophiles “minor-attracted people.” The organization’s website states its purpose is to, “help mental health professionals learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma and fear.”

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Poll: 85% support right for religious to refuse to work for gay wedding

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A heartening poll by Rasmussen shows 85 percent of Americans believe Christian wedding photographers have the right to refuse to service a gay wedding. In a country that increasingly forgets the value of free speech, it’s surprisingly refreshing to see a strong majority in the right column.

The same applies, of course, to wedding cake bakers. Hopefully the memo reaches David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who have enlisted the help of the ACLU to sue a Denver, CO bakery for allegedly refusing a cake for their wedding. “The complaint seeks to force Masterpiece Cakeshop to “cease and desist” the practice of refusing wedding cakes for gay couples, and to tell the public that their business is open to everyone,” reports FOX News. “If [the defendant] loses the case and refuses to comply with the order, he would face fines of $500 per case and up to a year in jail, his attorney said.”

If the Mullins-Craig case is successful, it will do a huge disservice to the gay rights movement. A lot of supporters have come on board under the banner of, “It doesn’t affect anyone else, so why should we stop them?” Well, if and when lawsuits arise, it does affect someone else, and not just in a vague “changing the definition of marriage” way. A year in jail is nothing to sweep under the rug.

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Why Are Republicans Bent on Pushing Amnesty Now?

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Published on: July 24, 2013

I understand what you are thinking. If you are watching the political process, you are probably thinking, as a sane person, that Republicans would completely ignore amnesty and focus on what’s important. After all, the country is focused on other trivial news, summer vacations, and the scandals. After August, the main fights will be over funding Obamacare, the budget, and the debt ceiling.

So why on earth would Republicans push for amnesty, especially after the Senate bill has been ridiculed and repudiated? Why would they bail out Obama at his weakest moment? Why would they agree to the premise that we must have some form of amnesty now, thereby bleeding conservatives dry on the issue – drip by drip?

There is no good answer to these questions other than the fact that Republican leaders are looking for a new base. Unfortunately, their dictates are strong enough to percolate down to the committee chairmen. Trey Gowdy’s subcommittee on immigration held a hearing today on the Dream Act – a mass amnesty bill that will grant citizenship and welfare rights to a large population of illegals. Basically, we control the House, but are using the committee hearings to promote Democrat policies.

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White House scrambles to defeat bill to defund NSA program

The White House took the rare step of releasing a statement opposing an amendment to a House bill Tuesday night, taking aim at a measure that would shut down significant parts of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities.

In the statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney accused Republican lawmakers of trying to “hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools” and said the “blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open or deliberative process.”

The House is preparing to vote on an amendment, written by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., that would cut off funds to the NSA if it collects data on individuals who are not under investigation — a move that would effectively shut down the sweeping Internet and phone data collection programs that have been revealed in news reports.

After hearing that the amendment would be given a vote as part of the Defense Appropriations bill Tuesday afternoon, the White House scrambled to try to defeat it. NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander headed up to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a question and answer session with lawmakers in a classified, members-only briefing.

“We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a seasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation,” Carney said.

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John McCain: Obama’s New Deal Maker (and Sellout)

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Published on: July 24, 2013

Barack Obama, to hear his advisers tell it, has finally found The One he has been looking for: John McCain.

“We have been looking literally for years for someone we can cut deals with, and finally someone has stepped up,” a White House official said. West Wing aides say they now talk with McCain roughly every other day.

McCain, to hear fellow Republicans tell it, has finally found The Two he has needed to make such conversations worth the bother: Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat who can actually get things done in the Senate, and Denis McDonough, a White House chief of staff who actually cares what senators say and think and do.

While Obama and party leaders clash endlessly and hopelessly, these three men are showing it is possible to put aside political and personal grievances to get consequential stuff done, even in Washington’s currently twisted state.

They would never say it this way, but they have cracked a code that has eluded party leaders — their bosses — who seem stuck in never-ending fights.

This new alliance has resulted in an immigration bill and a deal to avoid the nuclear option for confirming nominees, and is in preliminary conversations to avert a government shutdown over the budget. It has created trust — tenuous but real — among these three officials (and others) who can deliver results.

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The Insiders: Obamacare is falling apart

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Published on: July 21, 2013

As the reality of Obamacare emerges, a disastrous calamity imposed on the American people, even the most compliant members of the Obama fan club are beginning to panic. Three union presidents have sent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a scathing letter decrying Obamacare, showing just how out-of-control this law has become. This astonishing reversal has been underreported so far, except by the ever-vigilant Tom Gara in the Wall Street Journal.

The fact is that the crater of Obamacare is getting deeper, with sharper edges. The unions are first-tier political allies of President Obama and the Democratic Party, and it was surely their last resort to put their grievances with Obamacare in writing in the public sphere. A lot must have happened behind the scenes before they felt sufficiently frustrated with the Obama administration to take this step.

In a joint letter, James P. Hoffa of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Joseph Hansen of the UFCW and D. Taylor of UNITE-HERE state that Obamacare will “destroy the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class” and “destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.” And they highlight their buyer’s remorse:

We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision. Now this vision has come back to haunt us.

You can feel their anxiety and boiling frustration coming through.

What does falling apart look like for Obamacare, if not this?

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Move over NSA, here comes the Obamacare Big Brother database!

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Published on: July 21, 2013

Obamacare train wreck

Would you trust thousands of low-level Federal bureaucrats and contractors with one-touch access to your private financial and medical information? Under Obamacare you won’t have any choice.

As the Obamacare train-wreck begins to gather steam, there is increasing concern in Congress over something called the Federal Data Services Hub. The Data Hub is a comprehensive database of personal information being established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the federally facilitated health insurance exchanges. The purpose of the Data Hub, according to a June 2013 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, is to provide “electronic, near real-time access to federal data” and “access to state and third party data sources needed to verify consumer-eligibility information.” In these days of secret domestic surveillance by the intelligence community, rogue IRS officials and state tax agencies using private information for political purposes, and police electronically logging every license plate that passes by, the idea of the centralized Data Hub is making lawmakers and citizens nervous.

They certainly should be; the potential for abuse is enormous. The massive, centralized database will include comprehensive personal information such as income and financial data, family size, citizenship and immigration status, incarceration status, social security numbers, and private health information. It will compile dossiers based on information obtained from the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Social Security Administration, state Medicaid databases, and for some reason the Peace Corps. The Data Hub will provide web-based, one-stop shopping for prying into people’s personal affairs.

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Now That Detroit’s Gone Bust, Is Your City Next?

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Published on: July 21, 2013

Detroit’s bankruptcy filing is one depressing read. Poverty, crime, blight – you name the malady and there’s plenty of data to back it up. And unfortunately, Detroit’s not alone. You may be wondering which city hits the wall next.

I’m not making predictions, but I’ve looked at one indicator that may offer some clues: population loss.

As any good Ponzi Schemer will tell you, your future looks much better when there are more people moving in than moving out. Once the population change turns negative, a vicious circle can take hold, and that’s exactly what we saw in Detroit.

In addition to spending excesses and mismanagement, the city’s financial problems stem from the challenges of downsizing infrastructure as quickly as the tax base contracts. Here are a few lowlights from the bankruptcy declaration:

  • The average cost to demolish an abandoned building – of which Detroit has about 78,000, or 20% of the housing stock – is approximately $8500.
  • Of about 11,000 to 12,000 fires each year, approximately 60% occur in abandoned buildings.
  • The city closed 210 parks in fiscal year 2009 and recently announced that 50 of the remaining 107 parks were slated for closure.
  • The city’s Public Lighting Department is able to keep only about 60% of the approximately 88,000 street lamps in operation.
  • The Detroit courts’ case clearance rates have been running at only 18.6% for violent crimes and 8.7% for all crimes.
  • Only 10 to 14 of the city’s 36 ambulances were in service in the first quarter of 2013.

And now for a look at other cities that are battling severe population loss. Here are the top 15, ranked by the decline from each city’s population peak, according to the decennial U.S. census:

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OBAMACARE HAS DOCTORS PLANNING EXIT

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Published on: July 21, 2013

The survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that the “future of the medical profession may be in jeopardy as it loses clinical autonomy and compensation.”

Further, it found the health insurance exchanges required by Obamacare this year probably won’t be reality. Many doctors are starting to limit their participation in Medicaid and Medicare because of low reimbursement rates.

Some doctors even close off their practices to such patients, the survey found.

The study said: “Physicians recognize ‘the new normal’ will necessitate major changes in the profession that require them to practice in different settings as part of a larger organization that uses technologies and team-based models for consumer care.”

Orient affirmed that many doctors are unable to continue a private practice and will end up working for a corporation hospital where the profits are distributed to shareholders.

She warned that such scenarios often end up giving the feeling of an assembly line, where a patient sees a doctor briefly, is given a diagnosis and shown the door.

Doctors in that system, she said, will be punished if they spend too much time on a patient, or possibly if they provide too much treatment.

She said the frustration that comes from such scenarios actually is creating the incentive for a countertrend in which doctors cut ties to the behemoth insurance companies and simply charge a fee to patients.

The survey found physicians are pessimistic about the future of medicine.

“The majority worry about the profession’s erosion of clinical autonomy and income, and its inability to achieve medical liability reform.”

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Texas Governor Rick Perry Signs Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions

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Published on: July 18, 2013

Governor Rick Perry of Texas today signed the ban on late-term abortions into law at a bill signing ceremony. The signing came after weeks of debate in the state legislature and passage of the bill despite an unruly pro-abortion mob.

“Today’s signing builds on our continued commitment to protecting life for more than a decade. This is an important day for those who support life and the health of women in Texas,” Perry said. “Signing HB2 further solidifies the foundation on which the culture of in Texas is built.”

“HB2 brings improvements to the quality of care women receive,” Perry added. “HB2 protects unborn babies after the fifth month of pregnancy.”requires a doctor providing abortions to secure admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and lastly, requires a doctor to personally administer the abortion-inducing drugs to the patient.

After a day filled with pro-abortion threats, pro-life people hiding in secure areas of the capitol fearing for their safety and protestors disrupting the Senate proceedings, democracy finally prevailed. Members of the state Senate approved the bill to ban late-term abortions on a 19-11 margin on second reading. The chamber then approved the bill in third reading by the same 19-11 vote.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today in support of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s signing.

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