Monthly Archives: June 2013
Welcome to the new America, folks!
I am so proud to be from the state of Texas, where Ted Cruz is my Senator!
Unfortunately, his bill was not allowed in.
When: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific
Tonight: This is a Special Edition of Hammered Radio – NSA/Snowden SCOTUS Roundtable discussion. Stevie J West and Steve Hamilton will be speaking with our special Guests:
Mandy Nagy – Investigative Writer for Legal Insurrection & Breitbart ‘The Convo.’ @Liberty_Chick on twitter
Kira Ayn Davis – Contributor at http://ijreview.com , video blogger, and host of “The Dark Side with Kira Davis” on FTR Radio. @KiraAynDavis on twitter
Susie Moore – Lawyer, Host of Gillespie on FTR Radio, and blogger. @SmoosieQ on twitter
This will be an exciting show as Mandy discusses Edward Snowden’s history, actions, and possible outcomes of his actions. Kira will also help us understand why this has become such a divisive subject between various Conservative Groups. And, we will get into the NSA itself. Are their actions legal, constitutional? How far should our government go to “protect” us and when does it cross the line into invasion of privacy?
We’re also talkikng about the landmark SCOTUS rulings this week and Susie will share her thoughts and understandings on their impact.
We have a lot to cover and a great panel to help shed light on this complicated and changing situation. Callers Welcome, see you there
Courtesy of Net Right Daily
No doubt. in the days and weeks to come, the talking heads will be edifying us on the complex nature of the DOMA ruling. In California, the voters mandated that “Marriage is between and Man and a Woman” period. Called “Proposition 8″, this vote was taken “to the people” and the “people” spoke. Historically an extremely liberal State ( I am a resident), it came as a surprise—-however, the voters of California had spoken.
Enter the “opposition” who took it to the 9th Court of Appeals, who overturned the ruling/proposition. However, prior to that ruling, it was heard at a lower federal level in California. An openly gay Judge, Judge Vaughan Walker, was assigned. Judge Walker’s decision was key to continue that climb to the Supreme Court. As Gerard V. Bradley, wrote back in August 2010
These high stakes have attracted a lot of attention to the California case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. But not enough attention – in fact, almost none – has been paid to one very troubling aspect of the case.
This is the question of the judge’s bias due to his possible interest in which side wins the case.
Judge Vaughan Walker has surprised just about everyone with his unorthodox handling of the Prop. 8 trial.
Supporters describe him as iconoclastic and creative. Those less enamored have charged him with turning the proceedings into a sensationalized show-trial.
Both sets of observers could probably agree with the explanation offered by conservative commentator Ed Whelan who has observed that Walker has been determined from the outset “to use the case to advance the cause of same-sex marriage.”
I do not doubt that Judge Walker made up his mind about Prop 8 before the trial began.
But that is not the bias that has received too little attention.
Battalions of commentators have wondered about his bizarre handling of the case, and many have attributed it to Walker’s belief that it is unjust for the law to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.
Nor is the neglected bias related to the fact that (as several newspapers have reported) the judge is openly gay.
Of course, Walker’s opinions about marriage and sexual preference could be related to his own homosexuality.
But even if they are, it does not follow that he would be incapable of being impartial and of rendering a judgment in accord with the law in the Prop. 8 case – any more than a happily married heterosexual would necessarily be.
In fact, all judges have beliefs and personal habits which intersect from time to time with the matters in dispute before them. We do not require judges to be blank slates without a personal life. Judges are not automatons.
All we ask and what we rightly expect is that judges put aside those things insofar as they might interfere with deciding a case fairly and in accord with the law.
But no one is immune to all conflicts of interest or of belief.
So our law rightly requires that public officials – judges included – stay out of matters in which they have a financial stake. It is not that everyone would be corrupted by the prospect of financial gain. Not at all.
But some people would be corrupted. And everyone can have greater confidence in the outcome of public deliberations when they know that at least one temptation towards corruption has been removed.
The neglected bias in the Prop. 8 trial has instead to do with the fact that – as reported in The Los Angeles Times last month – Judge Walker “attends bar functions with a companion, a physician.”
If (as The Times suggests) Judge Walker is in a stable same-sex relationship, then he might wish or even expect to wed should same-sex marriage become legally available in California.
This raises an important and serious question about his fitness to preside over the case. Yet it is a question that received almost no attention.
When a judge is obliged to withdraw from a case due to a conflicting interest we call it “recusal.
Following the ruling, it was kicked up to the 9th Court of Appeals, one of the most Liberal Court of Appeals known. The outcome:
The federal appeals court has declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, paving the way for a likely U.S. Supreme Court showdown on the voter-approved law. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 Tuesday that Walker, a lower-court judge, interpreted the U.S. Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared Proposition 8 to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.
The Attorneys in the case, Boies and Walker always had the Supreme Court in mind. Which brings us to today. I think Ed Morrissey at HOTAIR sums it up best
This decision bothers me a lot more than the DOMA case. The voters in California amended the state constitution by referendum legally, to define a legitimate government policy regarding the recognition of marriage. The court is making the case that this is a matter for California to settle, not the federal courts, and there is a very good case to make there. However, the effect of this is to overturn an election whose legality was never in doubt just because some people didn’t like the outcome. That to me is a more dangerous outcome than a precedent-setting decision on standing.
“Upside” of today? The court has evaded the question of whether same-sex marriage is constitutionally-protected in all states. I’m sure that is the “next” move.
For great coverage of the overall unfolding of today’s ruling see http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/26/open-thread-scotus-watch/
You can read the ruling here http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_g2bh.pdf
The Supreme Court has ruled that California citizens who want to uphold the gay marriage ban do not have the right to appeal the lower court rulings striking down the ban.
Proposition 8 was passed by the voters of California in 2008, but last year, the federal court of appeals deemed it unconstitutional.
This 5-4 decision is another win for gay marriage in America.
Same old Pro-Death “activists”. Hey, let’s go filibuster the “outrage” of limiting abortions to 20 weeks and requiring those “clinics” to implement the same standards as any surgical center! YEA! That sounds like something that is right up there with Slavery! Hurry get your code pink outfits and meet at the Texas State Capitol!! Do these idiots know just how ridiculous they sound? Killing the unborn at any time is murder, but a woman who is 20 weeks pregnant—that’s 5 months pregnant, and they are protesting the “right” to slaughter that innocent child? Watch the video below. After “demonstrating” for over 10 hours, at 3am, the Republicans conceded the vote could not be finished on time.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
The federal law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman is struck down in this landmark decision.
The Supreme Court of The United States has decided that gay marriage is legal.
You can read the full decision from The Supreme Court at this link.
When: Tuesday, June 25th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific
What: Yes there are Confederates north of the Mason-Dixon line, and George Neat is one of them. And we’re happy to bring his views to you in the “Confederate Corner” radio show.
For more information on George and his political views, please drop by the Confederate Corner at GoldwaterGal.com. (http://goldwatergal.com/goldwater-gal-media/confederate-corner/)
Tonight: George will be talking about some Pittsburgh politics, illegal immigration, and the Fifth Amendment. Of course there will also be a Soldier Salute, and a “nearly-infamous” Crack Pipe Moment.
In crafting the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year, House Republicans have done some excellent work to safeguard America’s nuclear deterrent from unilateral cuts and from disarmament by neglect, as well as to prevent unilateral US compliance with idiotic “arms control agreements” that others don’t comply with.
At least on this issue, Republicans have displayed some fortitude – not to mention, have done decent work from a purely national-security-oriented, nonpartisan perspective.
Predictably, the Left, especially extremely leftist organizations advocating America’s unilateral disarmament, and their liberal Democrat allies in Congress, have attacked even the most modest provisions secured by House Republicans. Leading the vociferous lie campaign has been the so-called Nuclear Threat Initiative. In a recent screed, the liberal pro-disarmament groups claims that:
“House Armed Service Committee Republicans on Wednesday added additional provisions to their version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill that could limit compliance with a key nuclear arms control treaty and restrict efforts to lock down vulnerable atomic materials.
Republicans also passed other controversial provisions they had introduced Monday, including measures aimed at increasing nuclear arsenal spending and at streamlining federal oversight of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Committee Democrats offered several amendments designed to counter most of these points, but nearly all failed in largely party-line votes. (…)”
Oh! The dastardly HASC Republicans have introduced measures that could “limit compliance with a key arms control treaty and restrict efforts to lock down vulnerable atomic materials”! Is there any truth to this? Actually, no, there isn’t.
The treaty in question is the treasonous New START treaty, which is making America less secure and which requires only the US – not Russia and not anyone else – to cut its nuclear arsenal, while Russia is free to grow its own (and is doing so); furthermore, the treaty contains many loopholes that are so huge you could drive a truck through them, and has a pathetically weak verification regime.
NTI continues to claim that:
“Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) added language that would hold back $75 million for arms reductions required under the New START treaty with Russia until the administration submits a detailed report on how it would use the funds. “The administration is calling for $75 million and we’re not going to give it to them unless they tell us what they’re going to do with it,” Rogers said.”
Oh! What a foolishness it is for Congress – which controls the nation’s purse – to withhold funding until President Obama actually figures out what to spend it on! It would be much better to give him a blank check or a slush fund!
Moreover, the money would be withheld until Obama submits a detailed plan on how he intends to implement the unilateral cuts required by New START.
“A separate measure from Rogers would limit the president’s ability to enter into any agreements with Russia to further reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Democrats, including Representative Jim Cooper (Tenn.), unsuccessfully opposed this and other Republican amendments.”
This is completely false. This amendment by Congressman Rogers would only bar the President from UNILATERALLY cutting the US, or through agreements that are not treaties. It stipulates that the President may not cut the US nuclear arsenal absent a treaty verified by the Senate or a decision by Congress itself. It would require the President to certify that any further cuts will be made only by treaty, not an “executive agreement.” It further requires that any such treaty must require proportional cuts in Russia’s arsenal as well.
It is common sense to bar the President from cutting America’s nuclear deterrent unilaterally, or through unverifiable non-treaty “agreements” that are worthless, unverifiable pieces of paper, and which the Senate has no control over. In fact, Congress should completely bar the President from reducing the nuclear deterrent further under any circumstance.
Yet, the Rogers Amendment wouldn’t do so; it would only bar the President from cutting the nuclear deterrent unilaterally or through unverifiable non-treaty paper “agreements”. The Rogers Amendment would not bar the President from negotiating, and submitting to the Senate, another treaty with Russia.
“Cooper said that while he would not support eliminating nuclear weapons entirely, the U.S. deterrent would likely still be effective if the quantities of weapons were reduced to a figure “slightly below” New START levels. The treaty requires Moscow and Washington by 2018 to deploy no more than 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads and 700 strategic delivery systems.
President Obama is reported to have received a Pentagon finding indicating the United States could remain secure with 1,100 or fewer deployed strategic warheads. No formal action has been taken on the determination.
Even with fewer than 800 nuclear weapons, the United States “could still hit multiple targets multiple times and make the rubble bounce if we wanted to,” Cooper said.”
These are blatant lies. 1,100, and even more so a mere 800, is not “slightly below” New START levels (1,550 deployed warheads). It is significantly below that level; at a mere half of New START’s ceiling, in the 800 warhead case.
And such a small nuclear arsenal – at 800 or even 1,100 warheads – would be way too small and thus woefully inadequate to protect America (let alone its 30 allies who depend on the nuclear deterrent).
Why? Because to deter and be able to retaliate, you need a highly survivable arsenal that can also strike many enemy targets in retaliation if the enemy strikes first. And for that, a LARGE nuclear arsenal is necessary. A small arsenal (e.g. 800 warheads, let alone fewer) would not suffice; it would be childishly easy for Russia or China to destroy in a first strike, because there would be much fewer targets for them to destroy.
Russia currently has 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 2,800 in total, and goodness knows how many tactical nuclear warheads (up to 4,000 or more, according to various estimates, including the SIPRI’s). It also has the means to deliver these thousands of warheads: 434 multiple-warhead ICBMs, over 220 sub-launched ballistic missiles, 251 strategic intercontinental bombers, dozens of nuclear cruise missile carrying subs, SRBMs, tactical strike jets, artillery pieces, and so forth. And it is growing, not cutting, it’s nuclear arsenal.
Furthermore, in the last 12 months, Russia has practiced simulated nuclear bomber strikes on US missile defense facilities five times, each time flying dangerously close to US or allied airspace, and three times flying into Air Defense Identification Zones – forcing US or allied fighters to scramble. For more, see here and here.
“Who told you that the Cold War was ever over? It transforms; it is like a virus,” said Russian KGB/FSB defector Sergei Tretyakov in an interview with FOX News in 2009.
And yet, the Left wants America to disarm unilaterally in the face of such an aggressive Russia wielding thousands of nuclear weapons!
China has at least 1,600-1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads – we don’t know how many exactly, because China refuses to reveal. But its 3,000 miles of underground tunnels and bunkers could’ve been built only for a large nuclear arsenal. You don’t need 3,000 miles of tunnels to hide 300-400 warheads.
With 800 or fewer, or even 1,100, warheads, the US nuclear deterrent will be too small and unsurvivable, easy to destroy in a first strike. (Never give your opponents too few problems to solve, because if you do, he’ll solve them, as Robert Kaplan says.) And such a small arsenal would be woefully inadequate to overcome Russian and Chinese missile defenses (yes, they do have them) and conduct a credible retaliatory strike.
Thus, with such a pathetically small arsenal, the US wouldn’t be able to threaten a credible retaliation against a sufficient number of targets – and would thus lose its ability to maintain nuclear deterrence. It’s no coincidence that – as even the NTI has admitted – the Air Force general in charge of ICBMs and nuclear bombers is warning AGAINST a rush to further nuclear cuts. (And the forementioned DOD “study” was done completely without his input; he was not even invited to participate, as even the NTI admits.)
Rep. Cooper, other House Democrats, and the Obama administration are simply trying to lull the American people into a false sense of security in the drive to disarm the US unilaterally.
Disarming the US is not only dangerous to national security, it’s also immoral. The US has a moral right to protect itself and its allies with a nuclear deterrent. Seeking to dismantle that deterrent – especially unilaterally – is immoral.
As for the DOD’s supposed “findings”, those are not its findings. It is Obama who has imposed on the DOD an order to prepare pathways for him to cut the US nuclear deterrent to 1,100-1,000, 800, or just 300 warheads. Presented with such a diktat and these three unilateral cuts options, the DOD has chosen the relatively least bad – 1,100 warheads.
“One new provision offered by Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) would prevent the Defense Department’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program from spending money on work related to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty unless President Obama certifies that Russia and China are complying with the agreement.
Lamborn suggested the United States had already spent enough money supporting a treaty that it had not ratified and said his provision would keep Russian and Chinese officials’ “feet to the fire.””
Oh, holding the Russians’ and the Chinese’ feet to the fire! What a terrible idea!
But China still refuses to ratify the treaty – as do North Korea, India, and Pakistan, all nuclear powers. And the treaty is totally unverifiable, so spending any funds supporting it is a waste of money.
NTI then claims that:
“Lamborn also added a measure to require Energy Department officials to certify that they will complete the projected $10 billion modernization of the B-61 nuclear gravity bomb arsenal by 2019. Failure to provide that assurance could now lead to restrictions on funding for the DOE Global Threat Reduction Initiative.
The measure was added over the objections of Representative John Garamendi (D-Calif.), who argued it would increase spending on a controversial effort to modernize warheads that would likely never be used at the expense of the GTRI program, which he said aims to combat “real threats” to national security. The Global Threat Reduction Initiative works to secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the world that could be used by terrorists.”
Of course, for the Left, any measure to safeguard or increase America’s defenses is “controversial”; and as for the B61 bombs, we should hope that these, or any other, nuclear weapons will never be used! But hope is not a good basis for anything, let alone defense policy.
And those B61 bombs DO (and if modernized, will continue to) perform a crucial deterrence mission – reassurring America’s 28 treaty allies in Europe and deterring Russia, with a tangible, deployed in-theater deterrent: American nuclear bombs and delivery aircraft. These B61 bombs also reassure other allies around the world, because they can be redeployed to other allied countries if need be. 70% of South Koreans actually want American B61 bombs on their soil to deter North Korea. Moreover, CSBA expert Barry Watts believes the US also needs to refurbish B61 tactical nukes – or develop new ones – in order to be able to use them in limited contingency scenarios.
And it is Russia and North Korea that are the real threat to US national security, not the purely theoretical, unlikely-to-ever-materialize “threat” of terrorists wielding nuclear weapons.
Moreover, liberals are giving America a false choice between a nuclear deterrent and other nonproliferation efforts (the GTRI). The B61 mod program and the GTRI are not mutually exclusive or competing, and should not be viewed as such. Liberals are giving America a false choice.
Congressman Lamborn’s amendment would not cut, let alone eliminate, funding for the GTRI, merely make it contingent on Obama also investing adequately to modernize the B61 bomb. Obama will still receive full GTRI funding – if he also upholds his promise to modernize the B61 bomb.
Furthermore, it must be underlined that by far the most effective US nonproliferation program is, and has been, America’s nuclear deterrent.
NTI further claims that:
“Among the failed Democratic amendments was an attempt by Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) to negate Republican efforts to increase nuclear weapons funding by approximately $200 million above what the Obama administration had requested.
The White House for the budget year that begins on Oct. 1 is seeking $7.87 billion for work by the Energy Department’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration to maintain a safe, secure and reliable atomic arsenal. That is up by $654 million from two years ago.
Rogers argued the administration’s request is not adequate to meet the terms of a deal made during negotiations over New START ratification, in which the president agreed to spend $85 billion over 10 years on nuclear arms complex modernization.”
Oh, holding Obama to his formal, written pledge made during the New START ratification process! What a terrible idea it is to hold someone accountable for their promises! Especially President Obama, who broke his promises shortly after he made them!
And yes, the additional $200 mn sum is necessary to refurbish America’s obsolete, dilapidated nuclear facilities, which date back to the Manhattan Project days. Moreover, $200 mn is a microscopic amount in the overall scheme of things – just a fraction of one percent of the defense budget, let alone the federal budget.
“Representative Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) tried but failed to scrap a Republican provision that could require the Pentagon’s Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to conduct cost-benefit analyses of recommendations it makes to improve the safety and security of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Larsen said the provision “would break the DNFSB budget” and limit its ability to ensure safety and security.”
Oh, what a terrible idea it is to require someone to make cost-benefit analyses of the recommendations they make!
No, Mr Larsen, this provision would not break the DNFSB’s budget, and it would INCREASE its ability to ensure safety and security – by requiring it to study whether its recommendations would deliver the promised benefits compared to the implementation costs.
“Larsen also attempted to strike a Republican provision that would give the Energy secretary special authority to fire any DOE employee who “endangers the security of special nuclear material or classified information.” The amendment stemmed from thedissatisfaction of Republican committee members over how the department handled an incident last year in which an 82-year old nun and two other peace activists were able to infiltrate the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee.”
Oh, what a terrible idea to fire DOE employees who danger the security of nuclear materials or classified information! Let’s give DOE employees free rein to do so!
The pacifist “Council for a Livable World” mockingly asks, “Do you even have to HASC? House Republicans really love the bomb!” I don’t know if they love it, but they surely appreciate its great, unique value in deterring WMD and ballistic missile attacks on the US – something no other weapon system can do. Not even missile defense.
Do you see, Dear Readers? The Left’s claims about nuclear weapons – and the related provisions that House Republicans have rightly written into the House version of the defense authorization bill – are blatant lies. Cutting America’s nuclear deterrent and unilaterally complying with treaties that others don’t comply with will make America much less secure, not more.
For more excellent analysis of the House version of the NDAA, and excellent rebuttals of leftist lies about that bill and about nuclear weapons, please see here.
Just going to make a little guess here, but Elizabeth Vargas from ABC probably did not expect Madonna to come out with a pro-Second Amendment commentary on the use of guns, or for her to make the entirely logical statement that guns do not kill people, people kill people. And you thought you had no use for the “material girl”?
(H/T: Conservative Videos)
Richard Matheson – notable science fiction, fantasy, and horror author – died yesterday, according to a statement from his daughter, Ali.
Best known for works adapted to film, such as The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, and I Am Legend, Matheson began writing in 1950. Born in Allendale, New Jersey in 1926, he married Ruth Ann Woodson in 1952, and had four children, three of which also followed in their father’s footsteps to become authors – Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson.
Matheson’s daughter Ali made a simple statement on her father’s death:
“My beloved father passed away yesterday at home surrounded by the people and things he loved…he was funny, brilliant, loving, generous, kind, creative, and the most wonderful father ever…I miss you and love you forever Pop and I know you are now happy and healthy in a beautiful place full of love and joy you always knew was there.”
Matheson’s first novel, Someone is Bleeding, was published in 1953. Since then, his works have included hundreds of short stories, novels and movies. Inducted into The Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010, Matheson has been a strong influence within the world of science fiction and horror, with authors like Stephen King and Anne Rice stating his work had been a creative influence for them. In what appears to be his last on-screen appearance, Matheson was featured in Paul Davids’ “The Life After Death Project” – a documentary on finding proof of life after death – and was just released in May of this year.
Courtousy of Legal Insurrection