Congress is taking action on religious liberty in the military, a story that wasÂ originally reportedÂ by Breitbart News. New legal language passed a key committee this week and next goes to the full House and then the Senate; it could become federal law later this year.
[…] Â The first amendment was offered by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). It protects the rights of chaplains to speak and pray in a manner consistent with their faith, such as ending a prayer in Jesusâ€™ name. This amendment passed by voice vote.
A second amendment was offered to create â€œatheist chaplains,â€ as Breitbart NewsÂ reportedearlier this week. This mockery of the chaplaincy was proposed by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), pushed by groups often hostile to Christians and observant members of other faiths. The committee rejected this amendment by a vote of 43-18. The military already provides secular counseling to service members, while chaplains are by definition religious and spiritual counselors.
The third amendment is the most consequential. Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) offered an amendment specifying that the religious speech and actions of all service members is a protected right, and that the Department of Defense will enact regulations to allow and accommodate those beliefs in both word and deed.
The Obama Administration â€œstrongly objectsâ€ to a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have protected the religious rights of soldiers â€“ including evangelical Christian service members who are facing growing hostility towards their religion.
The amendment was authored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La. It would have â€œrequired the Armed Forces to accommodate â€˜actions and speechâ€™ reflecting the conscience, moral, principles or religious beliefs of the member.â€
The Obama Administration said the amendment would have a â€œsignificant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.â€
â€œWith its statement, the White House is now endorsing military reprimands of members who keep a Bible on their desk or express a religious belief,â€ Fleming told Fox News. â€œThis administration is aggressively hostile towards religious beliefs that it deems to be politically incorrect.â€
The White House released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014. Â […]
The SAP includes a veto threat: â€œâ€¦if the bill is presented to the President for approval in its current form, the Presidentâ€™s senior advisers would recommend that the President veto the bill.â€
In other words, Obama says he will veto any bill that forbids his appointees or officers from telling a soldier that he cannot mention Jesus during prayer or have a Bible on his desk, or that keeps those appointees from telling a chaplain (who is an ordained clergyman) what religious teachings he is allowed to give in worship services, or what spiritual counseling he can give to another soldier.
Ambassador Ken Blackwell, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, tells Breitbart News:
President Obama is waging a war on religion. He and Chuck Hagel are denying the most basic rights to those who put their lives on the line to protect all of our rights. It is shameful and appalling. I am confident that congressional leadership will show courage to stand up for our troops against this radical assault on religious liberty in the military.
This is the most compelling expression yet of the aggressive approach of the Obama-Hagel Defense Department to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who are observant Christians or devout members of other peaceful faiths, as seen in Breitbart Newsâ€™Â previous reportsregarding the unconstitutional infringements of one of Americaâ€™s most treasured, fundamental rights.
A veteran member of the U.S. Army Band said he is facing retribution and punishment from the military for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his car, reading books written by conservative authors like Mark Levin and David Limbaugh, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a 25-year Army veteran and conservative Christian based at Fort Myer in Washington, believes his outspoken opposition to gay marriage prompted higher-ups to take a closer look at his beliefs. The recipient of an Army Commendation Medal and a soloist at the funeral of former First Lady Betty Ford, Sommers said his core beliefs are enough to mark a soldier for persecution in todayâ€™s military.
[…] Â Sommersâ€™ troubles began last April when he was told to remove pro-Republican, anti-Obama bumper stickers that were on his privately owned car.
The stickers read: â€œPolitical Dissent is NOT Racism,â€ â€œNOBAMA,â€ NOPE2012â€ and â€œThe Road to Bankruptcy is Paved with Ass-Fault.â€ That sticker included the image of a donkey.
His superior officer told the solider that the bumper stickers were creating â€œunnecessary workplace tension.â€
â€œThe types of stickers on your car were creating an atmosphere detrimental to morale and were creating unnecessary workplace tension,â€ the officer wrote in an Army document obtained by Fox News. â€œA Soldier must balance their personal feelings with the mission of the U.S. Army. Even the slightest inference of disrespect towards superiors can have a demoralizing effect on the unit.â€
Attorney Wells said once he got involved, the military backed off of filing a formal reprimand.
â€œHeâ€™s allowed to have those bumper stickers on his car,â€ he said. â€œThe DoD regulation allows it. There was nothing obscene about it.â€
During the summer months, Sommers came under fire for reading the works of Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and David Limbaugh.
Sommers was reading Limbaughâ€™sÂ â€œThe Great Destroyerâ€Â backstage at a U.S. Army Band concert at the U.S. Capitol. A superior officer told him that he was causing â€œunit disruptionâ€ and was offending other soldiers.
â€œI wasnâ€™t reading aloud,â€ he said. â€œI was just reading privately to myself. I was told they were frowning on that and they warned me that I should not be reading literature like that backstage because it was offensive.â€
Sommers said he was told to refrain from reading the book â€œwhile in uniform or within sight of anyone from the band.â€
â€œThis is the first time since (my superior officer) indicated I had offended others with my choice of reading material, that I was officially counseled about it,â€ he said. â€œThe statement took my breath away. I was speechless.â€
In spite of those incidents, the Army promoted the soldier in September to the rank of master sergeant. But the promotion would also mark the launch of an effort by the military to punish the soldier.
His promotion coincided with a controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A. The companyâ€™s president told a reporter that he was â€œguilty as chargedâ€ when it came to supporting traditional marriage. Gay rights activists pounced- calling for a boycott of the Christian-owned company. And some Democratic officials vowed to block Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their cities.
In response to that, Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee launched a national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to rally support for the restaurant chain.
â€œI was inspired by Gov. Huckabeeâ€™s appreciation day,â€ Sommers told Fox News. â€œAnd since I wasnâ€™t able to participate in the event, I decided to serve Chick-fil-A at my promotion party.â€
Itâ€™s a long-standing tradition within the U.S. Army Band for promoted soldiers to host a party for their fellow troops. So the soldier decided to have Chick-fil-A cater the meal.
â€œMy family likes Chick-fil-A and we like what they stand for,â€ he said. â€œI can make a statement and at least express a religious point of view at my promotion party â€“ theoretically without any fear of reprisal.â€
The soldier also tweeted about the party: â€œIn honor of DADT repeal, and Obama/Holderâ€™s refusal to enforce DOMA act, Iâ€™m serving Chick-fil-A at my MSG promo reception for Army today.â€
He also tweeted to radio host Mark Levin: â€œ@Marklevinshow â€˜luv ya, Mark! Fellow Virginian & MSG, Army. Being promoted today, serving Chick-fil-A @ reception in honor of DADT repeal.â€
Both tweets were cited in an official military document.
â€œAs a Soldier you must be cognizant of the fact that your statements can be perceived by the general public and other service members to be of a nature bordering on disrespect to the President of the United States,â€ the document stated.
Sommers said he paid for the party with personal money, not government funds.
â€œI had no idea a Chick-fil-A sandwich would get me in trouble,â€ he said.
He was later summoned by a superior officer, who the soldier said is openly gay, and was told that unidentified individuals were offended by the tweets and some considered them to be racist.
Sommers was reprimanded, threatened with judicial action and given a bad efficiency report. An investigation was also launched.
â€œItâ€™s an obvious attempt to set him up and force him out of the military,â€ Wells said. â€œThey recently did an NCO evaluation that effectively torpedoed his chance at promotion and he could be forced out of the Army.â€
On Saturday, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin urged soldiers to post pictures of themselves reading books written by conservatives like Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and David Limbaugh. Palin did so after an “outrageous” report surfaced that revealed the U.S. Army was punishing a soldier for reading books written by conservative authors.
“Whether you agree or disagree with this soldierâ€™s opinions, I think we can all agree that the apparent retribution he faced for proudly reading certain authors is outrageous,” Palin wrote.
A member of the U.S. Army Band who said he was reprimanded for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal car, serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party and reading books written by conservative authors like Sean Hannity is now facing Article 15 charges â€“ which cropped up shortly after he went public with his complaints.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a decorated soloist with the Army Band, is being charged under a federal law that permits commanding officers to conduct non-judicial proceedings for minor offenses.
Sommers is accused of giving a superior officer the wrong date for a doctorâ€™s appointment. Heâ€™s also accused of failing to carry out an order. In order to comply with that order, Sommers would have had to disclose private information about his autistic sonâ€™s medical records.
The charges were handed down one day after Sommers told Fox News that he was facing discrimination and persecution because of his conservative political and religious beliefs.
â€œThe timing does seem strange,â€ retired Navy Commander John Bennett Wells told Fox News. â€œItâ€™s suspicious. No matter whatâ€™s happening it looks like a graduated attempt to build a case against him on some really ridiculous charges.
Wells is representing the 25-year veteran who, until last summer, had a spotless record.
Common Coreâ€™s English standardsÂ stressÂ nonfiction over literature. By grade 12, 70 percent of what studentsÂ readÂ should be informational rather than literary.Â Supporters of the guidelines say an increased focus on informational texts will better prepare kids for post-college employment.
Many of these nonfiction texts come from government websites and promote the findings of various government agencies.
Some might find the texts a bit dry. (And thatâ€™s without including â€œKenyaâ€™s Long Dry Season.â€)
Here are a few recommended informational texts.
â€œInvasive Plant Inventory,â€ by the California Invasive Plant Council. This is just a list of invasive plant species in California.
â€œRecommended Levels of Insulation,â€ by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While assuredly a fascinating read, The DC News Foundation was unable to review â€œRecommended Levels of Insulation,â€ because the websiteÂ was hacked.
â€œFedViews,â€ by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. This report from 2009 explains that the federal stimulus helped to stabilize the economy and asserts that there is no link between deficit spending and inflation.
I must admit that I would have been too embarrassed to teach Julia Alvarezâ€™s sexually explicit novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, to the college students I have taught for over twenty years, much less to ninth- and tenth-graders, as many Georgia high school teachers have been instructed to do.
Some high school teachers also have a problem with its overtly feminist and leftist-leaning ideology. The men are portrayed as weak drunkards, continually cheating on their wives.
For example, there is a drunken New Yearâ€™s celebration of â€œthe triumphant announcement.Â Batista had fled!Â Fidel, his brother Raul, and Ernesto they call Che had entered Havana and liberated the country.â€ No indication in the novel that Fidel and Raul turned out to be tyrants, or Che a mass murderer.
The novel has explicit descriptions of masturbation and intercourse, but Iâ€™m too embarrassed to quote those.
The novel is taken straight from Common Coreâ€™s â€œText Exemplarsâ€ for ninth and tenth grades.Â Although the â€œexemplarsâ€ are officially intended to be suggested readings, educrats take the suggestions literally.Â They know that they have to prepare students for theÂ national testsÂ being rolled out in 2014/2015.
[…] Â Even my question in private to the school board member (who claimed to love â€œliteratureâ€) about the fact that informational texts like EPA directives will be replacing a large percentage of literary works was met with the retort, â€œSo how many times do you use Beowulf?Â Graduates need to learn how to read informational texts in order to be able to read instructions at work.â€
No doubt, high school students sharing his opinion would rather read Alvarezâ€™s unchallenging polemical and titillating prose than Beowulf or Paradise Lost.Â Â No doubt, her novel will bring them up to speed on politically correct figures and sex tips.Â The accompanying EPA directives will teach them how to scan boring texts for required instructions at their â€œ21stÂ centuryâ€ jobs where they will do tasks that require little concentration or independent thought.
Nationwide, congregations and families are coming to terms with the BSA policy change. In an effort to remain strong in their biblical convictions, many are being forced to cut ties with the BSA despite years of financial support and mutual trust.
But in doing so, their decision to withdraw support of the nationâ€™s largest scouting organization has come under scrutiny by the liberal media and the leftwing blogosphere. Just days following the vote, Atlanta-area pastor Ernest Easley made national news when he advised his parishioners to cut all ties with BSA.
â€œI never dreamed Iâ€™d have to stand up publicly and say to parents: Pull your kids out of the Boy Scouts,â€ Easley told the Baptist Press May 28. â€œIf you would have asked me that five years ago, 10 years ago, I would have laughed,â€ Easley said. â€œAnd even as I was saying it Sunday morning, I thought, I cannot believe Iâ€™m having to address this and encourage parents to pull their children out of the Boy Scouts of America.â€
Louisvilleâ€™s largest church, Southeast Christian Church, also made headlines when they cut ties with the Boy Scouts after the national organization decided to drop its ban on gay youth.
â€œWe want everyone, including ourselves, to live by biblical standards,â€ said the Executive Pastor Tim Hester. â€œTruly for us itâ€™s a logical decision â€¦ We cannot be distracted from the mission God has called us to.â€
Churches, families and the Scouts themselves are what some might consider collateral damage of a decade-long battle waged by the LGBT organizations against the BSA to impose their morality on a non-government entity. And thanks to a compliant media, clearly in the LGBT camp, these institutions must fend off accusations of intolerance and bigotry while trying to stand strong in their biblical convictions.
â€œWe hoped to keep sex and politics out of Scouting,â€ lamented John Stemberger, a lifelong Scout with two sons in scouting, now leading the fight to start a new scouting chapter in defiance of the adopted policy. Unfortunately the LGBT community and the liberal media had other plans.
Sadly, itâ€™s the parents and churches that must unravel this messy BSA policy and tenaciously step through the landmine of media scrutiny as they seek to live biblically in an increasingly anti-Christian society.
In suburban Atlanta, northern Idaho and a number of other places, churches have moved swiftly to sever ties with the Boy Scouts of America in protest over the vote last month to let openly gay boys participate in Scouting.
To date, itâ€™s far from the mass defection that some conservatives had predicted before the vote by the Irving-based BSAâ€™s National Council. But the exodus could soon swell, depending on the outcome of the Southern Baptist Conventionâ€™s annual meeting next week in Houston.
Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 Scout units representing more than 100,000 youths, according to the Boy Scouts of America.
That number could drop precipitously.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the countryâ€™s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.
In light of the BSA’s recent decision, there is already a move to create a faith-based alternative called “Faith Based Boys.” Â The name and program are still being developed, but they’re looking for families that are willing to give them feedback and join their efforts.
Remember when President Obama publicly demonized Fox News as “destructive” to the nation because they wouldn’t play lapdog like the other networks? Â Turns out he was just laying the groundwork to isolate them from public sympathy so his vendetta against them could be justified.
Charles Krauthammer, Tucker Carlson, Kirsten Powers, Bret Baier discuss DOJ targeting Fox reporter and his parents:
Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.
The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.
Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.
Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.
Rosen’s father, attorney Myron Rosen, told FoxNews.com he found the records seizure to be “downright ludicrous.”
“My son and his wife call us all the time, and we talk about grandchildren,” he said. “We don’t talk about nuclear proliferation.”
He continued: “The fact that they had our phone records, it shows how crazy they are, how desperate.”
The revelation has had a chilling effect on reporters’ ability to gather the information and sources they need:
Anchor Greta Van Susteran took to Twitter to express her frustration with the secret monitoring, saying friends and family won’t call or email anymore out a of a fear of being watched.
“Now that the word is out that Obama Admin seizes Fox phone records, my friends won’t call me at work and since the Obama admin also seizes personal cell and email, my friends wont’ call or email,” Van SusteranÂ tweeted.
The news of more Fox News’ monitoring comes weeks after the Associated Press revealed the Justice Department had secretly monitored 20 personal and private phone lines used by AP reporters and editors. In addition, CBS News Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson said yesterday that her work and personal computers had beenÂ compromised.
For awhile, it looked like the White House wanted just to control “the narrative.” But its seizure of AP phone records and surveillance of Fox employees now show its real aim: to control the news.
[…] Â Â The latest news that the Justice Department investigated Fox News reporter James Rosen and two other newsmen in the normal course of their investigative reporting on a national security matter â€” coming on the heels of their seizure of Associated Press phone records â€” suggests an administration obsessed with controlling the news itself with a heavy hand reminiscent of totalitarian regimes.
The AP flap has drawn a properly outraged response from the news agency, because the White House’s obsessive efforts to find leaks cast such a broad, indiscriminate net against reporters just doing their jobs.
First they came for Fox News, and they did not speak outâ€”because they were not Fox News. Then they came for government whistleblowers, and they did not speak outâ€”because they were not government whistleblowers. Then they came for the maker of a YouTube video, andâ€”okay, we know how this story ends.Â But how did we get here?
Turns out itâ€™s a fairly swift sojourn from a president pushing to â€œdelegitimizeâ€ a news organization to threatening criminal prosecution for journalistic activity by a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, to spying on Associated Press reporters. In between, the Obama administration found time toÂ relentlessly persecuteÂ government whistleblowers and publicly harass and condemn a private American citizen for expressing his constitutionally protected speech in the form of an anti-Islam YouTube video.
Where were the media when all this began happening? With a few exceptions, they were acting as quiet enablers.
[…] Â Itâ€™s instructive to go back to the dawn of Hope and Change. It was 2009, and the new administration decided it was appropriate to use the prestige of the White House to viciously attack a news organizationâ€”Fox Newsâ€”and the journalists who work there. Remember, President Obama had barely been in office and had enjoyed the most laudatory press of any new president in modern history. Yet even one outlet that allowed dissent or criticism of the president was one too many. This should have been a red flag to everyone, regardless of what they thought of Fox News. The math was simple: if the administration would abuse its power to try and intimidate one media outlet, what made anyone think they werenâ€™t next?
A law enforcement official has told NBC News that Attorney General Eric Holder is the one who signed the search warrant for the private emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen. The warrant was signed under the guise that Rosen might be a “possible co-consiprator” in violation of the Espionage Act.
Problem is, Holder denied all knowledge – much less involvement – of the DOJ targeting of reporters during sworn testimony before congress.
Last week, andÂ while under oath, Attorney General Eric Holder testified before a House committee that when it comes to “try[ing]Â to prosecute the press for the publication of material” he has “never been involved in, heard of” such a thing.
Thursday, however, Â we learned that it was Holder who signed off on the application for a warrant to gain access to the private emails and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. In doing so, Holder labeled Rosen a co-conspirator to obtain classified material under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Congress gave the Attorney General a deadline to clear up the “inconsistencies” in his testimony, but (surprise!), Holder missed it. Â He’s practically daring congress to subpoena him, but so far they don’t have the spine:
Republican lawmakers want to haul Attorney General Eric Holder back to the Hill to explain questionable testimony he gave on reporter surveillance — though they are stopping short of issuing a subpoena.
In a letter sent Thursday to the attorney general, Republican leaders of the House Judiciary Committee urged Holder to testify on June 18, or some other date before the end of the month. They say his department’s prior response to date “still fails to fully and adequately answer our questions.”
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, famed as the chief purveyor of the Obama Administrationâ€™s false talking points on the Benghazi attack, will become Barack Obamaâ€™s new National Security Adviser following the resignation of Tom Donilon. Obama previously tried to promote her to Secretary of State, but that required confirmation, so the effort collapsed.
Iâ€™d say that a more brazen insult to the American people from this President could not be imagined, but, hey, IRS.
This means the President who claims he learns about his Administrationâ€™s activities by watching the news will be advised on national security by a woman famous for lying to the media. That seems like a closed information loop. Riceâ€™s defenders claimed she had nothing to do with preparing the phony talking points â€“ she was just mindlessly reciting them. Is that really the sort of thing America wants on a national security adviserâ€™s resume?
This is no different than taking their fingerprints or DNA, treating them like convicted criminals. What on earth makes them think they have the right to collect such personal data from children without parental consent or even notification?
Two days before their Memorial Day weekend break, kids from at least three different public schools â€” Bethune Academy (K-5), Davenport School of the Arts (K-5, middle and high school), and Daniel Jenkins Academy (6-12) â€” were subjected to iris scans without their parentsâ€™ knowledge or consent. The scans are essentially optical fingerprints, which the school intended to collect to create a database of biometric information for school bus security.
One mother took to Facebook to decry the outrageous breach after her son informed her of the unauthorized imaging. She posted a face-saving letter from Polk County Senior Director of Support Services Rob Davis notifying families only after the high-definition eye scans had been conducted.
The mom, April Serrano of Kissimmee, Fla., recounted: â€œI have been in touch with the principal at my sonâ€™s school this morning regarding the iris scans. She verified everything my son told me. â€¦ She said that she was following instructions from the Polk County School Board (PCSB), and that she knew very little, if anything, about this before it occurred. She just did as she was told.â€
The principal â€œdid as she was told,â€ no questions asked, just like a compliant servant of Big Brother is expected to do. Thank goodness for whistle-blowing parents unafraid to speak truth to mind-numbed power.
[…] Â â€œI am outraged and sickened by this blatant disregard for my sonâ€™s constitutional right to privacy and my parental rights over my son,â€ Serrano told me this week. Another affected mom, Connie Turlington, also publicly challenged the school district on local TV station WFLA: â€œThis is a fingerprint of my child. Where does this information live? Who has a hold of it? â€¦ My question is: How is it deleted, and how can we be assured as parents that itâ€™s gone?â€
These parents are not alone. School districts across the country are contracting with private tracking firms to monitor students. Some are using radio frequency tracking technology (RFID) to log movements. Khaliah Barnes, the open government counsel with the Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), spelled out the chilling implications for freedom of speech, religion and association in a recent CBN interview: â€œImagine for example a student being dissuaded from attending a political interest group because she fears that the tracking technology will alert the principal or other administrators where her political affiliations lie.â€
Now, add the threat that the nationalized Common Core student databases pose to students and families. As Iâ€™ve reported previously, the feds are constructing an unprecedented nationwide student tracking system to aggregate massive amounts of personal data â€” including health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status and even blood types and homework completion.
The data will be available to a wide variety of public agencies….
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. Thatâ€™s going to take a long time to get to. I donâ€™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 donâ€™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 Iâ€™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 youâ€™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 Iâ€™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 knowâ€¦
DN: â€¦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 itâ€™s a freedom of press issue. And now youâ€™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 theyâ€™re in the clouds like itâ€™s not their issue somehow.
The DOJ admitted to obtaining call records from a phone used by the AP in the House press gallery, which is â€¦ different from tapping a room used by congressmen to talk shop. How Nunes confused the two, I have no idea. Â […]
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 phoneâ€™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 â€œthe main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery.â€
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.
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperativeâ€™s top executive called a â€œmassive and unprecedented intrusionâ€ into how news organizations gather the news.
[…] Â The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for theÂ work and home phone numbersÂ 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.
Another brilliant column fromÂ National Review’sÂ Rich LowryÂ at Politico.Â 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.
The dam has broken, the curtain has been lifted, and the flood of scandals coming to light this week is finally beginning to open people’s eyes.
1. Benghazi.Â Four Americans were abandoned to die in the middle of a terrorist attack. Â In the aftermath the administration changed the talking points, lied about a stupid video being to blame, and spent months trying to hide the truth as they intimidated and blocked access to witnesses.
2. Â The IRS admits to targeting Tea Party groups. Â It turns out they were also targeting pro-life groups, pro-Israel groups, religious groups, and pretty much anybody who dared to criticize Obama’s policies. Â They were also leaking confidential information about the opposition to their political friends.
So how is Obama trying to squirm his way out of trouble?
One unique excuse being offered by David Axelrod is that the government is simply too big for Obama to know what’s going on. Â Yes, Â you heard that right…the liberals’ favorite argument that more government is the solution to every problem has suddenly turned into an excuse for ruling class ignorance andÂ incompetence.
During a press conference outdoors with the Turkish Prime Minister, Obama ordered the Marines to break protocol and hold umbrellas over their heads as it rained, remarking “Theyâ€™re gonna look good next to us.”
What a pompous elitist! Â The Marines are not house slaves for the ruling class. Â They are not “photo ops.” Â They are heroes who are sworn to protect and defend. Â If Obama wants someone to bow and apologize to, he should start with the marine on his left.
The Twitterverse exploded with biting commentary on this one:
Funny how quickly Obama got the Marines there when he was getting wet. Our men in Benghazi waited 8 hours for Obama to call in the Marines.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obamaâ€™s landmark health-care law, two people familiar with the outreach said.
Her unusual fundraising push comes after Congress repeatedly rejected the Obama administrationâ€™s requests for additional funds to set up the Affordable Care Act, leaving HHS to implement the presidentâ€™s signature legislative accomplishment on what officials have described as a shoestring budget.
Over the past three months, Sebelius has made multiple phone calls to health industry executives, community organizations and church groups and asked that they contribute whatever they can to nonprofit groups that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase awareness of the law, according to an HHS official and an industry person familiar with the secretaryâ€™s activities. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk openly about private discussions.
[…] Â Federal regulations do not allow department officials to fundraise in their professional capacity. They do, however, allow Cabinet members to solicit donations as private citizens â€œif you do not solicit funds from a subordinate or from someone who has or seeks business with the Department, and you do not use your official title,â€ according to Justice Department regulations.
This has all the hallmarks of a shakedown.Â DrewM at Ace of Spades snarkilyÂ summarizes:Â “Hi I’m HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. You may recall I have tremendous discretionary power over your company and entire industry. Would you like to donate to my favorite cause? You would? Thank you so much.”Â Â Obamacare vests Sebelius with anÂ enormous amountÂ of regulatory power; she has the ability to make life exceedingly difficult for any company that crosses her (recall her “zero tolerance” quote).Â “Friendly” requests for “voluntary” donations may not seem optional for companies who sense the HHS Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. Â […]
Harry Reid recentlyÂ grumbledÂ about Republicans’ refusal to pump more taxpayer money into Obamacare’s implementation phase.Â The GOP has stood firm against committing even one more penny to theÂ extravagantly expensive,Â enduringly unpopularÂ andÂ logistically shambolicÂ program.Â The administration’s apparent solution to this problem of their own making is to coerce private businesses into financing a bailout.
House Republicans are starting a probe into Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius soliciting donations from companies her agency might regulate, to help sign up uninsured Americans for ObamaCare.
[T]he solicitations, through speeches and phone calls, have raised questions about whether a federal official can ask for money from groups he or she oversees.
The Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee began a probe by sending a letter Monday to Sebelius and groups that she might have contacted.
The letter to Sebelius asks her to provide several pieces of information by May 27 related to the solicitations, including names of those contacted â€œin this unusual fundraising pitchâ€ as well as phone logs and whether other agency officials were involved.
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 wasÂ revealed todaythat CBS News President David Rhodes’ brother is Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, who was instrumental in rewriting theÂ BenghaziÂ talking points. But it gets worse. It is now learned that ABC President Ben Sherwood’s sister, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall,Â isÂ 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 ofÂ Tom Nides, who until February was Hillary Clinton’s deputy.
The fourth undercover video in LiveActionâ€™s â€œInhumanâ€ expose of late-term abortion brings us renowned abortionist Dr. LeRoy Carhart reassuring a pregnant woman that carrying a dead 26-week baby inside her womb for three days is no big deal. Â â€Itâ€™s like putting meat in a Crock-Pot, OK?â€ he says.
Carhart also jokes that his tools for dismembering and removing a dead child include â€œa pickaxeâ€ and â€œa drill bit.â€ Â When advising the woman to allow nothing into her vagina for three weeks after the procedure, he says, â€œAs I tell everyone, that includes fingers, friends, and fruit, OK?â€
The famed abortionist begins telling his patient that sheâ€™ll be affected emotionally and psychologically by the procedureâ€¦ but then he tries to portray it as aÂ positiveÂ life experience, dismissing the notion of post-abortion depression. Â […]
Like other late-term abortion doctors and clinic staffers profiled in the â€œInhumanâ€ series, Carhart frantically instructs his prospective patientÂ notÂ to call 911 if she goes into labor during the procedure, because â€œtheyâ€™ll take you to the hospital, right? Â They wonâ€™t bring you to the clinic, soâ€¦â€
Instead, he advises her to get in a car and drive to the clinic, or call him. Â And this later segment of the video was madeÂ 7 weeks after Jennifer Morbelliâ€™s death.Â Â PutÂ thatÂ in your Crock-Pot and slow-cook it.