In South Carolina Roy Costner, high school valedictorian, got a round of applause after he surprised the crowd, transitioning from his planned speech during the graduation ceremony, to a delivery of the Lord’s Prayer. Costner used his moment in the spotlight to protest the school district’s decision to bans prayer from graduation ceremonies.
There are days, weeks even, when just nothing goes right even for the president. After a difficult week filled with growing scandals that point to some level of administration and White House involvement the president found himself heckled by a Code Pink woman at his attention diverting speech yesterday.
Then today, as Obama boarded Marine One, he forgot to salute the Marine who was standing at attention at the foot of the steps. Upon realizing (or being informed) of his faux pas the president then darted back off the helicopter and awkwardly apologized to the Marine.
Across the dial reporters are speaking out about the invasion of privacy the Department of Justice perpetrated against a Fox Investigative reporter James Rosen and the Fox News Network. This news comes less than a week after the AP reported that their phone records had been seized by the DoJ.
At long last, reporters are seeing that the DoJ, under Attorney General Eric Holder, has pushed an agenda that is involved in spying and cover up. This is not new. But the realization by the left this administration is now investigating and watching journalists appears to be the final straw.
The heretofore antithesis of FNC NBC News broke the story today that Holder had, in fact, signed off on the search warrant against the FNC reporter.
Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.
The disclosure of the attorney general’s role came as President Barack Obama, in a major speech on his counter-terrorism policy, said Holder had agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve journalists.
We reject the government’s efforts to criminalize the pursuit of investigative journalism and falsely characterize a Fox News reporter to a Federal judge as a “co-conspirator” in a crime. I know how concerned you are because so many of you have asked me: why should the government make me afraid to use a work phone or email account to gather news or even call a friend or family member? Well, they shouldn’t have done it. The administration’s attempt to intimidate Fox News and its
employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency, nor the test of time. We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth.
CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, while not pointing fingers, yet, did state this week that her personal and work computers have been hacked and are under investigation.
Politico reports: “I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”
In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, “there could be some relationship between these things and what’s happened to James [Rosen],” the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.
As you watch the news clip below, be reminded that this administration was involved in leaking personal emails of General Petraeus which resulted in his resignation. In addition, AG Holder refused to accept responsibility for the Fast and Furious debacle which occurred under his watch and resulted in deaths of US agents, numerous Mexican citizens and a multitude of weapons released across the border in a botched effort to control drug smuggling.
This afternoon, even the Huffington Post is seeing the danger of a government that uses underhanded methods to quelch both investigative reporters and their whistle blower sources.
Today’s bold headline at HuffPo loudly proclaims, “Time to Go”.
Many, especially those born post Soviet Union, don’t realize the significance when a government limits the news. A free press investigating and with the ability to tell citizens the truth is a critical part of our open society.
Stockton, the small resort city South of Sacramento, California sought bankruptcy protection from its obligations last summer. The bankruptcy filing by Stockton, more than 290,000 residents, has been closely watched by both bond insurers who guaranteed the city’s debt and CalPERS, the state pension fund for public workers.
Retiree health care, financed by most California cities on a pay-as-you-go basis, and pension payments based on union agreements pushed Stockton, along with several other California cities into bankruptcy.
New Stockton mayor, Anthony Silva brought with him armor and a helmet (which he donned) during his unique State of the City address this week. The mayor plead with city residents to join him in helping clean up the city both literally and figuratively. The mayor believes raising taxes is the only way the city will be able to improve safety in the crime ridden city. At over 14% unemployment it is expected that Silva will meet opposition among both the council and residents to his plan.
Remember last year before the presidential elections Billy Graham and his Evangelical group sponsored a prominent newspaper ad promoting both Biblical principles and marriage? Interestingly, shortly after these ads were published, the Billy Graham Association received notice they would be subject to an immediate audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
Today, following the scandalous news that the IRS did indeed target organizations who may have been outspoken during the election, Reverend Franklin Graham penned a letter to President Obama.
Read his letter and decide. Was it coincidence or was the IRS specifically targeting this well respected, but outspoken Christian group?
The mood was somber on the Morning Joe set at MSNBC this morning. Their high hopes for this administration have been dashed leaving the crew shaking their heads in sadness. The growing scandals, followed by attempted cover-ups, lies and bullying by the Obama administration were more than even they could justify. The few attempts to explain away the actions of the DOJ, IRS, HHS, State Department and the White House were winced at by others on the set.
Though not surprising to many on the outside, this fall from grace by the administration, is revealing what many said but was previously scoffed at by the Mainstream Media; that the emperor has no clothes and if you mention it they will use strong arm methods to squelch your speech.
The growing list of intimidation tactics.
NBC’s investigative reporter Lisa Myers admits what few on the left want to believe or admit, that this administration has a history of intimidating those who speak against or even question their policies including reporters. The thinned skin Team Obama are intolerant of those who might distract from their story and the approved narrative.
Unfortunately, many in the general public who depend on their thirty minute nightly news program to inform, will remain woefully in the dark about these growing scandals. Now, more than ever, it’s time for those who more closely follow current events to spread the word, to share information. While news organizations, like the AP, may now finally begin speaking more loudly in light of their recent run in with Holder’s DOJ, others will continue to shrink from publicizing the truth in fear of negative reprisal. As individuals we must not let the intimidation tactics of this administration keep the public in the dark. If your friends haven’t heard about these atrocities, the strong arm tactics, the out and out lies perpetrated by this administration it’s time to speak up. These non-partisan issues should outrage every American.
Talk to people.
Remind them why it is important for reporters to ferret out the truth and keep government officials honest. Let them know that while singling out one group of people who have ideas contrary to the government might seem good today, tomorrow the tables may turn and your group’s ideals may become subject to special government scrutiny. Tell them that while government officials, just like all of us, can make mistakes like in the Benghazi situation, we must take responsibility for our errors and not compound the mistakes by telling lies or blaming others. Inform them of the Chicago style politics used to force acceptance, and promotion, of the very divisive Obamacare.
Even if you are worried about being selected for unwanted attention by the government, speak up. Do it for your kids and for our future.
If you want to fly a Gadsden flag – Fly it. If you want to meet with fiscal conservatives at a “Lower Taxes” meeting – Do it. If a Tea Party rally inspires you to write about the Constitution -Write. Be brave.
This one surely will be chalked up under the ‘stupid criminals’ chapter, or maybe the “Oh, for God’s Sakes.”
A man flying in from Saudi Arabia this weekend was stopped by a Customs agent. He apparently had a few pages missing from his Passport (unbeknownst to him, of course). And when the agents looked in his suitcase he had brought along a pressure cooker (maybe not realizing there are Walmarts in the US?)
It has not been a month since terrorists killed and maimed many through the use of a pressure cooker bomb in Boston.
However, the ever helpful people at CAIR urged caution.
“I hope that our government is not criminalizing people if they travel and have cooking items just because they are Muslim or come from the Muslim world,” said Director Dawud Walid. “I don’t think someone flying with an empty pressure cooker elevates to a level of terrorism unless the government has some other sound information.”
The rest of you, who are not so naive can read more at the Detroit News.
President Obama, along side UK Prime Minister Cameron, took questions from the press today. The video below shares a small portion of their press conference. You can watch it for the usual slight of hand and blame game answers regarding the situation in Benghazi and the IRS. Many will be quick to point out the irritation by the president and accordingly, the refusal to take responsibility for any bad things that happened either at the IRS or the State Department. Some might even point out the apparent lack of empathy regarding the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi.
Today, I’d like to call your attention to the President’s first sentence at fifty seconds, “I first learned about this [the IRS debacle] from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday…”
Honestly? Friday, this seemed like it could possibly be a situation connected to a small group of rogue, liberal, IRS agents, targeting only a small group of right wing extremists. But by this morning, many additional news reports indicate that senior officials within the IRS were aware of that many fiscal conservative or pro Israel groups were singled out for additional scrutiny. Is it truly possible that no one alerted the president to the possible huge repercussions of this issue?
If the president only learned about this possibly critical situation within the nation’s taxpaying agency through news channels where was his staff? Why is he not briefed on possible situations every day, every week by key staff and cabinet members? Or is he only briefed on those that are positive and show the administration in a good light?
Remember just a few weeks ago this president stated emphatically that the Obamacare travesty is mostly implemented, with only a few glitches.
One must ask, is Obama an isolated president? And if he is, who is running the show?
If the video does not appear it can be viewed here.
Since biblical times the tax man has been looked at with scorn and distrust. Today even the liberals at MSNBC are reacting with shock and appall at the severe biased actions of the IRS in targeting conservative groups for extreme scrutiny. More information over the weekend revealed that not only was IRS targeting groups with connections to the Tea Party, Patriot, Glen Beck’s 9-12 Project along with groups who took a pro Israel stand, but SENIOR officials were aware of this by 2011.
Additionally, it is being reported by the Wall Street Journal that any fiscal conservative group with concerns about the constitution, government spending, taxes, etc., were being singled out.
Watch for additional more facts to come out. Such revelations already make one wonder if this could be the tip of the iceberg?
As investigative reporter Lisa Myers asks, “Do these people not remember the Nixon administration?”
And remember. . . These are the same people who will make sure your new Obamacare plan is administered fairly. . .at least, as long as you tow the line.
Did your left leaning friends kid you when you talked about a conspiracy against the Tea Party? Did they tell you that the investigations of right wing groups was normal, or maybe a figment of your imagination?
Well, you were right. This week the IRS has formally apologized to groups it unfairly chose for investigation during the 2012 election cycle. Apparently, groups with Patriot or Tea Party in their name were singled out by agents who chose to scrutinize them regarding their tax exempt status.
The head of the IRS Exempt Status Division, Lois Lerner recently explained what happened at a conference:
In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.
“That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,” Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.
“The IRS would like to apologize for that,” she added.
Lerner went on to explain that the procedure was initiated by low-level staff in Ohio and that no high level staff were aware of the actions.
Through the election period many conservative groups complained that they were being targeted unfairly, some even that they were being harassed by the IRS. The targeted groups accused the agency of delaying their status to become tax exempt by sending lengthy and personal questionnaires which asked for information about member political activities, posts on social networks and requested data on family members.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, called on the White House to investigate.
“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough,” McConnell said. “I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not under way at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views.”
Of course, it’s easy to apologize now. The election is over. But, you weren’t paranoid.
A Texas court judge ruled today that signs displayed by high school cheerleaders quoting biblical verses were “constitutionally permissible,” and that the Kountze High School cheerleaders could continue to display them at the school’s football games.
The high school cheerleaders had sued the Kountze Independent School District after after they were told they could no longer display the banners with religious messages over arguments that it violated the First Amendment. Earlier in the school year, one unidentified spectator had complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The group argued that the banners amounted to a public school’s advocating a particular religion, which was unconstitutional.
The cheerleaders contention was that these banners were student led and initiated and so private speech. Attorneys for the cheerleaders argued the girls’ First Amendment rights to free speech were being violated by the school district and that the messages on the banners were not asking anyone to believe in Christianity or accept the faith.
In his ruling, State District Judge Steve Thomas said that no law “prohibits cheerleaders from using religious-themed banners at school sporting events and that the banners did not create an establishment of religion in the school.
Gov. Rick Perry offered a statement on the ruling: Today’s ruling is a win for free speech and religious freedom. The Kountze High School cheerleaders showed great resolve and maturity beyond their years in standing up for their beliefs and constitutional rights. I’m proud of them and I celebrate this victory alongside them.
Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, on Wednesday testified to a House committee about the night of the attacks at the Benghazi facility. Watch this compelling and emotional testimony.
Born in the nuclear test area of the former USSR, Karipbek Kuyukov has no arms. According to news reports, thousands of children were born with similar deformities during the nuclear test program. Despite his disability Karipbek has become a renown artist, using his feet to hold the paint brush. His work was on display at the Carnegie Institute last year.
Kuyukov is also an outspoken activist against nuclear proliferation.As an honorary ambassador of The Atom Project, Kuyukov works to end global nuclear testing, hoping to limit the victims of radioactive fallout. He was expected to participate in an anti-nuclear conference in the UK this month. Unfortunately, as the BBC reports, he was denied a visa. The reason? He had no fingerprints.
The UK Embassy released a press statement that there was some miscommunication and that Kuyukov was not denied a visa.
In any case, this odd visa denial may do more to publicize both the art and the work of this man than any relatively obscure conference.
In a surprise to no one, states are discovering yet another down side to Obamacare. Like many Americans, I have a pre-existing condition. Diagnosed with breast cancer and a stay-at-home mom I held hope that one piece of the Obamacare legislation of offering health care coverage for those with pre-existing conditions would work. But understanding the costs and expenses with treatments also caused me to wonder how states could afford it.
My question has been answered. States have found that those who were uninsured due to pre-existing health diagnoses would require costly medications and care. So much so that many states ended the sign up for this program early. But even with limited patients on their dole states are looking for additional federal funds to cover their expenses.
Unfortunately, the federal government, finding itself a little short on funds, recently sent out a directive that they would cover (as agreed to) up to a certain ceiling and that states would be responsible for the costs beyond that point.
States like Pennsylvania, are finding that they are paying unexpectedly high dollar amounts for these patients. And without the previously promised federal funding are now concerned that they will have to reduce coverage. According to an article in the TribLive: The root of the problem is that the federal health care law capped spending on the program at $5 billion, and the money is running out because the beneficiaries turned out to be costlier to care for than expected.
State officials say a likely consequence of the money crunch will be a cost shift to people in the program, resulting in sudden increases in premiums and co-payments. Officials are concerned that many will lose or be forced to drop their coverage.
This news comes following a press conference where the president stated the new health care program was going smooth with just a few glitches.
These ‘unexpected’ cost overruns are just beginning. As more parts of Obamacare are implemented the public will discover that there is a cost to all of these free programs.
Last week the FDA said that 15 year olds can now purchase an abortificient type birth control over the counter. Plan B, as it’s called, is designed to be used within 72 hours of unprotected sex.Through use of a ‘higher hormonal concentration’ it is meant to prevent implantation of an embryo and keep pregnancy from occurring.
A pharmacist, who does not have the medical history of the patient, will be the one handing over this medication. Will the child take it as prescribed? Or will she, as children often do, feel that ‘it two pills are good, six will be better? Can she just walk over to another pharmacy and get more of this medication?
With all medicine there is a risk of side effects. Who will this young girl talk to if she develops a reaction? Not her health care provider, who will be unaware of the purchase.
Difficulty breathing? Abdominal pain? These aren’t just simple reactions. What happens to the young girl who takes this medicine and then develops a life threatening problem? When, if ever, will her parents be informed of what has happened? Will the parents have to wait until reading the autopsy report of their child who died from complications of this hormone?
The Left believe that kids have the right to make the grown up decision to take this medication without knowledge of or intervention by the parents. Setting aside moral arguments for or against the Plan B drug availability let’s look at what other things a 15 year old can’t do without parental permission. For example:
Can a sophomore in high school have her picture posted in the newspaper or yearbook without parental permission?
Can a junior in high school choose to participate in extracurricular activities at school, particularly sports, without parental permission?
Can a student under 18 go on a field trip, watch an ‘R-rated’ movie in school, or stay out beyond the city curfew without an okay from an adult guardian?
If a child it not allowed to take a Tylenol or use an asthma inhaler in school without parental permission, why is she allowed to buy medication with potentially dangerous side effects with only a simple consult by a pharmacy staff member, who does not know her medical history?
If a child can’t have her teeth cleaned by the dentist without parental permission, have an x-ray or receive an immunization shouldn’t the parents be involved in such other critical decisions?
As schools request the ability to hand out condoms to younger and younger children will they soon be asking to supply them with hormonal contraceptives?
Why are parents allowing themselves to be removed from the parenting process? These children, our children, do not belong to the government. Instead of being pushed out, parents need to parent. Instead of sticking our heads in the sand and letting someone else make decisions, parents need to know what the children are doing and especially what medications they are taking.